May 2016

May 31, 2016

Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society and the Underground Railroad in Indiana

May 31, 2016
Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society and the Underground Railroad in Indiana
The Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society was created around 1835 after the more "radical" anti-slavery advocates left the anti-slavery Decatur County Colonization Society. The DCSS being a part of The American Colonization Society.

The leadership of Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society were:

Samuel Donnell, Sr.
John C. McCoy
Thomas Hamilton
Alexander McCoy
Campbell McCoy
Samuel A. Donnell
Luther A. Donnell
Andrew Robison, Jr.
Angus C. McCoy
Cyrus Hamilton
Members of the Rankin, Anderson, and Logan families.

What was "radical" about them was that they believed slavery was a sin that the whole nation was responsible for committing and to rid the nation of that sin would be complete and immediate emancipation of the slaves. Their views led to many disagreements with their neighbors, fellow churchgoers and other lukewarm, 'relocate free-born blacks to Liberia' (the stance of the DCCS). Many times, the members of the Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society were ostracized.

The members of the Decatur County Anti-Slavery Society were heavily involved with the underground railroad. Their influence spread wide, as a main line of the underground railroad went through the eastern areas of Decatur County. Many railroad workers, from the conductors to the officers, were involved in the operation of the underground railroad in this area and the movement of escaped slaves to freedom. They kept their word, and their aiding of escaped slaves, secret and some only revealed their involvement to trusted family and friends years after the end of the Civil War. In 1850, with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Law, it only enraged and emboldened those who aided escaped slaves. So much so, it became dangerous for slave catchers to even show their face throughout free states.

Read about the "Donnell Rescue Case":

May 28, 2016

If I Could Meet Any 3 People from the Past or Present

May 28, 2016
If  I Could Meet Any 3 People from the Past or Present
Inspired by the idea posted at You can have dinner with 3 famous people (living or dead). Who are your choices and why?

My first choice of a person to meet, above everyone else, would be the historical figure Mary Jemison. What i'd do to have be able to time travel and be present at during the events of the Treaty of Big Tree. Reading recounts of the historic events, it's like i feel a connection to it and a lot of occurrences in Mary Jemison's life. I'm still reading through James Seaver's 1824 book "Narrative of the Life of Mrs. Mary Jemison". A book in which he wrote with Mary Jemison's help, visiting and interviewing her on multiple occasions. The closest I've actually been to Mary Jemison though was seeing her cabin and statue at Letchworth a couple of times, when i was teenager.


The second person i'd want to meet would be Hallee Hirsh-Martin. She was an actress who, in her own words from her Instagram bio, "Traded Los Angeles for Appalachia to raise a family and grow some soil". The first time i saw her acting was on Flight 29 Down and Wild Hearts.

Truthfully, I can't think of any current individual, outside of people that i know irl, that i have more respect for. For her to step out of that line of work and settle down into an enriching life is a respectable thing to do. She's definitely an interesting person and i enjoy reading her posts on Instagram about gathering wild foods, small farming, and all that. She and her family even live in a yurt on a mountain in North Carolina and are clearly 'bout that life'.

A photo posted by Hallee Hirsh-Martin (@halleeonearth) on


The third person i'd want to meet would have to be Cara Delevingne. After seeing her on the Good Morning Sacramento interview, in which that smug anchor that didn't understand Cara's realness and sense of humor, my respect for her grew immensely. Beyond that, she just seems so down to earth despite her achievements. She was also great in Paper Towns, regardless of it not being everyone's type of movie. The unpolished aspects of her, while in front of the media, is what's refreshing about her. All around, i just think that she'd be a fun person to know and an individual that won't allow themselves to be domesticated by society. Right up there with Juliette Lewis. Plus reading about certain things about her life in one interview of hers here, i can definitely identify with a few things in it.

I could definitely choose more than three people, each with a specific reasons, but i'm going to follow my rules and stop here.

Anyways, who are some famous figures, past or present, that you'd want to meet if you could?

May 24, 2016

Kiosks at fast food restaurants are a good thing

May 24, 2016
Kiosks at fast food restaurants are a good thing
Next up, automated food preparation.

With Wendy's plans to switch things up, voluntarily allowing Wendy's franchises to choose to install 'self-service' kiosks, it is a positive thing for their company's move towards the future. I can't blame the company for wanting to replace workers who are, at no fault of their own (well, mostly), being "helped" by self-serving "wage advocates".

It's these anti-free market types, the wage advocates, that pushed for the minimum wage to rates that are meant to purposefully bring financial harm to businesses of this sort. The free market's response is the increased automation or a customer's direct 'input' to replace the cashier. Something the vast majority of consumers see as a good thing. Just look at how much self-checkouts are used in stores by people with only a few items. The costs saved will likely lead to a increase in quality, and diversity, of the foods served at these places.

For years, I've been using kiosks at Sheetz while ordering coffee and food. Each time it's been a hassle-free experience. The kiosks are easy to use and anyone who uses a computer, a tablet or a smartphone these days should have no problem operating a kiosk. Hell, the rare individual that doesn't use any modern technology would also easily catch on. Furthermore, these kiosks are the, to use the terminology, "the wave of the future".

It's time for people to prepare for this future. Getting a job in the fast food industry was never meant to be a full-on, reliable career choice for the majority of the employees in the industry. People that'll complain about these technological developments are little more than a offshoot of Luddites of a different type.

These people need to get used to increased automation across the fast food industry as a whole and look higher and to better-paying industries or industries that won't become automated. To get upset over being replaced in such unskilled jobs should be something you see as being below you. There's still a lot of other (better) jobs out there for people to choose from. Ones that'll be far more fulfilling than working in the fast food industry. As for those who've never even worked in that industry, or haven't in a long time, their opinions are not needed.

May 23, 2016

Quick Facts about the Bradshaw Trail in California

May 23, 2016
Quick Facts about the Bradshaw Trail in California
The Bradshaw Trail, once known as the Gold Road, was a trail that gave gold prospectors and others a route to follow from San Bernardino, California to the gold deposits in the region of Ehrenberg, Arizona. It also connected Riverside County, California to a section of the Colorado River.

The trail's name comes from William David Bradshaw, a former California gold miner (a forty-niner). He helped create a trail through the area in 1862. He planned the trail since gold deposits were running low in parts of California and knew that these miners, and their families, would need to relocate to more plentiful deposits. So, the plan of the Bradshaw Trail was to give these prospectors a more direct route to La Paz, near Ehrenberg. In May of 1862 is when Bradshaw and eight men went trailblazing to create the direct route.

In its most active years, from 1862 to the latter 1870s, the Bradshaw Trail was the main trail connecting wagons and stagecoaches to the gold fields at La Paz and to other regions of Arizona.

Today though, the length of the trail has been greatly reduced and has changed in its path. As those who frequent the trail know, it's best to travel the off-road trail using a four-wheel drive vehicle, making sure that yourself, your supplies, and your vehicle are ready for the trip. Much of the trail is located within Southeastern Riverside County, with a section of it being in Imperial County. The east-west trail begins 12 miles east of North Shore near the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. The full length of the graded dirt road trail.

Find out more about the trail:

Bradshaw's Desert Trail - The Gold Road To La Paz
The Bradshaw Trail - Bureau of Land Management
Bradshaw Trail Route Map

May 20, 2016

Of Treasures and Memories of the Past - Darien Lake

May 20, 2016
Of Treasures and Memories of the Past - Darien Lake
To be honest, i don't think about the past as much as i used too. Even though many of my memories are just as clear as they happened. Right down to the names of people i haven't seen for nearly twenty years. On Facebook they're adults, but my memories of them are still as teenagers. I'm sure their memories of me are just the same, of me as a teenager.

Anyways, i saw this writing prompt asking about valued objects of my past. I suppose i could say that one "treasure" i had was a black Schoenhut toy piano. Actually, it wasn't mine but belonged to my cousins and just sat in their back room. I remember a few times in my children when i'd play with it during visits to their house. I can't think of any item that i was specifically attached to though. I'm drawing a blank here trying to think of something.

What i have a "treasured" collection of though are good memories of events that happened during my younger years. Memories from big events to even the most mundane events. Right down to where i was, every detail of a room or a place, the location of the sun at the time, the weather, the clouds, and even the wind. Plenty of these memories always seem to be out in nature or the outdoors.

Grizzely run 1
By Joeman Empire (Own work) [CC0],
via Wikimedia Commons
One such memory was in 1994 at Darien Lake. We were standing out near the southeastern area of the park and could hear Santana playing at the Performing Arts Center in the distance. According to Santana's own website, this would've been on 7/20/1994. While my siblings stayed with my mother, my cousin and i were all over the park throughout the day. At that moment though, we just stood in the parking lot or wherever watching the far off thunderstorm, whose thunder we couldn't hear, standing in the breeze and hearing the echoes of Santana's music. Being cloudy, the pavement began to cool and had that distinct smell to it. Everything felt like slow motion and almost surreal. Thinking back, it feels like a whole different era, a different epoch, a different life. What escapes me is what we were talking about, but it was probably something about video games or music. At the time, she was an influential person in my life and had introduced me to music i'd never listen to prior, including the music of Nirvana. I also remember the hours we'd spend playing Sword of Vermilion on the Genesis. That day, we must've went on Grizzly Run a million times. I remember the day at Darien Lake ending with us watching the laser light show. After that, time marched on and that day turned into a treasured memory. Just one of the endless numbers of memories that i have in my mind. The things i treasured during my youth were always like this, not treasuring the physical things as much as i treasure the good memories. Though, i suppose that's the natural mind state of most people. Treasuring memories over belongings.

May 17, 2016

Road Trip Through the South - August 1993

May 17, 2016
Road Trip Through the South -  August 1993
My first and only trip to the South was back in 1993. I was just a boy then, from a rural town in Western New York, and hadn't left left state before that year. So, yeah i was excited to take the road trip down to Florida. I'm thinking we took the trip some time in some time in August of 1993. I'll get to more about that latter.

Anyways, i have memories of us packing that maroon '86 Chrysler LeBaron full of food, drinks, crayons (mainly for my nephew), coloring books, and some games. Yeah, this was long before the days of smartphones and tablets. I remember that car clearly with its digital dashboard, hood ornament, headlight covers, and stock spoked rims.

The next morning, with my younger siblings staying at our cousins, we took off on for Florida. We stopped at the Genesee Farms Dairy Mart in Elba and then onto the thruway at Batavia. I don't remember much of the trip through much of New York State. My memory escapes me regarding most of the trip, until we were going through one of the Carolinas (probably North Carolina). It was probably some time after midnight. We were driving and, as the forecast said, the maximum of a meteor shower was occurring. I also remember something from hours before about the forecaster saying that North Carolina would be a great place to view them. I believe the meteor shower was the Perseids of August of 1993. It was cool that we were passing through the state, at precisely the right time, to view the meteor shower.

Another memory, in a different state (that i don't remember which state it was) was seeing the Three Crosses on a hill monuments and stopping off at a nearby store for a break and to get more items for the trip. A person (the cashier) quickly explained their story and also said something about a tall tale, but they didn't get into detail about that. I also remember, during a different stop, waking up and seeing my parents and my older sister were taking a rest outside this rest stop we were parked near. My nephew was still sleeping in the car at this time. I got up and remember getting some food and a can of pop from the store. Then we were back on the road. Another thing i remember is how the radio stations, through multiple states, all liked to endlessly play Sonny and Cher's, "I Got You Babe" all the time at night. A song that was nearly thirty years old by then.

Soon enough, we made it to Florida and met up at the house of my other older sister in Port St. Lucie, Florida. We spent the next day traveling around the local area and hanging out at her house. I remember waking up one morning and having King Vitamin for breakfast and talking with my sister while everyone else was outside. I remember a giant slug crawling across the concrete floor of the concrete floor of their porch and chasing lizards at night with my nephew. We also went to Jensen Beach (at least i think it was) near sundown and let the warm waves of the ocean hit us. Which was also the first time i'd ever been to the Atlantic shoreline, the other time being when i went to Boston for a school trip a couple years later. Anyways, we drove past a building with sprinklers that hit the car as we passed and over a bridge to get to the beach. Being young, it was the first time that i used one of those beach showers and remember thinking it was interesting. Though, i did know about them prior. Then we'd head back and my parents and i slept at a house of someone else we know. I remember having to cover up with a sheet, as i slept in the living room, because i didn't know how to turn the off the central air conditioning in the place. I didn't know where the controls were, so i just dealt with it. The last day, i went around my sister's house and collected more shells, a coconut, and even a lemon from her tree. We left on the trip back to New York, my parents and i, and the trip was mostly uneventful besides a few rest stops i barely remember. Somewhere the New York State border my father stopped in a parking lot, early in the morning, to take a few hour sleep. I remember going to sleep too and woke up after the sun had been up for a little more than an hour. We then left the parking lot and didn't stop until we got back home, in Elba. Unfortunately, we never thought to take photos on the trip. So all the photos and memories are inside my mind.

That night, with my siblings still at our cousins' house, we had pizza delivered from Dan's Pizza Depot. I was on a tire swing as the deliveryman pulled up and my mother had been waiting for them. I went in the house, got some pizza, and went back outside with some pizza and a notepad as my parents watched television and were resting.

I ate my pizza, watching the August sun getting ready to set, as i looked across the field and towards the woods far in the distance. The place felt quiet without my sister and nephew no longer living there. As the sun set and the summer breeze was light, that's when i wrote my first song in that long-lost notebook. I still write as a hobby, but that '90s road trip into the south was my catalyst.

The Field and Forest - Elba, New York. The Catalpa tree to the right (in the yard) is 
where the tire swing used to hang from.

May 15, 2016

Stargazer Lilies - Interesting Facts and Growing Tips

May 15, 2016
Stargazer Lilies - Interesting Facts and Growing Tips
Stargazer lilies have a different meaning for different people and different cultures. They may be representative of a memory from ones' past or simply just someone's favorite flower. Which was the story of my grandmother. Her favorite flower were lilies. Though she preferred Easter lilies.

Stargazer lilies though, they also have many meanings in other cultures. Most popularly, they represent prosperity, optimism, peace, and opportunity. They're also well-suited for adding a unique color and look amongst other flowers that you have outdoors. Besides making for great outdoors flowers, they're also good for Mother's Day gifts, baby showers, or even as gifts for many events.

Stargazer Lily

The Stargazer lily has only been an existing flower since around 1974 when the hybrid flower was created by Leslie Woodriff. More specifically, it's a hybrid of an Oriental lily. The Stargazer has a noticeable fragrance and brilliant pink petals. Another noticeable aspect of the Stargazer lily is that its flower faces upwards. That's where it gets the name 'Stargazer'.

Stargazer lilies, like other lilies, can stand up to cooler temperatures, for a period, and are very hardy even in some poorer soils. When in full bloom, they'll have a noticeable fragrance to them and add great color to your flower garden. Being perennial, they'll come back year after year and better than the year before. They bloom in the middle to late summer and enjoy full sun. Though they can also be grown in partial shade. It's also best to keep the soil around these flowers moist, but not over-watered. Mulching can also help to hold in soil moisture for the flower. Which will also help keep the roots of the flower cool and healthy.


May 13, 2016

Lawn Dogs - An Excellent Drama/Fantasy Film from 1997

May 13, 2016
Lawn Dogs - An Excellent Drama/Fantasy Film from 1997
Lawn Dogs title screen
Lawn Dogs
Source: The Rank Organization, Toledo Pictures

Lawn Dogs The Movie

Devon heading into Camelot Gardens gated community
Devon heading into Camelot Gardens
Source: The Rank Organization, Toledo Pictures
Lawn Dogs, starring Sam Rockwell and Mischa Barton as its main characters, is a drama film with a light element of fantasy and folklore. The movie is also filled with a good amount of social and cultural commentary. Commentary that even extends to the soundtrack of the film. Which includes Bruce Springsteen's, "Dancing in the Dark".

The film is about the everyday life of Trent Burns (Sam Rockwell) who is an outsider as a seasonal worker, a day laborer, in the affluent gated community of Camelot Gardens in Kentucky. Within the confines of Camelot Gardens he works odd jobs and seasonal work to get by. Some of the money he makes working in the gated community goes to help his aging, retired parents who live in a trailer park. Especially his father, who's suffering from the ill effects of food rations he ate during his time in the military during wartime. Trent saves money by living as a land squatter in a beat up trailer in the woods. A trailer that's located near the gated community where he works. Though his squatter status is more related to his inability, as an odd-job worker, to afford actual rent near where he works. Trent, like others who do outdoor work within Camelot Gardens, is treated poorly by the community's residents. Their poor treatment is, of course, due to their 'outsider' status amongst the snobbish, self-centered residents of Camelot Gardens.
Trent's trailer in the woods.
Trent's trailer in the woods.
Source: The Rank Organization, Toledo Pictures

As the film progresses, Trent meets Devon Stockard (Mischa Barton), a girl from Camelot Gardens, as she's out trying to sell cookies. Their first meeting is actually when Devon finds his trailer empty, aka Baba Yaga's house, and curiously begins to snoop around the place, . Trent arrives back home and is a bit startled when he finds her in his trailer. He steps back off the trailer steps, closes the trailer's door, and sits outside, waiting for her to come out.

As the story deepens, we find out that Devon's father is one of the more well-liked residents of Camelot Gardens. He's a social-climber of sorts, influenced by his unfaithful wife, that even uses his daughter to try to gain influence in the community. But Devon, like Trent, feels like an outsider within the confines of Camelot Gardens. Yet her reasons are a little different from Trent's.

Trent and Devon dancing at the river
Trent and Devon dancing at the river
Source: The Rank Organization,
Toledo Pictures
Partially based in that she's an outsider in her family and a new arrival to the community, she doesn't get along with the other children in the neighborhood. Nor does she ever want to. As for the adults in Camelot Gardens, she doesn't care much for them either. Throughout the film, you'll see the similarities between Trent and Devon becoming more apparent. They both enjoy the freedom of the open and don't enjoy the stifling, inclusive atmosphere of the community within those gates. A place that produces the most upstanding citizens, in illusionary terms, who are little more than modernly liberal and cultureless. Liberal in that what's done within their class, no matter how deviant or disturbed, is perfectly acceptable. But the smallest things done by those outside their "class" is completely worthy of punishment from Camelot Garden's residents.

In that, is where Devon and Trent are complete separate from the classist community. They prefer the openness of the world versus the stagnation, isolation, arrogance, and "safety" of Camelot Gardens.

Looking deeper into the story of Lawn Dogs, Devon begins to see Trent as a sort of father figure, in a way. She sees Trent as nowhere near as distant, 'normal' and cold as her robotic father. Unlike Devon's father, Trent doesn't see her as a way to get ahead in the community of Camelot Gardens. Nor does he treat her like she's a lesser person. Devon's mother, who is just as distant, treats Devon the same way her father does. Both of her parents see her as a burden but try to offset this by using her as just another way to get ahead. Not once truly caring about her hopes and needs.

Trent and Devon shouting, "This is my river!"
"This is my river!"
Source: The Rank Organization,
Toledo Pictures
Furthermore, both of Devon's parents are a bit embarrassed by her. This is because of how she differs from the residents, the children and the adults, of the community. Both of her parents have put her in a position where she's like an object to help them get to the top of the community's social circles. Due to this, Devon has a mutually distant feeling towards both of her parents and the people of the community that she's unable to relate to. She, like Trent, feels like an outcast of sorts, and in feeling alone, she wants someone to relate to. She is someone more 'free-spirited' and feels more at home in the open and unrestrained. Like Trent, she prefers the wide-open freedom to the stagnation and the false safety within the gates of Camelot Gardens.

As for Trent, it's evident that, given a few events in the film, he's looking for someone to show concern for him. That is, besides the care and concern he gets from his parents. Of course, that's now how it initially was since it was Devon who, in an unorthodox manner, introduced herself to him while she was out selling cookies.

Trent, he also looks for someone to care about and relate to. A 'girlfriend', Pam, a friend with benefits form Camelot Gardens, brushes him off on numerous occasions in the film. The brush-off happens as Trent makes it clear that he wants to get to know Pam better and be introduced to her family.

In the story line, the rejection he feels is where Devon comes in. Her character fills that void, being like a daughter to him, and makes him feel less alone in the world. When Trent brings Devon to his parents' house, it reveals a side that wants his parents to be proud of him. It's also about Trent trying to bring a little more joy and brightness into his parents' lives any way he can. Most everything he does is for his parents.

Where Trents' parents live.Trent's father has lung problems stemming from his service during the Korean War.
Trent's father with his flag and the flags of friends who lost their lives in during the Korean War.Trent and his father.
Source: The Rank Organization, Toledo Pictures

It is in these scenes where we find Trent becoming upset by the reality that his father isn't doing all that well, health-wise. Without spoilers, these scenes are definitely amongst the best of the film. After the visit to his parents, on the ride back towards Camelot Gardens, Trent begins to sees Devon as someone he can open up to about things. Devon becomes someone to talk to about his father's disease and other problems. Which are the things that Trent usually keeps bottled up because he had no one to talk and had no one, other than his parents, that took him seriously.

In this, Devon becomes like a family member, the daughter figure, and he takes on a role of being a father figure of sorts. Devon, in turn, shows her appreciation as she doesn't get that from her social-climbing father. Later on, we see that in her defense of Trent over her father, and against the others of Camelot Gardens, proving that she sees Trent as more worth protecting. Even over her own father.

Devon drifting Trent's father's flag in the windDevon let go of the American flag
Source: The Rank Organization, Toledo Pictures

When I first saw this film, some time back in the 2000, the story pulled me in from the start. Lawn Dogs was such a memorable film that even years after forgetting its name I still remembered the story. Years later, I randomly came across the film again on Hulu, on Christmas Eve of 2009, and it was like a gift i wasn't expected. Then i purchased the DVD within the following weeks.

In my opinion, Lawn Dogs is one of the films that you'll want to watch again and again. Maybe once or a few times a year. Its lesser-known status and low popularity does make it a "gem" of sorts. It is definitely a film that everyone should see at least once. It's a relatable film and is similar, especially given the base story of Trent's life, "class", and that of his parents, to many of our lives and our circumstances.

Another aspect of this film that makes it enjoyable is the simplicity of Trent's life. Yet, at the same time, his life is far from being as simple as it appears to be on the surface. The difference in his "social class" from those in Camelot Gardens has him sticking out like a sore thumb when he enters Camelot Gardens to put in a day's work. The community's residents look down on him for being blue collar. Yet, Devon sees him and looks at him, and his character, as someone new who is worth looking up to and getting to know. Almost like she sees him as a symbol of freedom in the middle of the 'prison' of Camelot Gardens. A community where her parents just happen to be the 'fine, upstanding citizens'. Even though they are anything but.

Add that to the fact that Devon doesn't identify with the kids her age in Camelot Gardens as she says, they "smell like television", only it brings out more of her dislike of the confinement in the gated community. Both Devon and Trent have a sort of resentment of how their lives are but don't let it make them bitter. In that, it is what makes their characters similar from the beginning. It's their natural need for freedom, a spirit alive in the both of them, which makes Devon and Trent very much alike.

Anyway, that's my take on the film Lawn Dogs. It's one of the rarer films that's worth seeing for those who have never seen it before. It's also likely that you'll end up wanting to watch the film more than once to take in the full story.

Lawn Dogs Soundtrack

Jubilee - Shake and Shiver
Sister Sledge - We Are Family
Carol Douglas - Doctor's Orders
Dwight Yoakam - A Thousand Miles From Nowhere
Hues Corporation - Rock The Boat
J.J. Cale - Feeling In Love
Alannah Myles - Black Velvet
Bruce Springsteen - Dancing In The Dark
Bill Monroe - In The Pines
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door

Director: John Duigan 
Writer: Naomi Wallace

Cast and Characters

Sam Rockwell
Mischa Barton
Devon Stockard
Christopher McDonald
Morton Stockard
Kathleen Quinlan
Clare Stockard
Bruce McGill
Miles Meehan
David Barry Gray
Eric Mabius
Sean Torrance
Beth Grant
Trent's Mother
Tom Aldredge
Jake (Trent's Father)
Angie Harmon
Pamela Gregory
José Orlando Araque
Salvador the Mailman
Odin and Tafekei
Trivia and External Links 

The fictional McCade County (spelling?) is where Camelot Gardens is located. Though, in some sources, the county is either McKay or Mackay. There are references to McKay near where Lawn Dogs was filmed in Kentucky. Though it sounds like "McCade" when Devon says the fictional county's name.

Sam Rockwell, Bruce McGill and Beth Grant all starred together in the 2003 film, "Matchstick Men".

Lawn Dogs was filmed in Louisville, Prospect, and Danville, Kentucky 

Film Script:

The Movie DB:

Lawn Dogs

Lawn Dogs, a 1997 drama/fantasy film, tells the story of a girl, Devon, from a gated community and Trent, who works as a laborer in the community.

Directed by: John Duigan

Sam Rockwell
Mischa Barton
Christopher McDonald
Lawn Dogs 1997 movie

May 9, 2016

At Least Two Killed by Tornadoes in South-Central Oklahoma

May 09, 2016
At Least Two Killed by Tornadoes in South-Central Oklahoma
According to reports, the two victims died during tornadoes that hit multiple areas in south-central Oklahoma. One of the victims was an elderly man in Garvin County. During the storms, many vehicles, some buildings, and trees were damaged from the high winds. The second victim lost their life in the regions of Connerville and Bromide, Oklahoma.

Elsewhere, near Wynnewood, Oklahoma, six people were trapped under debris. Tornadoes were also reported to have touched down in Lincoln, Nebraska and in Odessa, Nebraska.

Surviving Tornadoes Doesn't Have to Be a Matter of Luck
Tornado HQ - For Live Tornado Information

May 7, 2016

Best Places to Visit in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

May 07, 2016
Best Places to Visit in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky

Founding of Hopkinsville

Hopkinsville, located in Southwest Kentucky, is a city of over 32,000 residents. Settled in 1796, and officially founded in 1804, Hopkinsville offers a rich history and rich historical sites for visitors to experience. The city's first settlers were Bartholomew Wood and his wife Martha after they received 1,200 acres of land as 'reward' for his service during the Revolutionary War. Once Christian County was officially founded later that year, Bartholomew and Martha donated five acres to the newly-formed county government.

Christian County courthouse Kentucky
By Bedford at en.wikipedia (
Own work Transferred from en.wikipedia)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
From there, in 1798, development of the area was well under way, including a courthouse and jail. After a short 'fight' over what the town would be named, with one recommendation being the name of Woods' daughter Elizabeth, the town became officially known as Hopkinsville. The city was named after state representative and veteran, Samuel Hopkins.

Points of Interest in Hopkinsville

Though not exhaustive, here are some of the points of interests and places to see in and around Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

Visit the official websites of each attraction for more information.

Charles Jackson Circus Museum

A collection of circus memorabilia, including items from Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey.

Hopkinsville Museum
By Bedford at en.wikipedia
(Own work Transferred from en.wikipedia)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Pennyroyal Area Museum

Learn about Edgar Cayce (born in Hopkinsville), military heroes and local African-American history.

Woody Winfree Fire-Transportation Museum

See a collection of classic cars, buggies, an antique fire truck and more.

Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum

As a part of Fort Campbell, this museum features the history of the 101st Airborne's "Screaming Eagles" and their missions during wartime, from World War II up to Operation Desert Storm. Also displayed are military equipment, aircraft, and monuments.

Bramble & Bee Farm

Bramble & Bee Farm offers raw honey, jams and jellies, canned goods, and organic produce for sale at local shops and the local farmer's market. They also offer many products produced from honey and beeswax.

Copper Canyon Ranch

Copper Canyon is an attraction designed to look like an Old West town. Open for picnics, field trips, public visits. Seasonal events, such as their "Haunted Ghost Town" around Halloween, are open for all.

MB Roland Distillery

A Small-scale distillery that offers free tours for visitors offering taste-testing and the purchasing of their products. They produce rums, whiskeys, "True Kentucky Shine", and other alcoholic beverages.

Tie Breaker Family Aquatic Center

The Tie Breaker Family Aquatic Center is a water park that features Ripple River, a slow-moving 'river' for visitors to float down, The Splash Zone (a playground with small water slides and other equipment), and larger slides, Riptide Express, and Hurricane Alley. Also available are poolside concession stands.

Pennyroyal Scuba Blue Springs Resort

An old quarry, turned into a dive site, with water depths ranging from 5 feet to 130 feet. Scuba diving experiences are available for the beginner to the experienced divers. There are over 40 'sunken treasure' locations for divers to explore. Also available are equipment rentals, tank refills, diving classes and a service department at the dive shop.

Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park

A state park with plentiful woods surrounding it, lodging and cabins for rent, camping sites, natural trails, fishing areas on Pennyrile Lake, swimming picnic shelters, nature trails and more.

Christian County Historical Society
By Bedford at en.wikipedia (Own workTransferred from en.wikipedia) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Historic Attractions in Hopkinsville

Historic site with a memorial built for the Confederate president born in the area in 1808.

Honoring the memory of the Cherokee who died on the Trail of Tears after their forced removal from their lands. Also featured are the burial sites of Chief Fly Smith and Chief White Path.

Downtown Hopkinsville features historic homes, with detailed architecture, and many shops, businesses, and numerous other attractions and activities.

Fort Campbell Memorial Park was built in memory of the 248 soldiers, who lost their lives after their plane crashed, in 1985, shortly after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada.

Gift Shops

Blue Creek Centre 
4537 Ft. Campbell Boulevard. 
Hopkinsville, KY

100 East 6th Street
Hopkinsville, KY

4259 Fort Campbell Blvd
Hopkinsville, KY

205 Means Avenue
Hopkinsville, Kentucky

911 S Main St
Hopkinsville, Kentucky

May 4, 2016

Genesee Region State Parks in Western New York

May 04, 2016
Genesee Region State Parks in Western New York
View from Portage Viaduct
Dan Parnell at en.wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0
or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
The Genesee and Genesee Valley regions of Western New York are known for their many parks, its scenic beauty and rich history. One of the most well-known parks, Letchworth State Park, offers both an interesting history, many places of interest and miles of trails. Including the Genesee River Gorge, giving it the name "Grand Canyon of the East."
About an hour north of Letchworth is Lakeside Beach State Park and a handful of other state parks and beaches within the Genesee region. Most of which provide camping, swimming, outdoor activities and even fishing in some of the locations.

Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park is in the area of what was once the home of Mary Jemison and the Seneca. The "Grand Canyon of the East" is one of the most scenic areas in the state. The Genesee River flows through the middle of Letchworth Park with three waterfalls at different points of the river within the park. There are over 60 miles of hiking trails. Which includes specialized trails for biking, snowmobiling, skiing and horseback riding. Activities at the park include guided walks and tours, programs about nature and the local history, whitewater rafting, boating, and kayaking. There's also a pool available for swimming and hot air ballooning at the nearby, "Balloons Over Letchworth".
Not only are there plenty of spring and summer activities are Letchworth State Park but there's also winter activities for visitors. Which include cross-country skiing, snow tubing, sledding, and snowmobiling. At the Glen Iris Inn, many services are available and open to the public. Which include breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also offer rooms and reservations for special events.

Conesus Lake and Conesus Lake Public Boat Launch

Conesus Lake offers those who enjoy boating and fishing easy access to the lake with many different species of bass, trout and other fish in its waters. You can even fish from the docks. The lake is also open in the winter for ice fishing. For those looking just to visit and not go out onto the lake, there are plenty of picnic sites. For campers, there are campsites open for tents and RVs and on-site cabins, cottages and trailers available for rent.
A yearly tradition also takes place on the night of July 3rd for the 4th of July holiday. Called the "Ring of Fire", people staying at the lake light up thousands of road flares around the whole lake at dusk and shoot off fireworks. During the day, you can engage in activities beyond just fishing or having a picnic though. You can go scuba diving, water skiing, sailing or just sit back and relax if that's your thing.
Conesus Lake panorama
Benjamin D. Esham / Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0 us], via Wikimedia Commons

Darien Lakes State Park

Darien Lakes State Park, not to be confused with the theme park nearby. The park was originally called Harlow Lake and Park and was created in the summer of 1960. It provides over 150 seasonal campsites, most of which providing electric hookups for RVS and trailers. There's also a small beach at one part of the lake. Elsewhere around the park, there are rest stations, showers, playgrounds, areas for fishing, trails for hiking and horse-riding. Some of which are also open in winter for skiing and snowmobiling. For picnicking. there are two picnic shelters (requiring a reservation) and numerous picnic tables with grills nearby, including across the small bridge to Picnic Island.

Genesee Valley Greenway State Park

Genesee Valley Greenway State Park roughly follows the Genesee River. Much of the park is a trail that stretches for 90 miles along what was once the Pennsylvania Railroad path and along the Genesee Valley Canal. The trail is open to public for biking and walking. Along the trail, you'll find a few areas of historical and natural significance. Being made from the former Pennsylvania Railroad path, much of the trail is level with cinder, gravel and short grass and not just a dirt path. While passing through the Genesee Valley Greenway, you'll find plenty of environments including marshes and wetlands, woodlands, streams and river valleys, gorges, farmland, the area's long-standing villages and more. The trail also connects up with the Finger Lakes Trail, Erie Attica Trail, Lehigh Valley Trail, the Genesee River Trail and the Erie Canal Recreation Way.

Silver Lake State Park

Silver Lake State Park offers visitors a quiet day vacation getaway. There are many boat launch sites, picnic areas and restroom areas on and in the area of the parklands. But most of the park isn't developed, allowing it to keep its natural beauty. On West Lake Road, in the southwest corner of the lake, not far past Silver Lake Marine, is a boat launch open to the public. On the eastern side of the lake, there are a few boat rental businesses and public boat launch sites. The public boat launch is suited for rowboats, canoes, kayaks and small motor boats. While other sites can handle larger boats. So it's best to do a little research on the boat launch locations before visiting. The two links below provide much more information about Silver Lake and the State Park.

Oak Orchard State Marine Park

Oak Orchard State Marine Park is open from April 15th to November 1st, offering picnic areas with grills, boat launch sites, showers and restroom areas, an overlook, and many seasonal events. Events which include a car show, a series of concerts, a fishing tournament. Visitors can also reserve, in advance, the park and pavilions for events and gatherings.

Irondequoit Bay State Marine Park

Irondequoit Bay Marine park has 30 acres of land and offers fishing, boating on Lake Ontario and Irondequoit Bay. There is a small restroom area for visitors and clean out stations for boaters who visit the park. The park is open from April 1st to October 31st, 6:00 am until 8:00 PM. Besides fishing and boating, there are also geocaches located around the park.

Hamlin Beach State Park

Hamlin Beach features over 250 campsites for tents and trailers, numerous shaded picnic sites with grills and picnic tables. On the east side of the State Park is the mile-long nature trail that's for visitors. Elsewhere on the park grounds, mainly near the lakeside, are miles of hiking trails, which visitors are also permitted to use bikes on. In winter, there are numerous snowmobile and skiing trails. For those who enjoy time on the lake, or fishing, you can bring small (car-top) boats and launch them from an area on the eastern side of the park.

Lakeside Beach State Park

Lakeside Beach State Park
By The original uploader was Decumanus at
English Wikipedia [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0],
via Wikimedia Commons
Lakeside Beach State Park is a well-kept, peaceful scenic park offering 274 camping sites, miles of hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, restrooms, fishing, open playing fields and a disc golf course with 18 holes to play through. There are separate pets and no pets areas for convenience and comfort. On the grounds, there are also a few playgrounds and a camping supply store.
The downside is that there is no swimming allowed at this park but you can head to Hamlin Beach with your camping pass. Though it's about a 20-minute trip to Hamlin Beach. In winter, Lakeside offers hiking, snowmobiling and ski trails.