Archive for the 'books' Category

“You… you’ve got me? Who’s got YOU!?!”

Thursday, April 25th, 2013
"You... you've got me? Who's got YOU!?!"

25 April 2013
It’s another sunny – and moderately warm – NBN Thursday in the valley.

Last night, was not only Movie Date Night, but it was Sara!’s turn to pick a movie. The only things that she would say about the night’s fare was that it required – REQUIRED – popcorn and that it was “the greatest movie ever made.” I was intrigued by these comments, to say the least.

After a messy dinner  (Two toddlers with Greek food… and rice. Do the math.) and some clean-up, it was time for the movie. And I was, to say the least, surprised by her choice:

That’s right: Superman. My all-time favorite movie.

Best. Wife. Ever.

So we sat on the couch, ate popcorn, and watched Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Margot Kidder and company bring a small slice of the DC Universe to life. And, once again, I was transported to a happy place in my childhood. I  was also able to pick out a few things that I’d never paid attention or associated with the movie before:

  1. Faster than a speeding bullet: Clark snatches the bullet out of mid-air during the mugging.
  2. More powerful than a locomotive: This one comes up twice:
    1. Teenaged Clark is races the train through rural Kansas
    2. Superman subs in for a missing rail as an Amtrak train approaches
  3. Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound: This one’s a given – he flies throughout the second half of the movie.
  4. Who can change the course of mighty rivers: Not so much changing the course of a river, but he creates a makeshift dam to stop a river from destroying a town
  5. Bend steel in his bare hands: Again, another two-fer:
    1. He tears the door to Lex Luthor’s lair off it’s hinges
    2. He tears off the door to Lois’ rental car after the California earthquake

At the end of the movie, Sara! admitted: “You know, I hadn’t thought about it the last time we watched it, but that was actually a pretty good movie.” (I simply nodded and smiled at this. Hey, I’m biased… not stupid.) I did have to correct Sara!’s misconception of the “spinning the world in reverse” visual and explain that it wasn’t him turning the world backwards, but that it was simply a representation of him going back in time. (For which there are a great many references in the comics…)

All-in-all, it was a fantastic movie date night.

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Stray Toasters

Namaste.

New week. New post.

Monday, April 22nd, 2013
New week. New post.

Monday – 22 April 2013 It’s been a bit and I have some time (at least I did last night), so I figured that I should get in a new post. Today is Earth Day. Last week, Sara! and I finally got around to watching Django Unchained.

Django-Unchained

It was a very Tarantino take on a “historical movie” in the same way that Inglorious Basterds was a “historical movie.” (With this in mind, I’m not really sure what everyone’s beef with it was. It’s not Roots, but it’s not trying to be Roots, either.) I found it to be a fun – and funny – movie. It entertained. It told a story. And it didn’t take itself overly seriously in doing so. cowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hatcowboy-hat This weekend was a good one. Saturday morning, Sara!, Team DiVa and I had breakfast with our friend Steve, who was in town with the touring production of West Side Story. We went to The Other Place, not just because it’s a good place for breakfast – and was close both to where Steve was staying and the theatre – but also because it’s a kid-friendly place. As an added bonus, I was able to scheme with our friend, Josh, to get him (and his wife, Aly and their very cute five-month-old daughter) to surprise Sara and Steve. Sara suspected that something was afoot, but Steve was surprised. I’ll still take that as a “Win.” After breakfast, we came back home and I played with Team DiVa for a bit before heading out for a ‘Clix event: Month Five of the WizKids’ “No Man’s Land” event. It was a sealed booster draft – buy two booster packs and build a team – and my packs were not really full of “awesome.” But, I built a team and I played. I wound up going 1-4, but since I normally don’t get to play (and I already had the prize support for the event), I was just there to have fun. And I did. After the game and dinner, Sara! went to see West Side Story; I stayed home with Team DiVa. We watched some Team Umizoomi. We read Moo, Baa, La La La and Barnyard Dance. We put money in their banks. We got them ready for bed. All things considered, they took great mercy on me. After post-bedtime cleaning, I played a bit of DC Universe Online and then watched my first episode of David Tennant’s Doctor Who. I liked it. I look forward to seeing more of his Doctor. Sunday was a fairly low-key day. Breakfast. Shopping. Hanging out at home. I also mowed the lawn for the first time this season. Hell, the first time this year. Sara’s parent’s came over for dinner. Sara! and I also watched Disney’s Tarzan; I haven’t seen it in years, but Sara! had never seen it. It’s not necessarily the best movie ever, but I enjoy it. I also watched my second Tennant Who episode. Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Batter up!

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Batter up!

Thursday  – 28 February 2013
A new NBN Thursday is here. So far, it’s not bad.
It’s also the end of February.

This morning, Diana was up a bit before Vanessa. In order to let Vanessa sleep a bit longer, brought her into our room. This appeased Diana… somewhat. So, I did what any father would do, I broke out the iPad and let her read/play with the Barnyard Dance book/app. This worked for a few minutes. Then, I switched over to Moo, Baa, La La La. That satisfied her for a little while, as well. Long enough for Vanessa to wake up and decide that she was ready to start the day.

Last night, Sara! and I watched Moneyball:

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The characters were well-developed, not just cardboard cut-out caricatures. The dialogue was believable and realistic, not just a bunch of baseball-related cliches. The story also managed to show a bit of the off-the-field life of Pitt’s character, Billy Beane, and his journey from all-star golden boy in high school to a MLB player to general manager of the Oakland A’s.

All told, it was a good film.  Sara! enjoyed it… though she qualified it by saying that it still wasn’t enough to make her like baseball.

baseball baseball baseball baseball baseball baseball baseball

Chew on This – Food for Thought – Black History Month
I didn’t get as many days filled in as I had hoped, but I could not let the month end without an entry:

  • Daniel Hale Williams, Surgeon

    danielwilliams
    Daniel Hale Williams III was born on January 18, 1856, in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, to Sarah Price Williams and Daniel Hale Williams II. The couple had several children, with the elder Daniel H. Williams inheriting a barber business. He also worked with the Equal Rights League, a black civil rights organization active during the Reconstruction era.

    After the elder Williams died, a 10-year-old Daniel was sent to live in Baltimore, Maryland, with family friends. He became a shoemaker’s apprentice but disliked the work and decided to return to his family, who had moved to Illinois. Like his father, he took up barbering, but ultimately decided he wanted to pursue his education. He worked as an apprentice with Dr. Henry Palmer, a highly accomplished surgeon, and then completed further training at Chicago Medical College.

    Williams set up his own practice in Chicago’s Southside and taught anatomy at his alma mater, also becoming the first African-American physician to work for the city’s street railway system. Williams—who was called Dr. Dan by patients—also adopted sterilization procedures for his office informed by the recent findings on germ transmission and prevention from Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister.

    Due to the discrimination of the day, African-American citizens were still barred from being admitted to hospitals and black doctors were refused staff positions. Firmly believing this needed to change, in May 1891, Williams opened Provident Hospital and Training School for Nurses, the nation’s first hospital with a nursing and intern program that had a racially integrated staff. The facility, where Williams worked as a surgeon, was publicly championed by famed abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass.

    In 1893, Williams continued to make history when he operated on James Cornish, a man with a severe stab wound to his chest who was brought to Provident. Without the benefits of a blood transfusion or modern surgical procedures, Williams successfully sutured Cornish’s pericardium (the membranous sac enclosing the heart), becoming the first person to perform open-heart surgery. Cornish lived for many years after the operation.

    In 1894, Williams moved to Washington, D.C., where he was appointed the chief surgeon of the Freedmen’s Hospital, which provided care for formerly enslaved African Americans. The facility had fallen into deep neglect and had a high mortality rate. Williams worked diligently on revitalization, improving surgical procedures, increasing institutional specialization, allowing public viewing of surgeries, launching ambulance services and adding a multiracial staff, continuing to provide opportunities for black physicians and nursing students.

    And in 1895, he co-founded the National Medical Association, a professional organization for black medical practitioners, as an alternative to the American Medical Association, which didn’t allow African-American membership.

    Williams left Freedmen’s Hospital in 1898. He married Alice Johnson, and the newlyweds moved to Chicago, where Williams returned to his work at Provident. Soon after the turn of the century, he worked at Cook County Hospital and later at St. Luke’s, a large medical institution with ample resources.

    Beginning in 1899, Williams also made annual trips to Nashville, Tennessee, where he was a voluntary visiting clinical professor at Meharry Medical College for more than two decades. He became a charter member of the American College of Surgeons in 1913.

    Daniel Hale Williams experienced a debilitating stroke in 1926 and died five years later, on August 4, 1931, in Idlewild, Michigan.

    Today, Williams’s work as a pioneering physician and advocate for an African-American presence in medicine continues to be honored by educational institutions worldwide.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Meetings? Oh, yes, we have meetings.

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Meetings? Oh, yes, we have meetings.

Tuesday – 12 February 2013
It’s Teleconference Tuesday. And the best way to start a telecon is to use the wrong meeting ID… and therefore wind up six minutes late to the conference that you thought you were three minutes early to. *grlbsnrkx*

::: rest of the day :::

The second meeting wasn’t too bad. Thankfully.

Team DiVa Tuesday
Here’s a couple of quick shots of the ladies of Team DiVa:

Vanessa

Vanessa

Diana

Diana

Chew on This – Food for Thought: Black History Month
Today’s person of note is: Garrett Morgan – Entrepreneur, writer, inventor

Garrett A. Morgan.  September 28, 1945  (Cleveland News file photo)

Born in Paris, Kentucky, on March 4, 1877, Garrett Morgan was the seventh of 11 children. His mother, Elizabeth (Reed) Morgan, was of Indian and African descent, and the daughter of a Baptist minister. It is uncertain whether Morgan’s father was Confederate Colonel John Hunt Morgan or Sydney Morgan, a former slave freed in 1863. Morgan’s mixed race heritage would play a part in his business dealings as an adult.

When Morgan was in his mid teens, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to look for work, and found it as a handyman to a wealthy landowner. Although he only completed an elementary school education, Morgan was able to pay for more lessons from a private tutor. But jobs at several sewing-machine factories were to soon capture his imagination and determine his future. Learning the inner workings of the machines and how to fix them, Morgan obtained a patent for an improved sewing machine and opened his own repair business.

Morgan’s business was a success, and it enabled him to marry a Bavarian woman named Mary Anne Hassek, and establish himself in Cleveland. (He and his wife would have three sons during their marriage.)

Following the momentum of his business success, Morgan’s patented sewing machine would soon pave the way to his financial freedom, albeit in a rather unorthodox way: In 1909, Morgan was working with sewing machines in his newly opened tailoring shop—a business he had opened with wife Mary, who had experience as a seamstress—when he encountered woolen fabric that had been scorched by a sewing-machine needle. It was a common problem at the time, since sewing-machine needles ran at such high speeds. In hopes of alleviating the problem, Morgan experimented with a chemical solution in an effort to reduce friction created by the needle, and subsequently noticed that the hairs of the cloth were straighter.

After trying his solution to good effect on a neighboring dog’s fur, Morgan finally tested the concoction on himself. When that worked, he quickly established the G.A. Morgan Hair Refining Company and sold the cream to African Americans. The company was incredibly successful, bringing Morgan financial security and allowing him to pursue other interests.

In 1914, Morgan patented a breathing device, or “safety hood,” providing its wearers with a safer breathing experience in the presence of smoke, gases and other pollutants. Morgan worked hard to market the device, especially to fire departments, often personally demonstrating its reliability in fires. Morgan’s breathing device became the prototype and precursor for the gas masks used during World War I, protecting soldiers from toxic gas used in warfare. The invention earned him the first prize at the Second International Exposition of Safety and Sanitation in New York City.

There was some resistance to Morgan’s devices among buyers, particularly in the South, where racial tension remained palpable despite advancements in African-American rights. In an effort to counteract the resistance to his products, Morgan hired a white actor to pose as “the inventor” during presentations of his breathing device; Morgan would pose as the inventor’s sidekick, disguised as a Native American man named “Big Chief Mason,” and, wearing his hood, enter areas otherwise unsafe for breathing. The tactic was successful; sales of the device were brisk, especially from firefighters and rescue workers.

In 1916, the city of Cleveland was drilling a new tunnel under Lake Erie for a fresh water supply. Workers hit a pocket of natural gas, which resulted in a huge explosion and trapped workers underground amidst suffocating noxious fumes and dust. When Morgan heard about the explosion, he and his brother put on breathing devices, made their way to the tunnel and entered as quickly as possible. The brothers managed to save two lives and recover four bodies before the rescue effort was shut down.

Despite his heroic efforts, the publicity that Morgan garnered from the incident hurt sales; the public was now fully aware that Morgan was an African American, and many refused to purchase his products. Adding to the detriment, neither the inventor nor his brother were fully recognized for their heroic efforts at Lake Erie—possibly another effect of racial discrimination. Morgan was nominated for a Carnegie Medal for his efforts, but ultimately wasn’t chosen to receive the award. Additionally, some reports of the explosion named others as the rescuers.

While the public’s lack of acknowledgement for Morgan’s and his brother’s roles at the Cleveland explosion was undoubtedly disheartening, Morgan was a voracious inventor and observer who focused on fixing problems, and soon turned his attention to all kinds of things, from hats to belt fasteners to car parts.

The first black man in Cleveland to own a car, Morgan worked on his mechanical skills and developed a friction drive clutch. Then, in 1923, he created a new kind of traffic signal, one with a warning light to alert drivers that they would need to stop, after witnessing a carriage accident at a particularly problematic intersection in the city. Morgan quickly acquired patents for his traffic signal—a rudimentary version of the modern three-way traffic light—in the United States, Britain and Canada, but eventually sold the rights to General Electric for $40,000.

Outside of his inventing career, Morgan diligently supported the African-American community throughout his lifetime. He was a member of the newly formed National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, was active in the Cleveland Association of Colored Men, donated to Negro colleges and opened an all-black country club. Additionally, in 1920, he launched the African-American newspaper the Cleveland Call (later named the Call and Post).

reference: Biography.com

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Back on the air

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013
Back on the air

Wednesday – 06 February 2013
Not only is it midweek…
Nor is it just new comics day…
Or even Movie Date Night with Sara!…

Today is my niece, Grace’s, fifth birthday:

grace_wedding

Grace at Sara and my wedding

Grace_2011

Grace (2011)

I first met Grace about a week after she was born. Since then (and mostly through the marvels of modern technology), I have watched as she’s grown into a lovely, fun, and very precocious little girl:

grace_halloween2012

Chew on This: Food for Thought – Black History Month
Since I’m a few days behind, it’s time to play “catch up” with our people of interest:

  • George Washington Carver00v/49/arve/G1905/031George Washington Carver (by January 1864 – January 5, 1943), was an American scientist, botanist, educator, and inventor.Carver was born into slavery in Diamond Grove, Newton County, near Crystal Place, now known as Diamond, Missouri, possibly in 1864 or 1865, though the exact date is not known. His master, Moses Carver, was a German American immigrant. Carver had 10 sisters and a brother, all of whom died prematurely.
    After slavery was abolished, Moses Carver and his wife Susan raised George and his older brother James as their own children. They encouraged George to continue his intellectual pursuits, and “Aunt Susan” taught him the basics of reading and writing.

    Black people were not allowed at the public school in Diamond Grove. Learning there was a school for black children 10 miles (16 km) south in Neosho, George decided to go there. When he reached the town, he found the school closed for the night. He slept in a nearby barn. By his own account, the next morning he met a kind woman, Mariah Watkins, from whom he wished to rent a room. When he identified himself as “Carver’s George,” as he had done his whole life, she replied that from now on his name was “George Carver”. George liked this lady very much, and her words, “You must learn all you can, then go back out into the world and give your learning back to the people”, made a great impression on him. At the age of thirteen, due to his desire to attend the academy there, he relocated to the home of another foster family in Fort Scott, Kansas. After witnessing a black man killed by a group of whites, Carver left the city. He attended a series of schools before earning his diploma at Minneapolis High School in Minneapolis, Kansas.

    Carver applied to several colleges before being accepted at Highland College in Highland, Kansas. When he arrived, however, they rejected him because of his race. In 1890, Carver started studying art and piano at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. His art teacher, Etta Budd, recognized Carver’s talent for painting flowers and plants; she encouraged him to study botany at Iowa State Agricultural College in Ames. When he began in 1891, he was the first black student, and later taught as the first black faculty member.

    When he completed his B.S., professors Joseph Budd and Louis Pammel convinced Carver to continue at Iowa State for his master’s degree. Carver did research at the Iowa Experiment Station under Pammel during the next two years. His work at the experiment station in plant pathology and mycology first gained him national recognition and respect as a botanist.

    Booker T. Washington, the principal of the African-American Tuskegee Institute, hired Carver to run the school’s agricultural department in 1896. Washington lured the promising young botanist to the institute with a hefty salary and the promise of two rooms on campus, while most faculty members lived with a roommate. Carver’s special status stemmed from his accomplishments and reputation, as well as his degree from a prominent institution not normally open to black students. One of Carver’s duties was to administer the Agricultural Experiment Station farms. He had to manage the production and sale of farm products to generate revenue for the Institute. He soon proved to be a poor administrator. In 1900, Carver complained that the physical work and the letter-writing required were too much.

    Carver’s research and innovative educational extension programs were aimed at inducing farmers to utilize available resources to replace expensive commodities. He published bulletins and gave demonstrations on such topics as using native clays for paints, increasing soil fertility without commercial fertilizers, and growing alternative crops along with the ubiquitous cotton. To enhance the attractiveness of such crops as cow peas, sweet potatoes, and peanuts, Carver developed a variety of uses for each. Peanuts especially appealed to him as an inexpensive source of protein that did not deplete the soil as much as cotton did.

    Carver’s work with peanuts drew the attention of a national growers’ association, which invited him to testify at congressional tariff hearings in 1921. That testimony as well as several honors brought national publicity to the “Peanut Man.” A wide variety of groups adopted the professor as a symbol of their causes, including religious groups, New South boosters, segregationists, and those working to improve race relations.

    From 1933 to 1935, Carver worked to develop peanut oil massages to treat infantile paralysis (polio). Ultimately researchers found that the massages, not the peanut oil, provided the benefits of maintaining some mobility to paralyzed limbs. From 1935 to 1937, Carver participated in the USDA Disease Survey. Carver had specialized in plant diseases and mycology for his master’s degree.

    In 1937, Carver attended two chemurgy conferences, an emerging field in the 1930s, during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, concerned with developing new products from crops. He was invited by Henry Ford to speak at the conference held in Dearborn, Michigan, and they developed a friendship. That year Carver’s health declined, and Ford later installed an elevator at the Tuskegee dormitory where Carver lived, so that the elderly man would not have to climb stairs.

    Carver had been frugal in his life, and in his seventies established a legacy by creating a museum on his work and the George Washington Carver Foundation at Tuskegee in 1938 to continue agricultural research. He donated nearly $60,000 in his savings to create the foundation.

    Carver took a bad fall down a flight of stairs; he was found unconscious by a maid who took him to a hospital. Carver died January 5, 1943, at the age of 78 from complications (anemia) resulting from this fall. He was buried next to Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee University.

  • Angela Davisangela-davis
    Writer, activist, educator. Born on January 26, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama. Angela Davis is best known as a radical African American educator and activist for civil rights and other social issues. She knew about racial prejudice from her experiences with discrimination growing up in Alabama. As a teenager, Davis organized interracial study groups, which were broken up by the police. She also knew several of the young African American girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing of 1963.Angela Davis later moved north and went to Brandeis University in Massachusetts where she studied philosophy with Herbert Marcuse. As a graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, in the late 1960s, she joined several groups, including the Black Panthers. But she spent most of her time working with the Che-Lumumba Club, which was all-black branch of the Communist Party.Hired to teach at the University of California, Los Angeles, Angela Davis ran into trouble with the school’s administration because of her association with communism. They fired her, but she fought them in court and got her job back. Davis still ended up leaving when her contract expired in 1970.

    Outside of academia, Angela Davis had become a strong supporter of three prison inmates of Soledad Prison known as the Soledad brothers (they were not related). These three men—John W. Cluchette, Fleeta Drumgo, and George Lester Jackson—were accused of killing a prison guard after several African American inmates had been killed in a fight by another guard. Some thought these prisoners were being used as scapegoats because of the political work within the prison.

    During Jackson’s trial in August 1970, an escape attempt was made and several people in the courtroom were killed. Angela Davis was brought up on several charges, including murder, for her alleged part in the event. There were two main pieces of evidence used at trial: the guns used were registered to her, and she was reportedly in love with Jackson. After spending roughly 18 months in jail, Davis was acquitted in June 1972.

    After spending time traveling and lecturing, Angela Davis returned to teaching. Today, she is a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she teaches courses on the history of consciousness. Davis is the author of several books, includingWomen, Race, and Class (1980) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003).

  • Billy EckstineBilly Eckstine
    William Clarence Eckstine (July 8, 1914 – March 8, 1993) was an American singer of ballads and a bandleader of the swing era. Eckstine’s smooth baritone and distinctive vibrato broke down barriers throughout the 1940s, first as leader of the original bop big-band, then as the first romantic black male in popular music. Eckstine’s recording of “I Apologize” (MGM Pop Single, 1948) was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999.
    Eckstine was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; a State Historical Marker is placed at 5913 Bryant St, Highland Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to mark the house where he grew up. Later moving to Washington, D.C., Eckstine began singing at the age of seven and entered many amateur talent shows. He attended Armstrong High School, St. Paul Normal and Industrial School, and Howard University. He left Howard in 1933, after winning first place in an amateur talent contest. 
    After working his way west to Chicago, Eckstine joined Earl Hines’ Grand Terrace Orchestra in 1939, staying with the band as vocalist and, occasionally, trumpeter, until 1943. By that time, he had begun to make a name for himself through the Hines band’s radio shows with such juke-box hits as “Stormy Monday Blues” and his own “Jelly Jelly.”In 1944, Eckstine formed his own big band and made it a fountainhead for young musicians who would reshape jazz by the end of the decade, including Dizzy GillespieDexter GordonMiles DavisArt BlakeyCharlie Parker, and Fats NavarroTadd Dameron and Gil Fuller were among the band’s arrangers, and Sarah Vaughan gave the vocals a contemporary air. The Billy Eckstine Orchestra was the first bop big-band, and its leader reflected bop innovations by stretching his vocal harmonics into his normal ballads. Despite the group’s modernist slant, Eckstine hit the charts often during the mid 1940s, with Top Ten entries including “A Cottage for Sale” and “Prisoner of Love”. On the group’s frequent European and American tours, Eckstine, popularly known as Mr. B, also played trumpet, valve trombone and guitar.

    Dizzy Gillespie, in reflecting on the band in his 1979 autobiography To Be or Not to Bop, gives this perspective: “There was no band that sounded like Billy Eckstine’s. Our attack was strong, and we were playing bebop, the modern style. No other band like this one existed in the world.”

    After a few years of touring with road-hardened be-boppers, Eckstine became a solo performer in 1947, and seamlessly made the transition to string-filled balladry. He recorded more than a dozen hits during the late 1940s, including “My Foolish Heart” and “I Apologize.” He was one of the first artists to sign with the newly-established MGM Records, and had immediate hits with revivals of “Everything I Have Is Yours” (1947), Richard Rodgers’ and Lorenz Hart’s “Blue Moon” (1948), and Juan Tizol’s “Caravan” (1949).

    Eckstine had further success in 1950 with Victor Young’s theme song to “My Foolish Heart” and a revival of the 1931 Bing Crosby hit, “I Apologize”. However, unlike Nat “King” Cole (who followed him into the pop charts), Eckstine’s singing, especially his exaggerated vibrato, sounded increasingly mannered and he was unable to sustain his recording success throughout the decade.

    While enjoying success in the middle-of-the-road and pop fields, Eckstine occasionally returned to his jazz roots, recording with Vaughan, Count Basie and Quincy Jones for separate LPs, and he regularly topped the Metronome and Down Beat polls in the Top Male Vocalist category: He won Esquire magazine’s New Star Award in 1946; the Down Beat magazine Readers Polls from 1948 to 1952; and the Metronome magazine award as “Top Male Vocalist” from 1949 to 1954.

    Eckstine was a style leader and noted sharp dresser. He designed and patented a high roll collar that formed a “B” over a Windsor-knotted tie, which became known as a “Mr. B. Collar”. The collars were worn by many a hipster in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Legend has it that his refined appearance even had an effect on trumpeter Miles Davis. Once, when Eckstine came across a disheveled Davis in the depths of his heroin excess, his remark “Looking sharp, Miles” served as a wake-up call for Davis, who promptly returned to his father’s farm in the winter of 1953 and finally kicked the habit.

    In 1984 Billy recorded his final album I Am a Singer. Eckstine died on March 8, 1993, aged 78.

  • Mary Fieldsstagecoach mary fieldsMary Fields, also known as Stagecoach Mary, was the first African-American woman employed as a mail carrier in the United States, and just the second American woman to work for the United States Postal Service.
    Born a slave circa 1832 in Hickman County, Tennessee, Fields was freed when American slavery was outlawed in 1865. She then worked in the home of Judge Edmund Dunne. When Dunne’s wife died, Fields took the family’s five children to their aunt, Mother Mary Amadeus, a nun at an Ursuline convent in Toledo. Mother Amadeus was sent to Montana Territory to establish St. Peter’s Mission, a school for Native American girls. Word came back that Amadeus was ill, and Fields hurried to Montana to nurse her. After Amadeus recovered, Fields stayed at St. Peter’s hauling freight, doing laundry, growing vegetables, tending chickens, repairing buildings, and eventually becoming the forewoman.
    The Native Americans called Fields “White Crow” because “she acts like a white woman but has black skin.” Local whites didn’t know what to make of her. One schoolgirl wrote an essay saying “she drinks whiskey, and she swears, and she is a republican, which makes her a low, foul creature.” In 1894, after several complaints, the bishop ordered her to leave the convent.

    Mother Amadeus helped her open a restaurant in nearby Cascade. Fields would serve food to anyone, whether they could pay or not, and the restaurant went broke in about ten months.

    In 1895, although approximately 60 years old, Fields was hired as a mail carrier because she was the fastest applicant to hitch a team of six horses. She drove the route with horses and a mule named Moses. She never missed a day, and her reliability earned her the nickname “Stagecoach.” If the snow was too deep for her horses, Fields delivered the mail on snowshoes, carrying the sacks on her shoulders.

    Fields was a respected public figure in Cascade, and on her birthday each year the town closed its schools to celebrate. When Montana passed a law forbidding women to enter saloons, the mayor of Cascade granted her an exception.

    Mary Fields died of liver failure in 1914. In 1959, actor and Montana native Gary Cooper wrote an article for Ebony in which he said, “Born a slave somewhere in Tennessee, Mary lived to become one of the freest souls ever to draw a breath, or a .38.”

    Of course, this entry from Badass of the Week is where I first heard of Stagecoach Mary – and knew that she’d be filling the “F” slot in this year’s Black History Month list.

Stray Toasters

Back to it.

Namaste.

Groundhog Day: The Day of Shadows

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
Groundhog Day: The Day of Shadows

Saturday – 02 February 2013
It’s Groundhog Day.
(Just so you know, there won’t be a guest post by Bill Murray or Andie MacDowell. Sorry.)

It’s the weekend. Hallelujah. It hasn’t been a bad week, but with Team DiVa not sleeping well (due to their colds), Sara! and I haven’t been sleeping well. Or, rather, our sleep has been broken and not as restful as it could be.

Chew on This: Food for Thought – Black History Month
Today’s person: Julian Bond

Julian-Bond-37971-1-402

Horace Julian Bond (born January 14, 1940), known as Julian Bond, is an American social activist and leader in the American civil rights movement, politician, professor, and writer. Bond was born in Nashville, Tennessee, to the former Julia Agnes Washington and Horace Mann Bond.

In 1960, Bond was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and served as its communications director from 1961 to 1966. From 1960 to 1963, he led student protests against segregation in public facilities in Georgia. Bond left Morehouse College in 1961 and returned to complete his BA in English in 1971 at age 31. With Morris Dees, Bond helped found the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a public-interest law firm based in Montgomery, Alabama. He served as its president from 1971 to 1979. Bond continues on the board of directors of the SPLC.

In 1965, Bond was one of eight African Americans elected to the Georgia House of Representatives after passage of civil rights legislation, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965. On January 10, 1966, however, Georgia state representatives voted 184-12 not to seat him because he publicly endorsed SNCC’s policy regarding opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. They disliked Bond’s stated sympathy for persons who were “unwilling to respond to a military draft”. A federal District Court panel ruled 2-1 that the Georgia House had not violated any of Bond’s federal constitutional rights. In 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in the case of Bond v. Floyd (385 U.S. 116) that the Georgia House of Representatives had denied Bond his freedom of speech and was required to seat him. From 1967 to 1975, Bond was elected for four terms as a Democratic member in the Georgia House. There he organized the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus.

In January 1967, Bond was among eleven House members who refused to vote when the legislature elected segregationist Lester Maddox of Atlanta as governor of Georgia over the Republican Howard Callaway, who had led in the 1966 general election by some three thousand votes. The choice fell on state lawmakers under the Georgia Constitution of 1824 because neither major party candidate had polled a majority in the general election. Former Governor Ellis Arnall polled more than fifty thousand votes as a write-in cadidate, a factor which led to the impasse. Bond would not support either Maddox or Callaway though he was ordered to vote by lame duck Lieutenant Governor Peter Zack Geer.

He went on to be elected for six terms in the Georgia Senate in which he served from 1975 to 1987.

During the 1968 presidential election, Bond led an alternate delegation from Georgia to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. There, unexpectedly and contrary to his intention, he became the first African American to be proposed as a major-party candidate for Vice President of the United States. While expressing gratitude for the honor, the 28-year-old Bond quickly declined, citing the constitutional requirement that one must be at least 35 years of age to serve in that office.

Bond resigned from the Georgia Senate in 1987 to run for the United States House of Representatives from Georgia’s 5th congressional district. He lost the Democratic nomination in a runoff to rival civil rights leader John Lewis in a bitter contest, in which Bond was accused of using cocaine and other drugs. As the 5th district had a huge Democratic majority, the nomination delivered the seat to Lewis, who still serves as congressman.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Bond taught at several universities in major cities of the North and South, including American, Drexel, Harvard, and the University of Virginia.

In 1998, Bond was selected as chairman of the NAACP. In November 2008, he announced that he would not seek another term as chairman. Bond agreed to stay on in the position through 2009 as the organization celebrated its 100th anniversary. Roslyn M. Brock was chosen as Bond’s successor on February 20, 2010.

He continues to write and lecture about the history of the civil rights movement and the condition of African Americans and the poor. He is President Emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

From 1980 to 1997 he hosted America’s Black Forum. He remains a commentator for the Forum, for radio’s Byline, and for NBC’s The Today Show. He authored thenationally syndicated newspaper column Viewpoint. He narrated the critically acclaimed PBS series Eyes on the Prize in 1987 and 1990.

Bond has been an outspoken supporter of the rights of gays and lesbians. He has publicly stated his support for same-sex marriage. Most notably he boycotted the funeral services for Coretta Scott King on the grounds that the King children had chosen an anti-gay megachurch. This was in contradiction to their mother’s longstanding support for the rights of gay and lesbian people. In a 2005 speech in Richmond, VA, Bond stated:

African Americans … were the only Americans who were enslaved for two centuries, but we were far from the only Americans suffering discrimination then and now. … Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn’t change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable.

In a 2007 speech on the Martin Luther King Day Celebration at Clayton State University in Morrow, GA, Bond said, “If you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.” His positions have pitted elements of the NAACP against religious groups in the Black Civil Rights movement who oppose gay marriage mostly within the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) who was blamed partly for the success of the recent gay marriage ban amendment in California.

Today, Bond is a Distinguished Professor in Residence at American University in Washington, D.C. He also is a faculty member in the history department at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, where he teaches history of the Civil Rights Movement.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

It’s almost February…

Thursday, January 31st, 2013
It's almost February...

Thursday – 31 January 2013
I woke up this morning to this:

20130131-105835.jpg

Yeah, waking up to a warmer temperature than most days’ highs over the past few weeks is a good thing. Even with a 30% chance of snow.

I know that there were no Team DiVa Tuesday photos, but Sara! was quick enough – and kind enough – to snap a picture last night before the ladies went to bed, so that there’s a Team DiVa No Bad News Thursday picture:

Story time!  Diana (l), Vanessa (r)

Story time! Diana (l), Vanessa (r)

Reeling By On Celluloid
Last night, Sara! and I watched Seven Psychopaths:

seven_psychopaths__span

This was an odd movie. This is not to say that it wasn’t a very enjoyable movie, though. It was riotously funny at points. It was poignant at points. And, to be honest: There were a fair number of “What.. just.. happened…?” moments, too. In many ways, it reminded me of Pulp Fiction or Go, in the way that it combined a number of seemingly disparate arcs into one story. (And, like Pulp Fiction, this movie had Christopher Walken. Win-Win.)

Sara! brought up the point that she’d want to watch it again, as there were a couple of things early on – before she grokked the rhythm of the movie – that she’d like to see, with the understanding of how things unfold. I’d gladly be down for watching it again. And, I happily recommend this movie.

red_legored_legored_legored_legored_legored_legored_legored_lego
(I would have given it seven bricks – to keep with the “Seven Psychopaths” theme, but it was an eight-brick movie.)

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

 

“This mornin’, I shot six holes in my freezer…”

Monday, January 14th, 2013
"This mornin', I shot six holes in my freezer..."

Monday – 14 January 2013
It’s cold here in the Land Behind the Zion Curtain.

How cold? Well, this is what greeted me when I checked the weather before getting out of bed:

What?! I was reading on my iPad before going to sleep; it was right there. Don’t judge.

This was the difference between my car and outside as I got ready to head into the office:

Yes, that is a nearly 70°F difference. So, like I said: It’s cold.

Reeling By On Celluloid: Tomb Raider
As of last Saturday, Sara! and I finished our run of Bond’s movies… since Amazon wanted me to buy Die Another Day. Yeah, that was not going to happen. We decided to start a new run of movies; we just had to decide on a theme. We wound up going with “Action Movies with Strong Female Leads.” That, in turn, lead us to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

lara_croft_tomb_raider

We’d both seen the movie before and knew that it was light on brainpower and fairly full of action. Win. Win. And something that we’d forgotten: Daniel Craig was in the movie. That’s right. James “Double Oh Seven” Bond. Well, five years before he was Bond. And who could forget that Ms. Jolie’s father, Jim Phelps, I mean Jon Voight was in the movie, as well.

And, in the final analysis: It was fun.

Instant Replay: Football
Saturday afternoon, the Ravens took on the Denver Broncos:

Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos
38 – 35
The Ravens traveled to Denver to take on Peyton Manning and the Number 1 in the AFC Denver Broncos for the AFC Divisonal Game. Going into the game, the odds were stacked against the Ravens:

  1. The Broncos gave the Ravens a thorough trouncing in Week 15, just four weeks prior.
  2. The Ravens were playing on a short week – having played in an AFC Wild Card game on Sunday.
  3. Peyton Manning was 8-2, all-time, against the Ravens.
  4. The Broncos were 9-point favorites.
  5. Playing in Denver meant that the Ravens would not only have to travel across the country, but they would also have to acclimatize (quickly) to the thinner air at the higher altitude.

And, there was also this gem, as tweeted by the Ravens’ own Terrell Suggs:

ESPN_RavensNation

But, as Han Solo once told C-3P0: “Never tell me the odds.”

Because the Ravens went to Denver to make like Big Daddy Kane and Get the Job Done.

The game was close all the way through; the score wound up being tied a total of five (5) times! There were amazing plays on both sides

At the end of regulation, the score was tied 35-35.

Then came overtime.
Then came the second overtime.

Then, Peyton Manning threw a pass… that was picked off by Corey Graham.  That set up a game-winning Justin Tucker 49-yard field goal, sending the Ravens to the AFC Championship game.

After the game, two future Hall of Famers met at mid-field for the last time as competitors.

Screen Shot 2013-01-14 at 10.10.16 PM

Congratulations to the Ravens on a great game.

Hey, Joe…?! How does it feel to go into Denver and handle business like you did on Saturday?

Flacco_Denver

Next stop: New England.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

Nope. Still not Belgium.

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Tuesday – 08 January 2012
Day Two: Go!

Last night, I decided to tackle some of the clutter in the unfinished portion of the basement. I didn’t make a huge dent in it, but I made a decent dent in it. There’s some And, I was able to move the printer out of the office and hook it up to the Mac that’s in there. I consider that a “Win.”

After that, Sara! and I hung out on the couch, watching Castle. I’d call that a good way to wrap up an evening.

Stray Toasters

  • I’ve finally made the decision to pull the plug on my LiveJournal account. That’s where I originally started blogging way back in 2001; since moving my blog to WordPress, I’ve been on LJ less and less over the years. (Of course, it hasn’t hurt that a number of people that I’ve come to know on LJ have migrated to Facebook, other social media or their own personal sites.)

    For those of you who’ve been following my blog on LJ (via cross-post), please feel free to point your browser to Random Access, instead, as I’ll be terminating my LJ account at the end of the month.

  • Lousy Book Covers
  • Shelf Awareness
  • Zombie attack sheet-set

Right on to the friction of the day…

Namaste.

…out like a lamb.

Monday, December 31st, 2012
...out like a lamb.

Monday – 31 December 2012
The end of the world year is here.

Chew on This: Food for Thought
Today is the last day of 2012. Some of the experiences of the year include:

  • I left my old job and found another one.
  • Team DiVa had their first birthday party.
    • They also started walking, talking, signing and doing other all-around amazing things.
  • I started a new blog: Pinstripes and Polos
  • My mother went back to work… as a consultant.
  • We did some renovations to the house and grounds:
    • We tore down the gazebo to facilitate new landscaping in the back yard.
    • We started felling trees and shrubbery in front yard, also to accomodate new landscaping.
    • We built a new gate to replace the one that a storm demolished. (I need to replace one of the sides of the gate – again! – following another storm.)
    • The Train Room has been finished; I just need to schedule an appointment to have carpet installed.
  • I turned 42… I’m still not sure what the Ultimate Question is, but I do know where my towel is.
  • My fifth niece was born.
  • I played City of Heroes for the last time. Ever.
  • We got to celebrate a very lovely Christmas with Sara!’s family.

…and, as I said a couple of years ago: “…these are all part of ‘life.’”

On the whole, 2012 was a good year. I am thankful for the many new people I met and I am grateful for the many wonderful things that I got to experience. If you were part of my year – no matter how big or small a part – thank you for the pleasure of your company and for being a part of my journey.

Stray Toasters

  • Over the past few days, Sara! and I have combatted the 2012 Death Plague. I’m not sure where we picked it up, but I’m glad to have it in the proverbial rear view mirror. I didn’t leave the bedroom for over 18 hours (Thu night/Friday) and for 10 of those hours, I didn’t even leave the bed. Sara! was laid up all day Saturday and part of the day on Sunday. Somehow, Team DiVa seem to have avoided the worst of it.
  • Sunday afternoon, I headed to the airport to see my friend, Megan, during a long layover. While there, I also ran into Dave, Erica and Aria, as well as former Utah Opera Resident Artist John Buffett. Superpower-on-overdrive for the end-of-year win!
  • I’ve finally gotten around to continuing the Sword of Truth series, which was suggested to me years ago by my friend, Jess. (It was one of her favorite series.) It’s equal parts thrilling and maddening. I’ve also learned that having access to the Internet while reading/listening is not always a necessarily “good” thing, as I have semi-spoiled a couple of things for myself.
  • Snow. 10″ in the past week and we’re having flurries now.
  • I really need to figure out exactly what I want to do with the spare computers around here.
  • While they lost their last game, the Ravens are still the #4 Seed in the AFC and made the playoffs for the fifth straight year under Head Coach John Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco.
  • By way of Mike B.: Off Topic: A Movie So Bad, It’s Good: The Legacy of Road House
    I’ve not seen the movie before, but this just about makes me want to invest the hour-and-a-half to see it.
  • I’m sure that there were eleventy-billion other things I was planning on adding to this list. Oh, well.

I wish you a very happy and prosperous 2013 and beyond.

Namaste.

“And the meek shall inherit the earth…”

Friday, December 21st, 2012
"And the meek shall inherit the earth..."

Friday – 21 December 2012
…or as I would write it in short form: 21 Dec 12.
…more to the point: 21 – 12. (With an extra “12” for good measure.)

And this is the last 21-12 of the century.

And with that in mind, I give you: 2112

“Overture” and “Temples of Syrinx”

…and…

The whole “A” side of 2112:

  • I. Overture
  • II. Temples of Syrinx
  • III. Discovery
  • IV. Presentation
  • V. Oracle (The Dream)
  • VI. Soliloquy
  • VII. The Grand Finale

According to the Mayan Calendar, the Fourth World ends today and the Fifth World begins. (Sorry, Jack Kirby.)

Last night, Sara! and I watched Men In Black 3 for Movie Date Night.

 

I thought that it was a fun romp and a nice way to wrap up the series; I think that Sara! thought that it was alright. (It was better than MIB2.) And, Josh Brolin does a very good Tommy Lee Jones.

Stray Toasters

Namaste.

The Birds and the Bees

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
The Birds and the Bees

Monday – 19 November 2012
Yeah, it’s been a while. But, I’m back. And this is a post.

The girls are growing in leaps and bounds.  They surprised me the other day, while watching a Baby Einstein video, by (more or less) repeating some of the words used in the video. Just to be sure that I wasn’t hallucinating it, I replayed the video for Sara! and the girls did it again. They are also getting very good at using a few more signs, particularly “water,” “more,” and “please.”

Diana (l) and Vanessa

We kept this storage unit under Diana’s crib as a corral for the girls’ stuffed animals. Well, the animals have wound up just about everywhere but the bin. And, the girls discovered the joy of crawling into it. We have since taken the bin from under the crib and filled it with pillows… and the girls love playing in the improvised pillow pit. Although, I’m still toying with the idea of buying some ball pit balls and using them to replace the pillows, for a mini version of this:

I went to a train show this past weekend. It wasn’t awesome – no major manufacturer presence at all – and only handful of vendors wit items I was interested in, but it was a train show. I did see one of the vendors from whom I bought something at the train show last month, though. He even remembered me and we chatted for a few minutes.

For me, the most memorable thing from the show was meeting and talking with Blanche Keller. My friend, Dave, showed me this article last week, detailing Blanche and her husband, Norman’s, ordeal after having their merchandise and trailer stolen while on their way to a train show in Denver. I asked Blanche about what happened and she talked very candidly about the whole experience. The article gave a good 10,000 foot view, but listening to her recount their last couple of weeks was pretty heartbreaking. Not only did they lose their merchandise (for a while), but they had to close bank and merchant accounts, none of which can be reopened or replaced until they get back home.

Before we finished talking, Blanche mentioned that they had a number of invitations from friends for Thanksgiving when they get back home. She smiled and said that she appreciated the outpouring of support, but that she’s not sure that she even wants to leave the house when she gets back, aside from picking up her dogs from boarding.

I wish Blanche and Norman all the best.

Instant Replay: Football
Last night was the only game that I was really concerned with this week:

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
13 – 10
The Ravens headed up to Steel Town to take on the Steelers in their house.

The Ravens were in white jersey and black pants, while the Steelers were in black-and-yellow striped jerseys (and socks) with beige pants. They seriously looked like bumblebees. So, I kept referring to it as “The Birds and the Bees Game.”

This always a good – and somewhat bitter – match up. There was some question as to how it would go, as both teams were missing key players.

The Steelers scored – in the first 43 seconds – thanks to a defensive pass interference call and some quick plays. The Ravens came back, thanks to WR Jacoby Jones, who ran back (another!) punt for a TD.

Jacoby Jones on his way to the house…
(c) NFL.com

The rest of the Ravens’ scoring came from K Justin Tucker.

I haven’t been CB Corey Graham’s biggest advocate this season, but he had an AMAZING night last night. He was All. Over. The. Field. Blocking passes. Intercepting passes. He definitely stepped up his game last night. I look forward to seeing what he does in the rest of the season.

On the down side, Ed Reed was suspended for one game – the Chargers – thanks to a helmet-to-helmet hit, but he’ll be back for Week 13, when the Ravens host the Steelers. That’s right: two games in three weeks against the Steelers.

Sorry, Bonne, Bret and Uncle Ronnie.

.

New Orleans Saints at Oakland Raiders
38 – 17
Since Sara! forbade me from talking about last week’s game, I’ll talk about this week’s game, instead!The Raiders hosted the Saints……and the Saints came away with a win.

Sorry, Sara! and Rob.

.

Cincinnati Bengals at Kansas City Chiefs
28 – 6
The Bengals went to Arrowhead and beat the Chiefs.Congrats, Janie and Becky.

.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Carolina Panthers
27 – 21
The Bucs took down the Cats.Congrats, Dana and Sean.

Stray Toasters

  • There’s a not-too-small part of me that hopes that either or both of the Team DiVa girls are this creative when they grow up: Kindergartener Confesses to Plans of World Domination
  • Since I finished Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, I’ve been listening to Stone of Tears, by Terry Goodkind. I read/listened to Wizard’s First Rule, the first book in the series a few years ago. I am enjoying revisiting some familiar characters.
  • [REDACTED]
  • I haven’t picked up either COD: Black Ops 2 or HALO 4 yet. If nothing else, I’ll ask Santa for one or the other for Christmas.
  • Up, up and away…!
  • I’ve never been a fan of the crack of dawn Black Friday shopping sales. I’m even less enthused about the new “Black Thursday” concept. Besides every Friday is Black Friday as far as I’m concerned. (And, during football season, it does double duty as Purple Friday, too.)
  • Märklin! *shakes fist*
I should have been in bed almost an hour ago!
Namaste.

“Life, the Universe and Everything”

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
"Life, the Universe and Everything"

Friday – 26 October 2012
Not only is it Friday…

…nor is it just…

…but, as of 7:00 AM Eastern, I turn(ed) 42.

I’m not panicking and I know where my towel is. And I’d like to think that I’m a (at least somewhat) hoopy frood. Now, if I could just figure out what the Ultimate Question to which 42 is the answer is, I’d be set.

It’s been a good year. To paraphrase last year’s comment: I have a great family and friends, as well as met some new great people.

Sidenote: In case I haven’t said it recently – or enough – I’m grateful for the people in my life. Yes, this means you.

I’ve been fortunate enough to do some fun things. So, I’m ready for forty-two to bring it on.

Stray Toasters

So long and thanks for all the fish!

The Tenth Month

Monday, October 1st, 2012
The Tenth Month

Monday – 01 October 2012
October is upon us and, as it is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the blog has “Gone Pink for October.”

In an odd twist, it’s Monday night and there’s football… but, I really don’t care about tonight’s game. Of course, maybe that’s because the Ravens played last Thursday but – and won – and neither the Panthers nor the Dolphins could find their way to a “W.”

In other entertainment news: I finally got to watch “The Angels Take Manhattan.”

Well played, Steven Moffat. I think that I might be a Doctor Who fan. Again. For the first time in over 20 years. (Although, I’ve been told that I should check out the Eccleston and Tennant Doctors, as well.) And, I am thinking of picking up “The Angels Kiss” e-book tie-in, too. Just because.

Stray Toasters

  • Baltimore is in the playoffs. As my friend, Liz, posted:
    Congrats to the O’s on making it to the 2012 MLB Playoffs!
  • Fait accompli. I could be wrong, but I think that I am finished with the taping/mudding of the train room. As of this evening, I actually think that the room is ready for primer and paint… after a little sweeping and mopping, that is.
  • The GQ Guide to Suits
  • What in the Hell is happening in this Bears-Cowboy game!? Three Four Five INTs?!
  • Birchbox Men.  ‘Nuff said.
  • The VW Passat commercial with Rush’s Fly By Night in it makes me chuckle. Every. Time.

That’s good for now.

Namaste.

In the middle…

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
In the middle...

Wednesday – 11 July 2012
It’s 7/11…

…which means that it’s Slurpee Day at your local 7-Eleven.
…which means free mini-Slurpees at your local 7-Eleven.
…which means… Oh, Hell.  If I have to spell it out for you, then what’s the point!?

It’s also new comics – and new ‘Clix – day.

And, as if all of that wasn’t enough, it’s Movie Date Night, too.

Triple score!

Stray Toasters

Namaste.