Archive for February, 2011

Ned Puddleman suggests caution

February 18, 2011

Please read Ned Puddleman’s comment on yesterday’s posting.  Ned is not the only cautious thinker among us.    I was walking-running with a friend today who made similar observations.   As I told my friend, I don’t follow any theory.  It’s my experience on which I base my beliefs.   Of course, as Ned pointed out, there are many negative factors today that may not have  been there during my more than 50 years of watching how the Dow predicts the economy.    Nevertheless, I think that optimism can encourage a positive economic fulfilling prophecy.  Pessimism, I believe, can have the opposite effect.

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I’m feeling it!

February 17, 2011

A few posts ago, I wrote about how I learned early in my career that the stock market indicators usually are about 6 months ahead of the economy.  People who invest in stocks are betting that the companies the stocks represent are going to increase in value.  In the depths of the current (now former) recession, the Dow was hovering around 8-thousand.   Now, it’s above 12-thousand.  Can it be that the Dow and General Beauregard Lee are both right.   Groundhog Lee predicted an early Spring.   The stock market is predicting a return to a healthy economy.    I’m feeling it!

Pansies and toy helicopters

February 16, 2011

These pansies are among the flowers I saw Tuesday in my neighborhood.  It’s a hardy flower.   They were huddled close together when the temperatures dropped near twenty degrees just a short while ago.    With  a warming trend to the  mid sixties, the purple beauties have opened up… spreading their petals in the pot that’s their home.   My wife tells me that pansies survive the cold  from October thru April,  but come the hot breath of Summer, they’re gone.  Also gone, but not lost is my neighbor’s toy helicopter.    George Boyd was flying his remote controlled helicopter when it crashed into a tree just acros the road from his home.   The remarkable thing is that this was more than a year ago.    Through the winds and weather, the fire-engine red chopper has remained lodged in the high branches of the tree.   George says he’s been intending to use a ladder to retrieve his “bird”, but keeps putting it off.   Why ever get it down?   It’s a constant that this someetimes pilot can see every day to remind himself not to fly so close to trees.

Canines look like their owners?

February 15, 2011

This young man and his caninc were at the Race For Hope Saturday in Lithia Springs, Georgia.  Lithia Springs is just outside of Atlanta.   I was struck by the look-alike eyes of the boy and his dog.   The Bassett Hound is almost 3.  I’m guessing the boy is 12 or younger.    Seeing dogs and their owners that strongly resemble each other is not new.   Go to any dog show and you’ll see what I mean.     Does that suggest that people often are attracted to dogs that resemble them or do people and canines evolve after they become members of the same household?     Perhaps a study would show that owners who look like their dogs are the exception rather than the rule?  What about cats?

Baroque is not my thing, but

February 14, 2011

This a program from an “Atlanta Baroque” concert Sunday in Roswell, Georgia.  It was in the sanctuary of the Roswell Presbyterian Church.  My wife loves music  from the Baroque period and I love my wife.  She’s still on orders from the doctor not to drive while she recovers from surgery so I was glad  to be her chaffeur.   Here’s a sampling of what we heard.  When my wife Gisela’s happy so am I.  Perhaps one day, I’ll learn to appreciate Baroque as much as she…..perhaps!

5 dogs in a people’s race

February 13, 2011

This is one of more than 750 people who participated in the Mardi Gras 5K Saturday in Marietta, Georgia.   What makes Jen Gregg unusual is her dogs.    She ran the 3.1 mile course with 5 dogs on a leash.   I thought the run might be easier with 5 dogs pulling her, but she says it’s not so.  Unlike the harness teams we see pulling sleds in Alaska, these 5 canines are pulling Jen in different directions.  It was a beautiful but cold morning for a race that began and ended at the square in downtown Marietta.   It was 29 degrees at the 8 a.m. start and didn’t warm much during the next hour.  You can see the complete results of the race at    sdracetimingservices.com     I expect to post a photo slide show sometime Sunday.

Revisionist History and would you trade…

February 12, 2011

I watched a program this week on Atlanta Public Television about the struggle for civil rights.  It was a story well told.   The documentary focused on Atlanta.   One of the student leaders of the 1960s, Lonnie King, told the interviewer that several African-Americans today are revising history.  King says that many now claim they were part of the “movement” when in fact they opposed it or remained neutral.  The program also dealt  with an oft-told story about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  DeKalb County Judge Oscar Mitchell had ordered King to jail on relatively minor traffic charges.   The PBS story says Robert Kennedy called Judge Mitchell and it resulted in King’s release.  However, the late Governor Ernest Vandiver says Kennedy called him.  Vandiver told me he prevailed on Judge Mitchell to free Dr. King.   Maybe it happened both ways.  Perhaps Kennedy called the Judge and couldn’t get him to budge.  So the soon-to-be Attorney General called Governor Vandiver who persuaded the Judge to let King go.  In any case, JFK became President by out polling Nixon, but it was by less than one percent of the popular vote,  Historians generally agree the black voters put Robert’s brother over the top.   I wonder if JFK had known what was going to happen three years later might he have wished that his brother had never intervened in behalf of Dr. King.   On the other hand,   If  JFK could have made the trade would he have agreed to a shortened life in exchange for three years as President of the USA?  Would you?

Getting evaluated

February 11, 2011

As part of an evaulation of my fitness, this curling tests shows my arm strength or lack of it.   I’m thinking about the possibility of moving my workouts to the Kennestone Health Place in Marietta, Georgia.  That’s where this picture was shot.   Kennestone is much closer to my home than my half-hour commute to the Emory university facility.   After almost 3 years, it would be hard to leave Emory because of the staff and friends.  But the staff at Kennestone too is welcoming and friendly.  Michael is an intern in physical exercise from nearby Kennesaw State University.   Megan is a Physical Exercise Specialist.   It was Megan who evaluated my current fitness.  I may be the most inflexible person she’s ever tested.  I’m weighing the pros and cons of a move.  I’ll stay with both Kennestone and Emory for at least 3 months before making a decision.   When you have to make a choice, it’s great to know you can’t go wrong either way…unless  you become lazy and dont go to either.

North Georgia College and State University

February 10, 2011

Because of our long involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, second and third tours of duty have become common for our military men and women.    During the time that they’re back in the USA, some have returned to school and are teaching others the facts of real war.   Here is a story that first aired on WSB-Television in 2006.  The anchor is John Pruitt.North Georgia State College and University is relatively small.  About 7-hundred of the student body are ROTC cadets.   Forty percent of them are women.

We were invincible (We thought)

February 9, 2011

This is a picture of me when I was young and foolish.   I’m reminded of those days by the deployment this week of my Marine grandson to Afghanistan.   We’ll worry much more about his safety than he will.   When you’re in a combat zone, you take extraordinary precautions, but you do your job.  Your training has prepared you to deal with whatever happens.  You see death, but you think that it’s not going to happen to you.   You are invincible…so you think.