Saturday, July 15, 2006

Comments on "Dark Star Safari"

"Dark Star Safari" is a travel book by Paul Theroux. It describes his travels from Cariro to Cape Town by train, bus, hitchhiking, canoe, etc. I like most of Paul Theroux books and I prefer his non fiction travel books. In his other books he comments on all the people and cultures he encounter in his travels. In this book he does likewise, but he is most critical of the Africa he encountered after being away from Africa for 40 years. Forty years prior to this trip he was a teacher in the Malawi bush, working for the Peace Corp. I believe most of it to be accurate in describing the countries, governments, agencies, and people in Africa.

His first page pretty much sums up his view of present day Africa; "Africa is materially more decrepit than it was when I first knew it - hungrier, poorer, less educated, more pessimistic, more corrupt, and you can't tell the politicians from the witch doctors. Africans, less esteemed than ever, seemed to me the most lied to people on earth - manipulated by their governments, burned by foreign experts, befooled by charities, and cheated at every turn. To be an African leader was to be a thief, but evangelists stole people's innocence, and self-serrving aid agencies give them false hope, which seemed worse. In reply, Africans dragged their feet or tried to emigrate, they begged, they pleaded, they demanded money and gifts with a rude, weird sense of entitlement."

If you want to have an overall sense of disdain for Africa and "aid for africa" charity groups than this is a good book, I certainly enjoyed it.

What stood out in mind as I read this book was first, African want to leave Africa and second black Americans who like to refer to themselves as African Americans do very little to help Africa. I have hear many different people in the USA whose heritage is from from England, Mexico, Japan, Costa Rico, Germany Italy France, etc say they would like to vist the county from which their family came from and quite a few have. I have never hear a Black American say "I going to Africa on my next vacation, my family and I have been there a number of times". The most visited place I have hear Black Americans going to is Las Vegas. Africa will never improve until the people who are from Africa improves it. It not up to the US government to continue to pump aid money to corrupt governments. The charity/aids groups in Africa will just continue to keep it enslaved in charity conditions.

A review of some of the on line newspapers from Africa will back up what Theroux said in his book. As easy one to start with is;
All Africa

Vienna Maryland Parade

My daughter and I went to the Vienna Maryland parade today. As you may know Vienna is celebrating being in existence for 300 years. The Village is decked out in flags and flowers. The parade restored my faith in Eastern Shore parades. Fifty percent of it was fire trucks. There was also a nice turnout of politicians. Overall tho it was a nice parade and a nice event, in spite of the heat and humidity. One of the impressive items not in the celebration was the field of sunflowers next to the new bridge on Route 50. They were at their peak for blooms.

Susan is in Venice

Susan is in Venice Italy and in a gondola.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Car Search

Delaware Auto Exchange

As I have mentioned earlier in this blog my wife got caught in the flooding in Seaford a couple of weeks back and our car developed engine problems from the water. The insurance company declared the car a total lost so we are searching for a car again. Last night we went to the Delaware Auto Exchange in Felton where they auction off vehicles. It is a fast moving place with 3 to 4 auction lanes open at once. The fumes, heat and loudspeakers make for an interesting couple of hours. They rarely take more than five minutes on a vehicle when they are auctioning it. There are some reasonable buys on vehicles that are between 5 to 7 years old. There is also a lot of junk that does not always look like junk. Some go for $300 other $15,000. You see a lot of people wandering around dazed looking trying to decide if they are going to bid or not bid on a vehicle (see photos). The place deals in cash so most people are carrying several thousand dollars in cash on them. It is also the type of place where the employees get to park close to the building and customers park where ever they can find a place.

As I said the place is fast moving, over a 2 and a half hour period they will run about 250 cars thru. Once you buy a vehicle or decide you are not going to buy anything and just want your $400 deposit back the pace slows considerably. It may take 2 hours to get the title and such squared away or close to 30 to 45 minutes to get your deposit back. Anyway we did not find the van we were looking for, so the search continues.

Jello, Mormons and Delmarva

It is the hot humid days of summer and in the summer I like Jello. It is easy to fix and inexpensive - good stuff. Always ready to mention some trivia fact, I have mentioned to my wife and daughters how Jello is a staple of life in Mormon families, none of them believe me. Back in the 60's, when I was in the service, I was stationed in Arizona. The West in general and Utah and Arizona particularly, is mainly Mormon territory. I discover that one of the key requirement of being in the Latter Day Saints Church (LDS = Mormon)is conversion of other people. Much like Jehovah Witnesses in this area, within a few minutes of talking to you a western Mormon will approach you about becoming a member of the LDS Church. Well in hopes for a convert they would occasionally invite me to a social where naturally there would be Jello. Not just a couple of bowls of Jello but I mean a Jello Buffet. Altho the major Jello color was green, they would mix with the Jello a wide range of fruits and vegetables. I think I am being creative if I slice up a banana in a bowl of Jello, but I would not even be allowed in the same room with the Jello Chefs of Utah. Now Western Mormons are different from the few Eastern Mormons we have in this area. The Western Mormon tends to be unique and more outspoken. No doubt because they are in the majority and the non-mormon are in the minority.

In looking into the Jello/ Mormon fetish I found the region of Utah and Arizona is called the "Jello Belt" and the official snack food of Utah is Jello.

Anyway some where in this post I am suppose to mention Delmarva as I have it in my title. As I recall the problem with joining the Latter Day Saints church was as someone who was not born into the church you could not become a Saint, only a member. Well that is not unlike Delmarva, if you are not born here you are merely someone living here. Even those people who moved here as an infant only a few days old and have lived their entire lfe here are looked on with suspicion. I recall overhearing a phone conversation my wife's grandmother was having about a man who moved to Pocomoke from New York and had lived in Pocomoke for 30 or so years before dieing in Pocomoke. Her phone conversation went; "you know that man from New York died the other Day".

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Delmar Water Outage

Like everyone else this morning I had no water for about an hour. This was due to problems with the pumps/alarm system. For general information this is the contents of public release statement from Delmar.

Boil Water Advisory For the Town of Delmar Wicomico County Maryland Sussex County Delaware
The Town of Delmar is issuing a precautionary boil water advisory to residents and businesses served by the Delmar water system in Wicomico & Sussex County

The Town of Delmar's distribution system lost water pressure today, July 13th, noted at 7:30 A.M. due to a malfunction of the alarm system notification of well pump failure. Contaminants may have been introducted into the water distribution system due to this loss of water pressure.

Because of the potential contamination of the drinking water in the distribution system, the Town of Delmar recommends that customers served by this water system boil the water used for cooking and drinking purposes until further notice. You are advised to bring the water to a rolling boil for at least one (1) minute, which is sufficient to ensure the water is safe to use for cooking and drinking. Boiling kills pathogens. The water should be cooled before use to prevent burns or scalding. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, making drinks, and food preparation until further notice. Tne water is safe to use for bathing and washing without boiling. The town recommends that ice made on July 13th through July 17th be discard. Tne advisory will remain in effect until further testing justifies lifting the advisory.

The Town of Delmar is closely monitoring the water quality, and will lift this advisory when sampling results indicates that the water is safe to drink.

For more information residents should call the Town of Delmar at (410) 896- 2777, 302 846 2664 or the Wicomico County Health Department at 410-749-1244.

Explorica Website Finally working

Susan in France.

The Tour Susan is on is half over and today Explorica finally got their photos posted. To say the least we are unhappy with Explorica. Part of their tour package was photos would be posted daily and we have saw none until today. Now I can go out and take a picture of broken curbing or dirty streets in Delmar and have the photo posted 15 minutes after I took the picture but this company takes 8 days to post pictures. Needless to say for the past four days we have been calling Explorica about it. You hear bad stories about tour companies and I can only hope the actual tour is going better than our complains at Explorica. Altho it will have no effect on them I am filing a Better Business Bureau complain on them.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Erika has a Birthday

Happy Birthday Erika!!

Erika turns 17 today. She lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey and she is going for her driver's license today. Just what the world needs another New Jersey driver.

Monday, July 10, 2006

The Little Princess Has a Job

Last week my daughter, Megan the little princess, started work with the Maryland District Court. After four years of college, starting a work routine has been rough for her. I think she had forgotten there was an eight O'clock that also occurred in the morning. Last week she worked three days and her body was in such shock that she had to sleep until noon Saturday to recover from it. She is counting down to payday as she (surprise) thinks she needs more shoes! With three females in the house we have so many shoes I could shoe a small third world country.

Special Joint Meeting

The Delaware and Maryland Councils meant tonight to accept and approve the hiring of three new police officers. the three officers were swore in by each Mayor. Afterwards an executive session was called to meet with the Town police force.

Police Commission Meeting July

Tonight the Delmar Police Commission had their quarterly meeting. Among the items discussed was the recommendation to hire three new police officers. I was impressed with the education of the candidates, one had a 4 year degree, another had a 2 year degree and the third had police training in the military. Hopefully that translates into doing police work.

Sussex County is ending animal control and any animals trapped will have to be transported to Kent County. The Chief recommended trying to have the Delaware animals taken to Wicomico County. I injected my comments that several years ago the Delmar animal control officer was taken animals trapped in Delaware to Wicomico County and Delaware residents could not locate their pet to reclaim them. When Short Funeral Home was trying to trap every cat in the neighborhood one of our's was trapped and taken to Georgetown SPCA where it was killed before we could locate and reclaim it.

A proposal was put out to install outside security cameras at the Town Hall, Waste Water Treatment Plant, water plant and police Building. They would be funded by Homeland security.

Diane Buckley and other peole in town felt that the police force was a reactive force, instead of a pro active force, Chief Saylor said that was because the police force was so low on manpower and in order to be proactive he would need a force of 16 officers.

Diane Buckley mentioned she had been in contact with Dan at Goodfellas and was attempting to followup on his complains on the police force.

Day In The Park Is Sept 9th

Tonight Diane Buckley swore that "Day in The Park" would occur on September 9th and there would be absolutely no resheduling.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Italy wins the World Cup

It was a great game. It is a shame when they are determined by the penalty kicks. Anyway if Ghana couldn't win I am glad Italy did. I have not heard from my daughter, Susan, as to how it was being in Paris on the day of the World Cup.