Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy National Cat Day!

Yes it is National Cat Day. Here's a great thing that Uber did:

Wednesday is National Cat Day. And in celebration of felines all over, Uber has teamed up with the ASPCA and Cheezburger to bring some kittens to your doorstep.

Uber senior marketing manager Ed Casabian stopped by HuffPost Live on Wednesday, with a few furry friends in tow, to discuss the partnership.

"Today, instead of requesting an Uber X or an Uber black car, you can actually request Uber kittens on demand. So a kitten car will come to your office," Casabian told host Marc Lamont Hill. "You just have to enter the promo code 'KITTENSNYC.' That will unlock a special view to be able to request the kittens."

Each 15-minute cuddle session with a kitten costs $30 -- all proceeds go to local shelters -- but animal lovers can use the Uber app to donate any amount to the cause, and the company will match all donations.

This from the National Cat Day website:
We live to celebrate cats and help them to find forever homes. Through our large social media presence, all year long we're able to partake in the wonderful world of cats and put the plight of cats in shelters, center stage and educate literally millions but on October's party time! We encourage you to spoil your fur baby a little more on National Cat Day than any other day (you don't want them to get too demanding do you?) by buying them a new toy drenched in cat nip, giving them something simply scrumptious to eat, offering LOTS more cuddling and making a donation to your local shelter in their honor. The best way you can celebrate though is to save a life! So if you can....ADOPT....don't shop. Estimates reveal that there are approximately 4 million cats entering shelters every year with 1-2 million being euthanized. Often cats are overlooked and under-appreciated because they don't usually have jobs like dogs. But cats still lower blood pressure, offer unconditional love and companionship and alert their owner to danger. Many cats have been named heroes.

So in honor of National Cat Day here are a few pictures of my cats Charlie and Linus.



And here are a few pictures of my wonderful first cat Sam. I miss him still.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Kalb Report — Woodward and Bernstein

I’m a little behind on this. This happened last Monday, October 20. I have to say it’s one of the more interesting Kalb Reports that I’ve been to. It reinforced how luck or happenstance or fate can greatly influence events.

The reason that Woodward was on the story in the first place was because it was a Saturday and no one else was around to cover the story. Woodward went to the initial hearing for the burglars and realized it was a big story because the lead burglar said he worked for the CIA. And as Woodward added you don’t see many burglars being arranged in suits.

They both talked about how important Ben Bradlee was to the pursuit of the story. He allowed them to continue covering the story when the national desk editor wanted to take over the story. This was just a day before Bradley died.

In an appreciation piece in the Post on Bradley they related this story about how he and Katharine Graham (the publisher of the Post) backed them up. They also told this story at the Kalb Report:

Bradlee was not above using theater to protect his reporters. When the Nixon reelection committee issued subpoenas for our Watergate notes and those of others at The Post as part of a civil suit, Bradlee and publisher Katharine Graham agreed to declare that she — not her reporters — was the legal owner of all the materials, and that any court action would have to be directed at her personally.

“If the judge wants to send anyone to jail, he’s going to have to send Mrs. Graham,” Bradlee told us with palpable glee. “And, my God, the lady says she’ll go! Then the judge can have that on his conscience. Can’t you see the pictures of her limousine pulling up to the Women’s Detention Center and out gets our gal, going to jail to uphold the First Amendment? That’s a picture that would run in every newspaper in the world.”

In their appreciation piece the two added this about Bradley and their relationship with them:

We were just 30 years old when we wrote “All the President’s Men,” and to say that we were impressionable at that time — to Bradlee and his methodology — would understate the case. But as the years of our association turned to decades, and the friendship and the bond forged by a shared, unique experience became unbreakable, we remained just as wide-eyed and impressionable to his wisdom, to the inimitable truth of his example, and still incredulous at the sheer joy and determination he seemed to bring to his life each day, which, when we first encountered him, had invited disbelief. Over the next 40 years we learned again and again that what we had observed was all true.

At the Kalb Report, they talked about how most of the press corp didn’t believe the stories that the Post were printing about Watergate. The Republican establishment went after them. Putting as much pressure as possible on them, Bradlee and Graham to stop writing all these stories about a third rate burglary.

In the end they stuck to their guns and exposed what Nixon and his administration was doing.

An Eclectic Open House on Sunday

I like to go around to open houses on Sunday. It's a nice way to get out of the house and go for a walk. I also like to look at the houses to see how much they are charging for them. I admit I compare them to mine. Some have been completely updated and are really well done. Others have not been updated all that much. I wonder sometimes who is going to pay what's been asked to buy the house.

This Sunday there was a really eclectic house for sale. First off the outside is painted green and I mean a bright almost neon green. The floor level with the street was actually the second floor of the house or as they referred to it upper level 1.

The inside mixed the old with the new. All you had to do was look at the kitchen. A modern stainless steel refrigerator and an oven that looks like the one my grandmother used.

All sorts of art work on the wall. Upstairs was an old fashion Singer sewing machine well at least it was the frame for the machine to sit in. It reminded me of one my other grandmother had.

The master bedroom's bath was more like a small walk in closet. None of the floors were even. It had very impressive what I assume was original wood work. 

In all a very interesting Sunday open house.

Yes it really is that green and red windows.

Exactly like the stove my grandmother had.

An old fashion Singer sewing machine. You had to pump the pedal to get the machine to work.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Middleburg Arts Project — a Visit with Peter and Tom

My friend Peter and Tom have opened up a gallery in Middleburg. It opened a couple of months ago. I've been wanting to go since it opened. I thought it would be great to see them again and great to see the gallery. I'd been following the gallery on Facebook.

So this Saturday they were going to have Jiamie Pyles play music and serve up some refreshments. I thought I need to go and see them. Jiamie was singing between 1-3. I decided to go out a little early and go to Sky Meadows and on the way back stop off at the gallery.

What a fantastic time! It was great to catch up with Peter and Tom and see the wonderful space they have created for some great art.

Here's a little more on the Middleburg Arts Project from their web site:
The Middleburg Arts Project is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a mission to enrich, educate and inspire the community by providing access to exceptional visual art while creating and supporting opportunities for artists to achieve a sustainable living. 
  • MAP is committed to promoting the teaching, understanding and appreciation of the visual arts to students and the public in Middleburg, Virginia.
  • MAP will partner with other organizations to promote all the arts in Middleburg and the Piedmont region of Virginia. 
Middleburg Arts Project envisions an engaged community, building a lively and vibrant town with artist studios, galleries and performance venues. 
  • Middleburg will be known for the arts
  • A town people visit to see and hear the arts in its many forms
  • A town where businesses are thriving from the excitement of expressive, imaginative artists
  • A town where the community is inspired by artists and their creativity. 
Middleburg Arts Project imagines Middleburg as a vivacious arts town that retains its historic character, its horse and hunt country traditions, while embracing, valuing and supporting its artists.

Again I had such a great time there. If you are in the area you should stop by and see this great place and say hello to Peter and Tom.

Jiamie Pyles entertaining the gallery goers

Inside the gallery. It has a wide range of art from paintings to sculptures to furniture.

A couple of Peter's works

Tom and Peter on the deck of the gallery.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Sky Meadows State Park

What a great place. It's about an hour and half from Washington. It has great trails to hike. When I was there on Saturday there fall festival was in full swing. All sorts of activities for people to do. I will be heading back out there again.

Here are some views from around the park.

More from Sky Meadows State Park

There was a great deal to do besides hiking. Several demonstrations and exhibits. Here's some things from the Civil War camp that they had there.

A telegraph.

The telegraph from the side in the back ground you can see the alphabet and what that corresponds to in Morse Code

On the left American money. On the right money from the Conferacy

The Blacksmith Shop at Sky Meadows State Park

Along with the pumpkin patch for kids and the Civil War camp and the Revolutionary War camp, if that wasn't enough to keep you busy, there was also a demonstration by two blacksmiths.

One of the smiths was in the process of making an S hook for one of the civil war actors so he could hang his kettle over the fire.

The main hearth for heating up the metal

Some finished products

Hard at work

Pounding out the S hook