Sunday, July 30, 2006


The news is so full of images of war. I looked for some quotes about war and found many. Some were pretty good.

"The direct use of force is such a poor solution to any problem, it is generally employed only by small children and large nations."

This is attributed to David Friedman. I do not know which one. I found the son of Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman, a filmmaker, and a children's entertainer. All three are likely candidates as the originator of that thought.

Isaac Asimov said, "Violence is the refuge of the incompetent."

Asimov was a Russian-born author and biochemist. He was most proud of his position as president of the American Humanist Association. He was talking about more than war. He supported developments in human rights, civil liberties, all things toward the enhancement of humanity.

Look through all of the quotes for an interesting perspective of war.

Who's Reading this Blog?

Shortly after I started writing this blog, I added Site Meter to track the number of hits. Even when comments are not made, I know someone had the opportunity to read what I wrote. Most of the hits are people just passing through, maybe the topic did not grab them, maybe they do not read English, maybe any number of other things.

It is fun to discover the world, a blog from Brazil, pictures of Singapore, fashion design hopefuls from the Philippines, daily videos from Canada, funny stories from the UK, journals about a trip, a group project, a family reunion, a baby.
As I go from one blog to the next blog, sometimes I am pretty quick to leave, but it is fun and fascinating to see what someone else thought would be of interest to the world. A teenager's blog from India is often similar to a teenager's blog in Minnesota -- we are all human after all.

Now I added NeoCounter to show where hits to this blog originate.
Look at the sidebar below the archives. Notice the Site Meter and Neocounter numbers do not match. It would be neat if NeoCounter counted everyone who ever passed through the blog, but it starts as of now. There is one visitor from the United States. That would be me.

This is only a trial, so it may disappear in a couple of weeks. I have always been impressed with the broad reach of the social Internet. So many different cultures surf through, there is enormous potential for international sharing.

What can you do with a Bully?

I used to struggle with the question of fighting when raising my boys. If they could not hit, was it okay to hit back? When a kid hits you, what do you do?

Now advice is offered by Health Resources and Services through the Internet. On the adults’ pages there are explanations of what a bully is and advice to parents about handling bullying.

On the kids’ site, there are videos (webinars) that illustrate bullying experiences, there are explanations of the different types of bullies, there are games – be sure to watch the videos first. Some of the games are good for the little ones while others require good reading skills.

Why am I thinking about this now? While watching the news, it occurred to me that Hezbellah is the bully. At first much of the world reacted as if it is all right to hit back. Now, because Israel hit back pretty hard, the world is turning against them. Hezbellah, the bully, fires more than 100 rockets into Israel daily – more than 200 yesterday – hides among civilian populations and stores explosives under schools.

I think the international community needs to take a stand, lend a hand – or at least a supporting word – and stop the bullying now.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Tying Ties

Sometimes little boys don't know how to tie ties, but they think they should. I didn't know how either, but luckily for David I knew someone who could teach him.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of his success.

Monday, July 24, 2006


I have a soft spot in my heart for Lebanon.

I don't know very much about the country and its politics. I have never been there, I met some people from there a long time ago, but I don't remember their names. I remember the hostages and frequent news stories about Hezbollah and Syrian involvement. I don't know much about it, but I have a soft spot in my heart for Lebanon.

My first memory was when Danny Thomas was on TV in "Make Room for Daddy." He was so proud of his Lebanese heritage. I liked Danny Thomas.

When Danny Thomas was struggling with his career, he turned to St. Jude, the patron saint of hopeless causes. He became successful and fulfilled his pledge to the saint by founding St. Jude Children's Research Hospital where children are accepted for treatment without regard to their family's ability to pay. The hospital is thriving, caring for children with cancer and other devastating diseases, achieving research milestones, because of the efforts of Danny Thomas, a good man, proud of his Lebanese heritage.

Lebanon is in the news again. How sad. What would it take to end the conflict? What would it take for Hezbollah to go away and for Lebanon and Israel to exist as neighboring countries? It seems like a hopeless cause. We need to appeal again to St. Jude.

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My Office

Here is where I usually write my blog posts. Actually, I write in bed in the middle of the night when I wake up but do not want to go though the effort of getting in my chair and rolling up to my desk. But during the day I'm often at my desk.

Even though my little Vaio is great when I write in bed and the sceen is close, the sceen is small when sitting at the desk so I have a bigger monitor.To the left of my compute is a flat scanner. The printer is in
our office with the Compaq and HP desktops, Vaio and Apple laptops. We seem to be computer-rich. I do enjoy working next to Garry, but I like facing my burgundy wall and the copper pictures from Africa. Garry sometimes takes his breaks in the papa-san chair.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Plain or Fancy -- you decide

Want to add style to your blog? Mandarin Design will help you.

Full instructions for making the first letter of your paragraph big and HTML code are available along with other magazine-type style tricks. Now, I wish you luck with this. I had to try several times, and the "F" changes size -- it starts big, but gets smaller when I refresh or republish. I better go back to the tutorial.

Mandarin Designs has links to generators where you can make your own logos, instantly, and for free. Here's one I made using Labelmaker.

I used LokiCola font that does not recognize apostrophes. I kind of like it with "utopia" in the middle, but here's one without the apostrophe.

Scroll on down and you'll find online tools and tutorials. There are many types of pictures and borders and tiles and help with design and a person could get carried away here.

Have a nice visit to Mandarin Designs! It's fun and useful, and did I say fun?

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

We the People in Polite Conversation

The American Heritage Dictionary says Conversation is a spoken exchange of thoughts, opinions; a talk.

When this country was founded, freedom of speech was important. I imagine, even when they did not agree, they had the opportunity to hear new ideas, to persuade and be persuaded, to experience different perspectives. Today, TV shows hav
e opposing experts who tell their sides of an issue, often loudly, lecturing, not letting the other side get a word in, and definitely not listening. Each expert has a predetermined agenda and a predetermined spiel they say no matter what question is asked. These are not exchanges, they are not discussions, they are not conversations.

What if people gathered for a conversation? People like you and me, members of all political parties, could talk about the issues important to us? Well, let's do it --

Let's Talk America is an invitation to have a conversation in local venues where Americans can
talk about what freedom and democracy means to them. Attendees have a face-to-face conversation with people who have various political views. Then they are invited to report on the experience.

Be ready to talk, to listen, to exchange ideas -- that means giving and getting -- and participate in a polte and exciting conversation. Remember Isaac Newton said, "Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy." Making your point tactfully means it is likely to be heard and considered.

Speaking in anger or disrespect means your point is likely to be disregarded.
Dorothy Nevill said, "The real art of conversation is not only to say the right thing at the right place but to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

To host or attend a conversation near you or just to learn more, visit the Let's Talk America site.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

What should I write today?

Here are some suggestions. Blogthings has some cute, short quizzes and offers the results in several formats ready to put in your blog.

The quizzes answer questions such as,
How normal are you?
What Brady are you?
How powerful are you?
And there are many more!

Here are a few examples of my quiz results:

Are You A Lady?

Overall, you are a refined lady with excellent manners.
But you also know when to relax and not get too serious about etiquette

***You Are 76% Lady***

What European City Do You Belong In?

You enjoy all that life has to offer, and you can appreciate the fine
tastes and sites of Paris. You're the perfect person to wander the streets of Paris aimlessly, enjoying architecture and a crepe.

***You Belong in Paris***

And one more:

How much do you know about Blogging?
You got 4/8 correct!

But, truthfully, most blogs probably bore you.

***Well, You Know What a Blog Is...***

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fun and Games

Sometimes I take a break to play, especially word games. Here are a few good ones –

Garry found this one that’s new to me, Word Sandwich. Pick a 5-letter word, any word, and you get points when you come up with the right one. The game tells you if it is higher or lower alphabetically so you can guess again. One game is five words, and the points are determined by the amount of time and the number of tries taken to get to the right word. There is a high score list to add the element of competition. Some scores are quite impressive.

I enjoy Lingo on TV where you can play with the TV show or enter tournaments on the Game Show Network site. It is also on AOL Games. The AOL game is 5 minutes for 5 words, but it doesn’t give the missed word, so if time runs out the word remains a mystery.

Bookworm is one of those games that you just don’t want to quit. Choose adjacent letters to form words before they drop. Challenges include red squares that threaten to end the game prematurely by engulfing the entire board in flames. It can be found on Yahoo under word games.

These three games are played solitary, but here's one to play with someone. Also found on Yahoo under word games is Literati, a Scrabble-like game played with someone on the Internet or just a friend at a private table. For a quick game you can set a timer and add another dimension to the challenge.

Have fun playing these games I enjoy, but be forewarned – you could become addicted.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Birth of a Nation

Happy Birthday, America

The eagle, regal and proud, is a symbol of courage and power and of the United States of America. Strong nation, strong bird.

I selected this picture from exZOOberance which offers some free pictures, some beautiful photographs for sale and some funny animal pictures.

technorati tags: fourthofjuly, independenceday, eagle, vickisblog

Saturday, July 01, 2006

My Style

My fashion style is “Classy with an edge.” At least that is the conclusion of a style quiz. The quiz was taken over 120,000 times and about 3000 people got the same result. It's only 10 questions, multiple choice.

I studied fashion in school some years back – I thought about being a fashion photographer. At one time I spoke to women’s groups about “Dress for Success in Dallas – with a Flair.” I offered a program at a halfway house about building a wardrobe on a bare-bones budget. So it’s no surprise the quiz results say I am “always stylish and appropriate for everywhere.”

Sounds pretty good. But wait. I would get a different result if I took the quiz again. I think I will.

Gardening with Pop

It's that time of year -- the gardens are started and need to be tended.

Flowers need water even in Ohio.James is working with his grandfather known to him as Pop to get the garden started. It sure is hard work in the Texas heat!