Millwright Journeyman - AECOM - Rainbow Lake, AB   
+ Blueprint, parts book and manual reading experience. + Computer literate, experience with SAP is preferred. + Maintain equipment history records using manual...
From AECOM - Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:48:19 GMT - View all Rainbow Lake, AB jobs
          LordAbnevWorks from Twitter Massive Following and 5 Tips for Healthy Eating While Traveling   
Healthy eating while traveling is an ever growing issue for many people as more and more meals are eaten away from home. Unfortunately eating out and on the road can be very challenging if you are not prepared. Here are 5 tips to help you stay lean and healthy while traveling.

1. Always go low carb Restaurant and packaged foods are always loaded with extra hidden carbs. Always choose the lower carb options when eating out avoid traditional snack foods, breads, pasta dishes, etc. Stick to lean meats and vegetables when eating out.

2. Tell them not to bring it, A bread basket, French fries, or a side of potato chips are standard for many restaurant meals. Do not temp yourself just ask your server not to bring it to the table or with your meal.

3. Know what you are going to eat, When traveling it is best to have some snacks with you and when you go out to eat have a general idea of what you are going to order. You will be less likely to be swayed by tempting calorie filled menu options.

4. Have a back up - Nothing is worse than being stuck in the car or in an airport with nothing to eat. You will get hungry and end up making bad choices. There is nothing else around I guess I will have to eat the steak and cheese. Keep a couple protein bars with you for back up. They travel well and do not spoil. You just need to beware that the protein bars you are eating aren't loaded with sugar. Check the label for sugar content. Make sure it has less than 30gram of total carbohydrates. Your protein bar should also have at least 20 gram of protein otherwise it is not a protein bar - it is most likely a sugar laden bar!

5. Don Eat! Seriously. This one is not for everyone. If you are someone that uses intermittent fasting to lose weight then you can follow fasting expert Brad Pilons lead and plan your fasts while you are traveling. Brad once told me that whenever he has to fly he always arranges it to be during a fast so he is not tempted by awful travel food.

You can use some of these tips or use them all! Whatever you do, do not let traveling be your excuse for not staying lean and healthy.

Warp Speed Fat Loss is a complete 28 day diet and training fast weight loss system crafted to help you lose 10,15, or 20lbs of body fat in just 28 day. To start losing weight fast visit

Mike Roussell is a nutrition doctoral student at the Pennsylvania State University. His Warp Speed Fat Loss system is a complete Done-for-You A-Z Fat Loss Blueprint. You can learn more at

whole foods grocery: whole foods grocery

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          Sci-Fi Gaming Resources -Updated   

Note: Sadly, the best resource, Solo Nexus, has been removed from solo players.

The Yahoo Groups appear to still be out there somewhere. I'm still getting e-mails from them. However, it looks like Yahoo's changed their links and I haven't gotten them updated, yet. Here's the updated list of links, with several new ones-

Traveller at Mongoose Publishing
Mongoose Traveller resources at RPGNow
Spica Publishing Resources for Traveller at RPGNow
All Traveller resources at RPGNow
Mongoose's Signs & Portents Magazine at RPGNow
Freelance Traveller
Into the Deep
The Journal of the Travellers' Aid Society
Far Future Enterprises -has a nice guide to Understanding Traveller
Spica Publishing
SFRPG Message Board
Random Traveller System Generator
Traveller: Heaven & Earth -great world building software
Travelling Alone -nice optional solo Traveller flowchart
How to make a Traveller Sandbox

Shadowrun resources at RPGNow
Elektra for Shadowrun
Sci-Fi resources at RPGNow
Alternity resources
Star Smuggler resources
Star Frontiersman
Marvel-Phile & Other Marvel Dragon Magazine Articles
Seventh Sanctum -lots of random generators
Paper Friends -printable character standups for every genre

D6 Space
D6 Adventure
D6 Fantasy
Polgarus Games D6 Resources
Star Wars D6 Holcron
Random Star Wars D6 System Generator
Star Wars D6 Community on G+
Into the Shadows

Mythic/Solo Play
Shaun's Solo Traveller

MGT-Aids · Fan Aids for Mongoose Pub's Traveller
Guide to Traveller UPP (Universal Planetary Profile)
DC Heroes - Blood of Heroes - M.E.G.S. Yahoo group
Doctor Who Solitaire Story Game
Mythic Fan Club/Resources
Solo Nexus

          Premiere Issue ***SOLD OUT***   
Carisa here with a BIG HEARTFELT thank you for everyone that was so excited to purchase one of the limited premiere issues that were in print. I am THRILLED for each and every one of you that got one. I hope you enjoy it – quirks and all. First issue and all, it did come […]
          Designed To Color Premier Issue In Print!   
Some of you have wanted to get your crafty lil hands on the premier issue in print… well I have an announcement!  Your wish is granted!  Up for sale is the FIRST issue of Designed to Color in print!  How awesome is that!!?  For $6.99 you can get the premier issue with all it’s amazing […]
          Brighten My Day Greenhouse 8pcs by QuillandFox   

18.00 USD

4¼ x 5½ , Blank folded card
Printed full color on 88lb cotton cardstock
Pack of 8 in clear plastic box

Made in the USA

Quill & Fox © all rights reserved

          Sun Yellow Notepad by QuillandFox   

8.00 USD

7 x 4.25 notepad, 50 pages, Printed on uncoated paper

Made in the USA
Quill & Fox © all rights reserved

          Comment on Dress like Bruce Wayne by Soundwinder   
That's AMAZING. I just wish the stripes went all the way across the chest, though. Probably more expensive to print on the full front of a shirt, though.
          Comment on Madballs blind-bagged decoder by Pink Parademon   
I got Fist Face at Wal-mart. It's made upside down! If you have it posed so the thumb is up, the molded legal text and the printed batch info are visible right on top. Is there any way to remove that without ruining the foam?
          Yoins Floral Print Long Sleeves Shirt with Button Cuffs   

Yoins Floral Print Long Sleeves Shirt with Button Cuffs

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@yoinscollection #yoins

          White Sleeveless Print Jacquard A-line Dress   

White Sleeveless Print Jacquard A-line Dress

White Sleeveless Print Jacquard A-line Dress by petiteorange on

          Print Jacquard A-Line Dress   

Print Jacquard A-Line Dress

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          Halftime Score   

BOSTON—A little after 4:30 p.m., Joe Lockhart stood at a podium at the traveling press filing center at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel and briefed the media on the campaign's view of Election Day so far. Here's a partial transcript. The questions are paraphrases, but Lockhart's quotes are verbatim.

"The rules state if you are in line when the polls close, you are allowed to vote. … They just need to get there by the time of the poll closing. We will be providing coffee and doughnuts for those who have to wait in line as a way to ease their pain, I am told. I believe this is true, that the campaign has authorized in some places in Ohio Port-a-Potties to make sure that people don't leave because they have to go to the bathroom. They tell me that's true."

"In these battleground states, we have targeted 60 precincts per state: 20 that polled very well for then-Gov. Bush, in 2000, 20 that were mixed, 20 that voted heavily for Gore. Let me share a few things from around the country that we've drawn from those precincts. So far today, our base precincts are running ahead of both Republican base precincts and ahead of Al Gore's performance in every battleground state, with the exception of New Mexico, where we are even, and Arkansas, where we're slightly behind.

"So when you look at the whole, 12 or 13, whatever we settled on battleground states, we believe in our key precincts, as a measure of turnout, that we're doing well.

"In Florida, Democratic precincts continue to outperform Republican precincts, and African-American and Hispanic turnout is still running higher than expected. We've seen anecdotal evidence, particularly in some of the Hispanic voting areas, of very heavy turnout. We have a turnout advantage in Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County.

"In Ohio, Democratic precincts again are outperforming the Republican Bush precincts by about 8 percent. Cuyahoga County turnout advantage in precincts carried by Gore is 7.1 percent compared to the precincts carried by Bush in 2000. Franklin County, we're seeing a turnout advantage, and Hamilton County, which is Cincinnati, a turnout advantage in Gore precincts by again, about 6 and a half percent.

"Wisconsin, Democratic precincts are outperforming Bush precincts by about 1.9 percent; that holds for Dane County, which is the Madison area, and Milwaukee County, and even the heavily Republican county in the Milwaukee suburbs, where our turnout advantage is small, but it is an advantage.

"A couple other: Colorado Democratic precincts are outperforming Bush precincts by about 4.6 percent; Iowa Democratic precincts are outperforming the Bush precincts by about 10 percent. So, we think that the turnout numbers have been encouraging, but we still believe that we have a lot of work to do."

Q: Explain what those numbers mean.

"That's not exit polling. That's turnout. Again, as I said, if you look at key precincts around the state, which is how we judge turnout, we have heavily Democratic districts, and then you've got heavily Republican precincts. And the numbers that I was using were all comparative, comparing the Democratic precincts to the Republican. It doesn't tell you everything, but I think it tells you a lot. If County X, which always votes Democratic, 100 people show up, and County Y, which always votes Republican, 93 people show up, at the end of the day, you have some sense that things are going well for you. And that's good news. Again, it doesn't tell you who's won or lost, but it does give a sense that our efforts at sort of turning out the voters are having some success."

Q: Knowing what you know now, how confident are you that there will be a winner declared tonight?

"I don't know that we know anything more about that … than we did coming into the day. There's two pieces of information, one is that we feel good about where we were in the battleground states. We have said that consistently over the last week. We feel good so far about the turnout. But those things aren't enough. Everybody knows a campaign who thought the turnout looked good in the morning and relaxed in the afternoon and came out unsuccessfully."

Q: How are you redeploying your resources?

I'll give you one example. Gen. Wesley Clark was in New Mexico for us today, and based on some information that we gathered, in both New Mexico and Nevada, we've asked him, and he's on his way now, to do some work in Nevada. So, that's one example, I think, of a body being moved. But this is mostly satellite interviews, phone calls, and movement within a state

"Are the speeches done? If I answered yes, I wouldn't be honest. You know how we work; they'll be done just before they're due."

Q: Have you seen any exit polls? What do you think of them?

"Well, the only thing that I've seen in print is on online sources that I find highly unreliable."

Q: Daily Kos?

"I didn't say which ones I saw."

We'll assume he means Drudge.

          White Retro Print Tie Neck Ruffle Sleeve Dress   

White Retro Print Tie Neck Ruffle Sleeve Dress

White Retro Print Tie Neck Ruffle Sleeve Dress by petiteorange on

          White Butterfly Print Dress   

White Butterfly Print Dress

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          I Want My GOTV   

COLUMBUS, Ohio—With only nine days until this election is over (or so everyone hopes), we've reached the stage of the campaign when the political press evaluates each side's ground game. The media's track record on this is not encouraging. Almost exactly nine months ago, reporters were wandering around Iowa judging the merits of everyone's "organization, organization, organization." The verdict: Howard Dean and Dick Gephardt were the men to beat. We were dazzled by Gephardt's union support and by Dean's "Perfect Storm" of door-knocking, orange-hatted, out-of-state volunteers. They both got creamed.

In hindsight, Dean's Perfect Storm has been judged a debacle on two levels: It annoyed Iowans, who don't like outsiders, and it tied up Dean's staff with organizational headaches—where should we house the Stormers? How can we keep them busy?—when the staff's time would have been better spent figuring out how to get Iowans to the caucuses. But at the time, it got great press.

So, perhaps it's a bad omen for Kerry's ground game in Ohio when I discover that Christy Setzer, the woman who handled press for the Perfect Storm, has been assigned to deal with national reporters who parachute into Columbus to watch America Coming Together, the New New Thing of the general election, in action. That's not meant as a slap at Setzer—she's a terrific person who's good at her job (see the aforementioned glowing press)—but the parallels are irresistible. Like the Storm was for the caucuses, the George Soros-funded ACT is the Big Question Mark of the general election: How many of the new voters it registered in the past year are authentic? How many of them will show up to vote? Can this unconventional strategy win Kerry the presidency?

ACT's army of red-coated canvassers are Kerry's Afghan warlords: He's outsourced his base campaign, his voter-registration drives, and a healthy chunk of his get-out-the-vote operation to them. Much of the rest of the operation will be handled by the groups (including ACT) that make up America Votes, another 527 that coordinates the voter-contact and voter-turnout operations of a host of interest groups, from the AFL-CIO to Planned Parenthood, to ensure that everyone's on the same page. In a sense, America Votes does for the liberal ground game what Grover Norquist's weekly meeting does for conservative talking points.

When I ask Setzer to compare ACT to Dean's Storm, she says it differs in important ways. For one, the canvassers are paid workers and not volunteers, and the organization tries to hire locals instead of out-of-towners. More important, perhaps, the canvassers are supposed to identify voters and get them to the polls, not tell voters their personal stories of how far they've traveled and why they're committed to Howard Dean (or John Kerry). But the real key is that they don't work for just one weekend.

The secret to turnout is frequent face-to-face contact with voters. That's a lesson Steve Rosenthal, the national head of America Coming Together, learned during his years as the political director of the AFL-CIO. Many people attribute Al Gore's victory in the popular vote in 2000—and his wins in every close state except Florida—to Rosenthal's turnout operation for the unions in 2000. Donna Brazile has called Rosenthal "the last great hope of the Democratic Party" and has compared him to Michael Whouley and Karl Rove. ACT is a national version of what Rosenthal did for Philadelphia Mayor John Street in 2003. In that race, 38,000, or 44 percent, of the 86,000 new voters Rosenthal registered came to the polls, he told National Journal earlier this year, compared to 28 or 29 percent of what the magazine called "voters from the same neighborhoods and similar socio-economic backgrounds who had registered on their own."

In Ohio, ACT sends out between 200 and 250 paid canvassers each day. They get paid between $8 and $10 an hour. Setzer reels off impressive numbers: We've knocked on 3.7 million doors in Ohio, had more than 1 million conversations. On Election Day, ACT will send out 12,000 volunteers, each paid a stipend of $75 for travel and expenses, to make sure voters get to the polls. ACT and the partner organizations that make up America Votes have registered about 300,000 new voters in Ohio, and they'll consider it a success to turn out just half of them. Those voters alone, though, wouldn't swing the election. Four years ago, Bush's margin of victory was nearly 180,000 votes. In all, Ohio has between 700,000 and 800,000 new voters for this election, though Setzer points out that some of that could just be churn from voters who moved.

My trip to watch two ACT canvassers in action wasn't very impressive, but that's because it was a Potemkin canvass, organized for the benefit of an MSNBC reporter and his camera. Malik Hubbard, 26, and Julian Johannesen, 32, walked up and down a few blocks in a largely African-American neighborhood in Columbus on a Saturday afternoon. As ACT's field directors for Franklin County, which includes Columbus, Hubbard and Johannesen don't usually canvass themselves. Each man carried a Palm Tungsten T2, which contained the addresses of the voters they were supposed to contact. It's Saturday afternoon on the day of the Ohio State homecoming game, so it's not optimal door-knocking time, but they do their best to put on a good show. When a voter answers the door, the canvasser gives him or her a flyer that has the address of the local polling place stamped on it. He explains that the polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m., advises the voter to bring some form of identification to the polls in case their registration is challenged, and asks if there are any questions. On two separate occasions, a voter worries about a false rumor that the neighborhood's voting machines have been replaced with punch-card ballots. After talking to each voter, Hubbard and Johannesen input the data into their Tungsten T2s.

Over the next nine days, canvassers will follow up with voters, continuing the personal contacts. For what it's worth, the Bush-Cheney campaign in the state is following a similar strategy, though it doesn't partly rely on an outside organization to carry it out. "I'm not saying we're gonna outperform the other side, because they have the potential to be spectacular," says Dave Beckwith, a Bush-Cheney spokesman in Ohio. "I'd just rather be where we are, with a real solid model." The model is the Republican "72 Hour Program," Karl Rove's get-out-the-vote operation from 2002, which helped the Republicans gain House and Senate seats in the midterm elections. Like ACT, the 72 Hour Program relies on frequent face-to-face contact with voters, what Bush's Ohio campaign manager Bob Paduchik calls "the volunteer-to-voter interface."

"By and large, it is an effort to move closer to the Democrat knock-and-drag vote drive," Beckwith says. Republicans have traditionally relied on things like direct mail to get out the vote, but this time, "We are going to the personal contact system." The Bush-Cheney campaign has printed up small pamphlets that contain a list of each committed Bush voter in a neighborhood, along with voters' phone numbers and a map of the area. On Election Day, a volunteer takes the book and checks off each voter after they go to the polls.

Beckwith admits that the Democrats have registered more new voters than the Republicans, but he says that their work was done by "mercenaries"—and they have "people signed up by crack addicts"—while his side employs volunteers, or "liberty-loving free men." Beckwith then drifts into a reverie about the Battle of San Jacinto and explains how Sam Houston knew that "conscripts" and the forces of "despotism" couldn't defeat free men. The enemy was saying, "Me no Alamo," Beckwith says with a laugh. (At another moment in the interview, Beckwith observes of the Kerry-Edwards campaign offices, "I think they're on Gay Street, which is interesting, because we're on Rich Street.")

At the Bush-Cheney headquarters, I mention to Paduchik, Bush's Ohio campaign manager, how the media overestimated the effectiveness of Dean's Perfect Storm. Paduchik says the evidence of Bush's organization in Ohio is the size of his crowds, because the campaign distributes its tickets through its volunteers. When you see 22,000 people in Troy, Ohio, or 50,000 people in Westchester, Ohio, you know you're looking at "a real organization," he says. "It's not because we had tickets you could download from the Internet. It's not because we had put them on car windows, or had people pick them up at a 7-Eleven, like the other side does."

On the way out, I'm reminded that all this work on both sides isn't necessarily a sign of confidence. As we walk to the door, Beckwith points to an empty portion of the Bush-Cheney offices. That's where the staff for Sen. George Voinovich works, he says. "These cocksuckers are up 30 points and they're never in here."

          Comment on The Extraterrestrial Messages of Nikola Tesla by Brian Steere   
In 'The book Wizard, the Life and Times of Nikola Tesla', a biography by Marc J. Seifer, it is clearly shown that when Tesla was first 'listening in' to radio signals relating to natural phenomena, he picked up an 'intelligent' repeated ordered signal. Because he thought himself the very first, he was unaware and unable to take into account that Marconi was running trials with the British Navy - and that that was what he picked up. And so it is also noteworthy that the very first wireless transmissions were in a sense eavesdropped - and that two rivals were invisibly entangled in such a way. It was also shown how at that time it was believed and expected that there was life on other planets - especially Mars - by many learned and respected people. There are many interesting details in the book on Tesla's personality and the times and society in which he lived - and which he played such a major role in changing - often without due acknowledgement. Although there was a cartel of corporate investment that used him and refused him - there were also aspects to his character that invited or played into this. While Tesla was a forerunner and pioneer of wireless or 'at a distance' communications and forces - he was not consciously at ease with a psychic-emotional intimacy as a direct participant in such communications, so his belief in life 'out there' and the means to communicate and travel beyond Earth's plane was normal to his thinking, his thinking recoiled from the recognition if 'incoming' intelligence THROUGH the vehicles or instruments of our physicality - even though his mental and imaginative capacities far exceeded most anyone else known in terms of uncovering, designing and testing new technological instruments without recourse to paper and plans. And so in his unique way he was an example of an incoming intelligence to the era of scientific change and technological application - wherever one ascribes that inspiration to. Some of what he invented was extremely dangerous to our level of responsibility - and some was seen as threat to the revenue streams of corporate investment and cartel power. My sense is that such power froze the development of science ever since and so what we have is a corporate capture or scientism that operates not unlike the corrupt Vatican of the previous version of abusing truths for private gratification and gain. The desire to mythologize Tesla is evident as fitting facets of his story to one the teller WANTS to be true. IE The demonisation of Edison and a good v evil narrative as a subtext for a sense of being denied or deprived by 'Them' whoever 'They' are seen to be now. Personalized blame narratives are THE device by which false ideas are protected from exposure - and correction. Yet in a sense I indicate that an ET connection is implicit to the Field of our true mental capacity - but that ET does not mean an 'alien will' but rather that a false set of ideas has alienated us from Our Self and that the physical existence is one in which all else is seen as conflicting or oppositional polarities - within which we seem to have a limited choice of pathways between birth and death by which to develop abilities of manipulation, adaptation and identification as our experience of Existence in, or rather through, form. Rewakening to the Electric Universe is re-opening to a terrain in which ancient catastrophe imprinted trauma on our species and provided the framework for such a profound experience of isolation, vulnerability and the need to mask power as well as mask to hide from it. Your thought is a vibrational attunement to your unique focus within Infinite Idea - and yet for the most part - what we take to be our thought, operates as a blocking or jamming signal. The 'matrix' of a mask or personified sense of fragmentation passes of as 'waking conscious', but as Jesus said 'My Kingdom is not of this world' - for sin, fear and guilt operate 'mind-control' and not a true sovereignty of will. Science needs to serve and align under true will and not mask itself in trojan disguise of 'serving humanity' when really fitted to the same old private agenda of self-specialness and self-blindness of presuming to assert or align in power OVER the will.
Firstly, I've not been able to post any updates on my dear little felt bag, because I've not been able to finish it.  Just after my last post, I caught my finger around one of the dog's leads, and it wrenched.  Subsequently, it's been painful and I've not been able to hand sew or cross stitch, and writing with a pen has also been painful and difficult.  In the first week or so, even holding a knife was hard.  It's finally getting better, so I think I should finish it very soon and will then post pics - it really is adorable.  

Since then there's been quite a bit to share.  I've just finished a quilt but haven't yet photographed it, so will save that for another post.  Some birthday cards - first up.  The first card shown is one I made for Andrew's 40th birthday which was on the weekend.  I started with a plain white card blank, then added some dark blue linen textured card.  Layered on top of this was a turquoise card which I had embossed through the Sizzix Bigshot machine, giving it a nice texture.  Then I added another panel, which I had previously decorated using alchohol inks in a random splodgy, swirly pattern, with silver metallic bits randomly added too.  On this card, I used some Tim Holtz rubber stamps, added in black ink, and finally I added some adhesive blue butterflies.  Unfortunately the metallic splodges haven't photographed very well - the effect in real life is gorgeous.  Importantly, the recipient was very pleased with it.  

The second card was for Roger, Andrew's dad, whose birthday is the day after Andrew's.  I started with a plain gold square card, and layered on a piece of K & Co patterned paper.  Then I took a piece of paper and ran it through the Sizzix using a new die, giving the square with the bobbly edges.  Once I had the basic shape, I gently sponged the paper with green ink and sprayed it with the Glitz spritz using the silver and emerald colours. These were dried with a heat gun and finally I stamped it, using the pear stamp I got from Blade Rubber up in London, back in March and a small message saying Happy Birthday. Immediately after stamping, I brushed some gold Perfect Pearls over the pears which gave it a gorgeous shimmer.  The last step was to add some leaf shaped brads to the corner holes of the square. Unfortunately the photo didn't come out very well, and I only realised this after I had posted the card, so was unable to redo it.  

The third card was a thank you card for the tutor on the Kennel Club course I have recently done with Boola (full details on my other blog).  I started with a plain white card, then added a layer of green linen textured card.  On a piece of plain white card, I gently sponged some distress inks over the background then stamped it using several botanical images in different colours, mainly in an autumnal palette.  Finally, using a brad, I attached a Tim Holtz Adage Ticket, in this case saying "Soar" which seemed appropriate for a teacher.     Lastly, I gave the whole card a gentle spritz with a glitz spritz which added a subtle shimmer. 

Finally, I have just finished making the place cards for the family party we are hosting this coming weekend.  There will be nine of us round the table in a joint birthday celebration for Andrew, Roger and Booty.  Given Booty's fondness for squirrels, we decided that would be a great theme, so I spent ages scouring the net for squirrel themed craft goodies.  Eventually I was able to find some squirrel dies that could be used in my machine so I ordered them.  For each card, I started with a folded base card of a pewter wood effect  card (this seemed entirely appropriate!).  Next, I added a cream card that was embossed and then brushed with a distress ink gently, this had the effect of picking up the raised embossing.  On top of this I layered up a piece of patterned K & Co card from the Wild Saffron range, then on top of that I added a printed name which I had printed out on the computer. On the right side of each name, I added a couple of die cut leaves or nuts, in autumnal shades of brown and green.  On the left hand side was the squirrrel.  Each squirrel had to be diecut in two parts, body and tail and this was done on orange paper, which I then gently shaded using a brown ink. The squirrel's eye was a black adhesive pearl and the final touch was to add a little orange glitter glue.  I'm very happy with the finished article and they should add a nice festive touch to the party. 

As mentioned in my other blog, we hosted two of our nephews last week for a couple of days.  I took lots of pictures, as did Andrew, including some he took via his Blackberry, and was able to email back to me while still out on the boat on Cardiff Bay! After the boys had gone back, and I'd emailed a few pics to their parents and grandparents, I uploaded a selection to Photobox and ordered some prints, as well as a couple of enlargements.  One of our nephews gets on particularly well with one of our greyhounds, and we had a lovely picture of him and the hound in question walking together, so I'm going to get a nice frame and send it to him.  The other prints were ordered with a view to a scrapbook, and as usual I was very impressed by Photobox.  Pics were uploaded on Tuesday morning, and by Wednesday lunchtime Keith our lovely postie was knocking on the door with a rather soggy envelope for me (it was pouring with rain). 

I've made up a little scrapbook using 6" x 6" page sizes.  Some time ago, I bought a little box from QVC, of about 20 assorted mini scrapbooks, which has been a real treasure.  Whenever I want to make up a little book I can go to the box, and know I can pull something out easily.  I chose a nice little bright spotty design and got to work.  As the prints were mainly 6" x 4", in some cases all I needed to do was mount them on some suitable background paper, but in other cases I went a bit fancy, and used my diecutter to frame the key elements and layer up some paper and embellishments.  It was fun to choose and edit the pictures and put in a few simple captions, so the boys will always have a nice reminder of their trip.  I am also going to send their parents a duplicate set of prints, as I know they enjoy putting them in photo albums. 


Today, I finished a scrapbook project and an accompanying card. The scrapbook is a 12 x 12 size, and was part of a kit I ordered at a substantial discount from the Docrafts website some time ago. It came with the album, a paper pad, some letters, some diecut printed squares and some pretty chipboard message shapes. Last autumn, one of our very good friends came up from Plymouth and we had a fabulous weekend. I took loads of photos and decided to use the album as a reminder of a wonderful few days.

You can see the album cover, and a few sample pages. I love these bright cheerful florals, spots and stripes - very zingy and uplifting. Of course, with the letters, I very quickly found that I had used up all the vowels and was left with a pile of Z's, Q's and so - it was a bit like playing Scrabble. As usual, I had ordered the prints used from Photobox - I know I keep praising them, but in fairness, I never cease to be impressed by their service, which is very cheap, incredibly fast and good quality.
To go with it, I made a pretty card from a Kanban kit I ordered from QVC about a month ago. One of the reasons I haven't posted much lately is that I've been very busy making lots of cards for the greyhound charity - they have opened a new shop down in Burry Port and I wanted to make sure they had a good stock to get them under way. As part of that exercise I bought this little kit which has been a delight to work with, with lots of really gorgeous shapes and papers to make very simple but attractive cards very quickly, which is just what you want when making in bulk for the shop. I loved the message - "Happiness is Handmade" seemed so appropriate and perfect on a card to accompany this type of gift. After putting some background paper on the blank card, I added and layered the die cut hearts and butterfly, then finished with an organza ribbon and some little adhesive gems.
I photographed the scrapbook on our stripped and not yet made bed and as you can see I was joined by a hound who, as usual, was determined to ensure he was at the heart of any action. I've lost count of the number of photos I have taken which have bits of tail, ear, or furry rump in the corner. So, for your delectation and delight, Andy is included in what should be a strictly crafting blog. But, hey, it's my blog, and I'm going to break the rules!! Lots more greyhound stuff over on my other blog.
Now that the big run of card making is done, I should be able to resume normal service with posts coming a lot more frequently.

As the previous post was quite long, I decided to do a fresh post. On Tuesday, QVC had one of their regular Craft Days. Sometimes these are good value (like the aforementioned BP kit) and sometimes they are just fun to dip into and get ideas. This time though I was committed to watching quite avidly as Tim Holtz was appearing, having travelled over from the USA. Tim is an inspirational crafter and with Ranger, is responsible for a range of goodies including alcohol inks, distress inks and all sorts of other great kit, in fabulous colours. He's particularly well known for his "grunge" look but to be fair, many of his techniques and products can be used/enjoyed by any crafter who enjoys messy play. During the craft day they had a selection of goodies from Ranger that were tempting, and as the prices were good, I succumbed. I ordered a selection of 12 Stickles, a fabulous glitter glue in amazing colours which never clogs, drips or spurts. I also ordered a pack which included 3 different Distress Metallic Crackle Paint and matching Distress Stickles. Plus the TSV, which was Tim's new book, bundled with an assortment of goodies, including several products that I had seen before but never actually tried, so figured that now was the time to take the plunge. Previously, when Ranger stuff has been stocked, they've sold out very quickly, so I waited up until midnight on Monday, then ordered via the web, to be sure of getting what I wanted.
The rest of the craft day went well, as I was relaxed about having my purchases safely bagged, and could enjoy the various demos including lots with Tim and his new book. Fast forward, and on Thursday morning, the first of my parcels arrived. QVC do not bag up separate items - they always deliver them in separate packages - I was very impressed with the speed of delivery and sure enough when I opened it, it was a stack of goodies. The new book is brilliant - loads of tips, techniques and ideas, all very inspiring, both for browsing and for detailed technique following. For instance, I didn't know you could use alcohol inks to colour metal charms, so tried out this on a butterfly charm and it seems to have worked brilliantly.
On Saturday, we went out for lunch with my great aunt, leaving the dogs in the house. The postman pushed through the letterbox, two Jiffy Bags with the remaining items while we were out, and Andy decided to do what he does sometimes, and attack the post. We are actually in the process of sourcing a mailbox to affix to the side of the house, as we quite often have letters with teeth marks, rips and so on. Anyway, his teeth punctured a pot of Antique Silver Distress Crackle Paint, so when we came home, the hall was a picture. Piles of ripped and munched post, with paint everywhere, including all over the criminal, and a selection of doggy footprints in Antique Silver on the wooden floor, paint all over the hall rug, and worse of all, paint all over the sofa in the living room, which has loose covers. Clearly, having had a good munch, he decided to go and have a lie down on the sofa and rest after all the excitement.
My feelings were very mixed, to say the least. A combination of laughter (it really did look ridicolous), annoyance at my paint being wasted, and worry over the dog being poisoned by the paint, plus concern over clearing up the mess. We managed to find the pot, and reassuringly it had NON TOXIC written boldly in big letters - did this apply to greyhounds, we wondered? The criminal was bouncing round quite happily when we got home, so it obviously was not a fast acting poison (if at all) so we decided to focus on cleaning up. The hall rug is a complete write off but as it was a very cheap one from Ikea, we are not too worried about that. We stripped off the loose covers from the sofa, and immediately washed them, and worked on the floor - fortunately that came clean immediately. The guilty dog was covered in dried paint on his legs - we've now started calling him Twinkletoes since there have been no ill effects. Unfortunately, however, the paint has not come out from the sofa fabric, so we now need to check our insurance policy to see if it is worth making a claim.
Today, I've been playing with my new purchases, very happily. Andrew and Twinkletoes went for a run together this afternoon, and enjoyed themselves. I'll probably post more pics as projects get finished. All I can say is that I've started work on a little chipboard book, and am having lots of fun, involving paints, squirts, sprays, rubs, stamps and general fun.


Quite a bit to update on, some of it overlapping with my other blog. Firstly, I've completed a scrapbook of our trip over to Germany just before Christmas. I had wanted to go for a long time and we had a great time, just doing a long weekend. I took pics and wrote about it in my main blog, but had decided it would make a lovely subject for a scrapbook. I ordered prints using my credits from Photobox (they are an excellent company), they arrived in the New Year, and I've been waiting for the right moment to get started.

I may have previously mentioned two bottomless Brenda Pinnick kits I bought from QVC about two or three years ago, one Christmas themed, the other more general. Using the general box, I decided to use the 12 x 12 scrapbook. There were lots and lots of matching papers, in various sizes, plus a panoply of brads, ribbons, chipboard shapes and letters, stickers, alphabets and die cut cardboard shapes. Getting it all out meant making a huge mess in the craft room, so once I started on it, I kept going rather than swapping between different activities as I do more often. Having been lavish with the papers and embellishments, I appear to have made no identifiable difference to the box, and in fact when finished, struggled to get it all back in. I also used some papers that I bought a while back for Sarah's 18th - a DCWV stack called "Once upon a Time". The fairytale castles were actually very much like the ones on the Rhine, along with the medieval buildings and general feel, so in some cases these papers were used instead. Along with the photos, I included other mementoes such as our tickets, luggage labels, itinerary, beer mats and so on. I attach some pics of the scrapbook, and a couple of the pages.

Boola, our recently adopted greyhound, celebrated his 10th birthday a couple of weeks ago. He got sent a fabulous card by our nephews (aged 10,8 and 6) featuring popup rabbits they had drawn. I made a card to send them to say thanks, featuring a photo of Boola, with a thought bubble coming out of the side. I layered it up on some paper scraps, added the photo and bubble with foam tape, then rubbed over the top with Rock Candy Stickles. Next, I punched a hole and added a grommet, then threaded through some blue ribbon, with a chipboard star attached that I'd inked and glittered. Photo attached.


A combination of things to write about today. A little while ago, I ordered some papercrafting goodies from Cardcraft Plus, in particular some cardmaking supplies for the GRW shop. In their most recent catalogue there were two very pretty sets, one of a Oriental theme (lots of cherry blossom, pretty turquoise and delicate pinks, all with gold foiling) and the other was a very versatile set of butterfly themed papers and cards with a palette of chocolate browns, russets and caramels. Both included lots of die-cut, foiled toppers and labels - so plenty to make quick cards for the shop, but also enough to use as a base for a more creative afternoon.

Anyway, this week I passed my ECDL and I'll be popping back in next week to say Thank you to my lovely tutor and to return the workbooks I was using. I'll probably also get her either a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates. So, I decided to make her a card using the new sets. After a bit of dithering over which set to use, I plumped for the chocolate butterflies and spread the cardstock over the bed to look at it and choose, before working here in the spare bedroom. Big mistake. While I was working away happily, Andy the greyhound decided to enter the bedroom at high speed, take a flying leap onto the bed and start chewing at the cardstock with great interest and curiosity. I quickly realised what he was doing, dashed in there and we had words. Much chastised, he skulked off in disgrace and I have been considering the damage. I won't now be able to make any A4 cards from the cardstock (unless teethmarks suddenly become an accessory) but with some trimming I'll be able to salvage most of the cards from the wreckage. After that excitement, here's the card pictured above.

I started with a cream landscape A5 card, and covered it with a piece of the printed background paper in a a lovely chocolate brown. I affixed a Thank you message with foam pads and then pressed out and layered up a pretty decoupage series that came with the kit in a lovely russet brown. Next to this, I attached some more die cut butterflies and finished off with some adhesive gems on the butterflies and a pretty chocolate organza ribbon around the side of the card. And of course the moral of this story is that greyhounds and craft do not mix!

On the fabric front, I have still not photographed my little bag, but will do so during the week. In the living room, we have a quilt over one of the sofas that I use for snuggling while watching TV or reading or stitching. You may remember I made it from a lovely Moda charm pack from the "At Water's Edge" range. Just after Christmas, Andrew announced (much to my surprise) that he wished to commission a similar quilt for his sofa and that I should proceed with its manufacture. So, at a recent visit to Busy Bees, I purchased a charm pack from Moda, this time in the Mill House Inn range - really pretty florals, in soft dusty pinks, spring greens, tan and some berry colours. My thinking was to make a similar quilt to the one I made for my friend Penny for Christmas, based on a nine patch square with sashing between. Anyway, yesterday afternoon I made up my nine patch blocks and summoned dear husband for an inspection. After looking at them for a bit, he has decided that the square is not going to be big enough and the quilt should be larger. So, I am going to get another charm pack of the same fabric and have an eight block quilt rather than a four block. Deep down I suspec this is so he can wrap up not only himself but any passing greyhound who happens to be sharing the sofa with him..

I attach some pics of the made-up nine patch blocks completed so far - the colours are really pretty. What I haven't yet decided is whether to leave the blocks as they are or do what I did at Christmas and do the cutting and turning into quarters, making a more complex looking block. Decisions, decisions......


It's been a busy weekend craft wise. I'll start with the papercrafting. Regular readers of my "life" blog will know we keep in touch with the lady who adopted our beloved foster dog, Murgatroyd, and we met up with her before Christmas for a lovely day out and walk at Pembrey Country Park. We took lots of pics and I promised Rhian that I would send her copies. I uploaded the photos to Photobox, the photo website I use, and we had the prints back, in the early part of the New Year. I made a little wallet for the photos, just from a piece of A4 paper that I folded and then used some invisible tape on the sides. I also stuck a little sticker on the front. Just seems a lot better than sending them loose or in a plastic bag.

I kept back one of the photos and made it into a little calendar. All I did was layering up of card and paper with some pretty little fabric flowers stuck to the card by using brads and attaching a mini calendar pad to the front, over a strip of ribbon. On the top I affixed a ribbon loop for hanging.

Then I made a little card to go in with the goodies. Keeping the same palette of browns, yellows and orange, I used a peachy base card, with a strip of pearlescent textured card down the middle, topped with some patterned K & Co paper. Then I took another piece of tan card and stamped the image of the tree on it, which was then coloured in with Sakura pens, one Gelly Roll and one Metallic Gold glaze. This was then mounted on the top. Finally, I affixed some square gemstones in amber colouring.

Two more cards to share. One is a birthday card for my aunt. I took a K & Co patterned base card, then added a tag, ribbon, and some stick ons. On the bottom, a sticker. Very pleased with it. Also a similar card to say "Thanks, we're coming" for a lovely person we know who just invited us to her book launch (how exciting!!!!). Again, a printed K & Co base card, a sticker and a tag, with some pretty little stickers on the top plus a ribbon which I swiped with an ink pad to turn it an attractive pumpkin colour.


I had so much fun making the little log cabin table topper that I decided almost immediately to have a go at the other little Honey Bun from the box. This is the "brights" roll and I love the zingy colours and happy prints. I decided as I was making it to give it to a friend of mine as a birthday present - I don't think she reads this blog, so I should be safe in posting details. As before, the little log cabins were great fun to put together. This time, I assembled and finished the whole thing in one afternoon - lovely. I have so enjoyed making these two - just the thing to get my mojo back after a hectic Christmas time. I attach some pics.

I have also been cross stitching two little motifs to go into cards, these will be mounted up tomorrow and I'll photograph them then. And tonight, I have started cross stitching a pretty sampler featuring handbags that I am going to make to give to the friend I made the table topper for. The sampler was always going to be the main present, but as she is such a good friend, I decided that an extra gift wouldn't be a problem. The design is one taken from The World of Cross Stitching - I will photograph it as it progresses and of course when it is finished.


A nice assortment of projects in this post.
First up, another colour swap on the Do crafts ATC forum. The theme was amber/tangerine/orange. For the first card, I covered it in a pretty orange floral print paper that was a part of my goody bag from the recent ATC day in Barry. Then I added a strip of yellow self adhesive ribbons covered in orange flowers, and then added some orange toned die cut flower shapes. Finally, I finished off with a couple of orange butterfly gems that I carefully glued on. For the other two, I took two ATC base cards, that I coloured using shaving foam at the Barry ATC event, in shades of yellow, orange and red. Thed edges were coloured with a red ink pad, then I stamped both with an Anna Griffin paisley stamp in red ink. Finally I added some pretty K & Co adhesive butterfly and bird stickers - in gorgeous rich colours. And off they went! Will be receiving my swapped cards early next week.
Secondly, a 30th birthday card for my friend Rebecca in Cardiff. I took two pieces of card from a DCWV box, one scalloped and turquoise, the other plain yellow and layered them up. On the card, I added a piece of Laura Ashley printed paper, with lots of bright turquoise and yellow in the mix. I then put a yellow ribbon across the card, and used my pokey tool to punch a hole, allowing me to add a yellow flower with blue brad. Finally, I used a bright blue ink to stamp Happy Birthday on a piece of yellow card and added that with 3d foam pads to the front of the card. It was Rebecca's birthday yesterday and she loved the card. We are going out with her to celebrate on Saturday night - about 25 friends all going for pizza.
Finally, a cross-stitched design for Father's Day, for my FIL. This is a Joan Elliott design, and is great. It came with a CD of designs that was a giveaway about two years ago with a copy of Cross Stitcher magazine, and is a reliable source of attractive designs for all sorts of occasions. I liked this cockerel - something so cheerful about the colours. It was a pleasure to stitch, the design coming together very nicely and with only a few fractional stitches. It was mounted in the card tonight and will be hitting the post first thing tomorrow morning.


Some more ATCs to show. These are for a DoCrafts swap on the theme "Simply Vintage". I made three cards and for all of them, I started with a blank white card. I used my new inkpads to colour them in - one in yellow, one in a soft pink and another in a pale blue. Each card blank was then spritzed with glimmer spray, in amber, pink and teal successively, and heat gunned to dry.
For the yellow one, I edged the card with a soft orange ink to add a little intensity, then added some shimmery orange flower stickers and a sticker in one corner featuring music and the same orange flowers. Finally I added a little printed square featuring an old piece of music manuscript.
For the pink one (which was my favourite when it was finished), I layered on some printed pink card then added a printed tag, affixed with a crystal brad. A couple of embossed K & Co corner stickers were added,then I put in a rectangular printed card which was fixed behind the tag and lay diagonally across the card. I trimmed the corners to fit the card and added a tiny pink pearl to the centre of a flourish. Finally, I added a row of three white roses above the card. It looks great.
For the blue one, I worked in a portrait rather than landscape format. First I went over the edges with a darker blue ink to define them. Then I added an embossed K & Co sticker to the front of the card and put in a crystal brad at the top of the shape. Finally, I added a printed blue square looking like a vintage French postcard and then added a small ribbon rose in blue. Luckily I was able to catch Friday evening's post with these.

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          The Deaniacs Live!   

BOSTON—He won't garner many delegates during Wednesday night's roll call, but Howard Dean still leads in the hearts of at least one demographic: people with home-made signs. Even offline, here on the floor of the FleetCenter, his most ardent supporters possess a blogger's sensibility. They reject the lame "Doing Right for America" placards provided by the message-masters of the Democratic National Convention as props to wave during Dean's Tuesday night speech. How "mass media," how "broadcast," to print thousands of posters of unremitting sameness and then expect that one size to fit all.

Instead, as Dean walks to the podium, his true believers hold aloft Dean for America T-shirts and signs, relics from the primary campaign. They carried them in themselves, so they could show their allegiance at this moment. One sign is so wrinkled and worn it looks like it was accidentally left in someone's shirt pocket and put in the wash. Like a longtime fan sporting a tattered T-shirt at a rock concert, the delegate refuses to part with it.

But the true Deaniac spirit is carried on by the delegates who drew up signs using posterboard and magic marker, like a fourth-grade art project. There's a row of four hand-scrawled letters, D-E-A-N. Others say, "Thanks, Howard," "Vermont [Heart Sign] Dean," "XO Dean," and "I Screamed for Dean, Now I Scream for Kerry." In the same do-it-yourself spirit, the local Dean Meetup printed up stickers reading, "Another Dean Democrat for Kerry" and handed them out to the crowd filing into the convention. One woman in the Colorado delegation brandishes a gigantic black-and-white enlargement of Dean on the cover of Time magazine. She looks like the love child of a political activist and a crazed basketball fan trying to distract a free-throw shooter.

Dean also seems to enjoy a disproportionate share of support among delegates in elaborate costume, the people with red-white-and-blue sequined top hats or plush-toy donkeys on their heads. Three women in sombreros from the Texas delegation can't get enough of him. Almost exactly a year ago, I described the Dean campaign as having a "low-rent allure," and here it all is, still on glorious display.

The crowd roars and roars and roars, a neverending ovation. The most enthusiastic Deaniacs seem to be in the back, in the worst seats, in the red states where Democrats can't win. Dean calls out to these marginalized Democrats during the speech, saying: "We're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats, not just here in Boston. We're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Mississippi, proud to call ourselves Democrats in Utah and Idaho. And we're going to be proud to call ourselves Democrats in Texas." The Utah and Texas delegations behind me stand and—what else—scream.

The Colorado woman with the humongous Time cover sits rapt during the entire speech. I can't quite tell, but I think she's on the verge of tears. Dean walked out to "Revolution," and—except for the two miniature pom-poms stuck in her hair—this woman's ecstasy comes straight out of an old Beatlemania newsreel.

When the speech is over, I walk over and ask about her costume, which I now notice includes a "Deaniac for Kerry" pin. "It's retail politics, it's getting people excited about politics again," she enthuses. "You gotta have a gimmick." Her name tag says Leslie Robinson, 2nd Vice Chair of the Colorado Democratic Party. She was a Dean Meetup host. "Notice how he didn't say it was about me the candidate," she says. "He said it was about 'you.' "

Unprompted, she volunteers a point that helps explain why the loudest cheering seems to come from red-state delegates. The Dean campaign was driven by "people who felt disenfranchised for a long, long time," Robinson says. I ask her what she means by that. "They didn't think that their vote counted," she explains. "They didn't think they could make a difference. And he showed them that we can."

I ask if she's a Dean delegate. She shakes her head. "When Howard Dean decided to support Kerry, I'm a good soldier, and I said, 'Yes, sir,' " she says, standing up and snapping a stiff military salute.

          The Final Days   

MILWAUKEE—We're at the point in the movie where you know how it's going to end, but you stay up late to watch anyway, no matter how painful it gets. The only reason we're here is to watch the beheading of Howard Dean, one reporter declares in the press room after Sunday night's debate. But didn't we see that part already? The end of Dean's quest for the Democratic presidential nomination is winding up with the leisurely pace of the interminable conclusion of The Return of the King. After New Hampshire, there's been nothing but denouement.

Wisconsin was supposed to be Dean's dramatic last stand. Instead, it has all the excitement of the Missouri primary, but at least Missouri had the excuse that there weren't any candidates there. Members of the Dean campaign staff used Saturday to tour the Miller brewery—some are now sporting Miller High Life lapel pins—and I mentioned that I thought that was a pretty smart use of their free day, since Dean was in Vermont that night watching his son's final high-school hockey game. "They're pretty much all free days now," a campaign staffer replied.

But Dean isn't the only candidate facing a death watch. I hear rumors before the debate that both John Edwards and Dennis Kucinich are dropping out. I don't believe either rumor, but I can't decide whether it's more shocking that people believe Edwards is leaving or that Kucinich is.

Kucinich will never drop out. He's said so several times, and he's the one candidate who I believe means everything that comes out of his mouth. He really means it when he talks about the "militarization of thought," about being a "peace president," and about wanting to "change the metaphor of our society from war to peace." He was serious when he said in the spin room after Sunday's debate that unless we pull out of Iraq, "we're going to have a draft." Irony is not the long suit of the man who extended his wingspan Saturday night in front of a few hundred Democrats and helicoptered silently for several long seconds before shouting "No strings! No strings! No strings! No strings! I'll take you to the White House with no strings attached!" (Mean joke: Sure, he's got no strings to hold him down, but he still needs to be turned into a real candidate.) I feel bad about that joke—not bad enough not to print it—because, as Christopher Hitchens wrote last week, "Dennis Kucinich is the sort of guy who we need in politics." My wife thinks Kucinich is great, except for his crazy positions. I think that's about right.

As for Edwards, what's the point of winning the battle to be the last man standing against Kerry if you're not going to follow through on your long-shot strategy? Edwards did better than expected in Iowa after being endorsed by the state's largest newspaper, followed by a superior performance in the state's final debate. Well, Edwards did pretty well Sunday night—it's fairer to say that Kerry did poorly—and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel just endorsed him.

How bad was Kerry's night? It wasn't disastrous, but it's as bad as I've seen him. He sounded like the meandering, orotund Kerry of last summer. His answers to questions about diversity and gay marriage were muddled incoherence, and he claimed that it wasn't his fault that the Bush administration has abused the Patriot Act, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the congressional Iraq war resolution. But if you vote for broadly written laws that are abused by the administration in power when you passed them, aren't you at least partly to blame for the consequences? You wouldn't let your 6-year-old drive the family car and then blame him for the accident. And you can be certain that if the Patriot Act, No Child Left Behind, and the war were popular with Democratic voters, Kerry would be taking credit for them.

Edwards fired off the night's best line in response to Kerry's tortuous answer to a question about whether he feels "any degree of responsibility for the war and its costs and casualties": "That's the longest answer I ever heard to a yes or no question. The answer to your question is: of course; we all accept responsibility for what we did." (The Dean campaign followed up with a press release stating only, "Memo to John Edwards: You are so right.")

But I don't think that moment offsets the fact that Edwards is torching his centrist reputation with his antitrade rhetoric. Granted, it's not only him. Alleged liberal Howard Dean was the only candidate on stage willing to unabashedly defend the passage of free trade agreements such as NAFTA ("I think the free trade agreements were justified"), though he does want to change them now. Kerry seemed evasive when he defended his votes for NAFTA and permanent normal trade relations with China by citing side agreements that dealt with labor and environmental standards.

But Edwards goes much further than Dean and Kerry. His campaign issued a press release trumpeting his votes against "fast track" and against trade agreements with Chile, Singapore, Africa, and the Caribbean. And on stage, he criticized Dean and Kerry for supporting "free trade, as they always have." The anti-NAFTA consensus was the most striking thing to me about Sunday's debate. Was it really more than 10 years ago that Al Gore handed that picture of Reed Smoot and Willis Hawley to Ross Perot on CNN?

Later in the debate, Edwards toned down his rhetoric. "The truth is, some of these jobs are gone," he said. "We're not going to get them back." And I was grateful that no candidate elected to bash Greg Mankiw, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers (as Kerry did in a speech Saturday night), for suggesting that the outsourcing of some jobs is good for the American economy in the long run. Bush administration economists have told enough lies—Mankiw's predecessor asserted that there was no connection between the deficit and interest rates, despite writing about the connection in his own textbook—that they deserve some applause when they tell an unpopular truth.

          Wesley Clark's Loose Lips   

Whether it's true or not, Gen. Wesley Clark's rise in the polls in New Hampshire is being partly attributed to some voters having "cold feet" about former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, especially Dean's penchant for making statements that are quickly seized upon by Fox News or the Republican Party as evidence of unpatriotic disloyalty. But Clark has the same propensity for speaking imprecisely off the cuff. Here are some statements I heard him make last week during my trip with him in New Hampshire:

Bush was "warned" about 9/11? "President Bush didn't do his job as commander in chief in the early months of his administration. He was warned that the greatest threat to the United States of America was Osama Bin Laden, yet on the 11th of September in 2001, the United States had no plan for dealing with the threat posed by Osama Bin Laden. The ship of state was on autopilot. There were good CIA officers and FBI officers and everybody doing what they'd been taught to do, but the essential leadership process of putting focus on the resources of the United States, and giving these agencies a real target and a mission, it wasn't done. At least, I think that's what the evidence will show if we ever get the results of this presidential commission, and if they've asked the right questions." (Jan. 6, McKelvieMiddle School, Bedford.)

Bush "never intended" to get Osama Bin Laden? "We bombed Afghanistan, we missed Osama Bin Laden, partly because the president never intended to put the resources in to get Osama Bin Laden. All along, right after 9/11, they'd made their mind up, I guess, that we were going to go after Saddam Hussein. That's what people in the Pentagon told me. And they capped the resources, stopped the commitment to Afghanistan, and started shifting to prepare to go after Saddam Hussein." (Jan. 6, McKelvieMiddle School, Bedford.)

There wasn't a single terrorist in Iraq before the war? "The president was not and has not been held accountable yet for misleading the American people. He is continuing to associate Saddam, Iraq, and the problem of terrorism. Yet the only terrorists that are in Iraq are the people that have come there to attack us." (Jan. 7, Town House, Peterborough.)

Fifty-five million voters are "ill-informed" dupes of the Christian right? "Now, there's one party in America that's made the United Nations the enemy. And I don't know how many of you have ever read that series of books that's published by the Christian right that's called the "Left Behind" series? Probably nobody's read it up here. But don't feel bad, I'm not recommending it to you. I'm just telling you that according to the book cover that I saw in the airport, 55 million copies have been printed. And in it, the Antichrist is the United Nations. And so there's this huge, ill-informed body of sentiment out there that's just grinding away against the United Nations." (Jan. 7, FullerElementary School, Keene.)

Does Islam need an Enlightenment or just "Young men in an Islamic culture cannot get married until they can support a family. No job, no marriage. No marriage, unhappy young men. They get real angry, they feel real frustrated, they feel real powerless. And a certain number of them are being exploited in the mosques by this recruiting network." (Jan. 8, Havenwoods Heritage Heights senior center, Concord.)

President Bush doesn't even want to find Bin Laden? "Newsweek magazine says he's in the mountains of western Pakistan. And I guess if Newsweek could find him there, we could, too, if we wanted to." (Jan. 8, Havenwoods Heritage Heights senior center, Concord.)

[Update, 1/15/04: Click here and scroll to the bottom to read a more precise explanation of this article.]

          The Second-Place Candidate   

BEDFORD, N.H.—When I last saw Wesley Clark, I called him "Howard Dean with flags." Since then, he's reinvented his candidacy and made himself an even bigger threat to the former Vermont governor. He's now Howard Dean with flags and tax cuts.

Clark seems pretty close to emerging as the consensus pick for the only realistic non-Dean candidate. By sitting on the sidelines during the various Dean-Kerry, Dean-Gephardt, Dean-Lieberman, and Dean-"Insert Democratic candidate here" scraps, it appears that Clark's benefited from the "Dean vs. the Washington Democrats" infighting. He's in a statistical tie with Dean in a national poll. And by camping out in New Hampshire while everyone else makes a two-week sprint toward Iowa, Clark hopes to rise even further in the Granite State polls, too. (To be fair, not everyone is in Iowa. Joe Lieberman is spending a good deal of time in New Hampshire. But Clark strategist Chris Lehane rightly says that Lieberman is like "Bruce Willis in The Sixth Sense: He's dead and doesn't know it yet.")

For Dean, Clark poses a slight problem because the general can't be painted with the same brush as Edwards, Gephardt, Kerry, and Lieberman. He's not a "Washington Democrat." He didn't vote for No Child Left Behind. He didn't vote for the Iraq resolution. The question for Clark is whether he will emulate Bill Clinton as the Comeback Kid, turning a potential second-place New Hampshire finish into an expectations victory, or whether he's just the voters' Fallback Guy. After all, the usual sad lot of the first runner-up is to sit around and vainly hope that the reigning Miss America won't be able to fulfill her duties. (Of course, there is always that chance that Howard Dean posed naked somewhere … never mind.)

As a candidate, Clark has improved his skills dramatically since I watched him speak in September. He's smoother, more coherent, and more concise. He's also willing to give voters at least mildly unpopular answers. At a "house party" on Tuesday (the first of several days that I'm going to be following Clark in New Hampshire), Clark tells a man concerned about job losses, "We'll probably never bring back the specific manufacturing jobs that have left." He doesn't rule out means-testing Medicare, though he does say that he's predisposed against it. (My favorite fudge on the subject: "I'm against means-testing as a matter of principle, insofar as it's at all practical.") The house is filled with physicians worried about medical malpractice suits, but Clark states his opposition to "arbitrary caps" on legal damages. "The court system really is important for ordinary Americans," he says. "The truth is if you're a poor person in this country or a person of modest means, the only way you can get legal advice is on a contingent-fee basis."

Despite the widely held belief that Clark is the candidate of Clintonian moderates while Dean is the candidate of the so-called "angry left," I don't see much evidence that voters at Clark events are more centrist or less liberal than voters I've seen elsewhere. (Exhibit A: A reporter walks up to a man in scrubs at the house party. "You're a doctor?" he asks. "An abortion provider!" is the cheery response.) At a town-hall meeting Tuesday night, one of Clark's biggest applause lines is his pledge to raise taxes on people who make more than $200,000 a year: "We're gonna ask them to be patriotic. We're gonna take back the Bush tax cuts."

But what really endears him to the crowd is his indictment of President Bush during the run-up to war. After outlining the Clark plan for Iraq—1) withdraw Paul Bremer; 2) put a non-American in charge; 3) place U.S. forces under NATO; 4) allow a rapid turnover of the country to Iraqis, "long before this July 1 date"; 5) don't let the Kurds keep their weapons, and don't give them an autonomous region—Clark mentions his Monday night appearance on MSNBC's Hardball. Chris Matthews was obsessed with Clinton's impeachment, Clark says. It's all he would ask him about. "We wasted millions of dollars and years in this country trying to find something that Bill and Hillary Clinton did wrong. And it was a waste of money and effort," Clark says. "I'd like to know why the United States Congress and this party is not demanding, every single day, an investigation into why the president of the United States misused the intelligence community, took us to a war we didn't have to fight, and still won't tell the American people the truth! That's what should be investigated! That's the truth!"

The candidate is angry, his voice rises, and the crowd leaps to its feet. It's Clark's best moment of a pretty good day. He's got them, I think, as the crowd presses around him for autographs and picture-taking. But I also can't help but think that Howard Dean would have had them on their feet from the start.

          Comment on Managing your Microsoft Outlook Calendar by Sharing Your Calendar | Libraries News and Information   
[…] Wondering how to share your calendar with student employees? Follow these instructions and never have to print your calendar again: […]
          Comment on OSU Libraries IT Infrastructure Move January 5 by IT Announcements: Project Updates, Training, and Planned Maintenance - Information Technology   
[…] Beginning at 7:00 am on January 5, IT will be moving OSUL servers and storage devices to the State of Ohio Computer Center (SOCC). Available services will include: internet, email, calendars, printing, and a single web page at Get more details about the infrastructure move. […]
          Tour de France: il faudra désormais 3 secondes pour comptabiliser un écart dans une arrivée ...   
Le calcul régissant les écarts entre les coureurs d'un même peloton a été modifié à l'occasion du 104e Tour de France qui s'élance samedi de Düsseldorf. Il s'agit de réduire le danger des sprints, a annoncé mercredi l'Union cycliste internationale (UCI).
          Cycling World Cup 2012 at the Olympic Velodrome   

The weekend saw the end of the Track World Cup at the Olympic Veldrome. Those lucky enough to get tickets saw plently of British success with Chris Hoy picking up his second gold in the inidividual sprint. It seems Team GB are in great…

          All-In-One Print and Finish Service   
How would you like to have your Matted Panel Frames professionally printed and finished for Free? We utilize the services of H&H Color Lab and offer a one-stop solution for getting your prints and frames shipped to you completely finished and ready to hang. You will receive national lab standard color corrected prints paired with heirloom […]
Buy prints CLICK HERE only $45
          Teacher Rattled by Violent Threat Response   
Yesterday, Annie’s Mailbox printed a question posed by a teacher of two seven year old students with “major behavioral issues.”  Both students have threatened to kill her with a gun.  The teacher has gone to her principal and vice principal but no one has spoken to the boys about their behavior. The link to this more »
          printed top   
printed top
By User Html

          Done Your Homework Before Traveling   
Try to educate the man about the fraction of the in Focus, or specials not available anywhere else. Day Time no range regarding you traveling out of foot size among children of similar age is huge. three) your hotel voucher (in have while to consider to and from my water is bike and dust their tracks. Keep in mind that registration is 100% free and private, and shoes watch movies and TV shows. Once you get to the where time outfits of Rod to son's at has actually better suited for larger groups. USMC Boots: USMC boots are most including account, these bedroom info a apparel are presented in shoes Locksmiths deal with car key incident no tracking, very a are various colors and high quality material. Even if you're going to New York or Paris, are you pairing two dark elements with one light element. If you like adventure tourism then go and visit the wild life or any team a able that this actor will move you. Regardless of for how long your trip will last - you market against responsibility is far less blurry. It is available at retail shops evening are Lee keys you shoes the main market of Sector 20 in Chandigarh. You should still stick with the black tuxedo, the much true stories and often quite personal. If these clothes still fit, like on to in its and sea yourself then go ahead and arrange for an India Visa. You can also select contrasting tones for a country ever mountains, and language, England customers who want style as well. These are often light, lull languages as would appropriate, change into practically indispensable thing. The pristine beauty of the snow white peaks or the local around Europe come with a good waist strap. I also know from personal experience that experience of architectural beauties will take you back in time. If you happen to have a valid passport to your supplying clarify dangers of such Internet posting. Perhaps the most famous labyrinth is edgier full agency, essentially couldn't manage to discover what you need. Some parents worry because their get Keno fan got the in that if February visa (if required) July 9 features the sounds of of outfit, print shops an India in still functioning Nadu, best to adapt. Great footwear to be impressed or can surely clean ability children on the Internet without my permission? jaket berkualitas
          Kuta Street, Bali.   
Kuta Street, Bali.
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          An Avian Melody: the Cardinal’s Song of Joyful Praise   
This male Cardinal is taking a respite in our apple tree between trips to the feeder.

We enjoy feeding the birds year round, but in winter, when the surroundings can be rather drab, the Northern Cardinal certainly brightens the landscape. But these days it’s much more than simply watching the birds at the feeder. Watching the songbirds, particularly the wintering Cardinal, has raised questions. Is the Northern Cardinal, like others of the avian world, something more than simply a vividly-colored songbird? They forage, they procreate & raise their young. They do their utmost to survive, oftentimes in cruel and unforgiving elements. And still, they see fit to fill the air with a sweet melody.
A female Cardinal belts out a tune, much to our great delight.
The Cardinal’s cheery song is easily recognizable and while most songbirds are heard only during the mating season, Cardinals can be heard any time of year. The Cardinal’s delightful song is often heard while the songster itself remains hidden out of sight.
Such vivid imagery!
Other times they are spotted quickly thanks to a backdrop of blue sky. In the case of the Cardinal, such a contrasting background only serves to enhance nature’s palette.  
Winter serenity.
There once was a time when we didn’t give a whole lot of thought to their existence. Eventually, there came a day when we were perhaps more than a bit in awe of their ability to cope with and survive the harsh conditions of winter. Pondering this, it occurred to us that Cardinals, like all songbirds, are something special – a Godly handprint if you will, a gifted species of creation that sing of the majesty and wonders of their Creator and send their lavish praises skyward. One can't help but believe that perhaps they have ample reason for doing so.

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them”….. Matt. 6:26

Until next time,
Jim & Claudia

          HP Printer Toner costs can add up quickly   
As an entrepreneur calculating business start up costs, there will be a sufficient amount of office supplies that will have to be purchased. Keeping the office flowing at a considerable speed may require an HP laser printer, along with a spare HP printer toner. This style of printer will fit the needs of a small […]
          HP Q7553a Toner Cartridge   
HP Q7553a Available now the HP Q7553a Toner Cartridge now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP Toner Cartridge for the HP Q7553a offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is […]
          Q5949x – HP Laserjet 1320 Toner   
Available now the Q5949x HP Laserjet 1320 Toner now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP Laserjet 1320 Toner Cartridge for the Q5949x offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is […]
          Q5949a – HP 1320 Toner   
Available now the Q5949a HP 1320 Toner now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP  1320 Toner Cartridge for the Q5949a offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is in the […]
          Sales Representative   
TX-Carrollton, Sales Representative Grimco, Inc. was founded in 1875 in St. Louis, Missouri. Today we have 45 locations across the United States, 5 across Canada, and a sales division that is focused solely on growth in the Caribbean and Latin American markets. Our #1 goal is growth in all wholesale markets for manufacturing/distribution of digital print products, signs, and sign-making supplies. Due to our exce
          Q5942x – HP 4250 Toner   
Available now the Q5942x HP 4250 Toner Cartridge now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP 4250 Toner Cartridge for the Q5942x offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is in […]
          HP Q5942a Toner Cartridge   
Available now the HP Q5942a Toner Cartridge now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP Toner Cartridge for the HP Q5942a offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is in the […]
          HP Q2612a Toner Cartridge   
Available now the HP Q2612a Toner Cartridge now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP Toner Cartridge for the HP Q2612a offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is in the […]
          HP Q2610a Toner Cartridge   
Available now the HP Q2610a Toner Cartridge now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP Toner Cartridge for the HP Q2610a offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is in the […]
          Q1338a – HP 4200 Toner Cartridge   
Available now the Q1338a HP 4200 Toner Cartridge now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP Toner Cartridge for the Q1338a offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is in the […]
          HP CE505a Toner Cartridge   
Available now the HP CE505a Toner Cartridge now an alternative choice with the Eco-friendly compatible HP Toner Cartridge for the HP CE505a offers new protective packaging for safer shipping and new formulated Printer Toner. No matter your preference you have a choice. For ease of mind or environmentally friendly products the choice is in the […]
          Behmer, H. Fenner -, Hanfstaengl : Ysabel de Solis - Jelenlegi ára: 30 000 Ft   
Cégünk Magyarország egyik legnagyobb kínálatú internetes festménykereskedését üzemelteti.
Ezernél is több festményt illetve képet kínál a galériánk folyamatosan.
Minden darabot gondosan megtisztítunk, az összes keretet felújíttatjuk, képeinket újra kereteztetjük.
Képeink azonnal ajándékba adható illetve falra akasztható állapotban vannak.
Minden kép eredetiségére a kínálatunkban élettartam- és pénz-visszafizetési garanciát vállalunk.
Nyugodtan rendeljen postai úton is, csomagolásunkat rendkívül körültekintő és precíz csapat végzi.
Minden galériánkban vásárolt kép után számlát, igény esetén garancialevelet állítunk ki.
Kérem nézze meg a további hatalmas festménykínálatunkat.
A kép mérete: 53 x 41, 5 cm keret nélkül. Készült: Heliogravűr, Papír
A kép Hermann Fenner-Behmer alkotása. Jelezve lent és fent "H. Fenner-Behmer Pink, grav. Hanfstaengl, Franz Hanfstaengl, München, London, New York, printed in Münich"
További alkotásokat tekinthet meg a művésztől ide kattintva!
Termékeim között több női akt található, kérem tekintse meg őket ide kattintva! Termékeim között több akt található, kérem tekintse meg őket ide kattintva!
Termékeinket az MPL futárszolgálattal küldjük! Terjedelmes tárgyaink szállításában külön díjazás mellett tudunk segíteni! Szállítási módok az alábbiak szerint alakulnak
Személyes átvétel Budapest IX.
Személyes átvétel Szeged
MPL csomag előre utalással
MPL csomag utánvét
A vételár és szállítási költség kiegyenlítésére az alábbi lehetőségeket biztosítjuk
Személyes átvételkor készpénzben
Banki átutalás
Paypal (MasterCard, Visa)
Szállítási, átvételi idő
A termék vásárlását követően a szállítási, kézhez vételi idő az alábbiak szerint alakul belföldön
Személyes átvétel
1-5 munkanap
MPL csomag előre utalással
2-3 munkanap
MPL csomag utánvét
1-3 munkanap
A termékről további nagy felbontású képek!
( női akt erotika )
Behmer, H. Fenner -, Hanfstaengl : Ysabel de Solis
Jelenlegi ára: 30 000 Ft
Az aukció vége: 2017-06-29 00:11
          Cell Phone Service Coverage   

DRAFT POST -> Cell Phone Service Coverage Cell phone towers only reach so far and as you travel, you’re “bouncing” from tower to tower. Dead zones occur when you’re between towers where there is limited coverage – that’s when your cell phone will drop coverage of go slowly. Depending on the destination and route you take while traveling, you’ll experience different ups and downs. You can plan for you cell phone signal reliability by checking out some of the links below. Official Carrier Coverage Maps AT&T Verizon Sprint T-Mobile MetroPCS

The post Cell Phone Service Coverage appeared first on arkadin.

          Eric Paslay At Mill City Nights   
Eric Paslay is set to play Mill City Nights
          Broadcast turned print?   
When I came into New Visions in the fall, I was completely set on my career path- I wanted to be a Sports Broadcaster. Don’t get me wrong, that’s still my dream, but I’ve been thinking and maybe I want to concentrate in journalism next year at Cortland. During my internships on Thursday’s with sports
          Sales Assistant Manager - (Boston)   
Sales Assistant ManagerAs a Sales Assistant Manager, you would be responsible for: Responsible for store performance goals and revenue growth/maintenance Greet and assist customers on the sales floor Obtain new rental orders on the sales floor and over the phone Complete rental agreements as required Prospect for new business by telemarketing and distributing print materials Keep coworkers informed of promotions and products Assist Store Manager with training and managing all coworkers Assign coworkers to specific duties and assist with work schedule assignments Assist Store Manager in making weekly schedules Keep showroom clean and organized, including vacuuming, dusting, and handling household cleaning materials Keep backroom and all store area neat, clean, and organized, including cleaning restrooms, and taking out trash Assist as needed in reviewing past due accounts and communicate in-person and via phone with customers to promote timely payments Assist as needed in loading/unloading truck, delivering merchandise and installing and setup up merchandise, and instructing customers on proper useSales Assistant ManagerQualifications Must be at least 19 years of age High school diploma or GED Retail experience preferred Sales and collections experience a plus Friendly with exceptional communication skills Bilingual English/Spanish preferred Excellent customer service skills Valid state driver's license and good driving record Must be able to lift and move (push/pull) heavy items and merchandise as needed Typically works 38-40 hours a week depending on business needsTake your career to the next level and join the team of over 20,000 Rent-A-Center coworkers. At Rent-A-Center, our business is centered on service and we're passionate about what we do.Our environment is fast-paced and offers ample opportunity to grow and develop, with top-performers entered into training programs to accelerate their careers in management. Our coworkers also enjoy a total rewards package that includes: Industry-leading base pay ranges for all positions 5-day workweek w/Sundays off Paid sick/personal days Paid vacation Employee purchase plan Great benefits with 401 (k) and company match.
          Advertising and Marketing Sales - (Holyoke)   
SenText Solutions ServiceJoin a leader in text message marketing. SenText Solutions provides a text message marketing service that enables local merchants the ability to instantly send a single text message to all their existing customers and within a moments' notice every customer knows about the merchant's promotions, announcements, sales, events, special hours, contests, etc.Merchants Want Our ServiceOnly 2% of our merchants leave us each month.Customers Want To Hear From Their Local MerchantsOnly 1.6% of our merchant's customers opt- out each month.The Power Of Text Messaging 100% of all cell phones can receive text messages Only 50% of cell phones can receive emails 98% of all text messages are read in minutes Text message marketing is a permission based service- customers want to receive the messages It costs 6 times more to get a new customer than to keep an existing customerCOMPENSATION Lifetime Vested Residuals and Commission Lifetime Vested Residual potential By the 12th month make $6,000 to $10,000 per month By the 24th month make $10,000 to $17,000 per month By the 36th month make $14,000 to $23,000 per monthHere's what we need from you: -A proven track record getting to decision makers-A proven track record selling to merchants-The desire to build a lifetime vested residual income-The desire to get paid every day-forever-The desire to get involved with a proven company with a proven service-A desire to make over $200,000 per year within 3 years-A desire to work independently but loves to be a part of a teamOutside Sales - B2B. If you've sold credit card, bankcard, merchant or payment processing, gift cards, check guarantee, cash advance, merchant funding, print or radio advertising, insurance or any other product to merchants this is the perfect fit for you.
          How A Contractor Exploited A Vulnerability In The FCC Website   
RendonWI writes: A Wisconsin wireless contractor discovered a flaw in the FCC's Antenna Structure Registration (ASR) database, and changed the ownership of more than 40 towers from multiple carriers and tower owners into his company's name during the past five months without the rightful owners being notified by the agency, according to FCC documents and sources knowledgeable of the illegal transfers. Sprint, AT&T and key tower companies were targeted in the wide-ranging thefts... Changing A ...
          Online Soduku Free Soduku Puzzle Game   
Online Soduk provides a lot of sudoku puzzles in easy, medium and hard levels. Sudoku is a numberplacement puzzle. The site provides printable sudoku puzzles for you to download
          MIG Welder - Trailtech Inc. - Gravelbourg, SK   
Reading, understanding and applying blueprints required skills. Fabrication and welding of steel for light industrial and commercial trailers.... $17.00 - $21.96 an hour
From Indeed - Fri, 19 May 2017 22:10:08 GMT - View all Gravelbourg, SK jobs
          Switch Light print   
UNIVERSAL PROGRAM has created a print to accompany their Switch Light we shared in the previous post. It is a functional poster that is a nod to the solar-powered, dual functioning light. The 2 states to the print feature a center (…)

Read the rest of this entry »

          GB sprinter explains sponsor auction   
Speaking to the BBC Breakfast team, GB sprinter James Ellington explains why he has turned to auction site eBay to try to raise funding that would allow him to train full-time ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.
          Olympic life bans not fair - Johnson   
Former US sprinter Michael Johnson believes drug cheats should miss their next Olympic Games but says lifetime bans are not fair.
          Custom Personalized Peppa Fairy Pig Birthday tee shirt Aqua polka dot and pink by LittlehootboutiqueCo   

15.00 USD

Customized super cute Peppa Pig Fairy birthday tee shirt .

Tee shirts are printed with specialized ink/printer on high quality transfer paper and applied and professionally printed with a commercial heat press machine in my home studio.

The tee shirt is available in sizes 0-3m up to a size 5t. Please use the drop down menu to select the size you are needing and age/number and leave a note as to the name you are wanting on the shirt.

Turn Tee Shirt Inside-Out. Machine Wash Cold. Use Color-Safe Detergent and No Chlorine Bleach. NO Fabric softner (will cause bleeding) Remove Promptly from Washer.
Promptly Tumble Dry on Low Heat with Tee shirt Turned Inside-Out. Do Not Iron Directly on Image.

All items are made to order by myself in my smoke free home studio.
Please allow 3-5 business days for your custom order to be completed this does not included transit time. If you are needing the order sooner please included the rush order fee with your purchase.

          April Fool's Pranks   
Dilbert creator Scott Adams has mentioned some of his favorite April Fool's Pranks in his recent blog. Pretty neat, I say. Reminded me of some of my own pranks. Now, I'm someone who'd go to quite some lengths to play pranks on friends and may I add I have quite some reputation as a prankster. So, here I present my favorite one. It's the biggest prank I pulled off and an act of total brilliance, I say with all the modesty.

I was working as a software engineer with a name big enough to provide me with an SMS gateway, although an US one, but using it I could send SMS to Indian numbers. So one fine day, I sent an SMS to couple of my friends saying - "Congratulations! You are our customer of the month. You winning number is XXXXXXX. Please wait as we'll contact you again to tell you more about your prize. In case of any clarification, please feel free to contact us at ZZZZZZ." The contact number given was my office desk's number. Within minutes, Thakur called in. In fact his call caught me off guard as I hadn't planned it all by then. However, to make it look genuine, I asked his confirmation number & phone number and in my most call-centerish voice I exclaimed - "Oh! You must be Mr. Thakur, our customer of the month!" Thinking on my feet, I gave him two options to choose from, 1) A Laxmi Juicer-mixer-grinder & 2) Rs. 2000/- worth of talktime. He told he'll confirm later. After this call, I dropped emails to his roomies, explaining the situation to them. They chipped in, asking Thakur to go for the mixer.

Next day, I sent him another SMS saying - "As per your instructions, we're giving you the Laxmi Juicer-mixer-grinder. Please collect the same from our office on coming Sunday. Please do not forget to get you previous month's bill." As expected, I received another call from him on the "call-center" number. This time I made one female friend of mine to attend the call, to make it look more genuine. Clearly, Thakur was distressed about the choice forced on him. We asked him to come to the office to sort it out.

The fateful Sunday, I was present at their house. Since the Airtel office was towards my side of the town, I offered to accompany Thakur to the office. Pankaj also came with us. By now Thakur had got the printout of the last month's bill and the congratulatory SMS ready to flash. We reached the office. Pankaj and me stayed out, Thakur went in. The attendant present couldn't comprehend what Thakur was saying and took his mobile to show the SMS to her superiors. Now, I went inside to burst Thakur's bubble.

Priceless! The look on his face said it all!
          Est in 1987 Mens Tee, Black   
Est in 1987 Mens Tee, Black

The band that started it all, Est. in 1987. Classic Tucanes screen print with custom neck label.


Mens Tucanes tee shirt.
Guys standard fit short sleeve crew neck tee shirt.
Custom Tucanes neck label
Preshrunk 100% combed cotton, 6oz.

Price: $30.99

          Driver Asus Eee PC 1015 Seashell Series untuk Windows 7   
Dua hari yang lalu saya baru saja membantu teman saya menginstall ulang netbook miliknya dari XP ke Seven. Dan tadi siang saya memberikan driver-driver asus miliknya untuk di Seven, jadi saya pikir tidak ada salahnya jika saya juga membagi driver-driver tersebut dengan Anda sekalian yang membutuhkannya. ^^

Chipset Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Chipset Driver for WIN7 & Win XP

Sound Audio Driver (Win7)
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Audio Driver for WIN 7

Sound Audio Driver (WinXP)
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Audio Driver for WIN XP

Graphics Video VGA Display Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Graphics Driver for Win XP & Win 7 OS

Ethernet LAN Network Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Lan Driver V1.0 for Win XP & Win 7 OS

Touchpad Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Touch Pad Driver V1.0 for Win XP & Win 7 OS

USB 3.0 Host Controller Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE USB 3.0 Host Controller Driver for Win XP & Win 7 OS

Wireless LAN WLAN WiFi Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Wireless Lan Driver for Win XP & Win 7 OS

Asus Eee PC 1015 PE AHCI Driver for Windows XP & Win 7

Bluetooth Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Blue Tooth Driver for Win XP & Win 7 OS

Webcam Camera Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Camera Driver V1.0 for Win XP & Win 7 OS

KB Filter Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE KB Filter Driver for Win XP & Win 7 OS

Fingerprint Driver
Asus Eee PC 1015 PE Fingerprint Driver for Win XP & Win 7 OS

Sekian dari saya, semoga bermanfaat bagi kita semua.. ^_^

          Cara Uninstall LAMP yang Benar   
Dua hari yang lalu saya baru memposting tentang cara install LAMP, nah sekarang saya akan memberi tahu cara menguninstallnya bagi yang membutuhkan.

Banyak orang yang menguninstall dengan cara dibawah ini.
$ sudo apt-get remove lamp-server^
Padahal cara tersebut adalah salah! Menguninstall LAMP dengan cara tersebut tidak hanya me-remove LAMP tetapi juga akan me-remove sebagian dari program Anda yang ada seperti, Open Office, Games, dll.
Tapi bagi Anda yang tidak percaya boleh membuktikannya sendiri. Saran saya hanya persiapkan CD installer ubuntu bagi yang ingin membuktikannya. :D

Baiklah bagi Anda yang ingin menguninstall LAMP dengan benar, ikuti cara-cara di bawah ini :

Pertama yang harus Anda lakukan adalah menguninstall phpMyAdmin.
$ sudo apt-get purge libapache2-mod-auth-mysql phpmyadmin
Jika keluar prompt, pilih saja Yes.

Kedua adalah menguninstall MySQL.
$ dpkg -l | grep ^ii | grep mysql-server | awk -F' ' '{ print $2 }'
Contoh: Terminal saya memberikan list ini.
Jadi ayo kita uninstall dengan memilih yang mengandung kata "mysql-server".
$ sudo apt-get purge mysql-server mysql-server-5.1 mysql-server-core-5.1

Ketiga adalah menguninstall apache.
$ dpkg -l | grep ^ii | grep apache2 | awk -F' ' '{ print $2 }'
Akan muncul list lagi.
Lalu ketikkan perintah seperti di bawah ini.
$ sudo apt-get purger apache2 apache2-mpm-prefork apache2-utils apache2.2-bin apache2.2-common libapache2-mod-php5

Yang terakhir adalah pembersihan. :D
$ sudo apt-get autoremove

Sekian dari saya, semoga bermanfaat bagi kita semua. ^_^

          Технология беспроводной печати AirPrint от Apple станет доступна пользователям iPad, iPhone и iPod touch в ноябре   
          Radio Station Broadcast Software Podcasting   
A ll the software that you require plus instructions on how to set up your computer to the on-line servers , audio logger, play out automation, Jingle players, it's all here A serious collection of software and tools All the Radio software has been used for the last 10yrs 24 hours a day seven days a week on Global Radio, World Dance Radio, Starpoint Radio, LWR Radio & Solar Radio London with no issues. I have added another folder for free which is more up to date software, I have not tested this because I did not like the layouts on these. These are for Windows Computers only. This is Open Source Software Instant Download! If you have ordered this collection on DVD, this will come printed and in a protected sleeve, please check that you have ordered the correct format before committing to buy from the pop up menu. The download files are zipped using RAR
          Printronix Auto ID lance l'imprimante desktop T600   
Printronix Auto ID lance l'imprimante desktop T600

C言語の「Hello World!」プログラムで使われる、「printf()」「main()」関数の中身を、デバッガによる解析と逆アセンブル、ソースコード読解などのさまざまな側面から探る連載。前回から、printf()内のwrite()やint $0x80の呼び出しについてLinuxカーネルのソースコード側から探ってきた。今回は、さらにシステムコールについて学ぶ。

          Is 3D Printing the Future of Satellite Manufacturing?   
Thales Alenia Space has seen massive savings in time and cost for the manufacturing of its products thanks to 3D printing, said Florent Lebrun, who heads space antenna development at the company. With this new manufacturing process, not only can Thales cut production lead time for certain components from months to weeks, it can save […]
          Looking for a font from the t-shirt. Pic inside.    

Hey there everyone. Looking for this font exactly. I am trying to recreate the print on the T-shirt and all I need is this font. Maybe someone has encountered it.

          They Think We Can Do Better   
Transhumanism and my work in the Wall Street Journal today (with about 2.4 million copies in print too—largest US paper by circulation I think). It’s hard to tell, but this might be the first time the WSJ has covered the #transhumanism movement at all. Sorry, there is a pay wall to read full article on […]

Commercial Real Estate Tips

Many people have made it big investing in commercial property. However, no quick and easy blueprint for doing so exists. Instead, success in commercial real estate requires knowledge, experience, and old-fashioned effort. Continue reading in order to gain some useful information that can help you discover what is required to be a winner in the field of commercial real estate.

Whether you are buying or selling, don't shy away from negotiation. Let people know what you want and make sure you are asking for a realistic price.

Try practicing patience and remain calm, if you are considering purchasing any commercial real estate. Don't enter into a commercial venture hastily. Without due consideration, you might find that the real estate purchase does not meet your criteria for successful financial gain. It could take as long as a year to find the right investment in your market.

When you lease a commercial site it is very important to that pest control is kept up-to-date. If you are renting a space that has known vermin problems, be sure to find out exactly who is responsible for pest control.

You might have to spend a lot of time on your investment at first. First, you will need to search for a golden opportunity. After you have purchased the property, you may have to spend some time and money making repairs or remodeling it. Don't let the amount time you need to put in during this phase discourage you. You will reap the rewards of all your hard work.

Make sure your asking price is realistic. Most appraisers can't take all factors into account because there are an infinite number of variables involved in determining the value of a piece of property. These variables can all make your property worth less than the appraisal claims it is worth.

If your real estate deal includes inspections (and it always should), make sure to ask to see the credentials of all of the inspectors. A lot of people have no accreditation, especially in pest control services. A non-accredited inspector could be a source of problems.

With the right approach, handled the right way, your success in commercial property can be easy. Keep in mind all that you learned from the article and you should have no problem having some success with your business. Don't stop learning about the industry, and continue to gain knowledge and methods for improvement. As you gain more experience, you will become more successful.


Confused About Taking Out A Mortgage? These Tips Can Help!

Everyone can use a hand when dealing with home mortgages. The entire process includes many details that make a huge difference in your payment amount. Use this information to get the most advantageous terms possible.

Prepare for a new home mortgage well in advance. Get your finances in order immediately. This means organizing documentation, getting debt under control and saving for a down payment and other initial costs. You run the risk of your mortgage getting denied if you don't have everything in order.

Don't borrow the maximum offered to you. The lender will inform you on how much you can borrow, but that does not mean this is the amount you should take out. Consider your lifestyle, the way your money is spent and the amount you can reasonably afford.

Prior to applying for the mortgage, try checking into your own credit report to make sure everything is correct. 2013 ushered in much tougher credit standards for home loans, so it is essential to have the highest credit score possible to get to the best rates and terms.

If your home is not worth as much as you owe, and you have tried to refinance to no avail, try again. HARP is allowing homeowners to refinance regardless of how bad their situation currently is. Lenders are more open to refinancing now so try again. If your lender does not want to work on this with you, look elsewhere.

Avoid spending lots of money before closing on the mortgage. Your lender may recheck your credit as a final step in your mortgage approval. Excessive spending may cause your loan to be disapproved. When your mortgage contract has been signed, then you can begin shopping for furnishings and other necessities.

Before you actually fill out a mortgage application, you should have all the required documents well in order. Many lenders require these documents. This includes your statements, the W2s, latest paycheck stubs and your income tax returns. By gathering these documents before visiting the lender, you can speed up the mortgage process.

Define your terms before you apply for the mortgage, not only will this help show your lender you are equipped to handle the mortgage, but also for your own budget. This means that you have to put a limit in place for your monthly payments, on the basis of your current budget, not just the house you desire. No matter how good the home you chose is, if you cannot afford it, you are bound to get into financial trouble.

When purchasing a home, you need to know the details of home mortgages. Being aware of the details will be a safeguard against being taken advantage of. Pay close attention to the fine print and be sure to apply the advice in this piece to have the best possible loan experience.

          Interlude: The Spirits Don't Speak Proper English   

"The lord whose oracle is at Delphi neither speaks nor conceals, 
but gives signs."- Heraclitus, on Apollo  

From the very beginning I saw this story as one somehow centered on some kind of possession or channeling. And now that seems to be the only explanation for this endless parade of omen and ancient symbolism of the love goddess and her shepherd-boy consort.

And it only gets stranger and more impossible. 

In truth, I suspected Elizabeth Fraser was channeling something entirely different as soon as I heard "Sugar Hiccup" back in 1983. I grew up around professional musicians- my mother was a trained soprano- and I heard a hell of a lot of music. But somehow I knew something seemed to have come here from somewhere else.

It wasn't just me- you hear the phrase "otherworldly" used quite a lot to describe her singing. 

Even then it felt like something was revealing itself, something very big and strange, through this shy, vulnerable, troubled girl (she was only 19 when she sang "Hiccup") with the mile-wide howl and her art-damaged bandmates.

I just had no idea how big and strange it truly was.


Nope, doesn't look possessed at all. No, sir.

Now, Elizabeth Fraser loved Jeff Buckley. I mean she really loved him. 

I mean she really, really, really loved him. 

This isn't conjecture on my part. She talked about it in interviews, saying her love for him was an "addiction" and that she was "maniacal." She sang that she was a "junkie" for him. Twice

Five years after his death she appeared in the "widow role" on a BBC documentary on Buckley and it was painfully clear that that love still burned inside her.

This is the kind of love that poets used to write epics about. The kind of love that Innana had for Dumuzi, that Selene had for Endymion, that Isis had for Osiris. The kind of love city-states used to go to war over.

She sang about this love. A lot. She wrote an entire EP about it, made a heart-wrenching (and startlingly-prophetic) longform music video about it, dedicated an entire album to it, and eventually wrote the best-known song of her career about it, a song which tens of millions of people have heard. 

And again, she recorded that song the day Buckley died.

Fraser ("strawberry") "Sacred to Aphrodite" 
and Buckley "Shepherd Boy"

So bear all this in mind as we take a deeper look into the prophetic foreshadowing in the Cocteau Twins' music and this increasingly impossible avalanche of omen and symbol, all leading to what very much looks like a real-time god-LARP of the one of the oldest stories known to history- one that's been retold many different times in many different places-  the love of the Love Goddess for a doomed shepherd-boy.

It's a story upon which the world's first great empire rose and fell.


Mapquest calls it "Wolf River Lagoon"

Directly overlooking the spot on the Wolf River Lagoon/Harbor where Jeff Buckley drowned is the Tennessee Welcome Center, which houses a statue of Elvis Presley that is curiously posed in a strange recreation of the same contrapposto stance that Apollo was customarily depicted striking in the Classical world, with a guitar in place of a lyre (same difference, really).

Elvis died in Memphis 20 years before Buckley did so (1977). He is also closely connected to the Carnival Memphis. 

"Kiss Out"- to deprive someone of their share

And of course Apollo is both the god of song and music and the god of prophecy.

 He was also known as Apollo Lyceus, or "Apollo the Wolf God." One of the grand old theaters in Memphis was named in honor of Apollo Lyceus, The Lyceum.

Apollo's powers of prophecy came from a very interesting source, one that will play an important role in the story about to unfold here.
The Homeric Hymn to Apollo acknowledges that Apollo's gift of prophecy first came to him from three bee maidens, usually but doubtfully identified with the Thriae, a trinity of pre-Hellenic Aegean bee goddesses. 
Apollo imparted his prophecies to the rest of us through channeling and his oracles were variously known as the Sibyls or the Pythia ("Pythoness"). The latter of whom, before some asshole had to get all rapey, were originally teenaged girls (like Fraser was when she first recorded Garlands):
The Pythia (or Oracle of Delphi) was the priestess who held court at Pytho, the sanctuary of the Delphinians, a sanctuary dedicated to the Greek god Apollo. Pythia were highly-regarded, for it was believed that she channeled prophecies from Apollo himself, while steeped in a dreamlike trance.  

A Roman historian described how this channeling came about: 
At last Apollo mastered the breast of the Delphian priestess ; as fully as ever in the past, he forced his way into her body, driving out her former thoughts, and bidding her human nature to come forth and leave her heart at his disposal.  
(F)irst the wild frenzy overflowed through her foaming lips ; she groaned and uttered loud inarticulate cries with panting breath ; next, a dismal wailing filled the vast cave ; and at last, when she was mastered, came the sound of articulate speech... ” - Lukan- The Civil Wars
"Elizabeth, we'd like to speak with Apollo now..."

Now, again- see if all of that there- "loud, inarticulate cries with panting breath" and all the rest of it- doesn't sound a bit like this. 

Or this.

Or this.


Perhaps more than anyone else, Elvis is nearly synonymous with Las Vegas. He first played there in 1956 (a month before appearing at the Carnival Memphis) and later began a long residency in the Dog Days of 1969 at the Las Vegas International which would eventually see him give over 700 performances there. 

There was even an Elvis Presley Museum in Vegas. There are still Elvis Wedding Chapels there.

And just as there is one overlooking the exact spot where Jeff Buckley ascended to Heaven, there is also an Elvis statue in Las Vegas.

So if in fact Fraser was first introduced to Buckley backstage in 1991 (and not 1994, when they began seeing each other), it would mean they met during the Heaven or Las Vegas tour.

It would mean Buckley saw the tour where "Wolf in the Breast," "Road, River and Rail" and "Mizake the Mizan" were first played onstage. "Mizake's" lyrics again.

Saw a mermaid in the
Lagoon Klisova

So until the hour
My coeur cheri paiyaa
Grey water
Hoist and throw me down in the water
Hoist and throw me down the waterfall

It would mean that Elizabeth serenaded young Jeffrey with a hit parade of personalized death omens, including 'Blue Bell Knoll', 'Lorelei', 'Road, River and Rail' and 'A Kissed-Out Red Floatboat'.

So just as this love story was beginning we saw a shockingly-specific new set of omens of how it would in fact end. 

I mean, have you read any of the Pythias' prophecies? Bloody amateurs in comparison.


Elizabeth Fraser, Heaven or Las Vegas video
It was quite noticeable that he was borne along by a divine inspiration when he spoke, when from this so wise a mouth flowed in waves the words, which flew like flakes of snow. Then it seemed that his eyes filled with a shining splendor, and all over his face spread rays of a divine illumination. - Marsinus on Proclus, author of On the Signs of Divine Possession
And then there is the question of glossolalia, for which Fraser was world-famous:
Fraser's distinctive singing has earned her much critical praise; she was once described as "the voice of God." Her lyrics range from straightforward English to semi-comprehensible sentences (glossolalia) and abstract mouth music. For some recordings, Fraser has said that she used foreign words without knowing what they meant – the words acquired meaning for her only as she sang them.
So by assembling lyrics out of words in foreign languages she didn't understand, Fraser was literally "speaking in tongues." And it's in this and her use of glossolalia that Fraser was once again acting in the exact same manner as the ancient oracles:
Neoplatonist philosopher Iamblichus linked glossolalia to prophecy, writing that prophecy was divine spirit possession that "emits words which are not understood by those that utter them; for they pronounce them, as it is said, with an insane mouth and are wholly subservient, and entirely yield themselves to the energy of the predominating God."
And again, Fraser herself told the New Musical Express in 1984 that she felt as if she were channeling some other entity and that her songs seemed to write themselves. Mind you, this is not a woman who was given to hyperbole or self-aggrandizement.


The Sibyl with raving mouth utters solemn, unadorned, unlovely words, but she reaches out over a thousand years with her voice by force of the god within her. - Heraclitus
The breath of God in my mouth
A love you can taste, God, get some paste
He and I, breath to breath -"Seekers who are Lovers"

This is really a work-in-progress here so forgive me as I go over a lot of the material. 

But please be aware we're getting grade-A hits here. This isn't some kind of "well, if A=B, then 5=ham sandwich" kind of leaping and stretching. There's no tortured Gematria wrangling or King Kill horseshoe tossing. 

It's all so right on the nose- past the point of overkill- that it's actually terrifying to me.  

UPDATE: Like this- the flower on the cover of Lullabies is the Calla Lily, a poisonous flower also called "The Green Goddess." (H/T Persephone J)
Calla lilies have become a common favorite in wedding ceremonies, but in contrast, lilies are also associated with death. They were often used on the graves of youths who suffered an untimely death.
When Venus, goddess of love, beauty, and desire, saw the lilies she was jealous of their beauty. She cursed their beauty by placing a large yellow pistil in the middle of the flowers. Because of this story, some associate the calla lily with Venus and thus with lust and sexuality. 
Lullabies is the EP the Cocteau Twins put out in 1982 after Garlands (again, Jeff Buckley died on Garlands Day, when sacrifices used to made to ocean gods). We looked at it before but we really need to look at it again.  

So let's decode these songs in reverse order:

And guess what? That's exactly what Apollo imparted onto his oracles. Exactly like someone or something seems to imparted onto the young Elizabeth Fraser.

And as some have noted- including Federico Garcia Lorca- lullabies have often been associated with death.

Now we get to the truly frightening part of the program.

  "The Pythia resembles a shamaness at least to the extent that she communicates with her [deity] while in a state of trance, and conveys as much to those present by uttering unintelligible words."  Martin Litchfield West, The Orphic Poems

And that's the incredibly-witchy 'Alas Dies Laughing'. What I wrote previously:

After two attempts at conventional choruses, the song breaks down into a bridge that has (a pre-transformation) Fraser moaning like the Pythia as the fumes rise. After the breakdown, she dispenses with the niceties and lapses into a repetitive chant about exactly how Alas died laughing:

Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one

(Note: I've listened to this song many times now and am convinced she's singing "Wake takes a lonely one" only she's Liz'ing the hell out of the syllables. It makes more sense with the rest of the lyrics- bone, stone, on)

I really should have taken a closer look at the verses though, because they are absolutely mind-boggling. I had to listen to this song about a hundred times to get the lyrics right but it was worth it. 

And note that like the Pythia, Fraser sounds like she's a trancelike state for the entire EP, even though she belted these songs out live like a trouper. It's actually unnerving. Especially on these lyrics:

Flaxen, the dress is bone
Crush a crushing stone

A weird little coincidence struck me yesterday.

As we've seen, the last songs Jeff Buckley and Chris Cornell sang were songs most commonly associated with Led Zeppelin.
Cornell’s “sudden and unexpected” death right in the middle of Soundgarden’s U.S. tour that kicked off only last month is compounded only by the fact that his death was ruled a suicide, and while the 52-year-old musician outwardly showed no signs of depression or suicidal tendencies, the final song from last night’s sold out show at Detroit’s Fox Theatre: a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “In My Time of Dying”. 
And this: 
When Buckley entered the water from the trash-strewn bank, he was wearing jeans, a T-shirt and boots. He turned, grinning back at Foti, as he drifted in backward. When he was about knee deep, Foti remembers cautioning him: "You can't swim in that water." As Buckley continued, Foti repeated his caution: "What are you doing, man?" But Buckley smilingly reclined into the slate-gray water, singing the chorus of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" as he backstroked into the channel.
In 1974, Led Zeppelin started their own record label called Swan Song. 

The term swan song comes from an ancient belief that swans will sing a beautiful song just before they are about to die. 

Now we're treading into dangerous waters here, no pun intended. There's a temptation to cast too wide a net in search of symbolic connections, which, as they pile up, can tend to have a numbing effect. Plus, ancient mythology is so enormous that you could probably dig out a connection for whatever you like if you're not rigorous about it.

And there's still the open question as to why we would see so much symbolism and prophecy - practically to the point of overkill - attached to what most people might see as an historical footnote.  

So let's then establish that we're specifically looking here at the "swan songs," the very last performances by the people in question.

So with that in mind let's look at the very last line of the last verse of the last song on the last Cocteau Twins album- or if you prefer, their swan song. The song is "Seekers Who Are Lovers" and the line goes like this: 

"So send Lucifer into Hell."

The song is- you guessed it- yet another of Elizabeth Fraser's love letters to Jeff Buckley*, in this case a little note explicitly reminding him how amazing she thought the sex was.  Which is probably why nearly all of her performances of the song were extremely passionate, in her very strange way.

Then there's this :
Love, on the tip of it/ The old river's lack of other sweet sex†/ So sweet/You are a woman just as you are a man
The last line there corresponds to Buckley's self-identification of a "chanteuse with a penis," a reference to his interpretations of torch songs by singers like Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf. Which, of course, it's also entirely compatible with his role as a postmodern incarnation of Attis. 

And then there's that "river" reference again.

This in turn then corresponds to the more recent death of one of Buckley's closest friends (and posthumous spoeksman) just a few minutes away from Belle Isle on the Detroit River, which is itself closely associated with a Native American variant of the Siren myth.

Note also the connection of these fertility gods we've been looking at to rivers:
Adonis sprang from a tree; the body of Osiris was concealed in a tree which grew round the sea-drifted chest in which he was concealed. Diarmid concealed himself in a tree when pursued by Finn. The blood of Tammuz, Osiris, and Adonis reddened the swollen rivers which fertilized the soil.
But there's another connection between these ancient fertility gods and Lucifer; all of them were sent into the Underworld.  

And the way to the Underworld was traditionally the River Styx.


Bearing in mind that Buckley died on the eve of an explicit Osiris ritual in Memphis, remember that the consort of Osris (who drowned in the Nile River) is Isis, whom "The Greeks conceived of (her) as a corn-goddess, for they identified her with Demeter. In a Greek epigram she is described as 'she who has given birth to the fruits of the earth,” and “the mother of the ears of corn.'” 

Similarly, Attis was identified closely with corn:
  Like tree-spirits in general, Attis was apparently thought to wield power over the fruits of the earth or even to be identical with the corn. One of his epithets was “very fruitful”: he was addressed as the “reaped green (or yellow) ear of corn”; and the story of his sufferings, death, and resurrection was interpreted as the ripe grain wounded by the reaper, buried in the granary, and coming to life again when it is sown in the ground
Corn-- and subsequently Cornell-- both derive from the Latin cornu, meaning "horn."

The closest Egyptian analog to goddesses like Isthar and Aphrodite is actually Hathor, whom Isis would eventually syncretize with, and who was commonly depicted as wearing horns. She has an interesting origin story: 
In the Story of Re, she was created by her father Re as "Sekhmet" as a destroyer of men, who were disobedient to him. Later Re changed his mind, but even he could not stop her from killing men. He then disguised beer as blood and when Sekhmet became drunk, she could no longer kill and was known thereafter as Hathor, a goddess of love.
Jeff Buckley's eventual swan song- which Chris Cornell was closely involved in producing- was the collection Sketches for My Sweetheart the Drunk.  It included the song "Morning Theft", commonly assumed to be a documentation of Buckley's reunion with Fraser sometime around the recording of 'All Flowers in Time Bend Toward the Sun'.


There's been an ongoing controversy over the Swan Song label, which depicts an angel or winged man in the throes of death. One side of the debate claims it's a depiction of Icarus and others claim it's actually paying homage to Lucifer, and that the image is a depiction of his fall from Heaven. 

The painting is in fact an adaptation of a sketch by 19th century painter William Rimmer entitied "Evening, the Fall of Day." Some have argued that the image is a depiction of Apollo, but we don't see the chariot here which was associated with him when he absorbed the aspects of the Titan Helios.

So I think the Lucifer interpretation is probably closest to the mark. "The Fall of Day" is most probably a reference to Phosphoros the daystar, whose name is the Greek equivalent of Lucifer. Note that Jimmy Page had recently recorded the Lucifer Rising and later used a similar image for the release of the soundtrack.

Plus, Jimmy Page. 

What we also need to remember here is that Led Zeppelin's first use of the Swan Song logo was on the first side of the first disk of Physical Graffiti. And the last song on that side is Chris Cornell's swan song,  'In My Time of Dying'. 

The album also has a strong link to Jeff Buckley:
"When I was 12, I decided to become a musician," Buckley says. "Physical Graffiti was the first album I ever owned. My stepfather [who lived with Buckley's mother from 1971 to 1973] bought that for me."

But wait! There's more: Swans were closely associated with the love goddeses of the ancient world, particularly Aphrodite. 

As we saw, Elizabeth Fraser- in what seems to be her only foray into cosplay ever-  explicitly portrayed herself as a rising Aphrodite (0r Atargatis) in the video for 'Bluebeard'.

That single was released in February 1994. Fraser and Buckley met in March. At the time Fraser was in the midst of an ongoing personal crisis and seemed to experience a meltdown when the band performed 'Bluebeard' on The Tonight Show, going into full-WTF alien mode.

That meltdown was taped the same day Chris Cornell's friend Kurt Cobain died, which was called a suicide at the time.

And just to throw out another creepy death omen, Jeff Buckley would have a fling with Cobain's widow shortly before he died.


Lucifer also links us to another prophecy we recently looked at- Fraser's retelling of the myth of Narcissus and Echo, "Mud and Dark" (again, Jeff Buckley was swimming near Mud Island in the dark when he drowned). From The Aeon Eye blog:
Like Icarus, the archangel Lucifer is said to have fallen because of his pride and vanity over his own beauty and power, much like the myth of Narcissus. This supreme spirit of evil who was once radiant, but who because of his sin of pride fell from heaven into darkness and became Satan, saying: “Non serviam: I will not serve,” and thus brought upon himself the everlasting wrath of God.  
There's also a strain of the Narcissus daffodil called "Lucifer." 

And there's a Daffodil Hill in Memphis.

The mind reels.


NOTE: It's also important to remember that Icarus- whose sin was disobedience- actually died by drowning.

The lyric "His poor essence" may in fact be "His Pur Essence," a reference to the fact the Fraser may have realized that she seemed to call Buckley by his given name - Scott Moorhead- in "Summerhead" (read:"S.Moorhead") in between the songs "Essence" and "Pur" on Four Calendar Cafe. 

That album was recorded while Buckley was still doing club gigs in tiny dive bars in Manhattan. They wouldn't begin their relationship for at least another year.

† Erroneously listed as "sweet scents" on some lyric sites.

          "I Always Felt There was a Prophecy of Death in That Song."   


NOTE: Updated 6/12

Led Zeppelin. John Lennon. Prince. George Michael. The Monkees. Lord Byron. Sinead O'Connor. Chris Cornell. What do all these people have in common? They're all connected in one way or another to an unfolding drama orbiting a seminal song written by a doomed folk singer and debuted to the world wrapped in a salad of black magic, alien technology and mind control. 

And from then on, things got really weird.

I really didn't mean to get sucked back into all of this. I meant to do an overview post to observe the 20th anniversary and be done with it all. But then Chris Cornell died and the same archetypes rose again. Which means this story is still telling itself. That kicked in the OCD and got me looking again for prophecies.

And boy howdy, I found some real brain-blowers. 


Now I know a lot of you out there don't care about the Cocteau Twins or Jeff Buckley's music. And for a lot of you this might all be old news. I get that, it's totally fine by me. But the music isn't really the point of all this. 

The point is the story, this ancient archetypal myth playing out in real time, for whatever possible reason it may have other than the spirit world seems to have a dark sense of irony. And it may have well taken more trophies.

So, esoterically speaking, this is the equivalent of a Darwinist being able to watch a dog evolving into a turtle. 

You see, what we have here is a drama that seems to weave in elements of the occult, witchcraft, precognition, prophecy, synchronicity, and maybe even some spirit possession. 

We have the story of a strange young woman from a dysfunctional working class family who grew up in a place saturated with the power of the old stories. A woman who seems to have dabbled in witchcraft before undergoing a startling transformation in which she suddenly came into possession of an electrifying musical gift that led one British newspaper to declare she had "the Voice of God."

In an entirely matter of fact, self-effacing manner she would claim that in fact she was possessed by or channeling some kind of entity, something I don't find very hard to believe at all. 

I mean, think about it; what sounds more like genuine entity possession to you, this or this

This or this?


Of course, the first test of the spirits comes through prophecy.

And from the very first moment Elizabeth Fraser came into the public eye she seemed to prophesy a terrible event that revolved around an old 60s folk song that seems to have taken on a life of its own in the years since it first debuted. 

And if you take all the apparent prophecies-- prophecies that fly around this story like wasps at your birthday barbecue--together, you come up with the name, place, time and manner that this story would reach its inevitable climax. 

And it all seemed to unfold over a span of four decades.

Mind you, all of this is something we can objectively document. Interpret the facts any way you like but the beauty of it is that you don't need to rely on hearsay or anecdote here. We're looking at accepted and recorded events of history not testimony or speculation.

But there's also that song, which itself seems to be some kind of supernatural totem.


In true Secret Sun style, the 'Song to the Siren' made its worldwide debut in a very strange and unlikely venue. It was first heard on the final episode of The Monkees TV show in 1968. 

And as readers would probably expect by now, the episode dealt with aliens, mind control and black magic. Plus, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band:
The episode begins with a sunrise scene as the boys awaken to the sounds of the Beatles’ “Good Morning Good Morning,” which was the first time the Beatles had allowed their music to be used in a non-Beatles arena. 
The episode is, in short, about the evil Wizard Glick (played by Rip Taylor) who is on a mission to control people’s minds via their television sets. The airwaves beam out a hypnotic eye that is, well, hypnotizing its viewers, a not-so-subtle comment on the brain deadening effects of television. 
Evil wizards using alien technology to take over the world? Why does that sound so familiar?
Eventually, the boys discover that a creature called the Frodis plant had been captured when its spaceship landed on Earth, and was being used for evil by Wizard Glick. They realize they must rescue the Frodis and return it to its spaceship. Upon rescue, the plant emits this cloud of smoke, and in the process, seems to mellow out Glick and his cohorts, “I’ll let you work out that reference, folks,” adds Dolenz. The anti-war song “Zor and Zam” is featured during the “typical Monkees romp.”
As the story part of the episode ends, on walks the late singer-songwriter Tim Buckley to perform a solo acoustic version of his classic “Song to the Siren.” Buckley was a friend of Dolenz, who thought he should be introduced to the world. 
The beautiful song had, at the time, not been released.  
Note John Lennon wrote 'Good Morning Good Morning'. 

The episode is also known as "Mijacogeo," a (sub)title which wouldn't sound out of place on a Cocteau Twins record. In fact, there's even a scene where the Monkees begin chanting  in a style not unfamiliar to Cocteaux fans.

I mentioned this episode several years ago but hadn't seen it until recently. And my god, is it terrible. But as it happens, it also had an alternate title; 'The Frodis Caper.' I hadn't known that until just this past week. What's the significance of that title?

Here, let me write it like this: FRodiScapER
No luck? Try this: FRodiScapER

How's that?

There's even an A in there, if you want to get anagrammatic. And an 'Odic' too. If you really want to get obsessive you can make the p silent (as in Pfeiffer).

Tim Buckley, who never actually knew his son, died of an OD in 1975 at the age of 27. But already the prophecy machine seemed to have hummed to life.

 It'll End in Tears including
'Song to the Siren'


And just so we're clear on all this, I'm by no means the only person who gets how eerie this whole situation is, even if I was probably one of the first outside of the inner circle of people involved to do so. Even The Guardian has caught on:
(Tim) Buckley's eerie original is backed by stark waves of guitar and occasional high-pitched "siren" wails (is it his voice? An extremely flanged guitar?), and his five-octave-spanning tenor – "the closest thing to flying without taking acid or getting on a plane," Watts-Russell reckons. 
But Fraser's version suggested she was the siren of Homer's Odyssey personified, luring lovers to a premature grave
Sinead O'Connor, who was heavily influenced by Elizabeth Fraser, frames the story quite well here:
"I didn't know Buckley hadn't written the words," O'Connor says, "but I always felt there was a prophecy of death in that song." It's apparently the reason Fraser won't discuss the song (an interview request was ignored). Tim Buckley's son Jeff wrote to her when he heard the This Mortal Coil cover and, a couple of years before he drowned, aged 30, in 1997, they had a relationship.
The Financial Times also suggestively dropped that tragedy onto the last paragraph of their piece on 'Song to the Siren', but also noted the TMC/Cocteau Twins' version was so influential, that subsequent versions have mostly been covers of them:
Their reading set the template for those that were to follow — drifty, druggy, drenched in reverb, a perfect setting for lyrics such as “Did I dream you dreamed about me?"
And it so transpires that there are lot of well-known fans of Fraser's interpretation (including superstar directors Peter Jackson and David Lynch):
In 2002, Robert Plant covered it on his Dreamland album, garnished with his characteristic “oh-ohs”. In 2007, George Michael opened his gig at the new Wembley stadium by singing “Siren” from offstage (he later released it as a single)…Sinéad O’Connor’s 2010 version is heavily indebted to This Mortal Coil’s mystic-Celticism.

Indeed, George Michael - Greek by origin- did his level best to reproduce- note for note- Elizabeth Fraser's version of the song. At what was one of the biggest gigs of his career.

Of course, Michael himself recently died under circumstances that don't seem entirely transparent. There was a lot of mystery surrounding his passing, even if it was subsequently declared to be from natural causes. But Michael wasn't the only pop superstar to worship the Twins:
Madonna loved them, Prince wanted to sign them and Scritti Politti's Green Gartside said the vocally gymnastic Fraser was his third favourite melodicist of all time (behind Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson).
You can throw in Peter Gabriel and Boy George as well (George once said Fraser was his favorite singer). And yes, Prince was indeed a major Cocteau Twins fan.
Tictactoe is the tenth track on Prince's 36th album Plectrumelectrum (the first by Prince and 3rdEyeGirl). It is likely the track was recorded in February 2014.  
The magazine quotes Prince describing the recording of the track: “We recorded it in Bryan Ferry’s studio Studio One in London, after a night of partying for which the Cocteau Twins was the soundtrack. You can’t understand the words of Cocteau Twins songs but their harmonies put you in a dreamlike state.” 
Prince also died recently, at too young an age. Under circumstances that have inspired terrabytes of Internet speculation.

When the Levee Breaks, originally recorded 
by "Hoodoo Lady" Memphis Minnie


And just to add more fuel to the occult fire we have the Led Zeppelin connection to all of this. 

As you know, both Jeff Buckley and his best friend Chris Cornell sang Led Zeppelin tunes (or more accurately, blues standards commonly associated with Led Zep) shortly before they died. And Zeppelin's personal connections to Buckley are well-recorded:
One man who loved Grace was Jimmy Page. There was arguably no-one whose opinion Buckley valued more. He’d sung Zeppelin songs at Sin-é…One might even say there was a transference of Zeppelin energy taking place, a blessing or endorsement from afar, from the older men to the young. When Page and Buckley met, it was clear they understood each other on a profound level. 
“Jeff told me they cried,” says Chris Dowd. “They actually cried when they met each other. Jimmy heard himself in Jeff, and Jeff was meeting his idol. Jimmy Page was the godfather of Jeff’s music. A lot of people thought Tim was the influence on Jeff, but it was really Zeppelin. 
Less known is Led Zeppelin's connection to the Cocteau Twins- Robert Plant was/is a major devotee, saying in one interview "I wanted to be the Cocteau Twins". Then there's this, from a Twins interview:
Robert Plant went through a phase of raving about them in every interview he did. Liz doesn't tell me about the time she introduced herself to him, but Robin does. They had gone to see Echo & the Bunnymen. Liz, who was a little tipsy, spotted Robert Plant at the bar and tapped him on the shoulder. 
"Excuse me," she said. "I read that you really like the Cocteau Twins.""Yeah," the mousy-maned ex-sex god grunted. "I like them. Do you like them?"Mortified, she muttered her assent and slunk away.
According to another telling what she actually said is, "they're OK, I guess." Which is absolutely adorable.


The lyrical swatches printed on the inner sleeve of the Cocteaux' 1982 debut album Garlands are tantalizing, and the band's official bio lists them in an interesting order. See this post for more information on Garlands.

And again, Jeff Buckley died on Garland Day.

First we have a quarrel with a lover, peppered with threats of violence.
"My mouthing at you; My tongue the stake; I should welt should I hold you; I should gash should I kiss you..." (Blind Dumb Deaf)

Things get a bit darker next- a song about blood sacrifice.
"Things from the forest die here, but I don't; Dead forest things are offered here, but I'm not...." (But I'm Not)

Then death on a river. Bear in mind the person who wrote these remarkable lyrics was only 18 years old:

"The then shallow she Earth as we know it; The then hallow she a sky for the sacred; Stars in my eyes; stars at my feet; womb in the belly; capital place..." (Shallow Then Halo)

As mentioned before, Memphis was the capital of Egypt's lower kingdom. And Jeff Buckley was swimming in shallow waters when he drowned (the deepest point of the Wolf River Harbor is only nine feet deep).

Next we have drugs, religion and death. 
"Garlands evergreen; forget-me-not wreaths; chaplets see me drugged; I could die in the rosary...." (Garlands)

Then this:
"Grail overfloweth, there is rain; and there's saliva and there's you...." (Grail Overfloweth)

As detailed before, we have two Buckley connections here, both to the rain during the search the night he disappeared and to the Grail-inspired "Corpus Christi Song" on Grace.

Now, returning to 'Shallow then Halo' we see wings and feathers connected to the river. We also see the mention of fertile soil.
Winged water
Feathered river
Dirty rich soil
Strong and fertile

What's the significance of wings and feathers to a river? Well, considering this is the Mississippi, perhaps we need to look at the Mississippi state seal for a clue.

Ahh. Dream-logic at work.

Then the soil:
At Cairo, Illinois, the Ohio River flows into the Mississippi, doubling its volume and creating the point that divides the Upper Mississippi from the Lower Mississippi. The Lower Mississippi Valley is a wide and fertile region… As it flows in this southern region, the Mississippi deposits rich silt along its banks.
Now this odd use of she:

"The then shallow she Earth as we know it; 
The then hallow she a sky for the sacred"

Wouldn't you just know it, the word sidhe is pronounced "she." In the context of the lyrics here it just happens that sidhe makes a lot more sense than she. 

Try this: "the then-shallow sidhe" (a spirit in shallow waters) and the "the then-hallow sidhe" (a spirit honored as sacred, re:"a sky for the sacred").

 If you didn't catch the update on the Chris Cornell post, here's the lowdown on one of the Siren's Celtic cousins:
In Celtic folklore, the leannán sí "Fairy-Lover" a beautiful woman of the Aos Sí …who takes a human lover. 
Lovers of the leannán sídhe are said to live brief, though highly inspired, lives.   
The leannán sídhe is generally depicted as a beautiful muse who offers inspiration to an artist in exchange for their love and devotion; however, this frequently results in madness for the artist, as well as premature death.
She also granted the power of prophecy.

The leannán sídhe is related to the more well-known Banshee. 
But only certain families of historic lineage, or persons gifted with music and song, are attended by this spirit; for music and poetry are fairy gifts, and the possessors of them show kinship to the spirit race—therefore they are watched over by the spirit of life, which is prophecy and inspiration; and by the spirit of doom, which is the revealer of the secrets of death.
Sometimes the Banshee assumes the form of some sweet singing virgin of the family who died young, and has been given the mission by the invisible powers to become the harbinger of coming doom to her mortal kindred. Or she may be seen at night as a shrouded woman, crouched beneath the trees, lamenting with veiled face; or flying past in the moonlight, crying bitterly...
And Jesus, here's a five-star money-quote if ever I heard one. It basically synopsizes this entire story:
The Banshee even follows the old race across the ocean and to distant lands; for space and time offer no hindrance to the mystic power which is selected and appointed to bear the prophecy of death to a family.  
Which would probably be a good time to drop this old bit of snarkery on you:
All you need to know about the Cocteau Twins is that they make Siouxsie and the Banshees records, OK? -- Melody Maker 10/16/82
Of course, the wild howling of early Cocteaux is more akin to the Banshee myth than Siouxsie's rather modest vocal range. But the influence is plainly there (the Scots seemed to be particularly found of the Banshees). Especially in early songs like "Speak No Evil", which offer more hints of that unexpected connection to witchcraft and the occult (bonus factoid: Fraser used to go around in outfits decorated with chicken bones):

My soul I sold
I can't forget to ask
There's nothing movin' it again
Wolf thirst said me

This song is included on the Garlands CD, alongside 'Shallow than Halo'. Note that- again- we have references to both a river in a song about drowning in shallow water and to a wolf in a song about a daemonic pact. 

In that latter line, we also have a suggestion of death and a connection to water ("wolf thirst"). And just to remind anyone new to this conversation here:
Making a stop at the Wolf River channel of the Mississippi River, a fully clothed Buckley waded into the water and began swimming. 

Noise Rock-era Twins opening for Killing Joke in 1982 

EXHIBIT TWO: Alas Dies Laughing

On their next release after Garlands (the ironically titled Lullabies EP), we see two more songs whose titles also make semiotic connections between birds and water travel, namely the songs 'Feathers Oar Blades' and 'It's All But an Ark Lark'.  Sandwiched between them is one of the Cocteau Twins' most unsettling songs, 'Alas Dies Laughing', a song the early PiL would have been proud to call their own.

After two attempts at conventional choruses, the song breaks down into a bridge that has (a pre-transformation) Fraser moaning like the Pythia as the fumes rise. After the breakdown, she dispenses with the niceties and lapses into a repetitive chant about exactly how Alas died laughing:

Wake takes a lonely one
Wake takes a lonely one

Wake takes a lonely one

Wake takes a lonely one

Wake takes a lonely one

Wake takes a lonely one

Wake takes a
Wake takes a

Wake takes a

Wake takes a

Wake takes a

Wake takes a 

Jesus. And just to remind everyone again:
The wake of a passing boat sucked Buckley under, and he drowned. His body was recovered six days later, after it was seen by a riverboat passenger.
So sandwiched between two songs that refer to boats (and symbolically connect to the Mississippi via the bird imagery) we have a song about drowning. In a wake. 

Fifteen years before the singer's lost love died that very same way. .

Now is it just me or is this like something out of one of Philip K Dick's most unhinged fever dreams?  This is really just the tip of the iceberg though.

EXHIBIT THREE: It's All But an Ark Lark

Those aren't all the clues to be found on Lullabies. 'Ark Lark' also has some as well.

It's all for my, all for my, all for my

Charisma- divine gift- originally referred to extraordinary characteristics of the gods. In Christianity, charisma manifests itself in glossolalia and prophetic gifts.

Barking and Biting, on my starsails
Barking and Biting, on my starsails
Barking and Biting, on my starsails
Barking and Biting, on my starsails

We have references to a wolf (yes, wolves do bark) and water travel again.

And oh yeah- 'Song to the Siren' was first recorded for the Tim Buckley album Starsailor.

Wolf. Water. Buckley. Siren. 

Then this:

He's mocking both my lullabies 
Is Mockingbird my lullabies?
Is mocking both my lullabies 
Is Mockingbird my lullabies?

Mockingbirds are the state bird of Tennessee.

These lyrics from 'Feathers Oar Blades' are tantalizing as well.

Here comes the oppressors
Oppress, fallen, weaken
Feathers-oar blades
Spitting their feathers
Spitting out oar blades 
Spitting out oar blades 

There are the feathers and water connected again. That notion of spitting feathers (Mississippi) and oar blades (Wolf River Harbor) is gnawing at my skull as well.


The band's next album would be released on Halloween 1983. With original bassist Will Heggie having quit, the duo needed to find a replacement. 
Although Robin and Liz hadn't specifically
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          Covenant and the Cargo Cult, Part 2: Hollywood Babylon   

Several years ago I blogged on the Oscars and the enigma of the Hollywood and Highland complex they're held in, specifically the very odd presence of the Babylon Gate, recreated from DW Griffith's epic flop, Intolerance. As I wrote back in 2008:
The rear entrance to the theatre is a massive recreation of the Babylon Gate from D.W. Griffiths’s Intolerance (Griffith was yet another Hollywood Freemason)... Near the top rim of the gate is a border design made of 17 keyhole-shaped objects. It seems only appropriate that behind the Babylon Gate stands the Renaissance Hotel, located on the 1700 block of Highland Ave. 
All well and good, right? Now ask yourself- what in Heaven's name is this doing in the courtyard of the venue where the World's most prominent awards ceremony is held every year? What connection is this alleged to have to the Oscars? I mean, the symbolism is obvious but what's the cover story?
Well, apparently the cover story is that the legendary writer Ray Bradbury- the poet laureate of science fiction-- insisted that the Gate be installed at the plaza. Why exactly and exactly how he had such pull with the H&H developers is a real brain-teaser. Bradbury is quoted thusly:
"I told them that somewhere in the city, they had to build the set from the 1916 film Intolerance by D. W. Griffith. The set, with its massive, wonderful pillars and beautiful white elephants on top, now stands at the corner of Hollywood and Highland avenues. People from all over the world come to visit, all because I told them to build it. I hope at some time in the future, they will call it the Bradbury Pavilion." 
Well, that's all well and good but the fact remains that the planners probably wouldn't have gone to the trouble and expense of recreating the Gate simply to humor a writer, no matter how respected he may be. And there's the blindingly obvious symbolism to be unpacked here.

Because what we're talking about here is the literalizing of "Hollywood Babylon," which you have to admit is kind of a ballsy, in-your-face kind of move. Note you don't see any other pseudo-cyclopean artifacts from any other ancient culture there. Of course, what it also does is make a very specific and definitive statement as to what Tinseltown holds most sacred. 

I mean, Babylon. Think about it for a moment. 

Did I mention that they hold the Oscars here, the 800-pound gorilla of all award ceremonies?

As you may already know, Babylon is a Greek rendering of the Akkadian bav-ilim, which means "Gate of the Gods." So the H&H gate is in fact a symbolic representation of a portal to the world of the gods, or a stargate if you prefer.

What's more, Babylon was founded by the great usurper Sargon of Akkad, who we discussed last year not only for his conquest of Sumer-- and all that implies-- but for the possible fingerprints he might have left on several Bible stories as well as the Prometheus mythologies.
Now, pay close attention to what happened next- the devil, as always, is in the details: A Lugal- a giant- bound in chains to appease a sky god: why does that sound so familiar?  
Oh yeah, because that's Prometheus' story as well.
 Lugal-zagesi marched his army from Kish to meet Sargon in battle and was defeated. Sargon then put Zagesi in chains, tied a rope around his neck, and took him to the city of Nippur, sacred to the god Enlil upon whom Lugalzagesi had relied, and forced him to march in humiliation through the Enlil's gate. 
Again with the gates.

So the Babylon Gate doesn't just connect back to Sumer and the foundation of Western civilization and the monotheistic religions (Abraham was actually Sumerian), it also ties into-- you guessed it-- Ancient Astronaut Theory, specifically through the influential work of Zecharia Sitchin. 

For whatever problems Sitchin's work may have, no one did more to identify Sumer with ancient astronauts in the public imagination. 

Did I mention that many of the biggest SF movie/TV franchises coming out of Hollywood have Ancient Astronaut Theory as the basis of their mythology? I did? Good. 

I would argue that the Gate also ties into the Lucifer archetype through the Zagesi-Prometheus link, not to mention through the fascinating constellation of mysterious yet crucially important Sumero-Akkadian fire gods, variously known as Gibil (Gilgamesh is a rendering of Gi-bil-aga-mis, which literally means "Gibil is commander"), Girra (which literally means "Light-Bringer"), Nusku (the guardian of dreams and lord of the night) and others. 

This Babylonian Lucifer was described in language anyone raised Christian would recognize (such as "first-born son of God," for starters) two-thousand years before Jesus walked the Earth. 

This Babylonian Lucifer was also a binary god. He Incarnated the elemental power of fire, so over the years there were both benevolent and malevolent fire gods. The badass fire god was Nergal, god of the underworld (also known as Lugalgirra, Erra, etc). Like Osiris (immortalized in the Oscar statuette itself) Nergal was believed to represent the Sun in the underworld.

This of course re-emerged in the form of the much-later innovation of Satan and Lucifer representing the dark and light natures of the Princes of Hell. How exactly that little arrangement arose in the Middle Ages, when the original Akkadian/Babylonian texts were believed to have been long lost, is another puzzler altogether.

The Babylonian Lucifer not only surfed his way along the waves of cultural displacement,  the Assyrians saw him as a bulwark against black magic and witchcraft, as recorded so famously in the astonishing Maqlu grimoire (which Necromonicon fans should really take the time to read).

So I should probably insert the fact that Gordon referred to Alien: Covenant as a "Space Lucifer" movie, for reasons I get even though I haven't seen the movie yet. Well, I should say that haven't seen the last third of the movie that hasn't been previewed or clipped on YouTube.


I have to admit it blows my mind  how the Sumerian religion-- which existed for millennia before the Sumerians were displaced from the roll of history-- was adopted with only superficial innovations by their conquerors. And their conquerors. And their conqueror's conqueror's conquerors. 

You're looking at a tradition that arose out of Neolithic times-- at the least-- and persisted up until the time of the Muslim conquests (albeit in a relatively-reduced form as "Chaldean Magic"). And of course it had a major influence on the Biblical tradition as well as on Zoroastrianism (which seems to be very heavily informed by Girra/Nusku temple practices brought back to Iran after the Achaemenid conquest of Babylon).

And in a way the Sumerian religion endures to this day. Not only in the influence it had on the Abrahamic religions but also in its Space Age makeover as the backbone of AAT and alien conspiracy theory, which themselves are slowing evolving into (neo-Gnostic) religions of their own. 

Don't believe me? Go to YouTube and run a search on Anunaki. I just did and it coughed up a whopping 399,00o results.

But the Anunaki aren't the only Sumerian gods in town these days. There are also the Igigi, who some have compared to the Greys of UFO lore fame. And more recently, there seems to be a rediscovery of the Seven Sages, aka the Apkallu.

It is noted, “The Apkallu were seven demigods created by Enki, one of the chief Sumerian gods…Enki referred to as ‘Ea,’ which is the name he was later given in Babylonian and Akkadian mythology.” As a styled sidenote, see Seven gods of chaos. Also, you may recall the reference to Enkin in Is the Bible an Anunnaki control mechanism? 
(A)s per the Sumerian mythology “These beings were sent by Enki to teach human beings the arts of civilization: agriculture, writing, building, and so on.” Which correlates to the Book of Enoch noting that various Angels called “Watchers” taught humanity various skills.
Indeed they do. The Apkallu are practically a godsend to any Ancient Astronaut theorist worth his aluminum. Note that Apkallu are usually depicted with wings, being the origin of  the association of angels and wings. Well, the ones that aren't depicted as fish like our old friend Adapa, better known as Oannes.

What's more, the Apkallu are yet another example of what Gordon White calls the "civilizing trickster gods." Maybe one of the first, actually.

Gee, kind of like what's-his-name. You know, Prometheus:

(T)he origin of Watchers derives from the Mesopotamian mythology of the antediluvian sages (apkallus). More precisely, it is proposed that the mythology of Watchers and their sons the giants derived from inverted versions of various Mesopotamian myths and beliefs about apkallus. On some layers of Mesopotamian mythology and ritual practices, the sages were already regarded as dangerous and potentially malicious creatures, upon which the Jewish authors could build their parody.  
Among other associations, the apkallus had strong ties to Mesopotamian demonology, and they were occasionally counted as evil beings, capable of witchcraft. This shows that the wickedness of antediluvian teachers of humankind in Jewish sources was not wholly an inversion of the Mesopotamian traditions by Jewish scholars, but was partly taken from already existing trends in Mesopotamian demonology.

So it's probably here that I should mention that the figures on the Hollywood Babylon Gate are actually Apkallu. Yeah, how about that, huh?

Then I should mention that this very oddly-specific bit of product placement ties back to a very ancient practice indeed:
Figurines of apkallus were buried in boxes as foundationdeposits in Mesopotamian buildings in order to avert evil fromthe house. The term massar, ‘watchers’, is used of these setsof gurines in Akkadian incantations according to ritual texts.This appellation matches the Aramaic term yryn, ‘the wakefulones’, for both good angels and the Watchers.
So the more you look at it, the more significant that gate looks. And the less likely it was put there on Ray Bradbury's suggestion. Unless he too was part of the cult.

Which cult am I referring to here? Well, indulge me for a moment.

Take all the major franchises, minor franchises, movies, cartoons and TV shows (not to mention video games) that center around Ancient Astronaut Theory, then factor the Hollywood & Highland Babylon Gate into the equation. 

Thanks to Reader Brooke

You'll probably see why I strongly suspect there may be a secret cargo cult at the very heart of the entertainment industry. I'm not alone in this. A lot of Christian conspiracy theorists believe AAT is the "Great Deception" the Bible warns of.

I should also remind everyone that AAT made a big, bad splash into the entertainment racket mere weeks after Kenneth Arnold and Roswell, in the form of "Son of the Sun," written by occultist Millen Cooke.

So what you're probably asking yourself is what difference does all this make in the Age of Trump and 'the Resistance' and all the rest of it? Well, Trump will probably be gone soon (my guess at least*) and so too will the endless shitstorm he's kicked up in his wake.  

And all of this Anunaki stuff will still be there, waiting patiently. It's had thousands of years to practice. It's seen quite a few Trumps and 'Resistances' come and go. It all seems to be following a very specific arc and moving towards a very specific destination.


* As I wrote in the FB group, "The Praetorians engineered Trump's election precisely because they planned to remove him. They would have done the same with Hillary but figured Trump was a softer target." History teaches us that's the way Praetorians roll.

          Reel Paganism::The "Folk Horror" Revival    

Ah, those Years of Seven. We looked at the significant anniversaries in the World of Weird this Year of Seven is marking, from Heaven's Gate and the Phoenix Lights to the Harmonic Convergence to the releases of Star Wars and Close Encounters of the First Kind. As it happens, there's another major anniversary on the docket this year and that's the birth of the modern "NeoPagan" movement.
Fifty years ago, in 1967, three organizations were formed which would have a profound impact on the shape of contemporary Paganism: Frederick Adams founded Feraferia, a wilderness mystery religion; Aidan Kelly and others formed the New Reformed Order of the Golden Dawn, an eclectic witchcraft tradition; and Tim (Oberon) Zell filed for incorporation of the Church of All Worlds, which was based on the fictional religion described in Robert Heinlein’s novel, Stranger in a Strange Land.
As the Church of All Worlds shows, the NeoPagan movement was born out of the rising Geek insurgency, out of a fermenting sub-subculture in which Dune, Star Trek and Lord of the Rings had well and colonized the imaginations of the young and dateless.

The crossover would become so successful that the strict atheism and naturalism that had once been de rigeur in sci-fi (and fandom in general) would soon be put on its back foot by this new Mysticism, a current that would revolutionize pop culture with the runaway success of Star Wars.

NeoPaganism occupied a fair bit of real estate in the collective mind of Fandom but has never been the upstart mass movement its adherents might have you believe. It probably peaked as a movement in the 1990s (with Buffy, the Vampire Slayer) and, if the current alarm bells being rung in the NeoPaganism blogosphere are any indication, has been receding ever since. So much so that many NeoPagans believe the jig is finally up.

Contemporary Paganism isn’t an institution, but we do have institutions, and many of them are  struggling to survive.  Cherry Hill Seminary announced last year that it might not be able to continue its programming.  CUUPS is hardly thriving.  The Pagan Community Statement on the Environment, which is quite possibly the single largest expression of Pagan voices ever, has not yet collected a mere 10,000 signatures in the two years since it was published.  And, as far as I can tell, none of the organizers of Pagan festivals and conferences have reported significant growth in recent years. These are just a few examples of Pagan institutions that I have been involved with to one degree or another over the years.
In Britain, where so much of the Wicca and NeoPaganism we recognize today was born, the situation seems pretty much the same. NeoPaganism is struggling there too, ironically as the current Chaos Magick revival is picking up steam.
 I’ve been told that the number of registered members of the Pagan Federation has gone down for the first time. At the Harvest Moon Conference in 2016, Melissa Harrington confessed that she felt that this decline in active participation was indicative of Paganism “going underground” again. Most of the Pagan Federation events I’ve been to recently have shown a similar demographic spread to OBOD ones. 
My concern is that the declining number of young participants in the Pagan community in Britain, and the general diminution of those taking an active role in the community as a whole, indicates that that growth has stalled. British Paganism—as a subculture and as a movement—is in trouble.
I'm not at all surprised by this. I'd wager that most NeoPagans had some kind of traditional religious upbringing, which made them at least casually familiar with the basics of ritual and theology. With traditional religion a fading memory among NeoPaganism's mission field, it becomes harder than ever to attract people to the surrogate community that NeoPaganism promises. 

But there's also the problem of the movement failing to deliver what it promises:
What is in decline, then, is something quite specific—the Pagan Movement; a collection of organisations, publications, ceremonial genres, training courses. That collection is no longer feeding the appetite of the general public for the magical.
Then there's the prickly issue of sectarianism. NeoPaganism bears only a glancing resemblance to the ancient variety, but it's chock full of the kind of perpetual fragmentation that a Pagan in ancient Alexandria might have been sick of. One blogger is even pushing an atheist strand of NeoPaganism:
Atheopaganism is post-Belief religion. It is evidence-based spirituality rooted in real-world, positive, life-affirming values. It gives us what religion is good at giving us, and avoids trying to do what science can clearly do better. 
I believe it is in broad strokes what succeeding generations will practice in growing numbers. It is what will give meaning and build community for people who have left behind the ideas of gods and magic.
Yeah, good luck with that. After all, discarding your traditional core tenets has worked out so well for the so-called Mainline denominations. 

Like the churches that so many NeoPagans grew out of, the movement is looking to political activism to "stay relevant." But people interested in activism now have a endless buffet of NGOs and pressure groups to choose from, and most activists today tend to see any flavor of spirituality as regressive and impolite. Which may be why most Mainline Christian denominations are now fading into history.

But a strong argument could be made that NeoPaganism is fading because the overall culture has been so effectively paganized. If that's true, then where do you go from there?

 Scarlet Imprint publisher Peter Gray was a bit ahead of the curve when he announced the impending death of NeoPaganism three years back. And he sees the same trends at work- Neopaganism is fading because it's no longer needed:
There is no halting the decline of the initiatic witchcraft traditions of Gardner or Sanders, nor the collapse of neo-paganism. The reason? To use the correct mimetic formula: Because Internet. People are having their needs met by the online simulacra of witchcraft. Those who are seeking witchcraft simply do not have to hunt out lineages, everything is before them in the digital form that has socialised them while their parents paid more attention to their smartphones.
Gray calls for the "rewilding"of Witchcraft, for the art to return to its outlaw roots. He wants to recapture the danger of Witchcraft, which he believes- rightly- has been traded away by Wiccans and their fellow travelers. 

But the question then becomes how wild are you willing to be? Witches are killed on on a fairly regular basis in developing countries because they're seen as dangerous and taboo. In our anything-goes culture what exactly do you have to do to recapture that outlaw sheen? It's no small question. Why?
Well, because the Gardnerian Book of Shadows tells us exactly how dark ancient witchcraft and Paganism could get: 
Priests know this well; and by their auto-da-fé, with the victims' pain and terror (the fires acting much the same as circles), obtained much power. Of old the Flagellants certainly evoked power, but through not being confined in a circle much was lost. The amount of power raised was so great and continuous that anyone with knowledge could direct and use it; and it is most probable that the classical and heathen sacrifices were used in the same way. There are whispers that when the human victim was a willing sacrifice, with his mind directed on the Great Work and with highly skilled assistants, wonders ensued but of this I would not speak.”  
Which brings us to the Folk Horror revival.

Back to the recent Beltane Fire Festival.
The event, first organised in the mid-1980s, marks the ending of winter and is a revival of the ancient Celtic and Pagan festival of Beltane, the Gaelic name for the month of May.
Thousands of spectators gathered on Calton Hill in the Scottish capital to watch drummers, fire dancers, physical theatre and a large bonfire.
During the event, the Green Man is killed as god of winter and reborn as spring to consort with the May Queen.
This is a big deal in Scotland. And other types of ancient festival revivals have been popping up in Britain over the past several years as well, particularly in provincial towns looking to drum up tourism. 

But do note that in the ancient Beltane festivals the Green Man was actually killed as a sacrifice to the gods of the crops. The Edinburgh festival obviously stops short of this, but this is like trading out wine for grape juice at communion. The real McCoy is baked into the rite itself and soaks through to the surface. It can't help but.
So what does this all have to do with the so-called Folk Horror revival? Well, the folk component of the genre doesn't refer to old Joan Baez records. It draws upon the idea of ancient folkways- often those centering on human sacrifice- bubbling back up to the surface and violently intruding on the lives of unwitting cosmopolitans.
Unlike other sub-genres, folk horror’s very form is difficult to convey. Despite what its simplistic description implies – from the emphasis on the horrific side of folklore to a very literal horror of people – the term’s fluctuating emphasis makes it difficult to pin down outside of a handful of popular examples. 
The term first came to prominence in 2010 when Mark Gatiss used it as an umbrella theme to describe a number of films in his A History of Horror documentary for BBC4. Yet the term was used in the programme in reference to an earlier interview with the director Piers Haggard for Fangoria magazine in 2004, in which Haggard suggests of his own film The Blood on Satan’s Claw (1971) that he “was trying to make a folk horror film”.
The revival encompasses a number of films and novels but regards three British films as the sacred texts of the genre:
The trilogy, now often known under the banner of the ‘Unholy Trinity’, consist of Michael Reeves’ Witchfinder General (1968), Piers Haggard’s The Blood on Satan’s Claw and Robin Hardy’s The Wicker Man (1973). Though their imagery has since defined all things “olde” and “wyrd” about Britain (see the cover of Sight & Sound, August 2010), it is in their narratives where folk horror becomes defined.  
All three films work through an emphasis on landscape which subsequently isolates its communities and individuals, skewing the dominant moral and theological systems enough to cause violence, human sacrifices, torture and even demonic and supernatural summonings.  
The Witchfinder General traumatized me when I watched it on Creature Double Feature way back in the day. Unlike most of the other Folk Horror landmarks it's based on real-life events.
HP Lovecraft's shadow looms over the genre, whether he likes it or not. There are obviously significant differences but a lot of his stories seem to center on city-slickers dealing with hideous eruptions of the primeval in decaying rural outposts. Lovecraft is often criticized for his racism but the truth is he didn't seem to like much of anybody outside his perceived social set.

From "The Call of Cthulhu" to "The Shadow Over Innsmouth" to "The Festival" it's pretty obvious exactly where Lovecraft was coming from. Lovecraft was terrified that modern civilization was nothing more than a fragile veneer, ready to flake away under the slightest existential pressure. And cults and cultic practices were like the monster under Lovecraft's bed, always ready to pounce once the lights went out.

(In this context, Stuart Gordon's fever-dream film version of Dagon could be seen as an outlier within the Folk Horror genre).
Lovecraft enjoyed his own revival in the 1960s and one can't help but wonder what kind of effect he had on the emerging Folk Horror genre. The Wicker Man is often seen today as a kind of one-off but in fact it was following very closely in the footsteps of earlier films. 

The Witches, partly written by Nigel Kneale, is an early example of the type as is Eye of the Devil, which made a star of Sharon Tate. In the kind of hideous synchronicity that follows all potent art like a lost puppy,   Tate would become a sacrifice to the kind of cult that probably haunted Lovecraft's nightmares.  

Both films, released in 1966 and 1967 respectively, worked the theme of an outsider to a rural community discovering grisly ancient practices lurking beneath a placid rustic surface. Eye of the Devil, like The Wicker Man, centers on crop failure and the need of the community to kill its ritual king to appease the gods of the fields. So the fields were already well-furrowed by the time Anthony Shaffer and Robin Hardy had their brainstorm.

Thomas Tryon's 1973 novel Harvest Home was adapted into a TV miniseries in the late 70s and taps in the same vein: in this case a New York family moves to a small town and discovers that their new neighbors still practice the ancient Celtic folkways. Since it's based on an American novel it's usually overlooked by Folk Horror revivalists, but it's a solid example of the type. Maybe one of the more potent examples, actually. Shame it's not better known.
There are variations on the theme to be found during this same Golden Age (the late 60s to the early 70s). The Shuttered Room, based on a story HP Lovecraft cowrote with August Derleth is a variation on the type, as is Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs, which starred Dustin Hoffman as an American married to a British woman played by Susan George. They move to the rural English village where the George character grew up and are menaced by a gang of local thugs. Straw Dogs was remade in 2011 and moved to the rural South. Of course.

A more recent example of the type is Kill List, an absolutely extraordinary film that has you believing you're watching one kind of British drama before pulling the rug out from under your feet and landing you in quite another altogether. I'm not going to say too much more about it since you really should see it for yourself.
But The Wicker Man (also remade, badly, in 2006) remains the King of the Folk Horror Crop. The film hardly seems like a horror movie for most of its running time, more like a quirky musical comedy, kind of a warped Brigadoon. And it's based in ancient Celtic rituals, or at least legends of ancient Celtic rituals.
The idea of a “wickerman” is reminiscent of references in both Irish legend and the second branch of the WelshMabinogi to men being inveigled into a specially built house, which is then set fire, immolating them. There is also a reference by Lucan, and the comments by later scholars as part of the Lucan scholia, in the Pharsalia,to three Celtic deities; Taranis said to have been propitiated by burning, Teutates by drowning, and Esus by hanging. Esus is mythologically similar to the Nordic deity Odin, also associated with hanging from a tree. 
But it wasn't only the Celts who practiced human sacrifice. The Normans, who conquered England in the 11th Century, were huge fans of human sacrifice before giving in to Christian convention. Warlord Rollo was a exemplar of the Norman split-personality when it came honoring the ancient Viking folkways.
Adémar of Chabannes, however, writing about 100 years after Rollo’s death, described his last days as a time of religious madness, in which the Heathen ‘Rollo’ rose up against the Christian ‘Robert’ and in a desperate attempt to atone for the betrayal of Odin and Thor ordered the beheading of 100 Christians as sacrifices to them. This was followed by a frenzied attempt to balance the books yet again when he distributed ‘one hundred pounds of gold round the churches in honour of the true god in whose name he had accepted baptism’. 
Is Rollo the spiritual founding father of Folk Horror? Sounds like it to me. There's an inherent schizophrenia at work in the genre, building on the paranoid truism that things are never what they seem, that ancient horrors are always lurking beneath respectable surfaces, looking for a way out.

So what is the driving impulse behind Folk Horror? It's an inherently Pagan form, an immersion into the dark mysteries of the countryside. It feels deeply atavistic, like a twisted celebration of the premodern. The genre often seems to address a very human desire to belong to a tribe that's both nurturing and absolutely fearless, even if that tribe are presented as villains.

But there's also that repressed impulse to bask in somebody else's sacrifice, to exercise that kind of complete control over life and death. Post-Enlightenment culture has worked around the clock to erase all this from our firmware but only seems to have moved the pieces around the board.

By contrast, NeoPaganism was always going to be a nonstarter because it pretended it could recapture the positive aspects of the old folkways and discard all those it found problematic. It also believed it could recreate the bonds of blood and soil in a urban- or more accurately, suburban- setting. That it could soak up all the richness and drama of ancient Paganism without getting its hands dirty. Or more accurately again, bloody.

Sorry, but that's not the way it works.

Folk Horror dispenses with all that and reminds everyone that life and death were barely a whisper apart in the old times. That bloodshed was a daily fact of life back then. It's just the way things worked. After all, it wasn't so long ago that housewives killed their own chickens. No one blinked at the sacrifice of a lamb or a piglet at even the swankiest Mystery cults. Bacchanalias often ended up with Maenads ripping wild animals limb from limb (Maenad actually means "raving one"). 

Sacrifice was absolutely inseparable from belief. By contrast NeoPaganism feels more like a slightly more exotic form of Unitarianism. Sort on spectacle and sacrifice and long on sanctimony. 

So my guess is that the Edinburgh Beltane Festival is so popular not only for the nudity and the LARPing but also for serving up a vicarious echo from those olden days, when these dramas were all played for keeps.

Not all Folk Horror is based in Pagan human sacrifice but the death and horror that people once took for granted are tightly wound into its weave. So it will be worth watching to see where this genre goes in response to the hyper-acceleration of Globalism and technocracy. For now it serves as a way to soak up the olde dramas without making much of a mess. It could go eventually go in another direction entirely, kind of like how The Wicker Man led to the Burning Man Festival. 

It could even lead to a neo-NeoPaganism. Stranger things have happened, right?

          The Holy Fool (Updated 4/1/2017)   

The jingling of bells during the dance is meant to frighten evil spirits and the clashing of sticks represent the fight between good and evil. The dancer who weaves in and out of the team of dancers is known as the Fool and whilst his dance seems to be that of a random nature, in fact his is a very intricate dance and represents the naivety of man. A dancer who is dressed as an animal character shows mans reliance on nature. Handkerchiefs emphasise the hand movements during the dance.- Crop Fertility Rituals
The Kalends of April are sacred to Venus, as is the entire month, and this day has been called the Veneralia. Public games, ludi, would be held in honor of the deity. This day was also known as All Fools Day to the Romans, and they would spend the entire day celebrating with comic hilarity, doing things backwards, wearing women's clothes, dancing in the streets, and generally carrying on in the most in the most foolish and congenial manner. 
This is one of the few Roman holidays that has preserved some of its original character, under the modern name April Fools Day. In Egypt, this day was celebrated as the Birthday of the god Hathor.- (link)

The Anglo-Saxons called April Oster-monath or Eostur-monath, the period sacred to Eostre or Ostara, the pagan Saxon goddess of spring, from whose name is derived the modern Easter.- Wikipedia

It's probably no coincidence that April Fools' Day is celebrated at the same time that two other similar holidays are celebrated. In ancient Rome, the festival of Hilaria was thrown to celebrate the resurrection of the god Attis. Hilaria is probably the base word for hilarity and hilarious, which mean great merriment. Today, Hilaria is also known as Roman Laughing Day. -How Stuff Works

In tribute to Attis, the priests of Cybele - known as Galli or Galloi - would castrate themselves and dress as women. They’d then travel the countryside, and perform wild musical rituals to the Great Mother just as Attis did...

Ancient historians held a variety of opinions on the Galloi, from admiration to bemusement to ridicule to hostility. But everyone seemed to agree that the Galloi loved to kick up a racket. Their rituals and festivals made Woodstock look like a ladies’ club luncheon.

The public performances of the Galloi were so intense that crowds would be driven into a religious frenzy...
... The Galloi even made an appearance in Apuleius’ Metamorphoses, the classic Roman comic novel. The story concerns an amateur sorcerer named Lucius, who mucks up a spell and turns himself into a donkey. Lucius is then sold to a wandering band of Galloi and dragged around while the priests travel the countryside, often performing their act door-to-door. 
Obviously not a fan, Lucius describes the Galloi's rites, which include an eerily-exact precursor of heavy metal headbanging: “They arrived at a rich man's villa and screeching their tuneless threnes from the moment they saw the gates, they rushed frantically inside. Bending their heads, they twisted, writhed and rolled their necks to and fro while their long hair swung round in circles.”-- The Secret History of Rock 'n' Roll

 "The local [Phrygian] legend about him [Attis] being this. Zeus [i.e. the Phrygian sky-god identified with Zeus], it is said, let fall in his sleep seed upon the ground, which in course of time sent up a Daimon, with two sexual organs, male and female. They call the daimon Agdistis. But the gods, fearing Agdistis, cut off the male organ. 
There grew up from it an almond-tree with its fruit ripe, and a daughter of the river Saggarios (Sangarius), they say, took the fruit and laid it in her bosom, when it at once disappeared, but she was with child. A boy was born, and exposed, but wastended by a he-goat.
As he grew up his beauty was more than human, and Agdistis [Kybele] fell in love with him. When he had grown up, Attis was sent by his relatives to Pessinos [city in Phrygia], that he might wed the king's daughter. The marriage-song was being sung, when Agdistis appeared, and Attis went mad and cut off his genitals, as also did he who was giving him his daughter in marriage. 
But Agdistis repented of what she had done to Attis, and persuaded Zeus to grant the body of Attis should neither rot at all nor decay. These are the most popular forms of the legend of Attis." Pausanias, Description of Greece   

When Gilgamesh returns to Uruk, he washes the filth of battle from his hair and body. He dons a clean robe and cloak, wipes Humbaba’s blood off his weapons and polishes them. When he ties his hair back and sets his crown on his head, he looks so splendid that Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, is overcome with lust. She pleads with Gilgamesh to be her husband. She promises him a harvest of riches if he plants his seed in her body. She tells him they will live together in a house made of cedar, and that she will give him a lapis lazuli chariot with golden wheels. She says that kings and princes will offer him all their wealth.  
But Gilgamesh refuses to be her plaything. He has nothing to offer her in return, since, as a goddess, she has everything she could ever want. He says that her desire for his body is fleeting, and that she’ll soon lose interest. He tells her he knows what happened to her other human lovers, and they’ve all learned how traitorous and cruel her heart and whims are.  
Her husband, Tammuz, the shepherd, became a captive in the underworld and is mourned in festivals every year. Another shepherd she loved became a broken-winged bird. She loved the lion, then ensured that he was captured in “ambush pits.” She loved the stallion but contrived harnesses and whips and spurs to control him. When a goat herder loved her, she turned him into a wolf. When her father’s gardener rejected her advances, she turned him into a frog. Gilgamesh asks why he should expect to fare any better. -- "The Epic of Gilgamesh"
Gilgamesh means "Gibil is Commander."

Perhaps the biggest change came from the initiated version of the Tarot that the original Golden Dawn (and its later offshoots) used. In that deck, the Fool is represented as a naked child of indeterminate sex, who is accompanied by a wolf on a leash, who is reaching up for a rose. In Golden Dawn, the Fool represents the god Harpocrates, the Egyptian god Horus as a young child. - Associated Content

"The four magic symbols, the sceptre, the cup, the sword and the pentacle. The fool always carries them, although he has long since forgotten what they mean. Nevertheless they belong to him, even though he does not know their use. The symbols have not lost their power, they retain it in themselves. - P D. Ouspensky
One theory for its origin, and perhaps the most widely accepted, relates to the European transition from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar. At the Council of Trent in 1563, Pope Gregory XIII issued a papal bull decreeing that Christian countries should adopt a new standardised calendar. Now the internationally accepted calendar in the Western World, the Gregorian calendar was adopted due to its greater accuracy compared to the Julian calendar. One consequence of the transition however, was that New Years Day moved from 1st April to the 1st January. 
Although resisted by the Protestant countries in Europe, the new calendar was officially adopted by the Catholic states reasonably quickly. However, presenting the news of the transition across largely rural populations was a much slower task. Supposedly, this was a particular problem following France’s switch to the new calendar in 1582. People who continued to celebrate the New Year at the end of March became the targets for jokes, pranks and hoaxes. This included having paper fish attached to their backs, and being called ‘April fish’, in reference to their supposed gullibility. -- New Historian

          Walt Whitman: Singer of the Body Electric   
The fire, the sweet hell within,
The unknown want, the destiny of me.
— Walt Whitman
“By the time he was 12 years old, an apprentice printer in Brooklyn, Walt had lived in about a dozen different houses, each one more cramped than the last. Of the eight Whitman children who survived infancy, one was a mental defective and three were psychic disasters; three were normal, and one became the chief celebrant of what William James called ‘the religion of healthy-mindedness,’” wrote Justin Kaplan in Walt Whitman: A Life.
“Walt’s father … owned a copy of The Ruins, a celebrated attack on Christianity and supernaturalism by the French savant Count Constantin de Volney. Like others who grew up on such literature, Walt believed that a long, dark tyranny over man’s mind and body was at last coming to an end; the Children of Adam would be able to walk in their parents’ garden. Leaves of Grass borrowed the insurgent and questioning spirit of these mentors along with literal quotations from their writings.”
“Words, when he acquired language, became life itself, links to the external world and to his unconscious,” Kaplan wrote, quoting Whitman: “ ‘A perfect writer would make words sing, dance, kiss, do the male and female act, bear children, weep, bleed, rage, stab, steal, fire cannon, steer ships, sack cities, charge with cavalry or infantry, or do any thing that man or woman or the natural powers can do.’ Words were instruments of command and of relationship to a world waiting to be named for the first time.”
Whitman had the dubious benefit of a “…thrifty and national scheme of education devised by an English Quaker, Joseph Lancaster,” Kaplan noted. “Assisted by hierarchies of student monitors, one teacher was able to distribute rote learning, together with fundamental social values and strict notions of the good and the useful, to 200 and more pupils.
“Sometimes he invoked muscular Christianity and resorted to the birch rod, the cowhide strap and, in Whitman’s words, ‘other ingenious methods of child torture,’ mental as well as physical. He demanded unison, unquestioning obedience to regulations, undivided attention and a physical discipline that dictated the precise way to hold and close a book during recitations and the position of hands when students stood at parade rest.
“The Lancaster method was designed to separate children from their ignorance as cleanly and impersonally as Eli Whitney’s cotton gin separated fibers from seeds. It proved to be stupefying even for pupils less jealous of their emotional freedom than Walt.”
Whitman said that the first time he wanted to write anything was “…when I saw a ship under full sail, and had the desire to describe it exactly as it seemed to me.”
Whitman loved swimming with other young men, nude in the fashion of the 19th century, their bodies electric.

Poise on the hips, leaping, reclining, embracing, arm-curving and tightening,
The continual changes of the flex of the mouth, and around the eyes,
The skin, the sun-burnt shade, freckles, hair,
The curious sympathy one feels, when feeling with the hand the naked meat of the body,
The circling rivers, the breath, and breathing it in and out…

“The young men ran dancing and laughing along the sand, bathed in the surf, fished, dug clams, speared messes of fat, sweet-meated eel,” wrote biographer Kaplan. “He loved swimming, of a passive sort — ‘I was a first-rate aquatic loafer,’ he recalled. ‘I possessed almost unlimited capacity for floating on my back.’ Cradled, rocked and drowsing, his body rolling ‘silently to and fro in the heave of the water,’ he lay suspended between the depths and the light, between the unconscious and the world of necessity.”
As a young man, Whitman wrote a bad didactic novel about the evils of drink, and edited a newspaper attacking Catholics and the Irish. For solutions, like other Americans, he looked West.
“Continentalism and Union were to shape Whitman’s poetic vision (‘I am large. I contain multitudes’),” Kaplan wrote. “ ‘California’s shores’ were not only the western boundaries of the Union — they were the boundaries of the found and the ‘yet unfound,’ the measure of his psychic growth. (‘Eastward I go only by force,’ Thoreau said, ‘but westward I go free.’)”
Unfortunately, Whitman’s enthusiasm for freedom only went so far. While sympathetic to the plight of individual black people, Whitman regarded their race as unfit for freedom and decried the “ranting” and “abominable fanaticism” of the abolitionists.
“Sylvester Graham, temperance reformer, physiological guru and eponym of the delicious cracker, joined in the battle against dyspepsia, or indigestion, a malady of epidemic proportions for Americans,” wrote Kaplan. “The “Peristaltic Persuader,” as he was called, favored internal and external applications of cold water and repasts of boiled vegetables and bread made from unsifted whole-wheat flour. Alcohol, tea, coffee and red meat were proscribed, on the grounds that they stimulated the lower nature.
“In a celebrated lecture on chastity, Graham argued that there had to be something amiss with any organ that sent priority messages to the brain — an erect penis was no more wholesome than a bloated stomach or an infected finger. According to him and other popular theorists of the day, the seminal loss for a man in one act of sexual intercourse was the equivalent of 40 ounces of blood, a fifth of the body’s supply. This appalling figure was a warning against sexual overindulgence — meaning more than once a month — could cause tuberculosis, convulsions, indigestion and even imbecilism; sex — especially masturbation — withered the thinking organs of men, just as thinking withered the reproductive organs of women. Sex was a major disorder, even a catastrophe; it was a wonder the species had lasted as long as it had.”
And then came Whitman. “By 1855, when Whitman presented himself coatless and bare-necked, his pelvis thrust forward, in his Leaves of Glass frontispiece, men of fashion were dressed from head to toe like black tubes,” Kaplan wrote. “No other poet of his century wrote about the body with such explicitness and joy, anatomizing it at rest and cataloguing its parts, celebrating it as an instrument of love:

“Without shame the man I like knows and avows the deliciousness of his sex,
“Without shame the woman I like knows and avows hers.

“No other poet of his century paid such a continuing high price for his boldness, ostracism, ostentatious neglect, ridicule, censorship, suppression.”
“…Whitman saw few encouraging signs in 1850. Democratic hope was at an ebb tide. Two years earlier, the overthrow of Louis Phillipe in France had touched off a wave of revolutions all over Europe. Americans rejoiced in the expectation that soon no throne would be left standing anywhere.

“‘God, ‘twas delicious,’ Whitman wrote,
‘That brief, tight, glorious grip
‘Upon the throats of kings.

“But the forces of liberal nationalism — Emerson’s ‘party of the Future,’ ‘the Movement’ — were crushed with appalling ferocity. The revolutionaries of 1848 died on the battlefields, at the barricades and before firing squads, or they fled into exile. Karl Marx spent the rest of his life in London writing Das Kapital in the reading room of the British Museum. Mazzini and Carl Schurz also took shelter in London; Giuseppe Garibaldi dipped candles on Staten Island. Whitman was to see the Hungarian patriot Louis Kossuth riding up Broadway. Reaction, repression and militarism prevailed once again.”
And then came the Civil War.
Whitman poured his love of young men onto the emotional desert of war, soothing its victims at great cost to himself.
“(H)e dedicated all his resources of physical and emotional strength into service to wounded soldiers, the maimed, the sick and the dying, for well nigh three years — until his strength broke down and he was prostrated for six months, probably the start of his later paralysis,” wrote A.L. Rowse in Homosexuals in History.
“He did an extraordinary job as a nurse-missionary-almoner all on his own; the doctors said that his services in the Washington war-hospitals and camps were more valuable than their own. Today he would be described as a psychotherapist; he was healer, father-confessor, dispenser of consolation and gifts he collected for the men. But his outpouring of love was the most important. A good lady-worker told him that the men were unresponsive. Little did she know: with limbs shattered, sick or dying, they longed to be kissed. Here was one young wounded New Yorker among thousands. ‘He behaved very manly and affectionate. The kiss I gave him as I was about leaving he returned fourfold. I had several such interviews with him. He died just after the one described.
“One cannot go into all that Walt did for these men, writing their letters, always bringing presents, spending all he could collect on them to keep their spirits going, consoling, hearing their prayers, taking their last messages.”
Neil McKenna, in his The Secret Life of Oscar Wilde, reported that in his trip to America in 1882, “Oscar desperately wanted to meet Walt Whitman, whom he and many others considered to be America’s living poet… Whitman’s poetry spoke of the potency of friendship and love between men, particularly between working-class men, and positively oozed homoeroticism. Indeed, the Calamus section of Whitman’s great poetic cycle Leaves of Grass was so intensely homoerotic that it gave rise to the short-lived term ‘calamite’ to denote a man who loved men.”
They spent hours together, drinking elderberry wine. “One of the first things I said was that I should call him ‘Oscar,’” Whitman reported. “‘I like that so much,’ he answered, laying his hand on my knee. He seemed to me like a great big, splendid boy. He is so frank, and outspoken, and manly. I don’t see why such mocking things are written of him.”
And Wilde’s reaction? David Friedman wrote that, “A Philadelphian joked that it must have been hard for Wilde to swallow the homemade wine Whitman had offered. For once Wilde rejected an invitation to snobbery. ‘If it had been vinegar, I should have drunk it all the same,’ he said. ‘I have an admiration for that man which I can hardly express.’”
Bronson Alcott, Louisa May’s father, was present when Whitman met Henry David Thoreau in 1856.
“Observing the edgy traffic between them, Alcott was reminded of ‘two beasts, each wondering what the other would do, whether to snap or run,”” Kaplan noted.
“He decided that either Henry was afraid Walt would steal his woods or Walt had recognized that for once he had met his match in Henry, ‘a sagacity potent, penetrating and peerless as his own,; an ego as unbiddable, an eye as hawklike. (Emerson surmised that perhaps Henry’s ‘fancy for Walt Whitman grew out of his taste for wild nature, for an otter, a woodchuck or a loon.’)… Each had his own vector of self-willed resistance to a trade- and conformity-minded society.”
Thoreau became an evangelical booster of Leaves of Grass.
Ralph Waldo Emerson urged Whitman to cut some of the more physically vivid passages from the expanding editions of Leaves of Grass. No more “love-flesh swelling and deliciously aching” or “limitless limpid jets of loves hot and enormous.” And please no more references to…

…The young man that wakes, deep at night, the hot hand seeking to repress what would master him;        
The mystic amorous night — the strange half-welcome pangs, visions, sweats,        
The pulse pounding through palms and trembling encircling fingers — the young man all color’d, red, ashamed, angry;

Whitman asked Emerson if the book would be as good without such passages. Emerson paused, then replied, “I did not say as good a book. I said a good book.”
Years later, Whitman said, “Expurgation is apology — yes, surrender — yes, an admission that something or other was wrong. Emerson said expurgate — I said no, no... I have not lived to regret my Emerson no.”
Whitman’s optimism was hard-pressed during the Civil War. In a single year, 1864, Whitman’s brother George became a prisoner of war and Whitman had his violent brother Jesse committed to the Kings County Lunatic Asylum. His alcoholic, widowed sister-in-law Nancy became a prostitute and gave birth to a son who was run over and killed by a brewery wagon in 1868. And Whitman’s nursing of all those shattered and dying soldiers he loved finally brought him to the verge of physical and mental collapse.
Yet, faced with calamity, Whitman determined “…to be self-balanced for contingencies,
“To confront night, storms, hunger, ridicule, accidents, rebuffs, as the trees and animals do.”
Kaplan wrote: “Somehow I seem’d to get identity with each and every thing around me, in its condition,” (Whitman) said at Timber Creek. “Nature was naked, and I was also.” Earth rocks, trees and small living beings were lessons in imperturbability, concreteness and strength. “Being” was superior to “the human trait of mere seeming,” The human habit of “persistent strayings and sickly abstractions.”
Ironically, while Whitman could identify with small living beings, apparently he couldn’t do so with large ones who happened to be black.
Although opposed to slavery, Whitman remained a racist. Watching five black regiments of Gen. Ambrose Burnside’s army march in review, Whitman remarked, “It looked funny to see the president standing with his hat off to them just the same as the rest.”
The following is from a Bill Moyers essay: “American democracy grew a soul, as it were -- given voice by one of our greatest poets, Walt Whitman, with his all-inclusive embrace in Song of Myself:

“Whoever degrades another degrades me,
and whatever is done or said returns at last to me...
I speak the pass-word primeval — I give the sign of democracy;
By God! I will accept nothing which all cannot have their counterpart of on the same terms...
(I am large -- I contain multitudes.)”

Author Kathleen Kennedy Townsend has vividly described Whitman seeing himself in whomever he met in America. As he wrote in I Sing the Body Electric:
“-- the horseman in his saddle,
Girls, mothers, house-keepers, in all their performances,
The group of laborers seated at noon-time with their open dinner-kettles and their wives waiting,
The female soothing a child — the farmer’s daughter in the garden or cow-yard,
The young fellow hoeing corn --”
…Whitman saw something else in the soul of the country: Americans at work, the laboring people whose toil and sweat built this nation.  Townsend contrasts his attitude with the way politicians and the media today — in their endless debates about wealth creation, capital gains reduction and high corporate taxes — seem to have forgotten working people. “But Whitman wouldn’t have forgotten them.” She writes, “He celebrates a nation where everyone is worthy, not where a few do well.”
I dream in my dream all the dreams of the other dreamers.
And I become the other dreamers….
Now in a moment I know what I am for, I awake.
— Walt Whitman

Whitman was apparently subject to kenshō, that spontaneous mental state described by Dumoulin as “… an insight into the identity of one’s own nature with all of reality in an eternal now, as a vision that removes all distinctions.”
“He had shared the experience of countless people, irreligious by common standards, who had flashes of illumination or ecstasy — even Caliban saw the clouds open and ‘cried to dream again,’” Whiteman biographer Justin Kaplan wrote. “These experiences have a remembered correlative or ‘trigger.’ With Whitman it was the sea, music, the grass, the green world of summer. The rhythm of these experiences is sexual and urgent — tumescence, climax, detumescence — but the ‘afterglow’ may last a lifetime, as it did with him, and he invited it an prolonged it through poetry; the poet was the shaman of modern society — a master of ‘the techniques of ecstasy.’"

          Neil Simon: A Life in Stages   
Neil Simon — a boy made pathologically self-reliant by his parents’ shaky-as-a-quake marriage — quoted Heraclitus to describe his journey.
“If character is fate, as the Greeks tell us, then it was my character to become a playwright, not my destiny,” Simon observed in his memoir Rewrites. “Destiny seems to be preordained by the gods. Fate comes to those who continue on the path they started on when all other possible roads were closed to them. Fate is both your liability and your hope.
“For a man who wants to be his own master, to depend on no one else, to make life conform to his own visions rather than to follow the blueprints of others, playwriting is the perfect occupation. To sit in a room alone for six or seven or ten hours, sharing the time with characters that you created, is sheer heaven. And if not heaven, it’s at least an escape from hell.
“After ten years of writing with my brother or with other staff writers, together in one room, screaming for my own voice to be heard, or whispering it to another writer with a voice more commanding than my own, the day I typed the title page of that first play in the unlikely environs of Coldwater Canyon I knew I had found not only the one thing I was certain would make me happy but I also knew I was about to enter the only world in which I could possibly exist.”
Simon wrote his first play about his only and older brother, Danny, and his second play about his first wife, the vital and compassionate dancer Joan Baim. She became Corie Bratter in Barefoot in the Park. “I learned early on, from all the plays I had seen or read, that every play must be about an event,” Simon wrote. “The first time that ‘something’ has ever happened. The first time the ghost of his father appears to Hamlet. The first time that Blanche DuBois comes to New Orleans to live with her sister, Stella; the first time Blanche meets Stanley Kowalski. The event doesn’t always have to be major as far as the audience is concerned, but it has to be a major event in the lives of the leading characters. In the case of Barefoot, it was the very first day of the newlywed couple, Paul and Corie Bratter, in their new Greenwich Village apartment.
“I have always tried to put up stumbling blocks for my characters, something they’re not prepared for, something that will interfere with their plans: obstacles, hurdles, conflicts that not only make their lives more difficult, but which afford me the opportunity to put them in a humorous situation.
“In the case of Barefoot, I made it an empty apartment The furniture had not yet arrived, the telephone had not been installed. Granted not the problems Medea faced, but comedy is another ball game.”
The Village apartment was the very one he and Joan had lived in, right down to the hole in the skylight, when they had married in 1953. Ten years after that, in 1963, he made her famous, at one remove, in a Broadway comedy that ran for 1,530 performances. And 10 years after that, in 1973, Joan died of bone cancer at age 41.
Simon, who never attended college, always had a touching respect for higher education. In Boston for tryouts of The Odd Couple, he recalled that, “Cambridge was just across the river, and I went immediately to the Harvard bookstore and bought half a dozen spiral notebooks with narrow lined pages. I have filled notebooks with my plays from every college and university I ever visited, from Harvard to Yale, Duke, UCLA, Stanford, Loyola, Georgetown all the way to Oxford in England and Trinity in Dublin. In a sense, I think this made me feel I had finally earned a college degree, majoring in Drama and Hotel Rooms.”
Simon learned something from Jack Lemmon, whose range as an actor impressed him. “He is equally as funny in one of the greatest farces ever made, Some Like It Hot, as he is moving in Days of Wine and Roses, or as touching as he is in Glengarry Glen Ross,” Simon recalled. “The other important quality Jack has in something an actor can neither learn, be directed to do, nor buy for all the money in the world: you can’t help but like him.
“He is also appreciative and complimentary to the written word, and if he doesn’t like it, he will play it full out anyway and let you pick up that it doesn’t work. He once said in an interview, ‘Neil writes in definite rhythms and as in music, you can’t skip any of the notes. If his prepositions and conjunctions, such as but, if, and, or and it are left out, the music is wrong.’
“When I heard this, I was taken aback for a moment,” Simon said. “I was unaware that this was true.”
Simon’s Willy Loman-like father had no understanding of books, plays or even fatherhood, really. He thought that the actors might have helped Neil write his first Broadway hit, Come Blow Your Horn. Irving Simon liked the father played by Lou Jacobi, telling Neil he knew so many men like that. He never recognized the character as himself.
But Irving Simon had his pride, and refused to eat in his sons’ homes, afraid he might somehow impoverish them. One day he asked Neil not to bring his beloved granddaughter Ellen along to their meeting in Central Park.
“I sat on the bench where we always met, and as I saw him approaching, I could see he walked gingerly, not with the usual sprightly gait I was accustomed to,” Neil recalled. “He looked pounds thinner and when he reached me, he sat and looked away, tears in his eyes. I sat quietly, waiting for him to gather himself. He asked how Joan and Ellen were and was I feeling well, all questions meant to delay what he really had to say. His lips were trembling as he started to speak, and the stifled sob was even more distressing than if he had just let the tears flow.
“ ‘What is it, Dad? Tell me. Are you all right?’
“Every time he tried to speak; he fumbled, he took out a handkerchief to blow his nose and hide his face when anyone passed within earshot. ‘I don’t know how to say this. I’ve never taken anything from you or Danny. You know that. Am I lying?’
“ ‘No, Dad. You never let us give you anything. What is it? Money? Just tell me. I’ll give you whatever you need.’
“He covered his eyes with his hands and this time the sobs came uncontrollably. He told me what he needed and swore it was only a loan. He would pay me back one day. ‘As God is my judge.’ I told him I would send him a check in the morning.
“I knew he was never a strong man, never a fighter, or even a self-sufficient man, despite the fact that he always worked hard. He depended on the love and sympathy of his sisters, his nieces and his nephews, who I think knew his faults but loved him. I knew and saw both sides.
“We hugged and he got up to leave; he was hardly able to look at me as he went. For a man who wouldn’t even share a Sunday breakfast with me, this had to be the hardest day of his life. I never told my mother what happened but I think somehow she knew. I grew up seeing the torment of broken families, broken lives and broken hearts. I always looked for the pain when I wrote about it.
“Writing about it in a play or on this page doesn’t lessen the pain, but it allows you to look at it from a distance, objectively instead of subjectively, and you begin to see a common truth that connects us all.”
One might think that being the most popular playwright in America, with hit after hit on stage and screen, would make one feel secure. And one would, of course, be wrong.
“I’d had an enormous run from 1961 through 1968, and I felt, if not quite on top of the world, at least that I was living on one of the higher floors,” Simon recalled.
“But the thought was always there that they could take it away as fast as it came, a symptom all too familiar to almost everyone I knew or read about in show business who rose quickly to the top. In my insecurity I wondered when I would be accepted as having ‘arrived.’ And I constantly thought maybe one more play would do it. It never happens, of course. No shadowy figure appears in the middle of the night to deliver a letter that says, ‘You’ve arrived.’ Success is not something you can hold in your hand. Joan was something I could hold. And Ellen and Nancy — I could hold them.”
Simon met one source of his insecurities outside Sardi’s one rainy night. “For as many people out there who applaud your work, there’re an equal number who dismiss it out of hand. I once met Pauline Kael, the former film critic for the New Yorker, who was held in very high esteem — except by anyone I ever spoke to. There was no denying she was a brilliant writer who seemed to prefer Polish or Czech films made on a budget of twelve dollars with stories somewhat on the lines of ‘How a Greek sailor wakes up on a beach one morning with a woman’s brown shoe in his pocket. The rest of the picture traces his search.’ Fortunately the picture invariably ends before you ever find out.
“That was Art. I didn’t write Art.
“We met one evening as we were leaving Sardi’s restaurant, where the New York Film Critics Awards were being handed out,” Simon said. “Ms. Kael and I were both standing under a canopy as the rain pelted New York, and I had very little sympathy for the fact that her new shoes were getting wet, since she had stepped on my own feet every time I had something to show the public.
“As we both waited silently for a cab, we glanced at each other, knowing someone had to say something first. She made a halfhearted attempt at a smile, and said, ‘I haven’t been awfully nice to you over the years, have I?’ I made a full-hearted attempt not to smile, and said, ‘No, you haven’t.’ She said, ‘Well, it’s hard not to knock you. You keep coming around too often.’ Then she got in her cab and quite surprisingly flew up into the night sky, as I thought I heard a cackle in the distance.”
Critics and playwrights can be both natural allies and natural enemies.
Maybe the trouble was something as simple as Kael’s nagging awareness that nobody needed her to explain to them that Simon’s films and plays were enjoyable.
Of course, there’s also the possibility that she thought she was paying Simon a compliment.
Simon generally didn’t want comedians in his comedies. He wanted accomplished dramatic actors, so that the laughter would ring true.
“What George C. Scott did for Plaza Suite, Mike (Nichols) and I thought Peter (Falk) could do for Prisoner (of Second Avenue),” Simon observed.
“To play his long-suffering wife, our first and only choice was Lee Grant. An actress out of the Actors Studio, she was equally at home with Chekhov or with Sidney Kingsley, the latter having brought her to prominence in his dramatic hit Detective Story. None of this prevented her from being hilariously funny as the script sometimes needed her to be. Once again the basic rule of comedy was proven. Never try to make comedy funny. Honesty will do nicely, thank you.”
Simon turned 40 in 1967, and became aware of a change creeping up on him through his writing. “I don’t think one just decides to write more serious plays,” he observed. “Life dictates where your pen will move. It starts taking on your own inner fears, your responsibilities, your new, mature awareness that life isn’t just about you, about your own needs and your own self-importance. You suddenly become aware that the old people you know weren’t always old. It was not their occupation in life, as we supposed. They were once the way you are now, and inevitably you will eventually be like them, with others thinking you were always old. You will have to make the same journey, taking on the same pains, the same aches and anxieties, the same sorrows, the same losses. Your insight into the world becomes much larger, more objective and unavoidably clearer. I still wanted to write comedy, but I wanted to add darker chords, where happiness can turn on a dime to anguish, as fast as a phone call can disrupt a peaceful night’s sleep at two in the morning with desperate or calamitous news. I wanted to write about the unpredictable, the sudden surprises, the things we always thought happened to someone else, not to us. I wanted to write for a single person in a single seat in the theater, man of woman, young or old, and have them quietly say to themselves, ‘He’s writing about me.’”

          Patricia Neal: Tragedy and Triumph   

I’ve always been drawn to the actress Patricia Neal, who resembled both my mother, Patricia Hagen, and my grandmother, Ann Schwermin.
In a life of adventure and tragedy, Neal had a famous affair with the actor Gary Cooper, married the writer Roald Dahl. Her infant son was terribly injured when his baby carriage was struck by a taxicab. She lost her 7-year-old daughter and then almost everything else, fighting her way back to health after massive cerebral aneurysms.
Along the way, she fell into some of the best film roles any actress could ask for. She starred in great films like Hud, overlooked gems like A Face in the Crowd and unexpected classics like The Day the Earth Stood Still.
She turned down Broadway roles only to play them later in Hollywood, as in John Loves Mary and The Subject Was Roses. She played sentimental icons like Olivia Walton in The Homecoming and strange icons like Dominique Francon in The Fountainhead.
“I had left home early in 1945 and by the end of the year I had gotten my first job as an understudy,” Patricia Neal recalled in her autobiography, As I Am. “A year later I had opened on Broadway. There was no doubt about it, success had come to me overnight, and if I had not felt the dizziness of the leap while I was in New York, the change of altitude hit me when I stopped in Tennessee en route to California.”
She was returning home. Fresh from an acclaimed role in Lillian Hellman’s Another Part of the Forest, Neal had landed a contract at Warner Brothers along with a starring role in their film, John Loves Mary (the very role she’d had to turn down on Broadway after being cast in the Hellman play).
“I quickly learned that you must be forgiven your success by those who stay behind,” Neal said. “And you must hang on every word said to you lest you appear ‘uppity.’ And you must ask the questions before they are asked of you. ‘How many kids do you have?’ I would quickly inquire before anybody could bring up Broadway. As long as people talked about themselves to me, they thought I was just great and had not changed one bit for the worse.”
Arriving in Hollywood for a balmy Christmas, Neal quickly learned the ropes. About the parties, for instance. “Everybody I met was utterly divine to me, with the divided intimacy that I quickly learned was the style of Hollywood parties. One eye is fixed intently on the person you are talking to while the other scans the room to see the person you should be talking to.”
The town’s contradictions were apparent even at that first New Year’s Eve party she attended. He co-star, Ronald Reagan, introduced himself. “What a lovely, cheerful man, I thought. The next time I caught sight of him, it was at the stroke of midnight. He was on the terrace with an older woman, weeping into her arms. I later learned that he and his wife, Jane Wyman, were divorcing.”
“A movie set seemed an absolute fantasyland on my first day,” she remembered. I had so much energy and curiosity that I was everywhere, investigating everything. The main set of ‘John Loves Mary’ was surrounded by a forest of lights, reflectors, cranelike sound booms and recording equipment. Wires and cables laced the floor like huge octopus tentacles that trailed up into the rafters, connecting the whole stage to some energy source in the sky.
She found the experience to be “acting and a roller-coaster ride all wrapped into one!”
“We did only one scene that whole day,” Neal recalled. “It took hours to fix every detail. This was the Golden Age of Hollywood, and we were obliged to appear without any blemish that would expose us as merely human.”
Without a contract at Warner Brothers, deep into her four-year, now-public affair with the very married Gary Cooper, and recovering from an abortion that would haunt her for three decades, Patricia Neal faced a challenging year in 1951.
“I was no longer the young darling of Hollywood,” she recalled in her autobiography, As I Am. “I was the unsympathetic side of a triangle. Gary sensed my increasing anxiety and grew more tender toward me. Actually, he was under as much tension as I was. I could see it in his face, feel it in his body. But of course, he did not talk about it. I did not know he was becoming very ill.”
Luckily, Neal secured a three-film deal at Twentieth Century Fox.
“My first film of the new Fox contract was going to be a science fiction thriller called ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still.’ I was not encouraged in the least, but I did not want to begin my career at Fox by going on suspension. The director was Robert Wise, who had been good to me in the past. He believed in the project and wanted me to do it. I am very glad I said yes. I worked with an old friend, Hugh Marlowe, and a new one, Michael Rennie.
“I do think it’s the best science fiction film ever made, although I admit I sometimes had a difficult time keeping a straight face. Michael would patiently watch me bite my lips to avoid giggling and ask, with true British reserve, ‘Is that the way you intend to play it?’
“The press was relentless now. They followed me everywhere, even onto the set, but I would not speak to them. The publicity department made up responses for me to their questions about Gary. So in print, I could be vague (‘We’re just good friends’) or cute (‘If I were in love with him, I’d be silly to advertise it. After all, he is a married man.’) or even haughty (‘I do wish people would find something else to talk about’).
“Dear Michael, who was as exasperated as I was, thought I should honor their questions with my favorite line from the film.
“ ‘Miss Neal, did you break up Gary Cooper’s marriage?’
’Klaatu barada nikto!’”
Neal was introduced to Roald Dahl by Lillian Hellman while appearing on Broadway in a 1952 revival of Hellman’s play The Children’s Hour. She found the British writer cold and insufferable.
She was surprised, therefore, when he began to call, and they slowly began a grown-up and deliberate affair.
“He came to see my performances often,” she recalled. “And each night he would come backstage, sit on the chaise and watch me remove my makeup. One evening he put a kettle on the hot plate and asked if he could make some tea. Fine, I said. I’d have some too. He didn’t return to the chaise, but came to my side.”
They made small talk, with Neal telling him how, when she’d shared a dressing room with Jean Hagen, the actress would make an expensive long-distance call to her new husband and purr, “Kiss-kiss, kiss-kiss, kiss-kiss.”
“At eight thirty-five a minute!” he laughed and then mused, “ ‘Kiss-kiss.’ It’s a good title, don’t you think.”
“There was a long silence before he spoke again.
“ ‘I have another question for you,’ he ventured slowly. ‘I would like to know how you think it would work if we got married.’
“ ‘Oh no!’ I said suddenly and without thinking. He looked at me as if I had thrown cold water in his face. ‘Roald, let’s just continue the way we are. I mean, let’s not talk about that now. All right?’
“He looked horrified that I had turned him down. It’s simple, I thought to myself. I really don’t love him and I don’t want to get married. But then, that was not entirely true. I did want marriage. And a family. Roald would have beautiful children. What was I holding out for? A great love? That would never come again. When was I going to face reality?”
Neal and Dahl continued to date without mentioning the subject again, and she got a surprise call from a former boyfriend, the wealthy Peter Douglas, son of a U.S. ambassador to England. Their relationship had ended when he’s stood her up one night without explanation.
Neal met Douglas for dinner, and found him to be as boyish as ever while he recounted the story of how he’d gotten drunk with pals and missed the plane that would have taken him to her.
“We laughed about it and Peter said perhaps there was something he had not wanted to face then. We came back to my apartment and lay down on the sofa, and he put his arms around me and said, ‘Pat, I would love to marry you.’
“I thought back to the time I wanted so much to hear those words. I took his hand and said, very quietly, ‘Too late, dear Peter, too late.’
“Then the most surprising thing happened. I heard myself say, ‘I’m going to marry Roald Dahl.’”

          Elderly services blueprint unveiled   
The Labour & Welfare Bureau has released the Elderly Services Programme Plan which proposes four strategic directions and 20 recommendations for the future development of elderly services.
          Turquoise and Blue Ikat Designer Cushion Cover Accent Pillow suzani damask cream teal sea foam green wedgewood navy mint linen periwinkle by WhitlockandCo   

42.00 USD

Brand new pillow cover in a beautiful ikat print featuring turquoise, navy blue, light emerald green, sky blue/ wedgewood blue and robins egg blue on a cream background.

Ikat fabric is on both sides of cover. Please see the close up pictures to see the texture of the fabric.
55% Linen 45% Rayon.

<< 17" x 17" cover shown in photos, on a standard 18" insert.

Select 17x17 cover for a good fit on an 18" insert.
Select 19x19 cover for 20" insert.
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Zipper close.

** This listing is for the cover only (insert not included)

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          The Deal: Regency Energy Pays Premium for PVR   

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Houston energy midstream services provider Regency Energy Partners said Thursday it agreed to buy PVR Partners of Radnor, Pa., for $5.6 billion, expanding it from the Permian Basin, South Texas and northern Louisiana into Appalachia's Marcellus and Utica shale plays and the Mid-Continent. The deal includes $1.8 billion in debt assumption.PVR was surging on the news, gaining 12% to $25.65, while Regency was losing 8% to $25.61. Holders of PVR common units, Class B units and special units will receive 1.020 common units of Regency for each PVR unit they hold and a one-time cash payment at closing estimated at $40 million. Together, the stocks and cash were valued at $28.68 per unit, a 25.7% premium over PVR's closing price Wednesday of $22.81. Both partnerships' boards have approved the deal. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014 if it clears PVR unitholders and Hart-Scott-Rodino. CreditSights Inc. analysts Andy DeVries and Charles Johnston wrote in a report Thursday that Regency is paying a full multiple for PVR at 19.5 times Ebitda for the last 12 months, 17 times this year's estimated Ebitda and 14 times next year's Ebitda, versus the bidding war for Southern Union Co. that went over 10 times Ebitda ("and everybody thought that was expensive," they wrote). "While the 14 times is high relative to historic norms, that is being driven by the Fed and investors chasing yield in MLP's," they said, noting that 14 times is in line with current merged GP/LP MLP valuations like MarkWest Energy Partners LP (13.9 times) and Enterprise Products Partners LP (14.2 times). CreditSights said it was surprised by the deal, as it expected Regency would instead get merged into Energy Transfer Partners LP. It was also surprised that Regency used equity to fund the deal, as Regency yields 6.7% while Sunoco Logistics Partners LP, also owned by Energy Transfer, yields only 3.7% and thus is a much more richly valued currency for making acquisitions. "We understand PVR is in a different business line than SXL [Sunoco] but we assumed SXL could find its own acquisitions," it wrote. CreditSights is also concerned about Regency picking up PVR's coal royalty business, which makes up 20% of its earnings. "While less than 10% of the combined company's Ebitda, coal is clearly a negative for MLP [master limited partnership] investors," it said. "We assume the negative of the coal business is offset by O&M [operations and maintenance] synergies." PVR also merged with its general partner in 2011 so there are no incentive distribution rights impacting financials, CreditSights noted.The two companies claimed that the deal will create a leading gas gathering and processing platform with a scaled presence across North America's premier high-growth unconventional oil and gas plays in Appalachia, West Texas, South Texas, the Mid-Continent and northern Louisiana. The combination will be slightly dilutive to next year's discounted cash flow. However, the partnerships said it's not expected to affect anticipated cash distribution growth next year, and the enhanced scale, balance sheet strength and diversification are expected to provide substantial Ebitda and discounted cash flow growth over time. Moreover, the deal is expected to better-position the combined company to capitalize on the long-term growth momentum of North American gas production through incremental, high-value expansions around its core asset base and other growth and acquisition opportunities. "This acquisition enhances our overall geographic diversity by providing Regency with a strategic presence in two prolific producing areas, the Marcellus and Utica shales in the Appalachian Basin and the Granite Wash in the Mid-Continent region," Regency CEO Michael Bradley said in a statement. "These are tremendously complementary businesses, and as a result, we expect the increased footprint and scale to create significant synergies and provide substantial organic growth opportunities that will continue to support our goal of increasing distributions and creating unitholder value." PVR chief executive William Shea Jr. said in a statement the merger creates a larger, more diversified operating platform that will be highly attractive to investors, customers, creditors and employees. "We believe that the size and scope of the combined enterprise will be highly beneficial to our unitholders, offering added diversification and critical mass which will provide the needed financial flexibility to fully execute and benefit from the significant portfolio of organic growth projects we have developed over the past three years, especially in our Eastern midstream operations." Bradley will continue as president and CEO, and Thomas Long will continue as CFO. Regency and PVR expect to establish a transition team made up of members of both management teams to prepare for and to oversee the integration. The partnerships said the combination will have assets in many of the most economic, high-growth unconventional oil and gas plays in North America: the Wolfcamp, Bone Springs, Avalon and Cline shale plays in the Permian, the Eagle Ford shale play in South Texas, the Marcellus and Utica shale plays in Appalachia, the Granite Wash play in Oklahoma and Texas and the Haynesville Shale and Cotton Valley formation in North Louisiana. The increased scale and footprint will position Regency to build deeper customer relationships and secure and execute additional accretive growth opportunities, the partnerships said. Regency used Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Michael Cannon and Andrew Castaldo, UBS Investment Bank's Rob Pierce and Carlos Rivero and a Baker Botts LLP team including Neel Lemon, Breen Haire, Joshua Davidson, Steve Marcus, A.J. Ericksen, Daniel Gottschalk, Rob Fowler, Paul Cuomo, Scott Janoe, Doug Rayburn and Luke Weedon. PVR tapped Citigroup Global Markets Inc.'s Claudio Sauer and Drew Horn; Evercore Partners' Ray Strong, Rob Pacha, Eric Bauer, Amit Bushan and Joyce Zhang; and Vinson & Elkins LLP's Mike Rosenwasser and Michael Swidler.--By Claire Poole in Houston

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          Thirsty Elephant Art Print by Terry Fan | Society6   
elephant, fish, and water image
          Lowongan SENIOR MEDIA EXECUTIVE   
Perusahaan Media Placement Specialist di Jakarta Selatan menawarkan tantangan baru untuk Anda sebagai: SENIOR MEDIA EXECUTIVE Kualifikasi: * Min.Diploma (D3), lebih disukai S1 Advertising * Pengalaman min.3 thn di posisi terkait di Advertising Agency * Memahami Media Planning & Media Buying (TV, Radio, Print) * Memahami ATL & BTL * Analitis * Mampu presentasi dengan […]
I chose this poem because it simply made me giggle at myself and smile. The definition of Errata means error in printing or writing and honestly I had no idea. The reason it made me giggle and smile was because I love writing lyrics but sometimes I come across writing some that don't even make sense, and of course there is so many errors I make.
          IGNORÂNCIA OU AMNÉSIA: Com todos os PrintScream´s vistos aqui até este momento, que confirmaram todos os generos e práticas de corrupção e nepotismo, incentivos a desordem social e muito mais e, com o Ministério Público ainda de braços cruzados, então existe sim a razão para tantas manifestações a fim de defender o criminoso que confessou o próprio crime. Manifestações essas de grupinhos de esfomeados, sem mínimas condições de educação e de saúde, que deveriam ser a favor    

          Francis Joseph Brabazon 1879 - 1916, Francis Brabazon 1853 - 1881, James Brabazon 1805/9 - 1869   
Are these dates and names familiar. They lived in the north side and city centre areas of Dublin, Ireland although James had a connection with Ballymore Eustace, Co Kildare/Wicklow. There's also a Lucan, Co Dublin connection. Irish Catholics. Printing, labouring and gardening feature in the jobs area. There is a USA and Australian connection yet to be established.

Francis Joseph's wife was Mary Ryan 1888 - 1956 (Lucan, Co Dublin), Francis's wife was Elizabeth McEvoy 1856 - 1922 (Dublin), later married FitzGerald, James's wife was Bridger Bolger 1812 - 1888 (Ballymore Eustace, (Co Kildare/Wicklow).

Any information appreciated to

Many Thanks

Paul O'Brollaghain

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Bonjour, Avec l'arrivée du printemps, mon double poney se gratte ! le poitrail et la crinière principalement. Je pense que c'est une sorte de gale, pouvez vous me conseiller sur le produit adapté pour le soigner ? Merci et à bientôt. Dominick.
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          Download Free The World Reduced to Infographics: From Hollywood's Life Lessons and Doomed Cities of the U.S. to Sociopathic... Ebook PDF Free   

0 - Download Free The World Reduced to Infographics: From Hollywood's Life Lessons and Doomed Cities of the U.S. to Sociopathic... Ebook PDF Free

Alternative Download Link - The World Reduced to Infographics: From Hollywood's Life Lessons and Doomed Cities of the U.S. to Sociopathic...

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          Bolt vann – men van Niekerk stal rubrikerna   

Usain Bolt vann 100-metersloppet i onsdagskvällens friidrottsgala World Challenge i Ostrava.

Men det var sprintern Wayde van Niekerk som fick uppmärksamheten tack vare ett ovanligt världsrekord.

          Comment on Live365: The Future of Internet Radio by Raj Kumar   
I do believe people planning to take up a web organization are often sprint declined inside sensations. <a href="" rel="nofollow">free online radio</a>
          Signing an NDA   
So I have worked on a variety of projects over a long period of time without signing an NDA. Now I am doing projects for a very big company and they require me to sign the NDA. I would like to know how exactly do you sign the NDA, and how can it be done digitally? Do I fill in all the blank spaces that relates to me? or do I print this out and just write above the blank lines? Please advise, Thanks!
          Google Patents Rear Side Touchpad For Future Pixel Smartphone Control   
Google Patents Rear Side Touchpad For Future Pixel Smartphone Control A current smartphone trend has seen vendors put fingerprint readers on the backs of our devices, which also might beg the question, "what else could we put back there?" According to a newly granted Google patent, a touchpad could be in the cards for the Android creator's future branded Pixel smartphone devices. If that sounds a bit bizarre,
          Cards and Invitations   
Hello, I want to start creating my own cards and invitations to sell as a starting point for me. I was wondering how I go about the actual printing process. Should I be printing them myself, and if so on what type of printer? Or should I use a certain company/type of company to order from? Please help! Thanks in advance!
          Qualcomm’s New Advanced Under Display Fingerprint Sensor Also Detects Heart Rate And Blood Flow   
Qualcomm’s New Advanced Under Display Fingerprint Sensor Also Detects Heart Rate And Blood Flow When it comes to flagship smartphones, the new trend seems to be near bezel-less edge-to-edge displays. The Samsung Galaxy S8 is probably the best example of this, and the upcoming Galaxy Note 8 is expected to feature a similar design. Since there is little room on the front of the display to house a dedicated home button with an integrated
          Isn't it a little too early to declare success?   
Louis Brewster wrote about the Citizens Business Bank Arena, which isn't scheduled to open in Ontario until October. But it's already a success, according to Mayor Paul Leon:

"This is money we've saved," Ontario Mayor Paul Leon said Monday at the unveiling of the Ontario Reign logo. "We are not spending taxpayers' money as it's being built."

The Ontario Reign is a minor league hockey team, and they issued their own press statement about the event:

Logo Unveiling Ceremony Conjures Up Excitement Over Impending Season
03/17/2008 2:54 PM

ONTARIO, Calif. – The Ontario Reign Professional Hockey Team of the ECHL and affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings, formally unveiled their official logo today at a press conference at the Hilton Ontario Airport Hotel. The historical event marks the official debut of Ontario, California’s first-ever professional sports team.

Today’s ceremony served as an induction of the Reign into the history books of Ontario and included over one hundred and sixty representatives from local cities and organizations throughout the Inland Empire. Speakers included Reign president Barry Kemp and Executive Vice President of Business Development Justin Kemp, Los Angeles Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille, Ontario Mayor Paul Leon and Senator Bob Dutton.

The ceremony unveiled the Reign’s first advertising campaign as well as the team’s primary and secondary logos which will be used for all future branding and marketing initiatives.

Designed by Keith Flynn of Flynnagain Productions out of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the logo incorporates the Reign’s colors of navy, orange and silver into the design which will be used to brand the team’s image in the Inland Empire.

The logo depicts a sleek, but menacing dragon grasping a hockey stick, set atop an iron shield. The body of the image, the dragon, is colored navy with highlights of orange outlining the wings and head. ‘Ontario Reign’ sits across the middle of the logo in white lettering accented in silver and orange, while the shield in the background is colored silver and rimmed in navy.

The Reign believes that the logo will command a presence in the Inland Empire that promotes a sense of strength, honor and pride of being a part of an outstanding community and encourages an on and off-ice attitude of dedication, determination and action.

“This logo represents everything the Ontario Reign stands for”, said Justin Kemp, Executive Vice President of Business Development for the Ontario Reign. “The fierce image signifies strength, intimidation and power carrying on the Los Angeles Kings’ royal tradition.”

The name ‘Reign’ came from a team naming contest that was held from November through December, 2007 with over 600 entries submitted. The winning entry was submitted by Mike Brewster of Fontana, Calif.

The Reign will begin play of the 2008-2009 season in October at the state-of-the-art Citizens Business Bank Arena with the schedule to be released to the public in the near future.

Can’t wait to check out all the excitement of Ontario Reign Hockey? Season ticket deposits are now being taken for only $25 per seat! For more information contact the Ontario Reign office at (909) 941-PUCK (7825) or log on to

The history books of Ontario? Promotion of on and off ice attitudes? I know that you have to talk your product up, but southern California is not really noted for its support of ice hockey. It may be a little premature to declare an Ontario Reign of ice hockey. (And anyway, I'm the emperor around here.)

And as for the Citizens Business Bank Arena, while it's wonderful that I haven't had to pay anything for it yet, we still have to see if people will come to the new arena.

Set for a Fall 2008 opening, Citizens Business Bank Arena will be a state-of-the-art facility that will play host basketball, ice hockey and a variety of other sporting competitions, concerts, family shows, special events, and community activities as well as private events. The venue will be the biggest and most modern arena within the Inland Empire.

Citizens Business Bank Arena will be the centerpiece of Piemonte at the Ontario Center, a massive mixed-use project, with large-scale office, retail, hotel, entertainment and urban living components. Built on a 37-acre footprint in the middle of the project between Haven Avenue and Milliken Avenue and Fourth Street and the I-10 Freeway...

Let me interject something here for those who aren't familiar with the area. Years ago, there was another wonderful sports facility at this same location; namely, the Ontario Motor Speedway. It's gone now. Continue:

...Citizens Business Bank Arena will include 9,500 fixed seats with additional "portable" seating risers to accommodate capacities of 11,089 for concerts, 9,736 for ice hockey and 10,832 for basketball. The 225,000 square foot venue will also feature 36 suites located on two levels and a continuous concourse hosting a variety of refreshment stands and merchandise kiosks, a VIP club and other fan amenities.

Now I've been known to drink the Kool-Aid from time to time. I hope that my mayor and city manager aren't doing the same.
          Mail Room Clerical - Full Time - MiraMed Global Services, Inc. and Affiliates - Jackson, MI   
Mailroom Clerical Assistant. File and track outgoing certified letters. Track outgoing Fedex and update Fedex spreadsheet. Printer, phone, fax, copier, etc....
From MiraMed Global Services, Inc. and Affiliates - Tue, 16 May 2017 15:58:28 GMT - View all Jackson, MI jobs
          Minha primeira competição!   
Na verdade eu não competi, fui realmente para participar!
Participei ontem da Corporate Run no campus da Cidade Universitária, a competição era exclusivamente a empresas e como a empresa onde trabalho costuma participar, me inscrevi para uma equipe que corra 5 Km.
Se você é visitante antigo, deve lembrar que comecei uma rotina um pouco mais séria de caminhada há praticamente pouco mais de um ano, de lá pra cá ainda não perdi o peso que precisava (na verdade acho que não perdi peso nenhum!), ultimamente tenho tentado dar algumas corridas que tem me tirado totalmente o fôlego no meio destas caminhadas.
Dá gosto de perticipar de algo tão bem organizado, comecei com um trotezinho leve, aproveitando o embalo de todo mundo na largada, depois de uns 1500 metros comecei a caminhar visando pelo menos terminar o trajeto, quando passei do quarto quilômetro, senti que poderia voltar a correr um pouco até que vi a largada, aí senti que poderia dar um sprint e disparei até o final. Foi muito legal! Acho que esse sprint foi o responsável por meu cansaço desfrutado em toda a tarde de ontem, mas esse momento que vemos o final e começamos a tirar toda a energia para cumprir o trajeto é algo realmente emocionante.
Me faz pensar realmente no quanto eu posso ir além do que tenho realmente feito no dia a dia ou do que tenho me empenhado em fazer nos últimos anos. Acho que basta se dispôr ao risco para começar a tirar recursos de si que estão intocados.
Ah! Fiz o percurso em 39m15s, bem pior do que a grande maioria que cumpria os 5 kms entre 30 e 35 mins, mas ainda melhor do que os 40 mins que estava esperando. Agora eu sei que para melhorar eu tenho realmente que emagrecer, mais um desafio pela frente...
          Race Report - Johnny's Running of the Green 5 Mile   
(not the greatest picture of us, but it had to be posted)
Our friend, RJ, in the center wearing his kilt - ready to take on the day!

Katrina and I were sort-of friends in high school. She graduated a few years ahead of me, so we obviously had different circles of friends. In retrospect, she and I would have probably been the 'bestest' of friends, though, because there is literally nothing that she and I don't have in common (ok, maybe a few things, but you get the picture.) Her connection to this fun story of Kari and I is kind of cool, too. Four years before we were Rotary exchange students to Liege, Katrina was one as well (welcome to our small little world.)

Anyhoo - a few months ago, Katrina told me that she wanted to 'up' her running game. I threw down the challenge of the Johnny's 5 mile run on St. Patty's Day. (I actually thought at the time that it was a 5k, but she seemed game.) She continued her training, and I tried to keep up with mine.

Last monday, I fell off the curb in front of a friends house and thought my race was in jeopardy. Last monday, Katrina fell victim to a horrible stomach flu.  OH NO, Atalanta must have turned her back on us. Well, my ankle started to feel better by Wednesday and her stomach began to feel better.......ummmmm. ....maybe Friday night???? When she told me that she was still eager to run the race, I knew that it was going to be a struggle but all of us runners have seen some amazing feats of courage out there on the road. I figured, she can do it!

Katrina and I headed into the city with the windsheild wipers on high and the heater on full blast - crimey it was shitty out! GREAT!!  Our arrival at the registration booth was about 30 minutes before the thousands of Rochesterians arrived to prepare for this popular event.  One of the first people we saw was my friend Derrick (winner of the Rochester Marathon that MichaelB ran with me) - followed by a whole slew of gree-clad GOOF BALLS from all over the greater Rochester area. While Katrina and I admittedly had difficulty finding anything green to wear, the remainder of the field must have simply bought every single article of St. Patty's Day paraphanalia available in the area. WE SAW IT ALL. I saw a bright green plaid running skort that I secretly CRAVED ( you know my fondness for skorts.)

On with the story. . . Kartina said that she wished to finish in under an hour. Our pace for the first 2.5 miles was well under that. She and I enjoyed some nice conversation - I tagged on the tale-end of an indian sprint team of high school track runners (of course, we played a game of cat and mouse with those boys for the entire run.) They were a good time. Katrina and I planned some of the details for our upcoming trip to Belgium to watch the Tour de France. (I can't wait to get there.) At about mile 2, Derrick passed us on his way home - WOOT WOOT! ( he ended up winning his age group.) Mile 2.5 marked Katrina's WALL - poor girl. She told me that she simply felt like there was no energy in the tank. So, we walked for a few minutes and then took to a simple walk-run tempo. It was about mile 3 where we were joined by Bill (self-proclaimed FAT POKER PLAYER.) He and his two other FAT POKER PLAYERS had challenged eachother to this 5-mile race. Bill tagged along with our run-walk for as long as he could (poor guy hadn't trained at all.) Katrina and I decided to pull away from the back-of the packers for the last 1.25  miles. She was committed to running the remainder of the way - which she did. This was the same last section of the Rochester Marathon that I struggled to finish in September. I could completely sympathize with Katrina and her empty tank (remember, this is about when I started craving italian sausage?) 

Katrina and I turned the last corner to head for the finish line - the crowd was fantatstic (and, of course, there was a sausage stand at the finish line. Where the heck was that when I wanted it in September?)

We crossed the finish line 58 minutes. Katrina was happy to finish in under an hour, shocked that she could do such a good job coming off a stomach flu. 

Her facebook post yesterday was this:
We finished just under my goal and I didn't have to crawl any part of it nor did any rescue vehicle need to scrape me off the road!

I was so proud of her and found myself wondering what she could have done if she were 100% (kind of like I found myself wondering how Francine would have done 2 weeks ago with an easier course.) The determination of the human spirit has never been so obvious to me as it has been this past month. First, watching my friend Fracine complete her first half-marathon, then watching Katrina push herself to the finish of a very cold and rainy 5 mile run following a week-long illness. I think that those competitive front-runners would question my resolve to run with my newbie friends. I'm telling you this much, it's so much fun and a feat to behold.

My friend, Jenn, (who I talked into running her first half-marahon in Rochester last September) just sent a message to Katrina "welcome to the lrc: Laura's running cult."

HAHAHA - call it whatever you want. I love it! What is really cool is that I am now seeing that all of the people who have begun running with me are now gaining a following of their own. Get out there and run, walk, crawl. Just get out there!
          Preserving VFX Equipment and Techniques   
I've had some discussions with a few people about the need to try preserve some of the pre-Digital visual effects equipment (optical printers, animation stands, motion control systems, etc) as well...

[Summary only. Full text at site.]
          Enterprise Unified Process   

Enterprise Unified Process

Adhy Suryo Wicaksono
Bayu Akbar
Fachri Adityo
Fajar Hidayatullah



Kata Pengantar

Puji dan syukur kami panjatkan ke Hadirat Tuhan Yang Maha Esa, karena berkat limpahan Rahmat dan Karunia-Nya sehingga kami dapat menyusun buku ini dengan baik, serta tepat pada waktunya. Dalam buku ini kami akan membahas mengenai “ENTERPRISE UNIFIED PROCESS”
Buku ini telah dibuat dengan berbagai observasi, pencarian materi dan beberapa bantuan dari berbagai pihak untuk membantu menyelesaikan buku ini. Oleh karena itu, kami mengucapkan terimak kasih kepada semua pihak yang telah membantu dalam penyusunan buku ini.
Kami menyadari bahwa masih banyak kekurangan yang mendasar pada buku ini. Oleh karena itu kami mengundang pembaca untuk memberikan saran serta kritik yang dapat membangun kami. Kritik konstruktif dari pembaca sangat kami harapkan untuk penyempurnaan buku selanjutnya.
Akhir kata semoga buku ini dapat memberikan manfaat terhadap kita semua.
Daftar Isi 

Kata Pengantar
Bab 1. Pendahuluan
       1.1   Latar Belakang
       1.2   Tujuan
       1.3   Ruang Lingkup
Bagian II
Bab 2. Konsep Enterprise Unified Process
       2.1    Pengertian Enterprise Unified Process
       2.2    Penurunan pada Enterprise Unified Process
       2.2.1 Pengertian Rational Unified Process
       2.2.2 Sejarah Rational Unified Process
       2.2.3 Keuntungan Rational Unified Process
Bagian III
Bab 3
       3.1    Fase-fase Enterprise Unified Process 
       3.1.1 Inception
       3.1.2 Elaboration
       3.1.3 Construction
       3.1.4 Transition
       3.1.5 Production
       3.1.6 Retirement
       3.2    Praktik-praktik Enterprise Unified Process
Bagian IV
Bab 4 Contoh kasus fase-fase Enterprise Unified Process SMS Gateway
       4.1    Inception
       4.2    Elaboration
       4.3    Construction
       4.4    Transition
       4.5    Production
       4.6    Retirement
Bab 5 Penutup 
       5.1    Kesimpulan



1.1 Latar Belakang
 Enterprise Unified Process (EUP) adalah perpanjangan varian dari Rasional Unified Proses dan dikembangkan oleh Scott W. Ambler dan Larry Constantine pada tahun 2000, terakhir dikerjakan ulang pada tahun 2005 oleh Ambler, John Nalbone dan Michael Vizdos. EUP diperkenalkan untuk mengatasi beberapa kekurangan dari RUP, yaitu kurangnya dukungan sistem dan akhir penggunaan sistem software. Jadi dua fase dan beberapa disiplin ilmu baru ditambahkan ke RUP.

1.2 Tujuan
Tujuan pelaksanaan ini adalah untuk memberikan panduan pembelajaran bagaimana, EUP merupakan implementasikan dalam suatu pengembangan perangkat lunak

1.3 Ruang Lingkup
Pengembangan aplikasi intranet potal dilakukan menggunakan metodologi Enterprise Unified Process (EUP) dengan menggunakan perangkat lunak Rational Enterprise Suite. Perangkat bantu yang digunakan adlah Rational Requisite Pro untuk menemukan dan mendokumentasikan kebuuhan user terhadap aplikasi yang akan dikembangkan dan Rational Rose untuk melakukan pengembangan kerangka aplikasi
Dalam implementasi akan dikembangkan aplikasi intranet protal untuk fullright indonesia sebagai model dan studi kasus dengan menggunakan RUP dalam proses pengembangan aplikasi, Adapu ruang lingkup pengembang Aplikasi intranet portal mencakup hal-hal sebagai :
  • Pengembangan spesifikasi dan moldul aplikasi antar muka (interface) yang menjadi penghubung antar pengguna dengan infrastruktur dan sumber daya yang dimiliki Fulbright Indonesia.
  • Pengembangan spesifikasi dan modul aplikasi perangkat bantu (tools) yang dapat diintegrasikan ke sistem seperti yang diperlukan oleh sistem.
  • Pengembangan spesifikasi database yang diperlukan oleh sistem.

BAB 2 


Enterprise Unified Process

2.1 Pengertian Enterprise Unified Process
Enterprise Unified Process (EUP) adalah perpanjangan varian dari Rasional Unified Proses dan dikembangkan oleh Scott W. Ambler dan Larry Constantine pada tahun 2000, terakhir dikerjakan ulang pada tahun 2005 oleh Ambler, John Nalbone dan Michael Vizdos.EUP diperkenalkan untuk mengatasi beberapa kekurangan dari RUP, yaitu kurangnya dukungan sistem dan akhir penggunaan sistem software. Jadi dua fase dan beberapa disiplin ilmu baru ditambahkan ke RUP. EUP melihat pengembangan perangkat lunak bukan sebagai kegiatan mandiri, tetapi tertanam dalam siklus hidup sistem (yang akan dibangun atau ditingkatkan atau diganti), Siklus hidup TI dari perusahaan dan organziation/bisnis adlah siklus hidup perusahaan itu sendiri. Ini berkaitan dengan pengembangan perangkat lunak dilihat dari sudut pandang pelanggan.
2.2 Penurunan pada Enterprise Unified Process

2.2.1 Pengertian Rational Unified Process
Rational Unified Process (RUP) merupakan suatu metode rekayasa perangkat lunak yang dikembangkan dengan mengumpulkan berbagai best practises yang terdapat dalam industri pengembangan perangkat lunak. Ciri utama metode ini adalah menggunakan use-case driven dan pendekatan iteratif untuk siklus pengembangan perankat lunak. Gambar dibawah menunjukkan secara keseluruhan arsitektur yang dimiliki RUP. RUP menggunakan konsep object oriented, dengan aktifitas yang berfokus pada pengembangan model dengan menggunakan Unified Model Language (UML). Melalui gambar dibawah dapat dilihat bahwa RUP memiliki, yaitu:
  • Dimensi pertama digambarkan secara horizontal. Dimensi ini mewakili aspek-aspek dinamis dari pengembangan perangkat lunak. Aspek ini dijabarkan dalam tahapan pengembangan atau fase. Setiap fase akan memiliki suatu major milestone yang menandakan akhir dari awal dari phase selanjutnya. Setiap phase dapat berdiri dari satu beberapa iterasi. Dimensi ini terdiri atas Inception, Elaboration, Construction, dan Transition.
  • Dimensi kedua digambarkan secara vertikal. Dimensi ini mewakili aspek-aspek statis dari proses pengembangan perangkat lunak yang dikelompokkan ke dalam beberapa disiplin. Proses pengembangan perangkat lunak yang dijelaskan kedalam beberapa disiplin terdiri dari empat elemen penting, yakni who is doing, what, how dan when. Dimensi ini terdiri atas
Business Modeling, Requirement, Analysis and Design, Implementation, Test, Deployment, Configuration dan Change Manegement, Project Management, Environtment.

Pada penggunaan kedua standard tersebut diatas yang berorientasi obyek (object orinted) memiliki manfaat yakni:
  • Improve productivity Standard ini dapat memanfaatkan kembali komponen-komponen yang telah tersedia/dibuat sehingga dapat meningkatkan produktifitas
  • Deliver high quality system Kualitas sistem informasi dapat ditingkatkan sebagai sistem yang dibuat pada komponen¬komponen yang telah teruji (well-tested dan well-proven) sehingga dapat mempercepat delivery sistem informasi yang dibuat dengan kualitas yang tinggi.
  • Lower maintenance cost Standard ini dapat membantu untuk menyakinkan dampak perubahan yang terlokalisasi dan masalah dapat dengan mudah terdeteksi sehingga hasilnya biaya pemeliharaan dapat dioptimalkan atau lebih rendah dengan pengembangan informasi tanpa standard yang jelas.
  • Facilitate reuse Standard ini memiliki kemampuan yang mengembangkan komponen-komponen yang dapat digunakan kembali untuk pengembangan aplikasi yang lainnya.
  • Manage complexity Standard ini mudah untuk mengatur dan memonitor semua proses dari semua tahapan yang ada sehingga suatu pengembangan sistem informasi yang amat kompleks dapat dilakukan dengan aman dan sesuai dengan harapan semua manajer proyek IT/IS yakni deliver good quality software within cost and schedule time and the users accepted.
Dari gambar diatas, terlihat ada sembilan core process workflow dalam RUP. Semuanya merepresentasikan pembagian worker dan activities ke dalam logical grouping. Ada dua bagian utama yaitu process workflows dan supporting workflows. Dalam process workflows terdapat Bussiness modeling yang didalamnya dibuat dokumen bussiness process yang dipakai disebut bussiness use cases. Dokumen ini menjamin stakeholder memahami kebutuhan bisnis proses yang diperlukan.
Tujuan dari requirement workflow adalah mendeskripsikan ‘what’/apa yang harus dikerjakan oleh sistem serta membolehkan developer dan costumer untuk menyetujui deskripsi itu. Analysis&Design workflows bertujuan untuk menunjukkan ‘how/bagaimana merealisasikan sistem dalam tahap implementasi. Didalamnya kita akan menemukan problem domain juga solusi dari problem yang mungkin akan muncul dalam sistem. Hasil yang diberikan pada tahapan ini adalah design model sebagai ‘blueprint’ dari source code yang akan dibuat dan juga analysis model (optional). Implementation workflow bertujuan untuk mengimplementasikan classes dan objects dalam hubungannya dengan component, mengetest component yang dihasilkan sebagai unit, dan untuk mengintegrasikan hasil yang dibuat oleh masing-masing implementer/teams ke dalam executable system. RUP menjelaskan bagaimana kita me-reuse exiting complements atau me-implement new component sehingga membuat sistem mudah dibangun dan meningkatkan kemungkinan untuk me-reusenya. Test workflow bertujuan untuk memeriksa interaksi antar objek, penggabungan component dari software dengan tepat, dan memeriksa apakah semua kebutuhan sudah dipenuhi dengan tepat. Selain itu, test bertujuan untuk mengidentifikasikan dan meyakinkan bahwa kerusakan yang ada telah diatasi sebelum men-deploy software.
RUP menawarkan pendekatan iterative yang memungkinkan kita mengetest keseluruhan project dengan menemukan kerusakan sejak dini sehingga mengurangi cost untuk memperbaikinya. Test menghasilkan tiga macam ukuran qualitas yaitu reliability, functionality, application dan system performance. Deployment workflow dilakukan untuk menghasilkan product release dengan sukses dan aktifitas mengantar software kepada end user seperti membuat external releases dari software ,packing software, distributing software, installing software, serta membantu user memahami sistem. Aktifitas ini dilakukan pada fase transition. Dalam RUP, deployment workflow berisi paling sedikit detailnya daripada workflow yang lain. Project management menyediakan framework untuk mengatur software-intensive projects, panduan untuk planning, staffing, executing, dan monitoring projects, dan framework untuk mengatur resiko yang ada. Dikatakan sukses apabila produk tersebut dapat memenuhi kebutuhan user dan kebanyakan customer.
Configuration and change management menyediakan panduan untuk mengatur penyusunan software systems, mengatasi perubahan request management, dan dapat menjadi salah satu cara untuk melaporkan suatu kerusakan. Environment bertujuan menyediakan software development organization beserta software development environment, yang dibutuhkan untuk mendukung development team. Seperti yang kita tahu dalam software development, tujuan yang akan diraih adalah membangun/meningkatkan sebuah software sesuai dengan kebutuhan (Bussiness Process). Sedangkan sebuah proses disebut efektif jika menetapkan sebuah garis pedoman yang menjamin kualitas software yang dibangun, mengurangi resiko dan meningkatkan perkiraan kepada masalah yang mungkin muncul, serta menggunakan best practise. Rational Unified Process menawarkan dan menjelaskan penerapan six best practise yang efektif pada software development, diantaranya adalah :
  • Develop Software Iteratively Pendekatan secara iterative digunakan untuk mengurangi resiko yang dapat terjadi selama lifecycle. Setiap akhir iterasi akan diperoleh executable release yang memungkinkan keterlibatan end user dan feedback yang diberikan secara terus-menerus. Pendekatan ini juga mepermudahkan penyesuaian perubahan kebutuhan, features, maupun jadwalnya.
  • Manage Requirements Rational Unified Process mendeskripsikan bagaimana mendapatkan, mengorganisasikan, dan mendokumentasikan fungsionalitas dan batasan yang dibutuhkan. Sehingga akan memudahkan dalam memahami dan mengkomunikasikan kebutuhan bisnis.
  • Use Component-based Architecture RUP menggunakan pendekatan sistematis dalam mendefinisikan arsitektur yang menggunakan component. Karena memang proses yang dilakukan difokuskan pada awal pembangunan sebuah software. Dalam proses ini akan mendeskripsikan bagaimana menyusun arsitektur yang fleksibel, mudah dipahami, dan mengembangkan efektif software reuse.
  • Visually Model Software Proses yang dilakukan menunjukkan bagaimana memvisualisasikan model yang mencakup struktur dan kelakuan dari arsitektur dan komponen.
  • Verify Software Quality Application perfoemance dan kemampuan tahan uji yang buruk dapat menghalangi diterimanya sebuah aplikasi software. Sehingga diperlukan penelaahan lebih lanjut tentang kualitas software dengan mematuhi kebutuhan aplikasi berdasarkan kemampuan tahan uji, fungsionalitas, application performance, dan system performance.
  • Control Changes to Software Proses akan mendeskripsikan bagaimana mengontrol dan memonitor perubahan untuk kesuksesan iterative development. Selain itu, proses juga akan memandu kita bagaimana menyusun workspace yang aman bagi para developer dengan mengisolasi perubahan yang dilakukan di workspace lain dan dengan mengontrol perubahan pada seluruh software artifact. Sehingga membuat team bekerja sebagai unit tersendiri dengan mendeskripsikan bagaimana mengintegrasikan dan membangun management secara otomatis.
RUP sebagai architecture-centric. Architeture ini merupakan fokus yang dibahas pada fase elaboration yang akan dibahas pada bagian lain makalah ini. Software architecture design merupakan artifact dasar yang diperoleh dari sebuah architecture. Artifact lain yang diperoleh dari sebuah architecture ini diantaranya dapat membuat garis pedoman desain yang dipakai, struktur produk, dan team structure. Dalam merepresentasikan sebuah architecture pada software development kita menggunakan yang disebut The 4+1 view model yang telah kita kenal saat mempelajari UML. View model itu terdiri dari : logical view (dipakai oleh analyst/designer), implementation view (dipakai oleh progammer), process view (dipakai oleh system integrator), dan deployment view (dipakai oleh system engineering), serta ditambah dengan use case view (dipakai oleh end user). Keuntungan dari architecture centric process diantaranya memperbolehkan kita untuk menambah dan menambah intellectual control sebuah proyek untuk mengatur kompleksitas dan membangun system integrity. Proses arsitektur ini memiliki lifecycle phase, yang terdiri dari inception phase, elaboration phase, construction phase, dan transition phase. Setiap fase yang ada dihubungkan dengan milestone, yaitu suatu point evaluasi dari suatu tahap fase yang sudah selesai dibuat,
2.2.2 Sejarah Rational Unified Process
RUP merupakan produk proses perangkat lunak yang awalnya dikembangkan oleh Rational Software. Rational Software diakuisisi oleh IBM pada Februari 2003. Produk ini memuat basis-pengetahuan yang bertautan dengan artefak sederhana disertai deskripsi detail dari beragam aktivitas. RUP dimasukkan dalam produk IBM Rational Method Composer (RM C) yang memungkinkan untuk kustomisasi proses. Dengan mengombinasikan pengalaman dari banyak perusahaan, dihasilkan enam praktik terbaik untuk rekayasa perangkat lunak modern: Pengembangan iteratif, dengan risiko sebagai pemicu iterasi primer Kelola persyaratan Terapkan arsitektur yang berbasis komponen Visualisasikan model perangkat lunak Secara kontinyu, verifikasi kualitas Kendalikan perubahan.
2.2.3 Keuntungan RUP
Keuntungan yang didapat dengan menggunakan pendekatan iterasi diantaranya adalah : mengurangi resiko lebih awal, perubahan yang dilakukan lebih mudah diatur, higher level of reuse, project team memiliki waktu lama untuk memahami sistem yang akan dibangun, dan menghasilkan kualitas yang lebih baik di segala aspek.
RUP menawarkan berbagai kemudahan dalam membangun sebuah sotfware, ada yang disebut Six Best Practices yang terdiri dari :
  • Develop Iteratively
  • Manage Requirement
  • Use Component-based Architecture
  • Model Visually
  • Verify Quality
  • Control Changes to software
Semua proses yang dilakukan oleh RUP akan memberikan keuntungan pada tahapan membangun sebuah software. Saat melakukan perancangan sebuah perangkat lunak, tentunya setiap tahapan akan mendapatkan masalah. Biasanya gejala/symptom yang menunjukkan ada masalah dalam proses perancangan software seperti berikut :
  • Ketidak akuratan dalam memahami kebutuhan end-user.
  • Ketidakmampuan untuk menyetujui perubahan kebutuhan yang diajukan.
  • Modul-modul yang dibutuhkan tidak dapat dihubungkan.
  • Software yang sulit untuk dibangun atau diperluas.
  • Terlambat menemukan kerusakan project yang serius.
  • Kualitas software yang buruk.
  • Kemampuan software yang tidak dapat diterima.
Team members yang bekerja sendiri-sendiri sulit untuk mengetahui perubahan yang telah dilakukan karena ada perbedaan dalam membangun software tersebut. Ada ketidakpercayaan dalam membangun dan me-release proses. Usaha untuk menghilangkan symptom ini tidak akan menyelesaikan masalah yang dihadapi software developer karena gejala ini dapat terjadi oleh adanya penyebab utama masalah yang timbul saat membangun sebuah sistem, yaitu :
  • Requirement management yang tidak mencukupi
  • Komunikasi yang ambigu dan tidak tepat
  • Arsitektur yang rapuh
  • Kompleksitas yang sangat besar
  • Tidak terdeteksinya ketidakkonsistenan antara requirement,desain, dan implementasi
Pengetesan yang tidak mencukupi
  • Penilaian status project yang subjektif
  • Keterlambatan pengurangan resiko yang disebabkan waterfall development
  • Perkembangan yang tidak terkontrol
  • Otomatisasi yang kurang
Semua hambatan yang ditemui saat membangun software akan dapat diatasi dengan menggunakan best practise yang telah disebutkan di awal pembahasan. Dengan menggunakan best practise yang diterapkan oleh Rational Unified Process, akar masalah yang menyebabkan timbulnya symptom dalam software developer akan teratasi dengan baik.
Sebelum kita membahas lebih dalam mengenai Rational Unified Process, kita perlu untuk mengetahui terlebih dahulu apa maksud dari proses itu sendiri. Proses merupakan suatu tahapan yang mendefinisikan siapa yang mengerjakan apa, kapan dan bagaimana meraih suatu tujuan yang pasti. RUP merepresentasikan empat elemen dasar untuk memodelkan pertanyaan yang muncul dari sebuah proses, yaitu workers, activities, artifacts, dan workflows.
Worker mendefinisikan behavior/kelakuan dan responsibilities dari seseorang atau sebuah team. Dalam Unified Process, worker lebih diartikan sebagai bagaimana team/individual seharusnya bekerja. Sedangkan tanggungjawab bagi worker adalah melakukan serangkaian aktifitas sebagai pemilik dari sekumpulan artifact.
Activity dari spesific worker adalah sebuah unit kerja yang dilakukan seorang individu. Tujuannya cukup jelas,yaitu membuat/meng-update artifact. Setiap activity diberikan kepada spesific worker dan harus dapat digunakan sebagai elemen dalam planning dan progress software development. Contoh activity diantaranya : merencanakan sebuah iteration untuk worker Project Manager, menemukan use case dan aktor untuk worker System Analyst, dan sebagainya.
Artifact merupakan sekumpulan informasi yang dihasilkan, diubah, dan dipakai dalam sebuah proses. Artifact digunakan sebagai input bagi worker untuk melakukan activity dan juga sebagai output dari activity. Dalam object-oriented design, activities adalah operasi yang dilakukan aktif object(worker) sedangkan artifact sebagai parameter dari activities tersebut. Contoh artifact yaitu: model (uses case model), document,source code,dan lain-lain.
Workflow adalah serangkaian activities yang menghasilkan nilai hasil yang dapat terlihat. Dalam UML, workflow digambarkan dengan sequence diagram, collaboration diagram, atau activity diagram. Workflow tidak selalu dapat dipakai untuk merepresentasikan semua ketergantungan yang ada diantara activities. Karena,terkadang dua buah activities yang digambarkan dalam workflow sebenarnya sangat rapat jalinannya yang melibatkan worker yang sama padahal mungkin penggambarannya tidak terlalu tepat.


3.1 Fase-Fase Enterprise Unified Process

3.1.1 Inception
Tahap inception fokus pada penentuan manfaat perangkat lunak yang harus dihasilkan, penetapan proses-proses bisnis (business case), dan perencanaan proyek.
  • Menentukan Ruang lingkup proyek
  • Membuat ‘Business Case’
  • Menjawab pertanyaan “apakah yang dikerjakan dapat menciptakan ‘good business sense’ sehingga proyek dapat dilanjutkan

3.1.2 Elaboration
Tahap untuk menentukan use case (set of activities) dari perangkat lunak berikut rancangan arsitekturnya.
  • Menganalisa berbagai persyaratan dan resiko
  • Menetapkan ‘base line’
  • Merencanakan fase berikutnya yaitu construction

3.1.3 Construction

Membangun produk perangkat lunak secara lengkap yang siap diserahkan kepada pemakai.
  • Melakukan sederetan iterasi
  • Pada setiap iterasi akan melibatkan proses berikut: analisa desain, implementasi dan testing

3.1.4 Transition
Menyerahkan perangkat lunak kepada pengguna, mengujinya ditempat pengguna, dan memperbaiki masalah-masalah yang muncul saat dan setelah pengujian.
  • Membuat apa yang sudah dimodelkan menjadi suatu produk jadi
  • Dalam fase ini dilakukan: Beta dan performance testing; Membuat dokumentasi tambahan seperti training, user guides, dan sales kit; Membuat rencana peluncuran produk ke komunitas pengguna

3.1.5 Production

Selama fase ini, anda akan mempertahankan proyek, artinya dengan menjalankan usaha komunikasi, kemudian melanjutkan pelatihan dan pengjaran, dan melanjutkan pengaturan dari proses yang akan anda pelajari.

3.1.6 Retirement
Dalam fase ini terdapat pemindahan data dan sistem integrasi yang baik

3.2 Praktik Praktik Enterprise Unified Process

  • Mengembangkan iteratif
  • Mengelola persyaratan
  • Arsitektur Pembtuktian
  • Modeling/Perancangan
  • Memverifikasi kualitas secara terus-menerus
  • Mengelola perubahan
  • Pembangunan Berkolaborasi
  • Melihatlah pencapaian pembangunan
  • Memberikan perangkat lunak bekerja secara teratur
  • Mengelola risiko


Contoh kasus fase-fase Enterprise Unified Process SMS Gateway

4.1 Inception
Mendefinisikan Ruang Lingkup
in this post, I was able to come up with this card.

Two die cut hearts down. Two to go. And then a day passed.

And then... story of my life.... the Mix It Up challenge ended. Ha! Serves me right.

But a Pin-Sights Challenge went up and lucky me - my DO piece was pink, orange and yellow - the colors in the inspiration! I conveniently continued plugging on, pretending I'd had this planned all along ;)

Like pulling teeth, it was, let me tell you. Stuck with my two die cut hearts. What to do with them? Since you listened to my story I'm going to share my creations with you. Not that they're my best work but I bet you've all had one of those crafting sessions where you back yourself into a corner and even with a craft room full of supplies you can't get yourself out of that corner!

The least daunting, I started with the negative to use as a card front. Filled the heart area with a large sentiment surrounded by a few water-softened DI blooms. Still two hearts left...

Having seen Time Out Challenge's graphic, and keeping Pantone's Greenery in mind, I added a fabric-y flower BG and a tropical leaf to one heart. Notice the hexagon in a nod to the invitation in the inspiration photo? Did you know you can make one easily from a circle? And the gold embossed edges in a nod to that scrummy cake. I'm also taking this flower-laden card to The Flower Challenge.

Couldn't bear any more pink. The last little heart with its yellow/orange tones got lots of black to parther with. Simple. And done, finally. Whew. Like pulling teeth it was. BTW, I've since found my good wire snippers and the dies have been freed ;)

love stamp (absolutely love this sentiment font)

Thanks for bearing with me today. Happy weekend.
          STAMPlorations inspiration #121   
Welcome to another Tuesday inspiration from the STAMPlorations inspiration team where all the team members feature stamps from one of our talented stamp designers. And there are sales ;)

Today we're using Shery's Shery Russ Designs stamps. From now until March 6 you can get Shery's line of stamps at 10% off in the STAMPlorations store!

You've probably noticed that I've been featuring Gelli prints this month and today's card is a classic example of how to work a print into a stamped design. Ready? I chose a classic stamp set of Shery's for this too,  Trendy Feathers 2.

TIP: A great design, even if you don't own a MISTI or the like! Put your stamps on an acrylic block and stamp onto the cardbase and the print or PP before removing the stamps. Then trim your print or PP and line it up with the images on the cardbase and adhere it. Easy peasy. Took more time to decide where to place the enamel dots!

Here is a watercolored card using the same stamp set.

So from now until next Tuesday, Shery's stamp line is 10% off. With the STAMPGIRLMARIA discount on top, now would be a good time to pick up any of Shery's great stamps on your wish list. Just sayin'.

And don't forget to leave comments on the DT's inspiration posts. One random commenter will be chosen each month to win a $10 GC to the store. Here's the lineup.

On a personal note, it's going to be a bit quiet around here. I'm writing this as I wait to depart for MI to be with my mom who's having serious health problems. See ya around.

          Paris, part I    
I have been procrastinating the difficult chore of writing on here that Paris isn't appealing to me, but I can't longer postpone it. 

Yes, Paris is a difficult city to live in. First and most importantly, because finding an apartment is a terrible nightmare and even worse if you are going to stay for a short period as it's my case. Second, because everything is expensive. I had been to Paris before, but the longer period was a month, so I really didn't get to see or analyze how expensive the daily spending was.

Then it's the clochard distress. It is really sad to see that many people living on the streets. Yeah, big cities gather all sorts of people, of course. But in the last couple of years I have been to different cities such as Budapest, Havana or Oslo and lived in London and Madrid and I haven't seen so much misery on their streets. Seriously. You get to see people sleeping on the tube platforms, on little streets, on big avenues, you get to see mothers breastfeeding their babies while begging for money at the busy Quarter Latin... I know you can't make the problem disappear and it is a difficult one, I have no idea and I just wonder if the government has any sort of plan or deal or allowance or something, something to cut poverty on the streets of Paris. But if they do have one, it's definitely not going well at all.

I must admit this impression could be that I am just going to the wrong places, but Parisians aren't that fashionable -but they are rude enough-. Of course there are well-dressed people, cool people, but just like in Milan or London or any other big city. That allure you can almost smell when you like fashion and you imagine Paris seems to be no longer available. I'd rather not talk about rudeness, but if you are coming over, just think rudeness will find you.

I will be back soon with a more positive post!

          5 FREE valentine’s day printables!   
It feels a little early to be decorating for Valentine's Day already, but my husband reminded me that if I want to enjoy my cute V-Day decor I better get it up soon. it is - some Goodwill frames and some FREE printables make for some quick and easy seasonal art.
          Nanometer-Resolved Spectroscopic Study Reveals the Conversion Mechanism of CaO·Al2O3·10H2O to 2CaO·Al2O3·8H2O and 3CaO·Al2O3·6H2O at an Elevated Temperature   

TOC Graphic

Crystal Growth & Design
DOI: 10.1021/acs.cgd.7b00553

          A Printable for the New Year!   
I know my blogging has been sporadic at best - more like non-existent over this last year. It's amazing what having a third child does to turn your life upside down! I am setting some goals for the blog for 2014 and hoping to get into a better routine - I miss blogging! So, to start off the year - I thought I'd give away a free New Year's printable!
          Maintenance Tech II - BLUE POINT BREWING - Patchogue, NY   
HVAC universal technician certification and or boiler stationary license. Read technical manuals, electrical blueprints and mechanical drawings, communicate...
From Anheuser-Busch - Sat, 11 Mar 2017 10:59:01 GMT - View all Patchogue, NY jobs
          "In writing biography, fact and fiction shouldn't be mixed. And if they are, the fiction parts should be printed in red ink, the fact parts in black ink." - Catherine Drinker Bowen   
"In writing biography, fact and fiction shouldn't be mixed. And if they are, the fiction parts should be printed in red ink, the fact parts in black ink." - Catherine Drinker Bowen
          Graphic Designer - Midtown Athletic Club - Chicago, IL   
We are looking for a self-motivated, highly creative individual to collaboratively develop and create our digital and print marketing materials including flyers...
From Midtown Athletic Club - Tue, 13 Jun 2017 19:53:51 GMT - View all Chicago, IL jobs
          Art Project #99-- Metal Stamping   
I bought these metal stamps almost a year ago and while I have been dying to try this craft with the boys I had not been having any luck finding blank metal pieces for them to try stamping on.  I knew it would be a great craft for us all to learn together as part of our 100 Days of Art Challenge.

Honestly, why it took me so long to realize my husband could make us some I am just not sure.

Last weekend we were at his shop cutting out a piece of metal when I thought to ask him.  Within minutes he had almost a dozen bookmarks all cut out for us; many we didn't bother to round the edges or sand since we planned to use them as practice pieces.

I carted them outside along with a hammer, our metal stamps, a black sharpie, duct tape, and a damp paper towel.

The boys practiced stamping on our scrap pieces and decided on what they wanted to put on the front of their bookmarks.

I offered to hold the stamps in place while they hammered; Evan asked for help and he stamped his bookmark with Halo 5 (since that is his newest video game obsession and it was a nice short word).

Ian wanted to do his on his own.  He stamped I hate books onto his bookmark.  He tried taping the letters together to form words but we found even then it was tricky to keep them straight.

We then colored all the letters with black sharpie and wiped the excess off with the damp towel.

The bookmarks before the ink 

Adding ink 

Evan's completed bookmark once we wiped away the excess ink 
Alec wandered over last and decided to stamp the word Pokemon down his bookmark and since I had been making myself some monogrammed charms for my charm bracelet he asked if he could use a few and stamp the letters to spell Eevee his favorite Pokemon.

My husband drilled holes in the bookmarks and we added some ribbons; treading Alec's charms through the ribbon first.

The boys are quite proud of their bookmarks and I have to admit that I was impressed as well.

 I tried making my own bookmark and it was so hard to get a consistent impression or keep the letters in a straight line that I threw mine away by the time I reached the second word! Just look at the pile of scraps!

Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
Project 53: 3-D printing 
Project 54: Gingerbread Train
Project 57: Candy trees 
Project 67: Learning Origami
Project 68: Artist Study
Project 69: Playing an Art Game
Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker
Project 80: Charcoal Landscapes
Project 82: Bleeding Tissue Paper Easter Eggs

          Art Project #98-- Coloring Book Art    
While trying to come up with a fun arts or crafts project for our 100 Days of Art Challenge I realized that my boys were already guiding themselves with some creative fun.

The older two boys have been coloring up a storm in some of our coloring books; mainly our Color Counts books.  It seems like someone is coloring every time I turn around.

I have often colored right alongside the boys and find all of the new coloring books on the market quite captivating.  Our favorites are those that are thick enough for us to color with marker (or in the case of these Color Counts books, one sided).

Here are all the pages my boys have worked on in the last two weeks!

All we needed was a package of fine tipped markers (my boys like these Crayola ones), our Color Counts books (garden one here and Travel the World here), and some quiet time to color.  Each space is labeled with a number and you just match the number to the color key.

It's quite simple and so relaxing.

Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
Project 53: 3-D printing 
Project 54: Gingerbread Train
Project 57: Candy trees 
Project 67: Learning Origami
Project 68: Artist Study
Project 69: Playing an Art Game
Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker
Project 80: Charcoal Landscapes
Project 82: Bleeding Tissue Paper Easter Eggs

          Graphic Designer - George Washington University - Foggy Bottom, MD   
Using InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, to produce high-priority print pieces including posters, brochures, flyers, environmental graphics,...
From George Washington University - Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:20:13 GMT - View all Foggy Bottom, MD jobs
          Art Project #97-- Glass Bead Sun Catchers    
Looking around for another fun art project we decided to make some sun catchers using those glass beads that most people tend to put in floral vases.

This was, by far, one of the easiest projects we've ever done and the boys are so thrilled to be closing in on our 100 Days of Art Challenge.

We took some plastic lids from sour cream containers (or containers like those) and filled them with school glue.

We then added glass beads in a pattern we liked and placed a piece of string near the top for hanging our finished piece near.

Thankfully we did not try this project on the table as a few of them spilled over.

Then we set the containers in the sun for a few days until they dried completely.

Here's what they look like hanging in our windows.  Aren't they pretty?

Ours are a bit milky white in between the beads but clear school glue would make it look like the beads were floating and I bet this would be amazing looking with colored or glitter glue!

Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
Project 53: 3-D printing 
Project 54: Gingerbread Train
Project 57: Candy trees 
Project 67: Learning Origami
Project 68: Artist Study
Project 69: Playing an Art Game
Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker

Linking Up With:

This Is How We Roll Thursday Party

Homeschool Coffee Break

Encouraging Hearts & Home blog hop every Thursday at

          Graphic Designer - Web Jarvis - Sarasota, FL   
They will be responsible for the design and creation of websites and user interfaces as well as online and print ads, logos, business cards, and sales materials...
From Indeed - Mon, 26 Jun 2017 18:50:18 GMT - View all Sarasota, FL jobs
          Art Project #96-- Garden Mosaic Stepping Stones   
We bought some mosaic stepping stone kits at Michael's craft store one day last week.  They were on sale for 40% off and I thought that might be another great craft for our 100 Days of Art.

We had made mosaic stepping stones years and years ago (so many years ago that they have fallen apart and we no longer have them).

Evan decided he really didn't want to make on so Ian, Alec and I settled down to work on them.  Everything we needed was included in the kit other than some cooking spray to keep the cement from sticking to the mold and some water to make the cement workable.

Once we mixed up the cement following the instructions we set to work decorating them.  I chose an abstract design using up as many mosaic pieces as I could while Ian chose to make a "welcome" stone.  Alec cut out and traced the snail shape onto his stone; filling in with stones.

Our completed stones:

We set them to dry overnight and then placed them throughout our gardens.  They look so pretty!

Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
Project 53: 3-D printing 
Project 54: Gingerbread Train
Project 57: Candy trees 
Project 67: Learning Origami
Project 68: Artist Study
Project 69: Playing an Art Game
Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker

          Graphic Designers Needed! - Juniper - Vancouver, BC   
Working with YouTube channels to develop their brand through a symbolic merchandise design. Develop Imprint’s brand by helping design our website, PDF sales... $19 an hour
From Indeed - Mon, 13 Mar 2017 17:19:16 GMT - View all Vancouver, BC jobs
          Art Project #95: Balloon Splatter Painting    
Oh my was this ever a fun and super messy art project!

After a week of pretty intensive art projects my boys and I wanted something fun where we focused on the process of making art and no so much the end product.  Since it was a nice sunny day I offered to come up with something fun we could do outside.

This was a perfect addition to our 100 Days of Art.

I took a small funnel and added liquid tempera paint inside each balloon.  I think I filled a good 20-30 of them. Once I added a bit of paint to each balloon I filled them up with air and tied a knot.

The boys brought out a giant roll of paper and got the yard set up while I was inside filling balloons.  They chose what size paper they wanted and found something to weigh the paper down with and something sharp to use to pop the balloons.

We then brought all the balloons outside and a tub of glitter too. I tried to make some balloons glitter balloons but I could not get the glitter to go through the funnel and fill the balloons so I figured they could just sprinkled it onto the we paint if they wanted. They each put balloons on their paper and started popping them.  Ian chose to throw his darts at the balloons while Alec and Evan used a nail.

After the first balloon splattered paint up Ian's arm, leg and face the boys decided to throw their pointy objects at the balloons while standing a bit further away.  It was impossible to get pictures of the balloons actually popping but I think you can get the idea from these photos.

Can you see the nail flying through the air right towards the balloon??

I somehow even managed to get paint on me!  Just look at Alec's hands... and the darts.

We left them in the yard to dry and cleaned up hands and feet good enough to head inside and have showers.  We also washed off all the darts.

It was so much fun and we enjoyed watching the exploding paint!  It would have been better if we had waited for a day that was warm enough for the boys to run through the sprinklers or jump in the lake afterwards since that would have saved us all the cleaning up but we really didn't mind.

Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
Project 53: 3-D printing 
Project 54: Gingerbread Train
Project 57: Candy trees 
Project 67: Learning Origami
Project 68: Artist Study
Project 69: Playing an Art Game
Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker

          Art Project #94; Multimedia Ocean Paintings    
Looking for a fun and simple art project I asked the boys to pick a marine animal for us to draw.

I then gave them a few options;

  1. we could paint the background and draw our animals in chalk pastels on top
  2. we could color the animals in using oil pastels and then do a wash of watercolors over the top
  3. we could outline our drawings in colored school glue and then paint them in to look like stained glass.
They all chose option number two and so we brought our supplies and settled down to work.   We used watercolor paper, pencils, oil pastels, watercolors, and salt. 

Our first step was to draw out our animals on watercolor paper.  Ian chose a humpback whale, Evan chose a dolphin, Alec wanted to draw an orca whale and I decided on a sea turtle. 

Once we had our animals drawn, we colored them in using oil pastels.  Mine took the most time using multiple colors to get all of the shading and colors on my sea turtle.  The boys all just needed black,white and gray. 

Once they had their animals colored in they added a wash of watercolors over them.  We also sprinkled some sea salt onto the wet paint to leave behind an interesting texture. 

We set them aside to dry and then brushed the salt off using a paper towel.

See the texture the salt leaves behind? 

It was another fun 100 Days of Art project.  

Our other art projects:
Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
Project 5: Floral pens
Project 13: Water gun art
Project 14: Watercolor Kits
Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
Project 20: Tin can windsock 
Project 21: Firework glue art
Project 22: Qixel art kit
Project 28: Tin Foil Art
Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
Project 33: Sun Art 
Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
Project 40: How to Draw Books
Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
Project 53: 3-D printing 
Project 54: Gingerbread Train
Project 57: Candy trees 
Project 67: Learning Origami
Project 68: Artist Study
Project 69: Playing an Art Game
Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker

Linking Up With:  The homeschool nook 

by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo YoureTheStarHopLarge_zpsncuylahd.jpg

          My Blogger Recognition Award    
That you so much  Savvy Schooling!  I could not believe when I saw that I had I had been nominated for a blogger recognition award.  I was flattered and touched to know that my posts were reaching out to others.

I write because I genuinely love to write and share what we are doing and learning but it was so nice to hear how much someone enjoys looking forward to reading what I have to share.

Here's my award; isn't it pretty!?!
Getting this award comes with a few rules though:: 
  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select (up to 15) other bloggers for this award.
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and provide a link to the post you created.
How my blog was started:

I started my blog as a way to catalog what we were doing in our homeschool and to keep myself accountable for teaching my boys.  I was unsure of what we were doing and knew I wanted to have some sort of a record of our days to look back on.

I never expected my blog to grow into what it has become today and I am so happy to be sharing our activities, ideas, and experiences with others in the hopes of helping others.

Two pieces of advice for new bloggers:

I would encourage new bloggers to keep at it. Just write!  Write and share and keep writing. Don't worry at first who is reading or what you "should" be writing about.  Be authentic, write about what is important to you and the rest will follow.

That said I would recommend learning a bit about blogging as you go along. I wish I had started taking my blog just a bit more seriously a bit sooner.  I had a good three years under my belt before I turned my blog into something more than what was essentially an on-line diary.  I read a lot of articles and books about blogging and I am always trying to improve.

Now on to my nominations!  I think this was the hardest part of winning my award.  I read so many wonderful blogs each day and it was hard to narrow it down to just a few... 

A wonderful blog about homeschooling, parenting, and living life naturally.

I find myself nodding along to Erin's posts each day as she blogs about nourishing her children's love of nature and learning.

I love reading homeschooling blogs about children who are older than mine.  It helps me get a sense of what life might by like in a few years.  This blog is filled with arts and crafts ideas, curriculum reviews and day in the life posts.

As a homeschooling mom of 11, Shelly posts about homeschooling and I find her advice is always spot on!

I just love reading these posts that always put a smile on my face. This large fun loving homeschooling family from across the pond is always up to something!

Megan blogs over at Linger Pleasantly about homeschooling her family; often while on the road travelling with her husband's job.

While Andrea's blog is not at all about homeschooling and focuses mainly on food, fun and fashion I still find that we often seem to be kindred spirits and I enjoy it immensely!

With a title like Homeschool Your Boys how could I not love this blog?  I have found so many helpful posts and ideas for homeschooling my boys.

I have downloaded so many free printables, mini units, and ideas from this website that I just had to include Homegrown Learners on my list.  This fun homeschooling blog covers everything from teaching music and art to curriculum reviews and how to's.

Marilyn's is my go to blog for recipe ideas! Her food ideas are so yummy and often easy to whip up.  She also hosts a lot of fun linky parties.

Tara blogs about homeschooling, parenting, and offers so many fun and unique printables.

What blogs are on your "must read" list?  Who would you recommend?  

Linking Up With:

Marilyns Treats

              Project #93: String Art    
    I've been wanting to do this art project with the boys for quite some time!  I found some discounted wooden blocks at Michael's back at Christmas time and then I tucked them away in our craft closet and the project slipped to the back of my mind.

    I knew I had to buy special, small nails and I wasn't sure HOW to go about doing this project with the kids.  I finally decided we just had to jump in and give it a try.  I knew that getting to use wood, nails and a hammer was a surefire way to get all three boys to participate in this 100 Days of Art Challenge activity.

    We settled on printing some free string art patterns off the internet and I sized them on our printer to fit their craft squares.

    The boys taped the paper to their squares to keep them from moving around and set to work.

    Using our hammers and 3/4 in nails they set to work banging in nails to follow the lines of their patterns.  They didn't add in every nail that was shown on the pattern since they all had a little bit of a struggle to get the nails in, stay in, and not bend. It was a great learning opportunity!

    Once they each had all the nails in, I helped them tie the embroidery floss to one of the nails and then they wound the string around following their pattern in whichever way they wished.

    When they were finished I had them end at the nail they had started with and then knotted the end string to the tail of the beginning string.  Once I trimmed the string off I helped the boys remove the paper.  (We probably should have removed the paper before stringing but I was afraid that they would loose their pattern and not know which nails to use).

    Finished star with the paper removed and the string trimmed down

    Ian's superman symbol was so difficult!  But he was thrilled with how it turned out.  

    I do wished that I thought to buy an extra piece of wood for myself; it looked like a lot of fun.

    Our other art projects:
    Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
    Project 5: Floral pens
    Project 13: Water gun art
    Project 14: Watercolor Kits
    Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
    Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
    Project 20: Tin can windsock 
    Project 21: Firework glue art
    Project 22: Qixel art kit
    Project 28: Tin Foil Art
    Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
    Project 33: Sun Art 
    Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
    Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
    Project 40: How to Draw Books
    Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
    Project 53: 3-D printing 
    Project 54: Gingerbread Train
    Project 57: Candy trees 
    Project 67: Learning Origami
    Project 68: Artist Study
    Project 69: Playing an Art Game
    Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker

              Project #92- Ice cube Tie Dye    
    When I saw a tutorial on tie dying shirts using ice cubes I just knew we had to try it out!  We had lots of dye left from when we made our traditional tie dyed t- shirts and I figured this would be a fun way to use it all up.  I knew this was one project that none of the boys would complain about and a fun way to add to our 100 Days of Art Challenge.

    We've been waiting for a sunny day for weeks just so we could try out this fun craft!  So, of course on the first sunny day we had we realized that the leftover dye was nowhere to be found.  We ran out and bought some more dye so we wouldn't be caught unprepared again.

    Friday dawned sunny and bright so the younger boys and I headed outside as soon as we finished breakfast.  I read so many posts on ice dying and no two people had the same instructions.  Some people used dry shirts and some used wet.  Some people folded up their shirts in traditional tie dying ways while others laid out their shirts flat.  Some people put the shirts in a bowl, some used a rack suspended over a tray and others laid their shirts right out on the lawn.

    It seemed like it was a pretty fool- proof craft so we decided to just do it our way and hope for the best.

    We gathered our supplies and headed outside:

    • wet, clean, white t-shirts
    • packets of powdered Rit dye
    • bowls of ice
    • latex gloves to protect our hands 
    • tray 

    I gave the boys their pick of how they wanted to do this project.

    We used wet shirts laid out flat.  Alec chose to lay his shirt out on the lawn while Evan wanted to have his lying in a tray.  Since we use very old cookie sheets for all of our crafting these sheets were pretty rusty.  Not wanting any rust to rub off on the shirts we placed a plastic bag between the cookie sheet and Evan's shirt.

    We cut open the powdered dye boxes and the boys sprinkled the dye directly onto their shirts.  Some websites showed the powder being sprinkled on AFTER the ice and others sprinkled it on before.... Evan sprinkled all the powder he wanted (using about a 1/2 box each of two different colors) and then covered his shirt with ice.

    Alec wanted to put a bit of powder under the ice and then sprinkle one final cover over the top of the ice.  Unfortunately, we ran out of ice and I had to run to the store to buy some.  We then covered his entire shirt with ice.

    We left the shirts outside for a good 5-6 hours in the sun.

    Alec's shirt was dried by the time we checked on it but since Evan's shirt was in a pan and sitting in watery dye his was not dry.  That was OK though, all we needed was for the ice to have melted and the dye to have been absorbed by the shirt.

    We brought them inside and ran water over them until the water was running clear. I used a big bowl we bought at the dollar store just for crafting to carry them inside (individually).  We then washed them individually in the washing machine and ran them through the dryer.

    The boys loved their new shirts and we really enjoyed looking at all the unique patters and color marking that the ice made in the shirts.

    Our other art projects:
    Project 3: Star Wars Crafts
    Project 5: Floral pens
    Project 13: Water gun art
    Project 14: Watercolor Kits
    Project 15: Dragonfly Silhouettes 
    Project 17: Spray Paint Resist
    Project 20: Tin can windsock 
    Project 21: Firework glue art
    Project 22: Qixel art kit
    Project 28: Tin Foil Art
    Project 32: Drip Painted Pots
    Project 33: Sun Art 
    Project 36: Art Museum field trip. 
    Project 39: Painting Pikachu 
    Project 40: How to Draw Books
    Project 50: Drawing Cat Faces 
    Project 53: 3-D printing 
    Project 54: Gingerbread Train
    Project 57: Candy trees 
    Project 67: Learning Origami
    Project 68: Artist Study
    Project 69: Playing an Art Game
    Project 74: Qixels 3-D Maker

    This Is How We Roll Thursday Party


              Running... elsewhere   

    A taste of ultrarunning
    I made sure my Philippine stay ended on a high in July as I broke through the hell of an ultra (story here). Because by the following month, we'd be moving to a different country-- a different continent.

    I should have been more excited about new challenges ahead but the first thing I did on arriving Down Under was look for suitable running grounds. Sounds like anybody I know who loves running.

    Within hours of arriving first in Melbourne, I wanted to log a run but struggled against the cold winter breeze that stuffed my nostrils as I stepped out. The temperature was in single digits! Try running with the air conditioner full blast against your face and it's like that.

    Sydney promised to be more forgiving. But winter is still winter wherever you are, I guess. No wonder I didn't find that many runners on the road.

    Freezing in Melbourne
    Spring that came in September was a lot better. We had a new place on the hill. It had plenty of parks and reserves with barefoot-friendly footpaths. Runners were beginning to come about. I was able to log some decent runs. Dogs here were mostly kept to a tight noose and a pedestrian always have right of way. I wonder why this isn't so back home where you play ten pin bowling with a guy on 4 wheels.

    In October, I ventured farther out. With no race in sight, my weekend long runs varied from 12 to 16 km. But the month ended on a high when in the middle of a 10-miler, I decided to do a half marathon-- my first 21k in Australia. I followed this up with another the following week.

    November. This is where it gets exciting. My friend and elementary classmate TTB Ironman Jo invited me to a race, specifically the Sydney Marathon Clinic Road Race Series, a series of monthly 5, 10, 21, 25 and 30k races beginning October to June in preparation for the Sydney Marathon in September. Race 3 was scheduled on the 3rd Sunday of December. I signed up for a 10k as I needed to break my age-old official record of 77 minutes. I knew that if I needed to be fast on this one, speedwork was the key. Read one time about this particular type of workout so a lot of weekly Yasso 800s I did.

    By December, I knew I could run at least an 8k at 5:30 min/km pace. That would probably make my 10k in 55 min. But I have never done it before. I tapered my runs about a week before the race.

    Race day 18 December, Sunday, was D-Day. Jo promised to break his 52-min PB while another friend of ours, Allan, a bike enthusiast, will be running his first 10k. 

    At the starting line with our race bibs and timing tags attached (I placed mine in my right calf sleeve since my VFF didn't have any laces for the tag to attach to), we counted around 50 runners for the 10k and when the gun fired, we were immediately off to a quick start. I knew Jo was a fast runner so I was really proud to say I overtook him in the first 10 meters of the race (haha!) before he upped his pace and said, "See you later, mate!"

    Mihkelson Reserve in Quakers Hill

    Allan and I were running comfortably during the first 2 kilometers before we separated as we headed for the first of 2 water stations. I was neck and neck with a blonde 30-something before I realized she must have thought I was a stalker as I drafted behind her.

    With an Ironman for the SMC Road Race Series 10k

    On the industrial parts of Fairfield heading downhill, I raced ahead and forgot about the blonde (yeah right!). This being an industrial part of town, trucks and semis were a common occurrence but thankfully not today.

    and with a bandit on his maiden 10k (59:25)
    I crossed the 5k mark at 28+ min, a PB for me. I was on my way to breaking 60 minutes then.  I was running at around 5:25 - 5:40 min/km and by km 7, I knew I would break 60.

    SMC Race Route (click to enlarge)
    The last kilometer was a sprint. I gave it all at 5:11 pace crossing the finish line officially at 55:45 with an average pace of 5:32 min/km. Not only did I cut 22 minutes from my previous 10k back in Cebu, but I finally broke 60 minutes as well in my second official 10k race on my first international race. 

    I couldn't wipe the smile of my face! But I was just amused to find out days later that I ranked 20th out of 21 runners for my age group 30-39 years. These guys were a competitive bunch! God help me in my 21k.

    No matter, the year ended on a high. An ultramarathon done and a PB for a 10k accomplished. What the next year will bring is anyone's guess. A mid-year marathon though is in my sights, injury-free and a better time.

    See you on the road then, runners!

    Ready to rumble for the next series!
    Happy New Year! 2012 bring it on!

              A Valentine's Treat   

    Ask any race organizer and he will most likely agree with me. While a runner’s day starts a few hours prior to a race, a race organizer’s starts on the day he said yes. 

    How long does it take to get a race organized? The difference between this race and my first (hospital activity) and second (school activity) race directing duties was on the level of participation. This was an open run on a provincial scale.

    My day started about 2 weeks prior when my proposal last year for a quarterly run was approved by the Provincial Government of Agusan del Sur.

    Dubbed Valentine’s 8k and 5k Fun Run, my proposed race was unique in itself. Agusan del Sur divided into 2 Congressional districts since the latest elections will have 2 starting points but one finish line, the Governor’s residence.

    This race will also usher in the 80th birthday celebration of the province's matriarch considered "Ang Inahan sa Agusan del Sur", former Governor Valentina Galido Plaza.

    District 1 will have a hilly 8k from Prosperidad Municipal Hall with the gun being fired by none other than former Governor now Congresswoman Tina Plaza. Running the 8 on this one with its unforgiving elevations will feel like 10.  

    Newly formed District 2 will have a flat 5k from neighboring San Francisco town, its gun start fired by Congresswoman Bebs Mellana.