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Monday, March 30, 2009

I Blog About Logs

The Internet is so full of information; sometimes useful, sometimes not so useful, but interesting nonetheless.

Today I came across this little bit of info about Lincoln Logs, one of my favorite childhood toys.

Lincoln Logs were invented in 1916 by John Lloyd Wright, the son of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

The original instructions taught you how to build replicas of Uncle Tom’s cabin and Abraham Lincoln’s cabin. Hmmm, those instructions I don’t remember. The Christmas morning I got the logs I was too excited to start building and probably trashed the instructions along with the gift wrap paper that Santa’s helpers used to wrapped my present.

Originally the logs were made out of wood (which mine were), but as the era of plastic emerged the logs lost their authenticity and were mass produced as plastic. Fortunately for children now (and some adults) the logs are back to being wood.

I remember my Lincoln Logs fondly.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Aboriginal Album of the Year

Yesterday Canada honored the best in music with the Juno Awards.
Buffy Sainte-Marie won Aboriginal Album of the Year for her latest CD “Running for the Drum.”

”Gee, I'm very much surprised and grateful, she said backstage afterward. "I got an Academy award and a Golden Globe and a Gemini and a buncha stuff, but ... the Junos are a big deal in Canada, and the show is seen around the world, so to be acknowledged for the fun I've had is a real treat.”

If you haven’t listened to this incredible CD you must. It’s available for purchase through Buffy’s website, or through Amazon.

Congratulations, Buffy.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Goodbye, Mailbox

Convenience is a good thing. I live my life with an eye towards convenience. So you can only imagine my state-of-mind when I walked to the mailbox a block away from my apartment to mail a letter and found a slab of cement where the mailbox used to be.

Yesterday it was there. Today it was not.

I was discombobulated. Where was I supposed to put my letter? My morning schedule was suddenly interrupted, and not in a good way. I was not pleased.

There’s another mailbox a few blocks further away from my apartment, but that’s a longer walk...

Because I really wanted to mail my letter I walked to the other mailbox, but it didn’t fail right. Sure, a mailbox is a mailbox is a mailbox, but I had a special relationship with the one closer to my humble abode. I relied on that mailbox, knowing every day at 1:30 PM the Post Office truck would arrive and pick up my letters. That mailbox and I had an unspoken agreement that whatever I put in its slot would never get lost en route to its final destination.

The one time I cheated on my favorite mailbox with another less-attractive mailbox, both my letter and Netflix movie never made it to their destinations. They fell victim to the postal abyss of lost letters and Netflix movies.

I’ve mourned my mailbox and will get better acquainted with the other one, the one much further down the street, but it might take some time.

Until then I’m not mailing anything.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tennis Tennis Tennis

Sunday was my yearly road trip to Palm Springs for the BNP Paribas Tennis Open. After a slight hiccup in traveling - a wacky windshield wiper wouldn’t wipe - the sun came out and the clouds went wherever clouds go when they’re unable to spit down any more rain, and we were able to continue along without windshield wiper worry.

Arriving a bit late we missed the first set of the Women’s Finals, but did see the final set where Russian Vera Zvonareva beat Serbian Ana Ivanovic for the coveted title (7-6, 6-2).

Next came the Men’s Finals with Rafael Nadal from Spain upsetting Andy Murray from Great Britain 6-1, 6-2. It was a great match. Some of the serves were over 100 miles per hour.

The wind in Palm Springs was a force of nature swirling up a storm of sand. It proved quite difficult for the players. At times the wind carried the ball in directions no one anticipated. It made for some great tennis moments.

Here are some photos:




Afterwards we feasted on a delicious dinner at the Cork Tree Restaurant in Palm Springs, and then it was the long journey back to Los Angeles.

I love tennis. I love going to the games.

I eagerly await next year.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Calories

I recently read in a magazine this formula for determining your daily caloric intake:

Weight X 18 - 500 = daily caloric intake

(For women it’s weight X 15 - 500)

I boldly entered my own weight into my calculator, multiplied by 18, then subtracted 500.... and discovered that I should consume no more than 2,614 calories per day.
I’m not an over-eater, but I do like food; fried foods and desserts being my weakness.

I fear waking up one morning with a pot belly and man boobs.

Sad realization is that I can never stop going to the gym or else my waist would increase to sizes that would force me to be weighed on a Richter Scale.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No No Keshagesh

There’s a song on Buffy Sainte-Marie’s brilliant new CD Running For The Drum called “No No Keshagesh.”

Keshagesh? It's a Native American word, and as Buffy explains, “Keshagesh means Greedy Guts. It’s what you call a little puppy who eats his own and then wants everybody else’s.”

Edward Liddy, CEO and chairman of AIG, is on Capitol Hill today answering questions about AIG executives receiving million dollar bonuses from our bailout money... GREEDY PUPS indeed!

Here’s Buffy performing her timely song on CBC Q:


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Leprechaun Just Told Me...


The very first civic and public celebration of St. Patrick’s Day was in Boston in 1737.

The first St. Patrick’s Day celebrated in New York City was in 1756 at the Crown and Thistle Tavern.






St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born around AD 385 in Wales.






So Patrick has a halo... big deal. I think every May 28th should be declared Saint Michael’s Day, with parades and concerts and lots of wine and bawdy joke telling. Debauchery at its finest. It will add a true meaning to being "saintly."

Now if I can only find that telephone number I have for the pope... 1-900...

Monday, March 16, 2009

Greetings From 42 Years Ago...

This past weekend I went to a friend’s birthday party at a beautiful house high on a hill overlooking the Silverlake reservoir in Los Angeles. The street the house is on is the steepest street in Los Angeles.

As I drove up the hill my heartbeat began to accelerate... higher and higher.... shifting from third gear to first gear... my fear of heights was rearing its ugly head.... As I reached the peak I couldn’t see anything in front of me but blue sky. Was that heaven in the distance beckoning me? If I kept driving would I fall off the face of the earth into the abyss that would take me straight to hell?

I took my chances and kept driving and over the peak I slowly went and what I saw was the steepest decline I’d ever seen. Fearful of parking on such a steep hill I continued halfway down before parking my car, facing my wheels into the curb, and pulling the emergency break as far as it would go.

I then looked at the address I had written down and realized the house was at the top of the hill so I had to climb... and climb... and climb. I never looked back until I got to the top. Wow, the view was incredible. The reservoir below. The Hollywood sign in the distance. Absolutely spectacular.

At the party there was plenty of food, drink, old friends, new friends, conversation, and laughter.

As a special present one of the birthday girl’s childhood friends brought two letters the birthday girl wrote while a teenager studying dance in Spain. The letters were written in April and May, 1967. That’s 42 years ago.

The birthday girl read the letters aloud, at times astonished at what she’d written, laughing at her naivete, her hopes and dreams, and her passion for dancing. It was quite the touching moment where everyone ooohed and aaahed and reflected on their own dreams.

Times change. People grow. And sometimes people forget. But a letter from 42 years ago brings back special moments in time.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Mole-ful of Information

In the course of one night a mole can dig a tunnel 300 feet long.

The primary menu choice for a mole is earthworms and other small creatures found in soil.
The mole’s saliva contains a toxin that paralyzes earthworms which allows the mole to store their still living prey for a snack later in the day or night.

And where do they house these paralyzed earthworms? In underground “larders” which can accommodate over a thousand earthworms.

Do you think moles suffer from gluttony?

Makes you think twice before running barefoot in the forest or rolling around naked in a pile of leaves.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Satan’s Got a Heart...

Barbara Bush had heart surgery the other day.

Hmmm... I’m surprised the surgeon actually found a heart in her.

It must be centuries old and shriveled to the size of a pea.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

A Circus is a Circus, Not a Concert

There seems to be so much excitement surrounding Pop Tart Britney Spears’ concert extravaganza.


Elaborate sets, lots of dancers, and skimpy costumes cannot hide the fact that she lip-synchs. Yes, she lip-synchs, folks.

That’s not a concert.

It’s a circus, and she’s the freak show.

Now I’m beginning to wonder if Britney’s just another Milli Vanilli. Has anyone ever heard her sing live?