26 May 2006

There is No "I" in Team --

-- which is exactly what is wrong with it.

I know these are not new, but they were making the rounds at work today. Personally, I think these motivational sayings are far more accurate (and motivating) than the garbage that gets stuck on the walls of today's corporate crapocracy. (I am no fan of corporations, in case that is not abundantly clear. I mean, can you say "Enron"?)

I cannot tell you which is my favorite -- although ranking high are "Idiocy," "Change (winds)," "Irresponsibility," and "Motivation."

Do you have another "motivational" saying that you hold dear? I would love to hear it.

25 May 2006

And Your Little Dog, Too

Have to take a wee bit o' credit for this. Not only did we donate money to the Humane Society specifically for animal rescue after Hurricane Katrina, I also wrote my congressperson in support of the bill mentioned in the article.

It is beyond my ability to understand how any official body can force a person to leave behind an animal -- no easier to understand than being forced to leave a child.

The Humane Society had a big hand in getting this bill passed. Perhaps you might wish to thank them by making a little donation.

Disclaimer: I have no relationship at all with the Humane Society.

The illustration is by famed naturalist Charles Harper.

19 May 2006

Silents Are Funny, Too

Matt's blog has mention of a nifty silent cartoon we saw last year when our local vintage movie palace, the Orpheum Theater, did one of its silent movie nights. This one is " Felix In Hollywood" (1923) featuring fun caricatures of actors who were famous in the day. I dunno, I kinda like cartoons that are simpler, and more easy going.

15 May 2006

Silents Are Golden

Interesting article in England's The Independent newspaper about the growing appreciation of the world of silent films.

Although I do not agree with the few films the author suggests, there are plenty from which to choose. We love silent films -- if for no other reason making fun of their silliness (all that posing passing as acting). But, there are quite a few that just take your breath away with their craftsmanship, their forward thinking, the clarity of storytelling.

One silent film, long thought lost, that I am eagerly awaiting is the Gloria Swanson / Rudolph Valentino "Beyond the Rocks." Will it be good? I hope so. Seventy-plus years can change the context in which a film is viewed. However, it is a piece of history. That alone is worth the price of watching.

08 May 2006

Eames R.I.P.

Matt has an update on Eames on his blog.

Over the weekend, we decided against cremating him; choosing to bury him in our backyard, where he loved to wander around, and from where he would try to escape. (He succeeded several times over the years. We chased him down the street, and caught him when he ended up resting in the shade under a neighbor's tree.)

You know, it's odd: my father died two years ago and I never cried for him as much as I have cried for Eames.

Yes, We Have No...

A rather frightening article in the New York Times about the possibility of a world without bananas. How can this be? Oh, right: raping and savaging the land for commercial profits without regard for the ultimate cost to humanity.

Interestingly, the song
"Yes, We Have No Bananas" was written in 1923 by Frank Silver and Irving Cohn at the time of a great banana shortage in the world.

05 May 2006

A Cat Named Eames

I have been told that it is considered poor form to write about one's cat on one's blog. Okay -- but I'm going to do it anyway.

Eames (pictured) is our wonderful red-spotted tabby who recently turned 15. A little over nine years ago I chanced to overhear a co-worker upset that she was going to have to give up her cat. I had recently bought my condo, and wanted a cat. So...

Eames (named after famous designers Charles and Ray) has been a fabulous cat. There has never been a person he did not like. He loved everyone, purred and loved some more.

He is so wonderful, in fact, my s.o. and I wrote a book about what happens to cats when they die -- starring Eames. It's called Mama Cat.

Many of you know Eames was diagnosed as diabetic February 2005. We knew his time was not long, but we learned how to give him insulin shots, regulate his eating, make sure he drank enough water.

A couple weeks ago he started getting weaker. A visit to the vet yesterday confirmed it: his kidneys are pretty much not working any more and we had to decide whether to prolong the inevitable, or allow him to die.

This coming Monday the vet will come to our house to euthanize him. We decided that would be more pleasant than at the vet's. We will then have him cremated, and will spread his ashes in the backyard of our house when we move to California.

I hope every person will, one day, have a pet as wonderful as our Eames has been.

Please send your good thoughts his way.

04 May 2006

No Horsing Around

James from Silver Spring, Maryland, asked: Who will win the Kentucky Derby this year?

Thank you for the question, James.
While one should not confuse prognostication with fact, I think I can safely go out on a limb and predict the winner of the 2006 Kentucky Derby will be the horse that has the fastest time. Barring that, I pick Seabiscuit.

03 May 2006

All Bird Kissing Must End Now!

The New York Times has a very interesting write-up about how the government plans to react when the avian (H5N1) flu begins showing up in people in America.

Are you thinking about this at all? Are you having conversations about it with people in your circle? I am. I used to be worried about it; I mean, I have done a lot of research on the 1918 influenza epidemic that killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide -- and this, before the advent of major air travel.

Now, I am not so worried, although I don't know why. The government's plan isn't what made me feel less worried. (This is, afterall, the same government that reacted to hurricanes Katrina and Rita.)

The article is here.