Month: May 2018

Beauty & Health, Spiritual Renaissance

Dear Grads:

By Peggie Arvidson Dear Grads: You’ve heard so many lofty speeches and congratulations this time of year, haven’t you? Your teachers and professors and parents and grandparents, siblings, friends and pretty much anyone you meet on the street is happy to give you advice and share their wisdom and wishes for you now that you’ve graduated. I hope they’re reminding you that things aren’t ending but beginning. Lofty sentiments aside, whether you’re graduating from pre-K (and when exactly did that become a ‘thing’?) or Medical School, you’ve got the next big road ahead of you. Not to rain on your parade. You’ve worked hard (presumably) and earned your way in more than one way. Maybe you learned to share without hitting the kid next to you over the head with the block he wanted. Perhaps you’ve learned to make friends with people who are nothing like you and even figured out a way to share the bathroom with that neat freak who screamed every time you left toothpaste in the sink. Your learning has been more than bookish, I hope, and you’ve spent time figuring out what you want to do next. Here’s my advice. Don’t take the lofty proclamations about the world being your oyster or everything coming up roses now that you’ve got that certificate too seriously. According to Bill Burnett and Dave Evans in their best-selling book Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life, “…in the United States, only 27 percent of college grads end up in a career related to their majors.” Not only that the idea that now you’re in for a life of drudgery and boredom until you die is just not true. So Grad, what do you want out of your life? What are the pillars that you’ve set up…

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Social Media Message

Social Media and the Gaming World

Social Media and the Gaming World By Ashley Schultz Candy Crush? Words with Friends?  Farmville? Mafia Wars? Sound Familiar? There is no doubt that we are suffering from significantly diminished attention spans at this point in history, and social media and gaming has contributed in no small part to this. According to Statista, an online statistics portal, gaming is a $99.6 billion dollar industry and social media has been playing an increasing role in shaping it. The social media gaming industry in the U.S is worth around $2.15 billion, competing with Asia, which is $2.5 billion. How is social media driving the gaming industry? Facebook launched its “Instant Games” feature in 2016. “Instant Games,” is an HTML5, which is a markup language used for structuring and presenting content on the Internet, it allows people to play a host of games without installing new applications. This became popular because of our ever-decreasing attention spans and impatience! Social Media has also allowed gaming to focus more on peer involvement. There is that stereotype that the average gamer is an isolated geek with no social life who spends most of his time playing games in his mother’s basement eating Cheetos. This is no longer true. I have been a gamer for most of my life and, most of the time, I play my games in the living room of my boyfriend’s parent’s house, and it is Red Hot Chips…..not Cheetos! Just a little humor there. Alexander Carin, a former gamer who is now a lawyer specializing in divorce litigation, has seen files where a spouse or child is so deeply enmeshed in the mutually addicting aspects of gaming and social media that it supplants their job or family. He stated, “ Contrary to the average gamer, who used to be an anonymous teenager…

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Exploring VA Wines, Wining & Dining

Making the Most Success From a Failure

By Doug Fabbioli Making the Most Success From a Failure As you may know, I tend to enjoy watching movies. At the end of Apollo 13, the mission was described as a successful failure, in that the astronauts did not land on the moon but they did get back home safely. The work that was done to bring those space boys home not only inspired a blockbuster movie, but added to the improvements in safety, process and development of NASA and all their future programs. They were able to make the most of their broken space ship. I am certainly not a rocket scientist. And my team of farmers have not gone through an aviation engineering school. But we want to keep getting better, learn from our mistakes and grow our farms and clients in a way that we continue to find success. We have had a couple of incidents lately that have not been good but could be used as great learning opportunities. I was alerted to a situation the other day when a car was found in one of our muddy hop yards. Remember the old adage, “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”? This driver crossed over 5 rows of hops and stopped when the tangled irrigation lines and wires had the car tied up like calf at the rodeo. We have work ahead of us in order to get the yard repaired for the growing season. The driver has some work to do with the insurance company in order to get the repairs done and paid for. This incident is a great way for us to learn from others. “Don’t try this at home!” But as we know, stuff happens and learning the decision making process is important so small stuff doesn’t turn into…

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On the Road, Pets, Places, & Things

On the Road

Old Town Crier spotted at The Ramgarh Bungalows in India in March of this year. Abraham Borum III and his wife with their extended family in India. They report that they had a wonderful time and enjoyed staying in the 160 year old structures that were built as a summer get-away.

Arts & Entertainment, Gallery Beat

Curators vs. Artists

By F. Lennox Campello Those of you who are regular visitors to this column, know that one of my constant concerns is the poor relationship between Greater DC area museum area curators and DC area artists, and the rarity of interest by most DC area museum professionals in their own city’s art scene and artists. Like anything, there are notable, but rare, exceptions; off the top of my head, the only one which I can think up is the dynamic duo of Jack Rasmussen and Kristi-Anne Shaer at American University’s Katzen Art Museum, coupled with the wonderful Alper Initiative. Add to that the fact that one of the unexpected benefits of the Trawick Prize and the Bethesda Painting Awards has been that they have “forced” the hired DC, VA and MD area museum professionals and curators to look at the work of artists from the region; some amazing success stories have spawned from that exposure.  Area artists should be very grateful to Ms. Trawick and Ms. Alper for all that that they have done and continue to do for the fine arts around the capital region. But getting back on subject and generally speaking, most of the DC area museum curators and directors still find it easier to catch a flight to another city to look at an emerging artist’s work from that city, than to take a cab to a DC area artist’s studio or visit a local gallery. I think part of this is because, again with an exception here and there, most of these curators came from other parts of the nation and overseas, and they tend to bring their regional familiarities with them, rather than discover new ones (it takes a lot of work). They are also part of a curatorial scene where little risk is…

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Arts & Entertainment, High Notes

Mick Jagger- Gotta Get A Grip + Remixes

By Ron Powers Mick Jagger – Gotta Get A Grip + Remixes Mick Jagger, the legendary front man of The Rolling Stones, is an artist who needs no introduction. Though his sex appeal and charismatic attitude have helped shape the image of rock and roll and super-stardom as we know it, today, Mick Jagger is still going strong, making music that transcends genre definitions and ideas. His newest single “Gotta Get A Grip” is a solo effort performed without “The Rolling Stones”. It features rock and blues influences, which echo the sound and feel of Jagger’s “Stones” however, as a solo artist he introduces a strong electronic production element, which adds a modern and unique feel to these tracks, making it very dance-floor friendly. Many songs have a verse-chorus-verse sort of approach to the lyrics. However, this track has a vocal arrangement that feels particularly free-form, almost as if Mick Jagger was throwing out lyrics in a stream-of-consciousness fashion, like the eminent beat poets (Think Jack Kerouac or Allen Ginsberg). But we must say, Jagger still holds his own, even when he is slightly out of his comfort zone. Positioning for a new era and new generation of music lovers, the song has been re-worked by a few current remix artists big (Seeb and Alok) and small (Kevin Parker and Matt Clifford). There are 4 unique takes on “Gotta Get A Grip”, starting with a melody-vocal-driven remix by Seeb. The remix by Kevin Parker has a different feel to it, and it definitely has a raw, energetic edge that highlights Jagger’s unique performance, and puts the guitar under the spotlight, with an arrangement that echoes 70s rock icons such as Led Zeppelin. Alok is the third artist to remix the song, and my favorite of all the mixes going for…

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Personality Profile

Celebrating our  “Four Fathers” – A Look Inside Local Dads

By Lori Welch Brown Celebrating our  “Four Fathers” – A Look Inside Local Dads Through the ages, we’ve extolled the virtues of many famous fathers. We were taught about our founding fathers in history, recently celebrated the birth of the father of our nation, dance to the beat of the father of rock & roll, and wail to the sounds of the godfather of soul. And, of course, depending upon your beliefs, there’s the heavenly father who trumps them all. This month, however, we pay homage to all of the dads who aren’t in the limelight or history books—the men who humbly serve the needs of others sans the fanfare and paparazzi. They are real action heroes—their days filled with the actions of supporting, teaching, lifting, nurturing, mentoring, protecting, feeding, leading, and loving. Here are four dads we think are extraordinary! I didn’t have to travel far to find my first awesome dad. As a matter of fact, I happen to live in a quiet, suburban cul-de-sac with quite a few of them, but David Earle stands out in the crowd as the dad of two fair-haired beauties, Delainey and Nora. I say ‘quiet’ cul-de-sac, but it’s actually anything but since Delainey (4 yo) and Nora (3 yo) hit the scene.  David always wanted to be a dad, but had no idea what he was in store for raising girls. He tells me, “I guess what surprised me is how loud they can be. I thought girls would be prim and proper, but their fights rival the ones I had with my twin brother.” David and his wife, Kristen, tried for a while to get pregnant so David said at the point it happened, he was just so happy that gender didn’t matter. “Everyone wants a boy to carry on…

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Pets, Places, & Things, Points on Pets

Understanding the Most Common Tests Performed by Veterinarians

By Cindy McGovern I recently took my 11-year old, outwardly healthy cat in for her annual checkup and vaccinations.  In addition to the normal physical exam, this visit included blood work and urinalysis. I’ve had the same vet for almost 20 years and I trust his judgment. But after seeing the $400 bill, I decided to learn more about the detailed laboratory tests that were done.     One reason these tests are done is because your pet can’t tell you how they feel and they can help identify conditions the physical exam can’t.  The tests also establish a benchmark of health for the animal, which is particularly helpful as your pet ages.  You can think about these tests as similar to the blood pressure measurements that are taken each time you visit the doctor. Blood Tests By definition, a screening blood test is a test done to detect disease before its symptoms manifest.  They are also important for animals of all ages who are undergoing surgery.  A complete blood count, or CBC, is the most common blood test performed on pets and people, as it provides a window into your pet’s overall health. It gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood’s clotting ability, and the ability of the immune system to respond to infection. This test is essential for pets with fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, or loss of appetite. If your pet needs surgery, a CBC can also detect some bleeding disorders or other unseen abnormalities that might impact their recovery. The blood work may also include blood chemistries. These common blood serum tests evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels and more. They are important in evaluating older pets; pets with vomiting, diarrhea or toxin exposure; pets receiving long-term medications; and pet health before anesthesia….

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Pets of the Month, Pets, Places, & Things

June Pets of the Month

Andy – Tree Walking Hound, Tan/White, Neutered Male, 1 year old Bio: I’m a year old pup and I’m in need of a home who will be able to teach me all about how to be a well-mannered dog! I have a ton of energy and my I love, love, love playing with other dogs, but please no cats. I am a big strong boy and I would do best in a home with no small children – as I’m still just a kid myself! If you are looking for an active new playmate and willing to teach me all sorts of manners and tricks please stop by and see me – I’m ready for my next adventure! Bella – Domestic Shorthair, Tabby/White, Spayed Female, 10 years old Bio: Sweet, sweet Bella. This older brown tabby is looking for a quiet home where she rules the roost. Bella is perfect for you if you’re a single adult or living with other adults. She’s nervous around children and should not live in a home with dogs. With other cats, take it slowly and introduce them over time so they both get comfortable with each other. In that environment, Bella will bloom with her true personality shining out. Bella responds well to attention and loves her treats. Have both in plenteous supply and Bella will warm your heart and your home. Old School, Fancy Guinea Pig, Black/White Bio: Old School is just as cute as he can be! He’s just a little ball of black and white fur. He’s a bit timid and hand-shy but once he gets to know you, we’re convinced he’ll be a great companion. Please call 703-746-4774 or email for more information and come visit me at the shelter today!

Pets, Places, & Things, Single Space

Social Me(dia) the Love

By Lori Welch Brown Social Me(dia) the Love Public Service Announcement (PSA) No. 1002-32-A7: To those of you who may be confused, granting someone a ‘like’—or, even better, a ‘heart’—does not constitute a real, honest-to-goodness social interaction. If you are friends (or even family), you must, at a minimum, pick up your smartphone and text said person to engage. See wikipedia ‘social engagement.’ See—I’m so hip that I’m not even asking you to call me because I know that is soooo 1984. I’d totally ignore the call waiting, and then you’d be forced to call back 39 times until I finally switched over to your incoming call. That’s okay because I’m an introvert, and introverts would rather do your taxes than talk to you on the phone. (I have 13,874 new voicemails dating back to 1998 to prove it). I’m not a huge fan of hours of phone chatter, but you know what I am a fan of? Coffee! I’d be delighted to meet you for a coffee. My “phonevoidance” is something I am trying to overcome as I do enjoy hearing the sweet sound of your voice. It’s just that I’m waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment to talk. For instance when I’m not rushed, in a good mood, not stressed about whom our president isn’t secretly paying, have extra time on my hands, all my laundry is folded, etc. so I can give you my undivided (squirrel!) attention. Probably explains why you haven’t heard from me in a few years. Sorry. I am trying to get past that long enough to pick up the phone and call because I want to nurture more meaningful relationships. There is no excuse. You know when we find time to see each other? When someone dies. What is wrong with us?! I have…

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