Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Predicting the weather

The hurricane season in the Gulf and Atlantic region has come to an end with the quietest such period in ten years. For this I am thankful, being a resident of coastal Florida, and glad that I did not put too much stock in the predictions of the weather prognosticators who forecast a gloom and doom scenario. It turns out that they don't have any better of an idea than the man in the moon about what's going to happen.

Here I present an article about the upcoming 2006 hurricane season that was published back on March 20th of this year:

My attitude towards these false prophets, as with global warming doomsayers, is that what shall be---shall be. Our job is to prepare as best we can to face God's will, on His terms not ours. It is foolish to think that these forces, which are far beyond the limited abilities of human intelligence to adequately understand, could ever be predicted with any degree of accuracy. These same weather prophets should try getting the three-day forecast right first! Truth be told they are only correct about 40% of the time predicting that particular outcome.

I wish Al Gore would exclusively focus his very limited intellect on trying to stop brutal and bloody war, something we CAN control, and let the heavens do what they will. His work, in my humble estimation, would be a whole lot more meaningful. We are too small to ever know the inner workings of such systems of might and magnitude. Let's stick to things we can actually have a real effect on.

So whatever you do----try not to put too much of your faith in these earthly prophets of gloom and doom. They just want to scare you into being controlled.

They prophesy falsely unto you in My name: I have not sent them, saith the Lord. Jeremiah 29:9

A short article about the actual outcome of the 2006 hurricane season:

Sunday, November 26, 2006

New Orleans Photo Album

Spent Thanksgiving and a somewhat truncated honeymoon in the funky confines of New Orleans. We were there at this particular time specifically because Connie's daughter was spending the Thanksgiving holiday with her father's family, who reside in nearby areas of Mississippi and Louisiana.

Our hotel was in the heart of the French Quarter and we got out quite a bit to walk and sightsee during this relatively calm period of the year in the Big Easy.

On this trip I got around to doing some of the things I had been unable to accomplish on previous visits, including a comprehensive walking tour of historic homes in the Garden District and a visit to Saint Louis Cemetery #1 (the oldest in New Orleans).

I took almost 200 pictures, so it was a real chore to winnow it down to what you see displayed here. I hope y'all enjoy my armchair tour through this truly one-of-a-kind city.

Click on 'em twice and they get real big!

An old Louisiana state historical marker

Jackson Square

St. Louis Cathedral

Chartes Street sign

Early morning in the Quarter

Waterfront along the Mississippi River

Short-Moran House in the Garden District (1859)

Whole Foods store in the newly renovated Arabella Station

Loyola University on St. Charles Ave.

Stained glass in Tilton Hall, Tulane University

Statue of Louis Armstrong in Algiers

The Big Muddy viewed from the Algiers ferry

St. Louis Cemetary #1

View from our hotel room

Night time in the Quarter

Big Daddy's on Bourbon St.

Very cool old neon sign

Coffee & beignets at Cafe Dumonde

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tied the knot today. Lucky me!





Sunday, November 19, 2006

Why I love Wal-Mart

The Wal-Mart that I regularly frequent (located in Panama City Beach, FL) has been under renovation and remodeling for about the past month. So it was with relative calm that I noticed that their excellent postcard carousel was not in its regular place near the front door, because just about everything has been moved around during this hectic period of construction and relocations.

After making an inquiry at the service desk, as to where they had been relocated, it was determined, after some phone calls to the stock room, that postcards had been removed from the sales floor permanently. I was shocked, no more postcards for sale at Wal-Mart???!!!

The very courteous lady working at the service desk agreed with me that it didn't make much business sense to remove postcards from the merchandise mix of a store located in the heart of a beach town. Not only that but Wal-Mart had the largest selection and best prices on postcards anywhere in this area and I USE POSTCARDS!

After inquiring as to who I could contact about this matter, I was given a toll-free number to call that put me in touch with their corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. Within three minutes I had a live service representative on the line who took down all of the pertinent information and said she would forward it to the appropriate persons in charge of such matters. She thanked me for calling and asked if she could help me with anything else. I said no and politely hung up.

It was not with a little surprise that I received a voice message on our phone this morning from the manager of the Panama City Beach store thanking me for calling Wal-Mart headquarters and alerting them to this particular situation. He agreed that it was a mistake to remove these items and said that they would be reinstated just as soon as there was a final clearance from the corporate office. He thanked me again and said that they would be back on the sales floor in the very near future.

I had placed my call to Bentonville on Thursday and the problem was resolved with a personal response on Sunday via the corporate headquarters of the largest retailer on the planet! Now try getting that kind of response from any branch of the government. Take your pick and good luck!

Why do so many people choose to label Wal-Mart as "evil" and "predatory" when it has in fact gained all of its wealth and market share through voluntary transactions with its customers, who are free to shop wherever they want?

Why are these very same people just as reluctant to label their own government with the same type of terminology? It is the government, after all, which obtains its wealth by theft and coercion and is currently responsible for the bloody deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent, mostly impoverished, people. It always bewilders and amazes me to hear otherwise intelligent and apparently sane people utter such nonsensical clap-trap.

Pretty soon I'll be sending out more Florida postcards. I'm just waiting for my friendly neighborhood Wal-Mart to put them back in their store where they belong.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Front license plates

It's great to be living back down in the Deep South where the the states of the former Confederacy don't require front license plates on your car. It is a proud tradition in these parts to choose an appropriately decorative plate that best expresses your personality, hobby, allegiance or religious faith.

The last time I had this unique opportunity was when I was an undergraduate at the University of Georgia and placed a beautiful facsimile of the Georgia state flag on the front license plate holder of my 1965 Dodge Dart.

My new plate arrived today from the very friendly dealer in Alabama whose eBay store specializes in such things. Oh the simple joys of life in the South! Welcome home Beamis!

My new license plate!

It's baaaaack!!!

Our good friend, the U.S. government, is back at it again. Those friendly, well-meaning and beneficent souls at the Pentagon are again pushing to explode that 700 ton bomb (billed as the largest explosion in the history of humankind) in the desert wastes north of Las Vegas.

After being strongly rebuffed by Indiana and New Mexico as possible testing grounds, they are now back to square one, which is to utilize the heavily radiated Nevada test site. As we all know this detonation will spew lethal poisons into the skies of southern Utah, northern Arizona and the adjacent counties of rural Nevada for many days following the explosion. So please read on folks, the following is from today's editorial page of the St. George Daily Spectrum:

Divine Strake back in Nevada

The fight is on, again. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., a member of the Senate Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, says the Defense Threat Reduction Agency told him the Divine Strake test explosion of 700 tons of ammonium nitrate and fuel oil will take place at the Nevada Test Site.

After public outcry and legal machinations, the test, which was to have taken place last summer at the NTS, was rerouted first to a gravel quarry in Indiana, then to White Sands, N.M. and now it's back in southern Nevada.

Take off the gloves, it's time to go bare knuckles against this project and flush it once and for all.

This test is likely to kick up settled radioactivity from the desert floor and spew it into the atmosphere, only to be dumped at the will of the jet stream who knows where.

This test is also a precursor to the development of a bunker-buster bomb, which, according to the sparse material available, is a next-generation mini-nuclear device. Development of a new nuclear bomb would, of course, result in more testing at the Nevada Test Site.

Tens of thousands, at least, died or encountered debilitating illness over the course of the last half-century as a result of fallout from the previous nuclear tests. They call them Downwinders and a few of them in Nevada and Utah received money through the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act pushed through Congress by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, in 1999. The clouds of death covered the contiguous 48 states and stretched into parts of Canada, killing and poisoning untold others who were not compensated.

With an ever-growing population in the southeastern corner of Nevada near Las Vegas and the southwest corner of Utah, which is one of the most rapidly growing areas in the country, there are now more bodies to contaminate, more souls to be sacrificed in the name of nuclear weapon advancement.

Politically and morally, two words that are seldom used together, it would also be an arrogant move by the United States to resume nuclear testing while pulling in the reins on other sovereign nations.

This is an issue the new Congress cannot ignore.

Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, is a holdover from the last regime. He's fought the good fight against further nuclear testing and armament. It's not that he's soft on defense, it's that as a native of southern Utah, he has witnessed the death count from nuclear testing, which includes the loss of his own father, former governor of the state.

It's time to take action.
Start by contacting your local representatives. Then call Irene Smith, the DTRA spokeswoman, at (703) 767-5870. Finally, contact the White House at (202) 456-1414 or (202) 456-1111.

Boy am I happy to be living in Florida!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Day after

Blue sky and pines
The violent storm that passed through here, and was the subject of yesterday's blog, went on to cause tornados in Alabama & North Carolina and is now bearing down on Washington, DC as I write. Better head to Herr Cheney's secret cellar mein Shrub the 2nd.

Meanwhile back here in Florida the sun shined brightly today, the air cool and dry. I went down to the beach to see what kind of mood the Gulf was in and found it to be so dang purty that I wanted to share the sheer glory of it which y'all again. A right beautiful place to live, it is.

Our beach.

The U.S. Air Force roars by in the blue sky above.


Twilight on scrubby dunes.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Big storm on the Gulf

Thar she blows!!!
I have only lived along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico for less than two months but already am amazed by the varied moods, colors and textures that it displays on a daily basis. Today a whopper of a storm is blowing in and I braved the elements to go and capture the fury of this tempest in full blow. For you dear readers I will do almost anything.

As seen from Seaside, Florida

Red flag warning!

Git outta Dodge!

Beauty can be a beast.

Hurray for San Francisco!

Let's hear it for the San Francisco school board for banning the Junior ROTC from its entire system. It was put very succinctly by former city teacher Nancy Mancias who supported the decision by stating that "We need to teach a curriculum of peace." Amen sister!

For a place called Babylon-by-the-Bay this sounds incredibly much like the sentiments of true Christianity. It would be refreshing to see this same type of scrutiny applied to the military-industrial indoctrination of our children by other less pagan-like municipalities in the so-called Bible Belt, that I call home, and the mythical Heartland of popular fancy located between the seaboards in what the coastal elites refer to as the "fly 0ver." It is always instructive to ask the folks who inhabit these two morally superior regions "just who exactly would Jesus Christ bomb?"

"We don't want the military ruining our civilian institutions," said Sandra Schwartz of the American Friends Service Committee, an organization actively opposing JROTC nationwide. "In a healthy contain the military. You must always contain the military." Hallelujah sister! Can I get a witness???

In light of the ongoing reality of American military aggression it's high time that local governments around the nation begin to withdraw their support and tacit approval of death and destruction as a viable career option for the young and impressionable charges in their educational care. The current situation in the Middle East is not a fight for freedom but a sinister land grab by power mad crooks in DC who have slaughtered mainly poor and impoverished innocents by the hundreds of thousands, as well as maiming and killing tens of thousands of American soldiers while the whole world watches this blood soaked spectacle on flat screen TV.

In today's edition of Lew writer Shepherd Smith makes this point quite eloquently:

The foreign attack on the United States was not a mortal wound to the Empire. The real fatal blow was how the Empire struck back. Unable or unwilling to attack the perpetrators of the 9/11 crime, the wounded Empire struck viciously against the whole country of Afghanistan. Full of the blood of revenge, it then attacked Iraq on spurious grounds. Mainly innocent people perished in those attacks, as the world watched, aghast and in disbelief and disgust, as the U.S. and a few allies have slaughtered between 400,000 and a million people. Such a stain on the Empire will not be easily forgotten.

So for me the sooner new recruits are discouraged from joining the ranks of this evil killing machine the better. Again I say, let's hear it for San Francisco!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Charlie Rangel got it right

Mississippi state flag
The recent hub-bub concerning the off-hand comments of U.S. Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) concerning the state of Mississippi, reiterates a point which many of my loyal readers will recognize as one of Beamis's favorite themes. You guessed it: The utterly imperative necessity of nationwide secession!

Congressman Rangel raised the ire of not a few Mississippi residents, including Rep. Charles Pickering (R-Miss.), for telling the N.Y. Times on Nov. 8, “Mississippi gets more than their fair share back in federal money, but who the hell wants to live in Mississippi?” Indeed, and this coming from a man who represents the garden like environs of Harlem.

I expect that this type of sentiment is a lot more typical than our federal overseers would like to admit. Truthfully, why should someone who inhabits the lofty cliffs and wild craggy heights along upper Manhattan's western shoreline of the Hudson River give a rat's behind about the folks who inhabit a swampy feverish nowhere, to their existence, over a thousand miles away? I often find myself asking the same questions about other parts of this far flung union of disparate states.

For instance why should I care if a bridge to nowhere gets built in Alaska or for that matter why should Alaskans be forced to pay out some of their hard earned shekels to help Florida re-build after a hurricane? The United States was never meant to be a forced mutual aid society, but instead a loosely confederated voluntary association, with strictly limited and enumerated powers delegated to federal authority. This meager set of federal duties is laid out very specifically in the now largely ignored document known as the U.S. Constitution.

I don't blame Charles Rangel one bit for his sentiments any more than I do the proud Mississippians who are outraged at his frank and truthful comments. The answer for them both is a sensible and amicable separation along the lines of what occurred in the former Soviet Union nearly two decades ago and what the South attempted to accomplish 145 years ago along the murky waters of Charleston Harbor. Until then we should all stop whining and get used to the child-like state of bondage our federal masters wish to keep us forever chained in.

The beauty that is Harlem.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Cats in my life

Felix the Cat
Some of you have inquired as to whether I have any pets in my new Florida digs, and yes we have two cats. One is a noisy & talkative Persian named KC and the other a quiet and unassuming mutt named Angel.

KC is an expensive feline, with papers no less, purchased from a fancy Orlando pet shop. Angel, on the other hand, hails from a litter of paperless parents in Mississippi. (At times her accent is quite difficult to decipher).

KC sleeps at night in the laundry room sink, while Angel is nocturnal and tries to sleep during the day (if she can avoid the ever verbal KC, who follows her around yowling after her).

Angel likes me and will hang out in my office when I'm working and swat at me when she wants some attention. KC seems to grudgingly tolerate my prescence and will occasionally yowl in my direction to let her out on the porch so she can watch for her friend the bobcat cub.

All in all they are fun to have around and make life a little more colorful in our home. Now that I have a digital camera again it is possible to obtain some good shots of them so y'all take a look for yourselves at our feline menagerie.



Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Interior Florida

Over the weekend we made a journey to central Florida to pick up some furniture and household stuff to bring back to our condo here along the famed Emerald Coast. Sleeping on the floor has been so much fun that I hain't gwana take kindly to no baid anytime soon!
The trip was through 400 miles of deepest darkest Florida and guess what? I thoroughly adore this state, with its deeply rooted sense of the past, wild overgrown all enveloping nature and the focus on a prosperous future. I really dig this place! Now on to the pictures:

The Old South lives on in the crossroads hamlet of Lee, FL

One of Florida's oldest churches, Moss Hill Methodist (1821)

Floor of the jungle, Osceola County

Live Oak, FL

Gator infested pond, Osceola County

Jungle walkway, Celebration, FL

A happy Beamis beaming away!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Black & white shots of the South

I used an old reliable Canon A-1 film camera to chronicle my recent cross-country trip because my outdated Mavica digital was incompatiblte with my new Apple computer. I gave it away to a very grateful teenager in Virgin, Utah before departing. Anyway, after leaving New Orleans we discovered that we were out of color film, but luckily possessed a single roll of black & white. I mindlessly popped it into the camera, never realizing the arduous task it would prove to be getting such an ancient film medium developed and put on a CD.

Today, after finally getting this seemingly impossible undertaking completed, I would like to share some of the shots that were taken from the Mississippi state line to Seaside, Florida. A beautifully colorful stretch of country, perfectly suited to black & white.

Stuffed frogs decorate The Shed in Ocean Springs, MS

License plates adorn the walls. My kinda place.

Barmaids, Ocean Springs, MS


Thick & beautiful coastal forests of Alabama

Sign commemerating the travels of America's first naturalist

Journeys end