An Elegant Time-Waster ~ Very Early Morning Thoughts

America’s Got Talent is an OK show – but when I was introduced to the “outside the US” versions, I came to realize there are some very good versions of that show around.   Several things define it for me, but perhaps the biggest on of all ~ there is no 90-second time limit.  The acts take as long as necessary to show what their talent is and how it works.  Here is the winner from 2009 who introduced me to real sand painting.

BTW, this really does have something to do with this post – I promise …

I have been watching sand paintings/painters for several years … until I ran into this interpretation of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. To quote:

” And today, we bring you the live-action sand animation of Hungarian artist Ferenc Cakó, who projects his work on a screen for a theatrical audience. These more sculptural forms may be more painstaking than traditional cel animation, and for that reason more rare, but they are also often much more interesting.”





And to give proper credit – here’s the site I found this…I have it bookmarked and visit it daily…It’s call “openculture” for a reason.

And It’s That Day, Once Again ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts ~

First off some thoughts in picture …..

blog April Fools Day1

blog April Fools Day2

There, now that I’ve gotten that out-of-the-way ….

Along the years, I’ve gotten to enjoy some really bizarre “conspiracy theories”.   Some are in the category of >banging head on keyboard> while others actually make you stop and go “Hmm.”  This is one of those.

In spite of what my Grand-kids might think, cell phones are a rather new invention … or are they?

the way back machine

[NOTE: the two videos that follow have NOT been doctored, they are as they were … ]

OK, let’s set the way back machine  to the year – well close to the year – 1928 and Charlie Chaplin’s The Circus … watch and you might think that Dr. Who had been there ….

Really? A cell phone in 1928(ish) …. To quote the infomercials: “But wait there’s more…..”

Skip the record ahead just a few years to the somewhere toward 1938(ish) ….

Totally flummoxed? As always, there are some explanations….. I’m just not going to include them now.  I’ll post about it tomorrow after you’ve dealt with them ….

Happy April Fools Day everyone ….

And They Came To Believe And It Came To Pass ~ Late Evening Thoughts

[updated video link 9/26/2012]

Hopefully, by the time I’m done this post will make sense.  Starting with Friday, this was an amazing weekend for me.  I celebrated a dear friend’s birthday, went with two VERY dear friends to Rocky Horror Picture Show with a wonderful, silly and noisy audience, and Sunday went to a club where I actually felt free to dance and not worry about the “youngers” standing on the sides going “ewwwww”!  I also, at the club had my inner theater geek (30+ years in theater will do that do you) explode as I got to see ~ but sadly not touch ~ the computerized controls for the entire light system.  Yes, it was an amazing, exhausting but fun weekend.  A true mountain top experience.

As we all know, you really can’t live on the mountain top ~ you inevitably must go down into the valley.  And that’s where I came to today.  One thing I’ve learned is that there’s really no good grass or water on the mountain top, it’s down in the valley.  While the valley may not be totally comfortable and it’s certainly NOT the high of the top, it still is very, very important and extremely worthwhile ~ if you let it.

As I was dealing with the “down” of today, my mind went to some of my friends complaints that I have a tendency to believe in people far longer than I should.  I know that it is sometimes a problem.  I had one person I was trying to help who fell into the pattern of using me to “have a place to stay to sober-up, get a little food to eat, clothes washed and a little money” – rinse, repeat.  I have another that I have such a soft spot for…a couple of years ago, he was trying to spark a business and I made an investment.  Not in the business, but in him.  I believed in him then, and I believe in him now.  I’m seeing some pay-off from the investment, but I must be the only one so far.

But as I was wondering in my mind ~ there is a saying that “My mind is a dangerous place to wander in, unaccompanied ~ especially at night ~ I began to question my belief in people.  Then, my inner “me” took me back through much of my life … the problems in college, relationships that failed – badly, the three suicide attempts.  It was the third attempt  (which I posted about here before – feel free to read the history),  when at the CRU – the Crisis Residential Unit – that someone actually said they believed in me.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there were plenty that believed in me, but somehow I had to come to the bottom before I could really realize it.  And as I climbed out of THAT “slough of despond” I became acutely aware of how powerful our belief in someone can be.  Oh, I’ve done it before, but there always seemed to be an agenda.  Now, I’m working agenda free.

To me, that’s where the power really begins.  You see someone not just as they are, but as they could be for themselves…..not as the person YOU want them to be.  I can’t change anyone, I can only encourage and believe in them.  They may not take the paths I would have or would have chosen – but they are on their own journey not mine.

I’m going to post more on this at another time, but also during the “down” of today, I found this video.  Here’s the power of only ONE person believing in someone.  He had only one person, his grandmother…I still cry each time I watch this video.  I want my life to be as she is … in the background, but believing.  That’s one of the things I’d like to be remembered for when – in the not too distant future – I’m gone that someone will say: “He believed in me”.

First off, I’m sorry there will probably be an ad (it is from You Tube after all) and please watch it all the way through and see what terrible power being told “you’re not good enough” can have over someone.  I’m not saying we have to encourage someone when they obviously can’t do something.  There’s no way at my age and (ahem) physical condition I’ll be an Olympic athlete – but there’s other things I can do…. and so can you.

[It appears I own an apology to Freemantle AND X-factor UK …Here’s the video embedded]

See people where they are, and for who they are … and as I used to tell my speech students, don’t change the pattern, just eliminate the flaws.

Early Afternoon Thoughts ~ The Day You Think You Are Too Old To …

When I flew up to Montana several years ago to conduct my Mother’s memorial service, I stayed at her house.  On the coffee table was a book whose title I believe was “Getting Old Isn’t For Sissies“.  As I glanced through the book one statement struck me and has stayed with me since.  Part of the statement is the title of this post:

“The day you think you are too old to do something, is exactly the day you should do it …” 

That has governed a lot of my thinking over the past few years.  I love the statement “I will get OLDER, there is nothing I can do about that.  However, I refuse to get OLD.”

At my current … ahem …. age,, I know that I’m no longer 21, 31, 41 or even 51 … but I have developed a love for life and living that I pray I never lose.  That’s why, when I saw this video today, it really struck a chord with me.  I have admit I laughed and laughed while watching this.  This fellow is amazing and so are those around encouraging him.  He’s certainly not lost his love of life!!!

(sorry that it’s a link…for some reason it won’t embed!!!)

Which got me looking for some of my favorite quotations and some new ones…

Getting older is no problem. You just have to live long enough.
Groucho Marx
The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.
Madeleine L’Engle
Part of getting older is realizing that you can integrate all these different areas of your life, rather than the adolescent mindset, which for me lasted a long time, which says, ‘It’s all or nothing.’
Chris Robinson
The minute you’re born, you’re getting older.
Doris Roberts

This one is probably one of my favorites:                                                                                           Do not regret growing older.  It is a privilege denied to many.  ~Author Unknown

The aging process has you firmly in its grasp if you never get the urge to throw a snowball.  Doug Larson

Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals.  Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.      Samuel Ullman

I still have a full deck; I just shuffle slower now.                                                             Author Unknown 

What are some of your favorites?

And The Competition Starts Now (2) ~

Yesterday I mentioned that I usually enjoy the non-US competition shows more … here are three reasons why … Just so you know, there is no 90 second time restraint, so the real talent can shine through … in other words these clips are a little long – but so, so good.

This was the clip that first introduced me to Ukraine’s Got Talent … I actually had to go back and look up the history to understand it – I’m including a short lesson:

“…the overwhelming brunt of the Nazi occupation between 1941 and 1944, as of the devastating Soviet reoccupation, was borne not by Russia but by the Baltic States, by Belarus, by Poland, and above all by Ukraine…. nowhere is it made clear that the largest number of civilian casualties in Europe were inflicted on the Ukrainians, millions of whom were killed both by the Nazis and by the Soviets. Thanks to persistent wartime prejudices, many British and Americans still harbor the illusion that most Ukrainians spent the war either as auxiliaries in the concentration camps or in the Waffen-SS Galizien….[but] the Waffen SS recruited three times as many Dutchmen as Ukrainians.” (New York Review of Books June 9, 1994, p. 23).

Here’s the 2009 clip of an amazing sand artist …

This years winners were amazing as well … it’s the Street Workout group – who manage to make working out beautiful, sexy and powerful.  No, I wouldn’t want to be next to them at the gym!! This was the final performance…

I have enough trouble riding a two wheeled cycle … maybe I need a three-wheeler!!!!


And last, but certainly NOT least ~ The world’s best bartender … unless you’re in a hurry to  get that drink!!!!


Helping The Gene Pool ~ Early Evening Thoughts

I have to admit I’ve been watching a lot more “news” television than I should over the last several days. I’ve reached a stage of “You have GOT to be kidding me” over what the talking, frothing heads are choosing to be talking and frothing about. I really was needing something to make the day(s) better – something to offer some kind of hope.

Even though it’s too early for the official “Darwin Awards” – they will come probably in January, there are some nominations that I thought I might share. The published purpose of the awards is stated quite simply:

The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of
the human genome by honoring those who
accidentally remove themselves from it…

These stories have been verified and are not urban legend. . . .

(July 16, 2008, Italy)
Ivece Plattner, 68, was queued at a traffic light in his Porsche Cayenne sportscar. Before one reaches the light, there is a railroad crossing. As you might imagine, given Murphy’s law, a train was coming.

The man did not let the queue progress forward far enough before he crossed the railroad. The safety bars came down, leaving the Porsche trapped on the rails. It took the driver awhile to realize he was stuck, according to witnesses. Finally, he jumped from the car and started to run — toward the oncoming train, waving his arms in an attempt to save his car!

The attempt was successful. The car received less damage than its owner. He was pushed hard enough to land 30 meters away, and attempts to revive him were unsuccessful.

(8 March 2008, Czech Republic)
Steel is valuable, especially the high grade alloy used in steel cable. Scrap metal dealers do not ask questions. They pay in cash. And a good supply of cables can be found in elevator shafts.

This particular goldmine was a towering shaft inside an empty grainery near Zatec, 40 miles northwest of Prague. The cable was tightly fastened, and the far end of it disappeared into the shadowy distance above.

After substantial wear and tear on a hacksaw, our man finally cut through the strong steel cable. At that instant, the counterbalance, no longer held in check, started to move silently downwards, accelerating until it reached the bottom of the shaft.

Result: one proud winner of a “terminal velocity” Darwin Award.


The telephone company was replacing above-ground telephone lines with buried lines. In one sparsely populated farming area, if lines crossed a country road they would dig a trench halfway across, so rural traffic could continue through. Then they would fill in the trench, and dig a trench on the other side.

One morning, local farmers called the sheriff to report a smashed-up pickup. Inside were two ranch hands who were last seen the previous night, heading home after last call. You see…

On their way to the bars, the men had decided to play a prank. They stopped their pickup, and moved the flashing warning signs from the trenched side to the good side of the country road. Crime scene analysis later confirmed that they were the culprits who moved the flashing stands. Investigations also revealed that at the time of the accident, they were driving at an excessive speed with an impressive amount of alcohol in their systems.

No crime scene analysis is capable of determining whether the ranch hands forgot their prank, or chose to see what would happen if they hit that trench at a high rate of speed in the middle of the night.

No good prank goes unpunished.

Snowmobiles and alcohol are a dangerous mix. Then came the rabbit.

After a day spent partying and racing snowmobiles in the wilderness, a group of snowmobilers were headed back to their cabin, when up popped a jackrabbit! They gave chase. Several collisions were narrowly averted, and so all the snowmobiles backed off… except one.

This snowmobiler kept his eye on the quarry and rapidly closed in. The rabbit darted aside to save itself. The snowmobiler closed in again. The rabbit ran toward the road, where there was less snow. Trying to ram his rabbit before it crossed the road, the man accelerated to Mach 1.

But the rabbit had other ideas. It darted into the culvert beneath the road. Witnesses stated that the snowmobiler never even braked. There was a metallic crunch as the accelerating vehicle rammed into the culvert, followed by a blast that shattered the snowmobile into a thousand bits.

This brand of snowmobile had a fuel tank mounted in front. The culvert admitted the tip of the snowmobile, then cut into the cowling, spilling fuel over the hot engine. The body of the snowmobiler was blown twenty feet back into the field.

The rabbit’s whereabouts was unknown.

—Rare Double Darwin!

Three hale and hearty young men had finished their basic training. Before heading out to their respective assignments, they decided to spend their few days of leave with one’s grandmother, who lived in the town where they had completed basic training. The privates descended upon Grandmother, who filled them with home cooking and gave them soft beds to sleep in. Grandmother had a swing job to make ends meet, so the privates were left alone late into the night.

How could they repay her for her kindness?

Grandmother had three children. To commemorate the birth of each child, a pine tree had been planted in the front yard. In the fifty years since the last tree was planted, the pines had grown considerably, and the middle tree now blocked the view from the living room window. The privates decided that they would cut down that tree, letting the sun and the view into the room.

A case of beer went into the planning.

To keep the 50-foot tree from crushing the house, the privates reasoned that they would tie a rope to the top of the tree and pull the rope away from the house as the tree was cut.

The middle pine tree, the doomed one, was slightly closer to the house than the other two. The privates climbed an end tree, wound a rope through its upper branches, and threw the rope to a private in the middle tree. He tied the rope around the trunk. By this device, they could pull the rope from the ground. The middle pine tree would fall away from the house, and the privates were also clear of the path of the falling tree.

Climbing a pine tree is very sappy work, and scrapes and gouges are infliced by the natural roughness of its bark. But the hale and hearty privates completed the preliminaries without complaint. The middle tree was lassoed and levered by the rope running through the end tree.

So far, so good.

Two privates were situated on the ground, each straining to pull the tree away from Grandmother’s house. The third private revved his 20 HP chainsaw and started to cut. Lo and behold, the tree actually fell away from Grandmother’s house! However…

The rope-pulling privates had wrapped the rope around their waists, not considering that the falling pine weighed several tons. As the middle pine tree fell, both privates were ripped off their feet and smashed through the branches of the end pine tree. At the height of their acceleration, they broke through the top branches of the tree, and were briefly airborne before being jerked toward the earth when the middle tree hit the ground. The privates entered into Darwin history, either on the way up through the branches or on the way down to the cold, hard ground.

The event spoke for itself.

Somehow not being able to get the garland hung outside today seems to pale in comparison.

Please Pass (Over) The Nuts ~ Late Morning Thoughts

Christian Hate And Christian Witchcraft

Christian Hate:
This week the Westboro Baptist Church (God Hates Everyone Except Us) founded by Fred Phelps ( tried to go into Canada to hold a hate-filled protest at the funeral of the innocent man who was decapitated on a bus trip. Quoting from Paul Gackle,Winnipeg Free Press as published in the National Post:

Residents rallied Thursday to protect the family of a young man murdered on a Greyhound bus last week from a posse of radical religious protesters planning to portray Tim McLean’s death as God’s wrath.

Earlier this week, the Westboro Baptist Church – an organization branded as a hate group and infamous for protesting the funerals of slain U.S. soldiers – announced they would picket Mr. McLean’s funeral to let Canadians know that his decapitation was God’s response to Canadian policies enabling abortion, homosexuality and adultery.

But Shirley Phelps-Roper, daughter of church’s founder, Fred Phelps, said a small group of protesters was stopped at the Canada-U.S. border on Thursday afternoon.

“They won’t let us in, but we have a group that will cross in another spot,” she said. “They’ll have to strip search everyone who crosses that border or they won’t know who we are. They’ll have to see the WBC (Westboro Baptist Church) tattoo on our butts.”

The resistance to the planned funeral protest started on Facebook yesterday morning when Jim Cotton, a resident of Winnipeg Beach, launched a page asking city residents to help protect Mr. McLean’s funeral. . .

. . . Mr. Cotton was outraged and asked Winnipeg Facebookers to circle around the seven picketers tomorrow and pray for Mr. McLean’s family.

By mid-afternoon Thursday, Mr. Cotton’s page had over 100 friends. Rodney Taylor, an Ottawa resident, found the page and pitched in.

Mr. Taylor phoned the Prime Minister’s Office, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day’s office and border services, asking them to keep the Westboro group out of the country. He also created his own Facebook page urging other offended Canadians to follow his lead.

“These people are callous, vicious and shouldn’t be let into our country,” he said. “We have freedom of speech, but they are inciting hate.”

Mr. Taylor’s plan worked. Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin said his office was flooded with phone calls yesterday from angry Winnipeggers.

“These people [from Westboro] are almost as crazy as the murderer,” he said. “If they are here to disrupt the social order, that constitutes grounds to deny them entry. There is no redeeming virtue in the message they are bringing.”

According to Mr. Martin, Mr. Day’s office sent an alert to border patrol to “look out” for people with signs and pamphlets that fit the hateful messages that the church promotes and to keep them out of the country.

“In the opinion of his office, coming up here with the message they’re articulating constitutes hate speech,” said Mr. Martin.

Members of the Kansas-based fundamentalist sect were already planning to picket in Canada prior to last week’s bus slaying. The group was scheduled to protest in Toronto Thursday night at the opening of playwright Alistair Newton’s “The Pastor Phelps Project: a fundamentalist cabaret”, which satirizes their leader’s fervent anti-gay stance. . .

. . .In 1999, the Canadian government said it was powerless to prevent Mr. Phelps from entering the country when he was planning a protest in Ottawa over a Supreme Court ruling extending rights to gays and lesbians.

At that time, the government said the minister could only make exceptions at the border to grant people entry who might otherwise be denied, not deny people entry who would normally be admitted. . .

. . .The Winnipeg Police Service said they were not planning to block the funeral protest if the group successfully crossed the border, but they were prepared to be on hand if necessary.

This hate group was a no-show at the funeral ~ citing concerns for their safety – but in actuality they must have realized that they lost the opportunity for publicity as 250 Winnipeg residents were on hand to protect the funeral and the family.

What troubles me so much is that this group – while spewing hatred for everything and everyone that doesn’t believe in them are now trying to export this brand of hatred. Adding insult to injury, they are also spewing in the name of God, that God has already decided who is going to Heaven and who is going to Hell, so it makes no difference what you do – (unless you’re a Westboro church member – which automatically grants you access through the Golden Gates). I’m not going to get into the murky waters of predestination and/or pre-ordination. But rather the manner they are going about it.

The church itself (as a non-profit organization) is supported by the donations of its members and those who share their perverted view of God’s law and God’s attributes. And without publicity, their donations would, in fact, start to dry up. Trained as a lawyer, Fred Phelps was disbarred in 1979 by the Kansas Supreme Court, which asserted that he had “little regard for the ethics of his profession.” Which says a lot to me.

Once a group moves from sharing what they believe and trying to beat people into submission of ONLY what they believe ~ they have moved into being a cult, not a belief. But to this group of hate-mongers it makes no difference. They have become publicity whores and donation driven. How else could he and his family afford all these trips to perform at “20,000 protests” (their claim) and put fairly well done videos on the web? Being non-profit gives them incredible tax advantages which helps fund their activities.

But here’s what troubles me the most. What is it within people that makes them believe in this kind of activity and speech? Is it within each of us to fall into this kind of trap? Is there something within me that festers and decays that would allow me to live in that kind of hate and fear? That’s the troublesome question. I have some very strong held beliefs, could those turn into a driving force pushing me “over the edge?”

–thus endeth part one of today’s meditation

SOMWPP (Part 2) ~ Late Night Thoughts

As I mentioned last night, a new member has joined the household. As tomorrow is going to be a very busy day, I am going to do a short post tonight, and make up for that tomorrow. And I PROMISE that the following not become a regular ~ “let me tell you about my dog…” posting. There is a lot going on in my life that I want to share ~ he just happens to be immediate (and somewhat demanding of attention! ~ not taking after me, of course!).

I would like you to meet “Bonzai” . . . the spelling is deliberate. He is 12 weeks old and about three pounds. His full weight will probably be a whopping four pounds (possibly dripping wet). When I went to meet him, we almost didn’t even go in – I’ll save that for a later post. When I went inside and finally met him, I realized that he had never been out of the “pen” (inside thank heavens) he shared with other dogs, never been on the floor, never been outside and never had a collar on. Oh yes, he was also covered with fleas, flea dirt and matted hair. The most interesting thing about him ~ he is litter box trained. If I get a cat that should be interesting!!

When we went to one of the pet superstores to pick up a “few” items he was going to need, I handed him over to get groomed. He did very well – but I can only imagine the confusion going on in his mind.

He was very good — and was on the inside of my “hoody” with the zipper about 1/2 way down. His head would appear over the top when interested, and disappear when it was all too much.

Having him is much the same as watching a child (I’m thinking of my granddaughter who is holding him in the picture) discover the world around them. He’s discovered that cement is very cold, somethings just don’t taste good at all and that it’s a big very LARGE world out there.

But then if you’ve been reading my posts about looking back to look forward … so have I.

SOMWPP ~ Late Eveing Thoughts

A new arrival joined my house collection this evening … hence the title of this post (**you will have to read through the post for the definition**)

I was given these sayings today and wanted to share them with you ~

Things Dogs Must Try To Remember . . .
I will not play tug-of-war with Dad’s underwear when he’s on the toilet.

The garbage collector is NOT stealing our stuff.

I do not need to suddenly stand straight up
when I’m lying under the coffee table.

I will not roll my toys behind the fridge.

I must shake the rainwater out of my fur BEFORE entering the house.

I will not eat the cat’s food, before or after they eat it.

I will stop trying to find the few remaining pieces
of clean carpet in the house when I am about to throw up.

I will not throw up in the car.

I will not roil on dead seagulls, fish, crabs, etc.

“litter box crunchies” are not food.

I will not eat any more socks and then
redeposit them in the backyard after processing.

The diaper pail in not a cookie jar.

I will not wake Mommy up by
sticking my cold, wet nose up her bottom end.

I will not chew my human’s toothbrush and not tell them.

I will not chew crayons or pens, especially not the red ones,
or my people will think I am hemorrhaging.

When in the car, I will not insist on having the window rolled down
when it is raining outside.

We do not have a doorbell. I will not bark each time I hear one on TV.

I will not steal my Mom’s underwear and
dance all over the backyard with it.

(**SOMWPP ~ silly older man with pampered pooch**)

The sofa is not a face towel. Neither are Mom and Dad’s laps.

My head does not belong in the refrigerator.

I will not bite the officer’s hand when
he reaches in for Dad’s driver’s license and car registration.

—more tomorrow