Wednesday, June 29, 2005


There's something about public art that has always given me a great feeling. Even if I don't like the object I am thrilled by the idea that it is allowed to be there for all to see. Apparently the folks of Lindsborg, Kansas (pop. 3200) feel the same way. In the same spirit as Chicago's cows and DC's elephants and donkeys, Lindsborg, Kansas has jumped on the bandwagon with their Dalas.

Dalas (prononunced daw-lah) are the carved, wooden tailless horeses that have been carved in Sweden for generations. The Swedes who founded Lindsborg brought these charming ponies with them and made them a symbol for their town. In 2000 the town of Lindsborg started to display large dala statues all over the city. Here and here are more information on this charming town. Boy I would love to have one of those statues. I've always loved all sorts of folk art and I've always had a penchant for Nordic folk art.

With the recent shark attacks I was wondering if there was a registry or some sort of documentation on shark attacks. I found the International Registry of Shark Attacks. Very interesting information.

I can remember in nursing school the big deal they made about making a patient's bed with them in the bed, with them out of the bed, with different injuries, practice, practice, practice. What was really fun was when we would go back to our rooms (they were downstairs from the labs and classrooms) and started making our beds with one student playing patient. So many times we were flipping people on the floor and laughing our heads off. One problem that some of the students had was those wonderful hospital corners. My mother is a nurse so I was schooled in that technique at an early age. One thing that drives me nuts is trying to fold those dreade fitted sheets. I have always had this dream that my linen closet would look the way they do in magazines, but the dreaded "curly sheet" prevents that. I haven't tried this yet, but maybe this will help.

As anyone who knows me will tell you I am a magazine whore. I've gotten better the last few years mainly because I was in grad school and just didn't have the time for a lot of leisure reading. One magazine that I enjoyed was Geist. Geist is a Canadian magazine that covers lots of cool stuff, but mainly culture and ideas. One item that I really enjoyed was the maps. I love maps anyway and Melissa Edwards puts together these wonderful, irreverent maps that, well, just take a look. Make sure to enlarge them otherwise you will miss all the fun.

Thursday, June 23, 2005


Today would have been by beloved grandmother's 90th birthday. I miss her so much. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about her. She meant the world to me. She was my kindred spirit and my biggest fan and she was the most unselfish person I have ever known.

I hope that she knew she was everything to me and I loved her so very much. I know that she will always be with me and I feel her steady reassuring presence with me all of the time.

She gave so much, but what she gave the most to those she loved was her unconditional love, wisdom and respect.

Happy Birthday Gran!!!

Friday, June 17, 2005


Space camp, math camp, dance camp, cheerleading camp and computer camp all seem to come to mind these days when summer rolls around. When I was growing up it was Girl Scout camp.

I loved camp. The first camp I attended was Camp Laurel Highlands. This camp was located in Somerset, PA. Somerset, Pa is very close to the ski resort Seven Springs. This camp had lodges and there were approximately 10 to 12 girls in each lodge. From what I gather the camp is no longer there. This is where I learned a lot of crazy camp songs like, There's a boy and a girl in a little canoe with the moon shinin' all around..... If memory serves I think this is the place that I first ate ants on a log (raisins on top of peanut butter spread on celery) and aphids on a log (same things except sunflower seeds instead of raisins).

I can remember there was a very nice pool, but there was also this beautiful lake. People tried to teach me to swim in both venues, but alas I never learned.

The next camp I attended was Camp Riamo located in Farmington, PA. Now this was a camper's camp. We were in pup tents that had floors. Two to a tent. We cooked over a campfire, had latrine duty and went on 5 and 10 mile hikes. It was wonderful. I have never liked oatmeal or any cereal for that matter, but you haven't had oatmeal until you've had to pull bugs and twigs out of your bowl. I remember the day that we were going to walk to Fort Necessity. It was 10 miles away. Talk about a whole bunch of girls whining and complaining. It was awful, but then when we had started back one of the camp's trucks picked us up. The first year I was there I came home with over 20 mosquito bites. I still have scars from those, but it was really wonderful. Sitting around the campfire singing and making somemores-you just can't beat that. One of the songs that I learned at Camp Riamo was this:

I wish I were an honorsorarius repipitanimy
Oh, ho, ho, ho
Cause if I weren't or never could hope to
Be an honorsorarius repipitanimy
I'd be a camper, a real good camper
And you could be a good camper too
It could happen to you
At Camp Riamo, Farmington, PA 15437

Sadly, Camp Riamo is no longer there. It's been changed to Tall Oaks Campground and from what I understand is nothing like the camp that I attended. I also had people there trying to teach me to swim to no avail.

A wonderful book that I purchased last year that talks about girl's camps is Sleepaway: The Girls of Summer and the Camps They Love by Laurie Susan Kahn. This book brought back so many wonderful memories.

One thing that I did not do is save my autograph books from camp. I could just kick myself for not saving them. I would love to be able to look at them and reminisce about making lanyards, bug juice and pronouncing latrine-la-trin-ay to make it not sound so bad.

I would tell any young girl to go to some type of camp. You learn so much and it really is a fun experience.

Friday, June 10, 2005

It's and Sites

It's Smokey Bear-not Smokey the Bear

It's Pikes Peak-not Pike's Peak

It's Canada Geese-not Canadian Geese

I have always said that if I am ever able to retire I would like to spend my time traveling around and going on factory tours. I would also like to read Presidential biographies and the entire Rivers of America series. I remember going on a few factory tours when I was a kid. I'm old enough to have actually gone on a tour of Hersheys-I can still see those enormous vats of chocolate. I also went to some pretzel making plant-I can't recall the name of that one. I loved it. I watch quite a few shows on Food Network, but my favorite has to be Unwrapped. I love seeing how they make so many of the food products that are on the market.

Getting back to the factory tours I found this very cool site that is a directory for factory tours. I really like how this site is arranged, plus it's lots of fun.

I've never had much of an interest in law. I believe that justice is for those that can afford it and I've always believed that. That being said, there are some types of law that do interest in . Copyright law has always interested me and animal law. I think it's interesting how so-called dog bite laws differ from state-to-state. An interesting site that addresses this aspect of doggie law and much more is Michigan State's Animal Legal and Historical Center site.

One childhood memory that I still hold dear is perusing the Pittsburgh Courier. The Pittsburgh Courier was at one time the largest and most influential black newspaper in American. My Aunt Hazel was editor-in-chief for the Courier from 1974-1971. She was the first African American (or my term American of African descent) woman to hold that position for a nationally circulated weekly newspaper. She had started as a stringer for the paper back in the 40's. Sadly Aunt Hazel is no longer with us, but every time I come across something about the Courier I think of her.

I came across the Teenie Harris Archive Project . Teenie Harris was a photographer for the Courier. The photographs are wonderful on this site and it really tells the viewer all about Pittsburgh "back in the day". There is so much to be said for Teenie Harris. He was nicknamed "One Shot" because he could capture outstanding images with just one shot. A lot of the images in the gallery have not been identified so if any of my 3 readers can help the University of Pittsburgh History Department with this please do. I must say that I until recently I have never been that excited about photographs. I don't know if it has anything to do with my being the most un-photogenic person on the planet or what. I have always enjoyed group photographs though in general and group photographs of women in particular. There's just so many nuances in these photographs that I find fascinating. Plus, I love looking at the hairstyles and clothing that was in fashion at the time. Something like this.

I have been an Anglophile all of my life. I have never been to the British Isles, but hopefully I will get to visit there before I kick. This site attracted me because the viewer can see images of unusual things like this.The Geograph British Isles project is attempting to to collect a geographically representative photograph for every square kilometre of the British Isles. The site user can search for images, add images and view a whole list of images that are on the site.

That is all for now.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


In this day when one tends to hear so much negativity about professional athletes I thought I would pay homage to one of the true teddy-bears in the NBA.

George Mikan was one of the first dominant big man in the NBA. He was 6'10" and he played for the Chicago Gears and the Minneapolis Lakers in the late 50s. He led the Minneapolis Lakers to five titles in a six-year span. Mr. Mikan passed away last Wednesday night at a rehabilitation center in Scottsdale, Ariz., following a long fight with diabetes and kidney ailments. He was 80.

Mr. Mikan's family did not have the funds to pay for his burial so Shaquille O'Neal is going to pay for George Mikan's funeral. Shaq stated that he had gotten to know George Mikan and they had spoken on several occasions. As two big. dominant men in the NBA they had a lot in common.

As you read this you are probably thinging well Shaq has millions of dollars and why shouldn't he pay for this gentleman's funeral. Yes, Shaq is rolling in it, but he still had the heart to "step up" and offer to do this for George Mikan's family. There are lots of people with the means to help out when necessary, but how many really do. Bravo to you Shaq.