Blessed Beltane…2017!!!

Beltane blessings…Blessed Be! I hope you enjoy the musical selection at the end of this post, and I hope that you clicked on this link to garner a bit of information. Celebrations of the Festival of Fire, during this transit of Mercury Retrograde!

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Blumen Baden~

Cindy went tip-toeing through the tulips and shared these lovely photos. Beautiful!
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Baden-Baden’s spring bloom is just beginning.

The tulips on the Lichtenthaler Alle,

a strolling avenue and park,

that follows the River Oos,

are beginning their splendid spring bloom.


The park,

created in the 19th century,

is a wonderland of exotic plants and flowers.

Cheers to you from Baden-Baden’s glorious alle~

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Sensitive Songs: Metal Ballads

I was putting the finishing touches on tomorrow’s post, and happened to hear the first song in this one just a few minutes ago. So, I was inspired to throw this one together and mash the ‘Publish’ button! Saturday song offering consists of three ‘power ballads’ which have always been favourites of mine…enjoy!

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Saturday Silliness: Whovian Edition!

Now that the new season of Doctor Who is in full swing, I figured that it was time for a bit o’ Whovian humour! Here we go…Allons-y, Geronimo, and…RUN, YOU CLEVER BOY!!!

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Friday Fun-Time: 5 Favourite Celebs!

Today’s edition of my “5 Fun Facts / Friday Fun” series of posts puts the spotlight on my five favourite comedians / actors / celebs, people who I will always be sure to watch when they’re being interviewed on the late-night talk-shows that I watch. With that – on with the show!

1. First off, Whoopi Goldberg. She was hilarious when she first started her comedy career back when I was still a wee kiddie, and she’s funny as all get-out when she sits down with Conan O’Brien or Stephen Colbert. She pulls no punches and speaks her mind; similar to yours truly, LOL! No, I don’t watch her on “The View” – not into daytime shows of any sort, when it comes down to it – but, she was excellent in her role as Guinan, the manager of Ten Forward on the starship Enterprise in Star Trek: The Next Generation.

2. Next, there’s Wanda Sykes. What can I add that hasn’t been said already? She does a bit of everything, and does it well. I first saw her on the Keenan Ivory Wayans Show, and liked her recurring role on the Drew Carey Show – she played one of Drew’s love interests. I have her book and enjoy reading it from time to time; she’s awesome and talented, and has a distinctive voice that stood out on the Comedy Central show Crank Yankers…look up that show sometime, if you dare!

3. Ricky Gervais – OMG, he cracks me up whether he’s being interviewed by Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, or Trevor Noah, but his interviews with Conan really stand out! I think he’s the only person I’d follow if I had Instagram – the pictures he takes are too much, and I think the one I picked illustrates it well, ROFLMAO!
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4. Terry Crews – he’s just awesome! I thought he was great in the role of Chris’s dad in the series Everbody Hates Chris, which is based on the life of actor / comedian Chris Rock. He wasn’t bad in The Expendables, and his most recent interview on Conan O’Brien had me rolling!

5. Finally, Jeff Goldblum – he plays many serious roles, but manages to interject his own personality and sense of humor into them, no matter what. I loved him in Jurassic Park, Independence Day, and his brief role as detective Zach Nichols on Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and look forward to seeing him as the Grandmaster in Thor: Ragnarok. Whether he’s sharing the stage with Conan O’Brien or Stephen Colbert, he is so off-the-cuff funny he can take you by surprise at the most unexpected times and leave you howling!

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t post at least ONE funny video! This is the infamous “Late Night Wars” from a few years back. I apologize for the poor video quality, but it’s still funny!

The Jackie Robinson Foundation Breaks Ground on the Jackie Robinson Museum in NY

This is fantastic, excellent, and downright awesome news!
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GOOD BLACK NEWS

(L-R) Hannah Storm, Ayo Robinson, Sonya Pankey, Founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Rachel Robinson, Meta Robinson, and Vice-Chair of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Sharon Robinson attend the Jackie Robinson Museum Groundbreaking at the Jackie Robinson Foundation on April 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Thos Robinson/Getty Images for Jackie Robinson Foundation)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

The Jackie Robinson Museum is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for donors on April 27, 2017.  The 18,500-square foot space will honor the late sports legend Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and played an active, pioneering role in the modern civil rights movement.  “Jack lived his life with such great purpose,” said Rachel Robinson, JRF Founder and wife of Jackie Robinson. “I hope that visitors to the Museum will not only…

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Excerpt: A Good Deed (Pt. II)

*** Author’s Note: Part I of this excerpt can be found here, in case you missed it. I think I will do a ‘Top 5’ of my personal favourite excerpts or posts, soon!

“I’ll be brief, friend Grush. Do you know, or have you heard talk of, an Orc woman calling herself Baghzragh? The coin here will be yours either way, as you have been honest and true in the past.” Grushtakh’s shoulders slump as he bows his head and looks at the floor dejectedly. “Aye – that I do,” he says, a bit sadly. Sepultur’a cocks an eyebrow questioningly, nodding at him to continue. Grushtakh sighs. “She’s my blood-kin, so I know her all too well – and yet, not well enough – else, I wouldn’t be in this predicament! Being here in this…” he raises his head and looks wearily around, running a hand over his bald, horn-stubbled pate. “…in this den of iniquity was not in my plan.” He meets Sepultur’a’s gaze. “To use the vernacular of you humans, she is both my half-sister and my cousin. My mother is sister to her mother, and both of them are wives of the chieftain in the stronghold of Yol Karzhagum. My mother is the forge-wife; hers is the hearth-wife. I had no hopes of being a chieftain there, as the hunt-wife is mother to the first-born male.” He chuckles ruefully. “Truth be told, I admit that being chieftain wasn’t something that I desired. Part of the reason I ended up here, I’d wager.”

Sepultur’a listens intently, making the coin dance across the backs of her fingers. It’s a small trick she learned during her time with the caravan, which relaxes her. “It sounds as if she played a role in it, as well,” she states, which draws a mirthless chuckle from Grushtakh. “Aye…that she did. She always had a high opinion of herself, solely based on her mother’s place in the stronghold hierarchy, but never availed herself of the tutelage or apprenticeships provided by the others in the clan. You humans pay a fair price to learn valuable skills; we Orcs are born and taught them from the moment we can walk, talk, and pick up a hammer!” He chuckles again, this time with genuine good humour.

“One day, not long after her 19th birthday, she decided to hop aboard a Breton trading-vessel which had been in port for a week. Not a word to anyone! Father said that she’d best not return unless it was on the arm of a respected war-chief, as that would be the only one able to pay a worthy dowry!” He chuckles again, remembering the scene in the dining-hall when Baghzragh’s disappearance was discovered. “At any rate, I was surprised to get a letter from her a couple of months ago, as none of us had heard from her for three years, at least.” He rummages around in a battered satchel at his side, pulling out a folded parchment. Carefully unfolding it and smoothing it out, he hands it to Sepultur’a. She takes it, then presses the coin into his palm and folds his fingers around it. “Wait a moment,” she says and then quickly reads the letter. Once she’s digested the contents, she re-folds it and hands it back. “She promised you a lucrative business deal, using a lot of flowery language which gave no details,” Sepultur’a states, folding her arms and leaning back against the wall. Grushtakh hangs his head again. “Aye,” he sighs miserably. “I was a bit in my cups when I got the letter, and didn’t read it as carefully as I should have. I came here believing a lie, and feel quite the fool at being duped. Bad enough to be deceived at all; even worse to have it done by your own kin.” Sepultur’a nods in agreement. She knows all too well the pain caused by deception, especially when done by one who was trusted.

Grushtakh looks glumly at the coin given him by Sepultur’a, brightening a bit at the way it glints in the light of various candles and torches flickering here and there throughout the refuge. “This, at least, will get me a decent meal and a room at the inn! It will be nice to sleep in a cot, at the very least.” Sepultur’a smiles. “Indeed,” she says, glad to be able to offer payment of some sort. She knows that he is too proud to ask for help or take any charitable offer; it is almost an insult to his race to do so, and she doesn’t want to add to his wounded pride. “I think that you’ll find that coin worth quite a bit. Take it up to the banking-house and see what exchange you get, why don’t you?” She moves away from the wall and pulls her cowl over her face again. “Thanks again for your help, my friend. There might be another reward in this for you if all goes well. Even if it doesn’t, you will be able to return home with your head held high and reputation intact and unsullied. If you choose to return, that is!” She clasps his hand briefly and exits the refuge.

Grushtakh inspects the coin closely. On one side is the diamond-shaped emblem of the imperial army, while the other shows an image of the three alliance banners ablaze from the fires of war. He lets out a soft whistle of admiration. What she gave him was part of her earnings from the battlefield, and a generous one at that. He knows enough about currency to see that she gave him a war-chit worth 5,000 pieces of the universal gold coin exchangeable throughout the different lands and provinces. This would be more than enough to get a fresh start, right here in this city, if he so desired…

To Be Continued…

Last Week Tonight: 23 April 2017 Episode

In today’s offering, John Oliver talks about the ramifications of nepotism and cronyism with the current regime. And people convinced themselves that Hillary Clinton would, somehow, have been more corrupt…

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Midweek Memes: Administrative Professionals Day 2017!

There is a New Moon today, coinciding with the Cassini spacecraft making the final moves in its nearly 20-year space exploration mission by diving between the planet Saturn and its innermost rings. These aerial gymnastics will ultimately doom the spacecraft, as it will burn up in the tumultuous atmosphere of the gas giant, or be pulverized by the crushing gravity as it gets closer to the core. I look forward to the final pictures that Cassini will beam back! Astronomy and space exploration have fascinated me from an early age. I would gaze at the night skies for hours on clear, warm nights when I lived in places away from the light-pollution of cities…I still do, sometimes!

Now, on to the subject of this post: Administrative Professionals Day! When I was still a slave to the 40-hour week, I mainly worked as an Administrative Assistant. That all-purpose title covers multiple duties! Receptionist: answering phones, greeting people, and setting up weekly business meetings and conference calls, and daily kitchen / cafeteria stocking and cleanup. Office Manager: making travel reservations, including car rentals and reservations for hotels, airlines or trains; ordering and stocking office supplies, doing minor tech support for office equipment, telephones and computers, and contacting building management for issues related to elevators, plumbing, and AC issues. I would even fill in as an HR assistant at some places: filing resumes, setting up cubicles or offices for new employees, updating employee information, ordering business cards, and dealing with OSHA paperwork when working for subcontractors.

Being an Administrative Professional, no matter your title, is quite an involved line of work. There is much you must know, and quite a bit of demands are made of you on any given day – some more demanding and ridiculous than others! Still, it was an enjoyable line of work because of the challenges it provided. I’m never one to shy away from a challenge, and knowing that it took at least three people to do the work that I did is something that I’m incredibly proud of. I always worked hard; if it was unappreciated, then that’s their loss – not mine. My health and outlook on life improved dramatically once I left the last place I worked at, and now I’m able to keep my own schedule with a small, part-time job which allows me to work from home. I might not make as much as I used to, but the non-monetary benefits are worth their weight in gold.

With that, enjoy these funny memes about Administrative Professionals Day – I hope that those who are enduring it are doing so with a smile, and these should help those smiles be genuine and HUGE!

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Happy 100th, Ella! American Musical Legend Ella Fitzgerald Born on this Day in 1917

Happy 100th to The First Lady of Song! Ella Fitzgerald was a versatile, talented, genius of vocal improvisation and style who inspired many. True greatness shone from her very soul!
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GOOD BLACK NEWS

Early Hardship Couldn't Muffle Ella Fitzgerald's Joy Legendary singer Ella Fitzgerald (photo via npr.org)

article by Tom Vitale vianpr.org

Ella Fitzgerald, who would have turned 100 today, was one of the most beloved and versatile singers of the 20th century. In a career that spanned six decades, Fitzgerald recorded hundreds of songs, including definitive versions of many standards. Along the way, she influenced generations of singers.

But the first thing that strikes you about Fitzgerald is that voice.

Cécile McLorin Salvant, who won a Grammy last year for Best Jazz Vocal Album, says a combination of qualities made Fitzgerald’s voice unique. “When you hear the tone of her voice — which has kind of a brightness, kind of a breathiness, but it also has this really great depth, and kind of a laser-like, really clear quality to it — it hits you,” she says.

Salvant, 27, says she learned to sing jazz standards by…

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