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Carol H Tucker

Passionate about knowledge management and organizational development, expert in loan servicing, virtual world denizen and community facilitator, and a DISNEY fan

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Be warned:in this very rich environment where you can immerse yourself so completely, your emotions will become engaged -- and not everyone is cognizant of that. Among the many excellent features of SL, there is no auto-return on hearts, so be wary of where your's wanders...


..*) .*)
(. (.`"If you will practice being fictional for awhile, you will understand that fictional characters are sometimes more real than people with bodies and heartbeats." -- Richard Bach

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Today is the 4th day of the 37th week, the 19th day of the 9th month, the 262nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Independence Day -- Saint Kitts and Nevis from the United Kingdom in 1983.
  • International Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • National Butterscotch Pudding Day
  • National Rehabilitation Day
  • National School Backpack Awareness Day
  • National Woman Road Warrior Day
  • Yom Kippur
1654 - Jean Aubuchon, age 20, marries 11 year old Marguerite Sédilot; first New France and first Canadian marriage on record; the couple will have 16 children.
1778 – The Continental Congress passes the first United States federal budget – and except for about a year during 1835–1836, the United States has continuously had a fluctuating public debt
1852 – Annibale de Gasparis discovers the asteroid Massalia from the north dome of the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte.
1952 – The United States bars Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after a trip to England.
1957 – Plumbbob Rainier becomes the first nuclear explosion to be entirely contained underground, producing no fallout.
1970 – Michael Eavis hosts the first Glastonbury Festival.
1970 - "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted on CBS.
1991 – Ötzi the Iceman is discovered in the Alps on the border between Italy and Austria.
2011 – Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees surpasses Trevor Hoffman to become Major League Baseball's all time saves leader with 602.

Hope you be keepin' a weather eye out for squalls and remember -- dead men tell no tales!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 19, 2018

boxed in... again

Today is the 3rd day of the 37th week, the 18th day of the 9th month, the 261st day of 2018, and: 
  • Air Force Birthday
  • Chiropractic Founders Day
  • Get Ready Day
  • Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day
  • Independence Day: Chile from Spain in 1810
  • International Read an eBook Day
  • National Ceiling Fan Day
  • National Cheeseburger Day
  • National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
  • National IT Professionals Day
  • National Respect Day
  • Rice Krispies Treats Day
  • Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day
  • World Bamboo Day
  • World Water Monitoring Day


1618 – The twelfth baktun in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar begins.

1793 – The first cornerstone of the United States Capitol is laid by George Washington.

1809 – The Royal Opera House in London opens.

1837 – Tiffany & Co. (first named Tiffany & Young) is founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City. The store is called a "stationery and fancy goods emporium".

1851 – First publication of The New-York Daily Times, which later becomes The New York Times.

1870 – Old Faithful Geyser is observed and named by Henry D. Washburn.

1873 – The bank Jay Cooke & Company declares bankruptcy, contributing to the Panic of 1873

1879 – The Blackpool Illuminations are switched on for the first time.

1882 – The Pacific Stock Exchange opens.

1919 – Fritz Pollard becomes the first African American to play professional football for a major team, the Akron Pros.

1927 – The Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) debuted with a network of 16 radio stations.

1928 – Juan de la Cierva makes the first autogyro crossing of the English Channel.

1959 – Vanguard 3 is launched into Earth orbit.

1977 – Voyager I takes the first distant photograph of the Earth and the Moon together.

1980 – Soyuz 38 carries two cosmonauts (including one Cuban) to the Salyut 6 space station.

1981 – The Assemblée Nationale votes to abolish capital punishment in France.

1984 – Joe Kittinger completes the first solo balloon crossing of the Atlantic.

1997 – United States media magnate Ted Turner donates US$1 billion to the United Nations.

I have made my home in Building B of the Enclave Silver Spring (Formerly Enclave Apartments and Berkshire Towers at Silver Spring) since 2006.  For two years I lived on the 19th floor in a three-bedroom unit – chosen because my mother was supposed to be living with me, which she did for about nine months before going into assisted living – and then on the 20th floor in a two-bedroom   I chose the Enclave for four reasons:  the location was perfect,  the washer/dryer in each unit, the garage parking, and it was wired for high-speed internet [both Comcast and FIOS].   I like my apartment and have often shared pictures of the locale  #theviewfromthebalcony    The office and maintenance staff have always been friendly and cooperative, and I have been happy to make my home here

Unfortunately, as a business venture the apartment complex has not been successful.  Apparently after taking on debt for renovating apartments right before the crash of 2008, the owners seem to have run into financial difficulties and had to declare bankruptcy – I wish I had saved the legal letter that was sent to each resident – but life seemed to go on.  Services were cut back, mostly the concierge was no longer 24/7, security no longer manned the kiosk at night, and packages could only be picked up at the management office, and utility expenses quadrupled as more costs were passed onto residents [which seemed fair].   The management companies started changing now and then, but it was only in the past two years that it became obvious cost-cutting was starting to take precedence over resident satisfaction.  Then the Donaldson Group took over the management of the apartment complex in April and things have rapidly spiraled downwards at an alarming pace.  This particular management company appears to be poorly rated by the residents it serves both in GOOGLE reviews [2.4, but the positive reviews I read were from employees] and the Better Business Bureau [F]; they have not responded to me so I don’t have a personal assessment   The issues that are going unaddressed are major:  damage to common areas, worries about mildew and mold, elevators and HVAC units being left unrepaired, and a lack of adequate pest control.    While the onsite staff have continued to try and help, the communications from the management company have been notably missing and all residents are beginning to fear the downward trend to reach a tipping point where the deterioration cannot be reversed.

I’ve renewed my lease for another year, but if things continue in this vein, I fear I am going to have to start looking for a new home.  And you know what THAT means!




I hate moving!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, September 18, 2018

When Grease is NOT the word

Today is the 2nd day of the 37th week, the 17th day of the 9th month, the 260th day of 2018 [with only 98 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Citizenship Day
  • Constitution Day - observed on the previous Friday if it falls on a Saturday, the following Monday if on a Sunday; and the beginning of the Constitution Week (United States)
  • International Country Music Day
  • National Apple Dumpling Day
  • National Monte Cristo Day
  • Respect for The Aged Day
  • Time's Up Day -- a day when people tell themselves that time is up when it comes to deciding if they should make up with someone who they've had a falling out with. Tomorrow someone may be gone and it will be too late.
  • VFW Ladies Auxiliary Day
  • World Goat Day


1630 – The city of Boston, Massachusetts is founded.

1683 – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek writes a letter to the Royal Society describing "animalcules" [AKA microscopic animals or protozoan]

1776 – The Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain.

1778 – The Treaty of Fort Pitt is signed. It is the first formal treaty between the United States and a Native American tribe.

1787 – The United States Constitution is signed in Philadelphia.

1859 – Joshua A. Norton declares himself "Norton I, Emperor of the United States."

1908 – The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashes, killing Selfridge, who becomes the first airplane fatality.

1917 - Finance Minister Sir Thomas White's "War Tax Upon Income", passed July 25, comes into effect; first national tax on personal income on Canadians; 4% on all income of single men over $2,000; for others, the personal exemption was $3,000; for those Canadians with annual incomes of more than $6,000, the tax rate ranged from 2 to 25 per cent; supposedly a temporary wartime measure only.

1920 – The National Football League is organized as the American Professional Football Association in Canton, Ohio

1954 – The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding is first published.

1961 – The world's first retractable roof stadium, the Civic Arena, opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1972 - The comedy series "M.A.S.H." premiered on CBS.

1976 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise is unveiled by NASA.

1983 – Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America.

1991 – The first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) is released to the Internet.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 52 mins 35 secs of light-travel time from Earth


At the end of Grease [one of the few movies that were actually as good as the play], the entire graduating class sings happily about the wonderful memories they are taking with them and how they will always be together no matter how far afield they went.   This week Overlea’s Class of 1968 celebrated their 50th year with a reunion and the lady who did the organizing did a fantastic job.  Facebook was full of pictures of happy laughing people, dancing, hugging, mugging for the camera, and looking like they were having a grand time.  Some looked vaguely like the kids that I went to high school with but most were completely unrecognizable.   I looked through the names and recognized those, but the few I was curious about, the ones who left high school and disappeared [at least to me], the couple that out of curiosity I googled their names and never did find them, not one of them were there that I saw.   I went to the 5 year reunion, helped plan the 10 year, went to the 15 year –all I really did was sit at the table with the two friends that I had stayed in touch with through the years and watched the others for I was always a bit of an outsider in my class and that had not changed.   When you come right down to it, my memories of high school were neither happy nor fond, and I realized my experiences of those years differed from those the rest in the room were obviously enjoying recalling and I was done with nostalgia for those days.   My one friend made one or two more, and then she stopped going as well. 




When one person asked if I would be there then expressed regret they wouldn’t see me, I offered to drive over and get together during the weekend, but they didn’t have time to do so because they had to head back out of town.  I’m sorry I didn’t get to see those folk I was curious about, but I know they can find me via social media if they wish.  And I will continue to treasure the two friends who have stayed in my life through the years – and yes, we will always be together.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 17, 2018

Today is the 6th day of the 36th week, the 14th day of the 9th month, the 127th day of 2018 [with only 101 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Eat a Hoagie Day
  • National Bakery Day
  • National Coloring Day
  • National Cream-Filled Donut Day
  • National Hug your Boss Day
  • National Live Creative Day
  • National Quiet Day
  • Stand Up to Cancer Day
  • The Exaltation of the Holy Cross -- (AKA the Elevation of the Holy Cross or the Feast of the Cross) -- one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church.  According to Orthodox Church teachings, Saint Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, discovered the Holy Cross in 325 AD in the vicinity of Golgotha, where it lay buried in the dust of the centuries. On the spot where the Cross was discovered, there was also found a hitherto unknown flower of rare beauty and fragrance, which has been named Vasiliko (Basil), meaning the flower of royalty, out of respect for the Dowager Queen who led the expedition.


1682 – Bishop Gore School, one of the oldest schools in Wales, is founded.

1723 – Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena lays down the first stone of Fort Manoel in Malta.

1741 – George Frideric Handel completes his oratorio Messiah.

1752 – The British Empire and its American colonies replace the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar. The error between it and the Julian calendar was rectified by eliminating 11 days, yesterday being September 2; ten days are 'lost' when the new calendar which had been adopted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 made adjustments to keep it accurate to within about 25 seconds a year

1940 -  Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act, providing for the first peacetime draft in US history.

1956 – The IBM 305 RAMAC is introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage

1958 – The first two German post-war rockets, designed by the German engineer Ernst Mohr, reach the upper atmosphere.

1959 – The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it.

1960 – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded.

1975 – The first American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, is canonized by Pope Paul VI.

1984 – Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to fly a gas balloon alone across the Atlantic Ocean.

1985 – Penang Bridge, the longest bridge in Malaysia, connecting the island of Penang to the mainland, opens to traffic.

1994 – The Major League Baseball season is canceled because of a strike.

2000 – Microsoft releases Windows ME.

2015 – The first observation of gravitational waves was made, announced by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations on 11 February 2016.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 52 mins 00 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:
There is no such thing as fantasy unrelated to reality
~ Maurice Sendak,  American illustrator and writer of children's books. He became widely known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963.

So all fantasy is tethered to reality?  Now that is an interesting question – what is the limit of imagination and thought?   It is a bit like the puzzle of Schrödinger’s Cat – once you have created and crafted a thought of “it” does “it” now exist in some form, albeit incorporeal?  And if “it” is totally unique, isn’t “it” actually made of existing components  that have been assembled in a new and unanticipated pattern?  Is all fantasy then, whether narrative or visual, actually an idealized or prettyfied version of exists in what we so laughingly call “real life”?


 Let me ask you, where would you rather live if you had your druthers?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 14, 2018

perchance to dream

Today is the 5th day of the 36th week, the 13th day of the 9th month, the 256th day of 2018, and: 
  • Bald is Beautiful Day
  • Fortune Cookie Day
  • International Chocolate Day
  • Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day
  • National Celiac Awareness Cay
  • National Defy Superstition Day
  • National Peanut Day
  • Positive Thinking Day
  • Programmers' Day -- On the 256th day of the year, was chosen because it is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte, and is also the highest power of two that is less than 365, the number of days in a common year.
  • R U OK Day [Australia] -- a national day of action in September dedicated to reminding people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question, "R U OK?", in a meaningful way, because connecting regularly and meaningfully is one thing everyone can do to make a difference to anyone who might be struggling.
  • Roald Dahl Day – the children’s author’s 101st birthday is today
  • Scooby-Doo Day – it is his birthday
  • Snack a Pickle Day
  • Uncle Sam Day - became official in 1989, when a joint resolution of Congress designated September 13 "Uncle Sam Day". This date was selected, as "Uncle Sam" Wilson was born on September 13, 1776.


1501 – Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David.

1504 – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand issue a Royal Warrant for the construction of a Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) to be built.

1541 – After three years of exile, John Calvin returns to Geneva to reform the church under a body of doctrine known as Calvinism.

1584 – San Lorenzo del Escorial Palace in Madrid is finished.

1609 – Henry Hudson reaches the river that would later be named after him – the Hudson River.

1814 – In a turning point in the War of 1812, the British fail to capture Baltimore. During the battle, Francis Scott Key composes his poem "Defence of Fort McHenry", which is later set to music and becomes the United States' national anthem.

1848 – Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage survives an iron rod 1 1⁄4 inches (3.2 cm) in diameter being driven through his brain; the reported effects on his behavior and personality stimulate thinking about the nature of the brain and its functions.

1898 – Hannibal Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film.

1899 – Henry Bliss is the first person in the United States to be killed in an automobile accident.

1899 – Mackinder, Ollier and Brocherel make the first ascent of Batian (5,199 m – 17,058 ft), the highest peak of Mount Kenya.

1906 – The Santos-Dumont 14-bis makes a short hop, the first flight of a fixed-wing aircraft in Europe.

1949 - The Ladies Professional Golf Association of America was formed in New York City.

1956 – The dike around the Dutch polder East Flevoland is closed.

1985 – Super Mario Bros. is released in Japan for the NES, which starts the Super Mario series of platforming games.

1987 – Goiânia accident: A radioactive object is stolen from an abandoned hospital in Goiânia, Brazil, contaminating many people in the following weeks and causing some to die from radiation poisoning.

1990 - "Law & Order" premiered on NBC.

2001 – Civilian aircraft traffic resumes in the United States after the September 11 attacks.

2007 – The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 51 mins 48 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:
"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it."
~ Jane Wagner, American writer, director and producer

Man of La Mancha was a musical that came out in 1965 based on the 17th Century novel Don Quixote.  This quote sums up how I feel about “reality”: 

“Life as it is. I've lived for over 40 years and I've seen life as it is. Pain. Misery. Cruelty beyond belief. I've heard all the voices of God's noblest creature. Moans from bundles of filth in the street. I've been a soldier and a slave. I've seen my comrades fall in battle or die more slowly under the lash in Africa. I've held them in my arms at the final moment. These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing. No glory, no brave last words, only their eyes, filled with confusion, questioning "Why?" I do not think they were asking why they were dying, but why they had ever lived. When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness To surrender dreams - -this may be madness; to seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness! And maddest of all - to see life as it is and not as it should be!”

Now excuse me, that monstrous giant of infamous repute with four great arms whirling at his back needs to be chastised. 

May you never forget how to dream an Impossible Dream
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 13, 2018


Today is the 4th day of the 36th week, the 12th day of the 9th month, the 255th day of 2018, and: 
  • International Day for South-South Cooperation
  • Mindfulness Day
  • National Chocolate Milkshake Day
  • National Day of Encouragement
  • National Police Woman Day
  • National Report Medicare Fraud Day
  • Video Games Day


1609 – Henry Hudson begins his exploration of the Hudson River while aboard the Halve Maen.

1814 – Battle of North Point: an American detachment halts the British land advance to Baltimore in the War of 1812.

1846 – Elizabeth Barrett elopes with Robert Browning.

1885 – Arbroath 36–0 Bon Accord, a world record scoreline in professional Association football.

1890 – Salisbury, Rhodesia, is founded.

1906 – The Newport Transporter Bridge is opened in Newport, South Wales by Viscount Tredegar.

1910 – Premiere performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in Munich (with a chorus of 852 singers and an orchestra of 171 players. Mahler's rehearsal assistant conductor was Bruno Walter)

1933 – Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, conceives the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.

1940 – Cave paintings are discovered in Lascaux, France.

1952 – Strange occurrences, including a monster [the Flatwoods monster, AKA the Braxton County Monster or Phantom of Flatwoods] sighting, take place in Flatwoods, West Virginia following the appearance of bright object crossing the sky. Nearly fifty years later, investigators concluded that the light was a meteor and the creature was a barn owl perched in a tree, with shadows making it appear to be a large humanoid.

1953 – U.S. Senator and future President John Fitzgerald Kennedy marries Jacqueline Lee Bouvier at St. Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode Island.

1954 - "Lassie" made its TV debut on CBS.

1958 – Jack Kilby demonstrates the first working integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments.

1959 – The Soviet Union launches a large rocket, Lunik II, at the moon.

1959 – Bonanza premieres, the first regularly scheduled TV program presented in color.

1962 – President Kennedy delivers his We choose to go to the Moon speech at Rice University.

1966 – Gemini 11, the penultimate mission of NASA's Gemini program, and the current human altitude record holder (except for the Apollo lunar missions)

1984 – Dwight Gooden sets the baseball record for strikeouts in a season by a rookie with 246, previously set by Herb Score in 1954. Gooden's 276 strikeouts that season, pitched in 218 innings, set the current record.

1992 – NASA launches Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board are Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.

2011 – The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City opens to the public.

2013 - Voyager 1 had reached interstellar space; NASA is still in contact with the spacecraft, even though it is over 13 billion miles (over 20 billion kilometers) away

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 51 mins 36 secs of light-travel time from Earth.


Do you daydream?  Do you just stare out into space, locked in the pictures of your mind’s eye?   I look at the busy lives my granddaughters live with the number of activities they are involved in and I wonder how much time they have to ponder.  The things they do are so much fun and they have experiences I never had as a kid, that’s for sure!  I didn’t know there was such a thing as daydreaming too much – after all one gets grounded in real life pretty quickly when you have bills to pay – but apparently there are those who are “hopelessly addicted” to the warm fuzzies you get when you drift away in your own head.  And who hasn’t imagined being richer, prettier, more popular, faster, stronger, famous, or memorable?  Too much of a good thing is too much, I guess.   But on this day 56 years ago, the President articulated a dream of reaching to the moon and I have been gazing longingly at the stars and daydreaming of the final frontier ever since. 




Such is the power of daydreams
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 12, 2018

yes we remember....

My grandmother remembered October 29th, 19.29 because the bank where she had their little nest egg closed its doors.  She remembers exactly how she felt, and what happened afterwards.  The Great Depression left many scars on that generation.    And we learned the rich were not good stewards of the nation’s wellbeing

My parents all remembered December 7th, 1941  as a “date which will live in infamy”.  They could tell me exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news – I wish I could remember – and the United States entered WWII.  And we learned one country couldn’t exist in isolation but needed allies.

I remember November 22nd, 1963.  My mother picked me up from school and I was chattering as always and she just kept looking over at me.  Finally she asked me if the teachers had said anything about the news, and then told me what had happened.   We lost Camelot that day; I often wonder if things would be different now if he had survived.  “Don’t let it be forgot” we sang and wept, and we learned that change was inevitable as well as disruptive. 

And my kids remember 09.11.  They can tell their stories from 17 years ago; Frank and I were in the Animal Kingdom watching The Lion King when the show was interrupted with an order to evacuate the parks.  Even after seeing tape after tape of the attack and the collapse of the buildings, even after seeing the damage to the Pentagon, even after the last plane was reported as crashed, there hung an air of incredulity over the entire story.  We learned the power of unity; we learned that extremism was deadly.   But today, some people remember the wrong things and have learned to hate and fear others.  Today we seem all too eager to give up freedom in return for an illusion of security.  Today we seem to focus on the terrorists, never asking or even caring what embittered them.
Yes, we will all remember what happened – but have we forgotten what we learned?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, September 11, 2018

we need to pay attention

Today is the 2nd day of the 36th week, the 10th day of the 9th month, the 253rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Blame it on the Large Hadron Collider Day --  the anniversary of the date that the Large Hadron Collider was first fired up in 2008 just outside of Geneva, Switzerland
  • I'm on Top of It Day  ((I’m not – hope you have this))
  • International Creepy Boston Dynamics Robotic Horse Day
  • International Make-Up Day
  • National Boss/Employee Exchange Day
  • National Hot Dog Day
  • National Swap Ideas Day
  • Sew Be It Day
  • Rosh Hashanah – this actually started at sundown yesterday.  Lots of schools are closed today
  • TV Dinner Day
  • World Suicide Prevention Day

1846 – Elias Howe is granted a patent for the sewing machine.

1858 – George Mary Searle discovers the asteroid 55 Pandora.

1932 – The New York City Subway's third competing subway system, the municipally-owned IND, is opened.

1936 – First World Individual Motorcycle Speedway Championship, Held at London's (England) Wembley Stadium

1937 – Nine nations attend the Nyon Conference to address international piracy in the Mediterranean Sea.

1941 - Alberta, Canada government orders all schools closed due to the epidemics of infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis) and encephalitis; lessons published in the newspapers.

1955 - "Gunsmoke" premiered on CBS.

1960 – At the Summer Olympics in Rome, Abebe Bikila becomes the first sub-Saharan African to win a gold medal, winning the marathon in bare feet.

1977 - A convicted murderer became the last person to be executed by the guillotine in France.

2000 - The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats" closed after 7,485 performances over nearly 18 years as the longest-running show in Broadway history.

2001 – Charles Ingram cheats his way to £1 million on the UK game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

2008 – The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history, is powered up in Geneva, Switzerland.

2018 -  NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 51 mins 12 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." 

~ Voltaire (1694 - 1778)


The story of the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] has been strewn with all kinds of detritus and debris caused by pseudo-science, partially fueled by a lack of understanding of particle physics.    You have to admit the formation of microscopic black holes does sound a bit like a grade-B sci fi movie about mad scientists.   This resulted in an actual lawsuit to keep the LHC from ever operating, stating it would unleash a planet-eating monster.  Granted it is still dangerous to flesh – the story of a scientist who got in the way of a particle beam proved that proton radiation can do a great deal of damage – but the fear a black hole could actually grow and gobble up the Earthis just not rational.     Now the one about opening a gateway into a parallel universe or a different dimension?  Personally I think we’ll have to wait and see about that one, because apparently physicists never read up about Cthulhu and the Elder Gods who live in that different plane of existence…..




Pretty farfetched you say?  "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" or “Make America Great Again” --  in this world of “alternative facts” and the barrage of “fake news” either incantation worrying about Cthulhu is just absurd.  And I worry about atrocities to follow....
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 10, 2018

read a book

Today is the 5th day of the 35th week, the 6th day of the 9th month, the 249th day of 2018, and: 
  • Barbie Doll Day
  • Fight Procrastination Day
  • Great Egg Toss Day
  • Independence Day -- Swaziland from the United Kingdom in 1968
  • National Coffee Ice Cream Day
  • Read a Book Day ((isn’t that every day though?))
  • Stillbirth Remembrance Day
The earliest date on which the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is performed [it will be on the 10th this year



1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

1522 – The Victoria returns to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition and the first ship to circumnavigate the world.

1620 – The Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England on the Mayflower to settle in North America. (Old Style date; September 16 per New Style date.)

1628 – Puritans settle Salem which became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1775 - George Washington issues his Address to the Inhabitants of Canada asking for their support in the American war of independence; calls for volunteers to accompany Benedict Arnold and his Virginia and Pennsylvania militia in the invasion of Québec.

1803 – British scientist John Dalton begins using symbols to represent the atoms of different elements.

1847 – Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord, Massachusetts.

1916 – The first self-service grocery store Piggly Wiggly was opened in Memphis, Tennessee by Clarence Saunders.

1936 - British aviatrix Beryl Markham becomes the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west, taking off in England and crash-landing in Nova Scotia twenty-one hours later.

1943 – The Monterrey Institute of Technology is founded in Monterrey, Mexico as one of the largest and most influential private universities in Latin America.

1952 - Canadian television broadcasting begins at 4 p.m. on this day as CBFT-TV in Montréal (now part of CBC's French network Radio-Canada) goes on the air with the movie Aladdin and His Lamp, followed by a cartoon, then a broadcast of Jean Cocteau's drama Oedipus Rex, a news segment and a bilingual variety show

1959 -- The first Barbie doll was sold for $3.00  Today, a mint condition Barbie from 1959, wearing a black and white bathing suit and clutching sunglasses, can garner more than $20,000 on eBay.

1962 – The United States government begins the Exercise Spade Fork nuclear readiness drill.

1962 – Archaeologist Peter Marsden discovers the first of the Blackfriars Ships dating back to the second century AD in the Blackfriars area of the banks of the River Thames in London.

1991 – The name Saint Petersburg is restored to Russia's second largest city, which had been known as Leningrad since 1924.

1995 – Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that had stood for 56 years.

1996 - Eddie Murray of the Baltimore Orioles hit his 500th career home run during a game against the Detroit Tigers.

2001 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants became the fifth player in baseball history to hit 60 home runs in a season. (He finished the year with a record 73 homers.)

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 50 mins 25 secs of light-travel time from Earth


I can tell you when I learned how to read – it was in first grade.  I can tell you which book broke my mother’s habit of reading every book I read and quizzing me on the contents because she didn’t believe I was actually reading because I was devouring them too quickly – Bambi, a Life in the Woods  – and that it was somewhere around the 3rd grade, but I cannot be more precise than that.  She took one look at the book I was holding [I was required to show her all the books I was getting checked out at the library] and decided there and then that [1] I was limited to a book a day and [2] it would take too much of her time to keep checking up on me.  To her frustration, I took that “book a day” limit to heart – and once I found out that even looking at a magazine counted as my reading for the day, I started picking longer and more difficult books to read because they would last longer.  Back then, Penguin Books had a “classics” series that had very distinctive covers, and the Middle River Library had bought if not the entire series, then a good portion of them.  Stubbornly I started working my way through the alphabet in the fiction area.   This was before The Hobbit was accepted as a classic – I didn’t dive into Middle Earth until I encountered The Fellowship of the Ring as a junior in high school.   I didn’t read one right after the other, but whenever I didn’t know what to read, that was how I picked my next book.  My mother was more than a little disgruntled – I would turn down an invitation to go outside and play because I hadn’t finished my book for the day.  She tried everything to limit the amount of time I spent just reading, but I was addicted.   I was not a happy child – plain and pudgy, socially inept, a nerd/geek long before it was cool, in a dysfunctional family – and I had found a way to escape.




The doorway is always there for me.  No matter how upset I am, no matter how broke I am, no matter what I have to deal with, all I have to do is open the book and let my mind slip the bounds of reality.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 6, 2018

unrelenting heat

Today is the 4th day of the 35th week, the 5th day of the 9th month, the 248th day of 2018 [with only 110 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • International Day of Charity
  • Jury Rights Day
  • National Be Late for Something Day
  • National Cheese Pizza Day
  • National Shrink Day


1666 – Great Fire of London ends: Ten thousand buildings, including Old St Paul's Cathedral, are destroyed, but only six people are known to have died.

1698 – In an effort to Westernize his nobility, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposes a tax on beards for all men except the clergy and peasantry.

1791 – Olympe de Gouges writes the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen.  It led to her being accused, tried and convicted of treason, resulting in her immediate execution

1882 – The first United States Labor Day parade is held in New York City.

1906 – The first legal forward pass in American football is thrown by Bradbury Robinson of St. Louis University to teammate Jack Schneider in a 22–0 victory over Carroll College (Wisconsin).

1927 – The first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, Trolley Troubles, produced by Walt Disney, is released by Universal Pictures.

1957 - "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac, the defining novel of the Beat Generation, was published.

1945 - Canada's first nuclear reactor, ZEEP - the Zero Energy Experimental Pile - goes into operation at Chalk River.

1958 - "Doctor Zhivago" by Russian author Boris Pasternak was published in the United States.

1959 - The first trunk dialing system from a public call-box is launched during a ceremonial phone call from Bristol to London.

1969 – My Lai Massacre: U.S. Army Lieutenant William Calley is charged with six specifications of premeditated murder for the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians in My Lai.

1977 – NASA launches the Voyager 1 spacecraft for a "Grand Tour of the solar system"

1980 – The Gotthard Road Tunnel opens in Switzerland as the world's longest highway tunnel at 10.14 miles (16.32 km) stretching from Göschenen to Airolo.

1984 – The Space Shuttle Discovery lands after its maiden voyage.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 50 mins 13 secs of light-travel time from Earth after 41 years of travel. Did you know the Voyager program was originally named Mariner-Jupiter-Saturn 1977?


Today’s writing prompt:

248. At the Park: Take some time to sit on a park bench and write about the sights, scenes, and senses and emotions you experience.


Sounds nice, huh? 


Let me explain why that doesn’t sound like a great idea at the moment.  Right now hereabouts it is over 95 F with a humidity level that goes well beyond “humid” and is best described as something more appropriate for the rainforest bordering the Amazon or Congo rivers.   Even at night the mercury is struggling to get below 80.  The heat index is soaring, the bugs are biting mercilessly, there is an air quality alert, and if you think I am going to go out there and SIT, you have another think coming.    This suggestion was clearly made by someone who thinks of September as the meteorological start to Fall and is convinced there is a crisp air about that makes you think of apple cider and turning leaves and long leisurely walks.




Yeah, I’m staying in the A/C
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 5, 2018

back to work "Monday"

Today is the 3rd day of the 35th week  ((yeah, I know, I said it was week 35 last week but apparently I should’ve checked)), the 4th day of the 9th month, the 247th day of 2018, and: 
  • Another Look Unlimited Day
  • Eat an Extra Dessert Day
  • National Macadamia Nut Day
  • National Newspaper Carrier Day


1774 – New Caledonia is first sighted by Europeans, during the second voyage of Captain James Cook.

1781 – Los Angeles is founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels) by 44 Spanish settlers.

1882 – The Pearl Street Station in New York City becomes the first power plant to supply electricity to paying customers.

1888 - George Eastman received a patent for his roll-film camera and registered his trademark: Kodak.

1923 – Maiden flight of the first U.S. airship, the USS Shenandoah.

1950 – Darlington Raceway is the site of the inaugural Southern 500, the first 500-mile NASCAR race.

1951 – The first live transcontinental television broadcast takes place in San Francisco, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.

1957 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the Edsel.

1957 - The Wolfenden Report suggests consenting sex between homosexual adults "in private" should no longer be a criminal offence in Britain.

1964 – Scotland's Forth Road Bridge near Edinburgh officially opens.

1972 - Swimmer Mark Spitz became the first person to win seven gold medals at a single Olympic Games when the United States won the 400-meter relay in Munich.

1972 – The Price Is Right premieres on CBS. As of 2018, it is the longest running game show on American television.

1985 – The discovery of Buckminsterfullerene, the first fullerene molecule of carbon.

1985 - The first pictures of the wreck of the Titanic are released 73 years after the liner sank with the loss of 1,500 lives.

1998 – Google is founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University.

2001 – Tokyo DisneySea opens to the public as part of the Tokyo Disney Resort in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan.

2002 – The Oakland Athletics win their 20th consecutive game, an American League record.

2006 - "Crocodile Hunter" Steve Irwin, 44, died after a stingray's barb pierced his chest.

2018 -  NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 50 mins 01 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Well the summer is officially over, although Mother Nature doesn’t seem to want to let go as we endure another week of brutal HHH.   Schools hereabouts have started – the one thing Governor Hogan has done that I agree with wholeheartedly is decree that all Maryland schools will start after Labor Day the way they used to.  The traffic always spikes right after Labor Day as there always seems to be more people on the road and tempers seem to be on edge




Ironically it is the day after Labor Day that seems laborious….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Labor Day 2018

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 3, 2018


Today is the 5th day of the 35th week, the 30th day of the 8th month, the 242nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Frankenstein Day
  • International Cabernet Sauvignon Day
  • International Day of the Disappeared
  • International Day of The Victims of Enforced Disappearances
  • International Whale Shark Day
  • National Beach Day
  • National Grief Awareness Day
  • National Holistic Pet Day
  • National Toasted Marshmallow Day
  • Slinky Day
  • Thoughtful Thursday


1797 - "Frankenstein" author Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley was born in London.

1873 – Austrian explorers Julius von Payer and Karl Weyprecht discover the archipelago of Franz Josef Land in the Arctic Sea.

1905 - Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb made his major league debut with the Detroit Tigers.

1909 – Burgess Shale fossils are discovered by Charles Doolittle Walcott.

1957 - Ottawa native Paul Anka's hit single Diana peaks at #1 on the UK pop singles chart and stays there for nine weeks.

1962 – Japan conducts a test of the NAMC YS-11, its first aircraft since World War II and its only successful commercial aircraft from before or after the war.

1963 - A hot-line communications link between Washington, D.C., and Moscow went into operation.

1965 - The album "Highway 61 Revisited" by Bob Dylan was released.

1984 – STS-41-D: The Space Shuttle Discovery takes off on its maiden voyage.

1993 - "The Late Show with David Letterman" premiered on CBS.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 49 mins 02 secs of light-travel time and Voyager 2 is 16 hrs 20 mins 19 secs of light-travel time  from Earth


Quote of the day:

After all, a vacation is not a matter of place or time. We can take a wonderful vacation in spirit, even though we are obliged to stay at home, if we will only drop our burdens from our minds for a while. But no amount of travel will give us rest and recreation if we carry our work and worries with us.”

~ Laura Ingalls Wilder, essay September 1919


One of the things that I treasure about having a job VS having a career these days is that I leave the work at work – what is in the office stays in the office.  When I am off, I do not check voice mails or emails and my cohorts only contact me if they are genuinely up against a problem only I can resolve.   I am well aware this is a privilege not everyone has.  Those in sales or climbing the ladder or a small business owner.   For them “work” is pretty much 24/7 and they are devoting time and energy to it even when they are supposedly enjoying down time.   Others have to be constantly available because they are “on call” and they need to work even if it means dropping everything to go in   And some are afraid to take the leave granted to them because it will take them off the track in management’s eyes.





As summer winds down, taking some time to unwind just makes sense
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 30, 2018

pay attention or...

Today is the 4th day of the 35th week, the 29th day of the 9th month, the 241st day of 2018, and: 
  • According to Hoyle Day
  • Chop Suey Day
  • Individual Rights Day
  • International Day Against Nuclear Tests
  • Lemon Juice Day
  • More Herbs, Less Salt Day
  • National Sarcoidosis Awareness Day
  • National Swiss Winegrowers Day
  • National Whiskey Sour Day
  • Tug-of-War Day
  • Willing-to-Lend-A-Hand Wednesday


 708 – Copper coins are minted in Japan for the first time (Traditional Japanese date: August 10, 708).

1009 – Mainz Cathedral suffers extensive damage from a fire, which destroys the building on the day of its inauguration.

1728 – The city of Nuuk in Greenland is founded as the fort of Godt-Haab by the royal governor Claus Paarss.

1831 – Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.

1869 – The Mount Washington Cog Railway opens, making it the world's first mountain-climbing rack railway.

1871 – Emperor Meiji orders the abolition of the han system and the establishment of prefectures as local centers of administration. (Traditional Japanese date: July 14, 1871).

1885 – Gottlieb Daimler patents the world's first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen.

1898 – The Goodyear tire company is founded.

1903 – The Slava, the last of the five Borodino-class battleships, is launched.

1911 – Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerges from the wilderness of northeastern California.

1949 – The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, known as First Lightning or Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.

1958 – United States Air Force Academy opens in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

1965 – The Gemini V spacecraft returns to Earth, landing in the Atlantic Ocean.

1966 – The Beatles perform their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

1982 – The synthetic chemical element Meitnerium, atomic number 109, is first synthesized at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany.

1997 – Neflix founded

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 48 mins 51 secs of light-travel time from Earth


The story of how Netlfix ate Blockbuster’s lunch is legendary – one of those textbook cases on how an industry giant ignored a technological advance.  In 1997, on this day, Netflix was founded as an internet DVD rental service in Scotts Valley, CA but the website would not be launched for another 227 days .  Initially there were 925 titles available for rent through a traditional pay-per-rental model (50¢US per rental U.S. postage; late fees applied); the subscription model was implemented in September 1999.  It struggled to exist, Blockbuster having pretty much cornered the market, and in 2000 Netflix offered itself for acquisition to Blockbuster for $50 million; however, Blockbuster declines the offer – a move they were to regret.  In 2001, Netflix announced that it would lay off one-third of its employees and the end seemed near.  But in 2002, it launched Redbox, which offered DVD rentals via automated retail kiosks and the growth spurt started.   Too little too late, Blockbuster tried to counter with its own online service in 2004, but it never caught on as steaming video came out and by 2007, it was on the ropes and starting to close locations – in 2013 it filed for bankruptcy.    Today there is but one store left in Bend, Oregon


Blockbuster.  IBM.  Kodak.  All three have gone the way of the buggy whip manufactures, overtaken then overcome by changes in their industry to which management failed to respond and failure to understand how an upstart was meeting consumers’ needs and wants.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, August 29, 2018

ego surfing

Today is the 3rd day of the 35th week, the 28th day of the 8th month, the 240th day of 2018, and: 
  • Crackers Over The Keyboard Day
  • Dream Day Quest and Jubilee
  • International Read Comics in Public Day
  • National Bow Tie Day
  • National Cherry Turnovers Day
  • National Power Rangers Day
  • Pony Express Day
  • Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
  • Radio Commercial Day
  • Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day – established back in 2015 by Deborah Barns of the Zee & Zoey Cat Chronicles blog
  • Red Wine Day
  • Touch-A-Heart Tuesday


1565 – Pedro Menéndez de Avilés sights land near St. Augustine, Florida and founds the oldest continuously occupied European-established city in the continental United States.

1609 – Henry Hudson discovers Delaware Bay.

1789 – William Herschel discovers a new moon of Saturn: Enceladus.

1830 – The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's new Tom Thumb steam locomotive races a horse-drawn car, presaging steam's role in U.S. railroads.

1845 – The first issue of Scientific American magazine is published.

1859 – The Carrington event is the strongest geomagnetic storm on record to strike the Earth. Electrical telegraph service is widely disrupted.

1898 – Caleb Bradham's beverage "Brad's Drink" is renamed "Pepsi-Cola".

1901 – Silliman University is founded in the Philippines. It is the first American private school in the country.

1922 - The first radio commercial aired, on WEAF in New York City.

1937 – Toyota Motors becomes an independent company.

1963 - 200,000 people participated in a peaceful civil rights rally in Washington, DC, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

1993 – The Galileo spacecraft discovers a moon, later named Dactyl, around 243 Ida, the first known asteroid moon.


Since googling oneself is in the news today, I realized it has been a while since I tried ego surfing!
  • Carol A Hughes Tucker  -- 6,890,000 results, eight of which were Amazon.  The first one from Intelius is me, accurately pinpointing my approximate location, my age, and that I was married to Frank as well as picking up information from my LinkedIn profile, which they tried to link to.  The next mention is on the 2nd page where I am part of the family tree for Joan Tucker [Frank’s ex] on FamilyTreeNow..   None of the images are of me   
  • “Carol H Tucker”– only 5,620 results, but narrowing the search with the quotes means more targeted results.  My Twitter and my Facebook pages are shown on the first page, as well as my YouTube and DevianArt profiles – but there are other results mixed in of women with the same name living in other states and even an obituary.  In the top line of the images there are three of me, and three that I posted, but then other than a picture of a special teddy bear, the rest are not mine
  • “Carol Tucker”in an incognito window --  86,600 results and I am nowhere is sight, although I stopped five pages in.  No change when I go to the regular browser.  There are no images
  • beladona Memorial– no I don’t mean belladonna Google!  She generates 10,500 results and there are four that are actually about my avatar on the first page.  The first image is of her,  and there is another halfway down the page, but the others are of strangers
  • “Banking on Tomorrow”--    12,300 results.  This blog is on the first page at least!  No images and the listed videos are not mine
At least Google search didn’t have any suggestions for me!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, August 28, 2018

looking backwards...

Today is the 2nd day of the 35th week, the 27th day of the 8th month, the 230th day of 2018, and: 
  • "The Duchess" Who Wasn't Day -- Margaret Wolfe Hungerford published at least 57 works, many anonymously under the pen name of "The Duchess" due to the prejudices against women in the late 1800's
  • Independence Day - Moldova from the USSR in 1991.
  • Just Because Day -- stop worrying about doing the things you’re supposed to and do something you want to, just because
  • Kiss Me Day - - an international day was established in 2006
  • Motorist consideration Monday – a reminder to drive courteously
  • National Banana Lovers Day
  • National Petroleum Day
  • National Pots de Crème Day - a loose French dessert custard dating to the 17th century
  • Tarzan Day - in 1912 Tarzan debuted in All-Story Magazine.


1612 - Captain Thomas Button lands in his ship 'Discovery'; becomes the first European to winter in Manitoba.

1859 – Petroleum is discovered in Titusville, Pennsylvania leading to the world's first commercially successful oil well.

1883 – Eruption of Krakatoa: Four enormous explosions destroy the island of Krakatoa and cause years of climate change.

1927 – Five Canadian women file a petition to the Supreme Court of Canada, asking, "Does the word 'Persons' in Section 24 of the British North America Act, 1867, include female persons?"

1939 – First flight of the turbojet-powered Heinkel He 178, the world's first jet aircraft.

1950 - The BBC transmits the first ever live television pictures across the Channel.

1956 – The nuclear power station at Calder Hall in the United Kingdom was connected to the national power grid becoming the world's first commercial nuclear power station to generate electricity on an industrial scale.

1962 – The Mariner 2 unmanned space mission is launched to Venus by NASA.

1964 -  the movie Mary Poppins is released by Disney

1968 – the Chicago riots during the Democratic National Convention

1998 - Topeka would be renamed in honor of its rodent invader: Topikachu -- Pokémon would go on to become “ the highest-grossing media franchise in the world, surpassing Mickey Mouse, Harry Potter, myriad comic book heroes, and even the greater Star Wars universe, which had a 19-year head start.”

2003 – Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years, passing 34,646,418 miles (55,758,005 km) distant.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 48 mins 27 secs of light-travel time from Earth


1968.  So much has been written about this year, the year I graduated from high school, the year that everything changes as an entire generation seemed to reject the past.  I demonstrated against the Viet Nam war, loudly proclaiming my belief the US didn’t belong in the jungles fighting a war with no end.  I demonstrated for civil rights, loudly proclaiming my belief that people were people.  I joined political groups on campus and adjutated for change, change now, change in education, in policies and procedures, CHANGE.  “Never trust anyone over 30” we howled or growled or firmly asserted.  We, all of us, were going to make a difference, we were going to change the world, we were going to MATTER.  The entire world was awaiting for us to burst out of school, and take over and fix things.  By 2000, it would truly be the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius, an unparalleled era of prosperity and peace and understanding.


Yes we were naïve, so much so that it borders on being silly or stupid.  And as we finished college and entered the real world, we found that things were just not that easily structured to suit us, that most of us were going to be cogs in the wheel, not movers and shakers, and we slowly were assimilated, submerged by the very society we once scorned.  We learned that life is not fair, and we coped the best that we could.  Fifty years later, we have high school reunions and memorials for those who are no longer with us; we have memories and regrets and the dreams seem very far away.




Maybe that will be, in the end, what they say of us:  they did the best they could

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 27, 2018

Pluto is a planet.

Today is the 6th day of the 34th week, the 24th day of the 8th month, the 236th day of 2018, and:   
  • Can Opener Day
  • International Day Against Intolerance, Discrimination, and Violence Based on Musical Preferences, Lifestyle, and Dress Code
  • International Strange Music Day
  • National Knife Day
  • National Peach Pie Day
  • National Waffle Day
  • National Waffle Iron Day
  • Pluto Demoted Day -- In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that the 9th planet was not exactly a planet after all, but something called a “dwarf planet” as part their classification of planets, dwarf planets, rogue planets, and exoplanets, protoplanets, and planetesimals
  • Shooting Star Day
  • Vesuvius Day
  • Wayzgoose Day -- an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St Bartholomew's Day (24 August). It marked the traditional end of summer and the start of the season of working by candlelight
  • Weather Complaint Day
  • William Wilberforce Day -- born on this day 259 years ago, he was an English politician known as a leader of the movement to stop the slave trade.
  • World Daffodil Day  ((I thought this was in the spring, actually for daffodils aren’t blooming in the Northern Hemisphere this time of year, but maybe they are in the Southern Hemisphere?))


   79 – Mount Vesuvius erupts. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae are buried in volcanic ash (note: this traditional date has been challenged, and many scholars believe that the event occurred on October 24).

 394 – The Graffito of Esmet-Akhom, the latest known inscription in Egyptian hieroglyphs, was written.

 410 – The Visigoths under king Alaric I begin to pillage Rome.

 455 – The Vandals, led by king Genseric, begin to plunder Rome. Pope Leo I requests Genseric not destroy the ancient city or murder its citizens. He agrees and the gates of Rome are opened. However, the Vandals loot a great amount of treasure.

1215 – Pope Innocent III declares Magna Carta invalid.

1456 – The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.

1608 – The first official English representative to India lands in Surat.

1662 – The Act of Uniformity requires England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.

1682 – William Penn receives the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania.

1690 – Job Charnock of the East India Company establishes a factory in Calcutta, an event formerly considered the founding of the city (in 2003 the Calcutta High Court ruled that the city's foundation date is unknown).

1891 – Thomas Edison patents the motion picture camera.

1909 – Workers start pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.

1932 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey).

1967 – Led by Abbie Hoffman, the Youth International Party temporarily disrupts trading at the New York Stock Exchange by throwing dollar bills from the viewing gallery, causing trading to cease as brokers scramble to grab them.

1968 - France became the world's fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.

1989 – Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose is banned from baseball for gambling by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti.

1995 – Microsoft Windows 95 was released to the public in North America.

1998 – First radio-frequency identification (RFID) human implantation tested in the United Kingdom.

2003 – NASA Spitzer Space Telescope launched Thanks for all the amazing views of our universe! />

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 47 mins 52 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Even as the news that there might, maybe be another planet on an odd orbit in our Solar System, even as Horizons took so many pictures of Pluto and its moons, the debate over Pluto has raged.  There are those [like myself] who learned at a very young age there were NINE planets, and had become attached to that furthest celestial body.    Nine – not eight.  Nine – not ten [
2003 UB313]   Nine – not 12 [Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Charon and 2003 UB313. The name 2003 UB313 is provisional, as a “real” name has not yet been assigned to this object].




If that makes me an anachronism, so be it. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, August 24, 2018

another Friday's Eve

Today is the 5th day of the 34th week, the 23rd day of the 8th month, and the 235th day of 2018 [with only 123 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism
  • Hug Your Sweetheart Day
  • International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Its Abolition
  • National Burger Day [UK]
  • National Sponge Cake Day
  • Ride the Wind Day
  • Valentino Day


79 – Mount Vesuvius begins stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

1541 – French explorer Jacques Cartier lands near Quebec City in his third voyage to Canada.

1775 – King George III delivers his Proclamation of Rebellion to the Court of St James's stating that the American colonies have proceeded to a state of open and avowed rebellion.

1873 – Albert Bridge in Chelsea, London opens.

1898 – The Southern Cross Expedition, the first British venture of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration, departs from London.

1904 – The automobile tire chain is patented.

1926 - Silent film star Rudolph Valentino died at age 31.

1948 – World Council of Churches is formed by 147 churches from 44 countries.

1954 – First flight of the Lockheed C-130 multi-role aircraft

1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.

1975 – The Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan has opened. It is 30 miles northwest of Detroit, Michigan

1980 - Toronto Ontario - The Talking Heads [an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991] make their live debut as a nine-piece band at the Heatwave Festival in Toronto Ontario

1991 – The World Wide Web is opened to the public – and we all have logged in.

2000 - The first season finale of the reality show "Survivor" aired on CBS, with contestant Richard Hatch winning the $1 million prize.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 47 mins 41 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"Happiness means feeling you are on the right path every moment. You don’t need to arrive at the end of the path in order to be happy.

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Heart of the Matter


How many times have you heard someone [or yourself] saying “ I would be happy if _________. ”  I would be happy if I made more money or could pay my bills or could buy a new car or could afford a new house.  I would be happy if I felt better, if I could get rid of this cold.  I would be happy if I found romance or love or sex or someone who cared for me.  I would be happy if I could travel.  I would be happy if I could go on vacation or if it was the weekend.  I would be happy if I could see my family more often or if my family accepted me or if I had family nearby.  I would be happy if I had a different job or if I could retire. 


So many “ifs”!   Is this not part of wishing our lives away, as we concentrate on what is desired/needed/wanted instead of what is present? 




Time to concentrate on the journey rather than the destination
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 23, 2018

under the sea...

Today is the 4th day of the 34th week, the 22nd day of the 8th month, the 234th day of 2018, and: 


1639 – Madras (now Chennai), India, is founded by the British East India Company on a sliver of land bought from local Nayak rulers.

1654 – Jacob Barsimson arrives in New Amsterdam. He is the first known Jewish immigrant to America.

1770 – James Cook names and lands on Possession Island, and claims the east coast of Australia for Britain as New South Wales.

1780 – James Cook's ship HMS Resolution returns to England (Cook having been killed on Hawaii during the voyage).

1849 – The first air raid in history. Austria launches pilotless balloons against the city of Venice.

1851 – The schooner America outraced the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy that became known as the America's Cup.

1864 – Twelve nations sign the First Geneva Convention, establishing the rules of protection of the victims of armed conflicts

1902 – Cadillac Motor Company is founded.

1902 – Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first President of the United States to ride in a government car, a Columbia Electric Victoria Phaeton, in public. ((FYI The first president to ever ride in a car was William McKinley. It was a steam-powered vehicle.))

1934 – Bill Woodfull of Australia becomes the only cricket captain to twice regain The Ashes [a Test cricket series played between England and Australia].

1963 – X-15 Flight 91 reaches the highest altitude of the X-15 program (107.96 km (67.08 mi) (354,200 feet)).

1978 – The District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment is passed by the U.S. Congress. The proposed amendment would have provided the District of Columbia with full voting representation in the Congress, the Electoral College, and regarding amending the U.S. Constitution. The proposed amendment failed to be ratified by enough states (ratified by 16, needed 38) and so did not become part of the Constitution.

2004 – Versions of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway.

2007 – The Texas Rangers defeat the Baltimore Orioles 30–3, the most runs scored by a team in modern Major League Baseball history.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 47 mins 29 secs of light-travel time and Voyager II is currently 16 hrs 19 mins 06 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Writing prompt of the day:

234. Underwater: Write about sea creatures and under water life. What’s under the surface of the ocean? What adventures might be waiting?


One of the books my granddaughters like is “Everyone Poops” and especially as we work on potty training, I find myself reading it to them rather often.   It is rather cute actually, making the point that every living creature that eats has to go through a process of elimination.  Creatures eat different things, so their poop looks different.  When it comes to pooping in the water, one of the questions the book asks is “What does whale poop look like?” 




The book doesn’t answer that question and I usually make a joke about “lower than whale poop” meaning “down in the dumps”, but when I saw today’s prompt, I thought I would find out.   Apparently whale poop is fittingly huge and dispersed in huge fecal plumes known as “defecation events.”   Apparently humans actually use it when they can get it for perfume, but the real purpose of the waste is that it provides a boost to the productivity and life cycle of the ocean for all creatures.     Surprisingly there are two different kinds of whale poop – that which comes from Baleen Whales and that which comes from the Toothed Whales because they have vastly different diets




So now you know
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, August 22, 2018

as another school year starts....

Today is the 3rd day of the 34th week, the 21st day of the 8th month, the 233rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Eid-Al-Adha, AKA the "Festival of Sacrifice", is the second of two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two
  • Internet Self-care Day
  • National Brazillian Blowout Day – yes I had to google it and it is all about hair ((I thought it would be a raucous party))
  • National Senior Citizen Day
  • National Spumoni Day
  • Poet's Day

1583 - The Delight, with 85 persons aboard, founders on the banks of Sable Island; first Canadian shipwreck on record.

1770 – James Cook formally claims eastern Australia for Great Britain, naming it New South Wales.

1821 – Jarvis Island is discovered by the crew of the ship, Eliza Frances.

1878 - The American Bar Association was founded in Saratoga, N.Y.

1888 – The first successful adding machine in the United States is patented by William Seward Burroughs.

1897 – Oldsmobile, an American automobile manufacturer and marque, is founded.

1901 – Six hundred American school teachers, Thomasites, arrived in Manila on the USAT Thomas.

1911 – The Mona Lisa is stolen by Vincenzo Perugia, a Louvre employee.

1942 – The Disney animated classic Bambi was released

1945 – Physicist Harry Daghlian is fatally irradiated in a criticality accident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1957 – The Soviet Union successfully conducts a long-range test flight of the R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile.

1961 – American country music singer Patsy Cline returns to record producer Owen Bradley's studio in Nashville, Tennessee to record her vocals to Willie Nelson's "Crazy", which would become her signature song.

1961 – Motown releases what would be its first #1 hit (in America), "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes.

1964 - Canadian Bette Singer dives a record-setting 307 feet into Bahaman waters.

1993 – NASA loses contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft.


Quote of the day:

"Great ideals and principles do not live from generation to generation just because they are right, nor even because they have been carefully legislated. Ideas and principles continue from generation to generation only when they are built into the hearts of children as they grow up."

~ George S. Benson (1898 - 1991), missionary to China


When I was growing up, I wanted to be a teacher.  I loved school and had no problem with staying there all my life.  I went through Towson on the tuition waiver plan, fully intending to teach in middle school – but I never made it.  Ended up having to reimburse the school for my tuition.   Years afterwards when my kids were in school I tried to update my certification and was stunned at the changes in the classroom in less than a decade.  Johnny no longer could no longer be expected to read by the 7th grade and I had to take courses on how to teach reading.  History as I remembered it had changed, almost completely submerged into Social Studies.  And kids no longer were very respectful to either teachers or administrators – education was no longer considered a profession but was another service industry job. 




And so I opted not to return to the classroom when I went back to work.  Mayhap it was a problem with my motivation or dedication, but that was my choice at that time.  Others have chronicled the problems with that shift as society [at least here in the US] invests less and less in the education of educators and of the next generation, certainly the decline of the common reading levels from the early 1900’s to the present is startling dramatic, both in the amount that is read and the usage of vocabulary.  It worries me, what ideas and values are being transmitted to our young as social media and the news bluster about spewing revisionist history and alternative facts?  How will they express themselves eruditely?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, August 21, 2018

and I'm back

Today is the 2nd day of the 34th week, the 20th day of the 8th month, the 232nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Cupcake Day
  • Independence Day -- Estonia from the Soviet Union in 1991
  • National Bacon Lover's Day
  • National Chocolate Pecan Day
  • National Lemonade Day
  • National Radio Day
  • Stay Home with Your Kids Day
  • Virtual Worlds Day
  • World Mosquito Day


1083 – Canonization of the first King of Hungary, Saint Stephen and his son Saint Emeric celebrated as a National Day in Hungary.

1620 - Hudson Bay Company employee Henry Kelsey sees buffalo on the Prairies, southwest of The Pas Manitoba; the first white man to describe them.

1775 – The Spanish establish the Presidio San Augustin del Tucson in the town that became Tucson, Arizona.

1858 – Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution through natural selection in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace's same theory.  You don't hear much about Wallace, do you?  He was considered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species and is sometimes called the "father of biogeography".  Wallace was one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century and made many other contributions to the development of evolutionary theory besides being co-discoverer of natural selection

1882 – Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture debuts in Moscow, Russia.

1920 – The first commercial radio station, 8MK (now WWJ), begins operations in Detroit.

1920 – The National Football League is organized as the American Professional Football Conference in Canton, Ohio

1926 – Japan's public broadcasting company, Nippon Hōsō Kyōkai (NHK) is established.

1938 – Lou Gehrig hits his 23rd career grand slam, a record that stood for 75 years until it was broken by Alex Rodriguez.

1953 - The Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

1962 – The NS Savannah, the world's first nuclear-powered civilian ship, embarks on its maiden voyage.

1975 – Viking program: NASA launches the Viking 1 planetary probe toward Mars.

1977 – NASA launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft carrying a 12-inch copper phonograph record containing greetings in dozens of languages, samples of music and sounds of nature.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 47 mins 06 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

You have to remember that the hard days are what make you stronger. The bad days make you realize what a good day is. If you never had any bad days, you would never have that sense of accomplishment!”

~  Aly Raisman, American gymnast and two-time Olympian.


Yes I am back – vacation is over.  It was not relaxing, but I did indulge myself by pretty much ignoring the news.  Only two stories made their way through my protective haze.  The first was that there wasn’t going to be a military parade held in DC with an outrageous price tag.  The second was the Grand Jury report from Pennsylvania about the priests molesting young boys.  I haven’t read all the lurid details, but it is obvous that abuse was not only widespread, but condoned by the silence of those in authority.  Just as I have an implicit faith and trust in the police, I have the same for the priests and the Church, but in both cases, obviously it is more than “just a few bad apples” and we have to ask ourselves how it went on for so long.  I do find it interesting that the same people who are willing to claim a female of young age “knew what she was doing” or even “asked for it” are frothing at the mouth when the same argument was implied that these young boys were aware and somehow implicated in their abuse.    


No wonder folks feel like they are adrift and lost.  Preachers and priests that either get rich off offerings or act more like sexual predators than religious leaders.  Police who have forgotten their mission to serve and protect all law-abiding citizens,  Politicians who are only interested in the money they can make by ruling, forgetting the welfare of the ruled.   And we think we are so evolved, so superior to the animals. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 20, 2018

never forget....

The only country that has used a nuclear weapon against another -- and we did it twice in three days

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 9, 2018

a time to mourn

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 6, 2018

yup we made it

Today is the 6th day of the 31st week, the 3rd day of the 8th month, the 215th day of 2018 [with only 143 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Airplane Crop Duster Day
  • Braham Pie or Homemade Pie Day
  • Esther Day
  • Friendship Day
  • Grab Some Nuts Day
  • Independence Day -- Niger from France in 1960.
  • International Beer Day
  • National Watermelon Day
  • Tomboy Tools Day
  • Twins Day

 435 – Deposed Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Nestorius, considered the originator of Nestorianism, is exiled by Roman Emperor Theodosius II to a monastery in Egypt.

1031 – Olaf II of Norway is canonized as Saint Olaf by Grimketel, the English Bishop of Selsey.

1492 – Christopher Columbus sets sail from Palos de la Frontera, Spain.

1527 – The first known letter from North America is sent by John Rut while at St. John's, Newfoundland.

1678 – Robert LaSalle builds the Le Griffon, the first known ship built on the Great Lakes.

1778 – The theatre La Scala in Milan is inaugurated with the première of Antonio Salieri's Europa riconosciuta.

1811 – First ascent of Jungfrau, third highest summit in the Bernese Alps by brothers Johann Rudolf and Hieronymus Meyer.

1852 – Harvard University wins the first Boat Race between Yale University and Harvard. The race is also the first American intercollegiate athletic event

1859 – The American Dental Association is founded in Niagara Falls, New York.

1900 – The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company is founded.

1921 – Major League Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis confirms the ban of the eight Chicago Black Sox, the day after they were acquitted by a Chicago court.

1936 – Jesse Owens wins the 100 metre dash, defeating Ralph Metcalfe, at the Berlin Olympics.

1946 – Santa Claus Land, the world's first themed amusement park, opens in Santa Claus, Indiana, United States.

1958 – The world's first nuclear submarine, the USS Nautilus, became the first vessel to complete a submerged transit of the geographical North Pole.

1977 – Tandy Corporation announces the TRS-80, one of the world's first mass-produced personal computers.

2000 - RCMP files charges against Michael Calce, a 16-year-old Montréal hacker using the handle "Mafiaboy"; arrested for bringing down several major commercial websites, including,, eBay and Yahoo, using denial-of-service attacks which cost the companies more than a billion dollars.


Yes I know that many people do not have off on Saturdays and Sundays.   When I worked in retail and when I started in banking on the teller line, I too worked on the weekends and had other days off.  But for many of us, Friday evenings are the best time of the week when the work week is behind us and a full weekend stretches ahead of us….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, August 3, 2018

a stroll down memory lane

Today is the 5th day of the 31st week, the 2nd day of the 8th month, the 214th day of 2018, and: 
  • Dinosaurs Day
  • International Sister Cities Day
  • National Coloring Book Day
  • National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
  • National IPA Day [AKA India Pale Ale Beer Day]
  • Take A Penny/Leave A Penny Day


1610 – During Henry Hudson's search for the Northwest Passage, he sails into what is now known as Hudson Bay.

1776 – The signing of the United States Declaration of Independence took place.

1790 – The first United States Census is conducted.

1869 – Japan's Edo society class system is abolished as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms.

1870 – Tower Subway, the world's first underground tube railway, opens in London, England, United Kingdom.

1873 – The Clay Street Hill Railroad begins operating the first cable car in San Francisco's famous cable car system.

1876 - Frontiersman "Wild Bill" Hickok was shot and killed while playing poker at a saloon in Deadwood in present-day South Dakota; aces and eights [a particular poker hand, popularly a two-pair of black aces and black eights] become known as "the dead man's hand"

1909 - The US Army acquired its 1st aircraft when it purchased the Wright Flyer "Model B" (Wright Military Flyer). It was the Wright Brothers' 1st commercial sale, and the 1st airplane purchased and put into service by any government

1932 – The positron (antiparticle of the electron) is discovered by Carl D. Anderson.

1934 – Adolf Hitler becomes Führer of Germany following the death of President Paul von Hindenburg.

1939 – Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard write a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt, urging him to begin the Manhattan Project to develop a nuclear weapon.

1943 - PT-109, a Navy patrol torpedo boat commanded by Lt. John F. Kennedy, sank after being sheared in two by a Japanese destroyer off the Solomon Islands. Kennedy was credited with saving members of the crew.  ((not a bad book or movie, and the story certainly added luster to JFK when he went into politics))

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 43 mins 47 secs of light-travel time and Voyager II is currently 16 hrs 16 mins 32 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Writing prompt of the day:
214. Grandparents: Write about a moment in your grandparent’s life.

What a flood of stories comes to mind!  Being the oldest grandchild on my mother’s side and the oldest grandchild on my father’s side of the family, I was often in the company of adults, and I found out pretty early on that if I kept quiet [usually pretending to read, which was pretty believable since I loved to do that], I heard a lot of family history as they talked about the old days. 

The prompt also put me in mind of one particular incident with Grandmom Riley that comes to mind as I contemplate playing games with my own granddaughters  I don’t know at what age Grandmom and I started playing games, but she usually took the time from housework to sit and play.  At her house I didn’t have board games, but we played checkers and cards [mostly Go Fish].  One day we were playing checkers and she left to tend something in the kitchen and came back.   She looked at the checkers, then looked at me and told me that I had cheated and moved my checker pieces while she was gone.  “No!” I protested and she folded her lips and we kept playing and I won, of course, because I HAD cheated.   Years later I asked her about that game and she didn’t remember it at all, but I remember just how badly I felt I absolutely had to win, and then how hollow the victory was because I knew I had cheated, and then how sad I was that she wouldn’t play checkers with me for a long time afterwards.

My kids and I played a lot of games – checkers, cards and SORRY are the ones I remember playing the most, but I don’t remember at what age we started and I don’t have any memories of any memorable meltdowns over losses.  My older granddaughter is old enough to play, but the younger isn’t quite there yet, so she doesn’t get much chance to do so, and yes there are times when I just let her win even at tic-tac-toe because I remember how important it was to me and my grandmother doing that for me….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 2, 2018

4th day of the 31st week

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, August 1, 2018

EOM - July 2018

Today is the 3rd day of the 31st week, the 31st day of the 7th month, the 212th day of 2018, and: 
  • Black Women's Equal Pay Day
  • National Avocado Day
  • national Cotton Candy Day
  • National Jump for Jelly Beans Day
  • National Mutt Day
  • National Raspberry Cake Day
  • Shredded Wheat Day
  • Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day
  • World Ranger Day


 781 – The oldest recorded eruption of Mount Fuji (Traditional Japanese date: 6th day of the 7th month of the 1st year of the Ten'o (天応) era).

1498 – On his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.

1703 – Daniel Defoe is placed in a pillory for the crime of seditious libel after publishing a politically satirical pamphlet, but is pelted with flowers.

1790 – The first U.S. patent is issued, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.

1856 – Christchurch, New Zealand is chartered as a city.

1865 – The first narrow-gauge mainline railway in the world opens at Grandchester, Queensland, Australia.

1880 - Imperial Order-in-Council transfers all British possessions in North America to Canada except Newfoundland and the Labrador coast, effective September 1, 1880; including ownership of all Arctic Islands

1938 – Archaeologists discover engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius the Great in Persepolis.

1964 – Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.

1970 – Black Tot Day: The last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.

1971 – Apollo 15 astronauts become the first to ride in a lunar rover.

1991 – The United States and Soviet Union both sign the START I Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the first to reduce (with verification) both countries' stockpiles.

1999 – Discovery Program: Lunar Prospector: NASA intentionally crashes the spacecraft into the Moon, thus ending its mission to detect frozen water on the moon's surface.

2008 - Scientists reported the Phoenix spacecraft had confirmed the presence of frozen water in Martian soil.

2012 – Michael Phelps breaks the record set in 1964 by Larisa Latynina for the most medals won at the Olympics.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 43 mins 26 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Some of the reasons I need to stop reading the news:
  • Coordinated disinformation operations around the mid-term elections
  • Collusion is not a crime
  • Guns can be printed from 3D blueprints
  • Wildfires
  • Healthcare costs
  • Budget cuts to all social programs while tax cuts to the 1% continue
  • Eroding US stature in the world
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Wanton cruelty to animals



See ya out there….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, July 31, 2018

rainy days and Mondays

Today is the 2nd day of the 31st week, the 30th day of the 7th month, the 211th day of 2018, and: 
  • Father-in-Law Day
  • Health Care Now!  Medicare's Birthday
  • Independence Day -- Vanuatu from the United Kingdom and France in 1980. ((I'll save you the time and effort of googling that -- it is a Pacific island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean in a archipelago east of northern Australia))
  • International Day of Friendship
  • National Cheesecake Day
  • National Chicken and Waffles Day
  • National Support Public Education Day
  • National Whistleblower Appreciation Day
  • Paperback Book Day
  • World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
  • World Snorkeling Day


  762 – Baghdad is founded.

1502 – Christopher Columbus lands at Guanaja in the Bay Islands off the coast of Honduras during his fourth voyage.

1619 – In Jamestown, Virginia, the first representative assembly in the Americas, the House of Burgesses, convenes for the first time

1729 – Founding of Baltimore, Maryland.

1733 – The first Masonic Grand Lodge in the future United States is constituted in Massachusetts.

1792 - The French national anthem, "La Marseillaise" by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, was first sung in Paris.

1825 – Malden Island is discovered by captain George Byron, 7th Baron Byron.

1859 – First ascent of Grand Combin, one of the highest summits in the Alps.

1932 – Premiere of Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.

1945 - the USS Indianapolis, which had just delivered key components of the Hiroshima atomic bomb to the Pacific island of Tinian, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Only 316 out of 1,196 men survived the sinking and shark-infested waters.

1956 – A joint resolution of the U.S. Congress is signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, authorizing In God We Trust as the U.S. national motto.

1962 – The Trans-Canada Highway, the longest national highway in the world, is officially opened.

1965 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

1971 – Apollo 15 Mission -- David Scott and James Irwin on the Apollo Lunar Module Falcon land on the Moon with the first Lunar Rover.

1975 – Jimmy Hoffa disappears from the parking lot of the Machus Red Fox restaurant in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, at about 2:30 p.m. He is never seen or heard from again.

1980 – Israel's Knesset passes the Jerusalem Law.

2003 – In Mexico, the last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.

2006 – The world's longest running music show Top of the Pops is broadcast for the last time on BBC Two. The show had aired for 42 years.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 43 mins 16 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

When we smile and welcome the newbie or allow ourselves to be welcomed, we act out of our recognition that belonging is a common human need, one that is not an obstacle to, but in service of, waking up.”

~ Kate Johnson, “Making the First Move


July was one of those months that had five – FIVE [5] – Mondays.  Fortunately it was also one of those months that had three pays in it.  But too many of these Mondays have been rainy as well….    Me?  I'm dreaming of vacations

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 30, 2018

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, July 29, 2018


Today is the 6th day of the 30th week, the 27th day of the 7th month, the 208th day of 2018 [and with only 150 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Bagpipe Appreciation Day
  • Barbie-in-a-blender Day
  • Cross Atlantic Communication Day
  • Lumberjack Day
  • National Creme Brulee Day
  • national Get Gnarly Day
  • National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
  • National Scotch Day
  • National Talk in an Elevator Day
  • System Administrator Appreciation Day
  • Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day: 27
  • Walk on Stilts Day

Quote of the day:
America's health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system.”
~ Walter Cronkite

I have often commented the healthcare in the US is the best in the world [except when it isn’t] if and only if you can afford it.  Having made both insurance companies and medicine for profit, the costs have skyrocketed.  Medicare for all you say?  How could anyone be against it.  Well every medical facility is going to be because in our healthcare model, they have investors and investors want income and you aren’t going to get that in a single-payer system.   Take myself for example – a simple colonoscopy, a procedure recommended for most people every five years to monitor for intestinal cancer.  I just received the total bill for that – the office consultation, procedure, anesthetic, and subsequent cultures -- was $6,524.92 and that was what was submitted to Medicare.  According to their policies, at least in Maryland, that all should’ve cost 37.69% of that, so that was all that was approved.   That is quite a haircut and the doctor, anesthesiologist, and the lab aren’t going to make money – how do you think that impacts your healthcare providers’ finances?  How does it impact my finances?  They only paid 29.16% of the bill because of deductibles and the remaining $4,622.07 will be submitted to my supplemental carrier to see what they will pay.  And I will have to pay what is left after that out of pocket.

“The road to health is paved with good intestines!”
~ Sherry A. Rogers MD

This is why health maintenance that is routine, stuff that could save lives and cut down on costs in the future, doesn’t get done when you are not in the economic upper class.  In my personal case?  One of the polyps that were removed during this routine procedure turned out to be pre-cancerous and growing.  Now colonoscopies were not part of regular testing back in both of my grandmothers’ day and they both died from cancer of the bowels.  What if I didn’t have insurance?  What if I couldn’t go into hock to pay the remaining balance that wasn’t covered?  What if I knew that, and so skipped the regular procedure because I couldn’t afford it?

Healthcare needs to be assessable to everyone, not just a privileged few.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, July 27, 2018

it didn't rain today .... yet

Today is the 5th day of the 30th week, the 26th day of the 7th month, the 207th day of 2018, and: 
  • Americans With Disabilities Day
  • Armed Forces Unification Day
  • Aunts and Uncles Day
  • Independence Day -- Liberia from the American Colonization Society in 1847; Maldives from the United Kingdom in 1965
  • National All or Nothing Day
  • National Bagelfest Day
  • National Chili Dog Day
  • National Coffee Milkshake Day
  • National Intern Day
  • National Refreshment Day
  • One Voice Day

1615 - First Mass and establishment of the First Roman Catholic mission at Trois-Rivières, Québec

1745 – The first recorded women's cricket match takes place near Guildford, England.

1775 – The office that would later become the United States Post Office Department is established by the Second Continental Congress. Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania takes office as Postmaster General.

1803 – The Surrey Iron Railway, arguably the world's first public railway, opens in south London, United Kingdom.

1811 - Miles Macdonell leads the first ship-load of Selkirk settlers, mostly evicted Scottish Highlanders from the Sutherland estates, for the Red River Colony; after wintering at York Factory, they will arrive on August 30, 1812 the following year.

1874 - Alexander Graham Bell First describes his idea for the telephone to his father at the family home in Brantford; he will build the first telephone in Boston, Massachusetts in 1875, and in 1876, makes the first long distance call over telegraph wires from Brantford to Mount Pleasant, Ontario, 3 km away.

1882 – Premiere of Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal at Bayreuth.

1908 – United States Attorney General Charles Joseph Bonaparte issues an order to immediately staff the Office of the Chief Examiner (later renamed the Federal Bureau of Investigation).

1918 – Emmy Noether's paper, which became known as Noether's theorem was presented at Göttingen, Germany, from which conservation laws are deduced for symmetries of angular momentum, linear momentum, and energy.

1946 – Aloha Airlines begins service from Honolulu International Airport.

1948 – U.S. President Harry S. Truman signs Executive Order 9981, desegregating the military of the United States.

1951 – Walt Disney's 13th animated film, Alice in Wonderland, premieres in London, England, United Kingdom.

1958 – Explorer 4 is launched.

1963 – Syncom 2, the world's first geosynchronous satellite, is launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta B booster.

1971 – Launch of Apollo 15 on the first Apollo "J-Mission", and first use of a Lunar Roving Vehicle.

1982 - NASA launches Canada's Anik D1 Comsat on a Delta rocket. Cape Canaveral, Florida

1989 – A federal grand jury indicts Cornell University student Robert T. Morris, Jr. for releasing the Morris worm, thus becoming the first person to be prosecuted under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

2005 – STS-114 Mission: Launch of Discovery, NASA's first scheduled flight mission after the Columbia Disaster in 2003.

2016 – Solar Impulse 2 becomes the first solar-powered aircraft to circumnavigate the Earth.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 42 mins 35 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist.

And since today is “throwback Thursday” and they won’t let me throw it back….


To think that nine years ago I was preoccupied with making designs with crops in Farmland!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 26, 2018

another rainy Wednesday

Today is the 4th day of the 30th week, the 25th day of the 7th month, the 206th day of 2018.



 315 – The Arch of Constantine is completed near the Colosseum in Rome to commemorate Constantine I's victory over Maxentius at the Milvian Bridge.

1536 – Sebastián de Belalcázar on his search of El Dorado founds the city of Santiago de Cali.

1538 – The city of Guayaquil is founded by the Spanish Conquistador Francisco de Orellana and given the name Muy Noble y Muy Leal Ciudad de Santiago de Guayaquil.

1567 – Don Diego de Losada founds the city of Santiago de Leon de Caracas, modern-day Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela.

1609 – The English ship Sea Venture, en route to Virginia, is deliberately driven ashore during a storm at Bermuda to prevent its sinking; the survivors go on to found a new colony there.

1693 – Ignacio de Maya founds the Real Santiago de las Sabinas, now known as Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo León, Mexico.

1788 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart completes his Symphony No. 40 in G minor (K550).

1837 – The first commercial use of an electrical telegraph is successfully demonstrated in London by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone.

1869 – The Japanese daimyōs begin returning their land holdings to the emperor as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms. (Traditional Japanese Date: June 17, 1869).

1908 – Ajinomoto [a Japanese food and chemical corporation which produces seasonings, cooking oils, TV dinners, sweeteners, amino acids, and pharmaceuticals] is founded. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University discovers that a key ingredient in kombu soup stock is monosodium glutamate (MSG), and patents a process for manufacturing it.

1909 – Louis Blériot makes the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine from (Calais to Dover, England, United Kingdom) in 37 minutes.

1915 – RFC Captain Lanoe Hawker becomes the first British pursuit aviator to earn the Victoria Cross.

1917 – Sir Robert Borden introduces the first income tax in Canada as a "temporary" measure (lowest bracket is 4% and highest is 25%).

1946 – An atomic bomb is detonated by the United States underwater in the lagoon of Bikini Atoll.

1952 - CBC/Radio Canada TV covers Montréal Royals baseball game; First experimental Canadian telecast; regular television programming begins in September, 1952 in Montréal, Québec

1965 – Bob Dylan goes electric at the Newport Folk Festival, signaling a major change in folk and rock music.

1973 – Soviet Mars 5 space probe is launched.

1975 - The musical "A Chorus Line" opened on Broadway.

1976 – Viking 1 takes the famous Face on Mars photo.

1978 – Birth of Louise Joy Brown, the first human to have been born after conception by in vitro fertilisation, or IVF.

1984 – Salyut 7 cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to perform a space walk.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 42 mins 25 secs of light-travel time and Voyager II is 16 hrs 15 mins 43 secs of light-travel time from Earth


George Carlin used to do a great routine about “stuff” and how you would take your stuff with you wherever you went so you would have your stuff around even if you were buying new stuff.  Many of us who have 2nd Lives are now learning just how hard it is for folks to give up their stuff when it comes to digital assets as InWorldz is closing.   InWorldz is a community based, open sim world that is much like Second Life.   They have slightly different rules, a more flexible land system, and some amazing landscapes.  Many people, including beladona, are actually denizens of both IW and SL and over the years we have accumulated very large inventories just jammed with virtual stuff for which we laid out real money – avatars, clothing and accessories, landscaping, homes, and scripts that enabled us to dance and do other things in the course of living.


Fact of the matter is we consumers don’t OWN the things that we have bought.   We actually purchased a license to use those things, or as I think of it, we rented space on the server where the world lives for that item.   Thing about that is when the server goes away, so do the items, and some people are really angry and upset about that.   I will admit that I will miss the cottage I had, with landscaping and some pretty fantastic furniture.  I will admit that I am sorry to lose the “mini me” that was custom designed for beladona.  The owners are trying desperately to back things up by Friday and have a GoFundMe page, but there has been a lot of vitriol spread as people struggle to understand what has happened.

After nine years, it is hard to give up stuff, even virtual stuff.   And that doesn’t even address the communities and friends
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, July 25, 2018

another rainy Tuesday

Today is the 3rd day of the 30th week, the 24th day of the 7th month, the 205th day of 2018 [with only 153 shopping days left until Christmas], and:
  • Amelia Earhart Day
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Pioneer Day
  • Cousins Day
  • International Self Care Day
  • National Drive-Thru Day
  • National Tell an Old Joke Day
  • National Tequila Day
  • National Thermal Engineer Day
  • Pioneer Day


1534 – French explorer Jacques Cartier plants a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula [a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River] and takes possession of the territory in the name of Francis I of France.

1701 – Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founds the trading post at Fort Pontchartrain, which later becomes the city of Detroit.

1847 – After 17 months of travel, Brigham Young leads 148 Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley, resulting in the establishment of Salt Lake City.

1847 – Richard March Hoe, American inventor, patented the rotary-type printing press.

1911 – Hiram Bingham III re-discovers Machu Picchu, "the Lost City of the Incas".

1927 – The Menin Gate war memorial is unveiled at Ypres.

1950 -- The first rocket launched at Cape Canaveral -- an RTV-G-4 Bumper missile, a combination of the German V-2 rocket and the WAC Corporal sounding rocket. Named “Bumper 8” in this case.

1963 – The ship Bluenose II was launched in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. The schooner is a major Canadian symbol.

1966 – Michael Pelkey makes the first BASE jump from El Capitan along with Brian Schubert. Both came out with broken bones. BASE jumping has now been banned from El Cap.

1969 – Apollo 11 splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean.

1983 – George Brett batting for the Kansas City Royals against the New York Yankees, has a game-winning home run nullified in the "Pine Tar Incident".

1987 – Hulda Crooks, at 91 years of age, climbed Mt. Fuji. Crooks became the oldest person to climb Japan’s highest peak.

2005 - Lance Armstrong won a seventh consecutive Tour de France.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 42 mins 15 secs of light-travel time from Earth


When did I decide that Donald J Trump should never be President?   It was during the debate at the University of Nevada on October 19th, 2016, when he made his position clear:

Mr. Trump insisted, without offering evidence, that the general election has been rigged against him, and he twice refused to say that he would accept its result.

“I will look at it at the time,” Mr. Trump said. “I will keep you in suspense.””

 He walked it back the next day, but he said it.  He was elected anyway.  In office, he congratulated the president of Turkey upon solidifying his power.  He makes up to the dictator of the Philippines and of Russia.  He was all kinds of happy to be feted by the royal rulers of Saudi Arabia.   And now, in the middle of all the brouhaha over the interference of the Russians in the political process?   This gem gets tweeted today:



So, what are the chances that he will accept any vote that does not keep him in power?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, July 24, 2018

another rainy Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 30th week, the 23rd day of the 7th month, the 204th day of 2018, and: 

  • Gorgeous Grandma Day
  • Hot Enough For Ya Day
  • National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
  • World Sjogren's Day
  • Yada, Yada, Yada Day


1632 – Three hundred colonists bound for New France depart from Dieppe, France.  Early attempts at establishing permanent settlements were failures, but Cardinal Richelieu, adviser to Louis XIII, wished to make New France as significant as the English colonies. In 1627, Richelieu founded the Company of One Hundred Associates to invest in New France, promising land parcels to hundreds of new settlers and to turn Canada into an important mercantile and farming colony.

1829 – In the United States, William Austin Burt patents the typographer, a precursor to the typewriter.

1903 – The Ford Motor Company sells its first car.  Buggy whip makers probably didn't even notice

1926 – Fox Film buys the patents of the Movietone sound system for recording sound onto film.

1927 – The first station of the Indian Broadcasting Company goes on the air in Bombay.

1929 – The Fascist government in Italy bans the use of foreign words and five letters of the alphabet [J K W X and Y]

1962 – Telstar relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television program, featuring Walter Cronkite.

1972 – The United States launches Landsat 1, the first Earth-resources satellite.

1983 -  Air Canada 767 runs out of fuel in midair and makes emergency glide landing at Gimli airstrip; due to metric confusion and fuel meter problems.

1984 - Vanessa Williams became the first Miss America to resign her title, because of nude photographs published in Penthouse magazine.  Interestingly, 32 years later such pictures do not disqualify a woman from being First Lady.

1986 - Britain's Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey in London. (The couple divorced in 1996.)

2000 - Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to complete a career Grand Slam when he won the British Open at age 24.

2009 - Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox pitched the 18th perfect game in major league history, a 5-0 win over Tampa Bay.

2011 - Singer Amy Winehouse, 27, was found dead in her London home from accidental alcohol poisoning.

2015 – NASA announces discovery of Kepler-452b by Kepler.


I will admit that I am sometimes annoyed when folks near me are chattering away in another language.  Every time it happens at the nail salon, I wonder uneasily if they are actually making fun of me because once I caught them clearly mimicking a colloquial expression I had used when speaking to them [never ever went back there again].   And at times I get more than a little frustrated when dealing with a heavy accent and I just cannot understand what the person is conveying, or trying to convey, and I am tempted to ask  “isn’t there someone here who speaks English?”.   So, I don’t have any problem with English as the “official” language of the country, but stories of what happened back in 1929 in Italy with Mussolini makes me wonder if it is a good idea, whether or not it is the first step – or maybe I should say another step --  down a slippery slope.

And I am not okay with that.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 23, 2018


Today is the 6th day of the 29th week, the 20th day of the 7th month, the 201st day of 2018, and: 
  • Independence Day -- Colombia from Spain in 1810.
  • International Cake Day
  • International Chess Day
  • Moon Day
  • Nap Day
  • National Fortune Cookie Day
  • National Lollipop Cay
  • National Ugly Truck Contest Day
  • Space Exploration Day
  • World Jump Day


1738 – Canadian explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye reaches the western shore of Lake Michigan.

1807 – Nicéphore Niépce is awarded a patent by Napoleon for the Pyréolophore, the world's first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.

1885 – The Football Association legalizes professionalism in association football under pressure from the British Football Association.

1903 – The Ford Motor Company ships its first automobile.

1940 – California opens its first freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway.

1950 – In Philadelphia, Harry Gold pleads guilty to spying for the Soviet Union by passing secrets from atomic scientist Klaus Fuchs.

1960 – The Polaris missile is successfully launched from a submarine, the USS George Washington, for the first time.

1968 – The first International Special Olympics Summer Games are held at Soldier Field in Chicago, with about 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.

1969 – Apollo 11's crew successfully makes the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility. Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first humans to walk on the Moon six and a half hours later.

1976 – The American Viking 1 lander successfully lands on Mars.

1977 – The Central Intelligence Agency releases documents under the Freedom of Information Act revealing it had engaged in mind-control experiments.

1997 – The fully restored USS Constitution (AKA Old Ironsides) celebrates its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.

1999 - After 38 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, astronaut Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule was recovered.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 41 mins 36 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Now if you will exuse me,. I'll go back to wishing my life away, waiting for those two glorious days off....

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, July 20, 2018

kids are the future of the planet

Today is the 4th day of the 29th week, the 18th day of the 7th month, the 199th day of 2018, and: 
  • National Caviar Day
  • National Hot Dog Day
  • National Sour Candy Day
  • Nelson Mandela International Day -- Nelson Mandela, a leading anti-apartheid figure and South Africa's first black president, was born in Mvezo 100 years ago
  • Perfect Family Day
  • Take Your Poet to Work Day
  • World Listening Day


1290 – King Edward I of England issues the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B'Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.

1334 – The bishop of Florence blesses the first foundation stone for the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, designed by the artist Giotto di Bondone.

1870 – The First Vatican Council decrees the dogma of papal infallibility.  He is only infallible when speaking of a divine revelation he has received, and since that time, the only example of an ex cathedra decree took place in 1950, when Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as an article of faith.

1872 – The Ballot Act 1872 in the United Kingdom introduced the requirement that parliamentary and local government elections be held by secret ballot.

1914 – The U.S. Congress forms the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, giving official status to aircraft within the U.S. Army for the first time.

1925 – Adolf Hitler publishes Mein Kampf.

1927 - Baseball Hall of Famer Ty Cobb got his 4,000th career hit.

1942 – The Germans test fly the Messerschmitt Me 262 using its jet engines for the first time.

1966 – Gemini 10 is launched from Cape Kennedy on a 70-hour mission that includes docking with an orbiting Agena target vehicle.

1968 – Intel is founded in Mountain View, California.

1992 – A picture of Les Horribles Cernettes was taken, which became the first ever photo posted to the World Wide Web.

1999 - David Cone of the New York Yankees pitched the 14th perfect game in modern major league baseball history in a game against the Montreal Expos.


Quote of the day:
"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children."
~ Nelson Mandela

12 boys and their soccer coach rescued from a cave in northern Thailand and the entire world, including the US, holds its breath and gets hourly updates on their condition until their ordeal is over.

Somewhere between 1,425 - 1720 children [give or take a thousand or so], some under the age of five are taken from their parents and mistreated – held in horrible conditions -- and a huge amount of the US citizenry shrugs and says "what can you expect?  They're illegal aliens".  Elon Musk doesn’t offer to help them

 They’re children and they are scared, lonely and desperate.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, July 18, 2018

one man's traitor is another man's hero

Today is the 3rd day of the 29th week, the 17th day of the 7th month, the 198th day of 2018 [1ith only 160 shopping days until Christmas], and: 

1821 - Spain ceded Florida to the United States.

1840 - Samuel Cunard arrives at Halifax, Nova Scotia, with his daughter on his first steamship, the paddle steamer Britannia.

1867 – Harvard School of Dental Medicine is established in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the first dental school in the U.S. that is affiliated with a university.

1899 – NEC Corporation is organized as the first Japanese joint venture with foreign capital.

1902 – Willis Carrier creates the first air conditioner in Buffalo, New York.

1938 – Douglas Corrigan takes off from Brooklyn to fly the "wrong way" to Ireland and becomes known as "Wrong Way" Corrigan.

1955 – Disneyland is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California.

1962 – Nuclear weapons testing: The "Small Boy" test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada National Security Site.

1975 - an Apollo spaceship docked with a Soyuz spacecraft in orbit in the first superpower linkup of its kind.

1984 – The national drinking age in the United States was changed from 18 to 21.

1985 – Founding of the EUREKA Network by former head of states François Mitterrand (France) and Helmut Kohl (Germany).

1989 – First flight of the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 41 mins 08 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Even before the Helenski press conference, the divide in the way President Trump is perceived is vast

To his supporters:

John McNaughton painted this picture of President Trump and named it "Respect The Flag." The painter says, "I painted President Trump picking up a shredded and trampled flag off the football field. He holds a wet cloth in his right hand, as he attempts to clean it. I respect America. I respect the flag, the anthem, and the President; because he doesn’t back down to those who do not."




To his detractors:

This article in the Irish Times pretty much says it all:



Quote of the day:

"Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what you think it is you want to hear."

~ Alan Coren, English humourist, writer and satirist
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, July 17, 2018


Today is the 4th day of the 28th week, the 11th day of the 7th month, the 
  • All American Pet Photo Day
  • Bowdler's Day – In 1754, Thomas Bowdler was born and became the world’s first editor to change classics in the name of “decency and family values”.   It is a day to celebrate the need for free speech  
  • Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day
  • Day of The Five Billion – the approximate day in 1987 the human population reached five billion; also a TV movie
  • Free Slurpee Day [7-11's Birthday]
  • Make Your Own Sundae Day
  • National Blueberry Muffin Day
  • National Cheer up the Lonely Day
  • National Mojito Day
  • National Rainier Cherries Day
  • National Swimming Pool Day
  • World Population Day


 813 – Byzantine emperor Michael I, under threat by conspiracies, abdicates in favor of his general Leo the Armenian, and becomes a monk (under the name Athanasius).

1405 – Ming admiral Zheng He sets sail to explore the world for the first time.

1576 – Martin Frobisher sights Greenland.

1735 – Mathematical calculations suggest that it is on this day that dwarf planet Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune for the last time before 1979.

1801 – French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons makes his first comet discovery. In the next 27 years he discovers another 36 comets, more than any other person in history.

1848 – Waterloo railway station in London opens.

1859 - Big Ben, the great bell inside the famous London clock tower, chimed for the first time.

1889 – Tijuana, Mexico, is founded.

1893 – The first cultured pearl is obtained by Kokichi Mikimoto.

1895 – Brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière demonstrate movie film technology to scientists.

1897 – Salomon August Andrée leaves Spitsbergen to attempt to reach the North Pole by balloon. He later crashes and dies.

1914 – Baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth made his major league debut as a pitcher for the Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.

1919 – The eight-hour day and free Sunday become law for workers in the Netherlands.

1922 – The Hollywood Bowl opens.

1924 – Eric Liddell won the gold medal in 400m at the 1924 Paris Olympics, after refusing to run in the heats for 100m, his favoured distance, on the Sunday

1934 – Engelbert Zaschka of Germany flies his large human-powered aircraft, the Zaschka Human-Power Aircraft, about 20 meters at Berlin Tempelhof Airport without assisted take-off.

1960 – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is first published, in the United States.

1962 – First transatlantic satellite television transmission.

1962 – At a press conference, NASA announces lunar orbit rendezvous as the means to land astronauts on the Moon, and return them to Earth.

1972 – The first game of the World Chess Championship 1972 between challenger Bobby Fischer and defending champion Boris Spassky starts.

1979 – America's first space station, Skylab, is destroyed as it re-enters the Earth's atmosphere over the Indian Ocean.

1994 – PTV is introduced as a kids programming block for PBS to broadcast educational programming to underprivileged children.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 40 mins 14 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

If we don't change direction soon, we'll end up where we're going.”

~ Professor Irwin Corey, American stand-up comic, film actor and activist, often billed as The World's Foremost Authority


One of the recent trends that makes me the most uncomfortable – and by that I mean I genuinely get worried – is the spate of reported incidents in which white people either call the police because a minority is doing something in their vicinity even if that activity is totally innocuous or they suddenly start ranting [apparently triggered by a t-shirt or a head covering or overhearing any language by English].   The incidents are just plain ugly and I am personally ashamed of the lack of empathy and tolerance on display,




See?  Why can’t we ALL just get along?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, July 11, 2018

it's THAT day again

Today is the 2nd day of the 28th week, the 9th day of the 7th month, the 190th day of 2018, and: 
  • Call of the Horizon Day
  • Fashion Day
  • Independence Day -- the United Provinces of South America (Argentina) from Spain in 1816 and South Sudan from Sudan in 2011.
  • International Town Criers Day
  • Martyrdom of the Bab
  • National Don't Put all our Eggs in One Omelet Day
  • National No Bra Day
  • National Sugar Cookie Day


1357 – Emperor Charles IV assists in laying the foundation stone of Charles Bridge in Prague.

1811 – Explorer David Thompson posts a sign near what is now Sacajawea State Park in Washington state, claiming the Columbia District for the United Kingdom.

1850 – Persian prophet Báb is executed in Tabriz, Persia.

1877 – The inaugural Wimbledon Championships begins.

1893 – Daniel Hale Williams, American heart surgeon, performs 1st successful open-heart surgery in United States without anesthesia.

1922 – Johnny Weissmuller swims the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds breaking the world swimming record and the 'minute barrier'.

1937 – The silent film archives of Fox Film Corporation are destroyed by the 1937 Fox vault fire.

1955 – The Russell–Einstein Manifesto calls for a reduction of the risk of nuclear warfare.

1960 - Niagara Falls Ontario - Roger Woodward survives 162 foot plunge over the Horseshoe Falls because he is wearing a lifejacket;

1962 – Starfish Prime tests the effects of a nuclear test at orbital altitudes.

1993 – The Parliament of Canada passes the Nunavut Act leading to the 1999 creation of Nunavut, dividing the Northwest Territories into arctic (Inuit) and sub-arctic (Dene) lands based on a plebiscite.

1995 - The rock band the Grateful Dead played their last concert, at Soldier Field in Chicago, after a 30-year run, much of it spent on the road. (Lead guitarist Jerry Garcia died the following month.)

1997 - Boxer Mike Tyson was banned from the ring and fined $3 million for biting opponent Evander Holyfield's ear.

2002 - The baseball All-Star game in Milwaukee finished in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings when both teams ran out of pitchers.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 39 mins 57 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Monday mornings are not my favorite.  In fact it wouldn’t be terribly far-fetched to say that I really dislike them.   Just knowing the next day is Monday actually colors my Sunday evening.  A bit to my surprise, I have found that there is actually a Monday Morning Syndrome,  also referred to as MMS, is which can be described as a severe medical condition in which one has bad events occurring one after another.  Folks show signs of tiredness, stress and anxiety.   Most of what I have read blame the fact that we spend the entire weekend doing things totally different than our weekly activities, complete with eating and drinking differently, which impacts how we function.   Of course, the recommendations to address it have all to do with eating healthy, getting regular exercise, plan, etc etc and so forth.

Good luck to us all....

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 9, 2018

Today is the 6th day of the 27th week, the 6th day of the 7th month, the 187th day of 2018, and: 
  • Comic Sans Day
  • Earth at Aphelion
  • Independence Day -- the Comoros from France in 1975 and Malawi from United Kingdom in 1964.
  • International Kissing Day
  • National Air Traffic Control Day
  • National Fried Chicken Day
  • Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day
  • Umbrella Cover Day


1348 – Pope Clement VI issues a papal bull protecting the Jews accused of having caused the Black Death.

1411 – Ming China's Admiral Zheng He returns to Nanjing after the third treasure voyage and presents the Sinhalese king, captured during the Ming–Kotte War, to the Yongle Emperor.

1484 – Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.

1573 – Córdoba, Argentina, is founded by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera.

1854 – In Jackson, Michigan, the first convention of the United States Republican Party is held.

1865 – The first issue of The Nation magazine is published.

1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tests his vaccine against rabies on Joseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.

1919 – The British dirigible R34 lands in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.

1933 – The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game is played in Chicago's Comiskey Park. The American League defeated the National League 4–2.

1940 – Story Bridge, a major landmark in Brisbane, as well as Australia's longest cantilever bridge is formally opened.

1942 – Anne Frank and her family go into hiding in the "Secret Annexe" above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

1944 – Jackie Robinson refuses to move to the back of a bus, leading to a court-martial.

1947 – The AK-47 goes into production in the Soviet Union.

1952 - After nearly a century of service the tram has made its final appearance in London.

1957 – Althea Gibson wins the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so.

1957 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney meet for the first time, as teenagers at Woolton Fete, three years before forming the Beatles.

1962 – As a part of Operation Plowshare, the Sedan nuclear test takes place.

1962 – The Late Late Show, the world's longest-running chat show by the same broadcaster, airs on RTÉ One for the first time.

1974 = Garrison Keillor's radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion," debuted in a live broadcast from St. Paul, Minn.

1986 – Davis Phinney becomes the first American cyclist to win a road stage of the Tour de France.

1990 – The Electronic Frontier Foundation,  an international non-profit digital rights group based in San Francisco, California, is founded.

1998 – Hong Kong International Airport opens in Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong, replacing Kai Tak Airport as the city's international airport.

2003 – The 70-metre Yevpatoria Planetary Radar sends a METI message (Cosmic Call 2) to five stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri (HD 75732), HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris (HD 95128). The messages will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044, and 2049, respectively.

2006 – The Nathu La pass between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opens for trade after 44 years.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 39 mins 32 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"Anger is traditionally thought to be close to wisdom. When not projected outward onto others or inward toward the self, it gives us the necessary energy and clarity to understand what needs to be done."

~ Thanissara, “Don’t Worry, Be Angry


Looking at the pictures of Lady Liberty and reading the stories in the news one could get angry very easily.   May that anger bring clarity to the way in which you personally see the issue of refugees and immigrants

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, July 6, 2018

the day before our birthday....

Today is the 3rd day of the 27th week, the 3rd day of the 7th month, the 184th day of 2018, and: 
  • American Redneck Day – are all rednecks American, or do they have rednecks in other countries?  Now there’s a thought question for you!
  • Disobedience Day
  • International Plastic Bag Free Day
  • National Chocolate Wafer Day
  • National Compliment Your Mirror Day
  • National Eat Beans Day
  • National Fried Clam Day
  • Stay Out of the  Sun Day
  • Superman Day --  DC Comics hosted Superman Day at the NY World's Fair in 1940, featuring the first public appearance of "The Man of Tomorrow", Superman (Ray Middleton) in full costume and a live Superman radio broadcast from the fairgrounds.
  • The start of the Dog Days according to the Old Farmer's Almanac but not according to established meaning in most European cultures -- historically the period following the heliacal rising of the star Sirius, which Greek and Roman astrology connected with heat, drought, sudden thunderstorms, lethargy, fever, mad dogs, and bad luck. They are now taken to be the hottest, most uncomfortable part of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.


1608 – Québec City is founded by Samuel de Champlain as he builds his Habitation at the foot of Cape Diamond on the site of Place Royale; a fortified trading post with trenches, cellars and a palisade on the bank of the St. Lawrence River; sponsored by King Henri IV and the first permanent European settlement

1767 – Pitcairn Island is discovered by Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on an expeditionary voyage commanded by Philip Carteret.

1767 – Norway's oldest newspaper still in print, Adresseavisen, is founded and the first edition is published.

1819 – The Bank for Savings in the City of New-York, the first savings bank in the United States, opens.

1839 – The first state normal school in the United States, the forerunner to today's Framingham State University, opens in Lexington, Massachusetts with three students.

1844 – The last pair of great auks is killed.

1884 – Dow Jones & Company publishes its first stock average.

1886 – Karl Benz officially unveils the Benz Patent-Motorwagen, the first purpose-built automobile.

1886 – The New-York Tribune becomes the first newspaper to use a linotype machine, eliminating typesetting by hand.

1898 - Captain Joshua Slocum, from Briar Island, Nova Scotia, arrives at Fairhaven in his small wooden oyster dredger, Spray, after completing the first solo circumnavigation of the world, a voyage of 65,000 km and writing a book Sailing Alone Around the World, that is still in print

1913 – Confederate veterans at the Great Reunion of 1913 reenact Pickett's Charge; upon reaching the high-water mark of the Confederacy they are met by the outstretched hands of friendship from Union survivors.

1938 – World speed record for a steam locomotive is set in England, by the Mallard, which reaches a speed of 125.88 miles per hour (202.58 km/h).

1938 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicates the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and lights the eternal flame at Gettysburg Battlefield.

1962 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

1969 – The biggest explosion in the history of rocketry occurs when the Soviet N-1 rocket explodes and subsequently destroys its launchpad.

1996 – Stone of Scone [AKA the Stone of Destiny or the Lia Fail], stone that for centuries was associated with the crowning of Scottish kings, is returned to Scotland.

2005 - A NASA space probe, Deep Impact, hit its comet target as planned in a mission to learn how the solar system formed.


As the 242nd birthday of the United States of America approaches, I just wish things were going a bit better.  How do I define “better? 
  • A robust economy that takes care of all stakeholders, which includes employees and communities, not just shareholders with less Calvinism, elitism and income inequity
  • A respect for the rights of others, including the right to help when you need it
  • Cohabitation and collaboration with different cultures
  • And more care for our Mother Earth
And I wish these goals and objectives were more in tune with all Americans

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, July 3, 2018

halfway thru 2018

Today is the 2nd day of the 27th week, the 2nd day of the 7th month, the 183rd of 2018, and: 
  • Freedom From Fear of Speaking Day
  • I Forgot Day
  • Made in the USA Day
  • Midpoint of a common year because there are 182 days before and 182 days after it in common years
  • National Anisette Day
  • Second Half of The Year Day
  • Special Recreation for the Disabled Day
  • World Sports Journalism Day
  • World UFO Day


1776 – American Revolution: The Continental Congress adopts a resolution severing ties with the Kingdom of Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence is not published until July 4.

1900 – The first Zeppelin flight takes place on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.

1900 – Jean Sibelius' Finlandia receives its première performance in Helsinki with the Helsinki Philharmonic Society conducted by Robert Kajanus.

1937 – Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight.

1962 – The first Walmart store (called Wal-Mart Discount City) was opened in Rogers, Ark., by Sam Walton and his brother, James.

1964 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.

2001 – The AbioCor self-contained artificial heart is first implanted.

2002 – Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon.

2013 – The International Astronomical Union names Pluto's fourth and fifth moons, Kerberos and Styx.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 39 mins 01 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

   “Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we're too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone.”

~ Steven Spielberg


Earlier today I posted a story about the man who first used email, and how it affected his habits and read about the arguments on whether or not there was such a thing as “gaming disorder”.    I look about my desk –  the PC [actually a laptop with a docking station and dual monitors sitting on an adjustable standing desk, the VOIP phone, my iPhone streaming soothing music and sitting in a speaker dock; the iPad sitting beside it, the charging case for the Bluetooth earpiece nestled in its charging case, the USB driven every-changing potion flask on the side.   I don’t consider myself unusual, maybe a bit of an early adopter, but never at the front of the queue for the latest technology – I don’t have a VR rig for example – but there is no doubt that I have embraced technology and have plugged in, so to speak


Has tech changed me as a person?   Because I get so much entertainment and interaction in my 2nd Life, I do tend to stay home more often and am less restless when staying home is necessary.  I don’t have to lug a book with me, or settle on reading magazines in any waiting area I find myself in because a huge library of my books is available via the Kindle app.  I can read anywhere at any time.   I would never find Georgette Heyer today -- I wouldn’t pick up “Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle” because I was bored and desperately needed something, anything to read, even in a genre that I didn’t care for, for a while. 




Maybe it is a mixed blessing, but I find being able to retreat into my books and now my 2nd Life a real relief as the world darkens.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 2, 2018


Today is the 6th day of the 26th week, the 29th day of the 6th month, the 180th day of 2018, and: 
  • Drive Your Corvette to Work Day
  • Feast of Saints Peter and Paul – no idea of the actual date of their martyrdom and they weren’t killed together, but the date selected is thought to be either the anniversary of one of their deaths or the translation of their relics
  • Hug Holiday Day
  • Independence Day -- Seychelles from the United Kingdom in 1976  ((for those of you who, like me, said “that’s a country?  where in the hell is THAT?”  It is an archipelago and sovereign state in the Indian Ocean.)) 
  • National Almond Buttercrunch Day
  • National Camera Day
  • National Food Truck Day
  • National Waffle Iron Day
  • World Scleroderma Awareness Day
1534 – Jacques Cartier is the first European to reach Prince Edward Island, explores north and west shores of Prince Edward Island, but thinks it part of the mainland; notes 'the loveliest climate you could ever see, and great heat'.
1613 – The Globe Theatre in London burns to the ground.
1850 – Autocephaly [the property of being self-headed] officially granted by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Church of Greece.
1888 – George Edward Gouraud records Handel's Israel in Egypt onto a phonograph cylinder, thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music.  Fairly recently a recording from April 9th, 1860 of a woman singing has surfaced
1908 - First Dominion Exhibition opens in Calgary; origin of Calgary Stampede.
1927 – The Bird of Paradise, a US Army Air Corps Fokker tri-motor, completes the first transpacific flight, from the mainland United States to Hawaii.
1956 – The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 is signed, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System.
1974 – Isabel Perón is sworn in as the first female President of Argentina.
1974 – Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from the Soviet Union to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet.
1975 – Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer.
1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, the Le Pont de Trinquetaille, was bought for $20.4 million at an auction in London, England.
1995 – STS-71 Mission (Atlantis) docks with the Russian space station Mir for the first time, forming the largest man-made satellite ever to orbit the Earth.
2007 – Apple Inc. releases its first mobile phone, the iPhone.
2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 38 mins 38 secs of light-travel time from Earth
So the internet was down for a bit – no big deal right?  After all, life went on before we had the world wide web to use for entertainment, right?  Go read a book, take a walk outside, play a board game, catch up with your chores, make a phone call, visit a friend, you know, do something other than be online.  You don’t need the internet to live.
BUT …Today is the final business day of the 6th month and the 2nd quarter.   Financial services all over the country are scrambling because Comcast suffered a major outage.  Mortgage and other loan settlements cannot take place because any organization utilizing that network cannot wire funds.  Payments can’t be made.  Now for what I do this isn’t a terrible problem because I can backdate any transactions that need to take place, but not every financial service has that ability.  And that is just the impact onone industry

Internet access has become a need not a luxury.  It could even be considered a right.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 29, 2018

the last Thursday in June

Today is the 5th day of the 26th week, the 28th day of the 6th month, the 179th day of 2018, and: 
  • Full moon at 12:53 AM EDT – called the "Strawberry Moon" by Native Americans of New England and the Great Lakes because at this time of the year, the strawberry ripened.
  • Insurance Awareness Day
  • International body Piercing Day
  • INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY  (beware of people shouting at you ALL DAY))
  • National Bomb Pop Day
  • National Handshake Day
  • National Tapioca Day
  • Paul Bunyan Day
  • Ryan Moran Day -- billed as the most powerful man in the world who shaped the planet for peace, his day is always celebrated on the last full moon in June.  You can find his “untold story” here
  • Tau day – for those who don’t like PI 

1838 – Coronation of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom.

1841 – The Paris Opera Ballet premieres Giselle in the Salle Le Peletier.

1846 – Adolphe Sax patents the saxophone.

1855 – Sigma Chi fraternity is founded in North America.

1859 – The first conformation dog show is held in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

1894 – Labor Day becomes an official US holiday.

1902 – The U.S. Congress passes the Spooner Act, authorizing President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.

1911 – The Nakhla meteorite, the first one to suggest signs of aqueous processes on Mars, falls to Earth, landing in Egypt.

1914 – Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sophie are assassinated in Sarajevo; this is the casus belli of World War I.

1919 - the Treaty of Versailles was signed in France, ending World War I.

1926 – Mercedes-Benz is formed by Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz merging their two companies.

1948 – Boxer Dick Turpin beats Vince Hawkins at Villa Park in Birmingham to become the first black British boxing champion in the modern era.

1997 – Holyfield–Tyson II: Mike Tyson is disqualified in the third round for biting a piece off Evander Holyfield's ear.


Quote of the day:

"When you encounter something positive and healing, pause with it, lighting the lamp of your mindfulness to savor and appreciate it."

~ Thomas Bien, “Water the Flowers, Not the Weeds


Management and lifestyle gurus are often advising us to take care of the little things, pay better attention to the world around us.  We get bombarded with advice to be positive and proactive and “fake it ‘til you make it”, telling us that if we just SEE, if we just VISUALIZE a successful outcome, the universe will provide.   Problem with that is the same thing that happens when you wish upon a star, or pray – there are a whole lot of folks who are visualizing, wishing and praying for something that is pretty much the antithesis of what you want/desire/need.  But I like this quote because it places before me a goal that I can handle without giving me a guilt trip.   To me it says take a moment to savor …. 
  • The laugh you enjoyed while watching the silly clips about a pet being flummoxed by a vanishing trip
  • A favorite passage in a book or a scene in a movie – I once went to see Raiders of the Lost Ark every day for two weeks [the theater was on the way to pick up the kids from camp] just for that scene where he thundered after the Nazis and the Arc on a white horse through a lane of cheering Arabs underscored by the famous Indiana Jones theme music
  • That car that slowed down so you could actually merge into traffic at a very difficult intersection
  • A moment of car karaoke when you suddenly start singing with a well-worn “oldie”
  • The cool bite of the A/C when you come in from a hazy, hot, and humid day
  • A graduation picture of a friend from 50 years ago
These aren’t life-shaping moments.   They aren’t going to help me manage the angst and anger caused by the news.  I cannot claim to be uplifted, rejuevenated or at peace.  But thinking back on my day, these moments stand out in my mental picture of the days somewhat frenetic activity.  Like little glowing sparks flying upward from a fireplace, or fireflies dancing in the dark, they push back the darkness and remind me despair is a deadly mortal sin




There are many things that are in the field of my concern that are neither within the sphere of my control nor the realm of my influence – but keeping my doorstep clean and being mindful of the little things is definitely something I can do.  Just have to remember that….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Today is the 4th day of the 26th week, the 27th day of the 6th month, the 178th day of 2018 [with only 180 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • "Happy Birthday to You" Day -- A composer and educator, Mildred Hill was born on today's date in 1859, but she is best remembered because she wrote the song's melody
  • Decide to Be Married Day
  • Helen Keller Day
  • Industrial Workers of the World Day – ironically the US Supreme Court delivers a controversial decision against organized labor today
  • Micro-, Small-, And Medium-Sized Enterprises Day
  • National HIV Testing Day
  • National Ice Cream Cake Day
  • National Indian Pudding Day
  • National Orange Blossom Day
  • National Parchment or Parchment Cooking Day
  • National Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Day
  • Sunglasses Day
  • Windjammer Day


1358 – The Republic of Ragusa is founded.  ((For those that have no idea who or what the Republic of Ragusa is [like me], it is a maritime republic centered on the city of Dubrovnik and located within present-day Croatia)).

1844 – Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother Hyrum Smith, are killed by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail.

1895 – The inaugural run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York City, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.

1898 – The first solo circumnavigation of the globe is completed by Joshua Slocum from Briar Island, Nova Scotia.

1954 – The Obninsk Nuclear Power Plant, the Soviet Union's first nuclear power station, opens in Obninsk, near Moscow.

1954 – The 1954 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match between Hungary and Brazil, highly anticipated to be exciting, instead turns violent, with three players ejected and further fighting continuing after the game.

1971 – After only three years in business, rock promoter Bill Graham closes Fillmore East in New York, the "Church of Rock and Roll".

1982 – Space Shuttle Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Center on the final research and development flight mission, STS-4.

2013 – NASA launches the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, a space probe to observe the Sun.


And for Wordless Wednesday, I offer:

There are days I hate ageing   
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, June 27, 2018

can intolerance be tolerated?

Today is the 3rd day of the 26th week, the 26th day of the 6th month, the 177th day of 2018


      4 – Augustus adopts Tiberius.

 699 – En no Ozuno, a Japanese mystic and apothecary who will later be regarded as the founder of a folk religion Shugendō, is banished to Izu Ōshima.

1409 – Western Schism: The Roman Catholic Church is led into a double schism as Petros Philargos is crowned Pope Alexander V after the Council of Pisa, joining Pope Gregory XII in Rome and Pope Benedict XII in Avignon.

1843 – Treaty of Nanking comes into effect, Hong Kong Island is ceded to the British "in perpetuity".

1857 – The first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park, London.

1870 – The Christian holiday of Christmas is declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1886 – Henri Moissan isolated elemental Fluorine for the first time.

1889 – Bangui is founded by Albert Dolisie and Alfred Uzac in what was then the upper reaches of the French Congo.

1906 – The first Grand Prix motor racing event held.

1909 – The Science Museum in London comes into existence as an independent entity.

1919 - The New York Daily News was first published.

1925 - Charlie Chaplin's comedy "The Gold Rush" premiered in Hollywood.

1925 - ES Ted Rogers Sr invents the alternating-current tube which allows plug-in batteryless radios; the RB call sign of his radio station CFRB means 'Rogers Batteryless.'

1927 – The Cyclone roller coaster opens on Coney Island.

1934 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Federal Credit Union Act, which establishes credit unions.

1936 – Initial flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter.

1942 – The first flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat.

1945 – The United Nations Charter is signed by 50 Allied nations in San Francisco, California.

1948 – William Shockley files the original patent for the grown-junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.

1948 – Shirley Jackson's short story The Lottery is published in The New Yorker magazine.

1959 – Swedish boxer Ingemar Johansson becomes world champion of heavy weight boxing, by defeating American Floyd Patterson on technical knockout after two minutes and three seconds in the third round at Yankee Stadium.

1959 - Queen Elizabeth and President Eisenhower inaugurate the St Lawrence Seaway in Canada that connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic.

1977 – Elvis Presley held his final concert in Indianapolis, Indiana at Market Square Arena

2000 – The Human Genome Project announces the completion of a "rough draft" sequence.

2000 – Pope John Paul II reveals the third secret of Fátima.


Quote of the day:

   “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.”

~ Gilda Rander, American comedian, writer, actress, and one of seven original cast members of the NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live


I grew up being taught that one needed to be tolerant of others – tolerant of differing points of view, tolerant of different beliefs, tolerant of different races, tolerant of different nationalities.   Of course, I ended up taking that creed a bit further than some of my family was happy with and espoused toleration for different lifestyles and expressed toleration a bit more actively.  I brought up my kids to be tolerant, and hopefully to be polite.  So the spate of recent articles about how tolerance actually encourages and promotes dictatorship and injustice has me a bit befuddled.   How could simple good manners go so awry


It isn’t just the way the politicians castigate each other as the spawn of the Devil incarnate.  It isn’t just the way the US President rants and rails daily on Twitter.   It isn’t just the constant barrage of white people calling 911 or blasting anyone who doesn’t look like them, telling them to “go home” even if their home is here.  No, it is the moral and ethical dilemma presented by the request to serve someone who themselves are intolerant.   The Supreme Court has said a baker does not have to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because it would violate their belief.   So should I be outraged that a member of this administration, who has actively promoted what I consider heartless policies and spouted numerous “alternative facts” was not served in a restaurant?  Should I be condemnatory that a Congresswoman has called for more and more people to emulate The Red Hen and make those who support Trump bear the cost of that support?   Where does my tolerance end?  Is loathing one’s politics any better or worse than despising one’s sexual orientation?  If I express intolerance for those I find intolerant, am I descending to their level?  And if I DON’T express my intolerance, then am I enabling those I feel are doing wrong?




My head hurts
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 26, 2018

what's the buzz...

Today is the 2nd day of the 26th week, the 25th day of the 6th month, the 176th day of 2018 and: 
  • Color TV Day -- The first commercial color telecast took place as CBS transmitted a one-hour special from New York to four other cities in 1951
  • Day of the Seafarer
  • Global Beatles Day -- “All you need is love” is a song written by John Lennon, credited to Lennon/McCartney, first performed on this day in 1967 by The Beatles on the BBC produced program, Our World, broadcast to 26 countries via satellite  and watched by 400 million
  • Independence Day -- Mozambique from Portugal in 1975.
  • Leon Day -- six months away from Christmas day.  Leon is Noel spelled backward and is a day some crafters begin planning their homemade gifts and decorations and there are only 182 shopping days left..
  • Mitch Lane Day -- someone by the name of Mitchell (Mitch) Lane has been making YouTube videos for some time. He was made famous after achieving a personal best (PB) of 6.25 seconds and then yelling "Mom, I got a PB! Moooom!"
  • National Catfish Day – the actual fish, not the online pretender
  • National Strawberry Parfait Day
  • Please Take My Children to Work Day
  • World Vitiligo Day – celebrated since 2011,  the purpose is to spread awareness of this disorder that causes a loss of color in the skin creating a variety of patterns on the skin from loss of pigment

1786 – Gavriil Pribylov discovers St. George Island of the Pribilof Islands in the Bering Sea.

1898 - Salvation Army group [affectionately referred to as "Sally Ann"] finishes 882 km trek over the Chilkoot Pass from Skagway Alaska to organize a mission for the Klondike gold miners; provides food, shelter, and medical services until 1912.

1900 – The Taoist monk Wang Yuanlu discovers the Dunhuang manuscripts, a cache of ancient texts that are of great historical and religious significance, in the Mogao Caves of Dunhuang, China.

1910 – The United States Congress passes the Mann Act, which prohibits interstate transport of females for “immoral purposes”; the ambiguous language would be used to selectively prosecute people for years to come.

1910 – Igor Stravinsky's ballet The Firebird is premiered in Paris, bringing him to prominence as a composer.

1923 – Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter perform the first ever aerial refueling in a DH.4B biplane

1944 – The final page of the comic Krazy Kat is published, exactly two months after its author George Herriman died.

1947 – The Diary of a Young Girl (better known as The Diary of Anne Frank) is published.

1978 – The rainbow flag representing gay pride is flown for the first time during the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade.

1981 – Microsoft is restructured to become an incorporated business in its home state of Washington.

1984 – American singer Prince releases his most successful studio album, Purple Rain.

1997 – An unmanned Progress spacecraft collides with the Russian space station Mir.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 38 mins 09 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"One of the great diseases of this age is the multitude of books that doth so overcharge the world that it is not able to digest the abundance of idle matter that is every day hatched and brought into the world"

~ Barnaby Rich (c. 1540 – 10 November 1617), English author and soldier


As the use of the printing press spread, thoughtful men became concerned about the sheer volume of information that was battering the common man, and decrying the sometimes frivolous uses of the new social medium.   There is no doubt that plaint can be echoed by just about everyone today – we are constantly battered with different stories, with different emphasizes on the stories that almost amount to completely different versions, and are having a hard time with that word “fact” as our perceptions seem to trump objectivity.  Between “fake news” and “alternative facts”, coupled with editing both photographs as well as sound and video recordings, it has gotten to the point that no one actually knows what to believe anymore.  Certainly I have expressed my weariness with the constant upsets in the news lately, but although I think it has gotten worse in the past two years, my fatigue definitely started about a year in the term of Obama – the waves vitriolic and constant vilification were distasteful to me.  I had hoped it was just a knee jerk reaction of being uncomfortable with change, but now I fear it is more than that as the partisan divide deepens. 


The great danger is that all moderates will be totally worn out and only the radicals on each end of the spectrum will be left.  I’m not sure that hasn’t already happened, actually….




Yup, they all sound alike to me – loud, obnoxious, self-righteous, and bossy.  And I’m tired of the turmoil and ugliness – it doesn’t address the problems.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, June 25, 2018

finally Friday

Today is the 6th day of the 25th week, the 22nd day of the 6th month, the 173rd day of 2018: 
  • Baby Boomer's Recognition Day
  • Global Smurfs Day
  • National Chocolate Eclair Day
  • National Eat At A Food Truck Da
  • National HVAC Tech Day
  • National Onion Rings Day
  • Stupid Guy Thing Day
  • Take Your Day to Work Day
  • Ugliest Dog Day
  • World Rainforest Day
  • Worldwide VW Beetle Day

1633 – The Holy Office in Rome forces Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe in the form he presented it in, after heated controversy.

1807 - Founding of the Montréal Curling Club, Canada's first, by 20 merchants and a chaplain, in Gillis Tavern. The Royal Montreal Curling Club is the oldest active athletic club in North America. Montréal, Québec

1825 – The British Parliament abolishes feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America.

1839 – Cherokee leaders Major Ridge, John Ridge, and Elias Boudinot are assassinated for signing the Treaty of New Echota, which had resulted in the Trail of Tears.

1907 – The London Underground's Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway opens.

1938 - Heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling of Germany in the first round of their rematch in New York City's Yankee Stadium.

1942 – The Pledge of Allegiance is formally adopted by US Congress.

1948 – The ship HMT Empire Windrush brought the first group of 802 West Indian immigrants to Tilbury, marking the start of modern immigration to the United Kingdom

1969 – The Cuyahoga River catches fire in Cleveland, Ohio, drawing national attention to water pollution, and spurring the passing of the Clean Water Act and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

1984 – Virgin Atlantic Airways launches with its first flight from London Gatwick Airport.

1986 – The famous Hand of God goal, scored by Diego Maradona in the quarter-finals of the 1986 FIFA World Cup match between Argentina and England, ignites controversy. This was later followed by the Goal of the Century. Argentina wins 2–1 and later goes on to win the World Cup.

1988 – The Academy Award Winning Film that was a breakthrough in both Animation and Visual Effects; Who Framed Roger Rabbit was released in cinemas today.

1990 – Checkpoint Charlie is dismantled in Berlin.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 37 mins 48 secs of light-travel time from Earth


After a turbulent week of reading and comment on the news, I think I am just going to put this here:


I’m glad it is Friday; it's been a long week
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 22, 2018

the job hunt

Today is the 5th day of the 25th week, the 21st day of the 6th month, the 172nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Anne and Samantha Day -- observed twice a year [Summer Solstice and Winter Solstice] honoring Anne Frank and Samantha Smith, two idealistic, caring teenagers whose lives ended too soon
  • Atheist Solidarity Day
  • Cuckoo Warning Day -- BEWARE! It will be a wet summer if the sound of the cuckoo is heard today,
  • Go Skateboarding Day
  • International Day of Yoga
  • International Surfing Day
  • National Day of The Gong
  • National Daylight Appreciation Day
  • National Dump the Pump Day -- an “unofficial” National holiday is sponsored by American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and public transportation systems across the country celebrated for the past 12 years
  • National Peaches and Cream Day
  • National Seashell Day
  • National Selfie Day
  • Recess at Work Day
  • Tall Girl Appreciation Day
  • The First Day of Summer
  • The Longest Day
  • World Giraffe Day
  • World Handshake Day
  • World Humanist Day
  • World Hydrography Day – dealing with just matters as technical standards, safe navigation and the protection of the marine environment.
  • World Music Day
  • World Peace and Prayer Day


1749 – Halifax, Nova Scotia, is founded.

1834 - Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.

1964 - Jim Bunning of the Philadelphia Phillies pitched a perfect game in a 6-0 victory over the New York Mets.

1973 – In handing down the decision in Miller v. California 413 US 15, the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the Miller test for obscenity in U.S. law.

1978 – The original production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, Evita, based on the life of Eva Perón, opened at the Prince Edward Theatre, London.

1997 - The Women's National Basketball Association made its debut.

2004 – SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.

2006 – Pluto's newly discovered moons are officially named Nix and Hydra.


When I was looking for work I seemed to spend a lot of time on the job search.  There were calls in to the two or three recruiters that I was with to see if they had anything for me.  Then I would go to the job sites – some general, some industry specific and read through almost every single new posting.   I would check on LinkedIn to see if anyone mentioned an opening.   And I would get a paper and peruse the want ads [yes Virginia, there is still a want ad section in the paper.   I would then start applying to jobs, usually submitting them by email with a cover letter, or email rather.  Oh those cover letters!   I had to research the company, try to figure out what they were looking for and tailor my cover email to sound as though I was really interested in a job with THEM.   I’m sure ever HR person read my efforts with the wry thought that here was another one who just wanted a job – which since I was without one the last time I was looking was the absolute truth.   Sure I would’ve liked to have tended to my career, but my first concern was the bills that had to be paid.   All the talk about consultants and free agents, about parlaying KSA into income by working to meet immediate needs, and I just wanted a JOB so that I could stop worrying about where the next rent payment was coming from or the food for myself and my cat.


That is one reason I was so furious when I found out  had posted two positions as “new postings” with an active “apply now” button on their job site.   They out and out lied – the positions had been sitting on our website for something like four years and they scrapped it and posted it.   Fortunately the folks who were interested called us, which is how we found out about the posting and supposedly they have been taken down.   But it has made me question the way in which these job sites work:  [1] Are the jobs posted “real” or like those two positions that are only there just in case someone is on our site and might be interested as opposed to waiting until we have an actual need? And [2]  What happens to all the personal information you put on their application form?  How much do you want to bet that contact information is pedaled to advertisers?



And after all that networking and online research?  I landed this job because I saw a tiny ad in a community paper.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, June 21, 2018

no news is good news

Today is the 4th day of the 25th week, the 20th day of the 6th month, the 174th day of 2018, and: 
  • American Eagle Day -- The Bald Eagle was selected as the U.S.A.’s National Emblem by our country’s Founding Fathers on June 20, 1782 by the Second Continental Congress
  • Flitch of Bacon Day --  an English tradition by which a flitch of bacon [a side of bacon half of a pig that has been cut in half lengthwise] is to be given to every man or woman who demanded it a year and a day after their marriage
  • Lambrusco Day ((got wine?))
  • National Hike With A Geek Day – another attempt to get folks to unplug and go outside
  • National Ice Cream Soda Day
  • National Kouign Amann Day – In case you were wondering, it is a round crusty cake, originally made with bread dough, containing layers of butter and sugar folded in, similar in fashion to puff pastry
  • National Vanilla Milkshake Day
  • New Identity Day – who are you really?  
  • Plain Yogurt Day
  • Toad Hollow Day of Thank You – apparently no one is quite certain about this one…..
  • World Productivity Day
  • World Refuge Day
And the earliest date for the summer solstice in the Northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the Southern hemisphere



1631 – The Irish village of Baltimore is attacked by Algerian pirates.

1782 – The U.S. Congress adopts the Great Seal of the United States.

1787 – Oliver Ellsworth moves at the Federal Convention to call the government the 'United States'.

1819 – The U.S. vessel SS Savannah arrives at Liverpool, United Kingdom. It is the first steam-propelled vessel to cross the Atlantic, although most of the journey is made under sail.

1837 – King William IV of England dies. Windsor, England and Queen Victoria ascends the British throne at age 18 succeeding her uncle, William IV; crowned June 28, 1838 in Westminster Abbey, she will reign for 63 years until her death in 1901

1840 – Samuel Morse receives the patent for the telegraph.

1877 – Alexander Graham Bell installs the world's first commercial telephone service in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

1895 – The Kiel Canal, crossing the base of the Jutland peninsula and the busiest artificial waterway in the world, is officially opened.

1900 – Baron Eduard Toll, leader of the Russian Polar Expedition of 1900, departs Saint Petersburg in Russia on the explorer ship Zarya, never to return.

1944 – The experimental MW 18014 V-2 rocket reaches an altitude of 176 km, becoming the first man-made object to reach outer space.

1945 – The United States Secretary of State approves the transfer of Wernher von Braun and his team of Nazi rocket scientists to the U.S. under Operation Paperclip.

1948 - The TV variety series "Toast of the Town" hosted by Ed Sullivan debuted on CBS.

1972 – Watergate scandal: An 18½-minute gap appears in the tape recording of the conversations between U.S. President Richard Nixon and his advisers regarding the recent arrests of his operatives while breaking into the Watergate complex.

1975 – The film Jaws is released in the United States, becoming the highest-grossing film of that time and starting the trend of films known as "summer blockbusters".

1997 - The tobacco industry agreed to a massive settlement in exchange for relief from mounting lawsuits and legal bills.

1990 – Asteroid Eureka, the first Mars trojan [an object that shares the orbit of the planet Mars around the Sun], is discovered

2007 - Sammy Sosa of the Texas Rangers became the fifth major leaguer to hit 600 career home runs.


State at the moment:
  • The apartment building A/C is not working correctly for anyone above the 2nd floor [I live on the 20th] because a blower motor is not operating. A new motor has been ordered and should be there in three days, after which it has to be installed.   I’m betting Monday before the apartment really cools down but the temperatures for the rest of the week look more moderate and the place is bearable, more-or-less, although one does not feel like doing anything
  • Panda, my feline friend, has developed hypothyroidism.  There are three courses of treatment – daily medication, change up all her food, or radiation treatment.  The latter is the only cure, but it costs around $2K+ all the test
  • I still have not found a GYN on my doctor’s recommended list that will accept Medicare.  Fortunately my issue is not life-threatening so I can continue looking.
  • After years of bellyaching about Social Security and Medicare being called an entitlement when I paid for it for the past 53 years?  Legally it is just that.  I STILL don’t care for the negative connotations though

There, that doesn’t sound so bad, now does it?

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