Are We offended?

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Recently it seems as if America is offended by EVERYTHING!!!. Well here you go you want to take offense to something, the flag above was flown 1776. This flag represented the 13 original colonies. Oh but from 1776 until 1861 the American flag was flown all over up until the Civil war, Which means there was slavery under this flag. Betsy Ross the maker of the flag, and George Washington who helped create this flag were both slave owners. So does this mean we should abolish the use of this flag to?. My answer is a big resounding NO!! What people do not realize the confederate flag they are complaining about is not even the original confederate flag.

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This is the Original Confederate flag, also known as the Stars and Bars. Does this look familiar?. This was the first flag captured by the Union Army. the problem with this flag on the battlefield is it was to close to the American Flag flown during battle by the Union Army. So there had to be a change so people knew who they were at war with. The Change came with the Confederate X with the stars. Not the one you see flying these days. The one they replaced it with had a white field where the Red and white bars were. Yes the white field on the flag was about white superiority. Although I do not believe in slavery or white supremacy myself I believe we are losing sight of our history.

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Above is the Confederate Battle flag that was flown on the Battle field. The X in the Corner with the White field. Now if someone flew this flag I might be a bit offended. But this is not the modern Confederate flag at all. this flag was also designed so that the two armies could tell each other apart on the battle field. The confederate army had beliefs just like the Union did. Right or Wrong it is part of history, and if we forget where we came from as a nation, we will repeat our history.

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This was the modern day Confederate flag. WHITE field removed for obvious reasons. This is NOT the same flag that flew during the Civil War. Although some people have taken this flag and used it as a symbol of hate and violence. I do not believe it even meant the same thing. they removed the part of the flag that meant that completely. It was used as a symbol of the south for many years. This whole thing went to far as to even remove the show Dukes of Hazard off the air from T.V. The General Lee Was a car we grew up with and were entertained by. Although other programs such as Hogans Heroes, The Jeffersons, All in the family were not removed off the Air. All of these programs dealt with racial tensions of some sort. George Jefferson used the word HONKY 21 times in the first season alone. Although I may not like the Jeffersons, I just do not watch it is all!. All in the family dealt with bigotry almost every episode. Sammy Davis Jr. would appear on the show and Kiss Archie Bunker on the cheek breaking down racial barriers a bit. Hogans heroes was about a Prisoner of War camp in Nazi Germany ran by buffoon Nazis. I do not like the show again because it is making fun of a very serious subject, again I can turn the channel as simple as that. I can even go as far as Threes company, Jack Tripper had to pretend to be gay, just so he could stay with 2 female room mates. He had to do this because his landlords were old fashioned, and believed that men living with women should not be done unless you were married. His landlords were always making fun of him being supposedly gay. Do you see any of these shows being removed off the air?

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Here is the American Flag flying with the Christian flag. Some people believe this flag should be removed to. there is that white field. I do not believe this flag should be removed. This is a flag that represents God and Country. No matter your belief. A flag can be flown that is why this country was once a great nation. It was a melting pot for all races, and creeds. Men worked came home and made good. I do believe if it were not for today’s modern electronics and media. We would still be a nation that would flourish. We would not have these people offended by everything just because someone tells them to be offended, and they change with the wind!!! . I am a believer in every man has the right to be equal and have their own opinion and thoughts. If you were in some countries you are not allowed to fly any flag but that nations flag. In some countries women have to cover their bodies and faces. Isis kills women who are raped because they believe it is the womans fault. Is this the type of country you want?. A nation where we are told what we can do in our spare time, and how we think? Just a thought. I hope I brought some light to this situation in our country. Only reason I wrote this today is because I saw an article about some lady politician. She decided to get a petition to change the name of a a high school, all because it was named Robert E. Lee high school. Nobody ever complained up until her. the media only covered her petition, and not that alot of students filed a separate  petition to keep the name. Again if we forget our past we repeat our past.

Thank you for reading.

Where were you when the Towers fell?

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I was reading a blog yesterday by my friend Jax Turnya Who is a model, and who works on the Mancow show in Chicago ironically enough, because he will later be involved in this story. She asked where were you on September  11, 2001? Well thinking about it it brought back many emotions sadness, anger, and my thoughts raced.

September 11th, 2001 Started out pretty ordinary all except the night before I was out with some friends, and we eventually wound out at Steak and Shake. The night progressed and I got tired so I told my friends I was going out to my car to nap for a bit, and when they were done there let me know. The morning came around and The sun had rose. My friends were still inside talking. Must have been a pretty important conversation to be up talking all night at a restaurant.

I turned on my radio, Ironically here is where Mancow Muller comes in. Mancow was on the air that morning and anyone who loves in the Chicago land area knows he has kind of a sick sense of humor, and would play jokes on his listeners and such. Well the news came across the air a plane had struck one of the World Trade Center buildings. I thought no way it was another joke but I soon realized he was not playing a joke at all.

I soon ran into Steak and Shake and told my friends I was leaving. For some reason my gut instinct told me to go home and watch the news. At that time I was staying with my Friend Jeff in Johnsburg, Illlinois. I soon got there I told Jeff to turn on the T.V that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. No sooner did we turn on the T.V, we saw the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Center.

This was no private aircraft these planes were full fledged Jumbo jets carrying fuel and passengers. America all came to the same conclusion we did this was not a random accident. This was a terrorist attack on our own soil. There had been terrorist attacks on American Soil before, but nothing of this magnitude. Reports had hijacked planes heading all over the United States. This was the first time I felt scared. Even being 70 miles from Chicago, what if they decided to hit a small town? thinking that I called my Mother and asked her if she had heard the news. If I recall she was working that day. I remember saying I love you to her at the end of the conversation, and thinking if something should happen this could be the last time I say this.

Not to long after I got off the phone with my mother reports came another plane had crashed and hit the Pentagon. We were under such high alert suddenly that the F.A.A shut down all airspace and ordered any planes to land. One more plane never laded safely an American Airlines flight that crashed in a Pennsylvania field because of some heroic Citizens everyday average Joes who had decided to take the plane back and stop an attack on another target.

We watched in an almost trance like state watching the world trade centers collapsing. It was like something you would see in a movie, but this was real. No special effects no stunt doubles. Sheer terror, undeniable sadness, and anger for terrorists who had taken several thousand lives, INNOCENT LIVES!!!

As the day moved on I stepped out for a cigarette finally. The air was still perfect blue skies, and not a car on the road, or plane in the air, not even a child playing outside. It was eerily the strangest feeling in the world to feel like you are the only person outside, and a tear finally streamed down my eye. I went into a state of shock and sat on the front porch putting my face in my hands.

The rest of the night I do not think I went outside much. I remember spending most of the day sitting watching the news. They played the collapses over and over again. Nighttime had come around I remember the bucket brigades trying to clear the rubble and find survivors. Occasionally a body was found and you would see a stretcher escorted to an ambulance with an American Flag draped on it. I had had enough and finally went to bed but knowing the world had changed forever that day.

These are my recollections of September 11th, 2001 the photo you see above is from a sign near me not to long after the attacks happened. Need I say these were the sentiments of most Americans. America Came together Democrats, Republicans, Whites, African Americans, Gays, and Straights. We had all learned we were all one people, We learned we were all Americans. We had no division lines. Sometimes I still wish we felt this way. Most of us have forgotten what it understand what it means to be American and it is only 13 years Later.

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

If you would like to read Jax Turnyas blog the site link is below!!

http://petitegirlsrock.blogspot.com/2014/09/where-were-you-that-september-day.html?spref=fb

Thank you for reading this!!!

Bald Eagles a majestic raptor!

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        So last weekend I was out at Grant Farm’s neat St. Louis, Missouri, and there it was the most beautiful bird of prey in the world, the Bald Eagle. Bald eagles are indigenous to most of North America, and normally nest in non-human populated areas along rivers, lakes, marshes, with abundant fish life. The American Bald eagle has over 700 feathers on its body, and the male of the species weighs about 9 pounds, and the female approximately 14 pounds.

        The Bald Eagle is a thing of beauty in  the air, and has soaring speeds 35-42 miles an hour, and diving speeds 75-99 miles an hour. The Bald eagle was so named not because it was bald, but because of the white coloring in the feathers on the top of its head and neck. Their diet consists of mainly fish, birds, and mammals. They have even been known to bring cats back to their nests to feed. When feeding their young usually the stronger of the the eagle offspring survive and the strongest of the nestlings will bully the weaker of the two and gain the upper hand, until the other is malnourished and eventually dies.

       Eagle nests are usually large and have a cover from the foliage of no more than 60 percent and no less than 20 percent. Eagle nests have been recorded up to 10 feet in diameter, and 20 feet deep, and weighed over a ton. The breeding pair of Eagles is the only bird that once they find a mate will stay together for life.  A Bald eagles life span in the wild is usually 20 years, and the oldest recorded eagle in the wild was 28 years old.

      The Bald Eagle is the National Bird and National Animal of the United States of America. In the late 20th Century the Bald Eagle faced Extinction from the wild, and was extremely endangered due to hunters and poachers. Now because of modern science and people willing to help they were removed from the Endangered species list July 12th, 1995, and put on the threatened list instead. It was removed from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife in the lower 48 States on June 28, 2007, and today there are over 15,000 breeding pairs alone in the United States. We should still fight to protect this beautiful bird, and all other endangered species including the African Elephant, and The Bengal Tiger.

     In order to protect such species places such as the World Wild Life fund have been set up for research and helping bring species back from the brink of extinction. If people donate to these funds or even volunteer time to help such causes, or even just make these causes known, our children, and grand children can enjoy the animals in the wild, and not just in a zoo, or in pictures in a science, or text book someplace. I urge all to please share and make sure we protect these birds and animals.

Thank you!!!

Traveling

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      I went down to Tuscola, Illinois this past week again I love going down there. most of the land is Farmland, Untouched, Or photo spectacular. Let me explain that last one photo spectacular. I mean that there are so many unique aspects old barns, old signage, or even your early 20th century brick roads. While traveling I love looking out the window seeing barns such as pictured above. I love having the little bit of puffy cloud cover, because it gives depth to the photos. As I said before I love looking at something and seeing something old as a beautiful piece of America. Driving down through central Illinois you see corn and soy. our 2 major bumper crops! It is nothing but fields for miles and I love it!. I love the open skies, the fresh air, and not smelling exhaust, and other pollutants in the air. I cannot wait to go back down there again I have tons more to photograph down there!.

American Icons the Drive-in theater

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On December 31st of 2013 A couple hundred Drive-in Screens across America might go dark simultaneously, and never see another movie played upon them again.

Honda has combined in an effort to preserve our past to give away 5 digital projectors, to 5 drive in theaters who will be voted by the American public to get them. This will only be 5 out of a little over 300 Drive-in theaters to be saved. On December 31st, 2013 film companies will stop producing 35 mm film, and all theaters will have to make the digital conversion. These digital projectors at a cost of a little over 85,000 dollars are expensive, and most Drive-in theaters being open seasonally cannot afford this conversion. The theaters depend on donations, and contests like this to survive.

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The McHenry Outdoor Theater could be one of these that close. They are in this contest. Here is the link http://projectdrivein.com/vote_111.

Here are some things that will be lost not only the experience of seeing a movie under the stars, but also packing your kids up in the car in their pajamas, eating popcorn, hotdogs, and slurping a giant Coke. We will also start to forget Americana, poodle skirts, and Friday nights with classic cars, where carhops would bring you your food!.

The Drive-in became a part of Americana, and was featured in movies like Grease, The Outsiders, and classic Tv series like Happy Days. Please help if you have a local Drive-In that needs help, please vote, or donate they need your help. If we forget our past we will be worse off in our future!

Drive-In Memories

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       Photo Above: McHenry Outdoor Theater, McHenry, Illinois

As the Sun starts to set, so does the time I knew. Growing up on Friday, or Saturday nights the parents used to get us in our pajamas, pack a couple of bags of Okee-Doke Popcorn, usually cheese and regular, and put us in the car and take us to the Cascade Drive-in, in West Chicago, Illinois. We used to go when I was real young in the 69 Camaro that was my Mom’s, or the 69 Barracuda which was my Dad’s. The Camaro was Blue with a white rag top, what a beautiful car. 

        When the upkeep got to expensive for those cars, my Mom and Dad bought an 83 Citation, It was Maroon with a Hatchback. Again they would pack us in that car, and at the Drive-in they would put the seats down, and we could lay in back. We would usually try to make it through the first movie, and sometimes on a rare occasion we would make it through the second one to.

      I remember seeing some great movies there, but before every movie they would either run a cartoon, like popeye, heckle and Jeckyl, or a Bugs bunny Cartoon. Sometimes if we were lucky they would run a Three Stooges short  until the sun set far enough down for the movie to start. This is not a practice alot of Drive-In theaters do anymore that I would love to see brought back.

       We saw such movies as Karate Kid 2, The Last Star Fighter, Space Camp, Starman, and the Three Amigos. Those days the theaters had playgrounds, of course they were monkey bars, swings and maybe 1 or 2 other items. Playrounds became a thing of the past when people became sue happy, and the playgrounds were all metal equipment. The Insurance companies basically told the theaters no more. Another sad notation in our American culture.

      Years later my family moved to the McHenry County area. It was fairly rural but the one thing we did have and still do, if we can keep it alive is the McHenry outdoor theater. I worked there 11 summers, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The crews I worked with became my summer family, and I even met my ex-wife there. Even though we wound up getting divorced we had 3 beautiful children together. My kids when they were younger would get in the car and we would take them because daddy was working, and they could watch a movie. They basically spent every summer night when they were younger at the Drive-in.

      Now the McHenry Outdoor Theater is facing its biggest challenge. It is becoming to expensive to run 35 mm film anymore, and alot of companies will not produce first run films in 35 mm format. Most theaters have now switched over to digital, and McHenry is trying to do the same. If they do not raise the money to put in Digital Projection they could be facing a grim, and heartbreaking future.

        Most Drive-ins I remember are now a thing of the past. I do not like this because people have become to lazy, and would rather spend time on their couch with cable or red box and watch movies in the comfort of their own home. I would rather be at the outdoor sitting in my car enjoying a double feature, or even a single feature because some theaters do not have double features. I want to eat popcorn, drink Coca-Cola, and eat hotdogs, pizza, and burgers.

     So far this year I have relived some of those old memories I went to the McHenry Outdoor a few weeks ago, and just last week I went to the Harvest Moon Drive-in, in Gibson City, Illinois. Harvest Moon Is a Twin Drive-in in the middle of Gods country. It is the worlds first wind powered theater, with digital projection on each screen. It has a wonderful little concession stand to.

     If you want to see the McHenry Outdoor stay open please patronize it, become a good customer. Lets not forget the Drive-In It is a good family night, and we do not want to forget the way America was. Thank you for reading this I really hope you enjoyed this!!!

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Photo above: Harvest Moon Drive-in, Gibson City, Illinois

Reflections!!!

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       When It comes to photography, I am enthralled with shooting in the city of Chicago. there is such a variety of things to shoot, and one of them is the building surfaces that reflect. I was in Chicago the other day and noticed the clouds in the blue skies, and the way the buildings reflected the blues, and the other buildings they stood next to. I started to shoot away I decided on some of the shots to get as low as possible. So I put my bag on the ground and used it as a pillow as I laid on my back to get some spectacular shots of some of these beautiful architectural wonders. So here today I sit here writing this wondering what the next spectacular shot I will see next time I am in Chicago!!!.