Archive | February, 2011

Current Issue March/April 2011

Current Issue March/April 2011

You can now view Lifestyles of Denton County online!

Springtime in Denton!
- Denton Redbud Festival
- Community Takes on The Fight: Relay For Life
- Looking Inside: Equine Thermography

Click here to view the current issue.

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Just Say Ahh…

Just Say Ahh…

by Taryn McColpin

Ahh, Spring…the hint of it is in the air!  The Denton Festival calendar is filled, the horses are foaling, Mardi Gras beads abound. Everyone is cleaning the sand and chemicals off their vehicles, making up missed schoolwork from those housebound ice days, and can’t wait until this awful winter we have had is officially over.

But wait…Why are we so anxious to be rid of one season and to jump into another? Yes, North Texas springtime is beautiful, but it is also fleeting.  We seem to go directly from cold to hot within a week or two.  And wasn’t it only a few months ago that we were saying, “We can’t wait until it’s cooler, these hundred degree days are just too hot; we can’t wait until it’s Christmas shopping season so we don’t melt going to and from our cars; we can’t wait until it’s cold enough to have a hot, steaming bowl of chili”?

Why is it the human condition that we are anxious and impatient for what is not currently happening?  And why is our memory so selective?  Is it the nature of the beast to want what we don’t have, forgetting that we might not want it once we have it?

One type of selective memory is “representativeness,” which is a mental shortcut that causes us to give too much weight to recent evidence and too little weight to the evidence from the more distant past. Narcissists suffer from cognitive distortions, among them selective amnesia, which allows them to eventually believe the lies they tell that cast them in a positive light. It has been said that if women remembered exactly what childbirth felt like, no second children would be born, so selective memory plays a part in population growth.

And our impatience for change drives us forward, but is it an effective motivator?  Change is inevitable, so why can’t we wait?  So often parents “can’t wait” until the children are grown and gone, then become empty nesters who “can’t wait” to see them again at holidays.  We “can’t wait” for retirement, then find ourselves bored and wishing for the everyday work interactions we presently “can’t wait” to escape.  Northerners “can’t wait” for summer; Southerners “can’t wait” for cooler weather.

Some wise words from an anonymous philosopher: “Fight the growing urge to speed up your life – what you think you want in your life may already be happening right now, but you’re not able to notice it because you’re so concerned with what is coming next.  It isn’t that difficult to live in the moment – just slow down, and think about what is happening today, not tomorrow.  Going faster doesn’t mean you will get to the good stuff more quickly.  It just means that you will abandon the good stuff you already have even faster.”

That said, barring one more freak ice storm (which we have had in the past as late as April), it’s springtime in North Texas…enjoy it while you can!

Taryn McColpin is Newsletter Editor for Denton ABATE, the local Motorcyclists Rights Organization.  For more information on joining, or on rides and events, call 940-595-1144.

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What’s a ‘Double Dip’?

And other language of today’s market

Mark S. Stegman, Financial Advisor

Just when you thought you’d mastered the lingo, here comes another wave of financial jargon to describe what’s going on in the markets today. To help keep you up-to-speed, here’s a short glossary of some of the terms you might encounter.

Double Dip
In economic parlance, this refers to the risk that the economy, not long after coming out of a recession, will slip back into another recession. In the current economic environment, some are raising the possibility that this could happen in the U.S. or elsewhere.

U-, V- or W-shaped Recovery
This concerns the pace of an economic recovery. A “V-shaped” recovery means the economy dips dramatically (the downslope of the “V”) and rebounds just as quickly (the upslope of the “V”). A “U-shaped” recession and recovery is less pronounced and slower to develop. A “W-shaped” recovery involves a sharp decline in certain economic metrics, followed by a sharp rise, followed again by a sharp decline then finishing with another sharp rise.

Deflation
Most of us are familiar with the concept of inflation, an increase in living costs. Whether modest or significant, inflation has been a way of life for Americans through recent generations. Deflation is the opposite—a period when prices for goods and services begin to fall. Deflation is typically associated with a decline in the standard of living, and some suggest that the risk of this has recently risen.
Market correction

Market Correction
When the stock market declines by a level of 5% or more, up to 20% (as measured by a broad market index such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average or S&P 500), professionals generally describe it as a correction in stock prices.

Bear Market
The generally accepted standard to qualify for a bear market is when stocks (as measured by an index) drop 20% or more in a set period of time, perhaps within two months or less.

Bubble
In economic terms, a bubble occurs when the value of a particular item or industry rises dramatically over a short period of time, usually to unsustainable levels. In recent times, bubbles have occurred in the technology industry (the “dot-com” bubble of the late 1990s) and in real estate (the housing bubble that began to burst in 2007).

Derivatives
This is the name given to a contract between two parties that derives its price from an underlying asset.  The value is based on changes in the prices of the underlying asset, which can range from hard assets like gold or agricultural products to interest rates and stocks. While they provide a way to hedge risk, more regulation may be placed on those that attract speculators, which some believe has caused problems in the markets.

High Frequency Trading (HFT)
Much of the market’s recent volatility has been blamed on rapid trading strategies that large institutions execute through powerful computers. These machines can quickly crunch numbers to identify potential short-term price opportunities and then execute very large buy and sell orders. If it works right, it has the potential to generate significant profits for the firms doing the trading. Technology advances have made this a factor in the markets only in recent years.

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At Great Lengths

At Great Lengths

by Lauren McKelvey

As the spring season sets in, conservatism takes over in the form of longer skirts and hemlines.   Length of skirts and dresses will take a plunge well below the knees and even brush the floor in some cases.  The time-old tale of falling economies and falling hemlines is well supported by one of this spring’s most influential trends.  Since hemlines, like the economy, are constantly changing and seem to follow the same pattern as the business cycle, we will see all ages showing significantly less leg this spring.

The maxi dress will make a return from last spring and summer and will also reappear in the form of maxi skirts.  Longer skirts and dresses tie in with the boho-chic fashion movement and can be paired with a fitted top or accessorized with a chunky belt.  Maxi dresses will take on new styles with 70’s-esque front slits and longer lacy looks.  Although this style is one of fashion’s top looks for spring, it cannot be achieved by just anyone.  Long and lean figures tend to pull off the floor length style better while petite and plus size should stick to a less dramatic just below the knee length.

Adopted by many of this year’s big designers, the below-the-knee look has been seen all over the runway and is making its way into everyday wear.  Several of the biggest collections feature asymmetrical hemlines, very powerful angles, and some straight-across hems.  We will see fabrics ranging from cotton to chiffon along with elegant sheers and laces.  From classy knee-length all the way down to flowing floor-length, there is a conservative style for everyone this season.

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Perfect for Seniors

Perfect for Seniors

by Reese Gray

At the time, her eleven year old wanted muscles, and it was as simple as that. She felt he was a bit young to join a gym or health club, so she signed him up for Martial Arts classes.  After watching a few classes, she decided this would be an excellent activity for the whole family.  Both her boys loved it, the oldest earning a brown belt and the youngest earning a black belt.

Betty Ortez too earned a black belt and today, 27 years later, she hasn’t stopped.  Betty says she is still hooked on the sport that has allowed her “ loads of fun, improved coordination, strength, endurance, flexibility, self-awareness, self-defense tactics, concentration, posture, cardio, physical fitness, and it has been an excellent tool in lowering stress levels”.

A public school teacher, a mother of three boys, a grandmother of seven, and now, at age 64, she is still practicing Karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and proclaims that Martial Arts is the best exercise you can do, because it works all parts of the body and mind at the same time.

For twelve years, she taught martial arts at local gyms and fitness centers.  Her husband helped at times as did her son and this gave them more time to work out together and to continue the family tradition.

“When you become so involved with what you are doing, such as outsmarting your opponent, or accomplishing a specific Martial Arts skill, you forget about the difficulty level involved. Soon you realize how much you have accomplished, and you just constantly want to learn more”.

Betty Ortez is calling out to local seniors to check out Martial Arts.  “At any age, it is an easy program to get involved in; it is just perfect for seniors”.

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Denton Happenings

Denton Happenings

Just for the FUN(ds) of It

March 4th, Center for Visual Arts
Cumberland Persbyterian Children’s Home second annual comedy fundraiser featuring stand-up comedian Tony Stone and improv comedy troupe Locked Out Comedy. Doors open at 6:45. Call 940-382-5112 x 270 or e-mail clara@cpch.org for information.

7th Argyle Bluegrass Festival

Friday, March 4th & Saturday, March 5th
Cross Timbers Community Church
1119 HWY 377 S, Argyle, TX 76226
Consistent with Argyle’s tradition of featuring award-winning talent, we are proud to announce another stellar lineup of artists scheduled to perform at the 7th Annual Argyle Bluegrass Festival.  Come out and enjoy the finest in family entertainment!

26th Annual Texas Storytelling Festival

March 10-13th, Denton Civic Center
Featuring: Jeannine Pasini Beekman of Louisiana, Jay Stailey of Texas, Donald Davis of North Carolina, and Lyn Ford of Ohio
35 Conferette
March 10-13th, 110 West Hickory Street
Four Day Music Festival in Denton.
Headliners include:  Big Boi, Dr. Dog, Mavis Staples, Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, Mister Heavenly, Portugal the Man, Cut Chemist, and Reggie Watts For full line-up visit:  www.prekindle.com/35conferette

Taste of North Texas

March 31st
It’s the year’s most anticipated event, where for the price of one admission you can sample from some of the area’s best restaurants, caterers, bakeries, and food service providers!

North Texas Book Festival

April 16th, Center for Visual Arts
Authors, Authors, Authors! Books galore and for all ages. FREE Admission, visit www.ntbf.org for more information.

Annual Red and White Gala

Saturday, April 30th
Texas Woman’s University Hubbard Hall
Enriching the quality of public education in the communities served by the Aubrey Independent School District. Support welcome through sponsorships, donations (both monetary and auction items) and attendance at the event.

Denton Arts and Jazz Festival

April 29, 30 & May 1, 2011
Denton’s Quakertown Park
”It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing!” Come hear the sounds, experience the art and taste the flavors of the Arts and Jazz Festival, a FREE two and a half day event in the heart of the city in beautiful Quakertown Park. Over 2,200 performers on seven stages, fine arts and crafts, children’s art activities and food and games make up the event. FESTIVAL HOURS: Fri, April 29th, 5pm – 11pm; Sat, April 30th, 10am – 11pm; Sun, May 1, 11am – 9pm. Bring your chairs and blankets! But please, no coolers in the jazz area.

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