Wednesday, July 28, 2010

It's Not Life's 'Instruction Manual'...

...It's the Uplink for the GPS!

Following Little North Mountain
Following Little North Mountain.

A friend recently remarked that: "Life does have an instruction manual, its called the Bible." This is true. I suspect most of us do use the Bible exactly like an instruction manual.

Think about the instruction manuals for most of your appliances. You skip over the verbose warnings at the beginning that essentially tell you how the device can kill you if you use it while standing in water or something like that. Company lawyers spend a lot of time writing these warnings to protect the company from your lawsuit. We all know that.

You dive right in to the 'quick start' page. How about a few proverbs to get you going in the right direction. Or, you do the manly thing and attempt to assemble the device without looking at the directions. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't.

Now the book, with all its wisdom tucked throughout, finds its way to a drawer in your kitchen. There it stays until the device malfunctions or you need to replace a part.

You refer to it regularly but somehow you miss learning a lot of features that will enhance your life.

We invited a couple [young people] out to our house recently and I began to spell out the driving directions when the wife said: "I just need your address, we've got GPS." The cool thing about GPS is that you actually use it every day and you expect it to take you where you need to go.

You learn to depend on GPS for solid practical guidance. Millions of American men who'd never STOP and ask directions happily listen to the female voice in their car that tells them each turn to make. Is this a great country or what???

But one needs to learn a few things about GPS, just as one needs to learn about the Bible.

The GPS can give you excellent directions over a road that it does not know to be closed. This Winter I hiked on the snow covered Blue Ridge Parkway to the Mountain Farm and back. When I returned to my car at the end of the plowed Howardsville Turnpike I was met by a woman who insisted that her GPS said she could get to Wintergreen this way.

I spread my arm toward the snowy parkway... "not today, m'am." It was possible to WALK to Wintergreen that way but her SUV wouldn't get through the 2' drifts.

I then proceeded to give her step by step directions to Wintergreen through Nellysford. "When you get to route 6 you can reset your GPS and it will take you right there." She thanked me and drove off with her SUV full of kids anticipating a day at the slopes.

So have I shot my analogy? I think not. Scripture gives us clear directions in many things but it assumes that we will be observant of our situation and request additional information when we need it.' Live Help' is always available and essential. Some old Saints will refer to this as walking in the Spirit. Indeed the Spirit is known as 'Comforter' and 'Counselor' for a reason.

We read about people in the Bible like Enoch, who "walked with G-d," but do we study modern examples like George Müller, whom G-d used to minister to orphans through faith, or R. G. LeTourneau, who cleared his mind by going to G-d in prayer and solved incredible engineering problems through faith.

People who have learned that they can reach out and touch G-d!

I recently began a project working with a young artist to create a mural for the children of our church. She was thrilled that we were creating something that actually invited the children to touch the artwork. I think she found something profound here. How often do we think of G-d, that Master Artist, as beyond our reach. We sort of go through life shooting up a prayer or two... going to the 'quick start' menu when life has us totally confused, but missing the joy of living in constant contact with our Creator. Our message as a church needs to be "please touch."

And GPS only works when it can connect with the satelite, you know.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Be Thou My Vision

When A Hymn Sticks in Your Mind...

Poplar Sky

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

Someone mentioned this old hymn yesterday. I found myself humming it on the trail through the poplars on the Sunday afternoon walk. I found myself humming it again as I drove my in-laws home from their dinner out. Then I heard my 96 year old father-in-law humming along with me. My mother-in-law commented: "I love that hymn, Aunt Jess used to play it on the piano." We tried to sing as much as we could remember as we walked from the garage back to the house. I looked up the Lyrics [click to read] this morning.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume II, Issue XXX

In Defense of Summer Vacation

The 'other' Weekly News Magazine [click to read] is arguing that Summer Vacation is over romanticized and merely stands in the way of the kids retaining all that book-learning they'll need so they can work for the Chinese some day. OK, I'll give you the point that a certain amount of knowledge is 'lost' as kids pursue other activities... but as one who's life and career was shaped by Summers of 'other activities' I'll raise a clear protest: "Not so fast!"

I spent my Summers drawing, building things, going to camp and playing for hours in the woods. I was Lewis and Clark when I set off to explore the woods surrounding Triadelphia Reservoir... with no Sacajawea to help with directions. Mom got a big bell to ring when it was time to come in for dinner. Sometimes I actually heard it. More often than not my appetite finally brought me back to a plate of cold food. Now I loved my groceries as much as any young boy, but didn't Simon Kenton eat cold biscuits while he was exporing the Ohio Valley?

When my younger siblings were old enough, Dad loaded us in Mom's VW Microbus [Mom was there first when it came to the minivan] and we took road trips. Man, I loved road trips. We'd go to places like Gettysburg and crawl into sniper's nests. We'd imagine what it must have been like rushing up the hill in Pickett's Charge. Then we'd go to Antietem and wonder some more. When I turned sixteen, Dad actually let me drive on the trips. Oh the white-knuckle thrill of the Capital Beltway! The endless perspective of NC Route 12 heading to Hatteras and the rollercoaster ride down US 29 to Grandma's. Life was good in the Summer. I hired myself out to the local farmers to bale hay and other jobs. Hot, nasty work is good for the teenaged soul.

One farmer had a wife who'd make us grape juice and lemonade. I've never found sweeter refreshment in all my life.

One Summer Dad decided I needed to build a greenhouse. He let me draw up the plans and he took them to the county... I was thirteen at the time. He gave me a budget and set me loose. I learned to lay block, build walls, buy old storm windows and pretty much whatever it took. The guys at Talbott's Lumber Yard in Ellicott City gave me lots of free advice. They pretty much convinced me I could do it. I wonder how much Dad was paying them?

I was not a licensed electrician... that presented a problem for hooking up the power. Dad said it wasn't a problem. He had a buddy who was licensed and came out and did the whole job in exchange for a bottle of Jack Daniels [Black Label] that Dad cheerfully 'donated' to the building fund. In addition to the electric heater, we got the brilliant idea that it would benefit the plants with both heat and moisture if we ran the dryer vent in there.

What to do about lint? Well, here's where it got really interesting. When we discovered that a discarded nylon stocking fit over the vent and caught the lint while allowing air to flow, we had our problem solved. Dad enjoyed the 'conversation piece' that resulted too.

The greenhouse, built of redwood, served our family for many years. Finally it succombed to termites after I was gone and married. It's lessons are still with me today.

Mural for Our Church Takes Shape

Celebrating the World's Cultures in a 'Journey to Jesus'

Mural at SAC
Creating a Japanese girl in traditional costume.

Be forewarned, blogging will be sporatic for the next few months. I'll be working with another artist to create a mural in our church for the children's ministry. She's Laney Riley, who created a wonderful 'under the sea' mural at Lee High School.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

You Can't Go Home Again, Or Can You?

A Journey Back in Time through Crozet

Monacan Indians and their way of life are depicted on the Crozet Bridge Mural. Can you guess what the woman with the basket is doing?

My son poses with the Monacans.

Inspecting Our Work
Here we are inspecting our work in November of 1993. Photo by Tom Loach

This week began with a mad push to deliver an architectural model to Charlottesville. On the way home, my helper and I decided to have lunch at the Crozet Dairy Queen. We lived in Crozet for sixteen years before moving to the Valley and one of the more enjoyable things we did as a community was the Bridge Mural. The Crozet Community Association asked me to come up with a concept. We enlisted the help of students from Western Albemarle High School's art program and set out on a mission.

Crozet is known for the Central Virginia Railroad and that had to be part of the mural, but there was also the Big Survey Settlement [settlers migrated into the area from the Valley through Jarman's Gap, then known as Wood's Gap]. There was also the relatively recent discovery of Monacan settlement along Lickinghole Creek. In the end all three periods were included in the design of the mural.

We funded the paint in a novel manner. Everybody in town paid $5.00 to have their name painted into the painting. For $10.00 you got your whole family mentioned. We did some thinking to avoid it looking like Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial, hiding names in the foliage and using them to enrich the background.

Crozet has really grown in the past ten years. We sat in the Dairy Queen for twenty minutes and then walked around under the bridge... I didn't see a soul I recognized. On the way out of town my cell phone rang. It was a Crozet number so I answered eagerly. It was Lady Keller from Field School who had no idea I was actually in town... just needed to ask me a question. I teach an art unit for them every year and this year I think we'll get the boys down to look at the mural.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kagan's Slippery Slope to Shariah

Supreme Court Nominee Supports Islamic Law Here

Kagan might have banned military recruiters but look who she wanted to be on campus!

Frank J. Gaffney [click to read] in Jewish World Review.

"Kagan's association with and enabling of Shariah is flatly at odds with the Constitution's stipulation that it is the supreme law of the land. If she thinks otherwise - or is willing to jeopardize our freedoms by helping a toxic rival legal code to take hold here - we better know it now, not after she gets on the Supreme Court for the rest of her life."

Contact your senators now:

Sen. Mark Warner, 202-224-2023
Sen. Jim Webb, 202-224-4024

Freedom of 'Worship' in '1984'

The First Amendment Protects a Whole Lot More

Words mean things. Listen carefully to how leaders use them.

An Unjust Law is No Law at All

Christians and Civil Disobedience

Thoughts on St. Augustine's observation on the role of a Christian in an unjust society.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Building an Architectural Model

Changing Charlottesville's Skyline in Miniature

Its Only a Model
Preparing to put the model on the topography.

Its Only a Model
Final Touches are made... [photo by Trey Wilkins]

Its Only a Model
...on a new office building concept.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Putting Life Back in Focus

Yes, It Requires Looking Away from Your Computer

West Virginia Morning
Flowers in West Virginia.

In Unplugged [click to read] by Daniel J. Flynn in City Journal, the author makes a great case for keeping technology in its proper place and perspective. I think I'll turn off the computer and look at Creation for a while today.

West Virginia Morning

" Seneca’s day the Romans confronted “the great paradox of information: the more of it that’s available, the harder it is to be truly knowledgeable. It was impossible to process it all in a thoughtful way." -- Daniel Flynn

Friday, July 16, 2010

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume II, Issue XXVI

The Economy is Back... The Economy Stinks

The 'other' Weekly News Magazine [click to read] was out with this bit of conflicting analysis. The economy is recovering according to some but if you are tied to construction as I am you know the hard truth. But who should YOU listen to?

Fair question. Go back to 2005 -2006 when we were enjoying the fruits of our labor in my industry but some in Washington were warning us of crisis in Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Tell me, which side of the aisle where they on? Funny how the MSM has pretty well placed the blame for the whole debacle on the Conservatives but it was Barney Frank who was lying to us at the time. Everything was fine, "don't worry, be happy." John McCain and others in the 'evil' Bush administration raised red flags but were ignored. Franklin Raines took his $90 million in bonuses for bundling bad mortgages and the rest is history.

Still an article in today's News Leader finds, through Bloomberg News, a poll saying George Bush is to blame. Ignoring the whole Tea Party phenomenom, the article suggests that Democrats can win by running agaiust George Bush. Articles like this make me wonder how much hemp is actually smoldering in American newsrooms.

Problem is the old 'Misery Index' would suggest otherwise. As we revisit the policies of Jimmy Carter it should become clearer to the American people. It's getting to the point that Carter could ask: "miss me yet?" Now all we need is to find a 21st Century Ronald Reagan!

Prelude to Restoring Honor IV

Ask Yourself: 'What Would Moses Do?'

Capitol Square
Thomas Jefferson sought to establish an architectural identity for the young republic...

"Many nations are forged in war: struggles for independence that not only define their future mode of governance but also create the conditions of their national identity. Americans fought off the British in 1776 under the banner of freedom, but it took decades, perhaps a whole century, before their identity would be cemented as "one nation, under G-d." For the Israelites, by contrast, identity preceded independence." -- David Hazony

"The Lord our G-d spoke to us [at Mount Sinai], saying, 'You have dwelt long enough in this mountain: turn, and take your journey …behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to your fathers." (Deuteronomy 1: 6-8)

Here is a Brilliant Article [click to read] by David Hanzony in Jewish World Review.

Lincoln Memorial
...Washington today is built upon ancient imagery, but uses it as an inspiring backdrop to the pursuit of liberty.

Paul in Perspective

Look Carefully Before Dismissing Him as Chauvinist

Lilly in my garden.

Here is a Great Article [click to read] on the Apostle Paul. One cannot study the book of Acts seriously without comuing to the conclusion that the great evangelist valued and respected his female co-laborers greatly. Still, his epistles give some readers reason to question this. Joy W. McCann puts everything in its proper context, brilliantly and concisely. ht/Mike

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NAACP, Meet My Tea Party 'Dream Team'

When a Resolution is a Lie You Ruin Your Credibility

Star Parker (photo: Center for Urban Renewal and Education)

The NAACP has now passed a resolution denouncing the 'tea partiers' as racist bigots. As a tea party kind of person, I'd like to present a Tea Party the NAACP ought to be able to embrace. These people think for themselves and some like keynote speaker Star Parker have worked their way out of a system that quite honestly has failed miserably in the service of the minorities it purports to serve. So stop whining about them selling out or that there aren't enough of them. Their ranks are growing. They write pretty good books. I like to think they represent the future of Conservative leadership in America.

So here is my dream team... a group of people with sound wisdom and greatly respected by many in the tea party movement:

Star Parker
Walter E. Williams
Thomas Sowell
Justice Clarence Thomas
Alan Keyes
Larry Elder
Kay Coles James
James [Bo Snerdly] Golden

Just imagine this powerful line-up of speakers greeting you from the West Front of the Capitol... and dare to Dream!

"It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government." -- Thomas Paine

A New Emerging Black Leadership [click to read].

A Roadmap for American Renewal [click to read].

Is it Racist to Criticize Greece? [click to read].

"As much as those on the left want to portray tea partiers as right wing nut cases, or as racists, truth is these are rational, clear thinking Americans who see our beloved nation being wrecked. They are serving as an early warning system that the things Americans hold most dear are in danger." -- Star Parker, Keynote Speaker at the 'Dream Team Tea Party.'

Seneca Rocks, West Virginia

A Distinctive Feature of the Landscape

Seneca Rocks
This is the view from route 33 as you head towards Elkins.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

NASA's New Mission to the Dark Side?

White House Denies Ordering 'Muslim Outreach'

Bridge Detail
Bridge detail and Moon, Washington DC.

It all started when NASA chief Charles Bolden started granting interviews to Al Jazeera, stating that the President had charged NASA with a new mission: to make make Muslims feel better about their culture and history.

"Before I became the NASA administrator, he charged me with three things," Bolden said. "One was he wanted me to help re-inspire children to want to get into science and math, he wanted me to expand our international relationships, and third, and perhaps foremost, he wanted me to find a way to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science and math and engineering."

Now Robert Gibbs is out there denying the whole thing. Still, it sounds just like the kind of thing you would expect from this White House... and the two interviews with Al Jazeera seem so... premeditated. Michelle Malkin launched a contest to redesign the NASA logo to better represent the space agency's new mission and the entrys were really funny. I don't think you can backpedal out of this, Mr. Gibbs, it is too much in character with your boss' way of doing things.

NASA, you may recall, was begun as an 'outreach' to the former Soviet Union. After Sputnik, the United States knew that being left behind in space exploration was not an option. The Russians got the first satellite in orbit in 1957 and followed with the first man, Yuri Gagarin. Taking the high ground in space exploration was clearly in our national interest and President Kennedy laid down the famous challenge to put a man on the Moon in a decade. The rest is history. The Apollo program, accomplished not by the military, but by a civilian agency, inspired the world. It told the world that America was here and strong without rattling a single sabre.

In fact, the brilliance of NASA was that it created an invitation for the nations of the world to come together and explore space peacefully. The International Space Station is the fruit of this 'outreach.'

Now it could be suggested that Nasa should craft its 'outreach' to the star and crescent in the same way that it crafted its 'outreach' to the hammer and sickle... with a clear statement that America intends to hold the high ground.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Voice for Invisible Children Silenced

Nate Henn Worked to Free Child Soldiers

The American man who died in the bombings in Kampala along with fifty others had a name: Nate Henn. A former rugby player, Mr. Henn worked with Invisible Children, an agency devoted to the plight of child-soldiers.

Bear-ly Making it in the Panda World

Of Pandas and Politics

A giant panda cools off at the National Zoo...

...and now she goes looking for some bamboo.

Pity the poor panda. Scientists couldn't figure out if the giant panda was a bear or a raccoon. There is a 'lesser panda' or 'red panda' that is decidedly un-bearlike, but I digress. The controversy came to light in the later seventies when Henry Kissinger had a tummy-ach and disappeared for a while. Next thing you know the USA and Red China were talking diplomacy and the Chinese sent the National Zoo a pair of pandas as part of the deal.

We, for our part, sort of ignored the 'cultural revolution' and started doing business with the Chinese. Today we ignore all sorts of human rights concerns and use our relationship with the Chinese like a giant 'payday loan' operation. Guy Sorman [click to read] in City Journal is clear about the dangers of this situation. Our economic servitude to the Chinese may prevent us from joining in one of the greatest struggles for liberty today.

Back to the giant pandas... I asked the keeper if the bear-raccoon controversy had been resolved. She said: "oh yes, we've got better DNA research now. They're bears!"

Now it is time for Americans to realize that there are some key components of our cultural DNA that link us to the Chinese freedom fighters: most important being love of liberty and intolerance of oppressors.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Panda Popularity Personified

Kids and Pandas are Inseparable at DC Zoo

Panda at the Subway Entrance
A panda sculpture at the National Zoo subway station attracts attention.

Friday, July 9, 2010

THYME Magazine

Citizen Journalism with a Better Flavor

Volume II, Issue XXVIII

'Greecing' the Wheels of Economic Growth

The President is on a mission. Government needs to spend more to stimulate the economy. Never mind that Greece just spent itself into oblivion. Government is the new 'growth sector.'

Walking to the Lincoln Memorial, through the Federal Triangle, I noticed the sign below touting 'recovery.' Surely, the sign suggests,it is a good thing for the government to renovate and expand its own offices. After all, there is work for A & E firms, construction companies and GSA's all-time favorite: office furniture manufacturers.

Here's the problem. Expanded spending by the government produces nothing. It does not create new products and create new prosperity. It must, like a bad parasite, eventually consume its host through expanded taxation if it is to continue 'stimulating' the economy.

Eventually it dries up the incentive to bring new products to market and stagnates the economy. It makes ever increasing demands on the companies it buys from while awarding the contract to the low bidder.

Spending your childrens' inheritence
Spending your childrens' inheritance to renovate and expand government office space. The rendering is nice though.

Is [Was] NASA an Exception?

When President Kennedy launched the race for space he unleashed one of the greatest works commissioned by government in peacetime. It has been observed that many 'spin offs' from space research became products that improved our lives. Artificial hips and small electronics trace their development to space research, as do many modern building materials.

The space race was actually a fairly small part of the Federal budget and had well understood National security implications. Maintaining American superiority in space technology was brilliantly accomplished with a non-military agency and the research was largely a public-private cooperation.

In my mind the brilliance of NASA was that it was orchestrated, not by the Army Missle Agency, but by a civilian agency and became an inspiration for people around the world. I think the Soviets knew quite well that we were not going to sit back and watch them dominate the high ground of space, but we did so in a manner that said 'aspire with us to higher things.'

Our military always had access to the technology. North American Rockwell, Grumman and Northrup all contracted for defense projects as well as those they did for NASA. When the Shuttle was built it was designed to be used by the military as well, with a launch complex at Vandenberg Air Force Base. We didn't advertise this too much, but the space program always was a place-holder for American ability and strength.

Spin-offs were developed into other useful and life-saving applications by private enterprise. The government provided no manufacturing facilities other than a large building for the assembly of Saturn V boosters.

Thus it might be said that NASA was always true to a Constitutionally mandated purpose in that it helped to maintain our stature during the cold war. Had there been no need to secure our high skies we might well have allowed private enterprise to take us to space, but the high stakes we faced in the middle of the Twentieth Century demanded otherwise.

President Kennedy knew this. Every day his injured back reminded him of the terrible war in the Pacific. He saw the Soviets attempt to place their ICBMs in Cuba and responded with a firm hand. Would that the present occupant of the White House would gain such wisdom.

Americans for Prosperity and Restoring Honor

Phil Has the Details [click to read]. The Defending the American Dream Summit and Restoring Honor are very important.

Giving Veterans a Voice

PNOVS Center Featured in Wilhelmy Exhibit

At the American Guild of Organists convention this week in Washington DC, The design for the Premier Network of Veterans Services Center in Richmond was featured.

See more photos Here [click to view].

Prelude to Restoring Honor III

The Debt We Owe to the Defenders of Liberty

The World War II Memorial.

Vietnam Memorial
Vietnam Memorial...

Vietnam Memorial
...and a hero remembered.

Prelude to Restoring Honor II

The Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial
The morning light illuminates the statue of Lincoln...

Lincoln Memorial
...from the East.

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

Prelude to Restoring Honor I

The National Cathedral

George Washington
Light from the windows above...

George Washington
...frames a statue of George Washington.

National Cathedral
Stained glass and stone.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Please, Mr. Space Man...

NASA's 'Left Stuff,' The End of an Era!

Michelle Malkin [click to read] has this depressing report. I grew up watching John Glenn orbit the Earth and men walk on the Moon. It was a time when American ingenuity was pushed to the far frontiers of space. Mona Charen [click to read] has more on this.

Now, NASA is reduced to pandering to the Muslim world and shilling for 'global warming?' How sad!

Apollo 11 Lifts off on its way to the moon.


Armstrong after the famous first steps on the moon.

These photos are from The Apollo Archive, one of the best collections of NASA photos I have ever seen. Click Here to enjoy many more fine photos taken by our astronauts.

"And G-D saw that it was good..." Earthrise from Apollo 8.

Love Song for Our Time...

America The Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness.

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law.

O beautiful for heroes prov'd
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea.

ht/Augusta Conservative

The words at the top of the monument... "Praise to G-d!"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Even Better than Lincoln Memorial

The National Cathedral was Inspiring

This morning we went to the opening convocation of the American Guild of Organists in the National Cathedral. The cathedral is inspiring... a great gothic structure with magnificent bas reliefs depicting the Creation over each entry door.

When I was young this great house of worship was under construction. My Aunt Maria lived on Woodley Road so we sometimes got a glimpse. The builders speeded up construction as master stone workers became harder to find and I doubt the great cathedral would be something today's builders would attempt.

I will have some photos in a later article.

Walking Around in Washington

How I Gained a New Appreciation of Bodine

The Capitol. photo from an earlier trip.

Yesterday was the Fourth of July. I walked down to the center of town at dawn, hoping for a chance to photograph the morning light on the Lincoln Memorial. The fences where up for the big celebration but there was clearly still access. Two joggers ran by the memorial and out the fence.

I proceeded to walk in where the joggers had come out only to be told that the memorial grounds were closed. The poor security guy was getting chewed out for letting the joggers through. Tomorrow will be the day I try again. I'm told A. Aubry Bodine had days like this too.

He once drove from Baltimore all the way to Frederick, Maryland to photograph a particular valley. When he got there the light was wrong. He got his photograph a year later on another trip.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Travelling with the Flag Pipes

In Washington DC for July Fourth!

Never Forget
Xaver Wilhelmy's beautiful glass organ pipes form an American flag.

We've just set up the flag pipes in the Organ Guild convention here in Washington DC. Happy fourth to all of you.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

THYME Magazine

Citizen Jouralism with a Better Flavor

Volume II, Issue XXVII

This November We Must 'Stop Them from Stealing'

The 'other' Weekly News Magazine [click to read] is focusing on lobbyists. THYME is focused on the problem of public sector unions and other vested interests as well. How about a congress that is less prone to be 'bought.' Term limits is sounding like a pretty good idea right now. We can begin imposing them this November.

The Best Lawmakers Money Can Buy? [click to read] ht/Phil.

Francis Salvador, Patriot

Martyr of the American Revolution

Here is His Story [click to read] in Jewish World Review.

"Salvador was the first Jew to die waging the American Revolution. Ironically, because he was fighting on the frontier, he probably did not receive the news that the Continental Congress in Philadelphia had, as he urged, adopted the Declaration of Independence."

Tribute to the Master Designer

Tribute to the Real Creative One...

Sunset in the Valley.

Lynn Has This [click to read] really great song celebrating the Master Designer. Amen!

Virginia State Capitol Building

More Images of Jefferson's Classical Capitol

Capitol Square
View from the fountain by the bell tower.

Capitol Square
Stairs to Jefferson's building.

Capitol Square
Portico detail.

Capitol Square
Portico detail.