Three Things Thursday

It’s Thursday again! Time for Three Things Thursday.

Three Things Thursday

(Click on photos to see a larger version.)

Welcome, Shorts Weather!

On Sunday the temperature got all the way up to 46 degrees F. As my husband and I were driving to a local restaurant for an early Valtentine’s Day dinner, we say two young boys (probably 10 or 12) run across the road from a local drug store with a soda fountain. They were carrying their soda cups, and both were wearing shorts and T-shirts.

It always amuses me that kids are so eager for summer to begin that just about any temperature above freezing provides an excuse to break out the summer clothes. I was comfortable in a wool sweater.

An Early Valentine’s Day Dinner

We usually avoid the holiday rush by going out for our Valentine’s Day dinner a day or two ahead of time. This year we took advantage of a special from one of our favorite restaurants that expired on Sunday, February 12. We feel we got a good deal on salad, sirloin steak with prawns, vegetables, and cheesecake for dessert. We also got window seats looking out on the marina, and it was even a nice sunny day!

Val dinner 2017

And finally, this:

Baseball’s back! A look at Mariners Spring Training: Day 1

Welcome to Safeco Field
Safeco Field, Seattle, WA

See you next week!

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

Women’s March on Washington: Washington State, Olympia
January 21, 2017

My daughter and I went down to the state capital to march last Saturday. We didn’t take any signs of our own, but I’m always envious of other peoples’ creativity.

Here are three that amused me.

(Click on any photo to see a larger version.)


© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

All the buzz this week has been related to the U.S. inauguration.

Knitting protesters grab back at Trump with pink cat hats

The day after Donald Trump is inaugurated president, the signature fashion statement of women marching in protest will be this: a handmade pink “pussy hat” with cat ears tipped directly at Trump and the word he uttered unforgettably on a hot mike. Call it an effort to grab it back.

Both playful and polemic, the cheeky pink hats will appear by the thousands at the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., and at similar demonstrations in cities across America on Saturday.

Obama’s Secret to Surviving the White House Years: Books

New York Times book critic Michiko Kakutani reports on an interview with President Obama, who said that “reading gave him the ability to occasionally ‘slow down and get perspective’ and ‘the ability to get in somebody else’s shoes.’” Kakutani points out that Obama found helpful presidential biographies and the writings of Lincoln, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. But she reports that novels were also important; examples include Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad, the novels of Marilynne Robinson, and the science fiction apocalyptic novel The Three-Body Problem by Chinese writer Liu Cixin.

The New “O” Book Club: 12 Fiction Picks from President Obama 

Off the Shelf elaborates on the previous story with a list of 12 books recommended by President Obama.

Every book Barack Obama has recommended during his presidency

And here is the definitive list, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Inauguration sparks writers to lead protest

This article in the Boston Globe discusses protests around the U.S. by writers who oppose the policies of President-Elect Donald Trump. Here’s what one protest organizer has to say about these planned events:

“I think when you are engaging in the diversity of human experiences, you cannot help but have a broader empathy for people who struggle,” says [Daniel Evans] Pritchard, a poet and translator who is editor and publisher of the journal the Critical Flame. “Writers are engaged in that every day, through language. And that’s important because language is the medium we use to construct our laws and our politics.”


© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

We’ve been retired in Tacoma, WA, for almost four years now, and I still enjoy learning about my new hometown. Here are three discoveries from the past week:

(1) A new-to-Seattle reading list, part 2: The nonfiction edition

Last week I included a reading list of local fiction. Here is the nonfiction companion.

(2) “Those Other Huskies”

I wrote about the University of Connecticut Huskies and the University of Washington Huskies in a Three Things Thursday post last year.

I was pleased to see this recent article, in which the giant East Coast newspaper the New York Times reported on “those other Huskies,” the ones that live near me:

Washington Women Paint a Target on Those Other Huskies

(3) A bit of local history

Tuesday was the anniversary of one of Tacoma’s most iconic events, the 1993 demolition of the ASARCO smelter smokestack:

The ASARCO smokestack — once the world’s largest — is demolished at the company’s old copper smelter in Ruston, north of Tacoma, on January 17, 1993.

Of course I had heard about this event before, but notice of this anniversary made me search for more information. And I found a lot:

{Feature photo at top of post from Toxipedia}

Have a good week, everyone!


© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

Loneliness Can Be Deadly for Elders; Friends Are the Antidote

Paula Span reports:

I’ve been talking, in this season of auld lang syne, with older people who have formed friendships late in life. Though they mourn their losses, they are grateful for the capacity to still find warmth, shared values and interests, understanding and trust from former strangers.

She discusses research on negative effects of loneliness and social isolation on older adults as their circle of acquaintances diminishes.

Why It’s So Hard to Train Someone to Make an Ethical Decision

One of the conundrums of ethical decision making is that many moral decisions that are quite straightforward — even easy — to resolve in a classroom or during training exercises seem far more difficult to successfully resolve when confronted during actual day-to-day decision making.

This article is aimed at people responsible for training employees in a business setting, but it raises points applicable to everyone.

And let’s not forget the benefit of wisdom that most of us of a certain age feel we have attained.

What to do when friends turn out to be bigots

This is an issue I’ve personally heard a lot about since the last U.S. election. So I was especially glad to see this:

And let’s get this out of the way upfront: Tolerance is about accepting as valid views that differ from yours. Bigotry is not valid. We do not have the moral luxury of practicing it, defending it, condoning it, normalizing it, or treating it as the aw-gee-bummer downside of a friend who is otherwise! so! great!

There are also some concrete suggestions here for how to deal with any such situations that may arise.

The Deceptions of Luck

My daughter was a competitive swimmer in her youth. When she was chosen as the first among her age group to move up to the next higher training group, her friends all said, “You’re so lucky.”

Of course her success had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with hard work.

This article considers the difference between luck and chance:

Chance, then, is the objective reality of random outcomes in the real world, while luck is a consequence of the subjective value you place on those random outcomes. Luck, we might say, is chance with a human face. Understanding this gives us a clearer view of reality, and a clearer view of reality means we can choose better courses of action.


© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Three Things Thursday

Thanks to Nerd in the Brain for the weekly challenge Three Things Thursday:

three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude – feel free to steal this idea with wild abandon and fill your blog with the happy

Three Things Thursday

Here are three things that warmed my heart recently.

(1) A new-to-Seattle reading list: the fiction essentials

We moved to Tacoma, about 25 miles south of Seattle, just a little under four years ago. I always love finding out new things about where we now live, and I also love reading, especially fiction. So I was pleased to come across this list of books that will introduce me to the region. There are enough suggestions here to keep me happily reading throughout 2017.

(2) Creative Colloquy: A Literary Site

I’m determined that 2017 will be my year to work on my personal writing. This site was a real find:

Creative Colloquy was founded in February of 2014 with the intention of fostering relationships built upon the mutual admiration of the written word and providing a platform to highlight literary talent in the South Sound.

We do this in a number of ways including the online literary site focused on short fiction, novel excerpts and essays but also including poetry and other prose penned by writers who reside in the Pacific Northwest.

South Sound refers to the area around Puget Sound south of Seattle. This organization holds monthly events in Tacoma. I had been looking for a local writers group. Perhaps this will be it.

(3) Inside Bright Lights, the Final Curtain for Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher

Who wasn’t touched by the recent deaths, just one day apart, of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds? HBO had completed a documentary on the famous duo scheduled to premier later in the year, but the network moved the date up to January 7.

In this article, “Documentarians Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens talk their moving documentary, which gains a bittersweet new meaning in the wake of Reynolds’s and Fisher’s unexpected deaths.”

I hope all of you will have a fantastic week.

© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown

Last Week’s Links

85-Year-Old Marathoner Is So Fast That Even Scientists Marvel

A portrait of Ed Whitlock, age 85:

Having set dozens of age-group records from the metric mile to the marathon, Whitlock remains at the forefront among older athletes who have led scientists to reassess the possibilities of aging and performance.

The article looks at some factors that may have contributed to his peak performance level at such an age.

Paper Calendars Endure Despite the Digital Age

You’ve heard people say, “My life is on my phone.” Part of that life, presumably, is their calendar. But, perhaps counterintuitively, paper calendars continue to thrive in the digital age. While the use of desk-pad and wall calendars has declined, paper planners and appointment books “grew 10 percent from 2014–15 to 2015–16 to $342.7 million.” Decorative calendars also continue to grow in popularity.

Older adults in ED face increased risk of long-term disability: Study

A Yale University study has found that older adults who go to the emergency department, or ED, have an increased risk of disability or decline in physical abilities up to six months later.

I’m not sure what to make of the report of this study. I would think that people who visited an emergency department would be sicker than patients who didn’t. Therefore, it doesn’t surprise me that the ED patients “have an increased risk of disability or decline in physical abilities up to six months later.”

Am I missing something here? The results were published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Retiring travel writer picks 5 spots you must see in your lifetime

Detroit Free Press writer Ellen Creager boils down a career of travel to these quick tips.

Creager’s #2 is also #2 on my bucket list of places to visit: the Grand Canyon.

My #1 place is Stonehenge. Hers is Paris, which I also look forward to visiting.

What About You?

What are the top one or two places to visit on your bucket list?


© 2017 by Mary Daniels Brown