BLAINESWORLD (formerly STUFF)--the newsletter--contains some jokes, hopefully not too risqué; websites; reviews, etc. It began in 1996 and has come out on a more or less weekly basis since then.
For this missive to work best, it needs to be a two-way process; i.e., you need to share your thoughts and ideas. I will do likewise. And toward that end, I'd like you to think about the following: If I gave you a dollar, and you gave me a dollar back, we'd each have a buck. However, if I gave you a joke, quote or idea, and if you gave me one back, we'd each have two.
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A. Cynthia, my beautiful bride, and I:
(1) Had the pleasure of meeting this English Bulldog. Her name was Lilly, and her expression reminded us of Alfred E. Newman's famous line in MAD magazine: "What, me worry?"
(2) Were blessed to have been part of a fantastic Thanksgiving celebration at the home of our friends Brian and Carole Biro.
Pictured, l-r: Bottom row: Judy Blumlo, Cynthia Greenfield, Blaine Greenfield, Celeste Lauren; Middle row: Dave Blumlo, Carole Biro and Nur Barrie; Top row: Marvin Sadovsky, Annemarie Brown, Bonnie Sibner, Katlin Hecox, Kamin Hecox, Tom Gallagher, Marcy Gallagher and Brian Biro.
Also pictured--this amazing acrobatic quartet, l-r: Blaine Greenfield, Annemarie Brown, Cynthia Greenfield and Marvin Sadovsky.
And the two of us with our latest hairdos.
For still more pictures from that day, please click:
Also, please click to see the following videos:
1. Blaine playing Telephone Charades:
2. Cynthia playing Telephone Charades:
3. Blaine and Cynthia doing the Magic Chair Trick
B. I enjoyed my lunch with Ezekiel Christopoulos at Zen Sushi. Over an excellent meal (with fine service from Jennifer), we discussed Ezekiel's new position as membership chair of the Asheville Jewish Business Forum.
C. Congratulations to:
(1) Rita Serotkin on the birth of Xanthea, her granddaughter.
(2) Michelle Baker for the great review of her book, THE CANOE, in FOREWORD REVIEWS. To read the review, please click:
(3) Alex Schnayder on being elected as president of the Bucks County Association of Realtors.
(4) Justin Gaylard and Heather Bronson on having graduated from Mars Hill University.
(5) Donna Allen on the birth of Charlotte, her second granddaughter.
(6) Courtney Y. in FL, winner of Contest #24: a copy of BUZZMARKETING by Mark Hughes. All told, there were 6 entries. And that reminds me that it's now time to announce . . .
***** CONTEST #25 *****
There will be one lucky winner of an autographed copy of BENEATH THE CHATTER by Tina FireWolf. To quote from the back book cover: "If ever a book could kindle your fire and inspire you into a new way of viewing life, this is it." I reviewed it in BLAINESWORLD #945 and very much enjoyed it.
You can view the front book cover below. It features one of the many beautiful photos taken by Tina.
To enter: Put "CONTEST #25" in the subject line of an email and send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org . . . make sure you include your name AND snail mail address in the body of the email . . . all entries must be received on or before 9 p.m. on Monday, December 22.
D. SPECIAL OFFER (of a free book for everybody) from reader Doug Rigsby:
The Broken Christmas Tree is a story about family, friendship, love, and a battle against an unknown force as it tries to rip twelve year old Danny's family apart, and ruin Christmas forever. It's set back in the 1980s where we follow Danny's journey starting from age three, seven and twelve years old - the latter being where most of the story is told. Danny, the main protagonist is dealing with tough times at home, school, and within himself. He's got to figure out what is happening, how to deal with his situation and how to reignite his mother's love for Christmas. It's an awakening that must occur for Danny but will he heed the call or will he break under the pressures that surround him?
If you have a computer, a smartphone or a Mac. you can download the Kindle application. This allows you to read this free ebook in Kindle format from Amazon. The ebook is free this weekend, 12-5-14 thru 12-7-14, so grab this story while you can. There is a story behind the story, but you'll need to get to the end to find out more.
***** BLAINESWORLD BEST AWARD *****
This week, it goes to Brad Morris (pictured below with his lovely wife Iva)--president of the Asheville Jewish Business Forum.
Brad has done a tremendous job heading this organization. As such, he has helped members network with each other and throughout the community
He also manages an Internet Marketing Company that specializes in highly targeted data and email marketing campaigns. And he manages New Deco Inc., which is an art and antiques company that sells directly to art galleries and collectors worldwide.
Brad never ceases to amaze me with his wide range of contacts, as well as with the fact that he is always trying to bring them together. I always appreciate hearing him tell me, "You should meet" (a particular individual).
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Big thanks to Jim Freeman, my longtime friend, for an idea he gave me years ago; i.e., check with you cellular company to see if your company (where you work) has a plan with that company.
If so, you may be entitled to a discount.
In my case, I'm with Verizon and so is Bucks County Community, so I get an 18% monthly discount as a result!
Note: I don't know if other cellular firms offer similar discounts, but you have nothing to lose by asking.
FYI, part 2
(1) Marvin S. in NC: Man jumps out of plane without parachute
(2) Annemarie B. in NC: Dalai Lama's guide to happiness
(3) Carole B. in NC: This is show for you; win a Christmas Talent Show
(4) Bob P. in NC: "Tom Rush:No Regrets" Documentary Trailer
(5) Vera B. in FL: Cat fights a cat statue
(6) Patty A. in PA: You raise me up (bulldog version)
(7) Jim W. in NC: Pentatonix is sending chills down everyone's spine with their beautiful rendition of "Mary Did You Know"
(8) John C. in NC: Salut Salon "Wettstreit zu viert" | "Competitive Foursome"
(9) Janene R. in PA: Very Touching POW & Veterans Tribute! by TONY ORLANDO
(10) Sylvia M. in FL: How to remove rings tuck on finger
B. Other tidbits from readers
To read each of the following contributions in full, please click:
(1) Cynthia G. in NC: What will we do when you hit #1000???? (2) Rocket scientist's idea could put an end to texting while driving. (3) Rhoda Weaver's Demo Page. (4) Judy McKnight in NC: My FB page. (5) Are Gadget-Free Bedrooms the Secret to a Happy Relationship? (6) Why our memory fails us. (7) Why Elders Smile. (8) Ricky Boone in NC: Need a Life Coach but do not have the money? (9) Bill L. in PA: ON BORROWED TIME. (10) Joe D. in NC: Great stuff! (11) Edie Weinstein in PA: 30 important questions to ask before we commit to a relationship.
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3. Joke 1
I'd hate to be up here without a paddle! Fortunately, I have found one at:
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A. THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING is the biopic of renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking. What sets it aside from similar type films is that it is also a touching love story. Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones are both outstanding in the leading roles. There's also a great ending. The only thing I didn't like: The makeup just wasn't very good, in that Redmayne nor Jones seemed to age at all. Rated PG-13.
B. Out on DVD is THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY. My review from BLAINESWORLD #933 follows:
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY is a feel-good comedy about an Indian family that settles in France and then opens a restaurant across from an established French eatery. Helen Mirren and Om Puri are both fine in two of the leading roles, and the music is good, too. I just thought the film was a bit overlong, and it didn't move me quite as much as I would have wanted. Rated PG, though methinks most anybody under the age of 13 would be bored by it.
C. Read THE FOUR-FOOT GIANT AND THE VANISHING WHEELCHAIR (The Vanishing Wheelchair, Inc.) by T.J. Shimeld.
It is the amazing true story of Ricky Boone, an Asheville-based magician and magic store owner, who has survived and flourished despite a rare bone disorder.
Though in a wheelchair, he has not let that stop him from appearing in shows throughout the country, as well as on all three major television networks.
The author, a fellow magician and Boone's friend, has written the book as a historical narrative. It is based on personal interviews with both Boone and those he has inspired.
In particular, I liked the many descriptions of Boone's performances. It almost felt like I was watching him as can be seen in this passage:
* "I want to play follow the leader here," Ricky explained. "What I'm going to do is link tow, give them to you, and I'm going to catch up. And I'm not talking about that red stuff you put on a hamburger!"
In addition, I enjoyed reading Harry Anderson's introduction when giving him an award:
* "How to describe Ricky Boone? Well, pull out that Ingles' receipt out of your pocket. That's the kind of shape he's in."
My take: If we were all in such shape, the world would be a better place. I've actually been fortunate enough to see Ricky Boone perform, and now after reading this inspiring book, I'm looking forward to seeing him again.
Note: Please also read Section 2, part 2, of this week's newsletter. Ricky is now seeking somebody to help him.
D. Heard THE LEONARD BERNSTEIN LETTERS (Hachette Audio), edited by Niegel Simeone and read by George Guidall.
It contains 650 letters, either written by him or to him, and presents a comprehensive look at the gifted musician.
How he found the time to keep up with so many correspondents is beyond me, especially because he lived in the time before personal computers. But keep up he did, and you'll get a kick out of the letters from such notables as Aaron Copland, Stephen Sondhem, Jerome Robbins and Bette Davis, to name just a few.
The book is also gossipy, but not in a negative fashion. Rather, it helped me gain a better understanding of Bernstein's varied musical interests, his endless capacity for hard work and also his complex sexuality.
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5. TV alert
Note: Natalie K. in PA, my good friend, uncovered what looks like to be a really good source for programs. Unfortunately, my cable provider (AT&T Uverse) doesn't offer it yet, so I'm going to have to write to encourage them to do so.
Here's what she wrote me:
Found this cable channel recently when I watched the Tony Bennett special with Lady Gaga at Carnegie Hall. They have some really good programs. Check it out. It's called Cinemoi; here's the link:
As for what looks interesting to watch on the channels that I do get, check out the following:
A. NAKED AND AFRAID has James Franco and Seth Rogen attempting to survive in the wild for 21 days without access to clothes, food, or water. Sunday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. on DISCOVERY.
B. EATEN ALIVE features snake researcher and conservationist Paul Rosolie going inside an anaconda. Sunday, Dec. 7, at 9 p.m. on DISCOVERY.
For more information about this daring feat, please click:
C. THE RED TENT adapts 1997's bestselling novel by Anita Damant into a two-part miniseries. It tells the biblical story of Diana, who abandons her family after they reject her marriage to a prince. Sunday, Dec. 7, and Monday, Dec. 8, at 9 p.m. on LIFETIME.
D. THE VICTORIA'S SECRET FASHION SHOW airs on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 10 p.m. on CBS. In case anybody asks, you can always say you're watching because of the performances from Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Ariana Grande and Hozier.
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6. Joke 2
Some guys sag. too. To see one example, click:
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A. Want to bring back some old memories? You can watch the openings and hear the theme songs of hundreds and hundreds of old TV shows, going back to the 1950s.
B. Marcie F. in PA: Nursing home calendar puts residents in classic film roles. What movie character would you want to be?
C. BLAINESWORLD, the website, remains up and running . . . to view it, please click:
If you've ever wondered what happens to your name once you become a subscriber to this missive, check "Newsletter" to the left and then "Privacy Statement."
D. Are you on Facebook? In the unlikely event we have not yet connected as friends there, please feel free to send me an invite by clicking:
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8. Technology tip
Mr. Curious here: Has anybody else been swamped with requests for new friends on Facebook? Recently, I seem to be getting 5-10 such requests on a daily basis from all around the world, and I don't even know any of these people or their friends.
It may be because of my post from Nov. 23 that seems to have gone viral. It was about a little old lady buying cat food. As of today, 17,220 liked it and 14,165 shared it.
So to return things back to normal, I will take the following steps that Facebook gives as an option:
Limiting new friend requests
1. Click the symbol of the lock in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
2. Look for an option on the menu titled "Who can contact me?" It is currently located near the bottom of the list. Under this heading, you will find the option "Who can send me friend requests?"
3. Change who can send you friend requests. The default setting is "everyone." Change this to "friends of friends."
4. Unfortunately, you cannot prevent anyone from sending you requests. However, limiting the ability to friends of friends will decrease the likelihood of receiving a friend request from some random person.
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9. Joke 3
THE TRUTH IS OUT: Y'all know where I'm getting my Secret Santa gifts this year!
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10. A quote I like
"Never go to a doctor whose office plants have died."--Erma Bombeck (1927-1996), American humorist
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11. Thought for the day
MARRIAGE ADVICE: "When you can't decide on something, you can always play 'rock, paper, scissors.' It saves a lot of time."--Maryallice Rubins-Topoleski, director, actor and freelance writer
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12. Advance planning department
To read about each of the following events in full, please click:
A. NC events
(1) Red State, White Guy Blues author signing, release! (2) Programs offered by Kaleo Wheeler. (3) The Santaland Diaries. (4) Last Chance to See Don't Dress for Dinner. (5) A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. (6) Silver and Gold Holiday concert event. (7) Richard Shulman performances. (8) At white Horse Black Mountain. (9) JOHN & JEN. (10) Final 3 Asheville SCORE seminars for the season. (11) Storytelling by David Novak.
B. PA/NJ event
What Sweeter Music.
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PS. Make it a wonderful week!