Monday, November 29, 2004

GIS Helps Communicate

As a family historian, I'm very enthusiastic about maps. Today's Knoxville News-Sentinel has a great article about Geographic Information Systems and their ability to communicate data effectively. [You'll probably have to register to see the article.] However, I want to mention a few of the Web sites they mentioned in the article and describe their use to genealogists. One was the Knox County (Tennessee) GIS site. They had ward maps which would show those voting districts which roughly parallel enumeration districts on the census. Another neat site was the Geography Network which allows users to search for an area they'd like to explore and find all sorts of maps for it. I also really liked the Appalachian Trail Conference Mapping site which gives great explanations of the uses of GIS.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Mincemeat Pie, Anyone?

I'll have to admit that Mincemeat Pie is not my favorite dessert. However, this article by a columnist is very interesting. I'd rather have pumpkin, pecan, apple, or that truest of Southern pies - Sweet Potato Pie!

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Sunday Musings

We had a very interesting discussion in Sunday School this morning. We were discussing how people's abilities to resolve conflict so often turn to violence now. The point was illustrated by the Pacers-Pistons brawl, the Clemson-South Carolina field fight, and even an instance from a local high school. Then we also talked about the unsportsmanlike conduct such at the taunting on the field and how some coaches don't do anything about it - and how times have changed in that respect. We also talked about how kids are no longer in trouble at home if they get in trouble at school and how the parents blame the educators and believe everything their darlings say now even when the child's behavior is well-documented. We actually did manage to tie it into our regular lesson. However, as I was thinking about this, I also thought about something I learned this week. Our teachers can no longer teach about Thanksgiving the way it should be taught because it "doesn't meet a standard." I think it is time to change a few of the standards and get a little bit of religion back in them. Surely all religions offer some sort of Thanks. The Pilgrims were thankful for the harvest. What is wrong with teaching this? I'll probably continue this theme later.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Vols Over the Commodores

Well, my Vols certainly know how to give people cardiacs this year! They've had so many squeakers, that it isn't funny. The defense just needs a lot of help this year. We did manage to pull off a win over Vandy with our #3 quarterback at the helm. However, the game was a lot closer than it should have been. The Vols network named Parys Harrelson as player of the game, and he was one of the defensive players who did well. We get to go to the SEC championship game in Atlanta now to play Auburn in a rematch, I guess. I hope we do better than we did last time against them. I also hope we get some players healed before the big game. I'm watching the Alabama-Auburn game right now. Bama was leading at half time, but it's 3rd quarter now and Tuberville seems to have motivated his team at the half. They are leading right now 14-6.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Ban Smoking in Restaurants

I wish they would ban smoking in restaurants. There's nothing worse than having to breathe the unhealthy second-hand smoke when you are trying to eat -- not to mention the fact that I'm highly allergic to the smoke. I went to Florida back in the spring. It was so nice to be able to eat in smoke-free environments. Smoking vs. non-smoking areas in restaurants are such a joke. Ventilation is so poor in most of them that you can smell (and choke) on the smoke in the non-smoking section (not to mention the fact that in some of them the areas are adjacent and if you happen to be at the next table . . .) The harmful effects of second hand smoke are well-documented. I don't care how strong the tobacco lobby is! It's unhealthy.

Eli Gets to Play

Eli Manning is finally getting to start for the Giants this weekend! All I can say is . . . it's about time. The Mannings are great!

Spurrier & Cocky?

ESPN is verifying a report in the Tennesseean that Steve Spurrier may be headed to Columbia, SC to head up the Gamecocks after Holtz retires. Guess that means all of us Vols will now have a new team to dislike! Somehow that Florida rivalry kinda fizzled out when Spurrier was gone. It's still nice to beat those Gators, but some of the emotion of the rivalry departed when Spurrier headed to the Redskins. Of course, Holtz hasn't officially announced his retirement, but it seems he's been hinting that if they could nab Spurrier as coach that he'd call it quits.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Great Smoky Mountain Photos

I was sharing with my class today about blogging. I was using Instapundit as an example of a political blog, thinking that many of them may have seen him on the local TV station on election night as the returns were coming in. When I got to his site, he had a link to a blog with some great photos of Mt. LeConte area. We definitely have gorgeous views in this area!

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Interesting Article

I was reading the Clarion Ledger online today and ran across an article by columnist Orley Hood called "The Lesson: Our Present Is Filled with Our Past . . ." It's an interesting article where he reminiscisces about things as he sees them today.