Dawn Mission: Journal Update December 31, 2013

Dawn is 20 million miles (32 million kilometers) from Vesta and 19 million miles (31 million kilometers) from Ceres. It is also 2.42 AU (225 million miles, or 362 million kilometers) from Earth, or 1,015 times as far as the moon and 2.46 times as far as the sun today.

via Dawn Mission: Mission > Dawn Journal: December 31, 2013.

I find it amazing how technology affords us the opportunity to follow Dawn and control its path and data.  Absolutely mystified.

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War At Home

I was going to blog today about the violence in Syria when I was prompted to look up a word that I needed context clarification for.  After getting a handle on the definition of Sectarian violence, I was drawn to a WordPress recommended website upon returning to my own blog to type out my new cogitations.

I took a few minutes to browse through the imagery of  Anton Brookes.  His “Rum and Lust”  series just struck a chord with me.  Powerful images don’t need a lot of words to ‘get the story.’  They offer words of their own and what came to mind is a different war – at home.  The homeless war; the war of the minds; the war of street life; the war of drugs and alcohol and their negative effects on lives; the war of medical care or the lack of;  the war of economic losses and recoveries.  These are the wars of our individual worlds.  A form of social exclusion whether self created, socially created or government created.   So much to think about and Anton’s street photography is a good trigger for sparking thought, imagination, reality and feelings.

Thanks Anton, for grounding me today and giving me the opportunity to re-focus on some important issues … at home.

Distractions on the Job

When thinking about “on the job distractions,” I reflect back to a couple of companies I worked with where email was heavily relied upon to communicate with other co-workers and especially the boss.  There’s nothing quite so stressful as having numerous conversations taking place within email and having to make the decision to ignore it for awhile to get back to the “real work” at hand.  I’m not suggesting that email isn’t “real work.”  However, if it isn’t making the company money and I have more demanding project deadlines at hand, my email can wait.

In my personal opinion, there are simply some positions that do not require you to focus on emails or make them a priority as part of your daily routine.  Yes, checking email is important.  Do it during a break, in between projects, first thing in the morning and 1/2 hour before leaving for the day.  Structure the time you spend on email to suit your needs and time, and the rest of the work will get done.  If it’s something so important that demands an immediate answer, a co-worker or boss can call you or step into your office to deal with the issue at hand and you can do the same.

The expectation that all your communications in the workplace take place via email is an unrealistic one of yourself and of your employer.  Take control, set your boundaries and structure the time you spend on email, and don’t hesitate to let them know.  Put an auto-responder in place that lets people know you’ve received their email, when you will reply and how to reach you if it’s an urgent matter needing immediate direction.

If you have a position where email is in whole or part of your work, then this might not apply to you.  I’m writing mainly to those with positions where a company’s income is not reliant on whether an email is answered immediately, and have the ability to structure it into a daily routine as opposed to allowing it to become so overwhelming that prioritized projects suffer delays, more time is spent on email and less on day to day projects, and stress sets in.

If you are ADHD, there’s an excellent article on how to “Diminish Digital Distractions to Maintain Attention.”

As a Member of the ONE Campaign

If you are interested in helping out, please read the following letter.  Then visit:
to send this letter off to your Reps.

***

Dear Senator,

As a constituent and a member of the ONE Campaign, I am writing to ask you to sign on to the Feinstein-Hagel-Durbin-Smith-Dodd-Coleman letter to Senate Appropriation Committee leadership urging no less than the full $39.8 billion for the International Affairs Budget.

I strongly believe that investing in the world’s most vulnerable people will help build a better, safer world for us all. While the International Affairs Budget represents only 1.2% of the entire federal budget, it contains almost all of the funding America devotes to fighting global disease and extreme poverty. This funding is vital to building global stability, protecting our security as Americans, and reinforcing our humanitarian values.

Even as America has increased our efforts in the fight against extreme poverty, the scale of our response is still outpaced by the scale of the problem.  Right now, more than a billion people lack access to clean water and sanitation, and every 15 seconds a child dies from water-related diseases.  An estimated 77 million children, most of whom are girls, do not have the opportunity to attend primary school.  America’s development assistance helps provide access to clean water and sanitation, education, life-saving medicines, and above all, the opportunity for a hopeful future.

We as Americans have the tools to address these problems efficiently and affordably, and you have the power to make it happen. Please sign-on to the Feinstein-Hagel-Durbin-Smith-Dodd-Coleman letter to Senate Appropriations leaders before April 20.

***
The ONE Org

Thank you!

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Thoughts on Photography

In viewing photos online at Flickr and I am always amazed and ever so grateful for those that take the time to photograph the celebrations, the environment and the history of where they live or the places they have visited.  The beauty and art developed via film never ceases to amaze me.

If it were not for photos, I would never see the beauty of France or Egypt or Greece and places that I otherwise never dreamed I might visit.  Photos have a way of fulfilling some level of our dreams and curiosities.

  1. When we want to visit a country and have no idea where to start, photos help us make that determination.
  2. When budgets or time prevent us from making a long journey to the other side of the world, photos can bring the place of our desire to our computer desktop, in the comfort of our home.
  3. Photos do participate in the shape of our world.  Without them, would we know what was happening in another part of the world as quickly as we do, today?  Could you visualize a tropical beach if you had never seen one?  Through a verbal explanation and some imagination you could.

Photography has been around for a long time and thanks to our ancestors, we have glimpses of their lives saved in our genealogical archives, whether personal or displayed in museums.

Many of us photograph as a hobby; some make a living as professional photographers; and many of us photograph for the family memories or the pocketbook picture cache of baby and grandchildren known as ‘brag books.’  The traditional photo album has been replaced by picture scrap booking where glitter and glam can be added to the photo book pages to further enhance the story behind the photo.

What intrigues us to photograph?  Why are we enticed to take snapshots of our vacations, childhood birthdays, holidays, pets, sunsets, sunrises, flowers, oceans, lakes, streams, fields, old barns, new houses, our first car, a teacher, and more?  Is it because we love to share our memories with others and there’s no better way, shy being there first hand?

Undoubtedly, photographs connect us with the world.  Many of us can attest to sharing photographs via email and world wide web photo sharing services since the creation of digital cameras, computers, CD’s and smart cards.  What a wonderful technological advance for imagery.

When you’re driving down a country road, you see a beautiful landscape and comment how pretty that old barn looks in the center of what is now a field of wild flowers, and against that beautiful blue sky.  Darn!  Did you forget the camera?  Why do you desire to capture that scene on film when you have the beautiful memory of being ‘in it’ for the moment. 

I’m not saying that we should be grateful for ‘that moment,’ but rather questioning why we are moved to saving it.

Photography is an art form and can be mastered by anyone.  All photos carry expressions of art whether they were taken with art in mind or not.  They express human interaction with nature and the people around them.  Photography captures smiles, frowns, space nebula, planets; and offers a wealth of information in crime scene investigations.

What would we do without it?  We know what our ancestors did.  They painted, carved and built their visions.  Some of the world’s most profound and creative painted art originated before the era of photography.

Just food for thought.

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My Aging Hands and Menapoop

I remember when bloating was a horrible thing. Now I view bloating as a wonderful thing because it makes the wrinkles disappear. I use to judge the way I looked (young or old) by how my hands looked. If they looked wrinkled, I must be getting older. If they looked smooth and shiny, I could tell myself that I looked young for my age. My face always looked younger and had no wrinkles until this year.

The ironic part of my hand fetish is that I use to look at the hands of my friends when we were younger, and notice slight wrinkling and think to myself that it made them look more mature. Not older – just mature. I thought it was becoming. Because I’ve always looked younger than my age, I use to envy those that looked their age. Today, some of them look older than me. I suppose there is something to be said for that.

I still feel that I look younger than my age – which isn’t to say that I’m complaining or conceited – but reminding myself that I should be happy about it. On the other hand, there are times that “looking younger” doesn’t command the respect that I have come to expect as a 49 yr old adult.

Gram is 91 this year and says she owes her wrinkle-less face to Ponds. I’m sure they made a fortune off her! She’s been using it since the day it was marketed. She also believes that coloring your hair turns it gray sooner. She never colored her hair and had very few grays up until a couple of years ago. Today, she has more but to look at her, you would think she was in her 70’s.

So the bottom line for me is that I’m 49 yrs old and in need a hair cut and coloring, a pedicure, manicure, a facial and a full body massage.

  • A lot of cellulite remover for the hips and some botox for the lips.
  • Whitener for my teeth and some sandpaper for my feet.
  • Boobs aren’t too saggy ’cause they still keep the hubby happy.
  • A little wax here and there to be rid of some unwanted “new” hair.
  • I’d rather sleep at night but those hot flashes continue to bite.

And last but not least…. to enjoy my husband’s touch over a royal flush.

Ciao!
(Originally blogged July 25, 2005)

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