Tag Archives: proofreader

Thursday Weisblog: A female king working as a secretary? It’s true!

Peggielene Bartels lives in the Silver Spring, Maryland area and drives a 1992 Honda. She works as a secretary in an embassy.

Oh yeah … and she’s also a king. Really.

It turns out that her 90-year-old uncle was the king of Otuam, Ghana. When he passed away recently, the townspeople performed an ancient ritual to decide upon the new king, and it turned out to be Peggielene.

About 15 months ago, she received a phone call at 4 am from Ghana. “Hello, Nana,” the caller said. (The term “Nana” means something similar to VIP here in America.)

Bartels, who has no children of her own, thought it was a joke. “Oh, please don’t play games with me,” Bartels replied, who promptly reminded the caller that because she was a woman, she’d make a better queen. The caller replied that the kingship was the post that was open.

Once she finally decided it was her destiny, she made the trek to Otuam to be installed in her new position. She stayed as long as she could, but returned after 10 days because she still had her secretarial job to do.

For now, she plans to be a “commuting ruler” who spends all her vacation time in Otuam. She sees her retirement coming in about five years – and after that she anticipates moving there full-time and taking over her position.

This is amazing on so many levels. How she was chosen … how she is a female king … how the townspeople are fine with her being there only a few weeks out of the year … and so on. But hey, if it works, more power to her!

NOTE: Thanks to my friend Trace who told me about this interesting story.

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Tuesday Weisblog: Her ‘cutting’ comments got her in trouble

Emily Walton is a not only a veterinarian, she’s also a Hancock County, Ohio County Commissioner. Apparently, Ms. Walton has upset one of her community members to the point that he is calling for her resignation.

It all stems from an incident that happened September 3. On that day, Walton and Jeff Davidson were engaging in a somewhat spirited discussion about a community drainage issue. Walton became agitated at Davidson and told him that she “wanted to castrate him and had the tools to do it.”

Bob Barker would be proud. (If you don’t get the joke, it’s not funny enough to explain. Just move on.)

“Sometimes things don’t go your way, and sometimes you have to raise your voice … but you don’t threaten to castrate somebody,” Davidson explained. “If she can’t manage her temper, and manage the words that come out of her mouth, she should resign.”

I tend to agree with him.

For her part, Walton’s explanation was a simple one: “That is a well-known, tongue-in-cheek comment that I have used for years and which people with half a sense of humor understand.” She also mentioned that she once, for comic relief, walked into a former mayor’s office carrying “a big white bag of tools,” though she never specifically mentioned castration.

I take offense to Ms. Walton’s actions for several reasons:
(1) She is a public official who should be acting appropriately.

(2) I am a male. If she had the same “equipment” I do, she may not be quite so liberal with her usage of the “c” word. It makes me wince just to think about it.

(3) If a male had said something off-color to a female, there would be much more made of this story, and I am 99.9% sure the male government official would be forced to resign.

Ms. Walton got her government post running unopposed last election. Something tells me that if she makes it through her term, she’ll have some competition next time around.

Thursday Weisblog: Terrelle Pryor drops the ball, figuratively.

Do you know what “eye black” is? It is a black substance you place underneath your eyes in order to help shade your eyes from the sun. You see it used quite often by football and baseball players. One such athlete wearing eye black this past weekend was Terrelle Pryor.

In case you’re not familiar with him, Pryor is the star quarterback for Ohio State University … or as they call it, THE Ohio State University.

It seems that Mr. Pryor had a special message inscribed into his eye black this past weekend that got some negative reaction … including from me. In large letters, it said “VICK,” in support of Michael Vick, who I’ve blogged about ad nauseum (perhaps the only more popular topic of mine is the “Octomom”).

Pryor did himself no favors when he was interviewed after last week’s game. You’d have thought he would be ready with a statement a little better than this: “Not everybody is the perfect person in the world. Everyone does … kills people, murders people, steals from you, steals from me, whatever. I just feel that people need to give him a chance.”

Sorry, Terrelle, but I have never killed anyone – and if I did, I would not necessarily deserve a second chance.

Terrelle Pryor deserves to be able to publicly support whoever and whatever he wants, and he’s certainly entitled to his own opinion. That said, THE Ohio State University PR staff should’ve tapped him on the shoulder and helped him be ready to defend his position a little better.

Monday Weisblog: A most unwelcome piece of advice

Saturday afternoon, our family was at Flagler College moving my daughter, Chawney, into her new college dorm room. I knew that at some point, I was going to feel some sadness knowing that my daughter, who I’d just adopted in March, was not going to be accompanying us on the ride home.

That time came at around 4 pm Saturday, when the parents and students were ushered to separate “orientation” classes. One of the first things out of the mouth of one Daniel P. Stewart, Dean of Student Services, was that the parents needed to learn to “let go.” In other words, they had to let their kids make their own decisions and take responsibility for themselves.

When he said those two words, “let go,” I felt as if someone had kicked me flush in the stomach. I suddenly realized that I’d spent all last week trying to imagine what must be going through the heads of Chawney and/or my wife (Christina). This mother/daughter combo is as closely knit as two people in those roles could be.

In this one split second, I discovered I’d never actually taken the time to stop and consider how saying goodbye to someone who’s been an integral part of my life for the last six-plus years would affect ME. I was so worried about everyone else I didn’t really ever stop to deal with my own thoughts and emotions.

But now here we were and there was no turning back. I was going to have to say my goodbyes within the next couple hours, and quite frankly, I knew it was going to be something I was not prepared to handle.

It was everything I could do to not stand up and shout, “BITE ME, Daniel P. Stewart!”

See, what Mr. Daniel P. Stewart doesn’t understand is that I will NEVER let go, at least not completely. Sure, Chawney now has the ability to make decisions on her own and lead her own life, but I am always going to be her dad. I will always be there for her and her brother – no matter how old they are, where they live or what they become.

During dinner, our last “official” gathering together, we were all unusually quiet – and if you know “the Weises,” you know we are normally among the most chatty, animated families on the block. We all knew the time was drawing near, and there was no conversation or humor-driven banter that could gloss over the emotions we all felt.

I had an entire laundry list of emotions going on: I was proud simply to be the father of such a magnificent kid; I was feeling grateful for having Chawney under my roof for the last six-plus years; I was feeling cheated because I only had her under my roof for six-plus years; I was thrilled for Chawney because I do feel this is a great opportunity for her; and I was feeling sad that life as I knew it was never going to be exactly the same. Maybe it was a little selfish, but that latter one was by far the strongest.

Prior to dinner, I’d promised myself that because I was a man – and men don’t get all emotional, I would be strong for my wife and Chawney. But who was I kidding? I didn’t even make it through dinner before starting to cry – and I don’t mean just a little. I literally sobbed for the rest of the time we were there and about a third of the way home. Just re-living the moment now makes the water works start all over again.

“Let go.” You’re joking, right?

As Chawney closes one chapter of her life, I intend to be a part of the new one – even if it means going from being a major player to a “best supporting role.”

Bite me, Daniel P. Stewart!

One more reason to love AMW

2688453987_0140f445c8_tI still remember the first time I watched America’s Most Wanted. I fully expected it to be nothing more than a show that would create a few curious onlookers, but would never last. But after just one episode, I was hooked – and apparently so were many others.

To date, the show has helped capture nearly 1,100 heavy-duty fugitives, both in the United States and abroad.

While I do think the show has gotten a bit more “schlocky” in recent years (especially in the opening credits when host John Walsh looks at a criminal who’s just been placed in handcuffs and says, “It’s a bad day for you!”), it serves a very useful purpose other than just to entertain us.

Such was the case late last week when another fugitive was plucked from off the streets – this one for a crime committed in my home state, Florida. Jorge Ivan “Angel” Villamizar-Ayala, 36, was taken into custody in Brownsville, TX as he left a church service last Friday night.

Villamizar-Ayala is accused of killing his then-girlfriend Bianca Sierra in Pompano Beach in 2004. The death was particularly gruesome, as he allegedly killed her with a sledgehammer and left her to be discovered by her two children. Villamizar-Ayala then disappeared until a recent broadcast of America’s Most Wanted.

If you think this makes Villamizar-Ayala seem like a bad guy, well, you ain’t heard nothin’ yet! He’s also accused of killing his wife in Colombia prior to fleeing to the United States in 2001. He is also charged with attempted murder in New York of another girlfriend, Luz Jackelina Fuentes.

Villamizar-Ayala tried one last trick to elude authorities, giving them a false name and ID, but they weren’t buying what he was selling. Once the fingerprint results came back, they were certain they had the right guy.

For his sake, I sincerely hope Villamizar-Ayala absorbed everything he heard in church while he was on the outside!

Nice job, America!

PLEASE NOTE: This is my last blog of the week. I’ll be back on Monday as usual. I’m taking a few days off to celebrate my birthday and help get my daughter moved into her new college facility.

Monday Weisblog: Good stuff, Maynards

Less than a week before her wedding, a woman named Ida who lived in Ansonia, Connecticut was attacked by a masked man at her home. The man threw a blanket over her and beat her with a baseball bat before fleeing her domicile.

The police investigated, and the perp turned out to be Keith Maynard, an Ansonia town official. He’s been charged with second-degree assault, first-degree unlawful restraint and first-degree reckless endangerment.

For her part, Ida was treated at a local hospital for abrasions and released.

Authorities say that Ida – NOW MRS. IDA MAYNARD, came home to find Keith already inside the premises, where he committed his assault (allegedly).

“I love my husband more than anything and to know that five days later was my wedding and he could do that and go through with the wedding. I was very surprised,” Ida Maynard told reporters outside the courthouse.

Makes you wonder if Ida’s having second thoughts! The article I read as a point of reference left a couple key questions unanswered, the most important of which was, “Did Ida know Keith was the perp BEFORE the wedding?”

I’m guessing she did not from her comment, though I cannot say for sure. Either way, this marriage is on shaky ground – and Keith’s probably going to get some time to cool down and think about what he’s done.

Wednesday/Thursday Weisblog: Drug Money

If you are fortunate enough to have a few dollars in your wallet or purse, chances are it’s tainted. No, it’s not fake … but it is more than likely tainted.

How is it tainted? Well, according to a study by the American Chemical Society, about 90 percent of all United States paper currency contains traces of cocaine. Yes, cocaine … the illegal drug. The percentages were even worse in cities like Detroit, Boston, Baltimore, Miami and, sadly, in my area (Orlando).

In the worldwide study, the United States and Canada were the world’s worst offenders, while China (20%) and Japan (12%) had the “cleanest” currency.

Apparently, cocaine likes to attach itself to the green ink on the bills – but the amounts are so small that unless you go around sniffing your money all day long you’re probably OK.