{ The meaning of life }

David Kanigan:

Here’s the “Meaning of Life.” ~9,000,000 people have watched this video in the past 2 weeks and seem to agree. I’m one of them. I was moved by this short film. (Be sure to check out Ana’s wonderful blog. She’s from Portugal. Her blog’s name is “Sol de Dezembro” (“December Sun”).

Originally posted on Sol de Dezembro:

View original

Silence. It is a soundless echo.

2444_Beryl_Markham_photo_1

There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.

— Beryl Markham, West with the Night


Beryl Markham (1902 – 1986) was a British-born Kenyan author, aviator, adventurer, and racehorse trainer. During the pioneer days of aviation, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She is now primarily remembered as the author of the memoir West with the Night - – The Book Summary from Amazon: [Read more...]

T.G.I.T.: It’s been a long week!

TGIF, T.G.I.F.,


Source: 4gifs.com


Are you getting lapped?

laps

Tim Sanders: If You Don’t Expand This Annually, You Are Getting Lapped:

Here’s the point: If you aren’t expanding your resume every year, you are likely being getting lapped in the sport of business by those that do.  You can improve a resume without changing jobs.  You can add areas of expertise or new areas of project work.  You can add volunteer work, hobbies or interests. You can add professional associations you’ve joined and contributed to.  All of these additions give your career a sense of momentum, which gives you the confidence to embrace change. My point is more salient for those reading this post born in my generations (Boomer and Echo Boomer).  We become very comfortable with our titles, our financial stability and our status…

Read more on how here.


Image Credit: Thank you Carol

Nights Like Tonight


Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Halifax’s Ben Caplan is to folklore what smoke is to bourbon. Perfectly coupled. Ben’s songwriting is as bold in range as it is in ferocity. Fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, it’s the romance and the manhood crashing with his voice that gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry. A sound that bridges the gap between controlled composition and unruly passion. Striding in pace with gypsy-inspired strings amid the sultry tones of clarinet and saxophone, Caplan has marked his place in the Canadian music landscape with a growling spirit similar to that of Tom Waits. Breaking between guitar, banjo, piano, and melodica, Caplan’s stage show is almost reminiscent of a burly and bearded Freddy Mercury; a raging, strong, and exploratory songwriter, it’s the blues in his soul, and the heart in your chest pounding as one that makes Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers an act not to be missed.” (Source: Audioblood)

Liked this? Check out Ben Caplan’s Under Control.

Find Caplan’s Album on iTunes here.


Spite Me

spite-research-

NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works:

…Evolutionary theorists have long been intrigued by the origins and purpose of spite, and a new report suggests that sometimes spite can make right.

…The new research on spite transcends older notions that we are savage, selfish brutes at heart, as well as more recent suggestions that humans are inherently affiliative creatures yearning to love and connect. Instead, it concludes that vice and virtue, like the two sides of a V, may be inextricably linked.

…human decency and cooperation require a certain degree of so-called altruistic punishment: the willingness of some individuals to punish rule breakers even when the infraction does not directly affect them — challenging the guy who broke into the line behind you, for example.

…“It could be that Nietzsche was right about punishment,” Dr. Forber said, “that it originated as spite and only later was turned into a mechanism for maintaining fairness and justice.”

“…If you get the reputation as someone not to mess with and nobody messes with you going forward, then it was well worth the cost.”

“…It’s like the Mafia,” he said. “They end up reducing crime in the areas they inhabit.”

Read full article in NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works.

 

5 Rules For A Happy Life

Charles-alan-murray

Charles Murray’s 5 Rules For A Happy Life:

  1. Consider Marrying Young
  2. Learn How to Recognize Your Soul Mate
  3. Eventually Stop Fretting About Fame and Fortune (Fame and wealth do accomplish something: They cure ambition anxiety. But that’s all. It isn’t much…)
  4. Take Religion Seriously
  5. Watch “GroundHog Day” Repeatedly

#4: Now that we’re alone, here’s where a lot of you stand when it comes to religion: It isn’t for you. You don’t mind if other people are devout, but you don’t get it. Smart people don’t believe that stuff anymore. I can be sure that is what many of you think because your generation of high-IQ, college-educated young people, like mine 50 years ago, has been as thoroughly socialized to be secular as your counterparts in preceding generations were socialized to be devout…I am describing my own religious life from the time I went to Harvard until my late 40s. I still describe myself as an agnostic, but my unbelief is getting shaky…Start by jarring yourself out of unreflective atheism or agnosticism. A good way to do that is to read about contemporary cosmology. The universe isn’t only stranger than we knew; it is stranger and vastly more unlikely than we could have imagined, and we aren’t even close to discovering its last mysteries. That reading won’t lead you to religion, but it may stop you from being unreflective.  Find ways to put yourself around people who are profoundly religious. You will encounter individuals whose intelligence, judgment and critical faculties are as impressive as those of your smartest atheist friends—and who also possess a disquieting confidence in an underlying reality behind the many religious dogmas. 

Read all five rules here.


Image Credit

Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

exercise, diet,gif,cartoon

 


Source: Hungarian Soul

Hymnalaya


This band from Iceland was formed in 2012. The sound of Hymnalaya is rooted in old Hymns which are combined with indie, ethnic and ambient textures.  The band can be found on Youtube, Facebook and on their website here.


Lies rule the land. They have numbed us to the core.

child-girl-womb-mother

“…We’re now trained to expect the worst. Lies rule the land…They have numbed us to the core. They are, as Engber says, “the ironic acid that corrodes our sense of wonder.” Ergo, we believe nothing. Everyone is suspect. The authentic thing is never really authentic. Society’s collective goodwill, the natural human instinct to trust you when you say this is legit and honest and true – no really it is I swear – this instinct has been molested. Perhaps beyond repair. You think?

Maybe. Maybe our collective Hoax Fatigue has gotten so bad that we’ll soon reach critical mass, and it will all flip around completely, so when another “First Kiss” comes along, instead of feeling a giddy thrill in the heart, we’ll instead feel bitter and disbelieving, waiting for the rug to be pulled at any second. What a fun way to live.

Nah.

The evidence certainly seems ample. It’s not just viral videos, after all: the interval between when any uplifting new offering – a video, a song, a movie, a romance, a president, a newborn puppy, you name it – is released, and when than thing is crushed by sarcasm or jadedness, this interval has been compressed in recent years to near-instantaneous, to the point of absurdity. To the point where nothing even matters and it’s almost useless to even try.

Almost. But not quite. Happily, “First Kiss”-style phenoms still light up the Internet, even in this bitter age. Thankfully, the authentic thing can still break through the ice of corrosive cynicism. Against seemingly impossible odds and for almost no budget, millions of people can still made just a little bit giddy in the heart. Amazing. And they didn’t even slip us the tongue.”

~ Mark Morford, A Kiss for the Hopelessly Jaded

 



Where are the hotcakes!

pancakes, breakfast

Drip Maple is a small Canadian Syrup company.  “In the cold North, we’re born to appreciate the small things. With the short few months of summer fleeting, we have a long & cozy hibernation to enjoy the simple pleasures of Mother Nature. Maple is our choice and we have scoured the land to bring you the very best certified organic & delectably delicious maple syrup possible.”

And DON’T MISS this clip…mouth watering.

 


Image and idea Source: swissmiss

Skip Spring Break? Far better to escape to spring.

flowers, spring,yellow

George Ball is the chairman of the Burpee Seed Company and a former president of the American Horticultural Society. Here’s the intro to his article titled: “Spring Is Here. Why Take a Break?”

As Thursday is the first day of spring, it seems timely to ask, why does anyone go on spring vacation? It seems odd to fly to a tropical destination at the very moment that one of the great astonishments of life on Earth is taking place right at home. When friends tell me their spring-vacation plans, they mention the word “escape.” Really? You want to escape from spring? That’s like fleeing paradise. Far better to escape to spring.

You cannot access the season’s magic on your laptop or smartphone; you can’t watch it on TV or catch it on your radio or simply read about it. If you wish to apprehend spring in its ineffable splendor, you have to show up in person, with every one of your senses engaged, and personally participate in this annual miracle.

The media world in which we dwell offers us a shared spectacle of limitless images, constant chatter, endless noise, infinite information and mountains of data—at once a stimulant and a narcotic. What’s lacking in this man-made media galaxy is everything that matters: beauty, love, magic, mystery, grandeur, rapture, the miraculous. Not to forget poetry, delicacy, refinement, purity, splendor, intimacy, innocence, fulfillment, inspiration. And then there’s nuance, drama, poignancy, integrity, harmony.

Where will you find these? On your smartphone? Non. On your tropical vacation? Unlikely. Discover the magnitude, mystery and wonder of life at home, working in your garden, in springtime….

It gets better. Read the rest here: Spring Is Here. Why Take a Break?


Image Source: My Favourite Web Photos

Easily one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had

El Salvador

Our Eric travelled to El Salvador on a mission. Background posts can be found here: White T-Shirts and I can feel him.  He sent us a Thank You Note (shocking!) after he returned. Here’s his note:

[Read more...]

Humans of Reykjavik


Christo & Jeanne-Claude: The Mastaba Project

Christo and Jeanne-Claude

The Mastaba, a project for Abu Dhabi, will be the largest sculpture in the world, made from 410,000 multi-colored barrels to form a mosaic of bright sparkling colors, echoing Islamic architecture. The Mastaba is an ancient and familiar shape to the people of the region. The Mastaba will be 492 feet high, 738 feet deep at the 60 degree slanted walls and 984 feet wide at the vertical walls. The top of The Mastaba will be a horizontal surface 416 feet wide and 738 feet deep. (Note that an American football field is 360 feet long x 160 feet wide!)  The colors and the positioning of the 55-gallon steel barrels were selected by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1979, the year in which the artists visited the Emirate for the first time. The Mastaba will be Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s only permanent large-scale work.”

Excerpts from Barbara Rose’s interview with Christo in the Interview Magazine:

CHRISTO: The Mastaba will be the most expensive because it will be the biggest sculpture in the world. It’s bigger than the Pyramid of Cheops. It is two avenue blocks by three city blocks and 500 feet tall. But you need to image what it will look like in the desert, with slanted walls, like the pyramids, so you can only see the one side when you look at it. It will be like the biggest stairway to heaven—a 500-foot-tall stairway.

CHRISTO: It will be the most expensive sculpture in the world. It costs maybe $350 million. We pay for it all ourselves. This is why we’re totally independent. I don’t ever do commissions. All projects are initiated by me. Curiously enough, it costs exactly the same amount as if we built the Eiffel Tower today. [Read more...]

SMWI*: Just keep going

funny-gif-little-elephant-walking-falling


  • SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
  • Credits: Thank you Susan

Three Words.


Watch.This.Movie.

  • RogerEbert.com (3.5/4.0 Stars): “Believable. Heartbreaking..A small gem in which the uplift feels earned rather than preached.”
  • Vulture.com: “The finest and most wrenching American (fictional) movie so far this year.
  • NY Times (2.5 / 5.0 Stars): “Some of the narrative complications feel forced rather than organic. Yet even as the gathering melodramatic storms threaten to swamp this pungent slice of life, Mr. Cretton manages to earn your tears honestly.”

Liquid Spirit


Gregory Porter, 42, is a Grammy Award winning American jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actor. Gregory Porter won the 2014 Grammy for best jazz vocal album, Liquid Spirit.

Find his album on iTunes here.


Human

funny,wrong,star trek funny,gif,star trek


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Jep Gambardella, Brilliant.


Here’s the critic’s leading selection for the 2014 Oscar Foreign film of the year. And what a film it is. Introspective. Astonishing cinematography (EYE CANDY). Overwhelming.  And, Toni Servillo, oh what a performance. (The movie is long…strap in.)  HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

  • NY Times Review (5/5 stars): “thrilling ode to sensibility and to some of its linguistic cousins, like sensation, sensitivity and sentiment.
  • RogerEbert.com (4/4 stars): “Servillo, a theatrically-trained actor, makes Jep arresting. He’s like an Italian Tom Wolfe. You hang on his every word, even when you’re about to hear something gossipy and mean-spirited, because you know it’ll probably be true, or at least well-said…You are overwhelmed with information, but each scene is constructed with such care and attention that it’s easy to miss that each new scene elaborates on Jep’s latest theory or dilemma. His character arc is engrossing because it’s not just full of complex ideas, thanks to the screenplay, but visual beauty as well, courtesy of Luca Bigazzi’s cinematography”

SMWI*: Nobody can judge effort. Effort is between you and you.


If tomorrow wasn’t promised,
what would you give for today?
Forget everything else.
Forget everything else.
Forget there was any sun light left,
what would you spend today thinking about?
We get one opportunity in life.
One chance in life to do whatever you are going to do.
To lay your foundation.
Whatever legacy you are going to leave,
Leave your legacy.
And its found through your effort.
Wins and losses come a dime dozen,
But effort, nobody can judge effort.
Because effort is between you and you.
Effort doesn’t have anything to do with anybody else.
Because every day is a new day.
Every moment is a new moment.
So now you’ve got to go out and show them
that I’m a  a different creature, now,
then I was five minutes ago.
Because I’m pissed off for greatness.
Because if you aren’t pissed off for greatness,
that means You are ok with being mediocre.
And no man in here is OK with being mediocre…


SMWI*= Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration

1 out of 4. Wood to chop.

face, close-up,portrait,wrinkles,face,eyes,portrait,photography

If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer.

~ Dag Hammarskjöld


Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. The second Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is one of just three people to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize.  After Hammarskjöld’s death, U.S. president John F. Kennedy regretted that he opposed the UN policy in the Congo and said: “I realise now that in comparison to him, I am a small man. He was the greatest statesman of our century.”


Image Credit. Quote Source: Journal of a Nobody.

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-gif-elephant-breaking-race


Image Credit

To come so far, to taste so good

woman-black and white-portrait-ponder

Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan,
stays just long enough
to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark source.
As for me,
I don’t care
where it’s been,
or what bitter road it’s traveled
to come so far,
to taste so good.

~ Stephen Dunn


Credits: Poem – Thank you The Sensual Starfish. Photo by Andrea Tomas via Journal of Nobody
More Stephen Dunn: Is that a Path or a Rut?


Yup, about right

chart-funny-hot-cold


Adapted from Buffer

Norway owns Gold. How?

Norway-Olympic-team-Sochi

Excerpts from wsj.com: How Norway Scores So Much Olympic Gold?

…Norway itself is a Winter Olympics marvel: With only five million people, it has won 303 Winter Olympic medals, far more than any other country on the planet. To find a country smaller than world-leading Norway on the all-time Winter Olympics medal table, you have to travel down to Croatia, which ranks 24th with 11 medals.  And this month, Norway is fielding one of its strongest teams in almost two generations, with some experts considering it the favorite to win both the highest gold and total medal count, a feat that it last achieved in 1968.

Other countries long ago took to shrugging off Norway’s Winter Olympics medal haul as the unsurprising inheritance of a people whose young are born with skis on their feet, as an old Nordic adage goes. But skiing is also fundamental to the culture of other Scandinavian countries, including Sweden, which has about twice the population but, with 132 total, not even half the medals.

Instead, many experts think the answer lies in the culture and lifestyle of the country, where an extraordinary egalitarianism runs through youth sports. Before age 6, Norwegian kids can only train but not formally compete in sports, and before age 11, all children participating in a competition must be awarded the same prize.

Still, most experts say the biggest reason behind Norway’s success is the culture that propelled it atop the medal table from the outset. Norway’s cities are relatively close to the wilderness, and children are encouraged to play outdoors even on the coldest days.

In those disciplines, attaining world-class status typically takes years of training. This is one reason that the Meråker school accepts students whose passion for sport may outshine their performances. In the long run, desire and perseverance will play the greatest roles in shaping future Olympians. The school’s coaches say the main lesson they teach is the importance of training relentlessly for years beyond high school.

In addition to physical work on the farm in the afternoons, weekends and holidays, he was regularly charged with what his father refers to as “incredibly boring stuff,” like picking stones from a field, just to improve his psyche. Every time he hurt himself, his father would tease him until he stopped crying. Eventually, he came to believe pain is cool. “My father taught me at an early age to tackle pain—I think that’s my strength. I can go for hours in pain without giving up,” he said. His childhood mentor, a star skier turned coach named John Thomas Rena, agrees. “I think a big part of Jenssen’s talent comes from the way he grew up,” he said.


Image Credit: Best and Worst Dressed Olympic Nations in Sochi

Sunday Morning: Fulfillment


I was transported by this short film. Wonderful photography, paintings and family.  These two have it together.

Painter David Marshak and photographer Sarah Tacoma talk about their love of art and each other as they describe the building of their “tiny little kingdom…

“And fulfillment is a different word from happiness, right. Fulfillment is an enriched experience that comes from several different angles …”

You can find more of their work at davidmarshak.ca/ and sarahtacoma.ca/


Flight Log DL1131: Y.C.M.T.S.U.

 funny,laugh,painful

My journey from NYC to the West continues.  A five hour flight is now rolling into 2 days and I’m still on the ground in New York. If you missed yesterday’s excitement, the posts can be found here: Just another manic Monday and here: Star Log: Flight DL2282. The Epilogue.

And, the journey continues:

  • 10:00 am. Back in car this morning. This time to LaGuardia Airport. Gorgeous day. One would have no idea of the pandemonium caused by Mother Nature yesterday. (Feeling Good!)
  • 10:50 am. Made good time. Head for Kiosk to get boarding pass. Message blinking telling me to see agent. (Nope. Not going to ruin my day today. Just a minor technicality)
  • 11:25 am. Still with ticket agent. She’s struggling to issue a boarding pass for second leg of the trip. After 20 minutes of working it, she looks up sheepishly, grins, and says: “Why don’t you just have it issued at the gate in Detroit?” I stare at her. She can read me. “He looks like he’s on the edge. He’s smiling but he’s teetering. And any Man with the confidence to be wearing that grey streaky mustache, isn’t likely to be sold ‘The-get-your-boarding-pass-in-Detroit-B.S.-Story’ I’m selling.” Yet, The Man walks away shaking his head and mumbling. Agent breathes deeply…having avoided a sure fire confrontation with some crazy Slav looking mustachio.
  • 11:35 am. I’m through security without incident with a vice grip on my driver’s license, watch and wallet. No bloody mishaps today.
  • 12:00 pm. First call for boarding.
  • 12:05 pm. Announcement blares on intercom. “All passengers, crew and employees must immediately evacuate the building. All passengers, crew, and employees must evacuate the building!” The reason: hit this link.
  • 12:45 pm. Thousands rush back into the terminal and file through security check-in (again).
  • 1:30 pm. Boarded flight. Plane 1/2 empty. Announcement explaining the delay: waiting for two ticketed passengers (tools?) to make it back through security after the evacuation. (This is NY people. This was a sputtering flare. Get on the damn aircraft.)
  • 1:45 pm. We push back from gate
  • 2:00 pm. Captain: “We have a problem with our Nose gear. We need to get a tow back to the gate to have our maintenance crew check it out. I’m sorry folks but we can’t fly without this fix.” (Nose gear is malfunctioning! Really? WTF. NFW. You need Nose Gear right? I then grab my nose and wonder if I need my nose hair clipped.)
  • 2:15 pm. Waiting for tow. (2 flights out West from Detroit. I’ve missed my scheduled connection. Closing in on “timing out” of Plan B.)
  • 2:30 pm. Jet engines powered down.  And we sit. (You’re testing me People. You’re testing me.)

Note to Self: DK, they’re thinkin’ you’ve moved to fiction writing because you can’t make this sh*t up. (*Y.C.M.T.S.U.)


Related Posts:

We doing this?

Focus, important,efficiency,productive,


More insight here: 99U.


Z

peanuts,cute,insomnia,snoopy,woodstock


Source: heyelley

Something inside seems to be waiting, holding its breath

Alice-Walker

“Some periods of our growth are so confusing that we don’t even recognize that growth is happening. We may feel hostile or angry or weepy and hysterical, or we may feel depressed. It would never occur to us, unless we stumbled on a book or a person who explained to us, that we were in fact in the process of change, of actually becoming larger, spiritually, than we were before. Whenever we grow, we tend to feel it, as a young seed must feel the weight and inertia of the earth as it seeks to break out of its shell on its way to becoming a plant. Often the feeling is anything but pleasant. But what is most unpleasant is the not knowing what is happening. Those long periods when something inside ourselves seems to be waiting, holding its breath, unsure about what the next step should be, eventually become the periods we wait for, for it is in those periods that we realize that we are being prepared for the next phase of our life and that, in all probability, a new level of the personality is about to be revealed.”

SMWI*: Take me back


Breathless,
at the speed
this video took me back.

Saturday mornings in January.
Crisp, cold mountain air.
A sparkling layer of frost on the snow.

Running in Sorel boots to the outdoor rink,
Snow crunching under each foot fall.
Rushing to lace up our skates.
And we go.
And we go.
And we go.

If you close your eyes and listen
You can hear
The steel blades cutting the ice.
The chop, chop, chop of cross-overs to accelerate.
The spray of fine ice crystals from a hard stop.

Take me back.
To our Golden Pond.
This Canadian’s Heaven.

~ DK


  • SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
  • Credits: Video – Thank you Rob @ The Hammock Papers

A Great Big World


~ 26,000,000 views on Youtube in < 60 days, and somehow I’ve missed this. A cave dweller – where have I been?

The singer/songwriting duo “A Great Big World” features the talents of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino.  Formed in 2010 while they were music business students at New York University, the duo toured in 2011 playing their own songs, as well as covers by such artists as Ingrid Michaelson and Five for Fighting.  The duo hit the big time after their song “This is New” was covered on Glee and when they released the single “Say Something,” a duet with Christina Aguilera.  A Great Big World’s First Album titled: Is There Anybody Out There will be released on January 21, 2014.  Link on iTunes here.  Band’s website: agreatbigworld.com


Source: Mme Scherzo

T.G.I.F.: Bean

Mr. Bean,funny,laugh,gif, Rowan Atkinson


Source: Themetapicture

My chair, my table, my bed, my breeze and my sun.

sun,sunrise,sunlight,sunset,photography

I find my only real joy in solitude.
Solitude is my castle.
That’s where I have
my chair,
my table,
my bed,
my breeze and
my sun.

— Léolo (Jean-Claude Lauzon, 1992)


Jean-Claude Lauzon (1953 – 1997) was a Canadian filmmaker. Born to a humble family in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Lauzon worked a variety of odd jobs after dropping out of high school. He went on to study film at the Université du Québec à Montréal at the behest of Andre Petrowski, a member of the National Film Board of Canada. His two feature length films, Un zoo la nuit, and Léolo, established him as one of the most important Canadian directors of his time. He was preparing his third film when he died, along with his girlfriend, Canadian actress Marie-Soleil Tougas, in a plane crash. On August 10, 1997, the Cessna 180K he was piloting flew into a mountainside in strong winds and rain near Kuujjuaq, Quebec while returning from a fishing trip. His film Léolo was nominated at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival for the Golden Palm Award, and is listed as one of Time’s All-TIME 100 Movies.


Credits:

  • Quote source link. Bio Source: Wiki
  • Thank you Maralee for her photograph.  Here’s her description of the photo:  “This was the view from my room at the agriturismo that I stayed at when we were in Italy. I couldn’t get enough of that gorgeous Tuscan light.”  I couldn’t get enough of that light either.  I’ve not been to Tuscany but this photo inspires me to do so.  Check out Maralee’s blog here.

Dad reads. Eyes (and heart) moving down the page. Then bows his head.

delta delta delta,photography,hand symbol

Dad didn’t like it.
Dad didn’t support it. (Story here.)
Dad gets rolled (ignored is a better word).
Daughter does it anyway.

Last night, Daughter as President, addressed Seniors and incoming Freshmen in her final official duty.

Daughter sends Mom and Dad two text messages last night.

“Everyone Loved it.”

“They all cried.”

Here’s a summary of her speaking notes:

[Read more...]

Still Trying


Nathaniel Rateliff grew up in rural Missouri, learning to play the drums at age seven. As a young teenager, he taught himself guitar and began writing his own songs. At eighteen, Rateliff relocated to Denver for missionary work. Rateliff developed a dedicated following within the Denver music community. New York Times dubbed Nathaniel Rateliff a Denver local folk-pop hero. Spin (magazine) praised his “massive, alluring” voice. Billboard (magazine) dubbed the unsigned singer-songwriter a “must hear.” He released In Memory of Loss in May 2010 which captured the attention of Amazon.com, which listed his album as the number-one album you might have missed in 2010.  In September, 2013, he set out on a tour with The Lumineers and Dr. Dog, in support of his new album.  Rateliff has also shared the stage with artists such as Bon Iver, Mason Jennings, Iron & Wine, Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons, and Roseanne Cash.  (Source: Wiki)

Find his new album “Faster Than You Can Run” at this link.


16 Scientifically-Backed Ways To Boost Your Happiness Almost Instantly…

David Kanigan:

Hmmmmmmm.  Hit link for definitions. Thanks for sharing Todd.

Originally posted on Bright, shiny objects!:

View original

Top 20 reflections on 2013: A Blogger’s Retrospective

blogging,funny,

  • 2013 Regrets? Zero.
  • Take any 2013 posts back? No. (But I do grimace at a few.)
  • 2014 Goals (Resolutions)? None.  Marching forward headlong.
  • Blogging Challenges? Staying fresh. (Not good enough. This one feels tired. Who cares?)
  • Grateful for? Followers, Likes, Comments, Engagement, Community. Re-blogs.
  • Secret for finding High Quality Content? (1) Read. (2) A silent partner(s). (Thank you.)
  • Wish I Had More Time for? Reading and writing. (Especially Reading)
  • Few words leaving deep tracks? “Lately, I’ve been leaning toward kindness.” (Gillian Flynn)
  • Best blogging platform? WordPress. (Can it get any easier?)
  • Request for WordPress? Make customizing blog design easier. Enhance Search Function.
  • Best writing aids/apps? For me (an amateur): All a waste of time and money. Skip them.
  • #1 Blogging App? Evernote. For clipping, storing, saving, composing, everything.
  • Most useful Utility Apps? 1password. TextExpander. Snagit. Dropbox. Alfred.
  • Most critical Reading/Content apps? Feedly. Mr. Reader. Tumblr. Pocket.
  • Best blogs to follow? Authentic. High quality writing and/or content. Succinct.
  • Wish I knew how to? Photoshop images. Understand Adobe. (No time. Zero competency.)
  • Mac vs. PC? Mac/iPad/iPhone wins hands down. Syncing and stability worth price premium.
  • Google Chrome vs. Safari (for Mac Users)? Moved to Safari for integration/syncing.
  • Niggling Nuisances? Spam. Self-linking. Guest blogger requests unrelated to blog theme.
  • Why Blog? Why not?

Related Posts: Two Years and Counting

Image Credit.  Note: “Got Blog” is a spin-off from the “Got Milk” advertising campaign.

Happy New Year!

hump day, camel,funny, caleb,geico

Guess What Day It Is?


  • Related Post: Guess.What.Day.It.Is. (Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Caleb is King!)
  • Inspiration: Thank you John Gallagher
  • Image Credit

Running. On Christmas Day.

signal-traffic-signal-green-red-fog-mist-Christmas

She had an oversized winter coat. No gloves. No hat.
She was a hundred yards from the train station.
And walking the other way.
No one was waiting.

It was Christmas Day.
27° F.
4:30 pm.
Kids are lounging.
Jake & Josh running in one room.
The other is curled up with Zeke and a comforter. Both sound asleep.
Dinner was in the oven. ETA of 6:30 pm.
I glance out the window.
Daylight is fading quickly.
There’s time.

I could see her outline in the shadows of the street lights.
Hunched over.
Alone.
[Read more...]

SMWI*: Yup, about right.

funny-people-gym-new-year


SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration


Source: themetapicture.com

T.G.I.F.

gif-cartoon-dance-snoopy-tgif-t.g.i.f.-friday


Image Credit via Stuf Stuff from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. His dance always brings me joy.  555 95472, usually referred to as “5”, is a character in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. He debuted in 1963, and continued to appear on and off in the strip until 1981. “5” has spiky hair and sometimes wears a shirt with the number five on it. 95472 is the family’s “last name”, or more specifically their ZIP code. In reality, it is the ZIP code for Sebastopol, California, where Charles M. Schulz was living at the time the character was introduced. “5” has to keep telling his teacher that the accent is on the 4 in his surname. Snoopy is confused as to whether the boy’s name is spelled 5 or as the Roman numeral V.  As “5” once explained to Charlie Brown, his father, morose and hysterical over the preponderance of numbers in people’s lives, had changed all of his family’s names to numbers. Asked by Lucy if it was Mr. 95472’s way of protesting, “5” replied that this was actually his father’s way of “giving in.” “5” also has two sisters named “3” and “4”. (“Nice feminine names,” in Charlie Brown’s sarcastic assessment.) It can be assumed that their parents are named “1” and “2”.

Running. The Survivor.

rain_drops_at_night-wide

It’s Monday morning. 8:00 am. I’m waiting out the rain.

It’s Tuesday morning. I’m noodling on why I waited to write this post. I broke the chain: Run. Write the post. Nap.

Life and order. Life, and of course, order.

Let us simmer over our incalculable cauldron, our enthralling confusion, our hotch-potch of impulses, our perpetual miracle—for the soul throws up wonders every second. Movement and change are the essence of our being; rigidity is death; conformity is death: let us say what comes into our heads, repeat ourselves, contradict ourselves, fling out the wildest nonsense, and follow the most fantastic fancies without caring what the world does or thinks or says. For nothing matters except life; and, of course, order.

—Virginia Woolf

Back to Monday.

The rain doesn’t let up.

Mom now has Dad’s cold.  Zeke is stuck with Dad for his morning walk. The morning routine is turned upside down. He glares at me: “Where’s Mom?” He hears the rain popping on the car hood.  He snarls.

Life and order. Life, and of course, order.

We arrive at Mianus River Park. Hail size drops are splashing on the windshield.  I notice there isn’t a single car in the parking lot.  My spirits climb.  Rain be damned.

Survivor.
[Read more...]

In Search Of The Holy Grail: Done.

italian, food, recipe,lasagna, pasta

I love lasagna. (Fanatically so.)  My Soul food.  Cheesy, meaty, noodley deliciousness.

Yet, after hundreds of tastings at home, at diners, at mid-range and at high end restaurants – the result is predictable: wildly disappointing. Swimming in sauces that miss. Weird cheese. Overcomplicated meat.  Over medicated with spices.  Too many things. Too Heavy. Outcome? Sigh.

The hunt is over.  A Food Network search for “Lasagna” yielded the discovery here .  Giada De Laurentiis’ Lasagna Rolls recipe ranks #1.  It has over 1400 reviews and earns the reviewers’ top 5-star rating.

It was a smash hit with the family last night. The leftovers marinated over night – and if possible, it tasted better for breakfast (yes, I did) and for lunch (yes, I did). (The streak stops at 3 meals in a row. There was none left for dinner tonight.)

Simple ingredients. Straight forward to pull together.  We honored the recipe with the exception of replacing the prosciutto with 1 pound of ground beef.

Don’t miss a wonderful post at Full Fork Ahead for life size photos during each stage of production along with the complete recipe.


Image Credit: Full Fork Ahead

SMWI*: Speed Dreams


Dreamy?
Floating on puffs of air down the French mountainside.
Inspired?
Transfixed by the cinematography.
Producer titles his work: Speed Dreams. Just beautiful things. Yes. Yes, it is.
However, this exercise is not for the faint of (my) heart.


Ski Gliding is the air sport of flying a small, fast fabric wing, usually in close proximity to a steep slope, on skis.  The sport has grown rapidly since its inception in the 1970′s, particularly in France and Switzerland, with an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 speed wing pilots all over the world. Because of the fast flight speed (20-90 mph), and close proximity to the slope and obstacles, injury and death are considerable risks in this sport. Over 25 pilots have already suffered fatal injuries worldwide since 2006. Also, because of its small size and high wing loading, the wing responds quickly to little pilot input which makes professional instruction very important. (Source: Wiki)


SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration


He burns really, really hot

inside-llewyn-davis-john-goodman

…At 61, with more than 80 feature films under his belt, Mr. Goodman has cemented his role as one of the great character actors of this generation. He’s not of the “I-know-him-but-I-don’t-know-his-name” variety, though—he’s a star…

…Short but forceful performances have become Goodman’s specialty.  He is in the movie for 15 minutes and 54 seconds. He creates a never-before-seen character but one that is quintessentially John Goodman. He berates the people around him, burns up his scenes. And his work is done…

…Goodman has spent the last two decades as master of a certain type of role: the potentially menacing regular guy, the teddy bear you don’t want to annoy because you might remind him he is a bear. There’s a video online called “John Goodman Loses his S—,” a mashup of his work, scene after scene of him blowing his stack, from TV’s “Roseanne” to Coen films like “The Big Lebowski” to his lead role in the baseball movie “The Babe.”…

…”The moment he appears you feel, ‘Oh, here we go, he’s gonna deliver,’” Mr. Thomson says. “He always gives it a twist. As a character actor he’s on a par with Sydney Greenstreet, He had nastiness in him, he had menace, but once he started talking you just wanted him to go on and on.”  Thomson says Mr. Goodman allows viewers to “imagine the madman inside” his characters: “So much of the time he is a sweetheart, but the rage is there. I suspect it’s directed against himself in lot of ways.”  “I guess I’m able to tap into some undealt-with anger a lot,” Mr. Goodman says. He laughs. “My innate rage.” [Read more...]

Truth by Louis CK

help,empathy, kindnessgif,empathy,kindness,help


Louis Szekely, 46, known as Louis C.K., is a stand-up comedian, who has been described as the King of Middle Age Rage. C.K.’s father was born in Mexico, while C.K.’s mother is an American of Irish Catholic ancestry, originally from a farm in Michigan.  C.K. was born in Washington, D.C., but lived in Mexico City until the age of seven. His first language is Spanish, and he still retains Mexican citizenship. After graduating from High School, C.K. worked as an auto mechanic and at a public access TV cable station in Boston, while summoning the courage to try stand-up. He first took the stage in 1984 at an open-mic in.  He was so discouraged by the experience that he didn’t perform again for two years. As Boston’s comedy scene grew, he gradually achieved success, performing alongside acts such as Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke.  C.K. has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards for his writing including his work for The Chris Rock Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Chewed Up and Louie. (Source: Wiki)


“I don’t stop eating when I’m full. The meal isn’t over when I’m full. It’s over when I hate myself.”

“It seems like the better it gets, the more miserable people become. There’s never a technological advancement where people think, “Wow, we can finally do this!” And I think a lot of it has to do with advertising. Americans have it constantly drilled into our heads, every *$*@ day, that we deserve everything to be perfect all the time.”

If you’ve never seen CK in action, here’s Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones on Conan.


GIF Source: Thank you Karen @ Karen’s Korner

Here comes the sun

Winter-sun-forest-trees

Day 1: Tickle in back of throat. Sudden bout of sneezing.
Day 2: 2 am. Difficulty swallowing. Throat burning.
Day 3: Fatigue. Fog. Tough guy regrets not taking a flu shot. (again)
Day 4: Man Down. Working from home. DayQuil to NyQuil to DayQuil loop. Delirious.
Day 5: Winded walking up the stairs. Read same page 3 times. Heavy eyelids.
Day 6: Thick nasal discharge. Can’t taste or smell food. Chocolate still Ok though.
Day 7: Patient care provider: When will you take a shower and get out of the house?
Day 8: Is that a break? Have the clouds moved? Has the sun muscled through and ignited the hills?


“You’ll be driving along depressed when suddenly a cloud will move and the sun will muscle through and ignite the hills. It may not last. Probably won’t last. But for a moment the whole world comes to. Wakes up. Proves it lives. It lives—red, yellow, orange, brown, russet, ocher, vermillion, gold. Flame and rust. Flame and rust, the permutations of burning. You’re on fire. Your eyes are on fire. It won’t last, you don’t want it to last. You can’t stand any more. But you don’t want it to stop. It’s what you’ve come for. It’s what you’ll come back for. It won’t stay with you. but you’ll remember that it felt like nothing else you’ve felt or something you’ve felt that also didn’t last.”

— Lloyd Schwartz


Credits: Image Source: Winter Sun by Onodriim. Poem Source: apoetreflects

There IS a Santa


Or at this link: CBS: The Secret Santa