Tuesday, March 10, 2015

High Fidelity - Public Service Broadcasting

Wow, I have been MIA for a long, long time.

A lot has happened since I last wrote a blog post (for the 2 people in the world that take the time to look at these things... hi again!) and I will share more soon but right now I have to share a new music group I recently discovered via my local alternative radio station, 94.7 NRK (KNRK).

I love listening to Greg in the mornings, he likes playing things that are different and he has recently been sharing a few pieces by this group called Public Service Broadcasting from the UK.  It is all music, no vocals besides news and broadcasting samples from history.  The geek in me LOVES this!   Everything from World War II footage to the Space Race have been used by these guys, all the songs below are unique in their own way.

My favorite song is available for listening on their new album, The Race For Space on Spotify, it is called "The Other Side" and it just kills me every time I hear it (in a good, wow - humanity is amazing - way).  Some other favorites are included below:


London Can Take It




Sunday, July 27, 2014

Keep on dancing!

This chick is an inspiration.  For so many of us fighting serious weight problems, loss of who we were at one time is almost more difficult than dealing with the weight itself.  As someone who has the same condition and a very, very similar story to Whitney's, I find her courage to accept who she is today and get moving, not only for her own health but also for her spirit, very encouraging.

No one is saying that you have to find her or her dancing attractive - we all know being overweight is dreadfully unhealthy and our culture abhors and ridicules overweight people on a daily basis - but one has to admire her bravery and commitment toward becoming a healthier person, both in mind/spirit and body.

Public interest snippet about Whitney and her new campaign

The video that started it all - girl can move, extra weight or not!

If you want to see what people said about Whitney and more about her campaign - click here (YouTube would not let me post the video for some reason)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

High Fidelity - those songs: part one

As I've mentioned before, music is a major part of my day - I rarely drive without it, I listen to it all day at work, etc.  There are those songs that just resonate with you... I made a playlist on Spotify that has some of my favorites.  Whenever I am having a bad day I can retreat to a special place with my noise cancelling headphones and just the right songs.  

Here is the first installment - female singer/songwriters (or groups identified by their female singer) that touch the soul.

Patty Griffin - Rain

 Fleetwood Mac - Sara (written by Stevie Nicks)

Joni Mitchell - Both Sides Now

Mazzy Star - Into Dust

Tracy Chapman - The Promise

Sia - Breathe Me

Sheryl Crow - Home

Tori Amos - A Sorta Fairytale

Stevie Nicks - Fleetwood Mac

Saturday, February 1, 2014


I love questionnaires and quizzes.  

Not school quizzes which always made me feel grossly inadequate and incapable of remembering important stuff (never mind the fact that I could sing along to Salt N Pepa's "Shoop" all the way through if needed and don't even get me started on Disney soundtracks) but entertainment quizzes.   

You know, "Which character of Friends would you be?" (once I was Phoebe, the other time Joey... not sure what this means) or "What should you be when you grow up?" (Astronaut.... ha!).   

So when my boss said he had to take a version of the famous Myers-Briggs personality test for a class he is taking to finish his degree, the geek in me perked right up and requested the link to the test, just for fun.  Bemused by my enthusiasm for something he was being forced to do for a grade, he passed it along.

I figured it would be fairly accurate, cause well, it's famous and pretty well respected. I had no idea exactly how accurate it would be.  Scarily so.

Turns out I am an INFJ.  So what does this mean?

The test is based upon Carl Jung's theory of psychological typology - his belief that the human consciousness is characterized by it preference of three general attitudes.  These include being Extroverted or Introverted and which mental functions are preferred in two pairs (Sensing vs. Intuition) and (Thinking vs. Feeling).   

Jung proposed that in each person, one of each characteristic is more dominant than the other and that by understanding these we can better appreciate how others worldviews mold their personalities and who they are.  Another researcher, years later, named Isabel Briggs-Myers proposed that in addition to Jung's three dichotomies (opposites of the same spectrum - i.e. thinking versus feeling) there is a fourth which is (Judging vs. Perceiving).  The combinations of all four dichotomies result in 16 different personality types.

I am INFJ (Introvert, Intuition, Feeling and Judging)

While the version of the test that is available online here goes into great detail, I will only include some key points below that really struck a chord with me. If you've ever wanted to understand why I do things and act the way I do, this is a great place to start.  

I highly recommend you go and check it out yourself - even if you feel you are super self-aware and understand how and why you approach things in the manner you do, the validation that it can offer is highly rewarding.  For me, it was a "look, I'm not crazy - other people think the way I do!" kind of moment.  I hope you have one as well.

INFJ - Introvert(56%) iNtuitive(12%) Feeling(38%) Judging(33%)

You have moderate preference of Introversion over Extraversion (56%)

You have slight preference of Intuition over Sensing (12%)

You have moderate preference of Feeling over Thinking (38%)

You have moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (33%)

INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. Strongly humanitarian in outlook, INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally "doers" as well as dreamers.

INFJs are deeply concerned about their relations with individuals as well as the state of humanity at large. They are, in fact, sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are so genuinely interested in people. 

On the contrary, INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few from among their long-term friends, family, or obvious "soul mates." While instinctively courting the personal and organizational demands continually made upon them by others, at intervals INFJs will suddenly withdraw into themselves, sometimes shutting out even their intimates. This apparent paradox is a necessary escape valve for them, providing both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are so susceptible as inherent "givers." As a pattern of behavior, it is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the enigmatic INFJ character to outsiders, and hence the most often misunderstood -- particularly by those who have little experience with this rare type.
INFJ's are highly empathetic. This empathy can serve as a classic example of the two-edged nature of certain INFJ talents, as it can be strong enough to cause discomfort or pain in negative or stressful situations.

There can sometimes be a "tug-of-war" between NF vision and idealism and the J practicality that urges compromise for the sake of achieving the highest priority goals. And the I and J combination, while perhaps enhancing self-awareness, may make it difficult for INFJs to articulate their deepest and most convoluted feelings. Usually self-expression comes more easily to INFJs on paper, as they tend to have strong writing skills. 

Many INFJs perceive themselves at a disadvantage when dealing with the mystique and formality of "hard logic", and in academic terms this may cause a tendency to gravitate towards the liberal arts rather than the sciences.

In their own way, INFJs are just as much "systems builders" as are INTJs; the difference lies in that most INFJ "systems" are founded on human beings and human values, rather than information and technology. 

Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life. 

Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.

INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.

Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.

Famous INFJs

Mother Teresa - founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity
Nelson Mandela - President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999
Martin Luther King, Jr. - activist, preacher
John Calvin - protestant reformer, the father of "Calvinism"

Nicole Kidman - actress, singer, film producer

Billy Crystal – actor, comedian

*INFJ description by Marina Margaret Heiss and Joe Butt via http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp

Thursday, January 9, 2014

75 years

If only we were all so lucky... if you haven't heard the story about Fred's song for his wife Lorraine, you're missing out.

75 years together.  What an absolute blessing. I can't even fathom what it would be like to love and be loved in return like that.  Watch this - it's worth it.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Passport fun!

Portland is known for being a bit unique so it only makes sense that we would have a chain of restaurants, taverns, pubs, cigar bars, concert venues, theaters, spas, micro-breweries, distilleries, soaking pools, wineries, golf courses, pool halls and hotels that are located in old schools, poor houses, masonic lodges, ballrooms, vintage theaters, churches, brothels, general stores, pioneer homesteads and funeral homes.  

Of course, anyone local to Oregon and parts of Washington knows I am referring to the McMenamins chain. Full of character, these unique places are owned by local brothers Mike & Brian McMenamin and have been key in revitalizing some of the Pacific Northwest's forgotten architectural and historical treasures making them into hip and trendy places to relax, be entertained, listen to great live music and enjoy some awesome food, beer, liquors and wines.

This year, McMenamins has released their Passport which is exactly what it sounds.  It is a little blue passport where you get stamps for visiting different locations, sometimes individual locations, like the local pubs scattered across town and other times large locations like Edgefield where you visit eight different bars/restaurants/tasting rooms, etc.  When you complete a location (or neighborhood), you receive a prize of some sort.  While most locations are local to the Portland area, some are in various other places in Oregon and Washington, which means fun trips and new places to visit!

Some awesome friends and I purchased the passports a couple of weeks ago and have been having a blast exploring new locations and collecting the spoils received from completing pages.  The passports themselves can be purchased at basically any McMenamins locations and cost just $20.  The best part is that you can earn that $20 back easily by completing four activities in the front adventures part of the passport (not required to complete the passport) doing things such as having a spa treatment at one of their Ruby Spas, taking a dip in the soaking pools, attending a concert, staying the night in one of their hotels, tasting a beer, wine or distillery flight, etc.

Seriously awesome marketing scheme on their part but for McMenamins enthusiasts it is a fun way to visit all their locations and earn some amazing prizes when your passport is complete.  Prizes include three free nights at historic hotels, free concert tickets, free food, invites to exclusive parties, etc.  Well worth it if you are a McMenamin's fan!

Here are some photos from our adventures so far!

The Passport - stamps and photo hunts at Edgefield

Pat's Corner - Grand Lodge
Ceiling at Pat's Corner - Grand Lodge (photo credit: Bryan Freeman)

Cornelius Pass Roadhouse (photo credit: Bryan Freeman)

Rock Creek Tavern (photo credit: Bryan Freeman)

Our freebies so far - McMenamins playing cards from completing Edgefield in 12/2013 and photo magnets from completing Grand Lodge in 12/2013 (prizes may change by month).

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crazy cat lady

It's been too long since I've last posted - things have been busy and, quite honestly, I haven't been really inspired to share anything.  But I saw a link to these videos today and they appeal to the crazy cat lady in me.  They are from an Ikea commercial shoot a few years ago, somehow I never saw them until now. 

It is beautifully done and so peaceful - I hope it brings you the joy it brought me.

And this shows how they made the ad!