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Showing posts from October, 2009

Good News Edition #1 - The Return of the Aral Sea

For my first good news post, I thought I'd share this article from Peter Leonard of the Associated Press. It talks about how the Aral Sea, once one of the world's largest bodies of fresh water, was pretty much destroyed. This was a result of the U.S.S.R.'s poor planning and stewardship of their natural resources. But now, the Aral Sea is beginning to come back, thanks to efforts of the World Bank and some of the countries surrounding the area. What I particularly appreciate about this is that just because we humans have made mistakes, does not mean they can't be undone, and that even a little cooperation can provide a lot of hope.

Sure Could Use a Little Good News

I've blogged before about my love for Reba McEntire, Fleetwood Mac, and Rosemary Clooney. But I've probably never mentioned how much I love the music of Anne Murray. I've loved her music ever since I was a kid, and a few of her albums got me through college. I've seen her in concert a few times (totally awesome show!), and one of the most poignant concert experiences I've ever had was when she came to SLC shortly after 9/11. At one point in the concert, she sang her song "A Little Good News". After she finished, there was a spontaneous eruption of applause and a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes, with people clapping, cheering, and crying all at the same time. It was such an emotional experience for me that I still can't hear that song without bursting into tears myself. This is on my mind lately, as I've been listening to one of her Albums on my ipod. I don't know about you, but I've always been into current events, a

Only a Man...

As a follow up to one of my recent posts, I offer the following article, as written by a man: I mean seriously - who assigns an article on mammography to a man? He may be a nice man, a pleasant fellow. But he has absolutely no clue. Only a man could downplay it to the degree he does. I wonder if he'd think the pain level was low if a certain part of his anatomy was pressed flat like a pancake. I'm just saying...

What a Load of Crap

I read an article this morning about an inter-racial couple from Louisiana, who went to the local justice of the peace and requested a marriage license. Said Justice denied the request, on the grounds they were an inter-racial couple, and in his experience, inter-racial marriages do not last long. He asks every couple who calls him whether they are inter-racial, and if they are, does not marry them. To quote the justice: "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way." Frankly, that's rather like the old commercial where the actor says "I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV." You may not think you are, but you basically support the idea anyway. His additional reasoning is that the couple may plan on having children, and children of inter-racial marriages are not supported or accepted by either race. Here's what I have to say to both of those arguments: What a load of crap! My own family's experience is that inter-

Promoting Peace

So the banner headline this morning was the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to President Obama. Personal politics aside, I consider this a fairly ridiculous selection. Nine months in to his Presidency, I don't see that he has done anything to promote peace. Just to make sure I understand the qualifications for such an honor, I checked with the Nobel Committee, and found the requirements, as listed in the Founders Last Will and Testament: "The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or i

New 'Do

For probably the last 10 years or so, I've had pretty much the same hairstyle. For the most part, it's been long, all one length, and I would eventually put it up in a ponytail almost every day, because I couldn't stand having it in my face. It drove me crazy, but I didn't know what to do with it, and at the same time, I liked that I could basically get up and go every day without a lot of effort. For the past several months now, I've been threatening to do something different and drastic, and finally, yesterday, I did. At the recommendation of Angel, I made an appointment with her stylist. It took several weeks to get in, but finally, the day arrived. Angel went with me, for moral support, and to be the photographer. I went in with some basic ideas, but after some consultation and looking at photos with Francine, this is what I ended up with. First, the "before" shot: In process: And finally, the finished product: I can't remember the last time

Boob Job

There are certain things a women has to learn to deal with as she gets older. Wrinkles, sagging, hormonal changes, gray hair, and a host of others. But perhaps the least fun of all is the rite of passage that occurs annually after you turn 40 - the dreaded mammogram. Let me just say that, other than the annual visit to the girl doctor, there are few things as awkward and uncomfortable as getting the upper half of your body smashed between a power press once a year. So there I am at my appointment today. It's pretty nerve-wracking, and because I talk when I'm nervous, I tried to lighten the mood a bit by chatting with the technician. Tracie: "The last time I had one of these, I remember thinking 'I hope the power doesn't go out.'" Technician: "Actually, I did have that happen one time..." Tracie: (Thinking - "Did not need to know that...") Technician: "...but the machine has a release mechanism, and this hospital has generators

Baking Bread

So I tried to make some bread of my own the last couple of weekends. Let's just say that neither loaf turned out as expected, and that so far, baking bread is not my strong suit. The first loaf rose straight up, several inches, to the point where it touched the oven element, and created a nice burn mark. The second loaf I have no pictures of, but let's just say that it turned out even worse than the first one.

Cooking Class

One of the things I've been wanting to do fo r awhile was take a cooking class. In fact, it's been on my 40 things list. I was even more inspired after seeing the movie "Julie and Julia". So when I wa s r eading in the paper several weeks ago, I found a french cooking class was going to be coming up. My friends Angel and Catherine were both interested in it as well, so we signed up. Turns out, the chef is related to Angel by marriage, and she said it would be a great time. Chef Drewe is a certified executive chef, and he holds the cla sses in his own home. On the menu was Beef Bourgignone (Burgundy to those of us who don't speak French), fresh French Bread baguet tes, salad, and cupcakes. Chef Drewe's pro cess is to do the cooking, show you h o w he does it, and provide you with all the recipes, and tips. You can ask questions, take notes, and get right in there and watch him. After it's all finished, you get to sit down to a fabulous meal. It ended up