Prepare to enter a world of both shadow and substance

Take a journey of body, mind and spirit where you'll encounter things you won't find anywhere else.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

After The Storm

When late Spring and early Summer storms move into the Midwest, they usually move quickly and carry heavy rains, strong winds and thunder and lightning. They are beautiful and they are breath-taking. They are powerful and they are unbiased. And they can be deadly. And then just as suddenly as they appear - they are gone. Here is one from birth to death.

The first thing that usually happens is the storm front moves into the area, turning a perfectly clear sky to blackness within minutes.

Black, swirling miasmas with fingery tendrils of everchanging wisps. Stealing the day and bringing mock night.

Spilling over the calm skies until nothing but blackness remains.

A seemingly living, breathing entity who's only desire is to paint everything in onyx shrouds.

Once the front moves through, hard on it's heels come the rains. Sometimes they can be quite heavy. A couple years ago, we once got a foot of rain in less than an hour. That's what causes flash flooding and death. Fortunately, my town seems to be on higher ground. I have seen the flood waters reach the edge of my town about 2 blocks from where my house sits. So, who knows how safe we actually are?

After the rains stop falling, there is a moment when everything pauses. The winds stop crying out and the water stops coming down in torrents. A butterfly flits wildly about looking for a place of safety and lands inside the leaves of a sheltering bush before the next wave hits. If there is to be a next wave this time. Sometimes there are second, third and fourth waves. In this case, when it was over, no more cells followed.

There are subtle reminders left behind of what these storms are capable of. A jagged limb lying on the ground. Sudden puddles where once there were none. A leaf that only a moment ago was alive and clinging to a tree in the warm afternoon sun.

Sometimes high above, although there is calm at ground level, there are signs of the violence these storms can unleash. Above are some Mammatus clouds which indicate extreme winds high above. These kinds of formations are dangerous for pilots and airplanes.

Once the danger has passed, what remains of the day starts struggling to reassert itself. The sun spreads a glow that slowly infiltrates through the haze of the trailing edges of the vanishing storm clouds.

And finally, the sun comes blazing forth with the promise of a new day to come tomorrow. All is forgiven and forgotten.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Yesterday, ABC News released a story about how the "Obama administration" would be releasing information today, Monday, June 14th, 2010, that the United States government would stop sending checks of any kind and convert everything to "Direct Deposit." I reported that story to you here on this blog.
I watched 3 and a half hours of televised news today, Monday, June 14th, 2010, on four different news networks and there was not one single word mentioned about this announcement.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

You Heard It Here First!

In my June 1st, 2010 post located here, I wrote about Direct Deposit and how someday it might become the only method the government uses to pay it's citizens. How prophetic was that? Tomorrow, June 14th, 2010, the Obama administration will announce that all payments from the government will now be made to consumers electronically, i.e. "Direct Deposit." I knew it would be here eventually, but never suspected that it would come this soon. But, then, Barack Obama is on an agenda which seems to be time-sensitive, so everything is happening fast these days.
American citizens receiving payments for Social Security, unemployment insurance, veteran's benefits, IRS tax refunds, railroad retirement and government benefits will now find the money automatically deposited into their personal bank accounts. It's just like I predicted - call me clairvoyant!
Why the shift to direct deposits? According to ABC News sources, for two reasons. One, it will be easier and faster for consumers to get paid and, two, it will save taxpayers money – an estimated $303 million over the first five years and about $120 million each year after that. Do you think your taxes are likely to go down because of this maneuver? Me neither.
The article from ABC went on to say: For instance, despite repeated attempts to get recipients to convert to electronic payments, the Treasury Department still mails out more than 136 million benefit checks each year. I suppose that many checks per year means that a lot of people didn't want Direct Deposit; count me among those people. But, after all, it is America - where we have the freedom to choose which method we want. Right....? Freedom? Guess again.
Now, as part of President Obama's effort to eliminate waste and modernize government for taxpayers, that will change with Monday's announcement of a complete shift to direct deposits. Obama is changing a lot of things; and he's doing it quicker than anybody before him ever did. Oh, sure - the "Obama administration" will make it sound like they're only doing it for good reasons to help the American people, but don't let it fool you. It's his ulterior motives that have brought about the announcement and change.
"[The] announcement is a win-win for the American public because it makes government more convenient and cost-effective while generating significant savings for the country," said Office of Management and Budget director Peter Orszag. "This is precisely the type of smart, streamlined improvement that this administration is committed to making across government to boost efficiency and modernize how we do business."
That's a bunch of hogwash. What he plans on doing is eliminating the Post Office. Think about it for just a moment. If your telephone doesn't work and the internet goes down, (guess who controls the internet - the government.), just how will you communicate with loved ones or convey information from one part of the country to the other if you can't mail a letter? The ability to mail letters is one of our basic freedoms, don't let them legislate it away as simple "economizing measures."
Wake up, America! Before it's too late. If the "Obama administration" succeeds with their plans, (and who is really doing anything to stop them?), there won't be an election this November. This country, as you and I know it, will not be functioning in the way it used to. It simply won't be the United States of America any longer. Maybe in name only.
Do you want your family and loved ones to survive the coming "fundamental transformation?" You'd better start stocking up on foods that won't need refrigeration. Don't be caught without a way to feed your starving family - you owe them that much.

First Time At Mimmo's Pizza

Mimmo's Pizza is located in my hometown of Norris City, Illinois, right on Division Street. They've been open for about a year now, but I hadn't heard about them until recently. And, loving pizza like I do, it was naturally only a matter of time until I paid them a visit.

It was just before the evening dinner rush as we made our way into the cozy little restaurant. I was treating my dad out that night, so we got their early to get a good seat and enjoy the air conditioning. I'd seen their front window before, but had never been inside. And yes, I do have their delivery number memorized!

Once we were seated inside, I began to look around at the place. They had a small salad bar that I'm sure would be well-stocked during lunchtime.

The decor was nice and what you'd usually expect to find in an Italian restaurant here in the midwest of the United States. Nice, solid chairs and tables, (although our table wobbled just a little bit), and prints emblazoned with scenes of Italy, clowns and pizza chefs.

Of course the only fixture in the place I was really interested in, was the pizza oven; which I could see through the window behind the front counter. The guy rolling the dough and making the pizzas was smooth in his work and knew exactly what he was doing. I've made lots of pizzas in my days and even worked at a couple pizza parlors, so I can recognize experience when I see it.

Soon the waitress brought our orders. My father had ordered the spaghetti and meatballs, but I wanted pizza. (What else!?) So, she placed the hot pan on the table first and then brought out his spaghetti. I noticed it had some large meatballs and looked very tasty. I ordered a thin crust sausage and mushroom pizza, so I only had eyes for the pie.

Here are a couple of luscious-looking slices on my plate. They're not the first slices I took, I forgot to get a picture of those, but these are some right after I'd had a few pieces and burned the roof of my mouth. That always happens because I can't wait for it to cool properly. When the waitress had first taken our order I found out that Mimmo's only served Pepsi products. What's up with that? It seems like every pizza parlor always has Pepsi instead of Coca Cola, which is my favorite cola. It must be a conspiracy. I don't know, maybe I'll have to contact the F.B.I. to look into it. I'm certain they'll get right on it.
Now, I don't go out to eat that often, (you'd hardly know that if you're a regular reader of Photo Journey and have seen all the other restaurant critiques I've posted), so I had the brilliant idea to order a bigger pizza so that there would be some left to take home and snack on later or tomorrow. The large pizza was $10 something, but they had three larger sizes as well. The largest one, a 20" pie was only $3 more, so I figured it was a good deal. 20" was written in the same font as all the other sizes, so it didn't mean that much to me. All I was thinking was that I was about to have pizza.
Well, when the waitress laid it down on our table, I looked at it and it was huge! It took up nearly half of the tabletop! I don't think I've seen a pizza this big in 30 years:

I started eating and it was aromatic and very tasty. I can highly recommend Mimmo's if you're in the mood for pizza, pasta or subs. They offer all three. But, you know what I'll be having next time. Count on it. We finished eating about the time the place started filling up with the evening dinner crowd. We saw several people we knew, so it must be quite the popular place already. I hope everybody keeps going there and that they do a lot of local business. That will insure that Mimmo's will stay open for a long time to come. Seeing as how I live only four blocks from them, I'm sure I'll be calling their delivery service soon. We boxed up our leftovers and walked outside. Of course, I had to take one last look before saying goodbye. Be sure to look for this sign if you're ever through these parts:

One great thing about going out for pizza is that there is usually some left to box up and take home for later. Seeing as how I had ordered Pizza-zilla, there was plenty left. So, I'll be eating on this baby for awhile. One of the greatest sights mankind can ever know: