Necktie of the Month — July 2015!

July 3, 2015

IMG_0813Here we are, the day before we celebrate the anniversary of our independence, and I am thinking this would be the perfect opportunity (and most apropos) to highlight one of my recent acquisitions that is quite the patriotic necktie — an abstract version of the American flag in red, white, and blue from the Jerry Garcia “Happy Birthday” collection.  The shirt pairings should be simple for this one: red, white, or blue.  Of course, they will have to be the correct shade of red, white, and blue, or it won’t work.  I know I’m safe with the white shirt, and luckily enough, I have a several shirts with differing shades of blue, so I have plenty of choices from which to choose. The pale blue and the navy blue may be the best candidates for a pairing, but I have a shade of blue shirt leaning more toward a dark aqua that actually doesn’t look to bad when paired with this tie.  I also have a bright red shirt that compliments this necktie quite well. Then when I accessorize the shirt/tie combo with a pair of suspenders (I have separate red, white, and blue braces/ suspenders), it creates a look that is not too shabby at all.

We Are Halfway There!

July 2, 2015

At noon today, we arrive at the official halfway point of 2015  —  182½ days have elapsed, and 182½ day remain.  Today also marks National I Forgot Day . . . a day to make up for all of the birthdays, anniversaries, etc. that you forgot to acknowledge with a greeting or gift.

And speaking of anniversaries, today marks the 51st anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1964 into law which prohibited discrimination on the basis of race in public accommodations, in publicly owned or operated facilities, in employment and union membership, and in the registration of voters.  The bill included Title VI, which allowed for the cutoff of federal funding in areas where discrimination persisted.

Some other notable anniversaries for today include:

  • the television premiere of “The Lawrence Welk Show” (1955)
  • the television premiere of “The Andy Williams Show” (1957)
  • the date the U.S. Constitution took effect (1788)
  • the assassination of President James Garfield (1881)

How Satisfied Are You?

July 1, 2015

This month’s AARP Bulletin did a ranking of the states based upon the residents’ satisfaction with their lives.

Here are the top ten (most satisfied) and the bottom ten (least satisfied) — and while I generally feel pretty satisfied with my life, my fellow Oklahomans must not . . . we came in at #39.

Most Satisfied
1.  Alaska
2.  Hawaii
3.  South Dakota
4.  Wyoming
5.  Montana
6.  Colorado
7.  Nebraska
8.  Utah
9.  New Mexico
10.  Texas

Least Satisfied
41.  Missouri
42.  Michigan
43.  Arkansas
44.  Tennessee
45.  Alabama
46.  Mississippi
47.  Ohio
48.  Indiana
49.  Kentucky
50.  West Virginia

Source: Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index

Best Bookstores!

June 30, 2015

According to the Guardian newspaper, “Wherever you are in the world, visiting a bookshop is always a treat – but with their numbers dwindling, independent stores that offer something unique are increasingly becoming a destination in themselves.”

So, here is a list of the ten best independent bookstores in the world (based on their reader recommendations).

1.  Powell’s City of Books (Portland, Oregon, USA)
2.  Acqua Alta (Venice, Italy)
3.  El Ataneo (Buenas Aires, Argentina)
4.  City Lights Books (San Francisco, California, USA)
5.  Shakespeare and Company (Paris, France)
6.  Strand (New York, New York, USA)
7.  Wild Rumpus (Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
8.  Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights (Bath, UK)
9.  Word on the Water (London, UK)
10.  Bookshops on Four Wheels (Argentina and Belgium)

Check out the full story here.

Tulsa had a wonderful independent bookstore for years: the Lewis Meyer Bookstore . . . alas, it is no more.  A bygone era . . . Lewis Meyer even had his own radio program (which ran for 42 years: The Lewis Meyer Bookshelf).

Picasso and Art!

June 29, 2015

The creativity of artists is not restricted to their artistic creations; it can also show up in the language they use.   Take for example this quotation by Pablo Picasso . . .

“We all know that art is not truth.  Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.”

This is a perfect example of an artistic oxymoronica and is quite the paradoxical observation.  “Artists don’t create reality; they only try to capture it through their contrived — and ultimately artificial — creations.”  (Dr. Mardy Grothe).

An additional artistic oxymoronia courtesy of Picasso: “The artist must know the manner whereby to convince others of the truthfulness of his lies.”

And, in perusing some of the other entries in oxymoronica by Dr. Mardy Grothe, I noticed that several shared the common themes of truth and lies (as did both of these Picasso oxymoronica).  Hmm, most curious.

Creative Anteater!

June 28, 2015

I ran across this wonderful pattern in Southwest Airlines’ Spirit Magazine on a recent trip.  I have not yet attempted to fold this pattern, but here are the directions for making an origami anteater using a dollar bill. Happy folding!

Origami_Anteater

Origami_Anteater2Origami_Anteater3Origami_Anteater4

Trivia in the Kitchen, Number Forty-Four!

June 27, 2015

One of my favorite restaurants (the Bistro at Seville) serves an appetizer that is irresistibly delicious: Chokes and Cheese, an artichoke hearts, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese dip (served with triangles of pita bread).  Believe it or not, I have never attempted to prepare artichoke hearts myself.  Did you know that the artichoke is actually a variety of a species of thistle that is cultivated as a food?  Native to the Mediterranean region, the top producers of artichokes are Egypt, Italy, and Spain.  In the United States, California provides nearly 100% of the U.S. crop (80% of that is grown in Monterey County); Castroville, California proclaims itself to be “The Artichoke Center of the World” and holds a festival every year at the end of May.  One of these days I will have to learn how to cook/prepare an artichoke.

Here’s the scientific classification for the artichoke:

Kingdom: Plantae
Class: Angiosperm
Class: Eudicots
Class: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Cynara
Species: Cynara scolymus

She Was Out of Control!

June 26, 2015

Happy Friday!  With the weekend rapidly approaching, let’s try to keep our consumption of intoxicating beverages in the moderate range.  The last thing we need is an out of control maenad.

maenad

mee-nad \, noun;
1.  bacchante.
2.  a frenzied or raging woman.

So what exactly is a bacchante?  A female bacchant.

bacchant

bakuh nt, buhkant, –kahnt \, noun;
1.  a priest, priestess, or votary of Bacchus; bacchanal.
2.  a drunken reveler.

Patience!

June 25, 2015

Here’s the next installment of manners and etiquette (courtesy of the Goops)?

Patience
The clock will go slow
If you watch it, you know;
You must work right along
And forget it.
So study your best
Till it’s time for a rest,
The clock will go fast,
If you let it.

Source: Goops and How to Be Them: a Manual of Manners for Polite Infants Inculcating Many Juvenile Virtues Both by Precept and Example by Gelett Burgess.

Some Mid-Week Humor!

June 24, 2015

I have long been a fan of the pun and have garnered more than my share of groans.  But, sometimes, it just has to be done.  Here are a few new ones that I just discovered.  I will beg for forgiveness right now.  Enjoy!

  • Singing in the shower is all fun and games until you get shampoo in your mouth, then it just becomes a soap opera.
  • If Apple made a car, would it have Windows?
  • I have a few jokes about unemployed people, but it wouldn’t matter, none of them work.
  • Never trust atoms, they make up everything.
  • I couldn’t work out how to fasten my seat belt, then it just clicked.
  • To the guy who invented zero: thanks for nothing.
  • Why does Peter Pan always fly?  Because he Neverlands.
  • Did you hear about the guy who got hit in the head with a can of soda?  Lucky for him it was a soft drink.
  • What do you do with a sick chemist?  If you can’t helium, and you can’t curium, then you barium.

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