Archive for July, 2017

Bonus on the Back!

July 31, 2017

Revers of Tumbling TorrentIt’s not everyday that you run across bonus material on the back of a painting.  Imagine my surprise to discover this hidden extra on the back of one of the paintings that I acquired last spring as part of Charles R. Murphy‘s painting potluck. If you look closely, you can see the title of the painting that is on the reverse of this image (Tumbling Torrent).   It would appear that Charles used this side of the painting to practice his technique for painting trees/woodlands.  Very cool indeed!


July 30, 2017

Micromanagement_largeI don’t know of too many people that enjoy being micromanaged.  But as we prepare to start the new work week, here is a wonderful demotivator (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com) to help put a humorous spin (as well as a bit of perspective) on micromanagement.   Have a great week and I hope you do not find yourself in this situation.

Greatest Films of the 21st Century!

July 29, 2017

As the Traverse City Film Festival prepares to wrap up the 2017 season, here is an infographic that details the greatest films of the 21st Century so far through July 2016 (courtesy of the BBC).  This list is based upon the input of 177 critics from 36 countries and does not necessarily represent “my” list of the greatest, but alas!

top films

Fun Fact Friday, Number Thirty-Four!

July 28, 2017

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about porcupines.  Did you know that . . .

  • all porcupines float in water? (Real Fact #15)
  • porcupines each have 30,000 quills? (Real Fact #220)
  • a group of porcupines is called a prickle? (Real Fact #1000)


Twisted Glass!

July 27, 2017


Earlier this month I availed myself of the opportunity to make the trip to Bentonville, Arkansas, to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art  . . . and their featured exhibit of the art of Dale Chihuly.  Simply marvelous.  There was an inside exhibit (in the Gallery) as well as an outdoor exhibit (in the Forest).  If you are at all interested, there are still a few weeks left to catch the gallery exhibitSteps (it runs through August 14th); the forest exhibit will continue through November 13th.

Due to the numerous pieces that were “orange,” I’m going to claim a “kindred spirit” connection to Mr. Chihuly!  I just loved the quotation on the outdoor staircase leading to the “in the forest” portion of the exhibit: “glass is the most magical of all materials.”  And, after witnessing the creativity and genius of Dale Chihuly and the representation of his art in glass, I couldn’t agree more.


I’ve Changed My Mind!

July 26, 2017

I have never actually encountered this word before and according to the difficulty index, few English speakers likely know this word.  Following weeks of negotiations, imagine our surprise at the abrupt, 11th-hour volte-face.


\ volt-fahs, vohlt-; French vawltuhfas \, noun;

  1.  a turnabout, especially a reversal of opinion or policy.
  2.  a complete change of one’s attitude toward something.

Sources: and The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Traverse City Film Festival 2017!

July 25, 2017

Lucky number thirteen!  That’s the number of years that Traverse City (Michigan) has hosted their film festival and today marks the kickoff of this year’s festival!  I can’t wait to start seeing movies!  This year I had more than twenty movies on my “to see” list over the six day festival;  I only ended up with seventeen (17) tickets.  And, this year, we are actually sponsoring a movie (in memory of Mom) — Cool Hand Luke, which is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year!

The movies that I’m interested in viewing include:


The Very First . . . !

July 24, 2017

Did you know that July 24th represents the month and day of the year with several significant “firsts?”

  • in 1824, the first opinion poll was conducted (the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian asked voters their preference between presidential candidates Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams).
  • in 1860, the first doctoral degree was awarded by an American University (Yale University — the degree was “authorized” in 1860 but not actually awarded until 1861).
  • in 1866, the Union readmitted the first state following the Civil War (Tennessee).
  • in 1934, the first ptarmigan that was hatched and reared in captivity (Ithaca, New York).
  • In 1946, the first atomic bomb underwater explosion (Pacific Ocean, three miles off Bikini).
  • in 1950, the first rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral (U.S. armed forces and General Electric Company, Bumper 2).
  • in 1956, the first adaptable railroad freight car (the Adapto Car; Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company; operating between St. Louis, MO, and Wichita, KS).
  • in 1998, the first Capitol Police Officers killed in the line of duty (Special Agent John Michael Gibson and Police Private First Class Jacob Joseph Chestnut).

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Getting to “Done!”

July 23, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, a colleague (thank you Ruth) shared “The Cult of Done Manifesto” by Bre Pettis and Kio Stark with me.  As I continue to ponder this manifesto, it just makes more and more sense . . .

  1. There are three states of being: not knowing, action, and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft.  It helps to get done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t, and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination.  If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish, but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection.  It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong.  Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do make mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.


July 22, 2017

Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942Happy Birthday Edward Hopper!  (Born 135 years ago in Nyack, New York).  “Nighthawks” (pictured here) is by far my favorite of Edward Hopper’s paintings.

Hopper studied under Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase and has been associated with the New Realism Art Movement (American Realism).  He was influenced by numerous artists: Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Childe Hassam,  as well as the Impressionism Movement; Hopper in turn influenced such notable artists as Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Jim Dine.  My favorite quotation by Hopper:

“If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”