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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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beladona Memorial

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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The Tuesday before Turkey Day

Today is the 3rd day of the 47th week, the 21st day of the 11th month, the 325th day of 2017 [there are 33 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Alascattalo Day (About Alaska & humor)
  • False Confession Day
  • National Entrepreneurship Day
  • National Gingerbread Day
  • National Red Mitten Day
  • National Stuffing Day
  • Pumpkin Pie Day
  • World Hello Day
  • World Television Day
On this day:

164 BC – Judas Maccabeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.  Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.  Hanukkah 2017 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, December 12 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, December 20

1676 – The Danish astronomer Ole Rømer presents the first quantitative measurements of the speed of light.

1905 – Albert Einstein's paper that leads to the mass–energy equivalence formula, E = mc², is published in the journal Annalen der Physik.

1969 – The first permanent ARPANET link is established between UCLA and SRI.

1995 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 5,000 for the first time.

Today -- NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 33 mins 37 secs of light-travel time and Voyager II is 16 hrs 08 mins 45 secs of light-travel time from Earth


There are things that I really really really don’t want to read about.  Like the latest sex scandals as the powerful are called out for their antics.  Seriously folks, you are surprised that power corrupts? Or about tax reform – the rich are making sure that they stay rich by tromping down on everyone else.  The latest antics of the administration, whether it is about the latest tweet storm or politicizing the Census Bureau or gutting rights in the name of “national security” or any of the maneuvers that foretell the powerful wanting to make sure they stay in power.  Anything defending the way the US handles gums.    Seriously, one could start suffering from PTSD from just staying up-to-date on current events.    How can we possibly influence this deluge of ….  [insert profanity or potty word of your choice here]?


While I am a firm believer in cultivating your own patch of the world – as Goethe famously said  “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean” --  I am also torn by my civic duty, the need to speak up for what is right and just.   We can’t just sit back and let others carry the load or let the forces of intolerance and hatred win!


And so another blog post ends indeterminately, sounding just vaguely bewildered by everything that is happening as I feel.


I’m going back to my 2nd Life….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 21, 2017

yup, it's Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 47th week, the 20th day of the 11th month, the 324th day of 2017, and: 
  • Africa Industrialization Day
  • Beautiful Day
  • Future Teachers of American Day – I belonged to this club all through school because I was going to be a teacher and never knew it had its own holiday
  • Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day [aka GOHARD] – yeah, they engineered that name just to come up with a “cute” set of initials
  • Name Your PC Day – my PC is always called beladona, because that is who I am online.  Ah the days when you had to have a user name that was exactly eight letters in lower case
  • National Absurdity Day
  • National Peanut Butter Fudge Day – hands down my very favorite kind of fudge!  OC, NJ used to have several shops that made this – there was one that would do a layer of peanut butter fudge with a layer of chocolate on the bottom that was just heavenly
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance – there is a sad list of those lost to bigotry
  • Universal Children's Day – hmmpf!  My parents always told me that every day was children’s day, which is why we didn’t get a holiday like mothers and fathers
On this day:

1820 – An 80-ton sperm whale attacks the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. The ship sank, and the surviving crew were reduced to cannibalism before they were rescued.  First Mate Owen Chase returned to Nantucket on 11 June 1821 and four months later completed an account of the disaster, the Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex;  the cabin boy, Thomas Nickerson, became a captain in the Merchant Service and later wrote another account of the sinking, titled The Loss of the Ship "Essex" Sunk by a Whale and the Ordeal of the Crew in Open Boats.  Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick is in part inspired by this story.

1942 - US Army Corps of Engineers cut the ribbon on the 2451 km long Alcan Highway, running from Dawson Creek, BC, through the Yukon and on to Fairbanks, Alaska.  It is still pretty much the only way to drive from the lower 48 to Alaska.

1959 – The Declaration of the Rights of the Child [AKA the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child] is adopted by the United Nations.  The document listed five things that "... The child that is hungry must be fed, the child that is sick must be nursed, the child that is backward must be helped, the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succoured....."

1974 – The United States Department of Justice files its final anti-trust suit against AT&T Corporation. This suit later leads to the breakup of AT&T and its Bell System.  I'm still not 100% certain this was a good thing.  OTOH, it was definitely a monopoly -- bear in mind, we only had land lines at this time.  OTOH, the transition was both lengthy and painful and many prices for services went up dramatically.

1976 - Gordon Lightfoot's single, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald, telling the story of the shipwreck of an ore carrier during a gale on Lake Superior November 10, 1975, peaks at #2 on the Billboard pop char

1980 – Lake Peigneur drains into an underlying salt deposit. A misplaced Texaco oil probe had been drilled into the Diamond Crystal Salt Mine, causing water to flow down into the mine, eroding the edges of the hole.  The resulting whirlpool sucked in the drilling platform, eleven barges [nine resurfaced later], many trees and 65 acres (26 ha) of the surrounding terrain.  No human lives were lost -- 55 miners were able to evacuate, the crew of the drilling rig got off in time and a local fisherman was  able to motor away from the maelstorm -- but three dogs were reported killed.

1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.  It seemed so unwieldy at first to those of us accustomed to DOS, but the mouse becoming more common equipment made a big differnce

Quote of the day

"Do not falter or shrink; But just think out your work, And just work out your think."

~  Nixon Waterman (1859 - 1944) newspaper writer, poet and Chautauqua lecturer

So it is Monday.  I am lucky that I have a job to come to and can work at a salary that enables me to be fairly comfortable.  And it is a short week because I have off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving, a luxury that many folks do not have.  Oh I would like to retire, and to travel more, but at least I don’t need a net income of $190,000 a year to pay a driver, a chef, and a housekeeper.  I guess my “happiness number” would be a gross reitred income of about  $200K a year to permit me to live the life that I would like to become accustomed to….




47 Mondays down, only five more to go for the year!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 20, 2017

the Friday before Thanksgiving

Today is the 6th day of the 46th week,  the 17th day of the 11th month, the 321st day of 2017, and: 
  • Electronic Greeting Card Day
  • Homemade Bread Day
  • International STAND UP to Bullying Day
  • International Students' Day
  • National Baklava Day
  • National Farm Joke Day
  • National Take a Hike Day
  • National Unfriend Day
  • Petroleum Day
  • Substitute Educators Day
  • The Little Mermaid Day
  • World Peace Day
  • World Prematurity Awareness Day


1800 – The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.  Why DC?  It was designated as the capital back on July 16, 1790 because at the time it was the geographic center of the United States

1858 – Modified Julian Day zero; astronomers had originally taken noon GMT -4712-01-01 JC (January 1st, 4713 BC) as the start of the Julian Calendar.  The modification provided that a day be defined as to begin at midnight rather than noon, and for dates in the period from 1859 to about 2130 only five digits need to be used to specify the date rather than seven.  Did you know that a "day" has different definitions?  Generally when calendricists use the term "days" they are talking of nychthemerons.

1869 – In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is inaugurated.

1950 – Lhamo Dondrub is officially named the 14th Dalai Lama at the age of 15, a position he still holds today.

1970 - The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon -- the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world and is released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.

1973 - President Nixon told an Associated Press managing editors meeting in Orlando FL, that ``people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook.''  He resigned 265 days later to avoid impeachment.

1978 – The Star Wars Holiday Special airs on CBS, receiving negative reception from critics, fans, and even Star Wars creator George Lucas.  ((it was pretty awful))

And today - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 33 mins 09 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

   “It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”

~ Mother Teresa


Yesterday the House passed a tax bill that benefits the richest members of our society.  The Senate is pondering a tax bill that does the same thing, and adds a provision that eviscerates the Affordable Care Act [AKA Obamacare].    Why do these “good” Christians feel that their mission is to only help the wealthy while ignoring those who are in desperate need of assistance?    They go to church.  They profess to love God, to follow Christ, to be moral.   Why doesn’t the plight of those on lower down on the economic ladder touch their hearts?   Because Calvinism teaches them that while they have to “love thy neighbor as thyself”, they take it as an abstract – it has nothing to do with THOSE people.    They only have to love people who are far away, not the desperate folks outside the legislative chambers.    While all of us find it easier to love humans than love our fellow human,  the measure of a society’s morality is in the ability to take care of the less fortunate for the fortunate few take care of their selves….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, November 17, 2017

all the feels

Today is the 3rd day of the 46th week, the 14th day of the 11th month, the 318th day of 2017, and: 
  • International Girls Day
  • International Selfie Day
  • Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day
  • National American Teddy Bear Day
  • National Pickle Day
  • National Spicy Guacamole Day
  • National Young Readers' Day
  • Operating Room Nurse Day
  • Spirit of National Speakers Association Day
  • World Diabetes Day
On this day :

1770 – James Bruce discovers what he believes to be the source of the Nile -- but modern historians give the credit to the Jesuit Pedro Páez, who gave a vivid account of the source of the Nile in Ethiopia.

1851 – Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville, is published in the USA.

1886 – Friedrich Soennecken first developed the hole puncher, a type of office tool capable of punching small holes in paper.

1889 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in 72 days.

1922 – The British Broadcasting Company begins radio service in the United Kingdom.

1969 – NASA launches Apollo 12, the second crewed mission to the surface of the Moon.

1971 – Mariner 9 enters orbit around Mars.

1972 - the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 1,000 for the first time, ending the day at 1,003.16.

1978 – France conducts the Aphrodite nuclear test as 25th in the group of 29, 1975–78 French nuclear tests.


A researcher spent time watching people lean on plinths, feel hieroglyphics, and fist-bump statues in order to understand why we touch exhibits.  It was an interesting article, bit of a long read, and commented on the need for humans to engage their sense of feel at times in order to connect with the history or art.  There is a tension between preservation and enjoyment – who hasn’t gone to see something only to be disappointed to find out that they can only view part of it from a distance?  And there are treasures, such as the Palaeolithic cave paintings in  Lascaux Cave near Montignac, France, that are no longer even open to the public.   Not that there isn’t good reason for this protectiveness given that there are always those who seem to be willing to wantonly destroy treasures


Some years ago, the first time Frank, Tom, and I went to the Kennedy Space Center, I experienced this need in a very profound way.   We spent the day there, taking the historical tours, clicking our cameras, watching the films and lectures, wandering about.  Although we touched the moon rock on display, the impact of that was minimal – too many hands had worn it smooth and it didn’t feel like a moon rock [that said without knowing how a moon rock is supposed to feel after all].  Three experiences from that trip stand out in my memory:  First, the thickness of the tiny windows in the concrete bunker where the first rockets were tested – the scientists used to peer out those windows and watch the flame underneath the rockets, adjusting the fuel mix until the color looked right before launch.  Second, the command center that guided astronauts to the moon – I remember seeing that on TV and it looked so …. high tech!  But in person and decades later, it looked shabby and thrown together.  The guide pointed out that we had home PCs that were more powerful than the wall of computer we faced – and there were places where the wires had been spliced together with duct tape – and we sent men to the moon using that.  And last, the Apollo 14 command module.  It is on display and encased with a clear acrylic shell for preservation.  While the guide was talking, Frank [who was very observant], tapped my shoulder then pulled both Tom and I away from the front of the display to the back where he was standing and pointed.  There was a tiny gap between the acrylic plates where they overlapped, just large enough to wriggle a fiber through and actually touch the capsule.   Actually touch something that had been to the moon and back!  We were thrilled beyond measure.   A couple years later, we took my daughter and the gap was still there and she got to touch it too, but then when we returned again, the gap had been repaired and the opportunity lost.  I’m sure the module is being carefully preserved and I am glad for that, but I mourn that my granddaughters will not have that same moment of connection.  At what point are things so well protected that they can no longer be enjoyed?  

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 14, 2017

yet another Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 46th week, the 13th day of the 11th month, the 317th day of 2017, and: 
  • Actors' Day
  • National Indian Pudding Day
  • National Mom's and Dad's Day
  • Sadie Hawkins Day -- an American folk event and pseudo-holiday originated by Al Capp's classic hillbilly comic strip Li'l Abner (1934–1978)
  • Start a Rumor Day
  • World Kindness Day
  • World Orphans Day
On this day:

1841 – James Braid first sees a demonstration of animal magnetism, which leads to his study of the subject he eventually calls hypnotism.

1896 -  Te Maari, a crater at the northern end of the Tongariro range in New Zealand, erupted spectacularly. It continued to erupt sporadically for nearly a year

1940 – Walt Disney's animated musical film Fantasia, the third Disney animated feature film, is first released, on the first night of a roadshow at New York's Broadway Theatre.

1947 – The Soviet Union completes development of the AK-47, one of the first proper assault rifles. – a military assault weapon that has made its way into civilian life

1971 -  space probe Mariner 9 reaches Mars and goes into orbit, but scientists have to wait for clear pictures because of a Martian dust storm.

1974 – Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murders his entire family in Amityville, Long Island in the house that would become known as The Amityville Horror [film adaptations in 1979 and 2005]

1976 - Gordon Lightfoot's single, The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald, peaks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1982 – Ray Mancini defeats Duk Koo Kim in a boxing match held in Las Vegas. Kim's subsequent death of a subdural hematoma (on November 17) leads to significant changes in the sport.  Minutes after the fight was over, Kim collapsed into a coma, and was removed from the Caesars Palace arena on a stretcher.  These included: reduction of title fights from fifteen rounds to twelve; new medical procedures were introduced to fighters' pre-fight checkups, such as electrocardiograms, brain tests, and lung tests; the number of ring ropes was increased from three to four to prevent fighters from falling through the ropes and out of the ring.

1997 - The Disney musical "The Lion King" opened on Broadway – I’ve seen this show.  You may think that making a play from a cartoon wouldn’t be something you would want to see, but it is a spectacular show.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 32 mins 39 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"There's so many of these songs that either are very overtly or kind of quietly speaking to the island of broken toys. It's the people that are, for whatever reason, outsiders –- people that feel like they don't fit in, in one way or another, those songs are there for them."

~ Michael Stipe, R.E.M. about the hit song Everybody Hurts 


For those of us lucky enough to get off on Friday for the federal holiday [Veterans’ Day] on Saturday, it was a long weekend.  And yet as I talk to those around me, the general consensus is that it wasn’t terribly relaxing or long enough.  Already we are setting our sights on next weekend, or to the Thanksgiving holiday – a focus being aided and abetted by the number of Black Friday ads already surfacing.  The holidays are bearing down upon us with all their burdens and joys, all the expectations and worries, all the celebrations and the parties.  Thanksgiving is the official start of that holiday season, and it will be here in just ten days.  Christmas follows 32 days later.  The end of the year is only 46 days away.  My first thought, as my daughter faces a bilateral mastectomy a week before Christmas, is that I wish it was all over and done with and she was on the road to recovery.   I look at my goals for 2017, especially the spiritual ones, and wonder why my second thought is that I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping and what I have hasn’t been wrapped.  Have I lost the reason for the season?   It is a time that seems to leave some behind it its wake as it plows on and the refrain of the Country & Western song I once wrote starts to sound in my ears:


Good people think of me when you go to pray,

For the Lord and I we haven’t had a lot to say,

And Heaven only knows just when I lost my way,

But Christmas this year is just another day…..


And then I take a deep breath.  Time to resolve to take it one day at a time, neh?   The holidays will come and go.  First, let me get through Monday….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 13, 2017

Ah November....

Today is the 5th day of the 45th week, the 9th day of the 11th month, the 313th day of 2017, and: 
  • Carl Sagan Day – he would’ve been 83 today
  • Go to an Art Museum Today Day
  • Independence Day:  Cambodia from France in 1953
  • International Tempranillo Day ((a type of grape indigenous to Spain and used in the Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines))
  • Kristallnacht [AKA "Night of Broken Glass"] – in 1938 Nazis looted and burned synagogues and Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria
  • National Chaos Never Dies Day
  • National Microtia Awareness Day
  • National Scrapple Day
  • World Freedom Day --  started in 2001, a United States federal observance declared by then-President George W. Bush to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe
  • World Usability Day
On this day in....

1620 – Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts after being at sea for about 96 days. There were 102 passengers, and the crew is estimated to have been about 30

1965 - A faulty relay switch fails at 5:16 pm at Ontario Hydro's Queenston generating station, causing a power outage that plunges New York City into darkness at the height of rush hour, and trapping 800,000 people in subways, elevators and skyscrapers. Over 30 million people in Ontario, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire lose power for most of the night

1967 – NASA launches the unmanned Apollo 4 test spacecraft atop the first Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy, Florida.

1970 – The Supreme Court of the United States votes 6–3 against hearing a case to allow Massachusetts to enforce its law granting residents the right to refuse military service in an undeclared war.

1979 – A nuclear false alarm is raised when a technician in NORAD loaded a test tape, but failed to switch the system status to "test", causing a stream of constant false warnings to spread to two "continuity of government" bunkers as well as command posts worldwide.  As a result, the NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detected purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early-warning radars, the alert is cancelled.

1998 – Capital punishment in the United Kingdom, already abolished for murder, is completely abolished for all remaining capital offences.  To date -- 57 countries retain it in both law and practice; 28 have it in law but haven't executed anyone in ten or more years; 8 have abolished it, but retain it for exceptional or special circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime); and 103 have abolished it for all crimes

2005 – The Venus Express mission of the European Space Agency is launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan; the objective of the mission was the long term observation of the Venusian atmosphere.

2017 -- NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 32 mins 07 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

The last dying days of summer, fall coming on fast. A cold night, the first of the season, a change from the usual bland Maryland climate. Cold, thought the boy; his mind felt numb. The trees he could see through his bedroom window were tall charcoal sticks, shivering, afraid of the wind or only trying to stand against it. Every tree was alone out there. The animals were alone, each in its hole, in its thin fur, and anything that got hit on the road tonight would die alone. Before morning, he thought, its blood would freeze in the cracks of the asphalt.”

Poppy Z. Brite [AKA Billy Martin], American author.


For the first time this season, I got out my winter coat this morning.  It isn’t that it is that cold outside, but it is chilly and damp typical November day – the first  and I don’t like being cold – who does?  This time of year always makes me think of my father….  Dad worked on the pipeline in Prudhoe Bay and lived for a while in Anchorage, Alaska.  Now I lived there too for a bit, and while it is definitely cold, it is a really dry cold and you can bundle up against it.  Don’t get me wrong – 70 below zero is COLD, but you could layer up and stay warm.  So when my father would fly into town to go to Thanksgiving dinner at Grandmom’s he was pretty casual about it being in the upper 30s and low 40s – after all, he was used to living and working in subzero conditions for crying out loud!  So he would stroll off the plane with a light jacket or blazar on….  And thrice he went back to Alaska wearing a heavy winter coat and boots that he had to buy here during his stay, much to my [unexpressed] amusement.  You see, living in such a dry climate, he had forgotten how the damp aggravates the feeling of cold, how the moisture seems to seep into your bones, and how once you got chilled you couldn’t get warm again.   November does that to you – the bright colors of fall fading, the weather turning dank, the holidays are over the horizon out of sight, and the gloom starts to seep into your very soul – I always wonder around this time of year why I never picked up and moved to Florida to work for the House of the Mouse like I always said that I would because right about now, the summer heat doesn’t seem so bad even with high humdity. 




And there are freeze warnings for tonight, the first killing frost of the season is nigh….   Ah November!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, November 9, 2017

the Trump dump....

Today is the 3rd day of the 45th week, the 7th day of the 11th month, the 311th day of 2017, and: 
  • Election Day (US)
  • Employee Brotherhood Day (SpongeBob Squarepants)
  • Hug a Bear Day
  • International Merlot Day
  • Little League Girls Day
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
  • Notary Public Day
On this day in...

1492 – The Ensisheim meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, strikes the Earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France.

1908 – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid are reportedly killed in San Vicente Canton, Bolivia.

1911 - Marie Curie became the first multiple Nobel Prize winner when she was given the award for chemisty eight years after garnering the physics prize with her late husband, Pierre. (She remains the only woman with multiple Nobels and the only person to receive the award in two science categories.)

1996 – NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 31 mins 52 secs of light-travel time and Voyager 2‏  is 16 hrs 06 mins 22 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Bias.  The one thing that we were taught in Journalism 101 was the 5th Estate had the responsibility of reporting the news, of sharing facts not opinions.  But we were also taught how to phrase things to make them readable, which meant tailoring the language and vocabulary to the standard reading level, and also to make them interesting – and it is the latter that tends to get things a bit twisted when you start with “knowing your audience”.  You learn which stories will sell, and which will not.  You learn that when you weight your words with semantic overtones then you can utilize underlying meanings to supplement the paucity of words in the space you are allotted so that you can tell the story you perceive and slowly, inexorably, you slip from objective fact to subjective interpretation


Yesterday there was a flurry of activity in the news and in social media.  DJT had done it again and made himself into the clownish quintessential Ugly American, breaking delicate Japanese protocols and turning ceremony into charade.  The story was picked up and spread by newscasts and articles.  Except that isn’t what happened – the video present had been edited.  In one small story, the entire ridiculous and constant claims of “fake news” was glaringly shown to have some basis in all too real fact.   And how does this happen?  Let’s be kind and assume they are trying to tell a compelling story, and looking for ways to illustrate their narrative.  We won’t assume that it is a naked propaganda effort, or at least I won’t but I guarantee you that there are others who feel that way.   No this is not the fault of “social media”, editing/cropping pictures and text has been around for a very long time; in fact, I would argue that they both have been in play since we started writing things down to be shared.  Case in point:




Obviously if you only see the picture on the left, you are seeing an American soldier brutalizing a hapless prisoner.  If you only see the picture on the right, you are seeing an American soldier offering aid to a distressed person.  Only if you see the entire picture is the conflicted nuances apparent – the man is both a prisoner and being offered water – but that doesn’t necessarily tell a story that fits in with the narrative the reporter or the editor is trying to convey.  Personally I resent having narratives thrust at me that show everything in black and white.  I detest DJT [and HRC for that matter when you come right down to it], but I don’t demonize either of them even when I deplore their actions – and I don’t think Bernie is a perfect solution either.  They are human and therefore a mixture of positives and negatives, neh?  So give the devil his due now and then!  There are many of us who are looking for that kind of reporting though!  It certainly would be less stressful than trying to read all the different sides and piecing together the picture on our own as we struggle to stay informed
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Today is the 2nd day of the 45th week, the 6th day of the 11th month, the 310th day of 2017, and: 
  • Basketball Day
  • Fill Our Staplers Day: 6 (always Day after Daylight Savings Ends)
  • International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
  • Job Action Day
  • Malaria Day in the Americas
  • Marooned Without a Compass Day
  • National Nachos Day
  • National Saxophone Day
  • Traffic Directors Day
On this day:


1528 – Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in the area that would become Texas.  His ship was wrecked on or near Galveston Island as they were trying to get to Mexico -- searching for a city of gold. 

1944 – Plutonium is first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility and subsequently used in the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

1971 – The United States Atomic Energy Commission tests the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.

1995 – Cleveland Browns relocation controversy: Art Modell announces that he signed a deal that would relocate the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, the first time the city had a NFL team since 1983 when they were the Baltimore Colts.  This was pretty controversial, especially because later Cleveland was awarded another franchise; many felt that we should've waited to get a team rather than take one from somewhere else

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 31 mins 42 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Today has often been election day as Election Day in the United States is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, which can fall on or between November 2 and November 8 [and overall it seems to be a good day for Republicans]:

1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected as the 16th President defeating Democrat Stephen A. Douglas

1861 – Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America, running unopposed

1900 - William B. McKinley is reelected President defeating Democrat William Jennings Bryan.

1928 – Herbert Hoover is elected the 31st President defeating Democrat Alfred E. Smith

1956 – Dwight D. Eisenhower is reelected President defeating Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson

1984 – Ronald Reagan is reelected President defeating Democrat Walter Mondale

2012 – Barack Obama is reelected President defeating Republican Mitt Romney


Quote of the day:

"We cheerfully assume that in some mystic way love conquers all, that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe and that at the eleventh hour something gloriously triumphant will prevent the worst before it happens."

~ Brooks Atkinson (1894 - 1984), American theatre critic


There are times when the quote that comes across for the day seems to tie in with the things that happened on this day.  Today is one of those days, but teasing out the connection that I see so that it can be articulated is a bit of a challenge for some reason.  In order for one team to win, the other team has to lose.   Bob Irsay took our Colts to Indianapolis [on March 29th, 1984 in Mayflower moving vans, and Baltimore never forgave or forgot] and Art Modell changed the Cleveland Browns to the Baltimore Ravens eleven years later [at least he had the dignity to change the name and branding].  Each move left some fans howling with anger and despair but the NFL plowed forward and life went on in the sports world.  For one man…   *coughs*   for one person to become the President, someone else failed to do so, and they and their followers must live under the new administration for the next four years.   


At no point do we think that it can be the end of life as we know it – football continues to be played and Inauguration Day rolled around on January 20th of the next year -- and yet I find myself thinking about the frog in boiling water analogy.  Do we accept the loss because we are just assuming that everything will ultimately be okay and we are guilty of sitting around in complacency while things fall apart around us?

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 6, 2017

DST becomes EST

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, November 4, 2017

the 1st Friday in November

Today is the 6th day of the 44th week, the 3rd day of the 11th month, the 307th day of 2017, and: 
  • Cliché Day
  • Fountain Pen Day
  • Give Someone a Dollar Today Day
  • Independence Day --   Panama from Colombia in 1903; Dominica from the United Kingdom in 1978; the Federated States of Micronesia from the United States in 1986
  • Love Your Lawyer Day
  • National Housewife Day
  • National Jersey Friday
  • National Medical Science Liaison Awareness and Appreciation Day
  • National Sandwich Day
  • Punkin Chunkin – the festival was scheduled to start today but cancelled on 8/23/17 for "Legal Reasons" --  a law suit has been filed following an accident last year but there have also been safety issues and insurance requirements
  • Public Television Day: 3
  • Stout Day

On this day in:


1873 - First 150 North West Mounted Police (NWMP) recruits sworn in at Lower Fort Garry after arduous overland journey from the east; training begins for their march westward in 1874; recruited by the militia from Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

1957 – Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika.  She was never expected to return -- apparently she was supposed to eat a poisoned meal and die quietly before the fiery re-entry, but when things went wrong she perished rather horribly within hours of dehydration and overheating

1973 – NASA launches the Mariner 10 toward Mercury. On March 29, 1974, it becomes the first space probe to reach that planet.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 31 mins 16 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"A man said to the universe: “Sir I exist!”

“However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”"

~ Stephen Crane, writer


Does the universe care?  I remember back in the day when I thought our generation was going to change the world, when I truly believed what I said and did would make a real difference in the course of events.  I had this conviction despite my studies of history, social sciences, and politics.  I held this conviction in the teeth of my mother’s disdain, my contemporaries amusement, and Gramdmom Hughes’ obvious tolerance of foolishness.   I was going to make a difference.  I was going to matter.  I was not going to be just another cog in the wheel.   When I look back at this belief, I am both bewildered at the certainty  I felt that  I would be able to do this -- whether as a teacher, or by joining the Peace Corps, or by entering a career in the State Department [the Peace Corp and the State Department were my fall back plan if I didn’t feel I was succeeding as a teacher] or through my writings – and confounded that I don’t remember the loss of such an overwhelming conviction.   Was it when  it became apparent that the job of my dreams was not available?  Was it when I faced the reality that my writing was not catching anyone’s imagination but my own?  Was it when I got pregnant and realized that I had a new life for which I was responsible?  Whatever the catalyst was, by my mid-20s I decided that the universe did not particularly care about me, that my life and times were not a focal point on which far-reaching change was hung, and that changing the course of history was beyond my sphere of influence.


But somewhere, hidden deep inside the pragmatic thinking and prosaic determination, is that youngling who refuses to accept anonymity and still dreams of making a difference and I really like her.   May she always dance in those inner regions of my soul

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, November 3, 2017

All Saints Day

Today is the 4th day of the 44th week, the 1st day of the 11th month, the 305th day of 2017 [with only 53 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • All Saint's Day
  • Autistic Speaking Day
  • Dia de Los Muertos: 1 (Day of The Dead)
  • Extra Mile Day
  • Give Up Your Should's Day
  • Hockey Mask Day
  • Independence Day:  Antigua and Barbuda from the United Kingdom in 1981.
  • International Stress Awareness Day
  • National Author's Day
  • National Calzone Day
  • National Deep Fried Clams Day
  • National Eating Healthy Day
  • National Family Literacy Day
  • National Go Cook For Your Pets Day
  • National Vinegar Day
  • Prime Meridian Day – set up in 1884
  • World Vegan Day

On this day:

1512 – The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.  He had begun working on it in 1508

1520 – The Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, is first discovered and navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the first recorded circumnavigation voyage.

1604 – William Shakespeare's tragedy Othello is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.

1611 – Shakespeare's play The Tempest is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.

1765 – The British Parliament enacts the Stamp Act on the Thirteen Colonies in order to help pay for British military operations in North America.  It required revenue stamps to be placed on commercial and legal documents, pamphlets, newspapers, almanacs, playing cards and dice. It was repealed in 1766. Historians tend to see the colonists' reactions to this as the beginning of the American revolution because it was seen as taxation without representation and a violation of their rights as Englishmen. 

1894 – Thomas Edison films American sharpshooter Annie Oakley, which is instrumental in her hiring by Buffalo Bill for his Wild West Show in 1885.  She promoted the service of women in combat operations for the United States armed forces as 'lady sharpshooters'.

1895 - First Paid Film Screening The Griffo-Barnett prize boxing fight is shown to a paying audience in a store on lower Broadway. This was the first paying audience for a film.

1896 – A picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appears in National Geographic magazine for the first time as a result of an editorial decision to show pictuares of natives as they actually are

1941 – American photographer Ansel Adams takes a picture of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico that would become one of the most famous images in the history of photography

1944 - Harvey by Mary Coyle Chase opens in New York, featuring a giant imaginary rabbit.  Most folks don’t realize that it was a play first since the 1950 movie is remembered so fondly

1950 – Pope Pius XII claims papal infallibility when he formally defines the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.  Popes are only considered infallible when speaking ex cathedra [with papal authority], otherwise he is as prone to error as any human.  Although it was always part of Roman Catholicism, it was affirmed by Vatican I in  1870 and since then this is the only example.

1952 – The United States successfully detonates Ivy Mike, the first hydrogen bomb in a test at Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands.


Word of the day:apodictic – an adjective defined as expressing or of the nature of necessary truth or absolute certainty




Actually, bread wasn’t sold already sliced until 1928 – and not everyone was impressed.  It was even banned during WWII because the steel that went into the slicing machines was supposedly needed for military purposes, but there was such a public outcry that the ban was quickly lifted, the government claiming the steel savings weren’t as much as projected.  Having worked for a couple of years in a bakery, this particular saying has always amused me because when buying fresh bread, people have pretty strong opinions on how it should be sliced.   And if you have ever baked bread, cutting it can be a bit of a challenge to do without squashing the bread!  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 1, 2017

All Hallows Eve

Today is the 3rd day of the 44th week, the 31st day of the 10th month, the 304th day of 2017, and: 
  • Books for Treats Day
  • Carve a Pumpkin Day
  • Day of the Seven Billion
  • Girl Scout Founder's Day
  • Halloween or All Hallows Eve
  • National Caramel Apple Day
  • National Doorbell Day
  • National Increase Your Psychic Powers Day
  • National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
  • National Magic Day
  • Reformation Day (various Protestant churches with a particular emphasis in Lutheran and Reformed ones)
  • Samhain
  • Scare a Friend Day
  • Sneak Some of the Candy Yourself Before the Kids Start Knocking Day
  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Day
  • World Cities Day
  • World Savings Day -- announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks) in 1924 to bring to mind the thought of saving to the worldwide public and its relevance to the economy and the individual
On this day:

1938 - The day after his "War of the Worlds" broadcast had panicked radio listeners, Orson Welles expressed "deep regret" but also bewilderment that anyone had thought the show was real.

1941 – After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed.  If you haven't been there, I recommend making the trip.  I was indifferent to it until we went, and the entire family was fascinated by the monument, which the kids christened "the Presidents' Faces".  Photos really don't do it justice!

2000 – Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been crewed continuously since then.

2011 - the day that has been officially designated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as the approximate day on which the world's population reached seven billion people.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 30 mins 49 secs of light-travel time and Voyager 2‏is 16 hrs 05 mins 07 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."

~ Booker T. Washington (1856 - 1915), American Educator and Black Leader


Hate” is a strong word, one that gets bandied about as often as “love” as we ever are searching for words to indicate strong emotions.  While I will and have stated that I hate liver, and have not only refused to eat it but never served it to my kids, the truth is that I just dislike it intensely [like coconut].  I have two ex-husbands, and while I still have some emotional baggage from the marriages, I cannot say that I ever “hated” them – never gave them that much control over me and the divorces taught me that the opposite of love was not hate, but indifference.  It was years later that I found out that insight was not original, and there was a famous quote that reflected  it already, but for me, the revelation that if I had strong feelings for or about someone, then I was ceding to that person a measure of control over my life was pretty stunning


Enjoy your evening….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 31, 2017

happy Monday

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 30, 2017

there oughta be a law....

Seriously folks, can we just enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving before plunging into the Christmas season?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, October 29, 2017

Today is the 6th day of the 43rd week, the 27th day of the 10th month, the 300th day of 2017, and: 
  • American Beer Day – even after Prohibition ended a few states continued to prohibit alcohol but Mississippi stayed “dry” until 1966.
  • Boxer Shorts Day – were invented in 1925 by a boxers’ manager
  • Cranky Co-Workers Day – if you think you don’t have any cranky co-workers, that just might mean it is you, neh?
  • Frankenstein Friday – always the last Friday in October, it was created by Ron MacCloskey from Westfield, New Jersey in 1997 and he awards "The Franky Award" to someone who has made a significant contribution to the promotion of Frankenstein.
  • Independence day:  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines from the United Kingdom in 1979; Turkmenistan from the Soviet Union in 1991
  • National Bandanna Day
  • National Black Cat Day
  • National Breadstick Day
  • National Potato Day
  • Navy Day -- celebrated today starting in 1922 because it is the birthday of 26th President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919, served 1901-1909), who was a naval enthusiast/promoter of sea power and former assistant Secretary of the Navy
  • Occupational Therapy Day
  • Sylvia Plath Day --  the American poet known for an intense, confessional quality of writing, was born in 1932.
  • World Day for Audiovisual Heritabe
On this day:

312 – Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross --  a German scholar named Peter Weiss argued that what Constantine may have seen was a “solar halo” – with the result that he became Christian

1936 – Mrs Wallis Simpson [who was from Baltimore] obtains her divorce decree nisi, which would eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, thus forcing his abdication from the throne to be with the woman he loved.   He did try proposing an alternative solution of a morganatic marriage, in which he would remain king but Simpson would not become queen. She would enjoy some lesser title instead, and any children they might have would not inherit the throne, but the British government wouldn't agree.   He was king for 326 days and is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history. 

His brother, Prince Albert, Duke of York, succeeded to the throne as George VI and his oldest daughter, Princess Elizabeth, became heiress presumptive.

1967 – Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and others of the 'Baltimore Four' protest the Vietnam War by pouring blood on Selective Service records.  Frank arrested him, and was not gentle as the group had pushed and pummeled the lady who was in the office to get to the records.  In the pictures of Father Berrigan's arrest, those are Frank's handcuffs on him

1994 – Gliese 229B [a brown dwarf] is the first Substellar Mass Object to be unquestionably identified.

2017 -- NASA Voyager 1 is 19 hrs 30 mins 12 secs and Voyager 2‏ is 16 hrs 04 mins 23 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Forty years ago, in the afternoon, I was sitting on the telephone in my kitchen in our house on Poplar Drive, having a rather contentious conversation with my son’s pre-school teacher who was perturbed because he had refused the drink she had provided for snack.  I patiently explained that he only liked milk and apple juice, although he would drink water.  She was all huffy and told me that he should be drinking kool-aid [I hate that stuff] and Coke and the way that I was talking about these drinks, one would think they were bad for kids….   And then suddenly she stopped.  I gently agreed that they were bad for kids in my opinion, and agreed that there was no reason that she should have to supply my son with anything special because he could always drink water.  I was just shy of nine months pregnant, the baby wasn’t due for another two weeks although I was and felt huge and I am sure that my fatigue and exasperation were showing.  Still huffy, she got off the phone and I hung up and stood up




My water broke and there was amniotic fluid everywhere and I do mean everywhere – every time I bent over to try and mop it up, more came out.  And six hours later, a little girl baby had joined our family.  She has grown into an amazing woman and has two little girls of her own now, but to me, she will always be my baby daughter

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, October 27, 2017

on Friday's Eve

Today is the 5th day of the 43rd week, the 26th day of the 10th month, the 209th day of 2017, and: 
  • Horseless Carriage Day
  • Independence Day: Norway from Sweden in 1905
  • Intersex Awareness Day
  • National Day of The Deployed
  • national Mincemeat Day
  • National Mule Day --  honors the importation of the first Spanish Jacks to the US which were a gift from King Charles III of Spain delivered in 1785 in Boston; George Washington then began breeding them in the US.
  • Worldwide Howl at The Moon Night  ((the waxing moon isn't even quit at the 1st quarter tonight in case you were wondering))
On this day:

In 1825 – the Erie Canal opens providing passage from Albany, New York to Lake Erie.  Back in the day, at 363 miles, it was the second longest canal in the world [the Grand Canal in China was longer] and it took eight years to build, and contributed to making Niagara Falls a tourist [and honeymoon] destination.  A section of the canal is still open today, although it is used primarily for recreational boat traffic and is still celebrated in song

In 1861 – The Pony Express [the popular name for the Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express Company] officially ceases operations after only 18 months.  The route stretched 1,800 miles and took the riders around 10 days [a vast improvement in communications, which could take up to a month]

In 1881 – Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and "Doc" Holliday confronted Ike Clanton's gang in a gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. Three members of Clanton's gang were killed; Earp's brothers were wounded. The “dime novels” and newspapers of the day fastened on this fight, the culmination of a feud, as a symbol of order VS lawlessness of the Wild Willd West and as such there have been books, and">movies, and even a Star Trek episode that harken back to it.

In 1977 – Ali Maow Maalin, the last natural case of smallpox, develops rash in Merca district, Somalia. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.  BUT the virus still exists….

In 2017 -- NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 30 mins 02 secs of light-travel time from Earth.  I like to keep track of how far humans have ventured into the final frontier.

Quote of the day:

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt, humanitarian


I have had this hanging on the walls of my offices and/or cubicles for the past 20 years or so.   It is not obvious – it is part of a quartet of motivational shots that show the sea and ships [the others are sayings about Risk Challenges, and Change] so unless you read the fine print, you don't realize wht is says – but of all the inspirational fodder that I used to be so fond of as a manager, it is the one that I always make sure that I hang up.  I like the subtle reminder that it isn’t all about me, that whether I will or no, I do have an impact on the folks around me both in my private and work lives and probably in my 2nd Lives as well.  Where some might see it as a put down, I view it as being vaguely comforting to know if nothing else, I can and will be a bad example
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, October 26, 2017

Wednesday 10.25.2017

Today is the 4th day of the 43rd week, the 25th day of the 10th month, the 298th day of 2017 [with only 60 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Chucky, The Notorious Killer Doll Day
  • International Artist Day
  • Lung Health Day
  • National Cartoonists Against Crime Day
  • National Greasy Foods Day
  • Punk for a Day Day
  • Sourest Day
  • Unity Day – together against bullying and you are supposed to be wearing orange today
  • World Pasta Day
  • World Pizza Makers Day

In 285 – Execution by beheading of Saints Crispin and Crispinian [twin brothers it is said] during the reign of Diocletian, now the patron saints of leather workers, curriers, and shoemakers.  Their feast day was removed from the Roman Catholic Church's universal liturgical calendar following the Second Vatican Council

In 1854 -- at 11 am, in a cavalry charge down a long valley, in full view of the Russian army, to take some guns.  In the end, of the roughly 670 Light Brigade soldiers, about 110 were killed and 160 were wounded, a 40 percent casualty rate; they also lost approximately 375 horses – and were immortalized by Tennyson

In 2017 -- NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 29 mins 53 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

 "A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it."

~ Albert Einstein  ((who apparently wasn't much of a tipper))


I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes people happy – and the realization that I cannot MAKE anyone else be happy is something that always sits a little uneasily on me.  This realization is something that puzzles me, mainly because I think someone can make another person unhappy and seems to me that you can make someone unhappy then you should be able to make someone happy then?   Certainly you can make someone uncomfortable; you can make someone poor; you can make someone busy; you can make someone tired –  all of these things all factor into what I would call being unhappy because they induce anxiety, stress  worry, and concern, but I guess when you come right down to it?  Although you can impact an individual’s environment,  you cannot determine how they are going to feel about what you are doing or not doing.  It all gets a little fuzzier when it comes to relationships, doesn’t it?  Lies, infidelity, abuse – these things certainly are generally held to be negatives that will make the other person[s] in a relationship with you miserable – I know it would for me.  But on the other hand,  for some folks who are into humiliation and pain, it is something that they crave and they would be miserable without it.  Conversely, while devotion, attentiveness, kindness are generally considered to be desirable traits in a relationship, having them present doesn’t mean you are happy with that person.  Like I said, I find it puzzling.  I’m not even sure I can make me happy at times!  Maybe I need to add glitter….   

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 25, 2017

October waning

Today is the 3rd day of the 43rd week, the 24th day of the 10th month, the 297th day of 2017, and: 
  • 40-Hour Work Week Day --  in 1940, the 40-hour work week went into effect in the United States.  It only took 74 years to get businesses to accept it, thanks to steady pressure from the unions.  Nowadays?  Employers are expecting much more than eight hours a day, especially if you are in management!    
  • Black Thursday --  in 1929 there was a stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange, which kicked off the 12 year Great Depression.
  • Food Day
  • Independence Day -- Zambia from United Kingdom in 1964
  • National Bologna Day
  • National Crazy Day
  • National Good and Plenty Day
  • Take Back Your Time Day
  • United Nations Day – formally founded in 1945 as 51 countries come together “…to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war; to reaffirm faith in human rights; to promote social progress and better standards of life; to practice tolerance and live together in peace and unite their strength to maintain international peace and security.”  In 1949 the cornerstone of the United Nations Headquarters in New York is laid.
  • World Development Information Day
  • World Polio Day

IN 1590 – John White, the governor of the second Roanoke Colony, returns to England after an unsuccessful search for the "lost" colonists.  This is one of the mysteries of the colonial period - what happened to those people

In 1851 – William Lassell discovers the moons Umbriel, and Ariel, orbiting Uranus.  Lassell created the modern big reflecting telescope, was an amateur astronomer, and had the discovered Triton [Neptune's largest moon] in 1846

In 1901 – Annie Edson Taylor [with her kitten] becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel [specially built of course].   She did it for the money -- put the cash award into the mortgage on a Texas ranch; hoped to make a fortune by touring the world, but ends up dying in poverty.  Would you believe that it is estimated 5,000 people have died trying to go over the falls in everything from a barrel, to a kayak, to just diving in

In 2008 –  79 years to the day after the stock market crashed ushering in the Depression, "Bloody Friday" saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.  In the US at least, this triggered a very deep recession that some consider the death knell of the middle class

In 2017 -- NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 29 mins 43 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Picture of the dayLook Up




Quote of the day:

You know, a lot of people come to me and they say, "Steve, how can you be so funny?" There's a secret to it, it's no big deal. Before I go out, I put a slice of bologna in each of my shoes. So when I'm on stage, I feel funny.”

~ Steve Martin,  American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and musician


I feel funny” is one of those colloquial expression I think, that is [or was at least] used by kids as they struggle to convey to parental units and other in-charge folks that something is not right, that something seems odd.  When my kids said it,  it usually referred to either abdominal pain [which resulted in either diarrhea or vomiting] or a headache, and Mom mode meant that I started taking temperatures and asking lots more questions.   I have used it myself to mean feeling uncomfortable or uneasy, as in I feel funny traveling by myself at times.  Haven’t heard my granddaughters say it yet so I don’t know if it is a generational saying that is dying out or not.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 24, 2017

an economy by any other name

Today is the 2nd day of the 43rd week [and slightly less likely to occur on a Monday or Saturday], the 23rd day of the 10th month, the 296th day of 2017 [81% of the year is past us now], and; 
  • Lung Health Day
  • National Boston Cream Pie Day – this is my very favorite kind of cake to the point where Boston Cream donuts, the now extinct Boston Cream cheesecake, and eclairs are all deserts that I crave.  Shame that most places just use vanilla pudding for the filling instead of the real rich custard though.
  • National Canning Day
  • National iPod Day
  • National Mole Day-- celebrated among chemists, chemistry students and chemistry enthusiasts, it has nothing to do with the animal or spying
  • National Slap Your Irritating Co-Worker Day ((I'm happy to report that I didn't get slapped today -- but whether or not it means I am not irritating or they are worried about liability issues, I cannot say))
  • Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day -- Every year around the Day of San Juan the famous cliff swallows of San Juan Capistrano swirl into the sky and head back to their wintering grounds in Argentina, 6,000 miles south but I cannot find confirmation of when they left in 2017
  • TV Talk Show Host Day – in 1925 comedian and talk show host Johnny Carson was born in Corning, Iowa.  He is best known for his 30 years as host of The Tonight Show.

In 1884 -- Moosomin newspaper [in Saskatchewan, Canada] reports the first shipment of four railroad cars of buffalo bones to the US; used as fertilizer, and burned to make carbon black; 20,000 tons of this prairie cash crop will be shipped out before 1897.  I had heard of Indians and mountain men burning buffalo chips for fuel, but apparently their bones actually burned better – interesting to contemplate what the pioneers did with the mountains of carcasses left by the likes of Buffalo Bill, neh?

In 1983 -- Dedication of the Guan Yin Buddhist Temple in Richmond; Canada designed by architect Vincent Kwan, it is North America's most architecturally authentic Chinese imperial temple, resembling Beijing’s Forbidden City.  Guan Yin is the Chinese Bodhisattva/ Goddess of Compassion, Mercy and Kindness, considered to be a mother-goddess and patron of seamen. .

In 2012 – After 38 years, the world's first teletext service (BBC's Ceefax) ceases broadcast due to Northern Ireland completing the digital switchover.  Looks like it was a handy program, especially pre-internet, and I wish the US had developed something like it

In 2015 – The lowest sea-level pressure in the Western Hemisphere [872 mbar (hPa); 25.75 inHg], and the highest reliably-measured non-tornadic sustained winds [maximum sustained winds of 215 mph], are recorded in Hurricane Patricia.  The highest wind speed [outside of a tornado that is] was during the passage of Tropical Cyclone Olivia on 10 April 1996 when an automatic weather station on Barrow Island, Australia recorded 253 mph mph gusts


Quote of the day:

"Choice of attention, to pay attention to this and ignore that, is to the inner life what choice of action is to the outer."

~  W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973) British Poet


We have been talking about the attention economy for a very long time [the book by Thomas H Davenport came out in 2002] and those discussions had a huge impact on the way that I view relationships because for the first time, I saw attention as a finite resource – folks only have so much bandwidth and when that pipe is full, then they lose focus.  I have summed up that personal observation succnectly by stating “while love is infinite and flows freely, time and attention are both finite resources”; it is my strongest caveat against polyamory actually.  But the attention economy was just one of the idesa we had about what would replace the Industrial Revolution:  the knowledge economy, the experience economy, the technological economy, the gig economy, the service economy, etc, etc, and so forth.   Whatever you call it, IMNSHO, we are in the throes of the transition and have been for the past thirty some years, which explains a lot about the kind of societal upsets we are experiencing.  I hope I live long enough to see things settle down – and to get that self-driving, flying car.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 23, 2017

I yam who I yam....

Today is the 6th day of the 42nd week, the 20th day of the 10th month, the 293rd day of 2017, and: 
  • Birth of the Bab -- a prophet who foretold the coming of the Bhá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í faith
  • Miss America Rose Day
  • National Brandied Fruit Day
  • National Call-in Day for Health Reform
  • National Mammography Day
  • National Pharmacy Buyer Day
  • National Suspenders Day
  • The International Day of the Air Traffic Controller
  • World Osteoporosis Day
  • World Student Day

1720 – Caribbean pirate Calico Jack [born Jack Rackham] is captured by the Royal Navy; he was hung the next day.  It appears he is famous mainly for having two female crew members

1818 - Britain and the US sign the Convention of 1818, aka the Treaty of Joint Occupation of Oregon aka the Treaty of London; to improve relations in the wake of the War of 1812; agree that their mutual boundary should run westward from the Lake of Woods (in Minnesota), along the 49th parallel of north latitude to the Rocky Mountains; they also sign a North American Fishing Convention which restores US fishing and curing rights around the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Article 3 provides for joint control of the Oregon country – all of which isn’t quite as straightforward as it sounds

1952 -- Freddy the Pilot was published

1958 -- Freddy and the Dragon was published   This was hands down my favorite series of books when I was young. Freddy was written by the same author who gave us Mr. Ed [which was also a TV show that I enjoyed] and he has his own very active fan club and yes I am a member although I have yet to make it to the annual convention.  My mother, who monitored my reading pretty closely, had assumed that Freddy was a little boy – much to my adolescent disgust because who wanted to read about a little boy? -- and when she found out he was a pig, she tried unsuccessfully to ban the books as “ridiculous fantasy”.   She kinda washed her hands of me after I discovered science fiction and fantasy.   

1992 -- The host Toronto Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves 3-2 in the first World Series game played outside the United States.  Always seemed a bit bombastic of us to claim this is a "world series" when only American teams are playing!  That is exactly like the "Miss Universe" title -- why do we think that an Earth gal is all that and a bag of chips?


Picture of the dayThe photographer lives near my friend in Las Cruses and takes absolutely stunning pictures of the desert.  The juniper in this picture is well over a century old and is now dying




Quote of the day:

"You are today where your thoughts have brought you, you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you."

~  James Allen (1864 - 1912), British philosophical writer


This quote resonates with me.  I firmly believe that I am who I am today because of the choices that I have made.  Who I will be tomorrow is based on the choices I am making [or in some cases not making today], and I could not go back and change these choices without changing who I am.    It is a common theme in fiction, for example Jean Luc Picard faced this courtesy of Q and Peggy Sue found out that she couldn’t change the past except in small details.  My kids once asked me if I would change anything in the past – especially the two marriages that ended in rather acrimonious and contentious divorces – and I told them I would not, because then neither of them would’ve been born and I didn’t want to change that.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, October 20, 2017

the Festival of Lights

Today Hindus all over the world are celebrating Diwali with feasts and lights of all kinds, with gifts and family!  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, October 19, 2017

one of those days

yup.  That about sums it up
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 18, 2017

a Tuesday of no particular note

Today is the 3rd day of the 42nd week, the 17th day of the 10th month, the 290th day of 2017 [it’s too close to be funny so I’m not telling you how many shopping days until Christmas this year anymore], and: 
  • Black Poetry Day  ((a day for poetry to celebrate the color black, a day for poetry about blacks, a day for poetry by blacks, or a day to write poetry about your dystopian vision))
  • Four Prunes Day – you can rely on these dried plums to keep you regular and they make really moist bread too
  • Information Overload Day
  • International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • Mulligan day --  since the 1920’s, in golf, a mulligan happens when a player gets a second chance to perform a certain move or action.  I think I like the idea of having a day devoted to do-overs whether it is an old relationship or just a hobby that you put down
  • National Edge Day
  • National Face Your Fears Day
  • National Pasta Day
  • National Pharmacy Technician Day
  • Pay Back A Friend Day
  • Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity
  • Spreadsheet Day
  • Wear Something Gaudy Day
  • World Trauma Day

On this day:

In 1814 – Eight people die in the London Beer Flood.  Yup, you read that right -- there was a fatal flood in London of beer,  over one million litres in volume and in a tidal wave at least 15 feet high.   

In 1933 – Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States.  Actually he was already in the US and when Hitler came to power he didn’t return because he was Jewish. The fact that the Nazis ridiculed his Theory of Relativity and specifically denounced him had a lot to do with that decision.  He did return to Europe, and renounced his German citizenship while staying in Belgium in March, returning to the US in October to take a position in Princeton

In 1965 – The 1964–65 New York World's Fair closes after a two-year run. More than 51 million people had attended the event -- my mother and I went to see it the summer of '65, one of the few outings that I can recall going on with her.  We traveled up for the day on the train.  I remember the Parker Pen exhibit where I ended up with my pen pals; walking through the GM giant automobile motor; It's a Small World; and Mom fussing because the Maryland pavilion was serving crab cakes on hamburger rolls instead of properly on crackers.

In 1973 – OPEC imposes an oil embargo that lasted until March 1974 against a number of Western countries, considered to have helped Israel in its war against Egypt and Syria.  Do you remember sitting in line to get gas, when you could only buy on certain days depending on your license plate number [odd or even last digit] and the Christmas without lights?

In 2017 -- NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 28 mins 33 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Picture of the day:   I couldn’t find the original source of the picture, but it is all over the wallpaper sites!




Quote of the day:

   “We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.”

~  Henry Ward Beecher


I remember having this conversation with the CEO at Commercial & Farmers Bank, in the lunchroom.  The point I made as he reflected on his past, was that in his life he had X amount of KSA.  If his mother had stayed with the coal miner she divorced, then that KSA would’ve only taken him so far.  But because she went back to his grandfather, who was a university professor, he started much further up on the social scale and that same KSA took him to where he was.  Got chewed out by the executive secretary for that one because Roberta, bless her heart, thought it was disrespectful of me to talk to him like that, but Jack understood what I meant and agreed with me.  Unbeknownst to me, I was describing the advantages of starting from a place of privilege; I was just explaining why I wasn’t particularly impressed by titles or position..  Never have been.  Never will be.  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 17, 2017

just another Monday....

Today is the 2nd day of the 42nd week [just think, 4/5 of the year is gone!], the 16th day of the 10th month, the 289th day of 2017 [with 69 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Global Cat Day
  • International Adjust Your Chair Day
  • Multicultural Diversity Day
  • National Boss Day
  • National Clean Your Virtual Desktop Day
  • National Cut Up Your Credit Card Day
  • National Department Store Day
  • National Dictionary Day
  • National Feral Cat Day
  • National Learn a Word Day
  • National Liquor Day
  • Steve Jobs Day
  • World Food Day
  • World Spine Day

On this day:  I am trying out a new format and only posting things that for one reason or another interests me.

In 1793 – Marie Antoinette, widow of Louis XVI, is guillotined at the height of the French Revolution.   She was 38, and there seems to be some doubt whether or not she really said “let them eat cake” .

In 1843 – Sir William Rowan Hamilton comes up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers.  The definitions don’t make a whole lot of sense to me, but I found out they're used in computer graphics and mechanics calculations to calculate movement and rotation

In 1869 – The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is "discovered", as George Hull passes off a stone statue as a petrified man.

In 1923 – The Walt Disney Company is founded by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney.  I will never forget the moment I fell in love with Disney – it was in the summer of 1986 on EPCOT’s Imagination ride.

In 1962 – the world came to and teetered on the brink of nucklear war as a 13-day confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union known as the Cuban missile crisis [AKA the October Crisis, the Caribbean Crisis, or the Missile Scare]  began as President John F. Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.


Quote of the day:

I would like to become tolerant without overlooking anything, persecute no one even when all people persecute me; become better without noticing it; become sadder, but enjoy living; become more serene, be happy in others; belong to no one, grow in everyone; love the best, comfort the worst; not even hate myself anymore.”

~ Elias Canetti, The Human Province


Why this quote?  Because it speaks to me about goals.  Because like so many folks, I am my own worse critic.   I always find it interesting in a rather depressing and disturging way when I shut down because I don’t know what to say, and my body language and facial expression are taken to mean disapproval or judgement.  I guess because I come across as garrulous at times when I am silent, folks read more into it?  I don’t know.  As I grow older, I find that I have a tendency to close down more and more, and that of coursse is a self-fulfilling activity because the more I stay alone the more I am alone, the more up-tight I am in company the more difficult I find it to relax.  It is easy to concentrate on all the negatives and forget to give oneself credit for all the positives, neh?  

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 16, 2017


Today is the 4th day of the 41st week, the 11th day of the 10th month, the 284th day of 2017, and: 
  • "You Go, Girl" Day
  • Emergency Nurses Day
  • General Pulaski Memorial Day
  • International Day of the Girl Child
  • International Top Spinning Day
  • Myths and Legends Day
  • National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day
  • National Coming Out Day
  • National Food Truck Day
  • National Fossil Day
  • National It' My Party Day
  • National Pet Obesity Awareness Day
  • National Sausage Pizza Day
  • National Stop Bullying Day
  • National Take your Parents to Lunch Day
  • Southern Food Heritage Day
  • Stop America's Violence Everywhere Day
Quote of the day:

"True eloquence consists in saying all that should be said, and that only."

~ Francois duc de La Rochefoucauld, French author of maxims and memoirs


Sounds like advice to de-clutter your prose and communications.  Not too sure how I feel about this as polished rhetoric is pretty much inimical to babbling, and babbling is what I do best.  That and asking questions…..


So, what do you thiink about trimming things here in the blog?  Should I keep culling the history pages and listing what happened on this day that I find interesting?  Or is just another list not something you are interested in reading about?  Like today --  back in In 1582 – this day doesn’t even exist in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain because they switched to the Gregorian calendar.  Back in those days, when a Pope issued a papal bull most of the Western world paid attention because they were all officially Roman Catholic, so ten whole days just disappeared from the calendar as they jumped from Thursday, October 4th to Friday October 15th overnight.  Are you the slightest bit impressed t know that in 1767 the surveying for the Mason–Dixon line separating Maryland from Pennsylvania was completed?  That is the unofficial divide between the North and the South on the East Coast, you know. Or how about the fact that in 1910 Theodore Roosevelt became the first US president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright brothers at Kinloch Field (Lambert–St. Louis International Airport) in St. Louis, Missouri.  The press was not impressed.  Do you want to know that NASA launched a moon probe the year after the Russians shocked the world with Sputnik?  It was 1958 --  a lunar probe called Pioneer 1, but it fell back to Earth and burnt up.  They did better a decade later, in 1968 NASA launched Apollo 7, the first successful manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn F. Eisele and Walter Cunningham aboard.    Do you care that 42 years ago today the NBC sketch comedy/variety show Saturday Night Live debuted and is apparently still ruffling feathers today?


Maybe I should stop just listing thing and go back to the kind of discussion of things that happened on this day in history like I just did.  Don’t know precisely when I went to the list, but babbling is much more interesting I think
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 11, 2017

the day after a long weekend....

Today is the 3rd day of the 41st week, the 10th day of the 10th month, the 283rd day of 2017 [chew on that  for a moment – over ¾ of the year is history], and: 
  • Ada Lovelace Day --
  • Headspace Day [Australia]
  • Hug a Drummer Day
  • International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
  • International Newspaper Carrier Day
  • International Stage Management Day
  • National Angel Food Cake Day
  • National Cake Decorating Day
  • National Face Your Fears Day
  • National Handbag Day
  • National Love Your Hair Day
  • National Metric Day
  • National SHIFT10 Day – encouraging you to buy more from small retailers
  • National Tuxedo Day
  • Powers of Ten Day
  • Squid and Cuttlefish Day
  • US Naval Academy Day
  • World Child Development Day
  • World Homeless Day
  • World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
  • World Mental Health Day
  • World Porridge Day
Quote of the day:

Doing nothing is very hard to do ... you never know when you're finished.”

~ Leslie Nielsen, Canadian actor, comedian, and producer

At least it is a short work week, neh?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 10, 2017

October 9th

Today is the 2nd day of the 41st week, the last day of a 3-day weekend, the 282nd day of 2017, and:

  • Columbus Day -- the 2nd Monday of October these days instead of the 12th

  • Curious Events Day

  • Fire Prevention Day

  • International Beer and Pizza Day

  • Leif Erikson Day

  • National Chess Day [debatable, some say it is the 13th]

  • National Kick Butt Day

  • National Moldy Cheese Day

  • National Online Banking Day

  • National Pro-Life Cupcakes Day

  • National Sneakers Day

  • Native American Day

  • Nautilus Night (Cephalopods)

  • Submarine-Hoagie-Hero-Grinder Day

  • World Post Day

See?  I am not the only one who dreads Monday morning!

Today is my mother's birthday.  Had she lived, she would be 90 today.  I have written before about my relationship with her, or rather the lack of a relationship, but on this day I always revisit the past.  It isn't so much that I regret what happened -- I just wish that things had been different.  As I deal with my daughter's difference in child-raising philosophy, I often wonder what she would've thought of the choices I made in raising my kids.  You see, in my mother's family, loving someone was dependent on their being aware of their place in the family, of their accepting the roles and responsibilities that being a family member entails, that they conform.  If you didn't do those things, if you went off the rails or were other than what was expected?  Then they couldn't love you, couldn't accept you.  Her family totally would've cast anyone out who loved someone "inappropriate" -- a married person, a member of the same sex, a member of a different ethnicity.  Fortunately, my father's family were more inclusive -- while reserving the right to be all kinds of judgemental and reading you the riot act, their love was unconditional.  They may not like what you are doing or what you became, but they would always love you and wouldn't think of casting you out.   And that was what I tried to give my two children, unconditional love, the feeling that no matter what, I would always love them.  My mother couldn't give it to me, or to her grandchildren, because she had never had it herself and didn't know what it looked like.  And to my sorrow, she didn't get it from her daughter either -- that is what I wish I could've done better.  I couldn't handle her disapproval and distaste and I withdrew -- we were estranged for most of my adulthood.

I'm not a cemetary visitor -- always thought I would be one of those punctilious folks who showed up with flowers on every birthday and holiday -- but on this day, I think about my mother and her life, that I had known her better as a person instead of a parent, and wish that she could've shared more of her journey with me and my kids.  On this day, I know that there will never be a chance to build a bridge between us, and it is that lost potential that I actually am grieving for....

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 9, 2017

3 day weekends

Today is the 6th day of the 40th week, the 6th day of the 9th month, the 279th day of 2017 [with only 77 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • American Libraries Day
  • Come and Take It Day
  • Garlic Lovers Day
  • Jackie Mayer Rehab Day
  • Lee National Denim Day
  • Mad Hatter Day
  • Manufacturing Day
  • National Diversity Day
  • National German American Day
  • National Noodle Day
  • National Physician's Assistant Day
  • National Plus Size Appreciation Day
  • Plaidurday
  • World Smile Day

105 BC – The Cimbri inflict the heaviest defeat on the Roman army of Gnaeus Mallius Maximus at the Battle of Arausio:.

1582 – Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar, this day is skipped in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

1600 – Jacopo Peri's Euridice, the earliest surviving opera, receives its première performance in Florence, signifying the beginning of the Baroque period

1683 – German immigrant families found Germantown in the colony of Pennsylvania, marking the first major immigration of German people to America.

1889 - The Moulin Rouge cabaret opened in Paris.

1890 - US President William McKinley brings in the protective McKinley Tariff; Canada applies counter-tariffs soon after; this punitive American measure stifles trade and leads to recession on both sides of the border

1927 – Opening of The Jazz Singer, the first prominent "talkie" movie.

1977 – The first prototype of the Mikoyan MiG-29, designated 9-01, makes its maiden flight.

1995 – 51 Pegasi is discovered to be the second major star apart from the Sun to have a planet orbiting around it.

2007 – Jason Lewis completes the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe.

2008 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed below 10,000 for the first time since 2004.


Picture of the day:




Quote of the day:

But what is work and what is not work? Is it work to dig, to carpenter, to plant trees, to fell trees, to ride, to fish, to hunt, to feed chickens, to play the piano, to take photographs, to build a house, to cook, to sew, to trim hats, to mend motor bicycles? All of these things are work to somebody, and all of them are play to somebody. There are in fact very few activities which cannot be classed either as work or play according as you choose to regard them.”

~ George Orwell, The Road to Wigan Pier


Me?  Most of my daily activities Monday through Friday are definitely classifed as “work”.  I managed to make it through the EOM/EOQ and only have a couple of reports that aren’t as time sensitive to generate.  And not only did I get a short work week this week courtesy of my trip to Anime Weekend Atlanta, I also get a short work week next week courtesy of Christopher Columbus!  

Know what?  I don't even care that it i unseasonably warm and I don't have A/C!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, October 6, 2017

back from my trip

buckle your seatbelts - it's going to be a bumpy ride
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 3, 2017

the days of our lives

Today is the 2nd day of the 39th week, the 25th day of the 9th month, the 268th day of 2017 [with only 90 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Family Day
  • International Ataxia Awareness Day
  • Math Storytelling Day
  • National Comic Book Day
  • National Cooking Day
  • National Crab Meat Newburg Day
  • National Food Service Employee Day
  • National Lobster Day
  • National One-Hit Wonder Day
  • National Psychotherapy Day
  • National Research Administrator Day
  • National Tune-Up Day
  • World Dream Day
  • World Pharmacist Day

275 – In Rome (after the assassination of Aurelian), the Senate proclaims Marcus Claudius Tacitus Emperor.

762 – Led by Muhammad al-Nafs al-Zakiyya, the Hasanid branch of the Alids begins the Alid Revolt against the Abbasid Caliphate.

1513 – Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa reaches what would become known as the Pacific Ocean by crossing the Isthmus of Panama.

1690 – Publick Occurrences Both Forreign and Domestick, the first newspaper to appear in the Americas, is published for the first and only time.

1789 – The United States Congress passes twelve amendments to the United States Constitution: The Congressional Apportionment Amendment (which was never ratified), the Congressional Compensation Amendment, and the ten that are known as the Bill of Rights.

1790 – Peking opera is born when the Four Great Anhui Troupes introduce Anhui opera to Beijing in honor of the Qianlong Emperor's eightieth birthday.

1906 – Leonardo Torres y Quevedo demonstrates the Telekino, guiding a boat from the shore, in what is considered to be the first use of a remote control.

1929 – Jimmy Doolittle performs the first blind flight from Mitchel Field proving that full instrument flying from take off to landing is possible.

1956 – TAT-1, the first submarine transatlantic telephone cable system, is inaugurated.

1992 – NASA launches the Mars Observer, a $511 million probe to Mars, in the first U.S. mission to the planet in 17 years. Eleven months later, the probe would fail.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 24 mins 31 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Who do you think of when you use the phrase “the older generation”?  

If you are like me, the first thing that comes to mind are our grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles – and any of their contemporary cousins etc that we know about.   Oh there is a moment of disorientation when your grandparents and their cronies fade away, or when you look at your grandchildren and remember how OLD your grandmother looked to you when you were their age, but I doubt that you give it much thought.   When your parents go, that gives you pause.   Not only are you an orphan now, not only have you lost the two people you have literally known all your life, but somehow there is the first stirring of the thought that you are next in line.  That incipient thought strengthens as your parents’ generation ends their life journeys – your cousins, your friends, your associates start to find themselves standing as the “older generation” now.  
Somehow I am not prepared for this.   I rather thought that when I reached this point, I would be ….  wiser, more settled, more experienced with a richer tapestry behind me -- in short, I would be a true wise woman, ready to take my respected place in society.  Well that isn’t happening!  I don’t think of myself as “old”, never did get the hang of acting my age and quite frankly?  At times I am *coughs* hot to trot as the saying goes and more than a little annoyed that men my age are all going for gals 15 years younger while the 15 year younger guys are rather uninterested in my person.  I am still working for a living.  Experience?  kinda a relative term -- my internal and 2nd lives are richer and more varied than my 1st life, and I have a wealth of interpersonal interactions, but I haven’t done a lot of travel, of seeing and doing things.  . And yet, I am 67 and today I realize the generation of my family before me is all but gone, leaving me and my six cousins facing the future and the past in a society that seems to treasure its older folks less and less.


*whispers* but as far as I am concerned, “old” is still 15 years older than me….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 25, 2017

that time of year

Today is the 6th day of the 38th week, the 22nd day of the 9th month, the 265th day of 2017 [with only 93 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • American Business Women's Day
  • Autumnal Equinox [AKA the first day of fall] in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Bright Pink Lipstick Day
  • Chainmail Day
  • Dear Diary Day
  • Elephant  Appreciation Day
  • Hobbit Day
  • Independence Day:  Bulgaria from the Ottoman Empire in 1908 and Mali from France in 1960.
  • International Day of Radiant Peace
  • Love Note Day
  • Mabon -- a harvest festival, the second of three [Lammas and Samhain are the other two], that encourages pagans to “reap what they sow,” both literally and figuratively.
  • National Centenarian's Day
  • National Elephant Appreciation Day
  • National Hobbit Day
  • National Ice Cream Cone Day
  • National Legwear Day
  • National White Chocolate Day
  • Native American Day
  • Proposal Day
  • Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere
  • World Carfree Day
  • World Rhino Day

904 – The warlord Zhu Quanzhong kills Emperor Zhaozong, the penultimate emperor of the Tang dynasty, after seizing control of the imperial government.

1538 - Jacques Cartier receives 50 écus d'or from the French royal treasury for the instruction of Aboriginal youth

1692 – The last of those convicted of witchcraft in the Salem witch trials are hanged; the remainder of those convicted are all eventually released.

1823 – Joseph Smith states he found the golden plates on this date after being directed by God through the Angel Moroni to the place where they were buried.

1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published.

1892 – Lindal Railway Incident, providing inspiration for "The Lost Special" by AC Doyle and the TV serial Lost.  The locomotive involved still lies buried beneath the railway, though the depth remains a source of speculation. 

1927 – Gene Tunney successfully defended his heavyweight boxing title against Jack Dempsey in the "long count" fight in Chicago.  ((for some reason Alexa thought this was the most important news story for this day and went on at length about it))

1949 - The Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb.

1964 - The musical "Fiddler on the Roof" opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 3,242 performances.

1979 – A bright flash, resembling the detonation of a nuclear weapon, is observed near the Prince Edward Islands. Its cause is never determined.

1969 - Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants hit his 600th career home run during a game in San Diego.

2004 - "Lost" premiered on ABC.

2017 – OSIRIS-REx swings by Earth for a gravity assist to its speed


Word of the daydotard

Quote of the day


According to the meteorological calendar, the fall season started back on September 1st and will end on November 30th.    While the date on the calendars are determined by astronomical calculations and thus very from year to year,  the weather gurus broke the seasons into three month groups based on the annual average temperatures – which tends to match more closely with how we feel about the weather. 

Fall has always been my favorite time of year.  As a kid, I was always ready to leave summer behind and go back to school usually with new clothes and that feeling of starting afresh, a new beginning   Never a fan of hazy, hot, humid weather, I enjoy the crisp mornings and nights of the new season.  Despite having hayfever, the leaves and nuts falling from the trees has always fascinated me.  And the trifecta of holidays that rolled out in my life – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas -- one right after another in a glittering panoply!   Other folks celebrate too – Eid al-Adha and Muharram, Rosh Soshana and Yom Kippur, Diwali,  Bodhi, Chanukah and the Winter Solstice.  So much to do, to see, to taste, to hear!  

It ALMOST makes up for the winter.....
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 22, 2017

Friday Eve musing

Today is the 5th day of the 38th week, the 21st day of the 9th month, the 264th day of 2017: 
  • International Day of Peace
  • Islamic New Year
  • Miniature Golf Day
  • National Farm Safety for Kids
  • National Pecan Cookie Day
  • National Surgical Technologists Day
  • National Teach Ag Day
  • Pause the World Day
  • RAINN Day (Rape Abuse Incest National Network)
  • Rosh Hashanah [started at sundown yesterday]
  • World Alzheimer's Day
  • World Gratitude Day
  • and the last day of summer....

455 – Emperor Avitus enters Rome with a Gallic army and consolidates his power.

1621 - King James I of England (James VI of Scotland) officially grants Canada (including Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and parts of Maine) to his secretary Sir William Alexander, first Earl of Sterling

1843 – John Williams Wilson takes possession of the Strait of Magellan on behalf of the newly independent Chilean government.

1897 - the New York Sun ran an editorial answering a question from an 8-year-old girl that included the line, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."

1931 - Britain went off the gold standard.

1933 – Salvador Lutteroth ran the first ever EMLL (now CMLL) show in Mexico, marking the birth of Lucha libre.

1937 – J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is published

1942 – The Boeing B-29 Superfortress makes its maiden flight.

1957 - Raymond Burr stars in Perry Mason, premiering on CBS; the creation of attorney/novelist Erle Stanley Gardner, it First appeared a CBS radio series (1943-1955); the Vancouver-born actor will play the TV role for 9 seasons, making it the longest-running lawyer series on television.

2003 – The Galileo Probe is terminated by sending it into Jupiter.


Quote of the day:

So let's stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall”.

~ Romans 14:13 NLT


I was looking for a picture about Thursday, a cute little quote about how it is just one more day until Friday.  Instead I found this:



Made me well up.  When I look back on my life, on relationships that have ended, on people who left taking a piece of my heart with them, I have wondered more than once if they think of me and wonder …..   So I am sharing it.   
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 21, 2017

once more.....

Today is the 4th day of the 38th week, the 20th day of the 9th month, the 263rd day of 2017, and: 
  • National Gibberish Day
  • National Punch Day
  • National Rehabilitation Day
  • National School Backpack Awareness Day
  • National String Cheese Day

622 – Muhammad and Abu Bakr arrived in Medina
1378 – Cardinal Robert of Geneva, called by some the "Butcher of Cesena", is elected as Avignon Pope Clement VII, beginning the Papal schism.
1498 – The 1498 Nankai earthquake generates a tsunami that washes away the building housing the statue of the Great Buddha at Kōtoku-in in Kamakura, Kanagawa, Japan; since then the Buddha has sat in the open air.
1519 – Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set out from Spain on a voyage to find a western passage to the Spice Islands in Indonesia.
1596 – Diego de Montemayor founds the city of Monterrey in New Spain.
1870 – Bersaglieri corps enter Rome through the Porta Pia and complete the unification of Italy, ending de facto the temporal power of popes.
1893 – Charles Duryea and his brother road-test the first American-made gasoline-powered automobile.
1946 – The first Cannes Film Festival is held, having been delayed seven years due to World War II.
1973 - Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 in a $100,000 winner-take-all tennis match.
1998 - After playing in a record 2,632 consecutive games over 16 seasons, Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles sat out a game against the New York Yankees.

Word of the dayholus-bolus

Quote of the day:
Robert Greene’s 47th Law of Power: "Do not go past the mark you aimed for; in victory, learn when to stop."
~ HT Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

The GOP in the Senate has once again decided that the rest of the country has more health care insurance coverage than it needs or deserves, so they are once more trying to ram through a repeal of the ACA [AKA Obamacare].  The GOP has a long history of making health care pricey and unavailable, neh?   Richard Nixon saw to it back in 1973 that medical insurance agencies, hospitals, clinics and even doctors, could begin functioning as for-profit business entities instead of service organizations, making them more mindful of their bottom lines than the patients’ wellbeing because investors need to make money.    Ronald Reagan warned repeatedly that “socialized medicine would curtail  American’s freedom”.  Today’s GOP, in an absolutely stunning triumph of Calvinism and Libertarianism, wants to make sure the wealthy do not have to give anything in the way of taxes to those less fortunate.


 How about all of Congress – House and Senate – and the White House get the same exact coverage that they vote for the rest of the US?  Let’s see how they handle the next catastrophic illness or accident in their family!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 20, 2017

well that myth was busted

Today is the 3rd day of the 38th week, the 19th day of the 9th month, the 262nd day of 2017, and: 
  • Get Ready Day
  • Independence Day: Saint Kitts and Nevis from the United Kingdom in 1983
  • International Talk Like a Pirate Day -- a parodic holiday created in 1995 by John Baur (Ol' Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap'n Slappy), of Albany, Oregon, US and an institution since 2002
  • national Butterscotch Pudding Day
  • National IT Professionals Day
  • National Woman Road Warrior Day
  • Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 335 Flavius Dalmatius was raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle, emperor Constantine I.  In 1778 the Continental Congress passed the first United States federal budget.  In 1846 two French shepherd children, Mélanie Calvat and Maximin Giraud, experienced a Marian apparition on a mountaintop near La Salette, France, now known as Our Lady of La Salette.  In 1879 the Blackpool Illuminations were switched on for the first time.  In 1952 the United States barred Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after a trip to England.  In 1957 the first American underground nuclear bomb test (part of Operation Plumbbob).  In 1970 "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted on CBS.  In 2008 AMC's "Mad Men" became the first basic-cable show to win a top series Emmy award.  In 2011 Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees surpassed Trevor Hoffman to become Major League Baseball's all time saves leader with 602. 


Quote of the day:

"Do what you can where you are with what you've got."

~ Theodore Roosevelt (1858 - 1919), 26th President of the United States


Fired by the commercials that showed folks happily dancing with folks from their ancestors’ homelands, and mindful of the family history that claimed Grandpop Hughes’ ancestry, which hailed from the hunters and fishermen of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, included Indain stock, I decided to take the saliva testing to find out where my DNA was from.  I managed to come up with the prerequisite amount of spit, sealed the container and sent it off, waiting with baited breath to find out whether I was really a part of this country’s indigenous population or totallly an immigrant.




So much for family legends.  Looks like I am a polygot stew of legal and illegal immigrants.  I have no idea where that stray bit of Scandanavion DNA came from – my girlfriend says that it was a roving Viking but I am just as convinced it was an early Bluebeard raping and pillaging in the colonies. 



At least my red hair and sensitivity to the sun is explained....

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, September 19, 2017


Today is the 2nd day of the 38th week, the 18th day of the 9th month, the 261st day of 2017, and: 
  • Chiropractic Founders Day
  • Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day
  • Independence Day:  Chile from Spain in 1810
  • International Read an dBook Day
  • National Cheeseburger Day
  • National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
  • National Respect Day
  • Respect for The Aged Day
  • World Bamboo Day
  • World Goat Day
  • World Water Monitoring Day
ON THIS DAY:  In96 Nerva was proclaimed Roman emperor after Domitian was assassinated.  In 1618 the twelfth Baktun in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar began.  In 1793 the first cornerstone of the Capitol building was laid by George Washington.  In 1809 the Royal Opera House in London opened.  In 1851 the New-York Daily Times, which later became The New York Times, was first published.  In 1870 Old Faithful Geyser was observed and named by Henry D. Washburn during the Washburn–Langford–Doane Expedition to Yellowstone.  In 1927 the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) debuted with a network of 16 radio stations.  In 1977 Voyager I took the first photograph of the Earth and the Moon together.  In 1980 Soyuz 38 carried two cosmonauts (including one Cuban) to Salyut 6 space station. 

One can always determine the level of stress based on the self-medicating with comfort food as well as the sleeping levels
  1. Stage one:  anything that doesn’t move faster than I do is in danger.  Carbs in the form of bread, pasta, and cookies are especially needed -- and then there is ice cream and drinks.  You know, all the stuff that really realy taste good but isn’t good for you?   A good example of this is when I went totally off the rails after Trump was actually nominated for President – I blame the bad habit of watching the new for weight gain and blood sugar issues and have been struggling to break that habit.
  2. Stage two:  Food doesn’t appeal.  Unfortunately, this does not mean an disinterest in treats like dessert or special dinners, but on the whole, the volume of food consumers goes down although the blood sugar may not.   Meal planning becomes too much trouble, or after planned, one decides that one doesn’t really feel like eating that particular meal and grabs a couple of quickie snacks.  Sleep tends to be impacted and really restful nights become rather rare. A good example of this level of stress is the time after June 27th when my daughter learned that she had breast cancer.
  3. Stage three:  loss of appetite and a growing disinterest in food, to the point where one forgets to eat.  In addition the ability to sleep lessens, resulting in a sleep pattern that is more like napping than actually sacking out.  I haven’t been in this mode for a while, but a good example would be when Frank died.   I lost weight and it was literally months before I was able to start sleeping in the bed again instead of just dozing on the sofa.  I have to say that each divorce had the same impact, which led one ex to accuse me of immediately going “on the hunt” for a new man since I had slimmed down

I know that worrying doesn’t help and that stress shouldn’t be allowed to govern one’s life.  How do you handle it when it arrives?  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 18, 2017

the recession isn't over

Today is the 6th day of the 37th week, the 15th day of the 9th month, the 258th day [with only 100 shopping days before Christmas], and: 
  • Constitution Day/Pledge Across America
  • Free Money Day
  • Day – but when you come right down to it, they really don’t exactly know when their birthday is
  • Greenpeace Day
  • Independence day:  Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador from Spain in 1821
  • International Day of Democracy
  • International Dot Day
  • International Grenache Day ((do you know what a grenache is without googling it?))
  • LGBT Center Awareness Da
  • Make a Hat Day
  • National 8-Track Tape Day ((there seems to be a bit of controversy over this date because some folks claim it really should be on April 11th))
  • National Caregivers Day
  • National Cheese Toast Day
  • National Creme de Menthe Day
  • National Double Cheeseburger Day
  • national Felt Hat Day
  • National Hug your Boss Day
  • National Linguine Day
  • National On-line Learning Day
  • National POW/MIA Recognition Day
  • National Tackle Kids Cancer Day
  • National Thank You Day
  • National Tradesman Day
  • Someday – as in
ON THIS DAY:  In 668 Eastern Roman Emperor Constans II was assassinated in his bath at Syracuse, Italy.  In 1616 the first non-aristocratic, free public school in Europe was opened in Frascati, Italy.  In 1835 the HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reached the Galápagos Islands, landing at Chatham or San Cristobal, the easternmost of the archipelago.  In 1885 PT Barnum's famous circus elephant Jumbo charged and is killed by a Grand Trunk Railway train in the St, Thomas railway yard  In 1968 the Soviet Zond 5 spaceship was launched, becoming the first spacecraft to fly around the Moon and re-enter the Earth's atmosphere.  In 1971 the first Greenpeace ship set sail to protest against nuclear testing on Amchitka Island.  In 1978 Muhammad Ali outpointed Leon Spinks in a rematch to become the first boxer to win the world heavyweight title three times at the Superdome in New Orleans.  In 1981 the John Bull became the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operated it under its own power outside Washington DC  In 1982 the first edition of the USA Today newspaper was published.  In 2017 Cassini ends its 20 year exploration of the Saturn system by diving into the planet's atmosphere.
While I didn’t include this in the list of events above, today marks the beginning of the recession when in 2008 the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, a sprawling global bank, filed for bankruptcy protection.  The economy was already on shaky ground as real estate values were falling and this event changed the discussion from a “downturn” to a “recession”    While pundits have been proclaiming The Great Recession over since 2013,  the impact on the already dwindling middle class has been dire and it never rebounded.  I personally believe this directly led to the creation of that group of disaffected voters in the US known as the WWC as very frustrated and frightened folks flailed about trying to regain their footing.

We are like this little guy, overwhelmed by the surge and trying to hang on the best that we can
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 15, 2017

can't we all just get along?

Today is the 4th day of the 37th week, the 13th day of the 9th month, the 256th day of 2017 [with only 102 days until Christmas], and: 
Quote of the day:
Less well known is the paradox of tolerance: Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them. — In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols. We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way as we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade, as criminal.” “
~  Karl R. Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies, 1945

I have been pondering this quote for a while now, ever since I ran across it in an article that was referencing internet trolls are the inevitable product of communicating online, claiming the “wild wild west” nature of the internet has created the polarization of extreme viewpoints by permitting all points of view – socially acceptable and culturally non-acceptable alike – to create their soapboxes and gather adherents.

OTOH:  it is tolerance that has given rise to such concepts as diversity and has come out against prejudice on the basis of how we appear – altho it would seem that some parts of what we find okay to deplore, such as making fun of fat or age, is still considered okay.  Tolerance has permitted subculutures to come forward – things like BDSM, M/s and polyandry for example – that existed for a long time but only a tolerant society can accept them.  .

OTOH?  It has also given rise to hate groups – entire bodies of people who only focus on one thing they can vent all of their hostility against “them” whoever “them” is.  These folks are quick to demand toleration for themsolves even as they are denying it to others, and that is what makes Popper’s reflection particularly valid, especially as we struggle with the concept of “free speech” and reject the “them against us” mindset.



Most of us are rather bewildered by all the shouting, figuring that “hate speech” is just plain wrong, and when asked to define it, shrugging and saying that we know it when we see it [much like Stewart’s definition of obscenity].  I truly believe that 99 44/100 % of the inhabitants of this good Earth if given the choice would prefer that we all just get along.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 13, 2017

starting over from scratch

Today is the 2nd day of the 37th week, the 11th day of the 9th month, the 254th day of 2017, and: 

ON THIS DAY:  In 1185 Isaac II Angelos killed Stephen Hagiochristophorites and then appealed to the people, resulting in the revolt that deposed Andronikos I Komnenos and placed Isaac on the throne of the Byzantine Empire.  In 1226 the Roman Catholic practice of public adoration of the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass spread from monasteries to parishes.  In 1609 Henry Hudson discovered Manhattan Island and the indigenous people living there.  In 1792 the Hope Diamond was stolen along with other French crown jewels when six men break into the house where they are stored.  IN 1850 Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale," gave her first concert in the United States, at Castle Garden in New York.  In 1903 the first race at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin was held; it is the oldest major speedway in the world.  In 1962 the Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You," at EMI studios in London.  In 1972 the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit system began passenger service.  In 1985 Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb's baseball record for most career hits with his 4,192nd hit.  In 1997 NASA's Mars Global Surveyor reached Mars.  Also in 1997 Scots voted to create their own Parliament after 290 years of union with England.


Quote of the day:

"One cannot and must not try to erase the past merely because it does not fit the present."

~ Golda Meir, Ukrainian-born Israeli teacher, kibbutznik, stateswoman, politician and the fourth Prime Minister of Israel.


Searching for information on .0.11 ran into a bit of a logjam – not sure what would happen to someone outside the US if they ran the search, but hereabouts the results all point to that tragic day 16 years ago.  Like Pearl Harbor, everyone can tell you stories of where they were and what they were doing when the news broke, indeed, I have shared my own in the past.  But today I ran across one story sent to PostSecret  that made me stop short:



The commentary that follows it is telling:  anger, hurt, speculation as to why this person took advantage of a tragedy to start a new life, blaming, moralizing, wistful envy.  Puts me in mind of the fictional Rose in the 1997 movie Titanic, who did the same thing as she walked away from that tragedy.  I wonder if this person saw that movie and realized they had been handed a similar opportunity to start completely fresh, to leave behind an old life that for one reason or another wasn’t right for them.  OTOH: an argument can be made that it was an incredibly cowardly thing to do, leaving friends and family to mourn and potentially in the lurch.   OTOH: an argument can be made that was incredibly gutsy -- can you imagine starting with NOTHING, not even an identity?    


Can’t say that it would even occur to me, which either speaks to my level of commitment to my life or my lack of imagination.  What about you?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 11, 2017


Why is the Equifax data breach so much worse than any we have seen before?

Equifax is one of three credit bureau reporting agencies that determines your credit score.  Every single lender checks a CBRA before even considering giving you a loan.  If your score is less than 600, then you will either find it difficult to get financing for anything [personal, student, credit card, car loan or mortgage], be required to make a larger deposit, have a limit placed on the amount you can borrower, or you will end up paying much more in the way of finance charges.  Pretty much every lender, therefore, reports to one or all of the CBRA.  What do they report?
  • Your full name – not just your first and last name, but your middle name and any suffixes [eg Junior]
  • Your social security number
  • Your driver’s license state and number
  • Your date of birth
  • Your full address and your telephone number
  • Any previous names you have had; past addresses and past phone numbers
  • Your marital status and if you have children – it may include your spouse’s name and that of your children, with their Social Security numbers if you have ever had a joint account or signed as guarantor on a loan with them
  • An approximate salary
  • The name of your lender, your account number, the amount you were lent and your payment record
Every single Lender sends all of this information.  Monthly.   Until your loan is paid off.    

You didn’t agree to have all that reported?  Yes you did – read the fine print in the application you signed to get the loan.  Not that you had any choice – it was sign provide the information and sign the application or you can’t borrow.  Trust me, it is all pretty accurate – lenders are actually fined if found that they have supplied inaccurate information.  And then there are public records.  Ever had a dispute with a doctor’s office, clinic, or hospital and you ended up paying less than originally billed?  Ever have a dispute with a home improvement contractor and then had it resolved?  Chances are there is a “public record” notice on your credit report.  Oh you thought that everything was reset after seven years?  WRONG, lenders cannot take into account a bankruptcy or a charge off, for example, but they can still consider your record of payments for decades when making a decision on whether or not to grant credit or decide what interest rate you should be given.

Now Equifax is telling us that all of this information was available to someone for at least two months.  Take a look – that is a LOT of very important information with a wealth of detail.  Anyone can now create a doppelganger without the slightest difficulty because the answers to every security question is there.  And what are they offering to fix it?  A website where you can try and see if you have been impacted:  If you are impacted?  Then they will give you a date on which you may enroll for one year of free identity theft protection. 

There is no expiration date on all of this information –  once it is out it is out.  Equifax failed spectacularly and criminally and I am not surprised that sleazy executives started selling their stock before notifying the public.

Better check your account -- and hope you are small enough potatoes that crimminals won't be interest in beggaring you
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 8, 2017

a book a day....

Today is the 4th day of the 36th week, the 6th day of the 9th month, the 249th day of 2017 [with 109 shopping days until Christmas], 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
  • Stillbirth Remembrance Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 394 Roman Emperor Theodosius I defeated and killed the usurper Eugenius at the Battle of the Frigidus:.   In 1492 Christopher Columbus sailed from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.  In 1522 the Victoria, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition, returned to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world.  In 1620 the Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth, England, on the Mayflower to settle in North America. (Old Style date; September 16 per New Style date.)  In 1628 Puritans settled Salem, which will later become part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.  In 1803 British scientist John Dalton began using symbols to represent the atoms of different elements.  In 1847 Henry David Thoreau left Walden Pond and moved in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord, Massachusetts.  In 1916 the first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, was opened in Memphis, Tennessee, by Clarence Saunders.  In 1943 the Monterrey Institute of Technology, one of the largest and most influential private universities in Latin America, was founded in Monterrey, Mexico.  In 1952 Canadian television broadcasting began at 4 PM 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.  In 1962 archaeologist Peter Marsden discovered the first of the Blackfriars Ships dating back to the 2nd century AD in the Blackfriars area of the banks of the River Thames in London.  In 1995 Cal Ripken, Jr of the Baltimore Orioles played in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that had stood for 56 years.  In 1996 Eddie Murray of the Baltimore Orioles hit his 500th career home run during a game against the Detroit Tigers.  In 2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 20 mins 47 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:
  “Everyone may not be good, but there's always something good in everyone. Never judge anyone shortly because every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.”
~ Oscar Wilde  (Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde was a prolific Irish writer who wrote plays, fiction, essays, and poetry)

Today my thoughts are not coherent, they are darting all over the place.

You can say all you want that the rules have changed and there is no such thing as the fashion police [Serial Mon notwithstanding].  I don’t care really that the rules about wearing white [and straw hats and pocketbooks] from Memorial Day to Labor Day was an arbitrary rule – that was how I was brought up and I feel guilty if I do it. 

We are all pointing the finger of blame at POTUS for rescinding the protections for “dreamers”  the fact is that 10 states were ready to sue the government over the policy --  Arkansas, Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia if he failed to do so.  The governors in those states are every bit as heartless.  Congress needs to step into the breach [which they have failed to do in the past] with a legislative fix that assures the futures of about 800,000 undocumented workers who came to the United States as children because this is the only life they have ever known. 

Although I pride myself on having a done switch, once I give my heart a piece of it resides with the other person forever. 

When I was a kid, my mother made a hard and fast rule:  I was only allowed to read one book a day.  For me EVERY day was read a book day and I was very put out if I didn’t get a chance to do so! 


My life would’ve been so drab without my books!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 6, 2017

an early Labor Day this year

Remember, without unions we wouldn't have 8 hour work days, weekends or holidays

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 4, 2017

let's try to put this in perspective....

The Chesapeake Bay is the largest of more than 100 estuaries in the United States and third largest in the world.  The land-to-water ratio is 14:1 which is the largest of any coastal water body in the world, and its watershed contains three distinct geologic regions: the Atlantic coastal plain, the Piedmont plateau and the Appalachian province. 




The Chesapeake Bay holds more than 18 trillion gallons of water


Harvey has dumped 19 trillion gallons on Texas, and 5.5 trillion gallons on Louisiana – and the rain is continuing through tomorrow.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, August 30, 2017

what were they thinking?

Today is the 3rd day of the 35th week, the 29th day of the 8th month, the 241st day of 2017, 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
  • Touch-A-Heart Tuesday
ON THIS DAY:  In 708 copper coins were minted in Japan for the first time   In 1728 the city of Nuuk in Greenland was founded as the fort of Godt-Haab by the royal governor Claus Paarss.  In 1831 Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction.  In 1869 the Mount Washington Cog Railway opened, making it the world's first mountain-climbing rack railway.  In 1871 Emperor Meiji ordered the abolition of the han system and the establishment of prefectures as local centers of administration.  In 1885 Gottlieb Daimler patented the world's first internal combustion motorcycle, the Reitwagen.  In 1898 the Goodyear tire company was founded.  In 1911 Ishi,considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerged from the wilderness of northeastern California.  In 1949 the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb, known as First Lightning or Joe 1, at Semipalatinsk, Kazakhstan.  In 1958 the United States Air Force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  In 1965 the Gemini V spacecraft returned to Earth, landing in the Atlantic Ocean.  In 1966 the Beatles performed their last concert before paying fans at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.  In 1982 the synthetic chemical element Meitnerium, atomic number 109, was first synthesized at the Gesellschaft für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, Germany.  In 1991 Libero Grassi, an Italian businessman from Palermo, was killed by the Sicilian Mafia after taking a solitary stand against their extortion demands. 



This picture has floated to the top of my social media feeds a couple of times.  I have studied it, tried looking into their eyes, thought about it.  They look relaxed and happy, obviously taking time out from their work and hamming it up a bit for the camera – photos were not quite so ubiquitous before cell phones as some of us remember, and shots like this were relatively rare.   It is a nice picture, neh?

And then, after you have taken that long look, sit back and realize their workplace was Auschwitz, and after this interlude they probably went back on duty.  One article attached to this picture was about the mentality of a Nazi and asks the question “How does one rationalize or compartmentalize genocide?”   The other article sarcastically pointed out that these people were the kind of person that says they are apolitical and that things will work out.    

Although I personally think DJT is a puerile reality show host who doesn’t belong in the White House, I am not ready to equate a Trump follower with these people – I think that Democrats need to find out how to listen to the Working Class [white and otherwise] on a very grass roots level, figure out what is driving their anger and resentment, and address these issues.  In my not so humble opinion, dismissing every unrepentant Trump voter as a bigot and a Nazi creates even more polarization   
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, August 29, 2017


Today is the 2nd day of the 35th week, the 28th day of the 8th month, the 240th day of 2017, 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
  • Pony Express Day
  • Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day
  • Radio Commercial Day -- the first radio commercial aired, on WEAF in New York City in 1922
  • Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day
  • Red Wine Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 475 the Roman general Orestes forced western Roman Emperor Julius Nepos to flee his capital city, Ravenna.  In1609 Henry Hudson discovered Delaware Bay.  In 1789 William Herschel discovered a new moon of Saturn: Enceladus.  In 1830 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's new Tom Thumb steam locomotive raced a horse-drawn car, presaging steam's role in US railroads  [the horse won].  In 1845 the first issue of Scientific American magazine was published.  In 1859 the Carrington event is the strongest geomagnetic storm on record to strike the Earth. Electrical telegraph service was widely disrupted.  In 1898 Caleb Bradham's beverage "Brad's Drink" was renamed "Pepsi-Cola".  In 1993 the Galileo spacecraft discovered a moon, later named Dactyl, around 243 Ida, the first known asteroid moon. 


I’m not exactly sure where the time has gone.  The weekend just poofed – completely evaporated.  I seem to have lost a month of summer somewhere because Labor Day is this coming weekend.  And 2017 is 2/3’s gone.  And to top if all off? 



Well at least it is the last Monday in August and there are only 14 more workaday Mondays left in the year….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 28, 2017

minus the big stick....

Today is the 5th day of the 34th week, the 24th day of the 8th month, the 236th day of 2017 [with only 122 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Can Opener Day – can you believe it took them 48 years to figure this out
  • International Day Against Intolerance, Discrimination, and Violence Based on Musical Preferences, Lifestyle and Dress Code – a rather sad anniversary that we have celebrated for ten years now
  • International Strange Music Day – not related to the day above, but created by Patrick Grant  
  • National Knife Day -- designated to "celebrate and honor the right to own, use and sell knives"
  • National Peach Pie Day
  • National Waffle Day
  • National Waffle Iron Day
  • Pluto Demoted Day --  In 2006 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefined the term "planet" such that Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet.
  • Shooting Star Day
  • Vesuvius Day -- Mount Vesuvius near Pompeii, Italy, begian to erupt on this day in the year 79; within the next 25 hours, it wipes out the entire town. Hundreds of years later, archaeologists excavated Pompeii and found everything and everyone that had been there that day perfectly preserved by the volcano’s ash.  (NOTE: this traditional date has been challenged, and many scholars believe that the event occurred on October 24).
  • Weather Complaint Day
  • Wayzgoose Day -- at one time an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St Bartholomew's Day (24 August), marking the traditional end of summer and the start of the season of working by candlelight.
  • William Wilberforce Day – he was born in 1759 and was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in the British Empire
ON THIS DAY:  In 49 BC Julius Caesar's general Gaius Scribonius Curio was defeated in the Battle of the Bagradas by the Numidians under Publius Attius Varus and King Juba of Numidia; Curio committed suicide to avoid capture.  In 1215 Pope Innocent III declared Magna Carta invalid.  In 1456 the printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.  In 1608 the first official English representative to India landed in Surat.  In 1662 the Act of Uniformity required England to accept the Book of Common Prayer.  In 1682 William Penn received the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania.  In 1690 Job Charnock of the East India Company established 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).  In 1875 Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim the English Channel.  In 1891 Thomas Edison patented the motion picture camera.  In 1909 workers started pouring concrete for the Panama Canal.  In 1932 Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly nonstop across the United States, traveling from Los Angeles to Newark, NJ in just over 19 hours.  In 1936 the Australian Antarctic Territory was created.  In 1989 Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose was banned from baseball for gambling by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti.  In 1995 Microsoft Windows 95 was released to the public in North America.  In 1998 the first radio-frequency identification (RFID) human implantation was tested in the United Kingdom.  In 1968 France became the world's fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific. 


Quote of the day:

I will speak ill of no man and speak all the good I know of everybody.”

~  Benjamin Franklin -- renowned polymath and a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States


In this time of polarization, of fanaticism, of revisionist history and alternative facts, I hold on to this thought and try to speak softly….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 24, 2017

working for a living

Today is the 3rd day of the 34th week, the 22nd day of the 8th month, the 234th day of 2017, and: 
  • National Bao Day
  • National Be an Angel Day
  • National Eat a Peach Day
  • National Pecan Torte Day
  • National Tooth Fairy Day
  • Never Bean Better Day
  • Southern Hemisphere Hoodie Hoo Day
  • Take Your Cat to the Vet Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 392 Arbogast had Eugenius elected Western Roman Emperor.  In 1639 Madras (now Chennai) India was founded by the British East India Company on a sliver of land bought from local Nayak rulers.  In 1654 Jacob Barsimson arrived in New Amsterdam; he is the first known Jewish immigrant to America.  In 1864 twelve nations signed the First Geneva Convention.  In 1865 William Sheppard was issued the first US patent for liquid soap.  In 1902 the Cadillac Motor Company was founded.  In 1978 the District of Columbia Voting Rights Amendment is passed by the US 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 US Constitution - but the proposed amendment failed to be ratified by enough states (ratified by 16, needed 38).  In 1989 Nolan Ryan struck out Rickey Henderson to become the first Major League Baseball pitcher to record 5,000 strikeouts.  In 2004 versions of The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, were stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway.  In 2017 eye doctors experienced a huge uptick in scheduled appointments. 


Quote of the day:
   “Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else's hands, but not you.”
~ Jim Rohn American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.

I went through a phase in my career where I was all about organizational development and personal improvement.  I embraced knowledge management and the free agent nation, which were on the cutting edge some 20+ years ago.  I did public speaking, I devoured management books, I was an active agent of change, I was charged up and ready to go.  That quote would’ve been something that I preached – live your life strongly and head out full speed ahead! 

So what happened?

When my job was phased out at TWSB, and I went with MainStreet Lender, within a few weeks I realized they had hired a worker-bee, and that I had a job, not a career.  I moved from management, from being part of strategic planning and setting up implementation, to doing tasks.  At first I was unhappy with that, but then I gradually grew accustomed – the business and management books started to gather dust, since they would not permit me to travel for speaking on company time but required me to use PTO, the speaking engagements dried up, and slowly I stopped engaging even online.  By the time I lost the job at the beginning of the recession, I had lost my edge and I knew it. 

There are indeed times when I do miss being in “career” mode and regret having settled down into “job” mode.  But you know what?  I’m not sure that I know how to put it, but there are a lot of jobs to be done and someone has to do them, neh?  I never, at my most gung-ho, lived to work, I always worked to live....

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, August 22, 2017

please don't take my sunshine away....

Today is the 2nd day of the 34th week, the 21st day of the 8th month, the 233rd day of 2017, and: 
  • Cupcake Day
  • National Brazilian Blowout Day
  • National Spumoni Day
  • Poet's Day
  • Senior Citizens Day
  • Stay Home with Your Kids Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 959 Eraclus became the 25th bishop of Liège.  In 1770 James Cook formally claimed eastern Australia for Great Britain, naming it New South Wales.  In 1821 Jarvis Island was discovered by the crew of the ship, Eliza Frances.  In 1883 an F5 tornado struck Rochester, Minnesota, leading to the creation of the Mayo Clinic.  In 1888 the first successful adding machine in the United States was patented by William Seward Burroughs.  In 1897 Oldsmobile, a brand of American automobiles, was founded.  In 1911 the Mona Lisa was stolen by, Vincenzo Perugia, a Louvre employee.  In 1957 the Soviet Union successfully conducted a long-range test flight of the R-7 Semyorka, the first intercontinental ballistic missile.  In 1961 American country music singer Patsy Cline returned 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.  Also in 1961 Motown released what would be its first #1 hit, "Please Mr. Postman" by The Marvelettes.  In 2000 Tiger Woods, American professional golfer, won the 82nd PGA Championship and became the first golfer since Ben Hogan in 1953 to win 3 majors in a calendar year.  In2017 a total eclipse of the sun traverses the continental United States.


Quote of the day:

There is no science in this world like physics. Nothing comes close to the precision with which physics enables you to understand the world around you. It's the laws of physics that allow us to say exactly what time the sun is going to rise. What time the eclipse is going to begin. What time the eclipse is going to end.”

~ Neil deGrasse Tyson


In this day and age when “truth” is all too often a relative term and “facts” seem all to malleable and even have alternatives, I have to agree, it is comforting to see the intricate dance of the sun and moon arrive and depart exactly as expected.  

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 21, 2017

heritage VS hatred

Today is the 6th day of the 33rd week, the 18th day of the 8th month, the 230th day of 2017, and: 
  • Bad Poetry Day
  • Birth Control Pills Day -- in 1960 the first contraceptive pill “Enovid” came out in the United States
  • Helium Discovery Day -- on this day in 1868 French astronomer Pierre Janssen discovered helium.
  • Mail Order Catalog Day
  • National Bad Poetry Day
  • National Badge Ribbon Day
  • National Fajita Day
  • National Ice Cream Pie Day
  • National Men's Grooming Day
  • National Soft Ice Cream Day
  • Serendipity Day
ON THIS DAY:  In684 Umayyad partisans defeated the supporters of Ibn al-Zubayr and cemented Umayyad control of Syria at the battle of Marj Rahit.  In 1572 the Huguenot King Henry III of Navarre married Margaret of Valois in a supposed attempt to reconcile Protestants and Catholics in France.  In 1587 Virginia Dare, granddaughter of Governor John White of the Colony of Roanoke, became the first English child born in the Americas.  In 1590 John White, the governor of the Roanoke Colony, returned from a supply trip to England to find his settlement deserted.  In 1612 the trial of the Pendle witches, one of England's most famous witch trials, began at Lancaster Assizes.  In 1634 Urbain Grandier, accused and convicted of sorcery, was burned alive in Loudun, France.  In 1783 a huge fireball meteor was seen across Great Britain as it passes over the east coast.  In 1838 the Wilkes Expedition, which would explore the Puget Sound and Antarctica, weighed anchor at Hampton Roads.  In 1903 German engineer Karl Jatho allegedly flew his self-made, motored gliding airplane four months before the first flight of the Wright brothers.  In 1920 the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women's suffrage.  In 1958 Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita was published in the United States.  In 1969 three days and nights of sex, drugs and rock and roll come to a peaceful end as the Woodstock music festival concluded with a mid-morning set by Jimi Hendrix. 


Last night, once again under the darkness, Maryland removed a statue.  This time it was from the Maryland State House in Annapolis and the statue of Chief Justice Roger B Taney that was removed had sat there since 1872.  Why?  Because despite a long and lustrous legal career, both in Maryland and DC, he delivered the Supreme Court majority opinion in 1857 on the Dred Scott case


As I said yesterday, I am ambivalent about the current rush to take down monuments.   I am on the “heritage” side of the debate and I never did cotton to revisionist history.  On the other hand, the meanings of symbols like that of words changes over time -- what was once acceptable becomes objectionable [I don’t suggest you call any of your gay friends “queer” these days] and what was once vulgar becomes common usage [remember when no one with any pretension to any class at all would say the word f**k?].   The swastika has gone through its own evolution – once a common decoration and a symbol for good fortune, it got hijacked by Hitler and became loathsome.  The Confederacy, and the Stars and Bars, have gone from being a symbol of southern history, to part of the 60’s rebellion and motorcycle counter-culture, to a symbol of hatred and repression.  I resent that these factions, these loathsome amoral people, have co-opted this heritage, and I genuinely fear that they will end up doing the same thing to religious symbols [the Cross and the Star of David for example] in their fanaticism. 



It needs to stop.


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, August 18, 2017

who gets to draw the line?

Today is the 5th day of the 33rd week, the 17th day of the 8th month, the 229th day of 2017, and: 
  • Baby Boomers Recognition Day
  • Balloon Airmail Day
  • Meaning of "Is" Day
  • National #2 Pencil Day
  • National Black Cat Appreciation Day
  • National I LOVE My Feet Day
  • National Nonprofit Day
  • National Thrift Shop Day
  • National Vanilla Custard Day
Quote of the day:

Understanding is a three edged sword: your side, their side, and the truth.”

~ J. Michael Straczynski

I think that we are in agreement that these are dangerous times for the United States.  At the very moment we are wracked by polarization and a paralysis at the federal government level, it would appear that our basic liberties are under assault, especially our ability to speak

Free speech always came with limits – the example that used to be used back in the day was that while you had the right to say anything that you wished, you could and would be held accountable for the harm that would be caused if you suddenly screamed “FIRE” in a crowded theater.  That was a simple example, easily understood and one that most people could agree on.  But what about incendiary and hate speech?  Do we assume that like pornography, we’ll know it when we see/hear it?  Who gets to be the arbitrator, who gets to decide, who is the gatekeeper going to be?  Where is the line to be drawn?  Are we being sucked into the cesspool by not drawing a line?   At what point did we stop teaching folks to think, to assess, to make up their own minds?  Are we saying that humankind is untrustworthy and willing to descent to the lowest common denominator so we have to shovel pap at everyone to digest?
"We must take positions. Our weakness in the West is born of the fact of so-called 'objectivity.' Objectivity does not exist - it cannot exist!... The word is a hypocrisy which is sustained by the lie that the truth stays in the middle. No, sir: Sometimes truth stays on one side only." ~ Oriana Fallaci, an Italian journalist, author, political interviewer, and a partisan during World War II

We cannot let hate win

But I fear that as we try to stamp it out, we will find ourselves becoming that which we do not wish to be, that we will build a world in which we do not wish to live.   To mix my metaphors with a heavy hand:  the pendulum swings, but I am very much afraid that our course correction may send us off the rails completely. 


 Right now?  As much as I have poked fun at the image, I wish we could all clasp hands, join in a circle and sing Kumbya.   
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 17, 2017

No they are NOT good guys

Today is the 4th day of the 33rd week, the 16th day of the 8th month, the 228th day of 2017 [with only 130 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Independence Day: Gabon from France and Cyprus from Britain in 1960
  • National Airborne Day
  • National Bratwurst Day
  • National Medical Dosimetrist Day
  • National Roller Coaster Day
  • National Rum Day
  • National Tell A Joke Day
  • True Love Forever Day
  • Wave at Surveillance Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 1 BC Wang Mang consolidated his power and was declared marshal of state; Emperor Ai of Han, who had died the previous day, had no heirs.  In 1841 US President John Tyler vetoed a bill which called for the re-establishment of the Second Bank of the United States; enraged Whig Party members rioted outside the White House in the most violent demonstration on White House grounds in US history.  In 1858 US President James Buchanan inaugurated the new transatlantic telegraph cable by exchanging greetings with Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom -- however, a weak signal forces a shutdown of the service in a few weeks.  In 1891 the Basilica of San Sebastian, Manila, the first all-steel church in Asia, was officially inaugurated and blessed.  In 1896 Skookum Jim Mason, George Carmack and Dawson Charlie discovered gold in a tributary of the Klondike River in Canada, setting off the Klondike Gold Rush.  In 1920 Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians was hit on the head by a fastball thrown by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees, and died early the next day; he was the second player to die from injuries sustained in a Major League Baseball game, the first being Doc Powers in 1909.  In 1927 the Dole Air Race began from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii, during which six out of the eight participating planes crashed or disappeared.  In 1930 the first color sound cartoon, called Fiddlesticks, was made by Ub Iwerks.  In 1954 the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published.  In 1960 Joseph Kittinger parachuted from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,300 m), setting three records that held until 2012: High-altitude jump, free fall, and highest speed by a human without an aircraft.  In 1962 Pete Best was discharged from the Beatles, to be replaced two days later by Ringo Starr.  In 1987 thousands of people worldwide began a two-day celebration of the "harmonic convergence," which believers called the start of a new, purer age of humankind.  In 1989 a solar flare from the Sun created a geomagnetic storm that affects micro chips, leading to a halt of all trading on Toronto's stock market. 


Today, after the riots in Virginia, Baltimore chose to take down the remaining Confederate statues under the cover of night, without announcing their intent to do so.


My feelings on the Confederacy are rather mixed.  On the one hand yes I believe that the War Between the States was about states’ rights.    I don’t have any problem believing that there were good men who fought for and died for the Old South and it doesn’t bother me that their graves are cared for and there are statues to Robert E Lee, etc.   I have friends who are into reenactment and I have been to many parades and battles and other historical renderings.    The Stars and Bars displays do not upset me – it was part of our history.  On the other hand, I am aware that many believe the Civil War was about slavery, that those who carry those symbols are aligning themselves with the KKK and other slime.  I am sensitive to the fact that for a great number of people talk of the Old South is not a historical reflection, it conveys oppression of the worst kind that continues to this day.


My feelings about “white supremacy” and Nazism, however, are not ambivalent.  I believe that these people are evil, cruel and amoral.  That they would choose to twist the symbols of our fractious past for their own propaganda purposes sickens me – if the Stars and Bars are flying next to the Swastika, then both have to go.





It has to stop.




0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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