White Picket Fences

As of this Memorial Day Weekend, "White Picket Fences" has become a fledgling literary journal. Still with the rough edges, but not just one man's effort any more.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Tomorrow I'll have to roll up my sleeves and look under the hood of this here blog, tinker a bit, and insert the following sites as some of my newest and most favored finds:




Monday, September 26, 2005

People, how high will the natural gas prices go? Here is a chart, courtesy of georgiagasprices.com/
The good news is that now that Rita is over, and things aren't as bad as some of us feared, the oil and gas prices are already falling. Read what Bloomberg has to say on this, dated yesterday evening.

``The refining sector dodged a bullet,'' said David Pursell, a partner at Pickering Energy Partners in Houston. ``It looks like refineries are off for weeks, not months.''

Gasoline for October delivery fell 8.56 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $2 a gallon at 10:01 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices touched $2.92 a gallon on Aug. 31, the highest since trading began in 1984. Futures are 48 percent higher than a year ago.

Crude oil for November delivery fell 55 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $63.64 a barrel on the Nymex. Futures have declined 10.5 percent since touching a record $70.85 a barrel on Aug. 30, the day after Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Prices are 28 percent higher than a year ago.
Book sharing program comes to town

By jean-pierre

You may have noticed, while going about your daily rounds or errands, a book lying, seemingly forgotten or misplaced, in a place maybe where you don’t normally see books. Or it may have posted on it a yellow sticky note, reading “I’m FREE! I’m not lost! Please pick me up, read me, and help me with my journey!” If you do find this, then you have come across a “bookcrossing”, a practice for which a word has been coined, even entered into the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, back in August of 2004:

n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked up and read by others, who then do likewise.

As a matter of fact, a fact which is registered and updated constantly, as new members join the growing movement, there are now, as of the time this is being written, about 402,920 members and 2,400,032 books registered on a web site founded by a group of book lovers and internet technology professionals, among whom stands Ron Hornbaker, who describes himself as “one of the founders of BookCrossing, an incorrigible serial entrepreneur.”

“We've always liked sites like "Where's George?" ( This site tracks U.S. currency by serial number)…"PhotoTag.org" (which releases disposable cameras then tracks their whereabouts and displays the pictures taken along the way), and "GeoCaching.com" (where you can stash and search for items with GPS technology), …so we thought to ourselves, "okay, what's something else that people would have fun releasing and then tracking?" …we thought of books, which made perfect sense, since everyone (well, almost everyone) loves books. Twenty-eight mostly sleepless nights later, on April 17, 2001, BookCrossing.com was launched.”
In the time that it took to compose the last paragraph, the global membership grew by a baker’s dozen. In Georgia alone, there are about 4,294 members, including 769 in Atlanta, 145 in Savannah, 15 in Statesboro, 2 in Fort Stewart, and 3 in Glennville.
Bookcrossing, as noted above, is a grass roots activity, and what Mr. Hornbaker likes to call a real example of how to ‘think globally – act locally.’
Mr. Hornbaker adds, “The real credit for this site should go to my parents. Both school teachers, they taught me the joys of reading and learning at a very early age.”

If you do find a book which has been registered with Bookcrossing, you may have also found its number, which may be written somewhere on the inside of the front cover, or on the fly page. You may, if you wish, read the book, then send it again on its journey, by recording a journal entry on that book. Enter the URL, the web address of the journal entry page, then enter the BCID number, and leave a brief note so that others will know what's happened to the book. Maybe you're not even interested in the book, and don't plan to read it, that's okay too... you can still express that in the journal entry, along with your intentions concerning the book. Should you finish the book, or get tired of reading it, you are encouraged to pass it along to a friend, or release it into the wild for someone else to enjoy!

Supposing you do release a book, how would you know when someone finds a book I've released? The bookcrossing system will send you an email notification whenever someone makes a journal entry on a book you've released. You could also check your “Bookshelf” page on a regular basis to see all the journal entries on your books.
The percentage of books released which have been caught is a minority so far – about 20-25%, depending on where you release the book, and how well you label it. Mr. Hornbaker reminds us that “we're still very early into this project, and books travel slowly,” since it takes time to read them. He also notes that not everyone has internet access. Although Glennville now has internet access, not everyone may feel that he or she has the time or energy to get to the library, school, community center, or an internet café in a neighboring city where they can get online. But he reminds us, “The world is still a better place due to your generosity.
“Think about this: you may get an email notification 5 years from now, letting you know someone has made a journal entry on one of your books. And that someone might be halfway around the world. Imagine how excited you'll be that day, and how much you'll wish you had seeded the world with even more books over that 5 year period. Every released book, just like every message in a bottle and every note in a helium balloon, won't get caught - but the ones that do have the opportunity to brighten a day, initiate a friendship, or even change a life.”

http://www.bookcrossing.com/home This is the portal, or home page, for the Book Crossing website.

The following are the web pages for local bookcrossing groups in Georgia and the Low Country area:

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Hello! It's y'alls' turn

Here's my proposal: I would like this to be YOUR blog too. To that purpose, I'm going to be doing two things: of course, sending out word so that you can find the blog in the first place. Secondly, continuing to encourage you all to use this as your forum.

I apologize that I haven't been working harder to develop this blog and disseminate the word. I have another life, one in which I must support a wife and two children, as well as keep up payments on the mortgage, pay other bills, and try to save for our children's education and our retirement.

What's going on in your lives? Your turn to express your selves, describe your lives.
Colonel Kidd and hunters form new understanding.

From a another look at one of those issues of the Savannah Morning News, I read that the DNR and lawmakers were also involved in meetings to try to sort out the problem of what to do about dogs getting lost after hunts. Rep. Jack Kingston and DNR Director of Wildlife Resources Division, Dan Forster were there too.

For hunters who've accumulated incidents of dogs straying, the "slate is wiped clean." However, future warnings will NOT automatically be forwarded to the DNR. Instead, Col. Kidd will hold discussions with those hunters who accumulate incidents of lost dogs. "I want to hold onto that stick," the Col. told reporter Steve Corrigan.

Colonel Kidd will be reviewing the temporary measures, and intends to develop a permanent policy. Apparently, the hunters have felt frustrated by the results or lack of desired results from recent meetings with post officials.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Been back to "subbing" for schools, in Tattnall, Evans, and Long. Am being assertive in pursuing teaching work now. Was going to the Red Cross and have trained for disaster relief work, but we can't afford to take off right now. I really hate to have to admit it, but my first obligation is to my wife and kids right now.

Going running now. Hard to choose which way. North toward Claxton? No, I've done that, and besides, the young Porter just died there last weekend just across from the cemetery.

Not toward Reidsville. Just did part of that route, along the Wiregrass Trail, last Thursday evening while Annie Franck was at soccer practice.

Hmmm.... Oh, not toward Baxley. I walked that the other day when I visited my young buddy who was on leave from Iraq. O.K. I've got it. I'll go toward Sand Hill by way of the Wayne Dasher road, or whatever road that is that goes toward the Fast Track on 196 East to Gum Branch.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Chatham County and Savannah are on the look for price gouging

by jean-pierre

But they need your help. Here's the program:

The City of Savannah is reviewing an ordinance meant to stop price gouging. They will begin monitoring price gouging. When the President of the United States pronounced the state of emergency, the ordinance went into effect. City Attorney James Blackburn has stated that violating the ordinance of the city will be punishable by fine.

The County is asking residents to call the Chatham Emergency Management Agency to report any price gouging or to verify or dispell rumours. Commission Chairman Pete Liakakis has observed that Governor Perdue signed an emergency order forbidding the inflating of gas prices. Anyone caught doing this can face fines of up to $5000.00 per instance. If you think there is price gouging going on with one or more particular companies, and have evidence to offer, call 1-800-869-1123.

I thank Savannah Morning News reporter Scott M. Larson for the excellent journalism, and have taken the liberty to paraphrase from his article, "City, county wtching for price gouging," which appeared in Friday's SMN, p.31., 2 September.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Kevin Barry's come back and gone again: an interview with jean-pierre

We meet at the Huddle House, our local greasy spoon, on a sunny Monday morning, a Labor Day, when perhaps Labor is the last thing on our minds, on almost everyone's minds, except the waitress, the cooks, the manager and district manager who happens to be there checking on the business.

jp: "So, how did you spend your Birthday?"

Kevin Barry (KF): It was on the 3rd August. I turned 21 years of age.

jp: "Did (your unit) give you the day off?"

KB: "No, they didn't give me the day off. We went on a buffalo mission."

jp: "What's that?"

KB: "We went to look for IED's --improvised explosive devices-- roadside bombs. We got back around lunch time. No casualties or nothin'. Then we went to the main PX, in another camp, Camp Liberty. We went just to spend money, buy some things. Don't even remember what I bought. We came back."

That night they woke us up, and told us that Charlie Company had got hit by a suicide (car) bomber."

[At this point we're interrupted by my son, of 2 1/2 years. He's playing, looking in the mirror, amused with his own reflection).

KB: "Is he going to be all right? ... He's scaring me."

jp: "No, don't worry. He's just a normal kid (of his age)."

[At this point Deniece Strickland, district manager, asks for our ticket. I think she's going to add the whip cream and strawberries that we asked them to add to Barry's pancakes. Instead, she and manager Janet Kennedy comp our ticket. That is, they mark it as paid or something. "Deniece says it's her way of saying thanks for our paying them (the enemy, the Jihadists, the terrorists?) off for 911. We thank them, a bit abashed but grateful nonetheless.

Barry seems to be nervous around my toddler. I wonder if it's post traumatic stress. Later, I start to think he'd been high on something.

The waitress, Tish, lets me borrow her pen when I misplace mine].

jp: "How do you feel about going back" (to Iraq)?

kb: "I don't want to be a burden. ... War does things to my head. Makes me insane. That stays in Iraq,"he quickly adds, when the waitress' eyes get large in wonder. "Here, I'm a better person. I HAVE to go back. Have to bring my brothers back. They're counting on me. I don't want to let anyone down."

jp: "Tell me, honestly, does anyone resent me for getting out?"

(I had got out on a medical discharge, after I revealed that I had 50% disability rating, for feet, stomach, esophagus, and hearing. This had all been documented by doctors, physician assistants, medics, and re-examined by the Veterans' Administration. So while the rest of my unit got trained in Mississippi and NTC, then shipped out to Iraq, I remained with the rear detachment and recently got my discharge from the Guard).

kb: "No, man. SFC Jack Peterson had to get out on medical. High blood pressure. I really wish he could have gone with us. He's high speed."

kb: "Anyway, getting back to my story... Warren died in the hospital. Ganey and Gibbs died instantly. His one last wish was to see his newly born, his kids, and his wife.

"He hadn't even seen his newborn except in pictures."

jp: "What can we do?"

kb: "Pray."

jp: "What can we send? Is there anything we can send over that you guys need?"

kb: "Just send letters. Thank you letters. " At this point something in the look on his face makes me ask,

"Are you going to be all right?"

kb: Yeah. ... I lost her (my ex-girlfriend). She's not coming back to me.
...That's the worst part. I thought she could wait, but she found another man. I want her back. I love her. I never loved another woman the way I loved her."

I don't know if I'll be all right. Time will tell."

I'm havin fun now (these days on leave). I'm just glad to be alive. That's all that matters-- life."
Subscribe to citycreator
Powered by groups.yahoo.com