Happy Birthday Roy!

October 27, 2016

roy_lichtensteinToday marks the birthday of Roy Fox Lichtenstein, one of the leading artists of the new art movement (along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and others) whose painting has been described as “pop art through parody” in a comic book style.
His most famous works include:
Drowning Girl
Oh Jeff … I Love You, Too … But …

I probably will never own a Lichtenstein, but I certainly admire his style.

Source: photo courtesy of Eric Koch / Anefohttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Roy_Lichtenstein_(1967).jpg (CC BY-SA 3.0)

And All That Jazz!

October 26, 2016

JazzHere is another original painting (acrylic) that I acquired last summer while vacationing in the Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties of Michigan.  I found this piece at the 56th Annual Outdoor Art Fair  (sponsored by the Crooked Tree Arts Center) on the campus of the Northwestern Michigan College on the last Saturday of July.  I have already collected a couple of other paintings by this particular artist (Deborah Hoover).  The title of this one: “Flickering Colors,” and it really brightens up the hallway in which I have hung it.  This piece is most aptly named . . . I believe it was the vibrant and flickering colors that drew my eyes to this piece; I knew immediately that this one would be going home with me.   Alas.

Not Just For Kids!

October 25, 2016

Halloween, which is just around the corner, used to be a holiday primarily for the kids — costumes, trick or treating, and lots of candy. However, lately, adults are becoming the dominant consumers for this holiday — grownup parties and events, home decor, and costumes (adults, children, and pets).

According to the National Retail Federation, here were the top spending categories:

  • Candy – $2.1 billion
  • Home Decor – $1.9 billion
  • Adult Costumes – $1.2 billion
  • Child Costumes – $950 million
  • Pet Costumes – $350 million

So, Happy Halloween (next week) one and all.  Party on, Wayne!

Source AARP: The Magazine, October/November issue.

College Football 2016, Week Eight!

October 24, 2016

The Spartans were on the road again this week (to visit the Maryland Terrapins) and lost their fifth game in a row; I think it is safe to say that there will be no “bowl” game in our future this year.  There are only nine (9) unbeaten teams remaining in the AP top-25. The Big Ten Conference now has five (5) teams in the AP top-25 (three (3) in the top-10):  Michigan [#2], Ohio State [#6], Nebraska [#7], Wisconsin [#11], and Penn State [#24].

Next up for the Spartans: at home to face the Wolverines of Michigan.   Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Ohio State (#2) losing to unranked Penn State by three (3) points.
Houston (#11) losing to unranked SMU.
Arkansas (#17) losing to Auburn (#21).
Ole Miss (#23) losing to LSU (#25).

The close calls this week (games that were won by a touchdown or less) included:
Boise State (#14) defeating BYU byh one (1) point.
Oklahoma (#16) defeating unranked Texas Tech by seven (7) points.
Utah (#19) defeating unranked UCLA by seven (7) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Alabama (#1) defeating Texas A&M (#6).

Gluteus Maximus!

October 23, 2016

Happy Sunday!  Anatomy and Physiology was one of the most amazing classes I have ever taken.  And while I have not explored a career in medicine or health, I can still remember many of the terms.  The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of the buttocks.   Some of the standard definitions for “buttocks” include:

Usually, buttocks.

  • (in humans) either of the two fleshy protuberances forming the lower and back part of the trunk. 
  • (in animals) the rump.

Sometimes, buttocks. Nautical. the after most portion of a hull above the water line and in front of the rudder, merging with the run below the water line.

So, as I was perusing my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate I ran across all of these other ways to say “buttocks.”  Enjoy!

Additionally, if you wish to describe someone as having excessively large buttocks, use steatopygic; and for having well-shaped buttocks, callipygian.

Source: http://www.dictionary.com and The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

99 Great Ways to Save (Part 7)!

October 22, 2016

In the July /August issue of the AARP Bulletin, several experts offer tips and tricks that will help you save money in a variety of categories: travel, technology, home, finance, style, food, fun, getting there, health, and entertainment.  Part 7 will be the fun category (tips courtesy of Jonathan Jarvis [director, National Parks Service], Curtis Pride [President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition], and Marissa Stephenson [senior editor Men’s Journal]).

62. Visit on fee-free days.
63. Get free or low-cost passes to national parks.
64. Find a park in your backyard.
65. Perform body-weight exercise.
66. Use free fitness apps.
67. Join a health or nutrition challenge.
68. Join a gym in the summer.
69. Consider small-group training.
70. Ask local retailers about free fitness classes.

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2016, p. 27.

From the Scottish Highlands!

October 21, 2016

Happy Friday!  I never tire of listening to the wonderful music of The Piano Guys.  Here is a version of “This is Your Fight” song.  And the scenery is not too bad either.  Enjoy!

Fifty Pounds Saved!

October 20, 2016

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

Fifty Pounds Saved

A peer, some more than six foot high,
The soldier trade resolved to try:
He fondly fancied that his size,
Would make him in the army rise:
He of his valor much did boast,
And by his friends obtained a post.

My lord, with what was given, content,
Packed up his awls, to Flanders went:
Nor would my lady stay behind,
But, spite of wintry seas and wind,
Did with her husband risk her life,
To show her duty as a wife.
The voyage ended with content,
Her ladyship did stay at Ghent:
My lord stayed out a whole campaign,
Then to his wife returned again.

My lady was young, fresh, and gay,
And, while her husband was away,
Had passed her time in soft delights,
Mirth blessed her days, love crowned her nights.
Lovers she had, at least a dozen,
Amongst the rest his lordship’s cousin,
A gallant man, and handsome too,
Who never did successless woo;
Each day he to the fair one came,
And gave great pleasure to the dame.
But now her husband was returned,
For want of joy my  lady mourned:
They could not meet oft as they would,
Yet met as often as they could.

One night my lord came flustered home,
And sent in haste for cousin Tom:
He joyful came, as was desired;
They supped; the servants all retired.
My lady stayed, as may be guessed,
His lordship toasted to the best:
Tom on my lady stared, and smiled,
While she looked harmless as a child.

My lord a rantling speech began,
And over his perfections ran;
He praised himself for this and that,
And said, “Dear Tom, my, you know what,
“Is larger, nay, is longer too,
“Than what can be produced by you.”

The well-bred colonel, blushing sat,
Andm smiling, said, “How know you that?
“But ’tis not fit discourse, I think.”
My lord, who was overpowered with drink,
Believing this a great affront,
Said, “I’ll lay fifty pounds upon’t.”
The colonel said, “I’ll wager none,”
And begged he’d let the theme alone.
My lord insisted more and more,
And scarce from showing it forbore.

The dame could scarce from laughing hold,
Yet said, “My life, put up your gold.
“For such a bet some other choose,
“For were’t a million  you would lose.”

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).

Where’s the Health Care?

October 19, 2016

Have you ever wondered which states offer the best “home health care?”  Well, wonder no more.  In the October 2016 issue of the AARP Bulletin they provide a state by state comparison of the number of personal and home health aides per 1,000 adults 75 years of age or older.

Highest number:
1. Washington, DC (302)
2. Hawaii (279)
3. Minnesota (268)
4. New York (242)
5.  New Mexico (211)

Lowest  number:
1. Florida (29)
2. South Dakota (49)
3. Mississippi (53)
4. Alabama (54)
5. Kentucky (57)

Source: 2016 America’s Health Rankings Senior Report, United Health Foundation (rounded to the closest number).

Not Your Grandma’s Chicken Noodle Soup!

October 18, 2016

Chicken Parmesan Soup

3 garlic cloves, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
14-1/2 ounces of crushed tomatoes
½ pound of raw chicken breasts, skinless and boneless
3 cups of chicken broth
½ cup of white onion, chopped
1/3 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon of fresh basil, chopped
2 teaspoons of fresh oregano, chopped
1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
4 ounces of uncooked gemelli or penne pasta
Fresh basil or parsley, skinless (for the garnish)

1. In the slow cooker, stir together the garlic, bell pepper, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, cheese, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Cook on high for 3-1/2 hours or on low for 7 hours.

2. Transfer the chicken breasts to a cutting board and coarsely shred them; return them to the slow cooker; stir in the pasta. Cook on high for 30 minutes longer or until the pasta is cooked al dente.

3. Serve garnished with more Parmesan cheese and chopped basil or parsley.