I am the chairperson of the regulatory and licensing board for psychologists in my state. We are all appointed by the governor. They are entirely volunteer positions. We receive no remuneration for our services. The Board is self funded by fees our licensees pay, and those fees mainly go toward secretarial and legal services. There are only seven of us on our Board, as well as a secretary from an agency we contract for services. I am proud of the work we do protecting the public and efficiently licensing providers in our state.
Our Board must abide by State procurement rules for acquiring goods and services. Because of my role as chairperson, I get all the emails from the Office of Management and Budget Procurement Office that the head of every State agency receives. I was tickled last week to get an unintentionally funny email from the Procurement Office asking if we were interested in purchasing clothing for our agency that had our logo on it. If we were, the Procurement Office would send us a list of vendors who could provide the clothing and logos at State approved rates. They suggested we set up a room where employees/members could go to purchase the clothing. I should mention that we don’t have a logo.
Husband thought we should order berets. (He is the Board complaint investigator by virtue of being married to me, and the Board not having anyone else who would do it pro bono. ) I thought mortar boards would be fun. I also thought our logo could be a brain with lightening bolts coming out it. As there are so few of us, though, it probably wouldn’t be cost effective to put in an order.
Did you ever wear special clothing for your workplace? What do you want your logo to be?
The Scrap documentary highlights people who have found uses for objects that are no longer needed. For eample, one of the stories involves a British man and his family who have restored more than 2000 British phone booths that have turned up in all sorts of locations in England. Another team of architects has turned abandoned ocean liners in a cafe and a church. I think it is great the documentary film maker also highlighted the sculptor in Lemmon.
Having been around farmsteads for much of my life, I can imagine that there is scrap metal galore to use for projects like this. I think about all the things that got thrown in the groves at my grandparents’ farms. You often see old corn pickers and threshing machines parked on top of hills out here as monuments to the past. I just think it is wonderful that he can do this in Lemmon.
Do you know any actively working artists? What are some ideas you would have for repurposing things we don’t use anymore, like telephone booths? Ever done much work with blow torches?
Had my annual check-up yesterday. Nothing momentous and I was only gone from the house for about an hour and a half. When I got home, bearing Taco Bell, YA informed me that she had taken the handles off the refrigerator to wash them. Apparently when she wiped the handles down, she felt there was dirt in crevices that she couldn’t get to without removing them.
I’m torn. It’s nice to know she’s handy and can figure things out (apparently there was some YouTube assistance) but there’s also bewilderment that she would be driven to this task. I’ve looked closely at the handles and honestly, they look the same to me as they did this morning.
As you all know I love cookbooks. And you all also know that I have too many – neither my wallet nor my shelves can handle my just willy-nilly buying of any and all cookbook that look interesting. But a quick perusal doesn’t cut the mustard either – you need to go though a cookbook thoroughly to know if it earns the right to displace another cookbook on my shelves.
The way I deal with this is to check out prospective cookbooks from the library. Then I can leisurely go through them, look at the recipes, ingredients, level of difficulty, etc. If a lot of recipes look interesting and I can envision cooking from the book, then I have to decide if it’s enough to replace an existing cookbook on my shelves. If there are only a couple of recipes, I copy them and add them to my big binder.
When I was in Tucson, we visited a few places that had cookbooks on display. One was an amazing cooking shop in the arts colony of Tubac. We spent quite a bit of time there as Susan was texting photos of various tea towels to a friend who was in the market. This shop had A LOT of tea towels; it would have been very easy to over-indulge. Wandering through a cooking shop is not a punishment for me and I came across a handful of cookbooks that looked interesting. I took photos and then when I got home I requested them from the library. Three are in transit, so hopefully in the next few days I can relax with some hot tea or cocoa and go through them to my hearts’ content.
How do you decide which books to buy and which to not buy (or borrow)?
Population of 22,000 but at least five large golf courses.
Titan Missile Museum (also known as Air Force Facility Missile Site 8 – Arizona Aerospace) – deactivated in 1984.
Arid Garden – flora that is local to Arizona and states with similar geological features. Open 24/7.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument — dating back to the early 14th century, the monument showcases the ruins of a walled compound, remnants of a village and the irrigation system used by early farmers.
Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory — once called the Mount Hopkins Observatory, but it was renamed to honor American astronomer Fred Lawrence Whipple.
Mission San Xavier del Bac — Completed in 1797 as part of a Catholic mission, the church is the oldest example of European baroque architecture in the area and features incredible original statues and mural paintings.
In 2018 I retired after 39 years of life in Taiwan. I moved to Holland, MI, and bought a hundred year old house in the city.
The town was platted out sometime in the 1960s, and included alleys in the middle of blocks. One by one, the city “vacated” many of those alleys, but some remain. Near our house there’s one that a community association “neatened up” within the last 10 years. It’s an “art alley”. One back yard installation included a few racks of colored bottles on poles. They attracted me. I figured I could do that, myself, in my own yard.
After examining the installation, I decided that I could do it cheaper too. I sent out a request for empty bottles on a neighborhood bulletin board, and got “not few” responses, sometimes linked to statements that “we didn’t drink all that wine” or “the bottles accumulated over a long time.” (That’s Holland, MI piety speaking). My own installation, because I did it on the cheap side, blew apart in the wind more than once. Lots of bottles and red vases smashed before I finally figured out how to make it secure.
As I live and drink, I accumulate bottles regularly. Three windows in the garage were “bottled up” in 2022. More racks and installations have taken places in the yard. As I write, there are 50 bottles and vases, drilled and washed, waiting in the basement for another inspiration to strike.
People ask me a lot about my opinion of Hawaii. I suppose I do know more about our 50th state that the average person. By luck of the draw I had almost 25 programs to Hawaii during my years in the travel industry. I didn’t travel on all these programs but I have been to the islands a whooping 17 times, most of those times to Maui.
What I tell people about Hawaii is that every island has a different topography and a different personality. I usually talk about the difference between Hawai’I (the Big Island) and Kauai. The Big Island is the largest, the youngest and the most volcanic. If you haven’t been to Hawaii, then the picture you probably have in your mind is Kauai. It is much older and encompasses the lush green image we all carry around.
But I don’t talk about Oahu very much; Unbelievably with all my Hawaii programs, I never had a program on Oahu. No particular reason, just luck of the draw. This means that almost every time I have been on Oahu, it’s because I’m in the Honolulu Airport, transferring to an interisland flight. While my brain knows what Honolulu and Oahu are about, it was still a surprise to be there for three days.
We stayed in the Waikiki area because we didn’t have a car so needed to be in a walkable part of the city. This is part of Oahu that has earned the name “concrete jungle”. It is block after block of tall buildings, very high end shops and restaurants and traffic. It could almost be any big city IF you can ignore the beautiful blue sky and warm weather as well as the folks on the streets. It’s an amazing amalgam of business folks, obvious tourist (YA and I) and the huge number of surfers and counter-culture types. Waikiki is right on the water so you can walk along the main thoroughfare and look right onto sandy beach and blue waters. There is even a zoo (who knew)… we were actually able to walk there as well.
One fun thing we saw in Honolulu that I’ve never seen on other islands – people putting leis on statues. Most of the statues along Kalakaua Avenue and Beach each have at least 10-12 leis placed around their necks; all the leis are in various stages of decay, so it’s clear that people are adding them, not some program of prettification by the city.
So now I have good experience to describe Oahu and Honolulu the next time someone asked me about the islands.
For twenty years I have been using various kinds of activities to ease my pain, especially rhythmic activities, which is why I rode a bike for so long. Which is why I drew/painted with pastels. I still don’t know if that is drawing or painting. I guess painting. However aging has taken both of those activities away from me. Life has added monumental stress and a diagnosis of migraines, which my neurologist says I have had for 30 years at least.
So I went back to art, at a much more forgiving level, sketching, in other words, at a level where I can accept the sudden jerks of my hands and my poor close range eyesight issues. I can be in a severe headache and force myself to sketch, get lost in the process, and then realize 15-30 minutes later how much lower my pain is. My neurologist is surprised by this. I pointed her towards the medical literature on it.
I sketch from photographs, some as old as 75 years. I get lost in the memory of the people, places, and events. Among my favorite are travel photographs, which I group together. So I thought I might spin off VS’s game. So can you identify, despite my poor hand where I was? Some are specific places, such as 1, 6, and 7. Or maybe you can identify the area or a similar area in 2, 3, 4, and 5. Two places should be easily identifiable to two Baboons, but then there is my weak art skill. A hint: I have only traveled in 46 states and four Canadian province.
December is proving to be a hard load to carry. How does December go for you?
Yesterday Bill mentioned the disappointment that Botticelli’s Venus isn’t shown to it’s best advantage in its home in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I know someone who was disappointed at seeing the David by Michelangelo in that same city; she thought that many fewer people should be allowed into the gallery at any given time so that it is quiet while you are observing the statue. I also know several folks who were underwhelmed by Stonehenge; they feel it is too close to the highway (technically the highway is too close to Stonehenge) and there is a chain link fence along the road that runs up to it. And of course I did have a client once who just didn’t love Paris the way he thought he should. He couldn’t explain it at all and felt a little sheepish about it.
One of the days I was visiting Pat in Nashville, we drove down to Chattanooga for a day. After we’d gone all through the huge aquarium there, I told Pat I wanted to see the Chattanooga Choo Choo. After all – why not. I’m guessing if it took me 66 years to get to Chattanooga the first time, I probably won’t get another chance!
We turned on the GPS… we were only about 3 miles away but it was downtown traffic so we wanted to be sure. A left turn took us to the back of a hotel where there were some older trains but there wasn’t an entrance so we turned back. A right turn after the hotel was the same… train cars but no entrance. The front of the hotel has mostly pay parking and there was no signage whatsoever for the CCC. We finally parked in a questionable spot and I called the hotel itself. The gal who answered the phone said you had to go through the hotel lobby to get there. Hmmmm. We left the car in our questionable space and traipsed into the hotel. It became clear immediately that this hotel had been the train station at one point but these days it is in sad shape and most of the retail spots in the big open atrium are dark.
If you walk all the way through, you do indeed come out to the train yard and the CCC is right there but that’s about all there is to say. Not clean, not spiffed up, no signage, no speakers playing the famous song. No little café serving coffee with cute names and no gift shop with magnet and postcards. All the other train cars in the yard are in very sad shape; a few look like there might be some refurbishing going on, but I wouldn’t bet any money on when it will actually be finished. As long as we were there, Pat snapped a photo of me in front of the engine, proof that we had actually found it! Truly, the model of the CCC in the hotel lobby was more impressive than the actual train itself.
Luckily since we hadn’t thought about looking for the CCC until that morning, neither of us had any great expectations so it wasn’t nearly as disappointing as it could have been. I think it’s the big build up in our expectations that causes most of our disappointments – at least it is for me.
What would you call a coffee drink at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Coffee Shop?