Archive for March, 2012

Art, Art, Everywhere!

March 31, 2012

If you are an art enthusiast (and/or collector) you will have the opportunity to attend several “shows” within the next month.

Finishing today:

Coming up in a couple of weeks:

And coming up in three weeks:

Needless to say, I have my eyes on several pieces.

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A New Word?

March 30, 2012

Happy Friday!  I’m thinking that we should end the week with some humor . . .  I was introduced to a new word the other day; a word that has not been added to Merriam-Webster’s or the Oxford English Dictionary (at least not yet) . . . perhaps it will one of these days, but for now, we are limited to the entries I found in the Online Slang Dictionary and the Urban Dictionary.

ineptocracy

\in-ep-toc-ra-cy\, noun;
1. the belief that rulers should be chosen for their generally incompetent and ineffectual qualities (Online Slang Dictionary)
2. A system of government where the least capable of leading are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers. (Urban Dictionary)

Hmm, this could possibly qualify as a www.despair.com demotivator.

Friend or Enemy?

March 29, 2012
Below is a quotation that really cuts to the heart of the matter.  We all know a lot of different people from a lot of different settings.  The degree of our knowledge and/or interaction will determine the “label” we apply to them.  Whether it is a “colleague” (a co-worker/associate), a “friend” (a person who is on good terms with another), an “acquaintance” (a person you know, but usually not a close friend), a “stranger” (a person you don’t know at all), “family” (a person we are related to), or an “enemy/foe” (a person that is hostile to you), we are continually categorizing our relationships.  Sometimes, we may even change a previous label (or assign more than one).   But one thing is for sure . . .
 
“We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.”  — Roderick Thorp

A Sixteenth Wonder-ful Wednesday!

March 28, 2012

This week’s post highlights yet another body of water . . .  the Bay of Fundy.  Home to the highest tides in the world, the Bay of Fundy is located in Canada between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.  And, due to the shape and depth of the Bay, tidal variations can be as much as 53 feet higher than at low tide at some points along the Bay.  The Bay is also home to the largest whirlpool in the Northern Hemisphere (the “Old Sow“), the “Reversing Falls” (a series of rapids that change direction with the tide), and the “Hopewell Rocks” (rocky islands at high tide, but beaches with explorable caves at low tide).  I may have to add this one to the bucket list to observe this tidal flow in person.  It could be a Fun[dy] experience.

A Poem to Ponder!

March 27, 2012

I’m going to keep today’s post short and sweet: a simple four-line poem from the movie The Grey . . .

Once more into the fray
Into the last good fight I’ll ever know
Live and die on this day
Live and die on this day

Hmm, a lot to ponder.  But if you’d rather not ponder, here is the director/author’s interpretation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4XZxRbFNLI

. . . And Then There Were Four!

March 26, 2012

Many teams have traveled down the road, but only four have arrived.  And a week from tonight, college basketball will crown their National Champion.  There are no real cinderellas this year (all four come from major conferences, and all have won a previous national championship); they are all heavy-weights, and they all want to win.  Congratulations to the Final Four teams . . . good luck next weekend in New Orleans as you chase a championship!

  • Kentucky, SEC (#1 seed)
  • Ohio State, Big Ten (#2 seed)
  • Louisville, Big East (#4 seed)
  • Kansas, Big Twelve (#2 seed)

A Brownie of a Different Variety!

March 25, 2012

If you are a chocolate lover, and if you really like brownies, I came across what sounds like a fabulous recipe that I can’t wait to bake (a weekend project perhaps?  It may have to wait until after March Madness.).  These brownies incorporate a couple of items that I never would have thought to use in brownies, but upon reflection, they really make a lot of sense: bananas and nutella!   Prior to last summer, I had never heard of nutella.  But thanks to my niece and my brother and sister-in-law, I now know about and love this wonderful chocolatey-hazelnut spread.   Check out this brownie recipe!  Depending on where you live (and the time of year), you may be challenged to find fresh hazelnuts (I only seem to be able to find them in our stores during the holidays) — good luck!

http://buttercreamchantilly.wordpress.com/2012/03/10/gooey-banana-nutella-brownies/

And Then There Were Eight!

March 24, 2012

After another exciting day of college basketball, the field has been reduced to the Elite Eight!  And, by the end of the day on Sunday, we will have the Final Four.  Today’s games gave us the first overtime game (North Carolina over Ohio) in this year’s tournament as well as a coule of really close contests (Kansas survived a serious challege against North Carolina State).  The breakdown of the final eight . . . congratulations to them all!

  • Two teams from the Big East (Syracuse and Louisville).
  • Two teams from the SEC (Kentucky and Florida).
  • Two teams from the Big Twelve (Kansas and Baylor)
  • One team from the ACC (North Carolina).
  • One team from the Big Ten (Ohio State).
  • Three #1 seeds remain.
  • Two #2 seeds remain.
  • One #3 seed remains.
  • One #4 seed remains.
  • One #7 seed remains.

Stay tuned as we continue to whittle these down to the Final Four over the next couple of days.  Gosh, I really like this time of year!

Spartans Ousted!

March 23, 2012

Michigan State (#1 seed) failed to advance past the Sweet Sixteen round of the NCAA Tournament.  They were soundly defeated last night by the Louisville Cardinals (#4 seed).  The Spartans were the first #1 seed to fall and so their wonderful season has come to an end.  And considering they were unranked at the beginning of the season, finishing the season as the Big Ten Conference Champs,winning the Big Ten Tournament, gaining a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournment, and making it to the Sweet Sixteen, the Spartans have had a great year!  Let’s reload and get ready for next year.  Go Green!  So, in light of this major disappointment, here is a quotation that sums it up quite nicely.

“If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”   — Thich Nhat Hanh

App-solutely Marvelous!

March 22, 2012

Are you in a quandry over which applications to download to your SmartPhone?  I’ve had an iPhone for a couple of years now and I still am not utilizing the phone to its full potential, but I’m slowly adding more apps as I find ones that interest me.  And, depending on your interests, you can find a SmartPhone application for just about anything these days, and quite a few of them will cost you nothing.   That’s right, they are app-solutely free!  Here are a few web sites that you can visit (geared toward iPhone apps) to help you review/evaluate which apps you’d like to acquire.

Here are some fun apps that I have run across (from a variety of categories) to get you started (A = Android, B = Blackberry, I = iPhone); and, if you have never downloaded an app before, it’s quite easy . . . and of course, don’t forget about your social networking sites (facebook, LinkedIn, WordPress, etc.).

  1. Go to your app store.
  2. Select the app you want.
  3. Click “download.”
  4. Enter your name and/or password (if prompted).

Personal Organization & Finance
1. Evernote: searchable organizer (ABI)
2. Mint.com: personal money manager (AI)

Shopping
3. Red Laser: barcode scanner (AI)
4. Pushpins: grocery coupons, list manager (AI)
5. CNET reviews: tech product reviews (AI)
6. Groupon: daily local discounts (ABI)

Hobbies/Entertainment
7. ESPN ScoreCenter: live sports scores/news (AI)
8. ClearPaintingFree: art tablet (I)
9. RedStamp: paper and e-card stationery (I)
10. Flixster: movie and theater locations (ABI)
11. Spotify: music streaming (ABI)

Dining
12. OpenTable: restaurant reservations (ABI)
13. Foodspotting: restaurant recommendations (ABI)
14. Epicurious: recipes and reviews

Health & Fitness
15. MyFitnessPal: calorie, exercise, weight tracker (ABI)
16. Endomondo Sports Tracker: GPS route tracker (ABI)
17. Instant Heart Rate: heart-rate monitor (AI)
18. WebMD: symptom checker, health info (AI)

Games
19. Words With Friends Free: Scrabble-style crosswords (AI)
20. Magic Piano: instrument game (I)
21. Angry Birds: slingshot game (AI)

Lifelong Learning
22. TED: lectures by the world’s leading thinkers (AI)
23. Fotopedia Heritage: UNESCO World Heritage Sites (I)
24. Kindle: reader for Kindle books (ABI)

Travel
25. Kayak: travel site comparisons (ABI)
26. Yelp: local businesses and reviews (ABI)
27. Google Translate: 60-language voice translator (AI)
28. SitorSquat: public restroom locator (ABI)

Social Networking
29. Skype: videoconferencing (ABI)
30. Bump: phone-to-phone info and app sharing (ABI)
31. HeyTell: walkie-talkie (AI)

Utilities
32. The Weather Channel: forecasts (ABI)
33. BuddyGuard: emergency signaler (ABI)
34. Fast Customer: direct lines to customer service reps (AI)

This is really just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  There are many, many more apps available to you (some are free and some will cost you).  From the iPhone App Store, you have the option to browse the “featured” apps, browse by predefined categories, or browse the “Top 25” apps; and when all else fails, you can “search.”

What are some of your favorite apps?