29 September 2010

Think about it.

The slower you put things together, the slower they fall apart.


The belt regions of the United States

The belt regions of the United States are portions of the country that share certain characteristics. The "belt" terminology was first applied to growing regions for various crops, which often follow lines of latitude because those are more likely to have similar climates, hence the allusion to a long clothing belt as seen on a map.

The usage has expanded to other climatic, economic, and cultural concentrations. These regions are not formally defined; they frequently overlap and have vague borders.

Banana Belt - a term applied to several U.S. areas with milder climates than their surrounding regions.

Bible Belt - any collection of states where evangelical and fundamentalist Protestantism are prevalent.

Black Belt - a region of fertile farmlands in the Southeast now known as a region with a high ratio of African-American residents

Black Belt (region of Alabama) - a section of Alabama (and extending into Mississippi) having a particular concentration of the same characteristics

Borscht Belt - a region of Jewish resorts in the Catskills

Corn Belt - Midwestern states where corn is the primary crop

Cotton Belt - southern states where cotton is or was a primary crop

Frost Belt - a region of cold weather in the northeastern and north-central United States

Fruit Belt - an area where fruit growing is prominent

Grain Belt - sometimes Wheat Belt, northern Midwestern states where most of North America's grain and soybeans are grown

Indiana Gas Belt - a region of Indiana that was the site of a natural gas boom in the late 19th century and early 20th century

Jell-O Belt - also known as the Mormon Corridor, western states with a large Mormon population

Lead Belt - a district in southeastern Missouri that has a long history of mining for lead

Rice Belt - southern states where rice is a major crop

Rust Belt - sometimes called the Manufacturing Belt, northeastern and central northern states where heavy industrialization—and some economic stagnation—is common

Snowbelt – better known as the Snow Mobil belt, areas in the Northeast and northern Midwest prone to lake effect snow

Stroke Belt - a region in the Southeast that has an unusually high incidence of stroke and other forms of cardiovascular disease

Sun Belt - southern, hot-weather states stretching from coast to coast

Un-churched Belt - a region in the far Western United States that has low religious attendance

Goiter Belt - the upper Midwest and Great Lakes regions were once known as the “Goiter Belt” because of the prevalence of enlarged thyroid glands that gave the afflicted visibly swollen necks. The goiter problem was widely noted during World War I when Army physicians recognized the condition in recruits

They seem to have left out a few.

Stupidity Belt – a region in South Florida that lacks intelligence, understanding, reason, wit, or sense; basically Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County.

Lipstick stained teeth Belt – Hallandale Beach Florida

Weather Fairy and Weather Bunny Belt – Local weather people in South Florida

Euchre Belt – a region in the Mid-west esp. in Michigan where time is spent playing euchre in a sea of empty beer bottles while shooting the breeze on cold nights

Pinochle belt – a region in Brooklyn where old Italian men pay pinochle in their garage due to rain which hinders them from playing Bocce Ball

Bocce belt - a region in Brooklyn where old Italian men pay bocce ball in the park due to no rain which hinders them from playing pinochle in their garage

Feel free to add your own “Belt.”

Some information gathered from Wikipedia and some gathered from the nooks and crannies of mine and Judith’s mind.

26 September 2010

Our very casual attempt at Family Portraits.

(L to R) Silas, Echo, Josiah, Papa (Joseph),
Elise, Hank, Mama (Judith) and Emerson

(L to R) Silas, Echo, Josiah, Elise, Papa (Joseph),
 Hank, Mama (Judith) and Emerson

Us being silly.

Judith and Girly (Elise)

Judith and I.

Mr. Freeze - Otto Preminger

Silas and Emerson

24 September 2010

Words of wisdom from Mark Twain

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.  When you are seeking to bring big plans to fruition, it is important with whom you regularly associate.  Hang out with friends who are like-minded and who are also designing purpose-filled lives.  Similarly be that kind of a friend for your friends.”  Mark Twain

23 September 2010

Youth is Wasted on the Young

Our oldest son Echo turned 14 this past May and like everything else, having a big family and running a business along with fighting two foreclosures life gets in the way of good intensions.  Finally after 4 months I was able to set up an outdoor excursion for him and three of his friends to the local game room.

A friend of ours told us about a special they run called Twelve Dollar Tuesdays.  Sounds like a good deal, all video games, all day long for only 12 bucks each and besides, it seems like a better deal than Pedophile Phriday but that’s another story. 

Anyway, I dropped them off at about one and for 3 ½ hours they immersed themselves in bright lights and noise.  If you noticed, I dropped them off; at my age bright lights and noise are quite bothersome to me.  My brain has taken on a sort of bunny like fear of such things.  Lots of painful wincing.

After the bright lights and noise ended it was decided that pizza would be the meal of choice because what self-respecting party thrower would let a birthday party pass without supplying pizza to the party goers.

I took them down to the beach to eat at our favorite pizza place and after the order was given they took off to frolic.  They’re not quite at the age where they are riddled with angst they are more at the “I’m running free in the fresh air without a care in the world” age.  I got to watch from a distance the joys of being a kid, because my son would not want his dad hanging around with him and his friends except to pay for things, it would just be un-cool.

The four of them ran through the playground and later on the beach just happy to be alive, it was a beautiful sight to behold. I sit there realizing “Youth is wasted on the young” because they don’t know how good they have it. The total weight of life’s responsibilities and pressures haven’t crept into their lives yet which gave me pangs of envy for the time that I was their age.  It’s a shame they don’t appreciate it or don’t cherish each day. I guess its part of growing up because I didn’t see it either.

I also notice how our once little boy is growing up into a fine young man.  When he was first born and running solo for five and half years we called him “The Boy”, now I guess we will have to call him “The Man” or at least the “The Young Man.”

22 September 2010

Jeannie’s Miracle Laundry Elixir

My wife’s friend Jeannie give us a gallon of her homemade Miracle Laundry Elixir, and like all humans, we really don’t like change and are skeptical of new things so it sat in the laundry room for weeks. 

Periodically I have to wash my drop cloths from work and I noticed the gallon jug sitting there and thought this would be the ultimate test.  Dried stucco and caulk, dust and dirt what could be better?

To my amazement, the drop cloths were cleaner than ever.  The next test would be dirty diapers. Usually when an infant poops in their diaper it leaves a stain and even after washing the only way to get the stain out is to hang the diapers on the clothes line in direct sun.

I hung a load of diapers for Judith the other day and she asked if I put all the really badly stained ones in the front so they would get the most sun? My reply was there was only one stained diaper and it wasn’t stained that bad.  The Miracle Laundry Elixir actually cleaned the stains out of the diapers.

Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also really cheap, only $2.00 for 10 gallons and most of all, it works really well.  The ingredients are easily obtainable at most grocery stores and take practically no time to concoct.

In these tough economic times every little bit helps. Our next family project will be to make our own soap; at this rate we’ll be cloning live stock in no time.

Thanks Jeannie!

Jeannie’s Miracle Laundry Elixir

4 cups hot water
1 bar Fels Naptha - grated
1 cup Washing Soda
1/2 cup Borax

Heat grated Fels Naptha bar in sauce pan with water. Fill 5 gallon bucket half way with hot tap water. Add melted bar soap, Washing Soda and Borax. Stir until dissolved. Fill bucket to top with tap water. Cover and let sit over night.

Before use, transfer to a smaller container and dilute liquid soap with equal parts of water. Shake before use. 1/2 to 3/4 cup per load. You can use full strength (if you never get around to diluting it like me!)

Essential oils may be added if you want.  :)

Shake before each use.

17 September 2010

Quitting is not an option.

While my blog was unfairly ignored by the Pulitzer committee, it was nonetheless one of the more popular ones discussed during their closed door deliberations.

Even with such setbacks, I must press on.

15 September 2010

It’s all in the name

I have been contemplating whether or not to start a Blog for some time now.  I wondered, can I stay regimented enough to keep at it and do I have it in me to be creative enough to hold the interest of strangers and friends alike.

I thought I would start by coming up with a name, something cool, different and somewhat unusual … enter “Writer’s Block” stage left.  Great, how can I command a blog when I can’t even come up with a name?  Maybe authors write their books and then come up with the title at a later date, I don’t know.

Some weeks went by and several thoughts came and went.  Then I entertained calling it “The Fool on the Hill,” because to be honest, there are plenty of days I walk around feeling just that. Needless to say, the blog was put on hold until I was able to come up with something that felt right.

I come home the other day and sit at my desk like I do every day and my wife, Judith sit down next to me at her desk and proceeded to go over the day’s events that happened while I was at work. She told me how she was hanging clothes at the clothes line with Elise our 2 ½ year old daughter, and how it was 2000 degrees outside. 

She explained that while she was hanging clothes, Elise sat patiently in the shade sitting on a cement block with her hands folded waiting for her to finish. She also added how Elise was just happy being with her mom and the wait didn’t seem to bother her. 

Then Judith paused, looked at me and said in a quiet voice, she was just waiting in the shade sitting on a brick.

Ah, to have that much patience.