Posted in Family, tagged Family, Style on October 3, 2011 |
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Some people have a great sense of style and composition. Other people don’t. I fall into the latter category, I think — but I try to appreciate the efforts of the stylish whenever I can.
During our visit to cousin Jeff’s place over the weekend, there were lots of opportunities to exercise that sense of appreciation, because his home is a feast for the senses. It is packed with interesting stuff that commands your attention and seeks to distract you from having normal human conversation. An object catches your eye, you think to yourself “what is that?” and you are off to the races.
Of all of the beautiful paintings, carvings, and objects found at Jeff’s place, I was most struck by an aging Japanese parasol place placed with casual elegance at the intersection of a flower bed and the garage. There was something enormously pleasing about the roundness of the parasol, its weathered appearance, and the contrast with its surroundings. You wouldn’t associate a parasol with the colorful pottery and rough stones, the bushes and the rustling leaves, yet the combination worked perfectly in that time and place and corner of the world. The first owner of that parasol would have been proud.
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Protesters have been camping out and protesting in the Wall Street area of New York City for the last few weeks.
Some participants are protesting “corporate greed,” others object to the role of corporations in politics, and still others appear to be venting general anger and frustration about our economic problems. Similar protests have occurred in other cities, too. (The story linked above says “A group in Columbus, Ohio, also marched on the capital city’s street” — which makes our fair city sound like a one-horse town. Hey, AP! For the record, we’ve got more than one street in Columbus.)
I don’t blame people for protesting. In my view, the Wall Street protests are a flip side of the Tea Party protests that started in 2009 and spawned significant grass-roots politicking. The Tea Partiers dressed in colonial garb and the Wall Street protesters dress as corporate zombies, but both are expressing a deep concern, shared by many Americans, that the country is heading in the wrong direction. The economy sucks, jobs are scarce, and nobody seems to be doing much about the problem. The two groups’ proposed solutions to the problems are different, but the deep-rooted anger about the problems in the same.
The great thing about America is that the First Amendment allows the anger and frustration to be vented through peaceful protest, and the act of protest allows the protesters’ message to reach a wider audience. If the protest strikes a chord with a sufficiently large segment of the population, as happened with the Tea Party, then stray protests can become a movement. It remains to be seen whether the Wall Street protests have that kind of broad impact or staying power, but we’ll find out soon enough. Until then, I say let them protest, and applaud their exercise of their First Amendment rights.
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Over the weekend I saw a Pew Research poll that said 85% of baby boomers are not happy with the way things are going and I am happy to say I am not one of them. Years ago in my twenties I was the host at a small steakhouse and I always thought it would be fun to try my hand at it again when I retired.
After almost thirty years in the insurance industry I got my opportunity to do it again at the Windward Passage a quaint seafood restaurant in northwest Columbus. Each week I typically work a few lunch shifts and a couple of dinner shifts for some spending money now that I am officially retired.
Pictured above are my favorite “lunch bunch” – from left to right – Ashley, Amy, me, Sonya, Dana and Katie. These ladies some who are single moms and some who work two jobs to make ends meet are the ultimate team players, always pitching in to help each other without any complaints. I have to say it is truly a joy to work with them on a regular basis.
So if you are up in the Henderson Road area Monday through Friday stop in for lunch between 11 – 2:30 for one of the restaurant’s reasonably priced lunch specials and have one of these gals wait on you. You will find it well worth it and I guarantee you will want to come back !
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If you go to a webpage or two today, you’ll likely run across an ad that uses the word “weird.” It might alert you to a “weird old tip to reduce belly fat” or a “weird idea” by some guy in Oklahoma to cut your electricity bill in half. Whatever the idea or product or “tip” might be, though, it’s almost always described as “weird.”
I’m sure that marketing studies have been done and focus groups have been consulted, and they indicate that if you want a click on your link, “weird” is the provocative word most likely to achieve that goal. Why? “Weird” has lots of synonyms — odd, curious, eerie, unusual — but those words are never used.
Maybe people are attracted to “weird” because it has unearthly or supernatural connotations. Or maybe it is because stuff that is “weird” often is shocking and bizarre or even funny, like “Weird Al” Yankovic used to be 30 years ago. Perhaps people just like the feature “News of the Weird,” or are secret fans of the ’80s movie Weird Science.
Whatever it is, when it comes to website ads, “weird” reigns supreme. Weird, isn’t it?
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