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Banking on Tomorrow
"tomorrow is promised to no one"
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bleeding heart....

Carol H Tucker

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

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

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taxes, taxes, taxes....

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

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

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

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


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

remembering the magic....

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

do you hear what I hear

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

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

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

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


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

be counted....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

defeating the bug

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

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

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

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

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

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



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


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

Do you know what day it is?

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


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

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

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 27, 2020

make it stop....

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

1599 = Caravaggio's 1st public commission for paintings

1764 - James Otis publishes views on taxation without representation

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

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

1903 – The Ford Motor Company sells its first car.

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

1937- Isolation of pituitary hormone announced (Yale University)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1976 - France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa atoll

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


Like so many people, I’m tired.

Just, tired….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 23, 2020

reflections on bedding....

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

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

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

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

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

1927 - the first flight from West Coast arrives in Hawaii

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1985 - NASA launches Intelsat VA F-11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

even little endings are poignant ....

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

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

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

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 23, 2020

I am not okay....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1793 - the first public zoo opens in Paris

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

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

1854 - Georg F B Reiman proposes that space is curved

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

1902 - Patent for window envelope granted to H F Callahan

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

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

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

1947 – Saab produces its first automobile.

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

1973 - NASA launches Radio Astronomy Explorer 49 into lunar orbit

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

1987 - Discovery's SRBs and External Tank are mated

1992 - Satellite Intelsat K launched

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

1996 - Intel releases 200 mhz pentium chip

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Quote of the day:

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

~  Rhonda Magee, “Making the Invisible Visible

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 5, 2020

Voting by mail

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

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

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

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Memorial Day 2020

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, May 23, 2020

when things get tough....

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

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

1571 - Miguel Lopez de Lagazpi founds Manilla in the Phillipines

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

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

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

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

1884 - Ringling Brothers circus premieres

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

1892 - Charles Brady King invents pneumatic hammer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1972 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

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

1983 - NASA launches Intelsat V satellite, no. 506

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

valued added -- or not

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

what price pixie dust?

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

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

lonely? not actually....

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

1056 - Supernova Crab nebula last seen by the naked eye

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1966 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1969 - the first human eye transplant performed

1971 - Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 10 launched

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

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

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

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

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

1983 - Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1983 - Soyuz T-8 returns to Earth

1986 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1991 - Intel releases 486SX chip

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

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


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




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

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 22, 2020

cabin fever

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

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

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




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

what's in a name?

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

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

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

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


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

despite COVID-19

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, April 12, 2020

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 8, 2020


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

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

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

That startled me, trees precipitating an extinction event

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


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

spring is sprung

Today is the 5th day of the 12th week, the 19th day of the 3rd month, the 79th day of 2020 [with only 280 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Absolutely Incredible Kid Day
  • Certified Nurses Day
  • Client's Day
  • Companies That Care Day
  • Data Innovation Day:
  • Great American Meatout Day
  • International Astrology Day
  • International Day of Nowruz
  • International Earth Day
  • Let's Laugh Day
  • National Chocolate Caramel Day
  • National Farm Rescuer Day
  • National Poultry Day
  • Oranges and Lemons Day
  • Ostara ((or Mabon in the southern hemisphere))
  • Proposal Day
  • Snowman Burning
  • St Joseph's Day (Roman Catholicism and Anglican Communion) and Father's Day (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Honduras, and Bolivia)
  • Swallows Return to San Juan Capistrano Day
  • The First Day of Spring (Vernal Equinox) at 11:49 PM EDT
  • World Storytelling Day
  • Earliest day on which Maundy Thursday can fall, while April 22 is the latest; celebrated on Thursday before Easter.

1687 – Explorer Robert Cavelier de La Salle, searching for the mouth of the Mississippi River, is murdered by his own men.

1895 – Auguste and Louis Lumière record their first footage using their newly patented cinematograph.

1915 - Pluto photographed for 1st time (although unknown at the time)

1918 – The US Congress establishes time zones and approves daylight saving time.

1928 - "Amos & Andy" debuts on radio (NBC Blue Network-WMAQ Chicago)

1937 - Astronomer Fritz Zwicky publishes his research on stellar explosion in which he coins the term "supernova" and hypothesizes that they were the origin of cosmic rays

1951 - Herman Wouk's novel "The Caine Mutiny" published (Pulitzer Prize 1952)

1962 – Bob Dylan releases his first album, Bob Dylan, for Columbia Records.

1964 - Sean Connery's 1st day of shooting on James Bond film "Goldfinger"

1965 - The wreck of the SS Georgiana, valued at over $50,000,000, said to have been most powerful Confederate cruiser, discovered by then teenage diver and pioneer underwater archaeologist E. Lee Spence exactly 102 years after its destruction.

1977 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1981 - two workers killed in space shuttle Columbia accident

2001 - The Bank of Japan issued a monetary policy known as quantitative easing, which stimulated the Japanese economy after the burst of the dot-com bubble.

2008 – GRB 080319B: A cosmic burst that is the farthest object visible to the naked eye is briefly observed.

2013 - NASA's Mars rover Curiosity discovers further evidence of water-bearing minerals

2018 – The last male northern white rhinoceros, Sudan, dies, ensuring a chance of extinction for the species.

2019 - "Superbloom" of poppies in Walker Canyon, southern California visible from space, after high rainfall


Quote of the day:

Winter is nearly gone. Time flows on to a spring of little hope.”

~  JRR Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings | The Fellowship of the Ring (Book 2, Chapter 9) : The Great River




Despite the pandemic, or the fact that it hasn’t been much of a winter hereabouts, it is officially spring
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 19, 2020


My anxiety level about COVID-19 is starting to get wearisome.  Why am I so worried? 
  • No guidance or policy on how to prevent the spread of the disease inside the United States other than wash your hands for 20 seconds, don't touch your face, and stay home if you feel sick.  No guidance for organizations as to when they should cancel events or shut down store fronts or shutter restaurants or close theaters or send folks home.
  • No explanation of what went wrong with the US testing system, nor any assurance of when testing would become more widely available.  Not even an idea of how many people have been tested – other than the rich and powerful and politically connected, of course.  My son works in a healthcare clinic that was designated testing site in Nashville – but they are not actually testing.  Instead, their role is to assess the necessity of testing as patients come in with symptoms or concerns, and make a recommendation to the CDC that a person actually get the test IF someone at the CDC agrees with their assessment. 
  • No co-pays on the tests nobody seems able to get, but what about other health-care coverage? Who is going to pay for the doctor visits or the hospital stays for all of those folks who no longer have insurance or if the insurance company decides that services at a designated treatment facility is “out of network” and don’t pay even if you have coverage? 
  • No provision for those about to lose their pay because they have to stay home or lose their jobs as the economy tanks other than calling for a payroll tax deduction and an extension on paying 2019 federal income taxes if you haven't paid already -- now how is that going to help someone who isn't getting paid and the bills are due?
  • No aid for Main Street.  Most of us don’t care about Wall Street, or the shale oil companies, or the big banks, or the investment firms.  What about the small business owner?  What if they cannot get a new SBA loan?
  • No people traveling from Europe?  Why Europe in particular and why was the UK exempted?  Why not Australia or Asia or Africa? And what good does a ban on travel do when the disease is here already?
  • And last – I am definitely in the vulnerable category – over 60 with health issues like high blood pressure and Diabetes II.  Right now I am in “business as usual” mode, but should I be?  Am I supposed to stay home for an indefinite period of time?  Is keeping up with the various stories prudent, or am I just feeding the fear?
I can tell you what I am NOT going to do!  I am not paying some outrageous price for hand sanitizer or try and make my own

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 12, 2020

the first author


History is littered with authors. Enheduanna was the world’s first identifiable one. Born more than 4,000 years ago, she was a poet and princess in ancient Mesopotamia. She was also a priestess at a temple dedicated to a Mesopotamian moon god, Nanna. Enheduanna lived in a city situated in what is now southern Iraq.

The daughter of a king, she penned a significant body of work. Her hymns and poems were composed in cuneiform, an early form of writing on clay tablets. Some of her most notable poems revolve around the goddess Inanna. 

Betty DeShong Meador translated a selection of Enheduanna’s poems dedicated to Inanna. In an interview with the University of California at Berkeley, Meador noted the complexity and force Enheduanna ascribes to the goddess. 

In one poem, Enheduanna writes,


Lady of blazing dominion

clad in dread

riding on fire-red power


holding a pure lance

terror folds in her robes

flood-storm-hurricane adorned

she bolts out in battle

plants a standing shield on the ground

“In Enheduanna’s poetry, Inanna is both fierce and cruel, loving and kind,” Meador told UC-Berkeley. “In our society, women are not supposed to be like that.”

“But this is who we are as human beings,” Meador added. “Both men and women have these violent emotions, and if you are taught to suppress the knowledge of these harsh feelings, you live in too narrow a range.”

Note: Since there is no record of what Enheduanna looked like, this illustration represents the artist's interpretation.

(( courtesy of The Lily ))

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 12, 2020


Today is the 3rd day of the 11th week, the 10th day of the 3rd month, the 70th day of 2020, and: 
  • Festival of Life in the Cracks Day
  • Histotechnology Professionals Day
  • Holi
  • International Bagpipes Day
  • International Day of Awesomeness
  • Landline Telephone Day
  • Mario Day
  • National Blueberry Popover Day
  • National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Organize your Home Office Day
  • Pack Your Lunch Day
  • Salvation Army Day
  • US Paper Money Day

So we received our notice from HR about the virus.  Here are the salient points to take note of if you are 65 or over ((NOTE:  the CDC and the State of MD said 60)): 
  • Stay home if you have a fever, sore throat, achiness and/or cold symptoms ((and this during the start of allergy season))
  • If you have plans for personal travel, notify HR if you are going anywhere under any travel advisory
  • If you have plans for business travel, consider cancelling
  • If you  or an immediate family member are quarantined, you have to use PTO if you cannot work remotely
  • IF you want to work remotely?  You have to be approved to do so in advance and have a doctor’s note saying you are able work at home
So let’s say I wake up one morning next feeling lousy with a ticklish throat, coughing, and have a low level fever [not over 100].   Usually I would go to work, but because I am listening to all the warnings and want to be prudent, I call out.  I didn’t plan to get sick, so I don’t have my laptop with me at home and I have to use PTO [being one of those lucky enough to work where I actually have paid time off ].  If I decide to stay isolated, is someone going to bring my laptop to me so I can work from home?  I rather doubt it!  Self quarantines are for 14 days from the onset of symptoms, and if you come down with COVID-19 after that [and good luck getting an actual test to confirm whether you have it or not], you can count on another two to three weeks to recuperate, so let’s say you’ll be out for five weeks.  Not many people have enough PTO to cover that, so you would have to go on leave without pay.  If you work for a company that has more than 50 employees, they have to provide FMLA so you can keep your job at least while you aren’t getting paid.  But how am I going to pay the bills that will come due at the end of the month – the vendors don’t care that I am quarantined, they just want their money.  It worries me far more than the lack of hand sanitizer availability!


Despite all the worry, Holi celebrations are bringing some fun to the day

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Panic? Get Over It?

Today is the 2nd day of the 11th week, the 9th day of the 3rd month, the 69th day of 2020 [with only 290 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Amerigo Vespucci Day –  born this day 566 years ago
  • Bang-Clang Day - the first battle between ironclad ships in 1862 at Hampton Roads, VA
  • Barbie Day – she made debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York in 1959
  • Commonwealth Day
  • False Teeth Day
  • Fill Our Staplers Day
  • Get Over It Day – the day between Valentine's Day and April Fools' Day, founded by Jeff Goldblatt in 2005
  • Joe Franklin Day - born in 1926, was an American radio and television host personality, author and actor from New York City. His television series debuted in January 1951 on WJZ-TV, moving to WOR-TV in 1962, remaining there until 1993, one of the longest running uninterrupted careers in broadcasting history
  • National Crabmeat Day
  • National Napping Day
  • National Meatball Day
  • National Urban Ballroom Dancing Day
  • National Urban Educator Day
  • National Workplace Napping Day
  • Panic Day ((co-sponsored by the Sky is Falling Committee)) – did you know that Pan did not only play the pipes, but his shout could actually instill unreasoning fear in opponents
  • Purim and Ta'Anit Esther  ((Purim is described as a “jolly holiday” but they kick it off by fasting?))
  • The Worm Moon - Full Moon at 1:48 pm EDT
As the news about COVID-19 gets worse, and the resulting hit to the global investment markets trigger the circuit breaker on the New York Stock Exchange for the first time since October 27th, 1997, with a full moon in the sky and Mercury coming out of retrograde, not to mention the US implementing the annual insanity known as daylight savings time over the weekend, calling today “Panic Day” seems apropos.  People are stockpiling food and medicine,  disinfectants and protective gear have either disappeared or soared in price, and the Catholic church has removed the holy water from the churches.   Now when you enter the church, you no longer dip your fingers in the holy water and cross yourself.   What fascinates me is this is a tradition that dates from medieval times and there have been a lot of communicable diseases floating around since then, so why is it NOW suddenly seen as a potential source of contamination?   Will the Orthodox Jews stop touching the mezuzah affixed to the doorpost of the homes they visit?
 What is on stark display here is how income inequity in the United States impacts health, for while the 1% worry about the stock market, the rest of us worry whether or not a simply performing an automatic religious observance, or even handling cash, means a risk of infection.   
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, March 9, 2020

the first Friday in March 2020

Today is the 6th day of the 10th week, the 6th day of the 3rd month, the 66th day of 2020, and: 
  • Alamo Day – in 1836, after 13 days of fighting 1,500-3,000 Mexican soldiers overwhelm the Texan defenders, killing 182-257 Texans including William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett
  • Day of The Dude
  • Dentist's Day
  • Dress in Blue Day – to raise awareness of colon cancer
  • Employee Appreciation Day
  • Independence Day - Ghana from the UK in 1957, the first Sub-Saharan country to do so
  • Middle Name Pride Day
  • National Day of Unplugging
  • National Dress Day
  • National Frozen Food Day
  • National Oreo Cookie Day
  • National Salesperson Day
  • National Speech and Debate Education Day
  • National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
  • Sofia Kovalevskaya Math Day
  • World Day of Prayer


1079 - Omar ibn Ibrahim al-Chajjam completes Jalali-calendar

1521 – Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Guam.

1665 – The first joint Secretary of the Royal Society, Henry Oldenburg, publishes the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the world's longest-running scientific journal.

1788 – The First Fleet arrives at Norfolk Island in order to found a convict settlement.

1831 - Edgar Allan Poe removed from West Point military academy

1835 - Volume One of Thomas Carlyle's famous work "The French Revolution: A History" is accidentally burnt by a maid using it as fire starter before its publication. Carlyle re-writes it.

1886 - the first US alternating current power plant starts, Great Barrington, Massachusetts

1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev presents the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.

1899 – "Aspirin" (acetylsalicylic acid) patented by Felix Hoffmann at German company Bayer

1922 - Babe Ruth signs 3 year contract with NY Yankees at $52,000 a year.  That would be $798,481.67 in 2020

1943 – Norman Rockwell published Freedom from Want in The Saturday Evening Post with a matching essay by Carlos Bulosan as part of the Four Freedoms series.

1945 - George Nissen of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, receives a patent for the first modern trampoline

1950 - Silly Putty goes on sale in the US

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1964 - Boxing legend Cassius Clay joins the Nation of Islam and changes his name to "Muhammad Ali", calling his former title a "slave name"

1974 - An unnamed Italian industrialist loses a record $1,920,000 at roulette over five hours in Monte Carlo Casino

1975 – For the first time the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is shown in motion to a national TV audience by Robert J. Groden and Dick Gregory.

1981 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1981 - Soyuz 39 returns to Earth

1985 - Yul Brynner appears in his 4,500th performance of "The King & I"

1986 - USSR's Vega 1 flies by Halley's Comet at 8,889 km

1992 – The Michelangelo computer virus begins to affect computers.

1998 - First time the British Union Flag is flown over Buckingham Palace (following the controversy after Princess Dian's death; formerly the only flag flown was the Sovereign's standard indicating the monarch's presence.)

2015 - NASA's Dawn space probe enters orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres

2018 - World's oldest message in a bottle found in Western Australia, thrown from German ship Paula 132 years ago (12 June 1886)


What do you think of your middle name?  When it came time to name my son, his father told me that in his family the same middle name was always used for the first son, so “Carroll” it was.  In my mother’s family, the name middle name for girls was “Ann” [or Anne or Anna] and I carried on the tradition.  My daughter’s second daughter’s middle name is also “Ann”, like her mother’s and her grandmother’s.   




Most of us learned about the Alamo via Fess Parker when the episode aired on February 23rd, 1955
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, March 6, 2020

First Monday in March 2020

Today is the 2nd day of the 10th week, the 2nd day of the 3rd month, the 62nd day of 2020, and: 
  • Casimir Pulaski Day
  • Dr Seuss Day
  • Feast of 'Alá
  • Free Dentistry Day
  • Fun Facts About Names Day
  • International Rescue Cat Day
  • National Banana Cream Pie Day
  • national Read Across America Day
  • Old Stuff Day
  • Orthodox Green Monday
  • World Teen Mental Wellness Day
The gospel at Mass on Sunday, the first Sunday of Lent, was about the temptation of Christ by Satan -- and the priest spun the story to point out that we are not: 
  • what we do – my takeaway was that we are not the roles that we fill, nor should we define ourselves by work.  Many people do this and lose themselves thoroughly by being a wife or a cop, to take just two examples that I am very familiar with
  • what others think about us – how often do we accept the definitions of who we are by what is said about us!  Labels stick and your self-image can be permanently warped by opinions of others
  • what we have – is having stuff a role?  How often do we describe someone as rich or poor just based on how much they have?
So if you cannot state who you are based on any of these criteria, then who are you?  There was agreat episode in Bablyon 5’s second season where the question  "Who are you?"  was asked again and again and again because the answers received were unsatisfactory.  To me, there doesn’t seem to be a good answer to that question because as soon as you apply someone's term for what you are, you have limited or defined yourself in that framework.
After seven decades, I’m not quite sure I can answer that question easily….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, March 2, 2020

Final Friday in February

Today is the 6th day of the 9th week, the 28th day of the 2nd month, the 59th day of 2020 [with only 300 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Car Keys and Small Change Day
  • Floral Design Day
  • Girl Scout Cookie Weekend
  • Global Scouse Day
  • International STAND UP to Bullying Day
  • National Chocolate Souffle Day
  • National Customized Wheel and Tire Day
  • national Public Sleeping Day
  • National Science Day
  • National Skip the Straw Day
  • National Tartar Sauce Day
  • National Tooth Fairy Day
  • US Snow Shoe Days
  • The third day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá'í Faith) (Please note that this observance is only locked into this date the Gregorian calendar on this date if Bahá'í Naw-Rúz takes place on March 21, which it doesn't in all years)


1700 – Today is followed by March 1 in Sweden, thus creating the Swedish calendar.

1749 - the first edition of Henry Fieldings' novel "Tom Jones" published

1826 - Biela's Comet rediscovered by Austrian astronomer Wilhelm von Biela (originally discovered 1772)

1827 – The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.

1849 – Regular steamship service from the east to the west coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, four months 22 days after leaving New York Harbor, carrying the first boat load of gold rush prospectors

1867 – Seventy years of Holy See–United States relations are ended by a Congressional ban on federal funding of diplomatic envoys to the Vatican and are not restored until January 10, 1984.

1935 – DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invents nylon.

1939 – The erroneous word "dord" is discovered in the Webster's New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.

1940 – Basketball is televised for the first time (Fordham University vs. the University of Pittsburgh in Madison Square Garden).

1953 – James Watson and Francis Crick announce to friends that they have determined the chemical structure of DNA; the formal announcement takes place on April 25 following publication in April's Nature

1954 - US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Bikini Island

1959 – Discoverer 1, an American spy satellite that is the first object intended to achieve a polar orbit, is launched but fails to achieve orbit.

1983 – The final episode of M*A*S*H airs, with almost 106 million viewers. It still holds the record for the highest viewership of a season finale.

1984 - British satirical puppet show "Spitting Image" premieres on ITV

1997 – GRB 970228, a highly luminous flash of gamma rays, strikes the Earth for 80 seconds, providing early evidence that gamma-ray bursts occur well beyond the Milky Way.

2007 - Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons Pluto-observer spacecraft.

2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigns as the pope of the Catholic Church, becoming the first pope to do so since Pope Gregory XII, in 1415.

Quote of the day:
The question is not what you look at—but how you look & whether you see.”
~  Henry David Thoreau, Journal, August 5, 1851

According to the Urban Dictionary, the word dord means:

3. Dord (n): A word that is incorrectly used or does not technically exist either through intention or misconception.

"Dord" itself falls into this description, and so does pretty much everything else on Urban Dictionary.

This can be imagined as an abbreviation for "Denied word", as a mnemonic device though that is not its origin.

The existence of the little four letter word exhibits the real skill needed in proof reading – reading what is on the paper not what was meant to have been said.   Not everyone, even those who are detail oriented have that gift.  

I was going to expostulate at length about the difference between reality and what you want to believe, but got sidetracked by a word.  Have a great weekend!


Now excuse me, I have to work on my retirement plan…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 28, 2020


Today is the 5th day of the 9th week, the 27th day of the 2nd month, the 58th day of 2020, and: 
  • Anosomia Awareness Day
  • Digital Learning Day
  • Independence Day - Dominican Republic from Haiti in 1844
  • International Polar Bear Day
  • National Chili Day
  • National Kahlua Day
  • National Protein Day
  • National Retro Day
  • National Strawberry Day
  • National Toast Day
  • No-Brainer Day
  • Pokemon Day - First appearance of Pokémon in role-playing video game "Pocket Monsters Red and Green" for Game Boy in Japan in 1996
  • World NGO Day
  • The second day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá'í Faith) (Note: this observance is only on this date in the Gregorian calendar if Bahá'í Naw-Rúz takes place on March 21, which it does not in all years)

 380 – Edict of Thessalonica: Emperor Theodosius I and his co-emperors Gratian and Valentinian II declare their wish that all Roman citizens convert to Nicene Christianity.

 425 – The University of Constantinople is founded by Emperor Theodosius II at the urging of his wife Aelia Eudocia

 837 - 15th recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet

1700 – English explorer William Dampier is the 1st British person to visit the Pacific Island of New Britain, which he names

1812 – Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

1827 - the first Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans

1870 – The current flag of Japan is first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships.

1883 - Oscar Hammerstein patents the first cigar-rolling machine

1951 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified.

1965 - France performs Underground nuclear test at Ecker Algeria

1971 – Doctors in the first Dutch abortion clinic (the Mildredhuis in Arnhem) start performing artificially-induced abortions.

1973 - Pope Paul VI publishes constitution motu proprio Quo aptius

1974 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1978 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1990 - Final day of the rum ration in the Royal New Zealand Navy

2018 - Barbra Streisand reveals she has cloned her dog twice

2019 - First gun control legislation for 25 years passed by US House of Representatives, with new federal background checks

2019 - Doctors announce world's second known case of semi-identical twins, a boy and girl from Brisbane, Australia


This is a fine time to find out that I don’t know how to wash my hands.  According to this article, I should be "... applying soap and scrubbing the palms, the back of the hands, between the fingers, and under the fingernails.  A person should scrub for at least 20 seconds before rinsing the soap and drying the hands with a clean towel."   Now I can guarantee that I do not stand in a public bathroom, using the harsh soap provided, and lather up that elaborately.  And I’m still astonished that 30% of the people using restrooms don’t even wash their hands at all afterwards!


But it is rather disingenuous to say this is the first line of defense in the spread of the corona or any virus.   What would be more helpful, would first of all be to have an actual test that can be administered when someone exhibits the symptoms without charging the possible patient an arm and a leg.  And then publish a clear list of what we, the public, should be looking for that doesn’t sound like everyday ailments.  Allergy season is kicking in and that means sufferers are drooping, complete with coughing, sneezing, and itchy eyes.   Colds and flu are also about, and seriously, I don’t know anybody who can stay home because they have the sniffles.  So at what point is it needful to hie off to the doctor?




Incidentally, now is probably not the time to start reading The Stand …..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, February 27, 2020

seasonal angst

Today is the 4th day of the 9th week, the 26th day of the 2nd month, the 57th day of 2020, and: 
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Carnival Day
  • For Pete's Sake Day
  • Inconvenience Yourself Day
  • Levi Strauss Day
  • National Personal Chef Day
  • National Pistachio Day
  • Pink Shirt Day -  stand against bullying in schools, workplaces, homes, and online.
  • Tell a Fairy Tale Day
  • Thermos Bottle Day
  • The first day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá'í Faith) (Please note that this observance is only locked into this date the Gregorian calendar on this date if Bahá'í Naw-Rúz takes place on March 21, which it doesn't in all years)

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

1616 – Galileo Galilei is formally banned by the Roman Catholic Church from teaching or defending the view that the earth orbits the sun

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

1907 - US Congress raised their own salaries to $7,500

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

1916 - Mutual signs Charlie Chaplin to a film contract

1917 - the first jazz records recorded - "Dixie Jazz Band One Step" and "Livery Stable Blues" by Original Dixieland Jass Band for the Victor Talking Machine Company

1930 - the first red and green traffic lights installed (Manhattan NYC)

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

1936 - Ferdinand Porsche introduces the "Volkswagen"

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

1960 - Vera Miles stars in the famous "Mirror Image" episode of the classic CBS television series "The Twilight Zone"

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

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

1971 – U.N. Secretary-General U Thant signs United Nations proclamation of the vernal equinox as Earth Day.

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

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

1987 - the first release of Beatles compact discs

1987 - NASA launches GEOS-H

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

2012 - 84th Academy Awards: "The Artist" wins five Oscars and becomes the first silent film to win since 1927,

2013 - A flexible battery capable of being charged wirelessly and folded and stretched is developed

I am not a fan of spring, never have been.  Or more correctly, I am not a big fan of that space of time between the Valentine’s Day and Easter, which seems to incorporate a lot of what is traditionally thought of as spring.  Far from seeing it as a time of renewal, for me it is a time of doldrums and depression, of the cone of silence descending, of broken connections and riven relationships.   I have never been quite certain why this is or what triggers it, I just hunker down and live through it, hoping that those who love me will still be around afterwards.  It kicked in last week this year.

 Maybe it is the allergies that kick in.

Maybe it is my birthday.

Maybe it is the dregs of winter.

Maybe I just don’t like the harbinger of humid heat. 

But after the 70th spring, I don’t think I’m likely to change my mind anytime soon….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Shrove Tuesday 2020

Today is the 3rd day of the 9th week, the 25th day of the 2nd month, the 56th day of 2020, and: 
  • International Pancake Day
  • Let's All Eat Right Day
  • Meher Baba's birthday (followers of Meher Baba)
  • Mardi Gras
  • National Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day
  • National Clam Chowder Day
  • Pancake Day Race (Between US and England)
  • Pistol Patent Day
  • Pączki Day
  • Quiet Day
  • Rubber Ducky Day
  • Shrove Tuesday [AKA Fat Tuesday]
  • World Spay Day USA

1570 - Pius V excommunicates Queen Elizabeth I of England for heresy and persecution of English Catholics during her reign. Also absolves her subjects from allegiance to the crown.

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

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

1838 - London pedestrian walks 20 miles backward then forward in 8 hours

1843 – Lord George Paulet occupies the Kingdom of Hawaii in the name of Great Britain in the Paulet Affair (1843).

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

1908 - the first tunnel under Hudson River (railway tunnel) opens

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

1930 - Check photographing device patented

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

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

1963 - Beatles release their first single in US "Please Please Me"

1968 – One hundred thirty-five unarmed citizens of Hà My village in South Vietnam's Quảng Nam Province are killed and buried en masse by South Korean troops in what would come to be known as the Hà My massacre.

1969 - Mariner 6 launched for fly-by of Mars

1979 - Soyuz 32, carrying two cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station, is launched

1981 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

2015 - BRIT Awards: Best Single "Uptown Funk", Best Album "X" by Ed Sheeran

2019 - Influential film review site Rotten Tomatoes implements changes to its site after internet trolls target "Captain Marvel" film

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 29 secs of light-travel time from Earth


I work in a small office with only five other coworkers at the moment and I was totally astounded when not one of them knew that today was a day to consume pancakes.  Amused I explained that in days of yore, one needed to use up the flour, sugar, eggs, and milk that would not be needed during the six weeks of Lent that start tomorrow, and that pancakes were the easiest way to do so, resulting in a culinary revel almost as debauched as Mardi Gras.

Thanks to all the publicity New Orleans gets this time of year, I was under the impression that everyone knew about pancakes today!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 25, 2020

a Monday masquerading as a Tuesday

Today is the 3rd day of the 8th week,  the 18th day of the 2nd month, the 49th day of 2020 [with only 310 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Cow Milked While Flying in an Airplane Day – yes it actually happened back in 1930
  • Crab-Stuffed Flounder Day
  • Independence Day - Gambia from the United Kingdom in 1965
  • International Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day - honoring kids who have or had cancer
  • National Battery Day - The inventor of the battery, Italian physicist Allesandro Volta, was born in 1745
  • National Drink Wine Day ((a holiday many of us will be more than happy to celebrate))
  • National Hate Florida Day ((has nothing to do with hanging chads))
  • Pluto Day - Clyde Tombaugh discovers Pluto while studying photographs taken in January in 1960
  • Thumb Appreciation day
  • Travel Africa Day

3102 BC - Epoch (origin) of the Kali Yuga

1735 - the first opera performed in America, "Flora", in Charleston, South Carolina

1787 - Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II bans children under 8 from labor

1879 - Sculptor Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi is awarded a patent for his design for the Statue of Liberty

1885 – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain is published in the United States

1896 - Cave of Winds at Niagara Falls goes almost dry for first time in 50 years

1901 - H Cecil Booth patented a dust removing suction cleaner

1908 - the first US postage stamps in rolls issued

1911 – The first official flight with airmail takes place from Allahabad, United Provinces, British India (now India), when Henri Pequet, a 23-year-old pilot, delivers 6,500 letters to Naini, about 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away.

1927 - US & Canada open diplomatic relations

1952 - The 4th Emmy Awards: first time awards presented based on nationwide basis, "The Red Skelton Show", Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca win

1954 – The first Church of Scientology is established in Los Angeles.

1955 – Teapot test shot "Wasp" is successfully detonated at the Nevada Test Site with a yield of 1.2 kilotons. Wasp is the first of fourteen shots in the Teapot series.

1968 - Britain commences a trial of year-round daylight saving time (BST - British Standard Time, one hour ahead of GMT)

1974 - NASA launches Italian satellite San Marcos C-2 (235/843 km)

1977 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise test vehicle is carried on its maiden "flight" on top of a Boeing 747.

1979 - Mini-series "Roots: Next Generations" premieres on ABC TV

1979 - NASA launches space vehicle S-202

1986 - Anti-smoking ad airs for 1st time on TV, featuring Yul Brynner: he died of smoking-induced lung cancer on 10th October 1985

2003 - Comet C/2002 V1 (NEAT) makes perihelion, seen by SOHO.

2009 - English fantasy author Terry Pratchett receives a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace

2010 – WikiLeaks publishes the first of hundreds of thousands of classified documents disclosed by the soldier now known as Chelsea Manning.

2010 - Bibliothèque nationale de France purchases the memoirs of Giacomo Casanova a for €7 million

2019 - British parliamentary committee issues scathing report on Facebook, accusing company of breaking privacy laws, calling for new regulations

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 43 secs of light-travel time from Earth


In all the brouhaha about ads on social media, folks forget that back in the day, there weren’t a lot of filters on TV ads.  Oh, they couldn’t cuss, and sex had to be implied rather than shown, and if the claims were too outrageously false, the FCC would make them pull the ads, but cigarette manufacturers continued peddling their wares long after it was proven their products caused cancer – they had money and stations were hungry for revenue.  The first ad that actually stated the ills of smoking stirred up quite a wasp’s nest of protest from corporate sponsors!   



Unfortunately, it was decades before the full extent of the damage caused by secondary smoke to those around the smokers was understood, and addressed, but now one may go to work, or eat at a restaurant, or walk through a public place without having to deal with a cloud of smoke. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 18, 2020

I haz a sad....

Quote of the day
When one loves, one does not calculate.”
-- St. Therese of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul


Today, 16 years ago, Frank gave me this.   He was a bit disappointed with my reaction, and I had to explain that although I thought it was gorgeous, I didn’t know what I was going to wear it with!  Mollified, he snorted “whatever you want to” .  The next year, my daughter sent me flowers because she knew he had always seen to it that I had flowers for Valentine’s Day, although he usually brought them home a day or two ahead of time, scorning the florists’ price increases for this day.   Usually I let the holiday pass by without any angst, but this year I am moody and dispirited, and wishing rather forlornly for flowers, cards, and most importantly of all, the knowledge that I have a special someone.  Give your love an extra tight hug, today! 

I will treasure my memories and not repine -- the sun is shining for the first time in almost a week, it is Friday, and the start of a three-day weekend.   
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 14, 2020

just over the horizon....

Today is the 4th day of the 7th week, the 12th day of the 2nd month, the 43rd day of 2020, and: 
  • Hug Day
  • International Darwin Day
  • Lincoln's Birthday
  • NAACP Day – formed in 1909
  • National Freedom to Marry Day
  • National Lost Penny Day ((Note: Lincoln's birthday and he's on the penny))
  • National Plum Pudding Day
  • Oglethorpe Day - (AKA Georgia Day - commemorates the 1733 landing of James Edward Oglethorpe and the first colonists in Georgia, settling in Savannah)
  • Paul Bunyan Day (Born Feb. 12, 1834 in Bangor, ME)
  • Red Hand Day (AKA International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers)
  • Safety Pup Day


1502 - Vasco da Gama sets sail from Lisbon, Portugal on his second voyage to India

1818 - Chile gains independence from Spain

1825 – The Creek cede the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government by the Treaty of Indian Springs, and migrate west.

1850 - Original Washington's Farewell Address manuscript sells for $2,300 [$74,193.55 in 2019]

1873 - US Congress passes the Coinage Act of 1873, abolishing bimetallism and placing the country on the gold standard

1878 - Frederick Thayer patents catcher's mask (pat # 200,358)

1912 - China adopts Gregorian calendar

1914 - "The Squaw Man", the first feature-length film shot in Hollywood, directed by Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel, is released in the US

1915 – In Washington, D.C., the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial is put into place.

1924 – George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue received its premiere in a concert titled "An Experiment in Modern Music", in Aeolian Hall, New York, by Paul Whiteman and his band, with Gershwin playing the piano.

1935 - First secret demonstration of radio signals detecting aircraft by Robert Watson-Watt at Daventry, England

1947 – The largest observed iron meteorite until that time creates an impact crater in Sikhote-Alin, in the Soviet Union.

1947 – Christian Dior unveils a "New Look", helping Paris regain its position as the capital of the fashion world.

1949 - Panic in Quito, Ecuador, after "War of the Worlds" played on radio

1959 - The Lincoln Memorial design on the U.S. penny goes into circulation. It replaces the "sheaves of wheat" design

1961 – The Soviet Union launches Venera 1 towards Venus.

1963 – Construction begins on the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

1965 - Nuclear test at Pacific Ocean

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1994 – Four thieves break into the National Gallery of Norway and steal Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream.

1998 - Intel unveils its 1st graphics chip i740

2001 – NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft touches down in the "saddle" region of 433 Eros, becoming the first spacecraft to land on an asteroid.

2014 - Intel entrepreneur and co-founder of the X-PRIZE Foundation, Peter Diamandis, claims that 50% of US jobs are under threat of being mechanized within 10 years

2016 – Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill sign an Ecumenical Declaration in the first such meeting between leaders of the Catholic and Russian Orthodox Churches since their split in 1054.

2016 - Britain's Ordnance Survey, using NASA data posts map of Mars on Flickr

2019 - US national debt tops 22 trillion for the first time according to US Treasury

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 53 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Back when I was growing up, long before holidays were moved to Mondays to enable long weekends back in 1968,  February was a welcome relief because we would get off for both Lincoln’s and Washington’s Birthdays on the 12th [at least in Maryland] and the 22nd.   It was nice having two days to look forward to!  I have to admit though,  despite the fact I was one of those who griped that we should celebrate things on the actual date we were commemorating, I have rather gotten used to the idea of a three day weekend



Of course, if I had my druthers, we would all switch to a 32 – hour work week [at the same rate of pay of course] and every weekend would be three days, but I’m afraid that is a pipe dream….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 12, 2020

another rainy Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 7th week, the 10th day of the 2nd month, the 41st day of 2020, and: 
  • All The News That's Fit To Print Day
  • Clean Out Your Computer Day
  • National Cream Cheese Brownie Day
  • National Flannel Day
  • National Home Warranty Day
  • Oatmeal Monday
  • Plimsoll Day
  • Teddy Day
  • Tu BiShvat
  • Umbrella Day
  • World Pulses Day


1258 – Mongol invasions: Baghdad falls to the Mongols, bringing the Islamic Golden Age to an end.

1535 - 12 nude anabaptists run through Amsterdam streets

1774 - Andrew Becker demonstrates diving suit

1794 - Joseph Haydn's 99th Symphony in E premieres

1863 - the first US fire extinguisher patent granted to Alanson Crane, Virginia

1879 - the first electric arc light used (California Theater)

1897 - The NY Times begins using slogan "All the News That's Fit to Print"

1906 – HMS Dreadnought, the first of a revolutionary new breed of battleships is christened and launched by King Edward VII.

1916 - Biggest oil well gusher ever - Edward L. Doheny's Cerro Azul No. 4 first gushes 600 feet in the air near Tampico, Mexico

1920 - Baseball outlaws all pitches involving tampering with ball

1933 - Delivery of the first singing telegram (Postal Telegram Co NYC)

1939 - "Stagecoach" western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne, premieres in Miami

1940 – Cartoon characters Tom and Jerry, created by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera, make their debut with Puss Gets the Boot by MGM.

1940 - "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller hits #1

1942 - Glenn Miller awarded 1st ever gold record for selling 1 million copies of "Chattanooga Choo Choo"

1942 - American chemist James Franklin Hyde is granted a patent for fused silica

1947 – Crowds gathered at shop windows in Paris to see Christian Dior's New Look fashion—longer skirts, nipped-in waists and padded shoulders.

1949 - Arthur Miller's play "Death of a Salesman" opens at Morosco Theater, NYC

1961 - Niagara Falls hydroelectric project begins producing power

1962 – Roy Lichtenstein's first solo exhibition opened, and it included Look Mickey, which featured his first employment of Ben-Day dots, speech balloons and comic imagery sourcing, all of which he is now known for.

1966 - "Valley of the Dolls" by Jacqueline Susann is published by Bernard Geis Associates in the US - sold over 31 million copies

1972 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1979 = "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" by Rod Stewart peaks at #1

1989 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1996 - IBM computer Deep Blue becomes the first computer to win a game of chess against a reigning (human) chess champion, Gary Kasparov

1997 - Soyuz TM-25 launches to the MIR

1998 - AOL raises monthly flat rate internet access from $19.95 to $21.95

2009 – The communications satellites Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 collide in orbit, destroying both.

2019 - Insect populations are collapsing worldwide threatening a“catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems” according to a global review saying 40% declining, 30% endangered


Today when I walked into Starbucks, out of the pouring rain, after sitting in traffic, I was greeted with a cheery chorus of “Happy Monday!” 




It still was a dark, dank day, but at least that group of folks had smiles on their faces!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, February 10, 2020

February's First Friday

Today is the 6th day of the 6th week, the 7th day of the 2nd month, the 38th day of 2020, and: 
  • "e" day [math]
  • Ballet Day
  • Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Bubble Gum Day
  • Give Kids a Smile Day
  • Harry Potter Book Night
  • Independence Day - Grenada from the United Kingdom in 1974.
  • International Clash Day
  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Day
  • National Fettuccine Alfredo Day
  • National Periodic Table Day
  • National Wear Red Day
  • Rose Day
  • Send a Card to a Friend Day
  • Wave A Your Fingers at Your Neighbors Day
  • Working Naked Day

1497 – In Florence, Italy, supporters of Girolamo Savonarola burn cosmetics, art, and books, in a "Bonfire of the vanities"

1817 - Baltimore becomes the 1st American city lit by gas street lamps with the first turned on at Market and Lemon Streets (currently Baltimore and Holliday Streets)

1845 - The Portland Vase, thought to date to the 1st century BC is shattered into more than 80 pieces by a drunken visitor to the British Museum

1900 – A Chinese immigrant in San Francisco falls ill to bubonic plague in the first plague epidemic in the continental United States

1904 – A fire begins in Baltimore, Maryland;[8] it destroys over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.

1914 - Charlie Chaplin debuts silent film character The Tramp in "Kid Auto Races at Venice"

1915 - the first wireless message sent from a moving train to a station received

1928 - the first solo flight from England to Australia takes off from Croydon, piloted by Australian aviator Bert Hinkler (arrives 15 ½ days later)

1940 – The second full-length animated Walt Disney film, Pinocchio, premieres

1944 - Bing Crosby records "Swinging on a Star" for Decca Records (Academy Award Best Originial Song)

1949 - Joe DiMaggio becomes the first $100,000 a year baseball player for the New York Yankees

1964 - Baskin-Robbins introduces Beatle Nut ice cream

1974 - Mel Brooks' film "Blazing Saddles" opens in movie theaters starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder

1976 - World's largest telescope (600 cm) begins operation (USSR)

1977 - Soyuz 24 launches with two cosmonauts

1979 – Pluto moves inside Neptune's orbit for the first time since either was discovered.

1979 - Pink Floyd premiere their live version of "The Wall" in Los Angeles

1984 – Space Shuttle program: STS-41-B Mission: Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart make the first untethered space walk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).

1997 – NeXT merges with Apple Computer, starting the path to Mac OS X.

2006 - Uma Thurman is named a knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France for outstanding achievement in the field of art and literature

2013 - Azerbaijan launches its first satellite, Azerspace-1

2014 – Scientists announce that the Happisburgh footprints in Norfolk, England, date back to more than 800,000 years ago, making them the oldest known hominid footprints outside Africa.

2016 – North Korea launches Kwangmyŏngsŏng-4 into outer space violating multiple UN treaties and prompting condemnation from around the world.

2018 - DNA analysis of Chedder Man, UK's oldest complete skeleton shows he had dark skin and blue eyes


Today is FFF -- the First Friday of February!  I’m not as happy as I usually am about it being Friday because I made the mistake of reading the news these past couple of days and need to get my social media feeds back to anime, science fiction, anthropology and archeology, gaming, and other things that I find interesting.




And I think it is time to bury myself with other narratives for a while
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 7, 2020

Today is the 4th day of the 6th week, the 5th day of the 2nd month, the 36th day of 2020, and: 
  • Adlai Stevenson Day 
  • California Western Monarch Day
  • Disaster Day
  • Global School Play Day
  • Move Hollywood and Broadway to Lebanon, Pennsylvania Day
  • National Chocolate Fondue Day
  • National Fart Day
  • National Girls and Women in Sports Day
  • National Shower with a Friend Day
  • National Signing Day
  • National Weatherperson's Day
  • Twenty-six Martyrs of Japan (in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Anglican Church in Japan) – A group of early Japanese Christians are killed by the new government of Japan for being seen as a threat to Japanese society in
  • 1597
  • World Animal Reiki Day
  • World Nutella Day
  • World Read Aloud Day

1807 – HMS Blenheim and HMS Java disappear off the coast of Rodrigues.

1817 - 1st US gas co incorporated, Baltimore (coal gas for street lights)

1846 - "Oregon Spectator" is the first newspaper to be published on the West Coast

1850 - Adding machine employing depressible keys patented, New Paltz, NY

1852 – The New Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia, one of the largest and oldest museums in the world, opens to the public.

1861 - Kinematoscope patented by Coleman Sellers, Philadelphia

1869 – The largest alluvial gold nugget in history, called the "Welcome Stranger" (weighting 97.14kg) , is found in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia by John Deason and Richard Oates

1870 - the first motion picture shown to a theater audience, Philadelphia

1879 - Joseph Swan demonstrates light bulb using carbon glow

1887 - Giuseppe Verdi's opera "Otello" premieres at La Scala in Italy, Verdi's first new opera for over 15 years

1907 – Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announces the creation of Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic.

1919 – Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith launch United Artists.

1922 - Reader's Digest magazine first published

1924 – The Royal Greenwich Observatory begins broadcasting the hourly time signals known as the Greenwich Time Signal.

1931 - Maxine Dunlap becomes the first US women to earn a glider pilot license

1936 - "Modern Times", silent film directed by, written by and starring Charlie Chaplin, is released

1940 - Glenn Miller and his Orchestra record "Tuxedo Junction"

1944 - "Captain American" serial film premieres starring Dick Purcell, first appearance of a Marvel superhero outside a comic

1953 - "Peter Pan" by Walt Disney opens at Roxy Theater, NYC

1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb is lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.

1962 - the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all within 16 degrees

1963 - Maarten Schmidt discovers enormous red shifts in quasars

1963 - Soviet lunar probe failure

1967 - "Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour" premieres on CBS (later ABC, NBC)

1969 - US population reaches 200 million

1970 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1971 – Apollo 14, the third US manned Moon expedition, lands near Fra Mauro Alan Shepard & Edward Mitchell (Apollo 14) walk on Moon for 4 hrs

1972 - US airlines begin mandatory inspection of passengers & baggage

1974 - Maximum speed on Autobahn reduced to 100 kph

1987 - the Dow Jones average closes above 2,200 for the first time

1987 - Soyuz TM-2 launches

1988 - the first prime-time wrestling match in 30 yrs - Andre the Giant beats Hulk Hogan

1994 - "Where On Earth Is Carmen San Diego," debuts on Fox TV

2013 - The US Postal Service announces the cessation of Saturday first-class mail delivery from August 2013

2014 - Archaeologists decrypt the 13th C Viking jötunvillur runic code

2016 - Computer hackers try to steal 1 billion from Federal Reserve Bank of New York using Bangladesh banking codes, steal 81 million before a typo alerts authorities

2019 - China’s first science fiction blockbuster, “The Wandering Earth” premieres, directed by Frant Gwo, based on a story by Liu Cixin

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 03 secs of light-travel time from Earth


One of the highlights of Tangled, is the musical number I have a dream”, as the thugs and ne’er-do-wells in the pub express what they really would like to be or do.   The scene is worked for laughs as some of their aspirations are incongruous with their appearance, but I find it quite poignant.  So many of us end up in place other than we had thought we would!  When I got out of college, I was going to teach for a couple of years, then if I decided I didn’t have a talent and vocation in that direction, I was going to join the Peace Corps.  After working abroad for five or six years, I was going to return and join the State Department.  Although diplomacy was never my strong suit, I figured plain-talking would be valued somewhere….




At no point did I ever imagine myself working in banking for 35 years!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Today is the 3rd day of the 6th week, the 4th day of the 2nd month, the 35th day of 2020, and: 
  • African American Coaches Day
  • Facebook's Birthday – the mainstream online social networking site, is launched by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 from his Harvard dormitory room
  • Independence Day - Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) within the British Commonwealth in 1948
  • Liberace Day
  • Medjoola Date Day
  • National Create a Vacuum Day
  • National Hemp Day
  • National Homemade Soup Day
  • National Quaker Day
  • National Stuffed Mushroom Day
  • National Thank a Mailman Day
  • Rosa Parks Day
  • Safer Internet Day
  • Torture Abolition Day
  • USO Day - The United Service Organization is created to entertain American troops in 1941.
  • World Cancer Day
  • Earliest day on which Ash Wednesday can fall, while March 10 is the latest; celebrated on the first day of Lent (Christianity) 

1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.  This is the only time the Electoral Collage has been in total agreement with who should be President

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

1859 – The Codex Sinaiticus, AKA the Sinai Bible and one of the oldest known copies of the Bible, is discovered in Egypt by Constantin von Tischendorf who takes the manuscript home with him

1895 - the first rolling lift bridge opens in Chicago

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

1920 - the first flight from London to South Africa departs (takes 1½ months)

1931 - National League adopts a deader baseball

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

1938 - "Our Town" by Thornton Wilder opens on Broadway

1957 - the first electric portable typewriter placed on sale (Syracuse NY)

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

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

1970 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1970 - "Patton" directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring George C. Scott premieres in New York (Academy Awards Best Picture 1971)

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

1973 - Comic strip "Hagar The Horrible" by Dik Browne debuts

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

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1991 - US postage raises from 25 cents to 29 cents

1991 - Alex Trebek becomes first person to host three American game shows at the same time (Jeopardy!, Classic Concentration, To Tell the Truth)

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

1998 - Bill Gates gets a pie thrown in his face in Brussels, Belgium


Okay, that last item got my attention – why would anyone throw a cream pie at Bill Gates?  Was is a WINDOWS user who was sick and tired of updates, costs, and security holes?  Was someone steaming about income inequity?  Nope, it was a Belgian -- Noël Godin, a writer, critic, actor and notorious pie thrower or entarteur -- with a slightly whacky sense of humor on a mission to bring down those who seem to have an inflated sense of self-importance.




Yes I was amused – but I still can sympathize with Bill Gates getting totally blindsided like that!  I mean seriously, how would you like to be walking along, minding your own business, and suddenly wearing a pie all over your face, hair, and clothing?

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 4, 2020

the 1st of Februrary

Imbolic, or the feast of St Brigid, comes with a breath of spring in the midst of our winter, reminding us of renewal and that the cold will not last forever

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, February 1, 2020

bye bye January

Today is the 6th day of the 5th week, the 31st day of the 1st month, the 31st day of 2020, and: 
  • Amartithi (Meherabad, India, followers of Meher Baba)
  • Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day
  • Backwards Day
  • Brandy Alexander Day
  • Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day
  • Eat Brussels Sprouts Day
  • Hell is Freezing Over Day
  • Hug an Economist Day
  • Independence Day -  Nauru from Australia in 1968
  • Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
  • National Big Wig Day
  • National Fun at Work Day
  • National Hot Chocolate Day
  • National Preschool Health and Fitness Day
  • Scotch Tape Day
  • Street Children Day


1627 - Spanish government goes bankrupt

1747 – The first venereal diseases clinic opens at London Lock Hospital.

1862 – Alvan Graham Clark discovers the white dwarf star Sirius B, a companion of Sirius, through an 18.5-inch (47 cm) telescope now located at Northwestern University.

1876 - The United States orders all Native Americans to move into reservations.

1901 - Chekhov's "Three Sisters" opens at Moscow Art Theater

1905 - the first automobile to exceed 100 mph (161 kph), A G MacDonald, Daytona Beach

1930 – 3M begins marketing Scotch Tape.

1934 - FDR devalues US dollar in relation to gold at $35 per ounce

1936 - "Green Hornet" radio show is 1st heard on WXYZ Radio in Detroit

1948 - Magnetic tape recorder developed by Wireway

1949 – These Are My Children, the first television daytime soap opera, is broadcast by the NBC station in Chicago.

1955 - RCA demonstrates the first music synthesizer

1958 – The first successful American satellite, Explorer 1, detects the Van Allen radiation belt.

1961 – Mercury-Redstone 2: Ham the Chimp travels into outer space.

1966 – The Soviet Union launches the unmanned Luna 9 spacecraft as part of the Luna program.

1971 – Apollo 14 - Astronauts Alan Shepard, Stuart Roosa, and Edgar Mitchell, aboard a Saturn V, lift off for a mission to the Fra Mauro Highlands on the Moon.

1972 - US launches HEOS A-2 for interplanetary observations

Music release

Music Single

1975 - Barry Manilow's single "Mandy" goes gold

1982 - 10 Arabian oryx (extinct except in zoos) released in Oman – But in 1991, due to excessive poaching, the WWF declared them endangered again  

1983 - In an effort to reduce driving deaths, a new law in UK requires drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts

1997 - "Final Fantasy VII" is released by Square and Sony Computer Entertainment to PlayStation

1998 - STS 89 (Endeavour 12) lands

2018 – Both a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse occur.

2019 - Colonization of the America's in the late 1500s killed so many people it cooled the planet and led to a "Little Ice Age", according to a scientific report published in "Quaternary Science Reviews"

2020 – The United Kingdom's membership within the European Union ceases in accordance with Article 50, after 47 years of being a member state


On the one hand, where did January go?  How could we be at the end of month already when I just got the end of year reports done?


On the other hand, January has been at least a couple of months long and all the joy of opening a new year lost.




Oh well, at least it is FRIDAY!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 31, 2020

the last Thursday in January

Today is the 5th day of the 5th week, the 30th day of the 1st month, the 30th day of 2020, and: 
  • Fred Korematsu Day (California, Florida, Hawaii, Virginia)
  • National Croissant Day
  • National Escape Day
  • National Inane Answering Message Day
  • School Day of Non-violence and Peace
  • Start of the Season for Nonviolence January 30 - April 4
  • Thank Your Mentor Day
  • Yodel for Your Neighbors Day

1487 - Bell chimes invented

1703 – The Forty-seven rōnin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master, by killing Kira Yoshinaka

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

1790 - the Lifeboat is first tested at sea, by Mr Greathead, the inventor

1806 – The original Lower Trenton Bridge (also called the Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge), which spans the Delaware River between Morrisville, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, is opened.

1815 - Burned US Library of Congress re-established with Thomas Jefferson's 6,500 volumes

1818 - John Keats composes his sonnet "When I Have Fears"

1820 – Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica.

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

1835 – In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempts to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but fails and is subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen as well as Jackson himself.

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

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

1889 - John Herschel uses camera obscura to photograph 48" (120cm) telescope

1894 - Pneumatic hammer patented by Charles King of Detroit

1922 - World Law Day is first celebrated

1930 - The world's first radiosonde is launched in Pavlovsk, USSR.

1931 - "City Lights", American silent romantic comedy film directed by Charlie Chaplin, starring himself and Virginia Cherrill, premieres at Los Angeles Theater

1933 - "Lone Ranger" begins a 21-year run on ABC radio and the William Tell Overture became suddenly very familiar

1946 - the first issue of the Franklin Roosevelt dime

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

1958 - the first two-way moving sidewalk in service, Dallas Tx

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

1961 - Bobby Darin is youngest performer to headline a TV special on NBC

1961 - "I Fall to Pieces" single released by Patsy Cline (Billboard Song of the Year 1961)

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

1964 - Ranger 6 launched; makes perfect flight to Moon, but cameras fail

1969 - US/Canada ISIS 1 launched to study ionosphere

1969 – The Beatles' last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

1974 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

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

1992 - Space Shuttle STS-42 (Discovery 15) lands

1992 - Inventor Ray Kurzweil publishes his first book "The Age of Intelligent Machines" on artificial intelligence, predicting the popularity of the internet

1994 - Péter Lékó becomes the youngest chess grand master.

1995 - Workers from the National Institutes of Health announce the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease.

1998 - Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Indianapolis IN on WNAP 93.1 FM

1998 - Paul Simon's "The Capeman" premieres

2013 – South Korea successfully launches its rocket Naro-1 which was carrying a scientific satellite

2017 - Scientists in central China reveal oldest known human ancestor - 540-million-year-old Saccorhytus in a fossil

2019 - Scientists reveal discovery of cavity six miles long, 1,000 feet deep under Thwaites Glacier in West Antarctica, leading to fears it might collapse and raise sea levels by two feet

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 10 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Ah the inanity of the old telephone answering machine tapes!  Like so many others, we bought a tape of “celebrity” voice impressions and very often people who called our number were answered by John Wayne, or Boris Karloff, or any other recording that I thought was funny at the time.  Apparently, when land lines, rotary dial phones, and tape machines phased out, these messages faded away as well



Do you miss hearing these messages when you call someone? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 30, 2020

Today is the 4th day of the 5th week, the 29th day of the 1st month, the 29th day of 2020 [with only 330 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Curmudgeons Day
  • Freethinkers Day
  • National Carnation Day
  • National Corn Chip Day
  • National Puzzle Day
  • Seeing Eye Dog Day
  • Thomas Paine Day
  • Earliest day on which Fat Thursday can fall, while March 4 is the latest; celebrated on Thursday before Ash Wednesday. (Christianity)


 661 - Rashidun Caliphate, then the largest empire in history, ends with the death of its leader, Ali. Succeeded by the Umayyad Caliphate.

1594 - Mathematician John Napier dedicates his "Plaine Discovery of the Whole Revelation of St. John" to King James VI, predicts end of the world in 1688 or 1700

1595 - William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet" is thought to have been first performed. Officially published early 1597.

1802 - First celebration of Burns night, in honor of poet Robert Burns's birthday by The Mother Club in Greenock (later realized his actual birthday 25th January)

1819 – Stamford Raffles lands on the island of Singapore.

1845 – "The Raven" is published in The Evening Mirror in New York, the first publication with the name of the author, Edgar Allan Poe.

1856 - Victoria Cross established to acknowledge valour in the face of the enemy (United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries)

1886 – Karl Benz patents the "Benz Patent-Motorwagen" in Karlsruhe, Germany, the world's first automobile with a gasoline burning motor

1892 - The Coca-Cola Company is incorporated in Atlanta, Georgia

1896 - Emile Grubbe is the first doctor to use radiation treatment for breast cancer

1920 - Walt Disney starts work as an artist with KC Slide Co for $40 a week

1936 – The first inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame are announced:  Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson & Walter Johnson.

1959 – The first Melodifestivalen is held in Cirkus, Stockholm, Sweden.

1959 - Walt Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" released

1959 - 'The Great Smog' hits London, many die of chest and lung-related illnesses

1963 – The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced:  Jim Thorpe, Red Grange and George Halas.

1964 - "Dr Strangelove", directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Peter Sellers and George C. Scott, premieres

1964 - Unmanned Apollo 1 Saturn launcher test attains Earth orbit

1966 - Neil Simons, Coleman & Fields' musical "Sweet Charity" premieres at the Palace Theater NYC for 608 performances

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

1980 – The Rubik's Cube makes its international debut at the Ideal Toy Corp. in Earl's Court, London.

1986 - 193.8 million shares traded in NY Stock Exchange

1988 - United Airlines Boeing 747SP, circles world in 36 hours 54 minutes 15 seconds

1996 - the 6,138th performance of "Cats" is held in London, surpassing record of Broadway's longest-running musical, "A Chorus Line"

1996 - France will no longer test nuclear weapons, its president Jacques Chirac says, following international outcry over tests in the Pacific

1998 - Soyuz TM-27 launches to MIR

2005 – The first direct commercial flights from mainland China (from Guangzhou) to Taiwan since 1949 arrived in Taipei. Shortly afterwards, a China Airlines flight lands in Beijing.

2014 - Archaeologists discover the oldest Roman Temple (6th C BC) at Sant’Omobono

2014 - Scientists discover how to convert normal cells into stem cells in mice

2018 - Marvel film "Black Panther" directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Chadwick Boseman premieres in Los Angeles

2019 - US Postal Service suspends deliveries to ten states due to severity of the polar vortex

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 10 sec of light-travel time from Earth


The definition of a curmudgeon is “a bad tempered, difficult, cantankerous person”, and it is usually applied to old men, although it is definitely not limited by age or gender.  As I approach my 70’s, and find myself deploring the manners of the world today, I find myself wondering if I have gotten old and crusty myself. 




Well maybe a little intolerant of foolishness…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 29, 2020

the last Tuesday of January

Today is the 3rd day of the 5th week, the 28th day of the 1st month, the 28th day of 2020, and: 
  • Daisy Day
  • Data Privacy Day
  • Global Community Engagement Day
  • International LEGO Day -  in 1958, the Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
  • National Blueberry Pancake Day
  • National Kazoo Day
  • National Pediatrician Day
  • National Plan for Vacation Day
  • Pop Art Day
  • Rattlesnake Roundup Day
  • Rubber Ducky Day ((Sesame Street says it's today because the general belief is that this is on Ernie's birthday. So, there are 3 dates for this....))
  • Speak Up and Succeed Day
  • Thank a Plugin Developer Day

 814 – The death of Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, brings about the accession of his son Louis the Pious as ruler of the Frankish Empire

1521 – Emperor Charles V opens the Diet of Worms in Worms, Germany which lasts until May 25th. Produced the "Edict of Worms" which denounced Martin Luther

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

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

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

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

1724 - The Russian Academy of Sciences founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented in a Senate decree. Called St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917.

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

1813 – Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" is published by Thomas Egerton in the United Kingdom

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

1878 - George W Coy hired as the first full-time telephone operator

1887 - In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, being 15 inches (38 cm) wide and 8 inches (20 cm) thick.

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

1915 - US President Woodrow Wilson refuses to prohibit immigration of illiterates today we are worried that immigrants might need assistance

1917 - Municipally owned streetcars take to the streets of San Francisco, California

1932 - the first US state unemployment insurance act enacted in Wisconsin

1935 – Iceland becomes the first Western country to legalize therapeutic abortion.

1949 - NY Giants sign their first black players, Monte Irvin & Ford Smith

1951 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first national television appearance.

1958 - Construction began on the first private thorium-uranium nuclear reactor

1963 - "Still" single released by Bill Anderson (Billboard no. 1 U.S. Hot Country Singles 1963)

1965 - The Who make their first appearance on British TV

1967 - Rolling Stones release "Let's Spend the Night Together"

1973 - "Barnaby Jones" premieres on CBS TV

1973 - Ron Howard appears on M*A*S*H in "Sometimes You Hear the Bullet"

1982 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1984 - Record 295,000 dominoes toppled in Fuerth, West Germany

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

1986 – STS-51-L mission: Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.

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

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 11 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

Here’s our challenge: to allow our hearts and minds to be touched by gratitude without the presence of a hurricane. To appreciate life and the grace by which we wake up each day and go to sleep in safety.”

~  Gregg Krech, “Grateful for Nothing


The days flow past, sunrises and sunsets flickering across the skies.  Sometimes the hours feel long and time seems to drag, then you turn around and a month is gone in a flash – wasn’t it just the other day that we toasted a New Year in?  Time to check my privilege:  I have family, I am mostly healthy, I have a job,  I have a nice cozy place to live, I drive a car, I have comfortable clothing, I have food to eat.  We take these things too much for granted….



As time rolls by, I have to remind myself to appreciate and enjoy where I am
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 28, 2020

the last Monday of January

Today is the 2nd day of the 5th week, the 27th day of the 1st month, the 27th day of 2020, and: 
  • Auschwitz Liberation Day
  • Better Business Communication Day
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
  • Community Manager Appreciation Day
  • Holocaust Memorial Day
  • International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust
  • National Chocolate Cake Day
  • National Geographic Day – founded in 1888 in Washington, D.C. for "the increase and diffusion of geographic knowledge"
  • Punch the Clock Day
  • Thomas Crapper Day
  • Vietnam Peace Day -  in 1973, the Paris Peace Accords officially end the Vietnam War. Colonel William Nolde is killed in action becoming the conflict's last recorded American combat casualty.
  • World Breast Pumping Day


1343 – Pope Clement VI issues the papal bull Unigenitus to justify the power of the pope and the use of indulgences. Nearly 200 years later, Martin Luther would protest this.

1591 - Scottish schoolmaster Dr. John Fian burned for witchcraft at Castle Hill, Edinburgh by order King James VI, as part of the Berwick witch trials.

1785 – The University of Georgia is founded, the first public university in the United States.

1820 – A Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovers the Antarctic continent, approaching the Antarctic coast.

1880 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his incandescent lamp.

1908 - Pasiphaë, a satellite of Jupiter, discovered by Melotte

1918 - "Tarzan of the Apes", the first Tarzan film, premieres at Broadway Theater

1926 - Physicist Erwin Schrödinger publishes his theory of wave mechanics and presents what becomes known as the Schrödinger equation in quantum mechanics

1939 - First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning

1948 - the first tape recorder sold

1951 – Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site begins with Operation Ranger - there will be a total of 126 nuclear tests in all

1956 - "Heartbreak Hotel" single released by Elvis Presley, his first million-selling single

1961 - "Sing Along with Mitch" [Miller] premieres on NBC TV

1965 - he fist ground station-to-aircraft radio communication via satellite

1967 – The Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Kingdom sign the Outer Space Treaty in Washington, D.C., banning deployment of nuclear weapons in space, and limiting use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes.

1967 - A fire in the Apollo 1 Command Module kills astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White and Roger B. Chaffee during a launch rehearsal

1970 - Movie rating system modifies "M" rating to "PG"

1976 - "Laverne & Shirley" TV spinoff from "Happy Days" starring Penny Marshall and Cindy Williams premieres on ABC TV

1982 - "Joseph & the Amazing Dreamcoat" opens at Royale NYC for 747 performances

1984 - Michael Jackson is burned during filming for Pepsi commercial

1985 - 15th Space Shuttle (51-C) Mission-Discovery 3 returns to Earth

1996 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 12 sec of light-travel time from Earth


In literature the gypsy [which I have just learned is actually considered a pejorative term]  is a romantic figure, conjuring images of brightly covered caravans traveling across the countryside, fortunetellers with jangling bracelets, swarthy men with flashing knives, but we tend to forget the Roma was an actual people with their own culture and customs.    The Nazis tried to exterminate the entire group of them, something that is overlooked in many Holocaust histories, but there are Roma who wander even today, adding a flavor of the exotic to the everyday life around them.




They certainly had the knack of living in tiny houses down before it became a fad!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 27, 2020

Lunar New Year

I did not know the Chinese years came in elements as well as animals, but they do.  The Chinese recognize five essential elements:  metal, water, wood, fire, and earth.  Each of these have characteristics that impact the year as well as the animal.    Born in 1950, I have long known that was the year of the tiger, but I didn't know until today that it was the metal tiger!  And 2020 is the year of the metal rat

Let us hope that it is a good year for one and all
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, January 25, 2020

the first 3-day weekend of 2020

Today is the 6th day of the 3rd week, the 17th day of the 1st month, the 17th day of 2020, and: 
  • Ben Franklin Day - he was born on this day in 1706 to a soap and candle maker in England
  • Cable Car Day -  the first cable car patented, by Andrew Smith Hallidie in the US in 1871 (begins service in 1873)
  • Customer Service Day
  • Ditch New Year’s Resolutions Day
  • Hot-Buttered Rum Day
  • International Fetish Day
  • International Mentoring Day (Muhammad Ali's birthday)
  • Judgement Day
  • Kid Inventors' Day
  • National Bootlegger's Day
  • National Hot Heads Chili Day
  • Popeye Day - he first appeared in the Thimble Theater comic strip on this day in 1929
  • The opening ceremony of Patras Carnival, celebrated until Clean Monday
  • The last quarter of the moon at 7:58 AM EST


1377 – Pope Gregory XI reaches Rome, after deciding to move the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon.[3]

1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano sets sail westward from Madeira to find a sea route to the Pacific Ocean.

1584 - Bohemia adopts Gregorian calendar

1773 – Captain James Cook leads the first expedition to sail south of the Antarctic Circle.

1779 - Captain James Cook's last notation in Discovery's ship's log

1904 – Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard receives its premiere performance at the Moscow Art Theatre.

1905 - Punchboards patented by Charles Brewer and C G Scannell in Chicago

1912 – British polar explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott reaches the South Pole, one month after Roald Amundsen.

1923 - Origin of Brown lunation numbers

1928 - the first fully automatic photographic film developing machine patented

1946 – The UN Security Council holds its first session.

1950 – The Great Brink's Robbery: Eleven thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car company's offices in Boston.

1961 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers a televised farewell address to the nation three days before leaving office, in which he warns against the accumulation of power by the "military-industrial complex".

1969 - Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 5 lands

1976 - "I Write the Songs" by Barry Manilow hits #1

1979 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1980 - NASA launches Fltsatcom-3

2001 - President Bill Clinton posthumously raises Meriwether Lewis' rank from Lieutenant to Captain

2007 – The Doomsday Clock is set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea's nuclear testing.  It is currently set to two minutes to midnight


I have a job.  I have benefits – which includes paid-time-off and paid holidays



Life is good!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 17, 2020

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