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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Best Sand Sculpture

best sand sculpture

My nomination for the world's best sand sculpture. If you have other nominees, let me know, but this one is going to be tough to beat!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Miley Cyrus with a Monkey on her Back

Miley Cyrus monkey
It's a monkey on her back, all right

Miley Cyrus is moving at warp speed to prove that, yes indeed, she really does have a monkey on her back. Doesn't look like she's in any big hurry to get the little feller off, though.

Oh, and is just my imagination, or does it seem as though Miley Cyrus is always doing something weird with her mouth? What is up with that? Just wonderin'. Have a nice day.

Southern England From Space

England space spacelab
Southern England from Space.

It appears as though it were a nice day on Old Blighty. Nice view of the Thames Estuary, the Isle of Wight, Wales, Ireland and Land's End in the distance. Impressive how small the Old Sod really is as seen from space.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The True Road to Success

The Road to Success

road success path
"Aye, Captain, we be makin' a hard turn soon!"

There's really no need to get all philosophical about success. That sort of thing bores everyone to tears anyway. I do, however, have some thoughts on success, which simply reflect my own viewpoint and quite likely are nothing at all like yours.

Truth is, there are lots of way to be successful. The question is, what kind of success do you want?

Consider the easy ways to be successful, and the difficult ways. The easy ways are less stressful, more enjoyable along the way, and infinitely less interesting and productive in the long run. But that doesn't make the latter necessarily better than the former for everyone - we must recall the old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

Recently, I was listening to some Italian women discussing their culture on a radio station I listen to fairly regularly. One of them mentioned that, in Italy, the very epitome of success is to find a safe, secure government job and coast with it through life. Sort of like joining the Post Office or finding some nice bureaucratic government office job in the United States.

And there is nothing wrong with any of that! Safe, secure jobs are the perfect solution for many, many folks. From their position of financial security, they also can look down upon those who weren't as focused upon achieving their definition of success as them. Their disbelief that anyone would even consider another road to success than the one they pursued is palpable.

However, there are some for whom safety and security is not the top priority. Actor Jim Carrey has funny (what else with Jim Carrey?) anecdotes about his brief time at the Post Office. He quit because he claims he was a terrible mailman, which is quite possible. However, it is also likely that he left because he saw himself as a great ship. And, once again, we come to a famous old saying - ships are safest in port, but that is not why we build ships, to sit safely in port.

It is quite common for fellows to wonder why women often fall for or are attracted to that "loser," the "bad boy" who doesn't have a secure job or the safety of a pension (many women, of course, do like the fellows with the secure job and the fat pension, and many of us come from families like that). Of course being shiftless and jobless doesn't mean you are anything special, either. It all depends on what you are trying to do with your life, what you are capable of, where your true talents lie.

It's not so difficult to fathom, really, for those who are clever. Being adventurous and taking huge gambles is inherently attractive. The folks who opt for the safe, secure, easy route often aren't the most clever ones, though. And that's not a put-down, it's a simple statement of fact with which you are free to disagree.

It is a lot more dangerous and risky to choose the road that foregoes the safe job that will see you to your deathbed without any danger of ever being unable to pay the bills or provide for your family. However, some folks just feel that they have more to offer, that life has more to offer, and that they must try something different.

Believe it or not, the ones who try to achieve something unique and wonderful, succeed or fail, are the true winners in life.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fall in New York City

Fall in New York City
View down Central Park West, facing Central Park South

Fall in New York City is a wonderful time of year.

Fall in New York City

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Guy Advice: Smartphone Etiquette

guy advice smartphone etiquette
"But I don't want to cramp your style or anything."

You may not get this - unless you've been on a date, and this has happened to you. That is, the person across the table is engrossed in their little communicator After you've been through that, you might nod your head in recognition.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Central Park NYC, Vibrant Shot

Central Park New York City
Softball diamonds on the right

I love to post shots that make New York City look the way that I always think of it. This shot - done by a true artist - really brings out the colors along Fifth Avenue (to the right) and Central Park West (left). Doesn't the park look almost like a country club?

For orientation, the Hudson is that water you see in the upper left, while Harlem is visible at the extreme far end of the Park.

You may view a companion shot to this one, looking from the northern end of the park down toward this location, here.

A few other pictures of other spots in New York City such as midtown are here.

Some views of the Flatiron Building - my neighborhood - are here.

Lots of saturation in this shot with perfect contrast, photos like this don't just happen.

Her's another very nice shot, looking from the north. This shows some of the priciest real estate in the world.

Central Park New York City

Monday, September 16, 2013

Best Way to Wash Windows

wash windows solution
This is how to wash windows

When I was a lad, I always washed our house's windows. It was a fairly old house, and it had a lot of old windows, the type with the panes, much like you see here - except, of course, older.

Anyway, I always used old newspaper to wash them. I never thought much about that, I just figured that we had a lot of extra newspapers around and they might as well be put to some kind of use.

Turns out there was a method to the madness. Unlike paper or cloth towels, newspaper is absorbent without leaving lint behind.

Nowadays, I use commercial sprays because I usually have them handy. However, again, back in the day, we just mixed something up and went for it. Ah, the simple days, when you actually made something yourself and didn't just buy it ready made!

Actually, those were better days. Instead of using some fancy spray and wiping off paper towels, leaving bits of lint and so forth on the windows, the combination of newspaper and home-made solution worked wonders.

If you are interested, below is a formula I came across somewhere which provides a nice solution for the window-washing chore. Now, when I was a wee lad, the solution I used generally took the form of about half a gallon of warm water a shot of either ammonia or Comet. Worked all right. But below is a fancy formula someone came up with, and since it requires such a precise formulation, it must be good!

Who'd have thought to use corn starch to wash the windows!

Mix 2 cups hot water
ΒΌ cup vinegar
1 TBS of cornstarch
Shake in spray bottle
Spritz the windows
Wipe down with crumpled newspaper

I am assured that this will leave your windows looking like a professional cleaned them. We shall see.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cleanse Your Liver

cleanse liver
Flushing your liver is important.

We take so much in life for granted. However, it is a good idea to some of the foods listed above simply because they do so much good for you over time. Many of these foods also have other surprising benefits - nuts, for instance, will help lower your blood pressure naturally, while green tea has a whole array of impressive health benefits.

Eat some greens now and then, you'll be much better off.

Benefits of Green Tea

green tea health benefits
Lots of good effects

I drink a lot of tea. In fact, I usually drink an entire pot of tea each day, on a fairly regular basis. However, I do not drink much green tea. Having looked at this chart, I may try to work some green tea into my overall tea routine.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Dr. Smith Meets Mr. Spock

Dr. Smith Mr. Spock Lost in Space Star Trek
"Oh, the pain, the pain."

I just wanted to share this. My blog, believe it or not, isn't all about me. I just share what I find amusing and interesting, and hope others do, too.

This is part of my "worlds in collision" series. It also features Spock meeting Batman and Batgirl, which you should look at, too, because you'll see there an interesting connection to this shot.

This is just a fairly random snapshot of a couple of guys and a couple of kids. Nothing special. However, anyone who knows me at all understands that I am one of the world's biggest "Lost in Space" fans. Well, okay, Bill Mumy no doubt knows more about the show than me - but I'm trying.

And I like the original "Star Trek," too. So this picture is like catnip.

Anyway, this is a classic behind-the-scenes photo. Jonathan Harris was famous among his young fans for being generous with his time with them, giving them lollipops and guided tours of the set. It appears they are standing at some kind of tourist entrance. If that isn't cool, then I don't know what cool is.

The fact that this is the actors on their own time - not in their current roles - is what makes this such a classic shot. It speaks volumes.

I will just point out a few fascinating (to me) aspects about the shot, then leave it go.

  • Jonathan Harris has a classic Dr. Smith expression on his face and, ever the major ham, is playing to the camera as only he could despite the fact that everyone else has been distracted by something else. That's focus!
  • Leonard Nimoy is gazing off into the distance for some reason, he - and his character - never being known as a ham of any variety.
  • Leonard Nimoy HAS ON HIS SPOCK HAIRDO while on his own time!
  • Leonard Nimoy DOES NOT have his ears on, which is a shame.
  • The little boy is wearing a medallion - can you say "1968"?
  • Leonard Nimoy is too cool for school, with that turtleneck shirt.
  • Jonathan Harris, on the other hand, is dressed impeccably, necktie, cufflinks and all.
  • The one boy has a weird expression on his face as he looks in the same direction as everyone else, perhaps mama is telling him to smile or something.
  • The heavy coats suggest winter, probably winter 1967/68 (Harris has that "final season" look about him.
  • I'm guessing that the button on the boy's lapel indicates he paid for the tour.
  • The front boy's haircut was very "with it" for the time, long was still for hippies.
  • Jonathan Harris is drinking tea, which is totally cool - I'm a major tea drinker.
  • The boys almost certainly are brothers - note the similar coats and shirts.
  • Leonard Nimoy has his wedding ring on - he was at roughly the halfway point in his marriage to Sandi Nimoy.
  • Both Leonard Nimoy and Jonathan Harris were of Russian Jewish descent, and if you look closely, you can kind of see a general resemblance.
  • Leonard Nimoy did have two children at that time, but one was a girl, so these aren't his kids.
  • Leonard Nimoy stated in his autobiography that he was an alcoholic at this point in time.
  • Jonathan Harris also was married, though you can't see his ring. Married for 30 years at this time, in fact. Stayed married for another 35 years, one of the most successful marriages in Hollywood history. That is ironic, considering some of the malicious lies told about him over the years.
  • Jonathan Harris answered every fan letter personally, 500 a month right up until the time of his death, from young fans like this. 500! Personally! Every month! For 35 years! OMG!
  • Jonathan Harris appears to be holding a Burberry raincoat.

Seriously, can you imagine any actor these days dressing up to the nines like Jonathan Harris did on a regular basis? That was still standard for the day among businessmen, it wasn't just some pretentious Hollywood thing. He didn't have to, but men didn't usually think that way in those days. That's just how things were, people didn't start getting sloppy in public until the mid-70s. If anything, Leonard Nimoy's outfit is a bit on the wild side by the standards of the day, with the blazer and no necktie.

All right, I'm done. For now. "Spare me the poisonous barbs."

Jonathan Harris
Jonathan Harris as Dr. Smith

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Space Frog

Off We Go, Into the Wild Blue Yonder

It's one giant leap for frog-kind

During a launch from Cape Canaveral, an interloper was swept up with all the euphoria and decided to participate.

Yes, that is a frog in mid-air.

NASA reports that this frog apparently was in some swamp water that the program uses during its launches to contain the noise and any possible fire damage to the launch pad. Apparently, they don't do a whole lot of screening of the water they use for that. NASA carefully notes that the location of the launch pad supports a nearby wildlife sanctuary where millions of critters are permitted to live - mostly - in peace.

Anyway, the little frog in the picture went for the ride of his life.

Not to be mean, but some comments about this included:

"A perfect 10 for form."

"He waited just a little too long for his princess to kiss him."

"I think the princess turned him down."

"Did it croak?"

"One small step for man, one giant leap for frogkind."

"Ground control to Major Frog...."

"Best photo bomb ever."

"It ain't easy being green."

"More bad jokes here than in our foreign policy."

"Open the pod bay doors, Kermit"!!

"I believe I can flyyyyyyyyyy."

 Probably the funniest thing about the whole incident, though, is that someone at NASA noticed the frog - it was on only one frame of the film - and mark and save it, and then someone else decided to release the shot to the public. That's hysterical!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Real Problem

Captain Jack Sparrow problem
Attitude is everything

The problem is usually solvable, once you put your mind to it. The negative attitude of a person is usually absolutely not solvable, because that is who they are, and they will never change. Not only that, they will highly resent any attempt to resolve their attitude problem, because, again, that is who they are, and they will defend themselves to the death. This is all so true, have seen it over and over throughout my life.

Words to Live By

just get weirder