Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hey Hey We're . . .

. . . The Monkees.


A friend posted this crystal clear video on Facebook this morning. After reveling in its hokeyness, I knew it should be featured in today's blog. Please watch it full screen with the volume up. Enjoy those crazy psychedelic dance moves. Witness the clear enthusiasm Mickey Dolenz had for this phase of his music career. Not.

The fashion show alone is delightful.


Welcome to 1967:








Love from Delta.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You Just Call Out My Name . . .


. . . and you know, wherever I am, I'll come running to see you again. Winter spring summer or fall, all you have to do is call, and I'll be there yes I willyou've got a friend.

Or not.

If you are seriously lonely, there's always this guy. He's selling a year of friendship on eBay to the highest bidder. Benefits (this is friendship with benefits, folks) include weekly emails, friendship on Facebook, birthday greetings, anniversary greetings and "more....".

"Professional Marketing and Selling Guru can be your friend for a year, or more. Bounce ideas off of me. Get inspirational emails. Friend me on Facebook. Follow my twitter. I will be hear to be a caring ear when you are going through hard times. I will celebrate with you when you are going through wonderful times. I am a guitar playing songwriting son of a gun. Ready to make your year unbelievable."

Did you look? Do you need a new middle-aged bearded white guy in your life? As of this moment, 518 people have checked him out. Bidding is at a solid $1.50. Surely dedicated friendship is worth more than that.

I checked his previous auction for the same service. It topped out at 99 cents.

Maybe it's just a bit impersonal. Maybe he creeps people out. Maybe true friendship is far more valuable than a cheesy eBay ploy. That's my take on it.






Love from Delta.




Monday, June 27, 2011

Thanks, Google . . . I Think.

Well, this is interesting. Google has a new feature: at http://images.google.com you can upload one of your own photos, and Google will search for similar ones online. I have had somewhat mixed results.

At first I uploaded a stained glass window and was rewarded with a plethora of beautiful matches. The page looked like a cathedral. Next I tried a picture of one of our adolescent chickens. This was not good at all . . . my results bore no resemblance to poultry whatsoever. 
I tried this photo . . .





. . . and was directed to its eight appearances in my blog, plus . . .






THESE:


There is a limited amount of flattery here, but I can derive some insult, too. I haven't had a Fu Manchu in as long as I can remember, and Randy Orton and I have precious little in common looks-wise.

I hope.

The search feature is very cool and I am sure we'll all find it useful. Just be careful what you search for.





Love from Delta.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Ooooh, Something Shiny . . .


Audi has created a limited edition Chrome Audi R8 which will be auctioned at a classy dinner ball for the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Designed by Damien Hirst, this chrome-clad dream should definitely be the center of attention at the event. I think it's pretty darn cool-looking, but imagine the fingerprints.

The R8 has a 5.2 liter engine and it generates 525 horsepower. 3.7 seconds from 0 to 62—not too shabby. It has 19 inch wheels with performance tires, a Bluetooth seat-belt microphone, Homelink remote transmitter, parking system with rear view camera and awesome Audi LED headlamps. I sat in one of these once in Sarasota, Florida. (Not the chrome kind.) It looks like a sweet ride.


Created in 1992 with a mission to raise funds and lead research, development and awareness efforts for AIDS, the EJAF has managed to collect $220 million in donations for the cause. The foundation has been collaborating with Audi for eight years to create limited edition versions of its cars which are auctioned off at the "White Tie & Tierra" ball held every year.


Pretty, isn't it? If you're attending Elton's event—I wasn't invited—pick it up for me, won't you?








Love from Delta.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Fun and Games

    

     Sometimes I see a place and my inner Liz Lemon says, "I want to go to there." This morning it is the Skypark atop the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino in Singapore. I think I could relax and enjoy a beverage or two in that heady stratosphere, take a dip in the infinity pool and luxuriate in a suite after shopping in the drool-worthy mall.

     The almost-six-billion-dollar casino opened in April of 2010, but I just heard about it from my friend Beth. I decided some investigation was in order. A sweet suite (not the most expensive one—they don't issue those quotes on the website easily) runs about $1800.00 per night. I could live with the Orchid Suite.


    
"Named after Singapore’s national flower, the 90-square meter Orchid Suite provides an exquisite experience with its beautifully designed bedroom and living room. A spacious bathroom features luxurious amenities for top-to-toe pampering. Orchid Suite guests also have exclusive and privileged access to The Club at Marina Bay Sands, located on the 57th floor of hotel towers within the Sands SkyPark. 
At 200m above the city, overlooking the stunning pool, guests can enjoy the restaurant and lounge for breakfast with a view, non-alcoholic beverages throughout the day, evening canap├ęs and cocktails, as well as, use private meeting space, and complimentary wireless internet while relaxing in the lounge.
Guests can complete the spectacular Marina Bay Sands experience by indulging in world-class shopping, dining, gaming and entertainment
all just minutes from their doorstep."

      
     Okey dokey. 

   I like gondolas in my malls . . . 
. . . and infinity in my pools.
The walkway to the casino
Skypark observation deck
Yes, the Skypark is the thing that looks like a ship. Marina theme. 57 stories up.
Kings of the World?
A bit of the casino floor
The hotel lobby

     I really, really like this place.





Love from Delta.
    

    
    

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fighting the Japanese Giants

     After yesterday's scathing screed against Kia's latest advertising abomination (SHAME ON KIA), along came something wonderful and refreshing from the same world . . . only the classier section.

     Blog followers may remember "Dream Rangers". It is a television commercial produced by Ogilvy Asia, and I featured it here a while back. Ogilvy Mumbai just unveiled a success story that's definitely worth watching. It is a campaign they engineered to put Pulsar motorcycles at the top of India's market. That's not an easy task, and I admire the creativity and cleverness they employed.

    Nice to know there are still smart people in the world of advertising.

Turn up your speakers for the swelling Vangelis soundtrack . . .





Love from Delta.









Thursday, June 23, 2011

SHAME ON KIA

 


 

 
     This new Kia print advertisement won a prestigious Silver Lion Award at the Cannes ad festival. I'm not sure if we're to blame the French for that or not. This is a terribly creepy way to promote dual air conditioning.

     I've never felt the slightest urge to purchase a Kia but if I happened to feel one, this vulgarity would send me to the nearest Daewoo dealership. Hell, to a Yugo dealership if they still built them . . . anywhere but Kia. (What do you call a Yugo with a flat tire? Totaled. What's included in every Yugo owner's manual? A bus schedule. What do you call a Yugo that breaks down after 100 miles? An overachiever.)

      Brazilian ad agency Moma was looking for a unique way to highlight the dual-zone air conditioning found inside the Kia Sportage. We are supposed to see two very different climates of the same situationthe left being relatively mild, with the right being heated up a bit.

     It just makes me see red.

    

     

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Warning: Cigarettes Are Addictive

This image provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 shows one of nine new warning labels cigarette makers will have to use by the fall of 2012. In the most significant change to U.S. cigarette packs in 25 years, the FDA s the new warning labels depict in graphic detail the negative health effects of tobacco use. (AP Photo/U.S. Food and Drug Administration)
This image provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 shows one of nine new warning labels cigarette makers will have to use by the fall of 2012. In the most significant change to U.S. cigarette packs in 25 years, the FDA's new warning labels depict in graphic detail the negative health effects of tobacco use. (AP Photo/U.S. Food and Drug Administration)

Well, that's icky.


I have a history with cigarettes that goes back to a girl named Stephanie Pottle. I was thirteen, she was a bit older . . . and she smoked. Since Stephanie was beautiful and glamorous, I decided smoking must be, too. I started out like everyone else, with furtive drags in secret places.


I progressed to a pack a day within a year or two and began a love affair with fancy gold lighters and antique cigarette holders. (Hey, if you're going to do it, do it with style, right?)


The idea of smoking while pregnant seemed very, very stupid, so I quit some time before we planned to have our first child. Cold turkey. New Year's Eve. I didn't look back, though I'd have an occasional dream I'd started smoking again—I felt guilty on those mornings for a microsecond, then congratulated myself.


When we moved to Alabama, it seemed like this state must be second only to North Carolina in its dedication to the tobacco leaf. I was surrounded by smokers. It looked fun. I had a . . . you guessed it . . . furtive, secret drag or two. I progressed to (fill in the blank).


On December 25, 2010, standing in three inches of snow behind my grandmother's condo, I enjoyed my final eight drags of nicotine. It felt pretty stupid, standing out there freezing while my cousin covered for me (not naming names . . . but she's a wonderful cousin). I have been smoke-free ever since, and try not to be all Reformed Smoker around my friends who still inhale. I don't tell them that everything tastes better, and most days I feel like I could walk forever without pausing for breath, or that my teeth are whiter. Sometimes I even look longingly at their Marlboros, but I think my beloved strawberry gum is easier on my lungs.


That new warning label is pretty graphic. I'm pretty sure it'll stare back hard at me if I'm tempted to peruse the latest from Big Tobacco. I hope it will stare at other people, too.










Love from Delta.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr.

 
     He was a giant of a tenor sax player. Clarence Clemons left this world Saturday, and The E Street Band will never be the same.

     Born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1942, he sang in the church choir and with a family gospel group. "I grew up fast because I had to," Clemons remarked in Down Beat. "My father owned a fish market, and I helped him in the shop. We lived 15 miles from school, so I'd get up in the morning, go to school, and work at the market or deliver fish after school. It was late, and I was tired by the time I got home at night. This went on every day. I also had a lot of responsibilities for the family because my mother was going to school. She graduated from college at the same time I finished high school. I tell you, I didn't have much time for childhood innocence."

     He attended Maryland State College on a music and football scholarship. His real ambition was to become a pro football player. During summer breaks he often signed on to play sax with combos or larger ensembles, working with such outfits as the Vibratones, the Newark Bears, and the Jersey Generals. He quit college just before graduating and moved north to Newark, New Jersey, where he became a counselor for emotionally disturbed children.

     Clemons was working with a group called Joyful Noise when his path crossed Bruce Springsteen's.They were playing in Asbury Park, New Jersey, at bars about a block apart. One rainy night, Clemons strolled down to watch Springsteen's show. The Big Man reminisced: "I had my saxophone with me, and when I walked in this club—no lie—a gust of wind just blew the door down the street. Boof! I say, 'I want to play. Can I sit in?' Bruce says, 'Hey, you can do anything you want. Take a couple of background singers, anything.' I sat in with him that night. It was phenomenal. We'd never even laid eyes on each other, but after that first song, he looked at me, I looked at him, and we said, 'This is it.' After that I was stoked."

     The world will remember his solos in countless Springsteen songs, but I've chosen something a little different for the blog video. I hope it wouldn't embarrass Clarence with its 80's cheesiness—I couldn't resist. Things didn't work out so well for Jackson Browne and Daryl Hannah, but they look pretty happy here . . . and The Big Man is all smiles, singing, and saxophone.



"I know that the tenor can affect people because it is an emotive instrument."
- Clarence Clemons, 1942 - 2011





Love from Delta.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Melinda's Marvelous Marvels



     Hey, all you people on Facebook who keep asking me to mail cupcakes: I've found something even better for you.

     Melinda of Melinda's Marvels is a very talented and creative baker. An engineer for General Electric, she just finished her Masters degree in Electrical Engineering and her daughter inspired her to start baking. Amazing what mothers will do for one-year-olds. Melinda wants to be the mom who makes kids say, "Wow, your mom made that? I wish my mom made that . . . you're so lucky." I don't think that's going to be a problem.

     Try looking at these without getting hungry:

 
Cupcake bites come in a wonderful array of flavors.
Cake:
Red Velvet
Chocolate with Cream
Mint Chocolate
French Vanilla
Lemon
Orange
Carrot
Strawberry
Cherry Chocolate
German Chocolate
Chocolate Caramel
Chocolate Banana with Walnuts
S'mores
Caramel
Rainbow Vanilla (fun colors)
Pineapple Coconut
Peanut Butter
Oreos
Spice
Coconut
Dips:
Milk Chocolate
Dark Chocolate
Dark Chocolate Mint
Vanilla
Vanilla Mint
Yellow Colored Vanilla
Orange Colored Vanilla
Pink Colored Vanilla
Red Colored Vanilla
Light Green Colored Vanilla
Dark Green Colored Vanilla
Light Blue Colored Vanilla
Dark Blue Colored Vanilla
Violet Colored Vanilla
Peanut Butter
Toppings:
Chocolate Sprinkles
Rainbow Sprinkles
White Nonpareils
Rainbow Nonpareils
You even get to choose the color cherry you would like on top. I'm not kidding.

 
"Dirty German" Cupcake Pop


Gluten Free Cupcake Pop (Attention Cousin Julie . . . ahem.)

Hand Dipped Chocolate Truffles

A Pearl Cake Pop with Fondant Daisies. So pretty!

"Strawberry Panic" Cupcake Pops

Chocolate Dipped Oreos

Chocolate Dipped Oreos with Hearts and Flowers


     Are these not the loveliest goodies you've ever seen? She also does "Thank You" chocolates in a variety of colors:
 
 






     
 
     I just love it when someone puts this much love and effort into their creations. You should order from Melinda as soon as possible, before her daughter's friends start eating all the treats.






 
 






Love from Delta.




   

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day

No one has a better take on fatherhood than Bill Cosby . . . this is timeless.



Happy Father's Day to you and yours.









Love from Delta.

Quite Possibly the Coolest Thing I've Ever Seen Online



Really.

You will need Google Chrome. If you do not have this browser, it's worth the download.

CLICK HERE.

An amazing interactive experience . . . takes a while to download but be patient, Grasshopper. Enjoy.




Love from Delta.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Dirt Road Anthems for Girls Raised in the South . . .


  
     Say hello to Brantley Gilbert. My daughter introduced me to his music recently and I just plain love him.

     He was born in Jefferson, Georgia. At the tender age of nineteen he was in a near-fatal car accident. The experience led him to write "Halfway to Heaven".




     His first album was to be released in 2006 but his label dropped him. Big mistake.

     This is his newest:



     His "Dirt Road Anthem" was recorded by Jason Aldean. Brantley is an extremely talented songwriter.








Celebrating as Jason Aldean performs his song on the CMT Awards







     Here are some of my favorites:









     For more information, visit Brantley Gilbert's Official Website.







Love from Delta.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Exercise Nuts


     Ever been to a gym or health club? You have this guy to thank. Jack LaLanne was born in San Francisco in 1914 and opened the nation's first "health and fitness center" in Oakland in 1936. Doctors reacted by branding LaLanne an "exercise nut" and advised their patients to stay away lest they become "muscle bound". He said, "People thought I was a charlatan and a nut. The doctors were against me—they said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive."

     My, times have changed. His advice about nutrition and general mental and physical health is timeless, though. Have a listen:


  


     For 34 years, he hosted The Jack LaLanne Show, inspiring millions of Americans to abandon their couches and move around. His melodically-named wife Elaine LaLanne joined in to demonstrate that exercise would not ruin the figure or musculature. Their dog Happy took part as well, in an effort to attract a juvenile audience.
     
     
     He continued to instruct and inspire well into his 90's. When asked about sex LaLanne had a standard joke, saying that despite their advanced age he and his wife still made love almost every night:
     "Almost on Monday, almost on Tuesday, almost on Wednesday . . ."

     "I train like I'm training for the Olympics or for a Mr. America contest, the way I've always trained my whole life. You see, life is a battlefield. Life is survival of the fittest. How many healthy people do you know? How many happy people do you know? Think about it. People work at dying, they don't work at living. My workout is my obligation to life. It's my tranquilizer. It's part of the way I tell the truth — and telling the truth is what's kept me going all these years." He added, "I know so many people in their 80's who have Alzheimer's or are in a wheelchair or whatever. And I say to myself 'I don't want to live like that. I don't want to be a burden on my family. I need to live life. And I'd hate dying; it would ruin my image.'"

     Indeed.

     These are some impressive accomplishments:
  • 1954 (age 40): swam the entire length (8,981 ft/1.7 miles) of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, under water, with 140 pounds of air tanks and other equipment strapped to his body; a world record.
  • 1955 (age 41): swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco while handcuffed. When interviewed afterward he was quoted as saying that the worst thing about the ordeal was being handcuffed, which significantly reduced his chance to do a jumping jack.
  • 1956 (age 42): set what was claimed as a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on You Asked For It, a television program hosted by Art Baker.
  • 1957 (age 43): swam the Golden Gate channel while towing a 2,500-pound cabin cruiser. The swift ocean currents turned this one-mile swim into a swimming distance of 6.5 miles.
  • 1958 (age 44): maneuvered a paddleboard nonstop from Farallon Islands to the San Francisco shore. The 30-mile trip took nine and a half hours.
  • 1959 (age 45): did 1,000 jumping jacks and 1,000 chin-ups in 1 hour, 22 minutes, to promote The Jack LaLanne Show going nationwide. He said this was the most difficult of his stunts, but only because the skin on his hands started ripping off during the chin-ups. He felt he couldn't stop because it would be seen as a public failure.
  • 1974 (age 60): For the second time, he swam from Alcatraz Island to Fisherman's Wharf. Again, he was handcuffed, but this time he was also shackled and towed a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1975 (age 61): Repeating his performance of 21 years earlier, he again swam the entire length of the Golden Gate Bridge, underwater and handcuffed, but this time he was shackled and towed a 1,000-pound boat.
  • 1976 (age 62): To commemorate the "Spirit of '76", United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.
  • 1979 (age 65): towed 65 boats in Lake Ashinoko, near Tokyo, Japan. He was handcuffed and shackled, and the boats were filled with 6,500 pounds of Louisiana Pacific wood pulp.
  • 1980 (age 66): towed 10 boats in North Miami, Florida. The boats carried 77 people, and he towed them for over one mile in less than one hour.
  • 1984 (age 70): handcuffed, shackled, and fighting strong winds and currents, towed 70 rowboats, one with several guests, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile.
     Jack LaLanne died in January of this year. His legacy is nutritional awareness and a whole lot of "exercise nuts". Thank you, Jack.





Love from Delta.