December 28, 2010
December 27, 2010
"Great and good are seldom the same man."
Great men I venture do not set out to be great men, but effective men. A contemporary of Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, one of the top three United States presidents, had to use untruths, half truths and misdirection to help England stave off Hitler when America was in it's isolationist period. He initiated Lend-Lease, a put up way to provide arms to England, and convinced Congress that we had to build up our military, which was drastically out of date and inadequate to fight a war that he knew was going to involve his country. He juggled the truth or outright lied to prepare his country for what was to come. It did, of course, on December 7, 1941 when Japan struck at Pearl Harbor. He is judged by history as a great U.S. president, but he shepherded America during those years prior to Pearl Harbor with misdirection's and half truths which were thought by some to be unethical and morally wrong. Great and good are seldom the same man.
December 25, 2010
December 23, 2010
Two candles flicker in the wind
impervious to storm or gale
burning as one, bright and steady.
Intertwined, their combined flames can withstand
all of nature and man
I laugh, I smile, I tease, I question, I philosophize
I sympathize, I joke with this woman
As I have for so very long.
We have been sharing our thoughts, our discoveries
of life and love since we were children.
We have grown old together.
I am never happier than when we are alone,
Talking together about a past that still seems near and
A future together that knows no end.
I am still discovering, after nearly a half century together,
New depths of love for this woman who remains forever young in my eyes.
I cherish our conversation that started so long ago,
that continues and will until that unimaginable day when
as it must, a flame will sputter and a life will end.
How can two lives that live as one continue alone?
If I must stay behind, I pray to God the stay be brief,
For surely the sun will disappear from my being.
To comprehend the blackness of that day fills my soul with feelings
I cannot describe. That day when joy and purpose and completeness
Go out of my life, I will be so utterly alone.
But as it is in life, it goes on, and I will also, thanking God for allowing
Me the love and companionship of one of his chosen creations for such a
Long time, but not long enough, lest it was eternity.
Remembering our lifetime conversation will bring melancholy smiles to my
face knowing that the remaining candles flame is growing dim and will
soon sputter and on one glorious day will build to a glorious brilliance and go out.
On that wonderful day, the conversation will begin anew.
December 22, 2010
Brazilian street artist Herbert Baglione created this beautiful and amazing installation at Winterlong Gallerie in Niort, France. The giant shadow, made from thousands of dead leaves, starts from a tiny silhouette of a man cutout from the wall. It's unknown whether or not Baglione was trying to express any kind of symbolism through this piece, leaving it up to the viewer to find his or her own meaning.
December 20, 2010
December 19, 2010
December 17, 2010
We're into the holiday season, and for some of us, like me of course, it is cookie, pie, cakes and other glorious deserts time. Hazel of course adds to my over consumption of everything sweet, and just recently offered up this to pass along.
I really enjoy the spice flavored coffee creamers that are available from Thanksgiving thru Christmas and New Years.
While surfing the web I came upon a recipe for a powdered spiced creamer. This one is yummy. The hubby even likes it and he isn't overly fond of flavored creamers. My thanks to the unknown contributor.
POWDERED COFFEE CREAMER
3/4 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup plain powdered coffee creamer
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Tweak it with a couple pinches of pumpkin pie spice or whatever strikes your fancy
mix together well and keep in a covered jar or plastic container.
These new hearing devices are pretty neat. But they only work when you insert them in your ear. If you leave them in their neat little holding container it doesn't assist you in hearing better at all. Like Helga, wives like it better, and it makes for better conversations and marital harmony to place them in your offending ear. (a testimonial from a forgetful user of the nifty hearing devices)
December 15, 2010
December 14, 2010
This looks like perhaps this is the end of, as they call it, the brick and mortar book store. We have one in my town and I very much enjoy dropping in and browsing. I can say as a paying customer I kind of leave a lot to be desired. I browse and I browse and sometimes buy a cup of coffee or tea while I peruse a magazine off their shelves. But seldom do I drop the thirty bucks or so on their counter to buy a book. I'm like an extra in a movie, I'm there but that's about it. I'm not or ever was a vital link to their financial future. I can speak to it's ambiance though. It is a very relaxing place to visit, they provide comfortable chairs and leave you alone to paw their merchandise. That I am good at, and I will continue as long as they keep their doors open. If Borders does buy them I hope they just change the name and keep the business open. We lose too many business in my part of the world anyway.
Recent news indicates that Borders Group(NYSE:BGP) has filed an intent to purchase rival bookseller Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) as of this past Monday. Nothing is set in stone, as of yet, but this could have some interesting and far-reaching effects on the eReader and eBook marketplace should it some to pass. Borders has been trying for some time to enter into the Kindle dominated eReader market, but buying the company currently making the second most popular eReader on sale today (sometimes estimated to hold as much as 10% of the market) would give them some real hope of making a place for themselves.
While Borders did manage to make a big splash a while back by bringing the basic, but functional, Kobo eReader to the public for just $150 at a time when popular eBook readers such as the Kindle hadn’t managed to make it below $250 yet, the prompt price matching on the parts of Amazon and B&N left it somewhat dead in the water, so to speak. They also run into the problem of having no device integrated book store to draw from, complicating the process and reducing potential income from impulse buyers and people who use their computers infrequently. Yes, there is the fact that Borders chooses to host a whole collection of eBook Readers in their stores, but none have managed to capture public attention for any length of time lately, including the Sony Reader collection. Picking up the fully grown Nook product line would turn this around completely.
This cannot really be seen as a great move in terms of business unless you look specifically at the eBook marketplace, given the state of things right now. Let’s face it, neither Borders nor Barnes & Noble are doing that well as the last remaining brick & mortar bookstores with any real nationwide presence these days. While combining the companies might result in a short-term boost in revenue, since one aspect of the competition would indeed have been eliminated, the real fights these days are between either online and physical sales environment or paper and digital books. That’s to say nothing about the fact that B&N isn’t exactly without its own troubles right now that Borders would have to address.
So, if it happens, what can we hope for? It’s really rather hard to say. B&N does have a very nice eBook store set up, and I’m certain that that would see even more emphasis as time goes on, but competition is getting pretty extreme lately and newcomers like Google aren’t going to make it easy to stay near the top no matter what the state of the Barnes & Noble ownership is. I am rather hoping it doesn’t happen though, mostly because of the uncertainty of what would happen with the B&N stores. The Kindle is at the moment the superior eReader in pretty much every other way I care about, but it’s great to be able to break out the nook when I’m out shopping and have a chance to hang out there for a while since the preview feature makes for some great relaxation.
December 13, 2010
December 12, 2010
Pencils of this size could only mean that Gulliver or Paul Bunyan have taken up residence hereabouts.
December 10, 2010
December 9, 2010
Why we must stay in Afghanistan-Stay
December 8, 2010
December 7, 2010
December 6, 2010
Rising before dawn into a cold house I wait for the warmth of the furnace and the smell of coffee to invigorate me. I gaze at snowflakes floating down from a still dark sky joining an already covered winter landscape and I feel a moment of nostalgia, common to men of my age. It's a feeling of settling in for a brain that is torn between memories of friends and family departed, and the peace and serenity of here and now, a stopping place of unknown duration where I can amuse myself with today's technological wonders. At arms length I have a modern television of gigantic size that will transmit to me movies that I saw first run at the movies on Saturday mornings sixty some years ago; a computer whose wonders and unfathomable amounts of information I've yet to skim the surface of; and the latest miracle, a library capable of holding 3500 books, a library the size of which would be a prize for even the richest of us in bygone days that I can hold in one hand called a Kindle. It is indeed a wondrous age to live in and I am glad I will be able to spend some time enjoying it for as long as I am allowed.