Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Saturday Seven: Doo Dahs, Doo-Hickies and Thingamajigs

Yesterday I was looking for something at work for which I could not remember the name. I could visualize it in my mind's eye. In my feeble attempt to describe it I gestured with my hands to show the shape, while snapping my finger, helpfully saying "you know, the, the, the. the what'sitcalled. the thingamajig. the doohickey that goes into the hoosey-whatsy. I finally remembered what I was looking for and breathed a sigh of relief. This was the inspiration for this week's scintillating edition of The Saturday Seven: Doo Dahs, Doo-Hickies and Thingamajigs. But what is a Doo Dah, a Doo-hickey or a thingamajig, you ask? Well it is something unspecified or difficult to explain whose name is either forgotten or not known. For the fun of it, I thought I'd present seven random doo dahs, doo-hickies and thingamajigs:

#1 A Cement Jointer- also called a sidewalk groover or sidewalk creaser. It smooths the joint between two concrete surfaces.

#2 Stud Finder- no, not THAT kind of stud, the kind that holds up walls.

#3 Pineapple Corer- yes folks, no household should be without one. I own one, thanks to my Mom. It is a great doohickey to get the best part of out of a pineapple!
#4 Pedometer- I still don't understand how these things actually work, and I never remember what they are called.
#5 Pastry Blender- a what? I own one of these and have no idea why. I've never used it.
#6 Garlic peeler- you mean this thing isn't just a piece of broken plastic?
#7 Drain Snake- my personal favorite. Ever seen someone use these thingamajigs? Totally weird.
What strange Doo Dahs, Doo-hickies or Thingamajigs baffle or fascinate you? Go ahead, leave a comment, it's FREE!
-Rick Rockhill

Friday, February 27, 2009

Welcome to Philatelic Friday!

Today is the first installment of a new mini series called "Philatelic Friday". For those of you who may be unaware, philately is the study of stamps, which often, but not always includes stamp collecting. There are philatelists who look for very rare stamps to study them, with no intent to actually own copies. I have long been fascinated by this hobby. It started when as a youngster my dad would take me to the main US Post Office in Providence, Rhode Island. I would stand in line with my dad, looking around for any distraction. Not surprisingly, the Philatelic window always had the most interesting stamps on display. I can't say I have a serious collection of stamps, but I do have a number that I've picked up over the years. This inaugural post will feature several US postage stamps that featured Hollywood legends. This first one, above left of course is the great Bette Davis. Before I show you the rest, here is a bit of trivia for you.
You might be interested to know that only one country in the world is permitted to issue their postage stamps without including the name of the country. It is Great Britain because it was the first country to ever issue postage stamps starting in 1840. They are permitted to simply show an image of the ruling monarch, either as the main image, or a small image in the corner. Here is a stamp showing a youthful profile of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. I thought it would be fun to show a variety of stamps of mostly Hollywood stars; next Friday I'll pick a different topic.

I hope you enjoyed Philatelic Friday. Have a great day!
-Rick Rockhill

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Adventures of Sheldon: The Grooming Thing

One of the responsibilities of owning a standard poodle is to maintain their coat with a regimen of regular brushing and visits to the groomer. We're pretty good about taking Sheldon to the groomer every month, but not so good with the brushing in between. As a result, Sheldon looks great for two to three weeks, and then shaggy and frizzy for one to two weeks. This photo is the day Sheldon returned from the groomer, his coat looking smooth and silky. He received a good report card from the groomer for good behavior. He genuinely enjoys going to the salon and socializing with all the other dogs. What he's not so crazy about is the in-between brushings at home. Now I wouldn't say that he dislikes it, but he just tolerates it. I suppose if I kept up with the brushing it wouldn't be so difficult to run a comb or brush through his coat. So I decided to brush Sheldon a bit right away, just after his groom, so he would get used to the rhythm of the brush. Sheldon didn't think it was such a swell idea. In fact he ran away with the brush, from room to room always four steps ahead for my two.

above: After absconding with his grooming brush, Sheldon cautiously approaches me when I sternly beckoned. He sported a devilish grin with the brush in his mouth...

above: Sheldon decided to tell me what he really thought of his brush.

above: Keep in mind that Sheldon has never destroyed anything at home. He has a range of chew toys, bones, rawhide and such that he knows are his to gnaw on. But this grooming brush was another matter. If you look closely you can see his teeth marks on the handle!

above: We finally settled down and had a little chat about chewing the grooming brush. He flashes a knowing expression and agreed to a few more strokes. I just need to be a better poodle-dad and keep up with the in between brushes so it's not such an ordeal for the little guy. He may have been right after all in this adventure.
-Rick Rockhill

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Taste the Palm Springs Life

Regular readers of this blog know that I never post any paid advertising, nor do I "pitch" anything at someone else's request. That being said, I decided to write a post about a friend's business that might be of interest to some readers. My friend has no idea that I'm writing about his business, but it is a small way for me to say "thanks" for something very sweet he did for me over this past weekend, for which I am eternally grateful-(Thanks again Kevin).

One of the things I enjoy about writing this blog is the amount of e-mail I receive from people asking about visiting Palm Springs. People from all around the world e-mail me asking advice about sights to see and living here. We have a variety of interesting hotels, ranging from full service to small boutique hotels. For a more authentic desert experience I always suggest renting a house, especially if you want to entertain guests and want some extra personal space. There are a number of truly stunning properties that are professionally managed and maintained. Many can be rented fora long weekend, or for extended periods of time. Imagine visiting the desert for a week and staying in an architecturally significant home, nestled on the side of the mountain, or in a historic neighborhood. Or imagine yourself relaxing poolside in a home that was once owned by Frank Sinatra? now THAT is the Palm Springs life!

above: I've been to this mountainside house a few times. It has an infinity pool with breathtaking views of the desert below. Wow. If I didn't already live here, this house would make me want to buy a place of my own.

above: Ultra contemporary homes like this one, with glass and steel construction allow you to move effortlessly indoors and out. These are the types of places that offer an experience that you just don't get by staying in a hotel. I actually happen to have two friends who own/operate vacation rental homes: Beau Monde Villas and Vacation Palm Springs . I'd recommend both, depending on your travel plans and interests. Both firms offer great options for business or family trips. Having your own kitchen, dining room, space to entertain, and options like a pool or spa can actually make renting a house very affordable when you consider you won't need to dine out as often.
In this post I've shown a few homes from Beau Monde, which has exotic rentals and luxury vacation homes in Palm Springs, but also Beverly Hills, San Diego, Hawaii, Beaver Creek, CO, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, and Naples FL, among others. If you are planing a vacation or business trip, think about coming to Palm Springs and finding a house to rent. It will offer the most authentic Palm Springs desert experience with privacy and amenities to satisfy your every whim. So that's the plug. Thanks for reading. Go ahead, indulge yourself and check out the amazing array of properties you can rent. Pack the car, book a flight and just get here!
Take it from me, I'm the Palm Springs Savant, I know about these things.
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, February 23, 2009

15th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards Gala

On Saturday night I attended the 15th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards. It was a fundraiser for the Desert Aids Project (DAP), a non-profit organization that provides medical care and comprehensive support services to people living with HIV/AIDS in the desert community. They provide free, HIV testing and counseling, home health services, legal counsel and assistance with housing, medications, food, and re-employment. They also promote prevention and education outreach efforts. This year's awards gala was fully underwritten by donors, so the proceeds from the ticket sales, silent auction and live auction all went to the DAP. I believe they raised over $1.1 million at the event-hopefully even more after the final tally is complete. The awards gala honors people who have helped raise awareness, raise money, or advance the cause of helping people living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. The evening was presented by my good friend Jim Casey at Integrated Wealth Management who was a major sponsor to underwrite the event. In an era of economic uncertainty, Jim's firm is providing sound wealth management to its clients and has really stepped up as a fine corporate citizen in the Coachella Valley. This year's honorees included: Barry Manilow, Bebe Neuwirth, Kristin Chenoweth, Dr Anthony Fauci (Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases), and local residents Bill Jones and Harriet Goldberg. The event was co-hosted by Linda Gray, Donna Mills and Morgan Fairchild, and the evening's entertainment was the incomparable Diahann Carroll. I was in the VIP room when the press were shooting photos during the cocktail hour. In this photo you can see from left to right: Linda Gray, Bebe Neuwirth, Barry Manilow, BD Wong, Morgan Fairchild, Kristin Chenoweth, Suzanne Somers, Donna Mills and Dick Van Patten.

above: the three co-hosts. TV and stage giants Donna Mills (Knots Landing), Morgan Fairchild (Falcon Crest, Paper Dolls) and Linda Gray (Dallas). I always loved these women.
above: the dinner tables were set in silver, with beautiful red roses in the center of each table. The red ribbons has tiny lights that blinked softly, giving the table a magical feeling. I sat in between Linda Gray and Dick Van Patten, which made for fun table conversation all evening.
above: the co-hosts were gracious and charming

above: Suzanne Somers presented a special Community Service Award to her friend and neighbor Barry Manilow.
And speaking of Barry Manilow...

above: Here I am with Barry Manilow...I'm a fanilow for sure. I always enjoy talking to Barry, he is a great guy.

above: with actress/singer/dancer Bebe Neuwirth, who is very pleasant.

above: Kristin Chenoweth (Wicked, Pushing Daisies, Legally Mad, West Wing..and lots of stage work too). She is a Tony and Emmy winner with a big personality and voice to match. I really enjoyed speaking with her-it was the first time we've met. She has a warm personality and wonderful Southern charm.

above: I watched Linda Gray as Sue Ellen Ewing on Dallas for 12 years and always liked her. I've met her many times- she is such a doll. We sat next to each other all evening at dinner. I can't speak highly enough of Linda. She is one of the easiest people to chat with and very genuine too. She served as a UN Ambassador for 10 years in support of women's issues worldwide. I admire her a great deal.

above: I also sat with Morgan Fairchild for awhile and caught up on things. She looks AMAZING. Morgan is very intelligent, especially regarding health and HIV related issues. Not only has she donated her time to raising awareness of health issues, but she is quite knowledgeable as well.

above: I had time to catch up on things with Donna Mills during the cocktail hour. She has so much going on I don't know where she gets the energy, but she looks great too.

above: Glamorous and stunning friends Heather and Jason
Fabulous Headline Entertainment!
Above: Diahann Carroll was the headline entertainment for the evening, and wowed the audience. She is a real pro, with incredible poise and great timing. She sang a combination of standards and some Broadway too. After the night was over, I walked Diahann to her limo and thanked her for her performance and support of the event. Palm Springs is lucky to have her!
A Palm Springs Life Magazine cover too
The January edition of Palm Springs Life magazine featured the three co-hosts of Steve Chase Awards. They had a photo shoot at a private home in the Movie Colony area of Palm Springs. It was marked the first time the stars of Dallas, Falcon Crest, and Knots Landing “worked” together, although they have known each other over the years in Hollywood. To make things fun for the photo shoot, they built on their former TV role character reputations as "bitches" and staged a pillow fight. I spoke with Linda and Morgan about it last night, both said they had a lot of fun doing the photo shoot, particularly since they were all dressed to the nines and swinging down feather pillows at each other!
Above: a fun way to get people interested in the Steve Chase Awards Gala. The pillow fight was pictured in Palm Springs Life magazine. These ladies know how to have fun.
All in all, it was a fantastic, fun-filled night, all for a good cause that I was happy to support in a small way. I am grateful to have been a part of the evening, one which I shall not soon forget.
-Rick Rockhill

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sunday Art Review: Lincoln Center Art Sample

During a recent trip to New York I was at Lincoln Center on Sunday afternoon. The Lincoln Center for Performing Arts operates the Visual Art and Exhibition gallery. In addition to a wonderful ehxibit of original work, they have a marvelous collection of fine prints for sale as well. They are known for notable artists such as Jennifer Bartlett, Ross Bleckner, Helen Frankenthaler, Wolf Kahn, Alex Katz, Jacob Lawrence, Sol Lewitt, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Longo, Robert Mangold, Elizabeth Murray, Jules Olitski, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Joel Shapiro, Pat Steir, Andy Warhol, and Terry Winters. This painting above left "Nude Swimmers" has a free-form dreamy element to it.

above: "Mostly Mozart Festival", by Jules Olitsky

above & below: sadly I lost my notes on the title and artist- much to the frustration of many weekly readers....(my sincere apologies)!

Thanks for stopping by today's Sunday Art Review. I hope you have a great week.
-Rick Rockhill

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Saturday Seven: Favorite Vacation Spots...(so far)

Often times after a busy week at work I like to relax and let my mind wander a bit. Typically I day-dream about vacations, places I've visited around the world, and times when I was able to escape. This morning was one such occasion- I found myself lost in thought, thinking about some of my favorite locales. This was the inspiration for today's scintillating edition of The Saturday Seven: Favorite Vacation Spots...(so far).

#1 Rome: What can I say, other than I love this place. Romance, history, culture, great food, art, and people with a zest for life.

#2 Kauai, Hawaii: The best place in the world to really slow down and relax...without leaving the comfort, familiarity and safety of the good old USA.

#3 Monte Carlo, Monaco: Perhaps the one place that captured my attention the most from the moment we arrived. It has mystique, glamor and a casual elegance.

#4 London, England: Truly home away from home. London is where my heart is.

#5 Glacier Bay, Alaska: One of the most spectacular and breathtaking places I have ever been. Would definitely return, especially on another cruise.
#6 Newport, Rhode Island: Where I spent a great deal of time in my youth, I always feel comfortable in Newport. The coastline, mansions and Ocean Drive hold many fond memories.

#7 South Miami Beach, Florida: It has a vibe all its own. The Art Deco architecture, Cuban influence and hot humid climate makes this destination tip top.

Bonus Entry: Valletta, Malta: a tiny little country with an ancient feel and visually pleasing too.
Where are your favorite spots? If you've never been able to travel, where do you dream of going to escape one day? Due to the current economic climate, ALL COMMENTS ARE FREE, SO SPLURGE!
-Rick Rockhill


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.

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