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Happy Earth Day! Here are some links for you to enjoy! 🙂
How Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey, and Warren Buffet adhere to the Five-Hour Rule where they set aside at least one hour a day (or five hours a week) devoted to such practices as reading, reflection, and experimentation.
It’s been two years since I last went to this annual event, which traditionally closes the weeks-long National Cherry Blossom Festival. The last time I was there, the Sakura Matsuri was held on Pennsylvania Avenue right next to the Old Post Office Building (which was then undergoing renovation into the Trump International Hotel—you can see those giant blue TRUMP signs in the background of some of the photos I took during that event).
Since that time the event has been relocated. It is now held at the Navy Yards near Nationals Park. I don’t know if Donald Trump have had a hand in that festival’s relocation or not but it doesn’t matter because I don’t have to see those Trump International Hotel signs.
Like previous Sakura Matsuri festivals, this one was a celebration of all aspects of Japanese culture including anime, J-pop, J-rock, kendo, and traditional Japanese crafts. There were also a lot of cosplayers walking around. Here are the photos I took of the Sakura Matsuri.
Philadelphia museum showing glass bongs as high art. The museum’s directors say that this exhibit is less about potheads and more about allowing an underground community of artists to showcase their work without fear of being stigmatized or prosecuted.
Studio SoHy is a relatively new art gallery that opened its doors in Hyattsville, Maryland. On February 18, 2017 it held a reception for its newest exhibit, which was done in partnership with the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center and Soul & Ink. The exhibit is based on the recent Women’s March on Washington and it’s also being done in conjunction with the many follow-up events that are being held all over the U.S. that coincides with the first 100 days of the Trump Administration.
Studio SoHy is a small gallery that’s located next to the Vigilante Coffee Company.
Here is the entrance to Studio SoHy itself.
The gallery is small so it didn’t take too many people to fill it up.
The exhibit consisted of protest signs, some of which were actually carried in the march itself while others were created more recently.
Wine was served among the protest signs.
Soul & Ink were printing out posters and t-shirts for sale that said “Resist Hate, Assist Love.”
As part of the reception, visitors were encouraged to write postcards to elected officials.
There were two main focus of this postcard writing campaign. One was for Maryland Governor Larry Hogan asking him to oppose President Trump’s immigration ban. The other was for the Office of Government Ethics asking that they release all information about any conflicts of interests regarding President Trump’s business holdings.
Here is one of the postcards that I wrote while I was at the event.
Need a Valentine’s Day gift idea but you’re cash-strapped at the moment? Check out this this cool “You Rule Valentine” free tutorial using a cheap wood ruler and other supplies that you can find at your local dollar store.
If that previous Valentine’s Day gift idea isn’t up your alley, here are some more free tutorials for other Valentine-themed crafts using materials that you can find at your local dollar store.
Are you interested in learning how to play a musical instrument but you can’t afford to buy or rent one? Check out these free tutorials on how you can build your own guitar, ukulele, banjo, and even a violin out of cigar boxes.
Are you itching to crochet something to wear? Check out these free patterns where you can make variations on the pineapple bolero crochet jackets.
Do you find yourself in this scenario?: You’re in the mood to watch a movie. You’re too broke to go to your local movie theater and pay the ever-increasing ticket prices (let alone buy anything from the concession stand). You can’t afford to pay for Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime. Video rental stores don’t exist anymore. You only want just a couple of hours of escapist fun. What’s a broke person to do? Here is a list of the best free movies that are currently available on YouTube, including such classics as Night of the Living Dead, Carnival of Souls, Nosferatu, Detour, and His Girl Friday featuring stars like Cary Grant and Vincent Price. Yes, they are all completely legal for you to watch online without having to deal with torrents and things like that.
Feeling frustrated with President Donald Trump? You can take out your frustration with this free video game called Super Trump Run, whose gameplay is reminiscent of Super Mario Bros.
Last year I planned on going to Baltimore to celebrate my birthday at Christmas Village in Baltimore. I had to scuttle those plans because my birthday fell on a Tuesday and it turns out that the place was closed on certain Tuesdays including my birthday. (I ended up going to Tyson’s Corner instead and I still had fun last year.)
This year my birthday fell on a Thursday so I decided to go to Baltimore, just like I planned last year. I was determined to go there despite the fact that the Polar Vortex had just arrived in my area so the temperatures plunged to below freezing. (I basically wore a heavy winter coat and a hat so I was able to brave the deep freeze.)
On the way to Baltimore I stopped off at a local Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts store to check out the recent sales. I found a bundled pair of slipper socks. The original price was $9.99, which would’ve been a decent price for two pairs of thick socks. But they were on sale for half-price, which meant that I paid $5 for the bundle (or $2.50 per pair).
I took the light rail into the city. I initially went by Harborplace where I saw this ice skating rink.
Since my last visit to Harborplace, I found that the store It’s Sugar had moved from one pavilion to another. (It is now located next to the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium.)
I purchased a few things for myself on my birthday. Here is this cute gingerbread man cookie I bought.
I purchased this Pez dispenser featuring Badtz-Maru, one of Hello Kitty’s friends.
I bought myself this Guinness Luxury Dark Chocolate Truffle Bar. It was very delicious.
I took a few photos of other items in that store but I didn’t buy any of them.
After my visit to Harborplace I took a couple of photos of the Inner Harbor area at sunset.
I eventually made my way to the Christmas Village in Baltimore.
I’ve been there other years (see the photos I took in 2013, 2014, and 2015). Some of the same vendors were there this year while there were others whom I had never seen before. I also saw some empty booths but I had no idea if fewer vendors signed up or if it was because I came on a Thursday night and some of the missing vendors only worked on the weekends. I had been looking forward to eating some bratwurst with sauerkraut for dinner followed by a Belgian waffle topped with hot fudge and whipped cream for dessert. Unfortunately the waffle place wasn’t there this year, which was a big disappointment. The German food booth was still there so at least I was still able to eat the bratwurst and sauerbraten platter.
I purchased only one item. It was a pack of incense that I got from the large Käthe Wohlfahrt booth that was located at one end of the main tent. I’ve been lighting the incense each night since then so my home can smell like Christmas. (LOL!)
On my way back to the light rail stop, I saw this homeless person laying down under a thin blanket outside the Baltimore Convention Center. Usually I wouldn’t pay this person much notice other than the fact that the Polar Vortex had arrived and the temperatures were forecasted to dip under 20 degrees Fahrenheit over night. (The following morning my AccuWeather app on my smartphone registered 18 degrees Fahrenheit.) I felt that this person should really be indoors but I didn’t know where to turn since I live 30 miles south of Baltimore.
I took the above picture and frantically did Google searches on my smartphone for homeless organizations in Baltimore. I texted the photo to a couple of organizations while indicating where the person was located. For added measure I texted the photo to the Baltimore Police Department. I even uploaded this photo on my Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts using people to forward this to anyone who could help bring this person in from the cold. I don’t know if my efforts helped or not other than the fact that for the next few days I did a Google search for any recent homeless deaths in Baltimore outside the Baltimore Convention Center only to turn up empty-handed. I guess this person somehow survived the Polar Vortex but I’ll never know for sure.
Once I reached the North Linthicum Light Rail Station (where my car was parked) I drove over to Glen Burnie. Last year I found out about this overdecorated house on Delmar Avenue and I saw it for the first time on Christmas Eve. This year I decided to check it out again and, yes, it is still just as heavily decorated as it was last year.
The only difference I could tell between this year and last year is the next-door neighbor’s lighted sign that said “DITTO” with an arrow pointed to the other house. (That neighbor’s house didn’t have any outdoor lights at all other than that “DITTO” sign.)
By the way the house on Delmar Avenue has its own Facebook page that you can view to get the latest news and photos about that house.
Last year I shot a bunch of still photos of that house. This year I decided to shoot a video so you can get a sense of the flashing lights (including an animated laser display that’s shown on the garage door) and the constant Christmas music.
I headed home after visiting that house so that was it for celebrating my birthday in Baltimore and Glen Burnie.
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah or both today, I hope you’re enjoying yourself. Today is the perfect day for me to share this link that I came across last month.
Ever wonder what a Nativity set would look like if Jesus had been born this year? Well, thanks to ModernNativity.com, you don’t have to wonder anymore. For only US$129.99 you’ll get a set that includes a stable with solar panels on the rooftop. Jesus is wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger while wearing a knitted white beanie. Joseph wears a man bun with a denim shirt and khaki pants while taking a selfie with Jesus and his wife. Mary, who’s all decked out in skinny jeans and a loose sweater, poses for the photo by showing off her duck face as she’s clutching a Starbucks coffee cup in one hand while flashing a peace sign with the other. A shepherd dressed in jeans is using his mobile device to snap pictures and post them on social media. A white lamb wears a red sweater, which is a nod to this trend of people posting photos of sheep wearing sweaters on Tumblr. A cow, who has been branded as “100% organic,” feeds from a manger that is marked “gluten-free feed.” Rounding out this Nativity set are three modern-day wise men dressed in hipster outfits who arrive to the scene on Segways while bearing gifts that they ordered from Amazon.com.
Here’s a video showing this Nativity set.
The first time I saw this I laughed out loud. If I didn’t have money issues, I definitely would’ve bought this. You can check out photos and another video of this Nativity set right here.
Here are a couple of Christmas sweaters I saw on sale at Target. This one was obviously aimed at men.
This sweater is the saying “He thinks he’s God’s gift to women” come to life.
I’ll end this post with this video featuring Stephen Colbert singing “Another Christmas Song.”