Thursday, November 29, 2012

Retrospect: The End of an Era

A very cool video entitled Ride The Last Red Car Los Angeles April 1961.

Personally, I don't think they needed to add all that newer footage of the motorman operating the Red Car. But still, seeing the city from a perspective I am just a wee bit too young to remember...

Monday, November 26, 2012


Continuing from last Monday's post, Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve is every bit as good as I remembered. No, it's not the best beer available, but it is better than most.

So, while I've not finished the 6-pack I bought last week, I purchased another this evening while getting milk at a different Kroger store. Where the young lady at the register asked to see my ID.

Granted, Kroger's policy is to ask for ID of anyone purchasing "adult" goods who looks under 40...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Day of Thanksgiving Is Proclaimed

In response to this annual Proclamation by the President of the United States, the Chapel at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church of Peoria will be open this evening, Thanksgiving Eve, for prayer and Holy Communion beginning at 7 pm. You are welcome to join us -- we're at the corner of Easton and Hayes, one block west of the intersection of Jefferson and Western, on the South Side of Peoria. Fellowship and refreshments follow!

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Presidential Proclamation--Thanksgiving Day 2012

On Thanksgiving Day, Americans everywhere gather with family and friends to recount the joys and blessings of the past year. This day is a time to take stock of the fortune we have known and the kindnesses we have shared, grateful for the God-given bounty that enriches our lives. As many pause to lend a hand to those in need, we are also reminded of the indelible spirit of compassion and mutual responsibility that has distinguished our Nation since its earliest days.

Many Thanksgivings have offered opportunities to celebrate community during times of hardship. When the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony gave thanks for a bountiful harvest nearly four centuries ago, they enjoyed the fruits of their labor with the Wampanoag tribe -- a people who had shared vital knowledge of the land in the difficult months before. When President George Washington marked our democracy's first Thanksgiving, he prayed to our Creator for peace, union, and plenty through the trials that would surely come. And when our Nation was torn by bitterness and civil war, President Abraham Lincoln reminded us that we were, at heart, one Nation, sharing a bond as Americans that could bend but would not break. Those expressions of unity still echo today, whether in the contributions that generations of Native Americans have made to our country, the Union our forebears fought so hard to preserve, or the providence that draws our families together this season.

As we reflect on our proud heritage, let us also give thanks to those who honor it by giving back. This Thanksgiving, thousands of our men and women in uniform will sit down for a meal far from their loved ones and the comforts of home. We honor their service and sacrifice. We also show our appreciation to Americans who are serving in their communities, ensuring their neighbors have a hot meal and a place to stay. Their actions reflect our age-old belief that we are our brothers' and sisters' keepers, and they affirm once more that we are a people who draw our deepest strength not from might or wealth, but from our bonds to each other.

On Thanksgiving Day, individuals from all walks of life come together to celebrate this most American tradition, grateful for the blessings of family, community, and country. Let us spend this day by lifting up those we love, mindful of the grace bestowed upon us by God and by all who have made our lives richer with their presence.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Thursday, November 22, 2012, as a National Day of Thanksgiving. I encourage the people of the United States to join together -- whether in our homes, places of worship, community centers, or any place of fellowship for friends and neighbors -- and give thanks for all we have received in the past year, express appreciation to those whose lives enrich our own, and share our bounty with others.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.


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Read more here about the National Day of Thanksgiving in the United States.

Monday, November 19, 2012

This, however, is so right!

At least I hope so. But it was about the very last thing I expected to find walking down the aisle at Kroger's -- an item I haven't bought in 20 years because it was 1) a West Coast brand that 2) had disappeared even on the West Coast.

And I'm not quite sure how it caught my eye since coming to Peoria I have purchased maybe 3-4 6-packs of beer. Not that I don't like beer; I do. I just prefer not to drink it by myself. "Lead us not into temptation..." and all that.

But tonight I'm making an exception, for there at the Kroger store in East Peoria, Illinois, was my favorite beer from California (actually an Oregon brew), particularly my Berkeley years -- Henry Weinhard's Private Reserve.

I hope it's as good as I remember.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

This Is Just SO Wrong

"Leslie shares ways to make an intimate baptism ceremony elegant--even around a swimming pool." The good news is that that the YouTube likes-dislikes score is 38-653.

The bad news? While I haved tagged it "parody," apparently the producers of the "reality show," Big Rich Texas, are serious! (The things I miss not having cable....)

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Election Day 2012: I'm #200

I'm tempted to quote the first words spoken by President Gerald Ford to the nation: "Our long national nightmare is over." Well, the polls here closed in a little over an our and the TV is still playing political commercials, so we aren't there quite yet.

It was 4 pm when I walked into my polling place.  I signed in and, as I usually do, asked how many had voted.

"About 200," replied one election judge, who then looked at the form the other judge had completed for me. "No," she continued, "you are the 200th!. Ring the bells!"

For my precinct, that's pretty good. Four years ago, I was about the 160th voter around 3 pm. By the end of that day 336 votes (including early and absentee) ballot were cast for my precinct, though that is still less thatn half of the registered voters. In the 2010 election, without a President, it was 166. In the 2011 city election, it was 25.

Now to sit back and watch the results.