Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New Stamps!

Love them all!!

History Of The United States Senate

Always playing with ideas and graphics.
Finished by bar diagram of the history of the United States Senate. You can see how long Republicans/Democrats have dominated the political landscape. You can also see that it took over 60 years of our history to get to this "stable" point. It also made me want to see a day when Puerto Rico becomes the 51st state, and the US Virgin Islands the 52nd, Guam the 53rd, American Samoa the 54th and The Northern Mariana Islands the 55th and the District of Columbia the 56th. Everyone we rule shares an equal franchise in the Constitutional process of our nation. They are all under the Federal Court System, they all get to vote to President, they all send their men and women to serve and die in the United States military, they participate in our currency and postal systems. It's time to say good bye to colonialism. Time they become full citizens and pay taxes.

Snowy Day View

From Indoor Recess @ School on Tuesday.

My Top 16 Albums

Thinking about my favorite Albums/CD's as a whole. So many times a sub-set of songs resonates, why the whole collection gets chopped up. But some Albums are just too good from start to finish. For this list I chose 16. It's a square of square--I like that.
So, here are 16 of my favorite "Albums"--and yeah, I know...that word dates me. What can I say? I'm 53 and happy! But I digress. These are the ones I go back to time and again, and where possible sing along with. It only scratches the surface of my total music collection, but then who gives a damn about anyone's top 1,600? In alphabetical order by artist:

Kathleen Battle - Kathleen Battle Sings Mozart (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra André Previn)
Counting Crows - August and Everything After
Alex Cuba - Agua del Pozo
Elle Fitzgerald - Ella Fitzgerald: The Best of the Song Books
Patty Griffin - Living with Ghosts
Emmylou Harris - Angel Band
Hope for Haiti - various artists
Carole King - Tapestry
Natalie Merchant - Ophelia
Rachel Podger - Johann Sebastian Bach: Complete Sonatas and Partitas for Violin Solo
Bob Seeger & the Silver Bullet Band - "Live" Bullet
Simon & Garfunkel - The Concert in Central Park
Frank Sinatra - Frank Sinatra: His Great Performances 1953-1960
John Michael Talbot - Come to the Quiet
10,000 Maniacs - In My Tribe
Hannah White - Poetry

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Today's Sermon


You are right to point out that the agapanthus
is not a lily, especially to one who so loves 

precision, but the agapanthus is also called 

"Lily of the Nile," which surely could be seen 

as justification for calling it a lily.

I am sure Cleopatra herself never called 

this plant agapanthus. And, well, wouldn't one 

want to be more like Cleopatra than like 

Theophrastus? The Queen of the Nile 

would have likely called it a lily, no?

Yes, yes, words have meaning and have power

and all of that stuff. Yes, yes, I of all people 

understand the importance of naming. 

But if Cleopatra would have called it a lily . . . 

Okay, I will stop. You look great, by the way.

But I just want to point out that the agapanthus 

is such an odd plant that even botanists 

cannot agree on the number of species in the genus, 

some saying six, others as many as ten. 

Okay, I swear I'll stop. Seriously. Promise.

The windy night air is cold, and the wings 

bound along my spine sweaty and bruised, 

the long bandages chafing my armpits. Words 

have power, my love. You call this winged thing 

an angel, but that is not the word I would use for it.

~ C. DALE YOUNG, 1969 - 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Random Quote #161

While I'm thinking about it, I sent out 50 "Happy Spring" cards today.  Why should Christmas get all the glory?  They contained the poem that will be tomorrow's "Today's Sermon" and a little happy spring greeting.  And they went everywhere!
Or more specifically, by zipcode...and nation.

02130 - Boston, Massachusetts
02568 - Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts
03820 - Dover, New Hampshire
06112 - Hartford, Connecticut
07018 - East Orange, New Jersey
10023 - New York, New York
12065 - Clifton Park, New York
19104 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
20686 - St. Mary's City, Maryland
20785 - Cheverly, Maryland
21211 - Baltimore, Maryland
21777 - Point-of-Rocks, Maryland
23221 - Richmond, Virginia
25422 - Great Cacapon, West Virginia
27608 - Raleigh, North Carolina
28611 - Collettsville, North Carolina
29205 - Columbia, South Carolina
30553 - Livonia, Georgia
36801 - Opelika, Alabama
37917 - Knoxville, Tennessee
40205 - Louisville, Kentucky
40383 - Versailles, Kentucky
40383 - Versailles, Kentucky
42303 - Owensboro, Kentucky
43402 - Bowling Green Ohio
44107 - Lakewood, Ohio
48045 - Harrison Township, Michigan
48083 - Trenton, Michigan
48173 - Gibraltar, Michigan
48304 - Bloomfeild Hills, Michigan
54650 - West Salem, Wisconsin
54956 - Neenah, Wisconsin
55616 - Two Harbors, Minnesota
60660 - Chicago, Illinois
60680 - Chicago, Illinois
64130 - Kansas City, Missouri
67203 - Wichita, Kansas
77027 - Houston, Texas
80247 - Denver, Colorado
82601 - Casper, Wyoming
82604 - Casper, Wyoming
93536 - Lancaster, California
94114 - San Francisco, California
94708 - Berkeley, California
96793 - Wailuku, Hawaii
99801 - Juneau, Alaska
Victoria, Australia
San Pedro, Costa Rica
Auckland, New Zealand
London, United Kingdom


Planted more pansies & violas today...I don't know, maybe 250 or so so far, I know I've put in 60 in the front and side yards and it's a small percentage of what's gone into the backyard. (I tend to plant them close together and in clusters for maximum effect--they also seem to flourish better when nuzzled up against one another.)
So I took this photo of one of the new planters in the back to share the pot inside the planter. It's a "friendship-pot" made by a student at my school and given to me as a gift (little handmade ceramic piece with two friends attached on opposite sides smiling at each other), and look who else got in the picture! I didn't realize it until I downloaded it. He's my baby!

More Signs of Spring

 It's so totally nice to see the Circles Garden coming back to life!

A brand new bed of Crocuses in the new Circles Garden.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ March 23rd to March 29th

A "Found" Dinner

Tonight's Dinner was a "found" meal from the fridge and pantry. Ingredients:

remains of two boxes of pasta
remains of a deli container of a medley of Mediterranean olives (Olices sliced, herbed oil set aside)
two stalks of celery
three plum tomatoes
leftover pepperoni (slice in thirds)
1/2 bag of frozen peas
a dozen stalks of asparagus
leftover fresh squeezed lemon juice from pie making
1/4 cup of creamy caesar salad dressing
fresh grated parmesan cheese

Cook pasta

cut up celery, olives, tomatoes and asparagus.

When pasta is done add asparagus to boiling water 30 sec. and then frozen peas (30 more sec.) Drain.

Toss into bowl with celery, olives, tomatoes and pepperoni and mix.

Combine lemon juice, Mediterranean herbed olive oil and creamy caesar dressing mixing well and then toss with ingredients in bowl. Garnish with parmesan cheese. And damn, it was good.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Here We Go Again!

 At 7:30 I looked out the back window and saw that it was snowing and I had forgotten to put down the umbrella on the deck.
At 9:30 I measured 1.5 inches of snow on the deck...

Presidential Probabilities

In the Unites States Presidential Elections that span my lifetime (1960 forward), what states are most likely to actually select the president as tallied by the Electoral College?
That would be Nevada and Ohio!  So why does New Hampshire and Iowa get the first bite at the pie?

Wouldn't this be an interesting way to set up the primary system? It goes for 14 weeks with a primary set every other Tuesday starting with the 2nd Tuesday in March. Odd states would slip in the in between weeks and the US territories would be the first in between week not taken by an in between state. You would start with the states with the lowest accuracy first. Laying the on top of 2016, it would look like this:

MAR 8 - District of Columbia, & Mississippi
MAR 15 - Alabama
MAR 22 - Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Washington & Wyoming
MAR 29 - Nebraska
APR 5 - Hawaii, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, & West Virginia
APR 12 - Virginia
APR 19 - California, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Vermont, & Wisconsin
APR 26 - American Samoa, American Virgin Islands, Guam, Marianas Islands & Puerto Rico
MAY 10 - Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania & Tennessee
MAY 24 - Delaware, Florida, Missouri & New Mexico
JUN 7 - Nevada & Ohio

I think this scheme, patterned a little after sports draft philosophies, would create more interest. Allow more candidates a chance to garner support. Make the conventions relevant again. And by bolstering competition, be inherently more democratic. And it would self up-date based on the previous year's general election results.

St. Patrick's Day Funny

Hickory-Smoked Beef Sausage with Mushrooms, Carrots, and Green Beans over Pappardelle and a side mini-Anti-Pasta: Tomatoes, Artichoke Hearts, various Olives and fresh Parsley

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ March 16th to March 22nd

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Today'a Sermon


What lifts the heron leaning on the air
I praise without a name.  A crouch, a flare,
a long stroke through the cumulus of trees,
a shaped thought at the sky--then gone.  O rare!
Saint Francis, being happiest on his knees,
would have cried Father!  Cry anything you please

But praise.  By any name of none.  But praise
the white original burst that lights
the heron on his two soft kissing kites.
When saints praise heaven lit by doves and rays,
I sit by pond scum till the air recites
it's heron back.  And doubt all else.  But praise.

~ John Ciardi, 1916 - 1986

The Art League's 15th Biennial Ikebana Show

And this is why I went to the Torpedo Factory Art Center.