Browsing All Posts published on »March, 2014«

Lila’s Guilt-Free Hot Chocolate

March 31, 2014

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Chocolate, coffee, and cinnamon are all loaded with antioxidants and taste great, too.   Lila’s not usually one for hot drinks, but all this cold weather has had some influence.  Here’s a yummy hot chocolate that packs a lot of flavor into just about 100 calories.   Measure out 1 cup of skim milk and […]

It’s Our Second Anniversary at Forming the Thread!

March 28, 2014

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This week marked our second full year at Forming the Thread (or FTT, as Lauriate Roly calls it). This year, with all kinds of distractions, I have had to cut back to three articles per week and am profoundly grateful to Joan Larsen for her faithful and amazing Wednesday contributions (really, they are the biggest […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Whiteout at the End of the World

March 26, 2014

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By Joan Larsen On Christmas Day in my childhood years – when “big” presents were still the first ones opened, the largest had been sent by “my maiden aunt”.  My first thought on this present should have been “educational” as school teachers were wont to see that their nieces were the smartest people on earth.   […]

General Sinclair’s “Lenient” Sentence Not Really All that Lenient

March 24, 2014

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Firebrands like Rep. Jackie Speier call the sentence “incompetent” and “sordid.”  I call it “fair.”  Here’s why. Maggie Ybarra, writing for the Washington Times, reports on the outrage over the perceived “lenience” of Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair’s sentence  – a reprimand and a $20,000 fine – following his trial for sexual assault and adultery: Lawmakers […]

Time to Overhaul Our Marijuana Laws

March 21, 2014

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Marijuana laws vary widely by state, creating a confusing and frankly unfair patchwork of legal pitfalls and penalties for the public. Marijuana is legal for medical purposes in 20 states and in DC.  It is legal to grow it, sell it, and consume it for pleasure in Washington State and Colorado.    As Wikipedia’s summary shows, […]

Joan Larsen Encore: The Good Life – My Hidden Hideaway in Denali

March 19, 2014

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By Joan Larsen “We travel, initially, to lose ourselves, and we travel, next, to find ourselves. We travel to open our hearts and eyes. And we travel, in essence, to become young  again—to slow time down and fall in love with life once more.”  — Pico Iver   Once in a while in our travels, […]

First Steps to Recognizing the Personhood of Other Species

March 17, 2014

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Last year, India officially recognized cetaceans as “non-human persons who have rights that must be respected,” reports Deutsche Welle.  Sea World-like parks across India will now be shut down.  India is following the lead of Chile, Costa Rica, and Hungary, who have already banned the capture and use of cetaceans for entertainment; and now California […]

Joan Larsen Special: Wild Birds in Civilized Places

March 15, 2014

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By Joan Larsen After a lifetime of living in America’s Midwest – the center of the country – I have found that the most natural and beautiful cities to be found there are in the Minneapolis-St. Paul,  Minnesota areas.  The approach from any direction is like suddenly arriving in another world.  Cities of rolling hills […]

Obamacare Hasn’t Stopped the Corporate Rape of Our Tax Dollars

March 14, 2014

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Until the high costs of US health care are brought under control, actually funding the ACA will prove impossible. One thousand dollars per pill for Sovaldi, a new Hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences Inc. Okay, I know that pharmaceutical companies have to pay for research and development and testing.  I know that FDA approval […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: A Very Windy Adventure – Tierra Del Fuego

March 12, 2014

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By Joan Larsen The pilot of our large aircraft warned us to be prepared for a rough landing as we were descending into the southernmost city in the whole world . . . a place called Punta Arenas, Chile.  As if the passengers were used to this drill, all around I saw everyone clutching their […]

This is Why Pants are Far More Modest Than Skirts: Beware the “Upskirter”

March 10, 2014

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For all the religious and cultural conservatives who believe women should wear skirts for “modesty”:  think again. It’s simultaneously heartening and disheartening that the Massachusetts legislature just passed a law making “upskirting” – photographing what’s under a woman’s skirt, without her knowledge –  illegal.  Heartening that they recognize that this behavior absolutely is a violation […]

The Building Code: Robbing Us of Imagination, Fun, and Personal Responsibility

March 7, 2014

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Building codes should be about buildings, not about people. As you have read here previously, Lila and Hubby are in the process of building a house.  This process is much more fluid than I thought it would be:  the Code has changed recently, requiring our builder to re-work some of our architect’s plans, but always […]

Joan Larsen’s Travel: Secret Places in Our World… An Island Called Bird

March 5, 2014

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By Joan Larsen We were eight warmly-clad Robinson Crusoes, bobbing in a raft a distance off-shore from a modern-day desert island, eager to be the first to leave our prints on the pristine sand beach that lay before us.  We had no idea that  the natives had spotted us and they were restless.  From that […]

How Businesses Lose Customers

March 3, 2014

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It’s the customer service, stupid. Businesses of all stripes would do well to remember that customers are people, that they have actual feelings, and the customer’s feeling of being neglected, ignored, or scorned is pretty tough for the businessman to recover from. Decades ago when I owned my very first car – a sporty little […]