Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sunday Art Review: Kimberly Nichols

Today's installment of The Sunday Art Review focuses on the paintings of the highly talented Palm Springs artist Kimberly Nichols. I met with Kimberly yesterday and requested her permission to feature her work on my blog. Ms Nichols' work is both thoughtful and deep. These paintings seem to speak from beyond the canvas; you can almost feel the emotion of the subject. (above: "Girl on the Verge")

Following is an excerpt from The Artist's Statement from her website: "...I wanted to take away the pseudo-stances in any given pose and present the emotional scene behind the eyes and the purse of the lips. The eyes and the lips became my trademark, a place where all the signals of the truth were held no matter how deceiving the appearance otherwise. These psychological portraits of women became what I termed "hundred proof bordello"--a place where honesty is stronger than the urge to lie, a place where authenticity is bared and no mood denied due to its un-ladylike contortions. In my perpetual gallery, all girls could bare their most gnashing teeth, their most needy lust, their most haughty pretensions and their most primal hunt for love."
The Work of Kimberly Nichols

above: "Piety"
above: "Art of Loneliness"
above: "Bloom"
above: "Amoeba"

above: "Submission Queen on Couch"
above: "Money Shot"
I hope you enjoyed this week's Sunday Art Review as much as I enjoyed presenting it. Which painting do you like best? Go ahead, leave a comment, it's the last Sunday in March, so ALL COMMENTS ARE FREE TODAY!
-Rick Rockhill

Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Saturday Seven: Facts About Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar was a famous Roman general and statesman, who laid the foundations of the Roman leadership system. He had a fascinating life at a time when much of the world was in chaos and in-fighting. He had a successful military career which was his platform to run for various elected positions. Like all rulers, there are many sides to every story; Caesar contributed a great deal to the development of Rome and many parts of Europe, but he was also conquering lands and people, which by virtue of war means death and destruction. History is generally more favorable toward him than not, and for this reason I thought I'd blog about this great Roman leader. This brings me to an other scintillating edition of:
The Saturday Seven: Facts About Julius Caesar

1. His life was brief, just 56 years: born July 12 100 BC and died March 16, 44 BC

2. His reign of Rome was just five years, from 49 BC to 44 BC

3. Caesar is considered to be one of the greatest military strategists and tacticians in history, along with Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan and Napoleon.

4. Caesar and Cleopatra were romantically involved for 14 years but could not marry, because she was Queen of Egypt and under Roman law, marriage was only allowed between two Roman citizens.

5. Ceasar was given many accolades and honors during his leadership such as Pater Patriae (Father of the Fatherland), Pontifex Maximus (Highest Priest), and he eventually took the title Dictator. The title Dictator angered members of the Senate, who felt this challenged the very republic Caesar had created. Member of his Senate eventually murdered him famously on March 15th, which is referred to as the "Ides of March". After his assassination, he was even given the title Divus ("god") because he was so loved by the public.

6. In 85 BC, when Caesar was just sixteen, he became the head of the family when his father died suddenly while putting on his shoes one morning, without any apparent cause.

7. Despite his very well known affair with Cleopatra, it was also believed that Caesar was bisexual, having had affairs with several men including Nicomedes IV of Bithynia.

And finally, just for the record, the Caesar salad was not invented by Caesar, it was developed in a restaurant in San Diego California in 1924!
-Rick Rockhill

Friday, March 28, 2008

Can You Guess?

I thought I'd do something frivolous today and let you test your knowledge of music. Listed below are groupings of songs all sung by the same artist. Most of the songs were from this person's solo career, but a few have been performed while part of a group. Your mission is to simply see if you can guess who the artist is and leave a comment. If you do guess the artist (and I'm sure you will) let me know which is your favorite song by that person (even if it's not a song listed here) and how many groups you had to look through before you figured it out. The list starts with more obscure songs which only a die hard fan would recognize, and it gets progressively easier as you scroll down. So don't look down to fast! Go slowly through each group and see if you can guess who it is! I hope this entertains you even if only for a fleeting moment. Happy Friday ;-)

group a:
  • Outside the Rain
  • I Will Run to You
  • No Spoken Word
  • Long Way to Go
  • Destiny

group b:

  • Too Far from Texas
  • Sometimes it's a Bitch
  • After the Glitter Fades

group c:

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • I Sing for the Things
  • Two Kinds of Love
  • Desert Angel
  • Blue Denim

group d:

  • Twisted
  • Candlebright
  • Silver Springs
  • Whenever I Call You Friend
group e:
  • Enchanted
  • Every Day
  • How Still My Love
  • Trouble in Shangri-La
  • Nothing Ever Changes
  • Planets of the Universe
group f:
  • Bella Donna
  • Rooms on Fire
  • Wild Heart
  • I Can't Wait
group g:
  • Talk to Me
  • Sara
  • Dreams
  • Stop Draggin' My Heart Around
  • Rhiannon
  • Stand Back
  • Leather and Lace
  • Edge of Seventeen
OK, now leave a comment with: 1) who the artist is, 2) what your favorite song is and 3) how many groups of songs did it take for you to guess the artist. Happy Friday!
-Rick Rockhill ps: the answer is Stevie Nicks, solo artist and member of Fleetwood Mac

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Positively Pre-Eminent Pets

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a huge pet person. In my opinion dogs and cats make the world a better place. There is nothing quite like having a dog welcome you home everyday, thrilled to see you and ready to help ease away all of the stress of the day. TV watching is always better with a dog curled up at your feet, or a kitty snuggling against you on the sofa. My friends have some great dogs too. Take, for instance, this little cutie here, Oliver, the Pug. Oliver is my friend BenWu's dog who I helped "raise" at work back he was just a lil' pup. Look at that face! (BenWu, thanks for being a faithful reader dude). Then there are these two beautiful girls below...

above: Two beautiful Poodles, "Miss Peaches" (white) and Miss Anne (black). Some of you may recall that Miss Peaches is actually a famous Poodle...she graces the package of a super premium dog food ProPlan Selects (photo above right). She may have had a bit of re-touching for her glamour shot, but she is a super model as far as I am concerned. Both girls are the daughters of my friend Candy who reads this blog from time to time.

AND FINALLY...

above: My pride and joy: Koshimi (my Shiba Inu) and Owen (Persian kitty). I took this photo Wednesday night while watching American Idol. They are good buds who hang out together most of the time.
-Rick Rockhill

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wisdom Wednesdays: Featuring Dr Sidney Wang

ASK DR WANG, the psychic betta fish
This week's e-mail is from Lolly in Grand Junction, CO. Lolly writes:

Dear Dr Wang,

I have crush on a guy named Slim who works as a cashier at the Western Convenience store nearby. He is at the store no matter what time I go in; I've remarked that he is always working but he seems quite nervous or defensive about it. I have reason to believe he likes me, but I am not completely certain yet. Sometimes he gives me a 10% discount off my coffee, and he always asks me if I want a beef jerky to go too, which is my favorite. Do you think I should wait for him to ask me out, or should I take the first step? What does he future hold Dr Wang?

Smitten, Lolly

Dr Wang responds: Dear Lolly,

I sensed there is a secret lurking within Slim, so I have consulted The Great Bubble Wall in my tank for deeper insights. I have learned that Slim is working a lot of overtime at the Western Convenience store for good reason. He is saving up money to help pay off a secret gambling debt of his sister, who is a one-legged nun. Because he is ashamed of his sister's gambling problem, he will never openly mention this to you.

You will be pleased to know that Slim does have a crush on you, but he is shy and not going to make the first move. You must learn patience and control in the meantime. Wait until the next month or so and you will find that Slim is more receptive to your advances. The next time you are in the store, take a closer look at Slim, he has a club-foot which rules out two-stepping as a first date option. In the meantime, Lolly, just stick to Slim Jim's jerky and your coffee, you'll be a hot item by mid-summer.

keep swimming upstream,

-Dr Wang

****************************************************************
"Wisdom Wednesdays" features the sage advice of our resident oracle, psychic betta fish "Dr Sidney Wang". Believed to be a reincarnated descendant of King Rama II of Siam, Dr Wang responds to e-mail submissions with advice, predictions of the future and conveys ancient proverbs to provide guidance and support. Dr Sidney Wang's 24 Hour Wisdom, Advice and Inspiration service is also available from the left side navigation for this feature.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Springtime in the Desert


Springtime in the desert is such a beautiful season. Before the scorching hot months roll in, the open fields of the desert fill up with a wide variety of beautiful wildflowers. Some cactus bloom in the peak heat of the summer, but we've had a few hot days lately, which seems to have cajoled some cactus to bloom as well. I hope these photos brighten your day and bring a smile to your face. I'm dedicating these first two below to my fellow desert rat "Songbird" over at The Desert Ice Box


These next two below are dedicated to my blogger friend Bee at Muffin53.

-Rick Rockhill

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter with the kids

Easter Sunday turned out to be a beautiful day here in Palm Springs; I woke up early to the sound of birds twittering, chatting away to each other about something or other. I had my morning tea and watched the early sun reflect on the mountains. It was a perfect Spring morning. I was grateful that I had already decided to attend the 11:00 am Easter service; the 7 and 9 am options seemed unnecessarily early for my taste. By the time I was heading to church, the sun was beaming and it was quite warm. Despite eventually getting up into the 90's it never felt too hot, although I was careful to keep my chocolate bunnies out of the sun! I am a bit traditional and made sure I had an Easter photo taken with the kids. Here I am (above) with Koshimi, my older boy. I love this photo, he was licking his lips, having just wolfed-down an Organix dog cookie. (Anything to get the pose).above: I was about to bite the ears off of my chocolate Easter rabbit but it was time for Owen's photo. He wasn't very cooperative so I just snatched him up with one hand and made him pose with the chocolate bunny. Despite the expression on his face, Owen LOVES to be picked up and held. I was so happy to get these photos taken and out of the way before the day got away from me. Later in the day, I treated both Shimi and Owen to their own Easter dinners, Halo "Spot's Stew" Lamb, which they both ate hungrily, as if they hadn't been fed in weeks. You can only imagine, that me being in the pet industry I spoil my kids to the very best there is. Believe me, they eat better than some people I know, but they are worth it! Anyway that was our Easter Sunday. Hope you have a good week.
-Rick Rockhill

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter from The Palm Springs Savant

Happy Easter! Without question, this is my favorite holiday of the year. Everything is so bright and cheery, and there is hardly any of the commercial pressure of Christmas. It's also my favorite season at church, the music, the lessons and the beautiful white Lilly plants. Easter would not be complete without my stash of candy. Back to when I was a little kid, the Easter Bunny would deliver baskets filled with all kinds of delicious treats from our local Fanny Farmer candy shop. Chocolate bunny rabbits, cream eggs, jelly beans, and foil-wrapped chocolate novelties. Years later, when I worked in the retail confectionery business I learned the candy business from the ground up. I used to love being the kitchens at Fannie May Candy in Chicago, watching thousands of chocolate rabbits being made. It was the dream job above all. Every holiday I made a point of spending a day or two in the plant checking out all the seasonal candies being made. It never left me, and I still have not grown up. So despite being an adult, I order my own stash of Easter candy and await the arrival of Easter Sunday.

above left: My Fannie May Cream Eggs: dark vanilla buttercream are my favorite! above right: dark chocolate covered marshmallow eggs.

above: A nice retro rabbit scene on this box of chocolates. Whatever you are doing today, I hope the blessings of Easter are with you.
-Rick Rockhill

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Saturday Seven: Celebrities Who Bore Me

While standing in the checkout lane at a store yesterday, I was passing time by glancing at the covers of the gossip ragsheets and celebrity magazines. It felt like a case of dejavu...hadn't I seen this celebrity on the covers last week? And the week before that? And last year too? Why is it, I pondered, that the same group of celebrities are on the covers week after week, month after month. Isn't there anyone else to write about? They must continue to sell magazines but my gosh- how frightfully boring it all must be. It got me thinking of the handful of celebrities who not only seem overexposed, but who really bore me to tears (hence the photo of the sleeping dog). This brings us to another scintillating edition of The Saturday Seven: Celebrities Who Bore Me
#1 Lindsay Lohan- there is no question that she is over-exposed. I really don't get the public fascination with her. This most recent story about a sex tape surfacing with her fellating some guy is more than I want to know about her, yet again.
left: lindsay lohan
#2 Britney Spears- It seems like she has some real problems; I'm not looking to unnecessarily tear her down, but would someone save her from herself..PLEASE. Send her to a far-away land with no cameras, TV or reporters.

left: Britney Spears
#3 David Spade- I just don't think he is funny at all. In my opinion he is a boring little weasel who plays the same bad role over and over.
left: David Spade
#4 Paris Hilton- What is left to say about Paris? Just that she is the ultimate bore. I mean brat. I mean...ah, whatever.

left: Paris Hilton with Britney Spears
#5 Jennifer Aniston- She was cute when she was on Friends, but now she comes across as weak, co-dependent and a whiner. Lucky for her she is super rich, so it doesn't matter what people think of her.
left: Jennifer Aniston
#6 Pam Anderson- Sure, she is a sexpot, but how is it that one person can have so many things happen to them?
left: Pam Pamela Anderson
#7 Tom Cruise- This guy is just down-right weird. I get a bad vibe from him, like someday the truth will come out about Tom Cruise and it will scare everyone. I'm just sayin'...
left: Tom Cruise Katie Holmes
What celebrities bore YOU? Go ahead leave a comment with your two-cents. In the spirit of the Easter season I have waived all comment fees once again.
-Rick Rockhill lindsay lohan, britney spears, david spade, Paris Hilton, jennifer aniston, pam anderson, tom cruise lindsay lohan, britney spears, david spade, Paris Hilton, jennifer aniston, pam anderson, tom cruise

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pacific Life Open Tennis Tournament

The Pacific Life Tennis Tournament has been underway for the past nine days and continues through March 23rd. The famed tennis tournament is being held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden just down valley from Palm Springs. This event is a major draw to the Coachella valley each year, and is considered to be the "Grand Slam of the West". Its attendance ranks it among the top five tennis tournament after the Grand Slams. It is unique because it combines both men and women players for the two weeks of its run. This tournament attracts over 250 of the top men and women tennis stars in the world including greats Jimmy Connors, Ivan Lendl, Boris Becker, Andre Agassi, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Monica Seles, Steffi Graf, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport and Maria Sharapova. (source: Pacific Life website). I thought I'd share a few photos that are directly from the Pacific Life Open website:
above left: Leyton Hewitt, above right: Andy Roddick

above left: David Ferrer and above right: Ashley Harkleroad
If you have not been following this tournament over the years, the Pacific Life Open is now one of the most prestigious tournaments on the tennis calendar tours. I'm proud that it is all taking place right here so close to home in our beautiful desert.
-Rick Rockhill

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Wisdom Wednesdays: Featuring Dr Sidney Wang

ASK DR WANG, the psychic betta fish
This week's e-mail is from Linda in Putnam, Connecticut. Linda writes:

Dear Dr Wang,

My eleven year old daughter Mabel loves to sing. She is constantly walking around the house signing along to her iPod. People often say she is a natural songbird; since she is my daughter I love everything she does. Will she ever make it to American Idol? Will she ever become a famous singer? I'd like to know what you see in Mabel's future.
Thanks,
Linda

Dr Wang responds: Dear Linda,

I opened a psychic channel to your home to hear Mabel. I ended up channeling your pet finch, and heard Mabel sing several times. I must tell you that your bird is afraid of Mabel's singing, and I tend to agree. Her voice made the scales on my body tighten so hard that I nearly popped my eyes out. However, being a fish I considered the fact that perhaps I am not qualified to evaluate her talent. I consulted The Great Bubble Wall for clarity of thought on her future. I don't foresee an appearance on American Idol for Mabel. Quite honestly she has an atrocious singing voice and sounds like a cat being strangled. As far as what's in Mabel's future, I see her growing up to be a veterinarian who will develop a cure for "feline attituditus", the condition that makes cats aloof. She will also become famous for her research in interpreting the secret language of cats. Strangely enough, in her old age she will become overweight and grow whiskers loosely resembling Garfield. No matter, you have plenty to be proud of with Mabel.

keep swimming upstream,

-Dr Wang

****************************************************************

"Wisdom Wednesdays" features the sage advice of our resident oracle, psychic betta fish "Dr Sidney Wang". Believed to be a reincarnated descendant of King Rama II of Siam, Dr Wang responds to e-mail submissions with advice, predictions of the future and conveys ancient proverbs to provide guidance and support. Dr Sidney Wang's 24 Hour Wisdom, Advice and Inspiration service is also available from the left side navigation for this feature.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Deliciously Decadent Dates of the Desert

I thought I'd write about something different that you don't often see in the Blogosphere. It's about Dates. Not the kind that involve dinner and a movie, but the kind you can eat. We grow dates here in the Palm Springs area. There are many different varieties of dates that grow in the Coachella valley; each with their own unique taste and texture. You may be surprised to know that dates are actually good for you. They are rich in several vitamins and minerals; they contain things like oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium. In other words, one date is a minimum of a balanced and healthy diet. Dates are also rich in natural fiber, and are excellent for healthy digestion. And, if that were not enough, dates can also help maintain healthy eyes. So do yourself a favor and eat some dates. There are lots of ways to prepare dates; for example in this photo, they are sliced in half, stuffed with cheese and whole almonds. Here are some other deliciously decadent ways to enjoy dates:

above: cut a slice and insert a small wedge of hard cheese.
above: Stuffed with walnuts and shredded coconut
above: Wrapped in bacon and baked...

above: Drenched in chocolate
So the next time you see dates at a store or on a menu, go ahead and try them, it's a little piece of Palm Springs.
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, March 17, 2008

Offbeat Sights from the Expo West Show

Yesterday was the final day of the Natural Product Expo West show in Anaheim. This trade show never fails to provide plenty of material for the blog. So in between my appointments, I set out to capture a few offbeat photos for your viewing pleasure. This photo at left takes first prize as the most bizarre. These four ladies were the attraction for some herbal energy drink booth as I recall. They looked like something out of a Sci-Fi flick with a futuristic twist.
Honorable Mentions...

above: A woman on a stand was holding a nutritional supplement, she kept doing gymnastic moves, which I thought was weird.

Above: "Adam & Eve", complete with fig leaves to cover their private areas.

above: I'm convinced that the woman behind the bottles was a mad scientist, experimenting with flavored oxygen with some kind of healing properties. I was not about to shove some tube up my nose, but it did make for a cool photo op.
A Happy Goodbye...

above: This friendly bear was promoting organic sippy fruit drinks, he was fairly normal until he struck this pose flexing his muscles and growled at the camera!

Well that's my wrap up of the weekend....how was your weekend? Comments are welcome.
Oh I almost forgot:
HAPPY ST PATRICK'S DAY!
-Rick Rockhill

Disclaimers...

This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.