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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...


kala

(¤´¨)
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(¸.·´ (¸.·`¤"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 nose brings memories....


Today is the 1st day of the 12th, week, the 17th day of the 3rd month, the 76th day of 2019

The smell wafts up into the apartment and I glance at the time.  It is a about half past 11 on a Sunday morning, and someone below me is making Sunday dinner.  My stomach growls. 

Memories of past Sundays wash over me -- walking into Grandmom Hughes' house, through the back door and Grandmom at the counter turning around to give me a hug.  The kitchen awash with smells, pots on the stove bubbling, the oven making spitting noises as the roast beast [turkey, or pork shoulder, or beef] stews in its juices.  Grandmom cooked pretty much every Sunday and you made it if you could.  Usually we were there every other week or so, or sometimes once a month, always letting her know when we were coming, always being told we were welcome anytime, there would be enough.  There was meat, and potatoes -- lots and lots of potatoes mashed with butter and milk and gravy to go over them made with the drippings from the pan.  There were fresh baked rolls, rolls that no matter how many times her granddaughters were to make them from Grandmom's own receipe, only tasted that way when she made them.  There was "slaw" and she made some type of white dressing with Miracle Whip and vinegar and sugar, and there was always an extra cup of it because my cousin Holly really liked it and put it on her mashed potatoes.  There was the lingering smell of some yummy cake or pie that had been cooked that morning for desert.  It was a big kitchen, but with three or four women in it, some of us would pull out a chair and get out of the way, sitting by the table and sharing the doings of the past week[s].  

Then there are the times when I would make dinner, my abode full of the smells of the oven roasting and the saucepans rattling.  Or when I go and visit my and others weave in and out of the kitchen, frying, baking boiling, roasting, broiling, grilling.   Each has its own delicious odor, and the smell of it when you enter a house is enough to make your mouth water.  Sometimes but not always, restuarants can have that impact.  I remember the first Thanksgiving Frank and I were together -- Tom was not with us that day and Frank was not working, so we decided to go to a very good seafood restaurant called the Middleborough Inn for Thanksgiving dinner.   They were known for their crabcakes and that was what we were both going to get, I think, for we were both feeling a bit down and not very holidayish at all.  Then, when we got the car parked and got out, the smells of roasting turkeys punctuated with the pungency of sauerkraut washed over us ....  We both got a very traditional turkey dinner.

I don't enjoy cooking for myself and I don't have the occassion to cook for others.  In this busy time it seems that few folks in the building have time to mess with traditional meals, so my apartment is seldom innudated with the good smells of dinner.  But someone either on my tier or in my hall is making Sunday dinner today, and the smells are coming through the vent or from under my door and it smells wonderful.  Maybe they are celebrating St Patrick's Day?  Although it doesn't smell like corned beef and cabbage....


Microwave dinners just don't cut it sometimes.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, March 17, 2019

beware.....

Today is the 6th day of the 11th week, the 15th day of the 3rd month, the 74th day of 2019, and: 
  • Buzzards Day
  • Dumbstruck Day
  • Everything You Think is Wrong Day
  • Ides of March
  • International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter
  • International Day Against Police Brutality
  • National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence
  • International Eat an Animal for PETA Day
  • National Brutus Day
  • National Peanut Lovers Day
  • National Pears Helene Day
  • national Preschool Teachers Appreciation Day
  • National Shoe the World Day
  • True Confessions Day
  • World Consumer Rights Day
  • World Sleep Day
 
Beware the Ides of March
 
It’s probably thanks to William Shakespeare that we remember this day as in his play Julius Caesar, a soothsayer or haruspex [a religious official who interpreted omens by inspecting the entrails of sacrificial animals] named Spurinna attracts Caesar’s attention and tells him:
 
"Beware the ides of March."
Caesar demands:
"What man is that? Set him before me, let me see his face."
When the soothsayer repeats his warning, Caesar dismisses him, saying:
"He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass."
Two acts later, Caesar is assassinated on the steps of the Senate.
 
It is said that on his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The Ides of March are come", implying that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone."
  
The ancient Roman calendar had an ides every month – in March, May, July, and October the ides were on the 15th but on the other months the ides were the 13th.    The Ides of March marked the first full moon of the Roman year and was considered by the Romans to be a deadline for settling debts.  It wasn’t a particularly unlucky day until Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.  Not only was the murder rather brutal and carried out by his trusted associates, it was one of those pivotal points of history when everything changed as Rome succumbed to dictatorship triggering its decline. 
 
Back in the day, when I was in school, we very pretentiously walked around with black mourning bands on our arms.  I have no idea what we were supposedly in mourning FOR  and I’m sure we were just indulging in a pre-internet meme. 

 
 
Hey, it’s Friday.  Not sure Julius would agree, but a Friday does make the whole day a bit better!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, March 15, 2019

odds 'n ends

Today is the 5th day of the 11th week, the 14th day of the 3rd month, the 73rd day of 2019, and: 
  • Celebrate Scientists Day
  • Crowdfunding Day
  • Data Innovation Day
  • Genius Day
  • International Ask a Question Day
  • Legal Assistance Day
  • Moth-er Day – not to be confused with Mothra
  • National Children's Craft Day
  • National Potato Chip Day
  • National Save a Spider Day
  • National Write Your Story Day
  • Pi Day – did you know it is also Albert Einstein’s birthday?  And that we started celebrating it in 1988?
  • Popcorn Lovers Day
  • Science Education Day
  • World Kidney Day
Speaking of pie:  why is there a cake known as Boston Cream Pie?  Which is it?

Speaking of which is it:  The US presidential election isn’t for 612 days [I think I got that figured out right] and I am already sick and tired of hearing about it.  Will DJT agree to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses?  After all, he was the only candidate in history back in 2016 to say he might not accept the election results.  Will folks still feel the Bernie?  Will Democrats insist on someone who is not a white male for a candidate?  Will we end up with yet another choice between two candidates cut from the same old tired cloth?  Seriously, do we really have to have over two years of this?  Is this a test of the candidates’ endurance or our’s?

Speaking of tests:  Going through the prep for a colonoscopy proved to me that I physically can fast for two days – not quite 48 hours because I ate breakfast on Sunday morning then broke my fast Monday evening.   The fasting seems to have cleansed something out of my mental attitude, which is a strange reaction I don’t remember happening before.  I feel a bit empty – as my friend put it, I am no longer full of s**t.  I feel a bit remote to the world – whether RL or in my 2nd life.  I drive less angrily and am not in as much of a hurry to get where I am going.  The SuPrep seemed to make me cold when I took it, and  four days later I still feel a bit chilled despite the unseasonably mild temperatures outside.  Neither of my grandmothers would’ve died of colon cancer if this test had been administered as routinely as it is today – I was saved from the same fate because the pre-cancerous polyp was removed from my colon nine months ago and this test showed the area stayed healthy.

Speaking of grandmothers:  When Grandmom Riley was 23, she had my mother.   When my mother was 23, she had me.  When I was 23, I had my son.  For years when I needed to figure out an age, I just added or subtracted 23 – it was easier than actually remembering at times [ if I want to know my daughter’s age, I subtract four from my son’s ].  Today marks the 6th anniversary of my mother’s death – she would’ve been 92 this year because I am going to be 69.  My grandmother became a great-grandmother when she was 69.

Speaking of birthdays:  nowadays my granddaughters are really focused on their birthday parties [June and August], and every time I do something they don’t like, I am informed that I will not be invited to their party.    “Fine,” I reply.  “Then I don’t have to buy you a birthday present.”  The older one figured out an answer to that one, informing me that the presents she would get from others would be better than what I might give her.  The younger one isn’t too sure about that though – she doesn’t want to give up a present.

Speaking of presents:  right this minute?  I think I need to work more on being present in my RL

 

Happy Friday’s Eve you all!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 14, 2019

What floats your boat?

Today is the 1st day of the 11th week, the 10th day of the 3rd month, the 69th day of 2019, and: 
  • Check Your Batteries Day
  • Festival of Life in the Cracks Day
  • Histotechnology Professionals Day
  • International Bagpipe Day
  • International Day of Awesomeness
  • Landline Telephone Day
  • Mario Day
  • National Blueberry Popover Day
  • National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Pack Your Lunch Day
  • Salvation Army Day
  • The Start of Daylight Savings Time
  • US Paper Money Day
 

Reflect: Which false idol—pleasure, power, honor, or wealth—tempts you the most? Why?

This was part of the sermon for the first Sunday of Lent, and for some reason it got me to thinking – what floats your boat?  What is it that if you could wave a magic wand, or had Aladdin’s lamp, or caught that magic fish, or had the Devil himself offering you a bargain for your soul, would you go for?

Pleasure?  Well, everyone likes their ease and likes to have things pleasant.  But I think most folks are pretty much grounded despite our hedonistic tendencies and realize that unbridled pleasure exacts a toll.  If it was Christmas every day, then Christmas wouldn’t be special anymore, now would it?

Power?  This one I can honestly say never tempted me – I make a far better follower than a leader because while I like the affirmation the person on top gets, I really don’t enjoy the responsibility and hesitate to should the accountability of doing the right things for the right reasons

Honor?  For a person with an insecuriority complex who isn’t good at fitting in or playing well with my contemporaries, this one is rather tempting.   I have always cherished a secret ambition to be a writer, widely known and widely read, which implies respect and/or affection, I guess.  With my luck?  I would wish for honor and just get my 15 minutes of fame   for something I said or did heedlessly.  Or I would end up being gifted with something like the Klingon Code and have to walk around being all noble and upright.  Hmmm, that might not be a bad thing….

Wealthis what you get when you win the lottery and I have often thought about and even written about what I would do with the money.  Definitely could see myself wishing for it!  But sell my soul for it?  Granted I am a big of an agnostic and certainly have my doubts, but that doesn’t seem like a good bargain to me.  Not saying I wouldn’t be tempted – who wouldn’t?  I don’t think I’d go for that, but I think this one is my weak point for if I could make my friend’s and children’s lives better as well as my own….. 

Of course I have completely ignored the implication that you shouldn’t be focused on any of these things because you are chasing after false idols and ignoring the consequences of your actions, but those are kinda a different reflection

 

Okay, what about you all?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, March 10, 2019

the first Thursday of March

Today is the 5th day of the 10th week, the 7th day of the 3rd month, the 66th day of 2019, and: 
  • Nametag Day
  • National Be Heard Day
  • National Cereal Day
  • National Crown Roast of Pork Day
  • National Hospitalist Day
  • World Book Day
 
Let’s talk about pain management. 
 
21 months ago, my beautiful daughter was diagnosed with stage 3C breast cancer four months before her 40th birthday.  Since June 2017 she has been pumped full of noxious and toxic chemicals [AKA chemotherapy – and one was so hazardous that the nurse had to be in a hazmat suit to administer it], radiated to the limit of safety, operated on seven times, suffered an amputation [AKA bilateral mastectomy], and had part of her insides scooped out [AKA a partial hysterectomy].   She has been certified cancer free as a result of all this – she won her war against cancer, but now has to live with the battlefield.  She struggles with the residual mental fog caused by all this medication, both past and what she still has to take.  She goes to physical therapy.  She does acupuncture.  She uses medical marijuana.   But her body reserves are depleted,  and her nerves and muscles are literally screaming at her, and she lives in pain every single day.   Sometimes the pain is so acute that she calls the doctor.  Last night she went to the ER, begging for help.  After a full battery of tests,  the results were “no observable cause detected” and she was sent home at 4 AM to let the meds they gave her wear off and try and cope with the rest of her life until the next episode of acute distress sends her once more in a frenzy of seeking relief.  My daughter is a brave woman.  She gets up every day and deals with her life, grateful beyond all words that she is alive, that they found the tumors before it was too late – it was close, so close.  Her husband is a marvel of strength and caring and support.  They have insurance, they have friends, they have a community.  She goes on with her life, she has even started her own business.   She doesn’t take some medication they are willing to give her because she does not want to be reduced to walking about in a stupor, she wants to live the live that has been saved.
 
But….
 
I have been in a frenzy of pain myself.  One night I hurt so much, waking up in the wee hours from a sound sleep to blazing pain, that I grabbed the ADVIL and just dumped some in my mouth.  I have no idea how much I took that night, but I made myself sick so I know I overdosed.   If I had real pain killers available at that moment, I would’ve been a statistic.
 
So when I read about an opioid addition, when I hear about someone who has taken too much and died, I don’t feel smug and superior, I don’t think “druggie” and turn up my nose.   I think of what it means to be in so much pain that you cannot stand it.  I think of a society that has learned very effectively how to inflict pain and use it for torture, but doesn’t really know what causes pain or how to fix it.  Those who live with pain, simply have to try and cope with it

 
 
 
I taught both of my kids that “live is not fair – cope.”   And I weep at the cost of that coping.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 7, 2019

the start of Lent

Today is the 4th day of the 10th week, the 6th day of the 3rd month, the 65th day of 2019, and: 
  • Alamo Day
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Day of The Dude - the first annual sacred Dudeist high holy day was celebrated in 2010
  • Dentist's Day
  • Discover What Your Name Means Day
  • National Dress Day  ((but I think a lot of great stories started with jeans))
  • National Frozen Food Day
  • National Oreo Cookie Day -- Oreos were created by Nabisco and first sold on this day in 1912 by grocer S.C. Thuesen in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
  • Peace Corps Day (Historical 3/1/1961 by Pres. Kennedy, but actually observed on the First Tuesday of March)
  • Sofia Kovalevskaya Math Day
  • Stop Bad Service Day
 Quote of the day:
"The process of forgiveness demands courage and a continual remembering of where our deepest happiness lies."
—Sharon Salzberg, “Three Ways to Practice Forgiveness

 Today is  Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  The next six weeks [or 40 days in memory of Jesus’ time alone in the desert], right up until Holy Thursday, is supposed to be a time of spiritual reflection and preparation for Christians as they prepare for the annual observance of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior.  This is the culmination of the liturgical year and was the highlight of the year in days of yore, even though Christmas and New Year’s Day seems to be more important in these modern times.   One of the things stressed during this period is penance – widely known as the sacrament of penance or confession with a priest by Roman Catholics – as part of Lenten reflections.  Identifying what you are sorry for, acknowledging your faults, your shortcomings, your sins is only the first step in the process.  Then you have to feel remorse and regret, vowing to do better in the future and making reparations if that is possible.  But then you have to seek forgiveness, and that can be a bit more problematic.   You cannot always go back in time and apologize to someone for an unkindness for there are some words and/or actions that cannot be taken back or erased.   The injured party might never forgive or forget what you have or haven’t done, what you did or didn’t say.  You can pray for forgiveness from  the Lord, but it is hard to know if that petition has been granted.   Here the Catholics have a bit of relief, as they perform the penance imposed by the priest after hearing their confession, they believe they have re-entered a state of grace. 

Where I am going with this is the thought about forgiving yourself instead of flagellating yourself over all of your deficiencies.  I fear this can be taken to an extreme where you are so accepting of your own folly that you are refusing accountability for your actions, but what I have observed [both in myself and in others] is this feeling of despair where you fall into the feeling that your faults are irredeemable.  It seems to me that one needs to be able to forgive oneself at times – not to lower your expectations of yourself although perhaps you need to do a reality check, but just be a little kinder to yourself.   You are human, you are going to make mistakes, you are frail at times.  Those aren’t excuses, they are facts.  You need to strive to do the best that you can and if you fall short, get up and try again without beating yourself up. 

 

 The quote today just reminded me that sometimes courage is just squaring your shoulders and sallying forth to face another day, refusing to give in to despair.  Even as you labor to repair your shortcomings, give yourself a beak now and then, and remember to forgive yourself as well as others. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Fat or Shrove Tuesday

Today is the 3rd day of the 10th week, the 5th day of the 3rd month, the 64th day of 2019, and: 
  • Cinco de Marcho -- the beginning of the season to train the liver for St. Patrick's Day, a holiday known for drinking that is just 12 days away.
  • International Pancake Day
  • Mardi Gras
  • Multiple Personality Day
  • National Absinthe Day
  • National Cheese Doodle Day
  • National Potty Dance Day
  • National Poutine Day
  • National Sportsmanship Day
  • Pączki Day -- Americans of Polish descent eat pączki, special jelly-filled buns
  • Pancake Day Race -- tradition declares that the race was first run in the year 1445
  • Peace Corp Day
  • Reel Film Day
  • Saint Piran's Day
  • Shrove Tuesday
  • Unique Names Day
  • World Tennis Day
 
To my surprise, I found myself explaining here at work why it is a big deal to eat pancakes on this day, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  Perhaps Lent is more of a Roman Catholic tradition, but I really thought Mardi Gras and Fat or Shrove Tuesday was part and parcel of the cultural landscape these days.
 
Traditionally in days of yore, the 40 days before Easter were a time of fasting and denying oneself of physical pleasures so as to better concentrate on your spiritual wellbeing --  they mark the time that Jesus spent in the desert.  While Shrovetide was the entire week before Ash Wednesday, and it was supposed to be a time of penance,  the corresponding Latin term of carnem levare has become carnival, and the party time the modern world is familiar with.    The day before Lent, therefore, became a time to feast and party hearty – and use up all of the ingredients that you wouldn’t be eating for the next weeks so they wouldn’t spoil.    The ingredients for pancakes also have a symbolic significance as you prepare for penance: 
  • Eggs ~ Creation
  • Flour ~ The staff of life
  • Salt ~ Wholesomeness
  • Milk ~ Purity
So whether you make your own or head out to IHOP, enjoy!



0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, March 5, 2019

do you know what you are doing?

Today is the 6th day of the 9th week, the 1st day of the 3rd month, the 60th day of 2019, and: 
  • Asiatic Fleet Memorial Day
  • Baby Sleep Day
  • Dadgum That's Good Day (Masterbuilt food products & cookbooks)
  • Dress in Blue Day
  • Employee Appreciation Day
  • Endometriosis Day or Wear Yellow Day
  • Free Dentistry Day
  • Independence Day -- Bosnia and Herzegovina from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992
  • National Black Women in Jazz & The Arts Day
  • National Day of Unplugging
  • National Doodle Day
  • National Fruit Compote Day
  • National Horse Protection Day
  • National Peanut Butter Lover's Day
  • National Pig Day
  • National Read Across America Day
  • National Salesperson Day
  • National Speech and Debate Education Day
  • National Wedding Planning Day
  • Peace Corps Day
  • Plan a Solo Vacation Day
  • Refired Not Retired Day
  • Saint David's Day or or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant
  • SE Europe celebration of the beginning of spring -- Baba Marta Day (Bulgaria) and Mărțișor (Romania and Moldova)
  • Self-injury Awareness Day
  • Shabbat Across America/Canada
  • Share a Smile Day
  • World Compliment Day
  • World Day of Prayer
  • Zero Discrimination Day
  • The final day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá'í Faith)
 

Quote of the day:

Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. “

~ Arthur Ashe, an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam titles

 

A recent blog post inquired while discussing the ramifications of change, “What are the unintended consequences of what you are doing right now?”    Every part of one’s life is actually a complex system --  defined assystem featuring a large number of interacting components (agents, processes, etc.) whose aggregate activity is nonlinear (not derivable from the summations of the activity of individual components) and typically exhibits hierarchical self-organization under selective pressures.”    In other words, it is hard to figure out what is going to happen because there are so many variables with dependencies, competitions, relationships, or other types of interactions.  This is something I had observed from personal experience, and I used to tell my kids that Mom’s law of interactions was slightly different than the law of physics – mine was  “for every action, there is an opposite and not necessarily equal reaction”.    It can be quite perplexing at times, and there aren’t many do-overs either

 

 

 

Good thing it is a journey and not a test, isn’t it? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, March 1, 2019

holuidays

Today is the 4th day of the 9th week, the 27th day of the 2nd month, the 58th day of 2019, and: 
  • Anosomia Awareness Day – one does tend to take the sense of smell for granted, only grumbling when a stuffy nose from a cold or allergy impairs it.
  • Inconvenience Yourself Day -- founded in 2006 by Julie Thompson because “A lot of times I’d be out in my own little world, ignoring everyone around me, and I’m not as conscious as I should be about how I’m impacting other people
  • International Polar Bear Day
  • National Kahlua Day -- Kahlúa is a coffee-flavored liqueur from Mexico. The drink contains rum, sugar, vanilla bean, and arabica coffee
  • National Retro Day -- Hermelinda A. Aguilar and Robert and Tina Duran founded National Retro Day to take a look back at how life was before social media, the internet and smartphones became a necessity of our daily lives
  • National Strawberry Day – tired of winter?  Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen every year, so they are often called the “taste of spring.”
  • No-Brainer Day – a day for kicking back and not having to analyze and plan every little thing because you are sticking to things that are simple, easy, and logical
  • Pink Shirt Day
  • Pokémon Day -- commemorates the launch of the first Pokémon video games in 1996.  This year there are no added Stardust or XP bonuses outlined for the event, but there will be some special Pokémon available
  • World NGO Day – celebrating the work that non-governmental organizations are doing
  • World Retrospective Day - a volunteer-based, globally coordinated effort to share in the power of retrospectives [generally, is a look back at events that took place, or works that were produced, in the past. As a noun, retrospective has specific meanings in medicine, software development, popular culture and the arts]
It appears that many so-called holidays are actually just hyping themselves.    Establishing a holiday appears to be rather simply – just get on a calendar like Chase’s Calendar of Events [it’s free if you are accepted and published every fall for the next year] by picking a day, explaining what you want to celebrate and how folks can celebrate with you, then promote it via social media.  In the US, Congress does have to vote to make a “national” holiday official while official “world” holidays are passed by UN Resolution.
 
 
 
In a way, it is a good idea to celebrate every day, to have something that lifts your spirits out of the ordinary, humdrum
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 27, 2019

worrying about being worried....

Today is the 3rd day of the 9th week, the 26th day of the 2nd month, the 57th day of 2019, and: 
  • Carnival Day
  • For Pete's Sake Day
  • Levi Strauss Day
  • National Personal Chef Day
  • National Pistachio Day
  • Tell a Fairy Tale Day
  • Thermos Bottle Day
  • World Spay Day
ON THIS DAY IN ....

 747 BC – Epoch (origin) of Ptolemy's Nabonassar Era.

1606 – The Janszoon voyage of 1605–06 becomes the first European expedition to sight Australia, although it is mistaken as a part of New Guinea.

1616 - Roman Inquisition delivers injunction to Galileo demanding he abandon his belief in heliocentrism, which states the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun

1798 - Cartography - David Thompson sets off up Red River to explore the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

1863 - Abraham Lincoln signs National Currency Act, establishes single national US currency

1870 - New York City's first pneumatic-powered subway line was opened to the public. (The tunnel was only a block long.)

1909 – Kinemacolor, the first successful color motion picture process, is first shown to the general public at the Palace Theatre in London.

1914 – HMHS Britannic, sister to the RMS Titanic, is launched at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

1916 - Mutual signs Charlie Chaplin to a film contract

1919 - Congress forms Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

1935 – Robert Watson-Watt carries out a demonstration near Daventry which leads directly to the development of radar in the United Kingdom.

1952 - PM Winston Churchill announces Britain has its own atomic bomb

1966 – Launch of AS-201, the first flight of the Saturn IB rocket

1967 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1970 - Beatles release "Beatles Again" aka "Hey Jude" album

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1977 - 1st flight of Space Shuttle (atop a Boeing 747)

1983 - Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album goes #1 and stays #1 for 37 weeks

1987 - USSR resumes nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

2018 - Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, receives its 1 millionth seed on 10 year anniversary

 

Quote of the Day:
I don’t think it’s possible to do the job and not come out of it with some acute stress disorder or PTSD.”
~ Randy, a former content moderator at Facebook, tells The Verge about the toll seeing hundreds of violent, upsetting posts every day takes on its employees.

We all have a lot to worry about –  the wellbeing of family and friends, health concerns, money and jobs, are all on the top of the list.  But in the past three years, anxiety just from listening to what people are saying seems to be peaking.  There was something about the campaigning in 2016 that seemed to bring out the worst in everyone and since then, the level of vitriol found on any one day on any one post about anything seems to be inordinately high.  It has been so much that in a way we have actually been deadened to it – another school shooting, another cop killed, another scandal, another fraud, another cruel joke – to the point where we actually stop reacting because we exist in some sort of perpetual state of anxiety and even despair. While we make fun of the bucolic 50’s, and snidely make comments about a patina over sour notes, there is little doubt our news and interactions today seem designed to be upsetting in a very non-productive way leaving you just simply stunned and slightly shell-shocked.

 

There are all kinds of platitudes floating around about the power of remaining positive, about how to bolster your inner reserves, for stress management.  When you come right down to it, whether you try avoidance or coping, you have to keep slogging onwards and try not to let worry wear you down, one day at a time, one step in front of another.  Sometimes the bravest thing a person does is get up to face another day, neh? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 26, 2019

what a work of art is man/woman....

Today is the 2nd day of the 9th week, the 25th day of the 2nd month, the 56th day of 2019 [with only 302 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Let's All Eat Right Day
  • Museum Advocacy Day
  • National Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day
  • National Clam Chowder Day
  • National Cupcake Day (Canada)
  • Pistol Patent Day -- Samuel Colt was granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver 183 years ago.
  • Quiet Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1751 - first performing monkey exhibited in America, NYC (admission 1 cent)

1791 - 1st Bank of US chartered

1836 - Samuel Colt patents first multi-shot revolving-cylinder revolver, enabling the firearm to be fired multiple times without reloading

1837 - first US electric printing press patented by Thomas Davenport

1862 - Under the Legal Tender Act 1862, Congress forms US Bureau of Engraving and Printing to print newly issued US paper currency, the United States Notes

1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull – human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed.

1913 - The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect.

1919 – Oregon places a one cent per U.S. gallon tax on gasoline, becoming the first U.S. state to levy a gasoline tax.

1928 – Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a broadcast license for television from the Federal Radio Commission.

1932 – Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.

1933 – The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier.

1933 - Major NFL rule changes (hash mark 10 yds in, posts on goal line)

1942 - Prime Minister Mackenzie King announces in the House of Commons that, under Order in Council PC 1486, all Japanese Canadians living within a hundred miles of the Pacific coast will be forcibly removed inland to safeguard the defences of the Pacific Coast of Canada. The following day, February 26, the Government starts evacuating 21,000 Japanese Canadians from coastal regions of British Columbia to interior work camps; under the War Measures Act.

1950 – “Your Show of Shows" with Sid Caesar & Imogene Coca premieres on NBC Writers include Mel Brooks, Neil Simon & Woody Allen

1957 - Buddy Holly & Crickets record "That'll Be the Day"

1963 - Beatles release their 1st single in US "Please Please Me"

1969 - Mariner 6 launched for fly-by of Mars

1979 - Soyuz 32 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station is launched

1982 - Final episode of "The Lawrence Welk Show" airs

1982 - Record speed for a snowmobile (239 kph)

 

Quote of the day:

The relationship between modern humans and other, now extinct, archaic hominin groups has been a subject of controversy since the 1970s. Two competing hypotheses were originally proposed: the multiregional model posited that modern humans evolved in parallel throughout Africa and Eurasia from different archaic groups while exchanging migrants, whereas the out-of-Africa model proposed that all present-day humans had a recent origin in the African continent, from which they expanded across the world. However, over the past 30 years, these two hypotheses were increasingly seen as an over-simplification.”

~ A 2015 review paper on archaic human introgression by Fernando Racimo and coworkers

 

The fact that homo sapiens is the only mammal without any surviving cousin species fascinates me.   There has been a suspicion that homo sapiens simply slaughtered their cousins or outcompeted them for limited resources, driving them into extinction.   Recent studies of DNA extractions of Neanderthal and Denisovan remains seems to support a theory of assimilation as trace genomes can be found in the modern population, but that is still being hotly debated in anthropological circles.   Current theories still seem to point to Africa as being the cradle of humanity, but the record is a little muddy when it comes to the migration out of that continent as it appears some of the migrants double backed and settled there  And then there is the mysterious bottleneck in evolution where the human race was almost wiped out – one theory blames the Toba super-volcano eruption of about 75,000 years ago and the resulting nuclear winter for the lack of genetic variations.  On the other hand, one theory traces all of humans back to a mitochondrial Eve, a homo erectus who lived about 200,000 years ago.   Both theories attempt to explain the lack of diversity in human specification, and both have intrinsic flaws.





 

But at what point during evolution did the soul evolve? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, February 25, 2019

digital books?

Today is the 5th day of the 8th week, the 21st day of the 2nd month, the 52nd day of 2019, and: 
  • Card Reading Day
  • Discover Girl Day
  • International Mother Language Day -  a worldwide annual observance to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and promote multilingualism
  • Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
  • National Grain-Free Day
  • National Sticky Bun Day
  • Single Tasking Day
  • The Great American Spit Out ((just in case you were wondering, it is a campaign against chewing tobacco))
  • The first day of the Birth Anniversary of Fifth Druk Gyalpo, celebrated until February 23. (Bhutan)
  • The first day of the Musikahan Festival, celebrated until February 27. (Tagum City, Philippines)
ON THIS DAY...

1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.

1828 – Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah.

1842 – John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.

1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.

1874 – The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first edition.

1878 – The first telephone directory is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.

1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.

1918 – The last Carolina parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.

1947 – In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.

1948 – NASCAR is incorporated.

1970 - Jackson 5 make TV debut on "American Bandstand"

1972 – The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.

1981 - NASA launches Comstar D-4

1990 - "The Batman Theme" by Danny Elfman wins Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition at 32nd Annual Grammy Awards

1995 – Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

1996 - Soyuz TM-23, launched into orbit

2014 - 10 words from the 15th C Voynich manuscript have been decoded

Quote of the day:
The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.”
~  Elizabeth Hardwick, American literary critic, novelist, and short story writer, The Paris Review, interview

As the girls have gotten older, they don’t ask to have books read to them as often, although reading is still very much a part of the bedtime routine.  I remember my kids going through this phase, when toys and TV seemed much more interesting than the written word.  I remember being very worried, concerned enough to discuss it with Dr Wall, our pediatrician.  A very old-fashioned doctor, he leaned back and considered me for a moment, then asked “Do you read for enjoyment?”  Of course I said that I did, and he inquired if my kids ever saw me reading a book.   Obviously they had, and then he told me that sooner or later, they would eventually return to reading as a pastime because they saw me doing it and it obviously was something I really enjoyed.  But my concern with my granddaughters is that with the advent of iPads and phones and digital books, they don’t actually see anyone reading a book for the most part.  I have been at pains to show them that when Grandmom is staring at her phone, she is actually reading, but I have to admit, I am not always doing so.  I know both of their parents read, especially when studying or researching, but they too are often on a laptop or other device.

 

Their parents take them to the library, have always read to them and the girls have many books of their own!  I’m sure it will be fine and the girls will discover the escape route into a wider, more fantastical world eventually, but the impact of digital books it is one of those things I ponder about in the odd moments….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, February 21, 2019

ignorant about ignorance?

Today is the 3rd day of the 8th week, the 19th day of the 2nd month, the 50th day of 2019, and: 
  • International Tug-of-War Day
  • Iwo Jima Day
  • National Chocolate Mint Day
  • National Lash Day
  • National Vet Girls ROCK Day
  • Travel Africa Day
  • Prevent Plagiarism Day
ON THIS DAY IN:

 842 - Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ends as a council in Constantinople formally reinstates the veneration of icons in churches

1771 - Messier adds M46-M49 to his catalog (galactic clusters in Puppis & Hydra & galaxy in Virgo)

1819 – British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands and claims them in the name of King George III.

1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

1910 - English premiere of Richard Strauss' "Elektra"

1922 - Ed Wynn becomes the first talent to sign as a radio entertainer

1942 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps.

1960 – China successfully launches the T-7, its first sounding rocket.

1963 - "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan, widely credited as the start of second-wave feminism, was published.

1968 - "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" debuts on NET (now PBS)

1973 - "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" single released by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando (Billboard Song of the Year 1973)

1976 – Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald Ford's Proclamation 4417.

1977 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1977 - Space shuttle Enterprise makes first Test flight atop a 747 jetliner

1985 – William J. Schroeder becomes the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave hospital.

1985 - Canned and bottled Cherry Coke introduced by Coca-Cola

1985 - Mickey Mouse welcomed in China

1990 - Soyuz TM-9 lands

1996 - Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in York PA on WQXA 105.7 FM

1997 - FCC makes available 311 for non-emergency calls & 711 for hearing or speech-impaired emergency calls

1998 - Soyuz TM-26 lands

2002 – NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.

2007 - Blogging website Tumblr is founded by David Karp in New York

Quote of the day:
Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.”
~ W.E.B. Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor, in a speech at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, August 1906

As we talk about taxes, I have heard more than one person complain either about sales tax, property tax, or income taxes that are raised for the benefit of schools.  The most common comment is something along the lines of “I don’t have any children.  Why should I pay for someone else’s?”.  I have also heard it said, usually by proponents of zero population growth, that there should be a limit to the number of dependents allowed as deductions, again the reasoning being that they shouldn’t have to pay for someone else to have kids.  And then there is the drive for vouchers – parents who choose to send their kids to private and/or religious schools want to siphon off their tax dollars away from the general education fund.

Teachers are treated like disposable assets instead of the education professionals they are, and getting them a pay raise seems difficult if not impossible.  Schools are under-staffed and lack supplies – unless you live in certain privileged zip codes or go to private schools.   Curriculums are altered to follow the agendas of politicians – history is altered with sins of omission, the liberal arts are considered “soft” and unnecessary, science is lumped as theory, and “alternative” points of view are touted as needing to be stressed.

 

The result?   Being educated has come to mean being trained to work, and the breadth of learning how to think critically is no longer considered a desirable or valued outcome.   We as a nation have become ignorant even as we become more immersed in technology – a dangerous combination.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 19, 2019

why haven't you answered yet?

Today is the 5th day of the 7th week, the 15th day of the 2nd month, the 46th day of 2019, and: 
  • Angelman Syndrome Day
  • Annoy Squidward Day (AKA Your Boss as per Sponge Bob Squarepants)
  • Love Reset Day
  • Lupercalia
  • National Caregivers Day
  • National Gumdrop Day
  • National Hippo Day
  • National I Want Butterscotch Day
  • National Woman's Heart Day
  • No One Eats Alone Day
  • Remember the Maine Day
  • Singles Awareness Day
  • St Skeletor's Day
  • Singles Awareness Day
  • Susan B Anthony Day
  • World Information Architecture Day
  • Women in Blue Jeans Day
 

Quote of the Day:
This feature of being able to know whether your partner read your text message may have the power to create and/or increase feelings and behavior similar to symptoms of attachment anxiety and make relationships more fragile.”
~ Dr. Danielle Forshee, a psychologist and relationship therapist, tells Digg how the read receipts on our smartphone apps can complicate relationships.

Remember back in the day when if the phone rang at an inconvenient moment, you just ignored it?  “if it is important, they’ll call back” my father always said.   Or when you would mail a letter that you spent a couple hours or maybe even a couple of days writing, knowing that you were going to have to wait days if not weeks or even months before getting an answer?    Then we graduated to answering machines and faxes that demanded attention a little more quickly, which morphed into emails > texts > IMs, each with an increasing burden of immediate response.    No matter what kind of relationship – professional, customer, personal, family – the expectation that you treat every communication as urgent and respond quickly has intensified, and the speed of your response is somehow considered an indicator of the strength of said connection.
 

 
So yes, I think in both my “real” life and my 2nd life, the weight of expectation of an answer has indeed complicated things and caused angst.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 15, 2019

when Cupid's arrows fall short....

Today is the 4th day of the 7th week, the 14th day of the 2nd month, the 45th day of 2019, and: 
  • Frederick Douglas Day
  • International Book Giving Day
  • International Quirkyalone Day
  • League of Women Voters Day
  • Library Lovers Day
  • National Call in Single Day
  • National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
  • National Ferris Wheel Day
  • National Have a Heart Day
  • National Organ Donor Day
  • National Women's Heart Day
  • Pet Theft Awareness Day
  • Race Relations Day
  • Read to Your Child Day
  • Valentine's Day
  • (World) Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
  • World Sound Healing Day

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1747 - Astronomer James Bradley presents his discovery of the wobbling motion of the Earth on its axis to the Royal Society, London

1794 - first US textile machinery patent granted, to James Davenport, Philadelphia

1849 = In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes first serving US President to have his photograph taken (by Matthew Brady).

1876 – Alexander G. Bell & Elisha Gray apply separately for telephone patents; Supreme Court eventually rules Bell rightful inventor

1894 - Venus is both a morning star & evening star

1895 - Oscar Wilde's final play, "The Importance of Being Earnest," opened at the St. James' Theatre in London.

1899 – Voting machines are approved by the U.S. Congress for use in federal elections.

1920 – The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago.

1924 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company changes its name to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

1931 - The original "Dracula" film starring Bela Lugosi as the titular vampire, is released

1961 – Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized at the University of California.

1972 - Luna 20 (Russia) launched to orbit and soft landing on Moon

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1978 - first "micro on a chip" patented by Texas Instruments

1980 - "West Side Story" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 341 performances

1980 - US launches Solar Maximum Mission Observatory to study solar flares

1985 - "Whitney Houston" debut album by Whitney Houston is released (Grammy Award Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female 1986, Billboard Album of Year 1986)

1989 - Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie and his publishers due to his novel "Satanic Verses". A bounty was also place on his head.

1990 – The Voyager 1 spacecraft takes the photograph of planet Earth that later become famous as Pale Blue Dot.

2000 – The spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker enters orbit around asteroid 433 Eros, the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid.

2003 - Dolly the sheep - the first mammal cloned from an adult - was put to death at age 6 due to premature aging and disease.

2005 – YouTube is launched by a group of college students, eventually becoming the largest video sharing website in the world and a main source for viral videos.

2011 - The TV game show "Jeopardy!" began airing the first of three episodes pitting human players Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings against an IBM computer named "Watson."


Quote of the day:
“The potential to develop the heart-mind is truly limitless. Myths and ideas that limit us can fall away, and the heart opens to reveal love.”
~  Cator Shachoy, “Valentine’s Day Buddhist Heart Replacement”

This day dedicated to love and romance can be a bit hard on those of us who are alone.  Yes I know there is something I could do about it in the way of being more social, going out to meetings, being more chatty in world when I am indulging in a 2nd Life, joining dating sites or making it clear in forums that I am seeking and available for connection.   Been there done that – and I treasure the memories generated.  There is just a feeling of not wanting to force the issue right now.  There are worse things than being alone.

 

 But today can be a bit of a tough day. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, February 14, 2019

M & A activity

Today is the 6th day of the 6th week, the 8th day of the 2nd month, the 39th day of 2018, and:
  • Boy Scouts Day – The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated by William D. Boyce in 1910
  • International Winter Bike to Work Day
  • Laugh and Get Rich Day
  • National Kite Flying Day ((seems a bit early for this))
  • National Molasses Bar Day
  • National No One Eats Alone Day ((well this is a day I won’t be celebrating!))
  • Opera Day
  • Propose Day
  • The Inbox Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1575 – Leiden University is founded,[3] and given the motto Praesidium Libertatis.

1693 – The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, is granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.

1735 - First opera in North American colonies "Flora" opens in Charleston, South Carolina

1743 - Comet C/1743 C1 approaches within 0.0390 AUs of Earth

1794 - Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was a German analytical chemist. Runge identified the mydriatic effects of belladonna extract, identified caffeine, and discovered the first coal tar dye

1693 – The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, is granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.

1879 - Sandford Fleming first proposes adoption of Universal Standard Time, by dividing the world into 24 equal time zones, with standard time within each zone; in lecture at the Canadian Institute in Toronto; idea adopted by North American railways four years later, and by 24 countries at a conference in 1884.

1898 - John Ames Sherman patents the first envelope folding & gumming machine

1915 - "The Birth of a Nation" the first 12-reel film in America, directed by D. W. Griffith, starring Lillian Gish and Mae Marsh, opens at Clune's Auditorium in Los Angeles

1926 - Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio becomes Walt Disney Studios

1928 - the first transatlantic TV image received in Hartsdale, NY

1930 - "Happy Days Are Here Again" by Benny Mereoff hits #1

1936 - the first NFL Draft -- Jay Berwanger from University of Chicago first pick by Philadelphia Eagles

1945 - Paul Brown agrees to coach the new American football expansion team in Cleveland, which would later be named the Cleveland Browns after their coach

1946 – The first portion of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, the first serious challenge to the popularity of the Authorized King James Version, is published.

1952 - Princess Elizabeth proclaims herself Queen at a ceremony in St James's Palace, London.

1960 - Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants will take the name "Mountbatten-Windsor".

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1967 - Peter (Asher) & Gordon (Waller) discontinue their singing partnership

1968 - "Planet of the Apes" premieres in New York City

1969 - Last edition of Saturday Evening Post

1971 – NASDAQ, the world's first electronic stock exchange, held its first trading day, debuting with 50 companies and a starting value of 100.

1974 – After 84 days in space, the crew of Skylab 4, the last crew to visit American space station Skylab, returns to Earth. 

1979 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1984 - for the first time, there are 8 people in space -- Oleg Atkov, Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyov [USSR]; Vance D. Brand, Robert L. Gibson, Bruce McCandless II, Ronald McNair, Robert L. Stewart [USA] aboard the Salyut 7 EO-3, Soyuz T-10, and  the Space Shuttle Challenger.

1992 - Ulysses spacecraft passes Jupiter

1996 - The massive Internet collaboration "24 Hours in Cyberspace" takes place


Whenever a “merger” of two banks is announced [like BB&T and SunTrust], the conversation around the office centers on our personal experiences with banks being sold.   It is a common experience in banking and follows a clear path:
  1. The transaction is announced.  Both organizations are jazzed to be working together.  And not to worry, jobs are not on the line, the assimilation will be seamless, and customers are going to be ecstatic.  At this point?  Those of us who have been down this road polish up their resumes and contact recruiters
  2. Then talks start, and words like “synergy” and “consolidating resources” and “maximizing impact” start to be bandied about.  At this point?  Employees start to eye one another uneasily, wondering how they can prove their value in the new organization while others are openly interviewing
  3. Details emerge – who of the senior management staff have been given gold parachutes, who has been locked in at special pay to stay during the transition, who is leaving.  This is when the handwriting is really on the wall as folks start heading out the door wishing those who remain luck.
  4. And then positions, departments, branches start getting the notice that they are redundant.  Employees find out when they are being terminated

 

I’m rather glad I’m not in banking anymore
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 8, 2019

Happy New Year


To all who celebrate the Luna New Year







It is the Year of the Earth Pig



For those like me, born in the year of the Tiger?  looks like a good year, but with some health concerns....

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Chinese New Year's Eve

Today is the 2nd day of the 6th week, the 4th day of the 2nd month, the 35th day of 2019, and: 
  • Facebook's Birthday  -- a social network known as TheFacebook.com, initially aimed at students at Harvard College, was launched in 2004
  • Independence Day -- Sri Lanka from the United Kingdom  in 1948
  • Liberace Day – the flamboyant pianist who always kept an ornate candelabra on his instrument,  died this day in 1987
  • Medjool Date Day
  • National Create a Vacuum Day
  • National Hemp Day
  • National Homemade Soup Day
  • National Quacker Day
  • National Stuffed Mushroom Day
  • National Thank a Mailman Day
  • Rosa Parks Day – she was born in 1913
  • Torture Abolition Day
  • USO Day
  • World Cancer Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1488 – Bartolomeu Dias commands the first European expedition to reach South Africa and the Indian Ocean.

1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), all but one of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master's death.

1758 – Macapá, Brazil is founded.

1824 - J W Goodrich introduces rubber galoshes to public

1825 – The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.

1846 – The first Mormon pioneers make their exodus from Nauvoo, Illinois, westward towards Salt Lake Valley.

1859 – World's oldest known Bible, "The Codex Sinaiticus" (Sinai Bible), is discovered or stolen in Egypt by Constantin von Tischendorf

1895 - the first rolling lift bridge opens in Chicago

1913 - Louis Perlman patents demountable auto tire-carrying wheel rim

1936 - the first radioactive substance produced synthetically (radium E)

1938 - The Thornton Wilder play "Our Town" opened on Broadway.

1961 - Sputnik 7 launches into Earth orbit; probable Venus probe failure

1967 – Lunar Orbiter 3 lifts off from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.

1970 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1971 - The NASDAQ stock exchange, the second-largest in the world - behind the New York Stock Exchange - is founded in New York City

1974 - Chimpanzee Nim Chimsky signs his 1st word, at 2½ months

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1993 - Russian space agency tests a 82-foot wide space mirror

 

Quote of the day:

"How many people just get up on Monday and do the same thing they've done every single Monday - go to work and just turn on route automatic and no longer have any meaning in their life?"

~ Erwin McManus, author, mystic, futurist, filmmaker, and designer

 

There is an element of repetitive automation in every job at every level – it is this that makes us so fearful of being replaced by AI or robots.  But does this mean there is no meaning in your work and/or your life?  Me?  As I have often said, I work to live; I do not live to work.  



 

 

But just because I am a cog in the wheel, doesn’t mean my work doesn’t have any meaning!  Besides, I don’t define myself by the work that I do….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, February 4, 2019

EOY crapola

Today is the 45h day of the 5th week, the 30th day of the 1st month, the 30th day of 2019, and: 
  • National Croissant Day – Starbucks is really celebrating with different kinds and baristas wearing berets
  • National Escape Day
  • National Inane Answering Message Day – not too many answering machines left these days, but at one time, this was really a popular thing.  For a long time, our phone used to be answered by Boris Karloff or John Wayne
  • School Day of Non-violence and Peace
  • Yodel for Your Neighbors Day
 

ON THIS DAY:

1774 - Captain James Cook reaches 71°10' south, 1820km from south pole

1790 - A lifeboat was first tested at sea, by Mr Greathead, the inventor

1815 - The US Library of Congress, burned during the sacking of DC in the War of 1812, was re-established with Thomas Jefferson's 6,500 volumes

1826 - The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world's first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales is opened.

1847 – Yerba Buena, California is renamed San Francisco, California.

1858 – The first Hallé concert is given in Manchester, England, marking the official founding of The Hallé orchestra as a full-time, professional orchestra.

1873 - "Around the World in 80 Days" by Jules Verne is published in France by Pierre-Jules Hetzel

1883 - James Ritty and John Birch received a U.S. patent for the first cash register.

1911 – The destroyer USS Terry makes the first airplane rescue at sea saving the life of Douglas McCurdy ten miles from Havana, Cuba.

1933 - The first episode of the "Lone Ranger" was broadcast on radio station WXYZ in Detroit; it would run for 21 years.

1956 - Elvis Presley records his version of "Blue Suede Shoes"

1958 - Baseball announces players & coaches rather than fans pick all stars

1959 – MS Hans Hedtoft, said to be the safest ship afloat and "unsinkable" like the RMS Titanic, strikes an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sinks, killing all 95 aboard.

1963 - Ivan Sutherland submits a thesis containing his Sketchpad program, a forerunner to modern-day graphic user interfaces and computer-aided design programs

1969 – The Beatles performed in public for the last time in a 45-minute gig on the roof of their Apple Records headquarters in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

1975 - Ernő Rubik applies for a patent for his "Magic Cube" invention, later to be known as a Rubik's cube

1982 – Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called "Elk Cloner".

2013 – Naro-1 becomes the first carrier rocket launched by South Korea.

 

Back when I first got into commercial lending,  the different companies in our portfolio had varying fiscal years, usually based on when the company was actually formed.  In some ways it was easier not to have all the fiscal statements due at one time but staggered along the year, although Septemeber 30th and December 31st were by far the most popular.  But then the IRS apparently wearied of having to balance tax years with fiscal years with calendar years during their reviews, and they changed the provisions of the IRS Code so that most small businesses had to make their fiscal year coincide with the calendar year to simplify the tax year calculations.  There are some exceptions – some were grandfathered in [not many of those left], partnerships, corporations, and S corporations may have a fiscal year-end that's different from the calendar year-end, but most switched to a calendar year for their fiscal statements.  Of course this means that everything comes due at the same time, and therefore auditors and accountants are extremely busy during the first quarter trying to assemble everything that is needed – which means your friendly neighborhood loan servicing department will be scrambling

 

 

Ah well, at least I don’t have to explain as often anymore that a tax return marked 2016 is really for fiscal year 07.01.2016 – 06.30.2017 and yes the borrower is up-to-date with their financial reporting covenant to anyone!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 30, 2019



Today is the 2nd day of the 5th week, the 28th day of the 1st month, the 28th day of 2019, and: 
  • Better Business Communication Day
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
  • Community Manager Appreciation Day
  • Daisy Day
  • Data Privacy Day
  • National Blueberry Pancake Day
  • National Kazoo Day
  • National Pediatrician Day
  • Pop Art Day
  • Rattlesnake Roundup Day
  • Rubber Duckie Day – according to Sesame Street -- and it's Ernie's birthday
  • Thank a Plugin Developer Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1568 – The Edict of Torda prohibited the persecution of individuals on religious ground in John Sigismund Zápolya's Eastern Hungarian Kingdom.

1573 – Articles of the Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland.

1624 – Sir Thomas Warner founds the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.

1671 – Original city of Panama (founded in 1519) was destroyed by a fire when privateer Henry Morgan sacked and set fire to it. The site of the previously devastated city is still in ruins.

1724 – The Russian Academy of Sciences is founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented by Senate decree. It is called the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917.

1754 – Sir Horace Walpole coins the word serendipity in a letter to Horace Mann.

1813 – The novel "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen was first published anonymously in London.

1851 – Northwestern University becomes the first chartered university in Illinois.

1855 – A locomotive on the Panama Canal Railway runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

1896 – Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, becomes the first person to be convicted of speeding. He was fined one shilling, plus costs, for speeding at 8 mph (13 km/h), thereby exceeding the contemporary speed limit of 2 mph (3.2 km/h).

1878 - George W Coy hired as 1st full-time telephone operator as the first telephone exchange started up in New Haven, Connecticut

1918 - Manitoba passes An Act to amend The Manitoba Election Act (Statutes of Manitoba 1916, c. 36); becomes the first province in Canada to grant women the right to vote and to hold provincial office; two years before Ottawa.

1938 – The World Land Speed Record on a public road is broken by Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W195 at a speed of 432.7 kilometres per hour (268.9 mph).

1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first national television appearance.

1958 – The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.

1960 - first photograph bounced off Moon, Washington, D.C.

1965 - The Who make their 1st appearance on British TV

1973 - "Barnaby Jones" premieres on CBS TV and ran until April 3, 1980

1986 – Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.

1982 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1985 - Charity single "We Are the World" is recorded by supergroup USA for Africa (Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and other pop stars)

2014 - DNA analysis confirms that the 6th C Plague of Justinian was caused by a variant of Yersinia pestis (the same bacteria for the Black Death)

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 06 mins 30 secs of light-travel time from Earth and Voyager II is 16 hrs 42 mins 09 secs of light-travel time from Earth

 

By now most folks have their Christmas decorations down and the ads for Valentine’s Day are ratcheting up.  We haven’t gotten completely out of the EOY report fog, and suddenly another month end is looming right in front of us. 



 

 

Maybe it is a good thing January feels so short since it seems so workaday after all the holiday festivities? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 28, 2019

FINALLY!

Today is the 6th day of the 4th week, the 25th day of the 1st month, the 25th day of 2019, and 
  • A Room of One's Own Day
  • Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day
  • Fluoride Day
  • Macintosh Computer Day
  • National Activity Professionals Day
  • National Big Wig Day
  • National Fun at Work Day
  • National Irish Coffee Day
  • National Opposite Day
  • National Preschool Health and Fitness Day
  • Robert Burns Day
  • Thank Your Mentor Day
  • Women's Healthy Weight Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN...

1554 – Founding of São Paulo city, Brazil.

1755 – Moscow University is established by Elizabeth of Russia and founded by Mikhail Lomonosov on Tatiana Day

1792 – The London Corresponding Society is founded.

1817 - Gioacchino Rossini's opera "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella) premieres in Rome

1840 - American naval expedition under Charles Wilkes is first to identify Antarctica as a new continent

1858 – The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn is played at the marriage of Queen Victoria's daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia, and becomes a popular wedding processional.

1881 – Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company.

1890 – Nellie Bly completes her round-the-world journey in 72 days.

1909 – Richard Strauss's opera Elektra receives its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera.

1915 – Alexander Graham Bell inaugurates U.S. transcontinental telephone service, speaking from New York to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

1937 – The Guiding Light debuts on NBC radio from Chicago. In 1952 it moves to CBS television, where it remains until September 18, 2009.

1947 – Thomas Goldsmith Jr. files a patent for a "Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device", the first ever electronic game.

1949 – The first Emmy Awards are presented; the venue is the Hollywood Athletic Club.

1959 - American Airlines opened the jet age in the United States with the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707.

1961 – Walt Disney's animated film "101 Dalmatians", based on the novel by Dodie Smith and directed by Clyde Geronimi and Hamilton Luske is released in the US

1964 - The Beatles get their first US #1, "I Want to Hold your Hand" (Cashbox)

1964 - Echo 2, US communications satellite launched

1993 - Sears announces it is closing its catalog sales department after 97 years

1994 – The spacecraft Clementine by BMDO and NASA is launched.

1995 – The Norwegian rocket incident: Russia almost launches a nuclear attack after it mistakes Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile.

2004 - Opportunity rover (MER-B) lands on surface of Mars.

 

And it is Friday – while it is cold outside, at least the sun is out



 

 

‘nuff said!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 25, 2019

I really thought we'd be further along than we are...

Today is the 5th day of the 4th week, the 24th day of the 1st month, the 24th day of 2019, and: 
  • Beer Can Appreciation Day
  • Belly Laugh Day
  • Clashing Clothes Day
  • International Mobile Phone Recycling Day
  • Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day
  • National "Just Do It" Day
  • National Compliment Day
  • National Eskimo Pie Patent Day
  • National Lobster Thermidor Day
  • National Peanut Butter Day
  • Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day
  • Women's Healthy Weight Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1848 – James W. Marshall finds gold at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento, triggering the California Gold Rush

1857 – The University of Calcutta is formally founded as the first fully fledged university in South Asia.

1908 - The first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell, who also publishes "Scouting for Boys" as a manual for self-instruction in outdoor skills and self-improvement

1916 – In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., the Supreme Court of the United States declares the federal income tax constitutional.  (( there's a decision I'll bet a lot of folks would like to see SCOTUS reconsider! ))

1918 – The Gregorian calendar is introduced in Russia by decree of the Council of People's Commissars effective February 14(NS)

1925 - Moving picture of a solar eclipse taken from dirigible over Long Island

1979 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1984 – Apple Computer places the Macintosh personal computer on sale in the United States.

1993 - Soyuz TM-16 launches

1986 - The Voyager 2 space probe swept past Uranus, coming within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet from the sun.

2004 - NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars three weeks after its identical twin, Spirit.

 

Quote of the day:
"By extinguishing the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion, we are transforming our emotional range. Emotions such as kindness, generosity, compassion, confidence, and gladness for the good fortune of others continue to function and are even enhanced by being uncovered."
~ Andrew Olendzki, “Pinch Yourself

I know I am a pack-rat.   I know that I keep things that others would cast away, especially older things, feeling that somehow someone should be hanging onto these little bits of history.  And I know most of what I am saving will be discarded as clutter.  Why do you think antiques and old papers, books, letters et al are so valuable?  Because it is rare for such things to survive the cleansing that happens when folks have to downsize, when the next generation takes charge and doesn’t want old “stuff” around. 

I have come to realize I had hoped that old ways of thinking would also be cast off as clutter.  I had hoped that as a society we would become progressively more inclusive, more tolerant, more caring as each new generation comes forth and old stereotypes and prejudices would be thrust into a mental garbage heap.  That is the real reason I personally reacted with such dismay to the pictures of young torchbearers shouting in Virginia or young students smirking snidely at a Native American elder.  That is the real reason I hate the casual cruelty of Calvinism so evident in “trickle down” economics, couched in the familiar screeds against “socialism”. 

 

No, we didn’t start the fire, but I thought we were doing a better job of putting it out
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 24, 2019

the storm isn't coming, it's here

Today is the 4th day of the 4th week, the 23rd day of the 1st month, the 23rd day of 2019, and: 
 

Quote of the day:

"I [suspect] that we are throwing more and more of our resources, including the cream of our youth, into financial activities remote from the production of goods and services, into activities that generate high private rewards disproportionate to their social productivity. I suspect that the immense power of the computer is being harnessed to this 'paper economy', not to do the same transactions more economically but to balloon the quantity and variety of financial exchanges."

~ James Tobin, July 1984.  He was American economist who received the 1981 Nobel Prize “for his analysis of financial markets and their relations to expenditure decisions, employment, production, and prices”, and is regarded as America’s most distinguished Keynesian economist

 

 



Whether you call it the service economy, the attention economy, the tech economy, the knowledge economy, or simply the new economy, there is little doubt that historians will peg the change of the century as a time of social upheaval caused by a changeover from the industrial revolution to it.   As happened in the early 1900’s with the fading of the agricultural economy to the industrial or manufactory, there was a period of time when there was deeply divisive issues caused by disappearing occupations and the changing demands upon the infrastructure.  Even as late as 1984, a Nobel-winning economist was still focused on “production” as the purpose of business, not realizing how rapidly technology was overtaking the entire world.

 

It took WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII before humanity worked out the kinks of the transition to an industrial society.  I hope I live through the coming turmoil to see how we all figure out who to live conformably within the global economy. 


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Truth is a three-edged sword...

Today is the 3rd day of the 4th week, the 22nd day of the 1st month, the 22nd day of 2019, and: 
  • Answer Your Cat's Questions Day
  • Celebration of Life Day
  • Come in From the Cold Day
  • Dance of the Seven Veils Day
  • National Blonde Brownie Day
  • National Hot Sauce Day
  • National Polka Dot Day
  • Roe VS Wade Day – in 1973 The Supreme Court of the United States delivers its decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states.
  • Speak Up and Succeed Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...
1506 – The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrives at the Vatican.
1807 - Curling - Founding of the Montréal Curling Club, Canada's first, by 20 merchants and a chaplain, in Gillis Tavern. The Royal Montreal Curling Club is the oldest active athletic club in North America
1879 – Battle of Rorke's Drift: British garrison of 150 holds off 3,000-4,000 Zulu warriors. Eleven Victoria Crosses and a number of other decorations were awarded to the defenders.  (( they made a totally awesome movie about this ))
1889 – Columbia Phonograph is formed in Washington, D.C.
1890 – The United Mine Workers of America is founded in Columbus, Ohio.
1908 - Katie Mulcahey is arrested for lighting a cigarette, violating the 1-day old "Sullivan Ordinance" banning women from smoking in public, and is fined $5. Appearing before the judge she stated “I’ve got as much right to smoke as you have. I never heard of this new law, and I don’t want to hear about it. No man shall dictate to me.”
1927 – Teddy Wakelam gives the first live radio commentary of a football match anywhere in the world, between Arsenal F.C. and Sheffield United at Highbury.
1938 - Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" premiered in Princeton, N.J.
1946 – Creation of the Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.
1947 – KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood.
1953 - The Arthur Miller drama "The Crucible" opened on Broadway.
1964 - World's largest cheese (15,723 kg) manufactured in Wisconsin for New York's World Fair
1965 - US launches TIROS 9 weather satellite
1968 - "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" premiered on NBC.
1968 – Apollo 5 lifts off carrying the first Lunar module into space.
1970 – The Boeing 747, the world's first "jumbo jet", enters commercial service for launch customer Pan American Airways with its maiden voyage from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport.
1973 – The crew of Apollo 17 addresses a joint session of Congress after the completion of the final Apollo moon landing mission.
1973 – In a bout for the world heavyweight boxing championship in Kingston, Jamaica, challenger George Foreman knocks down champion Joe Frazier six times in the first two rounds before the fight is stopped by referee Arthur Mercante
1975 - Landsat 2, an Earth Resources Technology Satellite, launched
1984 – The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, is introduced during a Super Bowl XVIII television commercial.
1992 – Roberta Bondar, a Canadian Space Agency Mission Specialist born in Sault Ste. Marie, blasts into Space from the Kennedy Space Center on an eight-day flight aboard the shuttle Discovery with six other astronauts; performs life and material-science experiments, Canada's first woman astronaut.
2002 – Kmart becomes the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
2003 - Last successful contact with NASA spacecraft Pioneer 10, one of the most distant man-made objects
2014 - Water vapour is detected on the dwarf planet Ceres
 
Yes I was one of those who posted about the disrespect shown by a group of smirking little twerps to a Native American singer.  No I am not convinced by the subsequent stories about their innocence.  Yes I have looked at the different videos.  No I will not call either of them “fake news” although I have snarled a bit about “alternative facts”.  Yes I agree that justice by social media is deeply flawed, and as much as I deplore the rampant racism, I cannot condone those who respond to this idiocy with threats and intimidation.
 
 
 
This is exactly why I often make the statement that there is no such thing as an historical fact. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 22, 2019

wassup?

Today is the 3rd day of the 3rd week, the 15th day of the 1st month, the 15th day of 2019, and: 
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Day
  • Humanitarian Day
  • National Bagel Day
  • National Booch Day
  • National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day
  • National Hat Day
  • National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
  • Printing Ink Day
  • Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day
  • The second day of the sidereal winter solstice festivals in India
  • Wikipedia Day
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1541- François I names Jean-François de la Rocque, Sieur de Roberval lieutenant-general of New France and commissions him to begin a colony in Canada and provide for the spread of the "Holy Catholic faith". On March 9, 1541, the King gives him a grant of £40,000 livres, and appoints him "Viceroy of the Kingdom of Canada, as well as Hochelaga, Saguenay, Newfoundland, Belle Isle, Cap Rouge, Labrador, the Great Bay and Baccalaos". Roberval was given the expedition to colonize the St Lawrence over Jacques Cartier; under his orders,

1759 – The British Museum opens in Montague House, London.

1782 – Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris goes before the U.S. Congress to recommend establishment of a national mint and decimal coinage.

1785 - Mozart's string quartet opus 10 premieres

1818 – A paper by David Brewster is read to the Royal Society, belatedly announcing his discovery of what we now call the biaxial class of doubly-refracting crystals. On the same day, Augustin-Jean Fresnel signs a "supplement" (submitted four days later) on reflection of polarized light.

1831 - first US-built locomotive to pull a passenger train makes 1st run, with the first US railroad honeymoon trip, Mr & Mrs Pierson, Charleston, South Carolina

1844 - The University of Notre Dame received its charter from the state of Indiana.

1861 - Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis

1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the Democratic Party with a donkey ("A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" by Thomas Nast for Harper's Weekly).

1876 – The first newspaper in Afrikaans, Die Afrikaanse Patriot, is published in Paarl.

1889 – The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta.

1892 – Basketball rules first published in Triangle Magazine, written by James Naismith

1895 - Tchaikovsky's ballet "Swan Lake" premieres, St Petersburg

1907 - 3-element vacuum tube patented by Dr Lee De Forest

1907 - Gold dental inlays first described by William Taggart, who invented them

1919 – Great Molasses Flood: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, Massachusetts, killing 21 and injuring 150.

1927 - The Tennessee Supreme Court overturns (on a technicality) John T. Scopes' guilty verdict for teaching evolution — but the law itself remains in force

1936 – The first building to be completely covered in glass, built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, is completed in Toledo, Ohio.

1943 - World's largest office building, the Pentagon is completed, and 1,000 workers complete the air conditioning system for it

1948 - "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", film based on B. Traven's novel, directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart premieres

1969 -  Nuclear test at Pacific Ocean by the US

1969 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.

1974 -  "Happy Days" begins an 11 year run on ABC

1976 - US-German Helios B solar probe launched into solar orbit

1976 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

2001 – Wikipedia, a free wiki content encyclopedia, debuts online.

2004 - The NASA Spirit rover rolled onto the surface of Mars.

2005 – ESA's SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers elements such as calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the Moon.

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 06 mins 32 secs of light-travel time from Earth (2019:015:120000:1L)

 

Quote of the day:

"When we ask an open question we have not yet found an answer. And this leaves the mind free, unobstructed, and ready for adventure… There is nothing ignorant or vague about this openness, because questioning actively engages the movement and fluidity of life."

~  Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, “The Power of an Open Question

 

I have a bit of a reputation for asking questions, usually in threes, when I am interested in someone or something.  I like the idea of finding out what makes a person tick, what they think and feel about stuff, how they see themselves in relationship to the universe.  I find that while some enjoy the attention and the interest, some find it intrusive or nosey or even rather vulgar [that was certainly how my mother’s family viewed question asking!].   At work, I learned the hard way being a person who always wants to understand the whys and wherefores quickly labels you as a trouble-maker as those who are more set in their ways view question asking as combative or competitive.  And yet, I do want to know, to understand!

 

 

 

And as those who know me well can attest, when I stop asking them questions, it is a very bad sign indeed….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 15, 2019

my new year's resolution

Today is the 3rd day of the 2nd week, the 8th day of the 1st month, the 8th day of 2019, and: 
  • Argyle Day
  • Bubble Bath Day
  • Earth's Rotation Day
  • Midwife's Day or Women's Day
  • National English Toffee Day
  • National Joy Germ Day
  • National Man Watcher's Day
  • National Poetry at Work Day
  • National Shop for Travel Day
  • National Winter Skin Relief Day
  • Show and Tell Day at Work Day
  • War on Poverty Day
  • World Typing Day

ON THIS DAY IN ...


1454 – The papal bull Romanus Pontifex awards the Kingdom of Portugal exclusive trade and colonization rights to all of Africa south of Cape Bojador.

1547 – The first Lithuanian-language book, Simple Words of Catechism, is published in Königsberg.

1610 - Simon Marius. a German astronomer, independently discovers the first three moons of Jupiter one day after Galileo

1656 - Oldest surviving commercial newspaper begins (Haarlem, Netherlands)

1675 - First American commercial corporation chartered (NY Fishing Co)

1735 – Premiere performance of George Frideric Handel's Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

1760 - Comet C/1760 A1 (Great comet) approaches within 0.0682 AUs of Earth

1816 – Sophie Germain wins the Paris Academy of Sciences' Grand Prize for her mathematical work on Elasticity (physics).

1828 – The Democratic Party of the United States is organized.

1835 – The United States national debt is zero for the only time during the term of Andrew Jackson, the first Democratic president.

1856 - Dr John A Veatch discovers borax, Tuscan Springs, California

1884 - Chrome tanning process for leather patented by Augustus Schultz

1889 – Herman Hollerith is issued US patent #395,791 for the 'Art of Applying Statistics' — his punched card calculator.

1902 - first National Bowling Championship held (Chicago, Illinois)

1904 – The Blackstone Library is dedicated, marking the beginning of the Chicago Public Library system.

1935 - Spectrophotometer patented by AC Hardy

1936 – Kashf-e hijab decree is enforced by Reza Shah of Iran [Persia] ordering the police to physically remove the Hijab from any woman in public, turning dress into an integral problem of Iranian politics.

1951 - Thought extinct since 1615, a Cahow (the Bermuda petrel) is rediscovered in Bermuda

1954 - Elvis Presley pays $4 to a Memphis studio & records his 1st two songs, "Casual Love" & "I'll Never Stand in Your Way"

1956 - Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" single goes #1 & stays #1 for a record 11 weeks (for a single)

1962 - Golfer Jack Nicklaus, 21, frist pro appearance, he came in 50th

1963 – Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

1966 - The Who & the Kinks perform on the last "Shindig" TV show on ABC

1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 is launched.

1974 - Gold hits record $126.50 an ounce in London and silver hits record $3.40 an ounce in New York

1981 – A local farmer reports a UFO sighting in Trans-en-Provence, France, claimed to be "perhaps the most completely and carefully documented sighting of all time".

1987 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 2,000 for the first time, ending the day at 2,002.25.

1994 – Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov on Soyuz TM-18 leaves for Mir. He would stay on the space station until March 22, 1995, for a record 437 days in space.

2004 - The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

Quote of the day:
"The same power that moves the universe exists within our lives. Each individual has immense potential, and a great change in the inner dimension of one individual’s life has the power to touch others’ lives and transform society."
~ Daisaku Ikeda, “On Hardship & Hope

Of late I have been feeling pretty helpless.  I can’t do anything about the fluctuations of the stock market that is decimating the 401K, nor can I solve the little age related issues that are starting to impact my mobility.  I can’t protect my children, I cannot keep them healthy nor guaranty their financial wellbeing.  I can’t help my friend as much as I would like or light her darkness.  I can’t keep my apartment building a pleasant place to live or my neighbors congenial.  I can’t do much more than chew my fingernails as it appears to me that our democracy is being hijacked by old rich white men who are only interested in their own welfare.

But I can work on my spirituality and try to radiate the peace that I would like to see in the world.  I can let it begin with me.  I don’t have to be helpless.



And that gives me hope.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 8, 2019

TGIF - the 1st of 2019

Today is the 6th day of the 1st week, the 4th day of the 1st month, the 4th day of 2019, and: 
  • Dimpled Chad Day
  • Free Flower Basket Day
  • I Am A Mentor Day
  • Independence Day – Myanmar [formerly known as Burma] from the United Kingdom in 1948.
  • National Spaghetti Day
  • National Trivia Day
  • Pop Music Chart Day -- in 1936 Billboard magazine publishes its 1st music hit parade
  • The eleventh of the Twelve Days of Christmas. (Western Christianity)
  • Tom Thumb Day
  • World Braille Day
  • World Hypnotism Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1847 – Samuel Colt sells his first revolver pistol to the United States government.

1853 – After having been kidnapped and sold into slavery in the American South, Solomon Northup regains his freedom; his memoir Twelve Years a Slave later becomes a national bestseller.

1854 – The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang.

1863 - 4 wheeled roller skates patented by James Plimpton of NY

1865 – The New York Stock Exchange opens its first permanent headquarters near Wall Street in New York City.

1885 - Dr William Grant of Iowa, performs 1st appendectomy in America on Mary Gartside, aged 22

1903 – Topsy, an elephant, is electrocuted by the owners of Luna Park, Coney Island. The Edison film company records the film Electrocuting an Elephant of Topsy's death.

1912 - Smallest earth-moon distance this century, 356,375 km center-to-center

1935 - Bob Hope first heard on network radio as part of "The Intimate Revue"

1954 - Elvis Presley records a 10 minute demo in Nashville

1958 – Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from orbit.

1959 – Luna 1 becomes the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon.

1959 – Gypsy opened and closed on Broadway after 120 performances and four previews

1963 - Soviet Luna (4) reaches Earth orbit but fails to reach Moon

1970 - Beatles last recording session at EMI studios

1984 - "Night Court" starring Harry Anderson premieres on NBC TV

1989 - Comet Tempel 1 at perihelion

2000 - The first British women to walk across Antarctica to the South Pole arrive safely, more than two months after starting their record-breaking journey.

2004 – Spirit, a NASA Mars rover, lands successfully on Mars at 04:35 UTC.

2010 - Dubai opened the world's tallest skyscraper, the 2,717-foot gleaming glass-and-metal tower Burj Khalifa.

2016 - Colombo's Gemology Institute certifies world's largest ever blue star sapphire at 1404.49 carats, found in a Sri Lankan mine in August 2015

 

Robbing Peter to pay Paul is not any fun as you juggle needs and wants, and then deal with what I call “dagnabit moments”.  Those are the moments when you get stubborn and point out to the uncaring universe and hard-hearted society that you have worked HARD and want some fun and some stuff and …..  Well you get the idea.   It usually happens around this time of year when one is faced with the bills generated by the holiday, when the skies are gray and all the fun seems leached out of the world leaving only dull and boring things like responsibility and duty behind.  I usually start vacation planning and gazing wistfully at cruises and other journeys far afield to more exotic [and warner] climes.   Or I see things – clothing maybe so I can change my style and feel dressy or go for a new cosplay outfit, or a new car because mine is 14 years old now, or a VR rig because I think my computer can handle it --  and my inner self is like OOOOOOOO  SHINY!.  Or I get all ambitious about what I am going to do online:  there are new games to explore or maybe I’ll buy a region in InWorldz or rent more space in Second Life.  Desperately I try and tell myself that these are not just wants, I need to have a break from the workaday world.    I need some glitter, some excitement….

 

 

 

Ah January!  You are just so….  mundane!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 4, 2019

how do you nourish yourself?

Today is the 5th day of the 1st week, the 3rd day of the 1st month, the 3rd day of 2019, and: 
  • Festival of Sleep Day
  • Humiliation Day
  • JRR Tolkien Day - J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa in 1892
  • Memento Mori or "Remember You Die" Day
  • National Drinking Straw Day - in 1888 the first wax drinking straw patented, by Marvin C Stone in Washington, D.C.
  • National Write to Congress Day
  • Perihelion
  • Women Rock! Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1496 - Leonardo da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine

1749 – The first issue of Berlingske, Denmark's oldest continually operating newspaper, is published.

1840 - 1st deep sea sounding by James Clark Ross in south Atlantic at 2425 fathoms (14,450 feet)

1870 – Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins -- we are not quite sure how many times it has been sold.

1872 - 1st patent list issued by US Patent Office

1888 – The James Lick telescope at the Lick Observatory, measuring 91 cm in diameter, is used for the first time. It was the largest refracting telescope in the world at the time.

1899 - First known use of the word "automobile", appears in an editorial in The New York Times

1913 – An Atlantic coast storm sets the lowest confirmed barometric pressure reading for a non-tropical system in the continental United States.

1952 - "Dragnet" with Jack Webb premieres on NBC TV

1957 – The Hamilton Watch Company introduces the first electric watch.

1961 – The SL-1 nuclear reactor is destroyed by a steam explosion in the only reactor incident in the United States to cause immediate fatalities.

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1977 – Apple Computer is incorporated.

1993 - "The Comeback", QB Frank Reich led the Buffalo Bills back from a 32-point deficit, to defeat the Houston Oilers 41-38 in overtime in a wild card playoff game, the greatest comeback ever in pro football history

1996 - The first clamshell flip mobile phone, the Motorola StarTAC, goes on sale. Eventually 60 million are sold.

1999 – The Mars Polar Lander is launched by NASA.

2000 – The last new daily "Peanuts" comic strip by Charles Schulz ran in 2,600 newspapers.

2009 – The first block of the blockchain of the decentralized payment system Bitcoin, called the Genesis block, was established by the creator of the system, Satoshi Nakamoto.

2018 – Computer analysts report two major security vulnerabilities, named "Meltdown" and "Spectre," affecting the microprocessors of almost all computers in the world.

2018 - Previously unknown ancient Beringians group of people unearthed in Alaska, earliest known Native Americans at 11,500 years old

 

Today's Provocation:

“Wines get their unique taste from their terroir — the soil in which the vines grow.

Where are your roots drawing their nourishment? And how is that showing up in you now?”

 

When we talk about roots, I think of all the things contributing to your well-being [or lack of it]:  family, friends, co-workers, health, finances, news, et al.  What are you feeding your spirit?  Does it lighten your heart or does it weigh you down?

 

 

 

Certainly widens the application of that old saying of “you are what you eat”, doesn’t it?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 3, 2019

a shiny bright new year

Today is the 4th day of the 1st week, the 2nd day of the 1st month, the 2nd day of 2019, and: 
  • 55 MPH Speed Limit Day
  • Happy Mew Year for Cats Day
  • National Buffet Day
  • National Cream Puff Day
  • National Motivation and Inspiration Day
  • national Personal Trainer Awareness Day
  • National Run It Up the Flagpole and See If Anybody Salutes It Day
  • National Science Fiction Day
  • Pet Travel and Safety Day
  • Swiss Cheese Day
  • The first day of Blacks and Whites' Carnival, celebrated until January 7. (southern Colombia)
  • The first day of the Carnival of Riosucio, celebrated until January 8 every 2 years. (Riosucio)
  • The ninth of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • The second day of New Year (a holiday in Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine)
  • World Introvert Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France.

1959 – Luna 1, the first spacecraft to reach the vicinity of the Moon and to orbit the Sun, is launched by the Soviet Union.

2004 – Stardust successfully flies past Comet Wild 2, collecting samples that are returned to Earth.

 

Quote of the day:
“Yet the definition we have made of ourselves is ourselves. To break out of it, we must make a new self. But how can the self make a new self when the selflessness which it is, is the only substance from which the new self can be made?”
~ Robert Penn Warren, All the King’s Men

Today 2019 really starts as we [well I guess I’m talking from a place of privilege here because I am lucky enough to have a job] drag ourselves back to the workaday world, and the kids head off to school.  Hereabouts the clouds have settled in and the day is appropriately gray as our moods as we deal with the detritus left by the EOY and the holidays as we get ready for all the financial reporting and reconciliations that are needed.  The news is equally bleak as the stock market shimmies and the politicians dig in.   Bit of a let down …
 
And yet, there is still a feeling of renewal, of newness, of a second or third or 68th chance to make different choices.   May 2019 be a good year for one and all!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 2, 2019

still the season

Today is the 5th day of the 52nd week, the 27th day of the 12th month, the 361st day of 2018, and: 
  • Free Balloon Day (SpongeBob Squarepants)
  • Howdy Doody Day --  in 1947 the children's TV program debuted on NBC.
  • Independence Day:   Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1949
  • Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day
  • National Fruitcake Day
  • Third of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • Visit the Zoo Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

 537 – The construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is completed.

1512 – The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regard to native Indians in the New World.

1521 – The Zwickau prophets arrive in Wittenberg, disturbing the peace and preaching the Apocalypse.537 – The construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is completed.

1657 – The Flushing Remonstrance, signed by a group of Dutch citizens who were affronted by persecution of Quakers and the religious policies of Stuyvesant. articulates for the first time in North American history that freedom of religion is a fundamental right.

1831 – British naturalist Charles Darwin set out on a voyage to the Pacific Ocean aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin's discoveries during the nearly five-year journey helped form the basis of his theories on evolution.

1845 – Ether anesthetic is used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Long in Jefferson, Georgia.

1845 – Journalist John L. O'Sullivan, writing in his newspaper the New York Morning News, argues that the United States had the right to claim the entire Oregon Country "by the right of our manifest destiny".

1904 - 'Peter Pan" by J. M. Barrie premieres at the Duke of York Theatre in London

1911 – "Jana Gana Mana", the national anthem of India, is first sung in the Calcutta Session of the Indian National Congress.

1922 – Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō becomes the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.

1927 – The musical "Show Boat," with music by Jerome Kern and libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II, opened at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City.

1927 - The Daily Mail newspaper publishes the world's First wire photo, the invention of Winnipeg born engineer William Stephenson, later know as Intrepid, head of British security in North America during World War II. According to the Daily Mail, it was a great scientific event, and a new era in illustrated journalism was just beginning

1932 – Radio City Music Hall, "Showplace of the Nation", opens in New York City.

1934 - Shah of Persia Mohammed Reza Pahlavi declares Persia now Iran

1935 – Regina Jonas is ordained as the first female rabbi in the history of Judaism.

1945 – The International Monetary Fund is created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations.

1960 - France explodes third atomic bomb in the Sahara desert as they work on developing a compact nuclear bomb.

1966 – The Cave of Swallows, the largest known cave shaft in the world, is discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosí, Mexico.

1968 – Apollo 8 splashes down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.

1968 - China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC

1970 - "Hello, Dolly!" closed on Broadway after a run of 2,844 performances.

1977 - Star Wars fever hits Britain as thousands flock to UK cinemas to watch the long-awaited blockbuster.

1986 - "Les Miserables" opens at Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.

1991 - "Carol Burnett Show" last airs on CBS-TV

2002 - "Chicago" (Best Picture 2003), based on the musical, directed by Rob Marshall, starring Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Catherine Zeta Jones released.

2004 – Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.

 

The 12 Days of Christmas was always a favorite carol for my kids and many a car commute was passed with singing as they tried at an early age to remember all the different things that were given.  Today is the third day and the cost of today’s gift, should you be thinking of gifting them to anyone, would be $181.50.  That’s just for the birds of course, not the cage or house and food and toys and other accessories.  And have you checked the zoning regulations at your domicile?

 

 

 

I hope you are enjoying the season and remembering to treat those who are not with kindness


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, December 27, 2018

keep Christmas with you....

Today is the 4th day of the 52nd week, the 26th day of the 12th month, the 360th day of 2018, and: 
  • Boxing Day 
  • First day of Junkanoo street parade, the second day is on the New Year's Day (The Bahamas)
  • National Candy Cane Day
  • National Thank You Note Day
  • National Whiner's Day
  • Second day of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • St. Stephen's Day (public holiday in Alsace, Austria, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland), and its related observances

ON THIS DAY IN ...
 

1492 - First Spanish settlement La Navidad (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas) in the New World is founded by Christopher Columbus

1606 - First known performance of William Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear" before the court of King James I at Whitehall, London

1860 – The first ever inter-club English association football match takes place between Hallam and Sheffield football clubs in Sheffield.

1862 – Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover are the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.

1862 – The largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, where 38 Native Americans died.

1871 – Gilbert and Sullivan collaborate for the first time, on their lost opera, Thespis. It does modestly well, but the two would not collaborate again for four years.

1878 - First US store to install electric lights is Wanamaker's in Philadelphia PA. 

1898 – Marie and Pierre Curie announce the isolation of radium.

1908 - Jack Johhnson became the first black heavyweight boxing champion when he knocked out Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.

1919 – Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox is sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee, allegedly establishing the Curse of the Bambino superstition.

1924 - Judy Garland, 2½, billed as Baby Frances, makes her show business debut

1931 - Pulitzer Prize-winning musical play "Of Thee I Sing" by George and Ira Gershwin premieres on Broadway, New York City

1933 - FM radio patent granted to American engineer Edwin Howard Armstrong

1940 - "The Philadelphia Story" film directed by George Cukor, based on the Broadway play of the same name and starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is released (Academy Awards Best Actor 1941)

1941 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a bill establishing the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day in the United States.

1944 - Tennessee Williams' play "The Glass Menagerie" premiered at the Civic Theatre in Chicago.

1946 - Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas opens 

1951 - "The African Queen", directed by John Huston and based on the 1935 novel of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, is released in LA, California (Academy Awards Best Actor 1952)

1954 - "The Shadow" airs for last time on radio

1963 – The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" are released in the United States, marking the beginning of Beatlemania on an international level.

1966 – The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, the chair of Black Studies at California State University, Long Beach.

1973 - Horror film "The Exorcist" based on book and screenplay by William Peter Blatty, starring Linda Blair, rated X, premieres - 1st horror film to be nominated for Best Picture

1975 – Tu-144, the world's first commercial supersonic aircraft, surpassing Mach 2, went into service.

1977 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1982 - TIME's Man of the Year is a computer

1986 - TV soap "Search for Tomorrow" ends 35 year run

2004 - Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts broke Dan Marino's single-season touchdown pass record when he threw his 48th and 49th of the season in a victory over San Diego.

2009 – China opens the world's longest high-speed rail route, which links Beijing and Guangzhou.

 

Quote of the day:
"Being is the source of love because learning to love means learning to be content with the life you have been given. Being fully present to what is—without judging or evaluating or wanting something different—is the most basic act of love."
~ C. W. Huntington Jr., “The Miracle of the Ordinary

This quote is probably one of the better descriptions I have read when it comes to explaining my concept of unconditional love – the simple acceptance of another “as is” without trying to weigh them down with your expectations.  It is harder to do than it is to say.   In these holidays of all faiths, the theme of family sounds loud and clear, and to keep a family functional,  we all need to work on practicing such acceptance of each other.

 

 It is my hope the knowledge of acceptance and of being heard will reduce the virulent violence of expression of all extremists.   It is my fear, however, that evil cannot be surmounted by such loving behavior alone, but it is a very good first step.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas Eve

Today is the 2nd day of the 52nd week, the 24th day of the 12th month, the 358th day of 2018


There is a lot of news in the world.   The Federal Government is disabled over a debate about building a wall.   I am nonplussed that so many supporters feel that DJT is being unfairly attacked and vilified when he is doing the right things for the right reasons.    The death toll from that unexpected tsunami in Indonesia keeps climbing – the video of the rock concert that was wiped out is downright horrifying.   Wall Street seems intent on eviscerating everyone’s 401Ks at the very moment the social safety net is being shredded.     

Somehow it all seems so wrong

Today is Christmas Eve and I guess in my narrow-minded, privileged Anglo-Saxon, Roman Catholic perception, somehow the holiest night of the year for Christians [who after all, make up almost a third of the world’s population] should be a little more peaceful?   And joyous too – and certainly kids all over the world are eagerly awaiting Santa to arrive and anticipating goodies.   I checked with NORAD and at 6AM, Santa was in the air, circling the Arctic before heading off to his first port of call -- Novoye Chaplino, Russia.

The story of how NORAD got into tracking back in 1955 is legend nowadays – it all began with a typo in a Sears ad.  I often think about the other folks – the person who made the mistake in the ad copy, for example.  Did they lose their job over sending calls to the red phone during the height of the Cold War?  How about the operators that Sears had standing by to take all those phone calls?  They must’ve wondered why the phones weren’t ringing, don’t you think?  Had they been instructed to convince kids to ask for things out of the then ubiquitous Sears catalog?  Was the ad corrected in subsequent printings or pulled?    

I am old enough to remember getting excited when the news [or the weatherman] would break in with an announcement from The Continental Air Defense Command had reported with great seriousness an unidentified flying object had been sighted and fighter planes were being scrambled, complete with scary footage of airmen running to their plans and jets swooshing for takeoff.  And then the thrill when a live radio report from a pilot exclaimed “why it’s a sleigh, pulled by reindeer with a red light shining out in the front”.  And the order to stand down could be heard, and the sound of jingle bells…..    And I remember the first year that my son swore stoutly that he didn’t believe in Santa Claus anymore and how white he turned when Bob Turk went through the same routine because he was afraid he wouldn’t get any presents.    Since 1997, we all can track the jolly old elf’s progress around the world online

So today I am going to concentrate on happier thoughts and prayers for “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” and hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 24, 2018

surviving the Wild Wild West

Today is the 5th day of the 51st week, the 20th day of the 12th month, the 354th day of 2018, and: 
  • Cathode-Ray Tube Day
  • Dot Your I's Day
  • Free Shipping Day  (3rd Thursday at Participating Retailers)
  • Games Day
  • Go Caroling Day
  • International Human Solidarity Day
  • Mudd Day
  • National Re-gifting Day
  • National Sangria Day
  • Poet Laureat Day
  • Sacagawea Day
  • World Day of Prayer and Action for Children
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1606 – The Virginia Company loads three ships with settlers and sets sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

1699 - Russian Tsar Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed from September 1 to January 1

1790 - The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I.

1792 - Opening of First Montréal Post Office, with regular twice-weekly mail service between Canada and the United States.

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was completed as the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans.

1808 – Peninsular War: The Siege of Zaragoza begins.

1808 – The original Covent Garden Theatre in London is destroyed by a fire, along with most of the scenery, costumes and scripts.

1812 - "Grimm's Fairy Tales" or "Children's and Household Tales" by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm is first published

1832 – HMS Clio under the command of Captain Onslow arrives at Port Egmont under orders to take possession of the Falkland Islands

1879 - Thomas Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, N.J.

1880 - NY's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as "Great White Way"

1883 - International cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls

1891 - Strongman Louis Cyr withstands pull of 4 horses

1892 - Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse, NY

1900 - Giacobini discovers a comet -- it was the first comet visited by spacecraft, the International Cometary Explorer spacecraft, which passed through its plasma tail on September 11, 1985.

1917 – Cheka, the first Soviet secret police force, is founded.

1946 – The Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life" had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its official premiere.

1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs.

1957 – The initial production version of the Boeing 707 makes its first flight.

1957 - 1957 Elvis Presley receives his draft notice to join the US Army for National Service

1962 - The Osmond brothers debut on Andy Williams Show

1966 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1967 – A Pennsylvania Railroad Budd Metroliner exceeds 155 mph on their New York Division, also present day Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.

1971 - First preview issue of "Ms" magazine is published in the US launched by Gloria Steinem

1977 - First Spacewalk made by Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Grechko during Salyut 6 EO-1 mission

1984 - 33 unknown Bach keyboard works found in Yale library

1990 - The world's first website and server go live at CERN

1984 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1985 - Position of American Poet Laureate established (Robert Warren is the first to receive the honor)

2007 – Elizabeth II becomes the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, seven months and 29 days.

2012 - Apple is denied a patent for mobile pinch-to-zoom gestures by the US patent authorities

 

Some time ago I got a notice from the identity protection firm I subscribed to after the Equifax breach telling me my current email address with a password had been found on the Dark Web.  To be honest, since I have been on Gmail since back when you had to find someone with ten invitations to share before you could get in, I rather expect that particular addy has been all over the place.  The two highly redacted passwords displayed were ancient from back when a five letter word was sufficient.  I changed my current password just to be on the safe side and moved on.  In the intervening weeks, I have noticed that I get a LOT more spam than I used to and some of the phishing attempts look really legitimate.  Perhaps this is the greatest danger of breaches and personal information getting out – it enables traps to be laid using that information that will trick one into coughing up information that can be used to take them to the cleaners.  The most insidious emails this time of year purport to be from USPS, or UPS, or FedEx, announcing that you need to give them information so a package can be delivered. 

 

 

 

Be careful out there – don’t click through using any email links but go to the vendor website and search from scratch if you think it might the real thing.


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, December 20, 2018

the days of our lives

Today is the 4th day of the 51st week, the 19th day of the 12th month, the 353rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Holly Day
  • Look for an Evergreen Day
  • National Hard Candy Day
  • National Oatmeal Muffin Day

ON THIS DAY IN ...

1606 – The ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery depart England carrying settlers who founded, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.

1686 - Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years (as per Daniel Defoe)

1732 - Benjamin Franklin under the name Richard Saunders begins publication of "Poor Richard's Almanack"

1776 – Thomas Paine publishes one of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled "The American Crisis".

1835 - HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin aboard arrives in New Zealand

1843 – The novella A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is first published.

1871 - Albert L Jones of New York City patents corrugated paper

1890 - Start of Sherlock Holmes "Adventure of Beryl Coronet"

1910 - Rayon first commercially produced in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

1917 - First two NHL games are played -- Montreal Quebec/ Toronto Ontario - NHL starts inaugural season: original members of the league are the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, Toronto Arenas, Ottawa Senators and Quebec Bulldogs.

1918 - Robert Ripley began his "Believe It or Not" column (NY Globe)

1924 – The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England.

1932 – BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service.

1955 - Carl Perkins records "Blue Suede Shoes"

1957 - "Music Man" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 1375 performances

1958 - first radio broadcast from space, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower Christmas message "to all mankind, America's wish for peace on Earth and goodwill to men everywhere"

1962 - Transit 5A1, first operational navigational satellite, launched

1971 - CBS airs "Homecoming A Christmas Story," (introducing the Waltons)

1971 - NASA launches Intelsat 4 F-3 for COMSAT Corp

1972 – The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth.

1991 - 6,000th episode of One Life To Live

1997 - "Titanic," the second highest-grossing movie of all-time, opened in American theaters.

2001 – A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) is recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl, Mongolia.

2001 - "The Fellowship of the Ring", 1st Lord of the Rings film is released. Makes US$47 million US opening weekend, $871 million total worldwide.

2013 – Spacecraft Gaia is launched by European Space Agency.

Quote of the day:
"How we spend our days is how we spend our lives."
~ Annie Dillard, an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non-fiction.

Today I learned what a micromort is – a measurement of the very tiny chance of any given activity leading directly to your death and one micromort is defined as a unit of one one-in-a-million chance of death.  Now that sounds pretty infinitesimal for any one thing you might contemplate doing.  There are two classes of risk – acute and chronic  The interesting thing is that it is cumulative the more you indulge in an activity – or rather not YOU personally but you on average because it is calculated across the entire population.

  "According to Cambridge University's Understanding Uncertainty site, getting out of the bed every morning for an 18-year-old costs roughly 1 micromort. For a 90-year-old man, that number skyrockets to a whopping 463 micromorts, which means that getting out of bed kills roughly 463 90-year-old men out of one million."

Interestingly, although folks put a high price on their lives – you know, the kind of question like “would you jump out of a plane without a parachute for a million dollars?’ – when it comes to actually paying to add safety features to their day-to-day lives that would reduce their risk, they aren’t quite as willing to put cash on the barrelhead.  As a result, the current real world monetary value for a single micromort is approximately $50





 

 

Just stray thoughts on how we spend the moments of our lives….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Happy Holidays

Today is the 2nd day of the 51st week, the 18th day of the 12th month, the 352nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day  ((I guess you had to see the movie?))
  • Arabic Language Day -- established by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010 seeking "to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization". December 18 was chosen as the date for the Arabic language as it is "the day in 1973 when the General Assembly approved Arabic as an official UN language "
  • Bake Cookies Day
  • Flake Appreciation Day
  • Give A Wine Club Day
  • International Migrants Day
  • National Ham Salad Day
  • National Roast Suckling Pig Day
  • National Wear a Plunger on Your Head Day
ON THIS DAY ON...

1271 - Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" (元yuán), marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China

1603 - First fleet of the Dutch East India Company under Admiral Steven van der Haghen departs for the East-Indies

1719 - Thomas Fleet publishes "Mother Goose's Melodies For Children"

1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the American rebels over British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga in October.

1793 – Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French Royalists to Lord Samuel Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.

1833 – The national anthem of the Russian Empire, "God Save the Tsar!", is first performed.

1892 – Premiere performance of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the first officially recognized land speed record of 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h) in a Jeantaud electric car.

1900 – The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook, Victoria Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic.

1932 – The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans in the first NFL playoff game to win the NFL Championship.

1957 - the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first civilian nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went online.

1958 – Project SCORE, the world's first communications satellite was launched by the United States aboard an Atlas rocket.

1966 – Saturn's moon Epimetheus is discovered by astronomer Richard Walker.

1981 – First flight of the Russian heavy strategic bomber Tu-160, the world's largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft and largest variable-sweep wing aircraft built.

1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.

2015 – Kellingley Colliery, the last deep coal mine in Great Britain, closes.

 

I’m one of those who never thought there was a “war on Christmas” or who was offended by the greeting of “Happy Holidays”.  I was aware at a fairly young age that Hanukkah was also in December, and that it may or may not coincide with the Christian celebrations -- indeed, it was very early this year and has already passed.  I also knew, thanks to my interests in anthropology and ancient history,  that the Winter solstice, which is Yule in the pagan calendar,  will be at 5:23 PM EST on Friday, December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere.  I remember when the holiday of Kwanzaa was created.  And thanks to a 2nd cousin who taught in Japan I was aware that  Ōmisoka —or ōtsugomori — is celebrated there at the end of the year, and the main impetus seems to be to conclude the old year by winding up as many things as possible so as to start the New Year fresh –  rather like the idea of paying as many of your bills as possible before the 1st of January.  Activities for that day include visiting temples or shrines, countdown parties, and catching Kohaku Uta Gassen, a famous music program show, on television.  I am more than happy to see these other celebrations, and to have my kids and granddaughters learn about other cultures even while celebrating Christmas.  *ponders*   Although I may not want to explain Saturnalia to the very yourng…..

 

 

 

But there is one holiday that I really really REALLY would like to start celebrating – Boxing Day.   The idea of always having the day after Christmas off is just awesome. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, December 18, 2018

after all these years...

Today is the 2nd day of the 51st week, the 17th day of the 12th month, the 351st day of 2018 [and if you are still counting the shopping days befoe Christmas I wish you luck], and: 
  • A Christmas Carol Day (Story) -- in 1843, Charles Dickens' classic story “A Christmas Carol” is published
  • Clean Air Day
  • National Maple Syrup Day
  • Pan American Aviation Day
  • Wright Brothers Day -- the first successful flight of a mechanically propelled and heavier-than-air airplane. This feat was reached by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903, at a spot about five miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in what is now the town of Kill Devil Hills, on the Atlantic Coast.
Yes it has been very quiet in here

Yes it is a bad sign when I go quiet

Over the past decade, I have been doing a lot of reading about grief, about the process of coming to terms with loss.  It dovetailed nicely  with my ongoing interest about the impact of change in individual lives, in the stories of organizations, in the progress [or lack thereof depending on your point of view] of society.  I even went and talked to a counselor about the stages of grieving as my family and friends became increasingly concerned that I was not “getting over” losing my husband that Thursday, December 16th, 2004.    Frank was 12 years older than I and had been ill for almost seven years when he died, so I can’t say that I was completely surprised to find myself a widow, but I was totally unprepared for the shock – perhaps there is no way to steel oneself against loss. 

Over the years, although I have taken lovers, and have loved and been loved, I have not settled back down into a permanent relationship and I have to admit that has caused me [and my friends] some mild surprise.  I hadn’t expected to detest the dating game quite so much, hadn’t realized that most men around my age are looking for women much younger, hadn’t stopped and thought about knowing so many folks online that were actually part and parcel of a different generation.  Of late I have begun to wonder why that should be so, and it has only been this year that I have finally realized the answer.  You see, I never once questioned that Frank loved me.   I don’t think I took him for granted, but the fact that he was deeply emotionally attached to me, protective of my welfare, and found me sexually attractive, was a constant for 20 years.  He accepted me exactly as I am, without trying to change me, without conditions.   In the intervening 14 years, I have not found that bedrock surety again.  I ask myself at times if I truly appreciated it enough when Frank was living,   I ask myself if perhaps I have not offered the same to the other relationships, not made others feel loved – I’m working on that.   So I miss Frank, his humor, his very being, his presence in my life and I find tears pricking my eyelids even after all this time, and I really have to work hard to be in a holiday spirit….


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 17, 2018

The Festival of Lights

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah.







M
ay it also be a festival of hope, happiness, love, and health!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, December 2, 2018

11-28-2018

Today is the 4th day of the 48th week, the 28th day of the 11th month, the 332nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha (Baha'i festival-Qawl 6, 78)
  • Bedfordshire Day  -- celebrated in the county of Bedfordshire to celebrate the birth of John Bunyan
  • Hōonkō -- a holiday in the tradition of Japanese Jodo Shinshu Buddhism that observes the memorial of its founder, Shinran Shonin. Depending on whether the old Japanese lunar calendar is used, or the western Gregorian calendar, typically this holiday is observed either in around November 28 (as in the Higashi Honganji) or early January from the 9th to the 16th (as in the Nishi Honganji) respectively
  • Independence Day:  Panama from Spain in 1821; Ka Lā Hui --  the Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by the United Kingdom and France as an independent nation in 1843; Albania from the Ottoman Empire in 1912; Mauritania from France in 1960; East Timor from Portugal in 1975; South Ossetia from Georgia in 1991.
  • It's Letter Writing Day
  • Make Your Own Head Day
  • National French Toast Day
  • National Package Protection Day
  • Red Planet Day
  • Rockerfeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Turkey Leftover Day
((and no, you don’t want me telling you how many shopping days are left before Christmas))

 

Quote of the day:

Sweep everything under the rug for long enough, and you have to move right out of the house.”

-- Rachel Ingalls, Mrs. Caliban

 

As a confirmed Tetris master, I squirrel away items with alacrity.  The problem with the ability to “straighten up” in this way is that it all slowly and inexorably accumulates until tackling it all when you want to relocate is a thoroughly daunting prospect – hence my extreme reluctance to move.  Upon reflection I have found that I do the same thing with relationships.  Although I do have a “done” switch, and do possess the ability to move on without regrets, I often find old attachments still floating about.    It appears that once I give my heart, once I make an emotional investment, it never truly comes back or goes away.

 



 

I am content to have it so as, like the choices I have made, these relationships have sculpted me into who I am.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, November 29, 2018

shopping and decorating?

Today is the 2nd day of the 48th week, the 26th day of the 11th month, the 330th day of 2018, and: 
  • Cyber Monday
  • Good Grief Day
  • National Cake Day
Black Friday, with its predictable crowds and mayhem, is behind us.  Cyber Monday is upon us as many are suddenly jolted by the fact there are only 28 days left before Christmas to accomplish all of their holiday gift-giving goals.  Oddly enough, I was much better at this shopping when I had more people to buy for and had to coordinate the kids’ gifts from Santa, two great-grandmothers, and my father.  In those long bygone days, I was usually done my shopping by the end of October and would observe the frenetic activities of those who insisted on waiting to accomplish the tasks with some complacency – at least until it occurred to me that I had to wrap everything up!   Even years later, Frank and I would have the shopping done relatively early, the decorations up by early December and presents under the tree to add to the festive look.  At least until 2004, when he was flagging and I was depressed and we debated about not decorating at all.  We had finally settled to put up the tree at least on the Saturday before Christmas.  It didn’t happen as he died that Thursday morning.  I was intensely grateful that the shopping was already done and there were no decorations to deal with that year and greeted January with relief
 
It was four years before I put anything out in the apartment for Christmas, but then my daughter gave me a little table top pre-lit tree I had admired at the MD Christmas Show and I started putting that out.  Slowly other decorations made it out from the Disaster Area although many boxes of ornaments remain unopened.  But last year was a bit of a hiccup due to my daughter’s cancer treatments/surgery, and the place only got decorated because my son was able to come home for the first time in many years.  This year?  I don’t know, there is surgery again and he won’t be here for the holiday, so I don’t know whether I will take the time and energy needed.  You see, the problem with putting things out – which is kinda enjoyable – is that then you have to put everything away and that I always find is sad and laborious.   As for the shopping?  Well I have one person done, another I know what to get and just need to order it, have started the grandchildren and one other, but have no idea what to get the remaining three adults yet.   And time is running out….
 
 
 
And every year since 2004 as I work to get into the Christmas spirit, I find myself voicing the same thought,  “it is an awful lot of work for one day.”

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 26, 2018

getting ready for tomorrow

Today is the 4th day of the 47th week, the 21st day of the 11th month, the 325th day of 2018, and: 
  • Alascattalo Day – about Alaska and humor
  • Blackout Wednesday
  • False Confession Day
  • Geographic Information Systems Day
  • Mawlid Al Nabi - the observance of the birthday of Islamic prophet Muhammad which is commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar
  • National Family Caregivers Day
  • National Gingerbread Day
  • National Jukebox Day
  • National Red Mitten Day [Canada]
  • National Surfing Day
  • Pumpkin Pie Day
  • Tie One On Day – no you are not being encouraged to binge, they are talking about aprons
  • What Do You Love About America Day
  • World Hello Day
  • World Television Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

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.

1620 – Plymouth Colony settlers sign the Mayflower Compact (November 11, O.S.)

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

1783 – In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes, make the first untethered hot air balloon flight.

1832 – Wabash College is founded in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

1837 - Thomas Morris of Australia skips rope 22,806 times

1848 -  Cincinnati Turngemeinde founded

1849 -  Friedrich Hebbel's "Der Rubin" premieres in Vienna

1852 -  Duke Uiversity, founded in 1838 as Union Institute, chartered as Normal College

1871 -  Moses F Gale patents a cigar lighter (NYC)

1871 -  The first human cannonball, Emilio Onra, is fired

1877 – Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.

1895 - Start of Sherlock Holmes "Adventure of Bruce Partington Plans" (BG)

1901 - Richard Strauss' opera "Feuersnot" premieres in Dresden

1902 – The Philadelphia Football Athletics defeated the Kanaweola Athletic Club of Elmira, New York, 39–0, in the first ever professional American football night game.

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

1921 - King George V proclaims Canada's Coat of Arms; designates white and red as the official Canadian colours; on the crest, a red maple leaf is added in the right paw of the lion and three maple leaves joined by one stem in the crest.

1942 – The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) is celebrated (however, the highway is not usable by standard road vehicles until 1943).

1946 - Harry Truman becomes 1st US President to travel in a submerged sub

1952 - 1st US postage stamp in 2 colors (rotary process) introduced

1953 – The Natural History Museum, London announces that the "Piltdown Man" skull, initially believed to be one of the most important fossilized hominid skulls ever found, is a hoax.

1959 – American disc jockey Alan Freed, who had popularized the term "rock and roll" and music of that style, is fired from WABC-AM radio over allegations he had participated in the payola scandal.

1961 – The "La Ronde" opens in Honolulu, first revolving restaurant in the United States.

1964 – The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opens to traffic. At the time it is the world's longest bridge span.

1965 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk, USSR

1967 - Phillip & Jay Kunz fly a kite a record 28,000 feet

1968 - Supremes & The Temptations release "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"

1969 - KXIX (now KVCT) TV channel 19 in Victoria, TX (ABC) 1st broadcast

1969 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

1974 - Freedom of Information Act passed by Congress over President Ford's veto

1976 - "Rocky" directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Sylvester Stallone premieres in New York (Best Picture 1977)

1977 – Minister of Internal Affairs Allan Highet announces that the national anthems of New Zealand shall be the traditional anthem "God Save the Queen" and "God Defend New Zealand".

1977 - First flight of Concorde (London to New York)

1980 - Dallas' "Who Shot JR?" episode (Kristen) gets a 53.3 rating (83 mill) in the US  ((this was the only episode I ever watched thanks to the persistent "who done it" hype

1989 - Law banning smoking on most domestic flights signed by US President George H. W. Bush

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

 

Serious cooks are in the kitchen getting ready for the big day tomorrow, neh?



 

 

Interesting question – I think I’d be quaking in my boots since I am definitely plump and filled out!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 21, 2018

musing ....



Today is the 3rd day of the 47th week, the 20th day of the 11th month, the 324th day of 2018, and: 
  • Africa Industrialization Day
  • Beautiful Day
  • Future Teachers of America Day
  • Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day
  • Name Your PC Day
  • National Absurdity Day
  • National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • Universal Children's Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1805 – Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, premieres in Vienna.

1820 – An 80-ton sperm whale attacks and sinks the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. (Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick is in part inspired by this story.)

1945 – Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals start at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg.

1947 – The Princess Elizabeth marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who becomes the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London.

1959 – The Declaration of the Rights of the Child is adopted by the United Nations.

1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis ends: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.

1966 - The musical "Cabaret," with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, opened on Broadway.

1969 – The Plain Dealer [the major daily newspaper of Cleveland, Ohio] publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.

1969 - The Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phase-out.

1980 -  On Jefferson Island, Louisiana, an oil rig in Lake Pigneur pierced the top of the salt dome beneath the island. The freshwater lake completely drained within a few hours. The Delcambre Canal reversed flow and two days later the previous freshwater lake was a 1,300-foot-deep saltwater lake.

1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.

1998 – Zarya - the first space station module component for the International Space Station was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

 

 

 

I was introduced to The Prophet in my junior year of high school, when a senior that I really liked gave me a slip of paper and told me to think about it.  I was embarrassed by the insight, and promptly checked out the book from the library, then bought it and I have owned a copy ever since in different formats.  Often dismissed as pop psychological babble by critics since the book was first published in 1923. I have found this poet’s insights meaningful and his words have held up over the years and still resonate with me.   

 

But as far as being a chatter-box?   My friends and co-workers still worry about me when I get quiet…..


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It's still fall

Today is the 2nd day of the 47th week, the 19th day of the 11th month, the 323rd day of 2018, and: 
  • "Have a Bad Day" Day
  • American Made Matters Day
  • Equal Opportunity Day
  • Gettysburg Address Day
  • International Men's Day
  • National Blow Bagpipes Day
  • National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day
  • Play Monopoly Day
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle Day
  • Women's Entrepreneurship Day
  • World Philosophy Day
  • World Toilet Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1493 – Christopher Columbus goes ashore on an island he first saw the day before. He names it San Juan Bautista (later renamed Puerto Rico).

1802 – The Garinagu arrive at British Honduras (Present day Belize)

1816 – Warsaw University is established.

1847 – The second Canadian railway line, the Montreal and Lachine Railroad, is opened.

1863 - President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.

1881 – A meteorite lands near the village of Grossliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.

1916 – Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures.

1954 – Télé Monte Carlo, Europe's oldest private television channel, is launched by Prince Rainier III.

1955 – National Review publishes its first issue.

1959 – The Ford Motor Company announces the discontinuation of the unpopular Edsel.

1967 – The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong.

1969 – Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.

1969 – Association football player Pelé scores his 1,000th goal.

1990 - The pop duo Milli Vanilli was stripped of its Grammy Award after it was revealed that neither performer sang on the group's records.

1994 – In the United Kingdom, the first National Lottery draw is held. A £1 ticket gave a one-in-14-million chance of correctly guessing the winning six out of 49 numbers.

1998 – Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for US$71.5 million.

1999 – Shenzhou 1: The People's Republic of China launches its first Shenzhou spacecraft.

2001 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants became the first baseball player to win four Most Valuable Player awards.

2006 - Nintendo’s first video game console with motion control, the Wii, is released.

2007 - Amazon.com Inc. introduced the Kindle, an electronic book-reading device.

Last Thursday, this area was hit with the first nor’easter of what promises to be a miserably snowy winter.   The weather patterns that have given the area its wettest weather since 1876 when record-keeping started seems to be firmly in place, with the addition of a polar vortex or two to turn on the snow-making machine.  And yet, the reason that snowstorm was so remarkable was it was still autumn in many minds and a sigh of relief was heard as the couple of inches that accumulated quickly melted in the rain the next day. 

It got me to thinking – when do you feel like fall is over and it is winter?

Getting the technical definitions out of the way:  Meteorological winter starts on December 1st and runs through February 28th [or 29th], quartering the year in tidy little three month packets for each season.  Astronomical winter runs from the winter solstice [varying from December 20th to the 23rd] to the spring equinox [varying from March 19th to the 21st].

But I’m not talking about what the weatherman or the astronomers say, but how we feel.  To me?  Halloween is definitely a fall holiday, and so is Thanksgiving, while Christmas is definitely a winter holiday so the transition is sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Is it triggered by temperatures?    Not really because I can remember odd Christmases where it was unseasonably warm as well as some Halloweens that were bitter cold for trick-or-treating.  Is it triggered by advertisements or decorations?  No way given that some imbeciles started putting out Christmas decorations before the Halloween candy had been sold!

 

 No I think that for me, the trigger is the first Sunday of Advent – that is the clear line of demarcation that gives one’s thoughts a more frosty turn. 

PS  today there are 35 shopping days left
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 19, 2018

a wintry mess

Today is the 15th of November and it is a week before Thanksgiving, which I might add, is early this year.  And for the first time since 1996, shcools were closing or opening late, government offices were on liberal leave, and traffic was snarled.







I can answer that question -- like Christmas decorations and carols,  this kind of winter storm shouln't be happening until after Thanksgiving, at the earliest......
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, November 15, 2018

another Monday-ish Tuesday

Today is the 3rd day of the 46th week, the 13th day of the 11th month, the 317th day of 2018 [and only 41 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Actor's Day
  • National Indian Pudding Day
  • National Mom's and Dad's Day
  • National Young Reader's Day
  • Sadie Hawkins Day
  • Start a Rumor Day
  • World Kindness Day 
ON THIS DAY IN ...

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

1851 – The Denny Party lands at Alki Point, before moving to the other side of Elliott Bay to what would become Seattle.

1927 – The Holland Tunnel opens to traffic as the first Hudson River vehicle tunnel linking New Jersey to New York City.

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

1956 – The Supreme Court of the United States declares Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, thus ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1971 - Space probe Mariner 9 reaches Mars and goes into orbit

1974 – Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murders his entire family in Amityville, Long Island in the house that would become known as The Amityville Horror.

1982 – Ray Mancini defeats Duk Koo Kim in a boxing match held in Las Vegas. Kim's subsequent death (on November 17) leads to significant changes in the sport.

1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.

1992 – The High Court of Australia rules in Dietrich v The Queen that although there is no absolute right to have publicly funded counsel, in most circumstances a judge should grant any request for an adjournment or stay when an accused is unrepresented.

1997 - The Disney musical "The Lion King" opened on Broadway.

2015 – WT1190F, a temporary satellite of Earth thought to have been space debris from the trans-lunar injection stage of the 1998 Lunar Prospector mission and first discovered on 18 February 2013 by the Catalina Sky Survey, impacts just southeast of Sri Lanka.

 

Quote of the day:

"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way."

~ Christopher Darlington Morley (1890 - 1957), American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet

 

By this measure, alas, I am not a success. 

 

How many times growing up, as you obeyed parents or teachers, did you mutter to yourself,  “When I grow up, no one is going to tell me what to do!”?   As a kid, it seemed as though life was nothing but rules that covered everything – eating, sleeping, playing, activities, even pooping!   There wasn’t any corner of your life where some adult didn’t have an opinion about, or a standard that should be met, unless you retreated into your own head and let loose your imagination.  I used to tell myself stories in which the narrative was about me doing what I wanted when I wanted and how I wanted.   And I couldn’t wait to grow up so that I could actually be in charge of myself….  I don’t remember at what point reality sunk in for me.  Maybe I had an inkling when in high school I started to work part-time and had to deal with the unyielding expectations of a boss.  Maybe it was in college while I struggled with working and going to classes.   Maybe when it was when I got pregnant and realized that for the rest of my life, every choice impacted another person who hadn’t asked to join my journey.   Of course, I had a choice not to conform -- to stay up all night or to party hearty on school or work nights for example -- but then the consequences of those choices were so blasted onerous and they just wouldn’t dissipate with an exercise of my will.   And so I settled into a routine dictated by the needs of family and employment.   I wonder sometimes if I made the right call and try to imagine where I could’ve broken out and danced down the road not taken to the beat of a different drummer.

 

 

 

But I will say, thanks to a vibrant and active 2nd Life lived over many decades in the reaches of the mind, I may have grown older but I haven’t  become an old lady.

 

Yet….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Happy Diwali

Today is the 4th day of the 45th week, the 7th day of the 11th month, the 311th day of 2018, and: 
  • Diwali
  • Employee Brotherhood Day
  • Hug a Bear Day
  • International Merlot Day
  • International Stress Awareness Day
  • Little League Girls Day
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
  • National Eating Healthy Day
  • Notary Public Day
  • Sigd
 

ON THIS DAY IN ...

 335 – Athanasius is banished to Trier, on charge that he prevented a grain fleet from sailing to Constantinople.

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.

1665 – The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, is first published.

1775 – John Murray, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, starts the first mass emancipation of slaves in North America by issuing Lord Dunmore's Offer of Emancipation, which offers freedom to slaves who abandoned their colonial masters to fight with Murray and the British.

1786 – The oldest musical organization in the United States is founded as the Stoughton Musical Society.

1861 – The first Melbourne Cup horse race is held in Melbourne, Australia.

1874 – A cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly, is considered the first important use of an elephant as a symbol for the United States Republican Party.

1885 – The completion of Canada's first transcontinental railway is symbolized by the Last Spike ceremony at Craigellachie, British Columbia.

1907 – Jesús García saves the entire town of Nacozari de García by driving a burning train full of dynamite six kilometers (3.7 miles) away before it can explode.

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

1910 – The first air freight shipment (from Dayton, Ohio, to Columbus, Ohio) is undertaken by the Wright brothers and department store owner Max Moorehouse.

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.)

1912 – The Deutsche Opernhaus (now Deutsche Oper Berlin) opens in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg, with a production of Beethoven's Fidelio.

1914 – The first issue of The New Republic is published.

1929 – In New York City, the Museum of Modern Art opens to the public.

1949 – The first oil was taken in Oil Rocks (Neft Daşları), oldest offshore oil platform.

1954 – In the US, Armistice Day becomes Veterans Day.

1967 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

1973 – The United States Congress overrides President Richard M. Nixon's veto of the War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.

1996 – NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor.

 

Today Hindus are celebrating the third day of Diwali, the Festival of Lights that marks the victory of light over dark, of good over evil.    It is a day of feasting and celebrations, both family and community. 

 

 

In the aftermath of a contentious election with the certainty of more disruption and acrimony ahead, it is good to take a moment and celebrate the good in the world!


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 7, 2018

today is the day

Today is the 3rd day of the 45th week, the 6th day of the 11th month, the 310th day of 2018, and: 
  • Basketball Day
  • Election Day in the US
  • International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
  • Marooned Without a Compass Day
  • National Nachos Day
  • National Saxophone Day
ON THIS DAY IN...

1528 – Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in the area that would become Texas.

1856 – Scenes of Clerical Life, the first work of fiction by the author later known as George Eliot, is submitted for publication.

1935 – Edwin Armstrong presents his paper "A Method of Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a System of Frequency Modulation" to the New York section of the Institute of Radio Engineers.

1947 – Meet the Press, the longest running television program in history, makes its debut.

1965 – Cuba and the United States formally agree to begin an airlift for Cubans who want to go to the United States. By 1971, 250,000 Cubans had made use of this program.

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.  ((I personally think that we should've waited for an expansion team, but at least we had the courtesy to rename the team instead of stealing the identity as happened with the BALTIMORE Colts))

 

There are 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats on the ballots today, as well as 36 gubernatorial elections to be decided.    Widely seen as a referendum on the current presidency, there are many eyes both at home and abroad anxiously watching the outcome.

 

 

 

Think your vote doesn’t make a difference? 

Only 27.31% of those eligible to vote elected a president in 2016
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 6, 2018

be heard

The #1 reason people don’t vote? 
They thinktheir vote doesn’t make a difference. 
 

In 2016, over 39% of the eligible voters sat the election out.
In 2016 The President was elected by the votes of only 27.31%  of the eligible voters.  

In 2018 voters will influence which policies elected officials enact going forward
In 2018 voters will influence whose interests are ignored and whose are acknowledged

Your vote is your chance to speak out, loud and clear. 


 
Speak now or forever hold your peace.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 5, 2018

fall back



Today we -- well most of the US -- turned the clocks back for one hour.



On Tuesday, we -- every eligible voter in the US -- have the ability to go to the polls and make our opinions known on the following issues:


  • corruption and lies in government


  • acceptance of minorities


  • voter suppression


  • foreign interference in our elections and government


  • Medicare and Social Security


  • who the recent tax cut benefited


  • the rising costs of health care and whether or not pre-existing conditions ought to be covered


  • unions



0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, November 4, 2018

the end of October

Today is the 4th day of the 44th week, the 31st day of the 10th month, the 304th day of 2018, and: 
  • Beggars' Night
  • Books for Treats Day
  • Carve a Pumpkin Day
  • Day of the Seven Billion
  • First day of the Day of the Dead, celebrated until November 2 (Mexico)
  • 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
  • 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
ON THIS DAY IN ...

 683 – During the Siege of Mecca, the Kaaba catches fire and is burned down.

1517 – Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

1614 – First performance of Ben Jonson's comedy Bartholomew Fair by the Lady Elizabeth's Men company at the Hope Theatre in London.

1920 - Frederick Banting discovers a treatment for diabetes

1923 – The first of 160 consecutive days of 100° Fahrenheit at Marble Bar, Western Australia.

1924 – World Savings Day is announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks).

1926 – Last issue of the independent Italian newspaper Il Mondo, thereafter suppressed by the Mussolini regime

1938 – In an effort to restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.

1941 – After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed.

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 global population of humans reaches seven billion. This day is now recognized by the United Nations as the Day of Seven Billion.

Although you will hear folks referring to October 31st interchangeably as Halloween [AKA All Hallows’ Eve] and Samhain, they are actually very distinct, albeit related celebrations.  As indicated by the name, Halloween is a holiday that was created by the Church when it designated November 1st as All Saints Day [AKA Hallows’ Day] and therefore the night before became the time when the veil between the dead and the living thinned.  Samhain was a Celtic holiday, one of the cross quarter days that indicate the change of seasons, in this case the change from fall to winter, that shifts even as the Spring and Fall equinoxes do.  Halloween therefore is a fixed date and always occurs on the last day in October while the date for Samhain drifts according to the stars, for example, when the Pleiades is high in the sky of the Northern Hemisphere.  According to the calendars I have found, this year Samhain is actually on November 7th.but it can be as late as November 20th.     

In the United States Halloween, due to its pagan roots,  was not welcome in the northern colonies, but in the South [including Maryland] it was celebrated.  However as the millions of Irish fled from the Potato Famine, they brought with them the popular celebrations of dressing up and asking for food or money,   By the 1920’s it was an established community tradition and today a quarter of all the candy sold in the US is purchased around Halloween. 





Want to be reallyl scared?  



There are only 54 shopping days until Christmas
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 31, 2018

VOTE

Today is the 3rd day of the 44th week, the 30th day of the 10th month, the 303rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Buy a Doughnut Day
  • Checklist Day
  • Create a Great Funeral Day
  • Haunted Refrigerator Night
  • Mischief Night
  • National Candy Corn Dy
  • National Publicist Day
  • National Speak Up for Service Day
  • Pumpkin Bread Day
  • Sugar Addiction Awareness Day
  • World Audio Drama Day
ON THIS DAY IN ...

1869 - George Desbarats publishes the premiere issue of his Canadian Illustrated News in Montréal; the world's first periodical to use the half-tone technique to reproduce a photograph

1925 – John Logie Baird creates Britain's first television transmitter.

1938 – Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience in the United States.

1944 – Anne and Margot Frank are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they die from disease the following year, shortly before the end of WWII.

1945 – Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signs a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the baseball color line.

1953 – President Eisenhower approves the top-secret document NSC 162/2 concerning the maintenance of a strong nuclear deterrent force against the Soviet Union.

1957 - The British Government reveals details of plans to reform the House of Lords which include creating the first women life peerages.

1961 – The Soviet Union detonates the Tsar Bomba, the most powerful explosive device ever detonated.

1973 – The Bosphorus Bridge in Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus for the second time.

1974 – The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman takes place in Zaire.

1985 – Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off for mission STS-61-A, its final successful mission.

Quote of the day:
"The past cannot be changed. The future is still in your power."
~ Hugh Lawson White (1773 - 1840), American Politician

 

Why is the voter turnout historically so low in the United States?   We certainly have no compunction about vociferously stating our opinions and defending our points of view.  In other countries?  
  • Voting is made easy.  There is voting on line or by mail weeks before election day
  • Registration is made easy.   For example, the Swiss automatically registers each citizen as a voter and then sends out notices telling them where and when to vote
  • Election Day is either held on a weekend or made a national holiday to encourage people to go to the polls
  • In about two dozen countries, voting is actually mandatory and not voting negatively impacts both your ability to get a job and your credit rating
  • In at least one country, you can vote at any polling place instead of having to go to a designated spot
So how can we encourage people to get out and vote?  Certainly the early voting in many states is a step in the right direction as is the uptick in acceptance of mailed ballots but we need to do more.  My main suggestions would be to [1]  increase the number of eligible voters by making the process of voter registration simple and intuitive and widely available – online and at every Post Office for example.  Then I would [2] make Election Day a federal holiday so that folks are less worried about having to stand in long lines because so many are trying to vote before or after work.  We need to do something because over a third of the registered voters [39.78% or 91,739,344 people] did not vote two years ago. 

 

 

No matter who or what you are voting for, get out there and let your opinion be heard because if you don’t you still have to live with the result
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