Friday, August 31, 2007


Be careful of downloads. We know that, but a reminder may be in order.

Bloggers Battered by a Viral Storm

Thank you my favorite military spouse.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Have a Good Laugh or at Least a Great Smile

Most people like a good laugh. I know I do. And I like a good Laughorist. Pawlie has a delicious way with words, never fearing to use a word not often encountered in water cooler conversations, and always playfully sharing his enjoyment with us unpretentious readers. He is not above creating his own words and phrases as with Bloggerexi Nervosa accompanied by an illustrative mind map. What fun!

It was through The Laughorist that I discovered The Wonderful World of Nothing Worthwhile. Michael is funny, too, and willing to share his fun with those of us who drop by for a visit. But let him tell you his story himself, first being perky, then Frank.. . uh, frank. He also encourages participation with Q&A Tuesday. Give him a read and then give him a question or two.

Have Fun.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Women's Equality Day

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost. Aristotle
The United States took a step toward equality on this day in 1920 by passing the 19th Amendment to the Constitution granting women the right to vote. I have written before about women's fight f
or equality, but I think it is important to remember milestones even if it means repeating myself.

Aristotle said it clearly (above), but here's a thought from someone who has consistently worked for equality.
Marlo Thomas with her equal
partner, husband Phil Donahue
One of the things about equality is not just that you be treated equally to a man, but that you treat yourself equally to the way you treat a man. Marlo Thomas
Commemorate Women's Equality Day by treating everyone, including yourself, equally.

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mona Lisa and August

What is it about the Mona Lisa and August? Well, let's see.

She was painted about 500 years ago in August by Leonardo Da Vinci.

And she was stolen in August -- on this day in 1911. During the two-year investigation, everyone who had anything to do with the Louvre was questioned. Even Picasso was taken in!

Yes, she was returned, and an art theft story ended. The museum employee who sneaked it out and hid it in his apartment was double-crossed by his con-man partner and tried to sell it. The Mona Lisa is the most famous painting in the world, and her thief tried to sell her to an art dealer in Florence, in the same country where she was originally painted.

Mona Lisa now has her own room and extra security.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Potato Day

How do I pick a potato? It depends. What am I going to do with it?
The first step in choosing a potato is deciding how to cook it. There are so many ways to prepare a yummy potato dish, and so many types of potatoes to use in the various dishes.

For baking, I might choose a russet. Russets are good for most recipes. Sometimes I like red potatoes for mashing -- and I like to leave the skins on. My first experience with the radical style of skins-in mashed potatoes was at a small restaurant Celebration on Lover's Lane in Dallas. It was a revamp
ed house with home-style cooking, and we thought it was quite charming. It is still there, but it has evolved over the years adding specialized catering. I wonder if their potatoes still use the same recipe.

But I digress. Enough potato memories. Well, maybe a couple more.

Who didn't have a third-grade project using a potato to grow a leafy plant? Or to make a turkey? And the same parents who gave me a Mr. Potato Head
toy, were the very parents who told me not to play with my food. Go figure.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Maria Montessori Schooling

One hundred years ago, Maria Montessori opened her first day care center. Her 'unruly' children were from one of Rome's worst neighborhoods, but her innovative teaching methods allowed three and four year old children to learn reading.

Maria treated her young students with respect resulting in self-respect. That is an innovative method of child care. Maybe she read Confucius:
A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do you know that his future will not be equal to our present?
Her methods are still used today. The International Montessori Index provides details helpful in selecting schools around the world that follow her teachings. Also, for parents who want to incorporate the philosophy, click here.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Introducing the IBM PC

Today is an important anniversary for those of us who rely on our own portable computers daily to do our job tasks or complete our homework or even to write our blog posts. On August 12, 1981, IBM Personal Computer was first released.

What would we do without our handy PCs? My little Vaio TR3A is with me
in bed every night in case I awake and decide to write. How spoiled I am. Thank you IBM for starting this great PC frenzie.

But wait. In 1980. I bought my boys a Commodore Vic 20 (named because the screen could accommodate 20 characters!) so they could enter the computer age. That was a small computer, a keyboard really, relying on a portable TV for a monitor. We certainly considered it our personal computer. But was that the first PC? About that time I was lucky enough to get my own Compaq PC at work. It was very heavy as I lugged it through airports so I could show the clients our great designs on the minuscule screen.

I have just gone through some of my PC history. But what was the first PC? Look at the Blinkenlights Archaeological Institute's personal computer milestones. You might be as surprised as I was.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Celebrate Our Children

Today is Son's and Daughter's Day.

The traditional gift for this day is TIME. The traditional celebration is to spend the day with our little darlings.

For me, it has to be Son's and Son's Day.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wanna Make Movies?

Garry and I have been watching Fox's On the Lot, a reality game show that pits wannabe directors vying for the prize of a contract with Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks.

The challenge is to make a two-minute movie each week. The results don't look like standard YouTube fare. The aspiring directors have actors, crew, equipment, and film lots at their disposal. They began with genre challenges -- comedy, a thriller, drama, action, etc. This week the challenge was more specfic. They had a viewer-submitted log line -- one or two lines giving the situation, character and tone --
A man wakes up, rolls out of bed and finds himself in a dress...but can't remember what happened the night before.

Regular judges are Carrie Fisher and Garry Marshall and a guest. The show is now ready for the finals; only two weeks left. Time to tune in. Previous films are available on the website.

In previous years, we enjoyed Project Greenlight, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck's project with Miramax studios and Chris Moore. The show followed the entire process of actually making a feature film.

If you want to make your own movie, join a club such as Amateur Movie Maker Association. They have their own contests and are lots of fun.

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Monday, August 06, 2007

This Little Piggy

August 6 is Wiggle Your Toes Day.

Toes can be painful. Ever stub your toe? Something as simple as clumsiness

an remind you that you should take care of your little piggies when you experience a toe problem.

But this can be serious. 60,000 people die every year because of blood clots. Clots often occur during periods of immobility, such as cramped quarters in a long flight or car trip. The best non-medical way to prevent clots is exercise or movement -- such as wiggling your toes!

So do your part to reduce your chances of a clot and wiggle away.

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Saturday, August 04, 2007

Simplify, Simplify

"Simplicity is the essence of happiness." Cedric Bledsoe

The first week of August is National Simplify Your Life Week.
"Be content with what you have, rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." Lao Tzu

"Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated." Confucius

"Live simply, so others may simply live." Gandhi

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein
And one more thought:

"Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that's creativity." Charles Mingus

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Thursday, August 02, 2007

It's Income Tax Time

No, no . . . relax. It's not time to send in our taxes; it is the anniversary of income taxes in the United States. Happy Anniversary, federal income tax.

On this date in 1861, Congress passed a law to ensure the government had a reliable source of income to pay interest on war bonds. It seems income tax helped the North win the Civil War. Later, the Act of 1862 established the office of Commissioner of Internal Revenue, providing the powers of collection and prosecution still in effect today.

Also still in effect today is the relationship between taxes and war -- or at least the military. The War Resisters League has a nice pie chart showing that military spending has a big piece of the pie.

How does the government spend our money? Here's a chart showing and comparing spending for four years.

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