it is your government...

seems like it should be simple. in fact it is. These panels words/meanings have just floored me and i can think of nothing else... these are too long for most to be able to read. i understand.

Good and Bad Government

The series of murals in the lunettes of the Reading Room vestibule are by Elihu Vedder (1836-1923) and depict Government. The central mural, located over the doorway leading into the Main Reading Room, represents the abstract concept of a republic as an ideal state. The paired lunettes to the right and left, respectively, depict the practical workings of government, and the conditions that can result from good or bad administration. The prominent location of these murals reinforces the significance of the advancement of knowledge and learning in a democracy and the role of government in creating and sustaining a great national library for those purposes

In Government the artist depicts a dignified female figure against a background of the rich foliage of an oak tree, emblematic of strength and stability. She sits on a marble bench supported by the forms of antique voting urns placed between figures of guardian lions. She is crowned with a wreath and holds a golden scepter (the Golden Rule) and a tablet inscribed with words from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. She is flanked by winged figures of genius. The one on the right holds a bridle and the reins of power, representing the restraining influence of order. The one on the left holds a sword, representing justice or the authority of government and its duty to protect and defend the state.

Corrupt Legislation

In Corrupt Legislation the artist depicts a female figure of questionable virtue against a lush and overripe background of twining grapevines. She sits on a throne framed by cornucopias overflowing with coins, rather than fruit or grain. The flow of the coin is directed back toward herself rather than outward, for the good of the people. In her hand she holds a sliding scale, more susceptible to fraud than a balanced scale, symbolizing the type of justice which she deals. On the right a wealthy man places a bag of gold upon her scales as a bribe. At his feet are more bags of gold and a strongbox. The ballots that spill from an overturned voting urn represent his corrupt control of the sources of power. In his lap he holds the book of Law, which he uses to his advantage.
With her right hand the central figure dismisses a simply clad girl, representing Labor. Carrying her empty distaff and spindle, she pleads for the work that should be hers by right, but which she cannot obtain from a corrupt legislature, inattentive to the wrongs of the people. A broken jar at her feet represents her hard earned savings that she has lost. Behind her the factories are smokeless and idle, while those behind the rich man on the right belch with the smoke of his prosperity.


In Anarchy the artist depicts the disastrous failure of government as a naked female figure who raves over the ruins of the civilization she has destroyed. She holds an incendiary torch formed from the scroll of learning. Serpents twist in her hair, and she tramples upon a scroll, a lyre, a Bible, and a book, the symbols, respectively, of Learning, Art, Religion, and Law. At her feet, under the broken arch of a building is a bomb with a lighted fuse, another tool of destruction. On the right a figure of Violence gazes upon the cup of madness held by Anarchy while he pries out the cornerstone of a great building, causing it to collapse, representing the destruction of the fabric of civilization. On the left, a female figure of Ignorance uses a surveyor-s staff to force the wreckage of civilization into a chasm. The broken millwheel and millstone in an uncultivated field represent the failure of industry and agriculture.

Good Administration

In Good Administration the artist depicts a noble female figure who holds an open book in her lap and in her hand a pair of scales, evenly balanced. She rests her left hand upon a shield, quartered to represent the even balance of parties and classes that should exist in a well-ordered democracy. On the shield are a weight, scales, and a rule, the emblems of a just government. The frame of her chair forms an arch, a construction where every stone performs an equal service, symbolic of the equal part that all should play in a democratic form of government. On the right a youth casts his ballot into a voting urn, his decision informed by the study of the books he carries under his arm. On the left a young girl winnows wheat into another voting urn so that the good grains fall into its mouth, while the chaff is scattered by the wind, an action symbolic of the care with which a people should elect its public servants. In the background a field of wheat is symbolic of prosperous and careful toil and intelligent and virtuous government.

Peace and Prosperity

In Peace and Prosperity the artist depicts a beautiful female figure against the background of a lush olive tree, a symbol of the Goddess Minerva, peace, fruitfulness, strength, and achievement. She sits holding two wreaths to be bestowed as the reward for excellence and is flanked by two youths. The youth on the left sits upon a jar or ancient amphora while he decorates a piece of pottery. In the background is a Greek temple representing Architecture and in the foreground a lyre for Music. The youth on the right, representing Agriculture, kneels to plant a sapling, an act suggestive of a strong and permanent government under which the tree can grow to reward him with its shade and fruit for many years.

been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely time...


Get Your Heart On

the first week in February the Seminole County Harley Owners Group sponsor their world famous Valenine's Run. Their dedication to the hard work and time in, required to show the biker community a great event shows. The 21st edition did not disappoint. Since becoming a schog we've always tried to pitch on game day by volunteering for wherever we could be of service, but I promised my lovely that this year we would just ride and have fun. We arrived at the Chapter main meeting hall at the VFW Post, that we call home* around 10:30, knowing the last bike out was at 11. There were still bikes rolling in to start the run after 11 am. That's a good sign. We enjoyed an early beverage. The working schogs were busy. That's a good sign. Word was that they sold out of the 350 allotted wristbands.
All this hard work will benefit the Chapter, yes, but most of the profits will go to buying the necessities for the Chapter's Annual Run to the Veterans homes around Christmas time. The Chapter rolls in with goody bags jocka bloka full of these and those items that our heroes enjoy. They roll in with bar b ques and prepare and pass out a special thank you meal to those who deserve our thanks. They roll in with their shiny glorious American hunks of thunder, throttled twisted and the rumbling roar puts smiles back on the faces of those special Americans. So all the hard works pays off.


It's riding time again

"KSU at 11am Sunday at Johny Rottens?" "Sounds good." Linda's friend answers. We'll call her Miss Kitty, that name is as good as any. Weather and temp look good for a launch. She just brought home her brothers 2008 Harley Davidson V-Rod and is anxious like a little school girl to ride it. She understands the rule already. Ride and Have Fun. Boom. Linda and i roll into long gone Johny Rottens, after bundling and layering the leathers. I like to be comfortable. I see Miss Kitty has neither UnderArmour nor leathers, so i ask. "You gonna be ok? Warm enough?" She replies in that sweet Alabama drawl that is as real as it is cold today "Well heck no. I got me a big ol warm engine in between my legs to keep me warm." We all enjoy our morning chuckle at her seriousness. We roll easterly along the south bank of the St. Johns River, then work our way north on 415. Miss Kitty says "man o man the road work up this way is rough." I tell her, "This will provide you the opportunity to practice your skills." She laughs, saddles up and gets to practicin. She'll ride like a man some day. Another skill to practice is riding in and out of the world famous Foxhead in Osteen. A cold adult beverage hits the spot after that test. Now. On to the jungles and a road i call Tale of the Gator. Reed Ellis to Enterprise Rd to Green Springs. If you don't dig this trip, you don't belong on a motorcycle.
the spirits of wild and rough characters that enjoyed this corner of tranquility still roam here in the jungle... stay tuned.


Old Man Winter

Too cold? Or Too Old? That is the question. Whether tis nobler of the the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of these brutal Florida winters and ride old Snoop Skoot, like the wind, or, to bundle up against the cold, stay in the comfort of the homeplace, and thereby end the shivers?
I've riden in winters so cold, I've had to wear every set of gloves I own, and still had frozen knuckles at the end of the ride. But now I'm of an age, that I test the outside temps by feeling the window panes, then jump back in the warm and toasty sack and dream of the days when I ask, Too hot or too old...? lovetorideridetolove



It's one of those ageing things they don't warn you of. Going to funerals. The longer I live, the more funerals I attend. They don't get easier. I have heavy funeral baggage, just like most. In fact I had to quit attending the Chapter funeral runs last year, it was too overwhelming.
Last Saturday I said my final goodbyes to one of the good ones. A good friend's wife and high school sweet heart, who loved life and let her light shine brightly every day. Yes, they were motorcycle peoples, but oh so much more. They moved away from my neighborhood a few years ago, but I still would see them at Chapter functions and although her brutal disease was already affecting her, she still smiled the biggest smile in the crowd. Her eyes would light up upon making contact with yours, enough so to reassure you that everything was ok.
At the ceremonies a lot of they're Chapter brothers and sisters came to pay respects. When I hugged him, I just blubbered up, as did he, and words were worthless. We agreed we loved each other, then I moved along so he could be hugged by other sad friends.
The procession filled the roadway as far as one could see thru teary eyes forward and backwards.
She loved her black cowboy hat with a silver band and would just be so snappy looking as to always light up an event. So, one of her Chapter sisters brought hats for all the sisters and they asked me to snap a memorial pic. I did. It is perfect. just like she was... rip...


"Attention. Atten...Hey is this thing working?" the new 2015 Chapter Director Mike Goudreau quickly asks Harold. "Flip the switch." and so right on cue the new year begins Schog Style. "Attention, attention. All right this is the first un official ride of the new year. First stop is JJ's. Then John has a route thru the jungle to get us to the Leesburg dealership. Pass the signals back, ride safe and have fun." And boom, we saddle up in the middle of 35ish rare'n to go bikes and riders and smoothly but powerfully parade out of the Seminole County Harley Davidson Dealership parking lot. I can't tell you how good it feels to ride in a pack of bikers that know how to ride. The Seminole County Hogs create a presence on the road. In control and on their way. Boom. Dats it.

We roll west on Hwy 46 across the Wekiva for 13.4 miles to our first stop at J. J.'s Package. I quickly skoot my lovely sweetie into JJ's, knowing this crowd has really worked up a thirst. The beer is cold and not as affordable as one would think, being out here in the middle of nowhere. But the good times are advancing. We like it so much here, lets stay for another, then just roll hard to the party? Works fer schog...

Feel da love...
Ain't it grand how just one cold adult bottle of sunshine and the smiles are rockin from cheek to cheek. After too many cloudy days, today is always sunny in the jungles of Florida. We are having such a nice visit and decide to have just one more, then roll hard to the party. Assistant Director JT has a route riddled with motorcycle treats. Guaranteed to get you high.

I am the luckiest man alive today, because i have the love of my life, who has been gladly (?) handcuffed to me these last 39 years, along on the ride. She's pretty picky about what rides she goes on. She has mad skills with the camera. While riding 1200 miles on the Grand Circle back in 2010 she perfected her craft. She will wiggle left, then twist right, then lean way over with the camera close to the rear tire for that just right angle. Then i have to twist left and wiggle right and stay smooth. But her work is well worth it. Here are her two best shots of the day on the road.
Sharon D. Johnston

Sharon or the bike. The bike or Sharon. Wow. Which looks mo betta? It is the best compliment i can give is that she rides like a man...

J. J. is one of the first Directors of SCHOG, "many years ago", he says. But he still rides like the wind.

And then we got high, then we got high, then we got high. JT guides us north and west on all the hwy 44's to Thrill Hill Road in quite Eustis. Florida bikers understand why this area is Thrill Hill in a way hmm, say Coloradoans can't. This is a brutal 18% grade, tree-lined, small country road that requires throttle up all the way in the sky up over 140 feet. Chug, chug.? Is that my carburator coughing in this thin air?? 
Whew, lets get to http://www.gatorharley.com/
 the absolute hardest working man in show business and great fan of schog, is tuning up for an afternoon of rock n roll.
You will never ever see BF snorin, This picture is historic... Snore on BF, well earned...

then boom. just like that he rocked the day away. schog has a long and valued friendship with the BF Band. They've played just for us at State Rally and at our Christmas party. This day was not a day for the same old same old songs. BF played good times rock and roll with a fever and the crowd responded. 

Long live rock and roll...

the crowd kept on a rockin, but this old man was ready for a putt. we rolled easterly to the shores of Lake Dora and the county seat at Tavares, with our good friend who is back riding again.
Seeing the joy of riding reminds us of why we ride.
so remember.


"Chilly?" Yes it was not quite 50 degrees by 9 a.m. and in Florida, that's chilly. It's also January 4th and time for some Chili at the Annuall Crime Line Cookoff and 3rd Annuall Matt Miller Motorcycle Skills Challenge.
Let the tasing begin. 5 Dollars, for all you can taste and a large bowl of Seminole Counties Special Chili, "are you kiddin me?". I'm in. Breakfast is an adventure this morning.

We, SCHOG's and the rest of the civilized world, loves our local Bahia Shriners and the outstanding service they provide.
Sam Swope is a man among men and his generousity with his time, energy and spirit is unmatched.
Our very own Seminole State Boosters are still grinning from ear to ear over being Number One  and the BCS Champs. Oh, and their chili was hot hot hot...

Dirty Jim, the chef, does not back down from a good old challenge and came to play seriously this year in his quest for the top award of Peoples Choice."50 lbs of braised and seared ox tail, 10 lbs of roasted, hand sliced Jalapenos, topped with smoked guida cheese and boom, this years winner." he gladly boasts to us.

Here is Dirty Jim, before the competition begins with the top chefs for the Seminole County Harley Owners Group. Oh yas. The SCHOGS proudly reclaimed the Peoples Choice  Award for the 3rd year in a row. Sorry Dirty, better luck next year...

Dirty's partner and leader in radio crime is Russ Rollins who everyyear strives to be the most unique chili master. Yes he is trying to look like Elmer Fudd and his lovely is whacky. O, and a little help from Mr. Willow Tree in the kitchen helped their Drunkin Rabbit Chili.
Russ and team went on to win "Most Unique" award for 2014. the fact that he is bestest friends with the event organizer is beside the point...

Lots of fun good spirited completion was had by all, but of course the Peoples Choice went to...SCHOG

and, as icing on the cake. which county do you think finished in First, Second and Third place in the motorcycle skills challenge??

whew, what a day. time to answer the call to couch and to burp up chili memories of one chilly/hot day...