Sunday, November 11, 2012

Vintage alert: Bits of an era of genuine connection (not online connection)

Reminiscing and reading old blog posts brought me to this one about the differences in lifestyles between today and a few decades ago (entertainment, doing research, communicating with friends...) brought about by the presence of more sophisticated technology. So once again I remembered that graphic that was shared widely on Facebook sometime and which brought back a lot of pleasant memories for many of us who were already alive and past our preschool years by the time these things were part of mainstream culture:

Then of course how can I not remember doing library work in school without the practice of pulling dozens and dozens of drawers and sifting through hundreds of index cards?

Vintage seems to be my favorite word these days...

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Glass half-empty? Maybe a new glass is in order...

A sampling:

“It was the vision of hope and change that convinced us four years ago to support then-Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. John McCain.  Today, there is little hope in how another four years of an Obama administration would swiftly and effectively lift our country out of its economic doldrums, and there is little change in how Washington operates.”

Cape Cod Times

“The president has shown little understanding of how his failures are affecting the nation, and he hasn’t offered any tangible proposals to change course.”
Reno Gazette-Journal

“More pointedly, we are disappointed in the tone of Obama’s relentless insinuations that wealthy Americans refuse to pay their fair share. That tone is divisive and damaging for the nation and for our economy. It creates villains and victims, and unfairly so.

The Daily Herald, Chicago

“Some of the warnings about Obama’s lack of legislative and leadership skills have come true over the past four years. It is not worth risking the state of our economy for the next four years to see whether his learning curve really is behind him.”

Naples Daily News

 Read "Change! 28 large newspapers that endorsed Obama last election and are now endorsing Romney"

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Style with no need for sky-high budgets

If you really get down to the basics and think about what's essential, all you'll need to be dressed for everyday are your basics: tops and bottoms, or dresses, and a sturdy pair of shoes. That's about as basic as it can get.

Considering what to wear day after day shouldn't be a complicated affair that takes up too much of your time, since really the bottom line is all about a) looking decent, and b) being suitably dressed for the weather. That cable-knit cardigan in immaculate white may look impeccable but it won't do if you're taking an hour-long jeepney ride after a tricycle ride and then finishing off with a few blocks' walking -- and it happens to be summer.

Then of course other factors to consider in choosing your outfit for the day would be the kind of work you do, whom you'll be meeting (an appointment with a CEO isn't exactly denims-with-sneakers day), and other such things.

One thing's for sure, though: putting some punch into your daily outfits need not burn a hole in your pocket. Accessories do the trick, and if you know how to mix and match, and being adventurous once in a while is something that appeals to you, then expanding your wardrobe should be a cinch. And you don't have to keep buying new stuff.

Take the scarf, for example. In a tropical country, this isn't really popular unless it's something you'll be wearing as a sort of cover-up at the beach (obviously, I'm talking about those really big bandannas that you can casually wrap around your shoulders or tie around your hips). Scarves can be fun for adding variety to your looks, and you can even wear it as a headwrap, to tie your hair back, as a belt, or to give your tote some character. But for this post, let's focus on using it around your neck -- which may be done in a variety of ways! Think 25 styles with the scarf, and it's all on the video below. Check it out; it's a how-to demonstration of all 25 styles under 5 minutes:

Who says you're destined to look plain when the budget is super-tight?All it takes is creativity, resourcefulness, and a desire to present oneself well. And of course we get help from YouTube sometimes.

* Photo from The Sartorialist

Quietly gung-ho

Friday, November 02, 2012

It's not really a tough choice

 Okay, I was logging out of some sites to get ready to watch Get Smart, a movie I had seen before but which I find really funny. And then I again remembered that election day in the US is only days away. What does that have to do with me since I'm halfway around the world from that country? A lot, since political developments in the West have a way of almost dictating the course of events to take place in the Philippines. In other words, my country is not spared from the ripple effects of what goes on in America.

Let me share some links to relevant materials that deserve consideration, if you'd like to be better informed before casting your vote on November 6.

First, the televised debates -- you can watch the full vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan here while the final presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is here

This one is a pretty new editorial that dwells on the Libya issue which blew up on the anniversary of 9/11. An excerpt:

U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens and three other Americans died in a well-planned military assault on their diplomatic mission in Benghazi seven weeks ago, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. So why are details surfacing, piecemeal, only now?

The Obama administration sat by doing nothing for seven hours that night, ignoring calls to dispatch help from our bases in Italy, less than two hours away. It has spent the past seven weeks stretching the story out, engaging in misdirection and deception involving supposed indigenous outrage over an obscure anti-Muslim video, confident that with the aid of a docile press corps this infamous climax to four years of misguided foreign policy can be swept under the rug, at least until after Tuesday's election.

Then related to this development is the following video, uploaded Oct. 24:

Oh, and did I mention that I think the current US president is not presidential at all? I won't even go into his administration's foreign policy, economic programs, or the developments in education because I know very little about that -- more importantly, because even before dwelling on those matters, a nation needs a leader who is first and foremost a decent person. What kind of person believes that only some human beings are entitled to human rights while others do not deserve these at all? Talk about discrimination! I'm referring to a piece of legislation he struck down four times, when the measure was formulated to provide protection to babies who were victims of abortion but managed to survive the procedure. Here's part of a previous piece I posted on that, titled When the future looks bright...:

I think this year's March for Life takes on an even deeper significance because the United States's new leader is one who seems to discriminate against some persons as far as recognizing and respecting their dignity is concerned. It is very saddening.

I find it quite disturbing that the person occupying the highest office in that country advocates allowing a newborn to die instead of being given life-saving medical attention, if the baby happened to survive an abortion. In essence, that's what Pres. Obama said when he -- as a legislator -- repeatedly struck down the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which extends legal protection to an infant born alive after a failed attempt at induced abortion. For him, the law should let a baby who survives an abortion be left alone to die.

You can read the whole thing here.

Now, though the electoral process is not a religious thing, faith does and should figure in the decision-making process of any responsible citizen in electing his government leaders, particularly when religious liberty is clearly being threatened by the current administration's policies. Here's what I mean:

Not only is the incumbent the most pro-abortion president ever to occupy the office, but he has also deliberately picked a fight with the Catholic Church by requiring Catholic employers to participate in the provision of abortion-inducing drugs, contraception, and sterilization to their employees — all things the Church teaches are intrinsically evil. This divisive and unnecessary infringement on religious liberty by President Obama drew criticism from conservatives and liberals alike, and it prompted bishops, priests, and deacons in nearly every Catholic church in America to take to the pulpit in protest — an unprecedented event in American history.

And all this while the ranks of America’s poor have increased to record levels on Mr. Obama’s watch.
Mitt Romney is the only presidential candidate in this election whom Catholic voters can support while remaining true to their faith. All allegedly Catholic arguments in favor of Mr. Obama rely on gross misconceptions of Catholic doctrine.

You can read the full article here.

Now, if all you have is one minute, I suggest you watch the video below. Really, decency in our times has become underrated. National leaders are meant to lead by example as they go about their duties in office; I don't know anyone in his right mind who would say the current president exemplifies the sound values that the next generation should strive to acquire, making him worthy of emulation.

Then here's something to give you an idea of the situation at a glance. The choice on Nov. 6 is yours.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Petal attraction

Flowers... are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers.  
~ Claude Monet


The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days.  
~Robert Leighton

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
~ Henri Matisse

A beautiful flower begins its life in the dirt.
~ Author Unknown

     In the hope of reaching the moon men fail to see the flowers that blossom at their feet.
                                                           ~Albert Schweitzer   

He who wants a rose must respect the thorn.
~ Persian proverb 

Beauty, unaccompanied by virtue, is as a flower without perfume.
~ French proverb

A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers. 
~ Chinese proverb 

Where flowers bloom, so does hope. 
~ Ladybird Johnson


Saints and souls

If you'd like to know who these holy men and women are, go here. Cute representations, huh, but more than that it's a good way to spot what actually characterize each of the saints here.

And if you'll check this out, you'll see a really cool poster that can be used to promote the Year of Faith!

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