Just for Fun

Getting Ready

Unless you've been living deep in a cave for the last several weeks, you already know that the solar eclipse is coming on Monday.


Michigan is not in the Path of Totality (isn't that just kind of fun to say?), but we do expect to experience a 90% partial eclipse here in Kalamazoo.

Although I'm not excited enough to head for totality, I am excited about the eclipse.  I've collected a bunch of "eclipse information" over the last few days, and I thought I'd share my finds with you.

  • If you want to see information about the eclipse for your particular location, click here.  You can enter your city, and the site will show you information about the eclipse near you.
  • If you want to learn more about the eclipse in an "in-depth" kind of way, the New York Times Science section has a great series of articles.  So does the Washington Post.
  • If you didn't nab a pair of eclipse glasses, Science Friday has a list of 5 easy ways to safely view the eclipse without them.
  • If you want some tips from the pros, Vox has a list for you here.
  • If you're wondering what happens to animals and wildlife during an eclipse, you can read about that here.
  • If you want some tips about watching the eclipse with kids, Michigan State University Extension put out a nifty little guide just yesterday.
  • And, finally, if you want some good old tongue-in-cheek humor about the eclipse, check this out from The Atlantic.

Have a great weekend!  

A Perfect Wish

Yesterday was what I call a "pinball day."  I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. . . those days when you race from one thing to another all day, just like a silver ball in a pinball machine.


I thought today would be a good day to share this birthday card I received from a friend here in Kalamazoo.

Scan 2

A perfect wish, non?

A Date With . . . SCIENCE

Last night, Tom took me to the 75th anniversary celebration of the Kalamazoo chapter of the American Chemical Society.  


Yeah.  I didn't do so well on the trivia challenge.  But they had wine, so I was good!

The celebration was held at the Kalamazoo AirZoo - a unique and popular aviation museum here in town.  I was excited to go . . . because I have never actually been to the AirZoo.  (I know.  It's one of those wonderful community treasures that you send visitors to all the time . . . but never quite make it there yourself.)  Tom has been there; my dad has been there; my kids have been there.  But me?  Not until last night.  


It was a great venue for an event like this.  Guests could take in the museum, get a drink, and then gather for the dinner and presentations.


There are tasteful "rides" for kids, full motion flight simulators, and something called 4D Missions Theater.  (These last two came with the caveat that you might want to try them before dinner.  Yeah . . . no thanks; think I'll just skip those. . .)


There are really cool interactive "experiences" throughout the museum -- hands-on activities to explain flight concepts like air flow, lift, and circuitry.



And let's just say this . . . once a science-nerd, always a science-nerd!


Tom had fun exploring (playing?) at all the interactive stations -- but he especially loved launching rockets.

The big feature of the evening (and the topic of the guest speaker) was the SR-71B Blackbird (U-2 spy plane).  This is the plane that Gary Powers was flying when he was shot down in Soviet airspace back in 1960.


So . . . what did the AirZoo and the presentation about the spy plane have to do with chemistry?  Why . . . I can't really tell you.  Because it wasn't really clear that it DID have to do with chemistry!  It was just a fun, celebratory evening for science nerds!  (And the people who love them.)

Plus . . . swag!


Now we have commemorative, his-and-hers pint glasses to remember our date with science!

Have a great weekend.



Something Shiny

Last Friday, I needed to pick up a book-ish gift for a friend, so I headed to Barnes & Noble.  
(Which is always a bit of an issue for me.)  (Because I am FAR worse in a book store than I am in a yarn store.)

I got to wandering.  
(As I do.)

And something shiny caught my eye.  
(Something shiny that I absolutely did not need and had no intentional of buying.  Especially when I saw the price tag.)


Yes.  That's a Kate Spade "rotating stamp" with pad.  (Because every handbag designer needs to wade out into the world of office supplies, non?)

And what, you may ask, caught my eye about this particular item?

Well. . . first off, I've always loved rotating stamp pads.  You know . . . the old-school ones in offices that sport "RECEIVED" or "ENTERED" or - my personal favorite - "EXPEDITE."  This one, though, had inspirational rotating phrases (the product box refers to them as "Calls to Action") that are even better than "EXPEDITE."


I was charmed.

I put it back, though. 

Because $24.95.  (Yeah.  For a rotating stamp.)  (Plus bonus mini stamp pad.)  (But still.)

After more browsing, though, I went back and picked it up.  
(You knew I would.)

Not because Kate Spade.


Not even because shiny.  (Although it is.)


Totally because Calls to Action.


All week long, I've been using my stamp everywhere!  
I especially like including the calls to action in my planner.  Little To-Do items. . .


Because doesn't everbody need to "live colorfully" on Thursday?  Or "be an elegant thinker" on Friday?  Maybe "call the shots" on Saturday? 

So.  Yeah.  It was ridiculously overpriced.

But sometimes . . . you just need to grab that shiny object and have a little fun with it!

Happy weekend.





Best Picture nominees?

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Still hoping to catch some of the nominees in other major categories before the Academy Awards on February 28, but the pressure is off.  (My personal quest to see All The Movies only includes the Best Picture nominees.)

Do you have a favorite this year???


(The photo is a page from my Bullet Journal.)

Heard in the Locker Room

I go to a Very Nice Gym.  We have a Very Nice Locker Room.  Still . . . things get a little rough in there.

I have long considered a Blog Theme . . . Heard in the Locker Room.  (Because truly unbelievable.)  But I've long decided against it.  (Because trying to do no harm.)  

But, well . . . sometimes you run into something that is just Too Good NOT to Share.

Like . . . 


Okay.  So here goes.

The Set-up:  The women's locker room at my gym is really top-notch.  Almost like a spa.  We have plenty of locker bays, deluxe showers, towel service, multiple mirrors and sinks, permanent hair dryers, pretty much . . . you name it, we got it.  (We also have some issues with "inappropriate nudity.")  (Don't ask.)

Still:  There are some club members (mostly little girls and awkward adolescents) who are uncomfortable with their bodies, and who choose to (1) dress/undress in the bathroom stalls (which makes me crazy . . . Because, Girls!  I need to pee!), and (2) have their mothers and/or grandmothers (heavy emphasis on the grandmothers) build impromptu "towel cabanas" around them while they change in/out of their swimsuits before lessons.

In short:  Very ANNOYING.

So.  I was especially heartened to hear THIS conversation in the locker room last week:

Mother:  Get you suit on.

Little Girl:  But I don't want anyone to see my hoohaw.

Mother:  No one CARES about your hoohaw.  Get your suit on.

Little Girl:  Hold up a towel.

Mother:  No.

Little Girl:  But I don't want them looking at my hoohaw.

Mother:  No one CARES about your hoohaw.

Little Girl:  Moooooom!!!!!

Mother:  Look.  Everyone in here has a hoohaw of her own.  No one cares about YOURS.

Bless you, Mother-of-Hoohaw-Girl!  I wish there were more of you.  
(Because, really.  Your towel-cabanas are silly.  No one cares about your hoohaw.  And I need to pee.)

Happy Friday, everybody.



Never Break the Chain. . .

When I worked for the Symphony (please notice how easy it is now for me to use the past tense when it comes to my old job!), we always expected patrons using walkers at our concerts.  Each of our venues had plenty "walker parking" space available, and helpful ushers used to dealing with older patrons.

Somehow, I never expected this to be the case at rock concerts.

Until last night!

Tom and I went to see Fleetwood Mac in concert.


Three solid hours of every Fleetwood Mac song you remember oh-so-well.  It was awesome!  Just lots of fun all around.

(And, yeah.  Aging fans with walkers were in the house!)


And . . . a BIG BIRTHDAY SHOUT-OUT to my sister!  Happy birthday, Di!!!