Sunday, November 30, 2008

#354 Christmas with Lilah

To kick off the 2008 holiday season, we nostalgically present a 16-year-old Christmas video!

For Christmas 1992, I invited my hammered dulcimer teacher - the one and only Lilah Gillette - to play some holiday dulcimer tunes for a party in our Overland Park home. Lilah and her son Don thrilled the crowd with their flying hammers and their heartwarming personalities. Thanks to the thoughtfulness of friend Allison for the original recording in 1992 and thanks to the magic of digitization in 2008, you can see and hear the sweet melody of Jingle Bells and Silent Night.

Yours in loving Lilah, the hammered dulcimer, Christmas music, and the magic that comes from combining all three,

Monday, November 24, 2008


Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain.
Right out of college, Phillips Petroleum offered to pay me a whopping $17,000 for a year's worth of computer programming. So, I jumped all over that and moved to Bartlesville, OK. It was the perfect place for me. To relive my Oklahoma years (the 1980s), I rounded up a passel of non-Okie friends on Saturday night and we headed over to the theater to see the Rodgers and Hammerstein account of Oklahoma life. Richard and Oscar got it exactly right - that's just how I remember life in Oklahoma.

To continue my walk down memory lane, I've been busy scanning photos. Here's a volleyball photo from 1980 - I'm the geeky one sitting on the court.
I've added some of these pictorial gems to our photos page. (Scroll down until you get to the really old ones.) If I knew you in Bville in the 1980s, then you might find yourself here. You'll for sure find plenty of heart and plenty of hope.

Yours in O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A OKLAHOMA!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

#352 GIS Day 2008

For those eagerly awaiting the 2008 International GIS Day update, wait no more. Yes, we decorated our GIS Day cake with an aerial photo of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village.
The Scholars' Lab at the University of Virginia hosted GIS Day festivities November 19th highlighted by map expert and digital innovator David Rumsey speaking on “Giving Maps a Second Life with Digital Technologies”, a map gallery display, a user showcase with 13 area groups demonstrating their GIS accomplishments, a guided tour of the historic Schwartz map collection, and a luncheon talk by Dr. John Scrivani of the Virginia Department of Forestry.

Fun? You bet! It was a whirlwind day of geospatialness including the Charlottesville CBS station's wall-to-wall GIS Day coverage.

Yours in spatial awareness,

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

#351 Happy GIS Day!

For 10 years now, folks around the world have been celebrating GIS Day right in the middle of Geography Awareness Week.
As Jimmy Buffet apparently said, "Without geography, you're nowhere." As I apparently said, "Got GIS?"
Yours in waking up early on GIS morning,

Friday, November 14, 2008

#350 Stop the catalog madness!

Is your mailbox crammed with catalogs like this?
It's that time of year. The holidays are right around the corner and every company wants to sell you the perfect gift. One solution: Use Catalog Choice to help put a stop to the madness. It is a free service that allows you to remove your name from numerous catalog mailing lists at once.

In my first week, I've unsubscribed from 8 catalogs. According to Catalog Choice, "more and more companies [are] honoring consumer’s requests to no longer receive a catalog in the mail." I feel better already. Think of the advantages! Fewer trees are cut. Less fossil fuel is used in production. And you can make fewer trips to the recycling center!

Yours in blatant non-paper-based promotion of Catalog Choice,

Thursday, November 13, 2008

#349 PS Piano Girls

Mrs Tomlin is the saint who taught my sisters and me to play the piano. I'm not sure how she managed it. Despite her decision to teach the Hill sisters, she was one smart woman. She tackled us on different days of the week.

Here is Mrs Tomlin in 1975 when my brother and I graduated from Mount Vernon High School.
Yours in musical memories,

Sunday, November 09, 2008

#348 Piano Girls

We're a family of piano girls. Here's Mom in about 1937 playing the family piano (a 1925 Vose and Sons.) The piano originally belonged to my grandmother who lived in Cleveland and worked for the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Here's 3-year old me - more interested in my book and doll than the family piano behind me. By this time, the piano belonged to Mom. I can remember Mom playing Chopin's Minute Waltz while my sisters and I all learned how to play.
Here's me today trying to play Elton John's Carla Etude on the family piano. The piano now belongs to my sister Kathy but, in a stroke of complicated maneuvering on my part which included moving my sister overseas, the piano is now (temporarily) making its home here with me.
Yours in the Piano Girl family,

Monday, November 03, 2008

#347 Handley Library

What to do when meeting up with your Colorado friends in Winchester? Feed them of course!
And then take them to visit a cool old library. Built of Indiana limestone in 1913, the Handley Library was renovated in 1999 and is now on the National Register of Historic Places. It looks fabulous.
Highlights include the stained glass dome of the rotunda,
the gorgeous wood-paneled reading rooms,
the 3-story spiral staircases and light fixtures,
and the thick glass floors in the stacks.

Yours in knowing that these are true friends who are enthusiastic about touring a small-town library,