Archive for May, 2010

Most Apropos, Don’t You Think?

May 31, 2010

Here’s a perfect vocabulary word for Memorial Day!   And, as I listened to a Classical music radio station this morning, I manage to hear a requiem or two.

threnody

\THREN-uh-dee\
1.  A poem, speech, or song of lamentation, esp. for the dead; dirge; funeral song.

Happy Memorial Day!

May 31, 2010

While Memorial Day is a day to remember all who have died, the following message seemed like a fitting tribute as well (and Veteran’s Day just seems too far away to save this message for then).   So allow me to offer a big thank you to all of men and women serving in our armed forces (especially those who have died to ensure these freedoms — may their sacrifice never be forgotten).  To date, 1,000 soldiers have been killed in the Afghan war.

It is the
VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the
VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the
VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the
VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is the
VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the
VETERAN, not the politician,
who has given us the right to vote.

It is the
VETERAN
who salutes the Flag.

It is the
VETERAN
who serves under the Flag.

(Source: unknown; image courtesy of Patriot Icon.)

Additionally, it is also “Make-My-Day” Day to celebrate the birthday of Clint Eastwood, who turns 80 today!

The Seven Ps!

May 30, 2010

“Prior planning and preparation prevents piss-poor performance.”  (An old Army adage.)   I really love this alliteration and use it often (I sometimes shorten it to 6 ps and substitute “proper” for “prior planning and,” but the intent is the same).  And, in the spirit of this adage, here is a list of 10 things that you can, and should, do EVERY DAY to prepare for your shift on patrol (courtesy of PoliceLink).

1.  Mentally prepare (debrief your previous shift, get in the right mindset).
2. Tactics (gun retention, site alignment, failure drills).
3. Personal equipment (look sharp, is all of your equipment functional?).
4. What’s new? (Know what has been going on since your last shift.)
5. Detectives (know who they are looking for and other intel).
6. The police car (inspect inside and out, does everything work?).
7. Talk to your partner (or squad mates — discuss tactics, the basics, what to do when . . .).
8. Have a plan (for your “unassigned” time).
9. Long hours/physical inactivity (stretch, deep breaths, isometrics, etc.).
10. What’s new? (stay up-to-date on policy, procedure, case law, etc.).

Courtesy of Raymond E. Foster (retired LAPD).

Stay safe!

Functional Art!

May 29, 2010

Up to this point, all of the objects d’art that I have posted have been of the variety that is hung on the wall, placed on an easel, put on a pedestal, or merely placed on a counter or tabletop — they are all for display purposes and really serve no useful function (aside from adding some color and texture to each and every room of my apartment).

However, one day when I was visiting an open house at a gallery (hoping not to find anything to fall in love with — who was I kidding?), I had found a small and inexpensive painting that I was going to purchase and was practically out the door when my friend asked if I had seen the lamp.  Lamp?  Here I had been looking at the traditional art on the walls, and I had totally missed the other “treasures” in the gallery.

My first look and I knew . . . I’d be taking this lamp home with me.  But not before pondering in my mind that it was only one lamp and thinking it would be better to have a matching set for my end tables.  I was trying to talk myself out of the purchase and asked if there was a second matching lamp (hoping the answer would be “no”).  A rhetorical question perhaps?  Of course there was a second lamp!  Woe is me!  But as with all of my “art” purchases, I hardly ever have any regrets (and when I do, they are fleeting). 

The hand blown glass, some ORANGE, and a dramatic black lamp shade and base — truly striking works of art!

Some Friday Humor!

May 28, 2010
The below comic strip provides the perfect opportunity to point you to an earlier demotivator on blogging.  And for all of you bloggers out there, don’t forget to occasionally get away from your desk/computer/iPhone/iPad and get some fresh air.  We could easily adapt the saying “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” by substituting the word “blogging” for “work!”   Of course, I consider my blog “play” so where does that leave me?  (Note: and I budget a mere 30 minutes a day for this activity.) 

But be careful, many of these new technologies can become addictive and I know you don’t want to end up like the character in this comic strip.  Check out Tuesday’s edition of Speed Bump (a cartoon by Dave Coverly).  

Happy Friday!

How “Fit”ting Indeed!

May 27, 2010

Here is yet another list from Forbes Magazine . . . this one, America’s Fittest Cities.  And, of the 50 largest metropolitan areas, Oklahoma City  comes in at #50!

The top 5 include: Washington, DC; Boston, MA; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA; and Portland, OR.
The bottom 5 are: Louisville, KY; Detroit, MI; Memphis, TN; Birmingham, AL; and Oklahoma City, OK.

I’d love to stay and blog some more, but it is time for my daily exercise.

Nonsense!

May 26, 2010

Happy Humpday!  We are half way through the week, and I don’t know about you, but I was in need of some inspiration this morning.  And who better to inspire than Dr. Seuss?!

“I like nonsense; it wakes up the brain cells.  Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.  It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of  a telescope.  Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.”   — Dr. Seuss  (“Your Inspirational Quote” by Audri and Jim Lanford.)

Nonsense: “A good thing because common sense is so limited.”  — George Santayana  (Courtesy of the Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.)

Let’s Ponder the Brain!

May 25, 2010

What kinds of activities can you perform to increase your brain power?  Any at all?  Meditation?  More “play?”  Brain teasers?  How much memory is the human brain capable of?  (A lot, more than you will ever need!)   You can certainly find plenty of articles, studies, reports, etc., on any of these questions, but what is the reality or truth?

Hmm, a lot of questions with very few answers.  To get us started (but by no means are these the only studies available . . . these are just the ones I’ve run across within the last week or so.  I certainly have not done an exhaustive literature review).

The Evolution of Childhood by Melvin Konner posits that “play’s the thing.”

Or the study by Fadel Zeidan claiming that “meditation” is the answer.

Brain games” DON’T appear to help.

Regardless of what does or does not work, the brain continues to be an amazing organ . . . the most complex part of the human body . . . “the seat of intelligence, the interpreter of the senses, the initiator of body movement and controller of behavior” . . .

Let us ponder!

ponder

/pon-der/

–verb (used without object)
1.  to consider something deeply and thoroughly; meditate.
–verb (used with object)
2.  to weigh carefully in the mind; consider thoughtfully.
 

1. reflect, cogitate, deliberate, ruminate.

Or, here’s the definition from my Cynic’s Dictionary . . . “To arrive at a stupid conclusion slowly.”  (Herbert Prochnow)

Return to Your Childhood?

May 24, 2010

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, we (my brothers and I) had a treehouse.  A simple (or dare I say, primitive) two-story structure (only from the standpoint that there was a roof we could stand on) that we would play in for hours.  And, aside from the fact that it was in a tree, I would hardly characterize the structure as a “house.”  After seeing the following examples of modern-day architectural treehouses, let’s just say that my suspicions have been confirmed.

http://realestate.msn.com/slideshow.aspx?cp-documentid=24168780

This makes you want to go out and commission an architect, doesn’t it?

Testing, Testing!

May 23, 2010

Here is the latest cheesecake out of my kitchen . . . strawberry (by special request).  I had not done a purely “strawberry” cheesecake before and as I searched for recipes, I just couldn’t find one I liked.  So I merely adapted one of my existing recipes to create this masterpiece . . . I sure hope it tastes as good as it looks (so far this has never been an issue on any of my previous “first attempts”).  I started with your standard crushed graham cracker crust, added mashed strawberries  to the standard cheesecake filling, created a glaze for the top using strawberry preserves, and garnished with fresh strawberries, whipped cream, and white chocolate shavings! 

Aunt Shirley (lover of all things strawberry), this one’s for you!