On Somethings New

Click for instrumental music to provide a background for this post.

Those who have watched The Price is Right are familiar with the phrase, “It’s a new car!” For me, It’s a new header! Images from deep space are very meaningful to me – thus a reason why I continue to use them. This one is of the Orion Nebula from the European Southern Observatory. See the Past Headers page for a history of the headers here. On the other hand, the second new item is worthy of an explanation.

Blogging resembles real life in multiple ways. I’ve always said that the most important decision one makes in life is their choice of people to be around. Blogging is the same way as each of us attract certain types of people – plus we visit certain types of people.

Blogging is also like real life because encounters vary in time. People can suddenly appear, but also vanish as quickly. Others remain loyal for extended time. Why one hosts or visits a blog vary – sometimes known, other times unknown. I think life’s encounters as converging lines whereas some remain close for a long period of time while others are brief encounters that are brought together, then quickly separate.

My links to bloggers were in three different places, thus became inefficient – so I took some time to think about those links and a way to organize them. As everyone knows, there is no one way, but it is important to have a way.

Many of the bloggers who have vanished came to mind. Paulette is from my first year as we interacted in the time leading up to the 2008 presidential election. Starla comes to mind as we frequently chatted to start our mornings. Les (@Best Bathroom Books) was a hoot, and I miss his wit. Even after he stopped blogging, his occasional comments made me smile. Tim Valentine was one who cut to the core in his thoughts.

I recall getting the word that Third Stone from the Sun suddenly died (in his 40s), but at least I knew what happened. Same with Larry (Nutball Gazette).

Others have stopped blogging for whatever reason. While Noeleen, White Lady from the Hood, and others no longer display their blogs – but the blogs from Terry, Rose, Mags, and more are accessible, but remain dormant.

Others have passed through these pages, hung around a while, then move on. Some bloggers are regular commenters, while others frequently visit without commenting. One doesn’t know when other will drop by, but when they do, I smile. There are also those who frequently visit without commenting.

With the above said, I encourage everyone to visit my new BlogRoll page, which accompanies changes on the sidebar. Odds are good that I’ve forgotten someone or provide some incorrect or incomplete information – so feel free to let me know.

On Celebrating 1500

1500Celebration

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening wherever you are. From the New World to the Old World, from all the continents, welcome to my 1500th post … and this post is about celebrating the occasion!

For the entire weekend, please take the time to comment, state where you are from, say something about your blog, interact with my guests here and on my sidebar, listen to music, and enjoy the food and beverages. Entertainment will appear throughout the celebration, so comeback often … and bring a friend!

By the way, the theme for the next act of Life: The Musical will be Play - so I will give more information on the next Monday Morning Entertainment. After all, Play is good to follow Act 9’s Work.

Some Factoids about 1500
Only 14 players have ever played 1,500 games in the National Hockey League (NHL)

We could discuss the year 1500 AD, but other than the year starting on a Wednesday, I don’t think many of my readers would be interested in the Second Battle of Lepanto

On the other hand, the Polynesians settled Fiji in 1500 BC … and many of my readers would love to take an all-expense paid trip to Fiji

Many radio stations occupy 1500 on the AM dial

1500 meters is a common event in Olympic swimming, speed skating, running, and walking

1500 Ocean is a restaurant at the wonderful Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, CA

Some say fifteen hundred, but other say one thousand five hundred

1500 equivalent to 15 centuries, but all but one of the 1500s was in the 16th century

1500 is a grand and a half but 1500 dollars, 1500 Euros, 1500 Pesos, 1500 Pounds, 1500 Krona, 1500 Rubles, 1500 Yen, and 1500 Turkish Lira are not equal … but they are exchangeable into another currencies.

1500 Broadway is at Times Square in New York City

Besides being an Australian film, 1500 Steps refers to the number of ice steps on the Chilkoot Pass (Alaska) and the number of steps on a portion of the Inca Trail leading to Machu Picchu

On a 24-hour time system, 1500 is 3:00 PM

Songs to start the party

On Resuming the Play Button

Image from 123vectors.com

Image from 123vectors.com

Blogging breaks are good! … and now for the rest of an assortment of thoughts as I resume the Play button.

There’s no doubt in my mind that readers are much more forgiving and patient than writers … and it’s not even close.

There’s nothing wrong with using blogging breaks to concentrate on visiting others … as a matter of fact, I recommend it!

I visited many at the beginning of my break, and I found this surprise … the number of bloggers who visit(ed) here have either not post in some time or have actually taken down their blogs.

Given the previous note, no wonder my stats are down …. so if stats are important, one must continue to build a network.

Don’t forget … blogging breaks are good.

Some Personal Notes

Handbell season has started, but after a double-digit number of years, I didn’t return to the choir. The leaders were a bit shocked, but I need more time to determine if I want to continue ringing. My line is that I will return sometime between this coming January and never … so time will tell. Meanwhile, I look forward to seeing and hearing the group from the audience (starting this Sunday)…. and yes, I continue to support them – after all, my wife remains in the group.

Image from gerber.com

Image from gerber.com

My wife brought me a piece of cake from work one day. Some of the icing was a very rich blue color. Not only did it make my tongue look like a Smurf, the next day my stools was as green as baby-food peas.

Best joke punchline. A surgeon’s explanation why politicians are the easiest patients: There are no guts, no heart, no balls, no brains, and no spine, and there are only two moving parts – the mouth and the asshole – and they are interchangeable. Thank you, Viveka!

This travel segment from Crumudgeon-at-Large is a worthy read for a chuckle. Enjoy … and tell Mudge that I sent you.

This is probably the most intriguing headline I saw during my blog break: Do farts carry germs? Well, it depends on whether you are wearing pants. For those who doubt the headline or want to know more, here’s the link, which also contains an interesting video.

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around the past week plus. The reason is simple, we took our first road-trip vacation in some time … so after 9 days and 800-900 miles (1280-1450 km), I’m working my way back into my blogging routine. I hope to return to with the next Monday Morning Entertainment, on which I will announce the next act of Life: The Musical.

Below is an assortment of pics of our trip. Although multiple pics exist of some of the spots, this collection represents locations we visited. (Some have 2 pics). Rollover each for hints. Any ideas where we went? (I know my non-US audience may not know) … and Oh … and before I forget … blogging breaks are good!

On a Break Time

A partial list of a blogger’s struggles:

  • Lack of writing time
  • Inability to keep up with reading others
  • Slow responding to comments
  • Throwing together a post

Yep … that’s me at the moment. I don’t need recharging time, I simply need to get take care of matters at hand. Therefore, I’m taking a break from regular posting … but hopefully not from visiting and keeping in touch. I don’t know how long, but I do know this is the right thing to do. Then again, I just may sneak something in.

I can’t leave you without some of the week’s best from The Onion.

  • Study finds “Blame” now fastest human reflex
  • Seventh grader only has two weeks left to acquire cool identity by first day of school
  • Sex toy discreetly shipped in plain dildo-shaped box
  • Date’s flaws coming at woman faster than she can rationalize them
  • Report:Average American spends 27% of lifetime in the way
  • Exxon-Mobil and Chevron locked in bidding war to acquire senator

I also know you want some reasons to celebrate this weekend.

  • (Weekend) Kool Aid Days, Hobo Days
  • (Fri) The Date to Create Day, Happiness Happens Day, Cat Day, Oldie Day, Sneak some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night, Art Day, Frozen Custard Day
  • (Sat) Bowling Day, Garage Sale Day, Veep Day, Indigenous People Day, Send an Email Day, Rice Pudding Day, Hold Hands Day
  • (Sun) Duran Duran Day, Skyscraper Appreciation Day, Smithsonian Day, S’Mores Day, Paul Bunyan Day, Lazy Day, Family Day, Spoil Your Dog Day, Lion Day

But let’s break with a sing-a-long song … and one that wasn’t part of the last Life: The Musical, but it is a classic. So, until next time, belly up to the bar and clean your pipes to sing along … plus, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On a Word Choice

I imagine many sports fans are like me – that is having one team – that is having one team they detest under any and all circumstances. Instead of many, it may even be most sports fans … but I’m confident this isn’t true for all.

For me, it’s the University of Kentucky (UK) – especially in basketball. After all, I’m unhappy even when they lose. I can honestly say that their fans drove me to that point because I find UK fans to be arrogant, condescending, blind, self-centered, and more uncomplimentary adjectives.

I know that UK fans haven’t cornered the market on that behavior. After all, a large school in the center of my state exhibits similar behavior regarding a ball of another shape that bounces funny.

I’m confident that my statement isn’t true for all UK fans – and I’m unsure if most qualifies because I don’t have the numbers to support the statement. Yet, I find many is a good descriptor because being a relative term and a bit vague. After all, on first thought a million is many, but is it when compared to a billion?

However, this post isn’t about sports or the University of Kentucky because the above sets the stage for my experience and point.

Sometime in January 2014 I was reading a humorous post about the start of a new year. It was quite amusing and very well done … well … until reading one important sentence. In the blogging world, I tend to take the high road to avoid confrontation, so I didn’t comment – but the statement kept festering in my mind – so I returned to add my thoughts to the comments section.

My comment wasn’t disrespectful to the host – not even snarky – but I made my point in a respectful manner, and the host reciprocated the same way. We exchanged several comments, and in the end, while agreeing to disagree, I moved on … and yes, I have returned since the encounter.

To me, at issue was the word all – a word that is quite inclusive. Because many or most wasn’t used, I don’t positively know that my reaction would have different, but because I focused on all, I’m confident that my reaction would have been different.

Is there a difference in using many, most, and all? Is blog writing so informal that we should overlook the use of these descriptors?

 

On Take 5 with Marina

Welcome to the inaugural post of Take 5, a new AFA occasional-theme-post. These series will feature one blogger answering five random questions about themselves. The video above displays my first guest’s watercolor art. She’s a talented woman from Greece who posts at Art Towards a Happy Day. An AFA welcome Marina Kanavaki. 

Which happens the most, painting influencing your music or music influencing your painting?
The latter, never the other way. Music inspires me when I paint and sometimes I use a loop of just one piece of music until the painting is done. With music, it’s very different as I swim in a sea of notes with no breath. No images, ‘just’ notes.
(AFA: I enjoy both her art and her music)

For anyone visiting Athens, do you have a storefront studio?
I live in a country going through a financial crisis. That means people are reducing ‘unnecessary’ extras and I’m no exception. A year ago, I closed my little studio/workshop to move it at home. From there I started my Imagekind art print shop. I have had offers for an exhibition, but not decided yet.
(AFA) Most of us outside of Greece probably didn’t realize the ranging effect of the financial crisis.

Greece is a land of many islands. Greece is a land of many islands. You have won a contest to visit one island for one week. You can pick any Greek island that you want, as long is you haven’t visited before. Where would be go?
As a true introvert, I’d choose to hire a yacht and harbor in secluded paradise beaches with my husband and our dog. With ample of those islands, traveling by yacht would allow us the advantage of visiting many islands. I’d avoid Mykonos and Santorini. I am aware of their rare beauty, but they are not places for quiet people [like us!] – Maybe in winter.
(AFA: Greece is a land I have yet to visit.)

If a blogger met you for the first time, what would surprise them the most?
I speak very little, honestly, ah, and one more: I wear glasses nowadays!
(AFA: Now this surprises me!)

If my wife and I came to Greece as your guest, what meal would you cook for us? Beware because my wife doesn’t like fish.
A very Mediterranean meal with a vegan twist – so I’ll let your imagination run wild. I cook as I paint – I improvise!
(AFA: Your culinary improv doesn’t surprise me.)

In closing, here are some extra points to note

Marina is a classically trained pianist and vocal soprano who stretches her creativity in her musical project known as MK-O, a collaboration of original music with her musical husband. With that in mind, enjoy these original works. For Android users like me, here’s the scoop on the free MK-O app.

Marina, thank you for being willing to be the premier feature on Take 5. We’ll leave you with a chance to enjoy her music.