Posts Tagged ‘sports


‎7.6.2011 Beantown!

Boston, travel, Flour Bakery, bakeries, trolley tours, history,  music, Neptune Oyster, restaurants, quotes, Ernest Hemingway, Paul Revere House, St. Stephens’ Church, Revere Mall, Old North Church, First Church of Christ Scientists,  Mapparium,  Beacon Hill Bistro, kith/kin, Facebook, Chihuly, Museum of Fine Arts,  Copley’s Watson and the Shark, education, generation gap, Davidson College, slime bags, sports, lists …

Well, Boston was great today.  After asking the concierge for three recommendations – best tour trolley, best bakery and best lobster roll … I had a great day touring by myself, followed by a great visit with Julia and Jimmy.


1. Flour Bakery is truly a great bakery … First bakery made pop tart for me … :),

Our mission at Flour is simple: We are incredibly passionate about sharing the pure pleasure that mouth-watering pastries and foods and warm hospitality can bring into your life.  We love what we do and even more we love sharing it with you.  We hope to see you soon!

via Flour Bakery, 12 Farnsworth Street Boston MA | 1595 Washington Street Boston MA | 190 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge MA.

2. Old Town Tour trolley … Mr. Kelly, former 4th grade history teacher, was great.  I stayed on for the whole 15 stop circuit … then did hop on, hop off in the afternoon … and of course there was some appropriate music coordinated with a few of the stops!

YouTube – Dave Loggins – Please Come To Boston – 1974 – DJ Single ‏.

YouTube – Cheers full theme song (with subtitiles) ‏.


3.  Lobster Roll at Neptune Oyster … $25 … very good … probably worth it!  I had lobster, not oysters, but I love the Hemingway quote on their website.

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and make plans. - A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

Neptune Oyster – 63 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02110.

4. Sights – Paul Revere House, St. Stephens’ Church, Revere Mall, Old North Church, First Church of Christ Scientists and Mapparium.

Since 1935, more than 10 million people have traversed the thirty-foot glass bridge that spans the Mapparium, taking visitors to a unique spot: the middle of the world.

This world-famous, three-story, painted-glass globe is one of the key attractions at the Library. The Mapparium’s three-dimensional perspective of the world of 1935 is enhanced by A World of Ideas, an original presentation that features a rich orchestration of words, music, and LED lights to illustrate how ideas have traversed time and geography and changed the world.

via Mapparium® | The Mary Baker Eddy Library.

5. Dinner … first alone with Julia at Beacon Hill Bistro (excellent) and then  Jimmy and family friend Regan Pluck … Julia and Jimmy are  not on FB so I made a special shout to all Atlanta friends … especially Rebecca, Penny, Molly, Len Al, Jeanne, Eleanor, Susie, Roline, Thomas, Elizabeth … Just want you to know she is thinking about you!  Maybe soon she will join Facebook.

6. … and finally Museum of Fine Arts with Julia and Jimmy and Regan Pluck.  First stop, the absolutely beautiful Chihuly | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

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And then we scurried around to see the must sees at the museum and I jumped when I saw Copley’s Watson and the Shark.

72 x 90 1/4

Image via Wikipedia

Watson and the Shark – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

I had recently had a FB conversation on the painting and could not remember the details … so I posted the painted and loved chatting with Cathy, Nan, Anne  and Becky …

Catherine: i’d say! I’d rather face a dog bite than a shark bite any day!

Dennard : Shark stole his clothes first.

Catherine Siewick ‎” Brook Watson was a 14-year-old orphan serving as a crew member on his uncle’s trading ship. While swimming alone, he suffered

Nan: You and I had a running conversation about this painting.

Dennard: Well I saw it last night!

Dennard: I turned around and it was right there … very cruel painting.

Nan: Very.

Anne:  What was it doing in Boston? It used to terrify me when I went to the museum in WDC as a child – National Gallery.

Dennard:  Don’t know. It appeared to be permanently there.

Becky:  SCARY!!!!

Anne: OK, if Wikepedia can be trusted: Copley produced three versions. The original is in the National Gallery of Art in WDC, a replica he painted for himself is in the Fine Arts Museum in Boston and a third, which is smaller with a more vertical composition, is in the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Dennard: Very interesting. Thank you anne!

And now my usual clips …

education, generation gap, Davidson College:  I loved this article.  I have the same discussions with my children.

In an online age, truth is more unbundled than ever. That makes higher education more important than ever.

For smart twenty-somethings and their intellectual fellow travelers, ideas are in the ascendant. Progressively freed from their moorings in books or college courses, ideas are increasingly encountered on their own, without the mediating force of a received authority like a professor, a presenter, or an author. When students like Adam access ideas, they evaluate them quickly for acceptance or rejection.

That is not to say they no longer see synthesis, careful argument, and good judgment as relevant to reaching conclusions. Of course they do. But the pendulum of young people’s attention is swinging toward ideas à la carte.

The consequences for higher education are significant. The pendulum swing enables great creativity—not to mention individualism. At the same time, for students to manage ideas successfully, they need guidance in developing their capacities for argument and judgment. Such guidance is neither easily given nor easily received, but it is essential.

The increasing accessibility of ideas is more of a progression than a rupture. Just as Socrates worried about the written word’s effects on oral culture, and the church feared that Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press would undermine its authority, today we worry about the quality of online information. Technology, certainly, has always been a driving force. Thanks to Google, we engage ideas in remarkable variety: facts, images, and melodies; recipes and background tracks; Wikipedia entries and tweets. Thanks to social media like Facebook and Twitter, our methods of accessing and disseminating ideas continue to multiply.

As I saw in Adam, the change in convention from reverence to pragmatism has an intellectual parallel: good-enough researching. As a way of knowing, good-enough researching is now as established as reading the heavens for portents was in antiquity, or listening to experts on TV only a few years ago. As we search the Web, we make hundreds of quick judgments about whether the ideas we receive are good enough to use. But what is good enough?

At Davidson College, therefore, over the past several years we have questioned disciplines, their boundaries, and their methods and evidence, both at the level of the overall curriculum and at the level of individual courses. My own proposal to help students filter ideas is that we teach them a simple principle: A necessary part of making an argument is the investigation of potential opposition. At a minimum, every writer or speaker should take one step beyond listing sources, to determine whether the assertions cited are subject to reasonable challenge, and to consider whether those challenges merit further review.

Take the phenomenon of using Wiki pedia as a research source. Although we have heard much debate about whether Wikipedia is a suitable resource, the question is still open—and still a thorn in the side of many faculty members. What about approaching the question differently? Wikipedia recently came up as a discussion topic in my section of an interdisciplinary first-year course in the humanities. One student observed that Wikipedia should be considered a fair source of information because it represents a consensus view of a large population. I was suddenly on the edge of my chair. Here was a teachable moment, and I felt that I should have been better prepared.

What that student deserved from me, and what students deserve from me in the future, is not only a response, but also a model of how to approach an issue. What are possible opinions about the utility of the resource, beyond conventional wisdom? What sort of evidence for those sometimes opposing ideas would be compelling? Right or wrong answers may often be elusive, but we cannot avoid confronting the oppositions. Mathematicians have implicit checks against error. Students in other disciplines need such methods as well.

My proposal’s deceptive simplicity hides the difficulty of putting it into practice. It does not admit to uniform application. From high school to graduate school, every level will have its own standards for how to investigate the ideas and arguments of others. And the proposal is no substitute for nuanced, intellectual judgment. It’s just a starting point in meeting the challenge of deciding what is good enough when ideas are newly ascendant.

via Ideas in the Ascendant – The Chronicle Review – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

slime bags, sports, lists:  Not a list anyone wants to be on … and only one female … Tonya Harding.  Not a good day for Roger … he’s at the top of the list.

Baseball star Roger Clemens is on trial in D.C. on charges of lying to Congress about using performance-enhancing drugs during his 23-second career.

via Roger Clemens – Top 10 Disgraced Athletes – TIME.


6.16.2011 … home … great 48 hours in DC … Megabus return was MUCH better …

Washington DC, sights, The Willard, hotels, kith/kin, MegaBus, followup:  OK, the Willard is really nice … and for some history … it was there (at the old Willard) that the last attempt to negotiate a peaceful resolution between the States prior to the Civil War.   After a great night I had breakfast in the Senator’s Dining Room with my cousin, Charlie Harman, who is chief of staff for Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).  It was quite enjoyable to be at the center of power.  I then toured the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court and the American History Museum of the Smithsonian (and yes I did see Julia Child’s kitchen!) …. after all that I took a night tour of the monuments … and then returned to Charlotte on the MegaBus … much better return .. I picked my seat mate and no movies!

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history, generation gap:  To think that some would not understand  where the “gate” term originated.


Now that the “Weinergate” scandal has come to a close, let’s remember how the “gate” term originated. Thirty-nine…

via (3) Twitter / Home.

Kyle Johnson, Jr., sports, tennis, high school, Charlotte, kith/kin, kudos:  Kudos, Kyle, Jr.  Can’t wait for #4 in 2012.

Obviously the approach worked as Johnson finished the season with a 24-1 overall record and defended his state title for a second time, beating Western Alamance’s Eric Greene, 7-6, 7-5 on May 14. For his effort, Johnson earned the title of South Charlotte Weekly’s Boys Tennis Player of the Year for the third consecutive time.

Johnson’s third title means he has a chance to be the first male athlete in N.C. public-school history to win a singles title in each of his four seasons if he can repeat his title run again next spring as a senior. But before that record could even became a possibility worth mentioning, Johnson had to take care of business this season.

via Johnson focused on being the state’s best | South Charlotte Weekly.

Davidson College, kudzu, goats, random, LOL:  Goats …. I may have to drive up and see this!

Davidson College is renting 30 goats to solve a kudzu problem at the school’s popular cross country paths.

The goats arrived Monday and will eat the kudzu for about two months.

“Kudzu has taken over. You can see it in the trees,” said Cheryl Searcy with Wells Farm Weed Management.  They are providing the goats.

Kudzu is a weed known for camouflaging anything in its path. College crews cut the kudzu on the school’s walking and jogging trails on Monday.  By Friday, officials say the trails were covered and it has caused people to trip, fall and skin their knees.

The goats ate Monday morning before arriving at Davidson College.  It didn’t matter.  They just kept eating and eating and eating.

The goats will eat 12-18 pounds of kudzu a day.  Their mission is to chomp over five acres of Davidson College kudzu down to size.

“You’re going to be shocked, I’m telling you,” Searcy said.

Davidson College is spending $3,000 to rent the goats

via Local college rents goats to fight kudzu problem | Charlotte.

Southern Food, Chick-fil-a, marketing, LOL:  I was getting PT this morning and the therapists were talking about how much they LOVE Chick-fil-a.  I just laughed when I saw this.

Enjoy some pre-Cow Appreciation Day fun in Washington, D.C. during Running of the Cows!

On July 7th, more than 40 cows will stampede through the streets of Washington, D.C. traveling via open-top bus and converging upon public spaces across the city to give out FREE Chicken Sandwiches, and distribute bovine-themed stickers, headbands, masks and other prizes!

via Washington, D.C. – Running of the Cows.


‎5.28.2011 … I wonder how many people take the megabus to dc and then stay at the Willard …

travel, transportation, DC:  I am taking the megabus to and from dc … anybody tried it?  Then I will join John who is flying in on US Air 🙂 … and stay at the Willard … anybody stayed there?  Will make for an interesting rendezvous!

labyrinths, Charlotte, quotes:  I enjoyed my Labyrinth Walk #2 at Presbyterian Hospital while waiting for ET to wake from his liver biopsy on 5.26.  Anyone know the source of the quote, “yet also: Be still for healing most likely whispers”?

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“I knew something good could come out of such pain. The new labyrinth will provide a point of focus to help people collect their thoughts during the grieving process,” said Linda Matney, donor and founder of the Jack and Linda Matney Family Foundation.

Dating back to the 14th century, a labyrinth is a geometric, flat surface with winding, circuitous paths. A labyrinth combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful course. Walking a labyrinth has been effective in reducing anxiety, lowering blood pressure and breathing rates, in addition to reducing chronic pain. Often people find peace, solace, release and a deep sense of joy as they reach the center of the labyrinth’s circuitous paths.

Designer, Tom Schultz, nationally recognized for his unique labyrinth designs, has patterned the Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth after the 14th Century labyrinth at Chatres Cathedral in France.

The Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth is supported by ongoing financial gifts from the community. In addition to the Labyrinth endowment, fundraising efforts continue for phase II of the labyrinth, projected to include a memorial prayer wall.

“My impetus in creating the labyrinth was to give patient’s families and caregivers the opportunity to focus on a spiritual connection, prayer or whatever could bring peace to each person.”

via New Presbyterian Hospital Labyrinth Puts Caregivers on Path to Peace.

Facebook, twitter, privacy:  Facebook is not my friend … Facebook is not my friend …


Attention, humanity: We seem to be suffering from an acute case of stupidity.

There’s a viral misconception making its way through our Twitter accounts and Facebook profiles and injecting itself into our brains. And it’s leading those infected to believe these social sites are looking out for us.

Yesterday, we wondered if Twitter should actually hand over user information to officials when it’s subpoenaed. The day before, a report that even Facebook content marked “Friends-Only” could be used against you in court sent us spiraling into rants about the company’s lack of integrity on issues of user privacy. (The horror!) Well, Facebook’s integrity isn’t on today’s discussion menu. But yours is.

There will never be an easier way to break this to you other than to just say it: Facebook is not your friend. It’s a business. Repeat this to yourself until it begins to sink deep within in your social-loving brain cells. “Facebook is not your friend. It’s a business.”

Laws on Internet activity and speech are just beginning to manifest in court, and nine times out of ten, companies will comply with authorities. (Yes, this means handing over your account’s info.) Some rulings have required Facebook to turn over user password information, other courts have thrown out similar requests. It’s all the more reason to consider what you post online fair game inside our legal system.

Of course, when I say “Facebook,” I really mean every social media site you’ve hitched to your digital identity: Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, etc. Facebook seems to take the brunt of the backlash because of its size, but that hasn’t changed our silly new idea that all of these companies have our best interests in mind. They don’t. They’re businesses. They want our personal information to dangle in front of advertisers. And no, Facebook isn’t inherently evil for not really giving a damn about you. It’s business.

The problem is that this reality doesn’t fit our modern consumer expectations, which, some would argue could be described as profound laziness. We’re living in the age of blaming companies for everything we don’t like about ourselves. Smoke too much? Blame big tobacco. Eat too much? Blame fast food. Sign up for a website that craves your personal information, then do something stupid? Surely it’s not your fault.

via Facebook, Twitter Aren’t Responsible For Your Online Behavior – Techland –

Apple, music, cloud computing, iCloud:  Well, I for one, hope this works … our family has music spread over to many computers.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this whole online music thing is heating up. First Amazon rolled out its Cloud Player, then Google Music came along, and now Apple is expected to announce its own online music service—the big money’s on something called “iCloud” that’ll be unveiled on June 6th.

The difference between Apple’s offering and offerings from both Amazon and Google is that Apple has apparently gotten the blessing of three of the four major record labels, with the fourth said to be right around the corner. But why should Apple care about playing nice with the record labels when Google and Amazon have already thumbed their noses at the music industry?

If what Businessweek is reporting turns out to be accurate, Apple’s service will behave differently than Google’s and Amazon’s in that you won’t have to actually upload your entire music collection to Apple’s servers.

via Apple’s Online Music Locker: A Great Idea (That’s 10+ Years Old) – Techland –

Groupon, jobs, creative writing:  I actually thought about applying for a job as a Groupon writer …

Groupon has nothing so special. It offers discounts on products and services, something that Internet start-up companies have tried to develop as a business model many times before, with minimal success. Groupon’s breakthrough sprang not just from the deals but from an ingredient that was both unlikely and ephemeral: words.

Words are not much valued on the Internet, perhaps because it features so many of them. Newspapers and magazines might have gained vast new audiences online but still can’t recoup the costs from their Web operations of producing the material.

Groupon borrowed some tools and terms from journalism, softened the traditional heavy hand of advertising, added some banter and attitude and married the result to a discounted deal. It has managed, at least for the moment, to make words pay.

IN 177 North American cities and neighborhoods, 31 million people see one of the hundreds of daily deals that Ms. Handler and her colleagues write, and so many of them take the horseback ride or splurge on the spa or have dinner at the restaurant or sign up for the kayak tour that Groupon is raking in more than a billion dollars a year from these featured businesses and is already profitable.

There used to be a name for marketing things to clumps of people by blasting messages at them: spam. People despised it so much it nearly killed e-mail. The great achievement of Groupon — a blend of “group” and “coupon” — is to have reformulated spam into something benign, even ingratiating.

via Groupon Counts on Writers and Editors to Build Its Audience –

Experience is a plus, but not necessarily required if you have compelling samples. We’ll work with anyone who can write succinctly, persuasively, and intelligently. Groupon writers are held not only to a high quality standard, but must also show a willingness and ability to generate a high volume of copy on a daily basis. Fast typing and web savvy are critical. Salary is $37K and includes full benefits. For the right candidate, Groupon will pay a relocation allowance.

via Groupon Jobs.

international politics, G8, economics: G8 irrelevant?


And that’s not a bad thing because, as a global conclave, the G-8 has become almost entirely irrelevant. It was originally formed in 1975, in the wake of an alarming international oil crisis, as a forum for the West’s greatest economies to meet and steer global policy without the burdensome nuisance of the U.N. or other more democratic international institutions. For a long time, the annual summit seemed the place from which the world was truly governed — a resurrection of an older Western imperial guard (plus Japan). Not surprisingly, it was hated by many. Just a decade ago, the G-8 summit in Genoa was the site of truly epic scenes of rioting and mayhem as anti-globalization protesters attempted to storm the gathering, targeting what they thought was the progenitor of all the world’s capitalistic injustices. Fast forward ten years later: at Deauville, there was greater fury in the waves of the placid English Channel. How things have changed.


In the age of the BRICs — a Goldman Sachs monicker that has stuck for the combined rising clout of Brazil, Russia, India and China — it’s not controversial to suggest the G-8 has gone past its shelf-life. President Obama has already hailed the G-20, where all the BRICs are in attendance (only Russia is in the G-8), as the “premier forum for global economic coordination.” (Incidentally, the G-20 is also meeting in France later this year, in Cannes.) Sensing the change in the winds, then Brazilian President Lula da Silva declared in 2009 that the G-8 “doesn’t have any reason to exist.” By any metric, he’s right: the G-8 no longer accommodates the world’s biggest or most dynamic economies; the G-8 no longer accounts for all the world’s nuclear weapons; the G-8 doesn’t speak for any particular identity or values — with Russia in the fold, it’s hardly a champion of democracy. So what is it for?


via Why the G-8 Should Never Meet Again – Global Spin –

John Edwards, slime bags, law:  I think I used the term slime bag … This writer uses “pond scum” and  “jerk, even on an Edwardsian scale” … but asks a fair question …  did he commit a crime?  Part of me hopes yes … but his family has suffered immeasurably, and if he didn’t, then let the man just wallow in his sin.

As far as I’m concerned, John Edwards is pond scum. Last I checked, that’s not a crime.

We can stipulate, I think, to the pond scum part. The man cheated on his wife — and defended himself by noting that her cancer was in remission at the time. Even after the affair was disclosed, Edwards lied about whether he fathered a daughter with the woman. He had a loyal aide falsely claim paternity and turned to wealthy friends to support the woman.

But being a jerk, even on an Edwardsian scale, is not a felony, which is what federal prosecutors have been pursuing for more than two years. The original theory of the case was that Edwards misused campaign funds to support his mistress, Rielle Hunter. That would have been a serious matter, except the theory fizzled.

Some prosecutors would have stopped there. The U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, George Holding, did not.

The current case against Edwards, the one for which he is on the verge of being indicted, rests on a novel and expansive reading of what constitutes a campaign contribution.

The crux of the case is that during the 2008 campaign, Edwards, directly or indirectly, approached two of his biggest financial backers, the late trial lawyer Fred Baron and heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, to solicit financial support for Hunter. Baron and Mellon, motivated at least in part by a desire to fuel Edwards’s presidential ambitions, anted up, to the tune of more than $750,000.

Was that a contribution to the Edwards campaign, in which case it would be illegal because it was not reported as such and exceeded the allowable contribution limits? That’s a stretch.

via John Edwards: A jerk, not a felon – The Washington Post.

John Edwards, slime bags, law:  New tag … slime bags … Go for it US Justice Department.

via 2011 May 26 « Dennard’s Clipping Service.

business, data, technology, changes:  Data and harnessing that data is changing business … a whole new world.

As usual, the reality of the digital age is outpacing fiction. Last year people stored enough data to fill 60,000 Libraries of Congress. The world’s 4 billion mobile-phone users (12% of whom own smartphones) have turned themselves into data-streams. YouTube claims to receive 24 hours of video every minute. Manufacturers have embedded 30m sensors into their products, converting mute bits of metal into data-generating nodes in the internet of things. The number of smartphones is increasing by 20% a year and the number of sensors by 30%.

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) has no Borges-like qualms about the value of all these data. In a suitably fact-packed new report, “Big data: the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity”, MGI argues that data are becoming a factor of production, like physical or human capital. Companies that can harness big data will trample data-incompetents. Data equity, to coin a phrase, will become as important as brand equity. MGI insists that this is not just idle futurology: businesses are already adapting to big data.

Companies are assembling more detailed pictures of their customers than ever before. Tesco, a British retailer, collects 1.5 billion nuggets of data every month and uses them to adjust prices and promotions. Williams-Sonoma, an American retailer, uses its knowledge of its 60m customers (which includes such details as their income and the value of their houses) to produce different iterations of its catalogue. Amazon, an online retailer, has claimed that 30% of its sales are generated by its recommendation engine (“you may also like”). The mobile revolution adds a new dimension to customer-targeting. Companies such as America’s Placecast are developing technologies that allow them to track potential consumers and send them enticing offers when they get within a few yards of a Starbucks.

via Schumpeter: Building with big data | The Economist.

Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy, crime and law, constitutional law, cruel and unusual punishment:  This is a serious problem, and one that will not go away.  We are fortunate to have a constitution that respects human dignity, even that of criminals.

So it was no surprise that Mr Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in a 5-4 decision by the court this week that orders California to reduce its prison overcrowding. Full capacity is defined as one inmate per cell, which in California currently means 80,000 prisoners. But California’s prisons have at times housed twice as many, with inmates stacked in bunk beds in gymnasiums. At the moment, the prisons are about 175% full. The court order requires that ratio to go down to a slightly less egregious 137.5% within two years.

Overcrowding has meant not only more violence but woefully inadequate health and mental care, with more deaths and suicides. “When are you going to avoid or get around people sitting in their faeces for days in a dazed state?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor testily demanded of a lawyer representing California last November. Mr Kennedy, in his opinion this week, referred to an inmate who had been held “in a cage for nearly 24 hours, standing in a pool of his own urine, unresponsive and nearly catatonic.”

Such conditions are, in Mr Kennedy’s words, “incompatible with the concept of human dignity” and amount to unconstitutional “cruel and unusual punishment”. The four judges who are considered liberal agreed; the four conservatives did not. For Justice Samuel Alito, the case was a matter not of dignity but of public safety. The decision, he said, will force California to release “46,000 criminals—the equivalent of three army divisions”.

via Prison overcrowding: A win for dignity | The Economist.

random, Widespread Panic, John Bell, energy room, Clarksville GA, places:  I need an energy room!

Clad in jeans and cowboy boots, musician John “JB” Bell reclined in a green fabric and metal chair on a Saturday morning, surrounded by 16 computers sitting on shelves about a foot from the ceiling. The computer screens glowed blue behind multicolored static, generating so much heat air-conditioning was needed to cool the room.

A Wellness Center at Home

When he’s not on tour, musician John “JB” Bell of the southern rock jam band Widespread Panic spends much of his time at a home in Clarkesville, Ga., a tiny mountain town.


Jeff Herr for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Bell seeks balance at his 1912 white colonial that he’s turned into a holistic wellness center.

Mr. Bell, 49, said he spends a few hours every night and day he’s home in this “energy room,” working on lyrics, reading, thinking or sleeping. He says the energy generated by the computers creates an “uplifting vibe very similar to the feeling when the band improvises into new territory, and the audience seems to be right there alongside you.” His wife Laura, 48, said, “We joke it’s the new way of catching a buzz.”

Come January, when Widespread Panic will take a break for at least a year, Mr. Bell plans to spend most of his time gardening and hanging out in Clarkesville. “Keeping your life balanced is very nurturing to music. The band can’t be my total identity. I still enjoy being on the road. It is still fulfilling,” he said. “But here it is more working in the garden, hanging out with Laura and working on music at a leisurely pace. I like to let songs come to me at their own pace. I try to stay calm about it.”

Fans do occasionally track Mr. Bell down at his house. When they do, Mrs. Bell quickly ushers them into the energy room.

“It turns the focus on them instead of John. It’s disarming to them,” she said. The Bells charge $44 for a two-hour session in the room, but said they don’t make a profit from the wellness center. Rates at the clinic are sliding scale depending on financial need, and most customers are from the local community.

Most members of Widespread Panic haven’t been to the house—and only their tour manager, Steve Lopez, is enthusiastic about the energy room. Recently, when on the road, Mr. Lopez and Mr. Bell spent time in an energy room in Hollywood. “We need it. There are times when our work makes us really stressed out,” Mr. Lopez said.

via The Georgia Home of Widespread Panic Lead Singer and Guitarist John ‘JB’ Bell –

random, sports, quotes: OK, I like this quote: “‘a “gaffe” in Washington as “when a politician tells the truth.'”

My friend and mentor Michael Kinsley defined a “gaffe” in Washington as “when a politician tells the truth.” In my profile of Fred Wilpon, the Mets’ chief executive, this week, he apparently made several gaffes in describing several of his players. Wilpon said David Wright is “a very good player, not a superstar”; Carlos Beltran is “sixty-five to seventy per cent” of the player he was; Jose Reyes has had a lot of injuries:

“He thinks he’s going to get Carl Crawford money,” Wilpon said, referring to the Red Sox’ signing of the former Tampa Bay player to a seven-year, $142-million contract. “He’s had everything wrong with him,” Wilpon said of Reyes. “He won’t get it.”

In the Kinsley tradition, though, all Wilpon did was tell the truth.

I spend more of my time covering law and politics than I do writing about sports. Both fields have changed dramatically in recent years, largely for the better. Sportswriting used to be cheerleading; political journalism used to be stenography. (I generalize.) But both fields demand candor no less from our subjects than from us journalists. Wilpon shouldn’t be criticized for delivering it.

via The Sporting Scene: Honest About the Mets : The New Yorker.

Blackbeard, anthropology, pirates:  I love pirate lore …

Dead men tell no tales, but the sea does, as shown Friday when an anchor was recovered from the wreckage of pirate Blackbeard’s flagship.

An expedition off the North Carolina coast hoisted the nearly 3,000-pound anchor, one of three belonging to the Queen Anne’s Revenge.

Crews were working in just 20 feet of water, according to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

The Queen Anne’s Revenge is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort in 1718. The ship was discovered in 1996, with piecemeal recovery of artifacts intensifying only a few years ago.

via Anchor from Blackbeard ship recovered –

causes, Jeff McGonnell, Davidson, ultramarathons, kudos, kith/kin:  You go, Jeff … but I think you are a little crazy!


Don’t be alarmed if you see Davidson resident Jeff McGonnell running nonstop circles around the Green on Friday and Saturday, June 4-5. He hasn’t lost his mind. He’ll be running for 24 hours to raise funds and awareness for the Batten Disease Support and Research Association.


The event, sponsored by the Town of Davidson and BirdNest Music, is called “24 hour Loopy for a Cause.”


McGonnell will be running a pre-determined loop on the Green, seven loops being equal to one mile. He hopes to run around 100 miles in the 24 hours.


While he runs, there will be live music. Musicians scheduled to play include Billy Jones, Rick Spreitzer, Rusty Knox, Rob McHale and more. There will also be food, games and other fun activities for kids.


McGonnell has been an ultra runner for more than 20 years, competing in more than 150 races longer than a marathon (26.2 miles). For the right donation, this serious runner will run in a dress juggling pineapples and whistling pop tunes. Anyone can join in a few laps of the run for a small donation.


via He’ll run 24 hours on the Green, for a good cause  | Guide.

music, technology, innovations, Mall music, Bluebrain, DC: Bluebrain launches ‘location-aware album’ … very cool.  I may add this to my next DC experience.

If a melody on the new Bluebrain album doesn’t move you, keep walking.

On Saturday, the Washington-based band of brothers, Hays and Ryan Holladay, will release what has been dubbed the world’s first location-aware album — an app designed for smartphones that uses Global Positioning System technology to trigger different swaths of electro-pop based on physical location. Titled “The National Mall,” the app-album can be heard only in Washington by iPhone-toting listeners strolling around the monuments and museums.

Sounds geeky, right? It is. But like the most fantastic collisions of music and technology, it feels magical. And in an iPod era, where bite-size MP3s have threatened to vanquish the traditional album format, Bluebrain is helping redefine what an album can actually be. Somewhere, Sgt. Pepper is smiling.

Musically, the pair set out to compose electronic soundscapes that would embellish that sense of aesthetic weirdness, divorcing, they hoped, many of the iconic vistas from their historical and cultural associations in the process.

“There’s this giant obelisk in the middle of a lawn,” Ryan says. “If you don’t think of that as a George Washington Monument, it’s just a really crazy-looking thing.”

Approach that crazy-looking thing while listening to “The National Mall,” and you’ll hear a keyboard weep. Get closer and digital cellos begin to trace a regal melody. Closer. There’s percussion. Keep going. The volume creeps up. The drums push toward anarchy. Walk right up to the monument, press your hand against the cool, smooth stone and listen, as if the obelisk were a giant radio needle receiving some riotous transmission from deep space.

It’s truly magical.

Remember to wear good headphones. And comfortable walking shoes.

via Bluebrain’s ‘The National Mall’: The first location-aware album – The Washington Post.

travel, NYC, lists:  Don’t you just love the term al fresco … makes me want to go to NYC and enjoy the out of doors … the NY way!

Now that the season has made it acceptable to wear cutoff shots and visibly sweat through your shirt, it’s time to take eating and drinking into the great outdoors. So whether it be on a sidewalk, a rooftop, or a beach, we’ve got you covered for the restaurants and bars with killer outdoor spaces. To kick off this weekend’s unofficial start of summer, here’s what opened earlier this spring, what’s opening this weekend, and what’s coming in the very near future. Have a happy Memorial Day, and see you Tuesday!

via Take It Outside: 42 Great Places for Going Alfresco This Summer — Grub Street New York.


1.10.2011 … hopes fulfilled … snow day! … 11am – moment of silence for Arizona victims …

Arizona Massacre, moment of silence: I am not usually watching tv during the day, but I found it emotional and binding to watch the President and First lady come out of the White House and observe a moment of silence.

“Tomorrow at 11:00 a.m. eastern standard time, I call on Americans to observe a moment of silence to honor the innocent victims of the senseless tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, including those still fighting for their lives. It will be a time for us to come together as a nation in prayer or reflection, keeping the victims and their families closely at heart.”

The President will observe the moment of silence with White House staff on the South Lawn. The moment of silence will be pooled press.

Today, the President has signed a proclamation calling for flags to be flown at half-staff.

Also, the planned trip by the President to Schenectady, New York, on Tuesday, January 11, to the General Electric energy division is postponed. The trip is expected to be rescheduled.

via President Obama Calls for Moment of Silence for Victims of Shooting in Tucson, Arizona | The White House.

moment of silence, history:

The idea for a Remembrance Day silence was first suggested by Australian journalist Edward George Honey in a letter to The Times in May 1919. He was thinking of a five-minute silence but that was thought too long. One minute was deemed too short.[2]

followup, weather, Charlotte:  Yesterday I was hoping for –*–*–*–*–*–*.  Sometimes you get what you wish for!

Snow started about 3:30 a.m. and came down heavily for several hours before lessening after daybreak. Forecasters say snow will fall intermittently much of this afternoon before changing to sleet by sunset and eventually to freezing drizzle later tonight.

“We expect another 2 to 4 inches of snow today in the Piedmont,” Anthony Sturey, of the National Weather Service office in Greer, S.C., said late Monday morning.

Jen Thompson, of the N.C. Department of Transportation, said road crews are working to gets roads in better shape but are contending with continuing snowfall and temperatures in the lower 20s.

“We’re still working to get bare pavement exposed,” Thompson said.

The storm has not spared places that typically do not see wintry precipitation.

Up to 5 inches of snow fell in the Columbia area, and from 4 to 6 inches accumulated in the sandhills corridor from Florence to Fayetteville. Freezing rain also fell Monday morning in Charleston.

via Major winter storm could bring 6 to 9 inches to Charlotte area –

sports, skiing/snow boarding. equipment:  Looking for recommendations for helmets for my boys.  Any suggestions?

One of a new breed of helmets that can be used for skiing, skating and biking. It comes with a removable liner so it will keep you warm in winter but cool in summer. £74.95,

via / Pursuits – Kitbag: snowboarding.

architecture, home, heritage, culture:  Loved this article … makes you really think about the purpose of a house … is it for today or tomorrow?

The very idea of heritage is, of course, modernist. It indicates a consciousness of our place outside – or beyond – history, as super-historic rather than as a seamless part of it. The relentless neophilism of contemporary design, the obsession with innovation and originality, makes for a very curious situation. For instance, in the midst of a severe energy crisis our buildings are built to last only a generation or so. Something has gone wrong with our idea of architecture.

For the past four centuries, the architecture of the house – whether it was a palace, a country retreat or an urban terrace – drove the architecture of the era. It was the ultimate expression of architectural form, an embodiment of culture and aspiration.

There are traditional houses and there are self-consciously innovative houses, trying very hard to become a work of original genius. Both claim to be the ideal way to create a piece of heritage by either being explicitly of their time, or explicitly of all time.

Tom Emerson, though, sees the real interest in the gap in between the two. “All our work is about continuity as a means of contextualising,” he says, “but there is a tension between abstraction and familiarity which makes it easier to subvert an idea and make it original and striking.” Which is exactly what he’s done with the slightly, almost unsettlingly familiar – if altogether striking – form of Mines Park.

Is there an effort to make it an eternal building rooted in a culture of landscape and vernacular – even though it is so resolutely modern? “It’s the wider culture which in time will decide what it will incorporate into heritage. You can’t second guess what values will be in the future and architects would be better employed refining their work rather than trying to ensure their own legacy.”

via / House & Home – How to build heritage.

movies:  I thought Country Strong fun … but obviously NPR was a little more critical.

Then again, Paltrow’s casting is only the most conspicuous of several curious elements at the heart of Country Strong, an earnest but misguided drama about the treacherous intersection of love and fame. Here’s another one: Of the four lead actors — Paltrow, Garrett Hedlund, Leighton Meester and Tim McGraw — the one who’s a bona fide, arena-filling country music superstar (McGraw) is the only one who doesn’t get to sing, at least not until a duet over the closing credits. The others acquit themselves well enough onstage, but writer-director Shana Feste doesn’t show much of an interest in getting the details of the country world right, and the inauthenticity leaves her cliches exposed.

via ‘Country Strong’ – Love In The Limelight, Fitfully Illuminated : NPR.

travel, lists, bucket list:  Now I could go for this!

Classic cars in the Highlands

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Jaguar E-type with a long weekend driving one of the iconic sports cars through the Highlands of Scotland. You pick up a red E-type in Edinburgh, then spend three days driving, staying at pre-booked hotels along the way. The trip is available from April to mid-October.

via / Travel – The hottest new trips for 2011.

travel, Peter Pan:  This looks like fun … but probably not on my list because there are so many other places to go first.  Still love the idea!

So far there are only three of these treehouses in the UK, all at Sherwood, though Center Parcs plans more at its other sites (Elveden Forest in Suffolk, Whinfell Forest in Cumbria, Longleat Forest in Wiltshire). It seems a bit of a gamble: they do not come cheap, and I wonder whether people with that much disposable income might not opt instead to jet off somewhere hot. But for those who live in the UK, there’s a lot to be said for avoiding the hassles of flights and airports, especially with children in tow; and the quality of service and accommodation was world-class.

via / Travel – High style in Robin’s hood.

ChristCare, faith:  Loved this article that we were going to discuss at ChristCare today.

Above all, look to Jesus as your good shepherd. He will never leave you or forsake you. He isn’t some wishy-washy hired hand who runs off at the first sign of trouble (Jn 10:11-13). No, Jesus is the good shepherd who is in it for the long haul. He loves you with an everlasting love. He is “the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls” (1 Pe 2:25). Today, trust Him with your whole life.

via Discipleship Journal Archives :: I Am The Good Shepherd.

political cartoons: I liked this one.  What do you think it means?

The week ahead: Inspecting Iran | The Economist.

LOL, improv, YouTube:  OK … I am going to check YouTube now … interesting that WSJ posted this.

This Sunday afternoon, if the NFL isn’t really your bag, consider joining several thousand New Yorkers who plan to nonchalantly ride the train in their underwear as part of the 10th annual No Pants Subway Ride.

View Full Image

Philip Montgomery for The Wall Street Journal

Improv Everywhere’s Charlie Tod

The event is organized by the trouble-making collective Improv Everywhere, who were responsible for the people freezing in unison in Grand Central Station, a stunt whose Youtube video garnered more than 24 million hits. Of course the “improv” in their name belies the coordination involved: The No Pants Subway Ride is global, with planned, pantless counterparts in 47 cities world-wide, even ones without subways. In El Paso, they take to buses, and in Minneapolis, to the Mall of America tram.

via An Interview With the Organizer of No Pants Subway Ride –

-and here it is … YouTube – No Pants Subway Ride 2011 Part 1 New York, Manhattan.

parentingWhy Chinese Mothers Are Superior –

random, incredulous: Lawyer F. Lee Bailey Says Evidence Shows O.J. Simpson Innocent in Murders.

lists, travel, bucket list:  Some great places on this list.  The 41 Places to Go in 2011 –

Arizona Massacre, media:

“All the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that.”

But we all swim in the same American cultural soup, all 300 million or so of us. And until now, not one person had decided to do what Jared Lee Loughner is accused of doing. Whether it’s one guy or several behind the attack, if Loughner was the shooter, we already know he was a seriously disturbed and irrational young man.

In a world where ordinary people can easily gain access to extraordinary power, events like these are, sadly, inevitable. And make no mistake, during most of the long sweep of human history the power of a semiautomatic handgun would have been considered truly extraordinary.

But as long as events like these remain exceedingly rare, our reaction should be measured and not emotional.

I’m not minimizing what happened. This was one of the worst acts of domestic terrorism in American history. But put it in this context: if Saturday was an average day, about 100 people were killed in car wrecks on American roads. Are you planning therefore to armor your car or change your approach to driving?

via The Arizona Massacre Was Insane — Our Reaction Should Be Measured.


On behalf of NPR News, I apologize for this mistake to the family of Rep. Giffords, to the families of everyone affected by the shootings, to our listeners and to our readers.

Already all of us at NPR News have been reminded of the challenges and professional responsibilities of reporting on fast-breaking news at a time and in an environment where information and misinformation move at light speed. We learn, we redouble our efforts and dedication and move forward with our best efforts for the millions who rely on us every day.

via Editor’s Note: On NPR’s Giffords Coverage : NPR.

LOL, tv:  I may have to watch since I have watched ESPN’s Sports Center for years … against my will, as the mother of two boys.

To The Onion, the satirical newspaper and Web site, “SportsCenter’s” quotidian elements offer a rich target for extreme parody. The result, a half-hour weekly program called “Onion SportsDome,” starts a 10-episode run on Comedy Central on Tuesday at 10:30 p.m., preceding “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart.”

Will Graham, an executive producer and director of the series, said, “The fun part is there are 36 channels of ESPN running 24 hours a day, a whole world of sports media that is cultish and ripe to mock.” He added, “The goal is for people passing it or watching it in a bar to think that it’s real coverage.”

via Onion Hopes ‘SportsCenter’ Parody Leaves Viewers Saying Boo-Yah –


10.4.2010 … ahhh, rain … by Thursday, I will be ready for baseball … Go, Braves!

Braves, baseball, sports:  OK … not the end of an era!! Go Braves!!

Bobby Cox was drenched with beer and champagne and hoisted onto the shoulders of his players after the Atlanta Braves gave their manager a final trip to the playoffs.

Atlanta reached the postseason as the NL wild-card team, a first for Cox, as Tim Hudson and the Braves took a six-run lead, then held on for an 8-7 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday.

Atlanta will start the playoffs Thursday at NL West champion San Francisco in the opener of a best-of-five series.

The Braves won 14 straight division titles with Cox but had missed the playoffs since 2005.

via Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves – Recap – October 03, 2010 – ESPN.


10.3.2010 … Sunday, Sunday … caramel macchiato made with my beloved Tassimo … newspaper/computer … smell of bacon cooking … must get back to Sunday worship …

Braves, sports: 😦

While the Braves have weakened their once-strong postseason hopes by losing the first two games of this series, the Padres have resuscitated their hopes with consecutive wins over the Giants. Suddenly the Braves and Padres find themselves heading into their respective regular-season finales tied at the top of the NL Wild Card standings.

via Error, lack of hitting land Braves in Wild Card tie | News. Continue reading ‘10.3.2010 … Sunday, Sunday … caramel macchiato made with my beloved Tassimo … newspaper/computer … smell of bacon cooking … must get back to Sunday worship …’


9.30.2010 … off to Atlanta for a four score and four celebration for the mother …

old times: Shout out to our old neighbors Lea and Herb and Cindy and Elizabeth …

There is a common joke involving fortune cookies that involves appending “between the sheets” or “in bed” to the end of the fortune, usually creating a sexual innuendo or other bizarre messages (e.g., “Our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall [in bed]”).[9]

via Fortune cookie – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

street art:  As I have said before i love public art and street performers are a type of public art in my opinion.  I have become much more conscious of them in recent years and they add to the character of a city.

Curry said he sees street performing as a sort of study of the human condition.

“It’s an interaction with people with a myriad of socio-economic backgrounds,” he said.

Like many street performers, Curry said he feels good when he makes others feel good. As he got in his car to go home and grill a New York Strip for his wife and daughters, he offered one last piece of life advice:

“Follow your bliss,” Curry said.

via Through their eyes | CU Independent.

Continue reading ‘9.30.2010 … off to Atlanta for a four score and four celebration for the mother …’

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May 2020