Monday, December 21, 2015

A Book on Every Bed

What a great tradition to start in any family: Let the children wake up on Christmas morning to find a book on their bed. I read about this idea last year in my local paper in the "Ask Amy" column.

Here's this year's "Ask Amy" column about "A Book on Every Bed" from the Washington Post.

The columnist wrote:
Working with the Family Reading Partnership ( familyreading.org ), a small literacy nonprofit in Ithaca, N.Y., we hatched a simple plan with a far-flung goal: to foster a generation of readers.

Our idea was to put a million books at the foot of a million beds for a million children on Christmas morning.

This very simple idea spread out from this column to parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, writers, readers — and those who love them.
 I'm pretty sure all my grandchildren are receiving enough books in the various packages I'm sending them that they can each have a book on Christmas Day, but how great would it be if they woke up to find a book right there on the bed next to them, or on their pillow!

Product DetailsSo I think I'm going to wrap a special book to put on the pillow or somewhere on the bed of everyone who will be sharing our house for Christmas this year.

For myself, I'm going to choose "The Happiness Project" (even though I've already started reading it). 






Sunday, December 20, 2015

Children, Go Where I Send Thee

From Kenny Rogers's new Christmas album---I only know about this b/c I heard part of it on the radio this morning in an interview with Mr. Rogers:



But I like this version, by Johnny Cash, even more:


Friday, December 18, 2015

We Are All Muslim

I just signed this statement online:

Dear Donald Trump,

In desperation and insanity, you call for a ban on all Muslims entering this country. I was raised to believe that we are all each other's brother and sister, regardless of race, creed or color. That means if you want to ban Muslims, you are first going to have to ban me. And everyone else.

We are all Muslim.

Just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between. We are all children of God (or nature or whatever you believe in), part of the human family, and nothing you say or do can change that fact one iota. If you don't like living by these American rules, then you need to go to the time-out room in any one of your Towers, sit there, and think about what you've said.

Signed,

Everyone



Here's what Michael Moore wrote on his personal Web page about Donalt Trump:

FROM: Michael Moore
TO: Donald J. Trump
Dear Donald Trump:
You may remember (you do, after all, have a "perfect memory!"), that we met back in November of 1998 in the green room of a talk show where we were both scheduled to appear one afternoon. But just before going on, I was pulled aside by a producer from the show who said that you were "nervous" about being on the set with me. She said you didn't want to be "ripped apart" and you wanted to be reassured I wouldn't "go after you."
"Does he think I'm going to tackle him and put him in a choke hold?" I asked, bewildered.
"No," the producer replied, "he just seems all jittery about you."
"Huh. I've never met the guy. There's no reason for him to be scared," I said. "I really don't know much about him other than he seems to like his name on stuff. I'll talk to him if you want me to."
And so, as you may remember, I did. I went up and introduced myself to you. "The producer says you're worried I might say or do something to you during the show. Hey, no offense, but I barely know who you are. I'm from Michigan. Please don't worry -- we're gonna get along just fine!"
You seemed relieved, then leaned in and said to me, "I just didn't want any trouble out there and I just wanted to make sure that, you know, you and I got along. That you weren't going to pick on me for something ridiculous."
"Pick on" you? I thought, where are we, in 3rd grade? I was struck by how you, a self-described tough guy from Queens, seemed like such a fraidey-cat.
You and I went on to do the show. Nothing untoward happened between us. I didn't pull on your hair, didn't put gum on your seat. "What a wuss," was all I remember thinking as I left the set.
And now, here we are in 2015 and, like many other angry white guys, you are frightened by a bogeyman who is out to get you. That bogeyman, in your mind, are all Muslims. Not just the ones who have killed, but ALL MUSLIMS.
Fortunately, Donald, you and your supporters no longer look like what America actually is today. We are not a country of angry white guys. Here's a statistic that is going to make your hair spin: Eighty-one percent of the electorate who will pick the president next year are either female, people of color, or young people between the ages of 18 and 35. In other words, not you. And not the people who want you leading their country.
So, in desperation and insanity, you call for a ban on all Muslims entering this country. I was raised to believe that we are all each other's brother and sister, regardless of race, creed or color. That means if you want to ban Muslims, you are first going to have to ban me. And everyone else.
We are all Muslim.
Just as we are all Mexican, we are all Catholic and Jewish and white and black and every shade in between. We are all children of God (or nature or whatever you believe in), part of the human family, and nothing you say or do can change that fact one iota. If you don't like living by these American rules, then you need to go to the time-out room in any one of your Towers, sit there, and think about what you've said.
And then leave the rest of us alone so we can elect a real president who is both compassionate and strong -- at least strong enough not to be all whiny and scared of some guy in a ballcap from Michigan sitting next to him on a talk show couch. You're not so tough, Donny, and I'm glad I got to see the real you up close and personal all those years ago.
We are all Muslim. Deal with it.
All my best,
Michael Moore
P.S. I'm asking everyone who reads this letter to go here and sign the following statement: "WE ARE ALL MUSLIM" -- and then send post a photo of yourself holding a homemade sign saying "WE ARE ALL MUSLIM" on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram using the hashtag #WeAreAllMuslim. I will post all the photos on my site and send them to you, Mr. Trump. Feel free to join us.
You can sign the statement, too:  Go to this page: "We Are All Muslim."  Then take a picture of yourself holding a sign, "We Are All Muslim," to post on your Facebook page. I *AM* going to get around to doing this!



Thursday, December 17, 2015

The "W" in Christmas

From my cousin Cris: 

The "W" in Christmas

Last December, I vowed to make Christmas a calm and peaceful experience. I had cut back on nonessential obligations - extensive card writing, endless baking, decorating, and even overspending. Yet still, I found myself exhausted, unable to appreciate the precious family moments, and of course, the true meaning of Christmas.

My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten that year. It was an exciting season for a six year old. For weeks, he'd been memorizing songs for his school's "Winter Pageant." I didn't have the heart to tell him I'd be working the night of the production. Unwilling to miss his shining moment, I spoke with his teacher. She assured me there'd be a dress rehearsal the morning of the presentation. All parents unable to attend that evening were welcome to come then. Fortunately, Nicholas seemed happy with the compromise.

So, the morning of the dress rehearsal, I filed in ten minutes early, found a spot on the cafeteria floor and sat down. Around the room, I saw several other parents quietly scampering to their seats. As I waited, students were led into the room. Each class, accompanied by their teacher, sat cross-legged on the floor. Then, each group, one by one, rose to perform their song. Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as "Christmas," I didn't expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment - songs of reindeer, Santa Claus, snowflakes and good cheer.


So, when my son's class rose to sing, "Christmas Love," I was slightly taken aback by its bold title. Nicholas was aglow, as were all of his classmates, adorned in fuzzy mittens, red sweaters, and bright snowcaps upon their heads. Those in the front row- center stage - held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song. As the class would sing "C is for Christmas," a child would hold up the letter C. Then, "H is for Happy," and on and on, until each child holding up his portion had presented the complete message, "Christmas Love."

The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her; a small, quiet, girl in the front row holding the letter "M" upside down - totally unaware her letter "M" appeared as a "W". The audience of 1st through 6th graders snickered at this little one's mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her "W". Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued until the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities. For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear:

"C H R I S T W A S L O V E" 


And, I believe, He still is.

Author unknown

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Opposite of Camelot?

Where we live now is such a perfect place, we've even been known to call it Camelot. 



However, for awhile over the past two days, I was just thinking we are the opposite of Camelot:


I went for a run yesterday morning but got stopped where the lake overflowed onto the trail.


So I went over to the other lake, where the trail had been completely blocked by workers.



It was still beautiful. But hard to tell these photos are in color.

Anyway, turns out a "sky river" is running through our Camelot, with another one scheduled to arrive tonight.

Here's an old link explaining a little bit about sky rivers.  

When I find something more recent, I'll post that, too. 

Why, Google, Why?

I just don't get why Google wants me to "stay signed in" all the time. Every time I sign in to any of my Google accounts, I un-check the box that says "Stay Signed In." And every time I get this message:
"For your convenience, keep this checked. On shared devices, additional precautions are recommended. Learn more"
 Ever since I first heard of Google and its famous motto, "Don't be evil," I've doubted it. I mean, really, how can we trust this giant company which is constantly gathering information on every post we write, every email message we send and receive, every Internet search we instigate, and every Web page we view?

I realize they've changed the motto now. See this Wikipedia article for more.  For instance, the article notes:
Following Google's corporate restructuring under the conglomerate Alphabet Inc. in October 2015, the slogan was replaced in the Alphabet corporate code of conduct by the phrase "Do the right thing", however to this day, the Google code of conduct still contains the phrase "Don't be evil".
And I'm not the only one who thinks the idea that the company or its employees are bound to not do evil. As also noted in the Wikipedia article:
On 16 May 2013 Margaret Hodge MP, the chair of the United Kingdom Public Accounts Committee accused Google of being "calculated and unethical" over its use of highly contrived and artificial distinctions to avoid paying billions of pounds in Corporation tax owed by its UK operation. The company was accused by the committee, which represents the interests of all UK taxpayers, of being "evil" for not paying its "fair amount of tax". She told Matt Brittin, head of Google UK "I think that you do evil". In 2015, the UK Government introduced a new law intended to penalise Google and other large multinational corporations's artificial tax avoidance.
Well, I'm not going to write a whole essay about this. All I really want to know is why I should want to stay signed in all the time. Because they already know enough about me, don't they!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's National Brownie Day!




Yay! Here are a bunch of recipes, about half of which I want to try:

"Brownie Recipes That'll Make You Weak in the Knees"

 Here are some of the ones that made me drool, just looking at these pictures: Dulce de Leche Brownies, Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Brownies, and Ultimate Brownies. (I've pasted photos of these on this page.)









A couple that I don't want to even look at, let alone try, are Buttered Popcorn Crunch Brownies and Salted Caramel Pretzel-Topped Fudgy Brownies. 







But you can look at them and see if you want to try them for yourself. And let me know, okay?

Friday, December 4, 2015

A Gift of Life and Love

A gift of life in this story: A sister donates a kidney to her brother.

Where on earth did she get this idea?

Maybe from the example of Jesus Christ, whose birthday we celebrate this season:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

A Saviour Is Born

Why we're thinking of kindness elves:


Kindness Elves







I found this on Facebook, and I think the idea of Kindness Elves beats that whole "Elf on the Shelf" idea all to elve-dom and gone.







I'm going to do something like that in our home, but with a Kindness Kitty. And I think I'm going to send some Christmas Kindness Kitties to a certain family I know that lives not too far from here....

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Werewolves and Onions (Or, I Should Say, "The Onion")

Why Is It That My Girlfriend  Insists On Sticking Around While....?

What I want to know is why The Onion doesn't have a companion article about the dilemma of the female werewolf whose mangy boyfriend doesn't even realize she's a werewolf.

He thinks when she says she wants to "change into something more comfortable" that means she wants to have sex.

She thinks he's an idiot and wonders why she's still staying with him.

Then she remembers, Oh, yeah, because it's hard to find someone as blinkingly, blindingly, and blissfully oblivious as he is.

Yes, the life of a female werewolf is not all fun and games, as some folks imagine.

But mark my words: The day will come when she'll have had enough. And then guess what will happen!

I mean it: Guess! I'm not going to tell you until you guess.

Meanwhile, this radio announcement from The Onion: "Dead Werewolf Was Apparently Allergic to Peanuts." 

(Warning: The entire first minute of this story is a ridiculous ad.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Werewolves of London



"I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand..."

I found the lyrics at the Song Meanings Web site. ---  only the lyrics, not any possible "song meaning"---oh, looking below the lyrics, I see a very long comment section, with a lot of really idiotic comments, except for this "general comment," which gives the supposed story of how the song came about and notes, with this key phrase: "...the meaning being, it has none."

This is one of the few songs he wrote that Warren was very up front about where the meaning was concerned- the meaning being, it has none. It starts in 1974 long before he had even begun his first album. Phil Everly was working on a solo album after he and Don broke up their band. Warren, their former band leader and a close friend, was talking with him one evening after Don had been watching a old B-movie called Werewolf of London and mentioned the movie. They started joking about how it sounded like a good song title. Phil, probably in jest said, "Fine, make it a dance song 'The Werewolves of London,' and I'll put it on the album." In much the same fashion of Bruce Springsteen and "Jeanie Needs a Shooter," Warren took him at his word. Shortly after that Warren was song writing with his friend Roy Marinell and decided to take a crack at Werewolves. Marinell, a bassist, said he had just the riff for a dance song, and in turn played the famous bass line. It's not clear if this was a rip off Sweet Home Alabama which was released around the same time (Spring 1974) but if it is, that's Roy's look out. Waddy Wachetl happened to walk in and ask, "What are you to doing?"

Warren said, "We doing the Werewolves of London," and Waddy replied, "Ah, you mean like- Awhooooooo?" And it went from there. They just started rattling off lyrics that they thought sounded funny and that fit together. Warren's wife, Crystal was there and started writing down the lyrics as they went. A few days later she and Warren went to visit Jackson Browne and he asked if Warren was working on anything new. Crystal said, "Do the new one," and Warren asked, "what new one?" She pulled out her notepad and read out the lyrics. Jackson loved it and asked if he use it in his set. Warren said he didn't care, and Jackson ended up getting bootlegged doing the song in concert. His producers asked when we was going to record it, and he said he didn't want to but he could put them in touch with the guy who wrote it.

When they did the "Warren Zevon" album, Jackson urged that it be left off in favor of the deeper songs like "The French Inhaler" or "Hasten Down the Wind". He said those were too important to be left off in place of a normal pop song. Once the album established Warren with the critics though, he said it would be perfect for the second album, "Excitable Boy". In turn, it was chosen as the single from that LP, much to the chagrin of Warren and Waddy who felt jilted that a song they wrote in 15 minutes for kicks was being paid attention when deeper stuff like "Veracruz" or "Accidentally Like A Martyr" was overlooked. Of course, it was kind of insult to injury when the song became the only popular hit Warren ever had.

Once he was established in his fanbase during the 90s he was asked in an interview if he ever thought about dropping it from his set list to add some of his more personal material. His response was, "Well, not really. I suppose it just wouldn't feel right without the obligatory 3 minutes of howling every night."
....which is kind of ... all right, isn't it? --- If you have an excuse to howl for 3 minutes every night? I mean, wouldn't you love an excuse like that? Or is that just me?

Monday, November 16, 2015

Piper

I hate to write this after all the great bird news, but little Piper died last Thursday. At least I was able to be with her, cuddling her on my chest, keeping her warm as she fell asleep and then died in her sleep. We miss her so much.

A few hours before, feeling very sick
A few  months ago
She was alert, eating normally, and flying around as usual until a couple of days earlier and even the day she died she seemed normal even though she was staying in or on top of her cage unless I took her out. It was only for a few hours that she was obviously in distress, and I was able to stay with her most of that time, which was a comfort for me and I hope for her.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Taz Likes Glasses

...Or she's just teasing me. I don't know what she would do if she ever succeeded in pulling the glasses all the way off.


Thursday, November 12, 2015

Carly LIkes Hot Peppers

...and leaves:

The tomato and sweet-pepper plants stopped thriving long ago, but this pepper plant kept growing and producing, so when it got cold I brought it inside.

When I saw Carly eating leaves off another indoor plant which I wasn't sure of, I put this one by her cage instead, and it turns out she LOVES the peppers, and the leaves, and the dried-up leaves. She loves everything about this plant.

And after she has eaten the peppers, when she does her usual "kiss," you can tell she's been eating peppers!

Even better, when I rearranged the cages so this plant would be between Carly and Taz, I see that Taz has now started eating peppers, too. Full of Vitamin C and A, so good for them! I'll take a photo of Taz eating peppers, soon.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

Taz Takes a Bath

I also have the most adorable movies of her taking a bath, but haven't figured out how to get them here. So, in the meantime, this still photo:

This was at the end of the bath, and she was looking up at me to tell me she was done, done, done, ready to get out of there.

I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but I can: Her plucking has not stopped, and I'm very worried about her. I've tried all the things I can think of, like lots of toys, lots of time and attention, specific anti-plucking training. 

So I checked with the owner of the Parrot Perch last week.This is the best pet store I've ever seen, also the only pet store I've ever seen that's devoted completely to birds. And the two women there know everything there is to know about pet birds.

She said I need to take Taz to a veterinarian. I said no way, I'd done that once before with a pet bird  (our sweet Sunshine), and it had been a disaster for the bird and resulted in absolutely no helpful information for us. (And a huge bill, and some useless food supplement.)

She said there's a vet in a nearby town who specializes in birds, and I should take Taz there. So I'll call on Monday to get an appointment.
One of the birds for sale at the Parrot Perch

Meantime, at that lady's suggestion, I'm giving Taz and all the birds a bunch of mixed vegetables every day. Do they love them? No, they do not. Only Carly eats them, and she only eats the green beans, and then she has, how to say this delicately, very loose poop, all over my shoulder and down onto the floor. But I'm going to keep trying, and of course I'm still giving the birds the foods they're accustomed to. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Shaping Sound

Just saw this with my BFF Joni tonight:

Here's the "sizzle reel" (preview):



And here's the best dance tonight, had people standing and shouting:


Friday, October 23, 2015

Lacamas Lake, Early Morning

In addition to the bald eagle, I saw the usual beautiful sights on Tuesday morning. The local and migrating Canada geese congregate near the shore, feeding and socializing.

When I started my walk, it was even darker than this.
On my way back, it was finally getting light.
































And there's a mallard pair who seem to have made the little pond on the other side of the trail their permanent residence.

Can you see them? Even the drake blends in low light.

I thought I was seeing double until I realized it was his reflection.

Mushrooms---with more to come:















I hope I don't take this beauty too much for granted because it's always here. Someone seems to have taken for granted our beautiful trail with its mileage markers, but I see others have tried to put this sign back up, and I'm sure the city will come out and fix it soon.



Below: Not a great photo, I know! I'll be working on this kind of picture because it's so beautiful and we see it so often here: the diamond-bright drops of water on the branches, backed by beautiful misty skies.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

Best Birding Article Ever!

Whenever I'm at the doctor's office, I drop off some magazines from home and pick up others.

I do not call this stealing. I call this recirculating, which is a step above recycling: By moving magazines from office to office in the Vancouver-Portland area, I am giving more people more opportunities to read magazines they would otherwise never have even seen. (And I do not take home the magazines that belong in the office; only the ones that, like the ones I bring in, have obviously been left there by people like me who have cut off the subscription label. And I bring back all the magazines, plus the ones from my own subscriptions.)

The other day, in an emergency room of a Kaiser hospital in Happy Valley, Oregon, I found the September 2015 issue of  "Conde Nast Traveler," a magazine I would never buy for myself. My first impression was negative, but that was because I opened the mag randomly to an ad for Hermes. The lovely Hermes Jardin d'Hiver scarf in silk twill was advertised for $395; and if I were interested in the Bolide Secret bag in Mat Crocodile, I could find out the price upon request.

So, I thought, why even recirculate this magazine? But I glanced through it again, flipping through the many pages of ads for Giorgio Armani This and Fendi That and the photos of way-too-thin people lounging at resorts in the Bahamas, Bahrain, Cape Town, Los Cabos, Maldives, and so on.

And found the Best Birding Article Ever! "Postcard from East Africa" caught my eye because of the illustration and its caption: "Jonathan Franzen trains his binoculars on the tiniest bipeds in the bush."

Illustration by Jason Holley, in Sept. 2015 "Conde Nast Traveler"
I didn't pay attention to the author's name, though, busy wondering what this rich-people's magazine would offer of interest to serious birders, most of whom I'm guessing don't frequent the finer resorts nor buy the kinds of products advertised here. So I started reading:

"When I was home and talking to my brother Bob, he asked me whether an East African safari was something a person had to do. Certain well-traveled friends of his---competitive vacationers; proponents of the Bucket List---had assured him that it was. Did I agree?"

Now I was interested. The writer goes on to consider "...the French sociologist Jean Baudrillard's theory of the simulacrum---the idea that consumer capitalism has replaced reality with representations of reality."

And then he gets to the birds: "I'm told that most people prefer mammals to birds because we ourselves are mammals. This seems to me both reasonable and questionable. If the great attraction of nature is its Otherness, why do we need our close kindred to make it interesting? Isn't this sort of embarrassingly self-infatuated? Birds, with their dinosaur lineage and their flight capabilities, are truly Other. And yet, being conspicuous bipeds like us, and responding, like us, primarily to sight and sound, they're arguably more similar to us than other mammals, which tend to be furtive and four-legged and to live in a world defined by smell."

At this point I did look back to see who wrote this. Ah! Jonathan Franzen. Novelist and essayist, author of "Freedom A Novel," "The Corrections," and "Purity: A Novel." (Yeah, I looked this up on Amazon. Where I found a book of essays by Franzen which I'm ordering...)

Okay, so, then, I kept reading. And here is where I realized I was reading the BEST EVER article on birds, birding, birders, why we go out in strange places and our own neighborhoods just to look at birds.

And then, while Jason was lying on a bed in the emergency room of the Kaiser hospital in Happy Valley, Oregon, waiting for someone to come and finish the admitting process, I started reading it aloud to him. Someone did come in halfway through and, when we finished dealing with that person and started waiting for the next person to show up, he asked me to read the rest of the article to him. And he loved it!

That's why I think you will enjoy it, reading it online --- if someone who is lying on a bed in a strange place, in pain, and wondering if he's going to get through this --- enjoyed it that much.

So, Dear Reader, this is why I'm telling you about this article. I found that it's available on line, so you can read it for yourself without my having to recirculate this copy of this magazine to your home address. Please follow this link and read it. It will make your day, I promise.

I'm thinking the likelihood of my ever going to East Africa to look at birds is about negative 99.99%. But if I ever get there---and wherever I do get myself to, with binoculars and bird book in hand---I'll appreciate these beautiful creatures even more than I ever have before.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Bald Eagle at Lacamas Lake

Early in the morning, yesterday (Oct. 20), I saw a bald eagle fishing for breakfast:

This was the eagle's second run, having missed the first try at a fish.


The eagle soared up to turn around and come in for another try.
This was the third try. Almost! But some crows had come along.

The eagle flew away, mobbed by the crows.

The eagle flew to the top of a Douglas fir and then farther away from the lake.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cannon Beach on Columbus Day

We didn't even walk to Haystack Rock this time, but walked along the beach to the south.

Then we walked on the trail from Ecola State Park toward Indian Beach.
















We didn't walk all the way to Indian Beach, just about halfway.





















 
We saw so many beautiful old trees along the trail.

And lots of mushrooms.

We did NOT try to pick any of these.

Even if you knew they were safe to eat (and touch)...

...You would want to leave them so other people could see them.




























































It's mushroom season at home, too. I'll put in some mushroom photos from our back yard and the neighborhood, soon.

















And then there were the birds.

Yeah, this is about how well I saw that woodpecker with my eyes, too.

But the Steller's jay sat still and posed for a photo.

And then those beautiful mountains fading into the mist. It was a perfect day!







Tuesday, October 6, 2015

More Hamilton Videos


Why are these available now when they weren't before? Oh well, here are some excerpts:

Updated on Thursday, October 8: I am deleting the videos because they have been removed from YouTube because they apparently violate someone's copyright privilege. Sorry about that! Probably whoever posted them filmed them illicitly during a performance or something. I don't blame the author and performers and company for wanting to maintain their copyright! But I'm sorry you can't all enjoy these videos like I did when they first came out.

So, here's an authorized video, even though it's one that Madame L and I have posted before:


Monday, October 5, 2015

The Martian -- "Help is only 140 million miles away"

Not gonna wait for Madame L to get around to this (though she will do that, soon).



Go see "The Martian"! The book was so incredibly good, and, guess what, the movie does justice to it. Great plot! Great screenplay! Great characters! Great acting! Great effects! Great planet! Great everything!

Go see it!

Ponderization: Alma 7:23

This scripture has been on my mind a lot lately, so it will be my first week's "ponderization" scripture:



Alma 7:23: And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive.


Hamilton, Broadway, MacArthur

"MacArthur" of course referring to the MacArthur Foundation genius awards, of which Lin-Manual Miranda received one this year.

Madame L has been writing about Miranda's Broadway  musical "Hamilton" since before it even made it to Broadway, and I'm so excited that Miranda won this award, among the other talented and deserving recipients.

I'm still going to make it to NYC sometime, probably not until spring 2016 at the earliest, to see this musical.

And in the meantime I see that the original Broadway cast album is going to be available later this month, and I've already ordered it.