Saturday, February 25, 2012

Six Degrees

"Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, "a friend of a friend" statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare. "   More on this statistical premise can be found here.

Grannieannie posted that her Goddaughter was once again attending the Oscar ceremony and that she would be watching TV to see her.  This got me thinking about the 6 degrees theory.

I live in the woods. Just outside my woods about a mile away is a small shopping center that has the name of my town because it has the Post Office. Just 4 miles from there is a little seaside tourist town...very little. Across the river is another town supported by a large military base, but consisting mostly of strip malls and chain restaurants. None of this area suggests a sophisticated community.

Two days ago while getting my hair cut in a walk-in shop my young white hairdresser was talking about the death of Whitney Houston.  She said that she had cried for the entire day.  While I was a little concerned about her stability she went on to explain that she was a high school friend of Toni Braxton and still emailed her on a regular basis.  She said that Toni had her issues with fame and fortune and that my hairdresser was concerned about her sometimes.  When I went home and did some research, I found that Braxton had indeed lived in a small town not too far from here.

Last month I ate dinner at a friend's house and while we were enjoying his grilled oysters he asked us if we had seen the movie with Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock titled Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  I explained that since it was about 9/11 I still could not see movies on this quite yet (if ever).  He then went on to explain that the young boy with the major roll in the movie was the son of a close friend of his in California and had literally fallen into the role, and therefore, they felt some obligation to see it.

This next is not a true 6 degrees because I did not know someone who knew someone...but a few decades ago I spent an hour with Morgan Freeman watching a street show in Bermuda.  We did not talk to each other but did smile and enjoy the music together and did stand "incredibly close."  I recognized him from the Public Television show Electric Company...and although he had started acting he was not nearly as famous as he is today.

Here is a true 6 degrees and only two degrees.  My daughter and her husband did have a leisure dinner with Rob Lowe and his assistant about a year ago.

Do you have a 6 degree's anecdote from the entertainment industry that you would like to share?

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Belated Post

In the United States on the third Monday of the month of February we celebrate a holiday called President's Day.  This day was set aside to honor our Presidents.  Since it is close to Washington's birthday, our first president, we Americans are very efficient and made it into two holidays.  We also combined Abraham Lincoln's birthday into the celebration since his falls into the middle of the month.  Are we not efficient?  If we were one of the more socialist countries we would certainly make sure that we had three full days to holiday during the month of February.  But we are a nation that honors that Puritan work ethic...or pretends to.

Since we have long since given up treating our country's leaders with any respect as they continue to prove our idiocy in electing them, this holiday is somewhat an anachronism for us.  Citizens usually shop (President's Day sales), sleep, drink, or get together with friends and eat.  Rarely does anyone discuss anything about our Presidents --- past, present or future.

During this past President's Day (February 20) we, like many grandparents, babysat our grandchildren since most schools are closed.  But on the Sunday before, I decided I wanted to see the Annie Leibovitz photographic exhibit that was free at our Smithsonian Museum of American Art.  I was not allowed to take photos at this exhibit, so if you want more information about this artist and the exhibit you need to go here.  She is a very interesting lady!

The Museum of American Art was completely remodeled a few years ago and it is just lovely.

Anyway, I was allowed to take photos in the President's Portrait Gallery wing which was just down the hall and therefore, I will share some (just a few) of those with you.  I know that this is the first time in my life I have even been in this gallery and certainly the first time close to the holiday that honors them.  I am sure you will notice the tremendous variety of artistic styles and one has to assume that the President's approved of these...although in some cases I wonder why.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I Support Scientific Research

I do so need to move this election on. I do not live in a state that is being bombarded with election ads. As anyone who reads this blog knows I am a liberal with fiscal conservative leanings and definitely a progressive.  I do not fear the discoveries of science and Republicans seem to be anti-science with preventative care for women and global warming denial among other science subjects.  I know that science can introduce dangers and can diminish the importance and beauty of life.  But I also know that science has saved us so many times (polio, salmonella, prostheses, understanding our planet, weather predictions, creation of fabrics and products that make our lives so much easier, etc., etc and even MORE etc.)

I do not understand why this fear is so overpowering and that makes me so sad.  Our education system is not keeping us in the forefront of producing dynamic and smart people and other countries are fast at our heels.  But this article really depressed me. 

These links disappear so fast but here is the start of this article if you cannot find it:

" A large group of Americans fear what Science is "under siege," top academics and educators were warned repeatedly at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting as they were urged to better communicate their work to the public.

Scientific solutions are needed to solve global crises -- from food and water shortages to environmental destruction -- "but the public now does not understand science," leading US climate change expert and Nasa scientist James Hansen told the meeting.

"We have a planetary emergency, and very few people recognize that."

The theme of the five-day meeting, attended by some 8,000 scientists from 50 countries, was "Flattening the world: Building a global knowledge society."

"It's about persuading people to believe in science, at a time when disturbing numbers don't," said meeting co-chair Andrew Petter, president of Simon Fraser University in this western Canadian city.
Experts wrangled with thorny issues such as censorship, opposition from religious groups in the United States to teaching evolution and climate change, and generally poor education standards.

"We have to plan for a future, considering the risk of climate change, with nine to 10 billion people," said Hans Rosling, a Swedish public health expert famous for combating scientific ignorance with catchy YouTube videos.

Rosling, pointing to charts showing how human populations changed with technology and how without science the majority of a family's children die, said it is naive to think that humanity can easily go backward in history..."

Spamming Along

It didn't take long. Two spam comments to older posts on this blog. But since I have comment moderation on for older posts they did not make it to publish!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

That NASTY Word Verification

I went back to the old interface and saved the remove word verification process.  Would you all let me know if this works.  I will leave this setting up for  several posts and see if it increases spam comments.  I agree with everyone that the new word verification interface that Blogger has implement is a DISASTER.  You all  keep me posted and I will do the same for you!  Then if it seems to work, I will assist anyone else in this process.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

One Woman's Taste

Grannie mentioned in a recent comment to my post below that she had ordered a baked sweet potato as part of her Valentine's dinner last week. The waitress asked if she wanted cinnamon and brown sugar on it and she replied that she preferred sour cream and butter. The waitress looked at her as if she had ordered something really odd. Since neither of these are super healthy toppings, the critique had to be for another reason, such as personal taste. It was off-putting to Grannie since she was the customer!

During my visit to Charlotte, NC, I celebrated an early Valentine's Day with two dinners in fancy restaurants.  ENSO and Blue if you want to check them out, you can click on the names.  Blue had tremendous attentive service and the food was good if not great although they were right-on with the wine pairing.   ENSO on the other hand was high energy and certainly for the young.  We were the only gray heads in the restaurant, but did not feel out of place in anyway. The room was filled with young music, beautiful young girls eating dinner and being waited on by handsome male waiters, some of whom most certainly should have been gay, they were so perfect in appearance.  The food was excellent!

But as we left Charlotte that Sunday and since it is an 8 hour drive for us, we had to have lunch mid-way somewhere.  We stopped at some chain restaurant whose name I do not remember.  I had been eating heavy all weekend and chain restaurants are not known for their healthy food.  Therefore on one of the sides to my fish dish I ordered veggies and dip rather than fried rice, french fries, etc.  The waitress a short and stocky black women looked at me and smiled.  "You don't want that.  Are you sure?"

I asked her, "Why not, were the veggies old or something?"

She replied, "No, but it is just raw vegetables with ranch dip.  You REALLY want that?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Are you sure?"  she repeated.  Then she made a face and said, "OK." as she wrote down my order.

I do not mind wait staff telling me about problems with certain dishes based on their opinions, but critiquing my taste in food is something else.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Label Reading

Since I am more inactive than ever with my boot I try to eat healthy.  I also am trying to eat less.   I try to keep calorie rich snacks out of the house except for company.  Hubby now does most of the shopping and came across these chips at the market and knowing the I like sweet potatoes thought I would like these.  I did not intentionally cut off the top word on the bag, but I think it was something about how healthy food "Should Taste Good."  The tiny print in the very middle is what should have been read more closely.  It says "All Natural Tortilla Chips."  Unlike 99% of America, I am not a big fan of tortilla chips unless they are those light ones freshly made at the Mexican restaurant.  I can eat a few of the bagged tortilla chips but not with much enthusiasm.  These sweet potato chips didn't remotely taste like sweet potatoes.  They were not light like chips but hearty and thick.  I turned over the bag and read the ingredients.

Sweet potatoes are the third ingredient after corn and fat.  I also find the euphemism of "Evaporated Cane Juice"  just a little insulting!  I hate when companies do this!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Drum Roll

I wrote the names on my legal tablet and then cut them in identical little pieces and put them in the basket. With my eyes closed I drew out the winner...and the winner is Mage from Postcards! She has a lovely home, so I hope my photograph fits somewhere. Mage, my email (the one I use for blogging only and rarely check) is Sec66M at Please send me your mailing address and I will send you the canvas as soon as I can.

Thursday, February 09, 2012


Friko posted recently about how polite we are in our comments to other bloggers.  She compared this to the advertising that tells us what we want to read about ourselves so that we will buy their products. "You are a smart woman so you really should try this." I do think that we are usually very kind and complimentary in our blog comments.  I know that I have never told anyone that their post was interesting and just needed a grammatical correction here and there and should probably have a more concise conclusion.  I actually don't think I ever thought it even!  I would never mention typos since I am the Queen of those.  I also know that I am most strongly attracted to those blogs that seem transparent and honest.

I think that perhaps we are kinder to our readers than we would normally be because we want them to continue to read the daily stuff we write; maybe they can improve their writing skills by reading us.  We want them to enjoy our breakfast descriptions, our new purchases, our baby pictures, our fun with pets events, our music choices and above all our daily angst and whining.  In exchange we will endure their goat's antics, their garden photos, their dirty cartoons and their painful poetry...and in Tabor's case, her overuse of the period as a pause feature.

When I commented on Friko's post I explained that I tell the truth 99% of the time, which perhaps most of us do.  If I cannot write anything nice I will NOT make a comment.  Of course, this does not mean that my lack of comments on your blog post means I did not like it.  I  might not have read it, might have figured I had nothing to add, or might not have understood it enough to comment, as I can be a little thick.  I do not follow most of the many fiction writers blogs, but I guess if I did I would be glad to critique their work honestly if they asked...but I could only critique as a reader, as I do not see myself as a good editor.   On other types of blogs, daily journal types, if someone was writing about some difficult time in their life and I thought that they were in a rut and whining too much, I probably would not comment honestly because I have no idea what stage of their life they were in and whether I had the full story of this drama.  Even most honest writers can only write about their lives through the glasses that they are wearing.  And if someone else spent too much time writing about their cat, I would not comment with "What a bore you are becoming."  I wouldn't be reading their blog in the first place.

Most of us do not get paid for this sterling prose that we type, and therefore, really do not deserve a critique. Some of us have the time and interest to create meme challenges, award icons and links to those posts we read that impress us.  That keeps the soup stirred so it doesn't burn and also helps us meet each other.

I am off on a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina for an early Valentine's getaway and will complete the drawing and announcement on the prior post when I return.  I only got a dozen blogger's interested which may say more about my photography than it does about interest in my blog!  Oh well, I am not going to dwell too long on either painful thought.  Play nice while I am away.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Free Art Giveaway and Charity Donation

Okay I have decided that the best way to get this photo out to a 'winner' is to have my readers post a comment to this post, not just any comment that says you want this photo, but a comment below with a few sentences on your favorite charity or cause and why you give to it.  It can be local, national, and anywhere in between.  It is just to get you into the hat for the drawing.  I will leave this post up until  Thursday at 4:00 PM  East Coast time.  I will then draw a name and ask for the mailing address of the winner and get this package wrapped and of charge even if it goes overseas.  See the post below for a reminder of the picture printed on canvas and the dimensions of the canvas frame.  Remember, even if it does not fit your decor, it might make a good gift for someone you know.  And as an extra little bit of motivation and so I am not embarrassed by the lack of interest in my artwork, I will donate $50.00 to the charity of the selected reader.  Happy Early Valentines Day to you all!

Friday, February 03, 2012


This is a photo I took about two years ago when some little white ducks swam close to the dock at sunset.  I had it printed on canvas and it is 16inches  by 20 inches approx.  I actually, accidentally, printed two of them and have this as an extra.  It has been sitting in plastic under my bed, and the recent painting of that room brought it once again to my attention.

I think it would make a nice give-away to one of my lucky blog readers...but I have no idea about the best way of going about that.  Any ideas??  Should I just ask if anyone wants it and then draw names from a hat of the responders?