A Book And It’s Cover ~ Early Evening Thoughts …

Anyone around my blog knows how I feel about judging people – especially people you don’t even know!!!!

Having spent much of my life feeling judged and “weighed in the balance” it’s been an interesting transition for me to keep on keeping on, especially after the events that I’ve written about where I decided to stop even trying and worse, stop living ….

Now, let me lighten this a bit …. I titled this post A Book And It’s Cover.  For fun, here’s some covers that allow us to imagine what’s inside ….

bad title 8 bad title5 bad title6 bad title8

However, this post deals more with judging a person before we know much, if anything, about them.  Which in my mind says, “I don’t like the way you look/walk”.  In actuality, what a terrible way to do things.  We have no idea what people have to offer that just might enhance our lives and living.

Some of the best examples of this occur on the various talent shows around the world.  I generally watch the American and European ones on YouTube … and I’ve seen judges get seriously “burned” by thinking the “cover” is the book.  Remember Simon Cowl and Susan Boyle? I rest my case …..

This clip is from Ukraine’s Got Talent several years ago … He didn’t make it into the finals (pity) but he taught me a lesson that in spite of a handicap – there’s basically nothing that should hold you back!

When I was teaching in India, I had several students in the 8 years who suffered from what this young comedian suffers from … and has been before, a comedian’s weakness can turn out to be their greatest strength … right? [He came in 2nd place, but he’s still the winner in my eyes …]

And last, (and the people all said, “Praise God”) this year AGT had a deaf singer … Talk about something to overcome.

Be who you are and how you are … you’re the only one who can …

Short Elegant Time Wasters ~ Early Evening Thoughts….

Normally I put games here that I’ve found … and I’ve got a couple of those to share later.  These two videos managed to turn into time wasters as I actually played these twice (that I’ll admit to, anyway ….)

This one is sort of a “Forest After Dark” feed.  Instead of the BB nonsense we get some woodland folk being all natural.  During the convention of bears around the tree, No one and I repeat, no one will look down on you for singing – The Bear Necessities – Glenn Naylor is a Park Ranger and photography enthusiast who lives and works in Alberta, CA. As a founding member of Bow Valley Wildsmart, you can probably guess that he loves nature.

The next video interested me on a number of levels …””Here now are 167 musicians playing the absolute hell out of 167 matryomins, to the tune of a boogie-tastic Beethoven’s 9th. Be apprised: “matryomin” is a portmanteau of matryoshka (as in nested matryoskka doll) and theremin. It’s… basically exactly what it sounds like.

The theremin has been the go-to instrument of horror/suspense movies for ages.  It just somewhat amazing to me that it would work as well as it does with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 AND it’s rock cousin ….

Come Let Us Reason Together ~ Early Evening Thoughts ….

Often, for me anyway, I get somewhat random thoughts as very random times.  Unfortunately, it’s often when I either can’t pursue the thought (just drifting off to sleep) or where writing the idea down is either impossible or unfeasible (inside a very noisy club or … well … you get the idea!)

One of the reasons I enjoy the TED talks and TEDEducation videos, is so often they manage to hit one something I’ve had a stray thought about and never thought about again.

I also have decided that if my teachers had presented concepts this way, my grades would certainly have been better.  I can only hope, that when I was teaching in India ~ some of my students felt I had reached out this way ….

This video tackles invisibility … what, where, when and quite a bit of why … bear with the beginning – it will pay off shortly after the video starts.

Early Evening Thoughts ~ Real Life Game ~

Nothing at all heavy tonight … I love to watch Parkour and I thoroughly enjoy PC games … such as World of Warcraft, etc.  There’s an incredibly popular game called Assassin’s Creed which has gone through several versions … here, in it’s simplest form is what happens when Parkour meets Assassin’s Creed in real life…. sheer beauty to me ..

Early Evening Thoughts ~ Have Lunch With God ~ Bring Potato Chips

Potato Chips

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God
lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack
of root beer and started his journey.
When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old man. He was sitting
in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to him and
opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when
he noticed that the old man looked hungry, so he offered him some chips.
He gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

His smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered
him a root beer. Again, he smiled at him. The boy was delighted!

They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a

As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to
leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran
back to the old man, and gave him a hug. He gave him his biggest smile ever..

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother
was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, “What did you do today that made you so happy?”
He replied, “I had lunch with God.” But before his mother could respond, he
added, “You know what? He’s got the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen!”

Meanwhile, the old man, also radiant with joy, returned to his home. His son was stunned by the look of peace on his face and he asked, “dad, what did you do today that made you so happy?”

He replied “I ate potato chips in the park with God.” However, before his
son responded, he added, “You know, he’s much younger than I expected.”

Have lunch with God…….bring chips.

Evidently, this story has been making the rounds for awhile, but it was the first time I’d seen it and I’ve fallen in love with it ….

And My Life Goes On And On ~

As you’ve discovered here, I’m pretty easy going and have a pretty good sense of humor.  Today, however, I wasn’t so sure I was going to be able to keep it … Read on McDuff!!!

OK, first up was a Dr’s appointment (good report) followed by a trip with a friend to Bath and Body Works – for the sale (things up to 75% off) and I had a coupon for an additional $10 off. Sounds simple enough, right? Um … this is me we’re talking about!!!! So, braving the sales crowd at the store, I find the “flavor” of wall air-freshener I like ~ Eucalyptus Mint, if you must know…. 4 for $20. Not a great buy, but OK none-the-less. Leaving that station RIGHT NEXT TO IT is another station filled with the same fragrances packed 2 to a box instead of being single in a bin. Should cost more, right? Wrong. These SAME fragrances are now marked $6 for a two pack. — So, instead of $20 for 4 they’re now $12 for four.

At the check-out, the “kid” (and I do mean kid) ringing me up almost panicked when it rang up at $6. Before I can say anything there is an immediate call (on headset) to manager (who was probably only 6 months older than he was). I mentioned the price difference, which causes her to grab the box and repeat, as if to a first grader: “This is a two pack”…giving me the impression she was going to charge me $6 PER bottle. I’m telling her the sign said “2 pack for $6 and she’s clutching the box (as if it were pearls she was clutching in horror) repeating “This is a two pack.”

Realizing this is going no where fast, and I’m beginning to get really, really irritated – I said to just ring it up. With one more attempt to make sure I understood this was a 2-pack and possibly realizing I was about to render her visual aid to be extremely painful, she left with one totally confused clerk and one totally confused customer in her wake.

And yes, they rang up at $6 for a 2 pack leaving the singles at $5 for one, in faded memory.

Moral of the story, if Bath And Body Works employees can’t figure it out, it’s best left alone … right? LOL ….

Intermezzo ~

Every once in awhile, I run across something that makes me shake my head and sigh and then laugh.  This article managed to do it all.  When will people learn 1) if you don’t want anyone to see  “it” – don’t take pictures/videos of “it” and, if you absolutely HAVE to take pictures/videos of “it”, see rule 1.  I’m continually amazed at people who take raunchy pictures and then become horrified when they’re “leaked”, “found” or published… I know the old expression “If it’s not on paper, it didn’t happen”, but I somehow don’t think it applies to private behavior … And I quote: (bold emphasis and snarkycomments are mine)

“Intimate photographs of a prominent Australian Olympian having sex with his wife were stolen by staff at an inner-Sydney computer shop after the star brought his machine in for repair. (with images intact!!!) 

Shockingly, the practice is not illegal, with information technology experts revealing Australian laws offer no protection from the unauthorized copying of photographs and data from any computer. (and  why should there have to BE a law about something you’re stupid silly enough to leave on the computer?)

The (Sydney) Sunday Telegraph said it had seen the stolen images, (oh, I BET they did – and commented no doubt! ) which clearly depict the household-name star and his wife in numerous sexual acts, but chose not to name the Olympian or publish the photos for privacy reasons.

Other celebrities, as well as members of the general public, were also caught in the scam, which involves employees at the computer store targeting potential victims who bring their computers in for repair.

With the encouragement of the store’s owner, staff scan machines for intimate material and upload photos and videos to a shared drive, according to a source who provided the Telegraph with evidence of the practice.

The store’s owner, when confronted this week, demanded to know how the newspaper had uncovered the allegations. He denied targeting sexual images.

“If people choose to put photos and personal information on their computers that’s their decision,” he said.” 


O Wonderous Night ~ Early Evening Thoughts

‘Tis Christmas Eve. It’s been an interesting season, one of some sadness, much joy and continued exploration of what life holds. And so, on this Christmas Eve I offer to you one of my absolute favorite stories of all time, just as it was written.

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!! ~

by O. Henry

One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies. Pennies saved one and two at a time by bulldozing the grocer and the vegetable man and the butcher until one’s cheeks burned with the silent imputation of parsimony that such close dealing implied. Three times Della counted it. One dollar and eighty- seven cents. And the next day would be Christmas.

There was clearly nothing to do but flop down on the shabby little couch and howl. So Della did it. Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.

While the mistress of the home is gradually subsiding from the first stage to the second, take a look at the home. A furnished flat at $8 per week. It did not exactly beggar description, but it certainly had that word on the lookout for the mendicancy squad.

In the vestibule below was a letter-box into which no letter would go, and an electric button from which no mortal finger could coax a ring. Also appertaining thereunto was a card bearing the name “Mr. James Dillingham Young.”

The “Dillingham” had been flung to the breeze during a former period of prosperity when its possessor was being paid $30 per week. Now, when the income was shrunk to $20, though, they were thinking seriously of contracting to a modest and unassuming D. But whenever Mr. James Dillingham Young came home and reached his flat above he was called “Jim” and greatly hugged by Mrs. James Dillingham Young, already introduced to you as Della. Which is all very good.

Della finished her cry and attended to her cheeks with the powder rag. She stood by the window and looked out dully at a gray cat walking a gray fence in a gray backyard. Tomorrow would be Christmas Day, and she had only $1.87 with which to buy Jim a present. She had been saving every penny she could for months, with this result. Twenty dollars a week doesn’t go far. Expenses had been greater than she had calculated. They always are. Only $1.87 to buy a present for Jim. Her Jim. Many a happy hour she had spent planning for something nice for him. Something fine and rare and sterling–something just a little bit near to being worthy of the honor of being owned by Jim.

There was a pier-glass between the windows of the room. Perhaps you have seen a pier-glass in an $8 flat. A very thin and very agile person may, by observing his reflection in a rapid sequence of longitudinal strips, obtain a fairly accurate conception of his looks. Della, being slender, had mastered the art.

Suddenly she whirled from the window and stood before the glass. her eyes were shining brilliantly, but her face had lost its color within twenty seconds. Rapidly she pulled down her hair and let it fall to its full length.

Now, there were two possessions of the James Dillingham Youngs in which they both took a mighty pride. One was Jim’s gold watch that had been his father’s and his grandfather’s. The other was Della’s hair. Had the queen of Sheba lived in the flat across the airshaft, Della would have let her hair hang out the window some day to dry just to depreciate Her Majesty’s jewels and gifts. Had King Solomon been the janitor, with all his treasures piled up in the basement, Jim would have pulled out his watch every time he passed, just to see him pluck at his beard from envy.

So now Della’s beautiful hair fell about her rippling and shining like a cascade of brown waters. It reached below her knee and made itself almost a garment for her. And then she did it up again nervously and quickly. Once she faltered for a minute and stood still while a tear or two splashed on the worn red carpet.

On went her old brown jacket; on went her old brown hat. With a whirl of skirts and with the brilliant sparkle still in her eyes, she fluttered out the door and down the stairs to the street.

Where she stopped the sign read: “Mne. Sofronie. Hair Goods of All Kinds.” One flight up Della ran, and collected herself, panting. Madame, large, too white, chilly, hardly looked the “Sofronie.”

“Will you buy my hair?” asked Della.

“I buy hair,” said Madame. “Take yer hat off and let’s have a sight at the looks of it.”

Down rippled the brown cascade.

“Twenty dollars,” said Madame, lifting the mass with a practised hand.

“Give it to me quick,” said Della.

Oh, and the next two hours tripped by on rosy wings. Forget the hashed metaphor. She was ransacking the stores for Jim’s present.

She found it at last. It surely had been made for Jim and no one else. There was no other like it in any of the stores, and she had turned all of them inside out. It was a platinum fob chain simple and chaste in design, properly proclaiming its value by substance alone and not by meretricious ornamentation–as all good things should do. It was even worthy of The Watch. As soon as she saw it she knew that it must be Jim’s. It was like him. Quietness and value–the description applied to both. Twenty-one dollars they took from her for it, and she hurried home with the 87 cents. With that chain on his watch Jim might be properly anxious about the time in any company. Grand as the watch was, he sometimes looked at it on the sly on account of the old leather strap that he used in place of a chain.

When Della reached home her intoxication gave way a little to prudence and reason. She got out her curling irons and lighted the gas and went to work repairing the ravages made by generosity added to love. Which is always a tremendous task, dear friends–a mammoth task.

Within forty minutes her head was covered with tiny, close-lying curls that made her look wonderfully like a truant schoolboy. She looked at her reflection in the mirror long, carefully, and critically.

“If Jim doesn’t kill me,” she said to herself, “before he takes a second look at me, he’ll say I look like a Coney Island chorus girl. But what could I do–oh! what could I do with a dollar and eighty- seven cents?”

At 7 o’clock the coffee was made and the frying-pan was on the back of the stove hot and ready to cook the chops.

Jim was never late. Della doubled the fob chain in her hand and sat on the corner of the table near the door that he always entered. Then she heard his step on the stair away down on the first flight, and she turned white for just a moment. She had a habit for saying little silent prayer about the simplest everyday things, and now she whispered: “Please God, make him think I am still pretty.”

The door opened and Jim stepped in and closed it. He looked thin and very serious. Poor fellow, he was only twenty-two–and to be burdened with a family! He needed a new overcoat and he was without gloves.

Jim stopped inside the door, as immovable as a setter at the scent of quail. His eyes were fixed upon Della, and there was an expression in them that she could not read, and it terrified her. It was not anger, nor surprise, nor disapproval, nor horror, nor any of the sentiments that she had been prepared for. He simply stared at her fixedly with that peculiar expression on his face.

Della wriggled off the table and went for him.

“Jim, darling,” she cried, “don’t look at me that way. I had my hair cut off and sold because I couldn’t have lived through Christmas without giving you a present. It’ll grow out again–you won’t mind, will you? I just had to do it. My hair grows awfully fast. Say `Merry Christmas!’ Jim, and let’s be happy. You don’t know what a nice– what a beautiful, nice gift I’ve got for you.”

“You’ve cut off your hair?” asked Jim, laboriously, as if he had not arrived at that patent fact yet even after the hardest mental labor.

“Cut it off and sold it,” said Della. “Don’t you like me just as well, anyhow? I’m me without my hair, ain’t I?”

Jim looked about the room curiously.

“You say your hair is gone?” he said, with an air almost of idiocy.

“You needn’t look for it,” said Della. “It’s sold, I tell you–sold and gone, too. It’s Christmas Eve, boy. Be good to me, for it went for you. Maybe the hairs of my head were numbered,” she went on with sudden serious sweetness, “but nobody could ever count my love for you. Shall I put the chops on, Jim?”

Out of his trance Jim seemed quickly to wake. He enfolded his Della. For ten seconds let us regard with discreet scrutiny some inconsequential object in the other direction. Eight dollars a week or a million a year–what is the difference? A mathematician or a wit would give you the wrong answer. The magi brought valuable gifts, but that was not among them. This dark assertion will be illuminated later on.

Jim drew a package from his overcoat pocket and threw it upon the table.

“Don’t make any mistake, Dell,” he said, “about me. I don’t think there’s anything in the way of a haircut or a shave or a shampoo that could make me like my girl any less. But if you’ll unwrap that package you may see why you had me going a while at first.”

White fingers and nimble tore at the string and paper. And then an ecstatic scream of joy; and then, alas! a quick feminine change to hysterical tears and wails, necessitating the immediate employment of all the comforting powers of the lord of the flat.

For there lay The Combs–the set of combs, side and back, that Della had worshipped long in a Broadway window. Beautiful combs, pure tortoise shell, with jewelled rims–just the shade to wear in the beautiful vanished hair. They were expensive combs, she knew, and her heart had simply craved and yearned over them without the least hope of possession. And now, they were hers, but the tresses that should have adorned the coveted adornments were gone.

But she hugged them to her bosom, and at length she was able to look up with dim eyes and a smile and say: “My hair grows so fast, Jim!”

And them Della leaped up like a little singed cat and cried, “Oh, oh!”

Jim had not yet seen his beautiful present. She held it out to him eagerly upon her open palm. The dull precious metal seemed to flash with a reflection of her bright and ardent spirit.

“Isn’t it a dandy, Jim? I hunted all over town to find it. You’ll have to look at the time a hundred times a day now. Give me your watch. I want to see how it looks on it.”

Instead of obeying, Jim tumbled down on the couch and put his hands under the back of his head and smiled.

“Dell,” said he, “let’s put our Christmas presents away and keep ’em a while. They’re too nice to use just at present. I sold the watch to get the money to buy your combs. And now suppose you put the chops on.”

The magi, as you know, were wise men–wonderfully wise men–who brought gifts to the Babe in the manger. They invented the art of giving Christmas presents. Being wise, their gifts were no doubt wise ones, possibly bearing the privilege of exchange in case of duplication. And here I have lamely related to you the uneventful chronicle of two foolish children in a flat who most unwisely sacrificed for each other the greatest treasures of their house.

But in a last word to the wise of these days let it be said that of all who give gifts these two were the wisest.

O all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest.

Everywhere they are wisest. They are the magi.

A Politically Correct … Holiday ~ Early Evening Thoughts

The holiday season approaches, and the mail deadlines loom; yesterday was the last day to send regular mail to arrive for the holidays. While we sing of “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to non-gender specific personages,” I thought it would be good time to look over somethings about what now has to be a politically correct holiday!

Here’s something for that last minute gift:

Should you go a’caroling, I would be remiss if I didn’t give you the correct version to sing:

Deck The Halls
Kristine Austin

This song uses the Spanish protocol endings on the refrain:
“Fa la la la la, la la la la-” Feminine
“Fo lo lo lo lo, lo lo lo lo-” Masculine

Deck the halls with boughs of non-endangered plant species
Fa la la la la, la la la la

‘Tis the season to be self-actualizing
Fo lo lo lo lo, lo lo lo lo

Don we now our alternate-lifestyle apparel
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Toll the ancient non-sectarian-winter-solstice-equal opportunity holiday carol
Fo lo lo lo lo, lo lo lo lo

See the blazing log of non-sectarian-winter-solstice-holiday-non-endangered wood before us,
Fa la la la la, la la la la

Play the harp without unnecessary brutality and join the new paradigm chorus
Fo lo lo lo lo, lo lo lo lo

Sing we emotionally stable in a collective group effort,
Fa la la la la la la la la

Heedless of the weather patterns despite the effects of global warming,
Fo lo lo lo lo, lo lo lo lo

Fast away the mature year passes
Fa la la la la la la la la

Hail the new year without any implicit ageism, ye persons
Fo lo lo lo lo, lo lo lo lo

Dance in a non-hierarchical manner in merry esoteric measure,
Fa la la la la la la la la

While I tell of non-materialistic, non-sectarian-winter-solstice-holiday treasure,
Fo lo lo lo lo, lo lo lo lo

And hopefully, your cards will reflect the new found sense of the time of year.

A Politically Correct
Holiday (or no holiday) Greeting

Best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most joyous traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, but with respect for the religious persuasion of others who choose to practice their own religion as well as those who choose not to practice a religion at all;

Additionally, a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling, and medically uncomplicated recognition of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions have helped make our society great, without regard to the race, creed, color, religious, or sexual preferences of the wishes.

(Disclaimer: This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and no responsibility for any unintended emotional stress these greetings may bring to those not caught up in the holiday spirit.)

—this is a repeat, but bears repeating!!