Sunday, October 25, 2009

Volunteering Today

I am heading out this afternoon to help with an event to help the school children in our area. I have a friend who volunteers with one of the schools and she needs my assistance. I am always willing to help worthy projects and this should begin at home.

Volunteering? What needs to be done in our individual communities? Do your schools need someone to help the teachers in the classroom? Can you help at your animal shelter? Are there facilities where elder people are residing who have no family and need visitors? Given a little thought, there are many other areas where we can make a difference. One thing that is important here is that volunteering in the community is something that was happening long before President Barack Obama. He is just a good example of what can be accomplished as a community organizer. Together we can do great things.

What can you do to make a difference in your community?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Food Network

One of my favorite TV channels is the Food Network and I watch it frequently. This is most likely some of the best entertainment all day and I learn so much from them. Yes, I have some favorite chefs.

There are many more chefs on the Food Network. Their individual shows are so different and their cooking styles are interesting. When I can't sleep, this is what I am doing if not online.

DISCLAIMER: I am not being paid for mentioning the Food Network or the chefs.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

California Weather

The forecast was for heavy rain and high winds. It's been a heavy rain most of the day. We appear to have missed the high winds. It is now just a light sprinkle. We have desperately needed rain in this part of California and I am truly grateful that it has finally arrived.

Our local forecast doesn't appear to be as drastic as for some places in the state.

Our Forecast for Tonight (October 13, 2009): Periods of rain, heavy at times early. Low 59F. Winds SSW at 15 to 25 mph. 1 to 2 inches of additional rain expected. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.

Sacramento has had the heavy rains (causing some flooding) and there are trees down due to the wind. Once those trees are water logged it doesn't take much wind to blow the trees down. The rain is much heavier in Sacramento than in my area.

Some areas have been without electricity due to downed power lines. Again, we have been blessed. We have electricity.

There is also watches for mud slides due to the many fires over the summer. This impacts the Santa Cruz Mountains and Southern California. We have been lucky not to have had severe fires in this area.

Since the forecast for Wednesday (October 14, 2009) is showers and the temp at 73, we should have a nice day.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Can't We Just Get Along?

I know this reminds us of Rodney King, but there is still merit in that simple question.

We have all watched as people disrupt town hall meetings with their shouting and lack of respect for the opinion of others in the same meeting. I, for one, do not understand all this hysterical behavior. The only thing they appear to accomplish is to attract the media and none of it is good. It takes the attention away from the purpose of the town hall meetings.

Even though I don't understand these people who are shouting, there is a thought that people are frightened. They are frightened and feel helpless. They feel powerless. Why have they decided this is the time to behave in this manner? I don't have the answers. I do have a great deal of compassion for these people. I also have a lot of pity for them because they aren't behaving in a rational or intelligent manner. They have closed their minds to the opinions of other people or other options. They are correct and everyone else in wrong. This is sad.

I attended a town hall meeting where we discussed health care reform. I am not going to tell you that everyone agreed with each other, but it was a civil discussion. We showed respect for the opinions of other people in attendance.

What seems to be lacking these days is simple social courtesy. A conversation should flow both ways with each participant listening to the other without interruption or talking over the other person involved. Only time will determine if this behavior was productive or destructive.

Our social conduct in this enlightened 21st century is sorely lacking. Our differences are what make this a wonderful country but we also must show respect for each other.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I watched Letterman last night (October 6) and the last guest on the show is always a musician. Tonight it was KISS. They still wear the same style costumes they did 20+ years ago.

My experience with live musicians back in the 70's was seeing the Smothers Brothers when then first came off the college circuit. The rest all involved attending the local opera association.

Well . . . I had a young teenage boy who wanted to see KISS and I told him that the next time they were in the area (local was 300 miles away) I would make sure he got to attend. Yes, you are right. I had to make good on my word. We did see them and it was an interesting experience, to say the least.

My eldest son teaches private guitar lessons and one of his students had attended a KISS concert. One of the members of the band, Paul Stanley I think, suddenly left the stage. Word is that he had a heart attack. I don't know this for sure, but I wasn't there. After doing research today Pauls' physicians advised him to leave after his heart rate was double what it should have been. He did follow their advice.

Gene Simmons has his own TV show, Gene Simmons and the Family Jewels, and it is really funny. That man is a money making machine. He invests wisely. Just an interesting side note.

So . . . . . . KISS is still working the circuit. LOL!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dancing With The Stars

I have been watching Dancing With The Stars for several years and the first shows are always the most difficult. It's the beginning elimination and, even if the celebrity can't dance, it's sad to see them leave. This year is no exception. There were more couples for the season than any previous season. One common thread is that they all seem to have a great time and build some wonderful friendships.

Do you watch Dancing With the Stars? I have been since the first season and it's always amazing how much they learn. The following is information about the people involved.


Three opinionated judges. Sixteen professional dancers. Sixteen celebrities. Two hosts and lots of glitter and spray tans. That's the basic formula for Dancing with the Stars, but, really, there's nothing formulaic or predictable about the series because it's our show. We call the shots. We determine who stays and who goes each week.

No, we'll never be able to dance like Julianne Hough, Maksim Chmerkovskiy or Cheryl Burke, and that's exactly why we watch. We can totally relate to the stars competing on the show and it's pretty cool to know they're just like us. These actors, comedians, musicians, entrepreneurs, reality stars and where-are-they-now personalities start out as lumbering Frankensteins with two left feet, and they slowly transform (we hope) into graceful twinkle-toed Baryshnikovs. OK, our weekly phone and online votes aren't powerful enough to help them that much, but we do have the power to determine the show's outcome.

You'd think the stars were competing for more than just a mirrored disco ball, the way the celebs risk torn ligaments, poked eyes, fainting spells and wardrobe malfunctions to earn a perfect 30 from judges Carrie Anne Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. We'd never want to face their wrath, but it sure is fun to see them unleash it on the stars. That's probably the one time we wouldn't want to be in the stars' shoes, no matter how shiny and glittery they might be.

Meet this season's pairs who are eager to put on their shoes and begin learning the steps:

Aaron Carter and Karina Smirnoff eliminated 11/10/09

Natalie Coughlin and Alec Mazo eliminated 10/20/09

Mark Decascos and Lacey Schwimmer eliminated 11/03/09

Tom DeLay and Cheryl Burke dropped out due to foot injuries on 10/06/09

Macy Gray and Jonathan Roberts eliminated 09/22/09

Ashley Hamilton and Edyta Sliwinska eliminated 09/22/09

Melissa Joan Hart and Mark Ballas eliminated 10/27/09

Kathy Ireland and Tony Dovolani eliminated on 09/29/09

Michael Irvin and Anna Demidova eliminated on 11/03/09

Joanna Krupa and Derek Hough eliminated on 11/17/09

Chuck Liddell and Anna Trebunskaya eliminated on 10/13/09

Debi Mazar and Maksim Chmerkovskiy eliminated on 10/06/09

Mya and Dmitry Chaplin eliminated 11/24/09

Kelly Osbourne and Louis Van Amstel eliminated 11/24/09

Donny Osmond and Kym Johnson - The Winner

Louie Vito and Chelsie Hightower eliminated 10/27/09

I will be posting the results of the people who have been eliminated each week.

Starbucks Challenge

I had some shopping to do on Monday so headed out to Orchard Supply got what I needed, then went to Starbucks. That is always a pleasant experience. Yummy!

There has been a challenge to see if we could differentiate between brewed and instant coffee. They were still conducting this challenge so I got to participate. She poured the beverages in small cups and gave them to me. I did a brief smell check of each cup then took a taste of each one. Then I said that the one in my left hand had been brewed. She was surprised because it didn't take much time and I was correct. Why? Instant coffee, regardless what they call it, has this slightly bitter after taste. That was fun.

I then went to the grocery store and finished my shopping. Certainly was a nice walk. The weather was beautiful!

Learning Experiences

This is my first blog and I find that, after having spent years writing web pages, I really have a lot to learn. I have been using HTML, XHTML and CSS. However, I haven't used XML and it is a lot different. I do have a great mentor in Monica, and I really appreciate all her assistance.

I am learning to add widgets and gadgets in a different format that I have in the past. A blog layout appears to be more complicated than my easy web pages at Elizabeths Graphics which has been evolving over time.

My first web page was written using the online editor. Not being happy with the results I began to use Notepad which gave me absolute control writing pure HTML. I then wanted my personal web site, Shekinah, to be validated through W3C so I had to upgrade my site to the current version of HTML. After accomplishing that task, I learned that I might like to use XHTML. This is a major task as my web site is 100+ pages. However, I did get it accomplished. It is my experience that a web site is never really finished. It is a work in progress. This blog will be no different.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Funny Experience

I've been reading stories about vehicle accidents and it reminds me of an experience I had many years ago.

We had a Scout. It's an old 4-wheel drive vehicle. My hubby had wanted a steel bumper on the back for a variety of reasons, only one of which was that it gave a sturdy step up. I bought it, paying for the installation, as a Christmas present. I placed rocks in the box, wrapped it, then hid it under the bed. Good place. When I placed it under the Christmas tree he had absolutely no idea what was in that heavy box. It was one of the few presents I got him that was a surprise. This is the background.

I went to the grocery store and when I came out there was this irate woman waiting for me. She was angry because she had run into that bumper with her car causing damage to her vehicle. I told her that I was sorry for that but that it was not my fault. She was simply angry that I had that steel bumper that damaged her vehicle. She had already called the police. Say what?

Police officer arrived and patiently listened to her story with a look of complete disbelief. He then asked if my vehicle had been damaged and, after we both looked over the Scout, decided it was just fine. There was absolutely no damage. She had obviously just "bumped" my vehicle.

The officer then explained to this woman that since this was on private property it was not a police issue. This would be a civil action and that if anyone were to be in a position to file suit it would me instead of her because she hit my steel bumper. It would be her liability. So . . . The woman left.

The officer then provided me with his name and told me that, if the woman filed a lawsuit, to contact him and he would testify in my behalf.

We then had a good laugh. I have been laughing about this for years. Poor woman.

Thanks for reading this post.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

First Blog Entry

This is my first entry on this blog. I was directed to this blog by Monica, a Gather friend. I really appreciate friends like her.