Thoughtful Thursday # 22 – Technology

Share what you enjoy most about today’s technology.

My newest piece of technology is my iPhone and it is my favorite.  It isn’t the phone aspect of it that has me enthralled, it is getting back to the  ol’  Apple mentality and the wide selection of free apps.  And I love that the case I purchased for my iPhone lets me get away without a purse a good deal of the time.

The  disadvantages that send me back to my laptop are the absence of a traditional keyboard (but I would not like to lug a keyboard with me everywhere) and the fact my eyesight does not make viewing the web on the small screen very practical (but I am amazed at how much I do sitting on the couch with my iPhone vs sitting down with my laptop.)

I believe word processing in general is one of the most liberating technologies of my lifetime.  How many of you remember ‘white out’ and that erasable typing paper?


Travel Tuesday # 22 – Vale of Evesham

Time to share another scrapbook page.  I pulled a red binder off my shelf and found memories of an August 2005 trip to England.  My husband was on a mission to see a number of cathedrals and while there are tons of pictures of them I enjoyed taking shots of the landscape while we traveled mile after mile on trains.  These photos include some crops being harvested.  I could not figure out what the crop was.  If you know, or have an educated guess I am interested in learning.

I’ll be posting more pages from this particular trip in the weeks to come.  Until then…

Music Monday # 22 – Taps

The exact origin of the bulge call Taps is open to dispute but I wish I could believe the story that a Union General wrote it on the back of an envelope during the bloody July of 1862 while he himself was wounded.  The General, Daniel Adams Butterfield, called in Bugler Oliver Wilcox Norton to play his notation.  The General, according to Norton, altered the rhythm slightly but left the melodic shape as he had originally penciled it.  Then the General ordered that this new bugle call be played at the end of the day, replacing the customary ‘Lights Out’ (a call borrowed from the French.)  The story goes on to recount that Norton was visited by other buglers who had heard ‘Taps’ and that it passed from brigade to brigade being gradually taken up through out the Army of the Potomac.  This version is included on a website regarding Military Funeral Honors. That site goes on to say of Taps:

In 1874 It was officially recognized by the U.S. Army. It became standard at military funeral ceremonies in 1891.

That last bit, I believe, can be accepted as fact.  The other is probably romanticized.  Wiki says that ‘Taps’ is

  …a variation of an earlier bugle call known as the “Scott’s Tattoo” which was used in the U.S. from 1835 until 1860.

Whatever the true details may be this year, 2012, is being marked as the 150 anniversary of ‘Taps’.  You can learn more by clicking the 150 above.  Click the link below to listen to a beautiful and classic rendition:

U.S. Army Band Bugle Calls: Taps

Thoughtful Thursday # 21 – 1959

What do you know about the year you were born? 

I was born in 1959.  The facts and trivia I am going to share next are from the website   If you were born between 1946 to 1964 you too can visit that site to find out what happened during the year that you were born.

In 1959 the toy manufacturer Wham-O introduces the “Frisbee”.    On a more serious note Alaska and Hawaii become U.S. states while Fidel Castro wins his Cuban revolution.  The president of the U.S. is Dwight D. Eisenhower and his vice-president is Richard M. Nixon.

The website says that in 1959 the cost of a gallon of gas was 25 cents and a movie ticket was $1.00.  Going back to iconic toys Mattel’s Barbie Doll was launched in 1959 with a price tag of $1.29.  (I was never very interested in Barbie but my younger brother was.)  On the international news front the Dalai Lama was forced to flee Tibet and the U.K. granted Cyprus its independence.  Here in the U.S. the Grammy Music Awards were started and NASA introduced their first astronauts including John H. Glenn Jr, and Alan Shepard Jr.. to the world.

And I arrived on October 21st, ten days too early to be a Halloween baby, but ready to take on whatever life had to offer.

Wacky Wednesday # 21 – World Turtle Day

World Turtle Day is observed on May 23rd each year. It was started in 2000 by American Tortoise Rescue.  American Tortoise Rescue has been designation the Groupon Grassroots Charity of the Week.  If 45 People Donate $10, Then American Tortoise Rescue can build a raised vegetable garden to feed rescued turtles.  When I checked there had been over 280 donations made so I’d say the garden will be build and even more will be done for the turtles.

My favorite turtles are the sea turtles in the giant ocean tank at the New England Aquarium in Boston.  Here are some images from their website:I seem to have misplaced the photos I took during my October 2011 visit.  Right now the Aquarium is raising funds for a new and improved ocean tank to be installed in 2013 where Myrtle the turtle will be  the queen of the exhibit.

Travel Tuesday # 21 – Molly’s in Hanover NH

I remember this restaurant as  Molly’s Balloon went it first opened.  It replaced a clothing shop and at the time there were other places to eat along Hanover’s main street that I preferred.  That  was back in the mid 1980s. Now the other places I knew are long gone.  So while making a day trip to the “Upper Valley”  Molly’s is where we stop for lunch these days.  It is pretty typical of a New England college town hang out, take your parents establishment.  The decor is wise crack comments on wooden plagues, old back and white photos of Dartmouth doings, and other memorabilia.

So when we stopped there this past Sunday I enjoyed a house salad, a cranberry spritzer, and the 4 oz maple glazed salmon with snow peas while my husband had a house salad, a Sam Adams Pale Ale, and a cheeseburger with fries.  Because I had no starch I asked if my husband wanted to share a piece of carrot cake with me.  Well I am sorry to say I failed to take a photo of the carrot cake but it was a gigantic slice.  We both ate all we wanted and still had about half of it left to bring home.

Music Monday # 21 – Bob Marley

On May 21, 1981 Bob Marley was laid to rest, with full state honors, in St. Ann’s, Jamaica.  Marley remains one of the most widely known performers of reggae music.  Marley recognized his mixed ancestry but is associated with the Rastafarian movement and strong political stances.

Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley & The Wailers appeared on their 1977 album Exodus.  It was released as a single in as a single in 1980, and is one of Marley’s most popular songs.

Thoughtful Thursday # 20 – Like a sore thumb?

In what ways do you stand out?

We all have our differences and I know I am different in any number of ways from the people around me.  I have never felt that I am that good at really understanding how others see me, or what others really think of me despite knowing that I quite intuitive in other ways.  So I could be off base when answering this prompt but I am going to go for it.

The physical is a good place to start.  I am overweight and generally entirely round in an area full of outdoorsy athletic folks who are taller, slimmer, non-curvy and inclined to dress straight out of the L.L. Bean catalog or an Eastern Mountain Sports store.  The clothes are upmarket but causal:  The North Face, Patagonia, Woolrich, Dansko, Merrill.   I do have clothes and shoes that fit the norm for the area but I still do not feel they are  really me.  Being plus sized and under 5′ 2″ I am happier with the more classic tailored items found at Talbots or with labels like Elisabeth, Jones New York, Naturalizer, Nine West.  Age wise I think I am also not quite within the norm either.  It is a college area, so a large number of 18 – 30s but also a hub for retirees, 65 – 85/90s.  At 52 I am once again not within the norms.  Conclusion physically I stand out for my body shape, lack of height, everyday – around the house attire that is not so upscale outdoorsy, and ‘dress’ clothes that are more classically tailored, business influenced than the still sporty casual attire donned by most folks, plus I am either older or younger than most groups of people.

How do I stand out beyond the veneer of appearance/age?  I am not a “move in” from a far away state or foreign country but I am not a local from the immediate counties.  That places me as a true stand out.  Most people in this area have ‘pedigreed’  higher education (move ins) or are multi-generational locally education.  I am more like the locals but attached, by marriage, to the ‘pedigreed’ set — say uncomfortably positioned with one foot on either side of the fence (and with short legs to boot!).  Now for what honestly makes me stand out like a sore thumb:  I tend to speak loudly, I giggle when I am happy or nervous, and I am apt to say what I think.   As the years pass I am far less likely to apologize for, or struggle to reform the fact that I do not blend in so well.  So what if I stand out (stick out) like a sore thumb.