Archive for May, 2012

Happiness, Joy, and Passion!

May 31, 2012

I’m going to have to link back to the blog of a friend of mine (Keith Fallis, Tour In A Radio Car) who had a couple of great posts last week (on the 20th and 21st) about “what makes you happy?”  These posts really got me thinking and the more I reflected, the more I could relate to what he was saying.  These posts also brought to mind a couple of other quotations that tie right in with Keith’s thoughts . . .

“Having more joy does not necessarily require a life overhaul — you may just need to create more space in your life for moments of joy.”  — Debrena Jackson Gandy

“When the deepest part of you becomes engaged in what you are doing… you are doing what you were meant to be doing.”  — Gary Zukav

So, thanks Keith.  As I continue to travel down the path toward happiness, I’ll make more space for joy while I work on seeking to engage my passion(s) in life.  And when all else fails, I won’t worry, I’ll be happy!  I’ll keep the positive energy flowing.

Wonder-ful Wednesday Number Twenty-Five!

May 30, 2012

This week we travel to the African continent, to Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania).  The highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro rises 19,341 feet above sea level.  This dormant volcano is comprised of three distinct cones (Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira) and while there has not been an eruption in over 360,000 years, there are some fumaroles on the Kibo cone that are emitting gases, and, molten magma has been determined to be as close as 1,310 feet below the summit crater. 

Some other fun facts include:

  • The fourth highest of the seven summits (the highest peaks on each of the seven continents). 
  • The tallest freestanding mountain in the world.
  • 2.2 square kilometers of glacial ice (decreasing rapidly). The ice has shrunk more than 33% since 1989 (over 82% since 1912) and the top may be “ice-free” in as little as 20 years.
  • First climbed on October 5, 1889, by German geologist Hans Meyer, Marangu scout Yoanas Kinyala Lauwo, and Austrian Ludwig Purtscheller.
  • There are five common routes to the highest summit (Marangu Route; Machame Route; Rongai Route; Lemosho Route; and Mweka Route).
  • Climbing Kilimanjaro is easy, no mountaneering experience is required (but a guide is required).
  • The fastest ascent: Italian Bruno Brunod in 2001 (he climbed Uhuru Peak from Marangu Gate in 5 hours, 38 minutes, and 40 seconds).
  • The fastest round-trip time was by local guide Simon Mtuy who ran up and down on December 26, 2004 (8 hours and 27 minutes).
  • A UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • One of the few places on earth that encompasses every ecological life zone including tropical jungle, savannah, and desert to montane forests, subalpine plants, and the alpine zone above timberline.

MacGyver-esque!

May 29, 2012

I’ve never considered myself much of a “handyman.”  And, I’m not overly mechanically oriented, but I certainly have developed an appreciation for those who are gifted in this regard.  I marvel at the people who can come up with a creative idea or solution to a problem using whatever materials are on hand or available.  The TV show MacGyver immediately comes to mind.  Bricolage of this nature abounds in Hollywood and telelvision — everyone (all of the hero-types) seems to be able to do it.  There is even a reality show on TV (Chopped) where professional chefs are tasked with creating succulent dishes utilizing  specified ingredients (hmm, something my Mom used to do everyday with leftovers from the refrigerator).  At least now I know that there is a word for this.

bricolage

\bree-kuhlahzh\, noun;

1.  a construction made of whatever materials are at hand; something created from a variety of available things.
2.  (in literature) a piece created from diverse resources.
3.  (in art) a piece of makeshift handiwork.
4.  the use of multiple, diverse research methods.

Happy Memorial Day, 2012!

May 28, 2012

Originally called Decoration Day, today is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.  This observance originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers.   The practice has been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars.  Flags are traditionally flown at half-staff from dawn until noon, and then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.  According to wikipedia, “the half-staff position remembers the more than one million men and women who gave their lives in service of their country. At noon their memory is raised by the living, who resolve not to let their sacrifice be in vain, but to rise up in their stead and continue the fight for liberty and justice for all.”  Another annual tradition is the national moment of remembrance which takes place at 3:00 PM (local time) each year.   I can think of no finer tribute to the men and women who have made this sacrifice than the poem Decoration Day by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Decoration Day

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Just a Short Drive Away!

May 27, 2012

There is a new museum in the area that has been open for a little over six months already . . . the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art . . . and I have not yet been by for a visit.  Hmm, with the long holiday weekend, I just may have to take the short road trip tomorrow!  Located in Bentonville, Arkansas (a mere 125 miles away from Tulsa), this museum is the brainchild of Alice Walton (daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton) and was designed by Moshe Safdie.

Some of the quick facts:

  • 217,000 square feet of galleries.
  • Meeting rooms and classroom space.
  • A library.
  • A sculpture garden.
  • A gift shop.
  • A full-service restaurant and coffee bar.
  • A gathering space that will accomodate up to 300 people.
  • Outdoor areas (for concerts and other events).
  • Extensive nature trails.
  • Employs more than 160 individuals.
  • Around $488 million in assets (in August of 2008).
  • Free admission (thanks to Wal-Mart sponsorship).

When You Wish Upon a Star . . . !

May 26, 2012

This is the song that you think of when you think of Walt Disney.  Originally written for the 1940 adaptation of Pinocchio (by  Leigh Harline and Ned Washington), this song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1940.   Well, here is a demotivator (courtesy of www.despair.com) that certainly puts this phrase into a whole new perspective.  Have a great Memorial Day weekend!When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Fate is kind
She brings to those who love
The sweet fulfillment of
Their secret longing

Like a bolt out of the blue
Fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

Leadership!

May 25, 2012

Here is a great quotation on leadership . . . and I’m just going to leave it at that today.  Happy Friday!

“Leadership is solving problems.  The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.  They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded that you do not care.  Either case is a failure of leadership.   — Colin Powell

Note: I was privileged to have had the opportunity to hear Colin Powell speak at a conference a couple of years ago.  If you get the chance, he’s one speaker you will not want to miss.  He was very good.

The Weight is Really Over!

May 24, 2012

I continually count my blessings that I do not have, nor have I ever had, a weight problem (okay, perhaps I may have been underweight at some point [when I was running everyday and training for my first marathon], but never overweight).   But after seeing this inforgraphic, America better wake up and smell the roses . . . or better yet, wake up and get off the sofa!  Let’s get moving!  Let’s start eating better!   My retirement plans certainly don’t include regular visits to the doctor’s office to address all of these related illnesses/diseases that are linked to obesity.  Oklahoma “weighs in” at number 6 on the list of the most “obese” and “overweight” states.  How does your state fare?  (You may have to click on the graphic to get a more “readable” version, sorry.)Obesity in America Infographic
Infographic Via: Golden Rule Insurance Company

Twenty-Fourth Wonder-ful Wednesday!

May 23, 2012

This week we travel to Australia, home of the Great Barrier Reef (the world’s largest coral reef system), a wonder that I’ve actually visited.  ‘Tis a wonder indeed!   And, now for some fun statistics (the biodiversity is amazing):

  • More than 2,900 individual reefs.
  • More than 900 islands.
  • Stretching more than 1,600 miles.
  • Covering an area of over 344,000 square miles.
  • Located in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland (NE Australia).
  • Visible from outer space.
  • The largest single structure made by living organisms.
  • Thirty (30) species of whales, dolphins, and porpoises have been recorded.
  • More than 1,500 fish species live on the reef.
  • Seventeen (17) species of sea snakes live on the reef.
  • Six (6) species of sea turtle come to the reef to breed.
  • Fifteen (15) species of sea grass grow in and around the reefs.
  • Saltwater crocodiles inhabit the shorelines sections.
  • 125 species of shark, stingray, skates, and chimaera live on the reef.
  • 5,000 species of mollusk have been recorded (including the giant clam).
  • 49 species of pipefish and 9 species of seahorsehave been identified.
  • At  least 7 species of frog inhabit the islands.
  • 215 species of bird visit the reef or nest/roost on the islands. (More than 1.7 million birds use these islands as their breeding grounds.)
  • The islands of the reef also support 2,195 different plant species.
  • There are at least 330 species of ascidians on the reefs as well as 300-500 bryozoans.
  • There are 400 coral species as well as 500 species of marine algae or seaweed.

You Don’t Say!

May 22, 2012

How often do you encounter a wrong or improper use of a word by someone?  Do you correct the person?  How often does  your correction result in an argument of sorts over the usage?   Are you a logomachist at heart?

logomachy

\loh-gomuh-kee\, noun;

1.  a dispute about or concerning words.
2.  an argument or debate marked by the reckless or incorrect use of words; meaningless battle of words.
3.  a game played with cards, each bearing one letter, with which words are formed.

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