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A little self-aggrandizement May 11, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Music.
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My handbell choir held a concert last week. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it’s now on YouTube; videos are here. But because this is my blog and I can do that, I’m going to feature my own solo. Enjoy!

Rebus bottle caps! May 5, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Puzzles.
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While I was helping do some cleanup at my grandparents’ house, I wound up with a jar full of bottle caps. They’re all from the Falstaff Brewing Corporation, and have rebus puzzles on the insides. I’ve done some Web poking, and they apparently date from the 1970s and 1980s.

Most of them are pretty easy, but there are a few that still have me stumped. Apologies for any bits that you can’t read; they were hard to photograph clearly.  Click on the pictures to enlarge so you have at least half a chance of seeing what’s there!

Rebus bottle caps #1
Rebus bottle caps #2

So much for that idea. May 5, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Photography, Uncategorized.
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As you’ve no doubt guessed (if anyone is still reading this), Project 365 kind of fell apart. A lot has happened this spring, and my creative energy for the project waned rather dramatically. I also felt like I was taking a lot of uninteresting photos, just to say that I’d taken a photo on a given day.

Regular blogging hasn’t happened much either. I’m going to try to remedy that. In the meanwhile, here are a few of the photos I have taken in the past couple of months.

(more…)

My new challenge: The Run to Home Base 9K March 12, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Running.
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I have a bunch of photos to catch up on, but today, I have something else in mind. I’ve just signed up to run the Run to Home Base, a 9K that’s a fundraiser for the Red Sox Foundation’s Home Base program. This program works with vets returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who have traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress problems. A worthy cause, and it’s a good challenge for me as a runner — I’ve never done a race that long! And the finish line is home plate at Fenway Park; how cool is that?

By signing up, I’ve committed to raising at least $1000. If you’d like to support me, you can go to this page to do so. My thanks in advance for anyone who does.

Project 365: March 3 — and the story behind it March 3, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Photography, Project 365.
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Today’s photo was inspired by reading Madeleine Albright’s highly entertaining Read My Pins. It’s a book of photos of her vaunted collection of pins, and her comments on them and on how she used them in her diplomatic career. It’s all written with her wonderful wit.

At the end of the book, she says, speaking of a particular pin:

I wear it as a reminder that jewelry’s greatest value comes not from intrinsic materials or brilliant designs but from the emotions we invest. The most cherished attributes are not those that dazzle the eye but those that recall to the mind the face and spirit of a loved one.

That made me think of some of my own favorite pieces of jewelry. I don’t seem to wear much jewelry of late, but I do like it. And I have some pieces that definitely “recall to the mind the face and spirit of a loved one.” One in particular has become a sort of talisman; I wear it for job interviews, important auditions, and that sort of thing.

My maternal grandmother was born in October, so she had a lot of opal jewelry. I love opals, their fieriness and multicolored shine. One of those pieces was a ring. She gave the ring to my mother at some point. In childhood, I loved going through my mother’s jewelry box and looking at things, and I especially admired the ring. When I graduated from high school, my mom managed to abscond with my class ring one day and used it to get my ring size so she could have the opal ring sized for me. She and my grandmother gave it to me as a graduation present.

Grandma died when I was in college, but the ring makes me feel her love every time I wear it.

So here’s today’s photo. It completely fails to do the opal’s fieriness justice; it has much more color to it in the light than I was able to capture in the photo.

A treasure

Project 365: February 25-March 2 March 2, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Photography, Project 365.
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Another big catchup post. A lot of my photos have been kind of perfunctory, just for the sake of getting the daily shot, but I do really like today’s photo.

February 25: The Hancock Tower on a wet day. The odd-colored blobs near the middle of the frame are courtesy of raindrops on my lens!

Hancock in the mist

February 26: I walked across the Public Garden on a bright sunny morning, and found this squirrel.

Hi squirrel!

February 27: Sewing project in progress.

Sewing in progress

February 28: My first souffle! I overfilled the ramekin, so it spilled over rather dramatically, but didn’t fall.

My first souffle!

March 1: Sewing project completed.

Gray robe

And today, March 2: Bird on a wire. (Can anyone tell what it is? It looks kind of like a cardinal, but in silhouette I couldn’t tell for sure.)

Bird on a wire.

Project 365: February 24 February 24, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Photography, Project 365.
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What, posting a photo on the day I took it? Amazing!

The photo’s not that amazing, though, but I like it. A tree in a neighbor’s yard, lit by the streetlight on a rainy night.

Wet tree

Project 365: February 16-23 February 23, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Photography, Project 365, Puzzles.
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Wow, a whole week behind in posting — sheesh!

I have a confession to make: There will be no photo here for February 16. I took photos that day, I swear. I can even tell you what they were of: some interesting windows I had just noticed at Trinity Church. But then I was clearing old photos off my camera, and, well, went a day too far. Sigh. That’ll teach me to wait so long to post…

But, without further ado, here are the rest of the week’s photos.

February 17: A snowy tree at dawn.

Tree at dawn

February 18: From the opposite side of the day, the moon through a bare tree.

Spooky moon

February 19: An embarrassingly bad photo of the view I saw when I got off the bus in New York.

A bad photo

The next two photos are from this year’s American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, which I attended this year as I have every year since 1999.

February 20: Miriam Raphael, one of my favorite of the puzzle people.

Mimi!

February 21: Soon-to-be champ Dan Feyer works on the championship puzzle.

The champ at work

February 22: Girl Scout cookies!

It's Girl Scout Cookie time!

February 23: In a bit of self-aggrandizement, my trophy collection from crossword tournaments. Before you get too amazed, this is 12 years’ worth of trophies, and they’re pretty generous with trophies at the ACPT!

A dozen years of trophies

New information about King Tut’s life and death February 16, 2010

Posted by saxikath in History, Science!.
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Intriguing news has come out of a highly detailed study of the mummies of Tutankhamun and some of his relatives. DNA has established that he was most likely son to Akhenaten, the pharaoh who tried to establish sole worship of the sun-disk-god Aten, and one of Akhnaten’s sisters. He also apparently had a cleft palate and a disorder that was cutting off blood flow to one foot, and probably had to walk with a cane. And he had a broken leg, and scientists found traces of malaria parasites. Scientists theorize that he died after a malarial infection complicated the broken leg.

It’s kind of a sad image, really — a teenage king trying to rule a country in some upheaval, while at the same time battling a variety of physical ailments. But it amazes me that the combination of ancient Egyptian mummification techniques and modern science have allowed us to learn so much about a man who’s been dead for more than three thousand years.

Project 365: February 11-15 February 15, 2010

Posted by saxikath in Photography, Project 365.
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I’ve fallen behind on posting, but I have still taken pictures. I got a new computer (very shiny!), so it took me a couple of days to get things set up. That plus some craziness, both work and personal, have kept me from updating.

So, without further ado, five days of photos!

February 11: Chandeliers in a lighting store.
Chandeliers

February 12: Flags blowing above a building near my office.
Flags

February 13: My silly stripey mismatched socks.
Stripes

February 14: Two handsome dogs outside Formaggio’s.
Waiting dogs

And finally today, February 15: An incipient sewing project (some costume robes for friends of mine).
WIP

Whew! I really hope I start getting more inspired soon. This is harder to keep up than I realized!