September 30, 2010

What the cool people might be wearing on vacations this winter. As advertised in Architectural Digest, with this description:

Shwood Eyewear

Shwood’s Canby sunglasses, $95, are a unique take on classic wayfarers, with frames made of exotic hardwoods—maple, East Indian rosewood or zebrawood (pictured)—sustainably harvested from authorized plantations in various African countries. All of the models have Carl Zeiss lenses, imported from Italy, and offer 100 percent UVA/UVB protection. Polarized lenses are also available.

September 27, 2010

Eisenhower identifed it and named it, he saw it up close and in full operation

Well that's half of the military industrial complex identified, now if we could just do something about the Halliburtons of the world we might find some funds to do what is necessary, besides waging wars.

Hollywood Jabberwocky

Jabberwocky" is a poem of non-sense verse written by Lewis Carroll, originally featured as a part of his novel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1872).

September 26, 2010

I Remember and I Smile

Millions of moments, just moments accrue to all of us in our lifetime.

An unexceptional occurrence, just a moment from my past that made me smile then and still does today. A happy time.

Today is Sunday, a day that most men and boys in America celebrate by watching professional football. My Sundays for quite a while were no different. Our favorite team then was the Washington Redskins for the unexceptional reason that we lived in the Washington vicinity, Alexandria, Virginia to be exact. My son Michael who had attained the age of maybe ten joined me in rooting for a team that was just then turning the corner from a bad team to a very good team. It was the time of coaches like Vince Lombardi, George Allen, and Joe Gibbs. Players of the caliber of Sonny Jurgenson, Billy Kilmer, and John Riggins.

We lived in a 'garden' apartment off the Mt. Vernon Parkway located between Alexandria and Mount Vernon. A location where my wife and I concur was our 'happiest place'. Down the street was the usual drugstore. It was either a Drug Fair or a Peoples drug, I can't remember which. where one day Mike was running an errand for his mother. You really could in those days send a young boy on an errand and be confident that he would not be kidnapped or that something equally as bad would befall him. But the next thing his mom heard was Mike flying into the apartment reporting news that he could not believe. It was too unbelievable and the news didn't take long to spill itself out. One of the Washington Redskins lived in our vicinity and Mike spotted him in the drug store. What he was buying left Mike in a small state of shock. Chris Hanburger, a big Redskin lineman was standing in the checkout line with a package of cigarettes and a package of pink rubber gloves. He was very quick to report to his mom that they were certainly for his wife. Hanburger remained one of Mike's favorites but thinking that he perhaps had feet of clay like the rest of us mortals made him think a little more I am sure.

September 24, 2010

Is Big Brother lurking?

Eric Schmidt talked with Charlie Rose. Charlie asked:

How does Google see the future?

Eric answered:

There's such an overwhelming amount of information now, we can search where you are, see what you're looking at if you take a picture with your camera. One way to think about this is, we're trying to make people better people, literally give them better ideas—augmenting their experience. Think of it as augmented humanity.

I love technology, but darn isn't it starting to sound more and more like Big Brother? "Augmented humanity" sounds a tad like thought management. George Orwell might be stirring in his grave.

September 22, 2010

A Day on the Farm

If Saturday's weather appears as billed, sixty degrees and sunny, and if my lady is free of any of those damnable side effects then we will be headed to Malabar farm for their annual Heritage days festivities. It's simple entertainment that a farm and perhaps a little music can provide.

We've been to many of the festivals, weather permitting, and always feel better after being there. I, of course, always feel good about the beginning also. After being transported to the farm proper from our parking space in one of the fields by a farm wagon drawn by a tractor I usually follow an aroma of doughnuts cooking in large kettles and coffee by the gallons brewing and ready for dunking or for the more genteel a few sips between bites of the cinnamon laden doughnuts. The picture I saw on Flickr reminded me of this.

Malabar was the home of author Louis Bromfield and he would be greatly pleased to see the turnouts that are usually generated. Weather is of course the key. Bromfield was a writer of great renown in the thirties and forties, a winner of a Pulitzer, and at one time thought of and mentioned in the same breath with Fitzgerald and other of his ilk. He was known as the man who had everything. Money from his fiction, and his books being turned into movies, the Rains Came being one. He was friends with all the great writers and actors from Hollywood. He invited many of them to the farm and they came. Life was wonderful and lucrative for everything he touched. He also wrote non-fiction about life on the farm He loved life at Malabar and had to be coaxed by his business manager to please write more fiction as money was running out. The joy went out of his writing and writings about the farm was not too lucrative. His wife died, his daughters married and departed to lives of their own and he contracted cancer. He ran out of money and his great friend Doris Duke saw to it that he was taken care of in his final illness.

September 20, 2010

A bad photograph of a Praying Mantis and a follow-up photo of his New York Hi-Jinks

I'm not much of a photographer nor am I a great fan of wildlife. Last night I opened my inner door and there at eye level on my glass storm door is a very large praying mantis that had decided to rest for a while and I presume to make a meal of the multitudes of those flying insects my light attracts on these summer evenings. Not that I am in fear of my life from this creature, but let's say I wouldn't want him joining me for breakfast. Anything with a angular shaped green face I presume is on a specialty diet anyway.

So anyway I took a few shots with my trusty brownie and if I tell you that this is the best of my futile attempts of getting one decent shot you would probably suggest that as long as I don't do this for a living I'm o.k. That's it from the wild kingdom.

For any of you out there who are worried about the health and outcome of the mantis, perhaps the SPCA would be one, I can assure you that he left Ohio in one piece and in fact was photographed again by the paparazzi in New York engaging in after hours hijinks. He seemed to doing well indeed.

September 17, 2010

Ya Gotta Love Em

Ya gotta love em. The Indians managed to stay even with the Angels through nine. Top of the tenth the Angels do not score. Bottom of the tenth the Indians get a double and he is moved over to third on a fielders choice. One more out makes it two out man on third, up come Duncan who in recent games has come away a hero with a couple home runs which now causes a few ripples of expectation to go through the small assembly of folks remaining in the stands.

After a few pitches Duncan makes contact with the ball and it bounces undramatically toward shortstop; the crowd deflates. The shortstop charges the bouncing ball, picks it up and my Lord, he drops it.

Duncan speeds to first and the man on third dashes in from third and scores. The Indians win, they win, they win.

Duncan knowing that tonight he was one lucky so and so heads for the dugout, but the Indians young and hungry for victories grab him and start beating on him and jumping on him and each other. You gotta love it, they are all so young and so full of hope and desire to win. I loved it. So what they're close to ninety losses, it's baseball in Cleveland. Our team is full of kids who want so much to win that maybe if we believe with them anything might happen.

Forget about Scrooge Mcbaseballowner counting his money and figuring who else he can give away. Enjoy the kids giving their all and sometimes like last night coming away looking like pennant chasers. Another day, another dream who knows.

September 15, 2010

E reader Library

I like this cartoon by Jeff Koterba because it reflects exactly what we are up to currently. We are boxing up books and carting them to our local library. I'm not replacing them in my ereader, but if I want to own a book I look first to see if it is available for download to Kindle.

September 13, 2010

Beethoven's Opera

This ten minute video is obviously about Beethoven being deaf when he conducted his opera. I don't know anything else about it except that he indeed did go deaf. The video seems to be from a movie but I don't know that or any other facts about the video or if the video was based on a real incident or not.

He was not always deaf but he started going deaf around his late 20s and in a few years he was completely deaf but continued to compose by feeling the vibrations of his instrument.

Beethoven wasn't actually stone deaf as some would have you believe, however his hearing was seriously impaired. Here is one of the things that was written about his problem by him.
"It is curious that in conversation there are people who do not notice my condition at all; since I have generally been absentminded, they account for it in that way. Often I can scarily hear someone speaking softly, the tones yes, but not the words. However, as soon as anyone shouts it becomes intolerable"
Beethoven began to suffer from a very severe form of "tinnitus" (ringing in the ears) around the year 1796. He hearing gradually deteriorated until, it is believed, he lost nearly 100 percent of his hearing. It has been written that at the premier of his ninth symphony, he had to be turned around to see the tumultuous applause by the audience. Many people believe that he died of lead poisoning. The lead came from his drinking cup and not to mention they put lead in wine sometimes. All this was found out when a sample of his hair was analyzed in a lab just a few years ago.

He first noticed signs of deafness in his late 20s and he eventually went profoundly deaf. All the music of his late period was composed when he was totally deaf.

September 11, 2010

Not such a good idea

Someone, and I am very remiss in not remembering who, conjectured that the Indians might make a hit with their fans if they signed three former Indian hero's to contracts next year. The three are Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, and Omar Visquel. They also figured they could be signed for about two to three million apiece. They thought it might be doable.

I agree it might be doable, but I think most fans even though the idea is intriguing would not like to see it happen, and it would seem more like a traveling road show and would in fact distract from the business of molding a winning team consisting of the young kids they have assembled.

September 10, 2010

Blackberry Pie

Not world breaking news, but my stomach says maybe it is. Homemade blackberry pie was/is as good as it looks.

Langley automobile

photographer credits

What is the Hucklebuck?

At the conclusion of a very deep conversation of the deep thinkers, Ohio branch, the question was framed: What the heck is the hucklebuck?

Cancer Journal continued

A little catch up. It's been a while and Hazel is very glad to relate that there is nothing frightening or alarming to report. Indeed, the news is decidedly optimistic. The Arimidex regimen continues. She is tolerating it well. There are side effects, but that is to be expected. None of which are intolerable. She has an omnipresent slight nausea and a feeling of overall tiredness. Her old friend hot flash is back. She was so grateful when flash ran its course several years ago when she was going through menopause. But no, flash is back. Be prepared for him.

One piece of advice that she imparts is the selection of an oncologist. Don't just randomly pick one out of the phone book. Please if you have any sources who might be of help here, take it. This person you select to make the journey with you is really quite important. You will have questions and more questions cropping up almost weekly. This person that you select will be your guide who will answer all your million questions that will arise. If you have chosen correctly there will be no question that he cannot answer. If the medical person you are using as an oncologist cannot answer a question or makes a statement like, "I've never heard of that", you may have picked the wrong person. Your oncologist should be learned and current. You should be comfortable with your choice. After all you and this doctor are going to share and perhaps make decisions that could effect the length and quality of your life.

September 9, 2010

Helen Keller and the movie

Everything about this piece of film is astounding. First is that it is based on fact. Try as I can, trying to emulate being blind and deaf from birth is an impossibility. How absolutely lost and disconnected I would be. Then having an intelligence such as Keller did and having no input, no sound, no sight. I try to but find it impossible.

I have seen the scene above many times, but I am always awestruck that it really did happen and there was a person named Helen Keller and she really did start out life as described and a great dedicated teacher was able to make a connection and opened the world to her pupil. Fantastic in fact and in the interpretation for the movie.

The actors in the movie were so very good in interpreting how it might have been.

September 6, 2010

You Tube really is full of treasures

Eureka! The Internet is a bottomless wealth of things worth watching and reading over and over again. Then again it also abounds in amazing trash. Today I accidentally found two of the former at You Tube. One of my favorite books ever is TO SERVE THEM ALL MY DAYS by R.F.Delderfield, which also happens to have been adapted by Masterpiece theater years ago. I discovered it has been posted in ten minute pieces on you tube. While I was there I also discovered another of my faves, UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS. I will avail myself to a little rerun entertainment later today.

What a great hour or two for a holiday treat.

September 5, 2010

Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire
A new show debuting on HBO this month looks to me to maybe be a good one. It's a dramatic series about prohibition in the twenties. I'm not very good at picking shows, but this looks pretty good. Martin Scorsese directed the pilot.

Here is the write up from the New York Times

annoying orange is back

September 4, 2010

Washington Memorial Bridge 1931

We used to live and work in the Washington area. At the beginning of the video you will hear a plane flying over. We lived off the Mount Vernon Parkway just outside of Alexandria, Virginia and the planes landing at what is now Reagan National airport, then Washington National, used to make their final approach coming down the Potomac river. We heard their noise daily, but it never bothered us, it was just part of the scene.

In our early days in Washington we used to take advantage of the concerts given at the Watergate (not the Nixon Watergate, but the Watergate at the Lincoln memorial given free on weekends. Free was just the right price for us in those days.

The bridge was originally a draw bridge, but they changed it later. Just left of the circle around the Lincoln memorial they built steps down to the Potomac. They built a barge on the river, and the service bands would play. It was great.

September 1, 2010

Art Gallery

If I was not here where I undoubtedly want to be, where would I like to be? An art gallery is right up there on my list of places.

Our Aging Brain

Memory lapses, Alzheimer's disease, Aging and the Brain. Charlie Rose and his panel of scientists and doctors talk about it. We live into our eighties now, and our hope is that we mentally keep up with our body. God knows as we get older we lose the physicality to continue doing what we once did. It then becomes our hope that at least we can use our brains to remember the best parts of our life.
A one hour video.

Michael Douglas and his brave yet realistic outlook

When Mr. Douglas made the statement that his cancer was stage four my eyes became misty. I know what stage four means and Letterman had to know. Not too long ago my love was diagnosed with cancer stage one, and I became a marshmallow. My world is looking good, but I mist up for Michael and anyone else who is plunged overnight into the nightmare that is cancer. It is a world we all know about, but in fact really know nothing about until it strikes. Bless Mr. Douglas and his bravery for being able to sit there and report the worst. I don't know how people do it, I certainly can't, but I am the worst example and Mr. Douglas is the best.