Tag Archives: integrity

In Home Décor ‘Olde’ Has Become New Again

 
In Home Décor ‘Olde’ Has Become New Again

by Amy Lignor

 

When it comes to making the house ‘pretty’ again – not to mention, adding to the resale value of the home ten-fold – it is the antique world that has become the new in-thing. Yes, everything from new landscaping to painting to energy saving technology are all good things to bring to the old homestead in order to make it a better investment for you and the family.

But what about those small things that are now being used – and no longer being looked over by prospective buyers – to create a whole different type of décor? Any antique maven or “Flea Market Flip” lover will tell you that if “the bones are good” you can restore anything. Which is true. But because the bones are good and millions are restoring things to a brand new shine, there are certain companies making money by selling old/antique décor that makes all these restoration projects far more pleasing to the eye.

One such company is called House of Antique Hardware. It is there that they believe period homes were “designed and built with a rare integrity.” These minds were compelled to restore that integrity by staying true to the original designs, materials and workmanship that, back then, was incredibly important. Offering one of the largest menus of original and authentic reproduction hardware on the market today, this company also has made a great name for themselves by offering a dedicated sales staff that actually wants nothing more than to find you the products that will create a faithful restoration project.

 

Begun in 1999, House of Antique Hardware established a reputation for quality products and quickly grew into one of the premier online retailers for both authentic antique and vintage reproduction hardware. Featured in hundreds of magazines, as well as being mentioned on various TV shows, their products have been spotlighted across the country.

 

One of the most unique product lines that homeowners are discovering when working on their restorations and renovations comes in the form of Antique-By-Hand®, which is a House of Antique Hardware exclusive. These products from the past are recreations that have been brought to life using no short-cuts whatsoever. In other words, that time-worn patina that genuine antique hardware boasts comes from the Antique-By-Hand (ABH) five-step finishing process. With these products, you receive a living finish that is unlike all those machine-rendered and lacquered products that state they have an “antique brass” finish. ABH is individually applied and left unsealed. The item is hand burnished to create subtle highlights and then treated with a refined mineral oil for added depth and luster. The result is a living finish offering a warm, mellow tone that will age gracefully with use…just like the originals back in the day.

 

Even though technology – like personal assistants in the kitchen – can be a popular trend, some of the biggest and most wanted home décor products for 2017 fall into the categories of door knockers and doorknobs. The antique ‘look’ is what the homeowner has been searching for lately when it comes to adding value and adding a much better look to each and every room. Satin brass finishes have been making a comeback in recent years, moving away from those high-reflective finishes of polished brass fixtures for both kitchen and bath. Looking more antique and more muted, these old finishes complement a great many styles and trends.

 

In addition, more and more homeowners are splurging on the entryway of their dwellings. From the antique doorknobs and knockers decorating the front door, they are also looking into more aged wood when it comes to the door, itself. The older looking, the better. Thinking outside of the box when it comes to the entryway, more halls are being decorated with vanities that are being converted from old file cabinets, vintage consoles and more. What makes the biggest splash is the fact that the hardware and the mirrors hanging above these vanities and hall-trees have antique finishes, as well as antique hardware for the vanity drawers.

 

It is a fair statement that the ‘olde’ is now the ‘new’ in-thing. Homeowners are so excited about it that the market is expanding daily, producing highly successful internet companies that make their money by providing you the best the past has to offer.

 

Source:  Baret News

Getting a Football Education

Getting a Football Education

~ Amy Lignor

You know what happens when you stand with or near a group of bullies…even when you do not do any bullying whatsoever? You are perceived as one. What happens when one school comes across as an institution of learning that lets people slide if they’re a member of the sports program? ALL schools are seen that way. Fair? Absolutely not.

 

Layout 1Integrity is a word that used to mean something. Even in sports. ‘Teams’ were about courage, bravery, understanding, aide, etc. Now? They look basically like a bunch of drunken, drug abusing, wife abusing – you name it – people, whose indiscretions are covered up by an all-powerful head ‘guy’ so that the sport can continue unharmed. Unharmed? Come on!

 

It has been harmed. The headlines are hideous when it comes to the football world as of late. And you know you have serious problems when a man like Barry Switzer (who may be a legendary coach in Oklahoma, but was a ridiculous sot for the Cowboys that made Dallas absolutely embarrassed), comes out and comments about conduct. Switzer commenting about conduct is as ironic as Madonna talking about being ‘like a virgin’.

 

Switzer actually spoke a few months back regarding how, with some help from a ‘friendly’ sheriff in his town/city, he could take ridiculous actions by his players and cover them up with no publicity whatsoever.

 

“I’d have local county people call me and say, ‘One of your guys is drunk and got in a fight and is in jail down here’. And I’d go down and get him out. Or, I’d send an assistant coach down to get his a** out. The sheriff was a ‘friend’ of the program. He didn’t want the publicity. He himself knew this was something we didn’t need to deal with in the media…”

 

Perhaps the sheriff also had a son in the program, or wanted tickets. Who knows? Whatever the case may be, football issues in college and pro atmospheres could be swept under the table far more easily than they can be now. Is that a good thing? Absolutely not. If a moron in college, chances are you’ll be a moron in the pros, and not learn your lesson before it’s too late.

 

Now, instead of someone hitting their wife or girlfriend and being fired from a pro team, we have what some people (certainly parents) see as a deeper problem. A report commissioned by the University of North Carolina says school academic advisers ‘steered’ athletes into sham classes over an eighteen-year period. Was it for a good reason? Are you kidding?? It was so they could play football. In other words, learning and getting an education really meant nothing, as long as you could run or catch a ball. These ‘sham’ classes were used so that the student-athletes could boost their GPA in order to keep them eligible for sports.

 

We complain about government scholarships and the fact that nobody gets help anymore, whereas, apparently, if you can work a field you can get as much help as you want without actually learning anything at all in order to pass and grab a diploma.

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People want to set this aside and say it’s no big deal; chalk it up as just another wayward piece of publicity for the world of football. However, this is academic learning. This is COLLEGE. Supposedly to grab that diploma you have to come out of college knowing more than when you went in – and that ‘more’ is not supposed to be how to cover-up, scam, or do something ridiculous in order to play ball.

 

From 1993 to 2011, Crowder, the longtime manager in the African and Afro-American Studies department (and then later by the department chairman) apparently allowed a student to write a paper of at least ten pages rather than attend lectures or meet with professors. The papers were graded by Crowder, who was NOT a professor, with the student typically earning an A or B+ grade. They could have written ‘Curious George’ and they would’ve gotten away with it. A student needed to maintain a 2.0 GPA to be eligible to play, which means ‘advisers that shall not be named’ pushed Crowder to make exceptions for athletes, including allowing them to enroll in classes after the registration period had ended.

 

Upon Crowder’s retirement in 2009, Julius Nyang’oro (the former chairman of the African and Afro-American Studies department), was pushed to maintain the program. His career came to a close when he was forced into retirement in 2012, charged with fraud for holding summer classes that didn’t even exist. (His charges were dropped when he agreed to cooperate with the investigation).

 

“The Crowder/Nyang’oro fraud marked a horrible chapter in the history of this great university,” said North Carolina president Thomas W. Ross on Wednesday. It sounded as if he had no knowledge whatsoever of what actually went on in his own hallways.

 

And… “Coaches knew there were easy classes,” but there is no evidence to suggest that coaches or administrators, other than those in APSPA, knew Crowder was grading the course rather than a professor.

 

Are the coaches in trouble? Not yet. Only four individuals who were implicated in the report were fired, with others under disciplinary review.

 

“When we find people who are accountable, we will take decisive action.” Bull!

 

Are you truly saying that the people in ‘charge’ of a university have/had no idea whatsoever that this was going on? That’s even scarier when you think about it. These are our kids – this is our money. And, frankly, football comes to a close quite quickly for many who try to take it on as a career. Only a select few become the superstars of the gridiron. So what happens if the football world doesn’t work out for you? Well…not a whole heck of a lot if the diploma you acquired means nothing more than a piece of scrap paper.

 

This is only one college; one academic program; one report. Yet, much like the example of the bullies up above, it will not take long for a whole lot of people to question the role of all university’s when it comes to providing real education to the students who just so happen to do well when wearing a helmet.

Source: Baret News Wire

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss – It’s Ignorance

 

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss – It’s Ignorance

 

Very recently headlines emerged about the latest NFL player to ‘allegedly’ take another human being’s life. If you were watching your TV sets at the time, on another station there was a man being tried for killing another young man, which brought the bigotry debate once again to the forefront of the news. On various other stations in the last few months, you’ve been able to see a woman tell her story about murdering a man (there were stories sports 2floating around that people actually paid for seats in the courthouse just to watch it all play out). The only thing that any of these headlines had in common was the feeling of complete nausea that settled over most of us from the blatant distaste for human life.

 

Now, we come full circle to the sports arena once again. The question that millions of people are asking lately is: What century do we have to get to before bigotry ends in the realm of sports?

 

I narrow this question down to just sports, because leaving those words out will cause millions of people to respond to a question that wasn’t asked. Nothing here pertains to your point of view on gay marriage, religion, African-Americans, Caucasians, Asians, or any other ethnic background you can think of.

 

We are now living in 2013. This was a year that, back in the 1980s, was used by various sci-fi writers when talking about a ‘new’ fantastical future world that was yet to come. But here we are in 2013, and the same ridiculous debates are popping up around the globe. Perhaps it’s because these little debates are easier to deal with than dealing with the much larger issues of murder and mayhem. Who knows? But the bigotry factor in sports after all this time makes the mind grow weak.

 

Let’s go back to Super Bowl XIX, one of the ‘best’ Super Bowls on record according to experts and historians. The 49ers were in the spotlight; the best in coaching, Bill Walsh, combined with the literally awe-inspiring quarterback, Joe Montana, came together to defeat the odds and beat the Miami Dolphins. There were cheers, disbelief, screams of joy, amazement – you name it, every diehard football fan (even if they are not a 49ers fan), remembers that game.

 

So now I ask you…Would that amazing game have been any less amazing if the QB had been married to an African-American woman? Would the game have been less of a triumph if an integral player on the team had been gay? Exactly – No. Why? Because it was a FOOTBALL game. Exciting, thrilling, captivating – period.

 

Jason Collins was the first NBA player to openly pronounce that he was gay; this announcement began a national conversation, debate and, in some blogs, massive arguments that had nothing to do with basketball. Bigotry was a focus, as if he somehow destroyed the sanctity of basketball even though he never changed a thing about the game.

 

Now, headlines are all abuzz over the first openly gay driver to come out in the world of NASCAR. Again, not changing the actual sport at all, Stephen Rhodes made his announcement and new debates began. (Well, they are the same old debates, just a different sport this time around.) But this already did occur when the first female driver came along.

 

In Rhodes case, he stated that: “Everyone knew, everyone was aware; never really had any confrontations.” Good. That makes sense. After all, I don’t think your preferences have much to do with whether or not you can drive a car.

 

NASCAR is not the one squawking about this. In fact, they released a statement that read: “NASCAR is a community made up of people from every walk of life. Our employees, regardless of their race, age, national origin, gender, ethnic background, sexual orientation, faith or physical abilities, do an outstanding job of helping to bring the best racing in the world to our fans every week and that is what matters. It’s a stated goal for our sport to reflect America’s diversity. Exclusion or intolerance of any kind – whether behind the wheel, on pit road, or in the garage – is not part of that philosophy.”

 

This is a solid statement. America takes pride in its diversity, and no matter what happens in this world – whether anyone likes it or not – diversity is what this country was founded upon.

 

Jeremy Lin, if you remember, is the New York Knicks’ Asian-American point guard that stopped people in their tracks. Sports bigwigs, as well as fans, praised the kid for his unique and unmatchable skill. However, there were some more distasteful people who made distasteful comments that they later, thankfully, apologized for.

 

Same thing happened with the ‘best golfer’ in some peoples’ eyes – Tiger Woods. He, too, received a couple of nasty comments regarding his ethnicity when he first emerged as a star. And when it comes to the Native American community, there are also stereotypes used in various sports that are being debated.

 

I think the comment that should make everyone ill was when Jeremy Lin said to Time Magazine in an interview, back when he was the big story, that: “Honestly…I don’t react to it. I expect it, I’m used to it, it is what it is.”

 

Coming from a huge sports fan who certainly does not claim perfection in any way, shape or form, I ask: When can this country finally stand up and say that, ‘it is NOT what it is!’ If we have to start with sports and move on to other areas of life, so be it. But the bigotry needs to end. The concept of being ladies and gentlemen is not a hard concept; and it’s definitely the one we should institute, so that in 2014 we can stop teaching our kids to hate.

 

Until Next Time, Everybody,

Amy