BLAINESWORLD #884

Section 2, part 2

(1) Marty D. in PA: 146 lbs! Ur taller than me– AND u weigh a few lbs less! AND ur married to your beautiful bride! I’m jealous! Congrats, keep up the great work!

(2) Margie Z. in NC: Congrats on your svelte self!

(3) Doug H. in NC: Especially liked #11 [Thought for the Day in last week’s newsletter].

(4) Pat L. in CA: Hi!  Thanks…and I LOVE turtles!!!  Also….just flew east last night, and I will make every effort to be at Zebra Striped Whale this coming Saturday afternoon!!

Response: I love the Turtles, too . . . the music group . . . arguably, the greatest rock group of all time.

And to remind you of that fact, please click:

If you can make it Saturday, that would be great!
(5) Laura B. in NJ:  I took my daughter to see the movie [THE BUTLER), which is No. 1 at the box office again for the second week. It brought so many memories to me especially of how hard the people had to fight for what they should have had in the first place – equality.  But I remember kids from my class going down to march in Selma.  Dr. King came to speak at Drew when we were sophomores.  My George was doing a lot of photography for the university.  I was holding his photo bag and was 3 ft. away from Dr. King and got to shake his hand.  I wrote a freshman (high school) paper about him.  This was before people knew who he was. . . .

I am getting Lynda two books and would recommend them to you and your readers.  The first one is
“Four Spirits” by Sena Jeter Naslund.  It is a fictionalized account of what went on in Alabama that
led up to the riots there including white people who were trying to conduct literacy programs.  It is
a great book with the situation seen through the lives of several people who were involved in various
ways.  The 4 spirits were the little girls who died when the Baptist church was fire bombed during
a Sunday service.  The children were at Sunday School in the basement of the church and could
not get out.  The other book is “The Same kind of Different as Me” by Ron Hall.  It is a remarkable
true story of two men, as different as can be.  The one was raised in very poor circumstances as a
son of a slave, came to a Texas city and was homeless.  He was living both on the streets and
in a mission for homeless men.  The other was raised under fairly affluent circumstances and was
a very successful art dealer.  The art dealer was married to a women who was very active in her
church and spent a lot of time volunteering at the mission.  She finally talked her husband in to
coming down to see the mission and the people there.  He hated it and hated meeting the dregs
of life.  But somehow, the two men started a relationship and became close friends.  The wife
became ill with ovarian cancer and the former slave was the man who counseled her until she
died.  The men are still good friends.  The homeless man now is a preacher dealing mostly with
the needs of the very poor.  But the men also go out and give talks about their friendship and
their faith.
(6) Marcie F. in PA:  It really is a small world. I was catching up on email and unread Blainsworld issues and came across a classmate who attended Tyler School of Art during the same time I was there, Charlotte Schatz. We had a few classes together. I will try and see the pieces she mentioned were coming up. Does she live in NC or did you know her from your time near Phila?
Response: I knew Charlotte when she was a colleague of mine at Bucks County Community College. She is still in the Philadelphia area. She is on Facebook. “Friend” or message here there.  I’m sure she would love to hear from you!
(7) Kevin J. in PA: We are announcing the “Ginny Gives” nonprofit grants, quality-of-life rewards and the Ginny Smile Awards. Please go to www.DementiaSociety.org to learn more.
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Section 4, Reviews
A. YOU WILL BE MY SON is a French drama about the demanding proprietor of a family-run wine estate who has no faith in his own son to take over the business. When the father then meets the son of his dying estate manager, things heat up. The first half of this film was a bit talky; however, I soon became thoroughly engaged in the plot. Though I didn’t recognize any of the actors, they were all top notch. Rated R.B. LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED is now out in DVD format . . . my review from BLAINESWORLD #875 follows:LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED is a romantic comedy about a stuffy Englishman and a Danish hairdresser who meet each other en route to Italy for the wedding of their his son and her daughter . . . Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm are both touching in the two leading roles, and this film grew on me as I got into it . . . the scenery is breathtaking . . . rated R.C. SIMPLE: CONQUERING THE CRISIS OF COMPLEXITY HARDCOVER (Twelve) by Alan Siegel and Irene Etzom examines the best and worst practices of a variety of organizations, including the IRS, Google, Philips, Trader Joe’s, Chubb Insurance,  ING Direct and many more.In doing so, the authors point out that simplicity needs to be recast as a mindset, a design aesthetic and a writing technique. Doing so will then make life so much smoother.

The many examples had me shaking my head as I wondered why couldn’t we all utilize this technique. For instance:

* When ING sent a letter confirming a PIN number change, it sounded like it was written by a person, not a computer, closing with the line, “If it is correct, then all you have to do is have a great day.” Then there was the account statement: Rather than hide customer service phone numbers, the bill displayed them prominently across the bottom of the page, and the first choice is, “To speak to a real person.” What—no phone tree? Upon calling, we spoke to not only a real person, but one in the United States; it turns out ING doesn’t outsource its customer service function to cheap-labor markets. This attention to detail simplifies the customer experience by anticipating customers’ concerns and answering their questions before they ask them.

Things are similar at Trader Joe’s:

* The chain which has about 350 stores in the United States recently was dubbed “one of the hottest retailers in the U.S.” by Fortune magazine, “elevating food shopping from a chore to a cultural experience.” And one of the key ways Trader Joe’s does this is by offering much less than other supermarkets (about four thousand SKUs instead of forty thousand).

For this approach to work, Trader Joe’s has to make smart choices on behalf of its customers. The company does extensive research on its customer base and knows what they tend to like and not like. They want good prices; they like a bit of fun and adventurous flavor (Trader Joe’s responds by mixing in some exotic food choices and using playful, quirky packaging); and they trust that the Trader Joe’s house brand will live up to expectations.

Unfortunately, simplicity doesn’t happen in all industries:

* Credit card agreements are now twenty times as long as they were in 1980. As consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren points out, the old agreements “told you the interest rate, about being late, and that was pretty much it.” So why the need for all the extra pages? Because, as Warren explains, “that’s where the tricks and traps are.”

If you’d like to make things simpler, either for yourself personally or for wherever you work, read this book.

D. Heard THE NEXT BEST THING: A NOVEL (Simon and Schuster Audio), written by Jennifer Weiner and read by Olivia Thirlby.

I’ve enjoyed many other books by the author–beginning with GOOD IN BED, her first effort–and this was no exception. It’s the engaging story of a screenwriter who gets her story picked up by a TV station, only to discover that just marks the start of her troubles.

The characters were all believable, and I really cared what happened to them.

The story felt real, too, probably because Weiner has actually lived through much of what she writes about.

Thirlby’s narration also added to my enjoyment of the book. It seemed she was actually the main character.

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Section 12A, NC events
(1) Tues., Sept. 10, at Jubilee.  “Come Home to Yourself Through Movement”
Be ready to be on your feet exploring ways to move your body to music, with others and through choreography. Is that voice in your head saying, “No way! I’ve got two left feet?” Then this is the perfect ONE TIME class for you! Explore and experience Barrie Barton’s “magical ability to bringing ease and comfort to moving, connecting and yes, choreographing. Gain confidence in your ability to move, new enthusiasm in your expressiveness and a joyful connection with others. $ 10 donation.
(2) Jeff Thompson Trio at 5 Walnut Wine Bar
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Section 12B, PA/NJ events
(1) COME “DANCE AGAINST DEMENTIA” & ALZHEIMER’S. Saturday, October 12th, 2013; 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM.
1st Annual fundraiser and recognition night to benefit Dementia & Alzheimer’s efforts in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and the surrounding Philadelphia region.WHY?It has been estimated that 1 in 12 Pennsylvania families are touched by the dread of Dementia directly* (which includes Alzheimer’s). The effects are surely far greater when you consider extended families, friends, co-workers, local employers that come in contact with customers and clients suffering with Dementia, and the community-at-large.The total cost of care and support in Pennsylvania, is placing a heavy financial burden on the Commonwealth’s (and America’s) healthcare system. In addition to the loss of mental and physical abilities, which are debilitating and ultimately prematurely life-ending… the devastating emotional consequences of Dementia and Alzheimer’s are incalculable.Please register now for our 1st Annual “Dance Against Dementia” & Alzheimer’s– help us launch our organization and lead the fight against Dementia!Let’s live up to our call-for-action message, “Know Dementia!”
Here are the details…
WHEN?Saturday, October 12th, 2013; 7:00 PM – 10:00 PMPlease get there a bit early as awards and presentations will begin right away.WHAT?FOODWonderful desserts and non-alcoholic beverages. A full cash bar will also be available.That night, first enjoy dinner ahead of time at home, or at any one of the many great eating establishments in the area: T.J. Smith’s, KC Prime, Uno Chicago Grill, Applebee’s, Villa Barolo, Duck Deli BBQ, and others. Then, afterwards, at 7PM, come over and join us for desserts and 3 personally fulfilling hours.MUSICMusic from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Simply listen and enjoy the great music, or tap your toe, dance slow, dance rock, dance disco or hop to the bop! Your choice, your fun.RECOGNITIONA big benefit from the evening will be networking with other like-minded members of the community and to applaud and provide recognition to those that are on the front lines of caregiving and shining examples to others. Reminder, please get there a bit early as awards, entertainment and presentations begin right away.Our fabulous auction and 50/50 will round out the fun and excitement!WHERE?Homewood Suites by Hilton2650 Kelly RoadWarrington, PA 18976(Just south of Neshaminy Manor Home, one block off Route 611, behind KC Prime and Hampton Inn. CLICK HERE for map.)HOW DO I BUY TICKETS?

SAVE $10! Buy tickets on or before September 21st (World Dementia Day).

Only $35 per person open seating/standing, or a reserved table for 10, $300.

AFTER September 21st or pay-at-the-door (if SPACE available), $40 per person.

Checks or major credit cards are accepted. Space is limited. Please register in advance to allow the event organizers to know and meet their obligations for attendance. Only $20 per person is tax-deductible, the balance is the fair market value of food/entertainment.**

TO BUY TICKETS PLEASE CALL 215-345-4566 or EMAIL– volunteers will assist you.

A portion of the proceeds from this Dementia Society event will also benefit the “Foundation at the Manor.” This event is not affiliated with the County of Bucks.

(2) ENCORE RUN OF MAN OF LA MANCHA LAUNCHES 18th SEASON AT ACTORS’ NET

EVENT: MAN OF LA MANCHA: Man of La Mancha launches the Actors’ NET of Bucks County’s 18th season, with a number of the company’s most popular stars reprising roles from past runs. “The Impossible Dream” musical – book by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh – has C. Jameson Bradley of Quakertown returning as playwright Miguel Cervantes, who is called before the Spanish Inquisition. When fellow prisoners threaten to destroy his in-progress manuscript, Don Quixote, he and his manservant convince them of its worth by having them act out the tale of the famed mad knight who tilts at windmills and the follies of mankind. Joe Doyle of Morrisville reprises as the manservant/Quixote’s roly-poly sidekick, Sancho. Vicky Czarnik of Levittown joins the cast as Aldonza. Directed by NET Artistic Director Cheryl Doyle, the show costars Steve Lobis of Morrisville as the Governor/Innkeeper; DeLarme Landes of Doylestown as the Duke/Dr. Carrasco; and Michael Niederer of Pennington, NJ as the Padre. Also featured are Amanda Hecht of Levittown as Antonia, Marie Maginity of Doylestown as the Housekeeper, Marco Newton of Yardley as the Barber, and Maryalice Rubins-Topoleski of Langhorne as Fermia. With (alphabetically) Kelly Allen of Arneytown, NJ; Matthew Cassidy of Morrisville; Barry Clements of Jacobstown, NJ; Thomas Elijah and Isaiah Davis of Levittown; Michael O’Hara of Yardley; Ed Patton of Levittown; Hayley Rubins-Topoleski of Langhorne; John Russell of Mercerville, NJ; Sanjay Sharma of Langhorne; Mark Versprille of Clinton, NJ; John Wishnie of Morrisville and Ivy Lynne Zadnik of Morrisville. Musical direction by Pat Masterson of Mount Airy, NJ. Choreography by Maryalice Rubins-Topoleski; fight choreography by Michael Niederer. Stage managed by Kelly Allen. Set design/construction by Jamie Bradley. Lighting design by Andrena Wishnie of Morrisville. Costume and sound design by Cheryl Doyle.

DATES: Sept. 20 – Oct. 6, 2013. (Twelve performances over three weekends only)

TIMES: Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Also Thursday Sept.26 and Oct. 3 at 8 p.m. and Saturday Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.           

PLACE: The Heritage Center Theatre, 635 North Delmorr Avenue (Route 32), Morrisville, PA – near the Calhoun Street Bridge.

ADMISSION: $20 for adults, $17 for seniors (62+), $15 for WHYY card members and $10 for children age 12 and under. Prepaid roup rates available for ten or more.

TO RESERVE: Call the nonprofit Actors’ NET at 215-295-3694 or email actorsnet@aol.com.   On-line tickets can be purchased via www.brownpapertickets.com.

ON THE INTERNET: The company’s website is www.actorsnetbucks.org. Social networking includes Facebook page — “ActorsNET, AKA Actors’ NET of Bucks County” — and Twitter name @actorsnet.

(3) Special comedy shows coming – The ‘Amish Comic’, Big Daddy Graham Show & Jim Norton.

New mobile site is up. Please see for yourself. http://comedycabaret.com/cms/index.php

Thanks for laughing with us and we will see you laughing at the show!

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2 Responses to BLAINESWORLD #884

  1. Don’t be jealous, Goofus:

    He may be taller, and leaner, but you already have a Gorgeous Bride.

    PMP-F

  2. bginbc says:

    Good point, Pam!!

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