Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lego City Hall

And the winner is.....? Mason County Texas! At least that's my present inspiration.

Here's how it's unfolding...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Envy Me Away~

I want to share something that happened to me today. I appreciate your indulgence in reading it:

I have to tell you. I fell in love today.

And it's one of the reasons why I know that I am the luckiest man on the planet--love has a way of pointing that out to you.

As the year winds down at school, there are all manner of assessments that need to be completed in order to encapsulate 180 days or so of instruction. Between everything else I do, I help out with this ritual when and where I'm needed.

Presently, I am assisting a long-term substitute in one of our Kindergarten classes with the oral part of the fourth marking period math assessments. They are designed to be given one-on-one and can be a bit time consuming even for a seasoned teacher.

The children all know me, and still I try to make it fun for them. After all being summoned to my little office one at a time must feel somewhere between special and terrifying for a 5/6 year old.

So, today I walked each child through an assessment of their ability to count that involved starting at a random number and counting forward accurately to a set point greater than 1 but less than 100. I tell them that we are going to play a game and then explain the task calling the end number the "Magic Number." I tell them that when they make it to the magic number, I'll say, "stop!"

Well into the activity, Matilda's (not her real name) opportunity came. She was so shy at first, but she quickly caught on and did fine. By the third round she was sparkling with anticipation. And when I presented the final challenge, she burst into giggles and announced, "I hope the magic number is 100!"

I don't care who you are. I don't care what you do. I am the luckiest man. Of all the men in all the world, I am the luckiest.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lego Parsonage Duplex

Once the church with the fellowship hall and meeting room space in the rear was complete, it was time to construct a pair of condos in the adjacent lot.

One condo would house the priest and the other was to be rented out and as it turns out the rabbi and her partner and their son rent that space.

The short space between the fellowship hall and the condo used as a parsonage is a covered patio.

The interior area is a sort of plaza with a faux waterfall fountain and old oak.

Both condos have generous rooftop space for semi-private outdoors experiences.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Earthquake Watch

Earthquake Patrol: For a 7 day period, the earth is unusually calm...

Glenn Burke

Remembering Professional Baseball star, Glenn Burke, who was abused by his sport when his sexual orientation became apparent. From a rising star with the Dodgers, to a dismal trade to the A's where it's manager, Billy Martin openly referred to him as the "faggot player". He was drummed out by the age of 26... So sad.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Madness, No The Joy Of Container Gardening

I love gardening. I have learned to love gardening in containers. It's an amazing world of possibilities. My deck is full of containers and these are in the "sunny" corner of my deck.

With my plants you will find many surprises. Sculptures, mosaic frogs, Geodes, fossils of coral, sea shells...

Romney's World


Where The color Is

I love that my gardens are filled with natural perennials. When they bloom, they are spectacular, and otherwise they are just lush waves of foliage.
The solution for me are to place containers around with annuals that tend to bloom on a regular basis.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Coming Week ~ May 27th to June 2nd

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Our Latest American Hero #156

I used to do this on a far more regular basis, and then I got out of the habit. I've never stopped following, honoring, archiving the dead from our military on a personal, devotional level. I just stopped sharing them here. So with five days to go before Memorial Day, let me honor 5 members of our military who have died in the war on Terrorism in the 5 months of 2012.

American Hero #1 - JANUARY

Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician 1st Class Chad R. Regelin, 24, of Cottonwood, Calif.; assigned to Marine Special Operations Company Bravo and was stationed at Explosive Ordnance Disposal Mobile Unit 3, San Diego; died Jan. 2 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, while conducting combat operations.

Chad was the first soldier to die in 2012. Twenty-six soldier died in January. By my count of the thousands of soldiers who have died in this war, 676 + of them called towns and cities in California their homes. Nearly 200 haled from Los Angeles County alone, a total that is greater than over one half of the totals for the 50 states. No region of the nation has felt the sacrifice like the five counties (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, and San Bernardino) of southern California in terms of lives lost.

American Hero #2 - FEBRUARY

Army Maj. Robert J. Marchanti II, 48, of Baltimore, Md., assigned to 1st Battalion, 29th Infantry Division Security Partnering Team, Maryland Army National Guard, Baltimore, Md.; died Feb. 25 from gunshot wounds received during an attack at the Interior Ministry in Kabul, Afghanistan. Also killed in the attack was Air Force Lt. Col. John D. Loftis.

Robert died in a highly publicized attack in a highly secure location. He was also one of the highest ranking military officials to be killed in a month that saw 18 U.S. fatalities. The average age of those fatalities what the highest in any month since the war first began with 33% being 40 years of age or older.

American Hero #3 - MARCH

Army Staff Sgt. Jamie D. Jarboe, 27, of Frankfort, Ind.; assigned to 4th Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Heavy Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; died March 21 in Topeka, Kan., from wounds suffered on April 10, 2011, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, when enemy forces attacked his unit with small-arms fire.

At this point in the year, per capita population, no state has seen more casualties than Indiana. In previous years other states have stood out like Idaho, Ohio, and Arkansas. The history of deployments of regional forces impact the sacrifice in geographic terms.

Jamie's story is particularly tragic in that his injury was incurred over a year ago. The 27-year-old underwent more than 100 surgeries in 12 months before dying on March 21 in Topeka, Kan.

American Hero #4 - APRIL

Army Spc. Jeffrey L. White Jr., 21, of Catawissa, Mo., assigned to 1st Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; died April 3, in Terezay, Khost province, Afghanistan, of wounds caused by an improvised explosive device.

April saw the deaths of 35 U. S. military personnel. The last solder to die in April was Jeffrey. of the 136 soldiers to died from Missouri, he was the first from Catawissa. At the age of 21, he fit into the bottom of the largest single five year range of soldier killed in the war (21-25).

Army Spc. Junot M. L. Cochilus, 34, of Charlotte, N.C.; assigned to 7th Engineer Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.; died May 2 in Logar province, Afghanistan, of injuries caused by an improvised explosive device. Also killed was Army 2nd Lt. David E. Rylander.

May is on a par with April for an increased casualty count. Thus far over 125 U. S. Soldiers have died as a result of their participation the War on Terrorism in 2012.

Random Quote #147

"Far better to embrace a hard truth than a reassuring fable."

~ Carl Sagan, 1934-1996

My New Lego School Is Completed

I still have to figure out what to call it. Any suggestions?

Ole Kirk Christiansen Community School? Just musing!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another Reason Why Canning Is A Good Idea!

The Plaza @ The National Museum Of The American Indian

Viewed from the lawn of the National Gardens at the foot of the National Botanical Gardens Conservatory, the National Museum of the American Indian is a stand out structure perfectly suited as a neighbor to a place dedicated to recreating a natural setting.

Absolutely one of the most organic buildings on the planet, it possesses a natural form that eludes the works of other masters of the genre like Antonio Gaudi and Frank Gehry. It most imposing feature is the overhang of the plaza on its eastern facade.

Standing under it at the main entrance, the view is one that would deceive the viewer. Can we really be steps away from the Capitol of the United States? It's so convincing that a pair of mallards were hanging out with the other tourists--fool Mother Nature and you've got bragging rights!

Look to the utter left corner of this image. That's the vantage point from which I took the final two photos.

This one I took by pivoting 90˚ to my left from a full on view back at the museum.

Here I have returned 90˚ to the right to face the museum again.

United States Botanical Gardens Conservatory

After the National Gardens on to the Conservatory.

There was an Environmental Resources Fair going on the plaza in front.

Inside, nothing special was a foot. It's still a lovely place to take a walk or sit and rest.

There were bromeliads on display on pieces of wood randomly placed around.

A careful eye will always find something interesting there.

Outside of the main tropical room, there are several other unique biomes. The desert is one that is too often overlooked by visitors.

And no matter where you go, you can find an orchid.

The National Garden

Commissioned by the United States Congress in 2001 to be constructed on previously undeveloped land adjacent to the National Conservatory.

It was open to the public in October of 2006. And in the past 5.5 years it was matured beautifully. In that so few people know about it or visit it on purpose, it can feel like my own secret garden at times.

Here are some of the images taken there this past Friday.