Some cool sell a car in florida images:
MY LIFE AND OTHER HARD TIMES …
Image by mrbill78636
… the early years. The Joseph Conrad and the Tusitala were two of the ships I was assigned to while at the U. S. Maritime Training Station in St. Petersburg, Florida. The station was closed in 1950. I purchased the photograph of the Joseph Conrad from Mystic Sea Port in Connecticut and the Tusitala is photograph that appeared in the New York Times in 1925; the "Tusie" is being towed into New York Harbor in what looks like a dead calm.
My best friend, Frank Clark, says I’m the kind of person who when asked for time, gives you a history of watchmaking and I’m sure this essay will seem that way. Sorry, I just have to do it my way, but first let me give you a little background.
My mother was a staunch fundamentalist Christian who was convinced Catholics worshiped Idols and Methodists didn’t believe in Jesus. Before I was born, I had attended church one hundred and seventy times, which is probably not the record, but a good showing anyway. This fundamentalist sect believed they and they alone were the only people God would take into heaven on the day of judgment. By the time I was twelve years old I had a conflict in my mind between a God who Jesus said was all-loving as well as all-powerful and yet in a fit of anger would turn a poor frightened woman into a pillar of salt and condemn millions of people to burn in hell simply because nobody ever told them about Jesus and asked them to repent, come forward and be baptized, which is what I did at age nine simply because it was expected of me. Did I mention, my Dad sold cars, smoked cigars and drank a lot of beer, wine and whiskey. His credo was that these three things materially helped in the movement of automobiles from one owner to another.
When I was in high school and had been reading about the war in Europe between the two classical enemies, strong central government (Fascism) and populist controlled government (Communism) it all seemed very far away and happening to somebody else. One Sunday morning we came home from church and heard on the radio the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I had no idea where Pearl Harbor was, but visualized an exotic lagoon where tons of pearls could be harvested from an abundant oyster bed bottom. Everything changed.
They quit making cars for my Dad to sell. You had to have red stamps to buy meat. You had to have gasoline stamps to buy gasoline, shoe stamps to buy shoes, stamps for canned goods, stamps for almost everything. We also began saving tin cans, toothpaste tubes and other metal objects for the war effort. In my senior year of High School I was offered a job in a machine shop making universal joints of PT boats. At 16 years old I ran a turret lathe and made all of the parts of the universal joint except the pin that held the parts together. I rode a bicycle to school each morning and at 2.30 P M rode to the Texas Star Iron Works and began making universal joints. I would work an eight hour shift and go home, soaking wet with the white cooling oil used to keep the metal cool as it was being drilled and machined. If we had a shipment ready to send to New Orleans, I’d stay often until after 2 A M to help pack the universal joints in wooden boxes. The pay was phenomenal and overtime was time and a half.
One interesting incident I remember was a good English teacher asked me to stay after class one day and explained I had not turned in any written work since the class began. I explained to him what I was doing and the hours I worked. He asked me how much I was paid to do this work and when I told him, he smiled and said, “That’s more money than I make as a teacher.” He never asked for written work again and at the end of the semester I got a C- which was passing. I graduated in 1944.
When I graduated from High School, I had three choices, continue working at the machine shop, sack groceries at a supermarket or go to junior college. I was tired of the machine shop, not inspired to sack groceries and frankly had enough of school for now. Then deep down there was that fear that the war would be over before I had a chance to “do my part.” That’s the way we thought back then.
A guy at the machine shop worked only a couple of weeks, then shipped out, was gone a month or two and came back to work another couple of weeks. He told me you could join the Merchant Marine at age sixteen, which I still was and that information put my future in high gear. The next two years rushed by.
There were eighteen weeks at the U. S. Maritime Academy at St. Petersburg, Florida where I was trained to be a deck hand, sailed a weekend on the S. S. Joseph Conrad, sailed a week on a freighter whose name I believe was the USMSTS American Sailor, and caught the crabs on the S. S. Tusitala. Almost two years later after trips to England, Belgium and up and down the U.S. East Coast, carrying food, ammunition, oil and other manufactured goods, the war ended and it became obvious merchant seamen would not be included in the GI Bill of Rights being passed through Congress. So I did the only sensible thing a young man could do at that time. I went to my draft board, announced I was eighteen years of age and wanted to be drafted into the army. They complied and I was drafted, served in the Eighth Service Command and the Twentieth Army Air Force on Guam and earned enough GI Bill to almost finish college.
I couldn’t find adequate images on the internet of the American Sailor, American Seaman or the S. S. Vigil, all of which were at one time or another at the training station in Florida. The training station was closed in 1950.
Having no idea what I wanted to be when I got big, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and enrolled in a small religious college founded by members of my mother’s church. That way I could take courses to decide what I was interested in, what I was good at and I could check out this God business at the same time. I wanted to see if God was actually at my mother’s church or not. My final discovery was that he was there, but NOT exclusively. When the four years were up I found I firmly believed there was a God, but not matching the exact description of the one subscribed to by my college and by my mother. I also found I enjoyed and was better at art than any other subject I took, so I graduated with a major in art and a minor in Education and became an art teacher in public schools.
You know, the more I think about it, Frank Clark may be right.
Thanks to the New York Times for the photograph of the S. S. Tusitala. I thought they’d want you to see the ship where I caught the crabs.
Stay tuned, the search for God and Truth continue.
MOUNT AN DO ME .. China Consolidates Grip on Rare Earths — forcing prices to rise eightfold to fortyfold (September 15, 2011) …item 2.. Eatery employee charged with scam — keep more than ,300 in cash for himself. (Feb. 4, 2012) …
Image by marsmet523
An 11-watt G.E. compact fluorescent bulb — the lighting equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent bulb — was priced on Thursday ..(9/15/2011).. at .88 on Wal-Mart’s Web site for pickup in a Nashville, Ark., store.
……..*****All images are copyrighted by their respective authors ……..
…..item 1)…. website … Yahoo! Finance …
The New York Times
KEITH BRADSHER, On Thursday September 15, 2011, 7:46 pm EDT
BEIJING — In the name of fighting pollution, China has sent the price of compact fluorescent light bulbs soaring in the United States.
By closing or nationalizing dozens of the producers of rare earth metals — which are used in energy-efficient bulbs and many other green-energy products — China is temporarily shutting down most of the industry and crimping the global supply of the vital resources.
China produces nearly 95 percent of the world’s rare earth materials, and it is taking the steps to improve pollution controls in a notoriously toxic mining and processing industry. But the moves also have potential international trade implications and have started yet another round of price increases for rare earths, which are vital for green-energy products including giant wind turbines, hybrid gasoline-electric cars and compact fluorescent bulbs.
General Electric, facing complaints in the United States about rising prices for its compact fluorescent bulbs, recently noted in a statement that if the rate of inflation over the last 12 months on the rare earth element europium oxide had been applied to a cup of coffee, that coffee would now cost .55.
An 11-watt G.E. compact fluorescent bulb — the lighting equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent bulb — was priced on Thursday at .88 on Wal-Mart’s Web site for pickup in a Nashville, Ark., store.
Wal-Mart, which has made a big push for compact fluorescent bulbs, acknowledged that it needed to raise prices on some brands lately. “Obviously we don’t want to pass along price increases to our customers, but occasionally market conditions require it,” Tara Raddohl, a spokeswoman, said. The Chinese actions on rare earths were a prime topic of conversation at a conference here on Thursday that was organized by Metal-Pages, an industry data firm based in London.
Soaring prices are rippling through a long list of industries.
“The high cost of rare earths is having a significant chilling effect on wind turbine and electric motor production in spite of offsetting government subsidies for green tech products,” said one of the conference attendees, Michael N. Silver, chairman and chief executive of American Elements, a chemical company based in Los Angeles. It supplies rare earths and other high-tech materials to a wide range of American and foreign businesses.
But with light bulbs, especially, the timing of the latest price increases is politically awkward for the lighting industry and for environmentalists who backed a shift to energy-efficient lighting.
In January, legislation that President George W. Bush signed into law in 2007 will begin phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs in favor of spiral compact fluorescent bulbs, light-emitting diodes and other technologies. The European Union has also mandated a switch from incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient lighting.
Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is running for the Republican presidential nomination on a platform that includes strong opposition to the new lighting rules in the United States and has been a leader of efforts by House Republicans to repeal it.
China says it has largely shut down its rare earth industry for three months to address pollution problems. By invoking environmental concerns, China could potentially try to circumvent international trade rules that are supposed to prohibit export restrictions of vital materials.
In July, the European Union said in a statement on rare earth policy that the organization supported efforts to protect the environment, but that discrimination against foreign buyers of rare earths was not allowed under World Trade Organization rules.
China has been imposing tariffs and quotas on its rare earth exports for the last several years, curtailing global supplies and forcing prices to rise eightfold to fortyfold during that period for the various 17 rare earth elements.
Even before this latest move by China, the United States and the European Union were preparing to file a case at the W.T.O. this winter that would challenge Chinese export taxes and export quotas on rare earths.
Chinese officials here at the conference said the government was worried about polluted water, polluted air and radioactive residues from the rare earth industry, particularly among many small and private companies, some of which operate without the proper licenses. While rare earths themselves are not radioactive, they are always found in ore containing radioactive thorium and require careful handling and processing to avoid contaminating the environment.
Most of the country’s rare earth factories have been closed since early August, including those under government control, to allow for installation of pollution control equipment that must be in place by Oct. 1, executives and regulators said.
The government is determined to clean up the industry, said Xu Xu, chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters, a government-controlled group that oversees the rare earth industry. “The entrepreneurs don’t care about environmental problems, don’t care about labor problems and don’t care about their social responsibility,” he said. “And now we have to educate them.”
Beijing authorities are creating a single government-controlled monopoly, Bao Gang Rare Earth, to mine and process ore in northern China, the region that accounts for two-thirds of China’s output. The government is ordering 31 mostly private rare earth processing companies to close this year in that region and is forcing four other companies into mergers with Bao Gang, said Li Zhong, the vice general manager of Bao Gang Rare Earth.
The government also plans to consolidate 80 percent of the production from southern China, which produces the rest of China’s rare earths, into three companies within the next year or two, Mr. Li said. All three of these companies are former ministries of the Chinese government that were spun out as corporations, and the central government still owns most of the shares.
The taxes and quotas China had in place to restrict rare earth exports caused many companies to move their factories to China from the United States and Europe so that they could secure a reliable and inexpensive source of raw materials.
China promised when it joined the W.T.O. in 2001 that it would not restrict exports except for a handful of obscure materials. Rare earths were not among the exceptions.
But even if the W.T.O. orders China to dismantle its export tariffs and quotas, the industry consolidation now under way could enable China to retain tight control over exports and continue to put pressure on foreign companies to relocate to China.
The four state-owned companies might limit sales to foreign buyers, a tactic that would be hard to address through the W.T.O., Western trade officials said.
Hedge funds and other speculators have been buying and hoarding rare earths this year, with prices rising particularly quickly through early August, and dipping since then as some have sold their inventories to take profits, said Constantine Karayannopoulos, the chief executive of Neo Material Technologies, a Canadian company that is one of the largest processors in China of raw rare earths.
“The real hot money got into the industry building neodymium and europium inventories in Shanghai warehouses,” he said.
Stephanie Clifford contributed reporting from New York.
…..item 2)… Florida Today.com … www.floridatoday.com … Eatery employee charged with scam
12:16 AM, Feb. 4, 2012
An assistant manager at a Palm Bay barbecue restaurant was jailed after police said he confessed to secretly voiding out customer gift cards and comp tickets to keep more than ,300 in cash for himself.
Anthony Justin Bellafonte, 24, was charged with grand theft after Palm Bay Police were called by the vice-president of operations for Sonny’s Barbecue, 1020 Malabar Road, to investigate the missing money.
Police said a financial audit found evidence of Bellafonte handling a number of comp tickets and gift cards at the restaurant.
The investigation by the restaurant’s management began Jan. 23 after a customer walked in to complain that they had bought two gift cards that did not work.
img code photo … Anthony Justin Bellafonte
Anthony Justin Bellafonte
Accoring to reports, management determined that Bellefonte had gone in shortly after the sales and voided the gift cards, allowing him to open the cash drawer and keep the money without the day’s receipts coming up short.
Police reported that Bellafonte started comping tickets in early November leading up to the Christmas holidays.
Bellafonte, who admitted to the theft, was arrested and taken to the Brevard County Jail in Sharpes.
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2007 Toyota Prius (US)
Image by InSapphoWeTrust
Once upon a time, hybrid automobiles were in short supply due to parts shortages. But by 2007 and 2008, the parts shortages had eased, and there were enough hybrid automobiles to go around even for rental fleets.
So when it came to my Orlando-area week, I reserved a Toyota Prius via Hertz’s Green Collection program. It certainly was unlike any other car I had driven before.
With gasoline prices spiking to per gallon at this time (later in 2008 they would spike well past ), driving a Prius made a lot of sense. I averaged 47 miles per gallon overall. Just as fun was coasting around parking lots in electric power with the engine off.
Also at this time, Walt Disney World had a special promotion where guests were being given random favors just because. On this morning, for being the first hybrid car to arrive at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I was given free VIP parking.
In 2009, I reserved another Prius via Hertz Green Collection in the Washington, DC area, but by the time I actually showed up for the car, all Priuses had been sold out, leaving me with a brand-new Camry as a forced upgrade (and that Camry was a pile of scrap metal).