Thursday, August 07, 2008


WELCOME TO OUR WORLD: Friday morning in his OFC blog, Clay Aiken announced to his fan club the birth of Parker Foster Aiken at 8:08 a.m. 8-08-08 in a North Carolina hospital.

"The little man is happy, healthy, and loud as his daddy," he told his fans. "Mama Jaymes is doing quite well."

The birth announcement can be read at WRAL.

Congratulations to Clay, Jaymes, and the entire clan!
Welcome to our world, Parker Foster Aiken!

ONE WORLD, ONE DREAM -- In June, singer-UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken completed a mission in Somalia and Kenya for the international organization while fellow North Carolinian Joey Cheek works for peace in the war-torn Darfur region of Sudan. Graphic by Fountaindawg.

China Revokes Olympian's Visa

Aiken, Cheek Make a Difference

When inline speedskater Joey Cheek donated the financial bonus from both his 2006 Winter Olympics gold and silver medals to Right To Play, he exemplified the ideal champion of the international games and inspired other athletes to follow suit.

President and co-founder of
Team Darfur, a coalition of 390 athletes from 63 nations committed to raising awareness about and bringing an end to the crisis in Darfur, Sudan, the Greensboro native has been urging the international community to persuade Sudan to observe an Olympic truce during the Beijing Games.

Joey Cheek speaks with NBC News.

On the eve of the Summer Olympics, Joey is again in the headlines. Wednesday, hours before he was to depart for the games, the Chinese authorities revoked his visa. China is the largest economic supporter of the oil produced in the war-torn region of Sudan.

The "Olympic truce" dates to the ancient games in Greece, when fighting was halted to ensure athletes had safe passage to travel to and from the competitions.

In an interview with the Triad's NBC affiliate WXii12 News, Joey pointed to the 1994 Norway Games during which an Olympic truce for cease fire in Bosnia resulted in the inoculation of 10,000 children. The WXII page includes a video of Joey's interview with the Winston-Salem station.

In addition to his humanitarian endeavors, Joey is a member of the class of 2011 at Princeton University where he studies economics and Chinese.

Montage Honors North Carolinians

The Greensboro native's surprising donation of his medal earnings to a charitable cause grabbed international headlines.

In 2006, I wrote a blog about two North Carolina men who are using their celebrity to make a difference -- the new Olympic champion and singer Clay Aiken, UNICEF ambassador since 2004 and co-founder of The Bubel/Aiken Foundation, whose mission is inclusion for all children.

Aspiegirl created a montage honoring the two North Carolinians with hearts of gold. The song, "Because We Believe," was sung by Andrea Bocelli at the closing ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, for which Joey's teammates elected him to carry the American flag.

Graphic by Clayquebec1 links to 'Because We Believe.'

Opening Ceremonies on Tap

NBC begins telecasting from Beijing Thursday, and the opening ceremonies are slated for 7:30 p.m. EDT Friday.

To keep pace with the August 8 - 24, 2008, Beijing Games, bookmark the official website are the One World, One Dream and NBC Olympics. Both have many helpful links. Another site recommended by a reader is 2008 China Olympics. See clips of the Opening Ceremony here.

Official Dancing Beijing Emblem

With inspiration from the traditional Chinese art form - calligraphic art, the character "Jing" (the latter of the city's name) is developed into the form of a dancing human being, reflecting the ideal of a "New Olympics."

The words "Beijing 2008" also resembles the vivid shapes of Chinese characters in handwriting, voicing in concise strokes of the countless feelings Chinese people possess towards the Olympics.

Illuminated Beijing Stadium (The Bird's Nest) - Photo by Luo Xiaoguang

OMWH Montages Celebrate Olympics

Several tracks from Clay's On My Way Here album naturally lend themselves to montages about the Olympics, especially the lead single and "Ashes." These videos at YouTube set the stage for Friday's opening:

8-8-08 On My Way Here by Yollie950

Olympians on Their Way by Hosaa

Olympic Dreams - On My Way Here by SueReu

Shawn Johnson - Beijing Dream ("Ashes") by Yollie950

Hopefully, the Olympic ideal of peace and brotherhood among nations will one day be a reality. Just like the theme for the Beijing Olympics reads ... One World, One Dream.

PHOTO INTERLUDE: Included in this clickable interlude are designs by three graphic artists -- Ambassador of Love, 1 and 3; Amazing_CA, 2 and 4; and BettyJean, 5.

Clay #2 in Lycos 50

In this week's edition of
Lycos 50, Clay moved up to #2 behind Paris Hilton and ahead of YouTube. His subheading for the 452nd consecutive week on the "most searched" list is "Continues Work Helping Kids in Kenya and Somalia."

The Lycos Elite recognizes those who have appeared in the search list for over 100 weeks. The second tier looks like this:

1. Pokemon
2. Paris Hilton
3. Clay Aiken - Not so "invisible"
4. Jessica Simpson
5. World Wrestling Entertainment

'Rain on Caro's Blog' Week

My Canadian friend Ashes and fellow blogger [see
Clay-The Man] has nicknamed the span since last Thursday "Rain on Caro's Blog" Week -- for a couple of very good reasons.

Busily assembling the 8/1 CA 4-fer rewind last Thursday, I heard an email click around 6:30 p.m. and decided to check it out. The Blogspot address usually indicates someone has left a comment in the Carolina journal.

Not this time! I was being informed that Carolina On My Mind was under suspicion for being a "spam blog" and that it would be locked down until I agreed to a review, which of course I did immediately. Had I not responded to the review, the entire blog -- 229 entries at that time -- would have been deleted in 20 days.

Somewhat in shock, I tried to call friend Sally, but her phone was out of order. I emailed Ashes, who first went berserk and then provided some much-needed sympathy. LOL, I probably would admit to "spamming" about Clay Aiken and my grandson Kai.

Within four hours, the blog had been unlocked; and I promptly added the look back to the San Diego-Pala concerts. On Friday afternoon, Blogger posted an apology to the many people who had inadvertently received the lock-down message.

Somewhere Out There in Cyber

Fast forward to Monday's Los Angeles-Indio entry. Early that morning I uploaded the 8/4 blog to the Carolina and OFC sites. By that evening, the OFC blog had received 10 comments, which I planned to visit the next morning. Early Tuesday morning I added a link and a new photo to both versions.

When I scrolled to the bottom of the OFC blog, there were zero comments and the tab for leaving one was also missing. I immediately contacted Tech Support. This is their latest message:

We have submitted this issue to our engineering department for further investigation. Once we have received word of a resolution, we will contact you.

LOL, that reply is very similar to one I received several months ago RE questions about codes in the site's new format (bold, alignment, clickables, etc.) that just don't work.

Engineers, I have decided, are as difficult to catch as Olympic sprinters. I figured the lost remarks would be floating "somewhere out there" in Cyberspace forevermore; but on Saturday morning (8/9/08), they miraculously reappeared. Touche, OFC!

Thank you for your visits, comments, and -- to Ashes and all who have commiserate about this strange week of blogging -- your support.

Below is a clickable of Fountaindawg's opening graphic:

NEXT TIME: Carolina-Tennessee Rewinds! Have a wonderful weekend, Clay Nation!


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Ashes said...

Terrific blog Caro!
North Carolina certainly has it's share of caring and compassionate people..yeah! I have seen Joey Cheek on the news, how did I miss that he was from NC!

LOL, Ashes certainly did go berserk, the perfect word!
Thanks for your mention of Clay the Man and your comments to it.
Have a great day, and Happy Blogging! Hugs, Ashes

Anonymous said...

Hi Caro,
Another AWESOME blog! I love reading about your two NC celebrities...I remember your blog about Joey Cheek, and I have heard so much about him on our news. You all have so much to be PROUD of.....Clay and Joey!

You sure have had a time this past week with the blogging world....all I know is I would "go berserk" if you or Ashes did not blog! LOL

Hope your having a Great Day and Keeping Cool!

...Where's Clay, Where's Kai??...

Big Hugs,

elizabethgerencser said...

I'm sorry you are having problems with your website authorities. I hope things get worked out soon!

Love and hugs,


MissSally said...

China's act of denying Joey's visa probably garnered more press coverage for Darfur than if they had allowed him to attend the games.

8-8-08 & Parker Foster Aiken's debut made me feel like a grandmother again. Clay, Jaymes and Parker are a family now...God bless them.

Thanks for another great blog.