Archive for April, 2012

No Brush Required!

April 30, 2012

I have been collecting art since the early 1980s.  And while I can appreciate a variety of styles, techniques, and mediums, I would have to say that some of my favorites have been created with a palette knife instead of a brush.  Not being a painter myself, I’m not that well versed in the technique, but here is a link that explains this style of painting (for beginners — I may have to give it a try one of these days).  One of my favorite local artists (Joanna Duck) used a palette knife and I managed to collect several of her pieces.   Here are a couple of my favorites: “Night Harbor” by Duaiv, and “Crow Creek Reflection” by Joanna Duck.   If you wish to revisit some of the other works that I’ve collected, search this site for “palette knife,” or “Joanna Duck.”  Or if you’d rather just browse through my entire collection, feel free to check out the link to the archive of my “Art Collection” under “Categories.”

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Kindness!

April 29, 2012

Regardless of label (kindness [random act of], goodwill, benevolence, compassion, humanity, courtesy), anytime you act, or “pay it forward,” with no expectation of praise or thanks,  you have done a great thing.  You have unselfishly put another before yourself.  It does not have to be a grand gesture, nor does it have to take very long to accomplish; it could be as simple as a smile or a kind word.  But you’ve got to do it.  I  would hazard to guess that we all have several opportunities each and every day to improve the experience of another.  How often do you find yourself acting out of kindness?  Speaking for myself, probably not nearly often enough, but I can certainly strive to improve.

“Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness. Know how to give without hesitation, how to lose without regret, how to acquire without meanness.”   — George Sand

Finding Inspiration!

April 28, 2012

As a blogger, one of the largest challenges facing me each day is coming up with content.  But not just any content will do.  Ideally, I strive for content that is interesting and/or informative.  Some days this is easier said than done.  Luckily for me, the times that I find myself lacking afflatus (divine or otherwise) are fairly rare.   Happy Saturday!

afflatus

\uhfley-tuhs\, noun;

1.  inspiration; an impelling mental force acting from within.
2.  divine communication of knowledge.

Sources: www.dictionary.com and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate, by Eugene Ehrlich.

Human Virtue!

April 27, 2012

I’m re-posting this wonderful graphic from one of my friend’s blogs (thank you Keith).

Dangers indeed, but excellent concepts upon which to ponder.

Mahatma Gandhi (Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) . . . a great man and a great leader.  Gandhi, the epitome of non-violent activism, ironically met with a very violent death (he was assassinated [shot] on January 30, 1948). 

Gandhi is considered the Father of the Nation (India), “an honorific title given to a man considered the driving force behind the establishment of their country, state or nation” (Wikipedia).

His Way!

April 26, 2012

Whether you are a Frank Sinatra fan or not, here is a wonderfully stunning tribute by Andre Rieu performing My Way at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City.  Andre can sure make his Stradivarius sing . . . ‘Ol Blue Eyes would have approved (I’m sure).  Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/embed/e-y581HdWfY?rel=0

Twentieth Wonder-ful Wednesday!

April 25, 2012

This week I’ll be highlighting another mountain, the Yushan (Jade) Mountain, in Taiwan.  Yushan is the highest mountain in East Asia (and the fourth highest mountain on an island) and rises 3,952 meters (12,966 feet) above sea level.   And for you adventure-lovers, if you have a hankering to climb this peak (it is reportedly a fairly easy climb), the best months to go are May, June, October, and November.  According to Stuart Dawson, “it is a beast of a mountain and from a distance, looks near impossible to climb but in reality, apart from the last 400m, it’s not too bad, providing you’re in shape and the weather is kind to you! . . . By far the hardest part of climbing Yushan has to be getting the permit in the first place!”  Here’s a wonderful seven-minute video of Yushan.

Library of Congress!

April 24, 2012

Did you know that today marks the birthday of the Library of Congress?  Back in 1800, President John Adams approved the appropriation of $5,000 for the purchase of “such books as may be necessary for the use of congress.” 

“The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. The Library’s mission is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people, and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.  As of 2008, the vast holdings of the Library number well over 135 million items.”  (From the Library of Congress, American Memory.)  Well, I would say that “you’ve come a long way baby” from your humble beginnings in 1800.

Adventure!

April 23, 2012

Happy Monday!  As we begin a new week, here is the latest demotivator (courtesy of www.despair.com) — a humorous look at “adventure.”  Most of my adventures have not nearly as “daring” as this depiction, but an adventure can be defined many ways and it can be as individual as the person experiencing it.  It can be work, it can be recreation, it can be a hobby, it can be travel, it can be a learning experience . . . the next one could be right around the corner.  What was your last adventure?  When?  Where?  What will be your next?  When?  Where?  Why not today?

Living Versus Working!

April 22, 2012

Here’s a brilliant quotation on “life” and “work.”

“Don’t ever confuse the two, your life and your work. That’s what I have to say. The second is only part of the first.” — Anna Quindlen

Since I exhibit workaholic tendencies (from time to time), I must constantly remind myself of this and learn to just enjoy life every now and then.  Well, yesterday I did!  I spent the entire day sharing time, conversation, and memories with some friends from out of town.  We shared meals; we went for a walk; we ran errands; we experienced culture by touring studios and talking with artists about their work, talents, and passions; we even caught a movie before our day was through.  All in all, a most enjoyable day; a day full of life!  Here are some more interesting definitions/quotations on life and work from my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary (by Aubrey Dillon Malone).  Enjoy!

Life
“Something you do when you can’t get to sleep.”  — Fran Lebowitz
“A bad dream between two awakenings.”  — Eugene O’Neill
“A game at which everybody loses.”  — Leo Sarkadi-Schuller
“The art of drawing sufficient conclusions fron insufficient premises.” — Samuel Butler
“For most men, a search for the proper manilla envelope in which to get themselves filed.”  — Clifton Fadiman
“Not having been told that the man has just waxed the floor.  — Ogden Nash
“A steady walk with a hidden precipice at the end.  — Lambert Jeffries
“Post-natal depression.”  — Nigel Rees
“A funny thing that occurs on the way to the grave.”  — Quentin Crisp
“Sobs, sniffles, and smiles — with sniffles predominating.”  — O. Henry
“A cheap table d’ hote in a rather dirty restaurant, with time changing the plates before you’ve had enough of anything.” — Thomas Kettle
“A tragedy when seen up close, but a comedy in long shot.”  — Charlie Chaplin
“A sexually transmitted disease — and the mortality rate is 100 percent.” — R.D. Laing
“A tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”  — William Shakespeare
“Much too important a thing to ever talk seriously about it.”  Oscar Wilde
“A maze in which we take the wrong turning before we have learned to walk.”  — Cyril Connolly
“A long rehearsal for a play that’s never produced.”  — Micheal Mac Liammoir

Living
“A very time-consuming activity.”  — Irene Peter

Work
“The refuge of those who have nothing better to do.”  — Oscar Wilde
“The province of cattle.”  — Dorothy Parker
“What expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.”  — C. Northcote Parkinson
“The only really dirty four-lettered word in the language.”  — Abbie Hoffman
“The curse of the drinking classes.”  — Oscar Wilde

Invalid or Invalid?

April 21, 2012

So, you may be wondering which form of this word I’m intending.  Invalid as in “infirm or sickly?”  Or invalid as in “not valid?”    Let’s go with the “not valid” version.  Or, to say it another way where there would be no confusion whatsoever (unless of course you’ve never heard of this word before — as was the case with me until yesterday), how about “nugatory?”  I now know what this word means (as do all of my faithful readers).  Have a great non-nugatory weekend, full of value!

nugatory

\noo-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, nyoo-\, adjective;

1.  of no real value; trifling; worthless.
2.  of no force or effect; ineffective; futile; vain.
3.  not valid.