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bleeding heart....

Carol H Tucker

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

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

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not what I planned....

Today is the 6th day of the 38th week, the 20th day of the 9th month ((if you can figure out where September has gone, please let me know)), the 263rd day of 2019, and: 
  • Constitution Day/Pledge Across America
  • International Grenache Day
  • National Concussion Awareness Day
  • National Doodle Day
  • National Fried Rice Day
  • National Gibberish Day
  • National Pepperoni Pizza Day
  • National POW/MIA Recognition Day
  • National Punch Day
  • National String Cheese Day
  • National Tradesman Day

1814 - "Star Spangled Banner" published as a song, lyrics by Francis Scott Key, tune by John Stafford Smith

1839 - fist railroad in Netherland opens (Amsterdam-Haarlem)

1848 - The American Association for the Advancement of Science is created.

1873 - Panic sweeps NY Stock Exchange (railroad bond default/bank failure) NY shut banks for 10 days due to a bank scandal

1893 - The first gasoline-powered car debuts in Springfield, Massachusetts

1904 - Orville & Wilbur Wright fly a circle in their Flyer II

1946 - Churchill argues for a 'United States of Europe'  ((how ironic as BREXIT continues to loom))

1951 - first North Pole jet crossing

1954 - first FORTRAN computer program run

1958 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1961 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1963 - JFK proposes a joint US-Soviet voyage to the moon

1973 - Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in battle-of-sexes tennis match

1984 - "Cosby Show" premieres on NBC-TV

1985 - Walt Disney World's celebrates its 200-millionth guest

1990 - Both East and West Germany ratify reunification

1990 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1992 - Space shuttle STS-47 (Endeavour 2) lands

1994 - Space shuttle STS-64 (Discovery 20), lands

Quote of the day:
"Even though we cannot see clearly how it’s going to turn out, we are still called to let the future into our imagination. We will never be able to build what we have not first cherished in our hearts."
~  Joanna Macy and Sam Mowe, “The Work That Reconnects

So many first day of school pictures – and some, like my granddaughters’, showed their current answers to “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, the thought being it would be fun to see how it changed through the years.   Me?  I always wanted to be a teacher.  Yup, I loved school that much – thought about being a librarian when I was a bit older but couldn’t afford the extra money to go through librarian school after getting my undergraduate degree.  I had it all figured out -- I was going to teach for two years [I was on the tuition waiver plan] and then decide if I was a good teacher.  If I was?  I would teach until I retired.  If I wasn’t?  I was going to quit and join the Peace Corps.  The only question was which topic would I teach and at what grade level?

History, specifically ancient and medieval history [the world went to hell in a handbasket it seemed to me in modern times, although I dearly loved Napoleon and Stonewall Jackson],  turned out to be my major, along with minors in Education and Anthropology.   I added to the background by taking classes in political science and economics, which prepared me [or so I thought] to teach Social Studies.  As for the level?  I figured out pretty quickly that I didn’t want to teach elementary school – I have a tremendous amount of respect for those teachers, but I knew I wasn’t interested in teaching Johnny how to read.  Didn’t want to teach high school either, having a vivid memory of the mouth and attitude that age group brought to school each year.  No, I wanted to teach in what used to be called Junior High – middle school these days – and my target was 6th and 7th graders. 

Well, things didn’t work out quite the way that I planned.  Although I did my student teaching and some subbing, I never actually taught.  Instead I got married, and after my kids went off to school, I started working retail, then landed in community banking where I have worked the past 34 years.  There was one point in the early 90’s when I thought about switching back to teaching.  I took the competency test that was then required in Maryland, and was appalled when I only scored a B-, then was even more flabbergasted to find out that teachers who only made 28/100 were being hired for some inner city schools!  I found I had to take classes so I could teach reading as apparently Johnny’s reading abilities had become worse since I graduated from Towson.  And I learned that teachers weren’t actually needed anymore, at least not in the area I was living, so I stayed where I was in Loan Servicing. 


And here I am, light years away from where I thought I would be.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 20, 2019


Back in the day?

Facebook had a "pirate" language option and In Second Life,  just about every avatar rigged themselves out appropriately

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 19, 2019

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

Today is the 4th day of the  38th week, the 18th day of the 9th month, the 261st day of 2019 [with only 97 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • Chiropractic Founders Day
  • First Love Day
  • Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day
  • International Day Against DRM
  • International Read an eBook Day
  • National Cheeseburger Day – and where to get freebies
  • National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
  • National Respect Day
  • National School Backpack Awareness Day
  • Rice Krispies Treats Day
  • World Bamboo Day
  • World Water Monitoring Day
Most of the links and stories I share are on social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, but once in a while I aggregate some of what I found interesting in a blog post:

A staple of science fiction is the space elevator and it is rather surprising to find out that it may actually be possible: />
Volcanoes always fascinate me, even extraterrestrial ones, and the fact that we might actually be able to predict an eruption on one of Jupiter’s moons?  awesome: />
Despite the fact that I personally have never ridden any of the rides, I always liked the carnival atmosphere of this area and I’m sorry to see it fall into disfavor: />
Amazon’s series about Middle Earth is something that I am watching very closely indeed.  I’m glad that they are returning to New Zealand: />
Evolution is not a straight line, but has branches on a tree.  Anthropology is one of the subjects that I follow avidly: />
Archeology and cultural anthropology go hand-in-hand, and again, it’s something I have always been fascinated by recent developments : />
Space may be the final frontier, but space junk is becoming a real problem.  Gotta luv the human race, we litter everywhere: />
This should increase the popularity of the Caribbean Beach resort:  Frank always liked staying there.  It’s a nice enough resort if you are fairly near the main building

Being old does not mean you are senile: />
A hologram is going on tour:   I always liked Whitney Houston – she had an incredible voice

Medicaid is NOT free: />
There weren’t a lot of fun pictures today, but this meme tickled my fancy:
For what it is worth, I’ve tried RL.  The graphics are great, but it is only a beta version and getting an upgrade seems to be impossible

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 18, 2019

yes we remember

Today is the 4th day of the 37th week, the 11th day of the 9th month, the 254th day of 2019, and: 
  • "I Want to Start My Own Business" Day
  • Libraries Remember Day
  • Make Your Bed Day
  • National Day of Service and Remembrance
  • National Emergency Responders Day
  • National Hot Cross Bun Day
  • National No News is Good News Day
  • Patriot Day
  • Remember Freedom Day
  • Women's Baseball Day

1773 - Benjamin Franklin writes "There never was a good war or bad peace"

1792 - The French Blue gem (later the Hope Diamond) is stolen with other French crown jewels from Royal storehouse in Paris during Reign of Terror

1847 - the first singing of Stephen Foster's "Susanna" (in Pittsburgh)

1853 - the first electric telegraph used - Merchant's Exchange, San Francisco to Pt Lobos, California

1875 - the first women's baseball game where fans were charged and players were paid took place. It was between "Blondes" and "Brunettes" and was held in Springfield, Illinois.

1906 - Mahatma Gandhi coins the term "Satyagraha" to characterize the Non-Violence movement in South Africa.

1914 - WC Handy "Father of the Blues" publishes his most famous composition "St Louis Blues"

1930 - Stromboli volcano (Sicily) throws 2-ton basaltic rocks two miles

1940 - George Stibitz pioneers the first remote operation of a computer.

1945 - Physician Willem J Kolff performs the first successful kidney dialysis using his artificial kidney machine, the Netherlands

1946 - the first mobile long-distance car-to-car telephone conversation

1950 - the first typesetting machine to dispense with metal type exhibited

1950 - Dick Tracy TV show sparks uproar concerning violence

1959 - Congress passes a bill authorizing food stamps for poor Americans

1961 - Foundation of the World Wildlife Fund.

1965 - Beatles' "Help!" album goes #1 & stays #1 for nine weeks

1966 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1967 - US Surveyor 5 makes first chemical analysis of lunar material

1969 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1978 - The last known person dies of smallpox - medical photographer Janet Parker through infection in a laboratory, in Birmingham, England

1983 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1985 - International Cometary Explorer (ISEE 3) passes Giacobini-Zinner by 7900 km

1986 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1986 - Dow Jones Industrial Avg suffered biggest 1-day decline ever, plummeting 86.61 points to 1,792.89. 237.57 million shares traded

1995 - Soyuz TM-22, lands

2003 - The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety enters into effect.

2007 - Russia tests the largest conventional weapon ever, the Father of all bombs.

Quote of the day:
Forever—is composed of Nows—"
~  Emily Dickinson, The Poems of Emily Dickinson

Today, 18 years ago, a lot changed in the US.  For a time we came together, and then the fracture lines appeared.  There were those who looked upon any foreigner [defined by not looking like “us” whether visitor, immigrant, or citizen] with suspicion because the terrorists had lived amongst us before they struck.   The polarization seemed to start there – I remember losing a friend I had known for years because I tried to be even-handed about strangers in our land.  He, shook with grief and loss of someone close to him, would have none of it and rounded on me, never to speak to me again.  I wonder sometimes if our annual revisiting of this day exacerbates rather than assuages our grief, impeding our progess to togetherness.  I wish I could talk to Grandmom Hughes about Pearl Harbor Day, but then again, they had the catharsis of WWII afterwards whereas for us there has been no real resolution, just more and more Homeland Security.    


Yes we all remember – I just hope we are remembering the right things
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 11, 2019

just be there....

Today is the 4th day of the 36th week, the 4th day of the 9th month, the 247th day of 2019 [with only 111 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Eat an Extra Dessert Day
  • Global Talent Acquisition Day
  • National Macadamia Nut Day
  • National Newspaper Carrier Day – in 1833 the first newsboy (Barney Flaherty, 10 years old) was hired by the NY Sun
  • National Wildlife Day

 476 - Romulus Augustulus, last Western Roman Emperor, abdicates after forces led by Odoacer invade Rome. Traditional end of the Western Roman Empire

1609 - Navigator Henry Hudson first European to discover island of Manhattan

1682 - English astronomer Edmond Halley observes the comet named after him

1781 - Los Angeles is founded by 44 Spanish speaking mestizos in the Bahia de las Fumas (Bay of Smokes)

1807 - Robert Fulton begins operating his steamboat

1882 - in its first large-scale test, Thomas Edison's light bulb is used to light NY's Pearl Street Station

1888 - George Eastman patents the first roll-film camera & registers "Kodak"

1893 - English author Beatrix Potter first writes the story of Peter Rabbit for a 5 year old boy

1912 - First accident (collision) in London Underground; 22 people injured

1920 - Last day of Julian civil calendar (in parts of Bulgaria)

1922 - William Walmsley and William Lyons officially found the Swallow Sidecar Company (later Jaguar Cars) in Blackpool, England

1936 - "Swing Time", directed by George Stevens, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, is released

1945 - American chess grandmaster Reuben Fine wins four simultaneous rapid (10 seconds per move) games blindfolded in New York City

1950 - NASCAR’s first paved super speedway, Darlington Raceway hosts Southern 500, first 500-mile event in NASCAR history; winner Johnny Mantz in a Plymouth

1964 - NASA launches its first Orbital Geophysical Observatory (OGO-1)

1965 - Beatles' single "Help!" goes #1 & stays #1 for three weeks

1967 - Jerry Lewis' 2nd Muscular Dystrophy telethon

1972 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1972 - "The Price is Right" - US's longest running games show debuts on CBS

1977 - "Godspell" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 527 performances.  It played at the Morris Mechanic for nine weeks and we got to know much of the cast who went on to Broadway!  I loved that show.

1982 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1992 - "Scared Silent" is 1st non news program to be seen on three networks simultaneously. (CBS, NBC & PBS), about child abuse hosted by Oprah

1998 - Google is formally incorporated by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University

2018 - F.B.I. announces they have recovered Dorothy's ruby red slippers from "The Wizard of Oz", stolen 13 years ago

Quote of the day:
Most of us are experts at solving other people’s problems, but we generally solve them in terms of our own and the advice we give is seldom for other people but for ourselves.”
~  Nan Fairbrother, The House in the Country

When somebody starts to share their story with you, just listen.  Don’t try and solve their problem, don’t try and fix what is wrong.  You see, sometimes what is needed is a shoulder to cry on and a willing sympathizer, not advice.

 Seriously, you can tell YOUR story another time
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Happy Labor Day

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 2, 2019


Today is the 4th day of the 34th week, the 21st day of the 8th month, the 233rd day of 2019 [with only 125 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • International Day of Remembrance and Tribute To The Victims of Terrorism
  • Internet Self-care Day
  • National Brazillian Blowout Day
  • National Medical Dosimetrist Day
  • national Senior Citizens Day
  • National Spumoni Day
  • Poet's Day
Quote of the day:
Read at whim! Read at whim!”
Randall Jarrell, American poet, literary critic, children's author, essayist, and novelist

 That about describes how I read and why I always have different books laying around in various stages of consumption.  Long before the concept of binge watching was known, I was immersed in binge reading and now that I live alone, there is absolutely nothing to stop me from diving into the printed page and not emerging until absolutely necessary.  Now and then, especially after I mention I have been reading, I get asked what I am reading.  Now usually if I rattle off the titles, there is a short silence and then the person who asks then talks about the books they would like to read.  Unspoken is the context of “purposeful reading”.  Now there are times when I am reading for information, but nine times out of ten? I am reading for pleasure and entertainment and that makes me rather sheepish when questioned because I seldom read non-fiction for those purposes. 

So, what do I read?  Science fiction.  Comedy.  Adventure.  Fantasy.  Historical romances.  Arthurian adaptations.  Short stories.  Sherlockian adaptions.  Fan fiction.  Lovecraftian horror.  Disney guidebooks, magazines, etc etc and so forth.  And I reread books – I have lost count of how many times I have been to Middle Earth, or played Ender’s Game, or agreed that God is an Englishman, shivered at The Stand, chuckled at Georgette Heyer, indulged in Harry Potter, flown with the dragons of Pern, visited the Source and Hawaii, or travelled to Darkover or Dune.   I could go on and on listing favorite books that because I read quickly I get to go back to again and again and again – Watership Down, Battleship Earth, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Cities in Flight, Little Women, The Last Unicorn, and the list grows and grows even as I think about it. 

When I say I live a 2nd life, I don’t just mean the avatars that romp through online worlds – I mean the world of imagination that I discovered as soon as I learned how to read.  In some ways my 2nd life has always been more real to me than this so-called “real life” we stumble through each day. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hiroshima Day

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Today is the 2nd day of the 32nd week, the 5th day of the 8th month, the 217th day of 2019, and: 
  • Assistance Dog Day
  • Civic Day
  • Green Peppers Day
  • International Traffic Light Day
  • National Doll Day
  • National Oyster Day
  • National Underwear Day
  • Work Like a Dog Day

The first of four Mondays in August and vacation is “only” 124 days away.



1583 - Humphrey Gilbert claims Newfoundland for the British crown - first English colony in North America and the beginning of the British Empire

1884 - Cornerstone for Statue of Liberty laid on Bedloe's Island (NYC)

1891 - The world's first traveler's cheques issued (American Express)

1912 - Japan's first taxicab service begins in Ginza, Tokyo

1914 - The first electric traffic light installed in the USA on the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio

1926 - Houdini stays in a coffin under water for 1½ hrs before escaping

1953 - "From Here to Eternity" based on book by James Jones, directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1954)

1957 - "American Bandstand" premieres on network TV (ABC)

1957 - Comic strip "Andy Capp" makes its debut

1957 - WJZ-TV in Baltimore MD begins radio transmissions

1966 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1969 - Mariner 7 flies past Mars

1973 - USSR launches Mars 6

1981 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1982 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1986 - It's revealed Andrew Wyeth of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, had secretly created 240 drawings and paintings of his neighbor Helga Testorf

1989 - NASA Venus probe Magellan launched from Space shuttle, the first to do so

2011 - NASA launches its Juno space probe from Cape Canaveral to orbit and study Jupiter


It has been a rough weekend here in the US -- there have now been 248 mass shootings this year.   246 people have been killed and 979 wounded




This is going to take a lot more than thoughts and prayers to fix. 

((picture courtsy of Sandra Boynton))

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 5, 2019

Today is the 6th day of the 31st week, the 2nd day of the 8th month, the 214th day of 2019, and: 
  • Braham Pie or Homemade Pie Day – apparently this is an event in Braham, Minnesota as Braham was declared the Pie Capital of Minnesota by former Governor Rudy Perpich in 1990
  • Dinosaurs Day – as happens with many of these holidays, there is no indication of why TODAY is the day to celebrate these awesome beings.   Maybe it was the day they think the asteroid hit
  • International Beer Day
  • National CAD [computer-aided design] Day –
  • National Coloring Book Day – since 1990, it hasn’t been just for kids anymore
  • National Ice Cream Sandwich Day - The original ice cream sandwich, some vanilla ice cream pressed between two thin graham crackers, sold for a penny in 1900 from a pushcart in the Bowery neighborhood of New York.  The name of that inventive vendor has never been found
  • National Water Balloon Day
  • Tomboy Tools Day – those pink tools quickly became ubiquitous
  • Twins Day
Quote of the day:

"You are the light, with your ability to be conscious and mindful, and to act with wisdom and foresight. To serve the light means to show up—by which I mean, to be present—for yourself, as your best and highest self, and to show up for others in your life as well."

~  Dawa Tarchin Phillips, “What to Do When You Don’t Know What’s Next”

No the quote doesn’t have anything to do with my …   well I guess rant is the only applicable word

My doctor visit on July 9th wasn’t exactly pleasant.  For the past nine years, after being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes,  I have been successfully managing my blood sugar levels with a combination of diet and medication.  The wheels seemed to have come off the bus back at the beginning of the year and my A1C level, which indicates an average bloods sugar level in the bloodstream, suddenly started climbing despite my best efforts to manage it.  The doctor told me on that Tuesday that I would have to go on low-level insulin to try and get things back under control.    As much as I hated and dreaded the idea of giving myself daily injections, I agreed and she suggested getting a pen as a delivery system. 

But in this day and age, the space between the doctor’s prescription and actually taking medication has to be negotiated via insurance.  Now insulin, especially via pen is a tier 2  to 4 drug – translation?  The patient pays 30% to 100% of the drug cost even in its generic form and there has been a lot of publicity about how much prices have soared.  Medicare does not provide any coverage for insulin, so it was all about what the Baltimore County Retired Police Officers had negotiated with Cigna.   After a long phone call and much research into the formulary, I was astonished to discover [1] there were different types of insulin, not just different strengths, and [2] that certain types of insulin were 100% covered by my plan.  I copied the formulary and submitted it to my doctor – unfortunately the type she wanted to use was not on that plan but she was able to find one she though would work, and then they sent in the prescription

Now this insurance company prefers you use their mail service to fill prescriptions.  Back and forth, phone calls to Cigna and the doctor’s office.  And then there is the time for shipping.  So finally, on July 31st the insulin pens arrive.  One small problem – the doctor’s office had prescribed “supplies” and didn’t specify needles, so no needles were sent and no instructions on how to do injections.  Another doctor visit and a trip to Walgreens and I finally was able to take my first injection on August 1st,  over three weeks after the doctor’s diagnosis. 

And I am quite aware that I am one of the lucky ones that has insurance coverage and the medication is covered,for now at least. The doctor is frustrated with the wait, the bureaucracy, and the fact I am not taking what she thought best to use. 


This is health care in America.

There has to be a better way.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, August 2, 2019

Today is the 5th day of the 31st week, the 1st day of the 8th month, the 213th day of 2019 [with only 145 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Homemade Pie Day
  • India Pale Ale Beer Day
  • International Can-It-Forward Day
  • Lammas (Merry Loafmas)
  • Lughnasadh
  • National Girlfriends Day
  • National IPA Day
  • National Mahjong Day
  • National Minority Donor Awareness Day
  • national Raspberry Cream Pie Day
  • Planner Day
  • Play Ball Day
  • Respect for Parents Day
  • Rounds Resounding Day
  • Scout Scarf Day
  • Spider-Man Day
  • Start Up Day Across America
  • US Air Force Day
  • Woman Astronomers Day
  • World Lung Cancer Day
  • World Wide Web Day
  • Yorkshire Day
It seems as though once we get past the 4th then July is over.  August is just as fleeting as the back-to-school advertisements have us looking towards September long before it comes.  Fortunately our governor has all Maryland schools starting after Labor Day, which comes very early this year.  At least August has five Fridays and only four Mondays, so that is a point in our favor. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 1, 2019

Today is the 2nd day of the 31st week, the 29th day of the 7th month, the 210th day of 2019, and: 
  • Army Chaplain Corps Anniversary – created back in 1775 and consisting of ordained clergy who are commissioned Army officers who serve as military chaplains
  • Earth Overshoot Day [AKA Ecological Debt Day] -  started back in 2007, the calculated date on which humanity's resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year.
  • International Tiger Day
  • National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day -  supposedly this is about saving your house from mice. You are supposed to buy some cheese today and "sacrifice" it by putting it on a mouse trap to rid your house of any mice.
  • National Chicken Wing Day
  • National Lasagna Day
  • Rain Day
Quote of the day:

"When you look at getting stuck in traffic as an opportunity to slow down (literally!), it can seem like more of a blessing than a nightmare. Getting stressed out won’t make those cars go any faster. Finding ways to enjoy it is a lot more rewarding. It makes it feel less like wasting time."

~  Brad Warner, “How to Not Waste Time


I posted this picture on Facebook and poked my cousin who is a bit of an introvert and has now taken up residence in a tourist area to see if I could get a chuckle.  To my surprise, several people responded that it was a great place mat and that got me to thinking about how the concept of “visiting” has changed over the years.


Both of my grandmothers’ homes enjoyed almost a constant stream of people who just dropped by.   Some were neighbors who walked over, sometimes it was family on their way to one place or another, sometimes it was friends or acquaintances who were out for a drive and just decided to come by, their arrival only heralded by the crunch of tires on the gravel driveway and/or the barking of the dog [back in the day].    It never seemed to bother anyone to find the house closed up and the occupants not home – sometimes they would stick a note in the door or mailbox telling them that they had been by, sometimes they didn’t.  It never seemed to fluster Grandmom, who would greet the visitors effusively and wave them into the house, stopping whatever it was that she was doing and sitting down to talk a spell.  And you never let anyone leave without servicing refreshments!  The table had to be set and the drinks poured and there were always cookies or some cake or pie that could be put out as conversation lingered over the table until the visitors decided it was time to head back home or someone produced a deck of cards or a board game.


Nowadays we make appointments in advance, deliberately clearing our schedules and making a visit an event rather than just a causal dropping in.  I think it started with our parents, at least I don’t remember my mother and father treating visits as casually as my grandmothers did, nor do I remember folks just dropping in at our house.  In my own homes, very few people ever just dropped in – even family would call ahead and make sure we were going to be home and that it was convenient.    


I wonder what changed – was it that our neighborhoods became less community oriented?   Was it that family moved so far away that just stopping by wasn’t practical?  Did we all become so busy that we couldn’t just hang out or didn’t know what to say if we had to just sit and talk?  How did the concept of individual dwellings become that of isolation from one’s fellows?  Is this a temporary phase our society is going through or the direction of the future?  I wonder….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 29, 2019


*whew*   Finally!  Today is the 6th day of the 30th week, the 26th day of the 7th month, the 207th day of 2019, and: 
  • Americans With Disabilities Day - Americans with Disabilities Act comes into effect in 1990
  • Armed Forces Unification Day – in 1947 President Truman signed National Security Act (1947), establishing Department of Defense, CIA, National Security Council and Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Aunt and Uncles Day
  • Lumberjack Day
  • National All or Nothing Day
  • National Bagelfest Day - In 1986, Murray Lender, owner of Lenders Bagels, started the festival in Mattoon, Illinois, home of the world's largest bagel factory
  • National Coffee Milkshake Day
  • National Get Gnarly Day – does “gnarly” get a bad rap?  The day was established in 2016 as the result of a Whirlpool employee motivation campaign
  • National Talk in an Elevator Day
  • One Voice Day
  • System Administrator Day 


1267 - Inquisition forms in Rome under Pope Clement IV

1903 - the first automobile trip across the United States (San Francisco to New York) completed by Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker

1945 - Physicist Raemer Schreiber and Lieutenant Colonel Peer de Silva depart Kirtland Army Air Field to transport the plutonium core for the Fat Man bomb (bombing of Nagasaki) to the island of Tinian where the bomb is assembled

1957 - the USSR launches the first intercontinental multistage ballistic missile

1958 - the US Army launches the fourth US successful satellite, Explorer IV

1963 - US Syncom 2, 1st geosynchronous communications satellite, launched

1971 - Apollo 15 launched (Scott and Irwin) to 4th manned landing on Moon

1972 - Rockwell receives NASA contract to construct Space Shuttle

1974 - France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa atoll

1974 - USSR's Soyuz fails to dock with Salyut 3

1975 - Soyuz 18B returns to Earth

1977 - USSR performs underground nuclear Test

1978 - France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa atoll

1983 - Light flashes seen on Jupiter moon Io

1993 - Mars Observer takes its first photo of Mars, from 5 billion km

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

2018 - Observation of a black hole by The Very Large Telescope in Chile proves Albert Einstein's prediction of "gravitational redshift", published in "Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics"


Quote of the day:
“In each moment our experience is determined to a great extent by seeds from the past that are bearing fruit right now. In each moment, too, we can plant a seed intentionally that will create fruit in the future.”
~  Ben Connelly, “Cleaning Out the Storehouse

This is one of those statements that just make you stop and think.   It’s kinda a nicer way of saying “as ye reap, so shall ye sow

I have always believed “I” [as in the person who I am right now] was crafted by the choices I have made in the past.  For example, if I had stayed married to my second husband, I wouldn’t be working at 69+, I would be home every day doing things around the house instead of getting up with the sun [or before the sun as the days shorten] and heading out to the workplace.  In that sense, I chose to be working at my age, although I may not have realized that would be a consequence of divorcing him and marrying Frank.    It makes me wonder what choices I am making today, what seeds am I sowing, that will impact my future self’s well being or very state of being?    Makes you look at the entire butterfly concept of consequences on a very personal level – everything is connected not only with your present wellbeing but your future self.  And think about it – if you could change just one thing and unravel the entire tapestry of your life, then what one thing are you doing today that will cause the warp and woof of your future to take form and substance?  

Category:  #becarefulwhatyuowishfor
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, July 26, 2019

it is Friday's Eve at least

Today is the 5th day of the 30th week, the 25th day of the 7th month, the 206th day of 2019 [and despite being known as “Christmas in July” there are 152 shopping days remaining until Christmas], and: 
  • Culinarians Day - a special day for anyone who cooks. ...
  • Feast of Saint James
  • Health and Happiness with Hypnosis Day
  • International Red Shoe Day
  • National Carousel Day or Merry-Go-Round Day - William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa patented the design for the modern carousel in 1871
  • National Chili Dog Day
  • National Hire a Veteran Day
  • National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
  • National Intern Day
  • National Refreshment Day
  • National Wine and Cheese Day
  • Thread the Needle Day – for those who sew and those who tread warily amidst clashes of opinion
  • Video Games Day – but why today?


1814 - English engineer George Stephenson introduces his first steam locomotive, a travelling engine designed for hauling coal on the Killingworth wagonway named Blücher

1832 - the first railroad accident in US, Granite Railway, Quincy, Massachusetts, kills one person

1837 - The first commercial use of an electric telegraph successfully demonstrated by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone between Euston and Camden Town in London

1850 - Gold discovered in Oregon (Rogue River)

1854 - Walter Hunt is awarded the first U.S. patent for a paper shirt collar

1908 - Ajinomoto Co. is founded. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University discovers a key ingredient in Konbu soup stock is monosodium glutamate (MSG), patents a process for manufacturing it.

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

1957 - US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site

1963 - US, Russia & Britain sign nuclear Test ban treaty

1969 - The Apollo 11 command module Columbia with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin aboard splashed down at 11:49 AM CDT

1982 - France performs nuclear Test

1983 - first non-human primate (baboon) conceived in a lab dish, San Antonio

1984 - Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to walk in space

1985 - US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Siteand and USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1987 - USSR launches Kosmos 1870, 15-ton Earth-study satellite

1990 - US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site

2019 - NASA Voyager  is 20 hrs 12 mins 03 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
"Do not be afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact."
~  William James (1842 - 1910), American Philosopher and Psychologist

What makes a week, especially a work week, "long"?  And why is that perception unexpected shared not just with office mates or even folks who work closely together online, but with others further away or even complete strangers?  I can understand if my co-workers agree with me, after all, they are working in the same environment.  But to hear the same plaint from elsewhere makes me wonder what is going on.  No, being busy does not always make the time go faster.  In fact those are the worst days when you are functioning at warp speed but the clock seems to be in a time warp of its own!


And yet, despite the fact that this particular week feels like it has stretched on forever, making last weekend a remote memory, I find it rather appalling to realize July is just about over
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 25, 2019

getting over the hump

Today is the 4th day of the 30th week, the 24th day of the 7th month, the 205th day of 2019, and: 
  • Amelia Earhart Day
  • Cousins Day
  • International Self Care Day
  • National Drive-Thru Day
  • National Tell an Old Joke Day
  • National Tequila Day
  • National Thermal Engineer Day
  • Pioneer Day
Quote of the day:
Don’t worry about the future; don’t worry about the past. Stay right here. Ultimately you get so that you can’t say that you’re going forward, you can’t say that you’re going back, you can’t say that you’re staying in place. There’s nothing to be attached to.”
~  Ajahn Chah, “The Last Gift”

Musing:  My mind is skittering about today.  I blame Facebook.  And the weather.  And the political news. 

Reading a book and listening to it are two very different ways to appreciate a story.    I have been listening to James P Hogan’s Inherit the Stars and his brand of science fiction is very precise with technobabble carefully explained and illustrated in a way that I might’ve been tempted to skim over had I been reading instead of listening.  The cultural assumptions are rather dated –  women are pretty docile, there is a great respect for the alpha male, and everyone smokes even in the office – but it is still an interesting tale and I’ll probably spring for the sequels. 

Just a stray …   well it is more than a thought but less than a rant….  Back in the day, my daughter had a very successful podcast known as Bucket ((no you won’t find it online, it was a long time ago)).  One segment that she always did personally was “Potty Talk” where she railed against such things as folks wanting to talk to you while you were pooping – things like that.  My personal gripes are the ladies who come into a stall and immediately flush the toilet, not because has the remains of a former occupant’s business mind you, but just because they want clean water in which to deposit their….   er, contribution.  Now I can see the point when there is something in the toilet, but not just to have a fresh bowl of water!  Nine times out of ten, the same ladies will stand on one foot and use their foot to accomplish the flushing, so not only do they waste water, but the next person who doesn’t perform the same gyration gets to touch a handle onto which they have scraped all the possible germs they picked up from the bathroom floor.  My guess is that they do this because they assume the same hand that wipes is the hand that flushes [which might be valid in all fairness].  And then, having preserved themselves from possible biological waste contamination, they then wash their hands, dry them, then get another dry paper towel so they can not touch the handle of the ladies room door and leave.  Makes me wonder what kind of environment they live in or came from….

Looking forward to the weekend is really just another way to be “wishing your life away”, as Grandmom Hughes used to say.

Why is Christmas in July a thing when it would make more sense for June 25th to be the midpoint between one Christmas and another?

And last:

That seems to be a pretty good note to end on. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Today is the 2nd day of the 30th week, the 22nd day of the 7th month, the 203rd day of 2019, and: 
  • Fragile X Awareness Day - About 1 in 151 females and 1 in 468 males carry the fragile X permutation, which causes different developmental issues
  • Global Hug Your Kid Day
  • Hammock Day - Developed by the Mayans of Central and South America for sleeping or resting, a hammock is a sling made of fabric, rope or netting, which is suspended between two points such as posts or trees.
  • Lion's Share Day – did you know the saying comes from one of Aesop’s Fables
  • National Penuche Fudge Day - according to Wikipedia, Penuche is a fudge-like candy made from brown sugar, butter, and milk, using no flavorings except for vanilla.
  • National Ratcatcher's Day - commemorates the Pied Piper of Hamlin
  • PI Approximation day [AKA Casual Pi Day] – 22/7 is a common approximation of π
  • Spoonerism Day - Today is the birthday of William Archibald Spooner, a long-serving Oxford don with a reputation for absent-mindedness, and a tendency to mangle the syllables in a spoken phrase
  • Summer Leisure Day


1633 - Galileo Galilei forced to recant his Copernican views that the Earth orbits the Sun by the Pope (Vatican only admits it was wrong on Oct 31, 1992)

1847 - First ring doughnut supposedly created by Hanson Gregory [or did he invent the doughnut hole?)

1874 - Dr Andrew T Still, discovers the science of osteopathy

1874 - Game of lawn tennis introduced

1939 - Princes (future Queen) Elizabeth meets future husband Prince Philip of Greece (Midshipman Mountbatten, RN)

1947 - a record setting 12" rain falls in 42 mins (Holt, MO)

1959 - Vanguard SLV-6 launched for Earth orbit (failed)

1972 - "Man of La Mancha" opens at Beaumont Theater NYC for 140 performances

1976 - "Godspell" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 527 performances

1977 - Walt Disney's "Rescuers" released, first Disney film to get a sequel

1978 - James Christy's discovery of Pluto's moon Charon announced

1980 - Pope John Paul II beatifies Kateri Tekakwitha, making her the 1st Native American to be beatified

1983 - first time a satellite is retrieved from orbit by Space Shuttle

1989 - Business Day reports that SA is about to test an intermediate range ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads

1991 - Underwater volcano, Mount Didicas, erupts in Philippines

2015 - JAMA Internal Medical Journal announces obese Americans now outnumber those just overweight

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 11 mins 33 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"The fact that we don’t know—that nothing is certain and we therefore can’t hold on to anything—can evoke fear and depression, but it can also evoke a sense of wonder, curiosity, and freedom. Some of our best moments come when we haven’t yet decided what will happen next."

~ Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, “Open Stillness


There is something wrong with any month that has five Mondays and only four Fridays.




Just saying…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 22, 2019

one small step

50 years ago today a man walked on another planet for the first time

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, July 19, 2019

thinking about thinking about moving

Today is the 5th day of the 29th week, the 18th day of the 7th month, the 199th day of 2019, and: 
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • National Caviar Day
  • National Sour Candy Day
  • Nelson Mandela International Day
  • Perfect Family Day
On this day in ...

1178 - Five monks at Canterbury report something exploding on the moon shortly after sunset (only known observation)

1583 - Richard Martin of London takes out first life insurance policy, on William Gibbons; premium was £383

1767 - Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sights Tahiti, considered the first European to reach the island

1898 - the first amusement pier opens in Atlantic City, New Jersey

1928 - American aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the 1st woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean landing at Burry Port, Wales

1948 - American Library Association adopts Library Bill of Rights, which states "Libraries should provide points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval."

1959 - the first telecast transmitted from England to US

1972 - US Supreme Court, 5-3, confirms lower court rulings in Curt Flood case, upholding baseball's exemption from antitrust laws

1977 - Space Shuttle test model "Enterprise" carries a crew aloft for 1st time, it was fixed to a modified Boeing 747

1980 - Mrs Shakuntala Devi mentally multiplies 2 13-digit #s in 28 sec

1983 - the 7th Shuttle Mission-Challenger 2 launches Sally Ride as 1st US woman in space

1989 - Comet Churyunov-Gerasimenko at perihelion

2003 - Google launches AdSense, a program that enables website publishers to serve ads targeted to the specific content of their individual web pages, many of which like On This Day (then go on to start their own publishing businesses

2015 - Pope Francis blames human selfishness for global warming in his encyclical, named "Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home"

2016 - Soyuz capsule returns to Earth the first British International Space Station astronaut Tim Peake, Russian Yuri Malenchenko and American Timothy Kopra after 186 days

2018 - President Trump orders US military to set up sixth branch of the military - a space force

2019  NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 10 mins 55 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
"Nothing exists separate from all the other things in the universe. Every person lives only by relying on the support of others."
~  Jeff Wilson, “Born Together With All Beings

Moving is a major undertaking, and for those of us who have too much stuff, it is a daunting prospect.  While I am not at all a fan of minimalist living, if you have to be easily mobile I can definitely see the allure.  I tend to stay put as a result.   But things at the Enclave are continuing to deteriorate and I feeling rather pessimistic today about the owners’ commitment to let the management company have adequate resources to manage the property effectively, so I am looking about rather casually to see what is available.  To start the process, I had to reflect on what I really want in the way of amenities: 
  1. washer and dryer in the unit – I have dealt with having to pay quarters to wash and dry clothes and I am not going to do that anymore. 
  2. be pet-friendly – I’m not getting rid of Panda
  3. high speed internet availability – many older buildings just do not have robust wiring.  In addition, I prefer FIOS to Comcast
  4. a garage – this was not on my list originally, but after having this luxury for over a decade, it has become a need
  5. either a second bedroom I can use for storage or onsite storage – even if I trim things down radically and clear out the Disaster Area, it seems to me that I still am going to have things like Christmas decorations and such that will need to be stored.
Location is going to be key.  I really don’t want to have to drive an hour to get to work for one thing [and we may be moving in the spring of next year] and I really don’t want to be an hour from my daughter’s domicile for another [or I might as well move to Florida and work for the House of the Mouse].  This limits where I am going to look.   And last, price is a consideration – a BIG consideration.  Right now my housing cost [rent and utilities] is around 46% of my gross income and fiscal prudence would have it around 30%.  Problem is that there aren’t a lot of places with those amenities in nice areas at that price point….

If Satan offered me the “right click and take into inventory” feature in what we call “real life” I just might be tempted …..
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 18, 2019

let it go

Today is the 4th day of the 29th week, the 17th day of the 7th month, the 196th day of 2019 [with only 160 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Disneyland Day – after three years of construction, the park was unveiled during a special televised press event on the ABC Television Network in 1955.
  • National Hot Dog Day
  • National Peach Ice Cream Day
  • National Tattoo Day
  • Take Your Poet to Work Day
  • Victims of Baton Rouge, Louisianna Attack Day
  • World Day for International Criminal Justice
  • World Day for International Justice
  • World Emoji Day
  • Wrong Way Corrigan Day
  • Yellow Pigs Day

Londo Mollari:  But this…this, this, this is like… being nibbled to death by, uh…Pah! What are those Earth creatures called? Feathers, long bill, webbed feet…go "quack".

Vir CottoCats.

LondoCats! I'm being nibbled to death by cats.


The litany of minor annoyances: 
  • The cat fountain is making an infernal racket and the new one I ordered on the 5th is nowhere in sight
  • There was a bug on the wall of the kitchen and little tiny bugs around Panda’s food.
  • Playing Diablo III fails to relax me in the morning as my necromancer stumbles around and dies easily
  • Panda won’t cuddle and hides under the bed
  • A slat of the balcony blinds falls off when I close them
  • Can’t find the sandals I want to wear – and the ones I do find?  The strap breaks when I put then on and they go in the trash
  • It is 85 F in the shade at 7:30 AM.
  • Got behind a student driver who carefully drove five miles under the speed limit and was going the exact same way I was on the way to work.
  • Quartz has decided to put its content behind a paywall after three free articles.
  • Two minutes after Walt Disney World’s call center opened, there were 750 callers and the wait time was 186 minutes – my travel agent is trying to arrange for the Disney dining plan for our December vacation and running into constant roadblocks.
And ALL of this before 9 AM


Now, what am I going to do with the rest of the day?  My head hurts, I’m at work dealing with picayune issues,  there is a whole job list of chores I have to do when I get home,  it’s hot and humid.  The state of my finances, the country, the world, the economy, and the climate are all a mess.  I feel ruffled, impatient, angry, and close to tears.  Counting my blessings doesn’t seem to be working and it really doesn’t help to know that I can choose my mood, choose how I react.  What I really want to do is scream at the universe  “GIVE ME A F***KING BREAK!!!” and then break down





At this point?  I need to remember that life is not fair, therefore, I have to cope.  It’s one of those days where I just need to go hour by hour.  I can do this – and so can you.  We’ll make it!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, July 17, 2019

scribbling about scribbling

Today is the 5th day of the 28th week, the 11th day of the 7th month, the 192nd day of 2019 [with only 166 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • All American Pet Photo Day
  • Bowdler's Day – the birthday of Thomas Bowdler who epitomizes the folly of political correctness
  • Free Slurpee Day or 7-11's Birthday
  • International Essential Oils Day
  • Make Your Own Sundae Day
  • National Blueberry Muffin Day
  • National Cheer Up the Lonely Day
  • National Mojito Day
  • National Rainier Cherries Day
  • National Swimming Pool Day
  • World Body Painting Day
  • World Population Day AKA Day of The Five Billion – this year the UN is stressing reproductive health and gender equality
Quote of the day:
"To see clearly—to perceive things as they are—we must break the chain between the percept and the concept. This break comes after the senses connect with the object of perception, but before the great flywheel of mental habit boxes that perception in stale cubbyholes of thoughts and feelings."
~  Interview with Tara Bennett-Goleman, “Emotional Alchemy: How the Mind Can Heal the Heart

((a counter argument to my oft-repeated chant of “perception IS reality”))

It has been 13 days since my last post.  In that time, I have babbled on in my personal journal seven times, but didn’t manage to write here at all.  I have to ask myself why the difference, why blog at all if I am not going to babble here.  Isn’t like this is a professional blog, not like the one I used to keep back in the day called “As the BankTurns” and the WIKI I kept updated with resources and comments on the financial services, organizational development, and knowledge management scenes.  [Both of them are gone, by the way, lost to server changes and failed backups, but I digress].  I blog for the same reason that I share links in social media, to share things I find interesting.  I blog because I like to write.  But I don’t chit-chat a lot here.  Although I share more than my one friend is comfortable with at times, I don’t go into a lot of personal details.  I don’t talk about my daughter’s struggles after surviving cancer – that story is for her to chronicle and she does.  I don’t talk about my granddaughters very much because I have been asked not to.  Although I mention my friends in passing, I don’t talk a lot about them.  I haven’t shared a funny work story since I left TWSB back in 2007…   Hmmm, I had to look that up and am surprised it was only 12 years ago.  Should I be babbling here instead of in a private journal?

Then too, this blogging platform has its limitations.  I cannot embed video and pictures have to be posted somewhere online before I can add them to a post, and then I cannot format the text around them.  There is a hard limit to the length of posts here as well.  Alternatives?  WordPress seems to have a steep learning curve, I don’t trust Google to keep Blogger alive since they have such a history of axing applications, and Penzu has some of the same limitations as this platform. 



I guess I’ll just keep scribbling my graffiti, literally throwing thoughts against the wall and seeing what sticks for now
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 11, 2019

who is next door?

Today is the 6th day of the 26th week, the 28th day of the 6th month, the 179th day of 2019 [with only 179 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Drive Your Corvette to Work Day
  • Insurance Awareness Day
  • International Body Piercing Day
  • National Food Truck Day
  • National Logistics Day
  • National Tapioca Day
  • Paul Bunyan Day –  you could eat flapjacks to celebrate
  • Tau Day – arguing that PI is not the way to define a circle

1820 - Tomatoes are proven to be non-poisonous by Colonel Robert Gibbon eating a tomato on steps of courthouse in Salem, New Jersey

1846 - The saxophone is patented by Antoine-Joseph "Adolfe" Sax

1859 - The first recorded dog show is held (Newcastle-on-Tyne, England)

1861 - Leipzig Observatory discovers short-period (6.2 yrs) Comet d'Arrest

1870 - The U.S. Congress creates federal holidays (New Years Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day), initially applicable only to federal employees

1928 - Louis Armstrong makes 78 recording of "West End blues"

1935 - FDR orders a federal gold vault to be built at Fort Knox, Kentucky

1951 - "Amos 'n' Andy" premieres on CBS TV

1973 - New Zealand ship HMNZS Otago sails for Mururoa nuclear test zone after France’s refusal to accept an International Court of Justice injunction against its atmospheric nuclear testing.  France reacted strongly, sending commandos to board and seize protest ships.

1983 - NASA launches Galaxy-A

2019 - Voyager I is 20 hrs 08 mins 09 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Last week sometime I got a flyer addressed to “White Oak Resident” telling me all about the community at and giving me a code so that I could register and log in.    It sounded like a pretty good idea, when I checked it out, so I started to register, giving them my name, street address,  email address and phone number.  There were the standard privacy disclosures that no one reads and an additional comment that the phone number would not be sold, it was just for verification [like we all haven’t heard that before].  And then I got an error – something was “wrong with my address”.    I thought they meant the email addy and I fired off an inquiry stating I have had that email since Gmail first started up [back when you had to have an invitation to join] and asking what the problem was

Yesterday I finally get a reply from Chester in Support.   Seems that three years ago, there was a registered sex offender in my building – different floor, different apartment number that doesn’t even look vaguely like mine –  and sends me a copy of the report that shows someone of a different age, sex, and ethnicity than me.  This company wants a copy to verify that person is not me, so asked me to submit a photo ID and/or “some other supporting documentation” that includes my unit number so the hold can be cleared.  Their rationale?  “Given the sensitivity of the information shared on Nextdoor, as well as the fact that everyone on the website is a real-life neighbor, it’s very important for us to be extra cautious.”


 I gave them a blistering review, then sent them a scanned copy of a bank statement envelope that clearly shows my name and unit number.  No way am I sending them a copy of my photo ID – I know nothing about them!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 28, 2019


Today is the 6th day of the 25th week, the 21st day of the 6th month, the 172nd day of 2019, and: 
  • Anne and Samantha Day
  • Atheist Solidarity Day
  • Cuckoo Warning Day - if you hear a cuckoo on June 21st,  you will have a wet summer.
  • Global Orgasm Day: 21 Link (Always on Winter Solstice and Summer Solstice)
  • Go Skateboarding Day
  • International Day of Yoga
  • International Day of Surfing Day
  • Midsummer – well now, I think the middle of summer is more like August 7th actually.  The pagan holiday of Midsummer [AKA Litha] is actually on Monday, June 24th this year.
  • National Daylight Appreciation Day
  • National Day of Payer for Law Enforcement Officers
  • National Day of the Gong – but it has nothing to do with the Gong Show, more’s the pity
  • National Peaches and Cream Day
  • National Seashell Day
  • National Selfie Day
  • National Take Back the Lunch Break Day
  • Summer Solstice [it will be summer until 9/23 - 94 days]
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day
  • Tall Girl Appreciation Day
  • The First Day of Summer
  • The Longest Day
  • Ugliest Dog Day
  • World Giraffe Day
  • World Handshake Day
  • World Humanist Day
  • World Hydrography Day
  • World Music Day
  • World Peace and Prayer Day
Today is a day when the shadows flee from the sun.   While we civilized folk tend to be a bit blasé about it, or more interested in the scientific explanations of why it is notable, it is a traditional day of festivity and celebration.  The Celts celebrated with bonfires, Christians attempted to replace Litha with the feast of John the Baptist, and it is also the festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of light.  Folklore tells us that on Midsummer’s Night, the field and forest elves, sprites, and faeries abound in great numbers.  And yet there is an awareness that after today, every day will be just a little shorter and the darkness will creep over us just a little earlier each evening.

I hope there is some sunshine and joy in your day today and every day
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 21, 2019

what is sauce for the goose

Today is the 3rd day of the 25th week, the 18th day of the 6th month, the 169th day of 2019 [with only 189 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Autistic Pride Day
  • Clark Kent's Birthday (Superman)
  • Go Fishing Day
  • International Panic Day
  • International Picnic Day
  • International Sushi Day
  • National Cherry Tart Day
  • National Splurge Day
  • Sustainable Gasteronomy Day

1178 - Five monks at Canterbury report something exploding on the moon shortly after sunset (only known observation)

1767 - Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sights Tahiti, considered the first European to reach the island

1873 - Susan B. Anthony fined $100 for voting for US President

1892 - Originating in Australia, the Jordan brothers planted macadamia trees on the Big Island.  Although the first macadamia tree was planted in 1881 by William Purvis, it was the Jordan brothers who made them popular among the sugar plantation owners.

1928 - American aviator Amelia Earhart becomes the 1st woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean landing at Burry Port, Wales

1977 - Space Shuttle test model "Enterprise" carries a crew aloft for 1st time, it was fixed to a modified Boeing 747

1983 - 7th Shuttle Mission-Challenger 2 launches Sally Ride as 1st US woman in space

1989 - Comet Churyunov-Gerasimenko at perihelion

1999 - Hindi film "Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam" premieres directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, starring Salman Khan, Ajay Devgn and Aishwarya Rai

2003 - Google launches AdSense, a program that enables website publishers to serve ads targeted to the specific content of their individual web pages, many of which like On This Day (then go on to start their own publishing businesses

2005 - David Tennant's first appearance as the Tenth Doctor in BBC "Doctor Who" episode "The Parting of the Ways"

2006 - The first Kazakh space satellite, KazSat is launched

2015 - Pope Francis blames human selfishness for global warming in his encyclical, named "Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home"

2016 - Soyuz capsule returns to Earth the first British International Space Station astronaut Tim Peake, Russian Yuri Malenchenko and American Timothy Kopra after 186 days

2018 - President Trump orders US military to set up sixth branch of the military - a space force


Quote of the day
"At the heart of the matter lies a fundamental question: Do we support our long-cherished ideals of democratic fair play or the “by any means necessary” approach that is becoming more prevalent in the current political climate?"
~ Jason Rezaian, Global Opinions writer, Opinion | The State Department has been funding trolls. I’m one of their targets

We have to ask ourselves if our indignation over the Russian meddling in our politics isn’t misplaced.  Actually it is simply the United States being served with its own sauce – not only the CIA but the State Department has been doing this for years without it coming to the attention of the general public.  Finding this out explains to me why the US is so despised in the world and why it is so difficult for Americans to understand how they are regarded by other peoples. 

*takes a deep breath*

This too shall pass
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 18, 2019

leaving this world

Today is the 3rd day of the 24th week, the 11th day of the 6th month, the 162nd day of 2019, and: 
  • Call Your Doctor Day
  • Corn on the Cob Day
  • Cousteau Day
  • King Kamehameha Day - [AKA Kalani Paiʻea Wohi o Kaleikini Kealiʻikui Kamehameha o ʻIolani i Kaiwikapu kauʻi Ka Liholiho Kūnuiākea]  united the Hawaiian Islands into one royal kingdom in 1810
  • National Cotton Candy Day
  • National German Chocolate Cake Day
  • National Making Life Beautiful Day
  • World Pet Memorial Day


1184 BC - Troy is sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes

631 - Emperor Taizong of Tang of China, sends envoys to the Xueyantuo bearing gold and silk for the release of Chinese prisoners captured during transition from Sui to Tang from northern frontier; succeeds in freeing 80,000

758 - Diplomatic dispute at Tang Chinese capital Chang'an when Abbasid Arabs and Uyghur Turks both arrive to offer tribute. Settlement reached when both enter at same time through two different gates.

1644 - Florentine scientist Evangelista Torricelli describes his invention of the mercury barometer in 1643 in a letter to Michelangelo Ricci

1742 - Benjamin Franklin invents his Franklin stove

1770 - Captain James Cook discovers the Great Barrier Reef off Australia by running aground on it

1788 - Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska

1793 - the first American stove patent is granted to Robert Haeterick

1816 - Gas Light Co of Baltimore founded [later to become today's BG&E]

1892 - The Limelight Department, one of the world's first film studios, is officially established in Melbourne, Australia

1935 - Inventor Edwin Armstrong gives the first public demonstration of FM broadcasting in the United States, at Alpine, New Jersey

1939 - King and Queen of England taste their first "hot dogs" at FDR's party

1953 - "Amos 'n Andy" TV Comedy, also radio from '29; last aired on CBS [except for reruns and syndication]

1962 - Brothers John and Clarence Anglin and fellow inmate Frank Morris escape from Alcatraz Island prison, the only ones to do so, butno one knows what happened to them

1964 - Manfred Mann record “Do Wah Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Do”

1966 - "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever." closes at Mark Hellinger NYC after 280 performances

1977 - the Main Street Electrical Parade premieres in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

1982 - "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial", directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore, is released

1984 - Michael Larson shown winning record $110,237 on American TV game show "Press Your Luck" by memorizing patterns

1985 - Russian space probe Vega 1 lands on Venus

1991 - Microsoft releases MS DOS 5.0

1993 - "Jurassic Park", directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum opens, sets box office weekend record of $502 million

2002 - "American Idol" created by Simon Fuller with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul and Randy Jackson premieres on Fox

2017 - Japan passes law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate

2018 - Net neutrality is officially repealed by The Federal Communications Commission in the US


Quote of the day:

“Perhaps it is only in childhood that books have any deep influence on our lives. In later life we admire, we are entertained, we may modify some views we already hold, but we are more likely to find in books merely a confirmation of what is in our minds already…What do we ever get nowadays from reading to equal the excitement and the revelation in those first fourteen years?”

~  Graham Greene, The Lost Childhood


Well now, I will admit that it takes me a little more searching to find a book I can fully dive into without getting annoyed at the repetition of “stuff” I have heard – or rather read – before.  But the books I imbibe still make me think, still make me question my perspective and sometimes my perceptions.  The first 14 years?  I hadn’t found Middle Earth yet and had barely started exploring science fiction, So I have to say I most emphatically disagree with Greene




I cannot imagine what my life would be like without books, for they were my introduction into a 2nd life…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 11, 2019

75 years ago

It is called World War II for a reason -- waged in the skies, the oceans, and the lands on five separate continents and involved 21 combatant nations, who fought for six years, and killed on average 27,000 people a day, many of them civilians     Often framed as “the last good war”,  it changed the way we look the use of force to enforce our sense of rightness and morality, embracing the concept of “total war” versus a clash of armies.  I may have been unduly swayed by the stories of my parents’ generation about why they personally fought, but I feel none of that moral ambiguity changes the fact that Hitler’s Nazis implemented the Holocaust and dictatorship, and that was what was defeated.. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, June 6, 2019

TGIFridays redeems itself

Today is the 4th day of the 23rd week, the 5th day of the 6th month, the 156th day of 2019, and: 
  • Apple II Day
  • Festival of Popular Delusions Day
  • Global Running Day
  • Hot Air Balloon Day
  • National Attitude Dy
  • National Gingerbread Day
  • National Moonshine Day
  • National Tailors' Day
  • National Veggie Burger Day
  • Sausage Roll Day
  • World Environment Day

1661 - Isaac Newton admitted as a student to Trinity College, Cambridge

1794 - US Congress passes the Neutrality Act, banning Americans from serving in foreign armed forces

1799 - Naturalists Alexander von Humboldt and Aimé Bonpland set sail in the Pizarro from A Coruña and begin their 5 year Latin American expedition

1805 - The first recorded tornado in "Tornado Alley" (Southern Illinois)

1927 - Johnny Weissmuller sets 100-yard & 200-yard free-style swim record

1933 - US drops the Gold Standard when Congress enacts a joint resolution nullifying creditors right to demand payment in gold

1937 - Henry Ford initiates a 32 hour work week

1948 - "(Ghost) Riders in the Sky: A Cowboy Legend" single released by Stan Jones

1964 - Davie Jones & King Bees debut "I Can't Help Thinking About Me"; group disbands but Davie Jones goes on to success as David Bowie

1981 - World's first today in history program with editable data "TODAY", invented by Michael Butler runs for the first time on a mainframe computer

1991 - Space Shuttle STS 40 (Columbia 12) launched

2007 - MESSENGER spacecraft performs a second flyby of Venus

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 05 mins 52 secs of light-travel time from Earth

A year ago yesterday, I decided to celebrate my work anniversary by taking myself to dinner at TGIFriday’s right after work.  I got there befodre 5 PM and it was not crowded.  Seated quickly, I sat and watched servers chatting with each other, talking to the manager, and waiting on the few other customers that were there, without a menu and without even a glass of water.  After about 10 minutes,  I asked a passing server who’s table this was and was told that s/he would be with me shortly.  At the 20 minute point, I got up and left without a word.  Subsequently I shared my experience online and was surprised to get an email from TGIFriday’s management asking me to give them another chance and sending me a coupon for a free meal.  I didn’t make my way back until yesterday evening because I was not inclined to give it another shot.  But the coupon was going to expire, so I took a chance.  The server was attentive, quick, and very friendly – and that made for a pleasant experience that wiped out the sour tastes the previous visit had left.  That one server made a huge difference and I’ll probably start patronizing the place again.




Moral of the story:  if you are going to do a job that involves customer service, then DO it and do it without resentment or lollygagging.   You may only get once chance to keep or lose a customer.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, June 5, 2019

One Decade

Today is the 3rd day of the 23rd week, the 4th day of the 6th month, the 155th day of 2019.

I started at my current job ten years ago today.   I have been reflecting about my work history for a couple of days now, looking thoughtfully back at the past.   Haven’t come to a lot of conclusions though, but I thought I would share three of the formless musings….

There is a difference between having a job and having a career and the difference is NOT whether or not you are in a management position.  For the first seven years I was at C&F, I was definitely in worker bee mode – it was a job pure and simple.   Jobs are a clean clear contractual arrangement --  you pay me I work; you don’t pay me, I don’t work.  And then thanks to a charismatic leader and a great HR pro, both of whom became friends, I dived into organizational development and discovered I wanted a career.  I became immersed in knowledge management and teams theory and was an early advocate of the concept of employees being free agents.  For the next 13 years, I spun off the knowledge, skills, and abilities into a career as I moved from one community bank to another, tending to processes and procedures.  And then in 2007,  I accepted a job with a non-bank commercial lender and found myself unexpectedly pegged once more as a worker bee, and my wings were clipped.    While I missed not being part of the strategic planning of the organization, I soon realized there were advantages to having a job as when I left the office, I left work behind.  In 2009 when I was let go, the HR person rather snidely informed me that I needed to look at working for larger organizations that would supply more internal support and more chances for advancement to be successful.  And I did indeed interview for several career building positions, but in the end, I chose to take a job with a tiny CUSO with only three other employees.  It was a conscious decision, for as the saying goes, I work to live, not live to work

Charisma is a vital attribute to have in a career and helpful to have in any job.  You have to be able to communicate effectively with many different levels and do so in such a way that it builds your creditability.  I must’ve rolled a one in this category.  I do not know how to fit in gracefully.  I do not know how to say the politically expedient thing without my very expressive face clearly mirroring my internal conviction of BS.  As a result, I really only bloomed when I had someone in senior management who appreciated both my intellect and my willingness to tell it like it is to anyone, including the higher ups.  When I had someone like that, who understood what I did even though I was inarticulate when it came to promoting myself, I thrived.  Without that person, I struggled

Organizations do not pay your for what you know.  They pay you for what it is you are doing, what role you are filling.  That is something college graduates all had a really hard time wrapping their minds around!  I could sympathize because I hate those talks about “market value” and “roles” myself, but C&F gave me an excellent example to explain it.  Donna, who was a retired HR professional for a large corporation, started with the bank as a part-time switchboard operator.  C&F therefore paid her the minimum wage a switchboard operator would get.  After a couple of hears, the VP in charge of HR left and Donna applied for and received the position.  At that point, C&F paid her what a VP of HR would make.   She had not changed, her KSA had not changed, but her role had.
Conclusion?  Yes I wish I could retire, but since I have to work, I don’t have it so bad.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 4, 2019

the first Monday in June

Today is the 2nd day of the 23rd week, the 3rd day of the 6th month, the 154th day of 2019, and: 
  • Chimborazo Day - Mount Chimborazo is an inactive volcano completely covered by glaciers at its peak that has been made into a national park in Ecuador. Technically, Chimborazo is higher than Mt. Everest, as it resides closer to the equator where the Earth ‘bulges’, making it relatively taller and was finally scaled in 1880 [or 1882 or 1886 depending on what source you use] by Edward Whymper
  • Impersonate Authority Day
  • Insect Repellent Awareness Day
  • Love Conquers All Day
  • National "Thank God It's Monday" Day
  • National Chocolate Macaroon Day
  • National Egg Day
  • National Itch Day
  • National Leave the Office Early Day - invented by Laura Stack, an employee productivity specialist to incentivize employees to work harder
  • National Stuffed Shrimp Scholars Day - an awareness holiday promoting scholarly knowledge and heart-cholesterol benefits of eating more stuffed shrimp done healthy for kids and families – this is its inaugural year!
  • New Moon - 6:01 am EDT
  • Repeat Day
  • Wonder Woman Day
  • World Bicycle Day
  • World Clubfoot Day
Quote of the day:

"My relation to you is determined by the things that I have done to you and that you have done to me. We’re related not by what we inherently are but by what we choose to do."

~  Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “We Are Not One


Yesterday was June 2nd , which has become a mixed day for me.  On the one hand, it was Frank’s birthday and I always think about what age he would be had he lived.  He’s been gone for 14 ½ years now and he would’ve been 81.   Things have changed so much since he died and I look back and wonder what kind of person I would be had I not been alone for these years, and I wonder what changes the time would’ve wrought in him.  Where would we be living, for example?  I don’t think he would like it at the Enclave.


On the other hand, it is my oldest granddaughter’s birthday as well, and this year she turned six.   Six used to be such a significant number when I was little because that was when you started school, but she has been going to day care, pre-school and now kindergarten, so 1st grade doesn’t seem as much of a milestone for her.   I remember being six, and I remember how ancient my grandmothers looked to me back then and they were over 15 years younger at the time than I am now!  I look at my granddaughter and wonder what she will remember of me.  She did tell me recently that when she grew up [in addition to being a nurse and a cheerleader] she was going to be a mommy, and she wanted me to live to be 150 so that I could be sure to see her daughter because she was fascinated with the concept of a great grandmother.




81 and 6

One memory, one making memories

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, June 3, 2019

work history

Today is the 5th day of the 22nd week, the 30th day of the 5th month, the 150th day of 2019: 
  • Ascension  - always 30 days after Easter
  • Indianapolis 500 Anniversary
  • Loomis Day
  • Memorial Day (Traditional)
  • My Bucket's Got a Hole In It Day – I’m sure you have sung this one at some point, especially if you have kids
  • National Creativity Day
  • National Mint Julep Day
  • National Nail Tech Day – they even have their own website
  • Water a Flower Day
  • World MS Day
Quote of the day:
"Doing nothing is very hard to do…you never know when you're finished."
~ Leslie Nielsen, Canadian actor, comedian, and producer.

Ten years ago, I had accepted a job in Loan Servicing at my current employer after a rather harrowing four weeks of unemployment.  I hadn’t run out of money yet, for my previous employer had given me six weeks compensation, but the recession had hit the financial services sector really hard and there were a lot of people out of work.  Each job listing had many applicants, and many of them were folks who had been managers and even senior officers rather than “doers”.   It was a scary time

My pattern of work for a decade after leaving Commercial and Farmers Bank, much to my kids’ dismay,  had been that of an internal knowledge consultant.  There were five different employers during that time for I was hired to come in, set up processes and procedures, and basically the goal was to work myself out of a job by creating an infrastructure in which I was no longer needed.    This was accomplished in about 2 ½ years at Maryland Permanent and The Washington Savings Bank.  I cannot say I accomplished my goal at the other three places -- Millennium I left because the commute from Randallstown to Reston was too much for me, EagleBank I left because I was recruited by TWSB, and MainStreet Lender blindsided me with a RIF [I could argue that shows I had accomplished my goal there too, I guess].    When I started on 06.04.2009, I had no idea that I would be in the same position ten years later; the only place I stayed at longer was C&F!  I’ve actually turned down two offers to go elsewhere, so I’ve pretty much hitched my wagon to this particular star….


 The only one of my past employers still in business is EagleBank.  Everyone else has disappeared due to mergers and acquisitions.  25 years of my work history faded into the mists of memory only.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, May 30, 2019

ah Clippy!

Today is the 4th day of the 22nd week, the 29th day of the 5th month, the 149th day of 2019, and: 
  • Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh –  the anniversary of the death in exile of Bahá’u’lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith, in 1892 on 13 Azamat according to the Baha’i calendar at 3 AM, outside Akko (also known as Akka or Acre), in what is now northern Israel.
  • End of the Middle Ages Day – while it seems rather odd to pinpoint a specific day for the end of an era, historians tend to agree the Middle Ages ended with the fall of the eastern Roman Empire, specificity the fall of Constantinople on this day in 1453 as the Ottoman invaders under Sultan Mehmed II succeeded against the Byzantine defenders under Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos after a siege of 53 days.
  • International Coq Au Vin Day
  • International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers
  • Learn About Composting Day
  • National Biscuit Day – it always fascinates me that what the British call a biscuit [which we call a cookie] and what the Americans call a biscuit [small, fluffy quick breads, leavened with baking powder or buttermilk and served with butter and jam or gravy, rather like what the British would call a scone] are such different things
  • National Senior Health & Fitness Day – another day preaching about the benefits of exercise
  • Paper Clip Day – for those of us who used WORD in the early days, do you miss Clippy
  • Put a Pillow on Your Fridge Day – from what I can find, this stems from the belief that if one put something from the bedroom [such as a nightgown or a blanket in your larder once a year, it would guarantee food and fertility.   There is no time limit apparently on how long you have to keep the item with the food stuffs, although I assume it is for the day because you would need the item to go to bed,  nor can I find any explanation of why it should be done on this day as opposed to any other day.   You can get a special pillow case for the day and post a picture of your pillow on top of your refrigerator on the dedicated Facebook page if you are so inclined.   
  • World Digestive Health Day
  • World Otter Day
Ah, Clippy!   I also remember the annoying little puppy and the kitty --  the paper clip was just one option  – you could disable the blasted things but they would pop back up every time you used HELP and then you had to disable them again.  Got me to thinking of those days.  I have a picture of me 25 years ago in my first management position, sitting at my desk, boom box to play cassettes, typewriter featured prominently, and not a computer screen in sight,  We only had one computer in the office to meet our needs and later my little department was one of the first to get a computer at every workstation so we could keep up with the volume of work that had to be done on the Loan Accounting System to maintain the loan portfolio.    I was the only one in the office with a dial-up internet connection, and I can remember using Jeeves to ask “how do I know what I don’t know” because a long time employee was leaving and I didn’t know how to translate or capture her extensive knowledge of the customers and the organization.    We had to share a fax machine with another department and we saved all those sheets of thermal paper in the loan files – I imagine they are illegible now!   The Ceo had an executive secretary and she was trying to get used to this new word processor instead of a typewriter, and she would print out his emails for him to read every morning.  Someone in Operations would file the checks that were processed every day by account number, and stuffing the cancelled checks into the monthly checking account statements took a lot of manpower.  And there were still keypunch operators and printouts from the computer came out on wide paper with green stipes and holes on both sides to pull the paper along as it printed.  Back then you could get by with a little five letter password too.   And when you left the office, no one could get ahold of you unless they called your home phone and then they might have to leave a message on the answering machine.
I used to switch my office assistants around depending on my mood – F1 was my favorite but I often used the Genius too, at least I did when I didn't turn it off completely. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 29, 2019

knowing what you don't know...

Today is the 3rd day of the 22nd week, the 28th day of the 5th month, the 148th day of 2019 [with only 210 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Amnesty International Day [AKA Human Rights Day] -- Amnesty International was founded in London in 1961, following the publication of the article "The Forgotten Prisoners" in The Observer 28 May 1961, by the lawyer Peter Benenson.
  • International [and National] Hamburger Day –  I’m not sure Wimpy would be happy this day is on a Tuesday given that he is always promising to pay up on that day, unless of course, he means NEXT Tuesday!
  • Menstrual Hygiene Day -- initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2014 and aims to benefit women and girls worldwide.  Just getting folks to discuss menstruation out in the open would be a major step, I can’t think of any other bodily function that is wrapped in such taboos – and that includes feces!
  • National Brisket Day – brisket is one of the nine primal cuts of beef and comes from the breast or lower chest of a cow or steer, although the same cut of meat from a lamb is also called a [veal.] brisket.   Twitter is buzzing with posts and recipes
  • Sierra Club Day -- Sierra Club was founded on this day in 1892 with 182 charter members.  In its first conservation campaign, Club lead the effort to defeat a proposed reduction in the boundaries of Yosemite National Park.
  • Slugs Return from Capistrano Day – think about it.  Those sparrows are hungry!

585 BC - Solar eclipse, as predicted by Greek philosopher Thales; one of the cardinal dates from which other dates calculated.

1742 - 1st indoor swimming pool opens (Goodman's Fields, London)

1830 - US President Andrew Jackson signs the Indian Removal Act, authorizing the Army to force Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole tribes out of Georgia and surrounding states, setting the stage for the Cherokee Trail of Tears

1889 - Édouard and André Michelin incorporate the Michelin tyre company

1929 - the first all color talking picture "On With the Show" exhibited (NYC)

1936 - Alan Turing submits "On Computable Numbers" for publication, in which he set out the theoretical basis for modern computers.

1937 – Volkswagen, the German automobile manufacturer is founded.

1957 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1959 - Monkeys Able & Baker zoom 300 miles (500 km) into space on Jupiter missile, become 1st animals retrieved from a space mission

1961 - Last trip (Paris to Bucharest) on the Orient Express (after 78 years)

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

1971 - USSR Mars 3 launched, 1st spacecraft to soft land on Mars

1972 - White House "plumbers" first break in at the Democratic National Headquarters at Watergate Complex in Washington D.C.

1990 - Longest wheelie (David Robilliard with 5h12m33s (Channel Islands)

1997 - Linda Finch completes Amelia Earhart attempted around-the-world flight

1998 - Pakistan responds to a series of Indian nuclear tests with five of its own, prompting the United States, Japan, and other nations to impose economic sanctions.

2018 - Coco-Cola launches its first alcoholic drink - Lemon-Do on island of Kyushu, Japan

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 05 mins 19 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."

~ Eric Hoffer, American moral and social philosopher


How many of us know someone who graduated from school, and never picked up a book again?    How many of us know someone who was trained to perform a task, and they still do it exactly the way they were trained years and years later?  And here’s the thing, while somethings we learned are timeless [i.e. values], others have become outdated because the world itself has changed.  That block of knowledge you acquired via schooling has to be grown and supplemented if it is not to become outmoded




Continuous Learning “ is not just a management catch-phrase – I first ran into the phrase in the 90’s as I dove into the knowledge management community -- it is a way of life

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Memorial Day 2019

Today is the 6th day of the 21st week, the24th day of the 5th month, the 144th day of 2019, and: 
  • Asparagus Day
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician Day
  • Brother's Day
  • Declaration of The Bab
  • Don't Fry Day
  • International Tiara Day
  • Morse Code Day
  • National Cooler Day
  • National Death Busters Day
  • National Escargot Day
  • National Polka Day
  • National Road Trip Day
  • National Title Track Day
  • National Wig Out Day
  • Scavenger Hunt Day
  • World Schizophrenia Awareness Day
Quote of the day:
The greatest of all human delusions is that there is a tangible goal, and not just direction towards an ideal aim. The idea that a goal can be attained perpetually frustrates human beings, who are disappointed at never getting there, never being able to stop.”
~ Stephen Spender, World Within World

Are you happy?

Now the follow-up question gets interesting:   If you said YES, then what makes you happy?  If you said NO, then what would make you happy? 

We make lists of things that will make us happy .  A soul mate.  The winning lottery ticket number.  Kids.  A better job.  Good health.  Or is the real issue that no one person, no one thing, can MAKE you happy?  What if  “happiness” is not a destination but it is the journey that is the point?   In the USA, Thomas Jefferson wrote that the pursuit of happiness was an inalienable right – and in the midst of all the sales and the official start of summer, it is good to remember the price that has been paid so that we can continue that pursuit


Take a moment this weekend and remember.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, May 24, 2019


Today is the 6th day of the 7th week, the 17th day of the 5th month, the 137th day of 2019, and:  
  • Endangered Species Day
  • International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia
  • International Defense Transportation Day
  • International Virtual Assistants Day
  • NASCAR Day
  • National Bike to Work Day
  • National Cherry Cobbler Day
  • National Defense Transportation Day
  • National Mushroom Hunting Day
  • National Pack Rat Day
  • National Pizza Party Day
  • National Walnut Day
  • O Henry Pun-off Day
  • Same Sex Marriage Day
  • Syttende Mai – the Norwegian Constitution Day
  • World Neufibromatosis Awareness Day
  • World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
  • World Hypertension Day
Shutterfly has sent me an email to remind me that 15 years ago today, I was at WDW – traveled down with my daughter who was attending a show for work;  I would spend the day in the park and she would meet me when she got off.  We did so many things that we never had done, ate in places we had never ate before,  had a different park experience than we did when Frank was with us
It is Friday.
It is payday.
‘nuff said!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, May 17, 2019

where did they go?

Today is the 5th day of the 20th week, the 16th day of the 5th month, the 136th day of 2019, and: 
  • Biographer's Day -- actually commemorates the anniversary of the first meeting of Samuel Johnson and his biographer James Boswell in London, England on this day in 1763.  While Boswell didn’t invent the genre, his biography of the writer was the first “warts and all” life story and he is credited  with re-vitalizing and popularizing the biography. 
  • Brown Bag It Thursday – I very seldom take my lunch, never particularly liked taking my lunch in school, don’t particularly like it now. 
  • Honor Our LGBT Elders' Day – once pursuing an alternate lifestyle was downright dangerous, and many struggled for years to maintain a valid place in society.  These people paved the way for many to feel rainbow pride.
  • Hummus Day
  • International Day of Light – celebrated on the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman.
  • Love a Tree Day
  • National Aperitif Day
  • National Coquilles St Jacques Day – apparently this is a way to cook scallops   As usual, there is no indication how they came to have their own “national day”
  • National Mimosa Day – and every champagne brunch is the better for this cocktail
  • National Notebook Day
  • National Piercing Day
  • National Sea Monkey Day
  • National Wear Purple for Peace Day – I didn’t.
See what historic, notable and important events that happened on the 16th of May:    In the past  I have gone through and cherry-picked the ones I find vaguely interesting while ignoring all the battles and other war information, with the exception of posting nuclear tests from the various countries. 

Quote of the day:
"Fear thrives in the absence of mutual understanding and diversity, and it is a poisonous weapon. But there is an antidote: compassion. Compassion combats fear."
~  Gyalwang Drukpa, “How to Combat Fear

The wide chasm in our society seems to be getting broader and deeper.  Those who have [AKA the 1%] and those who have not [everyone else].  The alt-right and Fox News VS the rest of the world.  Those who proclaim “right to life” and those who demand “reproductive freedom”.  Those who think diversity enhances our lives and those who only see the edifice of their lives crumbling as by an assault.  Increasingly, we have lost a middle ground, a common meeting place.  Just try to discuss vaccination, climate change, or foreign interference in our elections – you won’t have a reasonable conversation, you will end up with everyone spouting sound bytes at each other and not listening to a word because disagreement with convictions now equals error.  No understanding is reached.  This is the legacy of  the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine back in 1987 – we now only hear what we want to hear.  Understanding the other point of view is no longer required. 


So, where did the wheeler/dealers, the bridge builders, the art of the compromise, go?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, May 16, 2019

saving babies.....

My views on abortion are based on my own personal feelings, and solidified on July 14th, 1973 when I first held my son in my arms.  At that moment, I knew that no matter how the seed was planted in my womb, I personally would not be able to seek to have a fetus aborted.  When does the soul arrive in that little body?  I had to agree with the teaching of the Church it happened at the time of conception.  As I grew older, I was no longer able to take the pill, and other forms of contraceptives were not effective -- I miscarried three times, each time before I really knew I was pregnant, and part of me still grieves for the lost ones.  I chose to have my tubes tied at 35 years old to keep it from ever happening again,.   

But even as I realize that about myself, I also know I have neither the wisdom nor the moral fiber to make that choice for all women.  I have not faced a life of hardship and want because the father of the child flits off.  I have not faced the despair of knowing the baby will be deformed, handicapped, or retarded.  I have not been raped, either by a stranger or by family.  I did not face the economic necessity of holding down a full-time job while trying to raise a child that I cannot afford to care for. 

So now we have lawmakers who feel that they have the right to declare abortions illegal, with promises to prosecute a woman who even miscarries for murder, and severe penalties for doctors who provide the operation.  By what right do they make that decision for others?  

Do they offer sex education and contraceptives to teens? 

Do they offer help and pre-natal to the mothers-to-be? 

Do they offer comfort and therapy to women who are victimized by rape or incest? 

Do they agree to hold the father legally, financially and morally responsible for spreading their seed? 

Do they provide daycare and sustenance to the poor to raise the child?   

None of the above.    Maybe I would believe they were “pro-life” if they did these things….

Like the Pharisees of old, they sit in their chambers and pass judgement and then go home,  patting themselves on the back for their self-righteous actions.   Personally?  While the whole concept of “abortion on demand” tightens my jaw, I think they have neither the wisdom nor moral fiber to make those choices either.    



After all, 100% of pregnancies [both wanted and unwanted] are caused by ejaculations – and men certainly have control over that!  So why aren’t they making laws about keeping it in their pants? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 15, 2019

the story you tell yourself

Today is the 4th day of the 19th week, the 8th day of the 4th month, the 128th day of 2019 [with only 230 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Bike to School Day
  • Donate a Day's Wages to Charity Day
  • Free Trade Day
  • Great American Grump Out
  • Iris Day
  • National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
  • national Coconut Cream Pie Day
  • National Day to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy
  • National Give Someone a Cupcake Day
  • National (Deaf) Interpreter Day
  • National Receptionists' Day
  • National Root Canal Appreciation Day
  • National School Nurse Day
  • National Student Nurses Day
  • National Third Shift Workers Day
  • No Socks Day
  • Occupational Safety and Health Professionals Day
  • Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War
  • Victory in Europe Day
  • World Ovarian Cancer Day
  • World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
Quote of the day:
"Don’t feel disturbed by the thinking mind. You are not practicing to prevent thinking, but rather to recognize and acknowledge thinking whenever it arises.”
~  Sayadaw U Tejaniya, “Observing Minds Want to Know

I talk to myself – always have.  Sometimes, especially when I am alone [and even more particularly when I am in the car], I talk out loud.  And whether I am addressing my remarks to a specific individual or group, to myself, or just to the ether, I have noticed that I tend to grumble.   Oh it isn’t anything that has a lot of heat to it, just a litany of little complaints:   I don’t like the way I look in an outfit, or my hair isn’t  right, or I feel stiff.  Why is it gray for yet another day?  Look buddy, you stay in your lane and I’ll stay in mine.  MOVE!  For crying out loud, do I have to spell it out for you in words of one syllable.  There is just too much of him to squeeze into those pants.   SRSLY?   What were they thinking when they put that there?  You don’t have to talk so loud, I’m not deaf.  Speak up, I can’t hear you when you mumble.  Why is it so cold in here?  Did they turn up the thermostat – I’m burning up!   Why does everything cost so much?!  You won’t believe what they want me to do now!  Blast it all, why does that cat walk onto the carpet to throw up? If I wrote that program, it would end like this.  How come everything that is “good for you” tastes so lousy while all the stuff that is bad for you tastes so good?  Is it time to go home yet?  They are taking  me for granted.  I’m tired. 

Etc etc and so forth….

It is a gentle stream that washes by almost without noticing because there isn’t any real heat or emotional investment into these words spoken unheard by anyone but yourself – well and your pet if you have one -- until you stop and listen to yourself.  Then you realize the negativity you are spouting and spreading and wonder what that is doing to your spirit, and you realize it makes you more prone to whining when you are actually talking to another person.   When I feel my spirit turning a delicate shade of mauve that is prone to darkening, one of the things I check is my self-talk and the little everyday gripes that I make.  Today being a day specifically designed to remind folks not to be like Oscar the Grouch, it is helpful to remember that words have power to impact your wellbeing


What are you talking to yourself about?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 8, 2019

my side of the story VS yours

Today is the 3rd day of the 19th week, the 7th day of the 5th month, the 127th day of 2019, and: 
  • Beaufort Scale Day -- a scale for measuring wind speeds, based on observation rather than actual accurate measurement and it is the most widely used system to measure wind speed today. It was developed in 1805 by Francis Beaufort, an officer of the Royal Navy and first officially used by HMS Beagle.
  • Childhood Depression Awareness Day
  • Cystinosis Awareness Day
  • Design Packaging Day
  • Foster Care Day
  • National Barrier Awareness Day
  • National Concert Day
  • National Cosmopolitan Day – celebrating a cocktail [AKA a cosmo] made with vodka, triple sec [a strong, sweet and colorless orange-flavored liqueur], cranberry juice, and freshly squeezed or sweetened lime juice.
  • National Roast Leg of Lamb Day
  • National Teacher Day
  • National Tourism Day
  • Paste Up Day
  • Poem on Your Pillow Day
  • World Asthma Day
Quote of the day:
"I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions."
~ Stephen Covey (1932 - 2012), American educator, author, businessman, and keynote speaker

Had a friend tell me this past week that they had an opportunity to sit down and chat with my first ex [my son’s father], and in the course of the conversation, he explained to them how he had to leave his first wife [which was me].  Now my recollection is that I was the one who left him, but the change in story didn’t surprise me.  Why not?  Well right off the bat, I can tell you  it all happened 46+ ago, and to be quite honest, after all that time I only hold rather vague memories of the actual sequence of events, and I’ll bet his memory is equally blurred.   But more important than time and emotions is that I have learned through the years perception and self-image often overwrites dry fact.  It is hard to get at the objective “truth” because one’s perceptions of what happened, one’s opinions of the other party, and one’s concept of oneself keep getting in the way.   There is a huge temptation to look at what happened and say to yourself “but that isn’t at all like me” and to start unconsciously editing in your mind, structuring your narrative to fit what you know you meant.  Neither my first husband or my second hesitated at all to make me out to be a very toxic person and to loudly express that opinion to anyone, including my kids.

No I wasn’t surprised his narrative differed from mine.  What surprised me was the ripple of anger I felt at that difference  I thought I had let go completely of those two relationships and just plain didn’t care anymore what either of them thought!  The fact that I reacted at all to his statement, and that I had to bite my tongue to keep from inquiring what exactly he told my friend means to me that somehow, I have not truly achieved indifference even though I thought I had.  It is because he is my ex?  Or is it because I have allowed my identity to only be clear to me by other’s reactions to me?  Now that is an interesting question – who are we?  Am I the person I see in the mirror, the person who’s faults and foibles I know all to well to the point where sometimes I have to remind myself of my virtues?  Or am I the person that others see, shaped by their perceptions?  Should those two points of view be similar?   I know from personal experience that the weight of others’ expectations and perceptions can warp one’s behavior – when it happens, does that change who I am really?  Then again? 


But my avatar is me as well, so I guess I need to keep pondering on my identity

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 7, 2019

yeah about that choice thing....

Today is the 3rd day of the 17th week, the 23rd day of the 4th month, the 113th day of 2019, and: 
  • English Language Day
  • English Muffin Day
  • German Beer Day
  • Impossible Astronaut Day
  • International Nose Picking Day
  • International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day
  • Lover's Day
  • Movie Theater Day
  • National Cherry Cheesecake Day
  • National Lost Dog Awareness Day
  • National Picnic Day
  • Saint George's Day
  • School Bus Driver's Day
  • Slay A Dragon Day
  • Spanish Language Day
  • Take a Chance Day
  • Talk Like Shakespeare Day
  • World Book and Copyright Day
  • World Book Night
  • World Laboratory Day
Quote of the day
"When you are eighty years old, and in a quiet moment of reflection narrating for only yourself the most personal version of your life story, the telling that will be most compact and meaningful will be the series of choices you have made. In the end, we are our choices."
~ Jeff Bezos (B - 1964), Founder and CEO of Amazon

Ol’ Jeff there has made some very public choices lately which have impacted his family and his business.  I can sympathize.  The problem is?  You never know when you make a small decision that will have a very large and disparate impact.  While there always is a boom – always – just how big that explosion will be and when it will hit is often a guess, and sometimes a not very well educated guess at that [AKA a WAG].   There is a bewildering number of probabilities and you can change the outcome of your entire story with just one small act or failure to act.  And some choices are simply irrevocable – once you have started down a path you have no way to turn back and sometimes those choices are not clearly marked. 

Choices in the past have brought me to where I am in the present.  As I have grown older, I find that I am asking myself about the many choices I make that impact my ability to physically live almost every day.  Examples?  Do I listen to the doctor and take medication that I am not sure about or do I argue with them?  Do I eat what I want and enjoy or do I adhere to a regime that may help me live longer?  Do I save my money for a rainy day or do I spend it to do things now while I still can?  Do I extend my lease for another year or plan on moving?  Do I spend a substantial amount to fix up the old car or use that money as a down payment on a new set of wheels?  Do I take a cane with me when traveling just in case?  And that doesn’t even start to address the far more intricate and tricky question of relationships!  My belief or lack thereof in the Almighty and an afterlife.  My closeness to various members of my family and how that is expressed.  My interactions with those who have permitted me to be in their lives as friends.   All of these things impact my wellbeing. 



One of the greatest compliments I have ever gotten was from my Aunt Blanche [my father’s younger sister].  She  once told me that she thought many things I did were downright dumb, but she gave me credit for always being willing to sleep in the bed that I had made.  It isn’t always easy to do that without blaming other people, society, and/or the universe for your circumstances. -- certainly I haven’t seen in my past choices any options that would’ve resulted in me being independently wealthy!  But then again?  Maybe that was a choice I made before I was born
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Holy week

Today is the 6th day of the 16th week, the 19th day of the 4th month, the 109th day of 2019, and: 
  • Bicycle Day
  • Full moon -- the "Pink Moon" AKA the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon and the Fish Moon.
  • Good Friday
  • Humorous Day
  • John Parker Day
  • National Amaretto Day
  • National Garlic Day
  • National Hanging Out Day
  • National Poker Day
  • Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day
  • Passover (Sundown)
  • World Marbles Day
I miss the days when I had off for Good Friday and sometimes for Easter Monday.    While 97 countries regard Good Friday as a public holiday, the US does not, but it used to.  I keep trying to find out the exact date when the US stopped considering it a federal holiday – it was sometime back in the late 80’s, yet another think I blame Reagan for implementing.  For a time afterwards, Maryland still considered it a holiday, but that changed in the mid-90’s under Bush.  Today 12 states recognize Good Friday as holiday:  Connecticut, Texas, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Tennessee, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, North Carolina and North Dakota.  But, the banks are open.  You see, if the Federal Reserve is open, then financial institutions are required to be open as despite what the states do.  
It is my recollection, but I failed to find any substantiation for this online,  the reasoning behind taking the federal holiday away was that it was just a religious holiday for one religion and having it as a holiday threatened the division between church and state.  Now when you come right down to it, it really isn’t very fair to make the crucifixion of Christ a holiday when we don’t celebrate Diwali or Ramadhan or Yom Kippur or the assignation of Baha’u’llah or any other exclusively religious observance, so that rationale made some sense at least.   The perception of some folks that the observances are  “papist” rather than “Christian” is something I find a bit more difficult to swallow.  We had a discussion in the office about getting off for religious holidays and decided that Christmas, which is also basically a Christian holiday, is actually a Yuletide celebration which has become quite the secular event and therefore keeping it as a federal holiday is understandable and justifiable.  It can be argued that Easter has also been secularized, but because it is always celebrated on a Sunday, for most of us the question of making that a holiday is moot. 
Be that as it may, I guess it says something about my belief system that at 3 PM I always fall silent for a bit, and it is the one day of the year that stormy weather seems entirely appropriate to me. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, April 19, 2019


Today is the 5th day of the 16th week, the 18th day of the 4th month, the 108th day of 2019 [with only 250 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Adult Autism Awareness Day
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • International Amateur Radio Day
  • International Day for Monuments and Sites
  • International Pizza Cake Day
  • Maundy Thursday
  • National Animal Crackers Day
  • National Ask An Atheist Day
  • National Columnists' Day
  • National D.A.R.E Day
  • National High Five Day
  • National Lineman Appreciation Day
  • National Velociraptor Awareness Day
  • Newspaper columnists' Day
  • Pet Owners Independence Day
  • Pinata Day
  • Poem In Your Pocket Day
  • Support Teen Literature Day

Quote of the day:

When you enter an art gallery or an antique shop, you see what you hope will surprise and delight you, but a bookstore does not show what it is selling…It is from the collective impression, from the sight of many books wedged together on many shelves, that the mysterious good feel comes. Is there something that leaks out of the closed books, some subliminal message about culture and aspiration?”

-- Janet Malcom, “Three Sisters”


I have to admit that if given a choice between visiting an art gallery, an antique shop, or a bookstore, as much as I enjoy reading, I would probably gravitate to the antique store first.  I love meandering about in such places.  I also love flea markets, consignment shops, and craft shows – there is something about what someone has made or saved or is getting rid of that just fascinates me.  That said?  Most of my rummaging in such venues has to do with two things – boxes and books.  I love to collect the little boxes that people have made to store things in – not necessarily jewelry, but including them if the box is different.  Years ago hereabouts, every girl graduating high school was given a small cedar box from Lane Furniture to encourage them to buy a full sized hope chest and I have several of those boxes from different decades.   Anything with pigs on it is of immediate interest and I have an extensive collection of stuffed pigs.  Anything Disney is automatically of interest.  Anything about space, science fiction, or fantasy has my attention.  A row of old books is guaranteed to get my attention and I go through them carefully to see what they are and when they were published, not so much because I’m looking for a rare first edition, but because when they are published changes the information that is presented.  For example, I have a world history textbook that was published in 1937.  The last chapter dealing with current affairs is very complimentary to Hitler of all people, stating that he has provided Germans with prosperity and a sense of identity that would serve them well in the coming years.  It is one of the reasons I am very leery of revisionist history as it drove home the fact that what we know of the past is only what has survived in writing – what if some future historian uncovered this book and didn’t have others to refer to?  How would that impact their portrayal of Hitler’s rise?


But bookstores know my name and have my number.  I can pass up the bookstores in the mall with their similarities and standard layouts and issues.  A free standing Borders or Barnes & Noble is a different matter, and a small used book store with its piles of books and clutter is really a magnet.   One can indeed feel the pull of all those stories and narratives, and almost hear the rustling of the pages ….  Of course, there are two significant downsides to wandering into such establishments:  first of all, it takes money to indulge in real shopping; second of all,I have quite enough stuff thank you very much.  While I agree with the sentiment that one can never have too many books, the reality is that one runs out of room for both books and tchotchkes




Yes I am fully aware that my clutter of stuff makes me very close to being a pack rat is akin to be a hoarder AND contributes to my reluctance to move into a smaller place. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, April 18, 2019

my home

Today is the 4th day of the 16th week, the 17th day of the 4th month, the 107th day of 2019, and: 
  • Bat Appreciation Day
  • Blah, Blah, Blah Day
  • Ellis Island Family History Day
  • Herbalist Day
  • Holy Wednesday
  • International Ford Mustang Day
  • International Haiku Poetry Day
  • Malbec World Day
  • National Bookmobile Day
  • National Cheeseball Day
  • National Kickball Day
  • Nothing Like a Dame Day
  • School Librarian's Day
  • World Hemophilia Day
I have lived a rented home for most of my life.  My parents sold their home when I was about two, moved first into an apartment and then into a row house where I grew up.   Oak Grove was a great place back then  – the owners and the maintenance staff lived right there too and they really took care of the place.  When they all retired and sold the place, things went downhill fast.   Although I owned a home with my ex for ten years, I have been renting now for the past 34 years.  I am one of those “long-term” residents – once I settle down and make an apartment my home, I am not very quick to leave.  The apartments in Randallstown were also owner managed, but when they started going through different management companies, they went downhill and I finally moved after 22 years.  Because all of my workplaces for the past decade had been around the DC area, I moved to another owner-managed apartment, and have lived at The Enclave for the past 12+ years.  This complex starting to struggle with different management companies as well, and it appears we are starting to have an issue with the clientele that are coming in as new residents.

What are the symptoms of change for the worst?   It honestly isn’t about race or ethnicity or vouchers – it is about the way folks act.   The situation in my building is a good example.  We have a trash chute next to the elevators on every floor.   All you have to do is open the door to the little alcove, open the chute door and throw your garbage down the chute.  Recyclables such as boxes are to be broken down and taken either to the first floor, where you can go outside and put them in a dumpster for that purpose or drop them in a bin in the garage on your way to the car.   For ten years, this system worked very well.  

The ownership of the building changed hands 04.01.2018 and a new management company was brought in.  All existing contracts were nullified by the sale, and the new owner did not go with the established folks for security, maintenance, housekeeping, elevator upkeep, or pest control.  The results were not good and for six months problems proliferated.  In older buildings, you have to stay on top of things or issues get ahead of you.  Things are working better now, but a lot of the long-term residents left during this period, plus the contract to provide housing for the military was not renewed.  As a result, there was an influx of new people – and I have issues with them: 
  1. trash and recyclables are just being dumped in front of the chute to the point that at times you cannot get the door open, and when that happens, garbage and trash are just left in the hallway
  2. kids are being allowed to run and play in the hallways, sometimes roller skating, riding scooters and bikes
  3. the building has been no smoking for years, but now the odor of smoke wafts in as folks stand on their balconies
  4. the noise level – bone rattling base and screaming fights – has increased as has police visits as adjoining apartments call 911
In short, some of the new residents are simply not acting like good neighbors and it impacts the way that all of the new people are viewed.   The older and long-term residents continue to move out;  I’ve renewed for another year, but I’m starting to look about for alternatives   


And then?  You have to unpack!!!

I hate moving!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 17, 2019

this and that

Today is the 6th day of the 15th week, the 12th day of the 4th month, the 102nd day of 2019, and: 
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association Day of Action
  • Belmont-Paul Women's Equality Monument Day
  • Big Wind Day
  • Day of Silence
  • Drop Everything and Read Day
  • International Day of Human Space Flight
  • International Day for Street Children
  • National Donate Life (Blue and Green) Day
  • National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day
  • National Licorice Day
  • National Only Child Day
  • National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day
  • National Teach Children to Save Day
  • Poet in a Cupcake Day
  • Russian Cosmonaut Day
  • Walk on Your Wild Side Day
  • Wear A Star Day
  • Yuri's Night
A little of this, a little of that:
What do you do when you wake up in the wee hours?   Happened to me the night before last – I was tired, not obviously worried about anything [the back mind could’ve been processing without my knowing it], light thought flitting through my head, determined to go back to sleep.  I knew what would happen if I got up!  I’d be active for about three hours, then ready to crawl back in bed right around the time the alarm would go off, so I stayed in bed.  I was completely comfortable – not too hot not too cold, no cramps – and totally awake.    At least I think I was, although time did seem to be going pretty quickly so maybe I was fading in and out.
Politics:  no idea why the EU is letting the UK wiffle-waffle so much about Brexit.  And as far as the US President?  My issue with him is that I don’t trust him to respect the processes he doesn’t like – I’ve felt that way ever since his comments about not accepting the outcome of the 2016 election if he lost.  In both countries, the amount of pure poison in the way of hatred and prejudice that is being thrown about is enough to discourage even the most fervent optimist.  There doesn’t seem to be any easy way to claw our way back out of the polarization that has occurred.  Where are the bridge builders?  How do we enable them?  And am I the only one that feels it is way too early to be running a 2020 election campaign?  
Ah spring.  Pollen.  Allergies.  First it is balmy, then it is hot, then it is suddenly cold.  In the county/state where I live, the apartment management cannot turn on the AC until there have been three consecutive nights above 65 F.  I keep the windows open as much as possible and swelter all while sneezing, coughing, sniffling and rubbing my eyes.  Next place I live will definitely have heat/AC controls in the individual unit!
Space, the final frontier:  huge rocket engines landing after being fired off.  A lunar probe crashing into the moon.  Twins proving that humans can function in space without permanent harm.  A picture of a black hole.  And I still haven’t subscribed to CBSAllAccess, although the new Picard show might change my mind about that. And celebrating the first person to make it into space.
Now if you will excuse me, I need to drop everything and read.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, April 12, 2019

another year older....

Today is the 4th day in the 14th week, the 3rd day of the 4th month, the 93rd day of 2019 [with only 265 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • American Circus Day
  • Armenian Appreciation Day
  • Fan Dance Day
  • Find a Rainbow Day
  • Fish Fingers and Custard Day
  • Global Day of the Engineer
  • National Day of Hope
  • National Don't Go to Work Unless It's Fun Day
  • National Film Score Day
  • National Walking Day
  • Paraprofessional Appreciation Day
  • Pony Express Day
  • Tweed Day
  • Weed Out Hate; Sow the Seeds of Greatness Day
  • Whole Grain Sampling Day
  • World Party Day

Quote of the day:
"I always find it more difficult to say the things I mean than the things I don't."
~ W. Somerset Maugham (1874 - 1965), British playwright, novelist and short story writer

Well I managed to survive my natal anniversary, and like the steelworker in the song, I feel “another day older and deeper in debt.”    This was not a landmark birthday, or an age with any special significance, but this particular birthday did bother me and I honestly don’t know why.  Is it the fact that I am still working?   No one in my family was still employed at this age.   Is it because I cannot retire?  Is it the total political mire we seem to be sinking into?  Could be?  I think it is less that I mind being 69, and more that I’m not where I thought I would be at this point in time.  After all, when I was a kid, I always said I would live to be 100, just to see what the world will be like…..


69 down, 31 to go.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The last Tuesday of March

Today is the 3rd day of the 13th week, the 26th day of the 3rd month, the 85th day of 2019, and: 

1484 – William Caxton prints his translation of Aesop's Fables.

1804 - Congress orders removal of Indians east of Mississippi to Louisiana

1812 – A political cartoon in the Boston Gazette coins the term "gerrymander" to describe oddly shaped electoral districts designed to help incumbents win reelection.

1830 – The Book of Mormon is published in Palmyra, New York.

1910 - The United States forbids immigration to criminals, anarchists, paupers and the sick

1954 – Nuclear weapons testing: The Romeo shot of Operation Castle is detonated at Bikini Atoll. Yield: 11 megatons.

1955 - The "Ballad of Davy Crockett" becomes the #1 record in the United States

1958 – The United States Army launches Explorer 3.

1964 - The musical "Funny Girl," starring Barbra Streisand, opened on Broadway, Winter Garden Theater NYC for 1,348 performances.

1970 - 500th nuclear explosion announced by the US since 1945

1976 - Queen Elizabeth II sent out the first royal email, from the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment

1983 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

2005 - "Doctor Who" returns to BBC TV after 16 years with the debut of Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor and Billie Piper as Rose

2018 - US soldier receives world's first penis and scrotum transplant at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland


Quote of the day:

There is a surprisingly large number of people who go around dreaming about an island.”

-- Tove Jansson [Finnish author, novelist, painter, illustrator and comic strip author], “The Island,” the Paris Review


There’s a new holiday for you – Retreat to a Desert Island.   Spend the day answering such questions as:  who would you prefer to be marooned on a desert island with?   What would you take with you if you knew you would be marooned on a desert island? And why is it always a “desert” island in the tropics, anyway?



Personally I would prefer something in a more temperate zone, with a nice savannah and maybe a forested area, and I don’t like the idea of being stranded…. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, March 26, 2019

the last Monday of March

Today is the 2nd day of the 13th week, the 25th day of the 3rd month, the 84th day of 2019 [with only 274 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade -- a reminder instituted in 2007 that over a 400 year period more than 15 million men, women and children were enslaved and transported
  • International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members – a UN holiday that commemorates the anniversary of the abduction of Alec Collett, a former journalist who was working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) when he was kidnapped by armed gunman in 1985
  • International Day of The Unborn Child
  • International Waffle Day
  • Maryland Day -- a legal holiday in Maryland.  In 1634, the first European settlers landed on to St. Clement’s Island [currently an uninhabited Potomac River island lying one-half mile southeast of Colton's Point, St. Mary's County], the third English colony to be settled in British North America
  • National Day of Celebration of Greek and American Democracy
  • National Lobster Newburg Day
  • National Medal of Honor Day
  • Old New Year' Day – as late as 1752, Britain and the American colonies were celebrating the start of the new year on this date
  • Pecan Day
  • Tolkien Reading Day – why today?   Because today is the day the Ring was destroyed and the new age began; launched by the Tolkien Society in 2003.
English is an odd language to learn, I think most folks agree with that.  There are grammar rules that make little sense except to those who grew up with them.  A good example is “I” before “e” except after “c” – except there are a whole bunch of words that break that rule, so many in fact that one has to wonder if it is the exception rather than the rule.  Don’t get me started on when you can use “me” in a sentence or when you have to use “I”, it is almost as confusing, as is the old saw about never ending a sentence with a preposition.  Sentence diagramming is actually a thing as we try to figure out where the adverbial phrases and the future plusperfect tenses belong.   But when I read this quote from Mark Forsythe in The Elements of Eloquence [a writer whose work concerns the meaning and etymology of English words], I came to a full stop:
Adjectives in English absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that word order in the slightest you’ll sound like a maniac.”
Wait, there is an order in which you have to describe something?  Seriously, this is the first time I have heard of this one!  And apparently folks have been chatting about this for some time too! 
  1. Quantity or number.
  2. Quality or opinion.
  3. Size.
  4. Age.
  5. Shape.
  6. Color.
  7. Proper adjective (often nationality, other place of origin, or material).
  8. Purpose or qualifier.
And you absolutely automatically follow this rule all the time.  Except when it is supplanted by the rule of ablaut reduplication  when it is the vowel sounds that determine the order -- I, then A, then O.  Well at least that explains the Big [size] Bad [opinion] Wolf – although I guess you could make an argument that “bad” was not an opinion but the Wolf’s purpose in the story -- and the Wonky Donkey!
To top it all off, some languages have adjectives that change their meaning if you place them before or after the noun.  Others place then in front of the noun, but the order is different.  And still others just change the adjective’s ending.  Then you get into the fact that Romance languages usually indicate gender, and don’t forget the colloquial expressions…
No wonder learning a new language can be so hard!  It’s a miracle with al the different mind maps, we communicate at all!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, March 25, 2019

who are you really?

Today is the 6th day of the 12th week, the 22nd day of the 3rd month, the 81st day of 2019, and: 
  • As Young As You Feel Day
  • International Day of The Seal
  • National Bavarian Crepes Day
  • National Goof-off Day
  • National Sing Out Day
  • Talk Like William Shatner Day – he is 88 today
  • Tuskegee Airmen Day
  • World Day of Metta
  • World Water Day
Quote of the day:
"In spite of the ways in which technology can lure us into delusion, paying close attention to the mental and physical sensations that arise when using social media can be an effective way to avoid becoming either overly attached or defensive regarding one’s virtual self.”
~  Chris Towery, “Social Media Dharma

Fact of the matter is, you do get all wrapped up in your 2nd life and it can seem very real to you. 

First of all, time warps.  Things are intensified and seem to work at an accelerated pace online, especially when in world – we used to say as a rule of thumb that three months chronological time was equivalent to a year in world time so to have a presence somewhere for a decade makes one an elder, and to maintain a relationship for that long is almost astounding.  I’ve often speculated as to why that is and have yet to come up with any reasonable or logical answer.

Second of all, thinking and emotions seem somehow raw and unfiltered.   You can see that in social media where folks say things that I very much doubt they would dream of uttering if they were standing in front of you.   While many pundits point to the anonymity of the internet, I think it has more to do with not being tied to the roles you fill in real life.  In real life, you are always filling a role – daughter/son, sibling, student, parent, spouse, worker, church member – and there are always expectations that are attached to each role that we are programmed culturally to meet.   But when we are online?  Those roles don’t matter anymore – it is just ourselves, raw and unfiltered.  Sometimes that lack of a social filter results in ugliness we hide inside spewing out. 


Sometimes it takes some time to accept what you hear yourself saying and decide if that is who you want to be…..
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, March 22, 2019

Ostara 2019

Today is the 4th day of the 12th week, the 20th day of the 3rd month, the 79th day of 2019, and:  
  • Alien Abduction Day (Started in 2008 at Toronto Alien Festival)
  • Atheist Pride Day
  • Bed-in For Peace Day (Beatles - John and Yoko)
  • Bibliomania Day
  • French Language Day
  • Great American Meatout Day
  • International Astrology Day
  • International Day of Happiness
  • International Day of Nowruz
  • International Earth Day
  • Kick Butts Day
  • National Bock Beer Day
  • National Jump Out! Day
  • National Kiss Your Fiancée Day
  • National Native HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • National Ravioli Day
  • Ostara
  • Proposal Day
  • Snowman Burning Day
  • Ta'Anit Esther
  • The First Day of Spring
  • Won't You Be My Neighbor Day
  • World Day of Theater for Children and Young People
  • World Sparrow Day
  • World Storytelling Day
Quote of the day:

"Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come."
~ Robert H. Schuller, American Christian televangelist, pastor, motivational speaker, and author

Today, at 5:58 PM EDT hereabouts, the vernal equinox will occur.  It is also the last supermoon of 2019, not that we will be able to gaze upon the Full Worm Moon as the clouds are rapidly thickening during the day.  It is a mite chilly and damp outside, so I don’t think I’ll be dancing barefoot in any glades or tiptoeing through any tulips.


Still, spring is always a time when things start growing again and we can shed our winter wrappings.  Not my favorite season, but I seem to be in a minority. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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


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

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