Category Archives: Uncategorized

Climate Change. ??

Bradford Pear (tree) in my side yard

December 11, 2009 Tree still has leaves

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is in progress in Copenhagen.

The Conference runs December 7 to 18, 2009.  We will see what the results will be at its’ conclusion.

There is much argument over costs to combat climate change.   Pay now or pay later.  Unbelievably, there are those that say what is or is not going on is not caused by human activity.  End of an Ice Age??  Cyclical Sun activity???  Random weather patterns????     ……. too many humans?

Here is my little contribution to climate change observation.  I have lived in my current house for ten years.  I live in coastal Virginia, USA.  This tree in my side yard has never had leaves in December.

Here is a link to the USA EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) climate change website.  Check it out.  See what you can do to make a difference.

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/index.html

Craig Ferguson makes me lose sleep

Craig Ferguson, Nov. 20, 2009

Craig Ferguson, late late night show, Nov. 20, 09

Jazz Hands

Jazz Hands

Jazz Hands, pix 2

Jazz Hands, pix 2

Craig Ferguson.  Funniest guy on TV.  Makes me lose sleep.

So. Yes, blogging about the show…..

Nodding Inspector. (I Would have been arrested after 1st guest, as I fell asleep on couch – HATE it when I do that! ..X*!@..)   —- Missed half the show—- has something to do with getting up at 5:30am the previous four mornings….

Whiplash speculation.

OMG!!! Oprah’s announced [retirement?] ‘Withdrawal From Daytime Airwaves’!!!! –WFDA!!!  omg!! (not really)

First Guest: Neil Patrick Harris.  Second Guest: ????  Can’t find the guest line up on CBS’s website …  {not spending too much time on trying to find that piece of info….. just saying…}

JAZZ HANDS

Global Warming. ?

My side yard tree, November 19, 2009

My side yard tree, November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009.

This tree is a Bradford Pear located in my side yard (in coastal Virginia).  This tree’s leaves have turned yellow and most of them have dropped by this time of year in the past.

Global Warming?

Just a warm start to Fall/Winter??

Anyone else notice changes?

Virginia Symphony, October 31, 2009, Halloween night

Philippe Quint, violin soloist

Philippe Quint, violin soloist

Halloween night at Chrysler Hall with the Virginia Symphony.

Excellent performance.

Soloist, Philippe Quint had everyone smiling because he was.  You think you’ve heard it all/won’t hear any thing different  when it comes to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.   Well, Quint provided a pleasant unfolding of the piece.  The Smiles, the exuberant performance, the engaging of the orchestra (catching the eyes of the other musicians) by Quint provided a soloist performance the audience thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated.  The Four Seasons never sounded so good!  Bravo!!!

Philippe Quint, violin soloist receiving his applause

Philippe Quint, violin soloist receiving his applause for an excellent performance

The balance of the program  also provided an enjoyable experience.

Don Juan, Opus 20 by Strauss.  Tone poem.  This piece provided the horn section and principal oboe an opportunity to show their chops.  They did.

Suite from L’oiseau de feu 1919 Version by Stravinsky.   ~Otherwise known as Firebird.  Very Russian in orchestration.  Full orchestra.  Beautiful sound.

The Associate Conductor, Matthew Kraemer, conducted for the evening’s performance.

Republicans will win the Governors Office in Virginia in 2009

Not because I want the Republican party/ McDonnell to win.  Unfortunately, it is because McDonnell ran a better campaign.

The Democratic Party could have won if they had run a better campaign.

The following comments, for the most part, are from an email I sent to drshow@wamu.org in response to their program today (Friday, October 30, 2009).

————————————————

Two observations on the subject of the Diane Rehm Show on NPR today, October 30, 2009

1:

Too much will be made of the Republican win in Virginia.  It is more about marketing than substance.
First off, even though Deeds won the summer Democrat run-off, the better over all candidate (Moran) did not win in that contest.
Additionally, the Democrat (Deeds) got a poor start in his public campaign after that summer election.  McDonnell, the Republican, got an early start with his advertising in the early summer.
The Republican has a MUCH better marketing campaign strategy/staff.  They (McDonnell’s campaign) are making much use of his large family, framing him as ‘folksy’ figure who most people can relate to.  His commercials are well composed.  McDonnell’s staff has made good use of attack politics and Deeds/Democrats  do not respond to those attacks.  They (Deeds’ campaign) finally got around to airing simultaneous (as in back to back/Rep then Dem.) commercials at summers end -but not in sufficient quantity/quality.  Deeds’ campaign merely attacks in return (NO creativity [but NOT -I mean- in the ‘making up stuff’ sense]) -additionally, NO calling out of the Republican statements/misstatements.
Deeds has a ‘funny’ first name.  I believe that is a handicap to most Virginia voters.  Yes, the current USA President has a ‘funny’ name, too; however, he can pull it off.

Deeds has a TERRIBLE campaign marketing strategy (staff?).  Deeds campaign uses/used, for the most part, a single issue (McDonnell’s masters thesis) to base its attacks on McDonnell’s past record.  That strategy is not working.  The Democrat commercials to present his (Deeds) ideas were poor and few.
McDonnell had the airwaves to himself in the summer.  EVERYBODY running for political office advertises in October.  The airwaves are then (now) crowded and confusing.
Deeds has not been presented as a ‘likable’ character (their attempts have been poor) – that has been a MAJOR mistake, in my opinion.
So, do not (You, the Media) make too much of the Republican win in Virginia. —-But we know that’s not going to happen.
I will vote for Deeds; however, I think he has no chance against the better run marketing campaign of McDonnell.
2:
The Government.  Flogging the ‘Government’ as too big, too corrupt, etc., remains the favorite topic of fear mongers.  The Government provides stability to this country.  I have a sister and a number of friends who have ‘government’ jobs.  They are productive, honest workers who strive to do their duties as required and some, over and above that.
Lumping the government workers into the ‘Big Government’ category is not helping attitudes of the assets of our country.  How is ‘Big Government’ defined?  Is it Civil Service workers, Congress, the President, the Courts, and policies and procedures all lumped together as the ‘Big Government’ problem?  Policies and procedures should be critiqued/changed as necessary for the good of everyone not just to the benefit of single issues/industries.  Investigations/prosecution of individuals who take advantage of their positions and the possibility of prosecution for misdeeds must always be ‘out there’ as a tempering brake.  Indiscretions of a few must not be applied to all.  The system is not perfect.  However, we (the people) continue to strive for a ‘more perfect union’. (and make changes to get there)
The government provides stability:  just look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc., countries with NO reliable systems in place.  Think about the ‘wild west’ period of the USA.  There is a fragile line of civilization in society, no matter where.  My little corner of Virginia in 2003, when Hurricane Isabelle blew through, provides an example.  The hurricane knocked out electricity and the means of communication for days.  Some elements of the local society took advantage of the situation.  A few roving bands of thieves broke into abandoned/non-occupied homes and businesses.  The thieves knew they had a window of opportunity and they took advantage of it.  THIS BEHAVIOR IS THE SAME EVERYWHERE ON THIS PLANET WHERE THERE ARE HUMANS.  When there are organizing systems in place and honest, earnest people (I did not say zealot) in charge of the ‘Government’, this behavior is held in check.
If it was not for ‘Government’ we would ALL be in the stone age or overrun by “Bernie Madoff’s”.
Please refine your critiques.
Broad brushing muddies the conversation and progress to societal improvements.
My two cents.

Narrator at General’s Promotion

September 29, 2009 – Promotion Ceremony for General Mark P. Hertling.
My participation, as Narrator, in the promotion ceremony was a lot of fun.  I was not as nervous as I thought I might be; however, practice helped with that.  Army Major General Mark P. Hertling received another star (total of three) to become a Lieutenant General at Fort Monroe’s Army Training and Doctrine Command.  The ceremony was hosted by General Martin Dempsey, the Commanding General for US Army Training and Doctrine Command .  What a grand ceremony it was.  Fifteen gun salute – loud!  Presenting of the ‘Battle Flag’ – symbolic.  Their pomp & circumstance tradition plays a great role in the military’s organization.  I was impressed.
Nancy at Narrator's stand
Nancy at Narrator’s stand
Fort Monroe TRADOC Band setting up for ceremony
Fort Monroe TRADOC Band setting up for ceremony
Before ceremony
Before ceremony
Before ceremony
Before ceremony
My script at the lecturn
My script at the lecturn
General Hertling in the receiving line
General Hertling in the receiving line
Smoked salmon
Smoked salmon
Lamb chops
Lamb chops
Steamed shrimp
Steamed shrimp
The moat at Fort Monroe Casemate Museum
The moat at Fort Monroe









The ceremony reception was held at the Casemate Museum.  **If you have not visited that museum, you should.  You get an idea of the conditions of the mid 1800’s world.  ~One thing, people were REALLY short~   Lots of historical military artifacts thru-out the maze-like floor plan.  It feels like you’re walking thru a cavern.**  Lets get to the important part – the FOOD WAS GREAT.  Well, one would expect food at a General’s reception to be good.

A great spread with many choices.
I especially liked the perfect lamb chops (lots of folks get this wrong/generally too dry) and the smoked salmon.  The shrimp were a tad small (I shouldn’t complain).  As I departed, I captured this moat image in the oncoming twilight.  Perfect lighting.

Three Minute Fiction

My losing entry is below.  This attempt was my first contest entry; And Fun It Was. I will enter again when the new contest is announced – provided, of course, I can come up with a decent story.

The favorites and the one that won are great.

Here is the link to npr’s three minute fiction webpage.  Cut and paste/the link is not live.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=105660765

Read the winning entry and the runners up, there are 12.  Last contest had just 5 runners up.
Premise is:  Construct a story that can be read in three minutes or less.
This contest round had a qualifier.  The first sentence had to be: “the nurse left work at five o’clock.”  There were many imaginative variations!

Here is my losing entry:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Interlude

The nurse left work at five o’clock.  That was just after the nurse finished up in room five twenty-two. It was evening.

She, the other woman in the room, left about twenty-five minutes later.

By leaving, the nurse left her alone, She was alone in the room with him.  A pall seemed to settle in with the waning, evening light.

It’s over., she thought. Finally.

She thought about the bond between them.  Their connections.  The bonds between people change with time and circumstance.  Their bond was still there, nonetheless.  That breathless realization that he will not breathe again enveloped her.   She found it hard to get her breath.  Her frame shook, convulsed sort of, and a great heave of sobs poured out.  Every molecule in her body shook at once, as if it were their last gasp for air.

After a few minutes, it was over.  She felt her body lightened by the rip of emotion.  She was surprised by that.

The door to room five twenty-two opened slightly; she turned her head to the sound.

The funeral people came in.

She left the room.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I can see why it was not a contender:  kind of awkward flow in sentence construction.  Will need to work on that.  Overall, I think the story has some good emotion in it.  NOTE: corrections to this post in red.