Thursday, August 31, 2006

Happy Birthday, Nicholas!

Happy, happy birthday. I found the perfect cake for you because you like wacky things.
Or maybe you prefer a pirate cake!

For more cake designs by Wayne Steinkopf, click here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Did you hug our troops today?

Xerox has collected 17 cards drawn and colored by kids -- choose one and type your name and hometown, click and the card is sent to a soldier in Iraq. Send a card, then send the web site to a friend.

It takes only a minute. Most of your time will be selecting which card and then choosing a message or writing one of your own. Printing and postage is handled by Xerox.

Thank you Xerox.

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Monday, August 28, 2006


What do you know about Einstein? I knew he developed the theory of relativity. Almost everyone could recite the formula, but what does it mean? I checked out the book.

As long as I had the book and planned to read it and had two little boys who liked listening, I read it to them. He had an easy and comfortable writing style and his explanations were very clear. Granted I read some parts pretty quickly and skipped over the formulas and actually read the general theory and not the specific theory, but I read it and they listened. I remember one example of a man walking on a train covering more ground than if he were walking on the ground. But Einstein said it best:

"When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity."

So simple -- why didn't someone figure it out before 1905?

But he didn't stop with relativity. "The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. . . . The trite objects oh human efforts -- possessions, outward success, luxury -- have always seemed to me contemptible." Read the entire essay The World as I See It.

Yes, he convinced me he was a genius with his priorities in the right place.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Happy Birthday, James

I wish I could make you a cake today. I hope you have a happy day -- and many happy days.
I love you, birthday boy.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Women's Equality Day

August 26. In 1920 the 19th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteed women the right to vote -- a major milestone in the women's movement. In 1971, Bella Abzug initiated a proclamation for August 26 to commemorate Women's Equality Day.

What does equality for women mean?

I think it means women have the same rights -- and responsibility -- to choose as men. We can choose to work outside the home or to be stay-at-home mothers. We can choose to work as secretaries, housecleaners, writers, entrepreneurs, marketers, drivers, scientists . . . and we can change careers, too. No one can say "You can't do that because you're a woman -- or a man."

You can be what you choose to be, Jane. John, make your choices, too. And, both of you be sure to vote. It's your responsibility. It's your right.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Creating Beauty

Henri Matisse, French artist (1869-1954) Master of Color
"I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things."

Alexey Brodovitch (1898-1971) I don't know his work except his 25 years as art director for Harper's Bazaar. However, he helped train and influence my favorite fashion photographer. One lesson: "If you look into your camera and see something you've seen before, don't click the shutter."

Richard Avedon (1923 - 2004) His fashion photography was stunning, sometimes shocking -- not the picture of the dress, but the feeling of the dress.

Then he continued his revolutionary ways with pictures of people, regular people, famous people, looking straight into the camera. "All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." His portraits have white backgrounds with the subject facing the camera straight on. He said all of his pictures were pictures of him.

Create your own beauty. Be unique. Put yourself into your work. Make it your own.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Smile -- Happiness Happens in August

August, once Admit You're Happy Month, has been renamed to Happiness Happens Month. Happiness is contagious, so your mission is to pass along a happy moment and share the feeling. Can't think of anything? Well, let's see if I can spread some smiles. Here goes --

Harvey Ball invented the smiley face for an advertising campaign. It was not trademarked, but left in public domain for us all to enjoy. Most people with email are familiar with emoticons that express every emotion, including happy ones.

Kevin Eikenberry has studied this topic and he came up with a list why we are happy. Kevn leads a training, speaking, and consulting group that helps people reach and exceed their potential. That would probably make anyone happy.

And tell me you don't smile when you see cute animals -- bunnies, cats, unusual animals and even
fish. Cute Overload offers a daily dose of cute.

Now that you admit it, join the Secret Society for Happy People. Founder Pamela Gail Johnson says "If you're happy and you know it, tell somebody."

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Friday, August 18, 2006


When I take a walk, or a roll, in the neighborhood, it's rarely a smooth ride. The sidewalks are a little bumpy. In some places they are a little more bumpy.

This summer, the sidewalk right in front of our house has shifted
so it's more than bumpy.
My Amigo scooter begins to tip
when I roll over the crack.No, that's not a golf ball. Take a closer look. It's a softball!

I think we need help.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Boys Come Home

A son's a son 'til he takes a wife
A daughter's a daughter for the rest of her life

Sons play at home together when they are little.

They come for a visit when they grow up.
And they bring their wives.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

How can a kid make a buck?

Remember in the summer when there was always a lemonade stand in every neighborhood? It was a charming addition to our neighborhood landscape.

Children have fun while learning lessons valuable in later life. However, most people don't want business signs cluttering their neatly manicured lawns or business traffic disturbing their serene neighborhoods. Enter Planning and Zoning to maintain a balance between business and residential neighborhoods. This is a good thing, but what happens to our friendly lemonade stands?

Here's an example:
In Connecticut, Joey Cadieaux dug nightcrawlers from his back yard and sold them to passing fishermen to get extra money. Okay, this is not lemonade, it's a worm stand. But it is a worm stand run by a young boy who wants to make extra pizza money. A town official stopped that nonsense because Joey did not have a permit for his sign.

Surely we can give a kid a break, especially an industrious entrepreneurial kid. Maybe there should be a special section in the zoning regulations allowing children's enterprises with tasteful signs.

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Monday, August 07, 2006

The Texas Tower

Forty years ago last week things changed. Americans watching TV in the afternoon saw Charles Whitman gun down more than 30 people on a college campus. Whitman was the first to open fire in a public area. In 1966, it was unthinkable. It was shocking.

Thirty-nine years ago, I became a student at that same college. Here is a view of the campus taken from the tower observation deck where Charles Whitman took aim in 1966 looking down where I walked between classes a year later.
The tower is a symbol of the University of Texas. When the football team wins, the tower is lit in orange, announcing the victory to the entire Austin community. It was enough to make the students proud. Hook 'em Horns.

The tower observation deck was closed for over 20 years, but it is open now. Enjoy the view.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Tune in to Montel

The Montel Williams Show is different than other talk shows. He works with problems real people face, some that he understands all too well.

Tomorrow's show is dedicated to MS awareness. Check your local listings for show times.

Also, check Down the MS Path for more details.

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Friday, August 04, 2006

Memes and Puzzles and Pets

If you blink your eyes one at a time, you can annoy someone during a conversation.

I don't know why you would want to know how to annoy someone while chatting, but if you do here is a list of thirteen suggestions.

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

How did someone find out, and why?

Meme of the Moment has lists of fun facts with gems like these. There are simple games and playful puzzles like these pictograms.

You can even adopt a pet from bunnyhero labs -- a bunny, a llama, a monkey or even a penguin. You don't have to feed these little cuties, but you can play with them.

If you are looking for something serious, Meme of the Moment is not for you. It is a light escape even your kids will enjoy. You get the idea. Give it a try.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thank you U.S. Coast Guard

The United States Coast Guard should be recognized for 216 years of service.

Among other duties, the Coast Guard is involved in maritime law, mariner assistance, and search and rescue.

You may know some

Coast Guard Veterans.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Steel Dust, the Fabulous Quarter Horse

I was looking through the Texas Historical Commission database of sites in Dallas County, and I found a horse.

Steel Dust – what a great name for a horse! He was brought to the Texas Republic in 1844 as a colt. He began a career in racing and outran all challengers on Ten Mile Creek southeast of Dallas. He was so quick his back was coated with molasses so his jockey could stay on.

Unfortunately, he was hurt at the starting gate and never raced again. It was time for a change. His second career as a stud for the King Ranch, was distinguished with many honor winners, stock for rodeos and polo teams.

Sounds like a typical Texas tall tale, but in 1971 a historical marker was erected to honor the foundation sire for the most popular quarter horse strain of the 20th century. It must be true!

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