Showing posts with label Miscellaneous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Miscellaneous. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's Magic!

Captain Jim's Magic Show

I've written about Magic Carpets and Magic Apples, both the product of rubbing my two brain cells together.  But this, ladies and gentlemen, was magic up close and personal.  Not on TV, not from an elaborate stage.  Nope, this was my first live and in person magic show.  

Our dear friend, Sallie, generously opened her home and arranged some magical entertainment for our enjoyment for our latest Cheers get together, and it was a blast.  

Captain Jim has an interesting story, and magic is his second career, but that's all I'll say as he prefers to weave his story into the show.

After he had introduced himself and told a little about the show and how he got started, he chose a volunteer from the audience.  "What is your name?" he asked.  

"Jim," replied the volunteer.

"Hmmm...you know JIM stands for Jim Is Magic!"

Moving on to the next act, he chose another volunteer.  "What is your name?" he asked. 

"Jim," responded the next person.

"Really???"

Three of the four Jims in our group were present that night, and you know it can get interesting when someone calls out "Hey Jim".  All heads turn and three guys respond.

Getting back to the show, Captain Jim did mind tricks, rope tricks, card tricks, appearing dove tricks, and made objects move through solid surfaces, each with carefully chosen musical accompaniment. 

It was a magical night of illusion and fun.  Many thanks to Sallie for setting this up.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Season of Growth


When you put aside your fears you grow stronger.
When you put aside your doubts you grow more confident.
When you put aside your prejudices you become more open minded.
When you put aside your negative thoughts you become a more positive person.
Embrace your new identity.

I wrote that about a year ago as my analysis of this quote "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be."  When I reread those words, I felt compelled to share them again.

Sometimes there are issues or situations in our lives that cause us to feel afraid or lose confidence in ourselves.  We may have formed opinions based on something we have read or simply accepted what we've been told we should believe.  

We often fear what we don't understand, and our doubts and prejudices can grow from that fear.

As we enter into Spring, a season of growth and renewal, let's enter into a new season in our lives as well.  We, alone, are responsible for ourselves, so let's put aside the negatives, embrace the positive and reap the rewards. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Hyacinth and Greek Mythology


These beautiful and fragrant flowers are native to the Eastern Mediterranean from Turkey to Israel and Northeastern Iran.  As pretty as they are, their bulbs are poisonous, containing oxalic acid which can irritate the skin.

The Hyacinth also has history in Greek Mythology.  It was said that Hyacinth was a young boy loved by both Apollo and Zephyrus, the wind god.  Hyacinth was throwing the discus with Apollo when he missed Apollo's throw and was struck by the discus and died.  This was not accidental, though, for Zephyrus, being jealous of Apollo, caused a shift in the wind which forced Apollo's discus off course, thus causing Hyacinth's death.  Apollo did not allow Hades to take Hyacinth, instead making him a flower.*

The hyacinth is sometimes associated with rebirth; maybe this is why.

*information source:  Wikipedia

Friday, April 5, 2013

Too Busy?


I've been busy at multiple tasks this morning, and thought there's no way I can get a post up today.  I don't have any ideas, and I'm just too busy to take the time, so I figured I'd just share a picture.  In looking for just the right one, I found this one of Dood when he lived outside.  

It reminded me that no matter how busy we are or how long our "to do list" is,  we should remember to take time to relax and enjoy the good things in life.  

So as you face the busy day ahead or look forward to the weekend activities, take a little time to stop and smell the flowers.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What Did You Say?

What did you say?
Did you ever play the game in school where a phrase is passed down from one kid to another?  When it reaches the last person and he repeats what he heard, "the monkey ate a yellow banana" may sound like "the donkey's name is bandana". Well quite often we have that same experience. 

At dinner last night, it went something like this as I put my plate into the microwave to reheat it (I like my food to be hot).

I said "I want to put a little heat on that".  What hubby heard was something completely different, so while the microwave was running, he repeated what he thought I said.  When the microwave was stopped, I said "What was that about feeding a rat?"  He laughed and repeated himself, "What was that about beating the rap?"

After I cleared up the confusion, he said "I was wondering what you had gotten into while I was at work."  In case you are wondering, we can't blame the microwave for our auditory issues.  This happens with or without interference.

It's amazing how twisted our words can get.  If this happens to you, please share.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring has Sprung: The Vernal Equinox

Spring, otherwise known as the Vernal Equinox, arrived today at 7:02 a.m. EDT.  Every year, I post in honor of the arrival of Spring, and every year I learn something new.  

The word Equinox comes from the Latin words "aequus" meaning equal and "nox" meaning night. This means that the day and night are of equal length everywhere, and that the sun rises due East and sets due West.

There is a bit of folklore that says that on the Equinox you can set a raw egg on its end and it will stay upright.  Some folks performed experiment, and they were successful, but when they repeated it 3 days later, the results were the same.  Perhaps the days immediately surrounding the Equinox work equally as well.  So, having a dozen eggs in the fridge, I decided to give it a try.  Well guess what?  All my eggs fell over onto their little white faces.  Not one would stand up and salute Spring.

What are some of the signs that Spring has sprung, well besides the daffodils and tiny red buds on the maple trees, that is?  This is when the worms come forth from the ground, and ladybugs are seen on the fresh new sprouts.  The birds are gathering bits of straw, string and whatever looks like good nest building materials to create homes for their new families.

Yes, Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal of life.  Although depending on your location, Nature and the calendar may not always be in agreement.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Here Kitty Kitty

For all the cat lovers out there, here are just a few of the funny cat pictures in my seemingly endless collection.


 I can haz french fry?  Purty pleeze?


You can't really see me can you?


 Arrgh! 


Look, I got the girl.


I said "NO". 
Sometimes bad shots are funny.


You should see that feather now.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Bon Jovi -The "Because We Can" Tour

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and this was my present.

By 6:30 p.m. the line stretched from the Time Warner Cable Arena down the sidewalk to the BOA parking garage where we were parked and had u-turned back up the sidewalk.  The forecast was for rain that evening, but mostly it was a cold wind accompanied by an occasional light mist.



The show was supposed to start promptly at 7:30 but, for whatever reason, did not start until 8:10.  As the lights went down and Bon Jovi took the stage, nearly 20,000 screaming fans rose to their feet.  Amid the thunder was heard "Shot through the heart and you're to blame", the chorus of the well-known "You Give Love a Bad Name".



A packed house.

They performed a number of songs from their new album "What About Now".  Among those were "Because We Can" and the title song "What About Now".  They were on stage for nearly 3 hours, and while the sound quality at the Time Warner arena left a lot to be desired, the band put on a fabulous show.



So many lights.




Behind them on stage was a video wall made up of forty 80-foot polycarbonate plastic columns covered in 3d fabric.  Using 10 hi-def video projectors they can create all sorts of amazing backgrounds.  This wall is automated and the columns move up and down independently from one another.


Skyline on the video wall.

There were 20 songs on the set list (click for links to videos), plus another 7 in three encores.

We arrived just in time to get in line, so "dinner" was high-dollar concession food eaten standing up in the corridor.  

After getting out of the parking garage, we went looking for some place that served "real food" at midnight.  After trying at a place that had stopped serving at 12, we were directed to Skyland's, a 24-hour restaurant.  It's not often we finish up our dinner at 1:30 a.m., but hey, a good time was had by all!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Under the Weather, Again

Today is day 23 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "Absurd". Visit Nicky's post to read stories from the other participants.

This is a repost from several years ago, and it seemed fitting for today.  You see I contracted yet another nasty bug, and am somewhat under the weather today, so the mere thought of manipulating words seems positively absurd.

Ever wonder where the expression "under the weather" came from?
With everyone waxing poetic about the beauty of fall, there is also a down side of this lovely season; it heralds the coming of the cold and flu season.  When we fall prey to these nasties, we tend to say that we are "under the weather".  Just this past weekend, I used that phrase myself and began to wonder of its origins.

The phrase "under the weather" dates back to the 1800s.  When sailors would become seasick, they would be sent below deck to get away from the weather, thus literally being "under the weather".  Author Donald Grant Mitchell was the first to use this phrase in his 1850 book Reveries of a Bachelor, and it has since been used for everything from being "ill" or "indisposed" to "financially embarrassed" or "drunk".

Some state that the correct term is "under the weather bow".  The weather bow is the side of the boat being hardest hit by the nasty weather.

Also there is the belief that the weather can affect one's health, so a sick person is deemed to be "under the weather".  From this theory, it stands to reason that the weather can also influence a person's mood, rendering them under the weather as well.  This is documented as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, which I touched on last fall in my post Just Another Monday.

We all know the steps to staying healthy during the cold and flu season, but here's a recap so we don't have say, "Sorry, I can't.  I'm under the weather."
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer when you can't wash.
  • Do not touch your face - nose, eyes, mouth - that is the germ's way into your system.
  • Keep your distance from those are already sick.
  • In turn, if you do get sick, stay home away from others.
  • And of course, cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Musical Birthday

It is day 16 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is "Music".  Visit Nicky's post for more musical entries from those still able to string two words together.

Music is a broad topic and covers a lot of territory.  I don't have one favorite type of music, nor one favorite song, genre or band.  But for today's prompt I chose Bon Jovi.  For over ten years now I've been a fan, from the first time I heard "Thank You For Loving Me", to their latest single "Because We Can".   

So for my birthday this year we have tickets to a show in the "Because We Can" Tour next month.  This will be our second Bon Jovi concert.  


"Because We Can"

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Mayors of Winston-Salem

It is day 10 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is "The Mayor".  Visit Nicky's page to see what the other long-suffering participants have written.

Winston and Salem merged into Winston-Salem and was officially incorporated in 1913.  Oscar Eaton was elected as the Mayor of Winston before the incorporation, and he served until 1917.  Until then there were mayors for both Winston and Salem.

Oscar B. Eaton
During Mayor Eaton's tenure, a lot was done to bring Winston-Salem into the 20th century such as the paving of First Street and the opening of the Salem Water Plant.  Also the Public Works department was established, and in 1915 the first police cars were purchased.

During our official 100-year history, Winston-Salem has had 18 mayors.  Of those 18, George Coan served two non-consecutive terms during 1929-1935 and 1943-1945.  There were two who served one-year terms.  R. J. Reynolds (I think you'll recognize that name) from 1941-1942, and J. Wilbur Crews from 1942-1943.

There were two mayors who served for 12 years each, Marshall Kerfees 1949-1961 and Wayne Corpening, 1977-1989.

The current mayor, Allen Joines has been in office since 2001.  The majoral election is coming up later this year, and Joines is seeking a fourth term.

Image Source:  Winston-Salem Mayors' Biographies.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Texting

 It is day 7 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese.  Today's prompt is "Texting".  For me it was more like a test I didn't study for.  Visit Nicky's page to see what the other long-suffering participants have written.

Way back in the dark ages before smart phones and home computers there was shorthand.  The Gregg version was invented by John Robert Gregg in 1888.  I took it in high school, (more recently than 1888) and it was probably my favorite class.  All the letters and sounds of the alphabet are represented, but the key to shorthand are brief forms.  Brief forms are words or phrases represented by one symbol, which increased efficiency.

After learning the alphabet and brief forms, we took dictation.  This was the fun part.  We started out at around 40-60 words per minute, and worked up.  I think my max rate was 140 words per minute.  We had to take and successfully transcribe 120 wpm to pass.  The funny thing was that after taking it at 110 or 120, going back to 90 or 100 was actually harder.  I think it was because we were used to the higher speed and had to recalibrate.

Thanks to modern technology, shorthand is a dying art.  Now we have computers and automated dictation equipment.  So how does all this tie in to texting?  Although serving different purposes, the brief forms used in shorthand are similar to the shortened words and phrases used in texting.  This new language allows us to convey our thoughts in 160 characters or less.  That's important when we're typing with just our thumbs.

We've actually used abbreviations like these for years such as FYI, BYOB, ASAP.  BTW, there are enough out there to MEGO.  I'll leave you with this list of shortcuts so you can tune up your texting skills.  TAFN.  CUL8R.

PS - What are some of your favorite texting short cuts?

PPS - Did anyone else take shorthand?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

How Doth the Time Pass

It is day 3 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of  We Work For Cheese.  This is written for the prompt "And the next thing I knew". 

msimuri.deviantart.com
Time is a funny thing.  Sometimes it passes so slowly you are certain the entire Redwood forest will be petrified before you advance to first in line at the checkout.  The girl with pink hair and enough body piercings to rival a punk rocker gives you a surly look, then calls someone from the cosmetic department to determine whether the brand of lip gloss you are purchasing is actually the one on sale.

What does this have to do with today's prompt you ask?  Well, it is all about how fast or slowly time passes in relation to a particular event.  This challenge was announced on January 12, giving the industrious person ample time to prepare.  I read the prompts and assured myself I would have several posts pre-written  so I wouldn't be always be writing by the seat of my pants.  I mulled, pondered, ruminated, cogitated and ultimately procrastinated.  I've got plenty of time.  Well, time has a way of speeding up at all the wrong times, and the next thing I knew it was January 31.  Oops!  I had nothing, nada, zilch.  So here it is day three, and yep, I'm writing by the seat of my pants...again!

Check out the list on Nicky's post for some good reads.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Up a Tree

This picture makes me happy!
Rosie will be 16 years old in June.  As you know, he has been struggling with diabetes for several years now, and he is currently on insulin about twice a day depending on his blood sugar levels when we test him.  In addition, he suffers from allergies, chronic sinus issues and ear and skin conditions which cause him to cough, sneeze and scratch.  He goes to the vet regularly for shots to control his symptoms.  These shots in turn raise his blood sugar.  

In spite of all this, Rosie is still a happy cat, or as we like to say "an awesome cat".  He still loves life.  However, he has good days, and not so good days. 

So why does this picture make me happy?  This was one of his very best days lately.  He loves Sophie and he was chasing her around the house.  But amid chase, Sophie went up her tree.  Uncharacteristically, Rosie followed - at least to the first perch.  He's feeling good, and that makes me happy!

On top of the world.
Sophie is the only one who uses the cat tree.  It is her escape and a good place to oversee the outside, or just catch a few uninterrupted zzz's.  Occasionally, Rosie will lay on the base and soak up a few rays.

It's nappy time!

Friday, January 18, 2013

First Snow of the Winter

Well, we finally got it.  The white stuff fell for a few hours last night after several days of rain.  While we didn't get a great deal of snow, since everything was saturated from all the rain, hubby's car doors were frozen shut when the temperature fell into the 20s. 

This is what it looked like just before dark last night.  We even had a few rumbles of thunder during the snow.

A snowy sunrise.  The sun shining through the snow covered trees is so pretty.

The snow plow spreading salt.

This is a different view of the pond in our ditch, which was frozen over this morning.

A icy look down the street.

By now the the sun is out bright, the temperatures are rising and the snow and ice will soon be a thing of the past.  A typical snow in our area.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nothing

Image Source: Wikipedia
What do you do when the inside of your brain is as glum and dreary as the day is outside?  Like all the rain has soaked in and drowned your last two brain cells.  I guess you could sit slumped in front of your computer with your head in your hands, pretending to be "the thinker" until the muscles in your neck permanently freeze into that position, leaving you with much more in common with the thinker than you thought possible. That's way too much thinking!

Or you could do what I do.  Nothing!  Except in telling you about doing nothing, I am actually doing something.  Except that the something is really nothing.  

Now you can see why I have nothing to offer.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Something for Everyone?



Just in time for Christmas, Scotch introduces the stiletto tape dispenser.  Available in other colors and styles.  I guess there is indeed something for everyone!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Intracoastal Sunset

I love sunsets, especially at the beach.  I usually focus on those over the Gulf of Mexico.  The most beautiful sunsets are those with interesting clouds to absorb and reflect the sun's rays.  This evening, however, the beauty lay in the other direction.


Here are some satellite pictures of the area.


I took the picture from the end of the Boardwalk facing the islands.
The drawbridge has been replaced and was under construction when these images were taken.


This was one way to get from our condo to the Boardwalk.  We love having such a great choice of restaurants within walking distance.  


This was truly a beautiful evening!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Looking Ahead


This is a photograph taken at Reynolda Gardens that inspired the name of this blog.  While you sometimes see them here, the blog isn't about roses or rainbows, but about life and what goes on in my head.  This is expressed through fiction and poetry, through pictures, through the antics of my cats, and thoughts and questions that come up through every day living.

Thank you for joining me in my journey over the last three years, and as we look ahead to what life holds in store.

Reynolda Gardens (How I Named my Blog - Part I)

It's All in the Name (How I Named my Blog - Part II)


Today is the last day of the Roses to Rainbows Third Anniversary Giveaway.  The winner will be announced tomorrow.



 

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