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What a Wonderful World

Louis Armstrong was born today August 4th, 1901 and passed on July 6th, 1971.

His music is timeless and I had such fun putting together a selection of his songs and collaborations with other artists.  Take some time to sit back on this beautiful Sunday and enjoy the sounds of Louis Armstrong.

Happy Birthday, Louis!

What a Wonderful World:

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Tania

Thank you, Marooned in Marin, for considering my internet footprint as influential.   It is my hope that readers find value in my work and recognition from my peers is always appreciated.

most-influential-blogger1

The internet is composed of tiny sparks of awesome and I relish the chance to highlight those who make the internet better for all. Yes, I am a bit chuffed to be considered part of this community and hope my work will continue to evolve and improve over time.

Along with this award, I am required to fullful a few rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog – check

2. Link back to the person who nominated you – check

3. Answer questions decided up by your nominator – check

4. Nominate ( no limit of nominations ) other bloggers for this award and link back to them – check

5. Notify those bloggers of the award requirements – check

The questions and my answers in italics are as follows:

1. What shaped your current political philosophy?

Up until Sept 11th, 2001 I was basically apolitical with no defined political ideology. A few days after 9/11, I received an email from a casual acquaintance which opened my eyes to the bubbling malfesance of the political thought. I still have the email as a reminder of what must be countered with truth. From that moment, I chose to formulate my philosophy around evidenced-based truth which put me frequently at odds with hardcore leftists. In a nutshell, the quest for truth continually shapes my political outlook. 

2. Do you see a resurgence of the Tea Party movement before the 2014 mid-term elections? Why or why not?

I have always been a fan of true grassroot movements and have been lucky document this national movement over the years.  I see a resurgence of Americans fed up with the current state of affairs and will let their voices be by way of the ballot box come November. 

3. What is the most unreported political story that is being ignored by the “mainstream” media?

I am a huge proponent of free speech regardless of political leanings. The targeting of several journalists by the DOJ along with the absolute silence in the MSM is a devastating blow to free speech for all of us.  More chilling is CNN accepting alleged funding from our government and outside governments to promote or squash news stories. While funding stories is not a new concept – CNN does not disclose any funding sources when producing its content.  If CNN is in this game then every other MSM outlet is as well. This non-disclosure erodes what little confidence I have in their product and I find I lean more heavily on online news aggregators and blogs for updates on current news. FYI – I do disclose this type of arrangement in blog posts as needed.   

4. Who do you see as a rising conservative name to watch?

Hmmm..Mike Lee, Ted Cruz and me :)

5. What do you do like to do away from blogging/political activism?

Wait a sec..there is more to life than blogging?  Seriously, life is a fascinating adventure and I enjoy writing of my passions and new discoveries on this blog.  Here you can find running recaps, beer brewing tips, photography lessons, movie reviews and food worth eating.  I’m sure I missed a thing or two but these are my predominate likes. 

6. Which do you prefer: Beach or Mountains?

Both, actually. 

7. What is a quote you like to live by?

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken – Oscar Wilde

 

Earlier I mentioned the internet is composed of bright sparks.  Here are a just a few of the exceptional sparks that I have been fortunate to meet and befriend.

 

The Sundries Shack   - Jimmie is one of the most social media savvy guy I’ve met. Our Friday night social media Google + hangouts are fabulous and informative .  His writing style is engaging, informative and downright fun to read.

 

Masterpiece - Beth is just one awesome chick!  She is a teller of tales in pursuit of living in joy. This is one courageous woman that I am happy to have met at Blissdom 2012. 

 

Alli Worthington - One of the organizers of Blissdom Conference and a blogging/social media/life guru. I’m serious – she is the cheerleading coach we all need in our lives.

 

Sheri Ohler - A talented artist, chef, and writer. I own a necklace designed by Sheri and receive compliments every time I wear it. I’m hoping to collaborate with her in creating a logo for my new blog site.

 

Creative Kristi - She is a dynamic woman and outstanding blog designer. Ahem, I have a blog that needs a design…

 

My questions to this group:

 

1. What is your favorite cliche?

2. What poem do you know by heart?

3. What is the first CD you bought?

4. What book changed your outlook on life?

5.  What is your all time favorite movie?

6.  Share a happy memory.

Tania

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It is Sunday Night and I’m Editing Photos with LR5

It’s Sunday evening and I’m relaxing in the afterglow of a solid eight mile run earlier in the day. Yes, people, the runner’s high is real and it is fabulous. I’d thought I’d work on editing photos taken weeks ago that had promise but needed something more to boost the images.

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Tania

Welcome To The World HRH Prince X of Cambridge

Tired but very happy Duke and Duchess of Cambridge introduce their newborn son to the waiting world.

 

UPDATE:  The royal baby shall be called HRH Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge.

Tania

Home Brew Update

Bottling the Bavarian Weizen

I spent the better part of Saturday cleansing, sanitzing and dry heat sterilizing in preparation to bottling a sweet Bavarian wheat beer that has quietly fermented over the past two weeks. Now that it is bottled, it will age for three weeks before serving. Only then will I know if all my efforts to create this beer was successful.  Of course, I’ve appealed to all the brewing gods for a drinkable batch of beer.

It is one thing to enjoy craft beer and another to create craft beer.  Surprisingly, I found Donald Rumsfeld accurately summed up the daunting task of home brewing with his famous quote:

There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know.

I’m certain Donald did not have home brewing on his mind when he coined this quote. Still, I’ve yet to find a more suitable quote that captures my experience with home brewing.

Craft beer brewing is part art, science and a touch of alchemy.  There are many factors that need attention while creating beer and there are at least a thousand ways you can screw up a batch of beer;  from poor quality wort ingredients, dormant yeast to gaps in cleaning and sanitizing.  Basically, I’m crossing my fingers that everything worked as it should.  I did taste the beer when measuring the final specific gravity before bottling. The beer tasted smooth with a hint of sweetness. I’m hoping that is a good sign.

Another nugget of knowledge:  The amount of careful work and time required to create home brewed craft beer has made me carefully reconsider whom I will share this gift of hops.  Always remember to drink responsibly and to share beer responsibly.  Essentially, if you annoy me – no beer for you!

Batch #1: Bavarian Weizen

Fermentation started: 7/7/2013

Starting Gravity: 1.050

Final Gravity: 1.012

Bottle Date: 7/20/2013

Open Date: 8/10/2013

ABV: 4.9%

Malts: Alexander Liquid Malt extract, Wheat dry malt extract

Hops: Tettnang hops (bittering), Saaz (flavor)

Servomyces yeast nutrient

Yeast: White Labs ‘Hefeweizen’ yeast

Tania

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Belgium King Abdicates

Today marked Beligum’s King Albert II abdication and swearing in of Albert’s eldest son, Phillippe, as the new king of Belgium. The new king is the 7th King of Belgium and takes on a largely ceremonial role. His wife, Mathilde was given the title Queen of Belgium.

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Photo credit: The Belgian Monarchy

This was a modest affair in contrast to the days long activities surrounding the abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in favor of her son, Willem-Alexander on April 30th 2013.

In the meantime, the wait is still on for the arrival of Wills and Kate’s baby.

Tania

Detroit is Bankrupt

Detroit files the largest muninciple bankruptcy case in the history of the United States. Double ouch! Governor Rick Snyder explains the reasoning behind filing for bankruptcy and what it will mean for the future of Michigan.

Once upon a time, the city was hailed as a model for progressive social ideals and unionism now it has officially become the model of urban decline. I am hopeful this status will act as a wake up call for civic leadership to step up and break the chains of failure from the past. It is clear what doesn’t work for the city of Detroit, now is the time to begin to put into place evidence-based practices that do work for the citizens and businesses in the city.

What do you think would be a best practice solution for Detroit?

 

Tania

The Snark Factor Tonight

Listen live to the Snark Factor every Wednesday night at 8pm EST on FTR Radio where I will be joining Fingers Malloy, Irish Duke to bring news bites at the top of the hour followed by sparkling chats with invited guests. If you are a fan of my blog, you’ll know that I have an eclectic taste in news of the day.

On tap tonight:

 

Dick move by Rolling Stone magazine.

To Be Clear

 

 

 

Bong Girl? Abby Huntsman to join MSNBC ‘The Circle’.  Oh, you didn’t know? Well, that’s not surprising, as no one watches the show. Just FYI.

Tania

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

Don't go chasing waterfalls

Spent a few hours at Longwood Garden on this blistering hot day to learn the principles of daytime long exposure.  I set up shop at the waterfalls adjacent to the Chimes Tower. The above photo was created using a B&W ND10 circular filter. It took time to figure out the f-stops and exposure times that worked in capturing the type of photo I was after.  Believe me, the photo still needs more post processing work but it gives a basic idea of the type of photos you can capture with daytime long exposures. The EXIF data is as follows:

Camera Canon EOS REBEL T1i
Exposure 91
Aperture f/8.0
Focal Length 12 mm
ISO Speed 100
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash Off, Did not fire

The next photo was taken without an ND Filter with the following EXIF data.  I am continually impressed with the quality of photos taken with the 40mm f/2.8 and would recommend this lens to new photographers as a replacement for the kit lens.

Old Man Waterfall

Camera Canon EOS REBEL T1i
Exposure 0.5
Aperture f/16.0
Focal Length 40 mm
ISO Speed 100
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Flash On, Did not fire

I still have a substantial learning curve with daytime long exposures and look forward to many more chances to explore long exposure photography.   If you are interested in learning more about this fascinating type of photography, check out this video from Scott Kelby where he shares ideas on how to shoot daytime long exposure photography.

 

 

 

 

Tania

She & Him- I Could’ve Been Your Girl

A tough couple of days on the political and cultural front – we all need a moment to pause,reflect and listen to a fun and catchy song – She & Him- I Could’ve Been Your Girl

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Tania