Thursday, December 30, 2010

The MR-T Nails It

Say what you will about our local newspaper and its coverage of whatever issue is nearest and dearest to your heart ... they absolutely NAILED IT, dead-center-on-target when it came time to select their 2010 'Person of the Year.'

"Our selection for Reporter-Telegram 'Person of the Year' demonstrated to West Texans what it means to show courage during life's most difficult times," Shanna Sissom wrote in the opening paragraph of the tribute this year's year's recipient, Judge John Hyde of the 238th State District Court, of Midland County.

"Courage" is a word that gets tossed around way too much, IMHO, and applied to so many who are so undeserving. I fear, sometimes, that we are diluting the word, draining the last drop of its true meaning and reducing its impact for those occasions when its use is truly merited ... for people like John Hyde.

I first met Judge Hyde in the late 80s. He was already an established presence on the bench, and I was in the midst of job re-training. The oil bust of that era touched many lives, many professions, including my own. I had survived the first two rounds of layoffs at KMID-TV/Big 2 ... but the third one got me, and I was out of work. So, I went back to school, taking classes at Midland College, with a goal of becoming a paralegal. One of those classes offered 'intern' style education/experience, and I found myself at the Midland County Courthouse, student clerking (mostly) for Judge Hyde and (occasionally) for Judge Dean Rucker.

I wish everybody - especially the most outspoken and anonymous critics of our system - could have a chance to gain such experience, such insight and - ultimately - such appreciation for that system. I was a go-fer in every sense of the word, and I loved every minute of it. And through it all, I watched John Hyde at work, and listened very carefully to his instruction on what was transpiring around us.

To say I 'hold him in the highest regard' would be an understatement ... and my regard for him has only grown in the years since that internship. Eventually, the economy would recover, and I would return to media and journalism ... but this time I worked the courthouse beat so much better, and I had John Hyde (and Dean Rucker, and Pat Baskin, and Al Schorre, and so many others) to thank for that.

And I am hardly alone in my high regard for Judge Hyde ... just ask anyone else who has worked with him ... or anyone who has heard his presentations on the history of Midland County.

Of course, John Hyde has been in our thoughts and our prayers over the past year-and-a-half, during his battle with cancer. It is a battle being fought tenaciously, and with firm and loving support from his family, and his community, Sissom's article notes that doctors' prognoses notwithstanding, Judge Hyde has begun filling his docket for the year-to come ...

Well done, sir ... well done, indeed ...

Saturday, December 25, 2010

... and So Does Linus Van Pelt ...

Isn't There Anyone Who Knows What Christmas is All About? ... Theodore Wardlaw Does ...


Advent Devotional for Saturday, December 25

"Did you get what you wanted this year? After all, we all love presents! They look so enticing under the tree, all wrapped up and pretty, and we love imagining what’s probably inside. Then we open them; and I’m guessing that, for a lot of us, there is never more anticipation about the gift we get than in that very moment of unwrapping — right before the treasure is revealed ..."

CLICK HERE to read the rest of Dr. Wardlaw's devotional

Thursday, December 16, 2010

This is So ... uh ... Cool?

And people 'up-north' still ask me why I moved 'down-south,' and stayed there ...

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Just Because It's iFun ...

... and because it is well-suited to the season, here's something from the iBand at North Point Community Church in Georgia.

North Point's iBand from North Point Web on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's About Education ... and Compassion ...

World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics.

The same will be happening right here, in the Tall City.

The MC Student Government Association, Midland/Odessa Area AIDS Support (MAAS) and the Texas Department of State Health Services will host a ceremony honoring those who have lost their lives to AIDS, and those who are dealing with AIDS on Tuesday, November 30, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the F. Marie Hall Academic Building, Rooms 110/111. The ceremony will also include the reading of an official proclamation by Midland Mayor Wes Perry. The public is invited to attend.

On Wednesday, in observance of World AIDS Day, these same groups will offer FREE HIV/AIDS testing and 10-minute counseling sessions from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the F. Marie Hall Academic Building, Room 110/111.

For more information, please contact Stephanie VanCuren at (432) 685-4543.

According to reports prepared by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. UNAIDS goes on to report that, despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blogging from The Game, Wrap-up

And that's it ... game over .. the Midland Bulldogs fall to the Coppell Cowboys, 7-49.

An end-of-game custom - the team and the cheerleaders gather in front of the home stands, swaying, singing as the band plays the alma mater. There's usually a large gathering of fans, too - but only a small group of stalwarts remain, this time around.

Let's be clear on one thing - WE SHOULD BE VERY PROUD OF OUR BULLDOGS. They have flaunted the predictions and ignored the pre-season prognosticators over the course of the season, and into the playoffs, and have done the Tall City proud!

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 10

Keeping spirits up ... The Bulldog Band is playing La Bamba, and EVERYONE is joining the conga line - bandsters, the guys who carry the M, H and S banners, cheerleaders from Coppell, you name it.

While praising the football team, we also need to tip our hats to the band, too. They've done an outstanding job this season.

Midland High's Air Force ROTC has come over to the sound of the music - these young men and women have been at every game, playing an important role in presenting the colors. They've also been an enthusiastic spirit section during the games.

Two minutes left in the game. Still 7-49 in favor of Coppell.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 9

Now into the fourth quarter. It's been a back-and-forth thing ... Midland turns the ball over on an interception. Then Coppell turns the ball over on downs. Woods is back in at quarterback. Then Midland punts ... then Coppell punts. Then Midland turns over the ball on another interception. Score still 7-49 in favor of the Cowboys.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 8

The second half is underway. Holifield is on at quarterback on the Bulldogs' first possession of the game, moving up the field and into the wind.

Halftime was good. Both Midland and Coppell boast outstanding bands. The Bulldog Band's drum line positively ROCKS.

Coppell takes over on downs. Six minutes into the third quarter, the Cowboys score. They now lead the game 7-49.

I'm surprised at the number of empty seats in the Midland stands ... still in line for concessions, I guess.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 7

Twenty seconds left in the first half, Coppell scores again, and now leads Midland 7-42.

There's the whistle - halftime. This one will have performances by both schools' band - two large and very good ensembles.

Wondering what's being said in the Bulldogs' locker room right now, and what adjustments we might see in the second half.

Bulldog highlights in the first half include Donovan Anders. It is SO exciting when he gets the ball and runs it down the field. During the second quarter, Coppell used the wind at their back to full effect, with kickoff going out of the end zone, and away from Donovan.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 6

(sigh) 2:45 left in the first half, and Coppell scores again. They now lead 7-35.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 5

Two minutes into the second quarter, score still 7-21, and the Bulldogs are moving down the field - but they lose it on downs at the Cowboys' 30-yard line.

Good turnout today. The Midland stands are full, except for the student sections - and they're slowly catching up.

Coppell has a good turnout, too. I'm guesstimating 500+ fans, plus band, cheerleaders, dance team, etc. And more Coppell fans are still arriving.

Four-and-a-half minutes into the second quarter, the Vowboys score again. They now lead 7-28.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 4

Five-and-a-half minutes into the first quarter, Coppell gets the ball for a second time, drives down the field, and scores again. They lead 7-14.

Two minutes later, the Bulldogs are forced to punt - and it's a doozy, finally stopping at Coppell's 2-yard line.

it theCownoys step up to the challeng, driving nearly the entire length of the field. And they score, now leading 7-21.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 3

WOW!!! ... Talk about responding in kind!

The Bulldogs receive their first kickoff and - 4 plays, and 75 seconds later - go in for THEIR first score. Game tied 7-7.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 2

And we're under way ... and OUCH!

Coppell received the first kickoff and- 3 plays, and 75 seconds later - went on for the game's first score. They lead 0-7.

Blogging from The Game, Pt. 1

It's 62 degrees out. Very sunny, with only a light layer of high, thin clouds. Kind of windy ... but, hey, it's West Texas. Mostly, it's out of the south and, IMHO, it's enough to impact kicks, passes, etc.

All in all, not a bad afternoon for football, as the Midland Bulldogs prepare to take on the Coppel Cowboys in the third round of the 5A high school football playoffs.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What's In a Word? .....

William Shakespeare once suggested that "beauty is bought by judgement of the eye." With a deeply deferential bow to the Bard, I would go on and add my own scribble, that "sense is bought by judgement of the ear."

Which brings me to a verbal gaffe by Sarah Palin, the uproar - or lack thereof - over said gaffe, and the ensuing backlash towards those who did choose to raise an uproar.

Apparently, in the course of a radio interview Sarah Palin told Glenn Beck that America "has got to stand with our North Korean allies" in the situation that has arisen after the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong was devastated by a North Korean artillery attack.

Okay, so she made a mistake ... it happens to all of us at one time or another ... Beck corrected her, she corrected herself, let's move on with it, alright?

Heck, I didn't even hear of it until well after the fact. I don't care for Beck's program, and there was little or no mention of Palin's gaffe in the major news websites, in the papers, or on network television news broadcasts.

But the blogosphere? That was a different matter. The goof was added to a long list of "Palinisms" assembled by the bluer bloggers ... and you've probably noticed that news searches on engines such as Google are continuing to give weblogs and social media a greater profile - all of which served to help the gaffe find its place on the major news sources.

Even then, though, the story (if we can justify calling this a "story") might have withered, if Palin had not stoked the fire herself, "lashing out" at critics with jabs at others who have made mistakes of their own. Personally, I wish she would have just let the thing go. Like I said, it happens to all of us at one time or another ... let's move on with it, alright?

It's happened to our current President (one of the targets of Palin's jabs), and it happened to his predecessor, and to HIS predecessor. They all moved on, placed their gaffes in their proper perspective, emphasized what was truly important to the American people, and achieved success in their political ambitions.

As the son of a man who was one of "the Chosin Few," I can't help but think that our attention to developments on the Korean Peninsula are better devoted to other topics than Sarah's slip ... let's move on.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I took these shots earlier this week, during a walk around the mall and Beal Plaza, at the heart of the Midland College campus where I work. I hope you enjoy them. If you have some time during the long holiday now underway, you and yours might want to come up here yourselves, walk around, and enjoy the fall colors in person ... my pictures really don't do them justice.

I'll leave these with you as a seasonal postcard, of sorts. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving, everyone!













Thursday, November 11, 2010

Call It What You Will ... But MARK It .....

IN FLANDERS FIELDS
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved,
and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch, be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep,
though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt. Col. John Alexander McCrae, MD - Canadian Expeditionary Force

Here in the U.S., one doesn't see the poppies on people's lapels so much, as we used to when were children ..... One of the most ridiculous victories in America's 'war of drugs' was the declaration by 'drug czars' and their staffs that the poppy reminded people of addiction to drugs, rather than appreciation to those who gave the 'last full measure of their devotion' in service to their country. Such is not the case in Canada, England, and other countries that once formed the 'Commonwealth.' The paper poppies - and the fundraising for veterans' relief that they represent - have been prominent in photos and video the past couple weeks.

Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, Veterans Day ..... call it what you will ..... but find some way to mark this day. Here, in America, the focus of the day has been expanded to honor all men and women who, throughout history, have answered their country's call to serve. There have been many in our own family, but - mindful of the origins of this particular holiday - I will tell the boys of their great-grandfather Frederick, a sergeant with the 102nd Balloon Company, U.S. Air Service, American Expeditionary Force, and his service in France during the First World War.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Ooops!!! ...

With a tip o' me bonnett to Robert Burns, "the best-laid schemes (and demolition charges) o' mice an 'men gang aft agley." From msnbc.com's PhotoBlog comes this report that a 275-foot smoke stack in Springfield, Ohio fell toward spectators and surrounding buildings as it fell the wrong way during its demolition.
Yikes!

If you look closely at the photo, you'll see that most of those spectators are are shown in mid-stride ... I know I would have been!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Texts from the sidelines ...

In the "For What It's Worth" department, here's a transcript of the texts I was sending a Bulldog fan, from the sidelines at last night's football game between Midland High and Abilene-Cooper. TRUST ME, no words of mine could match the excitement of being there ...but here it is anyway ...
__________

Grande Stadium is ROCKING!!!

MHS went ahead, 42-35, with about four minutes left in the game.

Cooper's ball. MHS intercepts a Cooper pass with about three minutes left in the game!

MHS has the ball on Cooper's 35, trying to burn up that clock, and maybe get another score. Cooper's using its timeouts, trying to save time and get the ball back.

Both schools' bands are CRANKING ... both schools have a large, loud cheering section.

Two-and-a-half minmutes left, MHS went for it on fourth down - and MISSED it by a couple of inches!

Cooper gets the ball on downs :-(

Cooper driving down the field - 48 seconds left.

Cooper into MHS territory - 31 seconds left.

Penalty on MHS - Cooper has first down on our thirty - 20 seconds left.

EVERYBODY is on their feet - 7 seconds left.

Cooper makes a "Hail Mary" into the end zone - MISSES - game over!

MHS WINS!!!

WOO-HOO!!!
__________

Okay, back to here and now. After the game, I visited for a while with a reporter/still photographer from Abilene. A gentleman about my age, with a fine moustache and an easygoing, friendly manner. We shook hands, and complimented one-another's hometown teams. We both agreed that we had just watched a GREAT game.

"Aren't you glad we're back together in district," he asked. "You bet I am," I answered.

The Cooper team held a long meeting in the southern end zone, then headed up the field to their locker room. They passed in front of the MHS Bulldog Band, which gave the Abilene players, coaches, cheerleaders and supporters a long and enthusiastic round of applause. Plenty of the visitors waved back, held up their helmets or tipped their hats ... some smiled.

It's nice to see that there are those who take seriously that standard speech read at the start of every game, asking everyone to respect one another, to respect one another's efforts and achievements.

"Take care on the road home," I heard more than one Midlander tell a visitor up in the locker room parking lot, where teams, bands and cheerleaders were loading up their busses.

All in all, a wonderful night ... glad I was there.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Poor Lebron ... what SHOULD he do? ...

Okay, so I'm still in social media mode ... this time jumping from Twitter to YouTube, where I am confronted with one question from Lebron James - "What should I do?" - and two different answers.

Here's the answer from Mr. James, and Nike ...


... and here's an answer from some folks up-north, especially those whose hearts beat a little quicker in close proximity of Cleveland's Quicken Loans Arena ...
Now, as a one-time Pennsylvanian, I rarely find myself siding with my brothers and sisters of the Buckeye State ... especially during football season. But I gotta admit - I feel more than a little sympathy for THEIR response on what Mr. James should do.

"Tweets" offer some perspective on rapper's release ...

Maybe I'm demonstrating my social media savvy ... or maybe it's something not-so-great that I'm demonstrating. Either way, when I sign-off from my Twitter account, I stay in front of the computer a few minutes longer, to watch their rotator of current tweets on a variety of trending topics.

I know, I KNOW ... I could be reading books and magazines, surfing the web, or even - gasp! - getting out and talking to people. But there I am, nonetheless, parked in my chair and soaking up someone else's virtual wisdom, 140 characters at a time. Today, there's more than a lil discussion of Lil Wayne.

Earlier today, the headlines started sharing the news ...

Rap star Lil Wayne released from NYC jail
NEW YORK (AP) — Lil Wayne has been freed from jail after serving eight months in a gun case, emerging with a hot new album, well-wishes from a former president and a deepened appreciation for his fans. The city's Department of Correction website said Thursday the Grammy Award-winning rap star had been released from the Rikers Island jail complex.
CLICK HERE for the rest of the AP story

"FREE AT LAST!!!!!!!" the rapper's longtime manager, Cortez Bryant, Tweeted Thursday morning. And A LOT of the rapper's fans have been tweeting their love right back. But, at the same time, some are tweeting a different tune ... one that caught my attention.

sammyjay77African Americans tweeitng hard about lil #Wayne Released after gun crime but didn't tweet this hard about voting on Tuesday. Amusing!

DontezGripnemIf as many ppl that's excited about weezy coming home was excited about voting the other day, maybe the republicans wouldn't be in office.

Adri_ManeYou should be more excited about whats going on in the government than about Lil Wayne getting out of Jail. He aint helping you survive.

YourFavWhiteGuyNo blacks at the voting polls and every black celebrating Weezy's release at Rikers. Do I even need to add a punchline to this?

MrMason251Black people care more about a rapper being released than Voting. Let's see if Wayne pays for your Healthcare. #welcomehomeweezy

I seem to find myself in a smaller and smaller minority - I enjoy some coverage of entertainers and their work, as much as the next guy. But there are times when I find myself saying, "enough already!" I don't need round-the-clock television networks devoted to entertainment news, I don't need an intense panel discussion of why a celebrity did - or did not - do whatever is being trumpeted in the tabloids. And I can't help but think there are bigger stories going on around the world.

Back to those tweets ... one can say a lot, even when confined to just 140 characters - and I've gained a lot of respect for the ability of some to say a lot with a little. And while those who specialize in composing headlines and sub-headers for newspapers may no longer be in such great demand, there is a place for them in social media such as Twitter.

On a related note ... while watching that rotator, something I saw on NUMEROUS occasions was a retweet of "Open google maps, get directions from Japan to China, and skip to the 43rd step." So, I finally did ... it WAS pretty funny.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friends up-north note our confusion with friends down-south ...

"You may have noticed that Chile — and its flag — have been in the news lately," blogger Gillian Grace writes in this post on the canada.com network. "You may also have noticed that the Chilean flag bears — with its red and white stripes and lone star in a field of blue — some resemblance to the flag of Texas. Which has red and white stripes. And a lone star. And a field of blue."

Apparently the similarity proved too close for elections officials in Atascosa County, Texas, "who sent out absentee ballot packages bearing the flag of a country far to the south of America’s second-largest state."

Oh, Canada! :-(

Thursday, October 14, 2010

AGAIN ... Proud Band Parent Moment ... Join Me?

Dear friends,

Once again ... last time, I promise ... please go to the
KWES/Game Time/Band of the Week ...

Select Midland High.

Thank you!

Gooooo, PURPLE! ... Gooooo, GOLD! .....

Good move at the MRT...

I suppose there are several moves the Midland Reporter-Telegram could have made to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of editor Gary Ott ... maybe, maybe not, whatever, I don't know.

What I DO know is, I think they made a good one.

"Reporter-Telegram Managing Editor Stewart Doreen has been named editor to replace Gary Ott, who is retiring' says
this report in the MRT. "Doreen, who has been with the Reporter-Telegram since Jan. 6, 1995, said, 'We will continue to work hard to deliver the news Reporter-Telegram readers expect.'"

The MRT has a history of moving people up, within the organization ... and I think the community is well-served by such a policy.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Look! ... Up In the Sky! ... It's ...


Here's a shot I took early last night, as I was heading across the Chap Center parking lot, getting ready for the College Fair - an event organized by the Midland Independent School District, taking place at MC.

My grandfather would have been thrilled! He served with the 102nd Balloon Company, US Army Air Corps, part of the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I. He would have loved to watch the blimp pass overhead, especially one bearing this particular likeness of Snoopy, suited-up to do battle with that great nemesis of World War I - the Red Baron!

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Proud Band Parent Moment ... Join Me?

Dear friends,

Please go to the
KWES/Game Time/Band of the Week ...

Select Midland High.

Thank you!

Gooooo, PURPLE! ... Gooooo, GOLD! .....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

AAAAGGGGHHH !!!, Pt. 2 .....

Everybody's a Lobo ... woof, woof ... WHAT? ... AGAIN?

Red Raiders soar past New Mexico, 52-17
By Mike Graham
Daily Toreador

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO - Special teams and a plethora of New Mexico mistakes aided Texas Tech footbal in a comfortable 52-17 victory Saturday. more ...

Forget the "could be" I used in last week's post ... this WILL be loooong season for my beloved alma mater, UNM ... oh, well ... I still have my other, even more favoritest college football program ... the Nittany Lions of Penn State ... huh? ... what's that? ... #1 Alabama rolls over #18 Penn State ... AAAAGGGGHHH !!!

Going Rogue? .....

A couple months back, I offered up this post about a poltical candidate in Oklahoma making effective use of a tie-in to a well-recognized brand to promote said candidate's name recognition with voters. But now, I think a political candidate in Delaware has taken that campaign idea to the next level by tying-in to a well-recognized face in American politics, to promote said candidate's recognition with voters.
Here's a shot of that candidate, taken today as she was heading into the polls. I was struck by her strong resemblance to Sarah Palin - one of the more-recognized faces in today's political scene. When I Google-Imaged the Delaware candidate's name, I came across several photos taken over the past couple of years, a sample of which are shown as insets in the laerger photo.

I think somebody advised her to 'go rogue' and strengthen her connections to someone who has definitely struch a chord with some voters.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

AAAAGGGGHHH !!! .....

Everybody's a Lobo ... woof, woof ... WHAT? ...

No. 11 Oregon blows out New Mexico, 72-0
By Anne M. Peterson
Associated Press

EUGENE, OREGON - Kenjon Barner replaced suspended running back LaMichael James for No. 11 Oregon and ran for a career-high 147 yards and four touchdowns before catching another score in the Ducks' 72-0 season-opening rout of New Mexico on Saturday. more ...

This could be loooong season for my beloved alma mater, UNM

Friday, August 27, 2010

Just Another Fan, Taking It Easy on Friday Nights .....

"For me, nowadays, Friday nights in West Texas are a lot different then they used to be," I wrote, just a year ago, "... and Vive le Difference!"

And now, my Friday evenings are different, yet again ... at least a little bit.

This time of year, people in towns big and small congregate under the lights for fun, fellowship - and even worship, of sorts - in football stadia of all shapes and sizes. For many, it's the biggest night of the week. The same can be said for television news departments, where they pull out all the stops to provide special coverage of something that has a special appeal for many of us.

It IS a big night ... and a LOOOONG one, too. Just ask any sports reporter or photog making the rounds of West Texas. You see, it would be easy to fill the sports segment of a regular news broadcast with highlights for Midland and Ector county schools, and results for other schools in their district ...

... but no regular broadcasts on Friday nights! that's why they have 'football forecasts' in weather, extended live sports segments or stand-alone programs, or website features on KMID, KOSA and KWES.

And that's why photographers will be going out in different directions, covering large loops around the region, stopping in an numerous towns to get quick video of that evening's game. In the late 90s, when I was living and working in Fort Stockton, I was also stringing for NewsWest 9, getting video at the Fort Stockton games and handing it off to some hard-driving photog, just arrived from Pecos or Balmorhea, who'd then drive off to cover Buena Vista, or McCamey, or Crane on his way back to the station.

Later, when we moved back to Midland, and I was editing mywesttexas.com, Friday nights were spent at my keyboard in the office, uploading 10-minute chunks of raw audio/video from each of the games our roving photogs visted, fielding phone calls with scores from around the region, updating the website while someone ran the notes to the sports anchor on the set, and the cg operator in the control room.

Long nights, usually following a full day ... really draining, and the family's asleep by the time you get home. I used to be a part of all that, until a couple of years ago. And, really, I don't miss them at all ... and I have A LOT of respect for the people who do that - FOR YOU - every Friday night.

BUT, my Friday evening routine DOES change some this year, now that Younger Son is taking the field as part of the Midland High School Bulldog Marching Band. So, for part of the evening, you'll find the McDonald clan out there, following one of the schools ... and that's just enough for me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Historic warship may weigh anchor for final sortie .....

This summer, during an all-too-brief stop in Philadelphia, I hiked down to the riverfront to visit, once again, the U.S.S. Olympia ... at the time, I didn't know that it may have been a farewell visit.

A grand old ship that stayed the course in the face of the Spanish Navy more than a hundred years ago, the Olympia has been ravaged by time, the relentless barrage of the elements and - admittedly - an inadequate maintenance program. She's the oldest steel warship still afloat, and the last of her kind in all the world. But, barring a dramatic change in her fortune, she may soon go to the bottom forever.

The Olympia is a snapshot in time, and a glimpse of the revolutionary changes in the practice and technology of naval warfare that were taking place in the late 19th-century. Her gun turrets resembled those that were introduced by the U.S.S. Monitor during the American Civil War, though they were dramatically improved. She brought a new, larger and more lethal generation of deck guns into the fray, as well. Her armament also included above-surface torpedo tubes, which would see their heyday in later ships, in the next century. And while she was powered by a new type of coal-fired steam engine, she still had masts capable of carrying a set of sails for emergency propulsion. And she was one of the first of the Navy's ships to have electricity and powered steering gear.

It was not only a transitional period for warship design worldwide, but one for warship policy in the United States, as the U.S. Navy's focus shifted outward from coastal defense, to project our growing influence around the globe. The Olympia and others of her generation (including the U.S.S. Maine) were a preview of the Great White Fleet that would circumnavigate the world 15 years later, demonstrating America's military power and "blue-water" navy capability.

In a number of ways, the Olympia would make her mark in history. She is perhaps best known for her services as Commodore Dewey's flagship at the Battle of Manilla, during the Spanish American War. It was from her deck that Dewey spoke the famous words "You may fire when ready, Gridley," launching the attack that resulted in the sinking or capture of the entire Spanish Pacific fleet, and silencing the shore batteries at Manila. I remember my first visit to the Olympia, as a youngster, scrambling up to the deck, and standing on the brass footprints that marked where Dewey stood when he said those words.
In the years that followed, Olympia was active in the Pacific, the Atlantic, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. She served as a training ship for the U.S. Naval Academy. She was a barracks ship in the port of Charleston, South Carolina, until America's entry into World War I, when she went back to sea. She saw service in the Russian Arctic as part of the brief Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. In 1921, she brought home the body of America's Unknown Soldier from World War I. Shortly after that, the U.S.S. Olympia was decommissioned.



Today, she is part of the Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia. It's been reported, though, that the museum is no longer able to fund the ship's preservation costs. It's been noted that "historic steel-hulled ships should be dry docked for maintenance every twenty years, but Olympia has been in the water continuously since 1945." Essential repairs are estimated at $10-million ... a staggering cost to say the least. The Independence Seaport Museum has set November 22 as the date it will close the Spanish-American War era battle cruiser Olympia to the public. What will happen to the national historic landmark after that remains uncertain. Plans to scuttle the Olympia, making her into an artificial reef are under consideration.

An independent non-profit corporation known as the Friends of the Cruiser Olympia was recently organized with the goal of preserving the Olympia. I wish them good luck and Godspeed in their efforts. In the "for what it's worth" department, I plan to send a contribution to help them in those efforts ... and I ask you to give thoughtful consideration to making a contribution, as well.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Anime artist/writer/director had short - but brilliant! - career .....

A passing of note for me - and for all fans of anime, really ... Satoshi Kon, a highly acclaimed Japanese anime director, died suddenly of cancer on Monday evening. He was 47.

Kon was not a pioneer of the genre ... nor was he its most prolific artist. But he had a special significance, a special impact, nonetheless. Like many in the west, I was introduced to his screen works in the mid-90s, when he directed a segment of
Memories. This was followed by a short list of films (short ... but every one of them a gem), and one of the better animated series to ever appear on American television screens.

The films were
Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, Tokyo Godfathers and (my favorite) Paprika. The television series was Paranoia Agent.

Each one challenged us - the viewers - in different ways, and stretched our definitions of "cartoons" to the breaking point, and beyond.

Probably the best comment on Kon's death that I've seen comes from a Tweet by
jbetteridge, who wrote, "It's not that anime will never be the same with Satoshi Kon gone. It's now much more likely that anime will always be the same."

So true.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Time's Running Out on a Wonderful Opportunity .....

FOLLOW-UP ... "A 56-year-old FedEx official announced his candidacy Monday against incumbent District 3 City Councilman John James in the November 2 election. Robert L. 'Bob' Crites said he became motivated to seek a three-year term in the central Midland jurisdiction during last Tuesday's public hearings on the 2010-11 property tax rate and budget." more ...


According to
this report from the MRT's Ruth Campbell, "Filing deadline for the November 2 election is 5:00 p.m. today [Tuesday, August 24]. Spots on the Midland City Council, Midland Independent School District board and Midland Memorial Hospital board are available."

That means time's running out on a wonderful opportunity for some Midlanders to "practice what they preach," "put their money where their mouth is," "walk the walk, not just talk the talk" ... take your pick. Here's a chance for YOU to take all that expertise and energy on display at rallies and council/board meetings and put it to work for the benefit of all.

Several years in journalism, covering the goings-on in city halls, county courthouses and school boardrooms, has given me a great appreciation for the job involved in managing our local governing agencies ... especially their budgets. It is NOT an easy job, and it's not always done correctly, and it's never done to the absolute satisfaction of absolutely everyone.

... when it's done well, you'll read about it in the paper, or see it on television - to the annoyance of some.

... when it's done badly, you'll read about it in the paper, or see it on television - to the annoyance of others.

I've left journalism, of course, and taken a job on the staff of a community college. But the opportunity to see local elected officials at work, and appreciate what that work entails, has continued.
And in the past, even when I published a report that led to criticism for an elected official's actions, I was always mindful that the number of those who are willing to step-up, take a seat in our local government, who are doing their best, and who are willing to endure the verbal stones being chucked from the back of the room ... they always seem to be in the minority.

I respect anyone who shows the good sense to stay out of elected office ... unless they're someone who sits in the back, and chucks those stones. It's time for them to take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that are out there, run for office, and take a leadership role in our local government.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Blogging for Fair Havens, 10: Here I Go Again .....

I know, I know ... I said this once before ... but this time, for sure ... I'm wrapping up my contribution to this year's Blogging for Fair Havens, and leaving the keyboard in the more-than-capable hands of Jimmy Patterson at Sticky Doorknobs.

I want to add some thanks and recognition to my earlier posts. Thanks to the Tall City's young musicians. First, there's Matt McCutcheon, Tim Howard and James Patterson who collectively call themselves "A Separate Peace." They're performing now at the BfFH locations. Also on the scene the Midland-Lee High School marching band's drumline.

Also, thanks to Spencer and Maureen Bennett, who are manning the Celebrity Lemonade Stand as I leave. You maaaayyy see a video out there of Spencer with his "biggest fan" ... watch at your own risk :-)


Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 9: Well, I THOUGHT It Was a Wrap.....

Jimmy's takin a well-earned break during the noon hour ... so, I'm filling-in just a little longer. Jimmy will be back at the keyboard at one o'clock, providing BfFH updates at Sticky Doorknobs.

In the meantime, thanking some of this year's BfFH contributors ... Norma and Torivio Duran, John and Constance Angus, Mary and John Crosby, Charles and Lou Ann Adams, Les and Lanell Honeyman, Jennifer Samp, Paula Kelly and Cynthia Preay.


Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 8: And That's a Wrap for Me - But the Mission Continues.....

This is my last post for today. i'm heading out ... but Jimmy and the Fair Havens staff and volunteers are here for the entire day. PLEASE come out and show your support.

Just had a visit from KMID-TV, Big 2 ... so look for Jimmy on their news broadcast this evening.

The group Seperate Peace is here, setting-up ... so look forward to enjoying some music - along with some lemonade - when you come to visit.

One last note ... this isn't just about FUND raising ... it's also about raising AWARENESS, COMMITMENT and SERVICE. See below for some suggestions on how you or yor organization can get involved in Fair Havens and its mission.


Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Volunteer Opportunities for Individuals
You are not limited to the following options. If you have a special talent or skill that our residents would enjoy and/or can benefit from, we encourage you to please share it!
Reading Program: Read to the children - or have children read to you - on Monday nights at our facility.
Computer Lab: Provide supervision, guidance and tutoring for children and adults who use our computer lab.
Music: Provide music on Monday nights or music lessons for the residents.
Tutoring: Provide after-school tutoring for children and adults at our facility.
Life Skills Instructor: Budgeting, resume' writing, teaching job interview skills, parenting, nutrition, Bible studies.
Speaker's Bureau: Speaking to congregations, civic groups, schools, volunteer fairs.
Facility Support: Electricians, plumbers, painters, make ready, computer techs.
Office Support: Clerical and data entry support.

Volunteer Opportunities for Groups
Here are a few ideas for your club, organization or church group to consider:
Sponsor a drive or host a fundraiser: Diapers, wet wipes, paper goods, disposable razors, children’s socks and underwear, soap, twin sheets, twin mattress covers, twin quilts/coverlets/comforters, towels, full size shampoo/conditioner, detergent/fabric softener, and household items are always needed.
Warehouse Warriors: Assist with sorting and/or organizing our donations in the storeroom.
Maintenance: Carpet cleaning, power wash siding and stairwells, minor repairs.
Provide Meals: Provide meals for the families.

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 7: Judith - A Success Story .....

Thanking today's contributors ... Mary and Harold White. Ellen and Dennis Hopkins, and Alice and Roger Friedline.

As I said in my last post, when you talk about Fair Havens, you can't confine it just what they WANT to do ... but also what they HAVE DONE. Check below for one of Fair Havens' success stories.




Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Success Story ... Judith: A Lasting Hope
With no alternative and on her last dollar, Judith* first called Fair Havens looking for rental assistance. The pride in her voice revealed how difficult it was for her to ask for help but she was exhausted from the daily struggle to keep from being evicted. Detecting a desire to ‘pull her life together,’ our case manager nurtured a non-residential relationship for months before Judith lost her apartment and finally moved into Fair Havens to pursue her education and improve her income capacity.
Read the rest of Judith's story ...

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 6: Sarah - A Success Story .....

Thanking today's contributors ... Toni and Tmmy Lent, Jill and Cary Brown, DiAnn and George Koehl, Jerri Riplinger, Constance and John Angus and Norma T. Duran.

Jimmy is a multi-media man ... known mostly for his work in print, he is also experienced in online media - and now television! Jimmy just finished interviewing with KOSA-TV, CBS 7. You can see their report this evening at six o'clock. Jimmy did, IMHO, a VERY good job talking about Fair Havens

When you talk about Fair Havens, you can't confine it just what they WANT to do ... but also what they HAVE DONE. Check below for one of Fair Havens' success stories.




Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Success Story ... Sarah: A Complete Turn Around
“I’ve never had anyone believe in me. You did and now look what I have been able to do! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!” These statements came from a young single mother of three precious daughters who had accomplished amazing things during and after her residency at Fair Havens.

Sarah* first came to Fair Havens when her parents were turning her out on the street. She had made choices in her teens that could have been fatal for her, but God had another plan. Following years of drug abuse and violent attacks by several boyfriends, Sarah was jolted into reality by the birth of her third daughter. She woke up one morning knowing that if she continued her current lifestyle, she and her babies would end up dead!
Read the rest of Sarah's story ...

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 5: Those Who Serve.....

More than once, this morning, I've mentioned the people of Fair Havens. So, who are they, and why have become a part of Fair Havens and its mission? The best way to answer those questions is to come by the Midland H.E.B. parking lot today, meet with them. talk to them, hear their first-hand experiences with Fair Havens and its mission ... and commit to supporting that mission.


Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Their Leadership
CLICK HERE to meet the Fair Havens staff, and their board of directors.

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 4: So, What Do They DO? .....

At the moment, Jimmy's the only one up in the air ... literally! On the ground are plenty of Fair Havens staff, directors and volunteers who will be more than happy to talk to you about Fair Havens and the services it provides. Trust me on this ... it's WELL worth your support. Why not come by the Midland H.E.B. parking lot today, and show your support for Fair Havens and their mission?


Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Their Services for Residential Clients
Housing at no cost for up to 24 months
Individual case management with emphasis on accountability to a plan of personal goals
Life skills training in the areas of finance, parenting, health, nutrition, personal development, and Bible study
Consistent emotional support through the care of Christian staff and volunteers
Referral to community resources for education, vocational evaluation and development, counseling, and family assistance

Their Services for Non-Residential Clients
Financial assistance for utilities and rent, including budgeting advice, to prevent homelessness
Basic needs assistance with clothing, food and personal hygiene items
Referral to community resources for education, vocational evaluation and development, counseling, and family assistance

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 3: A History of Service.....

Blogging for Fair Havens 2010 is well underway ... a great way to help insure that more than a decade of service continues into the future. Won't you stop by and visit with BfFH leader Jimmy Patterson (you can't miss him - he's the only guy sitting atop a scissor lift, 30 feet above the Midland H.E.B. parking lot), enjoy a glass of lemonade from one of the Fair Havens staff and volunteers, and learn more about their mission?






Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Their History
In 1997 a dream began with one staff member, a devoted board, and a 4 bedroom home. This faithful group felt the Lord’s call to offer hope to determined, single mothers and their children caught in difficult circumstances. They humbly stepped out in faith and welcomed the very first family to Midland Fair Havens.

In 2001, Midland Fair Havens experienced full occupancy in its housing facilities. Referrals and requests for services continued to escalate. Recognizing the desperate need for additional housing and services, the Midland Fair Havens Board of Directors initiated the “Building a Future for Families” capital campaign.

After the building funds were raised, a transitional living community was completed in 2004. This facility houses 12 single mothers with their children and provides space for expanded services to residential and non-residential clients. With the addition of a Family Enrichment Center in 2007, the needs of single mothers and children are being met even more effectively.

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 2: Their Mission, Their Vision, Your Suoort.....

It may be early on a Saturday morning, but people are already showing their support for Fair Havens and its mission. What about you? Blogathon 2010 continues through six o'clock this afternoon, in the parking lot of the Midland H.E.B. But the mission of Fair Havens continues throughout the year, every year.


Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Their Mission
The mission of Midland Fair Havens is to equip single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Their Vision
In order to continue the mission to strengthen families and provide a brighter hope for the next generation, the vision of Midland Fair Havens is to become a single parent resource center for residential and non-residential families in the community.

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, 1: Off and Running.., er, Blogging...

Blogging for Fair Havens 2010 is under way, and we're hoping you'll come out and join the fun. Look for Jimmy Patterson up in the scissor-lift, visit with the Fair Havens staff and volunteers on the ground, and enjoy a glass of the perfect remedy for the West Texas heat - lemonade!

And, at the same time, learn more about Fair Havens and their mission ... and make a contribution in support of that mission.



Midland Fair Havens equips single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings.

Why "Fair Havens?"
The Apostle Paul took temporary shelter at a place named Fair Havens when he was faced with adverse conditions while traveling to Rome (Acts 27:8). The harbor at Fair Havens provided sanctuary for Paul as he prepared for the rest of his journey.

In a similar way, Midland Fair Havens serves as a place of refuge and restoration for single mothers as they prepare to make a better life for themselves and their children.

You are invited to learn more about Midland Fair Havens, and then consider joining them in this life-changing work.

CLICK HERE to learn more about Midland Fair Havens.
CLIC HERE to make a contribution to Midland Fair Havens.

Blogging for Fair Havens, TODAY .....

Things are up in the air for me today, as I join local writer/blogger Jimmy Patterson on the scissor lift for the 2010 edition of Blogging for Fair Havens, Saturday, August 21, in the H.E.B. parking lot, near the corner of Wadley and Midkiff streets, in Midland.

We won't be hard to find ... just look for people with computers, in a shaded platform sitting atop a scissors lift, overlooking the parking lot. What we'll be doing is working our weblogs, raising awareness and - we hope - funds for
Midland Fair Havens. In the past, other local bloggers have participated, as well, as have leaders from various facets of the community. I'm looking forward to a good time ... won't you join us?

"The mission of Midland Fair Havens is to equip single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings."

"The Apostle Paul," we are reminded, "took temporary shelter at a place named Fair Havens when he was faced with adverse conditions while traveling to Rome (Acts 27:8). The harbor at Fair Havens provided sanctuary for Paul as he prepared for the rest of his journey."

"In a similar way, Midland Fair Havens serves as a place of refuge and restoration for single mothers as they prepare to make a better life for themselves and their children."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Blogging for Fair Havens, Tomorrow .....

Things are up in the air for me tomorrow, when I join local writer/blogger Jimmy Patterson on the scissor lift for the 2010 edition of Blogging for Fair Havens, Saturday, August 21, in the H.E.B. parking lot, near the corner of Wadley and Midkiff streets, in Midland.

We won't be hard to find ... just look for people with computers, in a shaded platform sitting atop a scissors lift, overlooking the parking lot. What we'll be doing is working our weblogs, raising awareness and - we hope - funds for
Midland Fair Havens. In the past, other local bloggers have participated, as well, as have leaders from various facets of the community. I'm looking forward to a good time ... won't you join us?

"The mission of Midland Fair Havens is to equip single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings."

"The Apostle Paul," we are reminded, "took temporary shelter at a place named Fair Havens when he was faced with adverse conditions while traveling to Rome (Acts 27:8). The harbor at Fair Havens provided sanctuary for Paul as he prepared for the rest of his journey."

"In a similar way, Midland Fair Havens serves as a place of refuge and restoration for single mothers as they prepare to make a better life for themselves and their children."

Thursday, August 19, 2010

So, What Do YOU Think? .....

The change.org team, creators of Blog Action Day, are preparing for the 2010 edition, which takes place in October. They want to know what I (and all other past participants) think would make a good topic for Blog Action Day 2010 ... and I want to know what YOU think.

"What important issue do you think the world should talk about on October 15th," they ask. "Based on nominations we received during voting process for last year's topic, we've put together six potential topics for this year, outlined below ..."

Water
"The UN recently declared water to be a human right, but millions around the world still lack even the most basic access, causing widespread disease and the possibility of military conflict over access to clean water."

Human Trafficking
"From prostitution to forced labor, more than 27 million people are modern-day slaves, making human trafficking one of the most overlooked man-made tragedies in the world."

Women
"The most discriminated against group in the world isn't a minority: it's women. From inequality in schooling to reduced economic opportunities, women face a disproportionate degree of adversity all over the world."

Sustainable Food
"Industrial agriculture has overtaken the world's food supply – creating obesity in the developed world and spreading genetically modified crops and oftentimes undercutting local farmers in the developing world."

Hunger
"While many of us may take healthy, nutritious food for granted, more than 1 billion people around the world see it as an unattainable luxury."

Oceans
"Overfishing and pollution have decimated untold species of fish and other ocean life over the past few decades, and recent oil spills have shown how vulnerable aquatic life is to man-made disasters."

"Don't see an issue you're passionate about in this list? We'd love to hear about it."

... so, what do YOU think would make for a good Blog Action Day topic?

Make-Believe Midland 'Mad Man' .....

Hardly a day goes by that someone doesn't ask me, "So, what's it like working in a college PR office?" And I tell them, "It's a lot like that 'Mad Men' TV series ... except without all the hanky-panky."

See for yourself in this shot, made possible through madmenyourself.com ...

... by the way, the one in the middle, that's me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A 'Must Read' Op-Ed from the MRT .....

If you haven't yet perused today's copy of the Midland Reporter-Telegram, whether in print or online, you should ... and urge others to do so. In particular, I recommend this op-ed piece from the MRT editorial board. It's about a traditional means for elected officials (and candidates for election) to reach out to their constituents ... and about a decision by one official to bypass said means.

Speaking from my experience as a former newspaper reporter (staff and freelance) and, later, as the managing editor of a newspaper ... the MRT is spot-on in their analysis of the official's decision, and I hope that official will hear their plea to reconsider that decision.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Blogging for Fair Havens, This Weekend .....

Things are up in the air for me this weekend, when I join local writer/blogger Jimmy Patterson on the scissor lift for the 2010 edition of Blogging for Fair Havens, Saturday, August 21, in the H.E.B. parking lot, near the corner of Wadley and Midkiff streets, in Midland.

We won't be hard to find ... just look for people with computers, in a shaded platform sitting atop a scissors lift, overlooking the parking lot. What we'll be doing is working our weblogs, raising awareness and - we hope - funds for
Midland Fair Havens. In the past, other local bloggers have participated, as well, as have leaders from various facets of the community. I'm looking forward to a good time ... won't you join us?

"The mission of Midland Fair Havens is to equip single mothers and their children for self-sufficient living by addressing their educational, vocational, spiritual, and emotional needs in residential and non-residential settings."

"The Apostle Paul," we are reminded, "took temporary shelter at a place named Fair Havens when he was faced with adverse conditions while traveling to Rome (Acts 27:8). The harbor at Fair Havens provided sanctuary for Paul as he prepared for the rest of his journey."

"In a similar way, Midland Fair Havens serves as a place of refuge and restoration for single mothers as they prepare to make a better life for themselves and their children."