Fond Memories

Nine years ago I went with Albert and his Boy Scout Troop, to go rock climbing at Rocktown, GA. Now all these boys are grown and out of college. We had a lot of fun that day.

Quote of the Day

“Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy and censorship. When any government or church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, “This you may not read, this you must not know,” the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man who has been hoodwinked in this fashion; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, whose mind is free. No, not the rack nor the atomic bomb, not anything. You can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.”
― Robert A Heinlein

“The Green New Deal” as extreme anchor

Too much ink has been spilled this week ridiculing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her minions’ proposal of “The Green New Deal.” Pundits and talk show hosts have pointed out the economic impossibility of the plan and what it would do to our economy and standard of living. I think what they are missing is that “The Green New Deal” is an extreme anchor. Let me explain.

Your teenage child is going out with friends on a Saturday night. You want him/her home by 10:00PM, they of course want to stay out until midnight like all the cool kids. So, at the start of the negotiation of what time they will be home you suggest and extreme anchor and say, “be home by 8:00PM.” Your teenager goes completely nuts and screams about how all the cool kids’ parents let them stay out until 12:00, etc. By suggesting 8:00PM you have completely changed the dynamic of the negotiation. Your teenager has completely given up on staying out until midnight and is now willing to take whatever they can get to stay out as long as you will let them. Now anything you suggest that is later than 8:00pm sound reasonable. In negotiating that is how an extreme anchor works. It makes anything short of what you originally suggested appear reasonable and a compromise.

This is why I believe “The Green New Deal” is an extreme anchor. Its supporters don’t really think they are going to get everything in “The Green New Deal,” but they will get some of it. What they are really trying to do is shift the country to the left. Anything they get will appear reasonable compared to what they say they want.

I suggest the Republicans try a similar tactic. They should make elimination of the Federal Income Tax and shrinking of the Federal government their party platform. They should list Federal agencies and programs they want to eliminate. This extreme anchor will drive the Democrats and the Media nuts, but anything less than their original plan will appear reasonable.

Goodbye Pensacola

The pier on Pensacola Beach

This morning, as I looked out across Pensacola Beach, I realized that this is most likely the last time I will see Pensacola. I grew up here and lived here for a total of 24 years. I moved away 27 years ago in 1991, so I have not lived here longer than I lived here. Today, the only reason I can foresee for visiting Pensacola in the future would be to attend a friend’s daughter’s wedding or the Blue Angels beach airshow. I think it is this finality that is making me feel sentimental this morning.

Pensacola was a nice place to grow up. I don’t think I had an idyllic childhood, but I’m not bitter about it, either. My mother encouraged all her children to leave Pensacola and see the world and we did. Later in life, when no one lived nearby to take care of her, she might have regretted her decision. She gave us a sense of adventure and I’m looking forward to all the other places I will go in the future. Goodbye Pensacola.

Celebrating my Mom’s Life

At 10:00 this morning we had a Memorial Service for my Mom at St Paul’s Catholic Church in Pensacola. It was a beautiful service, particularly the music and singing. I believe Mom would have been happy with how it all turned out. Her granddaughter Daisy gave a touching eulogy at the end.

Immediately after the church service, we drove to Bayview Memorial Park. It was the normal funeral procession complete with motorcycle Police escort. The service at the grave side didn’t take more than ten minutes. Father gave my sister Martha a small crucifix, which Martha gave to Daisy as a memento for speaking at the funeral. We planned to wait and watch the cemetery workers bury the urn, but a rain shower blew in right as the priest finished the service.

The Williams Family plot at Bayview Memorial Park

Afterward, we went to McGuire’s Irish Pub for lunch. We had almost 35 people attend. I believe everyone had a great time. I saw several people, including myself, order my Mom’s favorite drink, a frozen Irish coffee.

I’m certain my Mom would be impressed with the attendance at her Memorial Service. Her three sisters Rita, Dorothy, and Jane were there. All her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren attended. Her niece Jennifer and nephew John Vincent came from Northern California. Her niece and godchild Lynda and her sister Margo came from Texas. Her nephew Joe came from Toronto. Her niece Ann came from Georgia. It was really nice to have so many family members make the journey to attend.

After lunch, Shari, my sister Nancy, and I drove by Mom’s old house and along Tanglewood Drive. The first thing I noticed was that the new owners removed all the Gerber Azaleas from the front flower bed. I remember how hard I worked to clear out that flower bed and plant those white azaleas. I also remembered how each year Mom would tell me how full of flowers and how beautiful they were.

The whole family gathered together again around 5:30 at the house my sister Anita rented. We visited for the rest of the night. Anita ordered pizzas and Martha brought the left-over bar-b-que from the gathering at her house the night before. It was so nice to be able to visit with everyone. My cousin Jennifer Bailey took the photo below of some of us.

All together

Proud Parents

Tonight, we attended the Georgia Special Olympic Games Opening Ceremony where Albert was awarded the 2019 Male Athlete of the Year. The award is more of an acknowledgement of his activities outside of Special Olympics, but he is quite an athlete. Congratulations!!

Georgia Special Olympic 2019 Athletes of the Year

Chick-fil-a Bowl Florida vs Michigan

We left the house right on schedule and stopped at a McDonalds drive-thru for breakfast. We ate in the car as I drove to the MARTA station. I was surprised to find plenty of parking. We added trips to our MARTA BREEZE Cards and got on a train headed to town. We sat near a few Gator Fans who were also going to the game.

Once we arrived at the Five-Points MARTA stations we change to a West Bound Train to get to the stadium. It was really foggy around the stadium. We walked around a little and then found where the parade was ending. We stood there a few minutes watching the parade. While we were watching the parade, a friend from Church came up to us and said Hello. Small world. The Florida Marching Band came by and we followed it into the Georgia World Congress Center were the Fan-Fest activities are held.

After entering Fan-Fest we met up with Shari’s friend Melanie who is volunteering. After visiting with her for a few minutes we walked around Fan-Fest taking it all in. There were a lot of activities, but most had long lines. We waited in line for about 20 minutes at a basketball toss that Albert wanted to do. Then we walked around more until we arrived at the Face Painting booth. We all got a little face painting done. Albert had his whole face painted.

Go Gators!!

As game time approached, we walked from Fan-Fest to the stadium. Our tickets are on the 300 level, so it took a few minutes to get up there. Once at the 300 level we walked around and surveyed our choices of food. Albert chose an Italian sausage sandwich. Shari and I decided on Fresh-Mex, but the portions were small. After eating we walked to our seats. Shari’s friend Melanie and her Brother-in-Law Larry were already in their seats when we arrived.

The game was over around 4:00. By the time we got out of the stadium, rode the MARTA train back to the car, and then drove home, it was almost 5:30 before we arrived at the house. We watched a little news and cleaned up our faces before going to Taco-Mac for dinner and to watch the second half of the Clemson vw Notre Dame football game. A great day filled with good football.

Thanksgiving 2018

At the first Thanksgiving that Shari and Jessica attended at my parent house, my Mom took Jessica into the backyard to pick magnolia leaves off the tree. They used the leaves to make the feathers for a turkey centerpiece for the Thanksgiving table. The centerpiece was a pineapple with the magnolia leaves and a red turkey head my mother had made. When my mother died, she left the turkey head she made to my daughter Jessica.

This year Jessica and her husband Matt hosted Thanksgiving dinner at their house for the first time. Jessica bought a pineapple and wanted to make the centerpiece for the table. I helped Albert gather Magnolia leaves to complete the turkey’s tail. Shari put the leaves in the pineapple to make the tail. Jessica pinned the head on the pineapple. I took this picture of Albert and Jessica with the pineapple turkey. The framed picture is from the first Thanksgiving that Shari and Jessica ate with my family. Jessica photo-bombed the photo in the bottom right. Too cute.

Fine, Fine, Fired

We had a disappointing day because Albert was fired from his job at North Fulton Hospital. We have heard for weeks that he wasn’t doing the work. Shari sounded the alarm two weeks ago about Albert buying drink at a vending machine as many as 5 times in one day. She alerted, Donna, Albert’s Briggs and Associates advocate about the vending machine activity. It sounds to me that in the end, Albert social nature did him in. Evidently, he wasn’t getting the work done because he was socializing or wandering between deliveries.

I was extremely disappointed in Albert and in his advocate with Briggs and Associates. Being fired from a job, in my mind, is the worst possible outcome. Being fired is a setback for anyone and it normally result in a lesser job the next time. I don’t think Albert has processed what happened yet and what it really means.

Yosemite to Bakersfield, CA

I woke up this morning around 6:30. I laid in bed until almost 7:00. Coffee is available at 8:00 downstairs and breakfast is at 8:30. We are packing the car before breakfast so we can get on the road immediately afterwards. It is a 4-hour drive to Sequoia NP, our next stop.

Stopped in Fresno for lunch at In-N-Out burger.

It took a long time to get to Kings Canyon NP and the to drive on to Sequoia NP. We really didn’t have much on our list to see, but we did see the General Sherman the largest, by volume, of any tree in the world. The giant Sequoias are impressive to see.

After stopping to see the General Sherman, we drove out of the park on a curvy mountain road. It took much longer than we thought because you could only go slow it was so curvy. At one point, a construction crew had torn up two miles of road down to the dirt. It was one lane driving through it.

By the time we were at the bottom of the mountain, it was beginning to get dark. We drove through some citrus groves on our way to Visalia and then on to Bakersfield. We arrived in Bakersfield around 8:00. We stopped at a Panera Bread for dinner.

While driving to Bakersfield on CA-99 we saw the sunset. It is worth noting because the land is so flat in that area that the final view of the sun just looks like a ball on the edge of the world. I’m not describing it well, but it was an interesting site to see.

After checking in the hotel, we took our bags up to the room. Shari did one load of laundry in the guest laundry. It was around 10:30 before she finished, and we went to bed.