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Happy Birthday America

GREETINGS From “Back Stage” of The Long Street BOOM Stage at Red. White, & Boom presented by The US Army, Kaplan Artists Group and Central City Recording. Sponsored by Dream Seats I needed to write that so I wouldn’t mess up the stage announcements!

It is a lil warm back here in the “artists tent” (hmm I am an “official” artist? I would settle for “talent”). But ya know what? I am happy! I don’t just mean today…I am happy PERIOD!

I am HAPPY!!! I actually yelled out the window today on the way here I AM F%*ing HAPPY!!! Don’t get me wrong this great feeling is not because everything is perfect, and it does not seem real cause I don’t have someone to share it with…but it is true I AM F%*ING HAPPY! I guess for no other than I chose to be and find a reason to be EVERYDAY when I get up!

But it is not that hard to be happy on this weekend, for me…or anyone. This is the Birthday OF THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! We should all be not only Happy we live here but THANKFULL to be in the good ole’ USA!!! From the bottom of my heart, I am truly thankful for EVERYONE who served has served and those who have give the Ultimate Sacrifice-as well as all their loved ones. This country is not perfect, much like my life…but just like my life it is full of promise and opportunity to be great and BE HAPPY!

While this is one of my favorite days of the year…it is also the year end slide (NO NOT BEING DEBBIE DOWNER). On Friday at Noon it was the 182 day of the year. Here on out it is all downhill-but while the days get shorter it is only downhill, if we let it.

This is the point of the year where we get ready for “Christmas in July” and I revisit my New Year’s Resolutions. One of those is to CLEAN MY GARAGE. Anyone wants to help….I am throwing away most stuff and not bothering with sales or finding those to give to.

But with the list…on the way to the Boom Stage I heard Toby Keith’s “My List” It hit home, we all are very busy…but must find time to do what is needed…but must find a way to complete the truly important list we all have…the one to make ourselves and others HAPPY! That list includes but is not limited to saying thanx to THE BIG DUDE ABOVE…ya know the one “In God We Trust”

Under an old brass paperweight is my list of things to do today 
Go to the bank and the hardware store, put a new lock on the cellar door 
I cross ’em off as I get ’em done but when the sun is set 
There’s still more than a few things left I haven’t got to yet 

Go for a walk, say a little prayer 
Take a deep breath of mountain air 
Put on my glove and play some catch 
It’s time that I make time for that 
Wade the shore and cast a line 
Look up a long lost friend of mine 
Sit on the porch and give my girl a kiss 
Start livin’, that’s the next thing on my list 

Wouldn’t change the course of fate but cuttin’ the grass just had to wait 
‘Cause I’ve got more important things like pushin’ my kid on the backyard swing 
I won’t break my back for a million bucks I can’t take to my grave 
So why put off for tomorrow what I could get done today 

Like go for a walk, say a little prayer 
Take a deep breath of mountain air 
Put on my glove and play some catch 
It’s time that I make time for that 
Wade the shore and cast a line 
Look up a long lost friend of mine 
Sit on the porch and give my girl a kiss 
Start livin’, that’s the next thing on my list 

Raise a little hell, laugh ’til it hurts 
Put an extra five in the plate at church 
Call up my folks just to chat 
It’s time that I make time for that 
Stay up late, then oversleep 
Show her what she means to me 
Catch up on all the things I’ve always missed 
Just start livin’, that’s the next thing on my list 

Under an old brass paperweight 
Is my list of things to do today


Also this week we celebrated what should and could be a National Holiday. At least I wish it was. With my hats, belt buckles, guns, and affection for Country Music…this week was National Hug a Cowboy Day (Insert the Big & Rich song here).

Speaking of cheesy songs…I gotta hop back on stage and rock! Hope to see y’all down here tonight (corner of Long and Hodgkinson).





Great Food, and GREAT drink specials. What goes better than Hogs with Hog?




Long St Boom Stage at Red White and Boom

presented by the U.S. Army

Friday, July 1 · 12:00pm – 11:30pm

Kaplan Artists Group LLC and Central City Recording have partnered with Red White and Boom in 2011 to bring you the entertainment for this year’s Long St. Boom Stage Presented by the U.S. Army.


You will see and hear a “WOW” factor from Columbus Ohio’s best local performers like you have never seen before!! Come early to get the best seat that you can as the view of the fireworks is PRIME from this location as well!!!


MC/DJ All Day: Matt Sexton


12:00p Alex White

1:00p Maza Blaska

2:00p Misfit Toys

3:00p The Forties

4:00p She Bears

5:00p Alleyes Path

6:00p The Compressions

7:00p Ghost Shirt

8:00p Phantods

9:00-9:45p Mr. Fahrenheit & The Lover Boys


10:30p Mr. Fahrenheit & The Lover Boys


Red White and Boom!!!





The sight from Ballpark Boom at Huntington Park


Click map to enlarge




DOWNTOWN (614-299-9221,



TIMES 10 p.m. Friday, with a

parade starting at 6



About 400,000 people on Friday will want a good view of the fireworks, some food, access to restrooms and a Downtown exit strategy.


Meeting such basic requirements during Red, White & Boom — one of the largest Independence Day fireworks displays in the Midwest — is sometimes easier said than done.


In conjunction with the fireworks at 10 p.m. Friday, some alternative experiences Downtown and nearby await.


The hosts include a ballpark, a restaurant and even a supermarket. And a movie theater plans an alternative to the prospect of a traffic snarl after the show.


Not that the Downtown riverfront isn’t the place to be.


Viewing locations recommended by Boom organizers encompass Battelle Riverfront Park and Genoa Park – and anywhere along Long Street, Nationwide Boulevard and Washington Boulevard. (Goodale Park in Victorian Village is suggested, too.)


Open for the first time since 2007, Civic Center Drive between W. Broad and W. Main Streets also offers a prime location to enjoy the fireworks.


Ballpark Boom III


Huntington Park, Neil Avenue and W. Nationwide Boulevard (614-462-5250,


TIME>> gates open at 6 p.m., with music starting at 7




The amenities at Huntington Park take on extra importance during Red, White & Boom.


“We have seats and nice concessions and nice bathrooms,” general manager Ken Schnacke said. “It’s a very comfortable setting, and you have a great view.”


As many as 8,000 people are expected at the ballpark, which faces the fireworks and shows the TV broadcast on the big screen.


Attendees will be allowed onto the field for performances by the British Invasion and Phil Dirt and the Dozers – followed by the fireworks show.


Read, White & Boom


All American Moving and Storage, 371 Maier Place (614-355-0518,


TIME>> 4:30 p.m., with dinner served from 7 to 8:30


ADMISSION>> $30, or $10 for children 5 and older, free for those younger than 5 – or $50 for couples, $65 for two adults and two children (with tickets sold at the event)


The second annual fireworks party, in a warehouse lot at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park, will also serve as a fundraiser for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


Admission fees, to benefit the Reach Out and Read program, cover music, a buffet dinner from City Barbeque, hot-air-balloon rides and family activities; beer and wine are sold.


Organizers expect about 600 participants.


“It’s your old-fashioned backyard-family-barbecue kind of feel,” said Claudia Barrett, health-literacy coordinator for the hospital.


“It’s really meant to be for everybody.”


A free shuttle from the park office will run until 8 p.m., although the road into the park will be closed when the lot is filled.


Red, White, Rhythm and Boom


Kroger, 150 W. Sycamore St. (614-340-7979)


TIME>> after the 7 p.m. closing




The Kroger store in the Brewery District adopts the “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” approach to Red, White & Boom.


With so much congestion in the area, the store will close at 7 p.m. – and a party will begin.


Musicians will play both outside and inside the recently opened Tap Room, which will sell beer and wine. Food and folding chairs will also be sold, and games and family activities will be offered.


About 2,000 partygoers showed up last year.


Those who park in the lot will have to stay until the fireworks end.


The River Club at Confluence Park


679 W. Spring St. (614-469-0000,


TIME>> doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner starting at 6


TICKETS>> $75, or $38 for ages 4 to 12, free for age 3 and younger


At the confluence of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers, the restaurant offers an ideal view of Downtown.


“The fireworks are right over the river,” general manager Tim Magee said, “and we’re right here.”


The restaurant will welcome up to 500 people for a buffet dinner and a concert by the Bill Foley Band. (Patio seating is sold out.)


When the fireworks begin, patrons flock to the windows for what Magee calls “the best view in town.”


Red, White and Popcorn!


Arena Grand Movie Theatre,


175 W. Nationwide Blvd. (614-469-5000,


TIMES>> all movies starting between 11 and 11:30 p.m.


TICKETS>> $5, or $7 for 3-D movies (with tickets sold only at the box office on Friday)


A half-million people trying to leave Downtown at the same time get stuck in their cars for a couple of hours.


They could spend the same two hours watching a movie.


More than 700 waited out the traffic last year in theaters – with the coast clear afterward.


“You leave the parking garage,” general manager Kara Bodle said, “and you’re zipping up 670 in a matter of moments instead of a matter of hours.”



Heading Downtown? Here’s a look at the entertainment scheduled for Friday. (Shows will be suspended during the fireworks.)


Children’s Park Stage


Noon: Cinderella Performing Arts Troupe; 12:50 p.m.: Ashley Fredenburg; 1:15: Janine Wightman; 2: Rory Rennick; 2:30: Columbus Children’s Show Choir; 3: Sing & Sign Chorus; 3:30: Far East Dance; 4: COSI Columbus liquid-nitrogen show; 4:15: Jivonna; 4:30: Ashley Everts; 5:30: COSI Columbus liquid-nitrogen show


Genoa Park Stage


Noon: Celebrate Kids!; 2 p.m.: “Boom’s Got Talent”; 4:30: Off the Hook; 5:30: “Songs of America” by Rich Meaty Taste; 6:30: Jared Mahone; 7:30: Blood, Sweat & Beers; 8:45 and 10:30: the DiVide


Long Street Stage


Noon: Alex White; 1 p.m.: Maza Blaska; 2: Misfit Toys; 3: the Forties; 4: She Bears; 5: Alleyes Path; 6: the Compressions; 7: Ghost Shirt; 8: Phantods; 9 and 10:30: Mr. Fahrenheit and the Loverboys


Taste of Boom Stage


3 p.m.: Fort Hayes Youth Band; 5: Dueling Pianos; 5:30: Rory Rennick; 6: James Blaque; 7: Robin Stone; 8: Bradley Gaskin; 9: Rory Rennick; 9:15 and 10:20: Winslow


343 Front Street Stage


5: Peligro 614; 7: Rock the Planet; 10:30: These Guys Live



Most local lines will provide Downtown service until about 9p.m. Friday.


One-way fare: $1.75, or 85 cents for senior citizens and for children younger than 12 and 4feet or taller, free for children shorter than 4 feet (limited to three with an adult relative).


Express service to Downtown will be offered from 5:30 to 8:30p.m. at these Park & Ride locations:


Crosswoods area: 7460 Huntington Park Dr., near I-270 and N.High Street


Dublin: 4450 Dale Dr.


Gahanna: Agler and Stygler roads


Grove City: 2321 Old Stringtown Rd.


Reynoldsburg: 2100 Birchview Dr. S.


Upper Arlington: Brandon Road between Zollinger and Ridgeview roads


Westerville: W. Main Street and Collegeview Road


Round-trip fare: $5, or $2 for senior citizens and for children younger than 12 and 4 feet or taller, free for children shorter than 4feet (limited to three with an adult relative).


Buses will leave Downtown at 10:45 and 11:30 p.m. as well as midnight from designated boarding zones.


Call 614-228-1776 or visit





Parking will be offered at Downtown lots and garages.


Parking for the disabled will be provided on these streets:


W. Gay Street between N. High and N. Front streets


W. Mound Street between S. Front and Short streets


W. Town Street between S. Front Street and Ludlow Alley


A fireworks-viewing area for people with disabilities will open at the portico of Columbia Gas, 200 Civic Center Dr.



Boating will be allowed on the Scioto River but prohibited between the first railroad bridge east of the I-71 overpass and the Broad Street bridge. Canoes and kayaks will be permitted from the Lower Olentangy launch on Nationwide Boulevard; and powerboats, from the Lower Scioto Park launch on Whittier Street. With limited parking at both, the gates will close when parking is gone.




4th of July before the Fireworks. Bring your family to Thomas Worthington High School


Thomas Worthington HS, Worthington, OH 43085

Mon: 4:00 pm      –        12:00 am

4th of July before the Fireworks.

Bring your family to Thomas Worthington High School

4pm through the Fireworks.


Parking Lot

Public Transit-COTA bus route 2X to SR-161. Buses are not scheduled to run after the fireworks.


Always a favorite of children, the Worthington-Dublin Rotary Family Picnic will provide more entertainment options for adults this year.


The annual event will run from 4 to after 10 p.m. Monday, July 4 at Thomas Worthington High School, 300 W. Dublin-Granville Road. Admission is free and families are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.


For the first time the event will feature live music. Headlining at 7:15 p.m. will be Death by Banjo, a local group described as a “conflagration of musical styles fueled by intense, driving five-string banjo.”


Other performers will include Big Al and his Capital City Players at 5:45 p.m. and the Shazzbots at 8:30 p.m.


One planned adult attraction that did not materialize this year was a beer garden located at the McConnell Arts Center, 777 Evening St.


“Evidently there’s a city ordinance (prohibiting it) that no one was aware of until recently,” said Katie McCartney, a spokeswoman for the event, adding there’s hopes of including the feature next year.


The event will kick of at 3:55 p.m. with a call to colors. At 4 p.m. the opening ceremony will begin, featuring a presentation of colors by the Sea Cadets of the Columbus Squadron, The Star Spangled Banner by Ted Oatts, and a call to arms and troop drills by Company B, 30th Ohio Volunteer Regiment.


At 4:30 p.m., Meet the Animals of the Columbus Zoo will be held.


Grilled food, including bratwurst, hamburgers and hot dogs, will be served throughout the event by the Rotary Club. There also will be a food drive to benefit the Worthington Food Pantry.


Children will have plenty of options with free games, activities, face painting and inflatable climbing walls and interactive playgrounds.


To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, re-enactments will take place, including an actor portraying President Abraham Lincoln at 6:40 p.m. A Civil War cannon will blast every 15 minutes between 8 and 10 p.m.


At sunset, Taps will be played and Oatts will sing America the Beautiful.


No Fourth of July celebration would be complete without fireworks, and Worthington’s will be provided by the city at 10 p.m. Recommended locations to watch the fireworks are the front lawn of Thomas Worthington High School and the football stadium west of the school.


The night will not commence when the oohs and ahs stop. McCartney said food and drinks will be sold and entertainment will come from a disc jockey following the fireworks.


“That will help alleviate the exit strategy,” McCartney said, alluding to traffic congestion in the area.


This is the seventh year for the event that began as a Leadership Worthington project. Event Chairman Jerry Katz said the Worthington-Dublin Rotary took over the food aspect four years ago, then a year later, took over the entire event.


“It fits our mission,” he said. “We look at this event as a community service project.”


The event is supported through sponsors such as Giant Eagle, Chesrown Chevy Town, the Waterworks, the Shops at Worthington Place and WOW!, as well as food and drink sales.


Katz said next year the event could change, but the goal is to continue expanding while making sure it remains a family event.


“We want to provide a safe, friendly place to celebrate the Fourth,” he said.




Please “suggest” “like” or become a “fan” of our new “fan page” Matty Sexton on facebook.
PLEASE check out the updated website (please let us know what you think?)


ALSO,  It is perfect weather for the pool, let me help you get into your best shape (inside and out!) Send an e-mail to for availability and specialized individual workout plans.




The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.-Confucius


If things don’t go the way you planned, assume Life is giving your plan an upgrade.




4th of July Weekend. Happy Birthday AMERICA!


JUST A GREAT SONG…about keepin “it” simple


I MAY NOT have someone but I do love my life and have found love for someone else. This song is TRUE! LOVE will turn you around!



20 questions that could change your life

Ask yourself these 20 questions every day and you could transform your life.

If you’re like most people, you became obsessed with questions around the age of two or three, and scientists now know that continuing to ask them can help keep your mind nimble however old you eventually become.

So when someone suggested I put together a list of the 20 most important questions we should all be asking ourselves, I was thrilled. Initially.

Then I became confused about which questions to ask, because of course, as I soon realized, context is everything. In terms of saving your life, the key question is, “Did I remember to fasten my seat belt?” In terms of saving money, “How much do I need to retire before I’m 90?” is a strong contender. If daily usefulness is the point, “What’ll I wear?” and “What should I eat first?” might lead the list. And for the philosophically minded, “To be or not to be?” really is the question.

Because I’m far too psychologically fragile to make sense of this subjective morass, I made the bold decision to pass the buck. The 20 questions that follow are based on “crowdsourcing,” meaning I asked a whole mess of actual, free-range women what they thought every woman should ask herself. Thanks to all of you who sent in entries via social media.

The questions included here are composites of those that were suggested most often, though I’ve mushed them together and rephrased some for brevity. Asking them today could redirect your life. Answering them every day will transform it.

1. What questions should I be asking myself?

At first I thought asking yourself what you should be asking yourself was redundant. It isn’t. Without this question, you wouldn’t ask any others, so it gets top billing. It creates an alert, thoughtful mind state, ideal for ferreting out the information you most need in every situation. Ask it frequently.

2. Is this what I want to be doing?

This very moment is, always, the only moment in which you can make changes. Knowing which changes are best for you comes, always, from assessing what you feel. Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you’re doing. If the answer is no, start noticing what you’d prefer. Thus begins the revolution.

3. Why worry?

These two words, considered sincerely, can radically reconfigure the landscape of your mind. Worry rarely leads to positive action; it’s just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it. Some psychologists say that by focusing on gratitude, we can shut down the part of the brain that worries. It actually works!

4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than I like {people}?

Feel free to switch out the words in brackets: You may like TV more than exercise, or bad boys more than nice guys, or burglary more than reading. Whatever the particulars, every woman has something she likes more than the somethings she’s supposed to like. But forcing “virtues” — trying to like people more than cupcakes — drives us to vices that offer false freedom from oppression. Stop trying to like the things you don’t like, and many vices will disappear on their own.

5. How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?

Your existence is already a factor in world history — now, what sort of factor do you want it to be? Maybe you know you’re here to create worldwide prosperity, a beautiful family, or one really excellent bagel. If your impressions are more vague, keep asking this question. Eventually you’ll glimpse clearer outlines of your destiny. Live by design, not by accident.

6. How do I want to be different because I lived in this world?

In small ways or large, your life will change the world — and in small ways or large, the world will change you. What experiences do you want to have during your brief sojourn here? Make a list. Make a vision board. Make a promise. This won’t control your future, but it will shape it.

7. Are {vegans} better people?

Again, it doesn’t have to be vegans; the brackets are for you to fill in. Substitute the virtue squad that makes you feel worst about yourself, the one you’ll never have the discipline to join, whether it’s ultra-marathoners or mothers who never raise their voices. Whatever group you’re asking about, the answer to this question is no.

8. What is my body telling me?

As I often say, my mind is a two-bit whore — by which I mean that my self-justifying brain, like any self-justifying brain, will happily absorb beliefs based on biases, ego gratification, magical thinking, or just plain error. The body knows better. It’s a wise, capable creature. It recoils from what’s bad for us, and leans into what’s good. Let it.

9. How much junk could a chic chick chuck if a chic chick could chuck junk?

I believe this question was originally posed by Lao Tzu, who also wrote, “To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.” Face it: You’d be better off without some of your relationships, many of your possessions, and most of your thoughts. Chuck your chic-chick junk, chic chick. Enlightenment awaits.

10. What’s so funny?

Adults tend to put this question to children in a homicidal-sounding snarl, which is probably why as you grew up, your laughter rate dropped from 400 times a day (for toddlers) to the grown-up daily average of 15. Regain your youth by laughing at every possible situation. Then, please, tell us what’s funny — about everyday life, about human nature, even about pain and fear. We’ll pay you anything.

11. Where am I wrong?

This might well be the most powerful question on our list — as Socrates believed, we gain our first measure of intelligence when we first admit our own ignorance. Your ego wants you to avoid noticing where you may have bad information or unworkable ideas. But you’ll gain far more capability and respect by asking where you’re wrong than by insisting you’re right.

12. What potential memories am I bartering, and is the profit worth the price?

I once read a story about a world where people sold memories the way we can sell plasma. The protagonist was an addict who’d pawned many memories for drugs but had sworn never to sell his memory of falling in love. His addiction won. Afterward he was unaware of his loss, lacking the memory he’d sold. But for the reader, the trade-off was ghastly to contemplate. Every time you choose social acceptance over your heart’s desires, or financial gain over ethics, or your comfort zone over the adventure you were born to experience, you’re making a similar deal. Don’t.

13. Am I the only one struggling not to {fart} during {yoga}?

I felt profoundly liberated when this issue was raised on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” Not everyone does yoga, but SNL reminded me that everyone dreads committing some sort of gaffe. Substitute your greatest shame-fear: crying at work, belching in church, throwing up on the prime minister of Japan. Then know you aren’t alone. Everyone worries about such faux pas, and many have committed them (well, maybe not the throwing up on PMs). Accepting this is a bold step toward mental health and a just society.

14. What do I love to practice?

Some psychologists believe that no one is born with any particular talent and that all skill is gained through practice. Studies have shown that masters are simply people who’ve practiced a skill intensely for 10,000 hours or more. That requires loving — not liking, loving — what you do. If you really want to excel, go where you’re passionate enough to practice.

15. Where could I work less and achieve more?

To maximize time spent practicing your passions, minimize everything else. These days you can find machines or human helpers to assist with almost anything. Author Timothy Ferriss “batches” job tasks into his famous “four-hour workweek.” My client Cindy has an e-mail ghostwriter. Another client, Angela, hired an assistant in the Philippines who flawlessly tracks her schedule and her investments. Get creative with available resources to find more time in your life and life in your time.

16. How can I keep myself absolutely safe?

Ask this question just to remind yourself of the answer: You can’t. Life is inherently uncertain. The way to cope with that reality is not to control and avoid your way into a rigid little demi-life, but to develop courage. Doing what you long to do, despite fear, will accomplish this.

17. Where should I break the rules?

If everyone kept all the rules, we’d still be practicing cherished traditions like child marriage, slavery, and public hangings. The way humans become humane is by assessing from the heart, rather than the rule book, where the justice of a situation lies. Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you.

18. So say I lived in that fabulous house in Tuscany, with untold wealth, a gorgeous, adoring mate, and a full staff of servants…then what?

We can get so obsessed with acquiring fabulous lives that we forget to live. When my clients ask themselves this question, they almost always discover that their “perfect life” pastimes are already available. Sharing joy with loved ones, spending time in nature, finding inner peace, writing your novel, plotting revenge — you can do all these things right now. Begin!

19. Are my thoughts hurting or healing?

Your situation may endanger your life and limbs, but only your thoughts can endanger your happiness. Telling yourself a miserable mental story about your circumstances creates suffering. Telling yourself a more positive and grateful story, studies show, increases happiness. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, choose thoughts that knit your heart together, rather than tear it apart.

20. Really truly: Is this what I want to be doing?

It’s been several seconds since you asked this. Ask it again. Not to make yourself petulant or frustrated — just to see if it’s possible to choose anything, and I mean any little thing, that would make your present experience more delightful. Thus continues the revolution.



Ohio Warriors Scholarship Fund



Support the Children of Ohio Warriors

The Ohio Warriors Scholarship Fund was created to provide

educational assistance to the children of Ohio Military Veterans

who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the war on terror.


Help support The Ohio Warriors Scholarship Fund

Prize Raffle

First Prize – 2 VIP tickets and backstage passes to Brad Paisley Concert on August 7th

Second Prize – 2 tickets to Brad Paisley concert on August 7th

Third Prize – Autographed poster of Brad Paisley


Tickets are $5 or 5 for $20

Purchase raffle tickets


The linked site is for 5 tickets. If you would like to purchase single tickets or speak with someone please use contact form below.



The longest slumber ever! A snail can sleep for three years, at a stretch.



On a pleasant weekend in March, the McGrath family invited the man who killed their son to stay. Alexander Bell-Irving’s visit wasn’t awkward or strained, but nor was anyone able to talk about what had happened two months previously.

Instead, the McGraths and their guest ate together, went to the point-to-point races and played with the three dogs that slide and scrabble through the family’s bright Kent country home. At one stage, Alexander slipped out to visit the church graveyard where his friend Benedict “Benet” McGrath is buried.

The two young men had last been together as they left a pub in Oaksey, near Marlborough, where they were celebrating the beginning of a new term at the Royal Agricultural College in Gloucestershire. After three hours of drinking, the pair climbed into Alexander’s Vauxhall Corsa and began a winding journey into driving rain. Within a few minutes, the car had swung off the road and into a tree. Alexander, 22, who was more than twice the legal limit, escaped with minor injuries. Benet, just 20, died at the scene.

For most victims’ families, Alexander’s recklessness would be enough to cut him off for ever, to say nothing of their wishing for a lengthy prison sentence. But for the McGraths, the decision to forgive was instant and instinctive.

“We never sat down and discussed it – it was a conclusion we all came to from the first moment,” says Benet’s father, Donal, a banker. “We were unanimous that what happened was a tragic accident that had already cost one life, and we would all hate to see it ruin another.”

Benet’s life was “a series of passions”, says his father, from rugby to hunting and sailing, and he was devoted to his girlfriend of two years, Fleur. A colour sergeant major in his school’s cadet force, he planned to go to Sandhurst after college.

“He was an adventurer and a romantic from another age,” says his mother, Anna. The theme from Brideshead Revisited was played at his funeral, when St Peter’s church in Hever was packed with 450 mourners, Alexander among them.

Earlier this month, Alexander asked to visit the family home for a second time. For over two hours, he and Anna sat and talked. “He started off by saying sorry. He didn’t remember the accident and I wouldn’t have asked him to describe it, because that would have been too harsh. I think he knew by then that he would go to prison and he just wanted to apologise.”

Having pleaded guilty at Swindon Crown Court to causing death by careless driving, Alexander was sentenced to serve a little under three years.

It was a sentence that might have been longer had the McGrath family not pleaded in court on his behalf. “I had to listen to all the details of the accident itself,” says Donal. “But it didn’t change our decision. We never wavered. We still wanted to support him.”

For some, it was difficult to share the clarity with which Benet’s parents and sisters Rachel, 23 and Imogen, 18, see the situation. After Donal stood before the court and in a clear voice explained that the family had no desire to see Alexander’s promising life cut short in the way Benet’s had been, a hardened defence lawyer said he had never seen anything like it in 30 years.

“Some people said: ‘They’ll just let him out on the streets to kill more people,’ ” says Anna, “but that’s absolute nonsense. When people speak to us, almost everybody says we are doing the right thing. And if they don’t” – a momentary steeliness passes over the former nursery teacher’s face – “well, we know it was right.”

The happy memories they hold of Benet helped them to confront a difficult truth: he too had been drinking and he chose to get into the car. Anna is frank on that point. “It could have been the other way around, with Benet driving and Alex as the passenger. We would never, ever condone drink-driving, but we also know what 20-year-olds are like.

“Benet’s death was not premeditated. Alex didn’t bludgeon him – it was an awful accident.”

Anna intends to visit Alexander in prison, and speaks regularly to his mother, Janet. “There’s a bond between us as mothers of young men. We both understand the situation and to fight each other would be destructive. There’s been enough destruction already.”



‘Columbo’ actor Peter Falk dies


Actor Peter Falk has died. He rose to fame as the TV police detective Lt Columbo, synonymous with dressing a creased raincoat and always wanting to know “just one more thing”.

The 83-year-old actor died peacefully at his Beverly Hills home.

Peter Falk was a renowned movie and stage actor. He earned 2 Oscar nominations in the early ’60s for his secondary roles in “Murder, Inc.” (1960) and in “Pocketful of Miracles” (1961).

He was last seen in local theatres playing a small part in the sci-fi thriller “Next”, starring Nicolas Cage. The film was released in June 2007.

The police series “Columbo” (which ran from 1971 till 2003) remains a popular series with Maltese audience. An Italian TV station is still running the episodes.



Amidst the smell of hamburgers and hot dogs, every kind of salad known to man and fireworks to cap off a day or weekend full of celebrating, we hope you take the time to remember what Independence Day is all about and take a moment to remember those who are responsible for affording us the freedoms we enjoy.


For the 235th time, The United States of America will be celebrating its birthday as part of its independence from Great Britain.


On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress and signed by many of our forefathers, including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin. This came nearly a year after the start of the Revolutionary War.



For more than two centuries Americans have enjoyed the many freedoms associated with that document and since that day, Americans have celebrated Independence Day every Fourth of July.


It is easy to take for granted the freedoms which come with the Declaration of Independence.


But for at least this one day, we hope all Americans realize the importance of it as many of us participate in annual celebrations. For some it may be enjoying a cookout with friends or family. Others might enjoy attending a baseball game, which is affectionately called “America’s Pastime.” Some may go away on a vacation to a family cottage and sit along the lake.


Others might take their children to a parade. And at night, fireworks will fill the air in many communities around the area.


There is not a wrong way to enjoy the day. After all, within the name of the document is independence. We all have the right to decide exactly how we will celebrate the day. We hope that you stop and remember the many people who fought for our freedom, as well as the many soldiers who continue to fight for our constitutional rights every day.


This weekend truly is a time to celebrate. We also hope it is done safely and wisely, and if you drink too much, do not drive. Let someone who is sober – either a friend or a cab driver – do the driving instead.


Make sure you find an outfit full of red, white and blue to show off your pride.


Hopefully Mother Nature will cooperate and this Fourth of July weekend is a memorable one.


But throughout the fun and parties, the fireworks and parades, make sure that you remember exactly why were are celebrating the oldest birthday on our soil: The United States of America.



Happy Birthday, well…”Happy Birthday”

On this day in 1859, Happy Birthday to You was first sung by Hill Sisters, but the song is apparently copywrighted until 2030. Does that mean you can’t sing it without paying the sisters? Actually it means that you can sing it, but not use it in movies, advertisements or any other profit. Royalties for the song legally should go to the Hill family, but this copywright is rarely enforced as it is one of the most popular songs in the country, if not the world.



I am off for a weekend this month…who’s in?

Zip line meets African safari at the Wilds in Muskingum County

The “zzzzzz” echoed across the valley and past the bison herd, two rhinos and a sprinkling of camels and zebras grazing in the pastures.

The animals didn’t seem to notice the new, humming sound in their environment from people shooting across steel cables stretched high above them.

The Wilds, the Muskingum County open-range habitat for endangered species, has a new adventure – a nearly mile-long zip-line course that opens to the public today.

“We’ve been trying to figure out things we can do to attract more excitement and return visits, and when you look at the topography of the rolling hills, what a great place to have a zip line,” said Tom Stalf, chief operating officer and senior vice president of the Wilds near Cumberland and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Powell.

The 2 1/2-hour course is made up of cables strung between 10 platforms built on towers or, in one case, in a chestnut oak. Participants zip one at a time from one platform to the next while dangling from a metal trolley hooked to the cable and to a harness system they wear. The trolley running over the cable creates a soft zipping sound.

At least five zip lines operate in Ohio, said Julieann Eckel, one of six co-owners of Hocking Hills Canopy Tours. The Wilds hired the Columbus company, which operates a zip line in the Hocking Hills and in Georgia, to build and operate its version.

Only a few zip lines in the country are in animal habitats, she said.

“It’s the thrill of zipping and the thrill of a safari,” Eckel said as she stood on one of the zip-line platforms during practice runs last week. She said each zip-line guide will point out the animals, explain their background and talk about the Wilds in between zips.

Each platform is 20 to 50 feet high, and the longest line – at 750 feet – is more than twice the length of a football field. Three of the lines go over lakes, and two go through trees.

Zippers travel 40 to 50mph, with each line designed so its pitch slows them down toward the end, Eckel said.

Still, participants usually need to brake themselves by pressing the palm of one hand, covered with a leather glove, onto the cable as they come in for a landing on each platform. Guides train them on a short practice zip before they climb the steps of the first platform to begin the course.

Dan Beetem, director of animal management at the Wilds, tried out the course he helped design last week and was happy to see that the trumpeter swans, Pere David’s deer and Sichuan takin far below the zip lines didn’t seem to notice.

He expects the giraffes to be more cautious; they’re being kept in another pasture until the zip-line construction is complete. They’ll be moved back to the main pasture, where the zip line is, later this week.

Stalf said the Wilds’ biologists, scientists and veterinarians investigated whether a zip-line course would hurt the animals and concluded it would not.

“The animals are content in their very large areas,” he said. “The zip line will be like when a plane flies overhead. They notice, but then they just keep eating.”

Stalf is aware that some people think a zip line doesn’t fit with the Wilds’ goal of conservation. But the facility has had trouble raising enough money to operate, and Stalf hopes this and other activities added this year, such as horseback riding and fishing, will improve the bottom line.

“If we don’t generate enough interest from guests, it’s hard to keep the facility active,” he said. “My goal is to make the Wilds sustainable.”

The zip line will operate daily through August and on weekends through October this year, in concert with the Wilds’ operating hours. Groups will be limited to eight people, with the cost at $84 per person. Some discounts are offered. Participants must be at least 10 years old and weigh at least 70 pounds.

Stalf hopes to expand the Wilds’ season next year, and the zip-line season will expand also, Eckel said.


BOOKS: Not really a Book BUT a Great Read

Well not book, but a document

Declaration of Independence

Here is the complete text of the Declaration of Independence.
The original spelling and capitalization have been retained.

(Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)

The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Take Our Declaration of Independence Quiz and Test Your Knowledge of America’s Great Freedom Document
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But
when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. –Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his assent to laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his governors to pass laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of representation in the legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved representative houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, have returned to the people at large for their exercise; the state remaining in the meantime exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavored to prevent the population of these states; for that purpose obstructing the laws for naturalization of foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migration hither, and raising the conditions of new appropriations of lands.

He has obstructed the administration of justice, by refusing his assent to laws for establishing judiciary powers.

He has made judges dependent on his will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, standing armies without the consent of our legislature.

He has affected to render the military independent of and superior to civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to their acts of pretended legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by mock trial, from punishment for any murders which they should commit on the inhabitants of these states:

For cutting off our trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing taxes on us without our consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of trial by jury:

For transporting us beyond seas to be tried for pretended offenses:

For abolishing the free system of English laws in a neighboring province, establishing therein an arbitrary government, and enlarging its boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule in these colonies:

For taking away our charters, abolishing our most valuable laws, and altering fundamentally the forms of our governments:

For suspending our own legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated government here, by declaring us out of his protection and waging war against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burned our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large armies of foreign mercenaries to complete the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of cruelty and perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow citizens taken captive on the high seas to bear arms against their country, to become the executioners of their friends and brethren, or to fall themselves by their hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavored to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian savages, whose known rule of warfare, is undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these oppressions we have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms: our repeated petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have we been wanting in attention to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, enemies in war, in peace friends.

We, therefore, the representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the name, and by the authority of the good people of these colonies, solemnly publish and declare, that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and independent states; that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do. And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.

New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton

Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samual Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry

Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery

Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott

New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris

New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark

Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross

Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean

Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton

Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton

North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn

South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton

Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton








John Lennon was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals, according to his former assistant. (Supplied Photo/WENN.COM)

John Lennon was a closet Republican, who felt a little embarrassed by his former radicalism, at the time of his death – according to the tragic Beatles star’s last personal assistant.

Fred Seaman worked alongside the music legend from 1979 to Lennon’s death at the end of 1980 and he reveals the star was a Ronald Reagan fan who enjoyed arguing with left-wing radicals who reminded him of his former self.

In new documentary Beatles Stories, Seaman tells filmmaker Seth Swirsky Lennon wasn’t the peace-loving militant fans thought he was while he was his assistant.

He says, “John, basically, made it very clear that if he were an American he would vote for Reagan because he was really sour on (Democrat) Jimmy Carter.

“He’d met Reagan back, I think, in the 70s at some sporting event… Reagan was the guy who had ordered the National Guard, I believe, to go after the young (peace) demonstrators in Berkeley, so I think that John maybe forgot about that… He did express support for Reagan, which shocked me.

“I also saw John embark in some really brutal arguments with my uncle, who’s an old-time communist… He enjoyed really provoking my uncle… Maybe he was being provocative… but it was pretty obvious to me he had moved away from his earlier radicalism.

“He was a very different person back in 1979 and 80 than he’d been when he wrote Imagine. By 1979 he looked back on that guy and was embarrassed by that guy’s naivete.”



Yankees kick Keith Olbermann to the curb on Old-Timers’ Day.

For 11 years, Olbermann was the in-stadium color commentator for the Yankees’ Old-Timers’ Day festivities, sitting alongside Bob Wolff.  However, the Yankees opted to relieve him of his duties in advance of Sunday’s event, replacing him with Suzyn Waldman.

Olbermann was informed of the switch a week ago from someone outside of the organization, and he blogged about being disappointed no one from the team told him about the switch.  The New York Post speculated that the Yankees made the switch because of the controversy caused by Olbermann on Opening Day, when he tweeted pictures of a Yankee employee sitting behind home plate relaying signals while wearing a headset.

Olbermann wasn’t certain whether that had anything to do with it:

I can’t vouch for the legitimacy of the motive described in The Post because this is the first time I’m hearing about it. But on a macro level, that does worry me in terms of the suppression of information. I might have been sitting in the stands when I tweeted the photos in question, but I saw nothing that any eagle-eyed guy in the press box couldn’t have seen (and trust me, they started looking).

There was little fallout from the Opening Day incident at the time, and GM Brian Cashman himself assured Olbermann that there was no problem with what he did.  However, it looks like Olbermann might have lost what was probably a pretty fun gig because of it.


Ugliest dog: How to congratulate this winner?

My dog is uglier than yours? Huh? Every year, owners of ugly dogs come together to celebrate hideousness in the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California.

This year’s champion: Yoda, a 14-year old half Chinese Crested and Chihuahua. Judges, very big on ugly.

For Yoda, the mix of hairless ears, frizzy fur, cloudy eye, and a protruding tongue were enough to take home the top prize of $1,000 and a series of “pet perks” at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California.

Owner Terry Schumacher said that, at first sight, she thought that 2-pound Yoda was a rat.

…Since I am now a “penguin” lover…these guys that saved this lil guy

Lost penguin more lively, eating fish post-surgery

New Zealand’s favorite penguin visitor is more lively and eating fish after undergoing endoscopic surgery Monday to remove some of the beach sand and twigs it swallowed, apparently mistaking it for snow.


Full recovery for the young emperor penguin – affectionately dubbed Happy Feet – may take months, and officials are unsure when or how it could return home to the Antarctic, about 2,000 miles (3,200 kilometers) away.


The bird was recovering well after the an endoscopy performed by one of New Zealand’s leading surgeons – for human patients.


Doctors at the Wellington Zoo guided a camera on a tube through the penguin’s swollen intestines and flushed its stomach to remove the swallowed sand and pieces of driftwood. Penguins eat snow to hydrate themselves during the harsh Antarctic winter.


To ensure the health of its newest star, the zoo brought in Wellington Hospital specialist John Wyeth to help with the procedure, New Zealand Press Association reported.


Monday’s surgery went well, and doctors removed about half of the remaining sand and several twigs from the bird’s digestive system, zoo spokeswoman Kate Baker said. Medical staff hope the rest of the debris will pass naturally, but an X-ray is scheduled for Wednesday.


“It’s positive news, but he’s definitely not out of the woods yet,” Baker said.


The penguin is now dining on fish slurry and has been standing and appearing more active than when it arrived, Baker said. The bird was moved to the zoo Friday after its health worsened on the beach.


The penguin is being housed in a room at the zoo chilled to about 46 degrees Fahrenheit (8 degrees Celsius), Baker said, and has a bed of ice on which it can sleep.


Happy Feet, nicknamed from the 2006 animated movie, was discovered last week on a North Island beach, the first spotting of an emperor in New Zealand in 44 years. Emperors typically spend their entire lives around Antarctica.


After landing on Peka Peka Beach last week, the penguin appeared health at first, but it became dehydraded, suffered heat exhaustion and was eating large amounts of sand.


What’s next for Happy Feet still remains to be decided.


Peter Simpson, the program manager of diversity for the Department of Conservation, said he is meeting with penguin experts Wednesday at the zoo to consider options. He said it’s not simply a matter of tossing the penguin back into the ocean off New Zealand’s coast.


“There’s no great rush to decide,” Simpson said. “It will most likely need more medical work over the next three months.”


Simpson said the penguin will likely remain at the zoo for that time while it recovers.


Gareth Morgan, a New Zealand investment adviser, has offered to transport the penguin back to Antarctica next February when he leads an expedition to the southern continent. But Simpson said that, while officials appreciate the offer, they may want to act before then.


Simpson said the penguin may be older than experts first thought – perhaps up to 2 1/2 years old rather than the initial estimate of 10 months. It stands about 3 feet (80 centimeters) high.


Experts still don’t know if it’s a male or female, Simpson said, although DNA samples should soon provide an answer.



North Korea blame loss to U.S. on players getting struck by lightning

A couple of second-half goals gave the U.S. a 2-0 win over North Korea and a strong start to their Women’s World Cup run. The eighth-ranked North Koreans have the youngest team in the tournament with an average age of 20. Still, their discipline and skill gave the U.S. a lot of trouble in the first half before controversial starter Lauren Cheney justified her selection by heading in the first goal in the 54th minute and defender Rachel Buehler scored a second in the 76th minute.

After the match, North Korea manager Kwang Min Kim shocked the congregated press by revealing that his side isn’t just the youngest team, but it is also the only team in the tournament that’s been struck by lightning.

“When we stayed in Pyongyang during training our players were hit by lightning, and more than five of them were hospitalised,” said coach Kim.

“Some stayed in hospital and then came to Germany later than the rest of us. The goalkeeper and the four defenders were most affected, and some midfielders as well. The physicians said the players were not capable of participating in the tournament.

“But World Cup football is the most important and significant event for a footballer, so they don’t want to think about anything but football.

“The fact that they played could be called abnormal, the result of very strong will.”

Given the secretive nature of the North Koreans, we may never know if this is true or not. The players aren’t allowed to speak to the press, their training sessions are protected by security guards and closed to outsiders, and their public appearances regularly get canceled. Plus, it is curious that Kim only mentioned this freak occurrence after his team lost.

If it is true, a lightning strike that injured four defenders and disrupted their training could explain why their back line seemed to fall apart in the second half after holding the U.S. scoreless in the first. But even if it’s not true, it’s still a tremendous excuse that others might now try in everyday life.



U.S. Veteran Faces Legal Action for Flying American Flag in Front Yard

A retired U.S. Army chaplain is being threatened with legal action for flying the American flag in his front yard, the Daily Mail reports.

Fred Quigley, 77, of Macedonia, Ohio, a minister who served active duty during the Vietnam War, has been told by the homeowners’ association that his flagpole violates the property rules.

The HOA rules state that a flag can only be displayed if affixed to the home, but that would mean Quigley would have to remove the flagpole and put up a smaller flag.

The association has offered to fly the flag at the entrance of the building development, but Quigley refused the offer.

“If they can dictate to me that I cannot fly an American flag in America, then, to me, the country is lost,” Mr. Quigley told the paper.

Quigley’s lawyer Gerald Patronite said the association has no right to stop his client.

According to the Mail, Joseph Migliorini, the representative for the homeowners’ association and former mayor of Macedonia, which is between Cleveland and Akron, said he plans to take Quigley to court if the flagpole is not removed.

Migliorini said: “We just want the rules and regulations followed. “
Members of the local American Legion post joined Quigley last week in a flag-raising ceremony in protest at the association’s policy.

Quigley said that he’s been given until Monday to remove the flag, or legal action will be taken by the association.

“As a minister and a chaplain, I have fought for people,” Quigley said. “Now I fight for myself.”

Sean Burroughs focusing on the positive

When Sean Burroughs was 12 years old, he not only threw two no-hitters while leading his Long Beach (Calif.) team to the Little League World Series championship, he also appeared on the David Letterman Show and had the wit to tell Dave and several million viewers that when he grew up, he wanted to be a gynecologist.


When Burroughs was 17, he was a first-round draft pick. When he was 20, he represented his country at the Olympics and wore a gold medal around his neck.


When Burroughs was 21, he was in the major leagues with Sports Illustrated touting him as the year’s “can’t miss” prospect. “Life is about experiencing everything you can,” he told the magazine. “I don’t know how my baseball career will go, but I know I want my life to be an adventure.”

Sean Burroughs hit .250 in 24 at-bats for the Diamondbacks before he was sent back to the minor leagues earlier this month.

And by the time Burroughs was 29, he was out of baseball, checking in and out of the cheapest motels he could find, wandering the streets of Las Vegas at all hours and abusing every substance he could ingest. He says he was living a “Leaving Las Vegas” existence, a reference to the Oscar-winning and thoroughly depressing Nicolas Cage movie about a man who commits lengthy suicide via alcohol abuse. There was no Academy Award for this lifestyle, though. Burroughs says he was so desperate and paranoid that if you picked a couple particularly bad days in 2010, you could find this Little League hero, this Olympic gold medalist, this former big leaguer … eating cheeseburgers out of garbage cans. Yes, garbage cans.


Life certainly had been an experience.


Fortunately, that is not the amazing part of the Sean Burroughs story. No, the amazing and happy part of the story is that at age 30, Burroughs has put the wheels back on his life, returned to sobriety and is back in baseball, including a month in the majors.


“Last May, June, I kind of was getting things back together and thinking, ‘I’d love to play baseball again,’ but it was in the back of my mind because I didn’t know how to do it,” Burroughs said. “I knew it would be a long journey, but it shows when I put my mind to something and want it and persevere, it’s possible. It really is. It’s incredible I’m where I’m at. People are lucky to even have me alive, forget to see me play baseball and smiling every day. My worst day now is better than my best day then.”


Burroughs said this recently in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ clubhouse, one month into a big league callup. The Diamondbacks sent him to Triple-A Reno a few days later but given the journey he had made, few people could ever be so satisfied playing in the minor leagues.


“It’s been an incredible journey. It really has,” Burroughs said. “It was just a year ago I was eating cheeseburgers out of garbage cans and living in Motel 6. I’d be shuffling around from hotel to hotel. On the streets until 4 in the morning. These were rat motels, we called them, ones that weren’t very nice. That was a year ago — then fast forward and I’ve got everything back together.”


When he was younger, Burroughs indeed had everything together. Son of 1974 American League MVP Jeff Burroughs, he was the most famous Little Leaguer this side of Kelly Leak. With his dad coaching, his Long Beach team won the Little League World Series in 1993 (and also was awarded the 1992 title after a forfeit by a team from the Philippines).


Unlike many Little League stars, Burroughs continued to excel at the game. He was the San Diego Padres’ first-round pick in 1998, a gold medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and in the majors in 2002. Baseball America named him the fourth-best prospect in the game that year. Burroughs hit .286 with seven home runs his first full season in the majors (2003) and Arizona general manager Kevin Towers, who was the general manager in San Diego at the time, says he remembers talk that Burroughs “was the next Tony Gwynn.”


Well, maybe not.


Burroughs had a sweet stroke and good eye at the plate, but he never developed the power desired in a third baseman. By 2005, he was back in the minors. The Padres traded him to Tampa Bay before the 2006 season, but the Rays released him that August. The Mariners signed him the following winter and assigned him to Triple-A Tacoma. He played exactly four games there in 2007, then walked away from the sport that had been a huge part of his family’s life for two generations.


“I just didn’t have the drive or the passion,” Burroughs said. “I was spent physically and spent mentally. It just wasn’t there. I was emotionally drained. I still loved the game and respected the game, but I didn’t have the drive to go to the park every day. I kind of lost the desire.”


Far worse, Burroughs had developed a deep craving to over-indulge after games. “I was hanging out with some bad people and had done some bad things,” Burroughs said. “That was more important my last couple years playing ball, and the last few years.


“I was doing a lot of things that were morally not correct and physically not correct. I was knocking at death’s door. I was flirting with going to jail and getting locked up someplace. It was scary. Some people kind of came to my rescue. It was pure insanity, but I got myself back together and I’m coming back out of the haze I was in for so many years.”


Asked what his substance of choice was, Burroughs replied, “A lot. Everything. I really haven’t talked too much about what it was, but it was stuff that definitely wasn’t healthy taking for a long, long time, that’s for sure. I was kind of like a garbage can. Whatever I had or needed, I would find and take it. … I wasn’t an out-on-the-town type of guy. I would just try to fill myself with as much substances as I could, legally or illegally.”


He says his binges were an everyday thing. “I didn’t have any brushes with the law or anything, fortunately,” Burroughs said. “But it was inevitable. It was going to happen. It was just, ‘Not yet.”’


Burroughs moved to Las Vegas and into a house that was party central. Each year he partied more. He missed a Christmas with his family, as well as weddings. He didn’t return phone calls for months.


His mother, Debbie, says she and Jeff knew it was getting bad when Sean’s friends told them they were worrying he was out of control. “That was the big tipoff because they were the ones partying with him,” Debbie said. … “It was terrible. We were terribly worried. Baseball is important, but I just want my children to be happy and healthy. As a mother, you’re only as happy as your saddest child.”


“It’s been an incredible journey. It really has. It was just a year ago I was eating cheeseburgers out of garbage cans and living in Motel 6.”– Sean Burroughs

Burroughs’ agent, Joel Wolfe, says Sean would call once a year or so, threatening a comeback, but it never materialized. “I would be more in contact with his parents,” Wolfe said. “That was more on the personal side, just trying to find him or see what we could do, if there was anything we could do to fish him out of Vegas. But he was just totally non-responsive. Every once in a while he would pop up. The closest I got to seeing him was the year the winter meetings were in Vegas. We traded some voice mails and texts about getting together but he never showed. …


“We were all very worried. At some point, though, it becomes exhausting. How many times can you call a guy or text a guy and he doesn’t call you back, before you give up?”


Burroughs says he is always one to argue, so when friends expressed concern, he would tell them he didn’t know what they were talking about, that he was fine. But “fine,” he says, was not even close to accurate. “I always wanted to put the blame on somebody else. I never was man enough to step up and put it on myself and say, ‘You guys are probably right.’ But after a while I thought, ‘Why is everyone saying this? They might have a point.”’


One thing that helped turn Burroughs around was the day he looked in the mirror and didn’t recognize his face — or his body. “I didn’t pick up a weight or walk into a gym for 2½ years,” Burroughs said. “It was just one of those crazy kind of diets where I was drinking eight Slurpees a day and eating an In-N-Out burger whenever I could. I weighed 260 pounds or whatever [he weighs about 220 now]. I was out of shape with big, black bags under my eyes. Bad hair, hadn’t shaved for weeks on end. Hadn’t taken vitamins. Hadn’t eaten anything other than french fries and Slurpees.


“It was that ‘Leaving Las Vegas’ scenario. Motel hopping. I was living in all these motels because I was scared to stay in my house. I was paranoid of people following me. It was totally crazy, insanity. The guy I was then was paranoid and out of synch with reality.”


Wolfe wonders whether the major league life just came too quickly for Sean to handle, that success had always come too easily until it suddenly did not. “As soon as he had to deal with repetitive failure, the wheels started to come off,” Wolfe said.


Burroughs says the expectations placed on him had nothing to do with his life spiraling out of control, but Towers wonders whether they might have. “You have to think about it,” Towers said. “He was a Little League hero. His dad was an All-Star. The Olympics. There were a lot of things and so there were huge expectations. Maybe alcohol and other things became something to alleviate that pressure that was on his shoulders.”


Eventually, Burroughs decided he had had enough and it was time to turn around his life. He left Las Vegas on two feet and moved back into his parents’ house, back into his old bedroom, the one with the surf stickers on the door and the Little League photos on the walls. He received a curfew, a budget and love.


“I had to break down and become a kid again,” he said. “But it was what I needed. I needed to, well, not be locked up, but be under the care and supervision of friends and family and be responsible for my actions. Left to my own devices, I’m a different type of guy.”


As he straightened out his life, Burroughs helped his mother teach first grade in Long Beach, using the Spanish he learned in baseball to help in a classroom where that was the first language for many of the students. Debbie says Sean is a natural teacher, and having him home was just like the old days again. “He and Jeff talked baseball every day.”


“My life in baseball started coming back,” Sean said. “I started to read the newspaper again. I hadn’t read the sports page or gone on the Internet for years. I started to pick that up again to see what was happening. I started working out. Playing baseball again was in the back of my mind, but I knew it was going to be tough.


“I didn’t know how I was going to do it so I just kept it simple. I got myself back in baseball shape. I called my agent and had him set up some tryouts. I was just hoping for an invitation anywhere, be it an independent league or what. I just wanted to play baseball again. It was something I loved for so long and wasn’t doing it. It just seemed like it was missing from my life.”


When Burroughs contacted Wolfe about a comeback last fall, the agent was initially skeptical. “I needed to see him,” he said. “After five years or however long he was out of the game, you would be skeptical that it would even be realistic that someone would make a comeback. I thought, maybe he’ll have to play independent ball. But he showed up and he was a completely different person. He was a man now. His body had completely changed, his body language had completely changed. He was calm and he looked you right in the eye. It was clear that whatever had gone on in his life was behind him.”


Burroughs worked out over the winter at UCLA with several players including Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, who goes back to Little League days with Sean. “I knew he had been through some tough times. But in the time I was with him this offseason, he worked extremely hard,” Utley said. “I was pretty proud of how he worked in the gym and in the batting cage. You could tell he was definitely motivated. He was always early. It seemed like he was driven.”


Towers said he had lost track of Burroughs until Wolfe called and told him Sean wanted to make a comeback and that the Diamondbacks should take a look at him. Towers and Wolfe have a good relationship, so when the agent told him Burroughs had a good look in his eye, he figured why not. Burroughs signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks and went to spring training. He played well enough to get assigned to Reno out of spring training. Barely a month later, he was in the majors.

sean Burroughs became a Little League sensation when he led his Long Beach (Calif.) team to Little League World Series titles in 1992 and 1993.

Burroughs broke down and cried when he got the callup.


“Yes, I was worried but he is such a good kid so I’m always positive that something great would happen for him, whether it was teaching or baseball or whatever, something great would happen, and something great did happen,” Debbie said. “I was talking to someone in Vegas and they said if they were placing odds, it would be 2 million to one. But if anyone could do it, it would be Sean. I’m just so happy and so thrilled. Just delighted.”


Diamondbacks utility player Xavier Nady was Burroughs’ former roommate with the Padres and when Sean was called up, Nady offered to have him live with his family in their house.


“We’re just happy we could have him around and provide, to be there,” Nady said. “I thought that would be a little better situation than sitting in a hotel on a nightly basis. I thought that having him there would be a little better.”


Towers says Burroughs does not undergo any drug tests beyond the standard testing to which all players are subject.


“I trust him,” Towers said. “I trust he knows this is probably his last chance. And he’s not going to spoil it. The last thing we want to do is say, ‘Yeah, let’s play at the big league level but we’re going to test you individually once a week to make sure.’ I think he realizes what’s at stake. He’s a lot more mature than he was when he was at San Diego. He’s going to take advantage of this opportunity and I don’t see him screwing up.”


Burroughs hit .250 in a mostly pinch-hit role for the Diamondbacks, but again showed a lack of power as he only had one double and no RBIs in 24 at-bats. Arizona outrighted him to Reno last week. Reno may be minor league compared to its more glamorous Nevada sibling, but given where Burroughs was in Las Vegas just over a year ago, it still represents an impressive and promising leap back to his life. As he said, even his worst day now is better than his best day then.


“It was still great, I’m just grateful to be playing,” Burroughs said of the demotion to Triple-A. “The callup was only supposed to last a week and it lasted a month. I’m just approaching this as a chance to play every day again. I’m with real good people and a good coaching staff. …


“Right now, I’m living in the present. Live for today. Get myself ready to play ball again, be a good son, be a good brother, a good friend, a good teammate. Try to focus on the positive, I don’t want to focus on the negative, that already took up too much of my life.”



“I’m going basically back to a home. I am from N.J., but I bleed Scarlet and Gray & that was it right there. My stomach & my gut kept pulling me back to columbus & I couldn’t deny that.” – Chris Jent, Buckeye & new hoops asst coach.



Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)


God Will Guide Your Steps


I talked with Chris today and he said you were really stressing out due to the fact that you cannot seem to find a good job right now. I think you need a pep talk. Here a couple of thoughts for you to consider. As you will see in the Scripture verse I will list below from the prophet Jeremiah – God will now be giving you a brand new future and a brand new hopefor your life.

You Are Now Operating On A Different Playing Field!

Now that you have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and have made a complete and full surrender of your entire life over to God the Father – He is now in complete and total charge of your life! When you make this full surrender with God, it is now His job to take full and complete care of you in every detail of your life – including finding the next new job that He will want you to move into.

There is not an area or detail in your life that God will not be willing to help you out with – no matter how small or trivial you think it may be. The Holy Spirit is called “the Helper” in the Bible. It is now His job to help you in every single area of your life where you will need His help.

Here is what you will really need to ground on in your own personal walk with the Lord. Now that you are walking in God’s perfect will for your life – God will now be the One to fully guide you into whatever jobs He will want you to have from here on in. The choice is no longer yours!

God now has a perfect divine plan and destiny set up for your life – and He will now be the One to guide you every step of the way into the fulfillment of that divine plan!

What specific jobs you will now be taking will be very important in your own spiritual growth and development with the Lord. The jobs you will now be taking will be building blocks that will lead you into whatever His specific plan and destiny is going to be for your life. This now takes the burden off of you in trying to find the next right job. You obviously will still have toseek after the next job – but God will now be guiding your steps as you continue to seek after this new job, making sure that you always land in the specific jobs that He will want you to have at the exact time He will want you to have them.

You are now operating on a different playing field where the rules have changed a bit for you. What this means is that if you go on a job interview and do not get the job, this means that God did not want you to have this job in the first place – and He was the One who closed the door on you getting that job so as to make sure that you did not go down a wrong path.

So when you keep getting rejected after several interviews, do not look at these rejections like you are a failure. Look at it that these were jobs that God did not want you to have in the first place, and that He was the One who was running interference so as to make sure that you did not end up taking those wrong jobs.

Remember – God already has your next new job all set up and planned out for you. All you have to do is simply wait for His timing to bring it to you!

I know the waiting can really get to you, but this is how God develops the fruit of patience and faith in your personality. You simply have to have full faith, trust, and belief that God now has your life completely in His hands and that He will now bring you the right job at the right time.

And not only does God have a set plan and a set future for your life – but He also has a set timetable in which all of these plans will manifest in your life. You simply have to learn how to have patience during these waiting periods. In the meantime, God will make sure and arrange that you have enough money and support coming in to help keep you afloat until this next job comes through. This is where you have to learn how to have complete faith in the Lord to do all of this for you.

Trust me, both Chris and I have been put through the waiting ringer plenty of times, and God has never failed to keep us afloat and open the door to the next step in our walk with Him when the time was right. You can take that fact to the bank!



I will now give you some of the best verses from Scripture that will show you that it is now God’s job to fully guide you every step of the way as you now embark on this new journey with Him.

Study these verses very carefully! This is where many Christians really miss the boat with God. Too many Christians are running there own lives and making their own choices instead of turning the reigns of their life over to God the Father for Him to fully handle.

Only God knows what your true potentials are in this life – and He is the only One who can arrange to have those full potentials maximized and realized in this life!

1.  This first verse will specifically tell you that God now has a definite PLAN and FUTURE set up for your life. This is from the prophet Jeremiah and it is a very popular verse.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Notice the words “to give you.” God is going to give you, to bring to you His specific plans and future that He now has in store for your life.

2.  Memorize this next verse. This one liner is extremely powerful.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord … ”(Psalm 37:23) 

Another way to look at this is that a step is one day in your life. What this means is that God now has each day of your life perfectly planned out for you to the day that you depart from this life. You are now on the yellow brick road with the yellow color now being the light of God Himself.

Your job is to now live each day to its fullest, always trying to do the best at whatever God will be calling you to do for Him on that particular day. If you can learn how to keep this kind of mindset, you will be less likely to throw pity parties when things do not go the way you think they should. 

3.  Study this next verse very carefully as it really applies to your situation

 ”A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

What this verse means is that at times you will have to plan things out, try to figure things out, start testing things out. As you are doing all of this, God will then direct your steps as you are walking them out, and before you know it, you will then end up at the place where God will want you to be at.

This verse perfectly fits into what you are dealing with right now on your job situation. You now have to seek after this next new job, but as you are in the process of seeking after this next new job – God will then make sure that He perfectly guides your steps all the way so that you can then land in the next job that He will want you to have. You will thus find it as you are seeking after it.

4.  Here is another very powerful verse that will tell us that God will provide us with His divine protection if we are willing to listen to Him and follow His ways.

“But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.” (Proverbs 1:33)

Notice the words “listen to me.” God leads – you follow. If you do, then God will give you safe and secure dwelling in this life and protection from evil things!

This is a very powerful promise for all believers. Many Christians find themselves in one dire circumstance after another as a result of not listening to God and doing what He wants them to be doing with their lives.

5.  The next 5 verses will tell you that God will now be fully guiding your steps in this life.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5)


Thus says the Lord, Your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you by the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:17)


“I will instruct you and teach you in the way should go; I will guide you with My eye.” (Psalm 32:8)


“For this is God, our God forever and ever; He will be our guide even to death.” (Psalm 48:14)


“The Lord will guide you continually …” (Isaiah 58:11)

Notice the specific words that God will “guide you continually, be our guide even to death, guide you with His eye, leads you by the way you should go, teaches you to profit, instructs you and directs your paths.”

These are extremely powerful words. All of these verses make it very clear that it is God’s job to fully guide and direct your steps in this life. And all of this is given to you free of charge. This is why you can let go and let God. This is why the Bible tells us that we can now cast allof our burdens and cares upon the Lord – because it is now His job to take full and complete care of all of us from the moment we fully surrender everything over to Him.

6.  This next verse now goes one step further and specifically tells us that it is not our responsibility to direct our own steps in this life, that this responsibility now belongs to God and God alone!

“O Lord, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” (Jeremiah 10:23)

Put this verse together with all of the other ones listed above – and it becomes quite clear that it is God’s job to direct our steps in this life – not ours!

7.  Stephanie, this next verse is especially for you. Notice the last sentence where it tells you to trust in God, to wait patiently for Him, and that He will bring it to pass!

“Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass … Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.” (Psalm 37:4,7)



Stephanie, I know it can get rather stressful and trying while waiting for God to bring this next job to you – but this is where you really have to give yourself pep talks from time to time when you start to get too down, just like a professional athlete does when he starts to go into a slump. The professional athlete can either quit, or talk himself back into the game until he gets his swing or shot back.

In this game with God, we have to give ourselves pep talks from time to time, telling ourselves that God has complete control of our entire situation, that the ship is not going to sink, and that our breakthrough will come at the exact time that He has it set up to occur on His timetable.

Until that happens, do what the last verse says to do – “Rest in the Lord.” Otherwise you will drive yourself crazy with all of the nervous energy that will start to eat at you and rob you of your peace and joy that you now have in the Lord. When it is all said and done, you will look back on all of this and see that you had wasted a tremendous amount of negative energy, since it will have been shown to you that God finally came through for you.

Trust me – I have seen God come through time and time again without fail. There is a saying that many have heard – “God is never late, but He is never early.” This means that God will come in with the breakthrough on His time schedule – not ours!

I hope all of the above will help give you some peace of mind. The Bible is truly the infallible Word of our Holy God, and you can totally and completely rely on what all of the above Scripture verses are trying to tell you.



Holy 140 characters! Pope tweets for Jesus

Pope Benedict XVI has fired off a tweet to the world, launching the communications-challenged Vatican into yet another new media realm. It’s already on Facebook and YouTube.

According to the Associated Press, it read:

Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.


For the those who have been waiting impatiently for Rome to get it’s message act together, the announcement of the new portal intended to be an easy, up-to-date aggregate site for Vatican information, was a hopeful sign.


Earlier this year, the Vatican had a blogger summit that encouraged the Catholic voices to help spread it’s message. Whispers in the Loggia Rocco Palmo tweeted #vbm11 that officials say


We want to hear what people think — on their blogs.” Ergo, friends, have at it.


The initiative is none-too-soon if you go by critics such as National Catholic Reporter columnist John Allen who calledVatican communications a “train wreck.” He was speaking at a seminar sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center with theologian and papal biographer George Weigel.


Weigel whacked Vatican officials who, he said,


… “can appear to be dissembling or disinterested when there is no well-formed intent to deceive, they just don’t know what’s going on,” And their default position — no story is a good story — “is completely dumb.”


So, what’s up on the new portal besides touting the papal tweet?


There’s a link to Benedict’s homily for the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul; plans for his upcoming trip to Spain and a link to the latest from Vatican Radio.


But it does veer into Vatican-speak. Take the intro to a feature on the celebration of Benedict’s 60 years as a priest. He was ordained in 1951. It begins:


In his essential and limpid autobiographical account published in 1997…


Limpid?? Well, it’s the first day so perhaps folks will cut his web team some slack.


What you won’t see on the new portal: Folks who make headlines saying women will one day be ordained Catholic priests. John Allen writes that a veteran prelate, Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon, Portugal, has said such ordination will happen


… only “when God wants it,” although not in our lifetimes, and that now is not the time to raise the question.


Theologically there is no fundamental obstacle,” Policarpo was quoted as saying. “We could say there’s a tradition, because it’s never been done.”



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Summer is the season for kicking back and doing nothing, which means it’s always summer in Lexington, Kentucky

Summer is the season for kicking back and doing nothing, which means it’s always summer in Lexington, Kentucky. In fact, folks there didn’t need to lift a finger to be named America’s Most Sedentary City, since movement of any kind means you’re not a committed couch potato.


Now, we don’t doubt the Lexington work ethic—it’s the workout ethic we question. We looked at where and how often people exercise (Experian Marketing Services); the percentage of households that watch more than 15 hours of cable a week and buy more than 11 video games a year (Mediamark Research); and the rate of deaths from deep-vein thrombosis, a condition linked to a lot of sitting (CDC). And since some people define “exercise” loosely, we gave credit for any physical activity in the past month (CDC).


Least active

100 Lexington, KY F

99 Indianapolis, IN F

98 Jackson, MS F

97 Charleston, WV F

96 Oklahoma City, OK F

95 Tulsa, OK F

94 Little Rock, AR F

93 Nashville, TN F

92 Laredo, TX F

91 Birmingham, AL F


90 Charlotte, NC F

89 Corpus Christi, TX F

88 Memphis, TN F

87 Wichita, KS F

86 Sioux Falls, SD F

85 Fort Wayne, IN F

84 Omaha, NE F

83 Toledo, OH F

82 Lincoln, NE F

81 Louisville, KY D-

80 Greensboro, NC D-

79 Des Moines, IA D-

78 Columbus, OH D

77 Las Vegas, NV D

76 Cincinnati, OH D

75 Jacksonville, FLD

74 Billings, MT D

73 El Paso, TX D

72 Lubbock, TX D

71 Buffalo, NY D+

70 Houston, TX D+

69 Columbia, SC D+

68 New Orleans, LA D+

67 Tampa, FLD+

66 San Antonio, TX D+

65 Winston-Salem, NC D+

64 Plano, TX D+

63 St. Louis, MO D+

62 Bakersfield, CA D+

61 Cheyenne, WY D+

60 Fargo, ND D+

59 Fresno, CA C-

58 Cleveland, OH C-

57 Detroit, MI C-

56 Dallas, TX C-

55 Virginia Beach, VA C-

54 Chesapeake, VA C-

53 Kansas City, MO C-

52 Milwaukee, WI C-

51 Durham, NC C

50 Fort Worth, TX C

49 Raleigh, NC C

48 Orlando, FLC

47 Pittsburgh, PA C

46 Albuquerque, NM C

45 Riverside, CA C

44 Stockton, CA C

43 Jersey City, NJ C+

42 Newark, NJ C+

41 Providence, RI C+

40 Richmond, VA C+

39 Sacramento, CA C+

38 Philadelphia, PA C+

37 Santa Ana, CA C+

36 Baton Rouge, LA C+

35 Phoenix, AZ B-

34 Norfolk, VA B-

33 New York, NY B-

32 St. Petersburg, FLB-

31 Chicago, IL B-

30 Baltimore, MD B-

29 Colorado Springs, CO B-

28 Aurora, CO B

27 Los Angeles, CA B

26 Boise, ID B

25 Anchorage, AK B

24 Honolulu, HI B

23 Burlington, VT B

22 Wilmington, DE B

21 San Diego, CA B+

20 Madison, WI B+

19 Tucson, AZ B+

18 Boston, MA B+

17 San Jose, CA B+

16 Manchester, NH B+

15 Portland, OR B+

14 Austin, TX A-

13 St. Paul, MN A-

12 Miami, FLA-

11 Bridgeport, CT A-


Most active

10 Minneapolis, MN A-

9 Denver, CO A-

8 Atlanta, GA A-

7 Portland, ME A-

6 Reno, NV A-

5 Salt Lake City, UT A-

4 Washington, DC A

3 Oakland, CA A

2 San Francisco, CA A+

1 Seattle, WA A+

SUCCESS is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best u a are capable of..

I may not find “success” BUT  “No man is a failure who is enjoying life.” ~William Faulkner



“Everything that Happens to Us has a Blessing Built into it” ~Wayne Dyer



A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. – E.M.

God always gives His best to those who leave the choice with him.- Jim Elliot

“One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

The only limits in our life are those we impose on ourselves. ~ Bob Proctor



“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.” ~ Edith Wharton.

Although sometimes difficult~ Try to be loving while showing kindness and compassion for they are the basis for wise, powerful, sometimes gentle, and sometimes fierce actions that can really make a difference… in our own lives and those of others



On this Birthday weekend celebrating the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD, I’m Matt Sexton. Remember if attending a parade…STAND UP WHEN THE VETS AND OUR NATIONS COLORS GO BY! It is not only patriotic, BUT RESPECTFUL of why we have weekends like this, Here’s whats Happenin’

4th Of July Events
Franklin County

• Grove City: Saturday, Blast at Beulah, 5:30 p.m., Beulah Park, 3811 Southwest Blvd., family events, music and food; fireworks, 10 p.m. Join 95.5 The Hawk’s Miss Lisa starting at 8pm and listen to the Blast at Beulah Fireworks Soundtrack on Wink 107.1

• Columbus: Friday, activities begin 10a.m., Downtown, music, food, vendors and kids activities; parade, 6 p.m. from COSI Columbus; fireworks, 10p.m. July Fourth, Doo Dah Parade, 1 p.m. on Buttles Avenue in the Short North

• Bexley: Monday, John Barr Bexley Fourth of July 5K Run/Walk, 165 N. Parkview Ave., 8 a.m.; parade, 9:30 a.m. from 2754 Maryland Ave.; community celebration, 5:30p.m.; fireworks, 10 p.m., launched from soccer fields near College and Astor avenues

• Clintonville: Monday, Activities start 8a.m., end with fireworks, 10p.m., Whetstone Park

• Gahanna: Monday, Freedom Festival, 6:30 p.m., music, food and drinks; fireworks, 10 p.m., Gahanna Municipal Golf
Course, 220 Olde Ridenour Rd.

• Groveport: Friday, Craft for Kids, 7 p.m.; fireworks, dusk

• Hilliard: Monday, Parade, 10 a.m.; food, family games and entertainment, 6p.m., Roger A. Reynolds Municipal Park, 3800 Veterans Memorial Dr.; fireworks, 9:45 p.m.

• New Albany: Monday, Festival, parade, 11a.m., New Albany Middle School parking lot; fireworks, 9:45p.m.

• Upper Arlington: Monday, Parade, 9 a.m. from Zollinger Road and Northwest Boulevard; festivities with bands, teen dance, 5 p.m., Northam Park, 2070 Northam Rd.; fireworks, 10p.m.

• Westerville: Monday, 5K walk and run, registration, 6:30 a.m., Hoff Woods Park; parade, 1 p.m. along State Street; Westerville Symphony free concert, 325 N. Cleveland Ave., 9p.m.; fireworks, 10 p.m.

• Worthington: Monday, Family picnic, food and entertainment, 4 p.m., Thomas Worthington High School, 300 W. Dublin-Granville Rd.; fireworks, 10 p.m.

Delaware County

• Delaware: Monday, Parade, 3 p.m. from county fairgrounds through downtown; Central Ohio Symphony free concert, 7:30 p.m., Ohio Wesleyan University; fireworks, 10 p.m., campus fields along Henry Street

Fairfield County

• Buckeye Lake: Friday, fireworks over lake, dusk; July Fourth, boat parade, noon, Lieb’s Island State Park

• Lancaster: Monday, Parade, 10 a.m., and fireworks, 10 p.m., both at county fairgrounds; if rain, will be July 5

• Pickerington: Monday, Parade, 6 p.m., and fireworks, 10 p.m., both at Victory Park.

Licking County

• Granville: Friday through Monday, carnival rides, games, food and entertainment, start 6:30 p.m. Friday, fireworks, 10 p.m., Wildwood Park. July Fourth, Firecracker 5K race, 8:15 a.m, Denison University Mitchell Center; parade, 10:45 a.m. E. and W. Broadway.

• Heath: Saturday, Star-Spangled Banner Celebration, 5 p.m., food, games and entertainment; fireworks, 10 p.m., Geller Park

• Johnstown: Sunday, fireworks, dusk, Johnstown High School

• Newark: Sunday, Independence Day Celebration, food and entertainment, 6 p.m., Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College; Newark Symphony, Martha Grace Reese Amphitheater, 8 p.m.; fireworks, 10p.m.

Madison County

• London: Friday, activities all day until 9 p.m.; Sunday, activities start 1 p.m., entertainment, food and music; fireworks, 10 p.m.; July Fourth, parade, 11 a.m., Cowling Park

• Mount Sterling: Events Thursday through Monday; July Fourth, parade, 10 a.m., Vets Field

• Plain City: Monday, Parade, 3:30 p.m., Pastime Park; fireworks, dusk

Pickaway County

• Ashville: Thursday through Monday, fish fry, entertainment and midway rides, Ashville Community Park; parade, 11 a.m.; fireworks, 10 p.m.

Union County

• Marysville: Monday, Parade, 10 a.m.; fireworks, dusk, Union County Fairgrounds

Owl City   and Mat Kearney play The LC, The Lifestyle Communities Pavilion
Red, White & Boom!
Dates: July 1, 2011
Location: Downtown riverfront
Hours: Friday 10 a.m.-midnight. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m.
Admission: Free

Phone: 614-421-BOOM

The biggest and best Independence Day fireworks celebration in the Midwest will be fired from its location at Veterans Memorial in downtown Columbus, displaying a vibrant look with an exciting environment. Enjoy great food, live music and fireworks at the 31st celebration of Red, White & BOOM!

JR Brow performs at The Funny Bone Comedy Club in Easton Town Center

‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ rated “PG-13.” This is a movie, I can’t see. Not because it is bad, but the action is so intense, I get motion sick, and my ADHD goes off the chart, and no…I am not kidding.
Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts star in ‘Larry Crowne’ rated “PG-13.”

A movie I kinda liked ‘Beastly’ rated “PG-13.”  ‘Beastly’ is an edgy teen romance about learning how to see past false surfaces to discover true inner beauty.

Mark Wills   releases “ Looking for America”

Limp Bizkit is BACK with “Gold Cobra”


Weekly Tuesday Night Bike Nights at Hoggy’s Polaris

Good Guys Car Show at The Ohio Expo Center July8-11th

Tough Mudder Wisconsin July 22nd-24th

Pro-Football Hall of Fame Festival July 30-31


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July 1, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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