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bleeding heart....

Carol H Tucker

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

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


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

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looking it up

Today is the 4th day of the 3rd week, the 17th day of the 1st month, the 17th day of 2018, and: 
  • Ben Franklin Day – he  was born in Boston in 1706.
  • Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral Day
  • Cable Car Day
  • Customer Service Day
  • Ditch New Year's Resolutions Day
  • Hot-Buttered Rum Day
  • Judgement Day
  • Kid Inventors' Day
  • National Bootleggers' Day
  • National Hot Heads Chili Day
  • Popeye Day --  Popeye the Sailor Man, a cartoon character created by EC Segar, first appeared in 1929 in the Thimble Theatre comic strip.
 On this day in ...

1377 – Pope Gregory XI moves the Papacy back to Rome from Avignon, where it has been since 1309 during what came to be called the Avignon Papacy.  A total of seven successive popes resided in Avignon and in 1348 Pope Clement VI bought the town from Joanna I of Naples, which then stayed under papal control until the French Revolution.

1524 – Giovanni da Verrazzano sets sail westward from Madeira to find a sea route to the Pacific Ocean; he is renowned as the first European to explore the Atlantic coast of North America between Florida and New Brunswick 

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

1950 – The Great Brink's Robbery: Eleven thieves steal more than $2 million from an armored car company's offices in Boston. They got  $2.775 million ($28.2 million today) which consisted of $1,218,211.29 in cash and $1,557,183.83 in checks, money orders, and other securities.  All eleven members of the gang were arrested in 1956, just before the statue of limitations ran out because one member broke down under FBI questioning.  Only Only $58,000 was ever recovered.

1977 – Capital punishment in the United States resumes after a ten-year hiatus, as convicted murderer Gary Gilmore is executed by firing squad in Utah.

1997 – A Delta II carrying the GPS IIR-1 satellite explodes 13 seconds after launch, dropping 250 tons of burning rocket remains around the launch pad

2007 – The Doomsday Clock is set to five minutes to midnight in response to North Korea's nuclear testing.  It is currently set at 2 1/2 minutes to midnight -- this is the first use of a fraction in the time, and the Clock's closest approach to midnight since 1953.

There are things that I could talk about….   News?  Workaholics that drag themselves into work when they are running a temperature and it is snowy outside?  Planning for a long weekend at the House of the Mouse in Florida?  Reflections on losing a beloved pet two years ago?  None of these particularly appealed to me, so I turned to the writing prompts

17. Dictionary Definition: Open up a dictionary to a random word. Define what that word means to you.

My first memory of using a dictions stems from 3rd grade – I asked the teacher how to spell “mountain” and she told me to look it up, which considering I didn’t know how to spell it took me quite a while.  Well I had to look up a word today – the BBC used the word “tranche” in an article and I couldn’t quite be sure I had the meaning correct without verifying – and who opens a dictionary anymore for that?  I opened a browser and typed the word in and got about 47,500,000 results!  Not that I looked past the first couple to get the definition; I always somehow doubt the relevance of the search results beyond the first page or two anyway.  But as it happens, I DO have an old dictionary lingering on the shelf and I am honestly not certain why.   It is a Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary from 1987 [originally published in 1983] and the red cover is pretty faded, the pages are made of very thin paper with notches on the pages [which another search tells me is called an edge index while the individual page notches are called a thumb index, cut-in index or index notch].  Suffice to say I have had this book for a while!    There are two sticky papers, but I have no idea why I have the pages “belfries to benefice” marked, or the pages “thimbleful to Thorazine” either.  There is a sheet of paper, a printout of a web page titled “World Wide Words”  from 2002 tucked between “considerable to construction paper” that defines “consilience” at great length, probably after I had read the book by Edward O Wilson in my quest to understand Knowledge Management and how it related to day-to-day endeavors.  My cousin Roger used to read dictionaries for pleasure, and as I paged through this book, I can understand why – there is so much here besides just definitions!  From the Explanatory Notes to the Forms of Address [with Salutations], it is a window into a different time.  While I enjoyed my trip through the book, I closed the covers and knew that the next time I didn’t know exactly how to spell a word, I would type it into the browser and let GOOGLE guess what I really meant rather than flip the pages of this tomb

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 17, 2018

but the calendar SAYS it is Tuesday!

Today is the 3rd day of the 3rd week, the 16th day of the 1st month, the 16th day of 2018, and:
  • Appreciate a Dragon Day
  • Book Publishers Day
  • Civil Service Day -- The Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act, establishing the United States Civil Service, is passed in 1883 and provided selection of government employees by competitive exams rather than ties to politicians or political affiliation
  • International Hot and Spicy food Day
  • National Fig Newton Day
  • National Good Teen Day
  • National Nothing Day
  • National Religious Freedom Day -- commemorates the Virginia General Assembly's adoption of Thomas Jefferson's landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. That statute became the basis for the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and led to freedom of religion for all Americans and is proclaimed each year by the existing President
  • National Without a Scalpel Day
  • Printing Ink Day
  • Prohibition Remembrance Day --  Prohibition began as the 18th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution took effect in 1920.  One result was that Canada became a center of smuggling
  • Rid The World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day
On this day in ...

27 BC – Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus is granted the title Augustus by the Roman Senate, marking the beginning of the Roman Empire.

378 – General Siyaj K'ak' conquers Tikal, enlarging the domain of King Spearthrower Owl of Teotihuacán.

1492 – The first grammar of the Spanish language (Gramática de la lengua castellana) is presented to Queen Isabella I.

1605 – The first edition of El ingenioso hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha (Book One of Don Quixote) by Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid, Spain.

1909 – Ernest Shackleton's expedition finds the magnetic South Pole.

1964 – Hello, Dolly! opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances and Carol Channing found her signature role as Dolly Gallagher Levi after Ethel Merman and Mary Martin both turned it down

1969 - Two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.

1973 - The final first-run episode of the long-running western "Bonanza" aired on NBC.  Bonanza, set on the Ponderosa Ranch in Nevada, featured Lorne Greene who played family patriarch and three-time widower Ben Cartwright, with his three disparate sons (each by a different mother) - Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker) and Little Joe (Michael Landon); the show ran for 14 seasons.

2003 – The Space Shuttle Columbia takes off for mission STS-107 which would be its final one as it disintegrated 16 days later on re-entry.

It would appear that there is just no escaping that “Monday” feeling…..


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 16, 2018

just a bit tired

Today is the 6th day of the 2nd week, the 12th day of the 1st month, the 12th day of 2018, and: 
  • Curried Chicken Day
  • Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day
  • International Kiss a Ginger Day
  • National Hot Tea Day
  • National Marzipan Day
  • National Pharmacist Day
  • Stick to Your new Year's Resolution Day
  • Work Harder Day
On this day in ...

1554 – Bayinnaung, who would go on to assemble the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia [which included much of modern-day Burma, the Chinese Shan states, Lan Na, Lan Xang, Manipur and Siam] is crowned King of Burma.  We sure didn't study the Toungoo Empire [or him as as the Cakkavatti (Universal Ruler)] hereabouts, but it had a major cultural impact in the area

1773 - The first public museum in America was established, in Charleston, S.C.

1866 – The Royal Aeronautical Society is formed in London.

1908 – A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

1921 – Acting to restore confidence in baseball after the Black Sox Scandal, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis is elected as Major League Baseball's first commissioner.

1969 – The New York Jets of the American Football League defeat the Baltimore Colts of the National Football League to win Super Bowl III in what is considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

1971 - The sitcom "All in the Family" premiered on CBS.

1986 – Congressman Bill Nelson lifts off from Kennedy Space Center aboard Columbia on mission STS-61-C as a Payload Specialist.

1998 – Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning.

2000 - The Supreme Court gave police broad authority to stop and question people who run at the sight of an officer.

2001 – Downtown Disney opens to the public as part of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

2004 – The world's largest ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary 2, makes its maiden voyage.

2005 – Deep Impact launches from Cape Canaveral on a Delta II rocket.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 49 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:

   “The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.”

~ Ralph Marston, professional football player who spent a season in the National Football League with the Boston Bulldogs in 1929 and founder of The Daily Motivator

You look tired.” 

Here lately I have gotten that comment quite often and I am getting to the point that I am staring at the mirror and wondering what is prompting it.  I mean there are times when I am worn out – there is a reason the young have young kids and I cannot match my granddaughters’ boundless energy for very long.   I don’t handle 12 – 13 hour days with quite the ease that I used to    I find that physical labor takes a tool and that angst weighs me down – but there are times when apparently I look more exhausted than I realize.   Personally I think it has to do with those ubiquitous dark bags [technical term subluxation]  under my eyes that started showing up a decade or so ago – something else I can blame on genetics as well as thin hair.   And being a natural ginger, I have very fair skin and have had lots and lots of sunburns.  I don’t wear makeup – I never did wear much but I used to put on eyeshadow and mascara at least,  so the bags are rather more  obvious to me at least.  And I’m just not into a complicated beauty routine, although some of the things on this list I do regularly. On the other hand?  I AM tired as in weary of the news, as in totally done with health issues and losing family members, as in bored with entertainment options – so maybe my looks do not belie my condition after all.




0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 12, 2018

living with generalized angst

Today is the 5th day of the 2nd week, the 11th day of the 1st month, the 11th day of 2018 [with only 347 shopping days until Christmas and only 81 shopping days until my birthday], and: 
  • Cigarettes are Hazardous to Your Health Day – in 1964 the  Surgeon General of the United States Dr. Luther Terry, M.D., published the landmark report Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States saying that smoking may be hazardous to health, sparking national and worldwide anti-smoking efforts
  • Healthy Weight, Healthy Look Day
  • Learn Your Name in Morse Code Day
  • National Hot Toddy Day
  • National Human Trafficking Awareness Day
  • National Milk Day
  • National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day
  • Secret Pal Day
On this day in ...

532 – Nika riots in Constantinople: A quarrel between supporters of different chariot teams—the Blues and the Greens—in the Hippodrome escalates into violence.

630 – The prophet Muhammad and his followers conquer the city of Mecca; the Quresh gave ground after losing twelve men and Muslim losses were two warriors  Muhammad declared,  "Allah has made Mecca a sanctuary since the day He created the Heavens and the Earth, and it will remain a sanctuary by virtue of the sanctity Allah has bestowed on it until the Day of Resurrection"

1569 – First recorded lottery in England, chartered by Queen Elizabeth I and designed to raise money for the "reparation of the havens and strength of the Realme, and towardes such other publique good workes". It is not the first -- there are recorded signs of a lottery in the form of keno slips from the Chinese Han Dynasty between 205 and 187 BC; they are believed to have helped to finance major government projects like the Great Wall of China. The first recorded Italian lottery was held on 9 January 1449 in Milan. 

1759 – In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the first American life insurance company is incorporated.

1787 – William Herschel discovers Titania and Oberon, two moons of Uranus.

1909 - The US and Canada (with the British in attendance) set up the International Joint Commission under the Boundary Waters Treaty; agree to submit major fishery and boundary disputes to World Court; also agree to work to prevent pollution of the Great Lakes.

1922 – First use of insulin to treat diabetes in a human patient.

1927 – Louis B. Mayer, head of film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), announces the creation of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, at a banquet in Los Angeles, California.

1935 – Amelia Earhart becomes the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California.

1949 – The first "networked" television broadcasts took place as KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania goes on the air connecting the east coast and mid-west programming.

1973 - Owners of American League baseball teams voted to adopt the designated-hitter rule

1996 – STS-72 launches from the Kennedy Space Center marking the start of the 74th Space Shuttle mission and the 10th flight of Endeavour.

Quote of the day:

   “Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.”

~ Charles Spurgeon, English Particular Baptist preacher

One thing that I have noticed since the election back in November 2016, is that I have an unfocused feeling of genuine dread, a feeling that has only been acerbated by the events of the past year to the point where I actually have to ignore the daily news at times in order to stay on an even keel.  A person who has been very happy with the current state of the US government noted my depressed demeanor and  snapped at me the day after the election “We put up with Obama for eight years, give him a chance.”    It makes me wonder about my fellow citizens – was I completely oblivious to this problem?  Was it really that jarring to be under a Democrat and fairly liberal President when the Republicans controlled the Congress for 75% of the time?   I don’t recall being this perturbed about the trends of things under any other administration, not even Ronald Reagan and I honestly despised him in addition to disagreeing with him or Bill Clinton who I just plain didn’t like.   Why is this so different?  The whole brouhaha about “alternative  facts” and “fake news”  doesn’t upset me that much – after all, revisionist history had long ago convinced me that not only is history written by the victors, it is totally dependent on the perception of the person viewing it.   No, I can pinpoint the exact moment when the angst started – it was back during the debates between DJT and HRCwhen he refused to say that he would concede if defeated.  At that moment, I became afraid that no convention, tradition, or even law would restrain either the man or his movement, and that all would be subject to his whims and perceptions. 




Nothing that has happened since then has ameliorated my perception or assuaged the concern, I just have to deal with it and not let it weigh me down....
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 11, 2018

getting a bit dobbly [as Grandmom Riley would say]....

Today is the 4th day of the 2nd week, the 10th day of the 1st month, the 10th day of 2017, and: 
  • Houseplant Appreciation Day
  • League of Nations Day
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
  • National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
  • National Oysters Rockefeller Day
  • Peculiar People Day
  • Save the Eagles Day
On this day in ...

49 BC – Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon, signaling the start of civil war.  The phrase "crossing the Rubicon" is today often used as an idiom to mean passing a point of no return.

1776 – Thomas Paine publishes his pamphlet Common Sense.  As of 2006, it remained the all-time best selling American title, and is still in print today

1812 – The first steamboat on the Ohio River or the Mississippi River arrives in New Orleans, 82 days after departing from Pittsburgh.

1863 – The Metropolitan Railway, the world's oldest underground railway, opens between Paddington and Farringdon, marking the beginning of the London Underground.

1870 – John D. Rockefeller incorporates Standard Oil.

1901 – The first great Texas oil gusher is discovered at Spindletop in Beaumont, Texas.  Prior to Spindletop, oil was primarily used for lighting and as a lubricant. Because of the quantity of oil discovered, it suddenly became economically feasible to burn petroleum as a fuel for mass consumption.  Spindletop continued as a productive source of oil until about 1936. It was then mined for sulfur from the 1950s to about 1975

1920 - The League of Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles went into effect.

1927 – Fritz Lang's futuristic film Metropolis is released in Germany.

1946 - the first General Assembly of the United Nations convened in London.

1964 - The Beatles' first album in the United States, "Introducing the Beatles," was released

1984 – The United States and Holy See (Vatican City) re-establish full diplomatic relations after almost 117 years.  The United States maintained consular relations with the Papal States from 1797 to 1867, when Congress passed legislation that prohibited any future funding to United States diplomatic missions to the Holy See.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 47 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:

   “Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

~ Samuel Ullman, American businessman, poet, humanitarian

For those of us who have family members who have descended into dementia and Alzheimer’s, there is a sinking feeling you get every single time something slips.   Forget where your keys are?  Can’t remember what you walked into the room to do?  Lost that word you wanted to use to articulate precisely what you meant?  Forgot the name of the person in front of you or the latest figure in the news?  Keep calling the kids by the wrong name? Forgot your password?  Can’t remember just how that gadget works?  Find yourself slowing down, not enjoying contemporary music but gravitating to the oldies, Anyone of these things can happen to anyone at any time – but as the years pass and you are over 65, you start to noticed every single occurrence.   And you ask yourself if this is the beginning, or how long has this been going on, or if others have noticed that you are “slipping”

Both my mother and my maternal grandmother suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s in the last years of their lives, so I’m worried that it runs in the family.   Haven’t done gene testing, but worries about what that means for me meant that I could not be the guardian of my granddaughters should something happen to my daughter and her husband.   And every single time I do something incredibly forgetful, I worry.   When I find myself puttering about instead of getting going as I am trying to get out the door, I worry.  Oh not like stewing over it, nothing that overt – but as soon as an incident occurs, the thought immediately pops into my mind so I know it is never far from the front of my mind.  Mom and Grandmom didn’t know when they were going around the bend, so how can I be sure that I will realize when I need help?  Will my kids recognize the signs?  Certainly if my work performance suffers, I’ll bet bossman and my co-workers will take heed!  So maybe instead of losing my marbles, my brain is just getting too full?


Oh yeah, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 10, 2018

I don't gotta....

Today is the 3rd day of the 2nd week, the 9th day of the 1st month, the 9th day of 2018, and: 
  • Balloon Ascension Day -- In 1793 Jean-Pierre Blanchard became the first person to fly in a balloon in the United States.
  • International Choreographers Day
  • Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
  • National Apricot Day
  • National Cassoulet Day
  • National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day
  • National Poetry at Work Day
  • National Shop for Travel Day
  • National Static Electricity Day
  • National Word Nerd Day
  • Panama's Martyr Day -- In 1964 several Panamanian youths try to raise the Panamanian flag in the US-controlled Panama Canal Zone, leading to fighting between US military and Panamanian civilians.
  • Play God Day
On this day in ...

1799 – British Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger introduces an income tax of two shillings to the pound to raise funds for Great Britain's war effort in the Napoleonic Wars.

1839 – The French Academy of Sciences announces the Daguerreotype photography process.

1886 - Walter R. Brooks, who wrote the Freddy the Pig book (and created Mister Ed) was born on this day

1894 – New England Telephone and Telegraph installs the first battery-operated telephone switchboard in Lexington, Massachusetts.

1968 - The Surveyor 7 space probe made a soft landing on the moon. It was the last of America's unmanned explorations of the lunar surface.

2001 - Apple Computer Inc introduced its iTunes music management software at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco.

2006 - "The Phantom of the Opera" became the longest-running show in Broadway history, surpassing "Cats," which ran for 7,485 performances.

2007 - Steven P. Jobs introduced Apple’s long-awaited entry into the cellphone world, the iPhone.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 46 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:

“Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

~  Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Sounds pretty easy, doesn’t it?  Just start, keep going, then finish.    The problem is getting going!  As I have moved through life, I have found inertia to be a very potent force.  It is inertia that keeps me from getting up and doing something, whether it is exercising or going to the movies, or even visiting with friends.   It is inertia that keeps me from baking bread or getting on that blasted exercise machine, or clearing out the Disaster Area.  It is inertia that keeps me from watching the last season of Sense8 or Sherlock or Dr Who, keeps me from catching up with Orville or Once Upon a Time, leaves blu-rays that I want to watch still in their cellophane wrapper, lets ‘to be read”  the book stack grow higher, keeps me from opening and playing new games.  Instead I retreat into myself, re-reading old favorites, watching old episodes of Chopped or Beat Bobby Flay, killing demons in Diablo III, or wandering about  in world.   It isn’t quite the same as procrastination because I am choosing to do something, just not THOSE things right now.  It is akin to the feeling that has me buy a pass to Balticon, then to decide that I don’t feel like fighting the traffic and parking to get there.   There is a curious freedom and I attribute it to living alone – there are no expectations of when I will do something and plans can be altered at the drop of a hat as I can decide to suit myself and whatever it is can bloody well wait.  I can be as arbitrary and irascible as I want and can exercise the control to do it [whatever “it” is] when I feel like it.    Maybe that is the real source of this inertia?  There are so many things in my life that seem far beyond the realm of my control and the sphere of my influence that being able to make a choice out of sheer inertia feels like a positive action even if it means that today I just don’t feel like doing anything….


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Today is the 2nd day of the 2nd week, the 8th day of the 1st month, the 8th day of 2018, and: 
  • Argyle Day
  • Bubble Bath Day
  • Earth's Rotation Day
  • Midwife's Day or Women's Day
  • National Clean Off Your Desk Day
  • National English Toffee Day
  • National JoyGerm Day
  • National Man Watcher's Day
  • National Weigh-In Day
  • National Winter Skin Relief Day
  • Show and Tell Day at Work Day
  • "Thank God It's Monday" Day ((said no one ever – especially since it is the first full work week in a while))
  • War on Poverty Day -- as part of his "Great Society" LBJ declared the war in 1964.  In 2002 George W. Bush celebrated by signing into law the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • World Typing Day -- first celebrated in 2011, it aims to encourage people to express themselves via written communication and also in commemoration of the Malaysian Speed Typing Contest
On this day in ...

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

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

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

1835 – The United States national debt is zero for the only time.

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

1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 is launched.

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

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

Quote of the day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere."

~ Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955), Theoretical physicist

On social media, the group was asked one of those “getting to know you” type questions:  “I wonder how many of you got into trouble for reading. As in: reading in school, when you weren't supposed to.  Or reading at home, when you were a kid, and ditto.”  My reply?  “All. The. Time.” 


I was one of those kids who didn’t learn to read until I was in the 1st grade, in fact, I was initially tracked lower because I didn’t know how to read!  Don’t know why my parents didn’t think reading readiness was as important as “healthy play” but there you have it.  But in elementary school, the teachers used to like to have us read one at a time, outloud and that drove me absolutely crazy because the kids all read so SLOW.   As a result I was always finished the story and reading something else, or sneaking in a library book or a book from home and reading it instead of the assigned story.  Not all of those readers were silly – through them I met Paul Bunyan and Sherlock Holmes  [the Speckled Band] and read O’Henry, developing a lifelong love of short stories.  At home?  My parents were exasperated beyond words by my preference to stick my nose in a book versus going outside and playing.  I’m sure my constant refrain of “I’ll do it when I finish this chapter” didn’t help at all.  I was limited to one book or magazine a day and punished by having all reading material taken away when I didn’t adhere to that regime. 


I remember talking to Dr Wall, the pediatrician, worried because my kids weren’t picking up books.  He looked at me thoughtfully and asked me what I did when I had free time.  I admitted that I had a habit of grabbing a book but my then husband liked to watch TV.  He asked if the kids saw me reading, and I said I guessed that they did.  He then told me not to worry, they would grow up understanding that reading was a pastime – and they did.   I have to admit, neither of them read as much as I did and still do though.  I don’t know what my life would’ve been like without my 2nd Life in books and imagination….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 8, 2018

12th day of Christmas 2018

Today is the 6th day of the 1st week, the 5th day of the 1st month, the 6th day of 2018, and: 
On this day in...

1066 – Edward the Confessor dies childless, sparking a succession crisis that will eventually lead to the Norman conquest of England.  The Saxons never did quite forgive him even as they granted his status as unworldly and pious, the title of "Confessor" reflecting his reputation as a saint who did not suffer martyrdom

1477 – Charles the Bold is killed at the Battle of Nancy, and Burgundy becomes part of France. 

1757 – Louis XV of France survives an assassination attempt by Robert-François Damiens, the last person to be executed in France by drawing and quartering, the traditional and gruesome form of capital punishment used for regicides.

1896 - The Austrian newspaper Wiener Presse reported the discovery by German physicist Wilhelm Roentgen of a type of radiation that came to be known as an X-ray.

1914 – The Ford Motor Company announces an eight-hour workday and minimum daily wage of $5 in salary plus bonuses subject to restrictions and imposed "character standards."

1919 – The German Workers' Party, which would become the Nazi Party, is founded.

1933 – Construction of the Golden Gate Bridge begins in San Francisco Bay.

1944 – The Daily Mail, a British daily middle-market tabloid newspaper published in London, becomes the first transoceanic newspaper.

1953 – The play Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is first performed.

1970 - The soap opera "All My Children" premiered on ABC-TV.  Set in the fictional East Coast suburb Pine Valley, the risk-taking soap that centers around Erica Kane and her long line of husbands.  It went off the air in 2011

1972 – United States President Richard Nixon orders the development of a Space Shuttle program.  Who knew tricky Dick had such vision?

1974 – Warmest reliably measured temperature below the Antarctic Circle of +59 °F (+15 °C) recorded at Vanda Station

2005 – Eris, the most massive and second-largest known dwarf planet in the Solar System, is discovered by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz using images originally taken on October 21, 2003, at the Palomar Observatory.

2014 – A launch of the communication satellite GSAT-14 aboard the GSLV MK.II D5 marks the first successful flight of an Indian cryogenic engine.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 41 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

It is often to the wary that the events in life are unexpected. Looser types – people who are not busy weighing and measuring every little thing – are used to accidents, coincidences, chance, things getting out of hand, things sneaking up on them. They are the happy children of life, to whom life happens for better or worse.”

~ Laurie Colwin, “A Mythological Subject,” in The Lone Pilgrim

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 5, 2018

1st Thursday in 2018

Today is the 5th day of the 1st week, the 4th day of the 1st month, the 4th day of 2018, and: 
  • Dimpled Chad Day – thank the state of Florida for teaching the US the importance of a dimpled or hanging chad in presidential elections
  • Free Flower Basket Day
  • I Am A Mentor Day
  • Independence Day: Myanmar from the United Kingdom in 1948.[or Burma as it used to be known as]
  • National Spaghetti Day
  • National Trivia Day
  • Pop Music Chart Day
  • Tom Thumb Day
  • World Braille Day
  • World Hypnotism Day
  • The eleventh of the Twelve Days of Christmas. (Western Christianity)
Quote of the day:

   “Beliefs have the power to create and the power to destroy. Human beings have the awesome ability to take any experience of their lives and create a meaning that disempowers them or one that can literally save their lives.”

~ Tony Robbins [AKA Anthony J. Mahavoric], American author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and life coach

On this day in…

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

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

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

1958 – Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from orbit.

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

1965 - President Lyndon B. Johnson outlined the goals of his ''Great Society'' in his State of the Union address.

1974 - President Richard Nixon refused to hand over tape recordings and documents subpoenaed by the Senate Watergate Committee.

1993 - Deep Space 9 premiered on USA TV.

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

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 40 secs of light-travel time from Earth


My five year old computer, the infamous Alienware X51 I have talked about before, is once again having graphic card problems – this time the most troubling symptom is that when I boot up, WINDOWS doesn’t recognize the graphics card.  So far I can work around it but it is only a matter of time before it dies – and this time Dell/Alienware did not offer to extend the warranty for another year.   Given the amount of care and attention they have given me and the number of repairs and replacements they have spent over the years, I certainly cannot blame them.  I have my eye on a replacement, being carefully mindful about the power voltage  – but I think I’ll wait until this machine dies before going to the expense.  Hopefully the machine will still be available!  And, in other news, now even non-weather weenies on the East Coast know what a “bomb cyclone” is    Today was the first real taste of unpleasant weather hereabouts – the Fed opened two hours late and many school systems closed for the day as the huge storm brushed our area and the winds started howling, pulling icy air in.   Wind chills are in the single digits even in the middle of the day! 




But it is still Christmas, so sing your songs and keep your lights lit!  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 4, 2018

1st Wednesday of 2018

Today is the 4th day of the 1st week, the 3rd day of the 1st month, the 3rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Earth at Perihelion – a perihelion is the point in the orbit of a planet, asteroid or comet where & when it is nearest to the sun.  Seems counter-intuitive in the North Hemisphere because it is winter
  • Festival of Sleep Day
  • Humiliation Day – if that is your kink, have at it.  Personally I have managed [1] to do this to myself far too often and [2] been bullied to ever think this is a day that needs to be celebrated. 
  • JRR Tolkien Day – the 125th anniversary of the author’s birth, marked by fans with a toast each year
  • Memento Mori [Remember You Die] Day – remember, tomorrow is promised to no one
  • National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day
  • National Drinking Straw Day
  • National Write to Congress Day
  • Women Rock! Day
  • The tenth of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
Quote of the day:

"Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future."

~  John F. Kennedy

On this day in...
1521 – Pope Leo X excommunicates Martin Luther in the papal bull Decet Romanum Pontificem.
1868 - The Meiji Restoration re-established the authority of Japan's emperor and heralded the fall of the military rulers known as shoguns.
1870 – Construction of the Brooklyn Bridge begins.  No idea how many times it has been sold.
1913 – An Atlantic coast storm sets the lowest confirmed barometric pressure reading for a non-tropical system in the continental United States.  This record may be broken this year by the "bomb cyclone"
1938 – The March of Dimes is established as a foundation to combat infant polio by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1957 – The Hamilton Watch Company introduces the first electric watch.
1962 – Pope John XXIII excommunicates Fidel Castro.
1977 – Apple Computer is incorporated.
1999 – The Mars Polar Lander is launched by NASA.
2000 – Final daily edition of the Peanuts comic strip.
2004 - NASA's Mars rover, Spirit, touched down on the red planet.
2009 – The first block of the blockchain of the decentralized payment system Bitcoin, called the Genesis block, was established by the creator of the system, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Saw an interesting comment asking  how Catholics were going to deal with 2018 – Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day this year, and Easter is on April Fools’ Day, and I checked the calendar and it is true!   Hadn’t heard that one yet, and it made me think of somethings that I haven’t been reading about lately.   Puerto Rico is still without power in many places and it is a situation  that doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.  Don’t hear much about the situation of this American island in the news these days though.   I wonder how the water situation is progressing in Flint, Michigan – there doesn’t seem to be a lot of updates for the past six months.    Back in October 2017, a Michigan Department of Health and Human Services study found that the Flint River water did not contribute to the increase in infant deaths and stillbirths in Flint., but I’m not sure how objective that decision was.  In November, the Flint City Council voted to sign off on a 30-year contract with the Great Lakes Water Authority. After that reporting seemed to dry up    The water protectors at Standing Rock were forced away, but the fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline moved into the courts.   The DAPL went operational on 05.14.2017 despite the fact that several leaks occurred even before then, but I haven’t heard any more about it.  Makes you wonder what else is happening that you aren’t hearing anything about, or won’t make the history books when pundits are writing about this time, neh?

Meanwhile?  It is the time of year when I question why I never moved to Florida and started working for the House of the Mouse…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 3, 2018

the 1st workday of 2018

Today is the 3rd day of the 1st week, the 2nd day of the 1st month, the 3rd day of 2018 [with 356 shopping days until Christmas, just in case you were wondering[, and: 
  • 55 MPH Speed Limit Day – Nixon signed a bill lowering the maximum US speed limit to 55 MPH in order to conserve gasoline during an OPEC embargo in 1974
  • Happy Mew Year for Cats Day
  • National Buffet Day
  • National Cream Puff Day
  • National Motivation and Inspiration Day
  • National Personal Trainer Awareness Day
  • National Run It Up the Flagpole and See if Anybody Salutes It Day
  • national Science Fiction Day
  • Pet Travel and Safety Day
  • Swiss Cheese Day
  • The ninth of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)

On this day in...

366 – The Alemanni cross the frozen Rhine in large numbers, invading the Roman Empire.

1492 - The leader of the last Arab stronghold in Spain surrendered to Spanish forces loyal to King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella I.

1860 – The discovery of the planet Vulcan is announced at a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris, France.  No not THAT Vulcan and no Mr. Spock, but is a small hypothetical planet that was proposed to exist in an orbit between Mercury and the Sun to explain irregularities in Mercury's orbit

1900 - Emile Berliner starts manufacturing 7, single-sided gramophone records at a plant in Montréal; took out a Canadian patent on his invention in 1897; manufacturing 10discs in 1901, 12in 1903; double-sided records in 1908; plant taken over by the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1924.

1929 - The United States and Canada reached agreement on joint action to preserve Niagara Falls.

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


Quote of the day:

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."

~  e.e. Cummings (1894 - 1962), American poet


For those of us lucky enough to have off on federal holidays, today is the first day back to work in 2018.  The holidays are over, although I still have decorations up – undecorating takes longer than decorating and always leaves the place looking a little empty.  I have taken down the wreath from my door since someone saw fit to dismember it, and I have put away the Christmas presents so I have made a start at rejoining the workaday world and letting the holidays go – meanwhile I will enjoy the 12 days of Christmas as we work up to the Feast of the Epiphany




As far as 2018 goes, “dream” was the word that I chose for this year, although I have been told that I am doing it wrong because it is supposed to be a motivational word for THIS year, not something I liked in the past.  I’m sticking with it – I need to be reminded that there is more to life than work [especially as I drudge through the EOY reports and reconciliations], chores [seriously, why does laundry just keep piling up?  And then you have to FOLD the stuff for crying out loud], and the plethora of horrible, very bad news that keeps popping up.  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 2, 2018

the 1st day of 2018

Today is the 2nd day of the 1st week, the 1st day of the 1st month, and the 1st day of 2018.  

May today be a good start to a year filled with well-being for you and yours!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 1, 2018

the last day of 2017

Today is the 1st day of the week but the last day of the year, the 31st day of the 12th month, the 365th day of 2017, and:   
  • First Night or New Year's Eve
  • Global Champagne Day
  • Leap Second Time Adjustment Day [not this year tho]
  • Look On The Bright Side Day
  • Make Up Your Mind Day
  • National Champagne Day
  • New Year's Eve Banished Words List [AKA New Year's Dishonor List] -- 43rd annual "List of Words Banished From the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness."
  • One Voice Day
  • Universal Hour of Peace
  • Unlucky Day
  • World Healing Day [Different than one on April 29]
  • World Peace Meditation Day
  • The seventh of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • The sixth day of Kwanzaa (United States)

On this day in...

1759 – Arthur Guinness signs a 9,000 year lease at £45 per annum and starts brewing Guinness.

1790 – Efimeris, the oldest Greek newspaper of which issues have survived till today, is published for the first time.

1796 – The incorporation of Baltimore as a city.

1857 – Queen Victoria chooses Ottawa, then a small logging town, as the capital of Canada.

1929 - Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians play Auld Lang Syne to usher in the New Year for the very first time, in their first annual New Year's Eve Party at the Hotel Roosevelt Grill. The show is broadcast over the CBS radio network.

1946 – President Harry S. Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.

1951 – The Marshall Plan expires after distributing more than US $13.3 billion in foreign aid to rebuild Europe.

1991 – All official Soviet Union institutions have ceased operations by this date five days after the Soviet Union is officially dissolved.

1999 – The United States Government hands control of the Panama Canal (as well all the adjacent land to the canal known as the Panama Canal Zone) to Panama. This act complied with the signing of the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties.

2011 – NASA succeeds in putting the first of two Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory satellites in orbit around the Moon.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 33 secs of light-travel time and Voyager II‏ is currently 16 hrs 13 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end."

~ attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca (AKA Seneca the Younger or Seneca), Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and humorist of the Silver Age of Latin literature


Do you have a “word of the year”?   Apparently that is a thing now for self-improvement that has more-or-less replaced setting goals.  You are supposed to choose a word that will guide you for the next year.  When I have to choose a word, I find I gravitate towards “dream”.  I can get right cynical at times, and downright pessimistic, so I guess being reminded that not everything is about dull, ordinary, workaday, grinding pressure, coping, mundane, loneliness, matter-of-fact, worrisome, et al is what I need. 




So tonight is the last day for playing Christmas music.  Some folks take down their Christmas decorations on New Years Eve – I always left them up until the first weekend after New Years because the place always looks a little sad and empty without them.  Whatever you do, however you celebrate, stay warm and safe and I’ll see you next year!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, December 31, 2017

the day before the last day of 2017

Today is the 7th day of the 52nd week and I find it rather ironic somehow that the count is all off because the last day of 2017 will kick off the the first week of 2018!  How many days of the old year have to be in a week before it counts as the last week of the year VS the first week of the new year?  Inquiring minds want to know....

Noodling about online, I ran into this question on Facebook:  "how about using 1 photo to conclude your 2017?"

Good heavens, how could I distill the entire year down to one picture?  Do I use one from the political morass that drove me to stop reading the news?  Do I do one from the turmoil in our family?  How about from my 2nd Life?  Typing "2017" in a GOOGLE image search pretty much just got me a bunch of numbers....   "best picture 2017" did better but nothing struck me as iconic or conclusive, and I finally settled on "2017 best photography" and started scrolling.  There are lovely shots of space and landscapes and people and animals to lose oneself in, but what resonated with me the most was this:

Poor chick looks rumbled and is standing on a desolate beach, but is still fascinated by the bauble and hopeful that it isn't as bad as all that.....
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, December 30, 2017

the last Friday of 2017

Today is the 6th day of the 52nd week, the 29th day of the 12th month, the 363rd day of 2017, and: 
  • Independence day:  Mongolia from the Russian Soviet and China in 1921
  • National Pepper Pot Day
  • No Interruptions Day
  • Still Need to Do Day
  • Tick Tock Day
  • YMCA Day (Organization not The Song) -- the first American YMCA opens in Boston, 1851
  • The fifth day of Christmas (Western Christianity) – five golden rings!
  • The fourth day of Kwanzaa (United States)
On this day in....

1170 – Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church.

1845 – In accordance with International Boundary delimitation, the United States annexes the Republic of Texas, following the manifest destiny doctrine. The Republic of Texas, which had been independent since the Texas Revolution of 1836, is thereupon admitted as the 28th US state. 

1860 – The launch of HMS Warrior, with her combination of screw propeller, iron hull and iron armour, renders all previous warships obsolete.

1890 – Wounded Knee Massacre on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, 300 Lakota killed by the United States 7th Cavalry Regiment.

1916 – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, the first novel by James Joyce, was first published as a book by an American publishing house B. W. Huebschis after it had been serialized in The Egoist (1914–15).

2003 – The last known speaker of Akkala Sami dies, rendering the language extinct.


Quote of the day:

     "Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone's face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come."

~ Henri Nouwen, Dutch Catholic priest, professor, writer and theologian


Many people hereabouts take off this entire week and morning rush hour traffic is light.  But like many financial services businesses, our company is open for business, not that much really gets done once the push to settle new loans gets shunted aside.  It is a time to make sure those last transactions are booked, to get the spreadsheets ready for the reports, knowing that on January 2nd management will be immediately requesting information about 2017 and we need to hit the ground running

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 29, 2017

we can hope, neh?

Today is the 5th day of the 52nd week, the 28th day of the 12th month, the 362nd day of 2017, and: 
  • Call a Friend Day
  • Endangered Species Act Day – passed in the US in 1973
  • Holy Innocents Day
  • National Card Playing Day
  • National Chocolate Candy Day
  • Pledge of Allegiance Day
  • The fourth of the Twelve Days of Christmas

On this day in....

1832 – John C. Calhoun becomes the first Vice President of the United States to resign; he resigned to become a senator, with a voice in the debates. Van Buren had already been elected as Jackson's new vice president, meaning that Calhoun had less than three months left on his term anyway

1948 – The DC-3 airliner NC16002 disappears 50 miles south of Miami --  29 passengers and 3 crew members went missing. 

1958 – "Greatest Game Ever Played": Baltimore Colts defeat the New York Giants in the first ever National Football League sudden death overtime game at New York's Yankee Stadium.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 26 secs of light-travel time from Earth


As the year winds down, like so many other people, I find myself going back and reflecting on 2017, trying to put it into some sort of perspective..   This is a year that I will remember, that much I know 

  • In January, after DJT took his oath of office, I learned things that I had taken for granted about the Presidency were not actually part of it.   There was no sense of decorum, no attempt to work with former political foes, no statesmanship in international affairs, no feel of trying to unify the country or rally us all to a common cause and the polarization/divisions in who we are as Americans have deepened or widened.  Conservatives are happy with the year of undoing [unraveling the safety net, dispensing with protective regulations, removing the US from treaties and global activities] and I am aghast that the cruelty of Calvinism is so widely accepted, and appalled at the incipient intolerance of anyone not white and Christian  being proclaimed .  
  • In February, for reasons we will never know or understand, my step-son chose to commit suicide; he shot himself a couple weeks before his 57th  birthday 
  • In June, exactly four months to the day before her 40th birthday, my daughter learned she had stage 3C breast cancer.  Six chemo treatments [at three week intervals, completed in November]  and one bilateral mastectomy [one week before Christmas]  later, she still faces 2018 with six weeks of radiation treatments and then reconstructive surgery, but she is one of the lucky ones.  Too young for the standard testing, she found the lump herself and when she went to her GYN, she was immediately sent for follow-up – given the speed with which this cancer was spreading, any delay would’ve quite literally have killed her..  
  • In September, my father’s younger sister passed away after a long illness and being in hospice care.  Only her husband now  remains of the “older generation” in my family.  
  • In December, Frank’s ex suffered a fall and a broken leg, then was hospitalized with breathing problems right before Christmas.  Her daughter and grandson are doing all they can, but she is tired and not getting enough oxygen. 
Having 2017 depart and 2018 roll in isn’t going to make a material difference; there is still a lot of coping that needs to be done.  DJT is still president [no, I don’t believe that he will be impeached] and the conservative agenda is rolling forward.   The family still has to deal with the loss of Billy and Aunt Blanche, Joan’s illness  as well as the impact of Gem’s continuing path to recovery.  But there is just something hopeful about a new year starting that enables me to take a deep breath and face the future with a modicum of hope if not optimism…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, December 28, 2017

what will it take

Today is the 4th day of the 52nd week, the 27th day of December, the 361st day of 2017, and: 
  • Free Balloon Day (SpongeBob Squarepants)
  • Howdy Doody Day --  this children's TV program debuted on NBC in 1947 and ran until September 24, 1960.  Bob Keeshan was the original Clarabell the Clown on the show and went on to become Captain Kangaroo (from October 1955 to December 1984)
  • Independence day:  Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1949
  • Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day
  • National Fruitcake Day
  • Visit the Zoo Day
  • The third of the Twelve Days of Christmas – three french hens
On this day in....

537 – The Hagia Sophia, a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica,is completed in what is now Istanbul, Turkey.  Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and remained the world's largest cathedral for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520.

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

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

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

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

1927 – Show Boat, considered to be the first true American musical play, opens at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Broadway

1927 - The Daily Mail newspaper publishes the world's First wire photo, the invention of Winnipeg born engineer William Stephenson

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

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

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

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

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

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 24 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

   “When we think we have been hurt by someone in the past, we build up defenses to protect ourselves from being hurt in the future. So the fearful past causes a fearful future and the past and future become one. We cannot love when we feel fear.... When we release the fearful past and forgive everyone, we will experience total love and oneness with all.”

~ Gerald G. Jampolsky, internationally recognized authority in the fields of psychiatry, health, business, and education




If I could wave a wand and magically have everyone sit down and truly talk to each other instead of just yelling, I would.  It is my hope that when genuine attempts are made to understand the issues that have polarized all public discourse that everyone will let go of all the slights, grudges, hurts, and ill will of the past and try to see alternate points of view.   We can do it, I am convinced…   We NEED to do this!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, December 27, 2017

back to the workaday world....

Today is the 3rd day of the 52nd week, the 26th day of the 12th month, the 360th day of 2017, and:

Boxing Day

National Candy Cane Day

National Thank You Note Day

National Whiner's day

The second day of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)


On this day in ....

1862 – The largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, where 38 Dakota men died.  It was the final chapter of the Dakota War of 1862 [AKA the Sioux Uprising, Dakota Uprising, the Sioux Outbreak of 1862, the Dakota Conflict, the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862 or Little Crow's War], an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of Dakota (also known as the eastern 'Sioux') that  began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota.

1865 - James H. Nason of Franklin, Mass., received a patent for a coffee percolator.

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

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

1919 – Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox is sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee, allegedly establishing the Curse of the Bambino superstition.  Before that point, the Red Sox had been one of the most successful professional baseball franchises, winning the first World Series and amassing five World Series titles, but after the sale, they went without a title for decades

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

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

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



'Twas The Day After Christmas


 Published: 28 November 2006


Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,

Every creature was hurting-- even the mouse.


The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;

Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.


Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while

Upstairs the family continued to snore.


And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,

Went into the kitchen and started to clean.


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.


Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.


When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.


The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;

The patch on his jacket said "U.S. POSTMAN."


With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox

Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.


Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.

Whistling and shouting he called them by name:


"Now Dillard's, now Broadway's, now Penney's and Sears

Here's Levitz's and Target's and Mervyn's--all here!!


To the tip or your limit, every store, every mall,

Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!"


He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.

He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.


He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,

Driving much faster with just half a load.


Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,



Author Unknown

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Today is the 1st day of the 51st week, the 17th day of the 12th month, the 351st day of 2017, and:

  • A Christmas Carol Day -- Published 174 years ago, Charles Dickens' story was an instant bestseller, followed by countless print, stage and screen productions
  • Clean Air Day
  • National Maple Syrup Day
  • Pan American Aviation Day
  • Wright Brothers Day
On this day in ....

1903 - the Wright Brothers make 1st powered aircraft flight

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 53 secs of light-travel time from Earth

2131 - ???  ((if man is still alive, if woman can survive))

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, December 17, 2017

finally getting somewhat into the spirit

Acheivement unlocked:  alll packages wrapped!  How about you?

This day of the Advent season is like a hurdle I must get over, especially getting past 1:30PM for that is the time I got the phone call that changed my life.  I was sitting in my direct report's office when the receptionist paged me.  Asking her permission, I picked up her phone and dialed in and was told a policeman was trying to reach me.  I took the call, found out Frank had been taken to the hospital and was given a number to call the doctor.  My direct report ran to tell my boss that something was wrong and he arrived as I was dialing the hospital.  That poor, harassed doctor tried very hard not to break the news to me on the phone that day, but I was too persistent and she couldn't answer my very logical questions and when I said to her half in jest "Doctor, are you trying not to tell me that my husband is dead?!".... well she had no choice but to answer that question.   Thirteen years, three jobs and two apartments ago -- and I can still see that moment etched in my minds eye, the ice-cold flood of shock, looking at my boss as his eyebrows flew up as I quietly said "he's dead?" and she kept on talking about what happened and apologizing for blurting it out like that....  and then it is all a blur.  I only remember vignettes of what happned afterwards, leaving work and driving to the hospital, calling the kids, arranging the funeral, the funeral home [how surprised the staff was that I wanted them to play Christmas carols -- but Frank so loved Christmas music], how I got through the holidays [and how grateful I was that we hadn't put up the tree yet], the next few weeks just all blur together. 

Oh, I get ready for the holidays. I do my shopping.  I play Christmas carols.  I go to office parties.  I make plans.  I take vacation.  I travel.  I even decorate and wrap.  But I cannot say that I am in the Christmas spirit, I cannot move on, until I can get past that memory.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, December 16, 2017

for tomorrow is promised to no one....

Today is the 6th day of the 50th week, the 15th day of the 12th month, the 349th day of 2017 [you only have nine shopping days left], and: 
  • Bill of Rights Day --  the United States Bill of Rights becomes law when ratified by the Virginia General Assembly on this day in 1791
  • Cat Herders Day
  • Free Shipping Day
  • International Tea Day
  • National Cupcake Day
  • National Lemon Cupcake Day
  • National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
  • National Wear Your Pearls Day
  • Underdog Day
On this day in...

1891 - James Naismith, from Almonte, Ontario devises The Rules of Basketball, inspired by a childhood game called Duck-on-a-Rock. He had been asked by staff of the YMCA's Springfield Training College to devise a good indoor phys-ed activity to keep a group of incorrigible students busy during the winter months. A week later, on December 21, 1891, Naismith's students will play the First organized basketball game in Springfield, Massachusetts

1895 – Houston received 20 inches (51 cm) snow, its largest snowfall from one storm on record.

1939 – Gone with the Wind (highest inflation adjusted grossing film) receives its premiere at Loew's Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.

1965 – Gemini 6A, crewed by Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford, is launched from Cape Kennedy, Florida. Four orbits later, it achieves the first space rendezvous, with Gemini 7.

1966 - Walt Disney died at age 65.

1970 – Soviet spacecraft Venera 7 successfully lands on Venus. It is the first successful soft landing on another planet

1973 – The American Psychiatric Association votes 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders

1979 - Photo editor Chris Haney and sportswriter Scott Abbott devise the Trivial Pursuit board game, with a current events theme; form investor group with Haney's brother John and friend Ed Werner, and 30 others, including a copyboy from their newspaper; raised $40,000, rented an office and paid some of their help with shares; First 1,100 sets cost $75 each to manufacture; sold to retailers for $15 a game; took off at 1983 New York Toy Fair when distributed by US game company Selchow and Righter; now in 19 different languages

2000 – The third reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant is shut down.

2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 spent to stabilize it, without fixing its famous lean.



Sounds like good advice, neh?  Endorsed by Steve Jobs who commented “If you live each day as it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right” , Ray Charles who quipped “Live each day like it's your last, 'cause one day you gonna be right”,  and by various life coaches who point out the need to make every day count,  it was refreshing to me when I found that not everyone thought it was a great idea.  For one thing?  Like so many things, awareness of your mortality needs to be taken in moderation, not a pathological and pathetic fear of dying.  For another?  You don’t want to sacrifice long-term planning for instant gratification, especially not when it comes to financial planning.  Gloomy thoughts for only 10 days from Christmas, neh?  I usually am pretty moody on this day, or at least I have been since 2005.  You see, today in 2004 was Frank’s last day on Earth.  I don’t remember anything remarkable about this day – not what we did or didn’t do, not what either of us were wearing, whether or not he was at the mall that day, not how the day ended.  There was no consciousness or premonition that we were doing things for the very last time, that there would never be another Wednesday for us together.  What would we have done differently if we had known?  The list, I suppose, is almost endless but mostly involves touching people, saying good-bye and telling them how much they meant….

When you come right down to it, you really cannot live every day on the edge of forever, now can you?  The mundane, everyday, trivial things may not seem that important or be what you remember, but they have to be tended to or life itself stops.  We cannot be mindful and present 24/7, or at least I cannot and I rather suspect that anyone’s brain, soul and spirit would simply burn out under such unremitting pressure.  We can, however, be more mindful of the present, letting go of the past and not wishing our lives away for the future.  My one solid takeaway from what happened with Frank is that I need to always make a point of saying good-bye and telling my family that I love them, even when I am in a hurry or the kids are fractious,  because that Thursday morning was one of the few times that I did not say that to Frank, and I never had the chance to say it again, and that regret still brings the tears stinging to my eyes after all this time.  

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 15, 2017

Today is the 5th day of the 50th week, the 14th day of the 12th month, the 348th day of 2017, and: 
  • Monkey Day -- created and popularized by artists Casey Sorrow and Eric Millikin beginning in 2000 to spread awareness for monkeys and "all things simian," including other non-human primates such as apes, tarsiers, and lemurs, and to show love and care for them
  • National Bouillabaisse Day
  • Roast Chestnuts Day
  • Yoga Day
On this day....

1701 - The revenge of the forty-seven rōnin, also known as the Akō incident (赤穂事件Akō jiken) or Akō vendetta, in which a band of rōnin (leaderless samurai) avenged the death of their master. The Sengakuji Temple holds a festival commemorating the event each year

1782 – The Montgolfier brothers first test fly an unmanned hot air balloon in France; it floats nearly 2 km (1.2 mi).

1902 – The Commercial Pacific Cable Company lays the first Pacific telegraph cable, from San Francisco to Honolulu.

1911 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the geographic South Pole.

1958 – The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition becomes the first to reach the southern pole of inaccessibility [the point on the Antarctic continent most distant from the Southern Ocean and is far more remote and difficult to reach than the geographic South Pole]. 

1962 – NASA's Mariner 2 becomes the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.

1972 – Eugene Cernan is the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt complete the third and final extravehicular activity (EVA) of the Apollo 17 mission.

2004 – The Millau Viaduct, the tallest bridge in the world, is formally inaugurated near Millau, France.


Writing prompt of the day:

348. Night Owl: Write about staying up late at night.


I have never been a morning person --  in fact I have always considered myself to be one of the Jellicle Cats of rhyme and song – but a lifetime of having to get up early in the morning to go to school and then to work has taken its toll.  These days I am lucky to be able to push aside the wall of weariness that descends in the evening and stay the course until after midnight and I wouldn’t even try to do that on a work night!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, December 14, 2017

13 DEC 2017

Today is the 4th day of the 50th week, the 13th day of the 12th month, the 347th day of 2017, and: 
  • Hanukkah ((2nd night))
  • Independence Day -- Saint Lucia from United Kingdom in 1979
  • Ice Cream Day
  • National Cocoa Day
  • National Day of the Horse
  • National Violin Day
  • Pick a Pathologist Pal Day
On this day in....

1294 – Saint Celestine V resigns the papacy after only five months to return to his previous life as an ascetic hermit, after he issued a solemn decree declaring it permissible for a pope to resign

1577 – Sir Francis Drake sets sail from Plymouth, England, on his round-the-world voyage

1642 – Abel Janszoon Tasman reaches New Zealand, in the service of the Dutch East India Company, the first known European explorer to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) and New Zealand, and to sight the Fiji islands.

1758 - The Duke William, a deportation ship carrying Acadians from Île Saint-Jean (PEI) to France sinks in a storm in the North Atlantic with the

loss of over 360 lives, including Acadian lader Noel Dorion; one of the greatest marine disasters in Canadian history.

1928 – George Gershwin's An American in Paris is first performed.  Freed bought the rights from his brother, Ira, for $158,750, over a game of pool in 1950 and the award-winning movie came out the next year.

1949 – The Knesset votes to move the capital of Israel to Jerusalem, which is a holy city of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.  During the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, West Jerusalem was among the areas captured and later annexed by Israel while East Jerusalem, including the Old City, was captured and later annexed by Jordan.  Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and subsequently annexed it into Jerusalem, together with additional surrounding territory.  Many United Nations (UN) member states formally adhere to the United Nations proposal that Jerusalem should have an international status

1958 - The squirrel monkey named Gordo survived a 300-mile journey into space and then travelled more than 1,500 miles in the rocket until it dropped in the South Atlantic.  A technical problem with the recovery gear meant a parachute failed to open and the nose-cone sank taking Gordo with it

1962 – NASA launches Relay 1, the first active repeater communications satellite in orbit.

1972 – Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmitt begin the third and final extra-vehicular activity (EVA) or "Moonwalk" of Apollo 17. To date they are the last humans to set foot on the Moon

1979 - Supreme Court of Canada unanimously strikes down Québec and Manitoba laws which created unconstitutional unilingual courts and legislatures; unanimously upheld the power of the federal government to guarantee French and English can be used in the courts and legislatures across Canada

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 38 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

Live as long as you may, the first twenty years are the longest half of your life. They appear so while they are passing; they seem to have been so when we look back on them; and they take up more room in our memory than all the years that succeed them.”

~ Robert Southey, English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets", and Poet Laureate for 30 years


I once read an explanation of why time seems to move so slowly for the young and so rapidly for the older folks.  Take me versus my oldest granddaughter as we remember the WDW family trip in 2016 some 21 months ago – for me that time passed represents just 2,58% of my life; for her that same time is a staggering 38.89% of her entire life.   No wonder the memories we make in those first decades loom so large in our consciousness even as time passes!  And Christmas really seems like it just never will come when you are little….




PS:  I am not a good proofreader, for I tend to read what I meant not what is actually written.  This means while I do go back and proofread my blog posts, my eyes tend to slip over missed words and misspelled items.  Looking back over a couple of posts made in the past two weeks, I can see my level of distraction has increased and more  errors have correspondingly snuck in.  I even found a “u” instead of “you”, which is puzzling to me since I am not a fan of “r u here” type of shorthand even when texting.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, December 13, 2017

the spirit of the season....

Today is the 3rd day of the 50th week, the 12th day of the 12th month, the 346th day of 2017, and: 
  • Chanukah ((first night))
  • Festival of Unmentionable Thoughts
  • Gingerbread House Day
  • Independence Day:  Kenya from the United Kingdom in 1963
  • National 12-hour Fresh Breath Day
  • National Ambrosia Day
  • National Cocoa Day
  • National Ding-a-ling Day
  • National Lost Day
  • National Poinsettia Day
  • Our Lady of Guadelupe ((feast day)) – The appearance of the Lady triggered the conversion of Mexico -- within six years of this apparition, six million Aztecs had converted to Catholicism.  Her image is one of the few that show the Virgin Mary as pregnant and it has become one of the most reproduced religious icons.ever.  There will be many parades and festivities today in various parts of the Americas. 

Quote of the day:
It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.”
~  Carl Sagan

Yes things happened on this day but nothing that peaked my interest today.  And no, my meanderings have nothing to do with the quote so if you are seeking some sort of tie-in, you will come up short.

I am somewhat  ambivalent about Advent.  Oh I understand fully the religious significance of getting ready for Christmas, and have an Advent Wreath, although it has been a few years since I put it out.  I love that there are holidays other than the Christian one to celebrate, each with their own traditions,  especially food and decorations, and have no problem with a cheery “Happy Holidays” as a greeting.   I am old enough to remember when it was a really big deal that stores and malls would open on the Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas – back in the day, everything was closed on Sundays.  I always had countdown calendars for my kids where we ticked off each day as the big day came closer and closer.  And both NORAD and GOOGLE have stepped up their game, providing a Santa Tracker to keep u all in a holiday mood. 

Offset to this is the business side of life as the scramble to make the year-end numbers accelerates with more and more stridency.  The weather turns cold and gloomy, November’s chill deepening into full on winter.  Drivers become impatient as the feeling of time running out gets under their skin and it seems they drive more and more aggressively.  I became a widow unexpectedly in the middle of the Advent season, and this year, my daughter is faced with major surgery   I have heard stories of friends losing their jobs as company’s downsize for the coming new year, and things like insurance costs are already soaring as we have to pay for it in advance.  The winds of change are sometimes as blustery and unkind as any winter storm…  And folks are run-down and stressed out and catching colds that plague them *sniffles and coughs on cue*.  When you come right down to it?  It is an awful lot of work and expense for one day, isn’t it?

So what do I do during Advent?   I decorate, wrap presents, listen to Christmas Carols and watch Christmas specials and hope quietly that some of the glitter wears off onto me

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, December 12, 2017

51 down.....

Today is the 2nd day of the 50th week, the 11th day of the 12th month, the 345th day of 2017 [only 13 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Green Monday
  • Holiday Food Drive for Needy Animals Day
  • International Mountain Day
  • Kaleidoscope Day
  • National App Day
  • National Noodle Ring Day
  • UNICEF Birthday – established in 1946
On this day in....

1620 - 103 Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock

1931 - The British Parliament passes the Statute of Westminster, confirming the Balfour Declaration of November 18, 1926 and legally making the Dominions autonomous communities within the British Empire, free to conduct their own domestic and foreign affairs; gives complete legislative equality to the Parliaments of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and Newfoundland; marks the final independence of Canada from Britain.

1972 – Apollo 17 becomes the sixth and last Apollo mission to land on the Moon.  It is said, some 45 years later, that it is time to return. 


Quote of the day:

   “Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvelously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist


Only two more Mondays left in the year…..


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 11, 2017

8 DEC 2017

Today is the 6th day of the 49th week, the 8th day of the 12th month, the 342nd day of 2017, and: 
  • Bodhi Day [Traditional -- see also Jan 5) -- the occasion when the Buddha attained enlightenment in 596 BC
  • National Brownie Day
  • national Christmas Tree Day
  • National Salesperson's Day
  • Official Lost and Found Day
  • Pretend To Be a Time Traveler Day
  • Take It in the Ear Day
On this day in...

1660 – A woman (either Margaret Hughes or Anne Marshall) appears on an English public stage for the first time, in the role of Desdemona in a production of Shakespeare's play Othello.  Because being on stage was considered disreputable, young boys who's voice hadn't cracked yet usually played the female roles

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

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

1963 – Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707 en route from BWI to Philadelphia, is struck by lightning and crashes near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 people on board.  The plane was circling in a holding pattern with five other airplanes and at 8:58 pm the aircraft exploded. The crew managed to transmit a final message – "Mayday, mayday, mayday ... Clipper 214 out of control ... here we go"   As a result, the FAA asked operators to install lightning discharge wicks (or static dischargers) on all commercial jets flying in US airspace. 

1980 – Former Beatle John Lennon is murdered in front of The Dakota in New York City.

1987: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev sign The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty to reduce the size of their nuclear arsenals.

2010 – With the second launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and the first launch of the SpaceX Dragon, SpaceX becomes the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 16 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Today is a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics [and a public holiday in some countries] as we celebrate the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  I always thought it was a feast day that celebrates Mary as she learns from the angel that she has been chosen to carry Jesus and she conceives by the Holy Spirit and it was something that makes absolutely no sense to me and never did even as a kid.  Now I’m not talking about the whole religious aspect – that is a matter of faith not logic, rhyme or reason after all – but the timing just never made sense.  If you read the stories, there is no indication this pregnancy was super-charged speedy, but if she found out she was pregnant on the 8th, then how did she have the baby only 17 days later on the 25th?  It was many years before I realized the Church was saying Mary was conceived on this day without sin and today is indeed nine months before the feast of the Nativity of Mary, which is celebrated on September 8.  While I hold the blessed mother in reverence, I have to say that I don’t find her a great role model for young girls since what is celebrated most about her is her passivity.  Often referred to as “the new Eve” [who was, incidentally, was the only other woman born without the original sin], she is contrasted with Eve’s grasp for knowledge and therefore divinity because she permitted herself and her life to be invaded and rearranged, saying only  "Let it be done unto me."   The good Church Fathers just loved that passive acceptance from females and really encouraged every good little Catholic girl to emulate it --  I was never good at being that obedient…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 8, 2017

when the past doesn't stay past....

Today is the 5th day of the 49th wee, the 7th day of the 12th month, the 341st day of 2017, and: 
On this day in....

1703 – in what came to be called The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, makes landfall. Winds gust up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people die -- it was the first weather event to be a news story on a national scale

1930 – W1XAV in Boston, Massachusetts telecasts video from the CBS radio orchestra program, The Fox Trappers. The telecast also includes the first television commercial in the United States, an advertisement for I.J. Fox Furriers, who sponsored the radio show.

1972 – Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, is launched. The crew takes the photograph known as The Blue Marble as they leave the Earth.

1995 – The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.

1993 - Protesters lose a 20-year fight to save a 250-year-old chestnut tree in east London, making way for a motorway extension.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 11 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

Love has no age, no limit; and no death.”

~ John Galsworthy OM, English novelist and playwright


Do you let go of people?  I mean, when the relationship is over and you have flicked the done switch, have you given up on them?  And if you did, is it one of those irrevocable decisions?  What about  your family?  One of the things that I struggle with understanding parents who disown their sons and daughters when their lifestyle doesn’t jibe with their expectations.  Or maybe “disowning” is too strong a word?  But what would you call it when a parent stops talking to a child and no longer knows anything about how their offspring is faring? 


I learned a long time ago that the opposite of love was not hate, it was indifference – the absence of caring, concern, thinking about.  Can’t say that I ever really achieved it personally,  not even with two ex-husbands and a mother who didn’t talk to me for over twenty years.    As Bela cautions those who immerse themselves in world, there is no auto-return on hearts, and even when the relationship is over, even when there are good reasons for it to be over, I find that a piece of my heart, an echo of the emotional investment that I made during that relationship always remains with the one who is gone out of my life. 




I don’t know if that is a good thing or not but that is what it is and who I am.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, December 7, 2017

Today is the 4th day of the 49th week, the 6th day of the 12th month, the 340th day of 2017 [you really don’t want to know how many shopping days there are until Christmas – suffice to say you should get cracking], and: 
  • Independence Day: Finland from Russia in 1917, Bophuthatswana from South Africa in 1977
  • Miner's Day
  • Mitten Tree Day
  • National Gazpacho Day
  • National Microwave Oven Day
  • National Pawnbrokers Day
  • Put on Your Own Shoes Day
  • Special Kids Day
  • St Nicholas Day
  • World Trick Shot Day
ON this day in....

1752 - John Bushell publishes 8-page bound pamphlet for the Nova Scotia government, “An act for the relief of debtors;" the first book published in Canada

1768 – The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica is published in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, as three volumes. The encyclopedia grew in size: the second edition was 10 volumes, and by its fourth edition (1801–1810) it had expanded to 20 volumes.  The last print version was the 32-volume 2010 edition, which weighs 129 pounds and includes new entries on global warming and the Human Genome Project

1877 – The first edition of The Washington Post, founded by Stilson Hutchins, is published.  Initially  a four-page organ of the Democratic Party, it was sold in 1889 and became known as a conservative paper. 

2006 – NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.


Quote of the day:

"In life, you have to take the pace that love goes. You don't force it. You just don't force love, you don't force falling in love, you don't force being in love - you just become. I don't know how to say that in English, but you just feel it."

~ Juan Pablo Galavis, American-born Venezuelan former professional soccer midfielder/forward, who retired in 2008. In 2013, he was chosen as the first Latino star of the ABC-TV reality show The Bachelor [he didn't end up marrying the one he picked]


I think about love a lot around this time of year.  Wasn’t something that I noodled when I was married and I suspect that I rather took for granted that things would continue on between us as we walked down the years together, so being widowed was a bit of a shock, which since Frank died on December 16th, explains why I think about it now.  I became sensitive to how relationships grow and often talk about levels of emotional investment, or degrees of connection, drawing on my observations to pontificate that expectations and perceptions can torpedo a promising relationship pretty quickly.  In world [AKA Second Life], where everything seems to be on hyper speed, I have come to realize that there are those for whom “falling in love” is actually a lifestyle [or hobby or obsession – pick a word], which explains why some folks get married or collared  in world multiple times to different people with neither ring nor collar lasting very long before they are off to experience the roller coaster rid of falling in love again with someone new.   That’s not my thing, it takes me a while to get comfortable enough to become intimate with someone even virtually – which I guess makes me a little out of step with today’s action – and I have always felt that as a romantic partner, I have to grow on people rather than attract them from the outset.  Those two articles about “slow love” were something that I bookmarked a while back and the idea really appeals to me.  I don’t need the heady excitement of falling in love, I need the steady state of commitment and affirmation, a mutual dedication of time, focus and energy – a mutual addiction so to speak..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, December 6, 2017

5 DEC 2017

Today is the 3rd day of the 49th week, the 5th day of the 12th month, the 339th day of 2017, and:

  • AFL-CIO Day -- The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merge and form the AFL–CIO in 1955
  • Bathtub Party Day
  • Columbian International Day of The Reef
  • International Ninja Day
  • International Volunteer Day
  • International Volunteer Day for Economic & Social Development
  • Krampusnacht
  • National Blue Jeans Day [not the same as Denim Day] -- wear jeans to communicate support of gay rights.
  • National Communicate With Your Kids Day – how do you interact with  your kids?
  • National Commute With Your Baby Day – it ain’t easy
  • National Sacher Torte Day --  a specific type of chocolate cake, or torte, invented by Austrian Franz Sacher[1] in 1832 for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in Vienna, Austria
  • Repeal Day – Prohibition in the US came to an end when when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st amendment
  • World Soil Day
  • World Trick Shot Day
On this day in....

1492 – Christopher Columbus becomes the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola, the second largest island in the Caribbean after Cuba (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic).

1766 – In London, auctioneer James Christie holds his first sale.  I rummaged about, but cannot find out what was sold or for how much other than he had pictures.

1848 – In a message to the United States Congress, President James K. Polk confirms that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.  There is no record of him saying "thar's gold in them thar hills!"

1901 – Walt Disney, American animator, director, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded The Walt Disney Company, was born.  He died in 1966

1905 - Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen telegraphs from Eagle City, Alaska, that he had successfully navigated the Northwest Passage on his ship Gjoa, but his feat was of little economic value – the first cargo ship didn’t get through until 1969

1932 – German-born Swiss physicist Albert Einstein is granted an American visa. Would he be allowed to immigrate today? Maybe….

1952 – A cold fog, that came to be known as The Great Smog, descends upon London, combining with air pollution and killing at least 12,000 in the weeks and months that follow.  The air pollution was mainly caused by burning low-grade, sulphurous variety of coal to keep dwellings warm and to power plants.  It is estimated the following pollutants were emitted each day during the smoggy period: 1,000 tonnes of smoke particles, 140 tonnes of hydrochloric acid, 14 tonnes of fluorine compounds, and 370 tonnes of sulphur dioxide which may have been converted to 800 tonnes of sulphuric acid.  The air above London still hasn’t completely recovered.

1964 – Lloyd J. Old discovered the first linkage between the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and disease—mouse leukemia—opening the way for the recognition of the importance of the MHC in the immune response.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 01 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Been a while since I checked out the writing prompt of the day….

339. Pick Me Up:What do you do when you need a pick me up?


Well now that is a good question, especially this year, what with the news making me wonder about the country I live in, my daughter facing major surgery [and they are only keeping her overnight!?], and my usual angst about being widowed turning the holiday season decorations slightly gray.  Do I do something different during the holidays than I usually do?  Not particularly.  I work on thinking about what is going right instead of what is going wrong.  I try and keep busy in a way that doesn’t exhaust me either physically or emotionally [that isn’t very easy this time of year].  Because I have blood sugar issues, the solace of comfort foods is denied to me – this is a real downer since freshly baked bread has always been my downfall.   Learned that when I was working part-time in the bakery for three years in high school and the start of college.—after working around them most donuts, cakes and cookies didn’t mean that much and I could do without them [well maybe not without Russian Teacakes and peanut butter cookies] more or less, but fresh baked bread and rolls?  From the smell to the taste, I have been hooked for the past 52 years…..   *coughs*  Kinda strayed from the topic at hand, didn’t I?  Mostly I dive into my 2nd Life – not just by heading in world, but also books, the world of my imagination that calls out to me, allows me to be immersed, permits me to travel through time and space, leaving the cares and woes of everyday life behind so that after the interlude I can reenter everyday life feeling renewed and refreshed.


But nothing beats the smell of freshly baked bread, not even a freshly cut Christmas tree – although it is pretty close!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I have a 2nd Life

Bela is 12 years old today
Yes beladona Memorial is the first avatar that I created in a virtual world.   This, however, was not the first time that I had ventured into Second Life – the first time had been over a year earlier and it was a totally different type of experience as I rezzed into a corral with people sitting on the fence cheering.  I couldn’t figure out what to do next, but the real issue was that I was trying to navigate while on a dial-up connection and I eventually abandoned the avatar and logged out leaving the original beladona stuck in a bush.  I created the second beladona as a result of a conversation thread in Howard Rheingold’s Brainstorms community – he was going to do a presentation in world and was encouraging us all to come in and join him.   By then I had a more robust line/connection but it was far from broadband and it was still pretty full of hiccups and glitches.   I could move about, but I had trouble controlling the avatar and at one point I ended up flying up on the stage and had the devil’s own time figuring out how to get off.   I didn’t stay for the entire lecture and certainly didn’t get much from it.
To my surprise, I found out that both of my kids were in world – Tasha Polecat and Madison Carnot – and in the early spring I ventured back.  For a time I wandered about as a tiny pig.  Then I switched to the persona that I kept for several months; from the get-go beladona was short and plumb with glasses and freckles, wandering about in jeans and a Bucket t-shirt, sandals, an Irish cap over bright red hair, and a backpack.    The eyes changed a bit from brown to bright purple before settling on a clear green, but I never bought a shape.  I remember a shape-creator ran a class for newbies on one of the education sims when I had been in world for about a year, and I went to see if I could get some tips about keeping the proportions right – she was very helpful [and actually rather complimentary about what I had done so far].  At that point I didn’t know how to edit prims, so when I bought a top that I couldn’t fit into, beladona had to slim down to fit into it.   And I didn’t know how to adjust pose balls, so she ended up getting taller as well, although she still is short by SL standards at least she wasn’t in danger of being taken as a child anymore.  After about eight months, she definitely had her own look

So many tales of learning how to navigate in world!   I used to change clothes under the deck of the Bucket club, not realizing that folks could cam down and not understanding that I didn’t have to completely undress to change outfits.  The entire program freezing solid because there were over 15K in world.  Die-ins becaue LL shut the world down for an entire day to “bank on the pipes” – if you tried to log in while that was going on you got a screen that showed a gorilla with a wrench banging on pipes too.  The days that I remember best are filled with friends, family and music.  beladona’s beach has existed for over a decade now and has always had a pier on which folks could sit and talk and watch the sunset.  In the past 12 years I have met so many people from different cultures, learned about different lifestyles, fallen in and out of love, been partnered , been married, made friends that moved into RL, and experienced loss as some just stopped logging in without us knowing what happened to them and some logged out of their real life.    I would totally do it again – my only regret is that I didn’t spring for a lifetime membership when that was being offered for $10! 
1 Comment - Read Comment | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 4, 2017

who's fault is it then?

Today is the 6th day of the 48th week, the 1st day of the 12th month, the 335th day of 2017, and: 
  • Antartica Day -- In 1959, today was the opening date for signature of the Antarctic Treaty, which sets aside Antarctica as a scientific preserve and bans military activity on the continent.
  • Basketball Day [or you can celebrate on December 21st
  • Bifocals at the Monitor Liberation Day
  • Civil Air Patrol Day
  • Clark Kent's Birthday (Superman) -- (Note: Also June 18 in another Comic)
  • Day Without Art
  • Eat a Red Apple Day
  • Faux Fur Day
  • International Sweater Vestival
  • Mawlid Al Nabi
  • National Christmas Lights Day
  • National Christmas Tree Lighting  (DC)
  • National Pie Day
  • National Salesperson Day
  • Rosa Parks Day
  • Wear a Dress Day
  • World AIDS Day
On this day in...

1913 – Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line and changed factories forever, to say nothing of the social and cultural impact of affordable cars.

1924 – The National Hockey League's first United States-based franchise, the Boston Bruins, played their first game in league play at home, at the still-extant Boston Arena indoor hockey facility   ((when was the last time you used "extant" in a sentence?))

1952 – The New York Daily News reports the news of Christine Jorgensen, the first notable case of sex reassignment surgery.

1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best are arrested (and later deported) from Hamburg, Germany, after accusations of attempted arson.

1969 – The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 39 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters, your brothers, the school, the teachers - but never blame yourself. It's never your fault. But it's always your fault, because if you wanted to change you're the one who has got to change.”

~ Katharine Hepburn, an American actress known for her fierce independence and spirited personality,




You know, the “not my fault” syndrome is pretty pervasive – we all have whined.   But sometimes “not my fault” gets translated into “not my problem” and then things -- the economy, manners, tolerance –  go to hell in a handbasket because no one is working for the betterment of anyone but themselves.  Seems to me that owning up to your personal accountability and responsibility for making things a mess and working on that would be a good way to go about fixing things.  In the end?  The only REAL thing that we can do to make it a better world is make ourselves better people….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 1, 2017

30 NOV 2017



Last minute requests and didjados

At least it isn't the end of the quarter or the year end!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, November 30, 2017

what others think....

Today is the 4th day of the 48th week, the 29th day of the 11th month, the 333rd day of 2017, and: 
  • Customer is Wrong Day
  • Electronic Greeting Card Day
  • International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People – declared by the UN back in 1977; in 2012 Palestine was given a non-voter observer status with a vote of 138 in favor to 9 against [including the US] with 41 abstentions
  • National Chocolates Day
  • National Lemon Creme Day
  • National Package Protection Day
  • National Square Dance Day
  • Throw out Your Leftovers Day
  • Women Wednesday
A lot happened on this day in History – but none of it of particular interest to me.  To be fair, I feel the same way about current events for the most part -- other than the fact that NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 28 secs of light-travel time from Earth today  –  powerful, rich, famous men are being called out for treating womenfolk like commodities; Trump et al is sounding foolish; Congress is getting ready to make the rich richer; and so on and so forth.


Quote of the day:

   “Your reputation is in the hands of others. That's what the reputation is. You can't control that. The only thing you can control is your character.”

~ Wayne W. Dyer, American philosopher, self-help author, and a motivational speaker




Today I read and shared an article about two young men from San Diego traveling in Thailand who felt the need to take pictures of their bare buttocks in Bangkok's famous Wat Arun temple and post them online as part of their ongoing series of “Traveling Butts”.  Now the reputation of Americans abroad has been rather dicey for years and Americans have been aware of that ever since The Ugly American was published back in 1958 highlighting the arrogance and incompetence of diplomats.    Sadly it has come to mean the crass behavior, poor dress and linguistic ineptitude of the  American tourist.  Now I haven’t traveled overseas, so most of the tourists I have encountered are visiting here [especially at the House of the Mouse], and I can tell you that some of those from abroad are downright nasty to interact with – they don’t believe in standing in line for one thing and they are pushy as well as rude – and yet no one pontificates about “ugly Italians” or “ugly Japanese” now do they?   It is only the US where the assumption is that unmannerly behavior is our default rather than wayward behavior of an individual.    But we cannot do anything about that – our reputation is not within the sphere of our control.  It is, however, within the sphere of our influence – and acting like a rectal cavity in someone else’s sacred place is definitely NOT the way to win friends and influence enemies.


These two young fools may end up paying dearly for their little lark and I’m not sure they shouldn’t.  However, the State Department and the wheels of diplomacy will probably rescue them from the consequences of their heedless act; the reinforcement of the stereotype of the American tourist cannot be mended.   Thanks a lot guys – you just made it harder for every single one of your fellow country folk who want to travel abroad.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 29, 2017

the last Tuesday in the month

Today is the 3rd day of the 48th week, the 28th day of the 11th month, the 332nd day of 2017, and: 
  • Giving Tuesday
  • Independence Day:  Panama from Spain in 1821; Mauritania from France in 1960
  • It's Letter Writing Day
  • Make Your Own Head Day
  • National French Toast Day
  • Red Planet Day
  • Rockerfeller Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Turkey Leftover Day
On this day in....

1520 – Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.  In this day and age it is hard to believe that some folks weren't convinced the earth was a globe until someone actually sailed all the way around it. 

1582 – In Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage licence; she was already pregnant with the couple's first child, to whom she gave birth six months later. Hathaway was 26 years old; Shakespeare was 18.

1925 – The Grand Ole Opry begins broadcasting in Nashville, Tennessee, as the WSM Barn Dance.

1964 – Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 4 probe toward Mars.

1967 – The first pulsar (PSR B1919+21, in the constellation of Vulpecula) was discovered by two astronomers Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Antony Hewish.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 22 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

   “A note of caution: We can never achieve goals that envy sets for us. Looking at your friends and wishing you had what they had is a waste of precious energy. Because we are all unique, what makes another happy may do the opposite for you. That's why advice is nice but often disappointing when heeded.”

~  Marcus Buckingham, British author, motivational speaker and business consultant


My first reaction after reading this quote:  Back in the day, knowledge management gurus were fond of talking about “best practices” – things that worked and worked well that could be shared from one organization to another.  One thing that KM managers started to struggle with pretty quickly was dealing with showing the results of those best practices, especially if you got a savvy boss that wanted to know what the ROI for the new programs was.  Turned out pretty quickly that what worked spectacularly for Organization A  only provided mediocre results in Organization B and made no difference at all in Organization C – the missing component being the environment of each organization, which differed wildly according to industry, location, and corporate culture [just to rattle off a couple of the variables].  KM as a discipline took a severe hit and ended up being perceived as yet another management fad.  Shame, many of us still work in stealth mode, making our contributions by encapsulating and sharing knowledge as much as we are able to do so


Of course I realize the message was not actually about the inability of knowledge management to prove its worth to organizations [especially small businesses] but to us as individuals warning us.  To compare oneself to the lives and times of others is an excellent way to generate some pretty negative feelings, which is bound to impact your all over well-being.  Let’s face it – some of those folks we see posting away on Facebook look like they are truly living the life of Riley.  For me, seeing folks my age who are happily retired and traveling all about can start me pouting, forgetting that I am just seeing what they choose to let me see, not any of the prices they had to pay or the choices they had to make and live with.    Nope, I stick to my own realm of existence and avoid wishing to have what others have, thank you very much – “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” as the saying goes.  That said?  I certainly would not mind winning the lottery…  or powerball… or megamillions….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 28, 2017

the post Thanksgiving blues....

Today is the 2nd day of the 48th week, the 27th day of the 11th month, the 331st day of 2017, and: 
  • Cyber Monday
  • National Bavarian Cream Pie Day
  • National Craft Jerky Day
  • National Electric Guitar Day
  • National Pins and Needles Day
  • Pie in the Face Day
  • Turtle Adoption Day
On this day:

AD 25 – Luoyang is declared capital of the Eastern Han dynasty by Emperor Guangwu of Han.  What got my attention about this entry was the archaic "AD" that was used --  these days you don’t see it very often.   "AD" has been used since the early medieval period, when the Anno Domini calendar era became the prevalent method in Europe for naming years.  In this protocol, "BC" denotes years before the start of the era and there is no year zero in this scheme, so the year AD 1 immediately follows the year 1 BC, which is why most experts agree that a new century begins in a year which has "01" as the final digits (e.g., 1801, 1901, 2001). 

1810 – The Berners Street hoax was perpetrated by Theodore Hook in the City of Westminster, London – it was quite the practical joke but you have to feel sympathy for the poor lady who bore the brunt of it

1830 – Saint Catherine Labouré experiences a Marian apparition.  I have worn a Miraculous Medal since my mother bought it for me when I graduated from CCD in high school.

1896 – Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss is first performed.  ((And there is an entire generation that immediately things "2001: A Space Odyssey" whenever we hear it.))

1924 – In New York City, the first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is held, establishing a tradition that has held throughout the years, although it is not the country's oldest parade -- the whole idea started with The Santa Claus Parade in Peoria, IL,  founded in 1887 under the sponsorship of Frederick Block and the Schipper & Block (later Block & Kuhl) Department Store.  That is held on the day after Thanksgiving and is the oldest, continuously-held holiday parade in the country.

1945 – CARE (then the Cooperative for American Remittances to Europe) was founded to a send CARE Packages of food relief to Europe after World War II.  ((I wonder if kids at came or college dorm students still call their packages from home CARE packages?))

1971 – The Soviet space program's Mars 2 orbiter releases a descent module. It malfunctions and crashes, but it is the first man-made object to reach the surface of Mars.

And today--  NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 16 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

The disturbers of happiness are our desires, our griefs, and our fears.”

~ Samuel Johnson, an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer


As I returned to work this morning, if felt like a very Monday-ish Monday.  It occurred to me there are 28 days to the next federal holiday, which will be Monday, December 25th.  Counting Tuesday 12.26 – and I do count that day since getting up and in the day after Christmas is really tough – there are four more Mondays in the year.  2017 is 91% history now.   Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?  Was there family and food, both to eat and for thought?  Was it a happy time for you?  Or was it over-shadowed in some way – unmet expectations, conflict and/or contention, worry about the future, grief for things that happened in the past?  And notice that swirling thoughts seldom are about anything really good happening – they usually involve obligations, duty, responsibility, finances, health issues, people you miss, problems you have to resolve.   With all those thoughts swirling about, I’m pretty sure whatever happy feelings I had were pretty much being overwhelmed and smothered and I’m betting that I’m not the only one who catches themselves sabotaging their own well-being and equanimity in this manner.




Everything that I can think of to say about how to counter our expectations, griefs and fears comes off like a tired platitude [Take a deep breath... Smile... Be grateful...  Live in the moment...  Yaddyyaddyyada.]   But you really do have a choice….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 27, 2017

Wednesday 11.22.2017

Not much is getting done today at work as all thoughts are about tomorrow....

((hey!  where's the saurkraut?))

And followed by

And then 

followed by 

*WHEW*   I'm tired already!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The Tuesday before Turkey Day

Today is the 3rd day of the 47th week, the 21st day of the 11th month, the 325th day of 2017 [there are 33 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Alascattalo Day (About Alaska & humor)
  • False Confession Day
  • National Entrepreneurship Day
  • National Gingerbread Day
  • National Red Mitten Day
  • National Stuffing Day
  • Pumpkin Pie Day
  • World Hello Day
  • World Television Day
On this day:

164 BC – Judas Maccabeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.  Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.  Hanukkah 2017 will begin in the evening of Tuesday, December 12 and ends in the evening of Wednesday, December 20

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

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

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

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

Today -- NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 33 mins 37 secs of light-travel time and Voyager II is 16 hrs 08 mins 45 secs of light-travel time from Earth


There are things that I really really really don’t want to read about.  Like the latest sex scandals as the powerful are called out for their antics.  Seriously folks, you are surprised that power corrupts? Or about tax reform – the rich are making sure that they stay rich by tromping down on everyone else.  The latest antics of the administration, whether it is about the latest tweet storm or politicizing the Census Bureau or gutting rights in the name of “national security” or any of the maneuvers that foretell the powerful wanting to make sure they stay in power.  Anything defending the way the US handles gums.    Seriously, one could start suffering from PTSD from just staying up-to-date on current events.    How can we possibly influence this deluge of ….  [insert profanity or potty word of your choice here]?


While I am a firm believer in cultivating your own patch of the world – as Goethe famously said  “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean” --  I am also torn by my civic duty, the need to speak up for what is right and just.   We can’t just sit back and let others carry the load or let the forces of intolerance and hatred win!


And so another blog post ends indeterminately, sounding just vaguely bewildered by everything that is happening as I feel.


I’m going back to my 2nd Life….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 21, 2017

yup, it's Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 47th week, the 20th day of the 11th month, the 324th day of 2017, and: 
  • Africa Industrialization Day
  • Beautiful Day
  • Future Teachers of American Day – I belonged to this club all through school because I was going to be a teacher and never knew it had its own holiday
  • Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day [aka GOHARD] – yeah, they engineered that name just to come up with a “cute” set of initials
  • Name Your PC Day – my PC is always called beladona, because that is who I am online.  Ah the days when you had to have a user name that was exactly eight letters in lower case
  • National Absurdity Day
  • National Peanut Butter Fudge Day – hands down my very favorite kind of fudge!  OC, NJ used to have several shops that made this – there was one that would do a layer of peanut butter fudge with a layer of chocolate on the bottom that was just heavenly
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance – there is a sad list of those lost to bigotry
  • Universal Children's Day – hmmpf!  My parents always told me that every day was children’s day, which is why we didn’t get a holiday like mothers and fathers
On this day:

1820 – An 80-ton sperm whale attacks the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. The ship sank, and the surviving crew were reduced to cannibalism before they were rescued.  First Mate Owen Chase returned to Nantucket on 11 June 1821 and four months later completed an account of the disaster, the Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship Essex;  the cabin boy, Thomas Nickerson, became a captain in the Merchant Service and later wrote another account of the sinking, titled The Loss of the Ship "Essex" Sunk by a Whale and the Ordeal of the Crew in Open Boats.  Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby-Dick is in part inspired by this story.

1942 - US Army Corps of Engineers cut the ribbon on the 2451 km long Alcan Highway, running from Dawson Creek, BC, through the Yukon and on to Fairbanks, Alaska.  It is still pretty much the only way to drive from the lower 48 to Alaska.

1959 – The Declaration of the Rights of the Child [AKA the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child] is adopted by the United Nations.  The document listed five things that "... The child that is hungry must be fed, the child that is sick must be nursed, the child that is backward must be helped, the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and succoured....."

1974 – The United States Department of Justice files its final anti-trust suit against AT&T Corporation. This suit later leads to the breakup of AT&T and its Bell System.  I'm still not 100% certain this was a good thing.  OTOH, it was definitely a monopoly -- bear in mind, we only had land lines at this time.  OTOH, the transition was both lengthy and painful and many prices for services went up dramatically.

1976 - Gordon Lightfoot's single, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald, telling the story of the shipwreck of an ore carrier during a gale on Lake Superior November 10, 1975, peaks at #2 on the Billboard pop char

1980 – Lake Peigneur drains into an underlying salt deposit. A misplaced Texaco oil probe had been drilled into the Diamond Crystal Salt Mine, causing water to flow down into the mine, eroding the edges of the hole.  The resulting whirlpool sucked in the drilling platform, eleven barges [nine resurfaced later], many trees and 65 acres (26 ha) of the surrounding terrain.  No human lives were lost -- 55 miners were able to evacuate, the crew of the drilling rig got off in time and a local fisherman was  able to motor away from the maelstorm -- but three dogs were reported killed.

1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.  It seemed so unwieldy at first to those of us accustomed to DOS, but the mouse becoming more common equipment made a big differnce

Quote of the day

"Do not falter or shrink; But just think out your work, And just work out your think."

~  Nixon Waterman (1859 - 1944) newspaper writer, poet and Chautauqua lecturer

So it is Monday.  I am lucky that I have a job to come to and can work at a salary that enables me to be fairly comfortable.  And it is a short week because I have off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving, a luxury that many folks do not have.  Oh I would like to retire, and to travel more, but at least I don’t need a net income of $190,000 a year to pay a driver, a chef, and a housekeeper.  I guess my “happiness number” would be a gross reitred income of about  $200K a year to permit me to live the life that I would like to become accustomed to….




47 Mondays down, only five more to go for the year!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 20, 2017

the Friday before Thanksgiving

Today is the 6th day of the 46th week,  the 17th day of the 11th month, the 321st day of 2017, and: 
  • Electronic Greeting Card Day
  • Homemade Bread Day
  • International STAND UP to Bullying Day
  • International Students' Day
  • National Baklava Day
  • National Farm Joke Day
  • National Take a Hike Day
  • National Unfriend Day
  • Petroleum Day
  • Substitute Educators Day
  • The Little Mermaid Day
  • World Peace Day
  • World Prematurity Awareness Day


1800 – The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.  Why DC?  It was designated as the capital back on July 16, 1790 because at the time it was the geographic center of the United States

1858 – Modified Julian Day zero; astronomers had originally taken noon GMT -4712-01-01 JC (January 1st, 4713 BC) as the start of the Julian Calendar.  The modification provided that a day be defined as to begin at midnight rather than noon, and for dates in the period from 1859 to about 2130 only five digits need to be used to specify the date rather than seven.  Did you know that a "day" has different definitions?  Generally when calendricists use the term "days" they are talking of nychthemerons.

1869 – In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is inaugurated.

1950 – Lhamo Dondrub is officially named the 14th Dalai Lama at the age of 15, a position he still holds today.

1970 - The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon -- the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world and is released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.

1973 - President Nixon told an Associated Press managing editors meeting in Orlando FL, that ``people have got to know whether or not their president is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook.''  He resigned 265 days later to avoid impeachment.

1978 – The Star Wars Holiday Special airs on CBS, receiving negative reception from critics, fans, and even Star Wars creator George Lucas.  ((it was pretty awful))

And today - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 33 mins 09 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

   “It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.”

~ Mother Teresa


Yesterday the House passed a tax bill that benefits the richest members of our society.  The Senate is pondering a tax bill that does the same thing, and adds a provision that eviscerates the Affordable Care Act [AKA Obamacare].    Why do these “good” Christians feel that their mission is to only help the wealthy while ignoring those who are in desperate need of assistance?    They go to church.  They profess to love God, to follow Christ, to be moral.   Why doesn’t the plight of those on lower down on the economic ladder touch their hearts?   Because Calvinism teaches them that while they have to “love thy neighbor as thyself”, they take it as an abstract – it has nothing to do with THOSE people.    They only have to love people who are far away, not the desperate folks outside the legislative chambers.    While all of us find it easier to love humans than love our fellow human,  the measure of a society’s morality is in the ability to take care of the less fortunate for the fortunate few take care of their selves….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, November 17, 2017

all the feels

Today is the 3rd day of the 46th week, the 14th day of the 11th month, the 318th day of 2017, and: 
  • International Girls Day
  • International Selfie Day
  • Loosen Up, Lighten Up Day
  • National American Teddy Bear Day
  • National Pickle Day
  • National Spicy Guacamole Day
  • National Young Readers' Day
  • Operating Room Nurse Day
  • Spirit of National Speakers Association Day
  • World Diabetes Day
On this day :

1770 – James Bruce discovers what he believes to be the source of the Nile -- but modern historians give the credit to the Jesuit Pedro Páez, who gave a vivid account of the source of the Nile in Ethiopia.

1851 – Moby-Dick, a novel by Herman Melville, is published in the USA.

1886 – Friedrich Soennecken first developed the hole puncher, a type of office tool capable of punching small holes in paper.

1889 – Pioneering female journalist Nellie Bly (aka Elizabeth Cochrane) begins a successful attempt to travel around the world in less than 80 days. She completes the trip in 72 days.

1922 – The British Broadcasting Company begins radio service in the United Kingdom.

1969 – NASA launches Apollo 12, the second crewed mission to the surface of the Moon.

1971 – Mariner 9 enters orbit around Mars.

1972 - the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 1,000 for the first time, ending the day at 1,003.16.

1978 – France conducts the Aphrodite nuclear test as 25th in the group of 29, 1975–78 French nuclear tests.


A researcher spent time watching people lean on plinths, feel hieroglyphics, and fist-bump statues in order to understand why we touch exhibits.  It was an interesting article, bit of a long read, and commented on the need for humans to engage their sense of feel at times in order to connect with the history or art.  There is a tension between preservation and enjoyment – who hasn’t gone to see something only to be disappointed to find out that they can only view part of it from a distance?  And there are treasures, such as the Palaeolithic cave paintings in  Lascaux Cave near Montignac, France, that are no longer even open to the public.   Not that there isn’t good reason for this protectiveness given that there are always those who seem to be willing to wantonly destroy treasures


Some years ago, the first time Frank, Tom, and I went to the Kennedy Space Center, I experienced this need in a very profound way.   We spent the day there, taking the historical tours, clicking our cameras, watching the films and lectures, wandering about.  Although we touched the moon rock on display, the impact of that was minimal – too many hands had worn it smooth and it didn’t feel like a moon rock [that said without knowing how a moon rock is supposed to feel after all].  Three experiences from that trip stand out in my memory:  First, the thickness of the tiny windows in the concrete bunker where the first rockets were tested – the scientists used to peer out those windows and watch the flame underneath the rockets, adjusting the fuel mix until the color looked right before launch.  Second, the command center that guided astronauts to the moon – I remember seeing that on TV and it looked so …. high tech!  But in person and decades later, it looked shabby and thrown together.  The guide pointed out that we had home PCs that were more powerful than the wall of computer we faced – and there were places where the wires had been spliced together with duct tape – and we sent men to the moon using that.  And last, the Apollo 14 command module.  It is on display and encased with a clear acrylic shell for preservation.  While the guide was talking, Frank [who was very observant], tapped my shoulder then pulled both Tom and I away from the front of the display to the back where he was standing and pointed.  There was a tiny gap between the acrylic plates where they overlapped, just large enough to wriggle a fiber through and actually touch the capsule.   Actually touch something that had been to the moon and back!  We were thrilled beyond measure.   A couple years later, we took my daughter and the gap was still there and she got to touch it too, but then when we returned again, the gap had been repaired and the opportunity lost.  I’m sure the module is being carefully preserved and I am glad for that, but I mourn that my granddaughters will not have that same moment of connection.  At what point are things so well protected that they can no longer be enjoyed?  

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 14, 2017

yet another Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 46th week, the 13th day of the 11th month, the 317th day of 2017, and: 
  • Actors' Day
  • National Indian Pudding Day
  • National Mom's and Dad's Day
  • Sadie Hawkins Day -- an American folk event and pseudo-holiday originated by Al Capp's classic hillbilly comic strip Li'l Abner (1934–1978)
  • Start a Rumor Day
  • World Kindness Day
  • World Orphans Day
On this day:

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

1896 -  Te Maari, a crater at the northern end of the Tongariro range in New Zealand, erupted spectacularly. It continued to erupt sporadically for nearly a year

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

1947 – The Soviet Union completes development of the AK-47, one of the first proper assault rifles. – a military assault weapon that has made its way into civilian life

1971 -  space probe Mariner 9 reaches Mars and goes into orbit, but scientists have to wait for clear pictures because of a Martian dust storm.

1974 – Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murders his entire family in Amityville, Long Island in the house that would become known as The Amityville Horror [film adaptations in 1979 and 2005]

1976 - Gordon Lightfoot's single, The Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald, peaks at #1 on the Billboard pop chart.

1982 – Ray Mancini defeats Duk Koo Kim in a boxing match held in Las Vegas. Kim's subsequent death of a subdural hematoma (on November 17) leads to significant changes in the sport.  Minutes after the fight was over, Kim collapsed into a coma, and was removed from the Caesars Palace arena on a stretcher.  These included: reduction of title fights from fifteen rounds to twelve; new medical procedures were introduced to fighters' pre-fight checkups, such as electrocardiograms, brain tests, and lung tests; the number of ring ropes was increased from three to four to prevent fighters from falling through the ropes and out of the ring.

1997 - The Disney musical "The Lion King" opened on Broadway – I’ve seen this show.  You may think that making a play from a cartoon wouldn’t be something you would want to see, but it is a spectacular show.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 32 mins 39 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"There's so many of these songs that either are very overtly or kind of quietly speaking to the island of broken toys. It's the people that are, for whatever reason, outsiders –- people that feel like they don't fit in, in one way or another, those songs are there for them."

~ Michael Stipe, R.E.M. about the hit song Everybody Hurts 


For those of us lucky enough to get off on Friday for the federal holiday [Veterans’ Day] on Saturday, it was a long weekend.  And yet as I talk to those around me, the general consensus is that it wasn’t terribly relaxing or long enough.  Already we are setting our sights on next weekend, or to the Thanksgiving holiday – a focus being aided and abetted by the number of Black Friday ads already surfacing.  The holidays are bearing down upon us with all their burdens and joys, all the expectations and worries, all the celebrations and the parties.  Thanksgiving is the official start of that holiday season, and it will be here in just ten days.  Christmas follows 32 days later.  The end of the year is only 46 days away.  My first thought, as my daughter faces a bilateral mastectomy a week before Christmas, is that I wish it was all over and done with and she was on the road to recovery.   I look at my goals for 2017, especially the spiritual ones, and wonder why my second thought is that I haven’t finished my Christmas shopping and what I have hasn’t been wrapped.  Have I lost the reason for the season?   It is a time that seems to leave some behind it its wake as it plows on and the refrain of the Country & Western song I once wrote starts to sound in my ears:


Good people think of me when you go to pray,

For the Lord and I we haven’t had a lot to say,

And Heaven only knows just when I lost my way,

But Christmas this year is just another day…..


And then I take a deep breath.  Time to resolve to take it one day at a time, neh?   The holidays will come and go.  First, let me get through Monday….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 13, 2017

Ah November....

Today is the 5th day of the 45th week, the 9th day of the 11th month, the 313th day of 2017, and: 
  • Carl Sagan Day – he would’ve been 83 today
  • Go to an Art Museum Today Day
  • Independence Day:  Cambodia from France in 1953
  • International Tempranillo Day ((a type of grape indigenous to Spain and used in the Rioja and Ribera del Duero wines))
  • Kristallnacht [AKA "Night of Broken Glass"] – in 1938 Nazis looted and burned synagogues and Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria
  • National Chaos Never Dies Day
  • National Microtia Awareness Day
  • National Scrapple Day
  • World Freedom Day --  started in 2001, a United States federal observance declared by then-President George W. Bush to commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe
  • World Usability Day
On this day in....

1620 – Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts after being at sea for about 96 days. There were 102 passengers, and the crew is estimated to have been about 30

1965 - A faulty relay switch fails at 5:16 pm at Ontario Hydro's Queenston generating station, causing a power outage that plunges New York City into darkness at the height of rush hour, and trapping 800,000 people in subways, elevators and skyscrapers. Over 30 million people in Ontario, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire lose power for most of the night

1967 – NASA launches the unmanned Apollo 4 test spacecraft atop the first Saturn V rocket from Cape Kennedy, Florida.

1970 – The Supreme Court of the United States votes 6–3 against hearing a case to allow Massachusetts to enforce its law granting residents the right to refuse military service in an undeclared war.

1979 – A nuclear false alarm is raised when a technician in NORAD loaded a test tape, but failed to switch the system status to "test", causing a stream of constant false warnings to spread to two "continuity of government" bunkers as well as command posts worldwide.  As a result, the NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detected purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early-warning radars, the alert is cancelled.

1998 – Capital punishment in the United Kingdom, already abolished for murder, is completely abolished for all remaining capital offences.  To date -- 57 countries retain it in both law and practice; 28 have it in law but haven't executed anyone in ten or more years; 8 have abolished it, but retain it for exceptional or special circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime); and 103 have abolished it for all crimes

2005 – The Venus Express mission of the European Space Agency is launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan; the objective of the mission was the long term observation of the Venusian atmosphere.

2017 -- NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 32 mins 07 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

The last dying days of summer, fall coming on fast. A cold night, the first of the season, a change from the usual bland Maryland climate. Cold, thought the boy; his mind felt numb. The trees he could see through his bedroom window were tall charcoal sticks, shivering, afraid of the wind or only trying to stand against it. Every tree was alone out there. The animals were alone, each in its hole, in its thin fur, and anything that got hit on the road tonight would die alone. Before morning, he thought, its blood would freeze in the cracks of the asphalt.”

Poppy Z. Brite [AKA Billy Martin], American author.


For the first time this season, I got out my winter coat this morning.  It isn’t that it is that cold outside, but it is chilly and damp typical November day – the first  and I don’t like being cold – who does?  This time of year always makes me think of my father….  Dad worked on the pipeline in Prudhoe Bay and lived for a while in Anchorage, Alaska.  Now I lived there too for a bit, and while it is definitely cold, it is a really dry cold and you can bundle up against it.  Don’t get me wrong – 70 below zero is COLD, but you could layer up and stay warm.  So when my father would fly into town to go to Thanksgiving dinner at Grandmom’s he was pretty casual about it being in the upper 30s and low 40s – after all, he was used to living and working in subzero conditions for crying out loud!  So he would stroll off the plane with a light jacket or blazar on….  And thrice he went back to Alaska wearing a heavy winter coat and boots that he had to buy here during his stay, much to my [unexpressed] amusement.  You see, living in such a dry climate, he had forgotten how the damp aggravates the feeling of cold, how the moisture seems to seep into your bones, and how once you got chilled you couldn’t get warm again.   November does that to you – the bright colors of fall fading, the weather turning dank, the holidays are over the horizon out of sight, and the gloom starts to seep into your very soul – I always wonder around this time of year why I never picked up and moved to Florida to work for the House of the Mouse like I always said that I would because right about now, the summer heat doesn’t seem so bad even with high humdity. 




And there are freeze warnings for tonight, the first killing frost of the season is nigh….   Ah November!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, November 9, 2017

the Trump dump....

Today is the 3rd day of the 45th week, the 7th day of the 11th month, the 311th day of 2017, and: 
  • Election Day (US)
  • Employee Brotherhood Day (SpongeBob Squarepants)
  • Hug a Bear Day
  • International Merlot Day
  • Little League Girls Day
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
  • Notary Public Day
On this day in...

1492 – The Ensisheim meteorite, the oldest meteorite with a known date of impact, strikes the Earth around noon in a wheat field outside the village of Ensisheim, Alsace, France.

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

1911 - Marie Curie became the first multiple Nobel Prize winner when she was given the award for chemisty eight years after garnering the physics prize with her late husband, Pierre. (She remains the only woman with multiple Nobels and the only person to receive the award in two science categories.)

1996 – NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 31 mins 52 secs of light-travel time and Voyager 2‏  is 16 hrs 06 mins 22 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Bias.  The one thing that we were taught in Journalism 101 was the 5th Estate had the responsibility of reporting the news, of sharing facts not opinions.  But we were also taught how to phrase things to make them readable, which meant tailoring the language and vocabulary to the standard reading level, and also to make them interesting – and it is the latter that tends to get things a bit twisted when you start with “knowing your audience”.  You learn which stories will sell, and which will not.  You learn that when you weight your words with semantic overtones then you can utilize underlying meanings to supplement the paucity of words in the space you are allotted so that you can tell the story you perceive and slowly, inexorably, you slip from objective fact to subjective interpretation


Yesterday there was a flurry of activity in the news and in social media.  DJT had done it again and made himself into the clownish quintessential Ugly American, breaking delicate Japanese protocols and turning ceremony into charade.  The story was picked up and spread by newscasts and articles.  Except that isn’t what happened – the video present had been edited.  In one small story, the entire ridiculous and constant claims of “fake news” was glaringly shown to have some basis in all too real fact.   And how does this happen?  Let’s be kind and assume they are trying to tell a compelling story, and looking for ways to illustrate their narrative.  We won’t assume that it is a naked propaganda effort, or at least I won’t but I guarantee you that there are others who feel that way.   No this is not the fault of “social media”, editing/cropping pictures and text has been around for a very long time; in fact, I would argue that they both have been in play since we started writing things down to be shared.  Case in point:




Obviously if you only see the picture on the left, you are seeing an American soldier brutalizing a hapless prisoner.  If you only see the picture on the right, you are seeing an American soldier offering aid to a distressed person.  Only if you see the entire picture is the conflicted nuances apparent – the man is both a prisoner and being offered water – but that doesn’t necessarily tell a story that fits in with the narrative the reporter or the editor is trying to convey.  Personally I resent having narratives thrust at me that show everything in black and white.  I detest DJT [and HRC for that matter when you come right down to it], but I don’t demonize either of them even when I deplore their actions – and I don’t think Bernie is a perfect solution either.  They are human and therefore a mixture of positives and negatives, neh?  So give the devil his due now and then!  There are many of us who are looking for that kind of reporting though!  It certainly would be less stressful than trying to read all the different sides and piecing together the picture on our own as we struggle to stay informed
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Today is the 2nd day of the 45th week, the 6th day of the 11th month, the 310th day of 2017, and: 
  • Basketball Day
  • Fill Our Staplers Day: 6 (always Day after Daylight Savings Ends)
  • International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
  • Job Action Day
  • Malaria Day in the Americas
  • Marooned Without a Compass Day
  • National Nachos Day
  • National Saxophone Day
  • Traffic Directors Day
On this day:


1528 – Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in the area that would become Texas.  His ship was wrecked on or near Galveston Island as they were trying to get to Mexico -- searching for a city of gold. 

1944 – Plutonium is first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility and subsequently used in the Fat Man atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.

1971 – The United States Atomic Energy Commission tests the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.

1995 – Cleveland Browns relocation controversy: Art Modell announces that he signed a deal that would relocate the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, the first time the city had a NFL team since 1983 when they were the Baltimore Colts.  This was pretty controversial, especially because later Cleveland was awarded another franchise; many felt that we should've waited to get a team rather than take one from somewhere else

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 31 mins 42 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Today has often been election day as Election Day in the United States is the Tuesday following the first Monday in November, which can fall on or between November 2 and November 8 [and overall it seems to be a good day for Republicans]:

1860 – Abraham Lincoln is elected as the 16th President defeating Democrat Stephen A. Douglas

1861 – Jefferson Davis is elected president of the Confederate States of America, running unopposed

1900 - William B. McKinley is reelected President defeating Democrat William Jennings Bryan.

1928 – Herbert Hoover is elected the 31st President defeating Democrat Alfred E. Smith

1956 – Dwight D. Eisenhower is reelected President defeating Democrat Adlai E. Stevenson

1984 – Ronald Reagan is reelected President defeating Democrat Walter Mondale

2012 – Barack Obama is reelected President defeating Republican Mitt Romney


Quote of the day:

"We cheerfully assume that in some mystic way love conquers all, that good outweighs evil in the just balances of the universe and that at the eleventh hour something gloriously triumphant will prevent the worst before it happens."

~ Brooks Atkinson (1894 - 1984), American theatre critic


There are times when the quote that comes across for the day seems to tie in with the things that happened on this day.  Today is one of those days, but teasing out the connection that I see so that it can be articulated is a bit of a challenge for some reason.  In order for one team to win, the other team has to lose.   Bob Irsay took our Colts to Indianapolis [on March 29th, 1984 in Mayflower moving vans, and Baltimore never forgave or forgot] and Art Modell changed the Cleveland Browns to the Baltimore Ravens eleven years later [at least he had the dignity to change the name and branding].  Each move left some fans howling with anger and despair but the NFL plowed forward and life went on in the sports world.  For one man…   *coughs*   for one person to become the President, someone else failed to do so, and they and their followers must live under the new administration for the next four years.   


At no point do we think that it can be the end of life as we know it – football continues to be played and Inauguration Day rolled around on January 20th of the next year -- and yet I find myself thinking about the frog in boiling water analogy.  Do we accept the loss because we are just assuming that everything will ultimately be okay and we are guilty of sitting around in complacency while things fall apart around us?

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 6, 2017

DST becomes EST

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, November 4, 2017

the 1st Friday in November

Today is the 6th day of the 44th week, the 3rd day of the 11th month, the 307th day of 2017, and: 
  • Cliché Day
  • Fountain Pen Day
  • Give Someone a Dollar Today Day
  • Independence Day --   Panama from Colombia in 1903; Dominica from the United Kingdom in 1978; the Federated States of Micronesia from the United States in 1986
  • Love Your Lawyer Day
  • National Housewife Day
  • National Jersey Friday
  • National Medical Science Liaison Awareness and Appreciation Day
  • National Sandwich Day
  • Punkin Chunkin – the festival was scheduled to start today but cancelled on 8/23/17 for "Legal Reasons" --  a law suit has been filed following an accident last year but there have also been safety issues and insurance requirements
  • Public Television Day: 3
  • Stout Day

On this day in:


1873 - First 150 North West Mounted Police (NWMP) recruits sworn in at Lower Fort Garry after arduous overland journey from the east; training begins for their march westward in 1874; recruited by the militia from Ontario, Québec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

1957 – Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika.  She was never expected to return -- apparently she was supposed to eat a poisoned meal and die quietly before the fiery re-entry, but when things went wrong she perished rather horribly within hours of dehydration and overheating

1973 – NASA launches the Mariner 10 toward Mercury. On March 29, 1974, it becomes the first space probe to reach that planet.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 31 mins 16 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"A man said to the universe: “Sir I exist!”

“However,” replied the universe, “The fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”"

~ Stephen Crane, writer


Does the universe care?  I remember back in the day when I thought our generation was going to change the world, when I truly believed what I said and did would make a real difference in the course of events.  I had this conviction despite my studies of history, social sciences, and politics.  I held this conviction in the teeth of my mother’s disdain, my contemporaries amusement, and Gramdmom Hughes’ obvious tolerance of foolishness.   I was going to make a difference.  I was going to matter.  I was not going to be just another cog in the wheel.   When I look back at this belief, I am both bewildered at the certainty  I felt that  I would be able to do this -- whether as a teacher, or by joining the Peace Corps, or by entering a career in the State Department [the Peace Corp and the State Department were my fall back plan if I didn’t feel I was succeeding as a teacher] or through my writings – and confounded that I don’t remember the loss of such an overwhelming conviction.   Was it when  it became apparent that the job of my dreams was not available?  Was it when I faced the reality that my writing was not catching anyone’s imagination but my own?  Was it when I got pregnant and realized that I had a new life for which I was responsible?  Whatever the catalyst was, by my mid-20s I decided that the universe did not particularly care about me, that my life and times were not a focal point on which far-reaching change was hung, and that changing the course of history was beyond my sphere of influence.


But somewhere, hidden deep inside the pragmatic thinking and prosaic determination, is that youngling who refuses to accept anonymity and still dreams of making a difference and I really like her.   May she always dance in those inner regions of my soul

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, November 3, 2017

All Saints Day

Today is the 4th day of the 44th week, the 1st day of the 11th month, the 305th day of 2017 [with only 53 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • All Saint's Day
  • Autistic Speaking Day
  • Dia de Los Muertos: 1 (Day of The Dead)
  • Extra Mile Day
  • Give Up Your Should's Day
  • Hockey Mask Day
  • Independence Day:  Antigua and Barbuda from the United Kingdom in 1981.
  • International Stress Awareness Day
  • National Author's Day
  • National Calzone Day
  • National Deep Fried Clams Day
  • National Eating Healthy Day
  • National Family Literacy Day
  • National Go Cook For Your Pets Day
  • National Vinegar Day
  • Prime Meridian Day – set up in 1884
  • World Vegan Day

On this day:

1512 – The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, is exhibited to the public for the first time.  He had begun working on it in 1508

1520 – The Strait of Magellan, the passage immediately south of mainland South America connecting the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans, is first discovered and navigated by European explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the first recorded circumnavigation voyage.

1604 – William Shakespeare's tragedy Othello is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.

1611 – Shakespeare's play The Tempest is performed for the first time, at Whitehall Palace in London.

1765 – The British Parliament enacts the Stamp Act on the Thirteen Colonies in order to help pay for British military operations in North America.  It required revenue stamps to be placed on commercial and legal documents, pamphlets, newspapers, almanacs, playing cards and dice. It was repealed in 1766. Historians tend to see the colonists' reactions to this as the beginning of the American revolution because it was seen as taxation without representation and a violation of their rights as Englishmen. 

1894 – Thomas Edison films American sharpshooter Annie Oakley, which is instrumental in her hiring by Buffalo Bill for his Wild West Show in 1885.  She promoted the service of women in combat operations for the United States armed forces as 'lady sharpshooters'.

1895 - First Paid Film Screening The Griffo-Barnett prize boxing fight is shown to a paying audience in a store on lower Broadway. This was the first paying audience for a film.

1896 – A picture showing the bare breasts of a woman appears in National Geographic magazine for the first time as a result of an editorial decision to show pictuares of natives as they actually are

1941 – American photographer Ansel Adams takes a picture of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico that would become one of the most famous images in the history of photography

1944 - Harvey by Mary Coyle Chase opens in New York, featuring a giant imaginary rabbit.  Most folks don’t realize that it was a play first since the 1950 movie is remembered so fondly

1950 – Pope Pius XII claims papal infallibility when he formally defines the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.  Popes are only considered infallible when speaking ex cathedra [with papal authority], otherwise he is as prone to error as any human.  Although it was always part of Roman Catholicism, it was affirmed by Vatican I in  1870 and since then this is the only example.

1952 – The United States successfully detonates Ivy Mike, the first hydrogen bomb in a test at Eniwetok atoll in the Marshall Islands.


Word of the day:apodictic – an adjective defined as expressing or of the nature of necessary truth or absolute certainty




Actually, bread wasn’t sold already sliced until 1928 – and not everyone was impressed.  It was even banned during WWII because the steel that went into the slicing machines was supposedly needed for military purposes, but there was such a public outcry that the ban was quickly lifted, the government claiming the steel savings weren’t as much as projected.  Having worked for a couple of years in a bakery, this particular saying has always amused me because when buying fresh bread, people have pretty strong opinions on how it should be sliced.   And if you have ever baked bread, cutting it can be a bit of a challenge to do without squashing the bread!  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 1, 2017

All Hallows Eve

Today is the 3rd day of the 44th week, the 31st day of the 10th month, the 304th day of 2017, and: 
  • Books for Treats Day
  • Carve a Pumpkin Day
  • Day of the Seven Billion
  • Girl Scout Founder's Day
  • Halloween or All Hallows Eve
  • National Caramel Apple Day
  • National Doorbell Day
  • National Increase Your Psychic Powers Day
  • National Knock-Knock Jokes Day
  • National Magic Day
  • Reformation Day (various Protestant churches with a particular emphasis in Lutheran and Reformed ones)
  • Samhain
  • Scare a Friend Day
  • Sneak Some of the Candy Yourself Before the Kids Start Knocking Day
  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Day
  • World Cities Day
  • World Savings Day -- announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks) in 1924 to bring to mind the thought of saving to the worldwide public and its relevance to the economy and the individual
On this day:

1938 - The day after his "War of the Worlds" broadcast had panicked radio listeners, Orson Welles expressed "deep regret" but also bewilderment that anyone had thought the show was real.

1941 – After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed.  If you haven't been there, I recommend making the trip.  I was indifferent to it until we went, and the entire family was fascinated by the monument, which the kids christened "the Presidents' Faces".  Photos really don't do it justice!

2000 – Soyuz TM-31 launches, carrying the first resident crew to the International Space Station. The ISS has been crewed continuously since then.

2011 - the day that has been officially designated by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as the approximate day on which the world's population reached seven billion people.

2017 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 30 mins 49 secs of light-travel time and Voyager 2‏is 16 hrs 05 mins 07 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"I will permit no man to narrow and degrade my soul by making me hate him."

~ Booker T. Washington (1856 - 1915), American Educator and Black Leader


Hate” is a strong word, one that gets bandied about as often as “love” as we ever are searching for words to indicate strong emotions.  While I will and have stated that I hate liver, and have not only refused to eat it but never served it to my kids, the truth is that I just dislike it intensely [like coconut].  I have two ex-husbands, and while I still have some emotional baggage from the marriages, I cannot say that I ever “hated” them – never gave them that much control over me and the divorces taught me that the opposite of love was not hate, but indifference.  It was years later that I found out that insight was not original, and there was a famous quote that reflected  it already, but for me, the revelation that if I had strong feelings for or about someone, then I was ceding to that person a measure of control over my life was pretty stunning


Enjoy your evening….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 31, 2017

happy Monday

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 30, 2017

there oughta be a law....

Seriously folks, can we just enjoy Halloween and Thanksgiving before plunging into the Christmas season?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, October 29, 2017

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