Saturday, August 29, 2009

Geography and Sex Offenders

1554 Walnut Avenue Antioch , antioch ca - Google Maps

Hindsight is 20 20 but wouldn't a simple Internet connection and Google Maps combined with the fact that the guy who kidnapped and imprisoned that poor California girl for 18 years was a registered sex offender have enabled the police or other authorities to rescue her sooner?  A Google mashup of locations of registered sex offenders combined with the link above would have shown something fishy going on.  Seems that local building or zoning code enforcement using the Google Maps tool would have revealed some serious code violations.  A GIS map of property lines and the image above would have shown that he was running some sort of illicit activity on part of his property.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

70th Wedding Anniversary

8/6/09
The Brown’s are a model for marriage, celebrate 70th
By Chris Bullard


While divorce rates in the U.S. hover around 50 percent, one Clarendon county couple is setting the example of long-term commitment.

Marrying at the ages of 19, Robert and Jeanette Brown will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary on Aug. 9.

How did they do it?

“That’s a question I can’t answer,” Jeanette said. “I guess it was meant to be.”

Growing up in Sumter, Robert and Jeanette met in a high school typing class.

“When we were coming up, people just met at somebody’s house,” Robert said. “The girls and boys went to different schools after a certain grade. I needed a typing class, and it was my job to lead the football team over to the girl’s school for it. We ended up sitting by each other in the class.”

“He was dating someone else at the time,” added Jeanette. “But they broke up, and I mended his heart.”

On Aug. 9, 1939, the two were married in a Lutheran church on the corner of North Washington Street and Hampton Avenue in Sumter, where a Tuomey Hospital parking garage now stands.

“There wasn’t any air conditioning in the church and the men wore white linen suites,” recalled Robert. “I remember it was so hot we were sweating through the suits and one boy had to go home and change because you could see his blue striped shorts.

“They pinned white sheets all over the pulpit and put smilax on there. It was beautiful.”

“That was the trend back then,” added Jeanette.

The couple spent their honeymoon in Washington D.C. with only $100.

CHRIS BULLARD/Manning Times
Robert and Jeanette Brown stand together on the front porch of their home on Lake Marion. The Browns, married at the age of 19, will soon celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary.

“I kept books of our money and we came home with 68 cents,” said Jeanette. “We said we didn’t live on money, but on love. But I learned that wasn’t true.”

As life continued on for the couple, they had one child, Robert Brown III. Jeanette retired from Sumter County Health Department Vital Statistics in 1978 and Robert retired as Vice President of Wachovia Bank in Sumter in 1982.

Robert III, who now lives in West Palm Beach, Fla., sees his parents as a model for maintaining a long-lived relationship.

“Mom and Dad have always enjoyed life and have many good friends in the Manning and Sumter area,” he said. “I believe their ability to enjoy the best in people and to enjoy time spent with good friends has been a part of their long marriage. In these times of marriages that only last a few years, they are a model of what a marriage contract really means.”

“As we aged we’ve gotten into a social group. We go to a breakfast club and a supper club,” said Jeanette. “We love Clarendon.”

“Our neighbors really look out for us and we live in a great community,” said Robert.

To celebrate this anniversary, many of the Brown’s friends and neighbors planned a party.

“We had a big 50th anniversary,” said Jeanette. “For our 60th anniversary there was a banner that said ‘For 60 loving years.’ I told them they spelled love wrong – it should be endure.”

The Browns now also have one grandson and three great-grandchildren. So what’s next for this enduring couple?

“We live day by day,” said Jeanette.

“We’re just going on with our plans,” added Robert. “Why stop?”

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Real Facts on Health Care Reform by AARP

AARP - Health Action Now! : Myths vs. Facts
Don't Let the Myths About Health Care Reform Scare You.

There are special interest groups trying to block progress on health care reform by using myths and scare tactics. Like the notion that health care reform would ration your care, hurt Medicare or be a government takeover. Actually, these are false statements.

All of the health care reform plans currently being debated in Congress would ensure that you and your doctor are the ones making decisions about your health. The majority of working Americans will continue to receive their health care through their employer. In addition, health care reform will strengthen Medicare by eliminating billions of dollars in waste while lowering prescription drug prices.

Throughout the debate on how to fix what's broken about our health care system, AARP pledges to help you cut through the noise and find the facts about what health care reform means for you and your family. When we see special interests using scare tactics, we'll make sure you're given the facts so you can make informed decisions about health care reform.

The following are some of the most common myths being spread about health care reform and the facts that prove them wrong – click here to watch a video by AARP on the myths and facts of reform.


Percent Generated in Vacation Mode

Vacation Mode, August 18, 2009

We were away from home from August 3rd to August 17th. During that period all electronics were unplugged except for two DVRs and the Acer Aspire One netbook that functions as the server for BBBrown.mysolarlog.com. Two inefficient non-Energy Star refrigerators were running as well as the pool pump 5 hours a day. The weather was relatively good for solar generation but the ambient temperatures were high, in the 90s. The jump in percentage generated can be clearly seen in this chart which shows daily percent generated since January 1 of this year, 2009.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Weekly Investor Round Up

Weekly Investor Round Up

Posted using ShareThis

Florida's Solar Incentives NPR Market Place

Solar energy gains ground in Florida | Marketplace From American Public Media
More on Sustainability

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Listen to the show

Solar energy gains ground in Florida

Solar Energy

Gainesville, Fla. is the first city in the country to adopt a new solar incentive program, making it profitable for an average person or business to put up solar panels and begin feeding power back to the grid. Jennifer Collins reports.



Kai Ryssdal: Gainesville, Florida sits right in the heart of the Sunshine State. It's probably best know for its powerhouse college football team, the University of Florida Gators. The city's also started attracting attention for power of a different sort. Solar energy. Panels are popping up all over the city. So are the economic benefits. Jennifer Collins has more from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plastic and water

Solutions Journal


What a strange concept. Love bottled water? Have you ever thought about the fact that thte bottles are made from oil and the water, in most cases, is just tap water? If it is truly water from distant mountain springs then oil is used to ship it all over the world. Very bizarre.