Congratulations to Sabrina Gast, York County's Coroner

We in the Blogland want to thank Governor Sanford for re-appointing York County's interim Coroner Sabrina Gast to permanently take over the office tomorrow when the current Coroner's resignation becomes effective.

We also want to thank the many people who expressed their support for Gast's permanent appointment. Her qualifications are outstanding, and include:

  • Qualified as an expert witness in York County as a Nurse, Forensic Nurse, and as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner.
  • Reduced the 2007 budget for the coroner's office.
  • Participate in the "Alive at 25" education program through the SC National Safety Council.
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing.
  • Masters Degree in Forensic Nursing from Duquesne University.
  • Certified by the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI)
  • Certified Emergency Nurse (CEN)
  • Certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE-A)
  • Certified Forensic Nurse (CFN)

Between her qualifications and time spent as the county's interim Coroner, we know she'll be a real asset to York County government and a qualified and compassionate public servant. We were proud to endorse her re-appointment and believe the people of York County will be well served with her on the job.

Her term in office will be short, as she will be standing for election for a full four-year term on the November ballot. Her campaign website is online at http://www.gastforcoroner.com/.

In November, we hope the voters of York County will realize what an outstanding public servant she's been and ask them to give her the honor of serving as their full-fledged elected Coroner.

July 2008: the Month in Review

If you're reading this, it means you survived the month of July - congratulations!

It also means you didn't have anything else better to do. But if you're here now, join us for a look back at July 2008 in the Blogland:

July was a challenging month in the Blogland with the passing of a close personal friend -
Stan Spears, Jr.

We recognized two outstanding freshmen legislators: Rep. Shannon Erickson and Sen. Shane Massey, as well as two retiring legislators: Rep. Bill Cotty and Sen. John Drummond. On the other side, we dissed Barack Obama (again) for being a hypocrite on environmental issues - but our readers didn't seem very surprised.

There was good news for some. State Rep. Annette Young essentially got re-elected early when her opponent dropped out, five printed and bound copies of the Master's thesis arrived, and Secretary of State Mark Hammond began kicking butt and taking names, Dirty Harry style.

As always, we like to see what mattered most to our readers, who could be doing almost anything else in the world, but instead choose to spend some of their time with us.

So which postings did YOU read the most this month?

1)
Remembering Stan Spears, Jr.
2)
An early win for Rep. Annette Young?
3)
Is Mark Hammond South Carolina's Dirty Harry?
4)
“She knows exactly what she is doing”: Shannon Erickson, Outstanding Freshman Representative
5)
“He is so much more”: Bill Cotty, Distinguished Outgoing Representative
6)
South Carolina blogger pushing for Hawaii 5-0 remake
7)
Appoint Sabrina Gast Coroner of York County
8)
Is Barack Obama a corporate sell-out on environmental issues
9)
Rep. Erickson hosts event for Bronze Star recipient
10)
1st Blogland legislative awards

... and which postings did you discuss the most?

1)
“She knows exactly what she is doing”: Shannon Erickson, Outstanding Freshman Representative
2)
Video poker inspired by Sanford's ethical retreat?
3)
My thesis, in print
4)
Is Mark Hammond South Carolina's Dirty Harry?
5)
Appoint Sabrina Gast Coroner of York County
6)
“He is so much more”: Bill Cotty, Distinguished Outgoing Representative
7)
“A new level of enthusiasm”: Shane Massey, Outstanding Freshman Senator
8)
The Blogland’s Summer Painkiller Contest
9)
A little "Rock and Roll"
10)
South Carolina blogger pushing for Hawaii 5-0 remake

As always, we appreciate your readership. Be sure to stay tuned as we make August a fun month for one and all!

Massey to push for roll call voting in Senate

What a difference a week can make.

On the heels of the S.C. Policy Council's report on the widespread use of voice voting in both houses of the General Assembly, Senator Shane Massey has officially jumped on the roll call voting bandwagon:


Last year I introduced the Appropriations Bill Earmark Disclosure Act, a bill that will bring greater transparency to the budgeting process by requiring legislators to put their names on requests for funds going to local projects. Unfortunately the bill died because too many big spending politicians want to fund their pet projects in secret.

I support Senator Glenn McConnell’s effort to push a commonsense conservative plan through the General Assembly. The people of South Carolina should be able to hold legislators accountable for the decisions they make at the State House, and roll call votes bring instant accountability. To bring more transparency to state government, I will ask for a roll call vote in the South Carolina Senate on any bill that requires a significant expenditure of state funds.

South Carolina faces extraordinary challenges in education, healthcare, and energy. We will never be able to solve those problems if state government keeps wasting taxpayer dollars. I was elected on a commitment that I would do whatever I could to shake things up in Columbia and tackle the tough problems facing our state. I intend to make good on that commitment even if it means ruffling a few feathers along the way.


We certainly support Massey's willingness to take up this cause in the Senate, and hope others in the Senate will join him in this valuable reform effort.

Is there a Headbanger in the (Virginia) House?

We wanted to share some pics we took while at the recent Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and Motorhead concert. One of the pictures taken in the parking lot was of a Virgina state legislator, a House member with the tag number "22". As you can see, this person either a Republican or supports a lot of them.


Virgina House seat #22 is currently held by Republican Kathy Bryon of the Lynchburg area, but lots of chambers don't assign tag numbers based upon district numbers, so it may or may not be her.

If anyone knows who this person is, we're all ears. Whoever he or she is, we're certainly interested in his opinion of the show.

John Edwards news

With all the ongoing hoopla over John Edwards, we wanted to stay completely out of things and not discuss the guy at all. But it's as hard for us to miss a story as it was for Edwards to sit still whenever he would hear the sound of an ambulance siren.

Here's a video we'd like to share with y'all:



Black Sabbath and Judas Priest ROCK in Bristow

Last Thursday night, when Sabbath and the Priest took the stage in Bristow, the mob ruled - and the Blogland was there (and got some killer t-shirts).

To use the words “kick ass” to describe the Black Sabbath and Judas Priest performances would be gross understatements. This was clearly the best show we've seen in two or three years!!!

When Ronnie James Dio and the rest of the reunited “second generation” of Black Sabbath, touring as “Heaven and Hell”, took the stage, the crowd was eager for a show. From opening with the classic “Mob Rules” to closing with “Neon Knights”, Dio’s voice and energy and Tommy Iommi’s guitar mastery rocked the crowd non-stop for the hour-long set.

While many of those in attendance would never have seen this lineup on stage some three decades ago, these guys performed so flawlessly, it sounded like they hadn’t aged a day. Their extended performance of Heaven and Hell included a lot of special lighting effects and showcased Dio’s theatrical talents, just as other moments in the show allowed other band members to stand out in their performances.

Judas Priest has long had a reputation for putting on strong shows. Anyone (like us) who’ve been to dates on their 2005 Angel of Retribution tour would know that the return of Halford didn’t change a thing. But a five-star performance wasn’t enough for these guys, and anyone who saw the show we saw would agree.

The first of many changes in their shows was in opening with “Dawn of Creation” from their new Nostradamus CD set, instead of the Hellion/Electric Eye which they’d opened shows with since the Screaming for Vengeance album. A number of songs that hadn’t been played in their more recent tours were thrown in for good measure, including Deceiver, Eat Me Alive, Rock Hard Ride Free and Devil's Child.

If you caught them on the last tour and thought "this feels good", you ain’t felt nothing yet. The band’s playing was tight, and Halford’s siren vocals were much stronger and louder than the last tour. It was as if the last tour was just practice for this one.

This certainly was a show to be a part of. If you can catch them on the road anywhere in North America, you do not want to miss either of these bands, much less both of them on the same stage.

Chinese flag UPSIDE DOWN at Olympics opening ceremony




Lin Hao, a nine year-old survivor of the recent Chinese earthquake, had a position of honor during the Olympic opening ceremony, walking alongside basketball star Yao Ming at the head of the Chinese delegation of Olympic athletes.

We were surprised - and amused - when we saw he was carrying a flag that was made upside down. Normally that's an international sign of distress, but we figure it was more likely a case of a flag being made by the same people who make American flags for Wal-Mart. Lousy quality control and someone who was either too busy to stop the kid and switch the flag - or someone who wanted to use the kid to make a political statement.

Even more amusing was the fact that Ming took media interviews, carrying Lin Hao, STILL CARRYING THE UPSIDE DOWN FLAG!

The photo, in our humble opinion, is reflective of the nation's tyrannical society and iron-fisted one-party rule - upside down. They can run protestors over with tanks, but they can't double-check the flag carried by one of their stars?!?

One of the commenters called the event an artistic statement about China - we couldn't agree more. Upside down.

Here's a video we found of the occasion:


Kid Carries Chinese Flag Upside Down

Rep. Nikki Haley & legislative voice voting reform

Just when state politics gets stale and boring, leave it to our friends at the Policy Council to shake things up a bit.

Their most recent effort was a solid piece of quantitative analysis of legislative voting practices in the South Carolina General Assembly. According to their research, when a General Bill or Joint Resolution came up before either chamber, only eight percent of the time would the House have a roll-call vote, and only one percent of the time would the Senate choose that option.

Overall, their research indicated 95 percent of votes are cast by voice, meaning the public would never know who voted in support or opposition to a particular bill. This practice is contrasted against the following examples from other Southern states:

  • Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi mandate roll call voting on final passage of all bills,
  • Tennessee requires roll call voting on every bill including bills making appropriations of public dollars, and
  • North Carolina mandates roll call votes on second and third reading of revenue bills.
We understand that in some cases, a bill going before a chamber is essentially uncontested. In such cases, a voice vote is the most expedient means of passage and a roll call vote can slow things down, especially in the last couple of weeks of session. While the Policy Council report does not attempt to make such distinctions, which might have been helpful, we know there are plenty of occasions which a voice vote is not used simply to fast-track legislation with overwhelming support. These are the times which the Policy Council is concerned about, and we believe those concerns are legitimate.

On important issues, we believe the people have a right to know where their legislators stand on important issues, as well as what they are, or aren’t, doing about those issues. It’s a point of view the Policy Council shares, as well as Representative Nikki Haley - so we decided to get her take on this breaking issue.

First question – what have you been doing on this issue, and how much support have these efforts had?

Last session, I introduced House Bill 5019, the 2008 Spending Accountability Act, because I believe legislation that in a time when a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas are roughly the same price we owe it to the public to show them how their hard-earned dollars are being spent.


Second question – we know sometimes a voice vote is the most expedient means to pass a bill, and it’s not intended to cover up anyone’s position on an issue. In your estimation, what percentage of voice votes are simply to speed up a bill, as opposed to being done to provide cover to legislators on politically-volatile legislation?

Whether it’s ten percent or eighty percent, I firmly believe it is sound policy to go on the record. In the business world no one hands over a checkbook and says spend this money wisely. All expenses are recorded and individuals are held accountable for how they spend. The same should be true in state government.


Third question – how do you feel this recent publicity has affected support for these efforts?

I think the recent report by the SC Policy Council validates the need for this type of legislation. While individuals may differ on their conclusions, I think we can all agree that there is clearly a need for more accountability in government, and that’s the chief aim of my legislation.


For the last question, while we can pretty much guess this, but we still have to ask – do you plan to re-introduce legislation on this issue?

Over the past few months, I have been working closely with Senator McConnell on this legislation. We plan to pre-file a comprehensive bill in both the House and the Senate later this year.

Rep. Ballentine asks "How much for your child?"

Here in the Blogland, we've always questioned the line of thinking that argues that the more you spend on education, the better results you'll get.

While we won't doubt there are legitimate needs out there, we would suggest that the present system gets looked at, and funding diverted from programs that don't improve test scores and allocated to those programs which work.

It's what they do every day in the private sector to keep businesses competitive ... and isn't that what our schools are supposed to be doing - making South Carolina more competitive?

Of course that's not what they're supposed to be doing - our schools are supposed to provide job security for educrats and guaranteed revenue for highly-paid consultants.

In his discussion of the need to address equitable and responsible education funding in South Carolina, fellow blogger State Rep. Nathan Ballentine asks the usual, inconvenient questions:



Do we really need FIFTEEN different classifications? In doing research, some states have only three…..1, 1.5, and 2.0? And aren’t these numbers arbitrary really?

Apparently we acknowledge a different “cost” (weight) for each “type” of student. However, one notable exception to me is the “Poor Kid”. (Is that politically correct to say?) My question is this: Wouldn’t most of us consider it more expensive to educate someone in a “poorer district”? Most would admit that in a “perfect world” it should cost the same to educate every child but if we already have a system of weights, shouldn’t we explore this concept?

I’m not saying we need to throw more money at the problem but (here goes the politically damaging part), shouldn’t we agree there should be some weight given to “rich” and “poor” kids? This would most likely mean that folks like me (representing “rich” districts) will have to give up some of “our money” to the “poor” districts. Because if we actually address this disparity, districts with a “poor kid” classication will receive more money than those with less students in that category.


Now, now, Nathan - asking a fair question isn't always fair. In fact, some would argue it makes you a Racistbigotsexistdiscriminatoryevilrichconservativecorporaterepublican.

But that's what we get called too, so keep up the good work.

His involvement in the process of examining how education funding is allocated is certainly appreciated and deserves public input. To read more, click here.

SCHotline boycotting the Blogland?

Lately, SCHotline hasn't been linking to our content, while most other blogs have been doing just fine. We're trying to figure out who we ticked off ... or if our links ended up getting nailed by their spam filter.

Even the one about Will Folks and the Hawaii Five-O remake.

If anyone has any suggestions as to what's up, we're all ears. We hate being left out of the new media community that Hotline is the central portal for, especially with all the content we've been generating as of late.


Rod Shealy faces cancer - Cancer begs for mercy

Those of us who started out in the 80s, as the GOP began its rise from a phone booth club to a majority party here in South Carolina, remember well the difficult journey of our own Lee Atwater, who struggled with brain cancer, as well as the knowledge that even kingmakers are mortal.

Having this as one of my early formative political experiences, it's hard to forget, and painful to see another one of our own facing it.

Yesterday morning, Rod Shealy had this to say on his blog:


As a political consultant and a newspaper publisher, I’m familiar with “spin”... but there’s not really much way to spin this:

A few days ago, tests revealed I have a cancerous brain tumor.


There's a lot people can say, and have said, about Rod - some good, some bad. But there's one thing we're sure of - if cancer was looking for an easy victim, it sure picked the wrong guy.

I learned a lot about politics from the guy, so I'm not surprised to hear that he already has a game plan for what will be his toughest fight yet:

I don’t know how other people would react to such news. But in the days since, I have been completely overcome with one central thought: I truly feel like the luckiest man in the world! I can’t even begin to count my blessings.


While this sounds like sound advice, we're sure he won't mind if we in the Blogland say a few prayers for him and his family. Please join us.

The Birthday Score: Bonnie 10, Blogland 3

Today, we celebrate two birthdays: Bonnie and the Blogland. She turns ten today and we turn three.

We were trying to look back at the year that's passed, and here are some thoughts which occured to us:

  • Bonnie is going to be in the fifth grade, we just act like it.
  • Bonnie is happy her dad isn't in college anymore, so is the college.
  • Bonnie has a cool collection of CofC and Winthrop (her mother is a Winthrop alum) stuff, but we're the ones who play with them.
  • Bonnie needed her diapers changed when she was little, but we're the ones who were full of ... well, you know.
What do y'all think?

In looking back at the last year, we've come a long way, for which we can only thank our readers. Y'all are the greatest - thanks for sticking with us.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, RIP

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a rare voice in the Cold War. Decorated for service during WWII, Solzhenitsyn's criticms of Stalinist tyranny saw him quickly exiled to Siberia, then abroad. His novel, "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich", which was based upon his own experiences in a Siberian gulag, as well as the movie based upon the book, presented a bleak, tragic world in which the humanity of prisoners was slowly suffocated.

This work, as well as others by Solzhenitsyn, showed a chilling vision of what could be expected if the West fell to Soviet conquest, and thus helped motivate many to stand up to fight communist expansion.

During many of those days in which he spoke, the outcome of the Cold War was far from certain. In that time, Solznenitsyn's bold words and gripping tales challenged Soviet empire, as well as challenged the West by asking if it had the will to survive:


If I were today addressing an audience in my country, in my examination of the overall pattern of the world's rifts I would have concentrated on the calamities of the East. But since my forced exile in the West has now lasted four years and since my audience is a Western one, I think it may be of greater interest to concentrate on certain aspects of the contemporary West, such as I see them.

A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage, both as a whole and separately, in each country, in each government, in each political party, and, of course, in the United Nations. Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elites, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society. There are many courageous individuals, but they have no determining influence on public life.

Political and intellectual functionaries exhibit this depression, passivity, and perplexity in their actions and in their statements, and even more so in their self-serving rationales as to how realistic, reasonable, and intellectually and even morally justified it is to base state policies on weakness and cowardice. And the decline in courage, at times attaining what could be termed a lack of manhood, is ironically emphasized by occasional outbursts and inflexibility on the part of those same functionaries when dealing with weak governments and with countries that lack support, or with doomed currents which clearly cannot offer resistance. But they get tongue-tied and paralyzed when they deal with powerful governments and threatening forces, with aggressors and international terrorists.

Must one point out that from ancient times a decline in courage has been considered the first symptom of the end?


-1978 commencement address, OrthodoxyToday.org



Those words seem as relevant today as they were thirty years ago. The challenge he presented to the West then is the same question we face now - does the West have the will to challenge those forces which seek its downfall. Or have we lost the courage to survive, and in doing so, made that first terrible mistake that will lead to the fall of the West?

Those who ask if the West needs to fight for its survival should read some of his works, to see what kind of existence they can look forward to. Perhaps if they see the dark, cold, and soulless alternative that lies in store, then they will find the courage to resist the encroaching forces of darkness.

Solzhenitsyn had the courage and the wisdom to challenge both East and West. We can best honor his life and his sacrifices by having the courage to ask the same questions of ourselves.

Spratt blasts self, Democratic Congress for role in budget shortfall

In a press conference in Washington, D.C., Democratic congressman John Spratt, the Chair of the House Budget Committee, attacked himself over his role in increasing the national debt:


Section 7 of Article One of our Constitution is very clear on this point, when it says "All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives". More specifically, when it comes to the Budget Committee, which I chair, "the primary responsibility of the Budget Committee is the drafting and preparation of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget, usually called the 'budget resolution.' This resolution sets the aggregate levels of spending and revenue that is expected to occur in a given fiscal year.*"

You do the math: the Democrats run the House, the House originates budget legislation, and the Committee I chair puts the budget resolution together. While I can blame the President and the Republicans for the size of the deficit, let's face it - me and my fellow Democrats deserve plenty of the blame as well. It's time for Democrats to have the courage to live up to Harry Truman's old saying of the "buck stops here".


Spratt then held up a mirror and was looking at it as he spoke, calling it "my own accountability tool for finding who is responsible for the deficit". According to a unidentified source, Congressional staffers would begin issuing them to Democratic House members, the current House majority party. While some feared the mirror sent to Nancy Pelosi's office might undergo stress, the unidentified source said "it's a good thing Cynthia McKinney isn't around these days. A mirror wouldn't survive five minutes with her in the room."


* Wikipedia excerpt

Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet

This story on The Onion was just too good to not share with our readers:

EARTH—Former vice president Al Gore—who for the past three decades has unsuccessfully attempted to warn humanity of the coming destruction of our planet, only to be mocked and derided by the very people he has tried to save—launched his infant son into space Monday in the faint hope that his only child would reach the safety of another world.

"I tried to warn them, but the Elders of this planet would not listen," said Gore, who in 2000 was nearly banished to a featureless realm of nonexistence for promoting his unpopular message. "They called me foolish and laughed at my predictions. Yet even now, the Midwest is flooded, the ice caps are melting, and the cities are rocked with tremors, just as I foretold. Fools! Why didn't they heed me before it was too late?"

Al Gore—or, as he is known in his own language, Gore-Al—placed his son, Kal-Al, gently in the one-passenger rocket ship, his brow furrowed by the great weight he carried in preserving the sole survivor of humanity's hubristic folly.

"There is nothing left now but to ensure that my infant son does not meet the same fate as the rest of my doomed race," Gore said. "I will send him to a new planet, where he will, I hope, be raised by simple but kindly country folk and grow up to be a hero and protector to his adopted home."

Inside Interview: Erin Gaddy

As part of the Blogland’s ongoing efforts to expose our readers to the wide range of movers and shakers in South Carolina through our Inside Interview series, we wanted to introduce our readers to the Midland’s own Erin Gaddy. She’s a career prosecutor who is currently working with the National District Attorneys Association, focusing on issues related to the abuse of the elderly and disabled. Prior to that, she spent four years as an Assistant Solicitor in the Midlands.

Erin is a Midlands native, born in Columbia, and after having lived in several states over the years, she’s back home. Her 91-year-old grandfather lives a couple of miles from her, her mother, sister, and brother-in-law live in northeast Columbia, and her dad’s on James Island. A member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Columbia, she loves to spend time with her family, both here and out of state, since she also loves to travel (that’s her in Hawaii).

In a state like South Carolina, with large populations of retirees flocking to its lakefronts and ocean shores, as well as the vigorous efforts being made in recent years by Lt. Governor Andre Bauer to raise awareness of these issues, her background in elder abuse issues caught our eye.

As we always do, we’ll throw some questions at her and see what she throws back at us.

1) Of all the options you had after law school, how did you end up in criminal prosecution?


I instantly liked criminal law (although it was probably my lowest grade in school), and tried both prosecution and defense. Social justice is a very important concept in the Catholic church, and my mother really emphasized it in our lives. I thought I might wind up a public defender, but it was quickly apparent that the people with the power to do the most justice were on the prosecution side. I believe we need great attorneys on both sides of the criminal courtroom, and have always felt like my place was on the side of the State.

2) For attorneys, a career in prosecution isn’t always the best-paying route, so we’ll assume you don’t do it for the money. What do you personally find to be the biggest rewards associated with your work?


When I was working in the courtroom, every night I could lay my head on my pillow with a clean conscience. I knew that I had done something good for someone every day, even when I’d just pushed paper on my desk or answered hone calls. That’s a pretty great reason to go to work every morning. I’d love it if both prosecutors and public defenders were paid better, in order to keep more of them in the profession long-term.

3) Tell us a little bit about what kind of work you do in your current position.


I’m involved with a Federally-funded project through the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). There are three prongs of the training currently (for law enforcement, judges, and prosecutors), and training for victim advocates and adult protective services workers is coming soon. I work with an incredible faculty from all over the nation to put on the OVW training for prosecutors on elder abuse and neglect. I’m not generally at the front of the room, but in the background, making sure the curriculum is running as it should. I have a lot of help, but ultimately I‘m responsible for the education these prosecutors receive.

We use a multi-disciplinary faculty consisting of prosecutors, medical doctors, mental health specialists, adult protective services workers, and victim advocates. Law enforcement experts on elder abuse were also involved in the development of the project. I also run a listserv for the trainees and faculty, plus offer technical assistance to prosecutors on elder abuse.

4) Since a lot of your work in recent years has focused upon protecting those, such as the elderly, who can’t protect themselves, what do you see as the most important trends out there?


It’s an incredibly vibrant time for the prosecution and prevention of elder abuse, so I’d prefer to focus on some positive trends. Because of increased awareness, we’re seeing much more reporting of elder abuse by community members and family members of victims, as well as more victims being willing to report for themselves.

It’s important to remember that in many states, 55-60 is “elderly,” which most people who have reached that age wouldn’t call themselves. Our elders are active community members who are demanding fair and equal treatment under the law. We talk about elder abuse being in a similar place as domestic violence was 30 years ago, where people are really interested in stopping it, but not entirely sure what they can do.

I’ve been very impressed with efforts from the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, as you mentioned. The more we can do to enforce the laws that are already on the books, the better off our elders will be. If each of our legislators simply thought about how they’d like their parents, grandparents, or themselves to be treated, I think we’d likely be in very good shape with our laws. There are great model laws out of Wisconsin and California, which of course is on the forefront of this issue. Florida and New York are also states to look to for instruction.

5) You're a Midlands native. For those who doubt that claim, we'll ask you to prove it by naming at least two good places to go for BBQ.

Doc's on Shop Road and Little Pigs up on Alpine Road.

6) As our final question – the Blogland loves to talk about music, so we’re going to ask you to name your favorite album(s) and/or artist(s).

For recent music, I’m a little obsessed with Corinne Bailey Rae’s debut album, but the classics still draw me: Joni Mitchell’s Wild Things Run Fast, and pretty much anything by CSNY or James Taylor.