Archive for December, 2010

Good End/Good Start!

December 31, 2010

The Michigan State Spartans ended 2010 (and started Big Ten conference play) with a win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers today.  Despite a miserable first half of shooting, the Spartans (currently ranked #19) fought back in the second half to pull away from the #13 Gophers at home.    This was a great start to the Big Ten conference schedule for the Spartans who have struggled in their brutally challenging non-conference schedule (the Spartans suffered losses to four ranked opponents, three of which were on the road).  It is now time to settle in and focus on the Big Ten schedule (which will be no cake walk either) as we continue down the road to the Final Four and March Madness in the Spring.  Go Green!

One Last Gift!

December 31, 2010

On an evening of celebration, as we ring in the new year, if you are planning to go out and consume any alcoholic beverages, please be sensible and give yourself (or your loved ones) a hogmanay of either a designated driver, or a taxi ride home, or an overnight stay in a hotel.


\hog-muh-NEY\, noun;
1.  A gift given on New Year’s Eve.
proper noun;
1.  New Year’s Eve in Scotland.

  Burns’ Original Scots Verse             English Translation

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne* ?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
and surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We twa hae run about the braes,
and pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary fit,
sin auld lang syne.


We twa hae paidl’d i’ the burn,
frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
sin auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
and gie’s a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
for auld lang syne.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.


We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.


We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.


And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.



No Pain, No Gain?

December 30, 2010

I’m sure you’ve all heard this adage about no pain and no gain.  During the course of my running (or other athletic endeavors), I have repeated this adage and have even pushed myself to the point of discomfort (I would not have called it pain — except for those occasional times when I was actually injured from over-training).  Then there’s a phrase I remember from the movie “Roadhouse” (Patrick Swayze), “pain don’t hurt,” that has always intrigued me.  Do some people merely have a higher tolerance for pain?  I’m convinced they do.  Yet another wonderful quotation about pain that I have always liked is “pain is weakness leaving the body” (courtesy of the U.S. Marines). 

Most people consider pain a bad thing and attempt to avoid it at all costs (amen), however, were you aware that there have been studies that show a connection between physical pain and positive emotion?   There are some people (masochistic types perhaps?) who actually enjoy pain (and/or punishment) and the positive effect it has on their emotions.  Is it really the pain that they enjoy?  Or rather, the relief experienced by the removal of intense pain?   An interesting concept indeed.

Facebook vs. Twitter!

December 29, 2010

Have you joined the social media craze yet?  Are you an active Facebook or Twitter user?  Have you seen the latest demographic breakdown of these social media.  If you haven’t, fear not, here’s an infographic that does just that (courtesy of  

Leftover Eggnog?

December 28, 2010

Are you looking for a new holiday dessert?  Are you needing to use up some leftover eggnog? (Leftover?  Eggnog?)  Well, how about an eggnog cake (with bourbon cream frosting)?  I ran across this recipe in the blogosphere (courtesy of Jennifer Sinclair and her “Life in the Garden” blog) and can’t wait to try it out; it sounds absolutely wonderful (a simple recipe for eggnog [a non-alcoholic version] is included).  Of course, you can always use commercial eggnog from the store; but if you’d like to try your hand at concocting your own, here are some other recipes to get you started.

I would have loved to have found this recipe earlier in this holiday season.  I may just have to try this out in the next week or so . . . just because.  Of course, I never seem to have any leftover eggnog.  A cheesecake (I’m thinking a gingersnap crust) would be another alternative for using up the eggnog . . . hmm, the delicious possibilities.

I Hadn’t the Foggiest!

December 27, 2010

Apparently there is more than one kind of fog.   I had no idea.  Fog generally forms when a moist air mass is cooled to its saturation point (dew point). 

There’s radiation fog (the result of radiative processes), advection fog (advection of warm air over cold surfaces), precipitation or frontal fog (the evaporation of precipitation), upslope fog (air being adiabatically cooled while  being forced up a mountain), valley fog (air being radiatively cooled, during the evening, on the slopes of topographical features), sea fog (advection fog over a body of water),  and ice fog (fog that is composed of suspended particles of ice) [to name a few].   Some valley fogs are extremely thick (more that 1500 feet) and can last for days.  But did you know that there was another name for a certain type of  valley/ice fog?   Sure enough . . . beware the pogonip


\POG-uh-nip\, noun;

1.  An ice fog that forms in the mountain valleys of the western U.S.

K is for Kitty!

December 26, 2010

What a wonderful surprise to open a package from my niece and find this beautiful limited edition print.  Then to discover upon closer examination that my niece was the artist . . . wow!  Allow me to offer a huge shoutout to  Elizabeth Rink, thank you!  And, it is just the right size to fit into one of the available blank spaces on my apartment walls (which are very few and far between indeed). 

The artist: Elizabeth Rink; the medium: lino cut print; the edition: #5/11; signed by the artist.

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2010

One of the Christmas cards that I received this year used the following poem.   It is a simple, yet powerful poem; and, in addition to my eyes and my ears, I would hope  to have my heart attuned as well.  Merry Christmas one and all.

The Christmas Star
by Helen Steiner Rice

Give us eyes this Christmas
to see the Christmas star
And give us ears to hear the song
of angels from afar,
And with our eyes and ears attuned
for a message from above,
Let Christmas angels speak to us
of hope and faith and love.

The Christmas Shoes!

December 24, 2010

On this Christmas Eve, I’ve decided to post one of my all-time favorite contemporary Christmas songs . . . it gets me everytime!

It’s NOT a Season?

December 23, 2010

As we get closer and closer to Christmas Day, allow me to share a few quotations that seem to embody the spirit of Christmas.

To the American People: “Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas. If we think on these things, there will be born in us a Savior and over us will shine a star sending its gleam of hope to the world.” (Calvin Coolidge)

“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.” (Edna Ferber)

“Remember, if Christmas isn’t found in your heart, you won’t find it under a tree.” (Charlotte Carpenter)

“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.” (W. T. Ellis)

“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more.” (Dr. Seuss)