Posts Tagged ‘snow


2.26.15 … “A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.” – Banksy

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 8/40, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

Who doesn’t love a Youth Barbecue at a church. You have to think of all those moms and dads, and in this instance, mostly dads, who are up cooking the barbecue through the night the night before. I’ll put it on my calendar to come get a pound of barbecue on Saturday.

No chimes as I walk in, but the birds are really going at it. I’m mad at myself, again, for not getting some birdseed to leave on the labyrinth. I will make an effort to do this today.

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And now I hear the chimes. I love the snow coming down in the eaves of the chime canopy.


The most significant noise in the garden is the sound of the water fountain and a close second is the sound of the drip, drip, drip of the snow and ice falling from the trees as it melts.



Do you see the little bit of snow left on the cross?

I hear the sound of the train in the distance. I have heard it before. And I don’t think it’s very far away. But I’m going to have to get a map out and see where the tracks are relative to the church. I really cannot think of where they are.

As I walk I am trying to remember the line from The Sound of Music’s “These are a Few of My favorite Things” that deal with snow. So I ask Siri …


Here it is:

These are a few of my favorite things. Cream colored ponies … Snow flakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. Silver white winters …

And then I walk …


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As I finish my walk, I hear the sound that I had a new text message. So sitting on the bench, I checked my messages then my emails and then Facebook. To my great surprise, a childhood friend who about two years ago back reentered my regular circle of friends, has posted our third grade class picture, E. Rivers Elementary Mrs. Clay’s Third Grade 1968-69, for which I have been looking for ages. It just make me smile.

Mrs. Clay Third Grade E. Rivers

In addition, my son who says I never have a conversation with him without asking what he is going to do next tagged me in a post of this article.  Again, love that boy, and love that he is thinking and moving and making subtle jabs at me … just a little bit.


The thing is, mountain people, you are awesome business owners. You know about risk. You know about passion. You know about hard work, early mornings, and tenacity. You know about loss and getting slammed. You know how to pick yourself up and try again and again until you succeed. You know how to feel things, with your heart and your head and the pit of your stomach. You might not know about web design or finance or spreadsheets, but you know how to show up, rain or shine, and make shit happen.

You are my favorite type of client, and your experiences will help your business succeed.


I see you, with your scars from the knee surgeries or those weird-looking collarbone lumps protruding from your shirt and that wild look in your eyes, and I know what you know. I’ve seen what you’ve seen. And together, we can pretend to fit into normal society. We just have to run our businesses with honor and boldness and as much grace as we can muster.

via Ski Bums Grow Up. Then They Start Kickass Businesses. | Teton Gravity Research.

And then I found a great Banksy today …

Banksy’s Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip : The Two-Way : NPR

Banksy says about this image:

“A local man came up and said ‘Please — what does this mean?’ I explained I wanted to highlight the destruction in Gaza by posting photos on my website — but on the internet people only look at pictures of kittens.”

via Banksy’s Murals Turn Up In Gaza Strip : The Two-Way : NPR.





2.16.14 … Let it be …

The Beatles: The Night That Changed America – A GRAMMY Salute, David Letterman with Paul and Ringo, YouTube, kith/kin, Remember when … : I was 4, but I remember how excited my 9-year-old sister was.

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were the guests of honor during Sunday night’s pre-taped CBS special, “The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles,” a celebration of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Ed Sullivan Show” appearance on Feb. 9, 1964. McCartney and Starr performed “With A Little Help From My Friends” and “Hey Jude” together, this after McCartney and Starr both played separate sets of Beatles classics. (Other performers on the telecast included Katy Perry, John Mayer, Keith Urban and more.)

via Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr Remember The Beatles’ Ed Sullivan Appearance.

Downton Abbey, Favorite Downton Lines:  Downton. What a nice way to end the weekend. “What’s a weekend?” Last week’s favorite line … That’s why we all love the uppity chauffeur.

So what will be my favorite line tonight??

Heartwarming message,  snow, HI MOM GOD BLESS U,  

For Sharon Hart, the third day after her chemotherapy treatment for acute myeloid leukemia is always the hardest. That’s when she feels weak and sometimes discouraged.

“The blood levels are depleted and I get tired and sick to my stomach,” said Hart, of Bolingbrook.

She was feeling that way Saturday afternoon at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center when she looked out the window and found reason to smile.

On top of the hospital parking lot, her 14-year-old son William had stomped out a message in newly fallen snow, in letters the length of two cars: HI MOM. The ‘o’ was made into a smiley face.

via Warmth spreads through hospital after son leaves message in snow – Chicago Tribune.

Happy, Pharrell Williams, Happy (Official Music Video), YouTube:  I Absolutely LOVE this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

via ▶ Pharrell Williams – Happy (Official Music Video) – YouTube.

Nora Ephron, Lists of Note, lists: An interesting exercise …

The great Nora Ephron passed away on June 26th of 2012, aged 71, following a battle with leukemia that began in 2006. She had many strings to her bow, but most notably wrote the screenplays to some of the best loved films ever to grace the big screen, many of which she also directed and produced. She wrote the following lists — of things she won’t and will miss — in 2010 and used them to close her book, I Remember Nothing.

(Source: I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections; Image: Nora Ephron, via.)

What I Won’t Miss

Dry skin

Bad dinners like the one we went to last night


Technology in general

My closet

Washing my hair



Illness everywhere

Polls that show that 32 percent of the American people believe in creationism


Fox TV

The collapse of the dollar

Bar mitzvahs


Dead flowers

The sound of the vacuum cleaner


E-mail. I know I already said it, but I want to emphasize it.

Small print

Panels on Women in Film

Taking off makeup every night

What I Will Miss

My kids





The concept of waffles


A walk in the park

The idea of a walk in the park

The park

Shakespeare in the Park

The bed

Reading in bed



The view out the window

Twinkle lights


Dinner at home just the two of us

Dinner with friends

Dinner with friends in cities where none of us lives


Next year in Istanbul

Pride and Prejudice

The Christmas tree

Thanksgiving dinner

One for the table

The dogwood

Taking a bath

Coming over the bridge to Manhattan


via Lists of Note.

first world problems, microwave popcorn:  I usually buy the #1 brand. I like the new sea salt flavored.

1. Pop Secret Movie Theater Butter

Price: 6 for $3.88

Packaging: 8 – Minimal but classic. The color scheme recalls the glory days of Blockbuster video (pour out a cup of butter for your homie).

Butteriness: 9 – This is an entirely different butter experience. It tastes like butter! And we’re not talking movie theater butter*: it’s like the actual churned dairy product. You don’t at all feel like you’re eating a science experiment.

Fluffiness: 8 – The texture is soft, the kernels are perfectly obliterated, and the real butter lubrication ties the whole package together like a Clint Howard cameo.

Overall flavors: 9 – This isn’t as flashy as Jolly Time or as wet as Orville, but Pop Secret delivers a nearly flawless snacking experience that doesn’t taste overly-processed or underflavored.


*I worked in a movie theater in high school, and the butter was actually straight vegetable oil.

via The Best Microwave Popcorn Money Can Buy., kith/kin:  Another step toward the goal …

A big thanks to everyone who made it out yesterday for the Campaign Headquarters Grand Opening. The event was a huge success and I was encouraged to see so many people excited about my Campaign for Congress.

Interested in volunteering on the campaign? Go here —>


2.17.13 … I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year …

Charlotte, snow:  I was happy last night … I must have at least one snow a year.


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history, Lent: So, I am a Pharisee now …

Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Don’t act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.”

Over the years, modifications have been made to the Lenten observances, making our practices not only simple but also easy. Ash Wednesday still marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays. The present fasting and abstinence laws are very simple: On Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, the faithful fast having only one full meal a day and smaller snacks to keep up ones strength and abstain from meat; on the other Fridays of Lent, the faithful abstain from meat. People are still encouraged “to give up something” for Lent as a sacrifice. An interesting note is that technically on Sundays and solemnities like St. Josephs Day March 19 and the Annunciation March 25, one is exempt and can partake of whatever has been offered up for Lent.Nevertheless, I was always taught, “If you gave something up for the Lord, tough it out. Dont act like a Pharisee looking for a loophole.” Moreover, an emphasis must be placed on performing spiritual works, like attending the Stations of the Cross, attending Mass, making a weekly holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, taking time for personal prayer and spiritual reading and most especially making a good confession and receiving sacramental absolution. Although the practices may have evolved over the centuries, the focus remains the same: to repent of sin, to renew our faith and to prepare to celebrate joyfully the mysteries of our salvation.

via History of Lent.

Lenten practice, Facebook, LOL:

Wonder what it says about FB that so many people are abstaining from it for Lent?

and one of his friend’s comment …

I’m Betting they cheat and look ..just not commenting.

via BW

Lent, Lenten devotionals: These jumped out at me …

Thursday February 14, 2013

Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us

We don’t have to go far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness right where we are. And only when we can see the beauty and goodness that are close by can we recognize beauty and goodness on our travels far and wide. There are trees and flowers to enjoy, paintings and sculptures to admire; most of all there are people who smile, play, and show kindness and gentleness. They are all around us, to be recognized as free gifts to receive in gratitude.

Our temptation is to collect all the beauty and goodness surrounding us as helpful information we can use for our projects. But then we cannot enjoy it, and we soon find that we need a vacation to restore ourselves. Let’s try to see the beauty and goodness in front of us before we go elsewhere to look for it.

via Daily Meditation: Seeing the Beauty and Goodness in Front of Us.

Indeed, the God of my rigid ideologies, of my complacent Theology; the God who validates my unwillingness to explore heresies, and rewards me for arrogantly dismissing them as sinful; the God who grounds my intellectual arrogance in His omniscience, and my politics in his omnipotence; the God who vanquishes all of His and my inquisitive foes, forever silencing their obnoxious questions with the fires of Hell; whose very Nature demands that humans separate and categorize the world into manageable divisions; the God who has made His Will known to us through Natural Law, and a Holy Book, every word of which we are to follow without hesitation or consideration; whose ethical character remains beyond discussion; whose decisions remain beyond the scope of human analysis; the God who grounds all Thought in his Being – this God, who is Himself nothing more than an idol of Modernism, is dead.

My goal for Lent is to remember this death, and to meditate on it in reverence, humility, and mystery. And to reflect not on the God who rules by power, but a god who leads by love; who identifies with the weak; whose foolishness upsets omniscience; a God who reveals Himself in many ways, who reveals Himself in a first century peasant named Jesus; a God who empties Himself of God, and offers Himself to his enemies in submission and servitude; who is concerned with the plight of widows and orphans, the least among us, and the disadvantaged; who sends Jesus to go after the marginalized and the misunderstood, and to bring back home again those who have been ostracized and forgotten.

I am giving up God for Lent to make room for God. I am prying open my fingers, and letting all of my theological idols crash to the ground. And I am lifting up my empty hands to Heaven in anticipation of God’s arrival, and quietly echoing the unsettling words of Meister Eckhart: “I pray God to rid me of God.”

via Brandon Ambrosino: Giving Up God For Lent.

Kneeling in Jerusalem,  Ann Weems, Lent:  Ann Weems’ book  Kneeling in Jerusalem is a great resource during Lent.


Lent is a time to take the time

to let the power of our faith story take hold of us,

a time to let the events

get up and walk around in us,

a time to intensify

our living unto Christ,

a time to hover over

the thoughts of our hearts,

a time place our feet in the streets of Jerusalem or to walk along the sea and listen to his word,

a time to touch his robe

and feel the healing surge through us,

a time to ponder and a time to wonder . . .

Lent is a time to allow a fresh new taste of God!

from Kneeling in Jerusalem by Ann Weems

clergywear, pastors, stoles, FPC-Charlotte, Lent,  fyi:

What Are Our Pastors Wearing Around Their Necks?

Of all the questions I have received since arriving as your pastor last September, the most popular has been about what we wear on Sunday during worship.

The name for what we wear around our necks is a “stole.” Stoles are worn by the clergy of many denominations – Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic.

The shape of a stole is reminiscent of a yoke that symbolizes the yoke of Christ, which reminds those of us who wear the stole (and those who see us wearing it) of whom we serve. Stoles are a symbol of ordained ministry – and are often given as gifts to a pastor on his or her ordination to service in the Church.

You may have noticed that the stoles we wear even change colors! The color of our stoles follows the season of the Christian year: purple in Advent and Lent, white in Christmas and Easter, green in ordinary times, and red in Pentecost.

You’ll also notice that the color of our stoles coordinates with the materials that cover both the pulpit and the communion table. These materials are called “paraments.”

Christians follow a different calendar – defined by our salvation history – because as we are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection, we are called to live a different kind of life.

Finally, most of your pastors’ stoles have a story – about where they were made or by whom they were given. Feel free to ask us about them sometime!


source: FirstNews

Camino de Santiago, Camino de Santiago Forum, bucket list: Thank you CCP for sharing this one.  One day …

Thoughts on Camino de Santiago – YouTube.

architecture, I.M. Pei, Gateway Towers, Singapore, optical illusion,  strangely two-dimensional …


Gateway Towers, Singapore

Completed in 1990, the trapezoidal shape of I.M. Pei’s Gateway Towers in Singapore create an optical illusion when viewed from certain angles — the 37-story office buildings appear strangely two-dimensional.

via Wired’s Weekly Picks of Stunning Architecture | Wired Design |

uncreative writing, language, Digital Age, Brain Pickings:  subversive ..

The rest of Uncreative Writing goes on to explore the history of appropriation in art, the emerging interchangeability between words and images in digital culture, the challenges of defining one’s identity in the vastness of the online environment, and many other pressing facets of what it means to be a writer — or, even more broadly, a creator — in the age of the internet. Complement it with the equally subversive How To Talk About Books You Haven’t Read.

via Uncreative Writing: Redefining Language and Authorship in the Digital Age | Brain Pickings.

art, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brain Pickings, 

Letters From Father Christmas:  Given that Tolkien’s

Letters From Father Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas books that I shared with my children …  and to a large extent because of Tolkien’s whimsical drawings, I know I would love this edition of The Hobbit.

A rare piece of cross-disciplinary creativity from the mind of one of modern history’s greatest creators, Art of the Hobbit is equal parts literary treasure and treat of art, exploring the notion of the author as designer — a particularly timely concept in the age of self-publishing and disciplinary cross-pollination in the making of books.

via Art of the Hobbit: Never-Before-Seen Drawings by J.R.R. Tolkien | Brain Pickings.

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more.

via Letters From Father Christmas: J.R.R. Tolkien: 0046442512657: Books.

Obamacare, Uninsurables Program: I thought this was one of the good things about ObamaCare … 😦

Enrollment around the country has been lower than expected, partly because some people could not afford the premiums. But individual cases have turned out to be costlier than originally projected.

In documents provided to the states, the administration said the program has spent about $2.4 billion in taxpayer money on medical claims and nearly $180 million on administrative costs, as of Dec. 31. Congress allocated $5 billion to the plan.

“From the beginning (the administration) has been committed to monitoring PCIP enrollment and spending closely and making necessary adjustments in the program to ensure responsible management of the $5 billion provided by Congress,” PCIP director Richard Popper wrote in a memo. “To this end, we are implementing a nationwide suspension of enrollment.”

via Obamacare ‘Uninsurables’ Program Quietly Winds Down As Funding Dries Up.

news, journalism, mobile journalism, end of an era, Poynter;  “News needs to solve problems” hmmm … ” We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.”

4. News needs to solve problems

A study by Flurry in November found that the news category only accounts for 2 percent of total time spent on mobile apps. Social apps gobble up 26 percent. Facebook alone accounts for 23 percent of all time spent with mobile apps, according to Comscore in December. That beats every news organization’s app combined by a long shot.

As Facebook (and Twitter) grow in time spent – and since both are populated with plenty of news – they’re increasingly competitive with news organizations’ mobile experiences by sheer volume.

As a result, simply extending a news organizations’ current coverage into mobile isn’t enough. We need to solve information problems for our users and drive measurable revenue for our advertisers. Mobile is not merely another form factor, but an entirely new ecosystem that rewards utility.  Flipboard is a classic example of solving a problem (tablet-based content discovery) while The Daily is an example of a product that did not.

“The key insight from thinking about your business this way is that it is the job, and not the customer or the product, that should be the fundamental unit of analysis,” said Clayton Christensen, David Skok and James Allworth in a Nieman report. “This applies to news as much as it does to any other service.”

“The way to get startup ideas is not to try to think of startup ideas. It’s to look for problems, preferably problems you have yourself,” explains Y Combinator’s Paul Graham. “By far the most common mistake startups make is to solve problems no one has.”

via 5 reasons mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago | Poynter..

2013 Festival of Legal Learning, US Supreme Court, US Supreme Court Confirmation Process: One of my favorite lectures.  The speaker was a little dry, but I learned a great deal about the confirmation process from nomination to confirmation, vetting both by the White House and the Senate, the role of public relations and media, etc.  Once again, I have confirmed that I am a nerd.

Insider’s View of the Supreme Court Confirmation Process

Michael J. Gerhardt, Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor in Constitutional Law and Director of the Center for Law and Government, UNC School of Law

this session will explore the nuances of the U.S. Supreme Court confirmation process. The speaker has significant experience in this arena. He advised several senators on the nomination of John Roberts as Chief Justice, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the nomination of Samuel Alito Jr., and served as Special Counsel to Chair Patrick Leahy (D-vt.) as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee for the nominations of Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

via Festival of Legal Learning.

2013 Festival of Legal Learning,  Student Athletes, Penn State, caveat emptor:  You should always be ticked when the presenter starts off telling you that there will be very little about Penn State despite the fact that it is in the title.

Sex, Violence and Student Athletes: Penn State and Beyond

Barbara J. Osborne, Associate Professor, UNC Department of Exercise & Sport Science

this session will explain the 2012 U.S. Department of education’s Sexual violence guidance. Institutional liability will be discussed using recent situations involving student-athletes at the high school and college level, as well as the Office of Civil Rights’ complaint against Penn State for the Sandusky scandal.

Festival of Legal Learning.

Life With Dogs: Thank you, EWP,  for sharing this  Life With Dogs’s photo …

this is like one of those old-fashioned fox stoles that my grandmothers used to wear – EWP

Find Rufus Competition, corgies,  What is it with the Brits and corgies?

Can You Find Rufus The Corgi?

For your chance to win a romantic trip to London, use the clues to find Rufus in the map below. Remember, he’s only a little dog, so you might need to zoom in!

via Now See It For Yourself – Find Rufus Competition –

translation apps,  Google App,  My husband downloaded an arabic translation app for his next trip to Kuwait.  We’ll see how that goes …

I’ve been watching Google’s translation tools improve over the years, but this trip would be a true test: could it really blunt the trauma of arriving in a country where the average American is instantly rendered illiterate, deaf and mute?The answer: yes, though knowing your way around it in advance will help. (United Nations interpreters need not fear for their jobs, at least not yet.) Here, then, are my tips, learned the hard way….

Pantomiming and phrasebooks have always worked for you in the past, and are more fun anyway? I hear you. But even if you want to stay old-school, the world is moving on without you. At least once a day during my trip, the Chinese broke out their own translation apps before I had a chance to break out mine. In other words, this train has already left the station. Or, to pick a cliché more appropriate to my trip, you don’t want to miss the boat.

via Lost in Translation? Try a Google App –

Carnival Cruise, Triumph Failure, Total PR Fiasco, bathrobes, twitter:  They may have tweeted too fast … bathrobe fiasco!

They may have been stranded aboard a busted cruise ship for five days with little food, broken sewage systems and no heat or air conditioning, but at least they’ll get to keep the bathrobe.

On Friday morning, as more than 3,000 tired and dirty customers finally disembarked from the stranded cruise ship Triumph, @CarnivalCruise tweeted, “Of course the bathrobes for the Carnival Triumph are complimentary.”

It was a remarkably tone-deaf finish to a week-long public relations fiasco that began Sunday night when an engine fire crippled the Caribbean-bound ship and set it adrift in the Gulf of Mexico. Nonstop news coverage and social media chatter brought the public vivid images of the fetid conditions aboard the Triumph. Reports from passengers included details about overflowing toilets, hours-long waits to get food and flooded rooms during the five days they were stranded at sea.

via Carnival Cruise Tells Passengers They Can Keep The Bathrobes In Total PR Fiasco.

The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers, kith/kin, high school, Westminster Schools, memories, Brain Pickings: I had a friend in high school who got a hold of this.  I never laughed so hard as I did one night … Can anyone guess who possessed this “pamphlet”?

Between Edison’s scandalous footage of the first kiss in cinema in 1896 and Bill Plympton’s quirky animated guide to kissing a century later, the public image of lip-locking underwent some radical transformations. In 1936, the year my grandmother was born, a man named Hugh Morris penned a small illustrated pamphlet titled The Art of Kissing (public library), in which he guided young lovers through the techniques, tricks, and “approved methods of kissing,” including such varieties as “the spiritual kiss,” “the nip kiss,” “the pain kiss,” “the surprise kiss,” “the eyelash kiss,” and “the French soul kiss,” as well as tips on how to prepare for a kiss and how to approach a girl. Delightfully dated in its assumptions about love, heterosexuality, and marriage, it’s as much a charming time-capsule of a bygone era as it is a sure source of a good chuckle.


Here you start off by first opening your mouth a trifle just after you have been resting peacefully with closed lips. Indicate to your partner, by brushing her teeth with the tip of your tongue, that you wish for her to do likewise. The moment she responds, instead of caressing her mouth, suck inward as though you were trying to draw out the innards of an orange. If she knows of this kiss variation, your maid will act in the same way and withdraw the air from your mouth. In this fashion, in a very short while, the air will have been entirely drawn out of your mouths. Your lips will adhere so tightly that there will almost be pain, instead of pleasure. But it will be the sort of pain that is highly pleasurable. That may sound odd, but nevertheless it is a fact. Pain becomes so excruciating as to become pleasurable.

via The Art of Kissing: A 1936 Guide for Lovers | Brain Pickings.

Valentine’s Day memes, follow-up:  Since I was off FB for VD … I enjoyed a belated FB experience this morning.  Some are nice … some,  not so nice …


Valentine’s Day, Valentine’s Day gift, StoryCorps:  I think I’ll suggest this one to my husband for next year.  LOL

Looking for a thoughtful Valentine’s Day gift? Grab your sweetheart and head to StoryCorps at the AHC to record your love story! Appointments are available this Saturday!

StoryCorps is pleased to be in partnership with the Atlanta History Center and Public Broadcasting Atlanta to record, preserve, and share the stories of communities in Atlanta.

via Atlanta, GA | StoryCorps.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews with nearly 90,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening, and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters. At the same time, we will create an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

In the coming years we will build StoryCorps into an enduring institution that will touch the lives of every American family.

via About Us | StoryCorps.

Downton Abbey, The Dowager Countess, quotes, LOL: : )

‎”I do think a woman’s place is eventually in the home, but I see no harm in her having some fun before she gets there.”

Georgia, Yumion – the Vidalia Onion, Vidalia GA, kitschy, corporate mascots:  I must admit, I would go out of my way to see Yumion … I have done so to see the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile and the Famous Idaho® Potato Truck …

Explore Georgia

Be sure to look for Yumion, the Vidalia Onion, when you visit Vidalia, Georgia!

Tiffanys,  Costco, knockoffs, retail, knockoffs, icons, iconic jewelry, blue boxes, diamond rings,  ABC News:  If I were a bride, I’d be ticked …

Speaking of retail, a wild story. A big fight between tiffany’s and costco. Tiffany’s wants the big box store to knock off the knockoffs, selling fake versions of its iconic jewelry.

Here’s abc’s tanya rivero. Reporter: It’s the little blue box, versus the big box retailer. On valentine’s day, as lovers everywhere snuggled,iffany and co.

Slapped costco with a lawsuit. These pictures allegedly show tiffany koffs inside a california costco. Tiffany sent someone in, bought one of the rings.

They were not made by tiffany. They are not tiffany rings. They have nothing to do with tiffany.

Reporter: Being sold at a fraction of what real tiffany rings cost. Everybody would love a deal on a tiffany ring. And unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen.

Tiffany diamonds are never on sale. Reporter: Tiffany alleges costco had been selling the fakes for years. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of engagement rings were sold using the tiffany trademark.

Reporter: A rep for costco told abc news, we will be making no comment on this story as it involves pending litigation. Court papers say an unnamed consumer blew the whistle, contacting a tiffany store to complain. She was offended by the fact that tiffany would be selling engagement rings in costco.

In this particular case, there’s enormous room for confusion among consumers because costco does sell a of big brands at deep discounts. Reporter: Shoppers at tiffany’s flagship store weighed in. You think you’re buying into a brand.

And you find out it’s a rip-off. When you buy a tiffany diamond, you’re buying into the row mant schism and there’s only one place to get it. Costco has removed all tiffany labels.

But tiffany is a suing for additional mary damages. And whether customers will sue remains to be seen. If you have any doubt about a tiffany’s item you own, you can bring it into a tiffany’s store.

They’ll tell you if it’s the real thing. Diamonds are never on sale.

via Tiffanys Battles Costco Over Knock Off Diamond Rings | Video – ABC News.

 weddings,  trends, gold, The Huffington Post:  I am pretty traditional … but  I really like the gold …

Beyond emerald and yellow, one of the fastest growing color trends this year in weddings is gold. For a while, gold had become passé as platinum gained in popularity and silver made a resurgence. However, gold is back, and here to stay. With sequins so popular (we’re on board!), and because this color can be paired with so many options from pink to black and white, all that glitters is GOLD for 2013.

With the help of patterns and rose gold, check out our favorite golden wedding ideas in the gallery.

via Kellee Khalil: 2013 Wedding Color Trend: Gold.

Twitter, David Boreanaz, Playmobil, adult play, random: So if I were to create a scene using playmobil figures, what would I create?

You see my photo!!!! Playmobil Bones!!!!!!!!

Twitter / lauris_dm: @David_Boreanaz You see my ….

elephants, internet videos, random: India

most happiest elephant in the world

via most happiest elephant in the world.

Marine Corps,  Chesty the Recruit, WSJ:

The Marine Corps on Friday unveiled their future mascot. If all goes as planned, Chesty the Recruit will become Private First Class Chesty XIV later this year, replacing Sgt Chesty XIII.

Chesty XIII became one of the most storied dogs in the long history of Marine Corps mascots when he faced off last year with Bravo, the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s golden retriever.

As chronicled in The Wall Street Journal, the growling confrontation earned Chesty a promotion to Sergeant and raised the bulldog’s reputation among many of the enlisted and officers at the Marine Corps barracks. But it didn’t sit too well with some of the officer’s wives.

Some of the women viewed Chesty the XIII as crotchety and ill-mannered to guests. (Check out the video here.)

The Marines rolled out the red carpet for 9-week old Chesty the Recruit Thursday night at the Home of the Commandants at the Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks. Bonnie Amos, the wife of Marine Corps Commandant James Amos, met the latest Chesty Thursday night.

via Marines Roll Out Red Carpet for Chesty the Recruit – Washington Wire – WSJ.

short stories, literary genres, publishing, book industry,

The Internet may be disrupting much of the book industry, but for short-story writers it has been a good thing.

Story collections, an often underappreciated literary cousin of novels, are experiencing a resurgence, driven by a proliferation of digital options that offer not only new creative opportunities but exposure and revenue as well.

“It is the culmination of a trend we have seen building for five years,” said Cal Morgan, the editorial director of Harper Perennial Originals, who until last year ran a blog called Fifty-Two Stories, devoted to short fiction. “The Internet has made people a lot more open to reading story forms that are different from the novel, and you see a generation of writers very engaged in experimentation.”

via A Good Fit for Small Screens, Short Stories Are Selling –


2.16.13 … a walk on the wild side … spring to winter in 45 minutes …

“Solvitur Ambulando”  – It is solved by walking,  2013 Lenten labyrinth walks, Myers Park Baptist Church, snow, thunder snow, Charlotte, early spring, winter, Why We Broke Up, YA literature: 
I’ve waited all day to walk because I wanted to walk in the snow. But Charlotte’s not going to get snow. But if it does overnight, I can walk tomorrow morning. I hate that about the South, that we wait for winter with anticipation. Other people wait for spring …
So finally at about 4 pm, I drove over to Myers  Park Baptist Church.  I was  amazed at how much spring is already here (yet the homes still have giant hearts on the doors to celebrate Valentine’s).  Yards are  just filled with yellow daffodils. There’s a pink tree in  bloom. The Bradford pears are budding. It is just amazing. However, I am waiting for winter.
Image IMG_5712
I’ve been listening to young adult fiction today, specifically a book called Why We Broke Up. I am amazed at the angst which is always a part of young adult fiction. I wonder if at 53 I am filled with the same angst of 15-year-old.  I think about what I would put in a box if I were 15 and broke up … realizing I probably have such stuff still in a box in my house … I would never have had the guts to deliver that box to my ex …
My  walk was brisk. I notice that the lines marking the seams in the concrete are water stained … collecting as it dries. I feel like it’s trying to dry for the snow.

Image   IMG_5729
IMG_5719   IMG_5720 IMG_5734
I think, “hope I get to come back tomorrow and walk on it  snow-covered ”  My other thought is that I now feel very out of sync when I walk this labyrinth and reach the center. I am out of sync because I now know that the number of petals in the center are not true to Chartres. (But the labyrinth  makes up for it by having a stone inlaid in the  center that was quarried from the same quarry that stones of Chartres were quarried.
IMG_5722 IMG_5736
 IMG_5725 IMG_5726 IMG_5728
As I left I noticed that someone has stolen the sign that tells everyone that this is a “sacred place.”  I wonder what would make someone steal that sign. I’ve concluded that it may go in someone’s box  of mementos from a relationship. They stole the side of the labyrinth.
As I got in the car, I heat ice …and rain and SNOW!
IMG_5746 IMG_5747
I also see lightning and hear thunder … Thunder Snow …
Within 15 minutes Charlotte is covered in snow ….
Now I really must go back and walk the labyrinth in the morning … early before anyone else.
fyi … I first experienced thundersnow while I lived in Chicago … I have now experienced it 3 times, the same number that mY kids have experienced …

Thundersnow, also known as a winter thunderstorm or a thunder snowstorm, is an extremely rare[1] kind of thunderstorm with snow falling as the primary precipitation instead of rain. It typically falls in regions of strong upward motion within the cold sector of an extratropical cyclone. Thermodynamically, it is not different from any other type of thunderstorms but the top of the cumulonimbus is usually quite low. As well as snow, graupel, or more rarely hail also commonly falls.

via Thundersnow – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


1.16.13 … New Haven and the “new” Art Gallery at Yale University

Boston, snow, travel:

Boston …

Photo: Boston ... And snow. Welcome North! … and snow. Welcome North!

On the free Silver Line bus to South Station … Big bus with doors … Next amtrax train to new haven, ct. I am sitting sideways in front with my luggage between my knees. This is for you, Eleanor Winborne Murray!

So far car, moving sidewalk, plane with uncontrolled heat … Now bus to train.

On the AMTRAX today … Given the snow, I felt it the better option (knock on wood 😉 ). So maybe MegaBus tomorrow … I am sure it is cheaper. It’s nice to see snow in someone else’s backyard. Train is very nice. It has big seats, wifi, outlets and a cafe car for my dining pleasure. I should be in New Haven before 2.

On time in New Haven!

New Haven CT, Art Gallery at Yale University, Shake Shack:


Great day in New Haven with Debbie … Snow everywhere ..

Before hitting the town, we visited St. Luke’s where Debbie Shew is serving as Interim Priest … very interesting history …

Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church is  believed to be the third oldest African American parish in the United  States. On June 7, 1844, a small group of  African descendants who were members of Trinity Episcopal church petitioned the Rector and Vestry for  approval to form an Episcopal society. The new congregation was  organized under the name of Saint Luke’s Parish and was given use of a  building. The Reverend Eli Worthington Stokes, a Black Deacon, was  called as the first Minister and was ordained a Priest in 1846 in New Haven.

On April 12, 1852, the church acquired at an auction property  formerly held by the Colored Baptist Society.

The Center

It  is to this work that St. Luke’s has been called. In keeping with the example of  its patron saint, Luke, the physician, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church has  always dedicated itself to the ministry of healing.  In October 2005,  St. Luke’s entered a season of renewal and has since felt a call to  deepen its long-standing commitment to the work of healing.  Specifically, St. Luke’s is being called to play a leading role in healing  the painful wounds in New Haven’s Black community.

We envision a  St. Luke’s Center for Community Healing, a comprehensive ministry of healing serving the Black community in the Greater New Haven area.  We see  a place of healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation for hurting men and  women, boys and girls, and families.  The mission of St. Luke’s Center  for Community Healing will be to take the balm of Jesus’ healing  ministry to wounded places in the Black community to heal and save God’s people.

Among other services, the Center will offer:

1)  community healing  workshops;

2) regular services for community healing;

3) healing retreats;

4): healing workshops;

5) training  in the  ministry of healing;

6)  healing conferences;

7) consultation with other  churches in the community seeking to establish healing ministries; and

8) links to community mental health resources for those needing  professional help.

We launched the Community Healing Ministry with a community conversation and ecumenical healing service held in October 2006.  This groundbreaking event will serve as a foundation through which St. Luke’s can develop a Christian Community Healing Curriculum specifically addressing the emotional legacies of slavery.


In 1863, enslaved Black people were freed physically with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. One hundred and thirty-three years later and almost seven years into  the 21st century, Black people are still not spiritually and emotionally emancipated. That “emancipation proclamation,” we must sign for ourselves.  With its Center for Community Healing, St. Luke’s seeks to establish a  sacred space to promote the spiritual and emotional emancipation of  Black people.

via Our History –

Gallery at Yale and Shake Shack … Makes for a great visit! Below is my favorite painting at the gallery: The Child at the Door by Edouard Vuillard.

JOCK REYNOLDS, the director of the Yale University Art Gallery, likes to say that when he took over in 1998, the collection — the oldest and one of the most important university art collections in the country — had grown so large that its landmark Louis Kahn building resembled an “old sock drawer.” The museum could show only a small fraction of its holdings, and some works had been in storage so long that even the curators had never seen them. Beyond campus few people knew that there was a world-class encyclopedic art museum in New Haven, of all places, just an hour and a half from New York.

But Mr. Reynolds’s greatest secret may be that he has first dosed himself with his own Kool-Aid and sold himself on his own message. Walking around Yale galleries he sometimes shakes his head in wonder at all their riches and takes evident pleasure in sharing them. He hung the collection of modern and contemporary art himself.

“He’s believable because he’s a believer,” Ms. Halbreich said. “The joy he gets from art is palpable.”

John Walsh, director emeritus of the J. Paul Getty Museum, said: “These are not techniques, you know that right away. He’s not faking it. He’s really well prepared. It’s very hard to say no to Jock because you feel he deserves it. You want to make him happy.” He laughed and added, “He’s used this on me many times.”

via Jock Reynolds, Transformative Director of Yale Art Gallery –

Excellent … Shroom Burger, Cheese Fries and Hazlenut Concrete.  🙂

The menu for this location

via New Haven | Shake Shack.

Davidson College, rankings:

Many colleges have a strong commitment to teaching undergraduates instead of graduate-level research. Based on a survey conducted in spring 2012, all the schools on these lists are ones that received the most votes from top college administrators as paying a particular focus on undergraduate teaching.

via Best Undergraduate Teaching | Rankings | Top National Liberal Arts Colleges | US News.

technology, posture:

LUMOback device, which went on sale in November for $149, comes with a waistband and rests against a person’s lower back, vibrating only when the back isn’t kept straight while sitting. “We’re helping people develop muscle memory,” said Monisha Perkash, chief executive of Lumo BodyTech Inc., based in Palo Alto, Calif.

For Annie Valdes, the LUMOback has succeeded where her real-life mother couldn’t. After wearing the device for several months, the 37-year-old from Mountain View, Calif., said her back pain subsided as she figured out how to sit properly at her work desk, meaning the device “only buzzes me a few times an hour.”

“I always had other people and my mom telling me to sit up straight,” she said, “but I’ve never been able to do it.”

At home, however, Ms. Valdes now has a new problem: Only one chair, an ottoman, allows her to sit in a way that satisfies the LUMOback.

via Can Good Vibrations Perfect Your Posture? –

Paris, restaurants, lists:

Gastronomy finds a perennial welcome in Paris thanks to the luxuriant, sensual nature of traditional French cookery. Superlative ingredients – including premium wines and cheeses – enrich the cuisine, which runs fat with foie gras, escargots, moules frites, and such classics as coq au vin and boeuf bourguignon. Even so, cued by a fashion-forward culture, innovative chefs unabashedly shake up standards, reinventing them in light of globalization and emergent trends. As a result, while incredible bistro and brasserie fare remain strong, fantastic restaurants also offer foods from once-French areas like Vietnam and North Africa.

Haute cuisine distinguishes the city, and Taillevent, the city’s grande-dame of the genre, serves as an elegant, long-lived Parisian landmark. Guy Savoy, another mainstay, drifts towards contemporary tastes while holding fast to class and refinement. Hiramatsu, however, leaps boldly forward, marrying Asian and French cuisines in a seamless fusion of romance and flavor. For more casual occasions, the allure of the brasserie runs strong, and Bofinger is a time-tested haven favored by fans of oysters and Alsatian choucroute. And, night or day, when a light snack or sweet is in order, Ladurée ranks among the city’s best patisseries.

Any restaurant on this list is sure to delight the pickiest palate.

via Best Paris Restaurants: Top 10Best Restaurant Reviews.


1.2.11 … the end of break approaches … :

movies: 🙂

YouTube – Filmography 2010.

270 films from 2010 were spliced into one single, fabulous, illuminating 6 minute video, by genrocks (“I’m a girl by the way”)

via 2010: the year through film « The Improvised Life.

culture: very interesting.  I am going to have to research Hans Rosling, since this is the my second YouTube post of his in less than a month.  Anyone know anything about him?

YouTube – Hans Rosling – 2020 Shaping Ideas.

movies, kudos:

YouTube – Man in a Blizzard.

This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject.

(1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage. It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov’s 1929 silent classic “Man With a Movie Camera.” (3) Because it represents an almost unbelievable technical proficiency.

via “Man in a Blizzard,” by Jamie Stuart – Roger Ebert’s Journal.

skiing/snowboarding, Edward/Jack:  very interesting … one boy skis; one boy boards … wonder what it says about their personalities?

Snowboarding, by contrast, was born not of a utilitarian desire to get around, but of unadulterated hedonism. It was conceived from the first to be fun. And all things considered, it seems the more natural way to get down a slope. In an outtake from “Lines”, a documentary about big-mountain snowboarding in Alaska, Mike Renquet, a legend of the sport, offers the following thought experiment. Imagine a caveman asked to choose how to get down a snowy mountain. Would he strap on two separate wooden slats and lean forward? Or rather stand sideways on a broader plank and lean back a little? Mr Renquet does not think the theoretical troglodyte would plump for the skis. Nor does Babbage. But then again, both he and Mr Renquet may be biased.

via Babbage hits the slopes: The science of skiing v snowboarding | The Economist.

history, Civil War:

Museum Collections Manager Catherine Wright let curiosity get the best of her and decided to crack open the bottle to see what message it was hiding from the world. After pulling the plug and enlisting a CIA code breaker to crack the encrypted message, the world was able to receive the message that Gen. Pemberton never did.

Wright explained that the Civil War messenger bearing the bad news likely turned back after seeing the U.S. flag flying over Vicksburg, indicating the Confederacy had surrendered, and making the message irrelevant. “It was just another punctuation mark to just how desperate and dire everything was,” she said.

via Civil War Message in a Bottle Decoded After 147 Years – TIME NewsFeed.

Gretchen Rubin, happiness, New Year’s ResolutionsThe Happiness Project: Recommended happiness reading.


YouTube – Try a Week of Extreme Nice..

snow, winter, science:  Probably learned this in middle school, but it is still interesting.

Rather than liquid freezing, snow comes from water vapor — the gaseous form of water — changing directly into the solid, ice phase, a process known as deposition. The water molecules link together in a beautiful hexagonal crystal, like so.

via Happy Snowy New Year! : Starts With A Bang.

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May 2020