Wednesday, 28 December 2011

ARTICLE - Andy Rooney on Women Over Forty

Andy Rooney on Women Over Forty


Andy Rooney says:

As I grow in age, I value women who are over forty most of all. Here are just a few reasons why:

A woman over forty will never wake you in the middle of the night to ask, “What are you thinking?” She doesn’t care what you think.

If a woman over forty doesn’t want to watch the game, she doesn’t sit around whining about it. She does something she wants to do. And, it’s usually something more interesting.

A woman over forty knows herself well enough to be assured in who she is, what she is, what she wants and from whom. Few women past the age of forty give a hoot what you might think about her or what she’s doing.

Women over forty are dignified. They seldom have a screaming match with you at the opera or in the middle of an expensive restaurant. Of course, if you deserve it, they won’t hesitate to shoot you, if they think they can get away with it.

Older women are generous with praise, often undeserved. They know what it’s like to be unappreciated.

A woman over forty has the self-assurance to introduce you to her women friends. A younger woman with a man will often ignore even her best friend because she doesn’t trust the guy with other women. Women over forty couldn’t care less if you’re attracted to her friends because she knows her friends won’t betray her.

Women get psychic as they age. You never have to confess your sins to a woman over forty. They always know.

A woman over forty looks good wearing bright red lipstick. This is not true of younger women. Once you get past a wrinkle or two, a woman over forty is far sexier than her younger counterpart.

Older women are forthright and honest. They’ll tell you right off if you are a jerk, if you are acting like one! 
You don’t ever have to wonder where you stand with her.

Yes, we praise women over forty for a multitude of reasons. Unfortunately, it’s not reciprocal. For every stunning, smart, well-coiffed hot woman of forty-plus, there is a bald, paunchy relic in yellow pants making a fool of himself with some twenty-two-year-old waitress.

Ladies, I apologize.

For all those men who say, “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,” here’s an update for you. Now 80 percent of women are against marriage, why? Because women realize it’s not worth buying an entire pig, just to get a little sausage.

ARTICLE - Pubic Hair: 2012's Hottest Accessory?

In the 1970s, bigger was better. In the ’80s and ’90s, its popularity waxed and waned. But in the ’00s, that once-revered patch of lovely lady locks performed a vanishing act. We’re talking about pubic hair, folks, and the fact that once upon a time, people embraced the bush, but over the last decade, it has fallen out of favor as more and more women opt for bald vajayjays.

Some people blame porn and a youth-obsessed culture that infantilizes women for the vilification of pubic hair, while others trace its demise to Sex and the City and Carrie Bradshaw’s introduction of the Brazilian wax to the mainstream. Whatever the case, the trend has caught on enough for a college-age man in Minnesota to say that he’d never hook up with a girl with pubic hair and that he’d be disgusted to undress a woman and discover a, as the Atlantic put it, “veil of genital fur.” But the tide may be changing on this “bare is better” mentality, or at least that’s what our friends at Jezebel suggest. The fact that waxed vulvas are officially mainstream, or mainstream enough to be the expressed preference in a Minnesota college classroom, might mean that it’s lost its appeal for elite tastemakers, who must now reach for something taboo to shock the masses, something unexpected, something—gasp!—au natural.

The basis for this hypothesis? The latest issue of the decidedly cool and edgy fashion magazine Industrie, which features model Saskia de Brauw in the nude with her bush blazing. And in the last year, mossy cottages have graced the pages of LOVE magazine, Vogue Paris, and Arena Homme Plus. Maybe this is the beginning of the end for the bald lady flower after all. What do you think? Are you happy to see nature’s tufted treasure make a comeback?

(Fun vagina euphemisms courtesy of TheFrisky.)

And my thoughts?
 
I've tried shaving it all off more than once. When a cure for the severe itching that occurs when growing back the patch is found, I may try it again. Until then, no thank you. And I find I look strange without something there - as though the clock went back but only partially. It is an odd look to have full breasts, hips and waist but a little girl's pubic area - as if something isn't quite right.
 
Never once have I gone for or even considered going for a Brazilian wax. Yikes. Beauty is nice, but at what price? Especially for an area seen by two men: Luis and my OB/GYN. ANd my OB/GYN, Dr. Bissinger, is hardly going to comment on my choice of housekeeping where my vagina is concerned - other than to voice a concern over possible damage. And waxing the inside or almost-inside areas of my vagina is not going to feel good under any circumstances. So it is not worth thinking about.
Not to me, anyway.
 
I wouldn't let it grow unfettered, either. Maybe that sounds funny coming from someone who doesn't bother shaving or waxing her legs in the winter (with the secure knowledge that no one will see my legs in winter), but I don't want a ton of hair cascading down my legs from my private parts. The leg hair is nonexistent on my upper legs and light on my lower but pubic hair is thick, black and not meant to be hanging all over. (OK, it is meant to do that, but it is unattractive to let it do that.) So a certain amount of trimming is to be expected.

And that is all that is to be expected.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Sunday Seven - Episode #320

There’s a lot of advice about how to blog out there. Much like parenting, there are a lot of “experts” out there, whether they’re actually experts or just amateurs who can put on a convincing show.

I found a list of the Top 100 Blog Tips of All Time. I’m sure there are a lot more than 100 tips out there, but it doesn’t surprise me that someone was able to compile that many.

Some of them are common sense. A few stand out as pretty good ideas. Others are the kind that you read and you just want to smack whoever wrote those particular tips. This latter variety is the kind we’re focusing on.
When you have 100 options, finding seven that you think are the most annoying shouldn’t be too difficult. That’s your challenge for this week.
  • Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and to keep the conversation going!
Here is this week’s “Sunday Seven” question. Either answer in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog (with a link here), and then comment here with a link back to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:
Name seven of the Top 100 Blogging Tips of All Time that you find most annoying.

1. Blogs should be about one topic. I didn't look at the list yet, I recall that from one of your posts. How annoying is that?! Why should I be so limited as that? I'm not selling something, I'm not on a tear about one thing and I'm not a politician. So why should I just write about one thing?

2. Don't blog with the only aim of making money... and yet, the list appears to be geared toward ONLY making money, whereas I have no interest in pimping myself or my thoughts out to do so.
3. Whoever wrote this did not spell check or reread it to correct the myriad mistakes made. Yikes...!

4. Why do I need to read e-books when I can read the real thing? Give me pages and books anytime!
5. I must advertise? Why? Who are you to tell I must do anything? (I hate that. It's my blog, not yours to make rules.)

6. I am appalled - ask for donations?! What the hell for? Doesn't anyone do anything for fun any more?
7. The more I read this, the more ticked off I became. For someone who put in points like not making this all about making money and correcting mistakes, it seems that making them and money was ALL it was about. Humph. Bad advice galore.

Either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment.

Have an idea for a future question? Click “Contact” in the top nav-bar and email it to me!

Saturday Six - Episode #401

Here are a few more follow-up questions to previous questions I’ve asked in some of the earliest editions of the Saturday Six.

I hope you enjoy these, and I invite you to take go back and play any old set you haven’t already played: it’s never too late to play!

Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and keep the conversation going!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. Follow-up to a question from Episode 37: What is your least favorite Christmas dessert? Um... I don't know... I don't usually eat dessert. I'm not into pie, vanilla ice cream, most sweets. If it was pistachio, that would be one thing.

2. Follow-up to a question from Episode 39: Which cartoon that was popular when you were a child could you just not get into? Practically all of them. I loved Warner Brothers, but stayed away from just about everything else. The funny papers were different. I was always a Peanuts fan, and read most of the other funnies.

3. Follow-up to a question from Episode 40: What’s the most embarrassing cell phone ringtone that you’ve heard someone else’s phone play? Someone I ride with had something about being fat, stupid and drunk. I'd never have that. In fact, my cell sounds like a phone. Then again, I've got a stupid phone.

4. Follow-up to a question from Episode 44: When you’re having a bad day or you’re in a bad mood, which song best keeps you in that bad mood or makes it that much worse? Almost any sad song will do it. That says a lot, but I'm strongly affected by music!

5. Follow-up to a question from Episode 48: What was the first time that you remember truly feeling like an adult? Well, this will sound kind of stupid, but the first time I realised I could think stuff instead of saying everything. Kids do that - they just say anything that pops into their heads. The difference between adults and kids are that we can just think about things instead of saying them (well, some of us... I still have to actually monitor what I'm going to say or out it comes!).

6. Follow-up to a question from Episode 52: When someone first walks into a room, what is the first thing you tend to notice about that person? The person's facial expression and (if it is noticeable) his or her body language. Is this person happy to be there or uncomfortable, or whatever. There is a lot to tell about someone right there. After that, I look at the person's eyes, as that really says a lot.

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Today's Ember Prediction - February 2012

On 14 December I posted the Old Farmer's Almanac information and other fun tidbits for this month. If you read it, you may recall that I described the Ember Days that come up four times a year, predicated on specific Roman Catholic holy days. Today is the second Ember Day in December, and by folklore, determines the overall weather in February.

Here is a reminder of the Ember Days and how they work:

Ember Days: The four periods formerly observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for prayer, fasting, and the ordination of clergy are called Ember Days. Specifically, these are the Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays the follow in succession following (1) the First Sunday in Lent; (2) Whitsunday - Pentecost; (3) the Feast of the Holy Cross, September 14; and (4) the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13. The word ember is perhaps a corruption of the Latin quatuor tempora, "four times."

Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for the nest three months; that is, September's Ember Days, Wednesday forecast is for October, Friday for November, and Saturday for December.
So, for February 2012, here is the weather we had on Friday:

It dawned sunny and was unusually warm - around 64°F - and around early afternoon it got cloudy. So maybe February will not be too bad (fat chance, but who knows...).

The next Ember Day is tomorrow, Saturday, 17 December, the final Ember Day for 2011 until March, when that set will determine April, May and June.

Weather is fun!

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Today's Ember Day Prediction - January 2012

On 1 December I posted the Old Farmer's Almanac information and other fun tidbits for this month. If you read it, you may recall that I described the Ember Days that come up four times a year, predicated on specific Roman Catholic holy days. Today is the first Ember Day in December, and by folklore, determines the overall weather in January.

Here is a reminder of the Ember Days and how they work:

Ember Days: The four periods formerly observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for prayer, fasting, and the ordination of clergy are called Ember Days. Specifically, these are the Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays the follow in succession following (1) the First Sunday in Lent; (2) Whitsunday - Pentecost; (3) the Feast of the Holy Cross, September 14; and (4) the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13. The word ember is perhaps a corruption of the Latin quatuor tempora, "four times."
Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for the nest three months; that is, September's Ember Days, Wednesday forecast is for October, Friday for November, and Saturday for December.
So, for January 2012, here is the weather we had today:

It was warmer in the morning and clear to the east and slightly cloudy to the west at dawn. The mean temperature was 38°F/3.33°C (or 276.33°K if you really want to get technical; but Kelvin is best for astronomy as it is the only system of temperature to reach high enough to give stars a temperature) in the morning, then leveled off at 62°F/16.66°C (in Kelvin this would be 289.66). The day was mostly sunny, then a little more overcast toward the sunset (maybe 30% cloud cover). So January is looking rather good. Take heed, all you crazy golfers! This is not bad golfing weather for the first month of the new year and what is usually one of the colder winter months!

The next Ember Day is Friday, 16 December and then the final one is Saturday, 17 December. Friday's weather determines what we will experience in February and Saturday determines the general weather in March. After we cycle through this month's Ember Days, we will then look at January's weather to see how close today's Ember Day was to truth. I love doing things like this.

Weather is fun!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sunday Stealing - The Blue Memory Meme Part II

The Blue Memory Meme, Part Two

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!!!

Today we ripped off a blogger and blog called BlueLifeMemories. It's long so we will do it in two parts. She states she stole it from a friend, but did not say which friend. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Sunday Stealing: The Blue Memory Meme, Part Two

Cheers to all of us thieves!

26) Are you happy with the person you've become? For the most part, I am happy with the person I've become. It has taken me a long time to get to this point and of course, there is always room for growth and learning and improvement. But that is the beauty of living.

27) What's a sound you hate; sound you love? I really, really hated those weird instruments played during the 2010 World Cup. It's up there with babies crying - just like nails on a chalkboard. It was awful. Every time I walked through the break room, I could hear this horrible undercurrent noise and couldn't identify it. Someone told me what it was after the damn sporting event was over.

A sound I love... the cat purring. That is the happiest sound alive.

28) What's your biggest "what if"? My biggest "what if" is what if I end up being unable to walk. I hate thinking about it, but there it is.

29) Do you believe in ghosts? Absolutely.

30) How about aliens? Absolutely. They are just avoiding us because we are totally uncivilised and warlike.

31) What is the single best decision you have made in your life so far? Moving in with Luis.

32) What's the worst place you have ever been to? Hmmm. Newark? I don't know. Every place has its ups and downs. I love most of the places I've been to. Oh, and I like Newark, too. Irvington, now that place is seriously fu-- screwed up.

33) Can insanity bring on more creativity? Sure. Look at Vincent van Gogh. Poor guy went nuts and produced 400 last works in the two months before he took his life!

34) Most attractive actor of your opposite gender? My opposite gender? Is there one specific to me...? OK. Did I get asked this several times already? It sounds quite familiar. Let's see... Um... (I need to think of a new one...) the guy who is in those viral Old Spice video ads. What's his name? Isaiah Mustafa. Yum!

35) To you, what is the meaning of life? Right. Like I have that kind of insight!

36) Define “Art”. It is in the eye of the beholder.

37) Do you believe in luck? Yes, I do.

38) In your opinion, what makes a great relationship? That is specific to every couple. In our relationship, keeping our money separate is the key!

39) What's a song that always makes you happy when you hear it? Goodness, like there is one? Off the top, I would say Every Little Thing She Does is Magic by Sting.

40) Where were you yesterday? I was at the Parsippany Reservoir with Parsippany's Heavy Rescue dive team (freezing my ass off, I might add) checking vitals before and after the divers went in the water, then I came home and went right over to Tom and Alayna's, then we all went out to get our Christmas trees and then we went back to Tom and Alayna's house, set up their tree, went to our house, set up our tree, then picked up pizza in Booton and ate at Tom's and then hung out in front of their fireplace and finally came home around 21:40. At 22:00 I began stringing lights on the massive tree we got and I'll do more tonight. It was a lovely day, really.

41) What's the worst injury you've ever had? I was thrown about twelve feet and hurt my C5 disc, which created a lot of pain. After three years of intense chiropractic work, it was fine, but the first year and a half was HARD.

42) Do you have any obsessions right now? Yes, we are buying a new ambulance and I am spear-heading this massive effort. It's my baby.

43) What's up? Mmmm, the Moon? Should be rising right about now...

44) Ever had a rumor spread about you? Seriously? Have you thought I'd made it to age 43 without SOMEone saying something about me? Anything? It happens all the time! It STILL happens on the squad house. It's really stupid and crazy but I laugh at it now. I'm so far beyond that.

45) Do you believe in real magic? Yes, I do. I look up at the night sky, the trees, the Sun, the Moon, the weather, Montana, California, Vermont, Ireland, Scotland, everywhere I have been and see the magic there all the time. I see it in every sunrise and sunset.

46) Do you ever hold grudges against people who have done you wrong? It's rare but it happens. Once in a very blue Moon. And the last blue Moon was three years ago.

47) What's your favorite (non-pet) animal? Oh, that is a tough one. So many cool animals out there. I really like the platypus, although the males have terribly strong poison in their hind legs. Yup. Things I know that qualify as useless knowledge.

48) What is your secret weapon to get people to like you? Well, I don't know if it is a secret. And I can't say it is any one things. Some people like my dry sense of humour, some my honesty, some my smile (the gods only know why...), or something else. And some can't stand me at all. Who knows?

49) Where is your best friend? Right now I am sure he is at Essex Fells Country Club.

50) What do you think is Satan's last name? Smythe. Definitely. That's how he just fits in and lives on High Street in London. Flat A-10 - S. Smythe. But it is pronounced Janovski... (old George Carlin joke...).

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Stop back and visit other player’s posts. That is really what this is all about, making new friends! Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

Sunday Stealing - The Blue Memory Meme Part 1 (4 December)

The Blue Memory Meme, Part One

Welcome back to Sunday Stealing which originated on WTIT: The Blog authored by Bud Weiser. Here we will steal all types of memes from every corner of the blogosphere. Our promise to you is that we will work hard to find the most interesting and intelligent memes. You may have heard of the expression, “honor amongst thieves”. In that age-old tradition, we also have our rules. First, we always credit the blog that we stole it from and we will “fess up” to the blog owner where we stole the meme. We also provide a link to the victim's post. (It's our way of saying "Thanks!") We do sometimes edit the original meme, usually to make it more relevant to our global players, to challenge our players, sometimes to select that meme's best questions, or simply to make it less repetitive from either this new meme or recently asked questions from a prior featured meme. Let's go!!!

Today we ripped off a blogger and blog called BlueLifeMemories. It's long so we will do it in two parts. She states she stole it from a friend, but did not say which friend. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

Sunday Stealing: The Blue Memory Meme, Part One

Cheers to all of us thieves!

1) If the whole world were listening to you right now, what would you say? Go find someone more interesting to listen to; I'm tired and a little crabby! Sheesh... (If you ask again tomorrow, who knows what answer you will get, eh?

2) If you could meet anyone on this earth, who would it be? The big qualifier is living or dead, really. But since it is ON this earth, we will stick to the living. I vacillate between Colin Firth, who is such a joy on the silver screen and seems to down-to-earth in interviews; um, well, I can't meet Andy Rooney or Harry Morgan or Steve Jobs, any longer... oh, but I could meet John DeLancie (played Q) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock), Tom Hanks, hmmm. If we were able to include the deceased, the historical and political movers and shakers would be there, scientists, heretics, etc. Alas, who would I meet now? Surely NOT Sarah Palin who came away from a politically paid trip for her AND her family to Boston with 'Of Paul Revere, Palin said, “He who warned the British that they weren’t going to be taking away our arms by ringing those bells and making sure as he’s riding his horse through town to send those warning shots and bells that we were going to be secure and we were going to be free.“ Revere, of course, warned the colonists of Charlestown that the Hessians were approaching on the night of April 18, 1775 using lanterns (“one if by land, two if by sea”) – not bells. And Paul would've sounded like an idiot saying, "The British are coming," as back in 1775, we all still considered ourselves British. Hence the Hessians were coming. 
This is my laptop desktop image. Ques. #13

3) You just got a free plane ticket to anywhere. You have to depart right now. Where are you gonna go? Well, the Moon, but no one is going there any longer. Wow. So many choices. I'm going to Hawaii! I have always wanted to see the volcanoes and this is it - my perfect chance! If it were early August, I would go to Iceland to see their volcanoes! The other place to drop everything and go to is South Africa, where I have so many friends to see!

4) What do you think about most? Being healthy, normal, wishing I could work, run, do all the things I used to do. Not terribly exciting, I suppose.

5) You have the opportunity to spend a romantic night with the music celebrity of your choice. Who would it be? Oh, ohhh, my... how romantic? Just candlelit dinner and a serenade or the Full Monty, baby? I'd have to say Adam Ant - delicious!

6) You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be? No, I can't do that. I need all of my experiences, good, bad, indifferent - those are what make me, ME. Complete, whole, me. I need them, as much as I might wish I hadn't.

7) What's your strangest talent? I guess on a creative level, drawing. On a not-thinking-about-it level, being empathic to others.

8) What would be a question you'd be afraid to tell the truth on? Oh, soooooo many options...

9) Ever had a poem or song written about you? Yes, but it was MANY years ago and long since forgotten. Not anything famous, mind you!

10) When is the last time you played the air guitar? I guess when I was 16? If ever?

11) Do you have any strange phobias? Do I have any strange phobias. I don't have too many phobias... just one... and it is common as dirt. I'm arachnophobic. Very, very arachnophobic... Horrifyingly so. But that isn't strange.

12) What's your religion? I'm not religious, I'm spiritual, if that makes sense. I like to take bits and pieces from different religions and I ignore one: Roman Catholicism... its history speaks for itself.

13) What is your current desktop picture? It is the image shown above.

14) When you are outside, what are you most likely doing? Different things. Not any one thing comes to mind.

15) What's the last song you listened to? Um... The theme to Apollo 13.

16) Simple but extremely complex. Favorite band? U2, Coldplay, Apocalyptica, Rammstein, Adam & The Ants, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Pink Martini, Beethoven, Mozart, music from around the world... there can be no one favourite.

17) What was the last lie you told? I never lie, ha ha.

18) Do you believe in karma? Yes, I do.

19) What is a saying you say a lot? Bite me. I have to be careful with this, however... Bob (my lieutenant) will actrually grab my arm and bite me! What a nutter!

20) What is your greatest weakness; your greatest strength? A good question and one I used to ask candidates. But there is a trick to answering those questions and this is not a job interview. My greatest weakness is a total lack of patience. I want things and I want them NOW. Hardly a positive. My greatest strength, well, I thought I answered that above... sometimes the greatest strength is the same as the greatest talent...

21) Who is your celebrity crush? Hmmm. Again, so many choices. It is hard to pick one. Let me think. Pierce Brosnan.

22) Give me the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word: heart. Surgery.

23) How do you vent your anger? I'm not one to get truly awfully angry. I discuss my feelings openly as a matter of course, so little has an opportunity to fester and reach a blowing point. However, if you do reach that blowing point, run!

24) Do you have a collection of anything? Yes, I have several collections that I really enjoy. I'm not a hoarder, I promise. But by the tenets of the book Stuff, I am a collector. However, I never let my house get cluttered or my collections take over the house. But that is not what you asked. I collect things that I can use, that are practical. Well, all except one thing. I collect candles, Sensa pens (although Willat sold to Sanford and Sanford didn't make any Sensa pens), writing paper, books, CDs/music, DVDs (to a point; it's a rather small collection), tea, bank notes and coins (United States and foreign) and finally, crystals/gemstones. The crystals/gemstones are pure and simple beauty - they don't have any practical value other than I love to look at them.

25) What is your favorite word? One favourite word? Loquacious. (You're fortunate - usually there is no one favourite word, but you got me at the right time.

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Stop back and visit other player’s posts. That is really what this is all about, making new friends! Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

Sunday Seven - Episode #319


With items that range from cell phones to ballpoint pens, there are surely at least a few items on that list that you have either owned or used. Can you name seven of them?

That’s your challenge for this week.
  • Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and to keep the conversation going!
Here is this week’s “Sunday Seven” question. Either answer in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog (with a link here), and then comment here with a link back to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

THIS WEEK’S QUESTION:
Name seven of Time’s 100 All-Time Gadgets that you’ve either owned or used.

1. Bose Noise Cancelling headphones: the best things in life are made by Apple AND Bose! I have a pair of these babies - not only can you listen to the music player of your choice, but you can completely block out the noise and deafening sounds of the airplane's engines as well! Life demands the best - and these are the best!

2. Pager: This is not a pager in the simple sense of what you mean. On the squad we carry Motorola pagers (which we still call plektrons, although that is an old term and not accurate). This is a pager by which we hear police headquarters send us a call for us to go to. So we hear "Standby, Car 66..." then we hear our tones blown out by the police, then, "Car 66, your services are requested at 123 Ball Court for an 80-year-old, fallen with hip injury. Time out: 21:38." Pretty cool stuff, huh?

3. Kodak EasyShare One camera: I've had this camera four or five years now and I love it. Excellent images, great to work with, easy to download... what's not to love?

4. Black & Decker Cordless Drill: Anyone can use this. Get a spare battery or two and you are good to go!

5. Smoke detector: Anything that saves lives is worth having and it has already saved ours! I'd always talk to the fire department about what to get, but we have six smoke and heat detectors, all hard-wired to one another so the whole house will be alerted if something is amiss.

6. Clock radio: What would life be without the clock radio? No more just trying to go to sleep without one's favourite radio station to lull you into the arms of Morpheus? Later generations brought us the iClock (or whatever it is called), although I have a CD/clock radio. If I am going to awaken to music, at least let it be the music of my choice!

7. Fisher AG7 Space pen: I admit it: I'm a pen snob. The first pen I did purchase was the Sensa Pen but the second or third one was the Fisher Space Pen. I still have them all and well, there is no better pen on earth! The Fisher pen is great, but the Sensa pens, designed after the Fisher Space pen, is really designed not just to work in zero-G, underwater, in a vacuum, and under any weird circumstance you can think of, it is designed to do it in comfort! This is what makes writing magical!

Either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment.

Have an idea for a future question? Click “Contact” in the top nav-bar and email it to me!

Saturday Six - Episode 400 (Hooray!)

No one is more surprised than I am that the Saturday Six has now reached its 400th edition! By my calculations, that represents about 7.6 years, with an asterisk: these 400 editions have only spanned 399 consecutive weeks, because there was one weekend in which I gave readers two different editions on the same day.

I’m glad you’re reading this, and I hope you’ll enjoy this week’s set of questions!

Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and keep the conversation going!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. While going through old boxes, you find an old library book of which you are very fond, but you realize that it was a library book. You assume that the library has long-since written the book off as a loss because it has been boxes away for 20 years or more, and the book carries a great deal of sentimental value for you. Would you return the book or keep it?

You will think less of me for this, but the above is not any old scenario... this is me, and I have quite a few young adult books, such as the Madeleine L'Engle books and a few others. This was back in the day when I worked for the Wayne Valley library as a 13-year-old. All of those books sat there unused and in terrible condition so they came home with me. Half were missing covers, the other half spines. No one missed them. No one missed the few astronomy books I took as well. And by now, they have either replaced those books or updated the astronomy books. By now, some 30 years later, I had to replace the Madeleine L'Engle books as I read them all apart. And I did hate to get rid of the old books - I grew up on them!

2. You visit one of your closest friends who is battling a terminal illness. It’s clear he or she will not survive, but is in a lot of pain. Your friend begs you to briefly disconnect life support long enough for death to come. If there is no way your intervention could be discovered and no way you could face any kind of prosecution, would you grant your friend’s request?

Yes, I would. I would not think twice. My friend has - should have - the right to end his or her life when ready. Do you know, one of the worst calls I ever went on was a seven-year-old child dying of cancer and the child wanted to die; was ready to die. The patient knew better than anyone what she was going through. But the family would not let the child go. They would do anything to draw out this pain-ridden, miserable life. It was awful. The family will go through the pain eventually - give the child some dignity - children have some dignity - let them say their goodbyes, and allow the poor suffering person to find that peace. So yes.

3. You have the chance to be in a parade and ride on a float supporting a cause you believe in, but you can’t appear in any kind of disguise or costume: which cause’s float would you most likely be comfortable selecting?

Hmmm. No disguise or costume? Well, I can't imagine that would change my mind. Keep EMTs for the volunteers. I would proudly ride that float anywhere.
4. Your company’s top executive team arrives for a surprise visit, and selects you and a handful of other employees to meet with one-on-one in an attempt to get the pulse of their employees and to uncover any problems within the organization. How honest are you likely to be about your answers when they ask about specific problems you know exist, even if it means that friends you work with could lose their jobs over what you say?

Ah, remember who this is answering your questions. I have had to go to those things and the end result was that some major changes were at least considered, some people were put on notice, etc. But the survival of the company depended on it. So I have done it and I still feel good about it. I will say that I make very, very few friends in companies I have worked for... that is not that simple...

5. You find yourself slated to be a guest on a talk show: which host, living or dead, would you most like to be interviewed by, and why would you choose that host?

Uh... why would I be invited to a talk show? I think maybe I would not go to one. No matter how much they really wanted me to come and speak, I would not want to take the focus from whatever I did to receive the invite. I just don't think I would want to go to a talk show.

6. Your church decides to take part in a political protest, and it seems that nearly everyone feels the same way about the issue. You, however, do not share their view. At the risk of being ostracized, would you deny to participate, or would you search for a way to quietly assist, without being out in front?

If my church could not handle my difference of opinion and ostracised my for it, then I shall find another group to become a part of - if we are all brothers under the same God and basic tenets, then they should love me as I am. Is it that simple? You betcha. And yes, I would not participate. I won't abrogate my feelings by pitching in to an ideal or political protest that I do not agree with!

So does this mean that next week, we will he-- read your answers to these self-same questions? 

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Saturday Six - Episode #399

This week, I’m going back to early editions of the Saturday Six and asking follow-up questions to some of the original questions I asked so long ago. The questions are random as always, but there is that hint of nostalgia since I’m building on those previous editions. Since the Saturday Six never closes, you could always pick a random edition and play along if there’s ever a day in which you want to post something but can’t because of writer’s block. In the meantime, enjoy these!

Be sure to check back this week and click on the links of bloggers who play along in the comments below! It’s a great way to find blogs you may not have visited and keep the conversation going!

Here are this week’s “Saturday Six” questions. Either answer the questions in a comment here, or put the answers in an entry on your blog… But don’t forget to leave a link to your blog so that everyone else can visit! Permission is not granted to copy the questions to message boards for the purpose of having members answer and play along there. Enjoy!

1. Follow-up to a question from Episode 1: If you could spend one day as a member of the opposite sex and a different race, would you stay closer to the places you currently frequent, or would you try to spend your time in a place where more people like your current form would go? I would stay in my current location: as is stands, I am familiar with the language, current events, local vernacular, body language, social mores and customs, religious atmosphere, etc. If I change location, this assimilation will be a lot more difficult than it will be just changing gender and racial background. Can I change age, too...?
I'd be male, obviously, and I would change my racial background to Pan-Africa, a mixture of Caucasian-African (first generation). If I am going to experience what it truly means to be one of mixed races, this is it... I can't become anymore of the least accepted cultural and racial type than this: mulatto, I believe, is the term, and not an overly flattering one. Remember, this is by societal norms. I do not agree with society - ANY society that practices hatred of its fellow man for something as ridiculous as skin pigmentation, religious differences or anything else. I also would go with a Jewish mother (which is accurate) and a Roman Catholic father to really muddy the waters. (As it is, my biological father, Harry, was raised to be a Methodist but is very relaxed about it and Ray was raised (are you sitting down for this?) to be a Christian Scientist. That's right: the nutty people who never go to doctors or hospitals. Yup.)

2. Follow-up to a question from Episode 4: Of the following three types of presidential candidates, which type would you be most likely to vote for in 2012:
 
A) Someone who supported all of your concerns and got every bill you supported passed …but was unscrupulous and often lied to get where he is.
 
B) Someone whose political views were nearly the opposite of yours, who was only able to pass a handful of bills you didn’t want passed…but who was completely honest and ethical all the time.
 
C) Someone who was middle of the road, passed bills that tended to favor compromise more than any one side of the issue, and was usually (but not always) ethical and honest.

Someday I must go through your archives and answer these on my own... I am going with answer B) Someone whose political views were nearly the opposite of yours, who was only able to pass a handful of bills you didn’t want passed…but who was completely honest and ethical all the time. I hate the idea of being opposed to every single idea but the honesty would be so good, so refreshing, that I could really learn to live with all the changes as bad or good as they may be. However, he would very likely end up dead less than a year into his term. None of the senators and other crazies could live up to that and they'd assassinate him for it.

A would just be bad news and C too wussy.

3. Follow-up to a question from Episode 12: You learn that your best friend’s spouse is carrying on an affair, and that person realizes that you know the secret. He or she begs for time, promising that he (or she) will reveal all to your best friend. How long are you willing to give the cheater to confess before you will step in and let your friend know yourself? Uh... wow. What happened to these stumpers? Holy cow... Normally I would keep a non-practique (sp?) policy and not say anything... which is extremely out-of-character for me and would leave many, many holes in my bottom lip. But it would be a necessity. People have the right to make decisions concerning their own lives, good, bad or indifferent. I would not step in and I would not make any demands and I am sure as HELL not going to threaten or say a word of this to my friend's lover! What kind of friend would this make me? No. There are somethings one does not do. It would be okay to butt in more if said best friend was depressed or an alcoholic or using drugs, because there interference may not help, but it is better than standing by doing nothing. In this situation, no one will end up dead from a busted relationship (well statistically speaking...)

4. Follow-up to a question from Episode 15: If you had to give up one of your five senses, which one would you be most unwilling to live without? I'm sure I have answered this interesting poser before, although often the question only allows for choosing between vision and hearing. This is making it simpler. The one sense I am unwilling to give up is hearing; music means far, far too much to me to give that up. Since there are a full five senses here to play with, I would not give up vision or feel - touch - because the sensory experience is still very important. And not just to be able to feel the pleasurable things (I'd certainly hate that) but more vital, the unpleasant sensations. I need to know something is hot - or I'll end up burning too much of my hands! This leaves us with sense of smell and taste, which are tough ones, made more so by their strong connection. Without smell, taste is dulled considerably; maybe as much as 85 - 90%. But in the grand scheme of things, I'll just have to chance it!

5. Follow-up to a question from Episode 27: What would you say is your biggest character strength? Wow. My main character strength... that is not so easy. Usually this is one of those double-edged swords. My best character strength is my general honesty. I am not one to sugar-coat anything, and I won't pull my punches. I don't speak like a politician. I am not one to be hurtful and will preface any potentially hurtful commentary by saying that you asked my honest opinion. However, that same strength is also a problem sometimes in that people, no matter how much they think they want the unvarnished truth, often don't really want it... they want to hear it one way... 

And I don't mean little lies; society is to a certain degree built on polite non-hurtful comments to the questions such as "How do you like my dress?" or "Isn't this the best salad you have ever tasted?" There is no benefit to telling an acquaintance that her dress is hideous and would be better placed on a low-class hooker or mentioning that the salad is bland. The corollary to this, of course, is asking a close friend, in which case the appropriate answers might be, "I think your other dress (pick one) would look much more stunning on you for this event" or "The salad is good, but I would consider adding this or that to give it that "wow" factor." And of course, never ask your spouse, "Do I look fat in this?" if you are not looking for honesty. I ask Luis this all the time and never have I gotten angry or upset for his being honest! I really do want to know. I usually want to kill him when he gives me the stunned look and responds, "My god, you are HUGE! Enormous!"

6. Follow-up to a question from Episode 33: Which seasonal or holiday movie do you least look forward to this time of year? Always Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve. I always hated the Thanksgiving menu and the inevitable family torture of "ou don't know what you're missing", "how can you only eat ham", "try some, you'll love it" - push, push, push. Number 1, I have tried it, I still hate it all. Number 2: the more you try to get me to eat something I don't want, the less likely I am to eat it. Them's the rules.

New Year's Eve I don't care for because it is a nostalgic holiday and I am not one to mire myself in nostalgia about anything. I would much rather look forward to the new year getting better than to look back and see how poorly 2011 treated me. (And sadly, 2011 kicked my ass all over the place, so definitely NOT feeling good about it.)

I started answering this treat of a meme on Saturday night and then events conspired to keep me away from the computer and normal life the last few days. So this is going up late. I hope to tackle the Sunday Seven today but after this stomach bug I'm only good for a limited time...

If you have a Reader’s Choice question you’d like to see asked (and answered), send me an email! I’d love to include it in a future edition of the Saturday Six.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

December's Farmer's Calendar, Sky Watch, etc...

Farmer's Calendar - December

December 22. First day of winter. Feels like the hundredth. Snow came early, and now the roads are covered with semi-frozen slush, the Sun is hardly to be seen, and a keen little north wind cuts down out of the sky the color of a prison wall.

Despite the chill, I decide to take the dogs down the road. They need the outing. So do I. The difference is, they don't believe it. They're dachshunds, which is to say, independent thinkers. They're also old. Time was, they couldn't wait for their walk. They surged ahead, quartering avidly back and forth across the road. Today, however, they plod gloomily along, dragging their feet, pulling up lame, feeling sorry for themselves. You can't blame them, they're 15. By one formula, this makes them 90 in human years; by another, 105.

Now, the fact is, I'm no longer young in human years, myself, and so, short of our normal halfway point, I stop and prepare to turn back. And here, a miraculous rejuvenation is seen to bless the dogs. Human years, dog years, years in general seem to fall away. They perk right up. Their lameness vanishes. They commence trotting briskly on the return leg of our walk. I follow. Perhaps, I, too, feel a certain lightening. For all of us, however we count our years, when they begin to accumulate, the shortest way is the way home.

Sky Watch

The Earth's two nearest neighbors finally show dramatic improvement. In fading evening twilight, Venus stands 10 degrees on the first, but twice that height by the 31st. It's at the left of the Moon on the 26th. This is the start of a glorious apparition that will peak in late winter and spring. Mars finally rises before midnight and gains half a magnitude from 0.7 to conspicuous 0.2 in Leo. Jupiter fades a bit but still dominates the night sky on the Aries-Pisces border. December 10 brings a total lunar eclipse just before dawn, visible from everywhere except eastern North America. A nearly full Moon washes out the usually reliable Geminid meteor shower on the 13th-14th. Winter begins with the solstice on the 22nd, at 12:30 A.M.

Weather

1. It's
2. sopping
3. for
4. shopping.
5. Snow
6. spits
7. give
8. us
9. fits,
10. then
11. mix
12. with
13. rain---
14. what a
15. pain.
16. Snowmageddon!
17. Skies
18. are
19. leaden,
20. each
21. road's
22. a rink!
23. Santa's
24. team
25. needs
26. skates,
27. we think!
28. We're
29. overdue
30. for
31. one-oh-one-two!

Fun Tidbits

6 December; Wind toppled National Christmas tree, White House, D.C., 1970
8 December; Musician John Lennon died, 1980
14 December; Ember Day; Prince Albert, Prince Consort of Queen Victoria, died, 1861
16 December; Ember Day; 8.1 earthquake, northeast Ark., 1811
17 December; Ember Day; Moon on equator; conjunction of Mars and Moon
18 December; beware the Pogonip.26 December; St. Stephen; Boxing Day (Canada); First day of Kwanzaa; Jupiter stationary

Ember Days: The four periods formerly observed by the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches for prayer, fasting, and the ordination of clergy are called Ember Days. Specifically, these are the Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays the follow in succession following (1) the First Sunday in Lent; (2) Whitsunday - Pentecost; (3) the Feast of the Holy Cross, September 14; and (4) the Feast of St. Lucia, December 13. The word ember is perhaps a corruption of the Latin quatuor tempora, "four times."

Folklore has it that the weather on each of the three days foretells the weather for the nest three months; that is, September's Ember Days, Wednesday forecast is for October, Friday for November, and Saturday for December.

Writer's Note: I tracked the Ember days in September for the October, November and December. October's weather was mostly wet, and that was true to form: Wednesday, 21 September was raw, wet and windy. November has not been nearly as overcast as Friday, 23 September; it will be interesting to see December's outcome, as it was cold, wet and windy on Saturday, 24 September.

Beware the Pogonip: The word pogonip is a meteorological term used to describe an uncommon occurrence -- frozen fog. The word was coined by Native Americans to describe the frozen fogs of fine ice needles that occur in the mountain valleys of the western United States and Canada. According to their tradition, breathing the fog is injurious to the lungs.