Showing posts from April, 2011

Patience Quote

I saw this on a Facebook friend's page today.  I don't know the original source of this quote but it is timely for me and I'm posting it to share and also so I read it over and over again.  I might eventually believe it..

Art is a patience. Patience is an art.

Study Results Randomness

I am on several email lists from publishing companies who think I might want to interview their authors for one of my radio shows. I don’t. The shows are specifically related to local community issues and most of these interview ops relate to hyping a book or a study.

However, I do keep the interesting press releases for my own amusement … and for yours in this post.

- Between the sheets. Got one today about a book citing 10 tips for staying young. One of their tips for better health: have plenty of sex. One of the authors, a doctor, points out that “middle-aged men who have sex five times a week can lower the risk for prostate cancer by 33 percent, compared to those that have sex only five times a month.” I wonder if I can get him to write me a prescription. The other nine tips? Who cares?

- Relationships.  There is a new book citing misconceptions about men and women in today’s dating. The author points out that conventional wisdom leads women to believe “the only way to catch and k…

Let’s Get Serious, People

Trump is a joke. He is arguably one of the most successful and knowledgeable business people of the past 30 years and could be positioning himself as a strong leader/manager with business experience that can get us through this economic mess. Yet he is wasting his time and ours trying to challenge President Obama’s birth certificate.

Yesterday Obama trumped bullshit with the truth and released a copy of the full certificate. Yet Trump continues to make noise about its authenticity. Get over it Donald! If you are serious about running for the most powerful elected office on the planet then get serious about issues. Otherwise you’re just Palin with a brain.

As a life-long Democrat, one part of me enjoys watching the Republicans finally taking their turn as the floundering party trying to figure out how to win a national election. But another side of me wants to see some serious contenders in the race. I think Obama is doing a decent job working with the hand he was dealt, but his job pe…

Totally Random 5.5

The N.O. Jazzfest starts this weekend. I am not there but some of my local Maryland friends will be and I’m sure some of my New Orleans friends and family will also. I will find a way to be there next year.

A picture is worth a thousand words. How many curse words are in this shot from this afternoon?

Back to Jazzfest for a second … here are some of the performers we’re missing this year: Local legends (Neville Brothers, Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, Irma Thomas, Trombone Shorty), unexpected from other genres ( Bon Jovi, Jimmy Buffett, Arcade Fire, John Mellencamp, Robert Plant, John Legend, Jason Mraz, Maze, Fantasia, , Better Than Ezra, Kid Rock), blues artists and some from other genres who now play blues (Jeff Beck, Cyndi Lauper, Gregg Allman Blues Band), jazz artists (Sonny Rollins) and unique hard-to-define artists (Decemberists, Robert Randolph, Lucinda Williams). I know I could write a whole post about this; maybe later.

I’ve got some personal crap I’d like to share with you but I…

A Few Artsy Asheville Shots

The moon was full on my last night.  I only had my pocket camera with me at that moment, but you get the idea...

More Asheville Randomness

I'm not sure what I like better about Asheville, the mountain air, the funky variety of people, the Frank Lloyd Wright-ish art deco designs or the balance of old-new-city-country.  I definitely like the opportunities for photography.

Visit Photo Bernie for a few more.

Biltmore Randomness

The mansion has four acres of floor space including more than 250 rooms, 34 bedrooms, 43 bathrooms and 65 fireplaces. There is an underground swimming pool, gym and bowling alley. It took six years to build and was finished around 1895.

The property is 8,000 acres, filled with gardens, statues, fountains, trails, farm land (originally) and a winery. There are spectacular views in every direction. The landscaper was the same guy who designed New York City’s Central Park.

It’s in or adjacent to Asheville NC, a town of 80,000 people, but when you’re on the grounds you never see any indication that a town is anywhere near the place.

There is a modern 200-room hotel on the property now. It is built to fit in with the aura of the estate and, as you would expect, it is wallet-challenging. If you want to stay there Friday, May 6th, it’ll cost you $334 for that night, in a room with two double beds. That’s about what I paid for three nights at a fairly nice hotel east of downtown Asheville.


More Deco in Asheville


More Asheville

It's a busy week at work.  In fact, today was, honestly, kind of crappy.  I wish I was still in Asheville.  Meanwhile, here is a photo.  More commentary later. This fountain is in Pack Square in the heart of town.

Awesome Funky Pattern-Breaking Randomness

I needed to shake things up a little, change my patterns, and spend a few days breaking my usual routines. So I went to Asheville, North Carolina, my favorite funky little town in the mountains. If you’ve been reading me lately you know my choices for my own sort of ‘spring break’ were either ocean or mountains. I picked mountains. Here are a few random notes from my little adventure:

- I have amazing good luck. The very day I was driving to western NC, tornadoes were devastating parts of central and eastern NC. I did drive through the worst driving rain storm I’ve ever driven through for part of that day, but the sun came out later.

- There is music in the street in Asheville. I’m not sure I realized that till this visit.

- My delicious food-related pattern-breaking included: Carolina BBQ, spinach-and-brie omelette, Indian (specifically a curry chicken dish), sweet potato fries, meatloaf. No, that was not all in the same meal.

- Mountains can be therapeutic. There is a peace and maje…

Sunset In the Mountains

This sunset is another reason I love the mountains.  More comentary and photography coming. 

In the Mountains

I am drawn to North Carolina for many reasons: ocean, cities, mountains.  I have friends in all 3 parts of the state (Nags Head, Raleigh, Asheville). This week I am exercising an awesome option for stress relief: a visit to the mountain part of NC.  This is just a grab shot taken while driving into Asheville from the east on I-40, but it says a lot to me.

It is peaceful here but definitely not boring.

More pictures and commentary coming soon.

Karma Balance

You've read about the recent death of a family friend because of cancer. Things like that are always sad, partly because they bring up a complex balance of faith-shaking questions and learning opportunities.

Somewhere in the cosmic karma of the universe, however, news of a cancer-related death can sometimes be balanced by news of survival. A co-worker gave me a 15-second version of that news as we passed each other in the hallway today. She had breast cancer a few years ago, survived it, then had to deal with a relapse. I knew she was back at work but I haven't seen her much in the past few months. During our quick conversation today she told the whole story in a way she knew I'd understand, using only three words: "I'm all clear."

That bit of karma balance made my whole day. And I think it is a learning op too.

Going Up!

I took this picture while filling up Wednesday night.  I wonder if it went up some more since then.  I'm taking a short road trip soon; wonder what'll be then.

This is what I was driving last time gas prices were this high. 

I miss it, but I don't miss 18 mpg highway. My current ride gets 30 on the highway.

Aging Quotes

Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.
- Will Rogers

Age is just a number - play offense with your life.
- Sidney Harman

We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.
- George Bernard Shaw

I’m old enough to know better, but I’m still too young to care.
- Wade Hayes

Those who love deeply never grow old. They may die of old age but they die young.
- Benjamin Franklin

Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone.
-- Jim Fiebig

If the Tune Fitz …

Motown/soul/R&B funk was the first music I fell in love with as a kid and that sound still gets my attention. Slick, danceable, bass-and-drum groove, a kickin’ horn section. Hall & Oates kept the sound alive through the 80s and now in the 2000s there is a “new” band fusing that sound with their own. Let me share this with you.

The group is Fitz and the Tantrums, named for their lead singer/producer Michael Fitzpatrick. They loved this style of music and were inspired by, among others, Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates. Long story short, they got together with him last year on Hall’s web site “Live from Daryl’s House” and recorded some of their songs with Daryl singing along and vice versa.

Click Here to see the show!

I don’t know if they have any radio play yet, but they are all over TV: Criminal Minds, Desperate Housewives, VH-1 and last week they were on Leno.

Here is a Fitz & the Tantrum song “MoneyGrabber”. Enjoy. Dance.

Gray Area

Why do politicians who claim to want smaller government and state’s rights think they have the right to tell the city of Washington DC how to govern themselves?

A little political science refresher, in case you’re not aware of these things: There are 100 Senators, two for each of the 50 states, meaning that each state, from the smallest geographic size (Rhode Island) to the largest (Alaska) has equal representation. There are 435 members of the House or Representatives; the amount from each state varies based on population, so that more populous states like New York or California have a bigger voice than less populous states like Wyoming. The combination of those two bodies forms a balanced means for governing our country based on the wishes of our citizens.

Did you notice what’s missing? Washington DC. It is not a state, but it IS a city in our United States with 600,000 residents. Yet there is no elected Senator from the District and the one elected Representative can only speak dur…

Spring Spring

I love photography in the spring. OK, I love it all year, but spring is a great time for emerging color. This is ten feet from my back door.

Visit my Middletown Daily Photo and Photo Bernie sites for a few more.

I'm planning a short photo adventure soon. Check these sites for the pictures.

Real Health Advice

Here is part of something a friend sent this week. It is laughable yet it might actually be all true. Enjoy.

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO-HOO, what a ride!!"


For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans..

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and f…

The Present

If you’ve been following along for the past two years you know about my ongoing self-discovery journey. One of my challenges and goals is to live more in the present and I believe I continue to make progress narrowing the gap between past and future.

Two “past” elements that remain are my story-telling and my list of regrets. The stories won’t change; it is part of who I am. Sometimes it makes me interesting. Sadly the regrets list has grown from one or two to half dozen or more. I can’t change those things I regret and my next challenge is to get them off the list. The past is a great opportunity for learning and sometimes is a fun place to visit. That balance works for me. I do not want to live there.

My “future” thinking is shrinking a bit. I used to spend lots of time there but my definition of future, the sum of many present moments, helps me focus more on now and less on later. I like to think I can shape my future and I believe more strongly about that than before, which means …

Who Needs It Anyway?

Yeah, yeah, yeah, the Federal Government might shut down Friday. Who needs it anyway? Between 200,000 and 400,000 people out of work? So what? The Tea Party and other loudmouthed blowhards who are more interested in making a name for themselves than actually fixing the economy and out-of-control deficit don’t care. The extreme liberal side who want to cut spending a dollar or two at a time don’t care. Why should either side care? If the Fed shuts down, Congress members and the President still get paid!

Republicans always talk about making government smaller, so I guess if you shut it down, it definitely gets smaller. Hell, why start it up again? I wonder how much they’d save if those couple hundred thousand jobs just evaporated.

Democrats want to save program after program after program. That sounds good to me on one level but we all know there is an incredible amount of waste in those programs, meaning that even the well-intentioned social programs cost way more than they should to a…

Two More "Life" Quotes

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
- Mark Twain

Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.
- Karen Kaiser Clark

Crazy Train

Have you ever been on the DC Metro? If so, you know it can be crowded, especially during weekday commute times and after a concert or Nats game. Even during off-peak times you will rarely find yourself on a Metro car alone? I have been riding Metro for more than 20 years and only once did I ever find myself in an empty car and I was tired that day and the most creative reaction I had was to snap a solitary picture with my cell phone camera.

This guy, however, took full advantage of the "creative" opportunity. Enjoy.

And the Award Goes To …

Did y’all see the ACM (Academy of Country Music) Awards show Sunday night? I know at least one of my regular readers likes country music (in Wisconsin, that hotbed of twang), so I’ll assume the rest did not. Let me just say you missed a great show and three hours of evidence that the genre is hot and growing.

The two big country music awards shows are the ACMs (usually in the spring) and the CMAs (usually in the fall). Purists seem to look at the CMAs (Country Music Association) as the ‘big one’ but I’m starting to change my mind about that. The CMAs are so full of long, drawn out acceptance speeches in which the winners thank everybody they ever knew in their whole lives. Oh, and there is a little music too. The ACM awards show Sunday was mostly about entertainment and music. In fact no award was given out till a full hour into the show.

I’ve said before that country music is hot right now (all genres run in cycles) and one indicator Sunday night was the variety of artists fro…

Good Reads

I love to share discoveries and to connect people. These are among the blogs I read regularly, some for their observations and some for the insight they provide into the lives of the writers. Some haven’t been updated in awhile, but they are still good reads. I encourage you to visit them.

In person blogger friends, who also happen to be among my best real life friends:
Still Learning About Me
An Unconventional Life

Virtual blogger friends, who I have exchanged comments and emails with but have never met in person:
When the Muse Strikes
A Mom and Her Crazy Ideas
The Boomer Chronicles
Give Me Cupcakes
And So I Write

This guy has a wicked sense of humor. I don’t know him but I know someone who does:
Inside the Mind of Anthony

Some of my other blogs, in case you haven’t visited lately. I just updated the poetry blog today.
Photo Bernie
Middletown Daily Photo