Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Colonial Hurricanes

Most of the early European settlers knew virtually nothing about hurricanes; however, they discovered the power of these storms early. Harvard Business School has a great article about colonial hurricanes. Thanks to Everything and Nothing for the Hat Tip. The article was excerpted from "Weathering the Storms: Hurricanes and Risk in the British Greater Caribbean." Business History Review, Vol. 78, No. 4, Winter 2004.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Stupid Things Preachers Say

I visited a church this morning in the Charleston area. The preacher got off to a bad start when he was doing jokes about "tourist season" and how many tourists can folks bag and so forth. If they have that many tourists, would it not stand to reason that there would be a tourist in the crowd who would feel unwelcomed by his jokes? Well, that is exactly what happened today. He was actually a pretty good speaker, but his opening remarks made me lose any respect for him. On top of that, I felt the church cold and uninviting. Hardly a person spoke up. If the preacher makes cracks like that, maybe they just hope they'll drive the tourists away. I don't think I'd visit that church again. As I was sitting there, I recalled a visit I'd made to a Mennonite Church in the heart of Amish country in Ohio which also hosts a lot of tourists. I don't recall what the subject of the pastor's message was on that particular day, but I do remember that one of his applications was that if his church members were charging locals one price and tourists another that they were doing wrong. Somehow, I don't think this Charleston area preacher would ever preach a sermon like that. He'd probably tell them to charge tourists double so they wouldn't come back. I'm sure that the Charleston area depends on tourism for a good portion of its economy. To have a pastor speak ill of the "bread and butter" of his members is unethical in my opinion.


I'm really enjoying my stay in Charleston. However, I have worn out my feet. Friday I walked all day in the historic section and downtown in Charleston. Yesterday (Saturday) we spent the day out at Magnolia Plantation & Gardens. Magnolia is a much more enjoyable plantation than Boone Hall which I had visited on another trip to Charleston. The seafood has been superb, but I've found something I like nearly as well as the seafood. I call them Charleston potatoes. It's really a baked potato with cheeses and other goodies similar to what you'd find in a loaded potato. We stopped at the cross stitch shop in Summerville on the way into town. It is a very nice shop, and I recommend it although there are some booths in the city market that have some cross stitch, you can't beat the stores that offer varieties in fibers and a full range of cross-stitching goodies.

Monday, June 06, 2005


National Genealogical Society's Conference in the States was held last week in Nashville. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the entire conference. A couple of friends shared my room at the conference hotel. This year's conference surpassed the last NGS I attended in a number of regards. The hotel was more convenient; the food options in the area were more plentiful; and the planning by local personnel was superb. Next year's conference is in Chicago!