Archive for the ‘Happy New Year’ Category

>Full moon, blue moon, lunar eclipse…bring on 2010!

December 30, 2009

>If you read my column this week, which follows this post, you will see that I am optimistic about 2010.

“Twenty ten,” that just has a good sound to it.

We also get to experience a full moon, a blue moon, and for some, a lunar eclipse, on New Years Eve. How rare is that? Pretty dang rare. Blue moons, which means two full moons in a month, occur only once every 2.5 years. For it to occur on a certain day, December 31, must have special meaning.

Nancy Joy thinks so. Especially regarding the eclipse. She says it is an indication of the positive things that will happen in 2010. Among those, previously opposing forces will come together, integrate, in support of positive changes both within and outside of ourselves. I know, “blah, blah blah,” but that’s what I get from her message.

She says we are moving into an age of peace, a time of change. The biggest change is that all the energies that were rejecting this shift in 2009 will be supporting it in 2010.

Watch, and listen.

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>Western Tribune column December 30, 2009 Happy New Year

December 30, 2009

>This column appeared in the Western Tribune on December 30, 2009

Has it really been 10 years? We were all Y2Krazy in December, 1999, wondering if the world as we knew it would end when the New Year began.

Glued to our televisions, we saw the fireworks from cities that celebrated before our clocks struck midnight. Airplanes did not drop out of the sky, elevators did not trap people in skyscrapers, and those on cruise ships did not return to ports devoid of people.

We are nearing the end of the aughts (or the zeros or however this decade will be remembered), and it is going out with a whimper.

Not as bad as it could have been, had the president not instituted policies which have helped turn the economy around. The job market is stabilizing and manufacturing reports indicate the beginnings of an economic recovery.

But the most encouraging news is that both houses of congress have passed historic legislation which recognizes that all Americans have the right to affordable health care. No longer will access to health care depend on one’s financial status or the whims of an insurance executive, assuming the kinks are worked out and a bill is presented for the president to sign.

This indicates a maturing of sorts of our democracy as we become a country that recognizes how important health care is to the economy and to our national welfare.

While ten years ago we welcomed the New Year with relief, 2009 was greeted with hope. Some have spent the past year fighting everything our president has tried to do, with no regard as to the merits of the issues.

They ask, “How’s that ‘change’ you voted for working out for you?”

Much better, I believe, than the negative change we were experiencing before Barack Obama became president.

Then they grade the president on the basis of what he has accomplished during his first year, as if all of the promises he made during his campaign had to be completed during that time period. There are three years left in his first term and another four years might follow.

As 2010 begins, the positive feelings that filled the nation a year ago are returning. Just as the country is being lifted, we can begin to expect a better community as well.

Birmingham will soon have a new mayor and later in 2010 Bessemer will have the opportunity to elect new officials as well.

Happy New Year.

>Western Tribune column December 31, 2008

December 31, 2008

>Many of us are ushering in the New Year with hopes of a better 2009 in spite of the bad economic condition our county is in. This was evidenced by poor holiday sales at the mall and for the first time Santa’s sack full of toys was not overflowing as usual. At least he saved in energy costs as the reindeer did not have as heavy a load to pull last week.

Yet the mood of people regarding the future is still upbeat. It is becoming more evident that the current presidential administration has affected the mood of the country in negative ways that we did not even realize and that this mood is changing as the inauguration of our new president approaches.

With positive feelings about our country’s future and our own future, we might be more likely to stick to our resolutions for 2009. So let’s resolve to make Bessemer, and the world, a better place.

“Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.” With this thought the president-elect has asked community members to come together to help shape his health care policies. Such a meeting occurred here in Bessemer on Sunday, and our suggestions have been forwarded to the transition team as requested.

But these words can serve as inspiration to all of us and about more than just health care. The economic conditions will require that each of us continue our spirit of giving and helping past the holiday season and into the New Year.

Helping your neighbor, or a stranger, does make the world a little bit better.

After the last New Year holiday I suggested that on New Year’s Eve at the stroke of midnight that we ring bells for peace rather than fire guns into the air to celebrate, but this suggestion will not solve the problem that puts Bessemer residents on edge each year, in part because those who do not believe in gravity (bullets that go up must come down) probably do not read this column.

But some of us will ring our bells anyway, with a special zeal this year, because our hope for 2009 is so strong.

Have a safe and fun New Year’s celebration and let’s make 2009 a year when hope becomes reality.

Thoughts of Pompeii, The Iraq War, and Happy New Year

December 31, 2007

You have about 3 1/2 weeks left to see Pompeii at the Birmingham Museum of Art. We made it a family outing on Saturday, and it was a really educational but also moving exhibit.

I have one child who is a senior in high school and one who is in college. One of them studied Pompeii in school, and the other did not. They both went to public school.

The more I learn about other cultures, whether they be in the present or in the past, the more I realize that we are all alike, and we haven’t changed much in all of history. Individuals seeking comfort and luxury, subtle and not so subtle references to sex (homosexuality as well as heterosexuality). People coming together to help one another. People of different classes dying together.

And you never know how an event will affect history. There could have been a young child who died that day who might have grown to understand science and physics in the same way that Newton or Galileo did centuries later. Of course, that can be said about every young person who dies at any time. Take for instance the 3902 American service men and women who have died in Iraq. Or the 80,196 – 87,350 Iraqi citizens who have been killed since we invaded their country. (See “Facts About the War” over to the left) Think of the potential lost.

A movie that shows how a young person’s potential can be lost or found is October Sky starring a young Jake Gyllenhall as Homer Hickam, and this is the true story of the West Virginia kid who for various reasons was pressured to follow the expected path of being a coal miner, but wanted to explore rocketry instead. Has Jake Gyllenhall ever made a bad movie? I don’t think so. This one is certainly worth watching.

In fact, you could rent it today, and watch it while waiting for the New Year! Right after the Auburn Game (Chick-fil-A Bowl), you should have enough time to see the movie before the ball drops, or the bullets fall, as will happen in Bessemer and some sections of Birmingham at midnight tonight. The insane practice of shooting guns into the air to celebrate. What will the story be in tomorrow’s paper? Hopefully not one of somebody killed or injured because of this reckless practice.

Regardless of how you celebrate, be careful, and have a good time. Wait until the lead has finished falling from the sky before travelling home. Happy New Year!!!

>Thoughts of Pompeii, The Iraq War, and Happy New Year

December 31, 2007

>You have about 3 1/2 weeks left to see Pompeii at the Birmingham Museum of Art. We made it a family outing on Saturday, and it was a really educational but also moving exhibit.

I have one child who is a senior in high school and one who is in college. One of them studied Pompeii in school, and the other did not. They both went to public school.

The more I learn about other cultures, whether they be in the present or in the past, the more I realize that we are all alike, and we haven’t changed much in all of history. Individuals seeking comfort and luxury, subtle and not so subtle references to sex (homosexuality as well as heterosexuality). People coming together to help one another. People of different classes dying together.

And you never know how an event will affect history. There could have been a young child who died that day who might have grown to understand science and physics in the same way that Newton or Galileo did centuries later. Of course, that can be said about every young person who dies at any time. Take for instance the 3902 American service men and women who have died in Iraq. Or the 80,196 – 87,350 Iraqi citizens who have been killed since we invaded their country. (See “Facts About the War” over to the left) Think of the potential lost.

A movie that shows how a young person’s potential can be lost or found is October Sky starring a young Jake Gyllenhall as Homer Hickam, and this is the true story of the West Virginia kid who for various reasons was pressured to follow the expected path of being a coal miner, but wanted to explore rocketry instead. Has Jake Gyllenhall ever made a bad movie? I don’t think so. This one is certainly worth watching.

In fact, you could rent it today, and watch it while waiting for the New Year! Right after the Auburn Game (Chick-fil-A Bowl), you should have enough time to see the movie before the ball drops, or the bullets fall, as will happen in Bessemer and some sections of Birmingham at midnight tonight. The insane practice of shooting guns into the air to celebrate. What will the story be in tomorrow’s paper? Hopefully not one of somebody killed or injured because of this reckless practice.

Regardless of how you celebrate, be careful, and have a good time. Wait until the lead has finished falling from the sky before travelling home. Happy New Year!!!