On a Spot for the Bucket

Blackpool may not mean anything to most – but it holds significance to some. Eight years ago, it was unknown to me – very insignificant. Today, it’s on my Bucket List.

Blackpool is on England’s western coast – in Lancashire county – north of Liverpool and northwest of Manchester – and one of England’s most popular seaside resorts.

Today, Blackpool offers its infamous tower, a giant ferris wheel, an amusement park, a seaside promenade, gardens, a water park, Madame Tussauds,, and other attractions. Actually, this doesn’t seem like a place for me, let alone my Bucket List.

For me, Blackpool is about it’s famed dancehall. The original Blackpool Tower Ballroom dates back to 1894. During the dance craze of the 1920s-1930s, dancers filled Blackpool’s ballroom floor.

The ballroom still hosts one of the world’s most famous and long-running ballroom dance competitions (Blackpool Dance Festival) with dancers from across the globe coming to compete. The ballroom has also hosted other dance competitions and BBC shows Come Dancing and Strictly Come Dancing.

I’ve stated (several times) that my wife and I don’t compete – we dance for fun and being with friends … and to be honest, attending the famed festival isn’t the reason for its Bucket List status. Unless reserved as a rental space for an event, the ballroom has regular hours for open dancing.

Given the floor, the historic significance, and the ornate surrounding – absolutely Bucket List for us. Better yet, the ballroom also hosts an afternoon tea with dance to the sounds from the mighty Wurlitzer organ – which sounds quite delightful.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 273

I’ve taken my share of bits out of Republicans – but I’m an Equal Opportunity Blamer. For the record, I would have voted for Hillary Clinton over John McCain in 2008. I did not vote for Barack Obama in 2008, but did in 2012.

I’m not sure if Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) campaign is in trouble enough to cause her to withdraw her candidacy, but it is an intriguing thought.

Why any government worker is allowed to do email work on a personal account is beyond me – let alone a cabinet member – let alone use a personal server – and I don’t care how many others have done it because that should have been a no-no then.

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson commonly leans to the left – thus is the main reason why I appreciate his recent column about Hillary Clinton.

I linked to this video last week, but I’m not sure how many saw it or understood my point. Mr. Haney was one of my favorite characters on Green Acres, but how much does his voice sound like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)?

In my mind, there is no question that Donald Trump (R-NY) is effectively using the media to drive his campaign. With so much air time, he doesn’t need commercials .. at least not at this point.

For the interested, here’s an article featuring Bloviations from The Bloviator.

Whew … the previous post about predestination created quite the range of thoughts.

Opening Night – Dance: The Musical – Tuesday, August 25th at 9:30 pm! For Act 1, all songs must included Dance in the title – but not dancer, not dancing, not dancin’, or any other form of the word dance … just Dance. The Hear Ye page include information about future acts.

Over the past two weeks, I haven’t done well visiting other blogs. Yes, I have an Explore post ready for the weekend, but posting it will cause me to fall further behind – so no Explore post this weekend. Besides, I have a musical to prepare!

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their explanation why westerners join ISIS.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Underworld Health Organization Launches Initiative To Improve Incubus Immortality Rate
Scientists Develop Highly Volatile New Relationship
Police Busted Giraffe-Fighting Ring
Standards Lowered For Second Search Through Fridge
Mom’s Fears About Daughter Leaving For College Channeled Into Fight About Storage Bins

Interesting Reads
A view of what the talk-show right is doing to the Republican party
Looking back at closing the US embassy in Cuba
3-D printed drugs
Biased on bias?
Burma’s Stilwell Road – 70 years later
Interactive on global income

To send you into the weekend, here’s a rock classic from way-back in the day – but with a dose of Monday Morning Entertainment (remember those?). Special thanks to Elyse for this gem. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Planned or Not

There’s a great data department in the sky – that department is responsible for checking people in or out on a given date at a designated time.

The check-ins are the births. The assigned clerk has a card for Justin, who will check in later during the shift (3:52 am UTC) at 9 lbs 8 oz (4.3 kg). Before pacing the card to Accounting for record keeping during life on Earth, the noticed that Justin would eventually become a CEO of a prominent global company and live to the ripe age of 95.

William’s card was directly behind Justin’s because he is to be born two seconds later at a different hospital. Checking the records, the clerk applies a special sticker for expedition to the check-out group.

Accounting is much more high-tech as it tracks everyone’s determined roles for that day. With all the people in the world, there’s always much happening … and those occasional glitches in the system can cause a bit of disarray. But the Accounting staff works well under pressure, thus can get the plan back on track with seemingly unnoticeable successful adjustments.

Over in Check-Out, clerks are dealing with car accidents, cancer, heart attacks, murder, drowning, and many others. One particular clerk is unaware that William’s card will arrive at their desk for processing in a matter of hours. From the living human perspective, these clerks have a tough job … but they also look at it from a different perspective.

Some Christians see life this way – that is everything is predetermined in accordance to God’s plan for that individual – including meeting a person that turned out to be a network opportunity for potential employment … but could that have encounter been coincidental?

I don’t know why I used to believed in predestination – after all, I wasn’t taught that way in Catholic catechism … no friend guided me in that direction … I didn’t read it in an influential book … so I probably guided myself that way for whatever reason.

During my mid-20s and early in my teaching career, I met Nancy – a very bright and personable student whose father happened to be a Baptist minister. In a discussion with her, I mentioned the great database in the sky, to which she responded with a very important question – Do you really think God is that cruel?

Although it did take a long time to answer that question to myself (and I don’t know when I did), her question remained active in my mind for 40 years – but in a good way – well, at least for me.

There is no way I believe that God sent Hurricane Katrina to punish the people of New Orleans. God didn’t sent a horrific tsunami to Indonesia, or a drunk driver wildly across a road to collide with an unsuspected vehicle that killed multiple people – including a small child, a teen, and a parent. God doesn’t plan for people to be homeless, have mental illness, or be malnourished.

God didn’t make a networking opportunity possible, didn’t send volunteers to a disaster area, or provide a hole-in-one to a golfer. Nope, God didn’t make Justin a successful CEO, and Nancy wasn’t sent to me to deliver a message.

God didn’t inflict cancer on my mother nor any other unsuspecting person. God didn’t plan a young child drowning in a pool, a person’s violent shooting spree, or the physical deformities that would take William’s life in less than a day.

Nope – God isn’t that cruel .. and God isn’t playing out the world as if it was a video game. God is good. Free will is a gift to the natural world and to human beings, and with free will, many events will happen – positive and negative – which includes bad things to good people.

Thank you, Professor Nancy.

Other Posts on Free Will

 

On Touching the Core

Who are you? Who am I? Not only how do we identify ourselves, but also, what identifies each of us?

I’ve embedded many videos on this pages during my blogging time, but some stick with me. They touch my core. They define who I am.

The European immigrants of the late 19th Century and the early 20th Century impacted the world. My paternal grandparents were in that group while my maternal family remained in Europe.

I believe the majority of the world is good. In a global environment when language can be a barrier, other things can link people – such as smiles, kindness, and respect. Blogging is has reinforced that to me, and so has Matt.

The ending of some movies cause a tear – yep, It’s a Wonderful Life does it, and so does this one.

Human behaviors are complex and quite wide-ranging. That given, there is a lot of bad in the world, but one cannot deny the power of I’m Sorry.

I believe universal creation is spectacular, and creation is ongoing. From our tiny perspective, the wonders of the universe are just for us. Whether Earth is home to the only life in the universe doesn’t matter to me, but nobody can deny this perspective.

Any favorites here? Are their videos that define you?

On Exploring an Uncontrollable Dance

Nature is so powerful, so strong. Capturing its essence is not easy – your work becomes a dance with light and the weather. It takes you to a place within yourself. (Annie Leibovitz, photographer)

For night’s swift dragons cut the clouds full fast,
And yonder shines Aurora’s harbinger;
At whose approach ghosts, wandering here and there,
Troop home to churchyards. (William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream)

The sight filled the northern sky; the immensity of it was scarcely conceivable. As if from Heaven itself, great curtains of delicate light hung and trembled. Pale green and rose-pink, and as transparent as the most fragile fabric, and at the bottom edge a profound fiery crimson like the fires of Hell, they swung and shimmered loosely with more grace than the most skillful dancer. (Philip Pullman, The Golden Compass)

The north! the north! from out the north
What founts of light are breaking forth,
And streaming up these evening skies,
A glorious wonder to our eyes!
(Hannah Flagg Gould, The Aurora Borealis)

When I look at the northern lights … I see our ancestors dancing around a sacred fire, lighting the way for us when it’s time for us to cross over from this physical world and join them. (Molly Larkin, What do the Northern Lights mean for us?)

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 272

As Donald Trump (R-NY) successfully sidesteps his own explosive devices, something to ponder. The Bloviator’s base is very loyal, but his disapproval numbers are high. Therefore, could his current poll numbers be both his ceiling and his floor?

Speaking of The Bloviator, he’s not stupid – so his talk about a third-party candidacy is (in my opinion) just more hot air. After all, he cannot get on the ballot in Ohio (a must-win state) because Ohio has a “sore loser law” preventing him from getting on the ballot. Yes, Ohio’s Secretary of State has already declared it so.

Although “debate” is the descriptor, this statistic helps demonstrate why these aren’t debates while also providing rationale for my pods-of-4 model.

GOP1stDebateTalkTimeFor the interested, he next Republican debate is Wednesday, September 16th on CNN.

Here are two articles for the political wonks who want to read about the conservative media’s influence on the Republican party: Recent and one from Oct. 2014.

For those who remember Mr. Haney on Green Acres, this is a must see. Of course, I’m curious to see who checks it out.

This new commercial from GEICO insurance made me laugh.

It wasn’t a good week for me visiting blogs. :(

Collaborating with Marina for On Blue was a pleasure, and readers appreciated the dualism we provided through words and art. Marina made me two images that she posted on her blog when reblogging our post. For space purposes here, I melded them together as one, but you can tell where the two meet. Thank you, Marina.
MarinaCombo

On a personal note, I know my first gay couple who recently married – and I’m proud of the fact I went out of my way to congratulate them when I saw them at church.

Mark this date on your calendar – Tuesday, August 25th at 9:30 pm for the opening act of Dance: The Musical. (The musical will be running on Tuesdays, not Wednesdays.) More information is on the Here Ye page.

The Explore series continues on Saturday featuring a wonderful video about a person, place, or thing.

To lead you into The Onion, here’s their video explaining Putin’s Russia.

Weekly Headlines from The Onion (combos welcome)
Nation’s pansies announce plan to slowly acclimate to pool
Single women with 3 young children unaware she is subject to 984 judgments today
Coworker retreats to remote corner of office to complete disgusting food order
Rescuers heroically help beached garbage back into ocean
New statewide education standards require teachers to forever change lives of 30% of students

Interesting Reads
The future of America’s slums
Cars in Cuba
Not everyone likes kissing
Now 40 years old – The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Selling lingerie in Egypt

To send you into the weekend, here’s a flashback to a before expressways. I enjoy Asleep at the Wheel, but this version from them is new to me. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Blue

 

Atom Sea No16©marina-kanavaki 675

Atom Sea No16©marina-kanavaki

Blue …. an adjective, noun, or verb

Blue … as in bluing, bluing, blued, blues, bluer, bluest, bluely, blueness

Blue … from the Old English blǣwen, the Old Norse blár, the Old French bleu, and the Anglo-French blef, ble

Paths of Color [TGB]©marina-kanavaki 675

Paths of Color [TGB]©marina-kanavaki

Blue …. a range of colors between green and violet

Blue … one of three primary colors in painting

Blues … combined the with black, grey, or white for different shades

Blue …. combined with red is violet … with yellow is green

Atom Sea No11©marina-kanavaki 675

Atom Sea No11©marina-kanavaki

Blue … combined with green is turquoise, teal, and aquamarine

Blue … sky blue, navy blue, powder blue, midnight blue, Prussian blue, royal blue, ice blue, baby blue, peacock blue, steel blue, slate blue, and many more

Cerulean Tree©marina-kanavaki 675

Cerulean Tree©marina-kanavaki

Blue … azure, cobalt, sapphire, Lapis, indigo, azurite, cyan, cerulean, zaffre … all blue

Blue … a feeling … as in depressed, down, sad, unhappy, melancholy

Blue … to wash or make blue

Blue … hydrangea, bell flowers, morning glory, irises, periwinkles, …all blue flowers, but only a few of many

Atom Flowers #23

Atom Flowers #23 ©marina-kanavaki

Blue … a symbol, uniform, military unit, identify of a nation or team

Blue … Robin eggs, Cookie Monster, porcelain, blueberries, cornflower, Blue Man Group

Blue … as in blue in the face, exhausted, and speechless

Character #6

Character #6 ©marina-kanavaki

Blue … discolored by cold, contusion, fear, or vascular collapse … a sign of death

Blue … out of the blue, the sudden and unexpectedly

Blue … off-color, risqué, profane, indecent, smutty, trashy, porn … as in movies. books, stories, jokes

Blue …. as in Bluetooth, Blue whale, Blue Jays, Blue Bayou, Blue Cheese, Blue Jeans, Blue moon

Full Moon October 2015©marina-kanavaki 675

Full Moon October 2015©marina-kanavaki

Blue … it’s a boy

Blue … a fleeting thought … up into the blue

Blue …. as in true blue …. the faithful and loyal

Blue … as in blue collar … labor … the working class

Blue … as in blue blood … a member of nobility

Blue … to a bride … “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”

Blue …. the color of Advent season (Christianity), the skin color of the holiest (Hinduism), the covering of the items in the Mishkan (Judaism)

Vishuddha Chakra [Little Chakra Tree]©marina-kanavaki 675

Vishuddha Chakra [Little Chakra Tree]©marina-kanavaki

Blue … a sign for personal qualities as accepting, affectionate, authentic, artistic, caring, comfort, compassionate, harmonious, peaceful, sympathetic, tender … people oriented

Blue …. harmony, faithfulness, confidence, distance, infinity, imagination, cold, and sympathy

Blue … holiness, humility virtue, excellence, distinction and high performance.

Blue … the sky and water because they reflect blue … thus absorbing the other colors

Purple Rays Permeate©marina-kanavaki

Purple Rays Permeate©marina-kanavaki

Special thanks to Marina (Marina Kanavaki @ Art Towards a Happy Day) for the images of her artwork. I encourage readers to visit her at website and her Society 6 store where you can browse her work on various media. All images are copyrighted by Marina Kanavaki.