Sunday, October 04, 2015

Sunday Stealing: Q&A

From Sunday Stealing

Q & A Meme

1. What would you pick as a major, if you could go back to college and do it again?

A. I majored in English and my masters is a humanities degree in liberal studies. Neither have proved overly useful as far as employment. I would go back and major in computer video game creation, if there is such a thing.

2. Who is the one celebrity with whom you would most like to have an indepth conversation?

A. Meryl Streep.

3. If you could make a living doing ANYthing, what would that be?

A. I wish I could go back to making a living as a writer. Barring that, I would like to be a college professor.

4. What’s your all-time very favorite dessert?

A. Chocolate Lush.

5. How many pairs of jeans do you own?

A. I have no idea. At least five.

6. What is your favorite flower, and why?

A. I have always loved the iris. They come in multiple colors and are delicately shaped. They are perennials, which means I don't have to spend a lot of time caring for them, and they make a nice riot of color in early spring.

7. What book has most changed your life?

A. Probably the Nancy Drew books I read when I was a young girl, because they made me want to write more than I already did.

8. What is your least favorite vegetable? Is there any way you can be persuaded to eat it?

A. I am not overly fond of beets or other root vegetables, but I will eat them occasionally. I can't think of any vegetable I would refuse to eat. I can't stand coconut and will not eat that, but I don't think that's a vegetable. I also have food allergies that I must be wary of.

9. If you could take a nonstop first class flight to any destination, where would you pick to land?

A. Scotland.

10. If your 15 minutes of fame included a stint on American Idol, what song would be your trademark solo?

A. Unwritten.

11. If you could pick one former friend (who has remained elusive in this wild Facebook world) to reunite with, who would you unearth?

A. I had a classmate in high school who moved away in the 11th grade. We were quite close and played in the high school band together. She had this boyfriend named Tom who took up much of her time before she departed. After she left, I never heard from her again. I have no idea what happened to her. Of course, that was 30 years ago. She could live in the next county and I wouldn't recognize her if I saw her, I imagine.

12. You have been awarded the time off from work and an all-expenses paid week anywhere in the United States. The catch is that it must be somewhere you have not been before. Where do you choose to visit?

A. Niagara Falls.

13. Name three of your guilty pleasures.

A. Chocolate. Video games. Daydreaming.

14. The best kind of cookie is:

A. Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip, hot from the oven.

15. What do you value most in other people?

A. Honesty.

16. Have you ever looked back at your life and realized that something you thought was a bad thing was actually a blessing in disguise?

A. Yes.

17. What is the most beautiful place you’ve ever visited?

A. I think where I live is the most beautiful place in the world. The most beautiful place I've ever visited is the Grand Canyon. I loved the expansiveness of it, the colored layers of earth, the enormity of it all, and the idea that this tiny flow of water created this vast beauty.

18. Are you more of a thinker or a feeler?

A. I'm a thinker. INTP in the Myers-Briggs, though I sometimes test as an INTJ. But always the INT.

19. Name three things you are thankful for right now.

A. I'm thankful it rained, because we had planted 40 acres of new seed on the farm. I'm thankful we took a vacation last week, the first one in three years. I am thankful that my friends care about me and forgive me for my craziness.

20. Have you ever participated in a three-legged race?

A. Not that I can recall. I may have when I was quite young.

21. When you are at an event that plays the National Anthem, do you place your hand over your heart?

A. Yes. I usually stand up, too, if I am able to.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Saturday 9: Straight Up

Saturday 9: Straight Up (1988)
Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Paula sings about being in a dream. Did you dream last night?

A. I have recently been dreaming in music, which is something rather new for me. I think it reflects my renewed interest in playing guitar.

2) When Paula enrolled at California State University, she planned on studying broadcasting and becoming a reporter.  Think about your career aspirations when you were 19. Did you follow through and stay on track or, like Paula, did you veer off and find success elsewhere?

A. I have wanted to be a writer since I was a toddler. At 19, I still wanted to be a writer. I have written and published about 3,500 articles (plus a couple of poems and a few short stories) over the last 30 years. So I suppose I followed through with the dream. I found success, but only as I define it. I'm not so sure some would think I was/am successful.

3) For a while she was a "Laker Girl" and performed at L.A. Laker games. Do you have a favorite NBA team?
A. Um. I'm not even sure what the NBA is. That's basketball, right?

4) Paula was once married to Brad Beckerman of Stillhouse Spirits, a company that specializes in whiskey. What's your favorite alcoholic beverage?
A. I don't drink, but the last alcohol I had was a blackberry wine that was pretty good (that was three years ago in celebration of my graduation for my masters degree). I also like the taste of good gin and a good brandy, both of which I have tried, but neither of which are in my house.

5) Paula has been dancing since age 8 and, as you can see from the video, Paula moves very well in heels. Tell us about your most comfy shoes.
A. My New Balance sneakers (#928) are my shoe of choice these days, thanks to a bad ankle and arthritis.
6) Paula admits it was her passion for jewelry and that inspired her to design her own line for QVC and Avon. What is your favorite thing to go shopping for?
A. Books, and then second would be office supplies. I love the office supply stores. I love to look at Daytimers and briefcases, new computers, pens, and notebooks. I hate to shop for clothes.

7) She advises young girls to "keep the faith and don't lose your gut instinct." How about you? Are you more logical or instinctive?
A. I am quite logical, I'm afraid. I am very happy when logic and instinct match up, but they are frequently at odds.

8) In May, Paula traveled to Austria for The Life Ball, a fundraiser to help those afflicted with HIV/AIDS. When is the last time you left the country?
A. I went to Spain and France in 1979. Otherwise, I have been in the USA.

9) Paula Abdul is a spokeswoman for Avon's "Go Check Yourself" campaign for breast health awareness. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Do you know anyone who has been touched by this disease?

A. I do, yes. Several women, actually.


Friday, October 02, 2015

Charleston - Part 5 - Fort Moultri

Fort Moultri is located on Sullivan's Island just a little north of Charleston. It is across the harbor from Fort Sumter. Fort Moultri is a national monument in South Carolina and operated by the National Park Service.

The fort took part in a furious ship-to-shore gun battle during the American Revolution in 1776. The fort is named for William Moultri, a Colonel who led the fort holders to victory in that battle. However, Charleston later fell to the British, and they held it until the end of the war.

Fort Moultri, built and rebuilt several times over, was also used in the American Civil War. Fort Moultri was upgraded again in 1885 and during World War II. It is no longer an active defensive fort for the country.

Fort Moultri is not entirely handicapped accessible, so we did not tour it inside. My husband climbed an observation deck at the visitor's center across the street to take these photos.

Fort Moultri's entrance

The fort shows different eras as it changed throughout the course of history.

It is not far off the ocean (and probably floods frequently).

The upper observation deck of Fort Moultri

Cannons for protection.

More cannons.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Thursday Thirteen

During last week's visit to Charleston, SC, we spent a couple of hours in the North Charleston and American LaFrance Fire Museum and Educational Center, which is located near the Tanger Outlets should you ever visit.

The museum and visitors' center opened in 2007 and is housed in a $7 million building constructed by the City of North Charleston. The Fire Museum has more than 20 fully restored fire vehicles, including hand pumper engines that pre-date the 20th century.

Hopefully, I have most of these photos captioned properly.

1886 Silsby Steam Pumper

Not sure what this is, but it's old.

Patches from various fire departments all over the world.

My county's patch. A little blurry. It was dark in the museum and I didn't have my good camera.

My husband's place of employment, before
it became Roanoke-Fire EMS

A showcase of early firefighting helmets.

More helmets.

1857 Button & Blake Hand Pumper

Not sure what this one is, but it is a 1912 apparatus.

1911 "Type 5" double tank combination

1914 "Type 12" pumper

1920 "Type 75" Pump & Hose Car

The early system for fire alarms, which used a ticker-tape type of instrument. This was still in use in Roanoke
when my husband went to work with the fire department over 30 years ago.

1935 "400" Series

1940 "500 Series" Pumper


Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here if you want to read other Thursday Thirteens and/or play along. I've been playing for a while and this is my 414th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Charleston - USS Yorktown - Part 3

Having never been to Charleston before, we weren't sure where anything was. We were driving around and saw a sign pointing towards "Patriots Point." Being novices in the tourism department, we went to see what it was.

It was the U.S.S. Yorktown and assorted displays. I had been looking for this in the tourism information and could not find it. Who knew it was called Patriots Point? Not us.

Visiting the ship required much walking, but fortunately the park officials provide folks with canes or disabilities a ride on a golf cart and they have installed an elevator on the ship. Had they not I think I would have fallen overboard from exhaustion and pain, but fortunately that did not happen.

My husband was thrilled with the ship. The Yorktown served in World War II as an aircraft carrier. The ship also served in other wars (Korea, Vietnam) and was the ship that picked up the Apollo 8 astronauts. The ship was decommissioned in 1970 and it became a tourist attraction in 1975.

The deck is full of old aircraft. Inside the aircraft carrier is a museum. A battleship, the U.S.S. Laffey, is also moored near the aircraft carrier.

The U.S.S. Yorktown

It's a very big boat.

Many planes sat on the upper deck.

My husband examining some kind of gun.

Husband examining a plane. He said the planes all looked
like they would fall apart if you touched them. He was awed.

A helicopter on deck.

Another plane.

Two more planes. Big ship to hold so many planes.

The observation tower and a plane.

Below, they had a museum.

A wall of honor.

The Apollo 8 capsule. This captivated me more than the
ship did, since I am a big NASA fan. I stood and admired
this while the husband roamed around looking at the
things he wanted to see.


Yorktown Museum exhibits.

A battleship called the U.S.S. Laffey

More U.S.S. Laffey

A little bit about the battleship.

We did not go down into the submarine. It is just before a dock, as you can tell from all the boats.

Husband admiring the battleship.