• lois-jost-ad-may-2014

The Beverly Hillbillies Had No BILL OF RIGHTS

Here is the real story behind the Beverly Hillbillies...or is it

The Power of the Internet equally exposes its intrinsic danger as claims, studies, comments and mantras of wisdom are often credited to the wrong people, and when multiple powerful emails go around the world, the truth gets often lost. I was reminded of that this morning when I received yet another chain email from someone who claimed that the by now famous  Bill of No Rights was written by Georgia State Representative Mitchell Kaye. Frankly I got a little peeved, because the Bill of No Rights is an undeniable libertarian point of view that deeply resents the nonsense of today’s politics. The Bill of No Rights was penned down in 1993 by a frustrated Mississippi man named Lewis Napper, who wrote it very early on in the Clinton Administration as a reaction to Hillary’s entitlement plan. Lewis, a born libertarian, was just getting angrier by the day about how this country was turning into a vestige of entitlements. But the Internet was still in its infancy then.

And then seven years after Napper wrote it, advice columnist Ann Landers, after deliberately censoring out what her political views didn’t like, wrongly attributed it to Mitchell Kaye and the damage was done. Of course those of you who have learned to be critical, will always consult Snopes.com when the truth is at stake, but many more will just accept the written word as gospel, which is why we still celebrate Columbus Day – for example.

Nourishing an unexpected and even less wanted cold, I took the time today to learn a bit more about Lewis Napper and found that he maintains a very enlightened blog called the freedomlobby, with a number of interesting sidestep navigations. I thoroughly enjoyed the following Lewis Napper Story was listed in the archives of The Binary Bunker; a story loosely based on the Beverly Hillbillies planted into today’s socio political environment. I thought it was hilarious. Lewis Napper made another fan today.

A Man Named Jedediah – by Lewis Napper

Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed. He was a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed. And then one day, he was shooting at some food and up through the ground came a bubbling crude; oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.
Well the first thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire. And the first thing you know, he’s also a dangerous, radical, right-wing extremist, tax-evading, homophobic, angry white male, cult leader. And he’s in big trouble with the United States Federal Government.
Oh sure, you’ve heard the stories that Hollywood tells about the Beverly Hillbillies. But you haven’t heard the real story. What follows is a first-hand account of what actually happened as told to me by Jed’s niece, Jethrene Bodine.

Interview with Jethrene

Lewis: Thank you for talking to us today Jethrene. I know it’s not easy for you to speak about this. Go back to the beginning and tell us where the trouble began.

Jethrene: Well, everything was just fine ‘til Uncle Jed found that oil. We wudn’t fancy people, but we was safe and warm, and we almost never went hungry. Oh sure, there’d be a little scrap between some of the mountain folk every now and agin, but mostly we all just lived a simple life.

Lewis: When did the trouble begin?

Jethrene: Well, I blame that oil company. They paid Uncle Jed some kind of special money. Somethin’ they called, “million” dollars.

Lewis: Yeah, uhh, that’s a lot of money Jethrene. What did your Uncle do with that money?

Jethrene: Oh that was a fun day. It was bright and sun shiney. A whole bunch of us put on our Sunday-best, loaded up in the truck and rode over to Bugtussle. It took the better part of the day to get there so Granny made us a picnic lunch. We stopped on the side of the road and ate and talked. I just love the sun shining on my face, don’t you?

Lewis: Well, I burn easily Jethrene. So why did you go to Bugtussle?

Jethrene: They have one of them Savings and Loan places there. Uncle Jed said that if we put the money in the Savings and Loan, the good folks there would lend it out to other folks so’s they could buy ‘em a house. Uncle Jed always did have a soft spot for poor folks.

Lewis: So, he put all of the money in the Savings and Loan?

Jethrene: Well most of it he did. Ma wanted him to buy a new hat. He needed one awful bad, but he wouldn’t do it. He never would buy nuthin’ for hisself. But he wudn’t a stingy man. He bought everbody else somethin’. New glasses for Granny, a new shotgun for Elly May, a ciphering book for Jethro — he even bought new dresses for me and Ma. [Jethrene begins to tear up] I wish I had that dress now instead of these ugly orange coveralls.

Lewis: Don’t cry Jethrene. You’ll be out of here soon and I bet that young fellow who always comes to see you will buy you a new dress.

Jethrene: [Now with a big smile] Isn’t he just the cutest thing you ever did see? He don’t know it yet, but we’re gonna get hitched!

Lewis: Oh, I think he’s knows it Jethrene. But, let’s get back to the money. What did Jed do with the money?

Jethrene: Well, he put almost all of it in that Savings and Loan. He got the feller there to figure up the right amount to tithe and gave one big old bag of money to the church. Uncle Jed was proud to give it and the preacher was proud to get it. Uncle Jed said, “that preacher is a good man. He’ll put that money to good use.”
Anyhow, like I said, he bought us a few things and got some parts for the truck. Once him and Jethro got the truck going agin, we all went back home to tell everbody about our big day in town.

Lewis: Do you know if your Uncle paid any taxes on that money?

Jethrene: Funny you should mention that, that’s when things really started to heat up. Early in the Spring, not long after we went to Bugtussle, this feller from the IRS came by to see Uncle Jed. It was the first time anybody from the guvament had ever come to help us and we was all kindly embarrassed seein’ as how we didn’t need nothin’.
Granny said the feller was a revenuer, but I don’t think he was. I don’t think he was looking to bust up her still. He was just there to ask for some money to help the guvament. I don’t mean to speak ill of anybody, but I think he might even take a nip or two hisself. I think I smelled liquor on his breath.

Lewis: That’s what revenuers do Jethrene. They collect money for the government.

Jethrene: Oh well, I guess Granny was right then. I thought revenuers was just against drinking.

Lewis: No, revenuers collect money so that the government can help people.

Jethrene: Well now that’s just what that feller said. Uncle Jed got all excited and was all in favor of it! He told the man that he had already give the money to the Savings and Loan, but that he would go down there and see if there was any left.

Lewis: What did the man from the IRS say to that?

Jethrene: Well, he said that the Savings and Loan had closed. He said some crooked feller workin’ there had run off with all the money the very day Uncle Jed was there.

Lewis: You don’t say.

Jethrene: Yeah, that IRS feller was awful mad about it too. He stomped around and just swore up and down. Uncle Jed had to ask him to watch his language.

Lewis: Then what happened?

Jethrene: Well, Uncle Jed tried to make that IRS man feel better by telling him that there was a guvament guarantee on the money at the Savings and Loan. Uncle Jed said something about “FDIC.” He said that he wouldn’t be at all surprised to find out that somebody down at the guvament already had that money. He was hoping that would cheer that IRS feller up.
But it didn’t seem to help at all. That IRS man just got madder and madder. He started waving papers around and yelling at Uncle Jed saying that he owed the guvament a lot more money now. He got so upset that Uncle Jed asked him to step out back of the cabin to cool off a bit.

Lewis: The compound you mean?

Jethrene: We always just called it the cabin.

Lewis: So, did the IRS guy calm down?

Jethrene: Well, it was kindly queer. He and Uncle Jed went around back to the hemp patch. The IRS man started yelling, “Mary wanna! Mary wanna!” and then he just took off in a big hurry. I think he remembered he was supposed to pick up something for his wife. I reckon her name’s Mary.

Lewis: You had hemp, I mean, marijuana growing on the property?

Jethrene: Yeah, we made clothes and paper and stuff out of it. Granny used it for medicine. She’d give it to folks when they had “angry gizzard.”

Lewis: Didn’t you know that it’s illegal to grow hemp?

Jethrene: Funny you should say that, cause the next fellers that showed up said the same thing.

Lewis: What next fellows?

Jethrene: Well, real late that very night, a whole bunch of fellers snuck up to the house and busted into the cabin with a battering ram.

Lewis: You mean the compound.

Jethrene: Well, like I said, we always called it a cabin. In all my life, I never heard anybody call it nuthin’ else but a cabin ‘til all this started.

Lewis: OK, sorry. So these men broke into the cabin in the middle of the night?

Jethrene: Yeah, they all come a bustin’ in, a hoopin’ and a hollerin’, and a pointin’ their guns. Granny would of shot one of ‘em too if Uncle Jed hadn’t stopped her. We didn’t know they was from the guvament at first.

Lewis: So, what did they say? What did they do?

Jethrene: Well there was just a whole lot of confusion. Uncle Jed figured they were there for the money. So he tried to explain about the crooked feller at the Savings and Loan. Then they tried to explain why we wadn’t supposed to grow hemp no more and well, everybody just got real agitated.
One feller with “DEA” wrote across his back started arguing with Granny about which plants were all right and which ones wadn’t. Granny got all riled up and started quoting the Good Book. She told that feller about Genesis 1:29, “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

Lewis: So, what did the DEA guy say to that?

Jethrene: Well, I can tell you one thing for sure, that DEA feller wadn’t no Baptist. He yelled “drug propaganda!” and something about “church and state” and then he smacked Granny in the mouth with the butt of his rifle.

Lewis: Oh my God, what happened then?

Jethrene: Well, the other DEA fellers all grabbed him and wrestled him down on the ground. They was real sorry about it and started trying to apologize. But it was too late, Granny and Elly was already mad. Granny latched onto that feller what hit her and started whailin’ on him. And Elly May give three of the other ones a whuppin’ they won’t soon forget too. Uncle Jed finally got it all stopped.

Lewis: Where was Jethro?

Jethrene: He was still asleep. I swear that boy can sleep through anything.

Lewis: I guess they placed you all under arrest, huh?

Jethrene: Why would you think that? They’re the ones that started the fight!

Lewis: No, I mean for the hemp patch… I mean, the field of marijuana.

Jethrene: No, they didn’t try to arrest us. The one that hit Granny started saying that he was gonna take our land. He said the guvament was gonna take our land and sell it to the oil company. Now that’s when Uncle Jed started gettin’ mad. He didn’t like that feller talkin’ bad about the guvament that way. Uncle Jed went up San Juan Hill with Teddy Roosevelt and don’t take to nobody talkin’ bad about our guvament. He got all riled up and started recitin’ the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. He finally run ‘em all off and told ‘em to not come back. He said they could send that nice IRS feller to fetch their guns.

Lewis: What happened next Jethrene?

Jethrene: The next day was the worst of it. Them DEA fellers didn’t just send that IRS man to pick up their guns like Uncle Jed asked. They come back with him and brought a bunch of other folks too. All of ‘em had letters wrote on their backs — IRS, DEA, FBI, ATF, EPA, CNN, and such.

Lewis: Yeah, I read about it in the papers. The Attorney General called you, “the most lawless group this country has ever seen.”

Jethrene: Well I don’t know what would make her say such a thing. We never hurt nobody.

She cited your family with a long list of infractions. You had illegal vegetation. None of you had ever filed the appropriate tax forms. Granny was practicing medicine without a license. The EPA said that her lye soap was an environmental hazard. Jethro only had a 6th grade education and apparently Elly May had never gone to school at all. Some claim that there were violations of child labor laws. Elly was keeping wildlife as pets. All of you had been fishing, hunting, and farming without a license. Your food was not FDA approved. There were no emission controls on the truck and it didn’t have an inspection sticker, a license plate or an airbag. Jethro hadn’t registered for selective service. The compound didn’t meet building codes and it was covered with lead-based paint. You were caught in possession of illegal firearms and there were rumors that you were operating a methamphetamine lab.

Jethrene: I don’t even know what a methamine is and I already told you that we called it a cabin!

Lewis: Yes, you’re right. I’m sorry, settle down. The cabin itself was what caused the final disaster wasn’t it?

Jethrene: Yeah, there was a big argument about the cabin. Everybody with letters on their back claimed that the cabin and the land was legally their property and not Uncle Jed’s. Some of ‘em talked kinda crazy like the cabin or even the land itself had broken some law. One man demanded that the cabin be torn down because it didn’t have a permit. A lady from the Historical Society noticed how old the cabin was and wanted it “preserved.” I don’t know what she was talking about, but at least she was polite about it.

The cabin burned didn’t it? How did the cabin catch fire?

Jethrene: Well, some of them DEA fellers set the hemp patch ablaze and the wind kicked up and it got out of control. The next thing we knew we was all running for our lives. I hear tell it burned down the woods clear over to Butcher Holler.

Lewis: Yes, uhh, four thousand acres I believe. I’ve heard rumors that the CIA, the NSA and the DOD were all there too. Did you see any letters like that? What did they want?

Jethrene: I didn’t see no letters like that, but there was some men folk there wantin’ to see the secret weapon Jethro was always braggin’ about.

Lewis: I see. Well, that’s enough about that. Where is everybody now? What happened to the rest of the family?

Jethrene: The rest of the family is in hiding. I was the only one they caught. I was the only one wearing a dress, so I couldn’t run very fast without my bloomers showin’.

Lewis: Jethrene, I don’t know how to tell you this, but I found Elly May last year living just outside of Beverly Hills. She was living on the street and she was addicted to crack.

Jethrene: Addicted to what?

Lewis: She’s addicted to cocaine. She was selling herself to make money for drugs. I’ve been trying to get her some government assistance — you know, food stamps and a good education. But now I can’t find her and she hasn’t shown up to get her check. All I need is an address, and they’ll mail out the money.

Jethrene: Well, I don’t know what address to give you, if that’s what you’re asking for. We didn’t never have a mailbox. Not even when we was all living in the compound.

Lewis: You mean “cabin” don’t you?

Jethrene: Huh? Yeah, cabin. What did I say?

Lewis: How did you wind up in jail Jethrene? What did they charge you with?

Jethrene: One of ‘em caught me running away from the flames and charged me with “fleeing the scene of a crime.”

Lewis: Well Jethrene, that was definitely the scene of a crime.

And to think that the Bill of No Rights brought me here.

How does Make Up Do in a Recession?

Applying 365 layers in 24 hours?

Not being shy to follow the antics of producers in the food and beverage industries, home supplies, car care and about every other consumer good producer, cosmetics companies look for savings in production and packaging while keeping the retail shelf prices “acceptable”. In the over the counter cosmetics arena, the fight is over quality. But in general skincare, hair care, eyelash extensions, anti-aging, cosmetics, all these segments of the beauty industry do very well in a recession. But just as orange juice is now available in 59 oz cartons and bottles instead of the previous 64 fl.oz. and brandname dishwash detergent companies for years have been claiming concentration of product justifies the higher prices, cosmetics manufacturer’s have their own little quirks to make the consumer less aware of the fact that quality is king and one way or the other, you have to pay for that.
Now Make Up is a $40 Billion a year business in the US alone. Yes you read it right!
And globally, in 2010 the cosmetic industry experienced a record $170 Billion a year total revenue.

Lash Extensions and Cosmetics – Kissin’ Cousins

Because I have been in the Lash Extension business as a Certified Lash Stylist for the past five years I am often asked for advice and assistance with coordination of makeup for the rest of the face. Eyebrows, eye shadow, eyeliner and other cosmetics help a client reach that perfect ‘look’ they’re trying to achieve.

In an effort to ensure the quality of my advice on makeup is commensurate with my expertise in eyelash extensions, I have experimented, researched and networked nationally, and on occasion internationally, with other stylists in the Eyelash Extension Industry to see what consensus, if any, there was as to best quality of cosmetics, best method of application and to find out what was current and relevant for complementing the very popular and fashionable trend of eyelash extensions.

This quest led me on a journey that I believe permits me just enough expertise on this collateral topic to, hopefully, be of some assistance to you, the makeup consumer. Let me share what I learned.

Milling Around

The makeup Industry has a secret that they do not want us to know.
It is related to how the cosmetics manufacturers are able to make sure you have to keep coming back and spending your (or your parent’s) hard-earned dollars for more of the same makeup time and time again.

Did you know that if a cosmetics manufacturer uses a process that mills the eye shadow or blush or foundation powder once or even twice that it will leave a larger molecule of powder than one that is milled, say three times?
So what does that mean to you?

Well, have you ever experienced the frustration of putting on your favorite color eye shadow and noticed that you have to apply, apply and then apply again just to get some semblance of the color to show up on your skin?
Have you at times blamed the undertones of your skin for the seeming “invisibility” of color against your epidermis?
And what about the fact that before lunchtime, you look in the mirror in the restroom at work or school and noticed that those multiple layers of eye shadow have disappeared?

You will be happy (or not) to know that it is not your skin, it is not your application technique but it is your makeup…and that this phenomenon is by design!
Cosmetic companies who make over-the-counter cosmetics, whether eye shadow, foundation or blush have creatively found a way to keep us coming back for more.

When a powder is anything less than triple milled, also known as a MICRO pigmented, then it is simply an ‘over-the-counter’ consumable product. It is deliberately made to require multiple attempts at application in order to see the color. So you, the consumer, are consuming it more rapidly and will have to return to buy more in short order. It is also the under millage that causes the makeup to be of brief duration on your face.

That means, you may pay $6 at the discount department store for some shelf product but you must apply it 6 times to get the color. This is because it is not a micro pigment. When the molecule is larger, it is difficult for it to show up and it wears off quickly.

Well, are we shocked that the over-the-counter, super market, department store product is designed to be consumed quickly so you have to come back for more make up more often.  How cheeky!So, having been on the hunt for high quality pigments/powders that triple milled I found a wonderful thing.

Powdered makeup that is the color you want on the first application by design! That is triple milled to be the finest consistency, which means the color shows up on the first brush stroke, that the makeup really sticks and stays on your face yet blends beautifully and lasts all day.

Think of it like sand on your feet at the beach. The big grainy sand falls off quickly, while the powder sand sticks to your feet even when dry. Because the molecules are so small, micro-pigmented cosmetics will last much longer.They can also be used wet or dry, wet for a more concentrated color, with a brush and water.

So, if you live near me on Amelia Island or in Fernandina Beach, Florida then you have it made! After long search and compare I have found the most divine makeup I think I have ever placed on my face. With one brush stroke the color is obvious and beautiful. The colors are vibrant if you choose the complementary colors and subtly distinct, if you choose a natural palette.

For more information on the line of cosmetics we carry you can visit my salon at the Palmetto Walk Shopping Village.

Jeannie Higginbotham

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Natural Ways to Anti-Age Your Appearance

The Dilemma Position for Healthy Sleep

One of our services is building websites in WordPress format and usually during the first 6 to 12 months as they learn the ropes, we help our clients posting stories, articles and promotions to their own website and then optimize the keywords for traffic ranking. We’re always delighted when we get well researched and written, interesting stories and essays; especially where it concerns stories relevant to a wider audience, we ask permission to feature them on SearchAmelia, especially consider our ranking, daily hits and demographics. Here is one such story from Jeannie Higginbotham, owner/operator of Lashem-n-Leavem located at the Palmetto Walk Shopping Village. Enjoy.

Tips on Anti Aging DIY Procedures – By Jeannie Higginbotham

As a 5’ 8” teenager I was constantly being told by my parents and grandparents to “stand up straight”, “don’t slump” and “stop hunching your shoulders”. At the time I found it annoying and deemed it as “nagging”.
Now, as a more mature adult I sometimes observe teens, especially girls, at a theatre or walking down the street and I have to resist saying to them, “Stand up straight” and “Don’t slump!” “You’d be so pretty if you didn’t carry yourself that way.”

And the echo of a parent’s voice critiquing your posture?
If I see my reflection and notice my slumped posture, I immediately stand up tall and pull in that tummy! Oh, how that looks so much better. And then I wonder, “do I go around looking like that all the time?”

Yes, now sometimes when passing by that mirror I could almost swear that I see the time lapsed print of that osteo-arthritic woman on the poster in the doctor’s office. You know the one. Her hunched posture gradually worsens over time until she can only see her own feet when she walks.
Does bad posture contribute to an aged appearance? Does that lady on the poster look young to you?

Somehow a person does lose an edge off their otherwise attractive appearance when they hunch as they walk, or saunter with a heavy, clumping stride that leaves observers with the impression their shoes weigh 100 pounds a piece.
Wise younger ones will take heed. (Those of you who think I am nagging probably think you will be young and attractive forever anyway, right? I did.)


Oh, and did your relatives also constantly tell you how you were going to regret that you spent so much time tanning and burning your “hide” on the beach in summer? “You just wait; you are going to look like leather when you get older…you are going to regret it”. There we go again, nag, nag, nag.

Since I was fair skinned, I actually did not spend a lot of my years trying to make white turn brown and now I am so glad that I didn’t. While my girlfriends baked, I had to find shade or else suffer in immense sunburn pain by sunset if I did not seek shelter for my fair integument.
And now? In our fifties my girlfriends and I sometimes compare notes and are struck at how those of us who spent those hours baking in the sun to be fashionably brown appear to be 10-20 years older than those of us who did not.

Sleep Wrinkles

Did you know that for women, sleeping on your side creates the long lines of chest wrinkles that older women have just under that diamond necklace? The more endowed you are in the chest area the longer and deeper the “old lady” chest lines will become.
Now can you figure out what you can do at home that does not cost a dime to reduce the appearance of those lines?

You guessed it, sleeping on your back. Not only will it help reduce (and if you haven’t been doing it too long, completely eliminate) the wrinkles of side hanging “boobalege” it will also reduce facial wrinkles. (Bonus!)

Don’t believe me? Ok, ask and answer this question for yourself: which side of your body are you in the habit of sleeping on the most? Is it your left side? Look in the mirror and compare the wrinkles, lines and crows feet on the left side as compared to the right side of your face. Now look at your eyebrows. Are they asymmetrical with the left one lower or higher than the brow on the other side? Is your left cheek bone slightly lower than your right, with a barely perceptible downward asymmetry? (Or if you sleep on right side then flip the scenario to your sleeping habits.)

Retraining oneself to learn to sleep on your back all night may be a challenge but the difference you will see in your skin is well worth the effort. To assist with back sleeping, place a pillow under your knees and pillows by your sides to remind you until back sleeping becomes habit for you.
It is never too late to learn to develop good, anti-aging habits. The things we discuss in this article are free and will produce a real, anti-aging improvement in your appearance.

Try it. You will thank me later!

P.S. Come by my salon this week and pick up a Passport that will make you eligible for some great prizes from Palmetto Walk Shopping Village Shops.

A Camouflage Cover Up

Jeannie Higginbotham before the encounter with her dog

What an exciting time for me as a brand new, Amelia Island business owner. The day for the grand opening of my business is finally here. As the only certified eyelash extension stylist in North Florida and South Georgia for over four years, I finally decided to make the leap and turn what was a fun hobby into a full-fledged, full-time limited liability company.

Creating the name “Lashem-n-Leavem” for my business, I have opened a beauty studio that enhances women’s appearance. Focusing on the eyes and the skin of the face I specialize in eyelash extension procedures, anti-aging skin care and permanent cosmetics for eyebrows and eyeliner.

Who knew there would be so much to coordinate and organize? It’s like planning my daughter’s wedding all over again! Invitations need to be designed and printed, newspaper and Facebook announcements to write and publish, food selections for the evening’s guests to enjoy, favors and gifts to give away, items to display, interior design of the space perfected, tasteful email reminders intermittently sent to invitees and, of course, the owner (yours truly) must look her best.

Not that an elaborate gown or even a new ensemble need be purchased just for this, but certainly an appearance of dignity and professionalism from the one person who embodies the business itself should be top priority. After all, the image and presence conveyed by that one will speak volumes to existing and potential beauty clients. The pleasing, attractive appearance of the proprietor serves to remind each and every guest of what they can aspire to and hope to achieve, right?

Well, not exactly.

Enter one cute boxer mix breed dog, one new Petco® fetch toy and some evening frolicking in the house…you know…the one thing you always tell your kids not to do? Yeah, that. And you guessed it. I took the tumble of my life over the torso of a 55 pound mutt, using a bamboo wood floor and my face to break the fall.

After a quick clean up of a subjectively small puddle of blood just under my face on the floor and having an ice pack precariously positioned on my mug with head tossed back for about an hour, I decided to examine the extent of my injuries. That assessment combined with the level of discomfort (also known as pain) that continued to pound rhythmically in multiple areas of my face, led me to determine that the expert evaluation of a physician was in order.  So I spent the next few hours at a Walk-In Care Center followed by a trip to my dentist.

I am happy to report the nose is not broken. After x-rays and prescriptions for pain, however, I am told my misplaced front tooth will have to be manipulated back into its socket. Ouch, just the thought!

The dentist came toward me with one of those long needles that contain numbing medicine. He told me, “Now this needle is going to be inserted through your gums in the front, just below the nostril area. It is going to help with the pain as I push your tooth back into place.”

Yeah, right.  I don’t know about you but I am of the opinion that the needle usually hurts more than the procedure itself. I went on to explain to Mr. Dentist, who happened to be a very nice guy, that if I could give birth to two children at home without so much as an aspirin I could surely tolerate him repositioning my front tooth without numbing medicine.

His response? “I think you are a crazy lady, but it’s your choice.”

Ok, so I am home now. I look in the mirror and cannot help but cry. From the pain? No. Not that I do not have pain, I do. But remember, I am quite the stoic. I am not crying from the physical pain resulting from an attempt to turn my face into a flat iron griddle. I cry because the reflection staring back at me resembles the Bride of Frankenstein. This is not the gracefully aged appearance of a mature woman who takes good care of herself and markets herself as an expert in the business of beauty.

At any rate, there is no way this face is ready to be seen by anyone, let alone by everyone at my very first, one and only ever, well advertised, Lashem-n-Leavem Grand Opening Event with Ribbon Cutting to be performed by the Amelia Island Chamber of Commerce!

An overwhelming sense of panic begins to set in.

But then I think, “Wait a minute, why am I so worried? I have a fantastic makeup artist and I carry Lynette Arlene, one of the best cosmetic lines available in the Industry! So, stop fretting and be practical” I say to myself as I gaze at the nearly unrecognizably swollen face in the mirror, “all I need to do is come up with a plan”.

So, optimistically, I developed a recovery/camouflage strategy that goes something like this: ice the face at swollen nose bridge and upper lip every two to three hours over the next four days, apply medicated ointment to busted upper lip several times a day and at night before bedtime, remember to take Z-Pack over the next five days to prophylactically treat busted lip and shifted tooth against infection. Then, when I can tolerate touching my face, practice makeup camouflage techniques in the mirror to cover blue, purple, green and yellow bruises in preparation for times when I must be seen in public. For the day of the event I will have Paige, the expert makeup artist at Lashem-n-Leavem, apply a Lynette Arlene make-over to perfect and put finishing touches on the cosmetic camouflage to look as presentable as possible on the eve of the Grand Opening.

Oh yes, and last but definitely not least, I must make sure I am prepared to quickly quell any concerns that anyone in our lovely island community may have that could lead them to feel compelled to make a Micah’s Place abuse referral or a Post Office Mugshot wall appearance!

There, now wasn’t that easy?  Nothing to it!

On second thought, I wonder if anyone’s ever heard of a costume party grand opening……

Jeannie Higginbotham, RN, BSN, Owner
Lashem-n-Leavem, LLC
Palmetto Walk Shopping Village Suite 6
Amelia Island, FL

Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting May 18, 2011 from 5:30 – 7:30 pm

The Christmas Blue Bell

Special Ornaments to are passed on over a lifetime

Buried in the Christmas and New Year’s emails came this following story by Judith Harris with the question if we would be interested in publishing it. After reading it, it rang a bell on so many levels that I have to share it with you as it deals with gracefully accepting the changes of time. When we moved to Amelia Island now almost 5 years ago, we had at least 10 storage containers filled with Christmas items collected over the years, each with special memories. Last year, when our last one got married and moved out, my wife divided all the memorabilia among the kids and at least 8 storage containers left the garage. The memories were bittersweet. Here is Judith’s story which undoubtedly will find recognition with many people on our island.

The Christmas Blue Bell

By: Judith Harris

No, my Christmas Blue Bell is not a new species of flowering plant that blooms here on Amelia Island. It is a musical bell covered in blue velvet that has been in my possession since 1967. I purchased it while visiting St. Thomas when I was a young woman. Like me, the bell is now showing its age.  The gold-braided trim has fallen away, and the lush blue velvet has faded to a pale fabric with an occasional tear, sag and wrinkle. The music box within must have rusted solid because the bell no longer plays its charming tune, the title of which I have long ago forgotten.

Each Christmas as I gently unwrap this bit of memorabilia and set it out on the coffee table, I reminisce about all the Christmases the bell and I have shared with friends, family, and most especially; the children and grandchildren who delighted in it when it was still able to sing out it’s song, or played with it when it had become just a silent novelty.

We moved here to this Paradise Island 7 years ago and each Christmas I give away a few of my treasures to our children. As time passes, I notice that I am decorating less and less. I don’t know if it’s because there are not enough hours in a day for me to accomplish all the things I wish to do, or if it’s because I now accomplish things at a slower pace. Maybe it’s a little bit of each. This year I parted with my precious Blue Christmas Bell.

Darian, our oldest grandson, was thrilled to receive it. He’s the only one of our grandsons who actually enjoyed the music box before it rusted itself solid. In my mind’s eye, I can still see him toddling around the house with the bell held close to his little ear. There was a happy twinkle in his eye and a sweet broad smile on his cherub lips. He never tired of winding and listening to the music. His other favorite thing to do was to take Baby Jesus out of his manger and hide him in a decorative brass object that with a bit of imagination could have passed as a replica of Aladdin’s Lamp.

Last year we gifted “Aladdin’s Magic Lamp” to Darian. Baby Jesus went to our dear second born grandson William. It was also one of his favorites. The Jesus Baby was purchased in Jerusalem, was hand carved from Olive Tree wood, was used by William for teething and is now missing a left foot. William’s little brother Michael is our darling third born grandson and has not yet picked his treasures. I am sure at some point he will decide which items are his favorites. The same is true for our littlest angel grandson Alex, who is last but certainly not least. Grandpa and I have received many blessing in this life, but none can compare to our most precious grandsons that our daughters have brought into our lives.

Christmas is now over and I am sitting here keeping warm in my cozy kitchen, watching the cold wind pummeling my Queen Palm, and the sad frost bitten branches of my drooping Hibiscus as they sway to and fro. I guess Jack Frost decided he wanted to come south to help us ring in the New Year. We heard that there were snow flurries in Jacksonville. Hopefully the snow will find it’s way to us this evening. Wouldn’t it be magical to see snow flurries dancing in the moonlit sky over the ocean?

Of course, Christmas could have been more perfect if our dear children had been with us, but that was not meant to be.  They live in Maryland and we no longer want them making the trip at this time of year. We can’t travel to be with them because my health prevents me from exposing myself to the cold northern air. [I have been remaining in-doors during these unseasonably cold Amelia Island days.]

Skype to the Holiday Rescue

However, thanks to modern technology, we were able to share Christmas with our family by visiting on the computer with SKYPE.  Heaven should bless the folks who created SKYPE, it is a wondrous invention. It’s the next best thing to actually being together in person and we all enjoy it immensely.  Grandpa and I were able to share in all the family fun without setting a foot out of our house.  Santa was good to everyone, including us, and we all had a great time together.

I like taking a few minutes every year to jot down a few after Christmas thoughts. Sometimes I light a candle and sip tea. Sometimes I dim the lights and turn on all the Christmas trees around the room and pour a glass of wine. This time I am bundled warm in my kitchen, drinking hot coffee as I watch the cold west wind torturing my poor palm trees. It’s a pleasant habit, reminiscing about all the blessings of the Holiday and memories of past pleasures.

Yes, for sure I am an old fashioned sentimentalist, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Petanque on Amelia Island

Petanque Tournament on Amelia Island

Pétanque – pronounced pet’-tonk… what’s that, I thought to myself, the first time I heard the word. After hearing several locals here on Amelia Island talk about it, I finally got a visual impression of what it was and then a friend explained that it is a French version of a game that has been played for centuries around the world aka Bocce Ball ( Italy), Horeshoes (US), Cornhole (Ohio-US),and Washers (Midwest-US), which was what I grew up playing in Southern Indiana from my back yard to camp grounds in Indiana and Kentucky State Parks. The objective of competition between players is to throw an object closer to a target than your opponent approximately 30 – 40 ft. away.

Hearing about locals playing Petanque around town at either Kafe Karibo on Wednesday nights or behind the Rec Center on Atlantic on Saturday mornings I chose to attend the latter one as Saturday mornings are usually wide open. So I decided to go and see what this was all about, but as I walked up all prepared to just watch and learn, I was instantly greeted by Philippe Boets, whom I had met at a European American Business Network meeting that two friends of mine invited me to. Not only is Phillip the owner/president of Petanque America, but this modern day Johnny Appleseed of the sport welcomed me that morning by saying Jeff take my spot and put some boules in my hands!!

I spent the next 2 hours dividing into two, three player teams and tossing softball size steel balls toward a small green plastic object about the size of a super ball, called a pig.
Growing up in a competitive family I fit right in, but just equally enjoyable was the camaraderie of meeting and conversing with people who have come to love the game and love seeing friends in the fellowship of the event. This brought back fond memories of those campgrounds I visited with my family meeting families from other parts of the country playing a similar game over 40 years ago.

If you want to tap in to this growing sport and possibly actively revisit your childhood memories, check out www.PetanqueAmerica.com or better yet visit one of the two venues and be lucky enough to hear the words “Take My Spot!”. Don’t forget that the America Open Tournament is coming to Fernandina Beach in November with 96 teams converging from all over the world and it is rumored that some of the world’s leading competitors will be here.

Jeff Malone – Director of Sales Hampton Inn at the Beach

The hurricane wisdom of old nature people

Caribbean Weather with Tropical Low of July 20, 2010

Click to Enlarge

As some of you may know i’m currently in the Dominican Republic on family / work visit. The looming tropical low that formed over the US Virgin Islands yesterday is showing signs of organization and a tropical depression or possible storm may be in the forecast for Wednesday or Thursday which triggered my curiosity of what our elders here in the DR had to say about heightened tropical activity.

It was rather a revealing wisdom that even for a “seasoned hurricane battered me” rang clear in my ears. I know the SearchAmelia publisher “buried” Mr. Common Sense yesterday but there are still pockets of wisdom left.

Although my Spanish is still in the developing stages and “old Spanish” is even more difficult, the message was clear:” we’ll see an exceptional Hurricane Season this year”. All 4 centennials and 3 respectable late ninety-ers had the same story and…logic.

If their observation is scientific, I leave up to those that require proof that the globe is round and the earth is circling the sun, but the reasoning I got was chilling the least to say.

“When there is more water on land than there is in the ocean and the temperatures of the water are equal to the temperatures on land, the forces of the wind will need to dry the land”.

Even for a lush tropical island like the Dominican Republic where rain is not uncommon the amounts of rain have been staggering in the last two months. Everyone agrees that the amounts of rainfall are exceptional and only seen in such quantities every 30-40 years.

All of my questioned sources, boy and what sharpness of memories I was exposed to,  point to the years 1979 when hurricanes David (cat. 5) and Hortense, 1966 Hurricane Ines cat. 4 and 1930 San Zenon cat. 5 who devastated Santo Domingo had exact similar circumstances as the 2010 soaking weather.

The air temperatures are actually mild for this time of the year although the humidity is extreme, nothing like in Florida, but still exceptionally high.

5 out of my seven interviewees made another observation that struck a cord in my 20 years Caribbean Hurricane experiences: ” When oranges provide 3 harvests before the 6th month is over the abundance cannot last throughout the year as it will wilt the trees before reaching the fifth harvest”.

The orange trees are in their third harvest right now which is two months too early (mid september is normal while the fourth harvest is beginning to mid December.

I know, I sounds very unscientific, yet who are we to question mother nature and can force it to tick like the atomic clock.

These lovely old folks I spoke to today still fear nature and respect its forces, yet leave their faith up to the good Lord, while we scientific buffs try to trick with the “magic” of logic we just buried with Mr. Common Sense.

Another Death Announcement

Are paper books going to be obsolete soon?

Paper books may face extinction soon

Another Death announcement… printed paper Books

Although still premature for publishing, the writing is on the wall. Literally!

Amazon, The world’s largest book retailer online, announced that the month of May has been the third month in a row that e-books outsold “paperbacks” and that the margins are growing by leaps and bounds.

What was only a short 6 months ago a “Christmas Fluke” – e-Books outselling paper versions – has now become a steadily growing margin that for every 100 paper books Amazon sells 180 e-Books.

Of course the lowering of the Kindle reader from $260 to $190 has contributed and tripled the device’s sales according to Jeff Bezos, CEO Amazon, yet the online retailer has also taken every precaution to provide e-Books via Apple iPad apps, Microsoft windows format as well as a droid version being readied for release to stave off a possible device swing that may put their e-Book reader Kindle in a tight spot.

Notably the iPad has not yet taken the pole position in the e-Book reader class, but we haven’t seen the “back to school” reports that may show a significant surge towards the educational device of choice – rather the logging around 40 pounds of paper books a 1.5 Lbs tablet may show the real alternative – and become also a Kindle e-Book reader competitor by true force.

Time will tell, however no matter which e-readers will survive and become leaders in the e-Book class, the paper versions are doomed in the near future as declining printruns (the amount of printed copies required to satisfy the paper book market) will make the hardcover version financially obsolete.

What do you think? Let us know you opinion.

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Germany Crush Argentina, Spain edge with luck Paraguay

Germany and Spain reach Semi Finals

Germany and Spain reach Semi Finals, Argentina crushed

What seemed on paper to be a thriller that could could go either way, became a well deserved “walk in the park” for the superior Germans crushing Argentina 4-0. Under the watchful eye of German’s enigmatic Chancellor Angela Merkel “Die Mannschaft” cleverly outplayed the Argentinians under the leadership of coach Diego Maradonna. A very early goal due to passive defending from the Argentinian side, who seemed to dream already of a Semi final place, set the stage for Germany’s preferred counter attack soccer style. It served them well since all three additional second half goals were scored in masterfully executed counters that frazzled the Argentinians beyond their own belief. The disbelief of defeat was written all over Maradonna’s face, who had hoped to lead his team into soccer glory like he did in Mexico in 1986.

In the last remaining Quarter Final between Spain and Paraguay the Del Bosque “torreadores” could only thank their Goal Keeper Iker Casilles for not being ousted and send home in a “punch and counter punch” game that never reached any top quality until about the 60th minute of the game when Paraguay’s first corner kick “forced” Gerard Pique to wrestle Oscar Cardozo to the ground. A Penalty kick. The fouled man, never a good idea, could not get past Cassilas who sensed the location of the penalty drive. One minute later Spain was awarded a penalty on the opposite side (it seemed the referee was in the mood to set finally some fire into the play). Xabi Alonso buried his spot-kick but Spanish joy was short lived, with a retake ordered for encroachment. This time goalkeeper Villar dived low to his left and parried Alonso’s effort, and Paraguay scrambled the rebound to safety. Finally 7 min. before time Pedro after an unobstructed drive hit the Paraguay goal post and the rebound landed in David Villa’s foot who managed to hit the right inside post bouncing to the left inside post to finally drop behind the line. 1-0 for Spain in a game that could have seen either side go through to the semi finals.

Most astounding is that at the beginning of the Quarter Finals 4 South American Teams (Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil) were vying for a place in the Semi Finals with 3 European sides (Germany, Spain and the Netherlands) and one African country – Ghana. Imagine that Ghana in the 122 st. min. would have converted their penalty kick, none of the Latin American representatives would have made it into the Semi finals. An absolute novelty.

Although Holland and Germany still need to pass the hurdle of Uruguay and Spain respectively, there is a good chance that these “neighbors” will meet again in a repeat “face-off” of 1974 but on African soil. Should this final become the closing of a remarkable South African World Cup Soccer tournament, the Dutch have a mistake to correct that Johan Cruyff and Johan Neeskens made by underestimating the German resilience. Today Argentina became victim of such underestimation and it should be a warning that Germany is set-out to prove that they are, even with a very young and inexperienced team, the new generation of soccer greats to beat.

Semi Finals:

The Netherlands – Uruguay : Tuesday July 6 2:30pm EST Durban, South Africa

Germany – Spain : Wednesday July 7, 2:30pm EST Cape Town, South Africa

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Semi Finals World Cup Soccer: Holland – Uruguay

Holland meet Uruguay in Semi finals, Ghana and Brazil go home

Holland meet Uruguay in Semi finals, Ghana and Brazil go home

If anyone ever had to write a scary soccer scenario, “The African Queen” movie screen writer would have likely gotten the job. Uruguay would have been eliminated in the 122 min. in overtime if Ghana’s Gyan had kept his cool after a last minute hands-ball penalty. Ghana’s nerves and everyone’s in the stadium were fried with a mixture of anticipation that Ghana would take its place in history as a semi-finalist against the Netherlands who earlier in the day, in it’s own thriller, beat Brazil 2-1.

It wasn’t to be as striker Gyan powered his ball high against the crossbar and with it the golden chance to become the first African to power the African continent onto the highest Global Soccer Platform and becoming the symbol that would have given all the people of the African nations the hope and possibly the drive that soccer could help them rise above the worlds poverty line. I sincerely hope that Ghana and with it the African continent can refrain from seeing this as a defeat but rather as a promise to come in the future, since hope is the only emotion that drives people to greatness.

Ghana still had a chance in the penalty shootout to reach the semi finals but poorly taken penalties from Stephen Appiah and Dominic Adiyiah sealed the fate that Uruguay wrote a piece of history for themselves. They get a chance to reach the highest soccer glory if they can muster up a win over Holland and whomever else that will reach the finals. It won’t be easy since the Dutch got their boost of confidence today reaching the semi finals by putting Brazil out of the tournament and clearing the way to reach their finals.

The Netherlands – Brazil

A nervous start of the Dutch rattling mistakes gave the Brazilians the lead in the tenth minute through Robinho after a bad clearing from the dutch defenders. Although the Brazilians showed class and were hunting down a second goal their uncalled for “superiority” got the best of them. Holland under the tirelessly efforts of Marc v. Bommel and Wesley Snijder progressively started reorganizing the Dutch game and slowly creeping up to the expected standard.

Often brilliant combination soccer by the Brazilians got more and more interrupted by the unrelenting efforts of Kuyt, v. Bommel and Ooyer leading to counter attacks from the Oranje Team. Before halftime the Brazilians where able to keep Robin v. Persie and Arjan Robben in check however the dark clouds where packing over the Brazilians. In the 40th min. Kaka was given a fantastic chance and calm and collected he took aim with a curling shot that would have been the Tournament’s most beautiful goal yet Maarten stekelenburg showed that he  is the undisputed goalkeeper of this tournament with a fantastic save denying the Brazilians to take a 2-0 lead that would have made the game much tougher for the Dutch.

The second half saw a further deteriorating game with many fouls leading to a series of yellow cards for the Brazilians and their sense of a team spirit started running down fast to freezing point. This was compounded when Julio Cesar, considered the best goal keeper in the world, made a fatal mistake by misjudging a free kick after foul number 20 +. The ball sailed high past everyone and kept curving towards the goal and Julio Cesar completely missed the ball while Melo slightly touched the ball that landed in the back of the net. Technically the goal was scored by Wesley Snijder but the slight touch made the officials judge that it was an own goal.

This set the game further ablaze and Holland started playing soccer while the Brazilians played more against themselves than their opponent. Within minutes of the equalizer the Orange fans had reason to celebrate again after a masterfully taken cornerkick by Arjan Robben serving Robin v. Persie at the near post who extended the ball that landed on Wesley Snijder’s head, normally he does not score with his head, but this time his nod hit the mark and made the net bulge a second time.

The Brazilians had to create pressure and it seemed they managed for a couple minutes but when this did not resulted into rewards their mood went south leading to a Red Card for Melo after not only fouling Arjan Robben but also kicking him when he was floored. The Japanese referee had no choice but to pull his red card upon which the Brazilian game further deteriorated. The south Americans can feel lucky that the soccer playing Dutch did not capitalize on the many chances they created since the game could have easily become a shootout match. It wasn’t to be, but the Dutch finally got their revenge for two previous ousts in 1994 in Dallas and 2002 in St. Etienne France when Brazil denied them to advance to the semi finals and finals respectively after epic battles on the fields.

Ghana – Uruguay

The Black Stars from Ghana will have to be content with having become just the third side from the continent to make the quarter-final stage, although they could have won the match with the final kick of extra time after Luis Suarez handled a goal-bound effort on the line. But with Suarez sent off, their top scorer, Asamoah Gyan, smashed a penalty off the bar that would have tipped the scales to the Africans after Sulley Muntari and Diego Forlan had scored either side of half-time.

Uruguay started the match on the front foot, looking dangerous from dead-ball situations and through the dynamic duo of Forlan and Suarez up front. Suarez had the first real chance in the 11th minute when he beat a Ghanaian defender down the the left. He cut into the box but blasted his shot right at goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

Kingson was the hero for the west Africans twice in short succession. In the 18th minute, from Forlan’s corner, he reacted quickly to keep out the ball after it deflected off John Mensah and was seemingly destined for the back of the net. Seven minutes later, he rescued another defender, this time Isaac Vorsah, who missed a tackle allowing Suarez in on goal. But the net-minder just got his fingertips to Suarez’s effort to push it over acrobatically.

finally Ghana  settled into the match and only narrowly missed going ahead twice near the half-hour mark. From Ghana’s first corner, Vorsah headed just wide of the post. A minute later, Gyan skimmed the other post after a strong run and cross from Kevin Prince Boateng. The Portsmouth midfielder almost opened the scoring himself in spectacular fashion in the 45th minute, but his overhead kick in front of goal spun off his foot. However, the west Africans got their breakthrough on the stroke of half-time as Muntari scored with a curling 35-yard shot that seemed to deceive the goalkeeper before finding the left-hand corner.

But if they ended the first period on a high, Ghana started the second on a low as Forlan’s free-kick from near the left corner of the box fooled Kingson with its swerve in the 55th minute and bulged the net. The Atletico Madrid hit-man continued to play with confidence and in the 63rd minute he brought the ball down well on the left side of the box in a dangerous position. His cross beat Kingson, but Suarez, who had three goals coming into the match, could only volley into the side-netting at the far post.

From her on the match became an open ended hit and miss with both sides creating dangerous situations before the goals but neither side was able to put their claim to the next round into reality.

Overtime was the dessert, and what a dessert it was with Ghana clearly have the better chances yet it took until the last effort 122 min. drive to claim victory. It was not to be with the missed penalty and the subsequent penalty shootout Uruguay showed the better nerves and the acrobatic antics of Abrue send the south Americans into the Semi Finals.

World Cup Soccer Knock-out Round 16 – Day 3-4

Holland Meet Brazil, Chile and Slovakia go home. Iberian battle is on!

Holland Meet Brazil, Chile and Slovakia go home. Iberian battle is on!

In the first game of the day between the Netherlands and Slovakia, the Dutch showed again that they have grown-up by realizing that aesthetic and attacking football maybe pleasing to the eye but at the final whistle the only points that count are the goals scored. Slovakia became the 4th. victim of this new philosophy.

In soberness yet very effective strides Holland brought in the brilliance when needed and that was when the time was ripe to score. Arjan Robben, returning from an Hamstring injury 19 days ago in the start-up line, showed again his brilliance after 18 minutes. After controlling the game up until the moment Arjan Robben was send on his long way to the goal on the right hand side outwitting two defenders when he moved inside to the left and firing with a precise shot past Jan Muncha.

Arsenal ace Van Persie had the next chances as halftime approached. He surprised the Slovakia defence in the 41st minute but, after cutting in from the left, could only muster a soft ball at Muncha. With just seconds to go before half-time, he then raced in behind the back line but failed to control Mark van Bommel’s low cross blasting wide.

Robben was in the mood again when the second period got underway. After Van Persie dragged the Slovakia defense out of position, the ball landed at the foot of the former Chelsea man, who maneuvered himself inside the area only for his sizzling low shot to be tipped by Muncha’s fingertips. The goalkeeper was called into action again from the resulting corner, bravely blocking a Joris Mathijsen effort from close range.

In the 67th min. Slovakia suddenly shifted to a more attacking 4-4-2 system bearing some fruit in creating two good chances via Vittek and Stoch both excellently handled by Dutch goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.

From here on the Dutch shifted into a higher gear in search of their second goal and with 6 min. to go Dirk Kuyt masterfully shielded the ball from keeper Jan Muncha after a quickly taken free kick outplaying the goalkeeper and his low cross was slotted home by Wesley Snijder.

Slovakia was awarded a penalty in the last min. in stoppage time but it was too late for the Slovaks to change their fortune. The Dutch now play the Brazilian “train” this coming Friday in Port Elizabeth’s Nelson Mandela Stadium.

Brazil – Chile

The second round sixteen game between Brazil and Chile saw a brave Chilean side taking on the Goliath of the South American continent. for a third time Chile was knocked out of the tournament by their neighbors through goals from Juan, Fabiano and Robinho.

Chile, started opportunistic against the Brazilians and while creating more ball possession the Brazilians when simply much more dangerous. Chile knew how to get the ball into the box but not into the goal and this was merciless penalized in the last ten minutes of the first half when Juan towered higher then everyone and nodded home past goalkeeper Bravo. Four minutes later the Brazilians had their second one while the Chileans where appealing for an offside, Fabiano accepted a splitting pass from Kaka, rounded Bravo and slotted home.

Chile created their only chance on target through a shot from Humberto Suazo barely bothering goal keeper Julio Cesar just before half time.

Returning on the pitch Chile tried to put even more pressure on the Brazilians but this compromised their back line opening up for counter attacks by Brazil that proved to be successful just before the hour mark. Ramires marched past two white shirts as if they didn’t exist and passed on to Robinho who curled the ball past Bravo’s hand to slot home their third goal.

Chile refused to give up and their approach towards the goal was slick but the closing was simply miserable. Chance after chance were fumbled or put wide, over or straight into the arms of Julio Cesar.

The score remained until the final whistle 3-0 setting up a second mouthwatering quarter final meeting between Brazil and the Netherlands. The two titans are to meet again. The Brazilians are on top of their game, as are the Dutch. The difference will be played out who has the best nerves as it will be a thriller for both sides.

tomorrow, June 29 the following last round 16 games are:

Paraguay – Japan at 10:00am EST

Japan and Paraguay are bidding both to write a bit of history tomorrow as neither side ever reached the quarter finals in a World Cup.

Spain and Portugal at 2:30pm EST

Two countries that share the Iberian Peninsula yet it is the first time that these rivals meet in a World Cup. Both sides must win since going home prematurely will be out of the question for both nations.

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World Cup Soccer Knockout round 16 day 2

Germany beat England, Argentina Mexico. Face off between arch rivals

Germany beat England, Argentina Mexico. Face off between arch rivals

Germany and Argentina move on to the Quarter Finals in Wold Cup Soccer South Africa 2010 leaving England and Mexico empty handed. And what a day it was.

Arch rivals Germany and England put up a display of pure soccer magic that eventually resulted in a 4-1 win for Germany and would suggest that the game was a one sided display. The Germans dominated from the opening whistle and took a very fast 2-0 lead over England. This shook up the fans, the players and brought the entire game to a thriller with chances on both sides.

Joachim Klose (20th min) and Lucas Podolski’s (32nd min) goals gave Germany a fast safety margin and was mostly contributed due to lapse of concentration on the British side in the exact similar fashion as described yesterday being the reason why the USA was ousted. As defenders you cannot let this “flying” ball bounce in high forward passes as it will have deadly consequences in this World Cup. The English defenders did let a high ball from Goal Keeper Neuer bounce and Klose wormed himself between two British defenders to put his foot against the ball before British Goal Keeper David James could reach it.

The opening goal forced England to play the game Germany loves. The young team of the Germans like the high speed breaks that demolished the Australians and Serbia in the opening round. Several high speed breaks lead to extreme dangerous situations in front of the England goallie and it was just a matter of time and in the 32nd min. it was Podolski after being set-up by Mueller that got sufficient time to put the ball right in front of his good foot and slotted home.

Finally the British woke up to the reality of facing a two goal deficit. Their immediate increase of pressure resulted into Lampard, after a short corner, dropping a delightful ball right on the head of Upson who nodded English style the ball into the net. 60 Seconds later Lampard himself was to be the hero for England when his powerful strike hit the underside of the bar and the ball bounced down. Everyone but the referees clearly saw the goal and video slow motion showed that the ball bounced at least 2 feet behind the goal line. This could/should have been a game changer but it was not to be.

In the Second half England had no alternative than to play the German Game. On two occasions within the opening minutes England could have scored but goal keeper Neuer and again the crossbar stood in the way of equalizing. The pressure game England put up left the defense vulnerable to counter attacks and in the 67th min. after a free kick from Lampard hitting the wall and the bounce landed in Mueller’s feet who passed to Steinschweiger in a high speed break outnumbering the British. A delightful pass at exactly the right time put Mueller eye to eye with goallie James. His powered his strike past James to extend the German lead to 3-1. German’s fourth was a carbon copy of the third putting again Mueller into scoring position which he did without fail from the high speed break.

England never gave up but could not avoid their heaviest rivalry defeat against the Germans in Fifa World Cup history.

Argentina – Mexico

Diego Maradonna’s Argentina side where simply too strong for the hard working Mexicans although it started out so promising when Carlos Saldico’s long range drive rattled the crossbar. Another lucky escape for the Argentineans just minutes later when Andres Guardado’s fierce shot spun away from the far post. At this point the Argentineans took over the game in a clinical fashion under leadership of superstar Messi who is still haunting his first goal in South Africa. It seems that his role is carved in stone as the “General” orchestrating the chances for his team mates. Breaking the deadlock Messi served Matchwinner Tevez with a brilliant high ball after Tevez saw his first attempt fizzled by Mexican goal keeper Oscar Perez. From here on the Albiceleste took a firm grip on the game while Mexico reached for the self destruct button 7 min after the opener. Mexico’s Ricardo Osorio must have been thinking about something completely unrelated to soccer when he passed a cross directly into Argentina’s Higuain’s feet and the Real Madrid striker accepted readily this gift leaving the grounded Perez without a chance netting his 4th goal of the tournament.

Argentina should have closed the door on Mexico before the half time whistle but Higuain wastefully headed wide with the goal at his mercy. Returning from teatime, Argentina continued where they left off and Tevez again proved that the Argentineans can score whenever they want with a marvelous strike into the top right corner.

Although Mexico must have realized that the game was up being 3 goals down, they continued with “verve” and conviction to attack and they should have pulled back in the 63rd. min. with a header that looked more difficult to get over the crossbar in stead of into the net. Just two minutes later the Mexicans got their consolidation goal with a stunning left foot shot high into roof of the net by Martin Demichelis. It would proof to be scant for the crestfallen Mexicans. El Tri returning home with their dreams dashed while Argentina can now plot their revenge against some very familiar foes.

The two World Cup contenders Argentina and Germany are now to meet and either side has to deliver proof of concept as their playing style preferences are not very different from each other. It’s going to be an interesting game that may have all ingredients of the finals but via time warp placed into the Quarter Finals.

Games Monday June 27, 2010
As statistics prove, the Netherlands never really liked to play the Slovakians and it is one of the few countries the Netherlands has a negative balance against. We’ll see it the Dutch can shake their ghosts from the past.

Chile will try to turn the tides to not lose against their South American rivals which all too often has been the case. Although expected is that the Brazilians have the better chances of booking their quarter finals than the Dutch, Chile is not going to give up re-writing the record books.

The Netherlands – Slovakia  10 am EST
Brazil – Chile 2:30pm EST

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World Cup Soccer Knockout round 16 day 1

Uruguay and Ghana in last 8, US and S. Korea go home

Uruguay and Ghana in last 8, US and S. Korea go home

Uruguay and Ghana reach quarter finals in hotly contended games beating respectively South Korea and the United States under watchful eyes of ex-President Clinton and Mick Jagger (Rolling Stones).

Uruguay and South Korea where the first two teams to battle over the advancement to the quarter finals in rainy Port Elizabeth and match winner was Luis Suarez for Uruguay. His two brilliant goals downed the South Koreans who had many an opportunity to take the lead but a tactical fast paced Uruguay executed clockwork yet surprising plays that the overly structured Koreans simply could not master.

The Koreans could have taken the lead but the free kick ball from Park Chu-Young
hit the goal post on the wrong side. Barely 3 minutes later an unmarked Suarez slotted home a low cross that should have been intercepted by the Korean goalkeeper to take the lead.

The Koreans played masterful plays but where unable to tear open the Uruguay defense until the 68 min. of the game when a badly cleared header sailed straight to the unmarked Lee Chu-Young who had no problem heading home the equalizer. The Koreans who had been dominant throughout the second part of the match made an lethal mistake by not pressing on their advantage and withdrew into a defensive position. La Celeste (Uruguay) got handed the key to seek their luck in pulling ahead again. The Ajax forward Suarez, who was left almost unmarked when Forlan’s corner kick sailed past everyone, and landed in Suarez’s feet who elegantly sidestepped a Korean defender and blasted homemade from the edge of the box.

Korea had one more chance to equalize but saw their attempt in slow motion edge towards the empty goal after Uruguay goalkeeper  Musiera half stopped the ball to finally being cleared by Lugano.

Uruguay held on to their 2-1 advantage and booked their slot in the quarter finals they last reached in 1970.

USA – Ghana

The much anticipated match between the United States and Ghana went into overtime but Gyan fired Ghana into the last eight.

Ghana is marching on as the last hopeful for the African continent after emerging victorious against a leaderless United States. The black stars will meet the Uruguayans in johannesburg on July 2nd while being only the third nation to eaver reach the last 8.

The West African stunned the USA in the first 5 min. after Ricardo Clark clumsily and completely unnecessary gave the ball away to Boateng who outran the USA defense and his low shot beat goallie Tim Howard.

The US never found their rhythm in the first half and sorely miss a “motor” and organizer who can direct and captain the individually excellent players.

The US was second best in the first half. They created several chance to pull alongside the Ghanaese but simply failed in a lackluster way to beat the dominant player on the field and goalkeeper Richard Kingson.

The US coach felt that he had to chance the set-up by bringing in midfielder Robbie Feilhaber. This switch almost immediately paid off. A much more aggressive American team came onto the pitch and started pushing Ghana back into their defense. Several almost not to miss chances where created but the American forwards somehow either ran into Kingson or had their shoes wrongly knotted and sorely missed chance after chance.

Finally with the help of a well deserved penalty kick, Dempsey was clattered by Johnathan Mensay inside the box, Donovan’s millimeter correct execution pulled the US equal.

Although several other chances where created none hit the mark. Overtime.

Ghana opened the same way as they did at the start of the game. A clear misunderstanding between the two US defenders who let the high ball bounce in between them into the direction of Tim Howard in stead of clearing it, Ghana’s most dangerous striker Gyan raced between the two defenders to pick-up the bounce and fired home leaving the US goal keeper without a chance.

Although the US tried to find again a rhythm, it became very obvious that an orchestrator was the missing link. As the minutes ticked away so did the energy and creativity in the US attacks.

The USA has a great team of individuals and some organization but it misses a true captain capable of orchestrating and motivating the individuals to become a real team. I’m sure that we will see the United States back in 4 years on the highest showcase platform in soccer but we’ll have to wait and see if a good team can become a great team.

Games Sunday June 26, 2010

England – Germany  10 am EST

Argentina – Mexico 2:30pm EST

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World Cup Soccer Game Day 15 – Preview

Brazil and Portugal - Spain and Chile rounds of death

Brazil and Portugal - Spain and Chile rounds of death

Today will be the last games in the Group stages G and H and it promises to be as dramatic and thriller like as  yesterday when Italy got their tickets handed by Slovakia (2-3). Not to advance but to go home. Reigning World Cup Champions met the same fate as their opponents France 4 years ago. Most remarkable about the Azzurri’s exit was there strength has become their weakness. Defense has always been the saving grace for Italy but proved to be the nail in their coffin in South Africa. Having to fish 5 balls out of the net in 6 real attempts on goal throughout the Italian campaign is a statistic well worth noting without doing Slovakia injustice with an excellent played game in which they deservedly put them against the Dutch in the round of 16 in Durban next week Monday.

The Netherlands advanced unblemished with a maximum of 9 points out of three games and what could have turned into a lullaby game between Cameroon and Holland, was actually an open, no holes barred game that Cameroon did not want to lose.

Holland’s superstar returned after a 19 day hamstring injury and uncertainty if he would ever set foot on South African soccer soil. His 18 min. first appearance showed why Arjan Robben is the most sought after striker in the world. The Dutch were doing fine to meet their objectives but when Robben in his typical right wing, left foot style curved the ball from 20 yards out against the inside goal post for Klaas Jan Huntelaar to slot home in an open goal, Robben’s super stardom was once again confirmed earning the Dutch the maximum points in their Group.

Japan was the other team out of Group E that advanced after a 3-1 rout against other qualifying hopeful Denmark. Japan will meet Paraguay who kept the “All Whites” from New Zealand at a goalless draw in Group F, in their round 16. New Zealand, Without losing a game can go home with pride not to having lost a game and being responsible for keeping World Champion Italy out of the round 16.

Today Group G and H go down the wire. While group G, Brazil – placed, Portugal Ivory Coast and North Korea is pretty much decided, the two main Portuguese speaking Countries Portugal and Brazil always have a beef so expect some fireworks. Portugal can still become group winner.

Group H is a complete different story. Chile and Spain will meet each other in a do or die match. The Chileans are not going to give up their top position and a loss would mean uncertainty about their advancement into the next round while Spain must win to keep their World Champion contender position. A draw between the to would guarantee Chile to advance while Spain would be at the mercy of the other game in Group H between Switzerland and Honduras.

While Honduras only has a theoretical chance of advancing to the next round it is a chance and they are not going to hand the Swiss a walk in the park. The Swiss will have to win this game with a two goal margin to secure their advancement and will do everything in their power to do just that because regardless the outcome between Chile and Spain they would advance to the last 16. A draw may suffice but that would mean that the Swiss are at the mercy that Spain would lose a second time at the finals. A foolhardy approach.

The ingredients in Group H, where any of the teams can still advance into the round of the last 16, will guarantee a front row seat on many coaches across the world and ESPN 3 with picture in picture displaying both games may become the most sought after TV channel today.

Portugal – Brazil and Ivory Coast – North Korea at 10:00am EST

Chile – Spain and Switzerland – Honduras at 2:30pm EST

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World Cup Soccer Game day 14 – Preview

World Cup Group E and F decided today

World Cup Group E and F decided today

It looks like the USA is turning into a soccer nation after all since their well deserved win and display of backbone against the Algerians who fought desperately to keep their chances alive. The Untied States showed that the game is really not over until the last whistle from the referee sounds scoring in virtually the last chance in overtime through Donovan.

In the other Game in Group C between England and Slovenia, the British did the same by finally showing that they did deserve a place in the next round by edging the group leaders with a 1-0 win.

England will face Germany while the US will meet Ghana who despite losing to Germany (1-0) advanced because the Aussies did not want to go home without one win in their group stage. The other contender for a spot in the last 16 were the Serbs but the Socceroos showed their fighting spirit in trying to do the impossible in scoring enough goals themselves and hoping that Germany would put a serious dent into Ghana’s goal deficit to advance them selves. It didn’t work but secured Ghana’s place in the last 16.

Today Group E and F play their last games.

The Netherlands game against the Cameroonian team is only a formality since Holland already advanced to the next round while the Danes and Japan will battle over the last spot in Group E. The outcome of this game can go either way but a draw between the two will only benefit Japan on a better goal difference.

Group F is where everything still needs to be decided including the reigning World Cup Champions Italy who still need to secure their ticket to round 16 against the Slovakians while Paraguay are taking on the “all Whites” from New Zealand.

If we would believe that rankings have any meaning in this World Cup, the outcome in both games would be obvious but no team can just rest on their “credentials”. The New Zealand team kept the Italians on a draw a couple of days ago and can be marked as one of the biggest upsets in the tournament. The All Whites on paper have the tougher task on taking on Paraguay ho only need a draw to advance while a draw for new zealand would do them any good unless the Italians in their game against the Slovakians also only end up in a draw.

Should that happen than the rule books will have to be dusted off since New Zealand would end equally on points, goals, and their match against the Italians also ended equally. A dilemma for the tournament organizers would put a serious dent in this wonderful World Cup tournament since a “lottery” would decide who will draw the shorter end of the stick. A rather embarrassing negative note we hope that will not be required.

As for the two tickets to round 16? Anything is possible in this Group F.

Group E matches advance at 2:30pm EST while Group F matches are played starting at 10:00am EST.

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