30 June 2007

Golden Oldie

A gentleman on a blog/chat that I haunt regularly just posted, "Why didn't someone warn me about Vista?" I was sad to point out that someone did more than a year ago. So here is the golden oldie. Should someone try to foist this piece of crud off on your innocent selves, throw the monitor at them and threaten bodily harm that would make the Spanish Inquisition look like a Sunday picnic if they don't get this Microsoft conspiracy to drive normally sane people around the bend at least a 100 miles from your vicinity.

For my birthday my loving son gave me a new computer to replace the aged and decrepit over five year old one I had. This was a wonderful thing. Unfortunately it came with an atrocious abortion of a program from Microsoft called VISTA. The Office Suite was a thing of beauty and efficiency. So what should be done with them: Eliminate them of course!!!!!!!!!!!! Why let you have .doc when they can give you .wps that won't accept any of your old documents and doesn't work as easily.

Just to add insult to injury: After making all the document files unusable, they destroyed my ability to relax with all my old games that are no longer compatible. So what if I have hundreds of dollars invested in them. Well that is just too bad.

Should someone try to foist this piece of crud off on you, immediately run screaming for the hills even if they offer to pay you to take it. It is not worth your medical condition or sanity to go anywhere near the aggravation and expense.

Now maybe it would be bearable if Microsoft was willing to help you. Big fat laugh. They will gladly charge you for the privilege of speaking to a human being no matter how simple your question or they will direct you to their forums where thousands gather in frustration trying to sooth and support each other, but actually help either in writing or person in some language semi approaching English - HAH!!!

One of these days, they may claim to have fixed the bugs, incompatibilities, and non working meshes with other programs. Should they claim to do so, approach very gingerly with a club to beat the computer to smithereens should they be lying. It will save you from the high blood pressure that could kill you.


The world has lost both a great talent and a great woman.

It would be impossible for me to do her justice, so do take the time to read the obituary from the Los Angeles Times and the interview and aria below.

28 June 2007

The List

And the answers to the contest that wasn't are:

It Aint Necessarily So, Summertime, and I've Got Plenty of Nothin' from Porgy and Bess

My Funny Valentine - Pal Joey

Surrey w/Fringe on Top and I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No from Oklahoma

June Is Busting Out All Over - Carousel

There Is Nothing Like A Dame and I'm In Love With A Wonderful Guy from South Pacific.

Luck Be A Lady - Guys and Dolls

With A little Bit of Luck & The Rain In Spain - My Fair Lady

Mr. Wonderful from Mr. Wonderful

I Have Always Been Shy - Once Upon A Mattress

A Place For Us and Something's Comin' - West Side Story

Everything's Coming Up Roses - Gypsy

If I Were A Rich Man - Fiddler On The Roof

Cabaret - Cabaret

Give My Regards To Broadway - Little Johnny Jones

Another Opening Another Show - Kiss Me Kate

The Winner Is: Linda of Are We There Yet

Something Like a Contest

It is absolutely no mystery among my friends that I am addicted to musical theater. Nor is anyone in the dark about my admiration for Sammy Davis, Jr. In the following clip, Sammy and Carol Burnett say they are going to sing "every song from every show". This was a teeny tiny exaggeration, but I counted 21 songs from 15 shows.

Your mission should you choose to accept it is to see how many of the shows you can name. I'll have to think of a prize for the winner. For now, off to do the grocery shopping. With the grandson off to visit his mother and the son on a business trip to Alaska, I'm being lazy and will try to come up with something interesting and relevant in the next day or so.

27 June 2007

Love Story

We all respond to music, books, plays, conversations that remind us of events. Something will tweak a nerve and for the rest of your life a work, word, or sound will press the emotional button.

One of mine is from an old Disney cartoon "Make Mine Music". For some reason that has no reason, whenever I hear "Johnny oh Johnny" I sort of tear up. Whatever struck a nerve as a child bumped from pillar to post seems to have permanently taken root in my psyche. Either that or I just love happy endings.

So here it is: The story of Alice Blue Bonnet and Johnny Fedora

25 June 2007

Surfing In Strange Waters

HBO has a new series "John From Cincinati" that is so far out and odd that you can't help but watch just to find out what happens next. If you have HBO or "On Demand" and haven't seen the first two episodes, catch up ASAP. Fair warning, I think every other word is an obscenity, but if you got through Deadwood and The Sopranos, you'll manage not to cringe too often.

Since the title refers to the midwest, you won't be at all surprised that the setting is Imperial Beach, California

Read the home page for the series linked above to get background on the actors and the episodes, but just to give you a hint of flavor, in the first episode after you think you have been watching a pretty mundane surfer show, the camera pans down to show one of the lead characters floating about two feet off the sand and in episode two things start to get really odd.

If you are watching or after you have watched, let me know what you think is going on.

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

In Greek mythology, the three graces represented joy, charm, and beauty. The daughters of the god Zeus and the nymph Eurynome, they were named Aglaia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer). The Graces presided over banquets, dances, and all other pleasurable social events, and brought joy and goodwill to both gods and mortals.

In 1955 several members of the entertainment community established a group named after Thalia (Good Cheer) called The Thalians, but all the graces were invited to an annual dinner filled with comedy, entertainment, and celebration. Debbie Reynolds was elected President. More than 50 years later, she is still President. The sole purpose of the Thalians is to raise funds to support the Mental Health wing of Cedars Sinai to which they have contributed more than $30 million.

Each year, an honoree becomes the butt of all the jokes and merriment and walks off with a statue of Thalia. This year Roger Moore will be honored at the annual banquet at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills. Over the years, the following who's who of Hollywood have been victims of this rather raucous and unbelievably generous charity:

Peter Ustinov, Lana Turner, Harold Lloyd, Shirley MacLaine, Jimmy Durante, June Haver, Frank Sinatra, Fred MacMurray, Ed Sullivan, Ann-Margret, Busby Berkeley, Carol Burnett, Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Sammy Davis, Ann Miller, Lucille Ball, Angela Lansbury, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Hope, Liza Minnelli, Dorothy Lamour, Donald O`Connor, Rita Hayworth, Count Basie, Carol Channing, Jack Lemmon, Sally Field, Lena Horne, Kenny Rogers, Mary Tyler Moore, Marianne Rogers, Ruta Lee, Jane Wyman, Phyllis Diller, Mary Martin, Burt Bacharach, Robert Preston, Red Buttons

The Thalians Presidents club has established a StarWalkers Side of Stars in front of the Thalians Mental Health Center at Cedars-Sinai. Each glittering golden star bears the name(s) of benefactors who have donated more than $100,000, thereby keeping the dream alive and stronger than ever.

And another bit of "Grace" from my youth: Grace Slick and Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit

22 June 2007

Back To Family History ... The Funny Side

When you investigate your family history, a few oddities are bound to turn up, particularly when you happen to wander down some side street of a collateral line (any line related to your direct one). My son in law was born in Massachusetts and while working on his lineage, I came across the name "Borden". Naturally this had me humming "You Can't Chop Your Papa Up In Massachusetts". As it turned out he was directly related to an uncle of sweet Lizzie. Now on my daughter's side we have Howards which quite naturally turned up a vague connection to Anne Boleyn.

Can a marriage between a relative of a purported murderess and a relative of someone minus their cranium succeed? Well it has done fairly well for over 25 years, but I'm keeping my eye on them.

You Can't Chop Your Papa Up In Massachusetts

With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm

21 June 2007

One Great Yarn

Shelly over at This Eclectic Life is organizing a wonderful charitable project to create afghans for children with cancer.

Simple instructions on how to make the squares and information on where to send the finished product are on the site.

What Are You Reading?

In the process of looking for the last place I left the book I'm reading, it occurred to me that I've got too many going at once, but it does make for an interesting shift in time and space.

Duchess, by Susan Holloway Scott - Historical Fiction about Sarah Churchill and her relationship with Queen Anne, the last of the Tudors

The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt - Look below I already raved about this wonderful book on the burning of La Fenice.

Season of the Witch by Natasha Mostert - My "beach book" pure fluff of witches and romantic triangles.

Einstein by Walter Isaacson - Picked to be my "should read" book and turning out to be an absolutely fascinating biography.

The Politics of Life by Craig Crawford. I put up an ad on this site as a favor because I like hanging out on Crawfords List It is turning out to be a must read and pass along to the idealistic who want to know how the world really works - Machiavelli updated for the modern world.

Sovereign by C. J. Sansom - This year's annual King Henry VIII but this time as a Matthew Sharklake mystery ... plots abound

Blowfly - Patricia Cornwell - Mystery by a real life CSI. If you haven't been following her character "Scarpetta", pull up an easy chair and start reading.

Scheduled but not yet started: The annual reread list:

Eight Cousins & Rose In Bloom - Louisa May Alcott - My two favorite childhood books that I've been reading for over a half century - Why miss a year now?

Manhunt by James L. Swanson - This is about to be made into an HBO miniseries, so I'll be brushing up on John Wilkes Booth and the Lincoln assassination.

Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough - Teddy Roosevelt done by the master biographer.

Maimonides by Sherwin Nuland - The great Jewish writer but with the perspective of when he lived in a sultan's court living in a Moslem world.

Rumpole by John Mortimer - For anyone who loves a mystery, watched the BBC series, and fallen in love with "She Who Must Be Obeyed!!!"

This whole list subject to instant change given a good recommendation by anyone. So what are you reading?

P. S. Mo reminded me. The last Harry Potter already on order and will be read instantly when it arrives.

Accidentally did a Thursday Thirteen even when I wasn't planning to.

20 June 2007

Songs To Remember

Many of you have seen the video and the news of Hillary Clinton's new theme song. It's a great video, but I can't say I care for the song, probably because my submission was ignored. It would have been great. They could have gotten Glenn Close to sing it since she created it on broadway.

One person pointed out to me that is was associated with "Barnum" and his ill deserved huckster image. Then there was the small matter of the title that would indicated people tossing bricks. In any case, I think you should have a chance to compare the two and take a vote.

Even though I've been ignored, humiliated, and rejected, I still like the lady. Haven't decided on a vote yet as I really like the dark horse Richardson, but she is definitely in the number two spot.

18 June 2007

Jessie and The Pathfinder

Virtually everyone can recognize Abraham Lincoln as the first Republican president, but you almost never hear about the first Republican candidate for the presidency. On this day in 1856, the first Republican national convention ended with the nomination of John Charles Fremont of California (January 21, 1813 – July 13, 1890), the famous explorer of the West for president, and William Dewis Dayton of New Jersey was chosen as the candidate for the vice presidency.

If you like historical novels, you might want to get a copy of "Imortal Wife" by Irving Stone.

Fremont (nicknamed The Pathfinder) had gained his fame as an explorer of the American west in the 1840s and the man who just happened to be in California when the "Bear Flag Rebellion" took place. He put an end to the rebellion in order to bring California in on the American side of the war with Mexico and then eventually to statehood following the discovery of gold.

His wife, was Jessie Benton Fremont (1824-1902), daughter of Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri who disapproved of his daughter's marriage to Fremont when she was only 17. She had been raised with a man's education to be Benton's right hand in the political salons of Washington DC. It was the language, writing, and political skills that she learned from her father that made it possible for her rather rambunctions and rough husband to rise to the top of the political ladder.

While the Fremont candidacy failed, Abraham Lincoln appointed Frémont as the commander of the Department of the West in 1861, Jessie served as his unofficial aide and closest adviser. After the Civil War, the Frémonts’ financial situation took a downturn. Jessie supported the family by writing A Year of American Travel and Souvenirs of My Time.

The relationship of the Fremonts, the picture of the times with the Republican party's liberal opposition to slavery and rise as a political party, coupled with the development of the United States is an interesting period filled with courage, humor, and political intrigue.

Burn Baby Burn

Mo over at It's a Blog Eat Blog World should know by now that it is not safe to leave me alone with a word. All sorts of things start happening. Today's word is "HEAT". Heat ... Hot ... Fire ... Burn ... Creation and Destruction ... Glass and Flames ... Phoenix rising from the ashes ... AHA!!! I Think She's Got It: The La Fenice (translation the Phoenix) Fire of 1996 and a wonderful book that I just finished: The City of Falling Angels by John Berendt. This book opens with the power of heat to create and destroy by juxtaposing the impact on the city of the burning of the famous La Fenice opera house and the beautiful works created by the master glass blower Archimede Seguso who watched the fire from his apartment across the dry canal drained for repairs.

Very rarely does a non-fiction book and the people described read as a mystery, romance, history, drama and family saga. This one does and all through it there is heat from the passion of opera to the passion of fathers and sons. If you read "Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil" this new book by the same author is even better.

The phoenix eventually rose from the ashes. One cannot say the same for the glass ... "Signora Seguso sighed, It had been ten years since she had spoken to her younger son, Giampaolo ... until a court could decide their fate, those creations of love and fire would remain locked in a storeroom at the glassworks ..."

As for the sound in the new La Fenice - Here is the heat of Summertime

17 June 2007


If you pop over to one of those "This Day In History" sites, which I do daily, with only a couple of minor exceptions and one major one, June 17 seems to be reserved for misconceptions, accidents, missteps, crime, and lost causes. Of course, this is the main reason things become historical. It is, as Alexander would say, one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.

In 1775 there was a revolutionary battle fought on Breed's Hill in Boston. Naturally, this will be forever designated as The Battle of Bunker Hill.

In 1944 The Vichey government in France surrendered to Germany. Now you know why Humphrey Bogart tosses a bottle of "Vichey Water" into the trashcan at the end of Casablanca.

1876 - The Indians won one game at the Battle of Rosebud. Unfortunately, they didn't win the series.

In 1962 the Watergate Burglers got arrested. Eventually, Deep Throat came to mean something more than an X-rated movie, Woodward and Bernstein became way too famous for their own good, and the American public got stuck with G. Gordon Liddy as a talk show host.

1994 - Who can forget the slow speed "chase" of the white Bronco down a California freeway. Two people were dead, OJ was arrested and eventually released, and TV programmers discovered that car chases got great ratings.

1986 - Kate Smith died. There's nothing funny to say about this one. We lost a great lady with a great voice who had way too many jokes made about her weight, but kept singing anyway. When I was four, her signature song was the first "grown up" one I ever learned as my repetoire to that point was Itsy Bitsy Spider.

And the really, really good thing.

In 1885 - The arrival of what may have been the world's largest puzzle arrived in New York. It came off the boat in more than 200 packing cases, took a year and a half to assemble, but once completed, gave an excuse for a great big party then and a hundred years later. To see how the puzzle turned out: Go Here.

16 June 2007

Gosh Darn Tourists!!!

Sir Francis Drake

Golden Hind

In 1577, having nothing better to do for a few years, Sir Francis Drake left England to take a little cruise around the world in the Golden Hind. About a fourth of the way around in 1579, he anchored in a harbor that is now known as Drake's Bay just north of present-day San Francisco. He claimed the land for Queen Elizabeth I and England, and named it "Nova Albion". Unfortunately for Francis, this name didn't stick nor did the claim for England since Iberian navigator Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo had beat him to the area in 1542 while sailing North along the coast of Mexico. He was seeking the mythical Strait of Anián (the Northwest Passage) for Spain. He named the harbor in the south where he first landed San Miguel. This name didn't stick either since Sebastion Vizcaino came scrounging for pearls while doing a bit of surveying and renamed the place San Diego

Getting wind of a good thing, the Portuguese and Filipinos in the form Pedro de Unamuno and his crew in his galleon, Nuestra Senora de Esperanza arrived in 1587. Explorers like to name things, so he called this chunk of land Luzon Indios. This name lasted only a few days since he made the mistake most tourists make: He aggravated the natives. The group was attacked by native Indians two days later, and one of the Filipinos was killed. After getting mugged, Unamuno and his crew gave up further exploration of this part of the coast. For the most part all these out of towners left the place alone once they knew it was there and the local indians gave up mugging since there weren't any tourists in need of a good bashing.

The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming

Russian fur traders had started working their way down the coast from Alaska and by 1765 had gotten as far as the Farallon Islands off of San Francisco. Even though they weren't using it, Spain got it's international panties in a twist and quickly made plans for colonizing Alta California. A dual land and sea thrust was planned to settle Monterey with a stop at San Diego on the way. Plans were drawn up by the King's personal agent in New Spain (Mexico), Inspector-General José de Gálvez. The project leader was to be the recently appointed governor of Baja California Don Gaspár de Portolá. In charge of the missionaries would be Blessed Junipero Serra who immediately made slaves of the local indians and put them to work planting crops and building missions in the interest of turning them into good Christians.

This pushed the Russians back up north to Fort Ross and the status quo of making a lot of money off of furs. The Spaniards settled in making a huge amount of money provisioning ships going to and from Europe by keeping them supplied with agricultural products and cattle while living the good life in California for the next 100 years. And then all hell broke loose!

To Be Continued...

13 June 2007

There's A New Robin In The Hood

In 1215, some of the barons of England banded together and took London by force on June 10. They, and many of the fence-sitting moderates not in overt rebellion, forced King John to agree to the "Articles of the Barons", to which his Great Seal was attached in the meadow at Runnymede on June 15, 1215. In return, the barons renewed their oaths of fealty to King John on June 19, 1215. This group of documents became known as the Magna Carta So much for today's history lesson, read all you want at Wikipedia and any number of esoteric descriptions all over the web.

Now on to the fun stuff: Robin Hood is back in town courtesy of BBC America. We all know the story. Good King Richard the Lionhearted is off on a crusade to the holy land to recapture Jerusalem (Not one of the more noble actions of the west and still causing trouble today, but again not today's tale). His brother bad bad Prince John (eventually to be the King John of the Charter) is running England and everyone is thoroughly miserable. His minions, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and the treacherous Guy of Guiseborne, are bleeding the people dry with taxes, taking over the property of the noble knights camped out with Richard, and in Guy's case threatening the virtue of the luscious Maid Marian who is more than a little miffed about her fiance going walk about with Richard.

Robin comes back from the Crusades to find that he has been disposessed for back taxes, Guy is living in his castle, and Marian is decidedly snippy at him for taking off to do a little sword banging instead of staying home with her. Being unhappy with the situation Robin ends up outlawed, living in the forest with an eclectic collection of equally abused men, and stealing from the rich to spread around the neighborhood making the peasants glad he's back home.

And that is where all similarity to the old story ends when you hit the BBC. Maid Marian is a feminist who takes to dressing up to do a little sword banging and spreading of the wealth herself. Guy is evil to be sure but he confuses easily when in a tug of war between his lust for Marian and his greed and thirst for power. The Sheriff is, well, so rotten and dispicable that you can't help but laugh at his sordid little antics particularly when they come in the form of puns with a rock music background.

Robin is very very handsome in a rather pretty boy way but not nearly as swashbuckly as say Doug Fairbanks or Errol Flynn. He gets rather petulant at times, particularly when Marian is riding him about not doing enough for the peasants. The titles of the episodes are almost as entertaining as the dialogue: "Who shot the Sheriff", "Parent Hood", "The Taxman Cometh" ... well you get the idea, and yes the last line of the dialogue in "Who Shot the Sheriff" was, "I didn't shoot the deputy."

Season one just completed but they are showing reruns if you have access to BBC America. Also the first 13 episodes are available on DVD. Do yourself a favor and catch up on Season one before the group in the greenwood get up to their antics again.

The Sheriff of Nottingham

Robin & Marian

Guy of Guisborne

Five Little Pennies

One of the distractions of years on earth is that you reach a time when everything reminds you of everything. One idea bounces off a memory and takes a sharp detour at a thought that brings you up short on a bit of imagination before finally skidding to a halt at a flight of fancy. It's no wonder we can't find the car keys.

Yesterday while feeling terribly egocentric imparting wisdom to the world, there was a paragraph on Danny Kaye. Now there are enough memories associated with that name to keep you flipping around your brain for hours. There are all the classic nonsense routines such as the Vessel With the Pestle from The Court Jester or conducting a symphony orchestra with inimitable style or a gentle person speaking nonsense to children who don't understand a word of English but are shrieking with laughter and joy at the silly, silly man.

For me, the very first memory wasn't the more famous movies, but rather the biographic film where Kaye played Red Nichols in The Five Pennies. Red Nichols was a wonderful jazz man and he and the five pennies did one appearance that I know of in Fresno, California in 1949.

At that time there was a man made lake with a dance floor on the hills above as well as riding stables. In that more innocent age, families could swim all day, ride horseback and then the adults would go dancing while the children chased around after fire flies and tree frogs or just snoozed on a picnic table.

My father had some business interest in Fort Washington Beach (now drained and totally paved over with suburbia). As a result my mom and I spent days painting nickles with red nail polish to spread all over town. Anyone showing up the night of the event with a Red Nickle was entered into a drawing.

Down below is a cut from the movie The Five Pennies, starring Danny Kaye as Red Nichols singing the title song, but the night I heard Loring "Red" Nichols play jazz still sticks in my memory while my parents danced to "their song", Whispering. Unfortunately, Whispering wasn't on You Tube, so you just get a great jazz cut of an ensemble that features Nichols on his cornet.

P. S. Found It! Whispering by Lena Horne

12 June 2007

Eight Things I Know


  1. Auntie Mame was right! "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death". Whenever possible try something new. You may like it or you may not, but the habit will introduce you to other cultures, fascinating people, an incredible world of adventure and ideas that will keep you interested in life and thinking young. There are enough museums, libraries, theaters, faires and events completely or almost free that make it possible to go around the world without going far from home. Of course if your budget and time permit, do grab a tramp steamer cruise to somewhere.

  2. It is never too late to have a happy childhood. Even in the midst of an adult life with its responsibilities and pressures, you can be as kind to yourself as your parents were or that you wished them to be. All children need love, security, and discipline. Get in the habit of saying, "I Love You" to yourself every morning while smiling in the mirror. It will feel silly at first, but eventually even you will come to believe it. As much as possible fill each day with reasonable goals and then get them done. If something throws a monkey wrench into your plans, then come back the next day and get it done. Repeat as necessary. If it turns out a goal is unrealistic then reshape it into a new goal so that you can let the old one go. An unfinished chore or goal will literally drive you crazy and make you miserable.

  3. Take A Walk To Nowhere. If at all possible, do this every day. It doesn't matter if it is around the block or a thousand mile hike, just the act of walking will slow down the pace of your life, quiet your mind, open your eyes to world around you, and give you time to assess your life's direction. Maybe that is a walk to somewhere: Your future.

  4. There Is Always Something Funny Going On - Try to get in the habit of smiling or laughing out loud every day if for no other reason than as you age, you will stay healthier and you will always look ten years younger than you are. Frowns carve themselves in a face in the forehead, between the eyes and in the droop of the mouth. Misery plays havoc with your immune system. Smiles and laughter use far less muscles to just make two wrinkles around your mouth and people will know just by looking at you that you spent a lifetime of joy for yourself and others. When disaster or illness strikes, as they almost surely will at some point in every life, the habit of looking toward the positive, ironic, and funny will help you recover, accept, and find happiness and serenity again.

  5. Should Is A Four Letter Word - A happy human being is inner directed not outward imposed. This one I stole from Robert Heinlein. It is from "Time Enough For Love" and quite frankly as someone who spent their early life always needing to please, it gave me a new take on a much happier life:
    Do not confuse "duty" with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.

    There is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a burglar than it is with the leech who wants "just a few minutes of your time, please — this won't take long." Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time — and squawk for more!

    So learn to say No — and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.(This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don't do it because it is "expected" of you.)

  6. Become A "Know It All" - For the most part, human beings are successful by being generalists: The classic "Jack of All Trades", but there is one exception to this and one only since you aren't likely to have time for more than one. Find something you genuinely love doing. You can prowl around among your interests, but pick one where you want to know everything there is to know. It can be silly or serious, it just has to be something you truly love learning, researching and doing. If you are very fortunate, you will be able to turn this into a career, but if not, it can simply be a hobby you try to explore daily. Collect coins, build model airplanes, play an instrument, crochet afghans, study medieval history. It really doesn't matter as long as it is something that interests you and gives you a sense of accomplishment.
    Example: Danny Kaye the entertainer sang, made movies, went on the stage, and acted as an international representative for UNICEF. That was how he made his living and did his duty to the world. But what gave both him and his friends a great deal of pleasure? He was an expert Chinese food chef and traveled with his woks and equipment in order to create dinners no matter where in the world he went.
  7. A Good Book Is A Good Friend - Whenever possible, slow down and read. Motion pictures, television, and computers have trained our brains to absorb information rapidly. This can be a good thing to educate or entertain, but none of these media lend themselves to imagination and creativity unless you are on the production end. A good book is a quiet conversation between you and the author. Because you are forced to form images in your mind taken from the words on the page, you must engage your imagination and experience. Some of the books you will read are casual aquaintances that you meet and pass on by. Others are good companions that you recommend to others for the pleasure of their company. Then there are the rare ones that become lifelong friends that you visit often because they engage both your mind and heart.

  8. If You Want To Be Liked: Be Interesting. If you Want To Be Loved: Be Interested. This idea has been around for a long time. Statements become cliches for a reason. Most of them just happen to be true. Everyone responds to the person who cares about them. They may admire the accomplishments they observe in another, but they seek out the company and approval of someone who says, "I care about you".

I'm sure that in 63 years, I might have learned something else and I may mention it in the future, but for the time being, I'm tagging a group who should read lesson 5 above:

Claire at A Little Piece of Me

Ethel at Did We Say That Out Loud

Mo at It's A Blog Eat Blog World

Matt-Man at Bagwine Ruminations I may be sorry for this one. lol

Bee at Muffin 53

Linda at Are We There Yet

Villager at The Electronic Village

The Rock Chick at Life Is Rantastic

Woman At Work

Shelly over at This Eclectic Life has tagged me with the the "Eight Things I know" meme. She was tagged by Damien Riley Central. Please do take the time to read their take on lessons learned just by living.

This one actually takes some time. More tomorrow.

11 June 2007

Sarah Says

The Friendship Rose

The following was written about my best friend 20 years ago. We are doing exactly what the last line says.


Sarah says we came from the same sandbox where we learned to giggle better than everyone. We actually met in our late 20s and now at 40 plus giggle we do in shops and restaurants, comparing notes on what has passed since our last meeting.

It's obvious we are friends with an arm around a waist, fingers pointing at some object in a window as we commiserate or make obscene jokes at some man's expense. "Did I really do that?", we ask, or "What do you think?" "Will this work?" We wink at each other as things are tried on for effect, personalities and clothes rejected into piles.

We are sometimes competitors for affection, but woman wiles win every time - us against them our defense against rejection. We've never fought, Sarah and I. Our time together is too precious and can't be bought simply by being in love with a man. "Is this the one?" "Can this son of (euphamism: one of them) take you away even when I warn and disapprove?"

Of course he can. A man is better than a friend until it's 2 a.m. and it's all gone wrong, and you need to sing the blues. I've heard Sarah's song and she's heard mine when we've been stupid or just have regrets. We've loved and hated the same men, shared secrets Eve wouldn't want bared to her empty world, much less our crowded one.

If I ever get a tattoo, Sarah will know where before my lover does. We will laugh and toast the crime - abettors raising glasses to whims and our wonderful selves. She believes in me and I in her. We can be raucous or demure as suits our mood, and we change suits often as our mascara runs in sympathy over small and large events.

I can see us several years hence in our comfortable shoes, still giggling and being young because we came from the same sandbox.

09 June 2007

Big Red

Man O War

The Belmont Stakes will run this Saturday, June 9, 2007. The Belmont Stakes is considered the third jewel in racing's triple crown which will not be won this year. On another June 9 in 1973 an almost unbelievable horse won the triple crown.

When you say "Big Red" around anyone who loves horse racing, you are almost always talking about one of two horses: Man O War or Secretariat. They were both glorious Chestnut in color and the instant you looked at either one, you knew you were looking at a champion.

Even though I was only three at the time, I can remember hearing my father mention Man O War when he died in 1947, but by that time his racing days had been over for over 25 years and of course I never saw him run.

I was fortunate enough to see Secretariat run twice. The films below show him winning the three legs of the triple crown in 1973, and you can get a small feel of just how magnificent he was. What you can't see is the horse that really didn't like to go in the gate. He often hung at the back of the pack and right when you thought he might have waited to long, the horse exploded!!!.

There is no way to express what it was like to be on your feet screaming as Big Red made his move. It was almost as if all the other horses put on the brakes to let him run by in the fast lane, and wherever he was was the fast lane. People were often literally crying.

Which horse was "the greatest" there is no way of knowing, but there is a fantasy race of the greatest Hall of Fame horses up to the time it was written and well worth your time to read it. Here is the list with their jockeys.

SWAPS - Race Record 25-19-2-2
4yo colt / 1956 ... Jockey: Bill Shoemaker

MAN O'WAR - Race Record 21-20-1-0
3yo colt / 1920 ... Jockey: Clarence Kummer

RUFFIAN - Race Record 11-10-0-0
3yo filly / 1975 ... Jockey: Jacinto Vasquez

NATIVE DANCER - Race Record 22-21-1-0
3yo colt / 1953 ... Jockey: Eric Geurin

COUNT FLEET - Race Record 21-16-4-1
3yo colt / 1943 ... Jockey: John Longden

AFFIRMED - Race Record 29-22-5-1
3yo colt / 1978 ... Jockey: Steve Cauthen

SEATTLE SLEW - Race Record 17-14-2-0
3yo colt / 1977 ... Jockey: Jean Cruguet

CITATION - Race Record 45-32-10-2
3yo colt / 1948 ... Jockey: Eddie Arcaro

SECRETARIAT - Race Record 21-16-3-1
3yo colt / 1973 ... Jockey: Ron Turcotte

SPECTACULAR BID - Race Record 30-26-2-1
4yo colt / 1980 ... Jockey: Ronnie Franklin

WHIRLAWAY - Race Record 60-32-15-9
3yo colt / 1941 ... Jockey: Ted Atkinson

DR. FAGER - Race Record 22-18-2-1
4yo colt / 1968 ... Jockey: Braulio Baeza


The Secretariat Triple Crown

Kentucky Derby


And Finally ... The Belmont

08 June 2007

May You Stay Forever Young


Many years ago a wonderful book by Robert Fulgham was published called Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten.

Share everything
Play fair
Don't hit people
Put things back where you found them
Clean up your own mess
Don't take things that aren't yours
Say you are sorry when you hurt somebody
Wash your hands before you eat. Flush.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you
Take a nap every afternoon

Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some and draw some and paint and sing and dance and play and work everyday.

Think of what a better world it would be if we all, the whole world, had cookies and milk about 3 o'clock every afternoon and then lay down with our blankets for a nap. Or we had a basic policy in our nation and other nations to always put things back where we found them and clean up our own messes.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

Click on Mimi's site to see all of the BlogBlast world peace globes.

07 June 2007



To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to pluck
up that which is planted;
A time to kill and a time to heal ...
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance ...
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to lose and a time to seek;
A time to rend and a time to sew;
A time to keep silent and a time to speak;
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Click on Mimi's site to see all of the BlogBlast world peace globes.

05 June 2007

Ordinary Miracles


An Instrument of Peace

Make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy

04 June 2007

Manic Monday - Peace

Blessed are the peacemakers
for they shall be called the children of God.

I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969)

There was never a good war or a bad peace.

Ben Franklin (1706-1790)

We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

All we are saying is give peace a chance.

John Lennon (1940-1980)

The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man or one party or one nation. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)

I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there.

Mother Theresa (1910-1997)

They shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

Isaiah, II:4

Robert Sims and Odetta

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,
Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.

Maya Angelou

From A Distance - Bette Midler