"Flowers...are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music; they should be taught to love it instead."
"In a full heart there is room for everything, and in an empty heart there is room for nothing."
THE ARTSY SITE OF THE MONTH:
This fascinating PBS show has its own web site.
PERSONAL HOME PAGE OF THE MONTH:
Peter Zandee's Webwide World
You can view Peter's site in English or in Dutch.
WEB PAGE DESIGN SITE OF THE MONTH:
A remotely-hosted way to add message boards to your site.
SEASONAL SITE OF THE MONTH:
Sun, Snow and Samba
If you think the ski season doesn't start until November, think again.
JUST FUN SITE OF THE MONTH:
Enter two names (check directions first!) and then see how they link.
DOWNRIGHT SERIOUS SITE OF THE MONTH:
One of the charities I trust to do the right things.
HISTORICAL SITE OF THE MONTH:
Development of the Flush Toilet
Leave it to Congress to mess with a good thing. (see Special Review, below)
For August Travelers
August 5-8, 1999
National Steinbeck Center, One Main Street, Monterey, California.
bus and walking tours, films, theater, street fair, dinners.
For more details: Call 831-796-3833.
August 6-8, 1999
This is the oldest fair in Ontario, and is family-style entertainment, with equestrian
events, highland dancing, dairy show, bbq, contests and exhibits.
Further information: Call 613-931-3110.
August 7-8, 1999
Texas Street, downtown area, Fairfield, California
music, food, crafts, farmers' market.
More information: Call 707-422-01013.
Note: As long as you're in Fairfield, hop back on I-80 and head East to Vacaville, where the factory outlets are. Stores such as Black and Decker, Corning Revere, Mikasa, and Jockey might contain that bargain you've been seeking.
August 7-8, 1999
Summer Craft and Music Festival
Downtown area and Erickson House Restaurant, Twain-Harte, California.
Twenty-first occurence of the event. arts, entertainment, wine tasting.
To find out more: Call 209-533-3473 or 209-586-4482.
Note: This area is rich in history and native American folklore. It's a small community which only has a population of about 6000 once the tourists go home. It's past includes a gold rush (you can still pan for gold in the area), farming settlers, and the Mi-Wuk tribe. You can enjoy water activities at Pinecrest Lake and the Stanislaus River. Twain Harte is close to Sonora and Jamestown, which are also charming places to visit.
August 7-8, 1999
L. Frank Baum Oz Festival
Wylie Park's Storybook Land, Aberdeen, South Dakota.
Oz characters, heritage arts and crafts, band concerts, storytelling, and
more celebrate the work of Baum, who was a resident of Aberdeen for a few years.
Further Details: Call 1-800-645-3851.
August 8, 1999
Harvey West Park, Santa Cruz, California.
A celebration of things Russian, including music, food, art and crafts.
Further details: Call 831-662-3761.
NOTE: The Friendship Garden in Harvey West Park is lovely, and is also wheelchair-friendly. Adjacent to the park is historic Evergreen Cemetery, which is fun to stroll if you are interested in genealogy, gravestones, or just peaceful scenery.
August 12-15, 1999
Brigus Blueberry Festival
Water Street and other locations, Brigus, Newfoundland.
Picturesque Brigus hosts this annual event, with music and dancing, blueberry
pancakes, games of chance, horse and buggy rides, blueberry pie eating contests,
fireworks, and something called "body bingo".
Details: Call 709-528-3201 or 709-528-4521.
August 13-15, 1999
Sunflower River Blues and Gospel Festival
Delta Blues Museum (and various locations), Clarksdale, Mississippi.
Featuring the music of Otis Clay, Charlie Musselwhite, John Mohead, The
Victory Travelers, plus interviews and lectures from the Delta Blues Museum.
More information: Call 1-800-626-3764.
August 14-15, 1999
Anderson Marsh Historic State Park, Lake County, California.
The park is home to the Lewis Ridge Archeological Site, and also has a reconstructed
Native American Village, so the festival includes tours and walks. There are also
crafts, a fiddle contest, living history exhibits, slide shows, blackberry pie.
More information: Call 707-995-BERY.
August 14-15, 1999
Kunta Kinte Heritage Festival
St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland.
12th annual celebration, with crafts vendors, the Sankofa Dancers, New Covenant
Gospel Choir, African Heritage Dancers, face painting and mask making for children.
Details: Call 410-349-0338.
August 14-15, 1999
Great Gatsby Festival
Tallic Historic Site, South Lake Tahoe, California.
This event features 1920's living history, with a costume contest, tours of the homes,
croquet, music, antique cars, plus watermelon seed spitting contests and pie eating
contests for the younger set.
Further details: Call 530-541-5227.
Dog Days, Cat(ty) Tales, Bull-Doo
Someone told me the term "dog days" came about because of the star called Sirius, the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (Greater Dog). The ancient Greeks associated Sirius' rising with a summer period of heat and dry weather. It was thought that people had more fevers and that dogs went mad. The Egyptians were happy to see Sirius in the sky because they knew it meant the annual flood would soon come to the Nile and save their crops.
People in modern times know better than to blame the distant stars for current weather conditions. Sirius would have to be a lot closer than it's 8.7 light years to have much direct effect on our climate and weather.
People in the Midwest, South, and Eastern United States might disagree after the past week or two of panting and perspiring in temperatures that soared above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in many places. Ironically, when air-conditioning could have saved people from heat-stroke, overloads on electrical companies caused power outages that left people unable to run so much as a box fan.
And it hasn't been only U.S. residents suffering this year. Back in May, temperatures in Israel topped out at 113 degrees in some areas.
When we combine the actual temperature with the relative humidity we get what is called a Heat Index reading. For example, if the air temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the relative humidity is 60 per cent, it actually feels as though it's about 132 degrees F. And that's in the shade.
It seems that no good deed goes unpunished, at least in the realm of political intrigue. Newscasters recently informed us that Linda Tripp will be spending some time answering to a Maryland Grand Jury concerning a charge of wire-tapping phone conversations with Monica Lewinsky.
As far as I know, Tripp still works for the U.S. Department of Defense, which makes the term "government intelligence" an even larger oxymoron than before.
And people make fun of Hollywood area antics? At least performers aren't making their whole living off our tax money, the way all the main players in the Clinton scandal were/are/will continue to do.
Speaking of your tax dollars at work, Californians in Placer County have quite a mess on their hands these days. In 1998 Steve Kubby was the Libertarian candidate for the office of governor of the state. He didn't win. But life goes on. Steve went back to working on his ezine Alpine World.
In January of this year Steve and his wife Michelle were arrested. Both Steve and Michelle have been using medical marijuana. In 1996 voters in California approved Prop 215 (The Compassionate Use Act), which allows patients to use marijuana as a medicine under certain conditions.
Federal government employee, Barry McCaffrey, who is (appointed, not elected) director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, does not seem to support the wishes of Californian voters, since marijuana is still listed as a Schedule I substance in the United States. That classification means there are severe restrictions on even allowing research into the possibilities of extracting the medicinal qualities from the plant so that it could be used to alleviate symptoms in patients where other drugs have failed to be effective.
I would suggest Barry McCaffrey wake up and smell the smoke. We have plenty of drugs in use today that have a lot more horrid side effects than those of marijuana. Let's classify this plant in such a way that it can be used to help people who have few other choices for help.
(By the way, even though you'll hear people say that marijuana helps people with glaucoma, I recently learned that smoking marijuana is not enough. The effects of a "joint" only last a few hours, not long enough for glaucoma patients to sleep through the night. I'm sure they'd be thankful to have research done to extract the medicinal properties of marijuana too, so that they could receive its benefits without being classified as criminals if they dare to light up a dose.)
To Placer County Sheriff's Office: Is it true that your employees not only seized the Kubbys' computers and other business and personal property, but also left a receipt in a safe deposit box at the bank for their little girl's Christmas money from her grandparents?
And did someone from your office really say that medical marijuana might work in San Francisco, but that it was another story in Placer County?
The Kubbys' trial has experienced delays, and recently the judge who was to preside over the case was changed. It seems the current judge may be one coming out of retirement to preside.
I understand that now Michelle Kubby expects another child this coming December (and no, she isn't using marijuana now).
Isn't this only going to add to the ridicule being heaped on Placer County law enforcement?
Would you like to see a photo of part of Placer County's "Special Enforcement" teams?
They certainly do appear to be capable of handling any "special enforcement", don't they?
Let me suggest that this kind of government intervention is only the tip of the iceberg, friends.
If the name Sir David Puttnam doesn't ring a bell, then maybe you recall a film called Chariots of Fire, or one titled The Mission.
Puttnam wasn't a "sir" back then. He received knighthood in 1995, and entered the House of Lords in 1997. Puttnam received an honorary doctorate from the University of Sunderland in 1996, and was installed as Chancellor there in 1998. His next (and probably last) film has a working title of My Life So Far. He's back working with Chariots director Hugh Hudson for this latest film.
I understand that Puttnam recently told the press he's become disillusioned with recent films in general, which don't teach young people to dream, and instead tend to "celebrate stupidity".
Puttnam's own youth was a bit of a struggle, particularly in the area of education, with one instructor telling him he continued to be an "enigma". Years later Puttname would go on to make movies with his company Enigma Productions.
Now he's holding several honorary degrees, sitting on Great Britain's Department for Education and Employment Standards Task Force, and is also on the Government's Creative Industries Taskforce. As part of his duties he is a special advisor to David Blunkett, the Secretary of State for Education and Employment. Mr. Blunkett has a keen sense of what it takes to make both basic and higher education accessible to all, having acquired his own degree following early schooling at the Sheffield School for the Blind.
I wish Sir Puttnam well in his work with education. I hope he has mentored enough young film makers so that we do see more hope and more reaching for dreams in future films. I can't agree with those who say we should shun movies because some are degrading. Let's challenge new directors, writers and producers not to shock us with violence, but to infuse us with wonder, not to degrade us with cheap humor and vulgarity, but to uplift us with amazement and to point us to the opportunities of leaving the world a better place than we found it.
Remember! Those of us who publish on the web are not saying our work is in the public domain.
When in doubt about your use of someone's else's writings or graphics, ask!
If you want to use graphics or text on a commercial page, contact me first, please, and we'll work something out.
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