Friday, August 29, 2008

“Render unto Caesar ...

"Barack Obama's Invesco stage is Greek temple by day, White House by night"

Barack Obama will deliver his acceptance speech Thursday from a stage that symbolically spans the ages.
By day it harkens back to the temples of ancient Greece, the birthplace of democracy, with columns made of plywood painted off-white.

Illuminated at night, the stage evokes the White House, with ten steps leading up to the top of a raised platform from which Obama will make his historic address to some 80,000 supporters.

It will be set up at the 50-yard line of Invesco Field, where the Denver Broncos play.

While would-be presidents have typically spoken from the convention site, the silver-tongued Democrat wanted a more dramatic setting to drive home his "Change We Can Believe In" theme.
In opting for the football stadium instead of basketball arena where the Democratic National Convention is being held, Obama is following the example John Kennedy who delivered his acceptance speech in 1960 to 80,000 people in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Fireworks and confetti will follow Obama's speech.

The McCain campaign, which has been trying to paint Obama as an elitist, has already derided the stage as "Temple Obama."
So what did he really have to say??
Michelle Malkin"s blog...she's smart,
articulate and shoots from the hip. She wrote an article about the Greek
theme at the DNC and I copied one of the comments from a blogger below...I
think he hit the nail on the head!

Tonight Barack Obama will probably say:

My fellow Americans, McCain is going to try to play upon your fears. He is
going to try to paint me as a radical elitist who is full of himself. But as
you can see, from my own Greek Temple, giving my speech in front of the
masses, I am just like you.
I’m just a regular guy, in a regular Greek Temple, on the 50 yard line of a
I’m not running to be president of the United States, but King of the World.
People like me, so if you elect me, the world will like you, too.
And now I unveil my new campaign slogan: “Render unto Caesar the things
which are Caesar’s, and unto Obama, the things which are Obama’s.”

USCGC Dallas - A Proud Old Coastie

I served aboard the Dallas in 1971 for 4 months as a deck hand before heading off to Electronics A school. Happy to see her alive, well and serving.

The U.S. cancels the scheduled port call for the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter DALLAS in the Georgian port of Poti, and shifts it to the safer port of Batumi, where 1 U.S. Arliegh Burke class Destroyer is already present. Meanwhile, Moscow has ordered the large cruiser MOSKVA back to the port of Poti. More from the Navy Times. This certainly raises the stakes again, as Russia is now questioning the presence of a NATO task force of ships which are also present in the Black Sea consisting of Spanish Turkish, and Polish vessels. Some senior Russian officials have also accused the U.S. of offloading supplies that are other than humanitarian, and possibly military. The U.S. has completely denied delivering anything but humanitarian supplies to Georgia.

U.S. warships bring aid to Georgia, fueling tensions with Russia

27/08/2008 16:52 TBILISI, August 28 (RIA Novosti) - A second United States naval vessel carrying humanitarian aid docked at the Georgian port of Batumi on Wednesday, amid Russian accusations that the ships are bringing arms to bolster the Georgian military.

The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Dallas arrived at the port late in the morning, three days after the arrival of the U.S.S. McFaul destroyer. In an apparent response to the U.S. naval buildup, Russia sent a group of warships including the Moskva missile cruiser to the capital of Abkhazia, around 100 miles to the north of Batumi.

International media reports said the U.S. vessels had avoided arriving at the Poti port, due to Russia's military presence. Poti was a focus of Russia's recent 'peace enforcement' operation that followed Georgia's military offensive in South Ossetia, which along with Abkhazia was recognized as a new state by Russia on Tuesday.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has said the U.S. ships are delivering weaponry for Georgia's armed forces, and has denied that Russian troops are still patrolling Poti.

"We are not controlling it, and are not blockading it - this is nonsense," he said in an interview with French TV channel TF1.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the U.S. warships are raising tensions in the region.

"Battleships do not normally deliver aid, and this is gunboat diplomacy - it does not make the situation more stable," he said.

The U.S. cutter, carrying food and essential commodities, was sent after NATO announced its decision to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia following the end of hostilities between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia on August 12.

A Russian military intelligence source earlier told RIA Novosti that NATO warships currently stationed in the Black Sea are carrying over 100 Tomahawk cruise missiles and Harpoon anti-ship missiles between them. The Western military alliance began exercises in the sea on Friday involving U.S., German, Spanish and Polish vessels.

Lavrov said on Tuesday that "virtually all states that are supplying arms to Georgia are NATO member countries."

A senior Russian naval official said on Wednesday that measures are in place to prevent the smuggling of arms in the region.

"We are controlling territorial waters and the adjacent area, ensuring shipping safety, and preventing the smuggling of arms and military vehicles," Vice Adm. Sergei Menyailo, commander of the Novorossiisk naval base said.

Russia's General Staff said on Tuesday that there were 10 NATO ships in the Black Sea - three U.S. warships, the Polish frigate General Pulaski, the German frigate FGS Lubeck, and the Spanish navy ship Admiral Juan de Borbon, as well as four Turkish vessels.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Old House Vineyards

Jean and Lane invited us out Saturday evening to a local Culpeper vineyard for wine tasting and music. It was a beautiful evening.

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Great Allegheny Passage

Thursday August 14th we packed the Expedition with Molly's STUFF and headed back to Morgantown and WVU. Molly drove the Focus and we stopped at Cacapon State Park for a picnic lunch. After getting her settled in the Luther House for her Jr. year, Valerie and I stayed the night in Uniontown, PA. On Friday, after breakfast we went over to Ohiopyle, PA to bike the Great Allegheny Passage, a 135 mile long series of Rails to Trails between Pittsburgh and Cumberland. The little town of Ohiopyle, PA is situated on the Youghaney river and is a hot bed of rafting and kayaking. Note the Ohiopyle Falls behinds us in the one photo. We biked 12 miles, had lunch and finished with another 9 miles. He meandered the back roads home staying mostly on Scenic U.S. 40. We came around a corned to see this herd of Buffalo. I just had to stop and snap a photo through the fence. (Click on any image to enlarge)
Cucumber Falls near Ohiopyle, PA

A future J. Brian's dinner on the hoof.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

My First Hummingbird Photos

Late evening (7pm) during and just after a rain storm isn't an ideal time to try and photograph feeding Hummingbirds. I just had to give it a shot. I had to crank up the film speed to 1600 asa which caused the graininess. Just wasn't enough light to come close to stopping the wing beats. They are pretty cool dudes to watch. They would sit in the Red Bud tree for several minutes at a time before heading for the feeder.

(Click on any image to enlarge)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New York Sunsets and Weather

Lake Erie Sunset (Click on any image to enlarge)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hurt Me Frosty

Frosty's Ice Cream, a Lancaster, NY landmark
My cone was a medium for $2.40. What a way to die

5500 Broadway, Lancaster, NY Google Map Link
Click on the Google map link above then click on little yellow guy for a street level view of Frosty's. Within the image you can click and hold and drag to different views. Drag and drop him anywhere on a blue street for a different view. Amazing!!

Melt In Your Mouth Delicious

How else do to you describe a Buffalo, NY classic, Beef on Wick smothered with freshly ground horseradish. Our late return dinner after a weekend at Mother B's.