Thursday, May 31, 2012

Memorial Day Celebration at the Lake

See here for Joshua Smith's article in On Common Ground.

Saturday saw the usual Memorial Day celebration at the lake-- the official opening of the beach, city-provided hamburgers and hotdogs, kayaks in the lake, a biplane flying overhead, and a parade.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mean Kitty

This is for the many cat lovers in Pine Lake

When Cory Williams' introduced his Mean Kitty song on YouTube in 2007 it immediately went viral. 

Cory's Sparta (the Mean Kitty) is a male Egyptian mau cat. Maus are a natural breed, believed to be almost unchanged from the time of the Pharaohs. Maus are the cats depicted in 3000-year-old Egyptian artwork. They are believed to be the progenitors of modern cats.

Maus are a medium-sized short-haired breed characterized by spots on their fur (but not on their skin). They have either a scarab beetle marking or an M on their forehead (scarabs mostly in Egypt, Ms mostly in the U.S. When grown, their eyes are gooseberry green. Their rear legs are longer than their front legs, and they have a pouch of skin like that of a cheetah. This enables them to jump further and run faster than other cats. Maus have been clocked at 36 miles per hour!

I had never heard of the Mau, and neither had my sweetie until she got a call a year ago from her friend Richard. Richard, it seemed, had been driving all around New York and Connecticut in his new Prius-- from his home in the Hudson Valley to New York City, to Connecticut, and back to the Hudson Valley. When he stopped the car for fueling he heard a tiny meow. Or maybe a tiny mau.

Under the hood Richard found a six-week-old silver kitten perched atop the starter battery. How it had avoided falling through the engine to the highway is still a mystery.

Mau Kitten. This is Exactly How the Kitten Looked
Note the M on the Forehead

Richard-- no doubt because she had recently lost her 17-year-old cat-- phoned Sweetie, who drove to his home to pick it up and keep it just for the weekend.

Just for the weekend. Right.

Of course Sweetie kept the kitten. Here's how she looks now-- the spitting image of Mean Kitty.

After much Googling, Sweetie narrowed the kitten's breed down to three or four, and, finally, just one-- the Egyptian Mau. She named her Ivory.

Ivory has all the physical markings of a Mao, and the behavioral traits as well. She uses her paws in ways other cats rarely do, as here, when she knocks down dominos. Madeline, Sweetie's other cat, uses her nose; Ivory uses her paws, both times. She's hyperkinetic, a well-known Mau trait, an everlastingly curious ball of energy. Her behavior is just like that of Cory's Sparta, even to the hand gnawing and a nonchalance about being locked up in small spaces. Despite several trips to the vet, she likes to hang out in her cat carrier.

He's so full of energy and easily amused
Kitty will attack anything that moves
Causing trouble, starting battles just so he can be a part of
He’s the meanest little kitty so we named him Sparta

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pine Lake Resident Tommie Lynn Storms is Winner of Service to Community Award at Limestone College

GAFFNEY, SC (05/15/2012)(readMedia)-- Pine Lake (30072) resident Tommie Lynn Storms was presented with Limestone College's Service to Community Award during Limestone's alumni weekend April 19-22, 2012. The award is presented annually to an alumnus/a who exhibits the ideals of civic responsibilities.

A 1981 graduate of Limestone College, Storms is the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of the Atlanta-based American Association of Adapted Sports Programs. AAASP is the country's first and only not-for-profit organization focused solely on mainstream inclusion of athletes with physical disabilities in grade school.

When the Paralympic Games were held in Atlanta in 1996, she served on the Volunteer Placement Steering Committee, an organization charged with the training and placement of over seventy-thousand volunteers. She lent her talents and skills to the Initiative Two-Thousand Organizing Committee which developed and implemented a torch run across America to commemorate the tenth year anniversary of the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Storms has been a member of the Grant Advisory Board for the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation and chaired a committee to develop housing for seniors and low-income residents of the Pine Lake community in DeKalb, Georgia.

Storms is also serving her alma mater as a member of the President's Advisory Committee.

Limestone College is a four-year, liberal arts institution with its main campus in Gaffney, SC. The college is also a pioneer in the medium of Internet-based courses. Established in 1845, Limestone offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, bachelor of social work, associate of arts, and associate of science degrees through traditional and non-traditional educational opportunities.

For more information, log onto

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Say Hello to Normando Ismay

As I was walking this morning I noticed a man working on the former home of I.B. Melton. On a second glance, I noticed the For Sale sign had been taken down.

I had a nice conversation with Normando Ismay, an artist known to many Pine Lakers, and now the owner of the house of a former mayor of Pine Lake.

Normando and his partner Celeste Miller bought the property and are moving in in preparation for renovations. He hopes to establish a trust to own and preserve the house. He told me he plans to build a studio on the site of the now cracked tennis court.

Normando gave me a tour of the house, which is at the moment in shambles. I took photos inside the house but promised not to post them until I can get after pictures with which to contrast them.

I'm hitting myself on the head for not getting Normando's contact information. If you pass the house and see him, say hello. He's a welcome new neighbor.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Pine Lake Police on the Job

In 2005, Pine Lake Officer Francis Manuel Ortega Lost His Life in the Line of Duty

I arrived home from a trip away on Tuesday and went to bed early and slept like the dead.

At about 5 am I heard a repeating noise. It sounded as if my iPod was talking to me, or maybe my computer in the other room. But why would they be talking.

I got out of bed and looked down the stairs to see two police officers in my living room.

I had left the door unlocked!

My house had been on the watch list and they were just making sure burglars weren't in the house.

I'm happy they were on the job.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Securing Your Windows and Doors


With homes in the city being broken into with depressing regularity, it's prudent to secure your home.

Sash locks and deadbolts can help.

Available at Home Depot, Lowe's, and Ace Hardware, sash locks allow you to secure your windows with key locks; most allow you to lock them closed or partially open (of course not open enough to allow someone to crawl through). They sell for about $15 per window. I good a good deal on four with identical keys on eBay.

They're fairly easy to install; all you need is an electric drill with bits of the proper size and a screwdriver.

Sash locks won't stop thieves from smashing out the window frame and entering your home, but it will stop them from being able to slide open your window (even if they break the glass) and gain easy entry.

Deadbolts make it more difficult for thieves to kick in a door because they create an additional point of reinforcement. I have double deadbolts on both my doors, meaning keys are required on both sides. I don't lock the deadbolts when I'm inside the house, but when I'm away, even for a short trip to the grocery, I do.

With sash locks and deadbolts the only way a thief is getting
into my house is by smashing in my doors (not as easy as it looks in
the movies) or hammering out an entire divided window. This can of
course be done, but thieves are looking for easy marks and don't
want to be taking sledgehammers to houses.

Monitored home alarms are good, but I would consider securing my
doors and windows first.