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bleeding heart....

Carol H Tucker

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

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


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

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working for a living

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


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

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

So what happened?

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

~ Neil deGrasse Tyson


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

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

heritage VS hatred

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


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


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



It needs to stop.


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

who gets to draw the line?

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

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

~ J. Michael Straczynski

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

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

We cannot let hate win

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


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

No they are NOT good guys

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


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


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


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





It has to stop.




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

no words

Today is the 2nd day of the 33rd week, the 14th day of the 8th month, the 226th day of 2017 [with only 132 days until Christmas], and: 
  • Color Book Day

  • International Rose' Day

  • National Creamsicle Day

  • national Financial Awareness Day

  • National Navajo Code Talkers Day

  • National Wiffle Ball Day

  • Spirit of '45 Day

  • V-J or Victory Day

Even someone like me who is intentionally ignoring the news cannot ignore the blatant racism and prejudice of those who took to the streets to “celebrate European culture”. 
I am terrified that these radicals will take over and do horrible things in the name of white supremacy
I want to apologize to everyone, to make it go away, to believe it is only a fringe group..
I thought we were so much further along as a society than this.
I don’t know the words strong enough. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 14, 2017

deal with it Tuesday

Today is the 3rd day of the 32nd week, the 8th day of the 8th month, the 220th day of 2017, and: 
  • Dalek Day
  • Happiness Happens Day – courtesy of the Secret Society of Happy People, which supports people who want to share their happiness despite the ones who don’t want to hear happy news
  • International Cat Day
  • National Dollar Day
  • National Frozen Custard Day – I still miss the old frozen egg custard store In Harper’s Ferry.  We used to drive there just to get a cone on a pretty day way back when
  • National Zucchini Day
  • Odie Day – you know, Garfield’s buddy
  • Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor's Porch Day – Grandmom Hughes always had neighbors giving her this squash.  She had an awesome recipe for relish using this; she used to can it and give it to us
  • The Date to Create
ON THIS DAY:  In 870 King Louis the German and his half-brother Charles the Bald partitioned the Middle Frankish Kingdom into two larger east and west divisions in what became to be known as the Treaty of Meerssen.  In 1576 the cornerstone for Tycho Brahe's Uraniborg observatory was laid on the island of Hven.  In 1585 John Davis entered Cumberland Sound in search of the Northwest Passage.  In 1605 the city of Oulu, Finland was founded by Charles IX of Sweden.  In 1709 Bartolomeu de Gusmão demonstrated the lifting power of hot air in an audience before the king of Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal.  In 1786 Mont Blanc on the French-Italian border was climbed for the first time by Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard.  In 1876 Thomas Edison received a patent for his mimeograph.  In 1908 Wilbur Wright made his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France in the Wright Brothers' first public flight.  In 1929 the German airship Graf Zeppelin began a round-the-world flight.  In 1946 the first flight of the Convair B-36, the world's first mass-produced nuclear weapon delivery vehicle, the heaviest mass-produced piston-engined aircraft, with the longest wingspan of any military aircraft, and the first bomber with intercontinental range.  In 1963 a gang of 15 train robbers ambushed the Glasgow to Euston mail train and stole £2.6 million in bank notes in what became known as the Great Train Robbery.  In 1969 at a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan took the iconic photo that becomes the cover image of the Beatles' album Abbey Road.  In 1974 President Richard Nixon in a nationwide television address announced his resignation from the office of the President of the United States effective noon the next day.  In 1989 Space Shuttle Columbia takes off on a secret five-day military mission.  In 1991 the Warsaw radio mast, at one time the tallest construction ever built, collapsed.  In 2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 15 mins 13 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

   “Even though you may want to move forward in your life, you may have one foot on the brakes. In order to be free, we must learn how to let go. Release the hurt. Release the fear. Refuse to entertain your old pain. The energy it takes to hang onto the past is holding you back from a new life. What is it you would let go of today?”  ~ Mary Manin Morrissey, life coach, motivational speaker, spiritual author, and Founder of Life Mastery Institute


Okay, isn’t there a law or a HR regulation that forbids more than one Monday a week?


Yeah, I know the picture has nothing at all to do with anything else in this post, but it made me chuckle so I shared it anyway.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, August 8, 2017

rainy days and Mondays, neh?

Today is the 2nd day of the 32nd week, the 7th day of the 8th month, the 219th day of 2017, and: 
  • Assistance Dog Day
  • Beach Party Day
  • National Lighthouse Day
  • National Psychic Day
  • National Sea Serpent Day
  • Particularly preposterous Packaging Day
  • Professional Speakers Day
  • Purple Heart Day --  in 1782 George Washington ordered the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honor soldiers wounded in battle; it is later renamed to the more poetic Purple Heart.
  • Tu B'Av
ON THIS DAY:  In 322 BC the Battle of Crannon between Athens and Macedonia.  In 1420 the construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore began in Florence.  In 1679 the brigantine Le Griffon, commissioned by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was towed to the south-eastern end of the Niagara River, to become the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes of North America.  In 1858 the first Australian rules football match was played between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College.  In 1879 the Poor Man's Palace opened in Manchester, England.  In 1909 Alice Huyler Ramsey and three friends became the first women to complete a transcontinental auto trip, taking 59 days to travel from New York, New York to San Francisco, California.  In 1927 the Peace Bridge opened between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.  In 1944 IBM dedicated the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).  In 1947 Thor Heyerdahl's balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashed into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day, 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) journey across the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to prove that pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America.  In 1955 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, sold its first transistor radios in Japan.  In 1959 Explorer 6 launched from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida.  In 1971 Apollo 15 returned to Earth after a manned mission to the moon.  In 1974 Philippe Petit performed a high wire act between the twin towers of the World Trade Center 1,368 feet (417 m) in the air.  In 1976 Viking 2 entered orbit around Mars.  In 1981 the Washington Star ceased all operations after 128 years of publication.  In 1985 Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai were chosen to be Japan's first astronauts.  In 1987 Lynne Cox became the first person to swim from the United States to the Soviet Union, crossing the Bering Strait from Little Diomede Island in Alaska to Big Diomede in the Soviet Union.  In 2000 DeviantArt was launched.


Quote of the day:

"The influence of each human being on others in this life is a kind of immortality."

~  John Quincy Adams (1767 - 1848), 6th President of the United States


And what will the legacy be?  That time when I got annoyed and honked at the car in front of me and upset the driver?  Will my kids remember all the days we read together and did things or will they remember the spankings and confrontations?  Perhaps that time in the office when I pulled off a coup, or maybe that time when I acted like a complete numbskull.  How do I, being neither rich nor famous,  know what impact I am having on those around me?


I don’t.


Guess it behooves me to keep slogging on and do the best that I can without giving up, neh?


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 7, 2017

take a moment....

to greive.

Today the United States became the only nation to use the atom bomb in warfare.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, August 6, 2017

being presidential

Today is the 6th day of the 31st week, the 4th day of the 8th month, the 216th day of 2017 [with only 142 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Braham or Homemade Pie Day – check out the self-proclaimed pie capital of Minnesota
  • Hooray for Kids Day
  • International Beer Day
  • National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day
  • National White Wine Day
  • Single Working Woman's Day
  • Social Security Day
  • Tomboy Tools Day
  • Twins Day [start of the weekend]
  • US Coast Guard Day --  in 1790 a newly passed tariff act created the Revenue Cutter Service (the forerunner of the United States Coast Guard).
In 1987 The Federal Communications Commission voted to rescind the Fairness Doctrine, which required radio and TV stations to present balanced coverage of controversial issues  The fact that today marks the end of media’s legal obligation for objective reporting got me to pondering.  Certainly it appears that as news services no longer have to present a balanced picture, polarization on the issue of the President has increased, neh?  While I am still struggling with not being alarmed by the daily news, I have been thinking a lot about the fact we have been vilifying our presidents pretty harshly in social media, which made me think about how I personally regarded our presidents in my lifetime:


Harry S Truman  1945 – 1953:  I was a baby and didn’t care one way or another

Dwight Eisenhower  1953–1961: I was a kid and still didn’t care much, but the overall impression I had of him in retrospect was that he was blanc

John F. Kennedy  1961–1963:  young, charismatic, dynamic and came to a tragic end.  I was still not very politically sensitive yet

Lyndon Johnson  1963–1969:  I was very political at this time.  I demonstrated against our involvement in Vietnam and abused him with great regularity.  Then I sat down and cried when he announced that he did not want to be a divisive force and would not run for office again, feeling that I personally had caused this man to give up.  In retrospect, he was sneaky and overbearing and the last of the wheeler-dealers, but he got things done and for that he should be respected

Richard Nixon  1969–1974:  I disliked this man intensely and felt he was as crooked as the day is long.  Refused to vote for him but couldn’t support McGovern either so wasted my first presidential election vote on Mickey Mouse.

Gerald Ford  1974–1977:  nice guy but a bit of a bumbler

Jimmy Carter  1977–1981:  I voted for him for two reasons – he was a nice man and he was a successful business man and I thought we needed both in the White House.  In retrospect he was probably one of the most ineffectual presidents every elected.  Makes a simply awesome ex-President though!

Ronald Reagan  1981–1989:  not a bad actor and seemed like a fairly good person, but I voted against him both times as I was not impressed that he was Governor of California and I still think “trickledown economics” is totally ridiculous idea.  As the years have passed, I have developed an actual dislike for his role -- I am convinced that he was simply a stooge for a group of powerful rich old men and they intentionally decimated the Middle Class.

George H. W. Bush  1989–1993:  I honestly don’t remember much about him.  Voted against him

William J. Clinton  1993–2001:  showed a lot of promise but ended up acting like a complete fool and I didn’t like the First Lady either, just for the record.  Only voted for him the second time because I couldn’t stomach the alternative.

George W. Bush  2001–2009:  I have no idea how someone that dumb got elected but then again, I am not a rocket scientist either.  Not a bad person, but another shill for that group of powerful rich old men.  Voted against him both times.

Barack Obama  2009–2017:  voted for him both times but we’ll never know what kind of President he would’ve made because the GOP saw to it that very little could be done.  He had some really good ideas and I cannot acquit most of his opponents from reacting to him because he is black. 

Donald J. Trump  2017–present:  a totally unqualified reality show host more interested in himself than the country who was supported by that group of old rich white men and  got elected by appealing to the folks who felt left behind.  Has it really only been seven months?


I hadn’t thought much about it, but I have tended to think more highly of the Democratic Presidents than the Republicans on the whole.  Perhaps my growing conviction since Reagan that there is a coterie of rich old white men who are determined to stay in power and be damned to the rest of us has colored my perception of the GOP as a whole   Perhaps my concerns about income inequity and the demise of the Middle Class, as well as how unprepared we are for the new realities as we move past the Industrial Revolution have intensified the loathing I feel for Calvinists and Libertarians, both of whom seem to have made the GOP their home.  But perhaps, just perhaps, my viewpoint – and maybe all of our perception -- is colored by the fact I no longer automatically hear both sides of the story, neh?  The FCC did us no favor 30 years ago

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, August 4, 2017

Throwback Thursday

So you have joined socil media and the first thing you have to do is put up a profile picture

When I opened my Facebook account, I chose to use the picture my avatar [beladona Memorial] was using for her profile.  It was a drawig that my former partner Sam had paid an in-world artist to do and I liked it even if the artist left off the freckles.  Bela has had many looks in the past 11 1/2 years, but the glasses and the freckles have remained throughout many changes, even when she is not human.

I thought about naming today "Tired Thursday" because I can't seem to catch enough rest these days

but I oblviously decided to be a bit more upbeat!

Enjoy your Friday's Eve! 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 3, 2017

greeting Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 31st week, the 31st day of the 7th month, the 212th day of 2017, and: 
  • Mutt's Day
  • National Cotton Candy Day
  • National Jump for Jelly Beans Day
  • National Raspberry Cake Day
  • Shredded Wheat Day
  • Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day
  • World Ranger Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 30 BC Mark Antony achieves a minor victory over Octavian's forces in the battle of Alexandria, but most of his army subsequently deserted, leading to his suicide.  In 781 the oldest recorded eruption of Mount Fuji  In 1498, on his third voyage to the Western Hemisphere, Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover the island of Trinidad.  In 1790 the first US patent is issued, to inventor Samuel Hopkins for a potash process.  In 1865 the first narrow-gauge mainline railway in the world opened at Grandchester, Queensland, Australia.  In 1938 archaeologists discovered engraved gold and silver plates from King Darius the Great in Persepolis.  In 1964  Ranger 7 sent back the first close-up photographs of the moon, with images 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from earth-bound telescopes.  In 1970 Black Tot Day -- the last day of the officially sanctioned rum ration in the Royal Navy.  In 1971 Apollo 15 astronauts became the first to ride in a lunar rover.  In 1995 Walt Disney Co agreed to acquire Capital Cities-ABC Inc. in a $19 billion deal.  In 2008 scientists reported the Phoenix spacecraft had confirmed the presence of frozen water in Martian soil. 


Quote of the day:

   “If you think about disaster, you will get it. Brood about death and you hasten your demise. Think positively and masterfully, with confidence and faith, and life becomes more secure, more fraught with action, richer in achievement and experience.”

~ Swami Sivananda,  a Hindu spiritual teacher and a proponent of Yoga and Vedanta


So the idea is start Monday off thinking positively.  



I’m working on it, I’m working on it…..
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 31, 2017

so long, farewell....

Today is the 5th day of the 30th week, the 27th day of the 7th month, the 208th day of 2017 [with only 150 shopping days until Christmas], and:  
  • Bagpipe Appreciation Day
  • Barbie-in-a-blender Day
  • Cross Atlantic Communication Day
  • National Chili Dog Day
  • National Creme Brulee Day
  • National Intern Day
  • National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day – or the Day of Victory in the Great Fatherland Liberation War if you are in North Korea
  • National Refreshment Day
  • National Scotch Day
  • Take Your Houseplant For A Walk Day
  • Walk on Stilts Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 1054 Siward, Earl of Northumbria invaded Scotland and defeated Macbeth, King of Scotland somewhere north of the Firth of Forth.  In 1694 the Bank of England received a royal charter as a commercial institution.  In 1866 the first permanent transatlantic telegraph cable was successfully completed, stretching from Valentia Island, Ireland, to Heart's Content, Newfoundland.  In 1890 Vincent van Gogh shot himself and dies two days later.  In 1921 researchers at the University of Toronto, led by biochemist Frederick Banting, proved that the hormone insulin regulates blood sugar.  In 1929 the Geneva Convention of 1929, dealing with treatment of prisoners-of-war, was signed by 53 nations.  In 1940 the animated short “A Wild Hare was released”, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.  In 1949 the initial flight of the de Havilland Comet, the first jet-powered airliner.  In 1987 RMS Titanic Inc. began the first expedited salvage of wreckage of the RMS Titanic.   In 2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 13 mins 06 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

  “All the adversity I've had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me... You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

~ Walt Disney


Today the intern left.    He had resigned back in on Friday, May 5th telling bossman he just didn’t feel this position was what he wanted to do, saying that he wanted to work with people.  Of course, since he did this the day after getting called out for not following procedures and reassuring us that things were getting done, the impression that he left bossman with was that he thought it better to resign than to be fired.  He wasn’t going to be fired, but he was going to be on probation and he was told that truthfulness and organization were two things he needed to work on.  He wasn’t a bad kid, but he acted like a kid if that makes sense  


This was his first experience in an office – bossman hired him because he was impressed with the way he handled tough situations with angry parents while reffing soccer.  We run an  indulgent office – we don’t watch the clock, the dress code is easy going, and there isn’t a lot of hovering as long as the work is getting done in a timely fashion.   This works just as long as everyone is professional enough to appreciate the leeway that is given.  The intern made the mistake of not perceiving the value of that leeway, and assuming that because Servicing is a lot like housework in a way, that it was not needful to give it his full attention.  It is a lot of routine – until it isn’t – and it gets a lot of notice only when and if things go awry.  I think he was stunned to find out just how much everyone cared about things needing to be done correctly and timely.  He also assumed that no one would want the job and was flabbergasted when I started collecting resumes [we got 72] and interviewing candidates [9] at the same time he was having issues getting an interview.    It is my hope that he looks back on his experience here and learns from happened here….


Good luck, kid!  May the stars shine at the end of your road.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 27, 2017

another Wednesday....

Today is the 4th day of the 30th week, the 26th day of the 7th month, the 207th day of 2017, and: 
  • Americans With Disabilities Day --  the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is signed into law by President George H.W. Bush.
  • Aunts and Uncles Day
  • Independence Day:  Liberia from the American Colonization Society in 1847 and Maldives from the United Kingdom in 1965.
  • National All or Nothing Day
  • National Bagelfest Day
  • National Coffee Milkshake Day
  • One Voice Day
ON THIS DAY:  In657 in the Battle of Siffin, troops led by Ali ibn Abu Talib clashed with those led by Muawiyah I.  In 1615 first Mass and establishment of the First Roman Catholic mission at Trois-Rivières, Québec.  In 1745 the first recorded women's cricket match took place near Guildford, England.  In 1775 the office that would later become the United States Post Office Department was established by the Second Continental Congress; Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania took office as Postmaster General.  In 1882 premiere of Richard Wagner's opera Parsifal at Bayreuth.  In 1887 publication of the Unua Libro, founding the Esperanto movement.  In 1945 the United States Navy cruiser USS Indianapolis arrived at Tinian with parts of the warhead for the Hiroshima atomic bomb.  In 1951 Walt Disney's 13th animated film, Alice in Wonderland, premieres in London, England, United Kingdom.  In 1958 Explorer 4 was launched.  In 1963 Syncom 2, the world's first geosynchronous satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral on a Delta B booster.  In 1971 launch of Apollo 15 on the first Apollo "J-Mission", and first use of a Lunar Roving Vehicle.  In 2005 STS-114 Mission -- launch of Discovery, NASA's first scheduled flight mission after the Columbia Disaster in 2003. 


It has been a tough day.  My daughter shared the details of what she can expect from the chemo treatments that start next Wednesday.  My apartment is in shambles from a leaking HVAC unit and things are all catawampus --  I literally have no place to sit or eat although thankfully I can go to bed in peace.  I am livid that John McCain did not vote against bringing Trumpcare to the Senate floor even though he is enjoying all the perks of good health insurance.  The president chose to tweet again this morning, attacking friends [his Attorney General] and “foes” [Obama and Clinton], making  a policy change for the Armed Services effective immeduately [but does a tweet on his personal twitter account not as @POTUS constitute a valid command a the Commander-in-Chief?], and to announce that in the US we worship God not Government [er, excuse me?  Separation of Church and State mean anything to you?]




And so it goes.  I am worried that what the GOP will do is enviserate the ACA to the point where it will fail.  I am worried that healthcare will be something only the well-to-do will have.  I am worried about life-time caps, pre-existing conditions, charging the sick and elderly astronomial premiums because they are risks, about my insurance company making choices about what care is needed in the name of profit rather than my doctors making the choices of what would be best for me [that last one is already happening with pharmeceutical coverage as I cannot take medication they will not pay for].. 



Go away world, I need to calm down.


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, July 26, 2017

another Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 30th week, the 24th day of the 7th month, the 205th day of 2017 [with only 153 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Amelia Earhart Day
  • Cousins Day
  • National Drive-Thru Day
  • National Tell an Old Joke Day
  • National Tequila Day
  • National Thermal Engineers Day
  • Pioneer Day  [Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints] --  in 1847, after 17 months of travel, Brigham Young leads 148 Mormon pioneers into Salt Lake Valley, resulting in the establishment of Salt Lake City.
ON THIS DAY:  In 1132 the Battle of Nocera between Ranulf II of Alife and Roger II of Sicily.  In 1534 French explorer Jacques Cartier planted a cross on the Gaspé Peninsula and takes possession of the territory in the name of Francis I of France.  In 1823 slavery was abolished in Chile.  In 1847 Richard March Hoe, American inventor, patented the rotary-type printing press.  In 1911 Hiram Bingham III re-discovered Machu Picchu, "the Lost City of the Incas".  In 1935 the Dust Bowl heat wave reached its peak, sending temperatures to 109 °F (43 °C) in Chicago and 104 °F (40 °C) in Milwaukee.  In 1950 Cape Canaveral Air Force Station began operations with the launch of a Bumper rocket.  In 1969 Apollo 11, the first manned mission to the moon, splashed down safely in the Pacific.   
Mondays.  They are a new day and every new day is a blessing.  They are a fresh start of a brand new work week.  They are a chance to socialize with different folk than you were hanging out with over the weekend.  They get a bad rap and there is nothing wrong with them, in fact, we should be greeting them with joy….
Yeah, I’ll work on that  
3 Comments - Read Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 24, 2017

making a difference....

Today is the 5th day of the 29th week, the 20th day of the 7th month, the 201st day of 2017, and: 
  • Get to Know Your Customer Day
  • Independence Day:  Colombia from Spain in 1810
  • International Cake Day
  • International Chess Day
  • Moon Day
  • Nap Day
  • National Fortune Cookie Day
  • National Lollipop Day
  • National Ugly Truck Contest Day
  • Space Exploration Day
  • World Jump Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 70 Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, stormed the Fortress of Antonia north of the Temple Mount during the siege of Jerusalem:; the Roman army is drawn into street fights with the Zealots.  In 1738 Canadian explorer Pierre Gaultier de Varennes et de La Vérendrye reached the western shore of Lake Michigan.  In 1807 Nicéphore Niépce was awarded a patent by Napoleon for the Pyréolophore, the world's first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.  In 1903 the Ford Motor Company shipped its first automobile.  In 1968 the first International Special Olympics Summer Games were held at Soldier Field in Chicago, with about 1,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities.  In 1969 Apollo 11's crew successfully made the first manned landing on the Moon in the Sea of Tranquility; Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to walk on the Moon (July 21 UTC).   In 1976 the American Viking 1 lander successfully landed on Mars.  In 1997 the fully restored USS Constitution (a.k.a. Old Ironsides) celebrated its 200th birthday by setting sail for the first time in 116 years.  In 1999, after 38 years at the bottom of the Atlantic, astronaut Gus Grissom's Liberty Bell 7 Mercury capsule was recovered.  In2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 11 mins 57 secs of light-travel time from Earth. 

Quote of the day

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."

~  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi  (1869-1948) Indian Nationalist


I have never worked in a hospital.  Although I have worked retail, I have never worked in a medical-related facility.  I imagine that someone working in a pharmacy that is actually on a hospital’s premises hears many stories; sees many people in various stages of pain and worry.   Yesterday, while my daughter was undergoing a proceedure, I took a prescription for the pain medicatin she would need later down to the Walgreens Pharmacy at Mercy to have it filled.  Even though a hospital worker was in line behind me, the older woman waitng on me was patient and meticulous as I scrambled to find my daughter’s insurance card, ID and tried to think of my son-in-law’s birthdate.  There appeared to be an issue with the insurance info and she was struggling to make the website comprehend.  While working on that, she asked me what the meds wre for and I told her about my daughter, about the cancer we had just found out about three weeks ago, about the bad news we got yesterday, about what this year was dumping on her and us, how proud I was of her attitude [sunset hair and purple sparkly nails presented as evidence].   She smiled and told me it would be about 20 minutes, so I went to grab a bite.   When I returned, the prescription was still being processd but it didn’t take very long before she called me to the counter and handed me the bag.   When I asked what I owed, she shook her head saying the issue with the insurance never was resolved, but it was taken care of.   I looked at her in amazement.   She smiled a little and said that we all had enough to be worrying about and she was happy to help ….   I remember saying to her “but you hear so many stories” and she just patted me on the hand and wished us the best.   I just kept thanking her and then left, hurrying upstairs to wait for the surgeon to come talk and talk to me 


I didn’t even think to get her name.  I’ll probably never see her again.  But that simple, unexpected act of kindness will be long remembered.


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 20, 2017

Monday's aftermath

Today is the 3rd day of the 29th week, the 18th day of the 7th month, the 199th day of 2017, and 
  • National Caviar Day
  • National Sour Candy Day
  • Nelson Mandela International Day
  • Perfect Family Day
  • World Listening Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 477 BC Veii ambushed and defeated the Roman army at the Battle of the Cremera as part of the Roman–Etruscan Wars.  In 64 the Great Fire of Rome caused widespread devastation and raged on for six days, destroying half of the city ((that's an awfully long time for Nero to be fiddling, neh?)).  In 1334 the bishop of Florence blessed the first foundation stone for the new campanile (bell tower) of the Florence Cathedral, designed by the artist Giotto di Bondone.  In 1862 first ascent of Dent Blanche, one of the highest summits in the Alps.  In 1870 the First Vatican Council decrees the dogma of papal infallibility.  In 1925 Adolf Hitler published Mein Kampf.  In 1942 the Germans test flew the Messerschmitt Me 262 using its jet engines for the first time.  In 1966 Gemini 10 was launched from Cape Kennedy on a 70-hour mission that includes docking with an orbiting Agena target vehicle.  In 1992 a picture of Les Horribles Cernettes was taken, which became the first ever photo posted to the World Wide Web. 


Quote of the day:

You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe.

~ Marcus Cole, Babylon 5


How do you handle bad news?  Do you like to have it broken to you gradually or in one bitter dose?  Do you like the “lead with good news first” approach?




How do you react?  Do you drop to your knees and pray?  Do you deny this is happening?  Do you start ranting and raving about the basic unfairness of it all?  How do you assimilate it?  Do you worry and stew?  Is it any easier if it is not happening directly to you if a loved one is being impacted?  How do you support your loved ones?  Do you hover anxiously or keep your distance?  Do you talk about it or ignore it because life does go on?


Me?  I’m much better at handling bad news for myself than I am for things that happen to my kids.  Guess even though they are all grown up [39 and 44], Mommy still wants to fix things…..
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, July 18, 2017

now that you mention it....

Today is the 2nd day of the 29th week, the 17th day of the 7th month, the 198th day of 2017 [with only 160 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Disneyland Day - Disneyland is dedicated and opened by Walt Disney in Anaheim, California in 1955
  • Global Hug Your Kid Day
  • National Get Out of the Doghouse Day
  • National Peach Ice Cream Day
  • National Tattoo Day
  • Victims of Baton Rouge, Louisianna Attack Day
  • World Day for International Justice
  • World Emoji Day
  • Wrong Way Corrigan Day -- Douglas Corrigan takes off from Brooklyn to fly the "wrong way" to Ireland In 1938
  • Yellow Pig Day [yes serioualy, it is about math
ON THIS DAY:  In 180 twelve inhabitants of Scillium (near Kasserine, modern-day Tunisia) in North Africa were executed for being Christians -- the earliest record of Christianity in that part of the world.  In 1902 Willis Carrier created the first air conditioner in Buffalo, New York.  In 1962 the "Small Boy" test shot Little Feller I becomes the last atmospheric test detonation at the Nevada National Security Site.  In 1975 an American Apollo and a Soviet Soyuz spacecraft docked with each other in orbit marking the first such link-up between spacecraft from the two nations. 




Why yes, now that you mention it,  it is Monday…..
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 17, 2017

today neatly summed up

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Today is the 2nd day of the 28th week, the 10th day of the 7th month, the 191st day of 2017, and: 
  • Don't Step on a Bee Day
  • Independence Day: the Bahamas from the United Kingdom in 1973
  • International Town Criers Day
  • National Clerihew Day
  • National Piña Colada Day
  • Pick Blueberries Day
  • Teddy Bear Picnic Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 48 BC Julius Caesar barely avoided a catastrophic defeat by Pompey in Macedonia at the Battle of Dyrrhachium.  In1499 the Portuguese explorer Nicolau Coelho returned to Lisbon after discovering the sea route to India as a companion of Vasco da Gama.  In 1913 the temperature in Death Valley, California, hit 134 °F (57 °C), the highest temperature ever to be recorded on Earth.  In 1925 Meher Baba began his silence of 44 years; his followers observe Silence Day on this date in commemoration.  Also in 1925, in Dayton Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" of John T Scopes, a young high school science teacher accused of teaching evolution in violation of the Butler Act, began.  In 1938 Howard Hughes set a new record by completing a 91-hour airplane flight around the world.  In 1962 Telstar, the world's first communications satellite, was launched into orbit.  In 1964 the album "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles was released.  In1985 Coca-Cola Co., bowing to pressure from irate customers after the introduction of New Coke, said it would resume selling its old formula.  In 1997 in London, scientists reported the findings of the DNA analysis of a Neanderthal skeleton which supports the "out of Africa theory" of human evolution, placing an "African Eve" at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.

Quote of the day

"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you will help them become what they are capable of becoming."

~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe [German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist]


If you ever think you are having a bad Monday?  Think about this:

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 10, 2017


Today is the 6th day of the 27th week, the 7th day of the 7th month, the 188th day of 2017 [with only 170 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Chocolate Day -- marks 467 years since chocolate was introduced to Europe.    Technically chocolate is a vegetable that comes from the Cacao tree found in tropical rain forests
  • Comic Sans Day
  • Father-Daughter Take a Walk Day
  • Global Forgiveness Day
  • Independence Day: Solomon Islands from the United Kingdom in 1978
  • National Macaroni Day
  • National Strawberry Sundae Day
  • Tell the Truth Day
  • Taos Pueblo Pow Wow
  • Victims of The Dallas, Texas Attack Day
  • Wayne Chicken Day[s]
ON THIS DAY:  In 1124 Tyre fell to the Crusaders.  In 1534 Jacques Cartier made his first known contact with aboriginal peoples in what is now Canada; he traded furs with Micmac.  In 1907 Florenz Ziegfeld Jr staged his first Follies on the roof of the New York Theater in New York City.  In 1928 sliced bread was sold for the first time (on the inventor's 48th birthday) by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri.  In 1952 the ocean liner SS United States passed Bishop Rock on her maiden voyage, breaking the transatlantic speed record to become the fastest passenger ship in the world.  In 1954 Elvis Presley made his radio debut when WHBQ Memphis played his first recording for Sun Records, "That's All Right."  In 1959 Venus occulted the star Regulus - this rare event was used to determine the diameter of Venus and the structure of the Venusian atmosphere.  In 2003 the NASA Opportunity rover, MER-B or Mars Exploration Rover–B, was launched into space aboard a Delta II rocket.  In 2011 "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final movie based on the wizard fantasy books, debuted in London.

What is this  “crisis management mode” [CMM] that I reference now and then? 

It is a coping mechanism.  It is the ability to shut off emotions and pack them away while you deal with the s**t that just hit the fan.  It makes one into a tower of strength and an oasis of calm, a source of rational and reasoned speaking, and promotes objectivity and clarity when faced with difficult choices that require realistic assessment.  It can also make you appear cold, callous and heartless at times.  It is a skill that is forged in the white heat of a dysfunctional family and/or environment.  And while I consider the ability to go into this mode an asset, I have learned that [1] I cannot always control the implementation – it activates on its own at times and I find myself in CMM involuntarily – and [2] the cost is of exercising this skill is astronomically high.  Angst that has been pushed aside does not just evaporate – it festers, it seethes, it pries at the door shutting it off from your psyche, it attacks your digestive system, it raises your blood pressure, it works on your ability to remember.


You see, sooner or later that box of  delayed emotion has to get unpacked and the longer you wait to process what has happened, the worse the reaction will be.  Some people never get around to dealing with it because it is just too painful and you end up with a fundamental split with two [or more] individuals inhabiting one physical body [AKA Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder].  IMNSHO, I came pretty close to this with what I have called my Susie Homemaker phase where I acted like a completely different person for about six years.  Some find it has altered their ability to interact with friends, family, and the world around them.  We write it off and say that what has happened caused the changes, but in truth, it is just as much how we dealt with what is happening as the actual event itself.

When I learned of my daughter’s diagnosis two weeks ago, I went into CMM.  I cannot stay there for the next eight months no matter how much angst the family faces – it isn’t good for her or for me.


I’m working on it.  
3 Comments - Read Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, July 7, 2017


Today is the 6th day of the 27th week, the 7th day of the 7th month, the 188th day of 2017 [with only 170 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Chocolate Day -- marks 467 years since chocolate was introduced to Europe.    Technically chocolate is a vegetable that comes from the Cacao tree found in tropical rain forests
  • Comic Sans Day
  • Father-Daughter Take a Walk Day
  • Global Forgiveness Day
  • Independence Day: Solomon Islands from the United Kingdom in 1978
  • National Macaroni Day
  • National Strawberry Sundae Day
  • Tell the Truth Day
  • Taos Pueblo Pow Wow
  • Victims of The Dallas, Texas Attack Day
  • Wayne Chicken Day[s]
ON THIS DAY:  In 1124 Tyre fell to the Crusaders.  In 1534 Jacques Cartier made his first known contact with aboriginal peoples in what is now Canada; he traded furs with Micmac.  In 1907 Florenz Ziegfeld Jr staged his first Follies on the roof of the New York Theater in New York City.  In 1928 sliced bread was sold for the first time (on the inventor's 48th birthday) by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri.  In 1952 the ocean liner SS United States passed Bishop Rock on her maiden voyage, breaking the transatlantic speed record to become the fastest passenger ship in the world.  In 1954 Elvis Presley made his radio debut when WHBQ Memphis played his first recording for Sun Records, "That's All Right."  In 1959 Venus occulted the star Regulus - this rare event was used to determine the diameter of Venus and the structure of the Venusian atmosphere.  In 2003 the NASA Opportunity rover, MER-B or Mars Exploration Rover–B, was launched into space aboard a Delta II rocket.  In 2011 "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2," the final movie based on the wizard fantasy books, debuted in London.


What is this  “crisis management mode” [CMM] that I reference now and then? 


It is a coping mechanism.  It is the ability to shut off emotions and pack them away while you deal with the s**t that just hit the fan.  It makes one into a tower of strength and an oasis of calm, a source of rational and reasoned speaking, and promotes objectivity and clarity when faced with difficult choices that require realistic assessment.  It can also make you appear cold, callous and heartless at times.  It is a skill that is forged in the white heat of a dysfunctional family and/or environment.  And while I consider the ability to go into this mode an asset, I have learned that [1] I cannot always control the implementation – it activates on its own at times and I find myself in CMM involuntarily – and [2] the cost is of exercising this skill is astronomically high.  Angst that has been pushed aside does not just evaporate – it festers, it seethes, it pries at the door shutting it off from your psyche, it attacks your digestive system, it raises your blood pressure, it works on your ability to remember.




You see, sooner or later that box of  delayed emotion has to get unpacked and the longer you wait to process what has happened, the worse the reaction will be.  Some people never get around to dealing with it because it is just too painful and you end up with a fundamental split with two [or more] individuals inhabiting one physical body [AKA Dissociative Identity Disorder or Multiple Personality Disorder].  IMNSHO, I came pretty close to this with what I have called my Susie Homemaker phase where I acted like a completely different person for about six years.  Some find it has altered their ability to interact with friends, family, and the world around them.  We write it off and say that what has happened caused the changes, but in truth, it is just as much how we dealt with what is happening as the actual event itself.


When I learned of my daughter’s diagnosis two weeks ago, I went into CMM.  I cannot stay there for the next eight months no matter how much angst the family faces – it isn’t good for her or for me.




I’m working on it.  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, July 7, 2017

The big C redux



Nine days ago, exactly four months before her fortieth birthday, my daughter learned that she had breast cancer and our journey entered a dark place.  For the next eight months, as she puts it, things are going to suck. 


The path before her is clear: 

  • Tests, scans, and a genetic workup – for the first time her doctors asked about family past her grandparents, andit was not good news

  • Chemotherapy to start in a couple of weeks

  • Surgery in the fall

  • Radiation treatment

  • Medication for the next decade or so

Her will is strong, her spirit bright and she has much to live for -- a loving husband plus two wonderful daughters and her own business just for starters.  Prayers, healing beams, support energy, and kind thoughts from all and sundry are already flooding her and those who love her.  

1 Comment - Read Comment | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 6, 2017

a forced perspective....

Today is the 4th day of the 27th week, the 5th day of the 7th month, the 186th day of 2017, and: 
  • Bikini Day -- the bikini goes on sale after debuting during an outdoor fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris, France in 1946
  • Independence Day:  Algeria from France in 1962, Cape Verde from Portugal in 1975 and Venezuela from Spain in 1811
  • National Apple Turnover Day
  • National Graham Cracker Day
  • National Workaholics Day
  • Work Without Your Hands Day (SpongeBob Squarepants)
ON THIS DAY:  In 328 the official opening of Constantine's Bridge built over the Danube between Sucidava (Corabia, Romania) and Oescus (Gigen, Bulgaria) by the Roman architect Theophilus Patricius.  In 1610 John Guy set sail from Bristol with 39 other colonists for Newfoundland.  In 1687 Isaac Newton published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.  In 1841 Thomas Cook organised the first package excursion, from Leicester to Loughborough.  1865 William Booth founded the Salvation Army in London.  In 1915 the Liberty Bell left Philadelphia by special train on its way to the Panama–Pacific International Exposition on the last trip outside Philadelphia that the custodians of the bell intend to permit.  In 1937 Spam, the luncheon meat, was introduced into the market by the Hormel Foods Corporation.  Also in 1937 the temperature at Yellow Grass and Middle Saskatchewan reaches 45C (113 °F), the highest temperature ever recorded in Canada  In 1954 the BBC broadcast its first television news bulletin.  Also in 1954 Elvis Presley recorded his first single, "That's All Right," at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee.  In 1996 Dolly the sheep became the first mammal cloned from an adult cell.  In 2000 conservationists in South Africa are carried out the biggest ever airlift of wild birds -- over 18,000 Jackass penguins were moved to safety as an oil slick threatens their breeding ground on Dassen Island, 50 miles north of Cape Town.  In 2009 the largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered in England, consisting of more than 1,500 items, was found near the village of Hammerwich, near Lichfield, Staffordshire.  In 2012 the Shard in London was inaugurated as the tallest building in Europe, with a height of 310 metres (1,020 ft). 

Amongst the other pearls of wisdom, there are two “Mom” sayings regarding life span that both of my children grew up with:   “We all live until we die” and “Tomorrow is promised to no one.”   The latter was something that Grandmom Hughes used to say all the time, but the former was mine.

Many years ago I was hit with a devastating diagnosis – an MRI showed there is an aneurism on my left carotid artery.  I had gone for the testing after my father was diagnosed with a cerebellum aneurism found after he unexpected blacked out while doing bush pilot training.  The test that revealed that nearly killed my father as he went into convulsions on the table from the type of iodine dye that was used for the test.  Dad called me because his doctor strongly recommended that I see a doctor immediately, and the resulting scan had me checking into Mercy Hospital for the same neurological test my father had to see what could be done.  The doctor came into my room the night before the test and sat down to talk with me.   What he had to say was pretty grim.  The results of the test would give me a 50/50 chance that the aneurism would be operable.  IF it was operable, I only had a 50/50 chance of surviving that operation.  AND because of my father’s extreme reaction to the dye, I had a 20% chance of stroke and death just from the test.   I repeated back those figures to the doctor and asked if I had heard him correctly – he confirmed thems were the odds.  At that point I declared that I saw no reason to take the test, and I would simply live until I died.  He agreed that the chances of this aneurism bursting was no greater than it was before I knew about it and I checked out of the hospital. 

And for the past 38 years, life has gone on.  Of course, for years I would be terrified of every headache, but eventually I came to terms with it.   Dad died not from that problem, but from lung cancer brought about by smoking.  An ablation was performed to help regulate my heart, but further MRIs and x-rays showed no ballooning on the carotid artery.  When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure, I had a few qualms but I continued to weather family crisis and deaths as well as the usual day-to-day angst.  Life is a journey that we all are on and "Death is just another path, one that we all must take." 

1 Comment - Read Comment | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Do they have the 4th of July in other countries?

Today is the 3rd day of the 27th week, the 4th day of the 7th month, the 185th day of 2017 [with only 173 shopping days left before Christmas], and my country is officially 241 years old

It is Independence Day for the United States of America and its dependencies:

  • 50 states – 48 contiguous plus Alaska and Hawaii,

  • one US federal district [AKA Washington DC, the capital],

  • four unincorporated organized inhabited territories [Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands],

  • two unincorporated unorganized inhabited territories [American Samoa and Wake Island],

  • seven unincorporated unorganized uninhabited territories [Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands and Navassa Island]

  • one incorporated unorganized uninhabited territory [Palmyra Atoll]

It is a federal holiday that will be celebrated with parades, fireworks, cookouts and family gatherings.  Some will take a moment and read the document that started it all.  Some will watch a documentary or a movie about those times and the impact the vision those old rich white men from 13 colonies had


We the people” are pretty divided these days of rampant income inequity, as Calvinism/Libertarianism clashes with Liberalism/Socialism over who should be defined as an American, what the extent of the social safety net should be, and where we fit in with the rest of the world – and the division is acrimonious and I worry that we may not be able to reconcile our differences but instead one side will impose its will forcibly on the other.  All realize that it is a time of transition; all fear “our” way of life is in dire peril.  Whoever you believe in as “divine Providence”, we can only continue to firmly rely on the protection for our country as “our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor” continue to be pledged to each other.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, July 4, 2017

for most of us

....   it is not a long weekend.   It is a weekend with a day of work on Monday facing EOM/EOQ reconciliations and reports followed by a Tuesday off -- and that is for those of us who are lucky enough to have paid holidays!

Meanwhile, this picture came up when I searched on Monday, July 3rd and I liked it:

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 3, 2017

the final Friday in June

Today is the 6th day of the 26th week, the 30th day of the 6th month, the 181st day of 2017, and: 
  • California Avocado Day
  • Drive Your Corvette to Work Day – in 1953 the first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan.
  • Independence Day:  Democratic Republic of the Congo from Belgium in 1960
  • Leap Second Time Adjustment Day [if needed]
  • National Meteor Watch Day
  • NOW (National Organization For Women) Day – it was founded on this day in 1966
  • Social Media Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 350 Roman usurper Nepotianus, of the Constantinian dynasty, was defeated and killed in Rome by troops of the usurper Magnentius.  In 1520 Spanish conquistadors led by Hernán Cortés fought their way out of Tenochtitlan.  In 1859 French acrobat Charles Blondin crossed Niagara Falls on a tightrope.  In 1860 the 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History takes place.  In 1886 the first transcontinental train trip across Canada departed from Montreal, arriving in Port Moody, British Columbia on July 4.  In 1905 Albert Einstein sent the article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, in which he introduces special relativity, for publication in Annalen der Physik.  In 1908 an asteroid exploded above Tunguska in Siberia, leaving 800 square miles of scorched or blown-down trees.  In 1937 the world's first emergency telephone number, 999, was introduced in London.  In 1968 Pope Paul VI issued the Credo of the People of God.  In 1971 the crew of the Soviet Soyuz 11 spacecraft was killed when their air supply escapes through a faulty valve.  In 1972 the first leap second was added to the UTC time system.  In 1994 the US Figure Skating Association stripped Tonya Harding of the national championship and banned her from the organization for life for an attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan.   In 2004 the international Cassini spacecraft entered Saturn's orbit after a nearly seven-year journey.

Quote of the day

We account for one-sixth of the forces of gravity we see in the universe. There is no known objects accounting for most of the effective gravity in the universe. Something is making stuff move that is not anything we have ever touched.

~ Neil deGrasse Tyson




Kinda like the gap between diagnosis and prognosis, neh? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 30, 2017

The big C

In SL,  prominent avatars are often asked “why do you relay?” during the Relay For Life events raising money for the American Cancer Society.   Kalah, who as a member of the Dance Pit Raiders is the most active of my avatars for RFL,  is not important enough to be queried, so I have never answered that question.
·        My first experience with cancer was when I was told in passing that Grandmom Riley [my maternal grandmother] had a breast removed.  I was in grade school and in my family, things like personal medical history was never discussed.   About ten years later, she had another one removed while I was high school when the cancer came back.   She died of colon cancer in her late 80’s – a very difficult time in our lives because she only had Medicare and no prescription coverage.  My mother was retired at the time, so I was buying the medications and running up my credit cards.  We tried to take care of Grandmom at home because we couldn’t afford hospice care, but the burden of that caretaking was extreme.
·        My mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer.  I was about 15 years old and all I really know is that she had a full hysterectomy as a result, as I said, her family didn’t discuss health issues
·        Grandmom Hughes [my paternal grandmother] was diagnosed with colon cancer in her 80’s.  When they went in to operate, it was so widespread that all they did was clear the blockage and give her medication to make her comfortable.  It was a startling revelation that an IV was considered life support and that she actually died from lack of sustenance at the end.
·        My father worked on the Alaskan pipeline and had to have a complete physical with chest x-ray every year.  One year he was fine, the next he had stage IV lung cancer.  Given that he was a smoker all his life and had worked in a steel mill for most of his career, the diagnosis was not a total surprise – the speed with which it took his life was a bit of a shock.  The doctor told us that he had the “garden variety” of cancer that grew like a weed and gave him six months – he lasted four. 
·        My dear friend from my 2nd Life, also a heavy smoker, was diagnosed in 2012 with cancer of the larynx after he retired   They tried everything, but when it came back for the fourth time, he opted not to go through the surgery and chemo again.  He logged out of his real life a little over a year ago.   
·        One of my closest friends was diagnosed with melanoma and had to have a spot removed from her forehead two years ago.   Although they believe it is completely gone, she still lives with the fear that it will return.  
This is why I relay. 
This is why I inveigh so bitterly about the inequities in the healthcare system that would deny coverage for pre-existing conditions or put back the old life-time caps. 
This is why I worry, because it can strike any of us at any time without warning, changing our lives and the lives of those around us forever.

1 Comment - Read Comment | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, June 28, 2017

another Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 26th week, the 26th day of the 6th month, the 177th day of 2017 [with only 181 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • Beautician's Day
  • Forgiveness Day
  • Independence Day:  Madagascar from France and British Somaliland from the British in 1960
  • International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking
  • International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
  • National Canoe Day
  • National Chocolate Pudding Day
  • Please Take My Children to Work Day
  • Same Sex Marriage Day – on this day in 2013 the US Supreme Court ruled, 5–4, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional and in violation of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution and in 2015 they ruled, 5–4, that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.
  • Tropical Cocktails Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 4 Augustus adopted Tiberius.  In 699 En no Ozuno, a Japanese mystic and apothecary who will later be regarded as the founder of a folk religion Shugendō, was banished to Izu Ōshima.  In 1857 the first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park, London.  In 1870 the Christian holiday of Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States.  In 1886 Henri Moissan isolated elemental Fluorine for the first time.  In 1889 Bangui was founded by Albert Dolisie and Alfred Uzac in what was then the upper reaches of the French Congo.  In 1906 the first Grand Prix motor racing event was held.  In 1909 the Science Museum in London came into existence as an independent entity.  In 1919 the New York Daily News was first published.  In 1925 Charlie Chaplin's comedy "The Gold Rush" premiered in Hollywood.  In 1927 the Cyclone roller coaster opened on Coney Island.  In 1936 the initial flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter.  In 1945 the United Nations charter was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.  In 1948 William Shockley filed the original patent for the grown-junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.  Also in 1948 Shirley Jackson's short story The Lottery was published in The New Yorker magazine.  In 1974 the Universal Product Code was scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley's chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.  In 1977 Elvis Presley held his final concert in Indianapolis, Indiana at Market Square Arena  In 1997 JK Rowlings' book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published by Bloomsbury -- it is now the fifth-best-selling single-volume book of all time   In 2000 the Human Genome Project announced the completion of a "rough draft" sequence.  Also in 2000 Pope John Paul II revealed the third secret of Fátima.  In 2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 08 mins 29 sec of light-travel time




There are 52 Mondays in 2017 and 7 of them are holidays.    Counting today, we have worked 22 Mondays and have 23 left to go.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, June 26, 2017

drawing the line

Today is the 6th day for the 25th week, the 23rd day of the 6th month, the 174th day of 2017, and: 
  • International Widows' Day
  • Father's Day (Nicaragua, Poland)
  • Let It Go Day
  • National Eat At A Food Truck Day
  • National Hydration Day
  • National Pecan Sandies Day ((one of my favorite cookes))
  • National Pink Day
  • Pink Flamingo Day
  • Public Service Day
  • Runner's Selfie Day
  • SAT Math Day --  in 1926 the College Board administered the first SAT exam
  • Take Your Dog to Work Day
  • Typewriting Day – in 1868 Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for an invention he called the "Type-Writer"
ON THIS DAY:  In 229 Sun Quan proclaimed himself emperor of Eastern Wu.  In 1611 the mutinous crew of Henry Hudson's fourth voyage set Henry, his son and seven loyal crew members adrift in an open boat in what is now Hudson Bay; they are never heard from again.  In 1794 Empress Catherine II of Russia granted Jews permission to settle in Kiev.  In 1810 John Jacob Astor formed the Pacific Fur Company.  In 1887 the Rocky Mountains Park Act became law in Canada creating the nation's first national park, Banff National Park.  In 1894 the International Olympic Committee was founded at the Sorbonne in Paris, at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin.  In 1917 in a game against the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore retired 26 batters in a row after replacing Babe Ruth, who had been ejected for punching the umpire.  In 1931 Wiley Post and Harold Gatty took off from New York on the first round-the-world flight in a single-engine plane.  In 1960 the US FDA declared Enovid to be the first officially approved combined oral contraceptive pill in the world.  In 1969 IBM announced that effective January 1970 it will price its software and services separately from hardware thus creating the modern software industry.  In 1993 Lorena Bobbitt of Prince William County VA sexually mutilated her husband, John, after he allegedly raped her.  In 2012 Ashton Eaton broke the decathlon world record at the US Olympic Trials.  In 2013 Nik Wallenda became the first man to successfully walk across the Grand Canyon on a tight rope.  In 2016 the UK voted in a referendum to leave the European Union

Quote of the day:
No is a powerful word. To me, it’s the single most powerful word in the English language. Said clearly, strongly and with enough frequency and force, it can alter the course of history.”
~  Shonda Rhimes, writer
((it is also seems to be one of the first words that toddlers start using))

When do you say no?  If you are a parent, it seems that you say and hear it constantly.  In the workplace we are told that we should be focusing on getting to yes rather than saying no.  In our heads, it is a little more difficult, neh?   When do you decide that you cannot have Pecan Sandies  around because if you do, you will eat them and they aren’t good for your blood sugar level?  When do you decide that you cannot afford a dangnabit moment and you put your credit card away?  When do you decide that you aren’t going to accept someone else’s [whether it be family, friends, neighbors, communities, society] definition of who you are and what you should be doing? 

Call it discipline, boundaries, regulation, whatever, where, and when you choose to say “no” is every bit as important as saying yes.

Then again for those of us who don’t deal with absolutes…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 23, 2017


Today is the 5th day of the 25th week, the 22nd day of the 6th month, the 173rd day of 2017, and: 
  • Baby Boomer's Recognition Day
  • Father's Day (Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey)
  • Global Smurfs Day
  • HVAC Technicians Day
  • National Chocolate Eclair Day ((I love eclairs!))
  • National Onion Rings Day
  • Stupid Guy Thing Day
  • Worldwide VW Beetle Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 217 BC Ptolemy IV Philopator of Egypt defeated Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom at the battle of Raphia.  In 1633 the Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe in the form he presented it in, after heated controversy.  In 1807 the Royal Montréal Curling Club was founded by 20 merchants and a chaplain, in Gillis Tavern -- it was Canada's first, and is the oldest active athletic club in North America   In 1978 Charon, Pluto's first satellite, was discovered at the United States Naval Observatory by James W. Christy.   In 1984 Virgin Atlantic Airways launched with its first flight from London Gatwick Airport.  In 2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 08 mins 02 sec of light-travel time from Earth

One thing that drives me absolutely bonkers about the economy and the job market is the constant commentary that the recession is over and that unemployment is low now, couple with the whining about jobs being available and company’s being unable to hire workers.   The former assertion I find ridiculous – too many people are struggling to make ends meet and are under-employed --   and I scoff at the latter because I really do think that the biggest part of the problem is employers wanting a high level of expertise for very low wages.

So when our little company had an opening I was all gung-ho – it was priced as per the market, the KSA requirements were specific, and the hours were flexible.   When I started getting resumes from older folks looking to get back into the workplace, I was genuinely happy to set up interviews.  What a disappointment it turned out to be!   We’re not talking about the usual angst of “over-qualified” -- there was a stark contrast between the younger applicants and the older ones.  Without getting into personal details, when compared to the younger job seekers, the fifty and older candidates simply did not interview well; it was as though they didn’t know how to present themselves.   Not one of the had taken the time to look at the company website to see what a CUSO was, indeed, a couple of them had to be given the job description.   Three of them [all three out of work for over six months] had minimum salary requirements about $20K over what we were offering to start – one lovely gentleman who I really liked informed me that he was taking a 25% cut in pay and I managed not to point out that he was currently making $0.   I have had each applicant talk to my co-worker because in a very small office, you have to know if folks can get along, and each one of the older applicants were obviously uncomfortable with the fact he is young enough to be their son.    In contrast, every single young person gave fantastic interviews,  had done their homework on the company, and interacted well with the co-workers that they met as well as with me. 

As it turns out, our primary choice is not a millennial, and she didn’t interview that impressively either, but it is obvious that she possesses the KSA to get things done.  But the second choice will probably go to one of the applicants that may not have as impressive of a background, but managed to convince the interviewer [me] that they could learn rapidly and would enjoy doing so because they sold themselves even though this is a support or back office or servicing or operations position

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, June 22, 2017


Today is the 4th day of the 25th week, the 21st day of the 6th month, the 172nd  day of  2017, and: 
  • Anne and Samantha Day
  • Atheist Solidarity Day
  • Cuckoo Warning Day
  • Father's Day (Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Uganda, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates)
  • Global Orgasm Day
  • Go Skateboarding Day
  • National Day of The Gong
  • International Day of Yoga
  • International Day of Surfing
  • Litha
  • National Daylight Appreciation Day
  • National Peaches and Cream Day
  • National Seashell Day
  • National Selfie Day
  • Summer Solstice
  • Tall Girl Appreciation Day
  • The First Day of Summer
  • The Longest Day
  • World Giraffe Day
  • World Handshake Day
  • World Humanist Day
  • World Hydrography Day
  • World Music Day
  • World Peace and Prayer Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 533 a Byzantine expeditionary fleet under Belisarius sailed from Constantinople to attack the Vandals in Africa, via Greece and Sicily.  In 1749 Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded.  In 1834 Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.  In 1940 the first successful west-to-east navigation of Northwest Passage began at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  In 2006 Pluto's newly discovered moons were officially named Nix and Hydra.

Quote of the day:
  “Aaah, summer - that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It's a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.”
~ Darell Hammond [American philanthropist, founder and chief executive officer of the non-profit organization KaBOOM! that helps communities build playgrounds for children]

There has been a bit of confusion over when Litha, the solstice, or the longest day actually IS this year depending on where you live and in what time zone you are.   The actual solstice for EDT [Eastern Daylight Time] in the Northern Hemisphere was at 12:24 AM today.   For a guide that tells you more than you want to know about how it all works, click HERE.   


Writing is something that you either habitually do, or you don’t.   Like every habit, sometimes it only takes a couple of days and you have fallen off the wagon…..

All you can do is get back up and get started again, neh?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, June 21, 2017

stay cool

Today is the 3rd day of the 24th week, the 13th day of the 6th month, the 164th day of 2017, and: 
  • Call Your Doctor Day (2nd Tuesday)
  • International Albinism Awareness Day
  • National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day
  • Sewing Machine Day
  • Weed Your Garden Day
  • World Pet Memorial Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 313 the Edict of Milan, signed by Constantine the Great and co-emperor Valerius Licinius granting religious freedom throughout the Roman Empire, was posted in Nicomedia.  In 1805, scouting ahead of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four companions sighted the Great Falls of the Missouri River.  In 1881 the USS Jeannette was crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack.  In 1898 the Yukon Territory was formed, with Dawson chosen as its capital.  In 1966 the United States Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.  In 1970 "The Long and Winding Road" became The Beatles' last US number one song.  In 1971 the New York Times began publication of the Pentagon Papers, a secret study of America's involvement in Vietnam.  In 1983 Pioneer 10 became the first man-made object to leave the central Solar System when it passes beyond the orbit of Neptune.  In 2010 a capsule of the Japanese spacecraft Hayabusa, containing particles of the asteroid 25143 Itokawa, returns to Earth.

Quote of the day:
True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”
~  Leo Tolstoy

On a day like today, when we got our first really heavy dose of hazy, hot and humid weather, when the heat index soars and heat records are broken, when staying indoors is an absolute pleasure, I always wonder how we ever managed before air conditioning.  

I remember when an air conditioned car was “240” or two windows open going 40 miles an hour, and how we sweltered at each and every stop.   I remember huge fans in the windows to suck the air through the house, creating a breeze where nature failed to do so, and how no amount of fans worked on some sticky nights.   I remember working at Fort Holabird in a huge warehouse room with nothing but fans to cool off the lines and lines of desks/tables, and them coming to test the heat index [which they always did in the coolest part of the room] to see if we would get off in the afternoon and just how good it felt when we did.  I remember going to Florida in July and August because the kids were off from school, and how we went about doing what we wanted to do despite the heat, humidity and occasional soaking shower.

I remember all of these things, and I STILL wonder how in the world we managed before air conditioning.  At least there were fewer thermostat wars….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Today is the 2nd day of the 24th week, the 12th day of the 6th month, the 163rd day of 2017, and: 
  • Crowded Nest Awareness Day
  • Ghost in the Machine Day
  • Independence Day:  the Philippines from Spain in 1898
  • Little League Girls Baseball Day
  • Loving Day
  • Magic Day
  • National Automotive Service Professionals Day
  • National Jerky Day
  • National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
  • Red Rose Day
  • Superman [or Man of Steel] Day
  • World Against Child Labor Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 910 the Hungarians defeated the East Frankish army under King Louis the Child at the Battle of Augsburg using the famous feigned retreat tactic of the nomadic warriors.  In 1240 at the instigation of Louis IX of France, an inter-faith debate, known as the Disputation of Paris, started between a Christian monk and four rabbis.  In 1772 French explorer Marc-Joseph Marion du Fresne and 25 of his men were killed by Māori in New Zealand  In 1550 the city of Helsinki, Finland (belonging to Sweden at the time) was founded by King Gustav I of Sweden.  In 1939 the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was dedicated in Cooperstown, NY.  In 1942 Anne Frank received a diary for her thirteenth birthday.  In 1947 the first broadcast of radio show Sergeant Preston of The Yukon which continued until 1955 (and on TV from 1955-1958); show created by George W. Trendle and Fran Striker, originators of The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet   In 1954 – Pope Pius XII canonised Dominic Savio, who was 14 years old at the time of his death, as a saint, making him at the time the youngest unmartyred saint in the Roman Catholic Church [until 2017 when Jacinta and Francisco Marto, aged 10 and 9 at the time of their deaths, were declared saints].  In 1967 the US  Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia declared all US state laws which prohibited interracial marriage to be unconstitutional.  In 1979 Bryan Allen won the second Kremer prize for a man powered flight across the English Channel in the Gossamer Albatross.  In 2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 07 mins 07 sec of light-travel time from Earth

Writing prompt #163:
Set it Free: Think of a time when you had to let someone or something go to be free…did they come back?

Nice prompt for this time of year when graduations and weddings has one harkening back to old times and places.   My knee jerk response was simply to state “no”. 

That is a true statement because there was more than one person I loved and let go and never were they a part of my life again.  But as I was pondering, the question changed – did I set them “free”, or did I finally acknowledge that my expectations of them were not being fulfilled because they were MY expectations not THEIR state of being?  [or visa versa in a couple of cases[  In relationships – and one could argue that all interactions are about relationships – perception is key.   What I thought was an empathetic resonance of spirit [along with the subsequent physical longings] could’ve been to them a simple transaction so to speak without deep involvement.  And what if they did return to my life? As  Heraclitus is said to have said:  “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”   There would have to be a new relationship forged, and I think that in most cases the weight of the past one with all its expectations and memories might rather form a hindrance than a solid foundation.




But I still wonder about them now and then – how did their lives turn out?  Do they ever think of me or even remember that once we were involved?  Once in a while I hear from someone who wonders the same thing and we get to exchange stories about our separate journeys.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, June 12, 2017

the 2nd Friday in June

Today is the 6th day of the 23rd week, the 9th day of the 6th month, the 160th day of 2017, and: 
ON THIS DAY:  In 411 BC the Athenian coup succeeded, forming a short-lived oligarchy.  In 1311 Duccio's Maestà Altarpiece, a seminal artwork of the early Italian Renaissance, was unveiled and installed in Siena Cathedral in Siena, Italy.  In 1523 the French Parliament fined Simon de Colines for publishing the Biblical commentary Commentarii initiatorr in quatuor Evangelia by Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples.  In 1534 Jacques Cartier sailed into the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, looking for gold and a northwest passage to the Orient; he named the river for St. Lawrence on his feast day.  In 1537 Pope Paul III declared in his encyclical Veros homines that Indians are "truly men", beings with the qualities and faults of other humans; they should not be enslaved, and should receive the Roman Catholic faith  In 1954 Joseph Welch, special counsel for the United States Army, lashed out at Senator Joseph McCarthy during hearings on whether Communism has infiltrated the Army giving McCarthy the famous rebuke, "You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"  In 1957 the first ascent of Broad Peak by Fritz Wintersteller, Marcus Schmuck, Kurt Diemberger, and Hermann Buhl.  In 1959 the first nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine, the USS George Washington, was launched.  In 1973 Secretariat won horse racing's Triple Crown with a victory at the Belmont Stakes, the first horse to do so in 25 years. 


I have had a cell phone for 23 years now – the first one was one of those infamous bricks, but it enabled me to make and receive calls so I was happy with it and our service provider was AT&T.    Frank was never that fond of  tech, nor was he really gungho about getting the latest gadget, but he really liked the idea of being able to call from the car in case of emergencies so we were early adopters.  As time wore on, the contract was faithfully  renewed every two years, and I was one of those lucky folks who were grandfathered in for the unlimited data plan.   When I went to the AT&T store this time around, I got a shock.   It would seem that I am behind the times, “contracts” are no more and one has to sign up for a “plan” now.  Like every other change, this is both good and bad news.  OTOH,  the customer can change their options or even leave for another service at the drop of a hat.  OTOH, the service provider can discontinue your plan or change the billing structure with equal ease. The poor guy waiting on me was very patient with explaining the difference because it was just not sinking in at first – I felt genuinely fumble-witted  as I slowly grasped  that the existing contract could not be renewed.  In the course of signing up for a plan and cleaning up the billing for my account, we got to talking about DirectTV because they are now owned by AT&T and of course they will.  Doesn’t sound like a bad idea or deal, but I am  frankly puzzled about how they get DirectTv to a residence’s television without a satellite dish.  I’m assuming they have to use the same wireless connection our phones are on?


I couldn’t help but remember the days when all we did was fiddle with the rabbit ears to improve the reception…..



Oh yeah, don’t forget putting little foil wrappings and flags on it




*sighs*  now I feel old…..
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 9, 2017

does Throwback Thursday mean I get to throw it back?

Today is the 5th day of the 23rd week, the 8th day of the 6th month, the 159th day of 2017 [with only 199 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Best Friends Day
  • Betty Picnic Day
  • Jelly-Filled Doughnut Day
  • Name Your Poison Day
  • National Caribbean Amercian HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Upsy Daisy Day
  • World Brain Tumor Day
  • World Oceans Day – first celebrated in 1992 , coinciding with the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
On THIS DAY:  In 218 with the support of the Syrian legions, Elagabalus defeated the forces of emperor Macrinus at the Battle of Antioch: In 632 Muhammad died in Medina.  In 1794 Robespierre inaugurated the French Revolution's new state religion, the Cult of the Supreme Being, with large organized festivals all across France.  In 1824 Noah Cushing received a patent for a wool washing and fulling machine, the first patent issued in Canada.  In 1856 a group of 194 Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the mutineers of HMS Bounty, arrived at Norfolk Island, commencing the Third Settlement of the Island.  In 1887 Herman Hollerith applied for US patent #395,781 for the 'Art of Compiling Statistics', which was his punched card calculator.  In 1912 Carl Laemmle incorporated Universal Pictures.  In 1918 a solar eclipse was observed at Baker City, Oregon by scientists and an artist hired by the United States Navy.  In 1949 George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was published.  In 1959 the USS Barbero and United States Postal Service attempted the delivery of mail via Missile Mail  ((it was an idea that would not take off….)).  In 1966 the National Football League and American Football League announced a merger effective in 1970.  In 1972 nine-year-old Phan ThịKim Phúc was burned by napalm, an event captured by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut moments later while the young girl is seen running down a road, in what would become an iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winning photo that helped shape anti-war sentiments.  In 2004 the first Venus Transit in well over a century took place, the previous one being in 1882 [the last one happened 06.05.2012 and the next one won’t be until  12.10. 2117].


Writing prompt #159 -- Miss Manners: Write using the words “please” and “thank you”.


I have started and stopped writing several times – it says something about my tone of mind at the moment that every single time I write either, it comes out snarky or with a snarl. You see, I think that one of the real problems today in our homes, in our workplaces, in our public places, is that we don’t got no manners no more.   In the end, I think Henry Higgins at the right of it as he differentiated between manners and etiquette ….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, June 8, 2017

Wordless Wednesday distraction

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, June 7, 2017

I wish....

Today is the 3rd day of the 23rd week, the 6th day of the 6th month, the 157th day of 2017, and: 
  • Atheist Pride Day
  • D-Day
  • Drive-in Movie Day – 84 years ago the first drive-in theater opened in Camden, New Jersey, US
  • National Applesauce Cake Day
  • National Eyewear Day
  • National Gardening Exerise Day
  • National Higher Education Day
  • National Hunger Awareness Day
  • National Yo-yo Day
  • Russian Language Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 913 Emperor Alexander III died of exhaustion while playing the game tzykanion (Byzantine name for polo) and was succeeded by his 8-year-old nephew Constantine VII.  In 1822 Alexis St. Martin was accidentally shot in the stomach, leading to William Beaumont's studies on digestion.  In 1844 the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) was founded in London.  In 1844 the Glaciarium, the world's first mechanically frozen ice rink, opened.  In 1946 the Basketball Association of America wass founded in New York City, the precursor to the modern National Basketball Association.  In 1954 the sculpture of Yuriy Dolgorukiy was displayed in Moscow, becoming one of the main monuments of that city.  In 1962 Producer George Martin met The Beatles for the 1st time -- they recorded "Besame Mucho" with Pete Best still on drums  In 1964 under a temporary order, the rocket launches at Cuxhaven, Germany were terminated -- they never resume.  In1971 Soyuz 11 was launched.  In 2004 Tamil was established as a "classical language" by the President of India, Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, in a joint sitting of the two houses of the Indian Parliament.    In 2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 06 mins 36 sec and Voyager II is 15 hrs 46 mins 52 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
  “Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

One thing that I have been mocked for is my statement that I do not harbor regrets – the riposte to that statement being that I am somehow insensitive. indifferent or just unaware to the wake my actions have caused and therefore am a lesser lifeform.    Truth be told, no one can go through life without accumulating regrets even if you classify them as “things you wish you had done differently”.  I just try not to let them haunt me when it is really the outcome that I would alter, not my choices.  Friday being Frank’s birthday, and one of my major regrets being my actions that last morning, regret is very much on my mind. 

While thinking about regrets and In talking about the old neighborhood in emails and the changes to the area, I got to reminiscing about the trotter race course that used to be across Martin’s BLVD from where we lived in Oak Grove.   Now I was horse mad for many many years, not that my parents had the wherewithal to let me take riding lessons.  I read every single thing I could get my hands on and I had little plastic horse models that I played with far more often than I did the dolls.  I guess I was in 1st grade or so when my father took me over to watch the horses exercise – a rare father/daughter outing.  One of the jockeys came over and was chatting with my father, then offered to take me up and around the track.   The horse looked so big to me, and it seemed like it was going so fast and I didn’t know the man….    I was either too shy or too afraid [or both] to go despite my father’s urging. 

I have always regretted that.   I missed out on a very exciting little jaunt, didn’t get to make friends with the horses , and Dad was disgusted.  He refused to take me back and I remember hearing him tell my mother that he just plain didn’t like just a spiritless kid that he had nothing in common with.  Poor Dad – wiry,  athletic, gregarious trying to make sense of the pudgy little girl who would rather read than play and didn’t get along with the other kids --  but that was the first time that I remember hearing him gripe that he just couldn’t figure me out.   How much different things might have been if I had been more intrepid!   I wouldn’t classify this as an irrevocable choice, but these are the little, everyday things that make up the tapestry of our lives.  Perhaps if I went back in time and changed this the results would not be salutatory at all, but it remains in my memory as something I would change if I could.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 6, 2017

1st Monday in June

Today is the 2nd day of the 23rd week, the 5th day of the 6th month [and the first Monday], the 156th day of 2017 [with only 202 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Apple II Day
  • Baby Boomers Recognition Day
  • Festival of Popular Delusions Day
  • Hot Air Balloon Day
  • National Attitude Day
  • National Gingerbread Day
  • National Moonshine Day
  • National Veggie Burgers Day
  • Thank God It's Monday Day
  • World Environment Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 70 Titus and his Roman legions breached the middle wall of Jerusalem in the Siege of Jerusalem.  In 1817 the first Great Lakes steamer, the Frontenac, was launched.  In 1851 Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, started a ten-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper.  In 1883 the first regularly scheduled Orient Express departed Paris.  In 1915 Denmark amended its constitution to allow women's suffrage.  In 1933 Congress abrogated the United States' use of the gold standard by enacting a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.  In 1956 Elvis Presley introduced his new single, "Hound Dog", on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.  In 1981 the "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported five people in Los Angeles, California, have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what turns out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.  In 1989 the “Tank Man” halted the progress of a column of advancing tanks for over half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests.  In 2003 a severe heat wave across Pakistan and India reached its peak as temperatures exceeded 50 °C (122 °F) in the region. 


I didn’t actually PLAN to stop writing over the weekend.  In fact, it is my intention to post every single day so any hiatus whatsoever is unscheduled.   Sometimes I get derailed because I read the news – a nasty habit that I have acquired and can’t seem to shake because I kinda care about what’s going on and have pretty strong opinions about it whether it is politics, economics or environment.  Unfortunately, my viewpoints do not appear to be mainstream, primarily because there doesn’t seem to be a mainstream these days just very raucous blathering that contains little factual content or context.  Sometimes I get derailed because I am just feeling a little down, or maybe I decided to stretch out and read which tends to encourage dozing, or maybe I am binge watching a favorite show [side note:  yes Sense8 is worth the time to watch, you can fast forward thru the raunchy parts if that is not your thing], or maybe I am just living a 2nd Life either in world or games.  Sometimes I am just plain busy living rather than commenting, although I may continue to share articles and pictures and such that capture my somewhat wayward attention and pique my interest throughout the day.


And then it seems as though I turn around and the weekend is gone.




Of course, I didn’t actually plan not to be on the exercise bike every single day either or to eat foods that are not in my diet plan….  But that is definitely another topic for another time, neh?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, June 5, 2017

the 1st Friday in June

Today is the 6th day of the 22nd week, the 2nd day of the 6th month, the 153rd day of 2017, and: 
  • American Indian Citizenship Day
  • Horseradish Day
  • Hug an Atheist Day
  • Hug Your Cat Day
  • I love my Dentist Day
  • Mike, The Headless Chicken Day – read all about it in LIFE
  • National Bubba Day
  • National Doughnut Day  -- and one woman started it all
  • National Gun Violence Awareness Day
  • National Leave the Office Early Day – EOM, the week that started with a federal holiday?  Only if you are in senior management, neh?
  • National Rocky Road Day
  • National Rotisserie Chicken Day
  • Yell "Fudge" at the Cobras in North America Day  ((because fudge makes cobras gag, the mere mention of it makes them skedaddle.  Test this proposition with the nearest cobra at your own risk)).
ON THIS DAY:  In 455 Vandals entered Rome, and plunder the city for two weeks.  In 1615 the first Récollet missionaries arrived at Quebec City, from Rouen, France.  In 1835 P. T. Barnum and his circus started their first tour of the United States.  In 1896 Guglielmo Marconi applied for a patent for his wireless telegraph.  In 1924 US President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.  In 1953 the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, who is crowned Queen of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Her Other Realms and Territories & Head of the Commonwealth, the first major international event to be televised.  In 1966 Surveyor 1 landed in Oceanus Procellarum on the Moon, becoming the first US spacecraft to soft-land on another world.  In 1967 Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles was released in the United States.  In 1979 Pope John Paul II started his first official visit to his native Poland, becoming the first Pope to visit a Communist country. In 1981 the Japanese video arcade game "Donkey Kong" made its US debut. In 2003 Europe launched its first voyage to another planet from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan heading for Mars.

Because the land of Pandora opened in the Animal Kingdom at WDW without my participation, I decided it was time to watch Avatar again, even though I couldn’t enjoy the 3-D.   In it, towards the end as the hero prepares for the final battle,  he communes with Eywa [that planet’s earth mother], pleading for Eywa's help in attacking the "Sky People" saying “…the world we come from. There's no green there. They killed their Mother, and they're gonna do the same here.“



Yeah, that.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 2, 2017

a lot to remember

Today is the 3rd day of the 22nd week [I thought that was last week – yeah, I should’ve checked….],   the 30th day of the 5th month,  the 150th day of 2017, and: 
  • Loomis Day -- DC dentist, Mahlon Loomis, received US patent number 129,971 titled “An Improvement in Telegraphing” on wireless telegraphy in July of 1872.
  • My Bucket's Got a Hole in It Day -- celebrate by appreciating the imperfection of a leaky bucket, or by repurposing one into something useful. You could also celebrate by buying yourself a new, fully functional one. Or, perhaps, by enjoying the Hank Williams song
  • National Mint Julep Day
  • Shavout -- a major Jewish festival held on the 6th (and usually the 7th) of Sivan, fifty days after the second day of Passover. It was originally a harvest festival, but now also commemorates the giving of the Law (the Torah).
  • Water a Flower Day 
ON THIS DAY:  In 70 Titus and his Roman legions breached the Second Wall of Jerusalem; Jewish defenders retreated to the First Wall while the Romans built a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometres.  In 1539 Hernando de Soto landed at Tampa Bay Florida with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.  In 1588 the last ship of the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.  In 1631 the Gazette de France, the first French newspaper, was published.  In 1868 Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern "Memorial Day") was observed in the United States for the first time (by "Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic" John A. Logan's proclamation on May 5).  In 1932 the National Theatre of Greece was founded.  In 1971 Mariner 9 was launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.  In 1982 Cal Ripken Jr of the Baltimore Orioles played in the first of a record 2,632 consecutive major league baseball games. 


Today is the actual date of Decoration or Memorial Day, something that has been celebrated for 149 years.  




Got me wondering – just how long has my country been embroiled with one conflict or another?  I turned to the list of conflicts cited in Wikipedia --  and quite frankly, I was a bit shocked.   If you tally up the years the US was not involved in one conflict or another, internally or externally, it would seem that in 241 years of existence, the US has only been at peace for about 27 years [or only 11.2% of the time], and the longest space of time between conflicts has been six years.  That is a lot of dead soldiers to remember and morn...  Sadly, I don’t think that track record is unusual amongst the powers of the world – it would appear that homo sapiens definitely has issues with getting along with each other, neh?
1 Comment - Read Comment | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 30, 2017

take a moment....

No today isn't about sales, pool openings, being able to wear white, or even having a day off from work.

My generation's war was 'Nam.  It decimated the ranks of our classmates.   We demonstrated in the streets against it and brought down LBJ because of it.   We wept in shame as the military pulled out of Saigon and left loyal supporters behind to suffer the consequences.  And we remember those who never came back home.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, May 29, 2017

REALLY its the last Friday in May*

*on Wednesday I titled the blog post “The Last Wednesday of May” – it wasn’t!


Today is the 6th day of the 21st week, the 26th day of the 5th month, the 146th day of 2017 [with only 212 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Don't Fry Day
  • National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
  • National Chardonnay Day
  • National Cherry Dessert Day
  • National Death Busters Day
  • National Grey Day
  • National Heat Awareness Day
  • National Paper Airplane Day
  • National Polka Day
  • National Title Track Day
  • National Wig Out Day
  • Sally Ride Day
  • World Dracula Day
  • World Lindy Hop Day
  • World Redhead Day

ON THIS DAYstuff happened, that’s for sure!


Star Wars celebrated its 40th anniversary yesterday:  We were pretty upset when we learned that Tommy would have to have open heart surgery to close the ventricular septal defect [AKA a hole in his heart].   He was only 3 years old although he would be 4 in just a little over a month.  He was scared, we were upset and it was the day before having to report to Hopkin’s for a preliminary cardiac catheterization to determine the extent of the repairs that were needed.  My ex had taken off from work that Tuesday and was casting about for something, anything to do to provide a distraction.  Knowing I was a Trekkie, and that Tommy was fascinated by space, he suggested we go to the Westview movie theater and catch the first show of a new space flick.  So at noon on May 25th 1976, we entered a mostly empty theater and traveled for the first time to a galaxy far away and long ago.   (( for the curious, the test showed Tom needed full open-heart surgery; he did just fine and turned 4 while in the hospital.  And he has been a life-long Star Wars fan.))




Facebook reminded up about this picture today:  For years there was an exit on 495, just before the Pikesville and Randallstown exits that just said “Future”.  There was an actual exit there, which ended in a barrier beyond which was nothing – no construction, no buildings, just land.  I used to drive past it and wonder what would happen if I drove my car off onto that exit, imagining that the barrier would fade away, the mists would gather, and I would emerge into an entirely different world, the World of Tomorrow.   Whenever I read Tolkien’s lyrics, that exit would be what I would picture in my mind….


The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say.


The exit is gone now, replaced with a huge highway going to Owings Mills, but those whimsical fancies still float in my mind – how I wish I had tried it!

2 Comments - Read Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, May 26, 2017


The answer is 42.

And may the force be with you...  always!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, May 25, 2017

the last Wednesday in May

Today is the 4th day of the 21st week, the 24th day of the 5th month, the 144th day of 2017, and: 
  • Asparagus Day
  • Aviation Maintenance Technicians Day
  • Brothers' Day
  • Emergency Medial Services for Children Day
  • EMSC (Emergency Medical Services) Day
  • Independence Day -- Eritrea from Ethiopia in 1993
  • International Tiara Day
  • Jerusalem Day [observed the 28th of lyyar in the Hebrew calendar]
  • Morse Code Day (Some also observe on April 27) --  In 1844 Samuel Morse sent the message "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from the Old Supreme Court Chamber in the US Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore Maryland, to inaugurate the first telegraph line
  • National Escargot Day
  • Scavenger Hunt Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 919 the nobles of Franconia and Saxony elected Henry the Fowler at the Imperial Diet in Fritzlar as king of the East Frankish Kingdom.  In 1595 Nomenclator of Leiden University Library appeared, the first printed catalog of an institutional library.  In 1607 100 English settlers disembarked in Jamestown, the first English colony in America ((undocumented immigrants every one of them)).  In 1626 Peter Minuit bought Manhattan.  In 1738 John Wesley was converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day and a church service is generally held on the preceding Sunday.  In 1830 "Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Sarah Josepha Hale was published.  Also in 1830 the first passenger railroad in the United States began service between Baltimore and Ellicott Mills, Maryland.  In 1860 the Queen's Plate horse race was run for the First time; it is the oldest continuously run stakes race in North America  In 1883 the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City was opened to traffic after 14 years of construction ((no word on when it was first "sold")).  In 1930 Amy Johnson landed in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight).  In 1935 the first night game in Major League Baseball history was played in Cincinnati Ohio, with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2–1 at Crosley Field.  In 1940 Igor Sikorsky completed the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.  In 1956 the first Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lugano, Switzerland.  In 1958 United Press International was formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.  In 1962 American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbited the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule as part of Project Mercury.  In 2017 NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 05 mins 43 secs and NASA Voyager II is 15 hrs 46 mins 55 secs of light-travel time from Earth


I don’t care what the First Lady wears – for the record I think her styling has been quite appropriate – or if she holds her husband’s hand.   I don’t care what DJT’s daughter wears – neither she nor her husband should be on the trip as far as I am concerned.  I don’t even care that the President cannot articulate over an eight grade level – we already look like bozos to the international community so whatev. 


I care that the Russians got away with blatant election tampering, and that the President is doing his best to hide his ties to a foreign regime, supported and abetted by partisan politics – and yes, that includes seeing those elusive tax returns.  I care about  the attitude of “I’ve got mine and you are on your own” shown by Trumpcare and this budget.  And I care deeply about this concept of “alternative facts” that denies reality. 


Unfortunately, no one in power cares enough about what I think or feel or want or even need to even try and listen to me.


I’m going back to my 2nd Life.   There at least I can rock a tiara!  

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 24, 2017

from their POV

Today is the 3rd day of the 21st week, the 23rd day of the 5th month, the 143rd day of 2017, and: 
  • Declaration of the Bab Day -- the evening before the 23rd in 1844, a merchant of Shiraz announced that he was a Prophet and founded a religious movement that would later be brutally crushed by the Persian government -- he is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá'í Faith and Bahá'ís celebrate this day as a holy day.
  • International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
  • Lucky Penny Day
  • National Taffy Day
  • World Crohn's and Colitis Day
  • World Turtle Day ((not the candy))
ON THIS DAY:  In 844 the Apostle Saint James the Greater is said to have miraculously appeared to a force of outnumbered Asturians and aided them against the forces of the Emir of Cordoba at the Battle of Clavij.  In 1829 an accordion patent was granted to Cyrill Demian in Vienna, Austrian Empire.  In 1873 the Canadian Parliament established the North-West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  In 1911 the New York Public Library was dedicated.  In 1934 the infamous American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.  In 1969 the Who's rock-opera album "Tommy" was released.   In 1995 the first version of the Java programming language is released.


Quote of the day:

If I have the means, I have the responsibility to employ them.”

― Terry Brooks, The Scions of Shannara


As I was driving into work this morning, a commentator on the news stated that this was the first time a sitting President submitted a budget from the viewpoint of a taxpayer [or words to that effect].  Well now I am quite willing to quibble over what was exactly said, but that is what I heard – and it made me start to reflect about the way in which this budget proposal is being received by various segments of our society and how it could actually make sense to some people.   Now bear in mind that as I continue that

[1] I personally I think it is a horrible idea to eviscerate  social programs that have existed from the days of LBJ and the Great Society, give tax breaks to the 1%, and bloat our military armament even more [all while ignoring the needs of our veterans]

[2] I have been working and paying taxes for 52 years

You see, from the standpoint of those in power, they are the primary taxpayers because they pay more dollars in taxes than I do.  Do the math!  If someone is making  $3,650,000 annually [yeah we are talking $10K a day here], even with all the tax breaks let’s be really generous and say they pay 15% of their income in taxes – that means they have paid $547,500 in taxes and they feel that is really unfair because I only have paid around $37,824 in the same year.   Seriously – why are we penalizing them just because they have more money!   I take up just as much space as they do and expect the same services, don’t I?  And I pay less than a tithe of what they give Uncle Sam – only 6.9% of what they are expected to lay out.  They don’t want to hear that their contribution leaves them with over $3M in disposable income -- all they see is that they have paid more than I have therefore they feel that they should have more say on how the money is spent.  And as good Calvinists they don’t want their money going to people who are not working or can’t get by on their own because that shows they are inferior AND they want to know they are being protected.  There is no sense of social responsibility, no obligation to help others, just a self-justifying quibble that they are being taken advantage of and it has to stop.






And no I don’t know what to do about it.  I wish I did.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 23, 2017

yup it is Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 21st week, the 22nd day of the 5th month, the 142nd day of 2017, and: 
  • Accountants’ or Accounting Day
  • Canadian Immigrants Day
  • Harvey Milk Day -- in memory of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist assassinated in 1978
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • National Buy a Musical Instrument Day
  • National Maritime Day
  • National Vanilla Pudding Day
  • Sherlock Holmes Day ((Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh on this day in 1859))
  • US Colored Troops Day
  • Victoria Day
  • World Goth Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 192 Dong Zhuo was assassinated by his adopted son Lü Bu.  In 760 the fourteenth perihelion passage of Halley's Comet was recorded.  In 1570 the first atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, was published with 70 maps.  In 1762 Trevi Fountain in Rome was officially completed and inaugurated by Pope Clement XIII.  In 1819 the SS Savannah left port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.  In 1826 the HMS Beagle departed on its first voyage.  In 1849 Abraham Lincoln was issued a patent for an invention to lift boats, making him the only US President to ever hold a patent.  In 1868 what came to be known as "The Great Train Robbery" took place near Marshfield, Indiana; seven members of the Reno gang made off with $96,000 in cash, gold and bonds [about $1,702,260 in today's money].  In 1900 the Associated Press was formed in New York City as a non-profit news cooperative.  In 1906 the Wright brothers were granted US patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine".  In 1915 Lassen Peak erupted, the only volcano other than Mount St. Helens to erupt in the contiguous US during the 20th century.  In 1969 Apollo 10's lunar module flew within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon's surface.  In 1992 Johnny Carson hosted NBC's "Tonight Show" for the last time after nearly 30 years in the job.  In 2012 Tokyo Skytree opened to the public; it is the tallest tower in the world (634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth, after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m).  In 2015 the Republic of Ireland became the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.

Today, eight years ago, I was offered and accepted the position I currently hold.  For me it ended a nightmare ten days of unemployment.  For the recruiter I was working with, it was a disappointment for it was a job I had found the old-fashioned way via a print ad.  He very much wanted me to wait and see if an offer letter was sent from another position that I had been told I was going to get – but given the 10% unemployment figures hereabouts at the beginning of the recession, I was nervous about turning down a job in hand for one that might not materialize.  For the company it was an abrupt change of course – before interviewing me they were preparing an offer letter to someone else. 

I have not regretted my decision to step down in position and pay – I got about four hours a day of my life back, I can dress casually, the commute is not onerous and I like both my boss and co-workers – and have indeed refused subsequent job offers through the years.  However, economically I never made that salary cut back – even today I am making less [when adjusted for inflation] than I did in my previous position while my expenses have continued to increase.   While this has negatively impacted both my ability to stay out of debt and  my hopes to retire, I am fully cognizant that I am one of the fortunate ones.  For ten days I teetered precariously on the edge of total ruination,  a situation that I never expected to find myself in and an experience that I am not likely to ever forget. 

THIS is the economic reality of those who are not part of the 1% -- we are all one job loss, one illness, one accident away from our lives falling complete apart.  As I listen to the rhetoric blaming baby boomers for the ills of society and threatening the end of so-called “entitlements”, I wish I felt that anyone in Congress understood how that reality feels after having worked for over a half of a century….


And as much as I like where I work now, I have to admit that every single Monday I wish for Hawaiian time!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, May 22, 2017


Why do I blog?

Because I want to be a writer.   And what do writers do?  They write.

Unlike Crap [that isn't really his name, it is the name of his avatar but that is how I met him and that is who I think of him as], I didn't take a vow so I don't have to write a hundred words each day.

What do I expect from blogging?

I don't know.   Although my daughter is convinced that I live my life outloud, I don't say a lot of things in this very public journal.  Occasionally I wonder if a particular post might not catch the errant attention of the public, but I find myself being amused at such conceit.  I post it on Twitter and Facebook and there are a few actual subscribers but I really don't know how many people read my admittedly disjointed musings.  I certainly don't think it will particularly change what folks think of me or the world about them....

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, May 20, 2017

good job done

Today is the 5th day of the 20th week, the 18th day of the 5th month, the 138th day of 2017 [with only 220 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Brown Bag It Thursday
  • Buy A Musical Instrument Day
  • HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
  • Hummus Day
  • I Love Reese's Day
  • International Museum Day
  • Mother Whistler Day
  • National Aperitif Day
  • National Cheese Souffle Day
  • National No Dirty Dishes Day
  • National Notebook Day
  • National Visit Your Relatives Day
  • Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day
  • World AIDS Vaccine Day
ON THIS DAY:  In 332 Constantine the Great announced free distributions of food to the citizens in Constantinople.  In 1499 Alonso de Ojeda set sail from Cádiz on his voyage to what is now Venezuela.  In 1642 the Canadian city of Montreal was founded.  In 1897 a public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel "Dracula, or, The Un-dead" was staged in London.  In 1912 the first Indian film, Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne, was released in Mumbai.  In 1951 the United Nations moved out of its temporary headquarters in Lake Success NY for its permanent home in Manhattan.  In 1953 Jackie Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier.  In 1969 Apollo 10 was launched on a mission that served as a dress rehearsal for the first moon landing.  In 1974 under the code name Smiling Buddha India successfully detonated its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.  In 1990 in France, a modified TGV train achieved a new rail world speed record of 515.3 km/h (320.2 mph).  In 2003 "Les Miserables," the third-longest running show in Broadway history, closed after more than 16 years and 6,680 performances.  In 2005 a second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirmed that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra. 

Yesterday I was treated to an example of exemplary customer service.  The Burnt Mills Starbucks is a very busy place in the morning as commuters turn off the very busy RT 29 and  pop in to get their orders – they do a bustling business with beverages and food.  The staff is excellent, knowing most of their regulars by name and even what they usually order – perhaps it is my lack of imagination, but I pretty much get the same three items every morning, sometimes adding other stuff as well.  Now and then I get lucky enough to walk in between traffic surges and get to walk right up to the cashier – yesterday was one of those morning.  There was the usual morning banter, checking to make sure I was ordering as always, and then when I went to hand over my card, they told me that their system was down and my order was free!  FREE!

Now when the system went down, they could’ve closed the store and sent all those customers away.   Or they could’ve announced that they would only serve customers who were paying in cash.  Either one would’ve been a logical choice, but this manager opted to stay open and take care of their regulars.  Kudos to the management who empowered the frontline to make the call -- for the costs of a morning’s sales, the amount of goodwill and loyalty that was garnered is  priceless.  

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, May 18, 2017

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