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Carol H Tucker

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

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

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snappy comeback needed

Today is the 3rd day of the 45th week, the 9th day of the 11th month, the 313th day of 2021, and:
  •  Carl Sagan Day
  • Go to an Art Museum Today Day
  • Independence Day – Cambodia from France in 1953
  • Kristallnacht
  • National Chaos Never Dies Day
  • National Microtia Awareness Day
  • National Scrapple Day
  • National Young Readers Day
  • World Freedom Day
Over the past six daily strips, the Least I Could Do comic is discussing baby boomers.  Rayne Summers, filthy rich and always over the top, has decided that old people should not vote.  Why?  Because old people don’t care about the future and are without compassion for the struggles of others, having lived their lives.  Today’s post:

By virtue of my birthdate, I am classified as a baby boomer, and the whole “OK Boomer” thing has left me seething.  We’re categorized as spoiled, ignorant, gullible, and selfish.  We’re blamed for all of society’s current ills, from climate change to income inequity to nationalism and populism.  It is our fault that the middle class has been eradicated, our fault that corporations only reward shareholders while taking advantage of employees, our fault that the environment is polluted, and it is our fault that partisan politics has become so ugly.  We are categorized as anti-immigrant, anti-tech [despite the fact that 78% of us are online and all the advances we fueled], and anti-progress.  Supposedly we ignore the well-being of our children and grandchildren to selfishly hold onto power and money, refusing to help anyone else and burdening the future with huge, unpayable debt as we demand to be taken care of in our old age.  And at the same time, we are considered the sandwich generation as we try to take care of aged parents while helping out our kids, but somehow that is our fault too.
Nothing  that I say seems to counter this perception and I get smugly told that I just cannot see that I am part of the problem.  So I just snarl at the yahoos and go on doing the best that I can, day by day, trying not to let the fact that some people said COVID was a good thing because it was a boomer remover get to meI seriously wish I had a snappy comeback when I hear “OK Boomer” though.

Permalink | Tuesday, November 9, 2021

the start of the ATM

Today is the 2nd day of the 45th week, the 8th day of the 11th month, the 312th day of 2021, and:
  • Abet and Aid Punsters Day
  • Cook Something Bold Day
  • Fill Our Staplers Day
  • Intersex Day of Solidarity
  • National Ample Time Day
  • National Cappuccino Day
  • National Dunce Day
  • National Harvey Wallbanger Day
  • National Parents as Teachers Day
  • National STEM Day
  • Shakespeare Authorship Mystery Day
  • Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the other Bodiless Powers of Heaven
  • World Orphans Day
  • World Pianist Day
  • World Town Planning Day
  • X-ray Day
Quote of the day:
"We think we know our own life, but what we know is only an edited version, colored by our emotions and narrow vision. How close can we come to the original draft?"
~ Gregg Krech, “Naikan Therapy” 

A Harvey Wallbanger is a mixed drink, but that is not what I think about when I hear about it.

Back in the late 1960’s, cash machines  [ATMs as we call them now] were introduced to the banking world so folks could have access to their money when bank branches were closed.  You see, back in those days, you had to have enough cash on hand and banks were only open during the week and branches closed at 2 PM every day with a brief opening on Friday nights from about 4 PM to 9 PM.  Not every bank nor every branch would be open on Saturday mornings but when they were, they closed at noon.  So getting to your money for unexpected expenditures could be difficult.  In addition, not many trusted direct deposit, so getting money into your account so you could pay bills was also an issue.

But people were reluctant to trust their deposits and withdrawals to a machine, hence banks embarked on a publicity barrage.  One bank I worked for had signs with arrows pointing to the branch stating “Full-sized tellers this way” and arrows pointing to the ATM stating “Tiny tellers this way”.  A bank in Canada called their machines “Johnny Cash” although I don’t know what the Country & Western singer thought about that.  In Maryland, we were introduced to “Harvey Wallbanker”   A very British butler image was painted around the ATMs, with the machine being his waistcoat and ads produced with Harvey offering to be of service to customers.  The last one was replaced after about two years



Did personalizing the machines assist in their adoption?  Who knows, but we never would’ve guessed back then just how ubiquitous the ATM would become
Permalink | Monday, November 8, 2021

babbling about buttons

Today is the 5th day of the 42nd week  the 21st day of the 10th month, the 294th day of 2021 [with only 64 shopping days until Christmas, which isn’t funny at all], and: 
  • Back to the Future Day
  • Celebration of the Mind Day
  • Apple Day ((the fruit not the company}}
  • Babbling Day
  • Check Your Meds Day
  • Conflict Resolution Day
  • Count Your Buttons Day
  • Garbanzo Bean Day
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention Day
  • International Credit Union Day
  • International Day of the Nacho
  • International ShakeOut Day
  • Latina Women’s Equal Pay Day
  • National Ge Smart About Credit Day
  • National Pets for Vets Day
  • National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
  • National Witch Hazel Day
  • Reptile Awareness Day
  • Spirit Day
  • Thank Your Cleaner Day
  • Wear Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Day
I don’t sew as much as I did at one point in my life.  For one thing, I spend most of my free time online these days and seldom watch TV.  You see, much of the sewing, knitting, embroidering, etc that I did was while sitting in front of the TV, especially since I didn’t have control over the remote.  For another thing, my sewing machine broke and I’ve never replaced it.  And lastly, my hands cramp these days if I try and hold the needle too long.
Be that as it may, I still have my sewing box.  And, like anyone who has sewn clothing, in that sewing box is a button box.  A rather LARGE button box.  Full of buttons that I bought because I liked them and would use them someday.  Buttons that I bought from a fabric store because they were unusual.  Buttons that I bought at a flea market.  Buttons that I cut off of garments before trashing them.  Buttons that come with clothing as spares.  Buttons from my grandmothers’ and my mother’s sewing boxes.    Big buttons, old buttons, glittery buttons, leather buttons -- some even have wisps of threads hanging from them….
Nope, never counted them
Permalink | Thursday, October 21, 2021

don't turn back the clock

Today is the 3rd day of the 38th week, the 21st day of the 9th month, the 264th day of 2021 [with only 94 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Escapology Day – in 1912, Houdini first publicly performed his Water Torture Cell escape
  • Get Ready Day – part of National Preparedness Month
  • Independence Day:  Malta from the United Kingdom in 1964, Belize from the United Kingdom in 1981, and Armenia from the Soviet Union in 1991
  • International Day of Peace
  • Miniature Golf Day
  • National Chai Day
  • National Farm Safety Day for Kids
  • National IT Professionals Day
  • National Dance Day
  • National Pecan Cookie Day
  • National Surgical Technologists Day
  • Pause the World Day
  • Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day
  • Sukkot [since sundown yesterday]
  • World Alzheimer’s Day
  • World Gratitude Day
Quote of the day:
"No wise man ever wished to be younger."
~  Jonathan Swift, an Anglo-Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer, poet and Anglican cleric

I made Grandmom Hughes cry one day. 

In the midst of talking about the past,  I asked her if she would go back and do it all over again – and she averred that she would.  Now Grandmom hadn’t had an easy life.  The middle daughter of a Welsh immigrant coal miner, she was orphaned at 14, and had to work in a nylon factory to support herself.  She raised three kids during the Depression, had one son who ran away from home, lied about his age, and joined the Navy during WWII, and had a daughter who had to live with her while her husband fought in the Korean War.  At 50, she decided to become a pediatric nurse at City Hospital and saw much illness and  death there.  And she, without hesitation, said she would do it all over again.  And she was absolutely stunned that at 19 or so, I emphatically said that I would never want to go back.  The bullying, the angst, the family problems – none of that seemed worth repeating to the teen-aged me.  Grandmom couldn’t imagine that I was that cynical and hurt at such a young age, and she wept 

I am a decade older than Grandmom was when we had that chat, and as I look back on my life, I find myself asking myself that question again – and the answer hasn’t changed.  I mean, I didn’t really have a hard life after all is said and done, and there were definitely some high points to offset the bad times.  It isn’t that I feel tragic or forlorn or anything, I just don’t want a repeat or even a do-over



I still don’t want to go back and do it all over again.  I just don’t
Permalink | Tuesday, September 21, 2021

tipping point

Today is the 6th day of the 36th week, the 10th day of the 9th month, the 253rd day of 2021, and: 
  • Blame it on the Large Hadron Collider Day – the collider was first fired up in 2008 and probably has car keys, missing socks, and missed payments all sucked into a black hole
  • Hug Your Boss Day
  • International Creepy Boston Dynamics Robotic Horse Day – in 2012, the prototypes for the Legged Squad Support System was demonstrated
  • International Make-Up Day
  • National 401(k) Day
  • National Hot Dog Day
  • National Swap Ideas Day
  • Sew Be It Day – Elias Howe was granted a patent for the sewing machine in 1845
  • Stand Up to Cancer Day
  • TV Dinner Day
  • World suicide Prevention Day

Quote of the day:

There are unheralded tipping points, a certain number of times that we will unlock the front door of an apartment. At some point you were closer to the last time than you were to the first time, and you didn’t even know it."

~ Colson Whitehead, The Colossus of New York


I know a couple of people who joined me in the “over 70” club this week, and this quote, crystallized the feeling that has been drifting about in my head since my birthday in April.  In this time of fear and uncertainty, with the COVID-19 variants causing death and havoc, with the very foundations of the US democracy being shaken, with the winter just around the corner,  I look out from my balcony at the world, and reflect.  There are definitely fewer days ahead of me than lie behind me, even if I reach my childhood goal of living to be 100 years old.  I look down at me feet and remember reading a story about a very young girl who took huge steps because she believed the number of steps allotted to her was finite – she died in mid-story, leaving her young friend to wish he hadn’t asked her to come over and visit because that used up some of her steps.




The tipping point for me has come and gone, gone long ago
Permalink | Friday, September 10, 2021

I live a 2nd life

Today is the 4th day of the 36th week, the 8th day of the 9th month, the 251st day of 2021 [with 107 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Fast of Gedalya
  • Iguana Awareness Day
  • International Literacy Day
  • National Actors Day
  • National Ampersand Day
  • National Date Nut Bread Day
  • National Pledge of Allegiance Day
  • Native Women’s Equal Pay Day
  • Pardon Day
  • Pediatric Hematology / Oncology Nurses Day
  • Star Trek Day
  • Virgin Mary Day
  • World Orienteering Day
  • World Physical Therapy Day



1504 – Michelangelo's David is unveiled in Piazza della Signoria in Florence

1522 – Magellan–Elcano circumnavigation: Victoria arrives at Seville, technically completing the first circumnavigation.

1565 – St. Augustine, Florida is founded by Spanish admiral and Florida's first governor, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés.

1810 – The Tonquin sets sail from New York Harbor with 33 employees of John Jacob Astor's newly created Pacific Fur Company on board. After a six-month journey around the tip of South America, the ship arrives at the mouth of the Columbia River and Astor's men establish the fur-trading town of Astoria, Oregon.

1858 - Abraham Lincoln supposedly says in a speech "You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time"

1888 – Isaac Peral's submarine is first tested.

1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited.

1894 - Employed by Thomas Edison, William K.L. Dickson films first boxing match at West Orange, New Jersey, an exhibition between world heavyweight champion James J. Corbett and Peter Courtney

1916 – In a bid to prove that women were capable of serving as military dispatch riders, Augusta and Adeline Van Buren arrive in Los Angeles, completing a 60-day, 5,500 mile cross-country trip on motorcycles.

1930 - NYC public schools begin teaching Hebrew

1930 – 3M begins marketing Scotch transparent tape, created by American inventor Richard Gurley Drew

1952 – The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation makes its first televised broadcast on the second escape of the Boyd Gang.

1952 - Ernest Hemingway's novel "The Old Man & the Sea" published

1960 – In Huntsville, Alabama, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA had already activated the facility on July 1).

1962 – Last run of the famous Pines Express over the Somerset and Dorset Railway line (UK) fittingly using the last steam locomotive built by British Railways, BR Standard Class 9F 92220 Evening Star.

1962 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1965 - Small ads in Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter attract 437 young men interested in forming the world’s first manufactured boy band, "The Monkees" - 3 are chosen with Davey Jones already having been cast

1966 – The landmark American science fiction television series Star Trek premieres with its first-aired episode, "The Man Trap" [AKA the Great Salt Monster]

1967 - Surveyor 5 launched; makes soft landing on Moon Sept 10

1973 - "Star Trek - Animated Series" premieres on TV

1979 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1983 - NASA launches RCA-6

1984 - Challenger moves to Vehicle Assembly Building at Kennedy Space Center (Florida) for mating of STS 41G mission

1985 - Shuttle Discovery flies back to Kennedy Space Center via Kelly AFB

1986 - "The Oprah Winfrey Show" is first broadcast nationally

1988 – Yellowstone National Park is closed for the first time due to ongoing fires.

2004 – NASA's unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-lands when its parachute fails to open.

2008 - TV news show "The Rachel Maddow Show" hosted by Rachel Maddow" and based on her radio show premieres on MSNBC

2016 – NASA launches OSIRIS-REx, its first asteroid sample return mission. The probe will visit 101955 Bennu and is expected to return with samples in 2023.

2018 - Archaeologists uncover more than 300 gold coins from late imperial period from theatre in Como, Italy

2021 - NASA Voyager  is 21 hrs 19 mins 47 secs of light-travel time from Earth



Quote of the day:

What other people, real or imaginary, do and think and feel… is an essential guide to our understanding of what we ourselves are and may become."

~  Ursula K. Le Guin, The Language of the Night


That’s what books, games, online worlds,  VR, movies, TV, and fandom do – they all let you live a 2nd life, enriching your own and expanding your horizons

Permalink | Wednesday, September 8, 2021

only in dreams

Today is the 5th day of the 34th week, the 26th day of the 8th month, the 238th day of 2021 [with only 120 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Make Your Own Luck Day
  • Musical Yoga Day
  • National Burger Day
  • National Cherry Popsicle Day
  • National Dog Day
  • National Toilet Paper Day: (Note: This is when it was first sold on a roll by Scott in 1871.  December 8, 1857 was when it was first sold 14 years earlier in the US by Joseph C. Gayetty and is Toilet Paper Appreciation Day.)
  • National WebMistress Day
  • Women's Equality Day - 101 years ago, women were finally allowed to vote
Quote of the day:

"Grief is like a stream running through our life, and it’s important to understand that it doesn’t go away. Our grief lasts a lifetime, but our relationship to it changes. Moving on is the period in which the knot of your grief is untied. It’s the time of renewal."

~  Martha Beck, “Elegy for Everything

I am not sleeping well these days and seldom get up feeling rested.  I am up and down two or three times during the night – potty calls and leg cramps – and sometimes have to lay listening to music or an audible book for what seems like a very long time before dozing back off.  But it’s the dreams that haunt me – the stories that play out, the music, and the number of times my “dearly departed” are coming back to interact with my dream self

My mother shows up now and then – usually I am very conscious of having failed at something and she is pretty judgmental about it, sometimes conveying her disapproval without a single word spoken.  No surprises there, just an ongoing sorrow that I never was able to connect with her on a very human level, and a concern of how my kids and granddaughters will remember me one day.  Frank shows up a lot, we do things together, but then it gets complicated, and I keep trying to explain things to him.  I always come away feeling vaguely guilty as he goes into “cop mode”.  No mystery there either, I have unresolved feelings even after 17 years about his waning days.  Once in a blue moon, my father strolls in and usually exits just as quickly.  Oddly enough, neither of my grandmothers have made an appearance yet, and I was very close to both of them.  Perhaps I don’t have any unconscious regrets about those relationships, or I have completed the grieving for them


I’ve always experienced vivid dreams even though I was never able to practice lucid dreaming.  Most of the people I interact with are unknown to me, but now I have the feeling that my dreams really are trying to tell me something, but what?
Permalink | Thursday, August 26, 2021

dancing with trolls

Today is the 2nd day of the 30th week, the 26th day of the 7th month, the 207th day of 2021.  We are in the middle of summer, and yet there is already a feeling of having turned a corner, hurtling towards the end of the year.  The sun is rising later and already my alarm goes off before actually sunrise, although it is very bright outside.  Sunset is also moving to an earlier time.

Quote of the day:
No longer dividing the world into good and bad, love and hate, we not only have more freedom and ease in daily life; we also gain access to the wisdom of our real nature.”
~ Anne C. Klein, “The Four Immeasurables

On Friday, as an obvious reaction to the change of the Cleveland baseball team’s name, Matt Walsh [columnist for The Daily Wire] made a flat statement on Twitter:  “”Indian” is not an offensive term or a slur and I will continue to use it.”   That one tweet garnered 12.9K likes, 1.2K retweets, and 929 replies – such is the reach of a well-known personality.  Somewhere in the morass of those replies, a bit annoyed by his statement of his opinion as a fact, I tweeted:  “It is not offensive TO YOU.  It may be offensive to others” and thus opened the floodgates.  My reply received 72 likes and 4 re-tweets, but most of the answers to what I had considered an innocuous comment were…  well startlingly hostile, and included some aspersions on everything to my appearance [via my profile picture], my intelligence, and my morals.  One person considered themselves a wit and riposted:  “The name “Carol” is offensive to me.  Please change it.  Thank you.”  That one got 155 likes and 2 retweets to date, and I’ll admit that I was slightly amused when I read it. 

As I declined to poke the trolls and didn’t respond to any of these comments, the active discussion pretty much died down after last night, although random comments are still surfacing.  The entire incident doesn’t fit the description of a flame war, just some piling on.  But there is one response that has me puzzled.  It came from an anonymous person with the unlikely name of Count of Monte Crypto [AKA @ShowMeYourBOOMS] in which they stated:  “It’s mostly offensive to woke white people who need to up their credit score.”  That one gathered 166 likes and 3 retweets to date.  I have been very tempted to ask for clarification because, for the life of me, after over 36 years in banking, I still cannot figure out what being “woke” has to do with one’s credit rating


Two takeaways from the entire incident:
  • People don’t mind if opinions are stated as facts as long as they agree with what is said
  • Next time Twitter offers to help me manage an influx of tweets, I am taking them up on it
Permalink | Monday, July 26, 2021

a whisper in the dark

Today is the 6th day of the 25th week, the 25th day of the 6th month, the 179th day of 2019 [with only 179 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Bourdain Day
  • Color TV Day – in 1951, at 4:35 PM EDT, CBS broadcast Premiere in color
  • Day of the Seafarer
  • Drive Your Corvette to Work DAy
  • Global Beatles Day
  • Global Smurfs Day
  • International Rose’ DAy
  • Leon Day
  • Mitch Lane Day
  • National Catfish Day
  • National Food Truck Day
  • National Police Community Cooperative Day
  • National Strawberry Parfait Day
  • School Prayer Banned Anniversary – SCOTUS Engel v Vitale decided in 1962
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day
  • World Vitiligo Day
Quote of the day:
"We are quicksilver, a fleeting shadow, a distant sound…our home has no boundaries beyond which we cannot pass. We live in music, in a flash of color…we live on the wind and in the sparkle of a star!"
~ Endora (Agnes Moorehead)

Do you believe in ghosts? Spirits?  I’m ambivalent.  If you believe in souls, and an afterlife, then why can’t someone try to reach out beyond the veil to the living?

This morning I was laying warm and comfortable in my bed, drowsily aware of the growing light in the room, thinking that I would just doze back off until the alarm went off, when suddenly an image washed over me that brought my brain to full awakening.  It was of a helpless and hopeless being, tired and despairing, like a dog that had been chained and forgotten, and they had just died. I got up and turned off the alarm, feeling as though the inside of my head had been doused with cold air, and then I began to cry.  Who had died?  Why had I felt them go?  Was it someone nearby who just happened to brush me in passing as they fled this mortal coil?  Was it someone that I had interacted in passing with during their life?  The spirit felt that there was no one who would mourn them or even notice they were gone, did they know that I would cry for them, mourning their death so well as their desolation?

Silly?  Fanciful imagining?  A dream?


And maybe not…. .   
Permalink | Friday, June 25, 2021

May 27, 2021


1679 - Habeaus Corpus Act (strengthening person's right to challenge unlawful arrest & imprisonment) passes in England

1703 – Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.

1873 - Heinrich Schliemann discovers "Priam's Treasure" a cache of gold and other objects in Hisarlik (Troy) in Anatolia

1917 – Pope Benedict XV promulgates the 1917 Code of Canon Law, the first comprehensive codification of Catholic canon law in the legal history of the Catholic Church.

1919 – The NC-4 aircraft arrives in Lisbon after completing the first transatlantic flight.

1927 – The Ford Motor Company ceases manufacture of the Ford Model T and begins to retool plants to make the Ford Model A.

1930 – The 1,046 feet (319 m) Chrysler Building in New York City, the tallest man-made structure at the time, opens to the public.

1933 – The Walt Disney Company releases the cartoon Three Little Pigs, with its hit song "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"

1937 – In California, the Golden Gate Bridge opens to pedestrian traffic, creating a vital link between San Francisco and Marin County, California.

1950 – The Linnanmäki amusement park was opened for the first time in Helsinki

1958 – First flight of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.

1958 - Vanguard SLV-1 launched for Earth orbit (failed)

1960 - Baltimore manager Paul Richards devises oversized catcher's mitt, used by Baltimore Oriole Clint Courtney

1961 - 1st black light is sold

1969 - Walt Disney World construction begins at Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida

1970 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1981 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1984 – The Danube-Black Sea canal is opened, in a ceremony attended by the Ceaușescus. It had been under construction since the 1950s.

1985 - Britain agrees to return Hong Kong to China in 1997

1986 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1986 - Norway Showcase groundbreaking in EPCOT, WDW

1995 - Actor Christopher Reeve is paralyzed from the neck down after falling from his horse in a riding competition in Culpeper, Virginia

2013 - The largest flag ever made at 5 tons with 44 miles of thread is unveiled in Romania

2018 – Maryland Flood Event: A flood occurs throughout the Patapsco Valley causing one death and destroying the entire first floors of buildings on Main Street in Ellicott City and causing cars to overturn.

2020 - America's COVID-19 death toll passes 100,000 (Johns Hopkins figures) equal to number of US servicemen and women killed in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan put together.  Today?  That death toll is 606,179

2021 - NASA Voyager  is 21 hrs 04 mins 36 secs of light-travel time from Earth
Permalink | Thursday, May 27, 2021

just little ol' me

Today is the 5th day of the 21st week, the 27th day of the 5th month, the 147th day in 2021 [with only 211 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Cellophane Tape Day
  • Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day
  • Joe Cool Day
  • National Grape Popsicle Day
  • National Gray Day
  • Nothing to Fear Day
  • Old-Time Player Piano Day – in 1796 James S McLean patents his piano
  • Red Nose Day
  • Sunscreen Protection Day
 Quote of the day:
"There are unheralded tipping points, a certain number of times that we will unlock the front door of an apartment. At some point you were closer to the last time than you were to the first time, and you didn’t even know it. You didn’t know that each time you passed the threshold you were saying good-bye."
~  Colson Whitehead, The Colossus of New York

As the days pass, I have become aware that there are more days behind me than in front of me, and I find myself trying to imagine the world without me.  I guess this is a function of age, or perhaps acknowledgement of accumulating weaknesses as I find myself physically unable to do things that just a few years ago I did routinely.  Back in December 2019, I was stunned to realize that I needed a wheelchair to navigate the theme parks – I had to use it like a walker, and a seat when in line.  The next time that I go, I think I’ll have to use a scooter as there seems to be a limit to the number of steps that I can take.  The enforced inactivity of the past year in isolation has made this worse, despite my attempts to exercise.  Can I reverse this trend?  One part of me is convinced I can do so, the other fatalistically accepts that this is the way it is now.

I’m beginning to look at my granddaughters and realize how old I look to them, and how little I comprehend of how their lives will move forward.  I worry about the world in which they will grow up, I worry about my son and my daughter as they deal with different challenges in their lives, even while I acknowledge that it has been a long time since I was present in their day-to-day lives.  Humbly I realize that when I am gone, there will be little impact.


Of course, even as a young kid I always said I was going to live to be 100.  71 years down and 29 to go!
Permalink | Thursday, May 27, 2021

I have a 2nd life

Today is the 2nd day of the 17th week, the 26th day of the 4th month, the 116th day of 2021, and: 
  • Alien Day
  • Audubon Day
  • Get Organized Day
  • Hug a Friend Day
  • Hug an Australian Day
  • International Chernobyl Disaster Reembrace Cay
  • Lesbian Visibility Day
  • National Dissertation Day
  • National Help a Horse Day
  • National Kids and Pets Day
  • National Pretzel Day
  • National Richter Scale Day
  • National Static Cling Day
  • Pesach Sheni
  • World Intellectual Property Day
The full moon at 11:33 PM EDT AKA the Pink Moon


1514 - Copernicus makes his first observations of Saturn

1564 – Playwright William Shakespeare is baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown)

1803 – Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L'Aigle, France; the event convinces European scientists that meteors exist.

1859 - Dan Sickles is acquitted of murder on grounds of temporary insanity - first time this defense used successfully in the US

1954 - Mass trials of Jonas Salk's anti-polio vaccine begin; the first shot is delivered in Fairfax County, Virginia; more than 443,000 children receive shots over three months

1956 – SS Ideal X, the world's first successful container ship, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey, for Houston, Texas.

1962 – NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.

1962 - US and UK launch Ariel; first international payload

1968 - US underground nuclear test, "Boxcar," 1 megaton device

1970 – The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization enters into force.

1973 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1978 - NASA launches space vehicle S-201

1980 - Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1981 – Dr. Michael R. Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center performs the world's first human open fetal surgery.

1986 – World's worst nuclear disaster: 4th reactor at Chernobyl nuclear power station in USSR explodes, 31 die, radioactive contamination reaches much of Western Europe

1986 - France performs nuclear test

1993 - STS-55 (Columbia) launches into orbit

2019 – Marvel Studios' blockbuster film, Avengers: Endgame, is released, becoming the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing the previous box office record of Avatar

2019 - "No religion" tops survey of American religious identity for the first time at 23.1% edging out Catholics 23.0% and evangelicals 22.5%, in long-running General Social Survey

2021 - NASA Voyager is 21 hrs 03 mins 38 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Online, you can get rid of all the baggage of real life. You have no idea about someone’s background, what school they go to, what their face looks like. All you need to know is that they play games, they’re nice and they’re accepting of you.”
~ Hannah, 20, tells The Guardian about the role games played in helping her to come to terms with her real-world gender identity.

One of the things I would tell newbies back when I was mentoring for Linden Labs on Welcome Island was that living a 2nd life would be liberating, and that was both good and bad news.  In world you had no roles and expectations when you arrived.  In the real world we were daughters/sons, parents, teachers, workers, managers, volunteers, members of a church, part of a race.  In your 2nd life, you were what you wanted to be.   Those who fundamentally had good hearts and those who were trolls would reveal themselves by their actions.  It was all up to you

For the first time in my life, I was not prejudged.  Having been the class caricature for 12 years of public school, I found being beladona very relaxing
Permalink | Monday, April 26, 2021


Today is the 2nd day of the 16th week, the 20th day of the 4th month, the 110th day of 2021 [with only 103 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Chinese Language Day
  • International Cli-Fi DAy
  • Lima Bean Respect Day
  • National Cheddar Fries Day
  • National Look Alike Day
  • National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day
  • National Pot Smokers or National Weed Day
  • Volunteer Recognition day
  • The 1st quarter of the moon at 3 AM

  295 - 8th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet

1303 – The Sapienza University of Rome is instituted by a bull of Pope Boniface VIII.

1534 – Jacques Cartier begins his first voyage to what is today the east coast of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador.

1535 – The sun dog phenomenon is observed over Stockholm, as later depicted in the famous painting Vädersolstavlan.

1611 - First known performance of Shakespeare's tragedyMacbeth at the Globe Theatre, London, recorded by Simon Forman

1736 - French mathematician Pierre Louis Maupertuis begins Lapland expedition to measure latitude and shape of the earth, joined by fellow scientists Anders Celsius, Charles Etienne Louis Camus, Alexis Clairaut, and Pierre-Charles Le Monnier

1818 – The case of Ashford v Thornton ends, with Abraham Thornton allowed to go free rather than face a retrial for murder, after his demand for trial by battle is upheld.

1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the experiment disproving the theory of spontaneous generation, completing the first pasteurization test

1865 – Astronomer Angelo Secchi demonstrates the Secchi disk, which measures water clarity, aboard Pope Pius IX's yacht, the L'Immaculata Concezion.

1879 - the first mobile home (horse drawn) used in a journey from London & Cyprus

1887 - Georges Bouton wins the world’s 1st motor race on a steam-powered quadricycle, a 'test' organized by French newspaperLe Velocipede

1902 – Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.

1926 - the first check sent by radio facsimile transmission across Atlantic

1940 - the firsst electron microscope demonstrated (RCA), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

1946 – The League of Nations officially dissolves, giving most of its power to the United Nations.

1951 - US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak

1967 - US Surveyor 3 lands on Moon

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

1971 - Barbra Streisand records "We've Only Just Begun"

1972 – Apollo program: Apollo 16 lunar module, commanded by John Young and piloted by Charles Duke, lands on the moon.

1979 - President Jimmy Carter is attacked by a swamp rabbit which swam up to his fishing boat in Plains, Georgia

1983 - Soyuz T-8 launched; mission aborted when capsule fails to dock (lands 2 days later)

1986 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1993 - Uranus passes Neptune (once every 171 years)

2018 - Mexican court bars sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

2021 - NASA Voyager is 21 hrs 03 mins 38 secs of light-travel time from Earth


When I was in high school, there was a very popular guy who was so struck by Kahil Gribran that he gave out index cards to some people because he wanted to share the insights.  The card he gave me quoted was from On Talking


     “You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;

     And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.

     And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.”


And I was devastated.  I went home and cried.  Mind you, I was never good with small talk – what I always did was try to elicit responses by babbling about things that interest me and that didn’t work very well.   Ironically?  That is what I do online in social media [including this blog], I post stories and items that interest me and hope to generate a spark of interest in someone else.  Or I have gone to the other extreme and kept asking questions about the other person, which comes off as being nosey rather than involved even with members of my own family.  After 70 years, I still haven’t learned how to communicate




And so, for the most part,  I am alone inside my own head even when I am around others

Permalink | Tuesday, April 20, 2021

who are you?

Today is the 6th day of the 12th week, the 26th day of the 3rd month, the 85th day of 2021 [with only 273 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Independence day:  Bangladesh from Pakistan in 1971
  • Legal Assistants Day
  • Live Long and Prosper Day – Leonard Nimoy’s birthday; he would’ve been 90 today
  • National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
  • National Nougat Day
  • National Spinach Day
  • No Homework Day
  • Purple Day
  • Solitude Day
  • Spinach Festival Day

127 - Greek astronomer and mathematician Ptolemy begins his observations of the heavens (until 141 AD)

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

1552 – Guru Amar Das becomes the Third Sikh guru.

1790 - US Congress passes Naturalization Act, requires 2-year residency

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

1820 - Future Mormon church leader Joseph Smith has his "First Vision" in a wooded area of New York, according to Mormon scholars

1845 - Patent awarded for adhesive medicated plaster, precursor of band-aid

1878 - Sabi Game Reserve opens in South Africa, the world's 1st officially designated game reserve

1885 - the first cremation held in England at Woking

1934 – The United Kingdom driving test is introduced.

1937 - Spinach growers of Crystal City, Texas, erect statue of Popeye

1953 - Dr. Jonas Salk announces that he has successfully tested a vaccine to prevent polio, clinical trials began the next year

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

1955 - "Ballad of Davy Crockett" version recorded by Hill Hayes becomes the #1 record in US

1958 – The United States Army launches Explorer 3.

1967 - Pope Paul VI publishes encyclical Populorum progressio

1969 - Nuclear reactor Dodewaard Neth goes into use

1969 - Soviet weather satellite Meteor 1 launched

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

1987 - NASA launches Fltsatcom-6, it fails to reach orbit

1997 - Thirty-nine bodies found in the Heaven's Gate cult suicides

1999 - A jury in Michigan finds Dr. Jack Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder for administering a lethal injection to a terminally ill man

1999 - The "Melissa worm" infects Microsoft word processing and e-mail systems around the world.

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

2015 - Richard III of England (1452-1485) is reburied at Leicester Cathedral in England, after being discovered under a carpark in Leicester in 2012

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

2019 Stolen Pablo Picasso painting "Buste de Femme" (Dora Maar) (1938) recovered after 20 years by Dutch art detective

2020 - American cases of COVID-19 exceed all other countries on this date, with 81,578 cases and 1,180 deaths (New York Times)

2021 - NASA Voyager  is 21 hrs 04 mins 06 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"What would those around you say is your identity, if they only knew of you through your works?"

~  Bishop Robert Barron, Lenten Gospel Reflections (03/26/2021)


It doesn’t do any good to go to church every Sunday if you spend the other six days of the week judging and hating.  If you want to be seen as a good person, then you have to act like one.  How many phrases do we use highlighting the difference between words and deeds?  Don’t do aa I do, do as I say.  Do you walk the talk?  Put your money where your mouth is.  Actions speak louder than words.  Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying.  We can say anything, we can believe anything, we can intend anything, we can feel anything – but the only thing that counts is what we actually DO, the impact we have on other lives.  A lot of folks wouldn’t recognize themselves if confronted with that reality.



"What would those around you say is your identity, if they only knew of you through your works?"

It's a good question, neh?
Permalink | Friday, March 26, 2021

my shot

Today is the 6th day of the 9th week, the 5th day of the 3rd month, the 64th day of 2021 [with only 294 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Cinco de Marcho - the beginning of the season to train the liver for St. Patrick's Day, a drinking day for those who don't often drink, and want to be prepared
  • Dress in Blue Day
  • Employee Appreciation Day
  • Multiple Personality Day
  • National Absinthe Day
  • National Cheese Doodle Day
  • National Day of Unplugging
  • National Potty Dance Day
  • National Poutine Day
  • National Salesperson Day
  • National Speech and Debate Education Day
  • Reel Film Day
  • Saint Piran’s Day
  • World Day of Prayer
  • World Tennis Day

1496 – King Henry VII of England issues letters patent to John Cabot and his sons, authorising them to explore unknown lands.

1558 - Smoking tobacco introduced into Europe by Spanish physician Francisco Fernandes

1616 – Nicolaus Copernicus's book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres is added to the Index of Forbidden Books 73 years after it was first published.

1807 - the first performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's 4th Symphony in B

1825 – Roberto Cofresí, one of the last successful Caribbean pirates, is defeated in combat and captured by authorities

1836 – Samuel Colt patents the first production-model revolver, the .34-caliber

1853 - Piano company Steinway & Sons founded by Heinrich Steinweg (later Henry Steinway) in New York City

1868 – Mefistofele, an opera by Arrigo Boito, receives its premiere performance at La Scala.

1868 - Stapler patented in England by C H Gould

1872 – George Westinghouse Jr patents triple air brake for trains

1904 - Nikola Tesla describes the process of the ball lightning formation in Electrical World and Engineer

1907 - the first radio broadcast of a musical composition aired

1924 - Computing-Tabulating-Recording Corp becomes IBM

1936 – First flight of K5054, the first prototype Supermarine Spitfire advanced monoplane fighter aircraft in the United Kingdom.

1936 - 8th Academy Awards: "Mutiny on the Bounty", Victor McLaglen & Bette Davis wins

1956 - "King Kong" is first aired on television

1958 - Explorer 2 fails to reach Earth orbit

1960 - The Aquatic Ape Hypothesis originates when Alister Hardy publicly announces his idea that ape-human divergence may have been due to a coastal phase.

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1963 - Beatles record "From Me to You" and "Thank You Girl"

1963 - 20th Golden Globes: "Lawrence of Arabia", Gregory Peck, and Geraldine Page win

1968 - US launches Solar Explorer 2 to study the Sun

1970 - Nuclear non-proliferation treaty goes into effect

1970 - Dubnium atoms are first detected conclusively.

1970 - "Airport" based on the book by Arthur Hailey, directed by George Seaton and starring Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin is released

1978 - "Hello, Dolly!" opens at Lunt-Fontanne Theater NYC for 152 performances

1978 - Landsat 3 launched from Vandenberg AFB, California

1979 - Voyager I's closest approach to Jupiter (172,000 miles)

1994 - Largest milkshake made; 1,955 gallons of chocolate in Nelspruit, South Africa

2006 - Nature documentary "Planet Earth" narrated by David Attenborough premieres on the BBC

2014 - A survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights reports that about 1/3 of women in the European Union have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 15

2019 - Second-ever person "cured" of HIV after stem cell transplant treatment in London, England results published in "Nature"

2021 - NASA Voyager  is 21 hrs 04 mins 50 secs of light-travel time from Earth


After trying for a couple of months to get my vaccine shot, I now have TWO appointments!

One is at the Six Flags mass vaccination site, which is about an hour’s drive away for Wednesday, March 10th, that I made at the beginning of February.  The site is drive-thru and they are using the Pfizer vaccine
The second was offered to me this morning.  It is through Montgomery County and is at the White Oak Recreation Center, only 10 minutes away, and it is Friday, March 12th for the Moderna vaccine.  I went ahead and accepted the appointment after seeing there were dozens of appointments available for that day, thinking it was a good idea just in case there is an issue on Wednesday.  Once I get my shot on Wednesday, I’ll come home and cancel Friday’s appointment.


One way or another, I should be done with both vaccination shots by mid-April!
Permalink | Friday, March 5, 2021

March 3rd 2021

Today is the 4th day of the 9th week, the 3rd day of the 3rd month, the 62nd day of 2021 [with 303 days remaining], and: 
  • 33 Flavors Day - In 1945, Irvine "Irv" Robbins opened Snowbird Ice Cream in Glendale, California.
  • Canadian Bacon Day
  • I Want You to be Happy Day
  • International Ear Care Day
  • National Anthem Day
  • National Cold Cuts Day
  • National Breakfast Day
  • National Moscow Mule Day
  • National Mulled Wine Day
  • National Soup it Forward Day
  • Peach Blossom Day
  • Simplify Your Life Day
  • Stop Bad Service Day
  • Talk in Third Person Day
  • TB-303 Appreciation Day
  • What if Cats and Dogs had Opposable Thumbs Day
  • World Birth Defects Day
  • World Hearing Awareness Day
  • World Maths Day
  • World Wildlife Day
Quote of the day:
"I’d once been like that, so lonely that I craved further loneliness. Even after I’d made a few friends in college, I would still go out of my way to create whatever conditions I needed that might allow me to be alone."
~ Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom

Much has been written about the impact of the pandemic on individuals and how we have come to redefine everyday life.  One year ago, our company went on a hybrid of work from home and work in the office.  No more than two of us would be in the office at the same time, and as Montgomery County started shutting things down, bossman gave us each a letter that stated unequivocally we were all essential personnel that had to have “physical access to loan operating systems” in order to serve our customers, and throughout the year, at least one person has been in the office every single day.  Not me, as at my age, with both diabetes and high blood pressure, I was the most vulnerable.  I haven’t been back since I walked out the door on March 31st.    In fact?  In the past year, I have been exactly five places:  my daughter’s [once we decided on a mutual bubble in the fall], to the vet’s 3X, to the pharmacy 5X for medication, to the eye doc 2X when I broke my glasses, and to get my hair done.  Now I am scheduled to get the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the 10th, which means by my birthday in April, I should be able to be out and about again.

Altho I never thought of myself as an introvert, but after a year of being home alone and only interacting with people on a very limited basis, I find the thought of being around others intimidating and rather stressful.  So many folks refuse to even wear a mask or keep their distance!  I’ll wear one anyway of course –  just in case.  But how will I deal with strangers?  What will I say?  How will I cope with them talking to me, or touching surfaces I touch, with sharing my space and maybe even brushing up against me?  Imagining it makes me wince and flinch.  When will I feel comfortable again going into a store just to shop, or get in a plane to travel?  I’m over 70 now, what if this is my new reality?


Will I choose to remain isolated?
Permalink | Wednesday, March 3, 2021

the second Monday of February 2021

Today is the 2nd day of the 6th week, the 8th day of the 2nd month, the 39th day of 2021, and: 
  • Boy Scout Anniversary Day - The Boy Scouts of America were incorporated by William D. Boyce in 1910
  • Clean Out Your Computer Day
  • International Epilepsy Day
  • Laugh and Get Rich Day
  • National Football Hangover Day
  • National Kite Flying Day
  • National Molasses Bar Day
  • National Poop Day
  • Oatmeal Monday
  • Opera Day
  • Propose Day [the second day of Valentine’s week]

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

1627 - Gunpowder is used in a mining operation instead of mechanical tools in present-day Slovakia, reportedly the first time explosives had been used in mining

1672 - Isaac Newton reads his first optics paper before Royal Society in London

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

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

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

1865 – Delaware refuses to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Slavery was outlawed in the United States, including Delaware, when the Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states on December 6, 1865. Delaware ratified the Thirteenth Amendment on February 12, 1901, which was the ninety-second anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

1879 – Sandford Fleming first proposes adoption of Universal Standard Time at a meeting of the Royal Canadian Institute.

1887 – The Dawes Act authorizes the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments. Those who accepted allotments and lived separately from the tribe were granted United States citizenship.

1898 - John Ames Sherman patents 1st envelope folding & gumming mach (Mass)

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

1922 – United States President Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio set in the White House.

1924 – Capital punishment: The first state execution in the United States by gas chamber takes place in Nevada.

1926 - Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio becomes Walt Disney Studios

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

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

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

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1963 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1965 - The Supremes release "Stop In the Name of Love"

1967 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

1969 - Last edition of Saturday Evening Post

1969 - Meteorite weighing over 1 ton falls in Chihuahua, Mexico

1971 – The NASDAQ stock market index opens for the first time with 50 companies and a starting value of 100.

1974 - 3 US astronauts return to Earth after a 85 days in the US space station, Skylab

1979 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1983 - Prize stallion and Derby winner Shergar kidnapped in Ireland, never to be found causing Lloyd's of London to payout $10.6 million insurance

1984 - Soyuz T-10 launches with crew of 3 to Salyut 7.  For the first time there are eight people in space

1988 - NASA launches DOD-2

1992 - Ulysses spacecraft passes Jupiter

1996 – The U.S. Congress passes the Communications Decency Act, attempt to regulate pornographic material on the Internet. In the 1997 landmark case Reno v. ACLU, the United States Supreme Court struck the act's anti-indecency provisions.

2018 - Twitter reports its first quarterly profit as a public company

2020 - NASA Voyager is 21 hrs 05 mins 38 secs of light-travel time from Earth

And it has been 40 days since my last blog post.

The hiatus wasn’t deliberate or planned.  Although I was very vocal in social media about the attempted putsch of January 6th, and the need for anti-vaxers and no-maskers to shut up and pay attention to the medical facts, words have failed me when it comes to sitting down and writing here.  I know it is never a good sign when I go quiet, and the cone of silence seems to have enveloped me.  When I do speak, it appears that my clumsy attempts at communication are far too subject to being misconstrued and even hurtful, and that ineptitude has added to my silence.   But then again?  this is always the time of year that I feel unloved and unlovable, getting all mopey and angst-ridden, so you would think that I would be able to handle it with more finesse, neh? And somehow 1/12th of the year is gone now and I’m not quite sure where it went.


This week we will be celebrating the landing of two probes on Mars, as well as Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day.

I’ll snap out of it.

Permalink | Monday, February 8, 2021

2020: the last Wednesday

Today is the 4th day of the 53rd week, the 30th day of the 12th month, the 365th day of 2020, and: 
  • Bacon Day ((naught to do with Kevin Bacon))
  • Falling Needles Family Fest Day
  • Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • National Bicarbonate of Soda Day
  • The fifth day of Kwanzaa. (United States)
  • The sixth of the Twelve Days of Christmas. (Western Christianity)

 534 – The second and final edition of the Code of Justinian comes into effect in the Byzantine Empire

1317 - Pontifical degree "Sancta Romania" against spiritualists

1731 - the first US music concert (Peter Pelham's great room in Boston)

1809 - Wearing masks at balls forbidden in Boston

1853 - A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an Iguanodon (ornithopod dinosaur) created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London

1879 - Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" premieres

1892 - Dr Miles V Lynk, physician, publishes the first Black medical journal

1918 - John E Hoover decides to be called J. Edgar Hoover

1924 - Astronomer Edwin Hubble formally announces existence of other galactic systems at meeting of the American Astronomical Society

1927 – The Ginza Line, the first subway line in Asia, opens in Tokyo, Japan.

1936 - Beginning of the "feud" between comedians Fred Allen and Jack Benny on Allen's "Town Hall Tonight" show

1939 - "Of Mice and Men", starring Burgess Meredith as George, Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie, is released

1948 - "Kiss Me, Kate" opens at New Century Theater NYC for 1077 performances

1950 - "Sixty Minute Man" record single released by The Dominoes (Billboard Song of the Year 1951)

1953 - The first ever NTSC color television sets go on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.

1959 - George Washington, the first ballistic missile sub commissioned

1963 - "Let's Make A Deal," debuts on NBC-TV

1963 - Congress authorizes Kennedy half dollar

1967 - Beatles' "Hello Goodbye" single goes #1 & stays #1 for three weeks

1968 - Frank Sinatra first records "My Way" with lyrics were written by Paul Anka and based on the French song "Comme d'habitude"

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

1971 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1973 - the first picture of a comet from space (Comet Kohoutek-Skylab)

1974 - Beatles are legally disbanded (4 years after suit was brought)

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

1978 - "The King & I" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 719 performances

1980 - "Wonderful World of Disney" last performance on NBC-TV

1981 - "That Girl" single released by Stevie Wonder (Billboard Song of the Year 1982)

1985 - IBM-PC DOS Version 3.2 released

2016 - Last day Indians are able to deposit in banks 500 and 1,000 rupee notes which were scrapped only 50 days earlier in an anti-corruption measure

2020 - NASA Voyager is 21 hrs 05 mins 33 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
"To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life."
~ Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books

As 2020 winds down and 2021 looms over the horizon, there is no sense of “ending” or “beginning” as the quagmire of polarization in our society deepens.  We are divided economically with the 1% having become both rich and greedy while the 99% gets by or descends into abject poverty.  We are divided healthwise as the raging pandemic exposes the stresses and cracks in a for-profit healthcare system where only the rich and powerful have access to life-saving medications and procedures while the rest of us wait in line.  We are divided politically and the art of working together for the common good seems to be lost.

These fractures were a long time forming and a new year, a vaccine, a new administration, will not resolve them quickly or easily.  My hope is that 2021 will be the turning of the tide though…
Permalink | Wednesday, December 30, 2020

the last Monday of 2020

Today is the 2nd day of the 53rd week [apparently because 01.01.2020 was on a Wednesday – technically 52 weeks and a couple extra days] , the 28th day of the 12th month, the 363rd day of 2020, and:
  • Call a Friend Day
  • Endangered Species Act Day
  • Holy Innocents’ Day [AKA Childermas]:  in Spain and Latin American countries the festival is celebrated with pranks (inocentadas), similar to April Fools' Day
  • Independence Day:  Mexico from Spain in 1836, with the signing of the Santa Maria-Calatrava Treaty
  • National Card Playing Day
  • National Chocolate Candy Day
  • National Download Day
  • National Short Film Day
  • Pledge of Allegiance Day – recognized by Congress in 1945

1065 - Westminster Abbey in London consecrated

1612 - First observation of Neptune - Galileo observes and records a "fixed star" without realizing it is a planet

1795 – Construction of Yonge Street, formerly recognized as the longest street in the world, begins in York, Upper Canada (present-day Toronto)

1836 - Proclamation of South Australia as a British Province. Formal proclamation was read out in what is now the Adelaide suburb of Glenelg North by Captain (later Rear Admiral, Governor, Sir) John Hindmarsh

1860 - Harriet Tubman arrives in Auburn, New York, on her last mission to free slaves, having evaded capture for 8 years on the Underground Railroad

1895 – The Lumière brothers perform for their first paying audience at the Grand Cafe in Boulevard des Capucines.

1895 – Wilhelm Röntgen publishes a paper detailing his discovery of a new type of radiation, which later will be known as x-rays.

1902 - Trans-Pacific cable links Hawaii to US

1912 - 1st municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco, California as SF Municipal Railway starts operation at Geary St (MUNI)

1928 - Last recording of Ma Rainey, "Mother of the Blues," made

1934 - Film "Bright Eyes" premieres starring Shirley Temple and featuring the song "On the Good Ship Lollipop"

1948 - US announced a study to launch an Earth satellite

1949 - 20th Century Fox announces it will produce TV programs

1957 - USSR performs atmospheric nuclear test

1958 – "Greatest Game Ever Played": Baltimore Colts defeat the New York Giants in the first ever National Football League sudden death overtime game at New York's Yankee Stadium.  17 future members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame were involved in the game.

1964 - Principal filming on film "Doctor Zhivago" begins

1966 - China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC

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

1972 - Martin Bormann's skeleton is found in Berlin (Hitlers deputy)

1973 - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn publishes "Gulag Archipelago" - a literary investigation of the police-state system in the Soviet Union

1976 - "Fiddler on the Roof" opens at Winter Garden Theater NYC for 167 performances

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1981 - Warner-Elektra-Atlantic raises price of 45 records from $1.68 to $1.98

1981 - the first American test-tube baby, Elizabeth Jordan Carr is born in Norfolk, Virginia

1984 - TV soap "Edge of Night" ends 28 year run

1984 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh, Semipalitinsk USSR

1985 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1988 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1991 - Irene the Icon of Greek Orthodox church returns after being stolen

1997 - Sting beats Hollywood Hogan for WCW Championship

2000 - U.S. retail giant Montgomery Ward announces it is going out of business after 128 years.

2002 - LinkedIn is founded by Reid Hoffman and others in Mountain View, California

2013 - Early signs of Ebola epidemic: 2 year old child in Guinea dies of an unidentified hemorrhagic fever; mother, sister and grandmother soon follow

2020 - NASA Voyager is 21 hrs 05 mins 28 secs of light-travel time from Earth

We had such high hopes for the year when it started, but fate had other plans.  From nasty political issues to a pandemic, the year has felt much longer than simply adding a leap day and an extra week [more or less] would indicate!   And even worse, the problems of a divided country and COVID-19 will not go away, even though the inauguration of a new President and the distribution of vaccines are both hopeful signs. 


Meanwhile, I am counting my blessings.  I and my family have so far been able to remain healthy and employed, plus my granddaughters are enjoying their “unschooling”.  My friends are also weathering the upset.  I have much to be thankful for but I am not celebrating the new year, not yet….
Permalink | Monday, December 28, 2020

we didn't have a clue....

Today is the 3rd day of the 50th week ((I’ve never noticed that some years have 53 weeks in them before.)), the 8th day of the 12th month, the 343rd day of 2020, and: 
  • AFL-CIO Day - American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed by 26 craft unions in 1886
  • Bodhi Day - the day that Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha
  • National Brownie Day
  • National Christmas Tree Day
  • National Lard Day
  • Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day
  • Take it in the Ear Day
  • Toilet Paper Appreciation Day - first sold in the US by Joseph C. Gayetty in 1857

1660 – A woman (either Margaret Hughes or Anne Marshall) appears on an English public stage for the first time, in the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare's play Othello.

1813 - Ludwig van Beethoven's 7th Symphony in A, premieres in Vienna with Beethoven conducting

1854 – In his Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaims the dogmatic definition of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary was conceived free of Original Sin.

1864 - Pope Pius IX promulgates the encyclical Quanta cura and its appendix, the Syllabus of Errors, outlining the authority of the Catholic Church and condemning various liberal ideas.

1864 - The Clifton Suspension Bridge, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is finally opened in Bristol, England, 5 years after his death

1864 - James Clerk Maxwell's paper "A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field" is first read by the Royal Society in London (published by the Royal Society 1865)

1915 - John McCrae's poem "In Flanders Fields" appears anonymously in "Punch" magazine

1931 - Coaxial cable patented

1938 - Highest temperature to date for December in US recorded in La Mesa California

1952 - for the first time, a TV show portrayed a pregnancy (I Love Lucy)

1953 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his "Atoms for Peace" speech, which leads to an American program to supply equipment and information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the world.

1956 - first test firing of Vanguard satellite program, TV-0

1956 - Guy Mitchell's "Singing the Blues" single goes #1 for 10 weeks

1965 - Pope Paul VI signs 2nd Vatican council

1966 - US and USSR sign treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space

1967 - The Beatles' "Magical Mystery Tour" album is released in UK

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1980 - Annie Leibovitz has a photo-shoot with John Lennon, the last person to professionally photograph him before he is murdered on the same day

1981 - France performs nuclear test

1983 - 9th Space Shuttle Mission, Columbia 6, lands at Edwards AFB

1987 - US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty eliminating medium range nuclear missiles

1989 - Great Britain performs nuclear test

1990 - Spacecraft Galileo flies by Earth at an altitude of 597 miles (960 km) to use the planet's gravity to build speed on its way to Jupiter

2010 - With the second launch of the SpaceX Dragon, SpaceX becomes the first privately held company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.

2010 – The Japanese solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS passes the planet Venus at a distance of about 80,800 km.

2013 – Metallica performs a show in Antarctica, making them the first band to perform on all seven continents.

2019 – First confirmed case of COVID-19 in China

2019 - Polar explorers Mike Horn and Børge Ousland complete an 1,800 km (1,118 miles) journey on drifting ice in darkness in the Arctic

2020 - NASA Voyager is 21 hrs 04 mins 13 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
"During this time of giving, we should not place too much importance on material gifts; it’s our thoughts, words, and deeds that count. Sincere expressions of appreciation, praise, thanks, and an unexpected helping hand can be the most treasured gifts of all."
~  Reverend Earl Ikeda, “O Bodhi Tree, O Bodhi Tree

I was going to write about gifts as both Hanukkah and Christmas are bearing down on us, but the fact that it was exactly a year ago when the virus was first reported brought me to a complete stop.  Few will remember where they were a year ago, but I was on vacation and enjoying myself, immersed in the world of Harry Potter, in Universal Studios, Florida.  The sun was bright, I was with my family, and we were all having a great deal of fun.  We celebrated vacation, we celebrated the holidays, we toasted the New Year – and we didn’t have an inkling of the tsunami of death that was about to engulf all of us. 


So many losses, so many families grieving ….

Wear a mask – and wear it properly

Wash your hands

Watch your distance
Permalink | Tuesday, December 8, 2020

you only live twice....

Today is the 6th day of the 49th week, the 4th day of the 12th month, the 339th day of 2020, and: 
  • Bartender Appreciation Day
  • Cabernet Franc Day
  • Extraordinary Work Team Recognition Day
  • Faux Fur Friday
  • International Cheetah Day
  • National Dystychiphobia Awareness Day
  • International Sweater Vestival
  • National Cookie Day
  • National Dice Day
  • National Sock Day
  • Santa’s List Day
  • Wear Brown Shoes Day
  • World Wildlife Conservation Day

1563 – The final session of the Council of Trent is held. (It had opened on December 13, 1545.)

1674 - Father Marquette builds first dwelling in what is now Chicago

1791 – The first edition of The Observer, the world's first Sunday newspaper, is published.

1829 – In the face of fierce local opposition, British Governor-General Lord William Bentinck issues a regulation declaring that anyone who abets suttee in Bengal is guilty of culpable homicide.

1861 – The 109 Electors of the several states of the Confederate States of America unanimously elect Jefferson Davis as President and Alexander H. Stephens as Vice President.

1872 – The crewless American brigantine Mary Celeste, drifting in the Atlantic, is discovered by the Canadian brig Dei Gratia. The ship has been abandoned for nine days but is only slightly damaged. Her master Benjamin Briggs and all nine others known to have been on board are never accounted for

1881 – The first edition of the Los Angeles Times is published.

1889 - Explorer Henery Morton Stanley's expedition reaches Bagamoyo in Indian Ocean

1918 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sails for the World War I peace talks in Versailles, becoming the first US president to travel to Europe while in office.

1927 - Duke Ellington opens at the Cotton Club in Harlem

1930 - Vatican approves rhythm method for birth control

1952 - Killer fogs begin in London, England; the term "Smog" is coined

1954 - The first Burger King is opened in Miami, Florida, USA

1956 – The Million Dollar Quartet (Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash) get together at Sun Studio for the first and last time.

1961 - Museum of Modern Art hangs Matisse's Le Bateau upside down for 47 days

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1964 - The Beatles release their "Beatles For Sale" album

1965 - Gemini 7 launched with Frank Borman and Jim Lovell

1978 - Pioneer Venus 1 goes into orbit around Venus

1985 - "Les Miserables" opens at Palace Theatre, London

1986 - US launches its Fleet Satellite Communications System (Fltsatcom-7)

1988 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1991 – Pan American World Airways ceases its operations after 64 years.

1996 - NASA's 1st Mars rover launched from Cape Canaveral

1998 – The Unity Module, the second module of the International Space Station, is launched.

2006 - An adult giant squid is caught on video by Kubodera near the Ogasawara Islands, 1,000 km (620 miles) south of Tokyo

2014 - The United Nations warns that the world is on course for the warmest year since records began

2018 - Scottish artist Charlotte Prodger wins the 2018 Turner Prize with film shot on her iPhone

2019 - North American migratory birds getting smaller, their wings wider due to climate change according to study by University of Michigan published in journal "Ecology Letters"

2020 - NASA Voyager is 21 hrs 03 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth

beladona Memorial has spent 15 years in Second Life as of today. 

The first beladona was rezzed over a year earlier when Linden Labs first opened the grid.  I landed in the corral, and quickly found out that the dial-up I was using for my internet connection meant that I couldn’t move.  Disgusted, I left her caught in some bushes and logged out.  Prompted by the chance to attend a talk by someone I knew, and buoyed by a recently purchased DSL connection, I recreated the account, logged back in, and promptly ended up on the stage, sitting on the presenter’s head.  I quickly logged back out, but was intrigued enough to return and wander about exploring.


15 years, 13 avatars, 3 partners, 2 Masters,  and 2 marriages later, with my home permanently on the beach in Nowhereville, I am still wandering about living my 2nd life.
Permalink | Friday, December 4, 2020

it ain't over yet

Today is the 3rd day of the 48th week, the 24th day of the 11th month, the 329th day of 2020 [with only 30 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Brownielocks Day – date chosen because that was when the domain name was purchased
  • Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day – I would if I had one.  When I was younger, I could cross all my toes, but I do not know if that was an unique talent or just one that was seldom brought up in conversation, although a doctor commented on it once when testing my reflexes for I did it when commanded to “wiggle your toes”.  Nowadays, those digits are less flexible.
  • DB Cooper Day – 49 years later, his fate is still unknown.  $200K is equivalent to $1,285,866.67 today  
  • Evolution Day – Charles Darwin first published On the Origin of Species in 1859
  • Feast Day of the Vietnamese Martyrs
  • National Sardines Day
  • National Use Even if Seal is Broken Day

1105 Rabbi Nathan ben Yehiel of Rome completes Talmudic dictionary

1434 River Thames in London freezes over

1639 Frist observation of transit of Venus by Jeremiah Horrocks and William Crabtree - helped establish size of the Solar System

1642 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman discovers Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania)

1715 London's Thames River freezes over

1759 Destructive eruption of Vesuvius

1835 Texas Rangers, mounted police force authorized by Texas Provisional Government

1874 American inventor Joseph Glidden patents barbed wire

1896 First US absentee voting law enacted by Vermont

1926 Sri Aurobindo retires to lead life of seclusion, hands responsibility for followers to Mirra Alfassa (founding of Sri Aurobindo ashram)

1932 In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens.

1938 Clifford Odets' "Rocket to the Moon" premieres in NYC

1947 John Steinbeck's novel "Pearl" published

1947 The US House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities finds "Hollywood 10" in contempt because of their refusal to reveal whether they were communists

1950 "Guys & Dolls" opens at 46th St Theater NYC for 1200 performances

1954 Air Force One, 1st US Presidential airplane, christened

1956 "Pajama Game" closes at St James Theater NYC after 1063 performances

1958 Mali becomes an autonomous state within French Community

1966 1st TV station in Congo, Kinshasa (Zaire)

1966 The Beatles began recording sessions for their album "Sgt.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"

1966 The cult classic "One Million Years B.C.", starring Raquel Welch, is released first in West Germany

1969 Apollo 12 returns to Earth

1972 USSR performs underground nuclear test

1974 Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-2 treaty to reduce each side's number of nuclear weapons

1977 France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1981 the first air-launched cruise missile tested

1982 Orioles Cal Ripken is named AL Rookie of Year

1983 "The Colour of Magic" by Terry Pratchett published by Colin Smythe in the UK, 1st book in the Discworld series

1991 US 75th manned space mission "STS 44" Atlantis 10 launched

1993 End of world, according to Ukrainian sect White Brotherhood

2012 Gangnam Style becomes the most viewed Youtube video surpassing 808 million views

2020 NASA Voyager is 21 hrs 02 mins 59 secs of light-travel time from Earth

It would appear that the US election for President is finally over as, after 20 days, Trump finally instructed his loyal supporter in charge of the GSA to permit the winner to start making formal transition plans,  He did so without conceding, still claiming victory and still throwing doubt on the integrity of the election process.  Apparently his efforts, enabled and abetted by GOP senators, now are concentrated on salting the earth to make it as difficult as possible for his successor to govern effectively.  Much has been written about the damage done to the US democracy by this behavior, on top of the past four years of ignoring all norms of civility and even points of law, so I won’t belabor the obvious. 

At least 71 million [or about 19% of the total population and 30% of the eligible voters]  people are very unhappy and their angst fanned to a fever pitch by such propaganda sites as NewsMax and One America News [Fox News having committed the crime of actually reporting some facts] that woke elites are coming to alter the very fabric of their lives.   For them the pandemic is still a hoax, the election was rigged, and DJT the only person who cares about the common man and understands “the American Way.”


 I thought I would be relieved when the election was over, but instead I am deeply anxious about our ability to heal the divide.  What kind of country will my granddaughters grow up in?   
Permalink | Tuesday, November 24, 2020

know your place

I am in flat despair

I could accept that in 2016, Donald Trump appealed to those who were sick and tired of the way things were going.  He came out of nowhere and we really didn’t know what kind of administration he would run.  I didn’t like the man and refused to support him but I could understand the populist appeal.  In the past four years, he showed us what kind of leader he was and like so many others, I thought having displayed his real colors, he would be repudiated because Americans weren’t like that.

I was wrong. 
John Pavlovitz puts it quite succinctly: />

I was wrong. 
Over 68 million people agree with Trump and want him to continue doing what he is doing:

I was wrong.

The “coalition of restoration” is stronger than I ever dreamed it could be.  These people want me, want every kind of minority, to go back to an era when you were expected to  “know your place”, and that place is subservient,  subservient to white males, especially ones with money who make sure Wall Street is doing well.  And it isn’t just the boomers either, I could understand that to a point since we all grew up in that kind of society.   Anyone who believes in transformation and the future is dismissed as an “elitist” and a “libtard” to be derided as “woke” and taken down a peg or two until they know their place. 

I cannot wrap my head around how everything we campaigned for, marched against, voted for back in the 60’s is being repudiated. 

Tomorrow or next week, perhaps I will hope again and take up the cudgels in defense of what I believe

 But today?  I cannot function.  I am in shock that the America I thought I lived in, that I raised a family in, doesn’t actually exist….
Permalink | Thursday, November 5, 2020

The message for today is:

Permalink | Tuesday, November 3, 2020

preserve your gripe rights!

Quote of the day:

"Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting."

~  Franklin D. Roosevelt
Permalink | Thursday, October 22, 2020

a line in the sand.....

Today is the 3rd day of the 43rd week, the 20th day of the 10th month, the 294th day of 2020 [with only 65 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Birth of the Bab
  • Community Media Day
  • Information Overload Awareness Day
  • International Chefs Day
  • Miss America Rose Day
  • National Brandied Fruit Day
  • National Call-in Day for Health Reform
  • National Day on Writing
  • National Pharmacy Technician Day
  • National Suspenders Day
  • National Youth Confidence Day
  • Office Chocolate Day
  • Pay Back a Friend Day
  • Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity
  • World Osteoporosis Day
  • World Statistics Day
Quote of the day:
I had begun to see the past like this: there is a line; you can draw it yourself, or sometimes it gets drawn for you; either way, there it is, your past, a collection of people you used to be and things you used to do. Your past is the person you no longer are, the situations you are no longer in.”
~ Jamaica Kincaid,Lucy

There are lines in my past, events or markers, where I can look back and make “before/after” comparisons.  Some have to do with my personal life and usually are about choices that I have made [like fleeing my mother’s house and moving in with my first husband] , or the natural progression of life [like graduating from high school].  Some I have to ascribe to happenstance – like getting into knowledge management or becoming an avid fan [Baker Street Irregular, science fiction aficionado, confirmed believer in Middle Earth, Trekkie, Disney believer cosplay].  Some have more to do with the society in which I live or current events – like LBJ deciding not to seek reelection.   And some have to do with things happening – Grandmom Hughes’ death, Frank’s dementia then losing him, my daughter’s breast cancer diagnosis.   In each case, I can see how it changed me. 

Most recently, this year of 2020 has drawn a line for me, and I don’t think I am alone in that.

In the case of the DJT presidency, it isn’t so much that he won the 2016 election, it has been the turmoil and degradation of what I thought were hallowed and indestructible democratic institution, coupled with a complete inability to see him as his supporter see him.  People I know, and indeed both liked and respected, seem just fine with what I perceive as crass materialism, total callousness and the last gasp of the old rich white men declaring this country is their’s to do with what they would like.   These same folks, incidentally, are just as appalled that I have been hoodwinked by a leftist and liberal media into not comprehending what the real issues are and how DJT is applying a much needed course correction.  I do not know how to reconcile the schism that yawns before us no matter who wins the election.

In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, while many  other members of my family and friends seem to be more comfortable moving about outside their home, I find myself increasingly reluctant to do so.  How much of this is because I have to get on an elevator and travel 20 stories in the company of multiple individuals, who either don’t wear a mask at all or don’t have their mask covering both nose and mouth, to even start to go anywhere, I’m not sure.  I carefully limit the number of times I go downstairs to throw out recycling or get my mail.  I rely on Uber Eats for carryout, and Giant/Peapod for grocery deliveries.  I worry every time someone is in my apartment – maintenance workers, pest control, cleaning lady.  Since March 31st, I have seldom been anywhere –  to have my hair done twice, to the pharmacy three times, to the vet’s four times, and to my daughter’s home [the only place where once inside, I do not wear a mask as she is as vulnerable as I] several times.   In short?  For six months I have been a recluse, and that shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.   


Someday, I will look back on 2020, but right now?  I don’t know, and cannot imagine, what “after” looks like – and I don’t think I am alone in that either. 
Permalink | Tuesday, October 20, 2020

taxes, taxes, taxes....

Today is the 2nd day of the 40th week, the 28th day of the 9th month, the 272nd day of 2020 [with only 87 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Confucius Day
  • Family Day
  • Fish Tank Floorshow Night
  • Freedom from Hunger Day
  • Gold Lining Day
  • International Day for Unerversal Acess to Information
  • International Right to Know Day
  • National Drink Beer Day
  • National Good Neighbor Day
  • National North Carolina Day
  • National Strawberry Cream Pie Day
  • Read a Child a Book You Like Day
  • World Rabies Day
  • Yom Kippur
Quote of the day:
Mindfulness allows us to watch our thoughts, see how one thought leads to the next, decide if we’re heading toward an unhealthy path, and if so, let go and change directions.”
~  Sharon Salzberg, “Mindfulness and Difficult Emotions

When I started working in the Loan Department at Commercial & Farmers Bank, I became privy to many borrowers’ personal financial statements and federal tax returns.  For the first time, I realized that people who could buy and sell everything my family ever had owned without even blinking were paying less in income taxes than I was --  not just a lower percentage of their income, mind you, but actually less in cold, hard cash.  I quickly  realized that this was systemically true of all of the 1% -- someone who made in an hour what I make in a year was paying less than I in taxes.  Why?  Because they could afford to hire a team of tax lawyers and accountants to make sure they paid as little to the government as possible, utilizing every loophole in the tax code to reduce their obligations and I could not.  And don’t even get me started about the benefits enjoyed by large businesses!  My deep and bitter resentment at this inequity has only grown in the past 35 years of working in financial services. 

As a result?  I have become an advocate of the flat tax.  Everyone – individual and business -- who makes over $50K pays the same percentage [let’s say 20%] of their income to the government to fund the infrastructure that supports us all.  EVERYONE, including every business.  No deductions, no loopholes. 

Supposedly a flat tax system benefits the rich and penalizes the poor.  While I understand this still means the rich have more in the way of disposable income, a disparity that supposedly was being addressed by the graduated income tax tables, but given the fact that most of the 1% and the wealthiest corporations are skating by paying very little?  I think a flat tax will increase revenue markedly, while actually reducing the tax burden on most of us.  And it would be nice to know the rich were paying their fair share instead of blithely skipping off into the sunset.


((obviously finding out that DJT paid less in taxes for 15 years than I paid just last year really annoys me even though I am not the least bit surprised.))
Permalink | Monday, September 28, 2020

remembering the magic....

Today is the 6th day of the 37th week, the 11th day of the 9th month, and the 255th day of 2020.

I grew up on Disney movies and The Wonderful World of Color, but by the time I hit my teens, saying something was “mickey mouse” was definitely an insult. No one I knew personally had ever taken the time and money to go to WDW, and Disneyland was on the other side of the continent.  I had been to Kings Dominion and Busch Gardens, been to and then taken my kids to the Enchanted Forest, and I saw no reason to go to Florida to go to a theme park.

Then Frank came into my life, and he was insistent that we had to go to WDW.  He had been with his family when his kids were younger and really liked it, and so off we went in the summer 1986.  Why summer in Florida?  Because school was out and I firmly believe you do NOT take kids out of school to go on vacation.  My daughter was not allowed to go with us, but my son and I were looking forward to the trip, although neither of us were all that enthralled with Disney.   The drive down was easy as we did it in two stages, breaking for the night in Santee.  We stopped at Stucky’s along the way, went to see Pedro at South of the Border and spent a lot of time there meandering through the shops.  Of course we stopped at the Florida Welcome Center and had orange juice, then headed for ST Augustine and for the first time I saw the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche and lit candles.  Then we settled into a hotel on International Drive.  We had quite an itinerary worked out – Disney for , the Gatorland Zoo, Crystal Springs, Cape Kennedy.  Frank insisted we start our day early and go to Epcot first.   I remember walking around, listening to the music, sniffing the smells.  We visited the Seas and the Land, and then headed for Journey into Imagination.  I was impressed by the cleanliness of the place and told Frank it was a very nice theme park.  We got into the car for the ride, it happened to be the first one, and headed into the dark ride.  The car rotated and the painted clouds parted and there was Dreamfinder and Figment….

And I fell in love with Disney because suddenly I knew it was theater and I was totally immersed.  At that moment I realized it was not a theme park, but a stage, and I had been invited to play along with the cast and perform.   

I’ve lost count of how many times we went back to WDW.  Sometimes it was with one or both of my kids, once it was with Frank’s daughter and family, my mother came along a couple of times, it was just Frank and I, or I was there alone when business training took me to Orlando.  We bought Disney stock, but was not interested in getting into the time share of the Vacation Club, although we considered it.  After his strokes, Frank was comfortable in WDW despite the disorientation of dementia, and we went every year, staying on site in different moderate resorts – once getting upgraded to the Animal Kingdom Lodge when it first opened.  We paid for special tours and after hour parties.  We were there, in the Festival of the Lion KIng on 9.11 when the park was evacuated.  Frank's last hair cut was from the Main Street barber, who talked him into getting glitter in his hair just three weeks before he died.  After that, I went with co-workers, with my daughter and her family, with Cheryl, with Cheryl and Ricky, and many times alone.  Sometimes we made a long stay, sometimes it was just a long weekend, and once a cruise.  I even made it to Disneyland!  I bought t-shirts, clothing, jewelry, memorabilia, books, bed clothing – for myself, for the family – belong to D23, cosplay Merriweather, and subscribed to Disney+

And this morning, reading the speculation that the Magical Express changes were permanent after months of Disney scaling back perks for the hoi polloi, adding more fees, and making more events special additional tickets, then noting that only deluxe resorts are open as they get back to business, I realized that Disney is not interested in my history with them and doesn’t care if I or my family ever gets back to the parks. 


OTOH:  It is a business, and the purpose of a business is to make money.  The same resources and services the hoi polloi utilize cost as much as if they were provided to someone wealthier, who potentially will spend more money, so they want to maximize their profit at the point of sale

OTOH:  Without fans like me, Disney is nothing unique, just another entertainment merchant with theme parks.  I hope senior management wakes up sooner rather than later, and realizes it is not just about shareholders, but STAKEholders like me.  I could use a bit of pixie dust right now.  
Permalink | Friday, September 11, 2020

Today is the 2nd day of the 35th week, the 24th day of the 8th month, the 237th day of 2020, and:Can Opener Day
  • International Day Against Intolerance, Discrimination and Violence Based on Musical Preferences, Lifestyle and Dress Code
  • Independence Day – Ukraine from the Soviet Union in 1991
  • International Strange Music Day
  • National Knife Day
  • National Maryland Day – MD was the 7th state to join the Union
  • National Peach Pie Day
  • National Waffle Day
  • Pluto Demoted Day – the dastardly deed was done back in 2006, upsetting generations who had faithfully learned our Solar System had nine planets
  • Shooting Star Day
  • Vesuvius Day
  • Wayzgoose Day [AKA the Feast of St Bartholomew the Disciple] – a day celebrating the end of summer   
  • Weather Complaint Day
  • William Wilberforce Day – the British abolitionist, who was instrumental in getting Britain out of the slave trade, was born in 1759
I have always realized that tomorrow is promised to no one – it was brought home to me 42 years ago when I was diagnosed with a small cerebral aneurism.  I have shared how I failed to say “I love you” to Frank on the morning he died, and 16 years later a nagging sorrow and regret about that being one of the handful of days in 20 years that I failed to do so can still bring tears to my eyes.  Perhaps it is those two things that make me aware of the things I have not said to those that I am around, the words of appreciation, respect, affection that I have thought, but failed to say to friends and family or coworkers or even daily acquaintances.  I can only hope the kids know how proud I am of them and how much I love them.  I can only hope my friends know how honored and grateful I have been for the connection and joy they have brought into my life.  I can only hope coworkers and acquaintance understand the respect I have for their KSA and consideration.  And, it makes me careful what I say on social media, even when I am upset or angered by cruelty and pigheadedness.  Words matter
Would’ve, should’ve, could’ve – how many times have you played over conversations in your head and wish that you had said something you didn’t? 
Permalink | Monday, August 24, 2020

do you hear what I hear

Today is the 6th day of the 34th week, the 21st day of the 8th month, the 234th day of 2020, and: 
  • International Day of Remembrance and Tribute to the Victims of Terrorism
  • Internet Self-care Day
  • National Brazilian Blowout Day
  • National Men’s Grooming Day
  • National Senior Citizens Day
  • National Spumoni Day
  • Poet’s Day
On this day in 1911,the Mona Lisa was stolen right off the wall of the Louvre by three handymen, who rather ironically had been hired by the museum to make protective glass cases for historical paintings.  Back then the painting was just another work in the collection, and it took 24 hours for anyone to even notice that it was gone.  The head of the Paris police retired in shame as the investigation gained international attention as folks speculated how the thief was able to hide such a large item.  Over two years later, the ringleader of the heist, who wanted to return the lovely lady to her native home in Italy, was apprehended when he contacted the dealer and director of a gallery in Florence.  He had been interviewed by the police twice and dismissed as a suspect, and the painting had been hidden in a trunk in his apartment the entire time.   The notoriety the theft and unsuccessful manhunt generated made the painting the tourist attraction it is today.  And it has been assaulted several times – by acid, a rock, spray paint, and a coffee mug, not to mention all the ways the image has been altered or used.

Quote of the day:
Silence does good to the soul.”
~  St. Therese of Lisieux

Are you getting a massage?”  my co-worker inquired archly.  We are both working from home and he had called me, apparently amused by the ambient music playing in the background.  You see, I almost always have quiet, New Age instrumental music broadcasting these days.  I live alone, and even in an apartment building set on an intersection of two busy highways in an built-up suburb, it can get very still.  And when it gets that quiet, the ringing in my ears that never ceases suddenly becomes very loud and very annoying.  My  dreams have always had a soundtracks and in a way, now my waking life does too.

Music has always been a big part of my everyday life, although I never learned to read music and always sang by ear.  I used to sing while doing chores; my mother often rebuked me because she felt I was singing too loudly.  I sang in choruses and choirs.  I sang to my kids and they each had their own special favorites that they sang with me, especially at bath time and bedtime.  I sang in the car, sometimes with the radio, sometimes belting out songs all by myself. 


These days my voice doesn’t lift in song very often and when it does, it sounds thin, lacking the vibrancy and range I possessed for so many years.  The silence presses upon me, and I hold it at bay with the strands of gentle, calming music playing in the background. 
Permalink | Friday, August 21, 2020

be counted....

Today is the 4th day of the 34th week, the 19th day of the 8th month, the 232nd day of 2020 [with only 127 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • ‘Black Cow’ Root Beer Float Day
  • Coco Chanel Day
  • Independence Day – Afghanistan from Britain in 1919
  • International Bow Day
  • International Orangutan Day
  • Islamic New Year [AKA Hijri New Year or Arabic New Year] – starts at sundown
  • National Aviation Day
  • National Hot and Spicy Food Day
  • National Medical Dosimetrist’s Day
  • National Potato Day
  • National Sandcastle and Sculpture Day
  • National Soft Ice Cream Day
  • World Humanitarian Day
  • World Photo Day
 Quote of the day:
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”
~  John F Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

The Democratic National Convention is rolling towards its inevitable conclusion of anointing Joe Bidden as the candidate to oppose Trump this November.  Now don’t get me wrong, I feel very strongly about the importance of this election to the basic fabric of our democracy and I certainly do NOT want another four years like the past four years.  But these two articles highlight my basic concern that the Democrat party is tone-deaf and might not be able to deliver the desirable result:

First, the nominee is bland.  This is not a bad thing, especially given all the drama of the past four years!   But like Uncle Joe, he is moving kinda slow, and while he definitely seems to be a good person, he is the epitome of the old white male politician.  Having a controversial VP running mate who definitely has some zing to her will help the ticket among some – thank you for highlighting that, Randy – but there are already rumbles from others saying that blacks and Latinos do not have sufficient representation as well as those who cannot see a minority woman in such a high office.   It is going to be a bruising campaign, and I agree with the those who ask where the up and coming Democrats are?  It’s past time for the old guard to move aside!

AOC’s DNC speech was 60 seconds.  She made her point – but so did the establishment

Second, and this works hand-in-hand with the first, the Democrats have a problem defining what they are FOR because the progressives and the moderates don’t agree on very much.  As one who felt the Bern four years ago and who like Warren’s planning, Joe just feels too much like the status quo.  And I worry this will not be sufficient to get those voters who sat out 2016 back to the voting places, especially during the pandemic

They’re against Trump – but what are they for?

The bottom line is that everyone has to get out and be heard – we cannot let just 25.5 % of the voters decide the election this year, the Electoral College be damned.



And no, I am not going to tell you who to vote for, but let’s make this election a landslide both for the White House and the Congress so that there is no doubt of the message.
Permalink | Wednesday, August 19, 2020

defeating the bug

Today is the 5th day of the 31st week, the 30th day of the 7th month, the 212th day of 2020, and: 
  • Eid-Al-Adha ((begins at sunset))
  • Father-in-Law Day
  • Independence Day:  Vanuatu from the UK and France in 1980
  • International Day of Friendship
  • National Cheesecake Day
  • National Chicken and Waffle Day
  • National Chili Dog Day
  • National Intern Day
  • National Support Public Education Day
  • National Whistleblower Appreciation Day
  • Paperback Book Day
  • Share a Hug Day ((oh to be able to hug folks again without worrying about the virus))
  • Tisha B’Av
  • World Day Against Trafficking in Persons
  • World Snorkeling Day
Quote of the day:
“Liberty isn't liberalism, arbitrariness, but it's connected; it's conditioned by the great values of love and solidarity and in general by the good.”
~  Pope Benedict XVI

There are bugs in the walls where I live.   It’s just a fact of life when you live in apartment buildings, especially older ones, no matter how fancy or upscale they are.  Bugs just happen, whether they arrive on their own power or as hitchhikers.

About a year ago, I started experiencing an infestation, partly caused by the new owner’s scaling back the amount of treatments by pest control experts, which meant the bugs were able to colonize more aggressively.   The owners were forced by the county health department to ramp up preventive measures.   I complained loudly and often enough that my apartment finally got on the list for weekly treatments.

The problem is in my kitchen, even though I keep everything sealed in containers or in plastic.  I moved the cat food out of that room.  I moved and scrubbed every inch of the kitchen I could possible see or reach.  I emptied my cabinets and pest control treated them – in fact, under the sink has been empty since pest control started coming six weeks ago.  They have sprayed, used sticky traps, set out bait.  I still get lots of the little baby roaches, all of them running for the sink or the vent or the outlets.  Finally, yesterday, the guy told me that the problem is obviously not in my kitchen and that they would have to get management’s okay to treat the apartment next door.  They are now convinced that my infestation can be stopped by treating their place.

Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?  We have to work together to eradicate the problem, to keep the bugs from using their apartment as a safe haven before coming back.  Sound familiar?  *ponders*  Gee, what other kind of bug keeps surging back….

Want schools and businesses to start again?  WEAR A MASK.  If you don’t want to wear a mask for yourself, remember we are all connected and wear it for the folks around you.   



Oh, and if you really are worried about the infection being spread by disposable mask manufacturers?  Get washable, reusable ones.   
Permalink | Thursday, July 30, 2020


Today is the 2nd day of the 31st week, the 27th day of the 7th month, the 209th day of 2020 [with only 150 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Bagpipe Appreciation Day
  • Barbie-in-a-blender Day – celebrating a win against Mattel trying to sue artist Tom Forsythe for a series of photographs featuring the nude doll.  It is considered a celebration of artistic free speech and fair use
  • Cross Atlantic Communication Day
  • Gary Gygax Day – the creator of Dungeons & Dragons [1974] was born on this day in 1938. 
  • Love is Kind Day
  • National Chicken Finger Day
  • National Crème Brulee Day
  • National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day
  • National Scotch Day
  • Norfolk Day
  • Paddle for Perthes Disease Awareness Day – Perthes is a childhood condition that effects the hip joint
  • Take Your Houseplants for a Walk Day
  • Take Your Pants for a Walk Day
  • Walk on Stilts Day
  • And the first quarter of the moon at 8:32AM EDT
Quote of the day:
“[Time is] … like a predator.  It’s stalking you.  Oh, you can try and outrun it …, but in the end, time is going to hunt you down ….”
Dr Soran, Star Trek VII:  Generations

Do you know what day it is?

My boss recently complained that his days were all running together as our office is closed, but in his case, it is because he is a workaholic who does business on his days off as well as in the evenings.  The only others I hear asking what day it is are those friends who are retired.  For a time, the governor of New York was using his Twitter account to tell people what day of the week it was, the assumption being that with the closing of so many businesses and suspension of regular activities, folks were confusing the days.   Somehow the lockdown seemed to be a form of an extended vacation where all days blended together – at least for a lucky few who got paid while staying home or who had enough resources that they could weather the storm without pay. 


 For the rest, things have not been so ….  Pleasant?  Halcyon?  Easy?  Those of us fortunate enough to be able to work from home have found the traditional 9- 5 grind still grinds on, and as grateful as we are for being able to keep our jobs/pay/insurance, we are very aware of the difference between the work week and the weekend and time off.    Those who work with the land know a different rhythm of life without artificial time units or holidays – farms do not have holidays built in.  And of course, those without jobs were pitchforked into a nightmare miasma of fear and anxiety, including the hard choice between having to work and expose themselves to COVID-19, rely on ephemeral assistance, or go without the necessities of life.

As for me?  Yes I know today is Monday – and if you push me, I can probably figure out how many hours it is until 4 PM on Friday when I roll [or crawl or dance, all depending on what kind of week it is] into the weekend

Permalink | Monday, July 27, 2020

make it stop....

Today is the 5th day of the 30th week, the 23rd day of the 7th month, the 205th day of 2020 [with only 154 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Gorgeous Grandma Day
  • Hot Enough For Ya Day ((in these days of climate change, this has an ironic ring to it))
  • National Intern Day
  • National Refreshment Day
  • National Vanilla Ice Cream Day
  • Peanut Butter and Chocolate Day
  • Sprinkle Day
  • World Sjogren’s Day
  • Yada, Yada, Yada Day

1599 = Caravaggio's 1st public commission for paintings

1764 - James Otis publishes views on taxation without representation

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

1872 - African American inventor Elijah McCoy is granted a patent for lubricators for steam-engines

1903 – The Ford Motor Company sells its first car.

1904 - Ice cream cone created during St Louis World Fair - the 1st cone reputedly by Charles E. Menches

1937- Isolation of pituitary hormone announced (Yale University)

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

1965 - The Beatles' "Help" is released in UK

1966 - Napoleon XIV releases "They're Coming to Take Me Away, Ha! Ha!"

1966 - Frank Sinatra's album "Strangers In The Night" is No. 1 on the US charts, (Grammy for Record Of The Year and Best Male Vocal Performance)

1967 - First successful liver transplant, on 19 month old Julie Rodriguez by Dr Starzl at the University of Colorado

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

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

1972 - 1st Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) is launched

1973 - USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1976 - France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa atoll

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

1980 - Soyuz 37 ferries 2 cosmonauts (1 Vietnamese) to Salyut 6

1994 - Space shuttle STS-65: Columbia 17, lands after record 14 days 55 mins

1995 – Comet Hale–Bopp is discovered; it becomes visible to the naked eye on Earth nearly a year later.

1999 – Space Shuttle Columbia launches on STS-93, with Eileen Collins becoming the first female space shuttle commander. The shuttle also carried and deployed the Chandra X-ray Observatory

2015 – NASA's Kepler mission announces discovery of the most Earth-like planet yet - Kepler-452b, 1,400 light years from Earth

2019 - Investigation launched after no girls born in three months in 132 villages in Uttarkashi district, India, with sex-selective abortions suspected as the reason

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 41 mins 29 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:
The purpose of our human life is huge—to grow larger hearts and open minds—and we celebrate that we can do this in this moment.”
~  Judith Simmer-Brown, “Five Practices to Change Your Mind” 

2020 is 56% over and I am not sure that is good news or not. 

Thanks to COVID-19 I have become a recluse who can count on the my fingers the number of times in the past 113 days I have been outside my apartment except to go downstairs and get the mail or throw out the recycling.   In the past four months, I have been to the vet once, to the pharmacy once, and visited with my daughter and her family exactly four times.  I am afraid to go out because so few people are actually wearing masks, and I worry every single time I get in that elevator

I am worried sick about my country.  Federal officers – not military folks who have taken an oath to protect citizens -- but a group of folks answerable only to the president whacking, tear-gassing, abducting protestors.  A president who says on nationwide TV that he might not accept the results of an election and is already claiming it is rigged.   And constant pressure to reopen everything, dispense with masks, and force children to go back to school despite soaring infection and death rates


Like so many people, I’m tired.

Just, tired….

Permalink | Thursday, July 23, 2020

reflections on bedding....

Today is the 2nd day of the 27th week, the 29th day of the 6th month, the 181st day of 2020, and: 
  • Feasts of Saints Peter and Paul
  • Hug Holiday Day
  • Independence Day - Seychelles from the United Kingdom in 1976
  • International Day Of The Tropics
  • International Mud Day
  • National Almond Buttercrunch Day
  • National Camera Day
  • National Waffle Iron Day
  • Please Take My Children to Work Day
  • World Scleroderma Awareness Day

 512 - A solar eclipse is recorded by a monastic chronicler in Ireland.

1534 – Jacques Cartier is the first European to reach Prince Edward Island.

1613 – The Globe Theatre in London, built by William Shakespeare's playing company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, burns to the ground during a performance of "Henry VIII"

1888 – George Edward Gouraud records Handel's Israel in Egypt onto a phonograph cylinder, thought for many years to be the oldest known recording of music

1927 - the first flight from West Coast arrives in Hawaii

1956 – The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 is signed by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System.

1961 - Launch of Transit 4a, with 1st nuclear power supply (SNAP-3)

1963 - Beatles' first song "From Me to You" hits UK charts

1964 - the first draft of Star Trek's pilot "Cage" released

1968 - "Tip-Toe Thru' The Tulips With Me" by Tiny Tim peaks at #17

1972 - USSR launches Prognoz 2 into earth orbit (549/200,000 km)

1974 – Mikhail Baryshnikov defects from the Soviet Union to Canada while on tour with the Kirov Ballet.

1975 – Steve Wozniak tested his first prototype of Apple I computer.

1985 - NASA launches Intelsat VA F-11

1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s painting, theLe Pont de Trinquetaille, was bought for $20.4 million at an auction in London, England.

1995 – Space Shuttle program: STS-71 Mission (Atlantis) docks with the Russian space station Mir for the first time.

2007 – Apple Inc. releases its first mobile phone, the iPhone.

2008 - Thomas Beatie, the world's first pregnant man, gives birth to a daughter

2008 - Glastonbury music festival in England; Leonard Cohen the highlight singing ""Hallelujah"

 Sheets are very personal things, and it is hard to buy sets for other people.  Years and years ago – at least 11 actually – my daughter, who was horrified at the sheets I was using at the time, bought me a set of green pinstriped sheets.  When I packed up my apartment, it took me a couple of years to get through the Disaster Area and find the sheets, so I would wash and rewash that set and put them back on the bed.    Afterwards, I rotated them with the other sheets, but could never quite find ones that I liked so well.  I’ve tried cotton, bamboo, flannel, hemp, and some micro-slippery ones, but I keep coming back to these.  No idea what kind they are or where they come from, the much washed label just shows an almost illegible “100% cotton”.

Back in the day, Grandmom Hughes used to scoff at people who ironed their sheets, but admitted that she liked ironed pillow cases.  My aunt informed her she was not going to iron pillowcases, and my mother said that she would.  Of course then she got mad at the whole family after my father left town, and one of the last conversations I had with Grandmom in the hospice was about the fact her pillow cases weren’t ironed and my mother had promised….

I “hand iron” the warm cases out of the dryer, making sure they lie flat, and think about the past.  I can almost smell the wonderful smell of freshly laundered sheets as they are taken off the clothes line after drying outside….
Permalink | Monday, June 29, 2020

even little endings are poignant ....

Today is the 3rd day of the 26th week, the 23rd day of the 6th month, the 175th day of 2020, and: 
  • International Widows' Day
  • Let It Go Day
  • National Columnists Day
  • National Eat At A Food Truck Day
  • National Hydration Day
  • National Pecan Sandies Day
  • National Pink Day
  • Pink Flamingo Day (Lawn Ornaments)
  • Ratha Yatro or Ratha Yatra
  • Runner's Selfie Day
  • SAT Math Day
  • Typewriting Day
  • United Nations Public Service Day (International)
Incidentally, Mercury has been in retrograde since June 2nd and will remain that way until July 12th.
Today I used up my last bar of Disney soap.
Back in the day, every visit to WDW meant coming home with little containers of shampoo, conditioner, and lotion plus little bars of soap.  I quickly stopped collecting the bottles, but I always kept the soaps and used them when we were home.

Even when they changed to less themed soap bars, I still brought them home and used them. 

They sat next to my bathroom sink and every time I washed my hands I thought of all the fun we had in the parks and how much I wanted to go back.  It was just a little piece of magic in a workaday world.  Then, in August three years ago, WDW went to dispensers.  Why?  To reduce ecological impact, the company intoned, but really to reduce costs, both very valid reasons.  And yet….   I stare at that last remaining sliver of soap, knowing I have finally depleted the bag of souvenir soaps, and I am sad.  What was the value to Disney of stoking the dreams of their customers and fans, of keeping their brand front and center as part and parcel of the everyday routine?  Especially now, when so many of us don’t know when or if we will be able to return? 
I took that last sliver of soap and put it in the washcloth bag where joined with the other scraps, it will slowly wear away, and put another fresh bar of soap – generic soap – out on the soap dish.

Permalink | Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I am not okay....

Today is the 4th day of the 24th week, the 10th day of the 6th month, the 162nd day of 2020, and: 
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (Founders) Day
  • Ball Point Pen Day
  • National Black Cow Day
  • National Egg Roll Day
  • National Herb and Spice Day
  • National Iced Tea Day

323 BC - Alexander the Great, Macedonian king, dies from either fever or excessive wine at 32

 671 – Emperor Tenji of Japan introduces a water clock (clepsydra) called Rokoku. The instrument, which measures time and indicates hours, is placed in the capital of Ōtsu.

1190 = Frederick Barbarossa, King of Germany (1152-90) and Holy Roman Emperor (1155-90), drowns at 67 or 68

1596 – Willem Barents and Jacob van Heemskerk discover Bear Island. ((the one in the Norwegian Svalbard archipelago, not the one in Westros))

1610 - the first Dutch settlers arrive (from NJ), to colonize Manhattan Island

1692 - The first victim of the Salem witch trials, Bridget Bishop, is hanged for witchcraft in the colony of Massachusetts

1752 - Benjamin Franklin tests the lightning conductor with his kite-flying experiment

1793 - the first public zoo opens in Paris

1829 – The first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge takes place on the Thames in London.

1845 - Andrew Jackson's African Grey parrot "Poll" is removed from his funeral for swearing at The Hermitage, Tennessee. Funeral attendee William Menefee Norment recorded: "Before the sermon and while the crowd was gathering, a wicked parrot that was a household pet got excited and commenced swearing so loud and long as to disturb the people and had to be carried from the house”

1854 - Georg F B Reiman proposes that space is curved

1869 - 'Agnes' arrives in New Orleans with 1st ever shipment of frozen beef

1902 - Patent for window envelope granted to H F Callahan

1905 - the first forest fire lookout tower placed in operation, Greenville, Maine

1933 - John Dillinger robs his first bank, in New Carlisle, Ohio. He takes $10, 600

1935 – Dr. Robert Smith takes his last drink, and Alcoholics Anonymous is founded in Akron, Ohio, United States, by him and Bill Wilson.

1947 – Saab produces its first automobile.

1955 - the fisrst separation of a virus into component parts reported

1973 - NASA launches Radio Astronomy Explorer 49 into lunar orbit

1984 - US missile shoots down an incoming missile in space for first time

1987 - Discovery's SRBs and External Tank are mated

1992 - Satellite Intelsat K launched

1994 – China conducts a nuclear test for DF-31 warhead at Area C (Beishan), Lop Nur, its prominence being due to the Cox Report.

1996 - Intel releases 200 mhz pentium chip

2002 – The first direct electronic communication experiment between the nervous systems of two humans is carried out by Kevin Warwick in the United Kingdom.

2003 – The Spirit rover is launched, beginning NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission.

2019 - New DNA research on grapes shows one French wine Savagnin Blanc has been grown for 900 years in Jura published in "Nature Plants"

2020 – NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 min 00 sec of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
“Quiet minds cannot be perplexed or frightened but go on in fortune or misfortune at their own private pace, like a clock during a thunderstorm.”
~  Robert Louis Stevenson, An Inland Voyage

My mind is far from quiet, in fact, the blasted organ never seems to shut off these days, especially in the wee hours of the night.  I’m not the only one struggling with anxiety and angst – many of my friends and coworkers admit to troubled sleep and days when a heaviness of spirit seems to oppressively hover over everything.  Perhaps it is 2 ½ months hunkered down at home.  Perhaps it is the ever widening divide between political parties with the subsequent paralysis to act in anything like a coordinated fashion.  Perhaps it is the barrage of hate, of fear, of anger, of lies and conspiracy theories that seem to make up the news.  Whatever it is, I am tired – physically, mentally, spiritually


We are definitely living in interesting times….
Permalink | Wednesday, June 10, 2020


Quote of the day:

"Practicing mindful awareness of...our conditioning and habits of the mind helps us to know what we are up against within ourselves as we seek to make change in the world."

~  Rhonda Magee, “Making the Invisible Visible

Permalink | Friday, June 5, 2020

Voting by mail

Today is the 4th day of the 22nd week, the 27th day of the 5th month, the 148th day of 2020 [with only 211 shopping days before Christmas]
For the first time since I started voting, I voted by mail today. 
There is a lot of controversy around voting by mail.  Opponents claim it is an open invitation to voter fraud.  Proponents claim it is a very secure process.  News stories abound about ballots not counted because they were never  delivered, but then again, there are plenty of stories about paper ballots from polls not being counted either, as well as issues with voting machines tallies.  For me, perhaps the strongest argument is that when I got a passport, then again a Real ID, neither document was handed to me in person but instead was mailed to me at my residence address on record.  Both of these are vital ID records and they were entrusted to the USPS
So I decided I would mail in my ballot for the Democratic Maryland Presidential Primary this year just to test the process.  I went to the MD State Board of Elections website, and learned every registered voter would be mailed a ballot due to COVID-19.  Had I wanted to request one, I would’ve had to apply for it, but according to the website, I don’t need to supply a reason for my request, it is my right to choose how I will vote.  I would’ve had to give my name, birthdate, last four digits of my social security number, current residential and mailing addresses, my MD Driver’s License number and expiration date [needed to apply online], my political affiliation, any information about previous registration [e.g. another name].  I can choose to have my ballot mailed to me, faxed to me, or a link to complete it online emailed to me.  The vetting appears to me to be as thorough as matching my name to a computer generated list and glancing at my voter registration card in a polling place.  For this primary, due to the lockdown caused by COVID-19 preventive measures, I did not have to request a ballot as every registered voter received one in the mail.  I got mine last week, and all I have to do is mark it and send it back before June 2nd in the postage paid envelope that has been provided.   I even can verify that my ballot has been received by going back to the website
The entire process was smooth, and I was quite comfortable with it, well after I finally found a black pen in my home that actually worked!  Now here is my only hesitation – the return envelope is marked with my name and a bar code identifying that ballot as having come from me on the back.  There is also a place for me to sign and print my name, attesting this ballot was mine and mine alone.  I assume the marked ballot is taken out of the envelope and separated from it, but still, my vote is hardly anonymous and can be easily tracked to me.  Anonymity would be even more difficult if I chose to vote online. 
Permalink | Wednesday, May 27, 2020

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

Today is the 3rd day of the 22nd week, the 26th day of the 5th month, the 147th day of 2020
Those of you who have been following this blog know that even when I am not posting here, I am sharing articles on social media, usually in Facebook and Twitter.  Now and then, as I decided to do today, instead of posting during the day, I aggregate my offerings into a blog post.
The US is finally returning as a space faring nation with the first liftoff from Cape Canaveral [oops, just showed my age, it’s the Kennedy Space Center and has been for decades] in nine years, and even more importantly, it will be the first time a private enterprise has sent astronauts aloft.  If you want to watch it, this article tells you when and how.  I think everyone will be holding their breath!  It will take almost a day for the Dragon “space taxi” to dock and the astronauts are scheduled to spend at least a month on board the ISS.  Meanwhile, the Virgin Orbit Rocket flunked its first test. And China is planning to go to Mars
Human activity is causing a major extinction event, but the dinosaurs were incredibly unlucky
A ring of fire shows the violence of the early universe as galaxies collide.
I’m not sure orbital use fees would solve the problem of space junk – to whom would such fees be paid? 
Archeology has often been used both for and against those who are in power or the majority at any given time, but our cultural heritage should belong to all of us, neh? 
A marine heatwave is not the first thing I think of when hearing about “the Blob” and I didn’t know that heatwaves travelled through water like that
The Festival of the Lion King looks very different in DisneyLand Paris although it is sung in English – it is actually a very truncated retelling of the story while at WDW, it is more of a performance of songs
The Earth’s magnetic field is not a constant – it has weaknesses and flip-flops now and then. 
You too can travel in time – or at least leave a message for the future
JK Rowling is releasing her latest book online for free  
There you go –  a sample of the things I found interesting enough to share….

Permalink | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

Permalink | Saturday, May 23, 2020

when things get tough....

Today is the 3rd day of the 21st week, the 19th day of the 5th month, the 140th day of 2020, and: 
  • Boy's Club Day
  • Celebrate Your Elected Officials Day
  • Dinosaur Day
  • May Ray Day
  • National Asian and Pacific Islander HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • National Devil's Food Cake Day
  • National Hepatitis Testing Day
  • National Scooter Day
  • World IBD [Inflammatory Bowel Diseases] Day

1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).

1571 - Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi founds Manilla in the Phillipines

1780 – New England's Dark Day, an unusual darkening of the day sky, was observed over the New England states and parts of Canada.

1845 – Captain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition depart from Greenhithe, England.

1857 - Americans William Francis Channing and Moses G Farmer patent the electric fire alarm

1883 - William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody opened Buffalo Bill's Wild West show in Omaha, Nebraska

1884 - Ringling Brothers circus premieres

1885 - 1st mass production of shoes (Jan Matzeliger in Lynn, Massachusetts)

1892 - Charles Brady King invents pneumatic hammer

1898 - US Congress passes the Private Mailing Card Act, allowing private publishers and printers to produce postcards, had to be labelled "Private Mailing Cards" until 1901, known as "souvenir cards"

1900 - World's longest railroad tunnel (Simplon) linking Italy and Switzerland opens

1910 - Passage of Earth through tail of Halley's Comet causes near-panic

1911 – Parks Canada, the world's first national park service, is established as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior.

1934 - Sherlock Holmes crossword puzzle in "Sat Review of Lit"  Males who solved puzzle became members of Baker Street Irregulars

1953 - Nuclear explosion in Nevada (fall-out in St George, Utah)

1961 – Venera program: Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and did not send back any data).

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Christmas Island (atmospheric)

1971 – Mars probe program: Mars 2 is launched by the Soviet Union.

1972 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

1977 - "Smokey & the Bandit" fim starring Burt Reynolds, Sally Field and Jackie Gleason premieres

1983 - NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 506

1989 - Dow Jones Avg passes 2,500 mark for 1st time, closes at 2,501.1

1993 - Dow Jones closes above 3,500 for 1st time (3,500.03)

1995 - World's youngest doctor, Balamurali Ambati, 17, graduates Mount Sinai

1996 - STS 77 (Endeavour 11), launches into orbit

1997 – The Sierra Gorda biosphere, the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, is established as a result of grassroots efforts.

1997 - "The Lost World: Jurassic Park", directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Jeff Goldblum and Julianne Moore, premieres in the US

1999 - Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, directed by George Lucas, starring Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Liam Neeson is released in cinemas

2007 - "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End", directed by Gore Verbinksi, starring Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom premieres in Anaheim - most expensive film ($300 million) made at the time

2011 - Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, project to search for dark matter, led by Samuel C. C. Ting, installed on the International Space Station

2161 - Syzygy: 8 of 9 planets aligned on same side of sun

I was going to give you facts and figures about the costs of COVID-19, but the numbers don’t convey the story at all.  I don’t actually know what to say about the difference between “stay at home” and “safer at home” orders, about the need for folks to stop acting like spoiled brats over haircuts and nails, about how I feel seeing armed folks patrolling government buildings.  I know folks who make double what I do, but they got an assistance check because their adjusted gross income after all their deductions was less than mine.  I read about the assistance given to small businesses, but know places that are going to go under because they haven’t gotten any help with the rent for their premises while they are closed as In seven weeks, only 7.5% of the available funds to help have been disbursed.  And while I work in the safety of my home, too many are being told to either go back to work or lose their jobs.  So I haven’t been writing because I simply do not have a lot to say about all these things, about how angry I am or how anxious or disgusted or discouraged for others have said it far more articulately and wittily than I.   
Hmmm, I may need to work on that positive thinking thing again….
Permalink | Tuesday, May 19, 2020

valued added -- or not

Today is the 6th day of the 19th week, the 8th day of the 5th month, the 129th day of 2020 [with only 230 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Fintastic Friday:  Giving Sharks a Voice
  • Free Trade Day
  • Furry Dance Day
  • International Space Day
  • Iris Day
  • military Spouse Appreciation 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 Have a Coke Day
  • National Provider Appreciation Day
  • National Public Gardens Day
  • National Student Nurses Day
  • No Socks Day
  • Pesach Sheni
  • Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during WWII
  • Victory in Europe Day
  • World Ovarian Cancer Day
  • World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day
  • Earliest day on which Mother's Day can fall, while May 14 is the latest; celebrated on the second Sunday of May. (United States and others)
Most of us have come to the realization that we are not essential, especially not during an emergency, which can be a humbling thought if it hadn’t occurred to you in the past.  Our existence is not necessary to the health and wellbeing of society, indeed, most of us are anonymous cogs in the wheels that keep rolling on whether we are there or not.   But it is quite another thing to find out you not just non-essential, you are expendable
What does it mean to be worthless in the eyes of the rich and powerful?  To be required to work regardless of the dangers, knowing that your pay is minimal, knowing if you don’t go back, you lose your job and can get neither unemployment nor healthcare?  Even those of us with jobs have to step back and pause, struck by the realization that we don’t matter anymore than serfs in the Middle Ages, all the powers that be are looking at is the profits and the wellbeing of their shareholders because employees are not assets to be cultivated and protected, they are costs to be contained.  The state is no protection, it is the government [state and federal] agreeing with the capitalists “it’s the economy, stupid” that matters and not individual lives 
And what does that do to an one’s sense of self-worth and value, especially if they are isolated and alone?
Permalink | Friday, May 8, 2020

what price pixie dust?

Today is the 4th day of the 18th week, the 29th day of the 4th month, the 120th day of 2020, and: 
  • Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare
  • Denim Day
  • International Dance Day
  • International Guide Dog Day
  • International Noise Awareness Day
  • National Peace Rose Day
  • National Shrimp Scampi Day
  • Shōwa Day, traditionally the start of the Golden Week holiday period
  • Stop Food Waste Day
  • Viral Video Day
  • We Jump the World Day
  • World Stationary Day
  • World Wish Day
  • Zipper Day
I wasn’t always a Disney fan.  Although I was dutifully taken to even single Disney movie as a kid, and then took my own kids to every new release, calling something “mickey mouse” was far from a compliment.  Then Frank insisted we needed to go to Walt Disney World in 1987.   I thought of WDW as just another theme park, like Busch Gardens or Kings Dominion, until we sat in the Imagination car in Epcot.  The clouds rolled back, the Dreamfinder and Figment appeared, and I had the blindingly realization that this was a SHOW and I was invited to be on the stage, and I fell in love.
Over the years, Frank and I went back to Disney many times, at first with my kids, once with his daughter and her family, and then alone.  We became stockholders.  We discovered the joys of staying on site and once even got to stay in the Animal Lodge, a deluxe resort.  After he died, I made solo trips, and then trips with family, took a Disney cruise, and even got to go to Disneyland once.  The apartment is full of Disney paraphernalia and I have an entire wardrobe of Disney clothing and jewelry.  It became my dream to retire, move to Orlando, and go to work for the House of the Mouse.
But in the past five years or so, I started noticing the maintenance on the parks wasn’t what it had been.  Dark rides were just made darker, and seemed to break down more often, and for the first time, I saw litter.  The place started getting more crowded, there was more tie-ins to the movies even in Epcot and the Animal Kingdom, stockholder perks and discounts were eliminated, pricey tours and experiences started cropping up, and suddenly the cost of a WDW vacation seemed to be very high.   Disney executives no longer talked about the magic – they only talked about ROI and paid themselves huge salaries with even larger bonuses.  This, of course, simply mirrored what has happened across the spectrum of corporate board rooms.
Now, after the impact of COVID-19, the burning question is what will Disney do next?  The Disney cruise line is out of the water at the moment.  In the parks, rather than keep construction going and doing much needed maintenance in the empty parks,   everything ground to a halt as Disney chose not to make that investment in the future, while rival Universal Studios kept on working.  OTOH – it is clear the communities around the parks are in need of stimulus visiting Disney fans provide.     OTOH – it is also clear the parks will not bring in the kind of income Disney has come to expect if they have to reduce capacity and implement more stringent maintenance.

It will be interesting to see what happens, how many people feel comfortable and what kind of experience they can expect to enjoy
Permalink | Wednesday, April 29, 2020

lonely? not actually....

Today is the 4th day of the 17th week, the 22nd day of the 4th month, the 113th day of 2020, and: 
  • "In God We Trust" Day -  the Coinage Act of 1864 was passed, mandating that the inscription In God We Trust be placed on all coins minted as United States currency.
  • Administrative Professionals Day ((there are some of us who remember this as Secretaries Day))
  • April Showers Day
  • Chemists Celebrate the Earth Day
  • Earth Day – celebrated since 1970, founded by Gaylord Nelson, an American politician and environmentalist from Wisconsin who served as a United States Senator and governor
  • Girl Scout Leader Day
  • Global Selfie Earth Day (NASA)
  • International Mother Earth Day
  • National Bookmobile Day
  • National Jelly Bean Day
  • New Moon at 10:26 pm EDT

1056 - Supernova Crab nebula last seen by the naked eye

1145 - 19th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet

1500 – Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral lands in Brazil, landing near Monte Pascoal, and claims it for Portugal

1519 – Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés establishes a settlement at Veracruz, Mexico.

1692 - Edward Bishop is jailed for proposing flogging as a cure for witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts

1817 - Curacao prohibits use of white paint due to fierce sunlight

1838 - English steamship "Sirius" docks in NYC after crossing the Atlantic, first transatlantic steam passenger service

1876 – The first game in the history of the National League was played at the Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia. This game is often pointed to as the beginning of Major League Baseball (Boston Red Stockings beat Philadelphia Athletics, 6-5, and Philadelphia Nationals Wes Fisler scores baseball's first run)

1876 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky completes his ballet "Swan Lake"

1889 – At noon, thousands rush to claim land in the Land Rush of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed with populations of at least 10,000.

1906 - New rule puts umpire in sole charge of all game balls

1952 - the first atomic explosion is shown on network news, Nob, Nevada

1964 - World's Fair at Flushing Meadow, Corona Park, NY opens

1966 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1969 - the first human eye transplant performed

1971 - Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 10 launched

1972 - Apollo astronauts John Young & Charles Duke ride on Moon

1977 – Optical fiber is first used to carry live telephone traffic.

1981 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1981 - More than $3.3 million is stolen from the First National Bank of Arizona in Tucson in the then largest US bank robbery in history

1983 – The German magazine Stern claims the "Hitler Diaries" had been found in wreckage in East Germany; the diaries are subsequently revealed to be forgeries.

1983 - Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1983 - Soyuz T-8 returns to Earth

1986 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1991 - Intel releases 486SX chip

1993 - Holocaust Memorial Museum dedicated in Washington, D.C.

1994 - Borge Ousland is the fist person on a solo and unsupported journey to reach the North Pole

1994 - In Denmark the largest lollipop, weighing 3,011 pounds, made

1998 - Disney's Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.

2016 - Paris Agreement on climate change signed in New York binding 195 nations to an increase in the global average temperature to less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 33 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

   “Loneliness expresses the pain of being alone and solitude expresses the glory of being alone.”

~ Paul Tillich, German-American Christian existentialist philosopher and Lutheran Protestant theologian


Solitude is all about being with yourself.  It can be tough if you don’t like yourself though, and that can make one feel lonely.  Loneliness can also result from Isolation, when you feel disconnected from others, a feeling of being thrown onto your own resources. 




And yet?  I think being quarantined by yourself has some advantages, and it is easier to deal with than trying to work around other’s personalities and angst, when your home just doesn’t seem to be big enough to give everyone their space, which all of us need at times….

Permalink | Wednesday, April 22, 2020

cabin fever

Today is the 6th day of the 16th week, the 17th day of the 4th month, the 108th day of 2020, and: 
  • Bat Appreciation Day
  • Blah, Blah, Blah Day
  • Ellis Island Family History Day
  • Herbalist Day
  • independence Day - Syria from France in 1946
  • International Ford Mustang Day
  • International Haiku Poetry Day
  • Malbec World Day
  • National Cheeseball Day
  • National Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet Day
  • National Crawfish Day
  • National Donate Life (Blue and Green) Day
  • National Kickball Day
  • Nothing Like a Dame Day
  • World Hemophilia Day
Quote of the day:
Life is a train of moods like a string of beads, and as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue, and each shows only what lies in its focus.”
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Experience,” from The Complete Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson

The term cabin fever is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors”  and is usually used specifically to angst during the winter.  An offshoot of this is seasonal affective disorder [SAD], which seems to be specific to the quantity of sunlight at certain times of the year, although the vast amount of sufferers are impacted during the late fall and winter months when the sun is not visible for long and the light is pale when it does show.  Those who live in the harsher climes of long winters are especially aware of this seasonal disorder and over many centuries have developed coping mechanisms to address it.  So, feeling cooped up can be a real issue, there is no denying that   

According to Wikipedia, a person who suffers from cabin fever can be described “… as stir-crazy, derived from the use of stir to mean 'prison'” which then “… can lead the sufferer to make irrational decisions that could potentially threaten their life or the life of the group with whom they are confined.”   Perhaps that explains the insanity of those protesting being asked to shelter at home to stop the rapid spread of COVID-19?  Neither the angst of folks who cannot stand staying home, nor the greed of Rich Uncle Pennybags [who did indeed have a monocle at some point], can change the fact that flattening the curve is the first priority.    




On a personal level, I still remember the first time I spent an extended amount in my apartment with Frank – it was over a holiday weekend and I did not set foot outside my door from when I got home from work on Friday night until Tuesday morning, and I was never so glad to leave for work before or since.    Since then, seventeen years have passed, but more importantly, I have developed a robust 2nd life and have learned to live in virtual reality.
Permalink | Friday, April 17, 2020

what's in a name?

Today is the 4th day of the 16th week, the 15th day of the 4th month, the 106th day of 2020 [with only 253 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • Anime Day
  • ASL (American Sign Language) Day
  • Income Tax Pay Day ((DATE EXTENDED TO JULY DUE TO CORVID-19.))
  • Jackie Robinson Day – AKA 42 day as the color barrier was broken in major league baseball in 1947
  • McDonald's Day
  • Micovolunteering Day
  • National Banana Day
  • National Bookmobile Day
  • National Glazed Spiral Ham Day
  • National Griper's Day
  • National Laundry Day
  • National Rubber Eraser Day
  • National That Sucks Day
  • National Titanic Remembrance Day
  • One Boston Day – a day encouraging random acts of kindness, commemorating the Marathon bombing in 2013
  • School Librarians' Day
  • Take a Wild Guess Day
  • Titanic Remembrance Day
  • Universal Day of Culture
  • World Art Day (DaVinci's Birthday)
Quote of the day:
To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
~  Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books

Back when I joined Second Life in 2005, one of the first rituals was choosing a name – you could pick any first name you wanted, but had to choose a last name from a list, and once that name was chosen, it was yours for the life of that avatar.  That was when beladona Memorial was born.  Some people were not careful when creating their first name and ended up with numbers [like beladona123] and were unhappy.  The use of titles which showed above the system name became common as did the practice of creating an alt just to change the name.

 For some unknown reason, back in 2011 Linden Labs discarded last names and everyone was who created an avatar after that could pick a first name and their last name was “Resident”.   What we learned at that point was that many people were very invested in their name, and how it showed in world.  Many felt that having a last name of “Resident” marked them as newcomers and they would be subtly discriminated against.  In the fall of 2017, LL rolled out the ability to create “display names” which addressed some of these issues, but you still had your system name written in stone and it was easily discoverable.  Folks were still discontented. 

Now there is a new program that permits you to change your system name – both the first and the last names – if you sign up for a premium membership and pay an additional fee.  You get to pick whatever you want for the first name, but you get to choose whether to keep your existing last name or to pick from names that are available:


And you can do this as often as you like, as long as you are a premium member and willing to pay for it.  Some have pounced on the offer, some resent paying for it and call LL greedy for charging, others have shrugged and decided to keep the moniker they currently possess.  It all boils down to your identity – how you define yourself in world and how invested you are in that identity.
Permalink | Wednesday, April 15, 2020

despite COVID-19

Permalink | Sunday, April 12, 2020

Permalink | Wednesday, April 8, 2020


Today is the 2nd day of the 14th week, the 20th day of the 3rd month, the 90th day of 2020, and: 
  • Grass is Always Browner on the Other Side of the Fence Day
  • International Folding Laundry Day
  • National Doctors Day
  • National I am in Control Day
  • National Virtual Vacation Day
  • Pencil Day
  • Take a Walk in the Park Day
  • TB-303 Appreciation Day
  • Torrents Day
  • Turkey Neck Soup Day
  • World Bipolar Day
  • Earliest day on which the first day of Hocktide can fall, while April 3 is the latest; observed on the second Monday after Easter. (Hungerford, England; popular in medieval England)
Quote of the day:
There is only one time that is important – NOW!  It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power.”
~  Leo Tolstoy, What Men Live By and Other Tales

One of the blogs I follow in my reader – and I recommend Newsblur very highly – recently talked about the first actual trees that took root and the opening paragraph was:    

When trees first grew on Earth, death followed. The first tree was Archaeopteris. One hundred feet tall and looking a lot like a cedar, it spread its branches, breathed the air, anchored itself in the soil, when soil itself was an innovation, and brought catastrophe to the world. That was 375 million years ago.”

That startled me, trees precipitating an extinction event

Indeed, the theory is that was exactly what happened.  Oh, not immediately, mind you.  One tree didn’t make that much difference, but as its progeny spread across the existing land masses during the late Devonian period, the climatic impact was felt.  C02 was drawn out of the air and stored it in the waters as their deep roots broke up the rocks under the soil.    Ultimately that water was carried to the sea and the carbon dioxide locked away in limestone deposits.  As the trees breathed in the carbon dioxide, they exhaled oxygen, and giant winged insects rode the currents of the air.  But as the greenhouse effect of CO2 lessened, the world turned colder and ice began to form, and mass extinction followed.   Archaeopteris  did not survive the climate changes it precipitated.  We can see the remains of these ancient trees in Cairo, New York   


Although it caused their demise, the changes the trees wrought formed  the world we live in today.  Made me ponder the changes that humans have caused and wonder what the new world will look like after the Anthropocene era ends ….
Permalink | Monday, March 30, 2020

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