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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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beladona Memorial

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

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leaving this world

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


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

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

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

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

1742 - Benjamin Franklin invents his Franklin stove

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

1788 - Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1985 - Russian space probe Vega 1 lands on Venus

1991 - Microsoft releases MS DOS 5.0

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

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

2017 - Japan passes law allowing Emperor Akihito to abdicate

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


Quote of the day:

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

~  Graham Greene, The Lost Childhood


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




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

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

75 years ago

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

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

TGIFridays redeems itself

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1937 - Henry Ford initiates a 32 hour work week

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

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

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

1991 - Space Shuttle STS 40 (Columbia 12) launched

2007 - MESSENGER spacecraft performs a second flyby of Venus

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

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




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

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

One Decade

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

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

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

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

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

the first Monday in June

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

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

~  Thanissaro Bhikkhu, “We Are Not One


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


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




81 and 6

One memory, one making memories

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

work history

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

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

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


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

ah Clippy!

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

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

knowing what you don't know...

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

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

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

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

1889 - Édouard and André Michelin incorporate the Michelin tyre company

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

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

1937 – Volkswagen, the German automobile manufacturer is founded.

1957 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

~ Eric Hoffer, American moral and social philosopher


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




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

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

Memorial Day 2019

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

Are you happy?

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

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


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


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

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

where did they go?

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

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

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


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

saving babies.....

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

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

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

Do they offer sex education and contraceptives to teens? 

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

the story you tell yourself

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

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

Etc etc and so forth….

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


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

my side of the story VS yours

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

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

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


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

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

yeah about that choice thing....

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

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

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



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

Holy week

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

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


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

Quote of the day:

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

-- Janet Malcom, “Three Sisters”


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


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




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

my home

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

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

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


And then?  You have to unpack!!!

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

this and that

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

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

another year older....

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

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

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


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

The last Tuesday of March

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1958 – The United States Army launches Explorer 3.

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

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

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

1983 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

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


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



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

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

the last Monday of March

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

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

who are you really?

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

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

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

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


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

Ostara 2019

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

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

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


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

the nose brings memories....

Today is the 1st day of the 12th, week, the 17th day of the 3rd month, the 76th day of 2019

The smell wafts up into the apartment and I glance at the time.  It is a about half past 11 on a Sunday morning, and someone below me is making Sunday dinner.  My stomach growls. 

Memories of past Sundays wash over me -- walking into Grandmom Hughes' house, through the back door and Grandmom at the counter turning around to give me a hug.  The kitchen awash with smells, pots on the stove bubbling, the oven making spitting noises as the roast beast [turkey, or pork shoulder, or beef] stews in its juices.  Grandmom cooked pretty much every Sunday and you made it if you could.  Usually we were there every other week or so, or sometimes once a month, always letting her know when we were coming, always being told we were welcome anytime, there would be enough.  There was meat, and potatoes -- lots and lots of potatoes mashed with butter and milk and gravy to go over them made with the drippings from the pan.  There were fresh baked rolls, rolls that no matter how many times her granddaughters were to make them from Grandmom's own receipe, only tasted that way when she made them.  There was "slaw" and she made some type of white dressing with Miracle Whip and vinegar and sugar, and there was always an extra cup of it because my cousin Holly really liked it and put it on her mashed potatoes.  There was the lingering smell of some yummy cake or pie that had been cooked that morning for desert.  It was a big kitchen, but with three or four women in it, some of us would pull out a chair and get out of the way, sitting by the table and sharing the doings of the past week[s].  

Then there are the times when I would make dinner, my abode full of the smells of the oven roasting and the saucepans rattling.  Or when I go and visit my and others weave in and out of the kitchen, frying, baking boiling, roasting, broiling, grilling.   Each has its own delicious odor, and the smell of it when you enter a house is enough to make your mouth water.  Sometimes but not always, restuarants can have that impact.  I remember the first Thanksgiving Frank and I were together -- Tom was not with us that day and Frank was not working, so we decided to go to a very good seafood restaurant called the Middleborough Inn for Thanksgiving dinner.   They were known for their crabcakes and that was what we were both going to get, I think, for we were both feeling a bit down and not very holidayish at all.  Then, when we got the car parked and got out, the smells of roasting turkeys punctuated with the pungency of sauerkraut washed over us ....  We both got a very traditional turkey dinner.

I don't enjoy cooking for myself and I don't have the occassion to cook for others.  In this busy time it seems that few folks in the building have time to mess with traditional meals, so my apartment is seldom innudated with the good smells of dinner.  But someone either on my tier or in my hall is making Sunday dinner today, and the smells are coming through the vent or from under my door and it smells wonderful.  Maybe they are celebrating St Patrick's Day?  Although it doesn't smell like corned beef and cabbage....

Microwave dinners just don't cut it sometimes.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, March 17, 2019


Today is the 6th day of the 11th week, the 15th day of the 3rd month, the 74th day of 2019, and: 
  • Buzzards Day
  • Dumbstruck Day
  • Everything You Think is Wrong Day
  • Ides of March
  • International Day of Action Against Canadian Seal Slaughter
  • International Day Against Police Brutality
  • National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence
  • International Eat an Animal for PETA Day
  • National Brutus Day
  • National Peanut Lovers Day
  • National Pears Helene Day
  • national Preschool Teachers Appreciation Day
  • National Shoe the World Day
  • True Confessions Day
  • World Consumer Rights Day
  • World Sleep Day
Beware the Ides of March
It’s probably thanks to William Shakespeare that we remember this day as in his play Julius Caesar, a soothsayer or haruspex [a religious official who interpreted omens by inspecting the entrails of sacrificial animals] named Spurinna attracts Caesar’s attention and tells him:
"Beware the ides of March."
Caesar demands:
"What man is that? Set him before me, let me see his face."
When the soothsayer repeats his warning, Caesar dismisses him, saying:
"He is a dreamer; let us leave him. Pass."
Two acts later, Caesar is assassinated on the steps of the Senate.
It is said that on his way to the Theatre of Pompey, where he would be assassinated, Caesar passed the seer and joked, "The Ides of March are come", implying that the prophecy had not been fulfilled, to which the seer replied "Aye, Caesar; but not gone."
The ancient Roman calendar had an ides every month – in March, May, July, and October the ides were on the 15th but on the other months the ides were the 13th.    The Ides of March marked the first full moon of the Roman year and was considered by the Romans to be a deadline for settling debts.  It wasn’t a particularly unlucky day until Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.  Not only was the murder rather brutal and carried out by his trusted associates, it was one of those pivotal points of history when everything changed as Rome succumbed to dictatorship triggering its decline. 
Back in the day, when I was in school, we very pretentiously walked around with black mourning bands on our arms.  I have no idea what we were supposedly in mourning FOR  and I’m sure we were just indulging in a pre-internet meme. 

Hey, it’s Friday.  Not sure Julius would agree, but a Friday does make the whole day a bit better!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, March 15, 2019

odds 'n ends

Today is the 5th day of the 11th week, the 14th day of the 3rd month, the 73rd day of 2019, and: 
  • Celebrate Scientists Day
  • Crowdfunding Day
  • Data Innovation Day
  • Genius Day
  • International Ask a Question Day
  • Legal Assistance Day
  • Moth-er Day – not to be confused with Mothra
  • National Children's Craft Day
  • National Potato Chip Day
  • National Save a Spider Day
  • National Write Your Story Day
  • Pi Day – did you know it is also Albert Einstein’s birthday?  And that we started celebrating it in 1988?
  • Popcorn Lovers Day
  • Science Education Day
  • World Kidney Day
Speaking of pie:  why is there a cake known as Boston Cream Pie?  Which is it?

Speaking of which is it:  The US presidential election isn’t for 612 days [I think I got that figured out right] and I am already sick and tired of hearing about it.  Will DJT agree to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses?  After all, he was the only candidate in history back in 2016 to say he might not accept the election results.  Will folks still feel the Bernie?  Will Democrats insist on someone who is not a white male for a candidate?  Will we end up with yet another choice between two candidates cut from the same old tired cloth?  Seriously, do we really have to have over two years of this?  Is this a test of the candidates’ endurance or our’s?

Speaking of tests:  Going through the prep for a colonoscopy proved to me that I physically can fast for two days – not quite 48 hours because I ate breakfast on Sunday morning then broke my fast Monday evening.   The fasting seems to have cleansed something out of my mental attitude, which is a strange reaction I don’t remember happening before.  I feel a bit empty – as my friend put it, I am no longer full of s**t.  I feel a bit remote to the world – whether RL or in my 2nd life.  I drive less angrily and am not in as much of a hurry to get where I am going.  The SuPrep seemed to make me cold when I took it, and  four days later I still feel a bit chilled despite the unseasonably mild temperatures outside.  Neither of my grandmothers would’ve died of colon cancer if this test had been administered as routinely as it is today – I was saved from the same fate because the pre-cancerous polyp was removed from my colon nine months ago and this test showed the area stayed healthy.

Speaking of grandmothers:  When Grandmom Riley was 23, she had my mother.   When my mother was 23, she had me.  When I was 23, I had my son.  For years when I needed to figure out an age, I just added or subtracted 23 – it was easier than actually remembering at times [ if I want to know my daughter’s age, I subtract four from my son’s ].  Today marks the 6th anniversary of my mother’s death – she would’ve been 92 this year because I am going to be 69.  My grandmother became a great-grandmother when she was 69.

Speaking of birthdays:  nowadays my granddaughters are really focused on their birthday parties [June and August], and every time I do something they don’t like, I am informed that I will not be invited to their party.    “Fine,” I reply.  “Then I don’t have to buy you a birthday present.”  The older one figured out an answer to that one, informing me that the presents she would get from others would be better than what I might give her.  The younger one isn’t too sure about that though – she doesn’t want to give up a present.

Speaking of presents:  right this minute?  I think I need to work more on being present in my RL


Happy Friday’s Eve you all!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 14, 2019

What floats your boat?

Today is the 1st day of the 11th week, the 10th day of the 3rd month, the 69th day of 2019, and: 
  • Check Your Batteries Day
  • Festival of Life in the Cracks Day
  • Histotechnology Professionals Day
  • International Bagpipe Day
  • International Day of Awesomeness
  • Landline Telephone Day
  • Mario Day
  • National Blueberry Popover Day
  • National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Pack Your Lunch Day
  • Salvation Army Day
  • The Start of Daylight Savings Time
  • US Paper Money Day

Reflect: Which false idol—pleasure, power, honor, or wealth—tempts you the most? Why?

This was part of the sermon for the first Sunday of Lent, and for some reason it got me to thinking – what floats your boat?  What is it that if you could wave a magic wand, or had Aladdin’s lamp, or caught that magic fish, or had the Devil himself offering you a bargain for your soul, would you go for?

Pleasure?  Well, everyone likes their ease and likes to have things pleasant.  But I think most folks are pretty much grounded despite our hedonistic tendencies and realize that unbridled pleasure exacts a toll.  If it was Christmas every day, then Christmas wouldn’t be special anymore, now would it?

Power?  This one I can honestly say never tempted me – I make a far better follower than a leader because while I like the affirmation the person on top gets, I really don’t enjoy the responsibility and hesitate to should the accountability of doing the right things for the right reasons

Honor?  For a person with an insecuriority complex who isn’t good at fitting in or playing well with my contemporaries, this one is rather tempting.   I have always cherished a secret ambition to be a writer, widely known and widely read, which implies respect and/or affection, I guess.  With my luck?  I would wish for honor and just get my 15 minutes of fame   for something I said or did heedlessly.  Or I would end up being gifted with something like the Klingon Code and have to walk around being all noble and upright.  Hmmm, that might not be a bad thing….

Wealthis what you get when you win the lottery and I have often thought about and even written about what I would do with the money.  Definitely could see myself wishing for it!  But sell my soul for it?  Granted I am a big of an agnostic and certainly have my doubts, but that doesn’t seem like a good bargain to me.  Not saying I wouldn’t be tempted – who wouldn’t?  I don’t think I’d go for that, but I think this one is my weak point for if I could make my friend’s and children’s lives better as well as my own….. 

Of course I have completely ignored the implication that you shouldn’t be focused on any of these things because you are chasing after false idols and ignoring the consequences of your actions, but those are kinda a different reflection


Okay, what about you all?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, March 10, 2019

the first Thursday of March

Today is the 5th day of the 10th week, the 7th day of the 3rd month, the 66th day of 2019, and: 
  • Nametag Day
  • National Be Heard Day
  • National Cereal Day
  • National Crown Roast of Pork Day
  • National Hospitalist Day
  • World Book Day
Let’s talk about pain management. 
21 months ago, my beautiful daughter was diagnosed with stage 3C breast cancer four months before her 40th birthday.  Since June 2017 she has been pumped full of noxious and toxic chemicals [AKA chemotherapy – and one was so hazardous that the nurse had to be in a hazmat suit to administer it], radiated to the limit of safety, operated on seven times, suffered an amputation [AKA bilateral mastectomy], and had part of her insides scooped out [AKA a partial hysterectomy].   She has been certified cancer free as a result of all this – she won her war against cancer, but now has to live with the battlefield.  She struggles with the residual mental fog caused by all this medication, both past and what she still has to take.  She goes to physical therapy.  She does acupuncture.  She uses medical marijuana.   But her body reserves are depleted,  and her nerves and muscles are literally screaming at her, and she lives in pain every single day.   Sometimes the pain is so acute that she calls the doctor.  Last night she went to the ER, begging for help.  After a full battery of tests,  the results were “no observable cause detected” and she was sent home at 4 AM to let the meds they gave her wear off and try and cope with the rest of her life until the next episode of acute distress sends her once more in a frenzy of seeking relief.  My daughter is a brave woman.  She gets up every day and deals with her life, grateful beyond all words that she is alive, that they found the tumors before it was too late – it was close, so close.  Her husband is a marvel of strength and caring and support.  They have insurance, they have friends, they have a community.  She goes on with her life, she has even started her own business.   She doesn’t take some medication they are willing to give her because she does not want to be reduced to walking about in a stupor, she wants to live the live that has been saved.
I have been in a frenzy of pain myself.  One night I hurt so much, waking up in the wee hours from a sound sleep to blazing pain, that I grabbed the ADVIL and just dumped some in my mouth.  I have no idea how much I took that night, but I made myself sick so I know I overdosed.   If I had real pain killers available at that moment, I would’ve been a statistic.
So when I read about an opioid addition, when I hear about someone who has taken too much and died, I don’t feel smug and superior, I don’t think “druggie” and turn up my nose.   I think of what it means to be in so much pain that you cannot stand it.  I think of a society that has learned very effectively how to inflict pain and use it for torture, but doesn’t really know what causes pain or how to fix it.  Those who live with pain, simply have to try and cope with it

I taught both of my kids that “live is not fair – cope.”   And I weep at the cost of that coping.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, March 7, 2019

the start of Lent

Today is the 4th day of the 10th week, the 6th day of the 3rd month, the 65th day of 2019, and: 
  • Alamo Day
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Day of The Dude - the first annual sacred Dudeist high holy day was celebrated in 2010
  • Dentist's Day
  • Discover What Your Name Means Day
  • National Dress Day  ((but I think a lot of great stories started with jeans))
  • National Frozen Food Day
  • National Oreo Cookie Day -- Oreos were created by Nabisco and first sold on this day in 1912 by grocer S.C. Thuesen in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
  • Peace Corps Day (Historical 3/1/1961 by Pres. Kennedy, but actually observed on the First Tuesday of March)
  • Sofia Kovalevskaya Math Day
  • Stop Bad Service Day
 Quote of the day:
"The process of forgiveness demands courage and a continual remembering of where our deepest happiness lies."
—Sharon Salzberg, “Three Ways to Practice Forgiveness

 Today is  Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  The next six weeks [or 40 days in memory of Jesus’ time alone in the desert], right up until Holy Thursday, is supposed to be a time of spiritual reflection and preparation for Christians as they prepare for the annual observance of the crucifixion and resurrection of the Savior.  This is the culmination of the liturgical year and was the highlight of the year in days of yore, even though Christmas and New Year’s Day seems to be more important in these modern times.   One of the things stressed during this period is penance – widely known as the sacrament of penance or confession with a priest by Roman Catholics – as part of Lenten reflections.  Identifying what you are sorry for, acknowledging your faults, your shortcomings, your sins is only the first step in the process.  Then you have to feel remorse and regret, vowing to do better in the future and making reparations if that is possible.  But then you have to seek forgiveness, and that can be a bit more problematic.   You cannot always go back in time and apologize to someone for an unkindness for there are some words and/or actions that cannot be taken back or erased.   The injured party might never forgive or forget what you have or haven’t done, what you did or didn’t say.  You can pray for forgiveness from  the Lord, but it is hard to know if that petition has been granted.   Here the Catholics have a bit of relief, as they perform the penance imposed by the priest after hearing their confession, they believe they have re-entered a state of grace. 

Where I am going with this is the thought about forgiving yourself instead of flagellating yourself over all of your deficiencies.  I fear this can be taken to an extreme where you are so accepting of your own folly that you are refusing accountability for your actions, but what I have observed [both in myself and in others] is this feeling of despair where you fall into the feeling that your faults are irredeemable.  It seems to me that one needs to be able to forgive oneself at times – not to lower your expectations of yourself although perhaps you need to do a reality check, but just be a little kinder to yourself.   You are human, you are going to make mistakes, you are frail at times.  Those aren’t excuses, they are facts.  You need to strive to do the best that you can and if you fall short, get up and try again without beating yourself up. 


 The quote today just reminded me that sometimes courage is just squaring your shoulders and sallying forth to face another day, refusing to give in to despair.  Even as you labor to repair your shortcomings, give yourself a beak now and then, and remember to forgive yourself as well as others. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Fat or Shrove Tuesday

Today is the 3rd day of the 10th week, the 5th day of the 3rd month, the 64th day of 2019, and: 
  • Cinco de Marcho -- the beginning of the season to train the liver for St. Patrick's Day, a holiday known for drinking that is just 12 days away.
  • International Pancake Day
  • Mardi Gras
  • Multiple Personality Day
  • National Absinthe Day
  • National Cheese Doodle Day
  • National Potty Dance Day
  • National Poutine Day
  • National Sportsmanship Day
  • Pączki Day -- Americans of Polish descent eat pączki, special jelly-filled buns
  • Pancake Day Race -- tradition declares that the race was first run in the year 1445
  • Peace Corp Day
  • Reel Film Day
  • Saint Piran's Day
  • Shrove Tuesday
  • Unique Names Day
  • World Tennis Day
To my surprise, I found myself explaining here at work why it is a big deal to eat pancakes on this day, the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.  Perhaps Lent is more of a Roman Catholic tradition, but I really thought Mardi Gras and Fat or Shrove Tuesday was part and parcel of the cultural landscape these days.
Traditionally in days of yore, the 40 days before Easter were a time of fasting and denying oneself of physical pleasures so as to better concentrate on your spiritual wellbeing --  they mark the time that Jesus spent in the desert.  While Shrovetide was the entire week before Ash Wednesday, and it was supposed to be a time of penance,  the corresponding Latin term of carnem levare has become carnival, and the party time the modern world is familiar with.    The day before Lent, therefore, became a time to feast and party hearty – and use up all of the ingredients that you wouldn’t be eating for the next weeks so they wouldn’t spoil.    The ingredients for pancakes also have a symbolic significance as you prepare for penance: 
  • Eggs ~ Creation
  • Flour ~ The staff of life
  • Salt ~ Wholesomeness
  • Milk ~ Purity
So whether you make your own or head out to IHOP, enjoy!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, March 5, 2019

do you know what you are doing?

Today is the 6th day of the 9th week, the 1st day of the 3rd month, the 60th day of 2019, and: 
  • Asiatic Fleet Memorial Day
  • Baby Sleep Day
  • Dadgum That's Good Day (Masterbuilt food products & cookbooks)
  • Dress in Blue Day
  • Employee Appreciation Day
  • Endometriosis Day or Wear Yellow Day
  • Free Dentistry Day
  • Independence Day -- Bosnia and Herzegovina from Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1992
  • National Black Women in Jazz & The Arts Day
  • National Day of Unplugging
  • National Doodle Day
  • National Fruit Compote Day
  • National Horse Protection Day
  • National Peanut Butter Lover's Day
  • National Pig Day
  • National Read Across America Day
  • National Salesperson Day
  • National Speech and Debate Education Day
  • National Wedding Planning Day
  • Peace Corps Day
  • Plan a Solo Vacation Day
  • Refired Not Retired Day
  • Saint David's Day or or Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Sant
  • SE Europe celebration of the beginning of spring -- Baba Marta Day (Bulgaria) and Mărțișor (Romania and Moldova)
  • Self-injury Awareness Day
  • Shabbat Across America/Canada
  • Share a Smile Day
  • World Compliment Day
  • World Day of Prayer
  • Zero Discrimination Day
  • The final day of Ayyám-i-Há (Bahá'í Faith)

Quote of the day:

Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome. “

~ Arthur Ashe, an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam titles


A recent blog post inquired while discussing the ramifications of change, “What are the unintended consequences of what you are doing right now?”    Every part of one’s life is actually a complex system --  defined assystem featuring a large number of interacting components (agents, processes, etc.) whose aggregate activity is nonlinear (not derivable from the summations of the activity of individual components) and typically exhibits hierarchical self-organization under selective pressures.”    In other words, it is hard to figure out what is going to happen because there are so many variables with dependencies, competitions, relationships, or other types of interactions.  This is something I had observed from personal experience, and I used to tell my kids that Mom’s law of interactions was slightly different than the law of physics – mine was  “for every action, there is an opposite and not necessarily equal reaction”.    It can be quite perplexing at times, and there aren’t many do-overs either




Good thing it is a journey and not a test, isn’t it? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, March 1, 2019


Today is the 4th day of the 9th week, the 27th day of the 2nd month, the 58th day of 2019, and: 
  • Anosomia Awareness Day – one does tend to take the sense of smell for granted, only grumbling when a stuffy nose from a cold or allergy impairs it.
  • Inconvenience Yourself Day -- founded in 2006 by Julie Thompson because “A lot of times I’d be out in my own little world, ignoring everyone around me, and I’m not as conscious as I should be about how I’m impacting other people
  • International Polar Bear Day
  • National Kahlua Day -- Kahlúa is a coffee-flavored liqueur from Mexico. The drink contains rum, sugar, vanilla bean, and arabica coffee
  • National Retro Day -- Hermelinda A. Aguilar and Robert and Tina Duran founded National Retro Day to take a look back at how life was before social media, the internet and smartphones became a necessity of our daily lives
  • National Strawberry Day – tired of winter?  Strawberries are the first fruit to ripen every year, so they are often called the “taste of spring.”
  • No-Brainer Day – a day for kicking back and not having to analyze and plan every little thing because you are sticking to things that are simple, easy, and logical
  • Pink Shirt Day
  • Pokémon Day -- commemorates the launch of the first Pokémon video games in 1996.  This year there are no added Stardust or XP bonuses outlined for the event, but there will be some special Pokémon available
  • World NGO Day – celebrating the work that non-governmental organizations are doing
  • World Retrospective Day - a volunteer-based, globally coordinated effort to share in the power of retrospectives [generally, is a look back at events that took place, or works that were produced, in the past. As a noun, retrospective has specific meanings in medicine, software development, popular culture and the arts]
It appears that many so-called holidays are actually just hyping themselves.    Establishing a holiday appears to be rather simply – just get on a calendar like Chase’s Calendar of Events [it’s free if you are accepted and published every fall for the next year] by picking a day, explaining what you want to celebrate and how folks can celebrate with you, then promote it via social media.  In the US, Congress does have to vote to make a “national” holiday official while official “world” holidays are passed by UN Resolution.
In a way, it is a good idea to celebrate every day, to have something that lifts your spirits out of the ordinary, humdrum
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 27, 2019

worrying about being worried....

Today is the 3rd day of the 9th week, the 26th day of the 2nd month, the 57th day of 2019, and: 
  • Carnival Day
  • For Pete's Sake Day
  • Levi Strauss Day
  • National Personal Chef Day
  • National Pistachio Day
  • Tell a Fairy Tale Day
  • Thermos Bottle Day
  • World Spay Day

 747 BC – Epoch (origin) of Ptolemy's Nabonassar Era.

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

1616 - Roman Inquisition delivers injunction to Galileo demanding he abandon his belief in heliocentrism, which states the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun

1798 - Cartography - David Thompson sets off up Red River to explore the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

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

1870 - New York City's first pneumatic-powered subway line was opened to the public. (The tunnel was only a block long.)

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

1914 – HMHS Britannic, sister to the RMS Titanic, is launched at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast.

1916 - Mutual signs Charlie Chaplin to a film contract

1919 - Congress forms Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona

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

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

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

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

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

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

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

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

2018 - Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, receives its 1 millionth seed on 10 year anniversary


Quote of the Day:
I don’t think it’s possible to do the job and not come out of it with some acute stress disorder or PTSD.”
~ Randy, a former content moderator at Facebook, tells The Verge about the toll seeing hundreds of violent, upsetting posts every day takes on its employees.

We all have a lot to worry about –  the wellbeing of family and friends, health concerns, money and jobs, are all on the top of the list.  But in the past three years, anxiety just from listening to what people are saying seems to be peaking.  There was something about the campaigning in 2016 that seemed to bring out the worst in everyone and since then, the level of vitriol found on any one day on any one post about anything seems to be inordinately high.  It has been so much that in a way we have actually been deadened to it – another school shooting, another cop killed, another scandal, another fraud, another cruel joke – to the point where we actually stop reacting because we exist in some sort of perpetual state of anxiety and even despair. While we make fun of the bucolic 50’s, and snidely make comments about a patina over sour notes, there is little doubt our news and interactions today seem designed to be upsetting in a very non-productive way leaving you just simply stunned and slightly shell-shocked.


There are all kinds of platitudes floating around about the power of remaining positive, about how to bolster your inner reserves, for stress management.  When you come right down to it, whether you try avoidance or coping, you have to keep slogging onwards and try not to let worry wear you down, one day at a time, one step in front of another.  Sometimes the bravest thing a person does is get up to face another day, neh? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 26, 2019

what a work of art is man/woman....

Today is the 2nd day of the 9th week, the 25th day of the 2nd month, the 56th day of 2019 [with only 302 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Let's All Eat Right Day
  • Museum Advocacy Day
  • National Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day
  • National Clam Chowder Day
  • National Cupcake Day (Canada)
  • Pistol Patent Day -- Samuel Colt was granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver 183 years ago.
  • Quiet Day

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

1791 - 1st Bank of US chartered

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

1837 - first US electric printing press patented by Thomas Davenport

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

1866 – Miners in Calaveras County, California, discover what is now called the Calaveras Skull – human remains that supposedly indicated that man, mastodons, and elephants had co-existed.

1913 - The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, giving Congress the power to levy and collect income taxes, was declared in effect.

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

1928 – Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a broadcast license for television from the Federal Radio Commission.

1932 – Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship by naturalization, which allows him to run in the 1932 election for Reichspräsident.

1933 – The USS Ranger is launched. It is the first US Navy ship to be designed from the start of construction as an aircraft carrier.

1933 - Major NFL rule changes (hash mark 10 yds in, posts on goal line)

1942 - Prime Minister Mackenzie King announces in the House of Commons that, under Order in Council PC 1486, all Japanese Canadians living within a hundred miles of the Pacific coast will be forcibly removed inland to safeguard the defences of the Pacific Coast of Canada. The following day, February 26, the Government starts evacuating 21,000 Japanese Canadians from coastal regions of British Columbia to interior work camps; under the War Measures Act.

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

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

1963 - Beatles release their 1st single in US "Please Please Me"

1969 - Mariner 6 launched for fly-by of Mars

1979 - Soyuz 32 carries 2 cosmonauts to Salyut 6 space station is launched

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

1982 - Record speed for a snowmobile (239 kph)


Quote of the day:

The relationship between modern humans and other, now extinct, archaic hominin groups has been a subject of controversy since the 1970s. Two competing hypotheses were originally proposed: the multiregional model posited that modern humans evolved in parallel throughout Africa and Eurasia from different archaic groups while exchanging migrants, whereas the out-of-Africa model proposed that all present-day humans had a recent origin in the African continent, from which they expanded across the world. However, over the past 30 years, these two hypotheses were increasingly seen as an over-simplification.”

~ A 2015 review paper on archaic human introgression by Fernando Racimo and coworkers


The fact that homo sapiens is the only mammal without any surviving cousin species fascinates me.   There has been a suspicion that homo sapiens simply slaughtered their cousins or outcompeted them for limited resources, driving them into extinction.   Recent studies of DNA extractions of Neanderthal and Denisovan remains seems to support a theory of assimilation as trace genomes can be found in the modern population, but that is still being hotly debated in anthropological circles.   Current theories still seem to point to Africa as being the cradle of humanity, but the record is a little muddy when it comes to the migration out of that continent as it appears some of the migrants double backed and settled there  And then there is the mysterious bottleneck in evolution where the human race was almost wiped out – one theory blames the Toba super-volcano eruption of about 75,000 years ago and the resulting nuclear winter for the lack of genetic variations.  On the other hand, one theory traces all of humans back to a mitochondrial Eve, a homo erectus who lived about 200,000 years ago.   Both theories attempt to explain the lack of diversity in human specification, and both have intrinsic flaws.


But at what point during evolution did the soul evolve? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, February 25, 2019

digital books?

Today is the 5th day of the 8th week, the 21st day of the 2nd month, the 52nd day of 2019, and: 
  • Card Reading Day
  • Discover Girl Day
  • International Mother Language Day -  a worldwide annual observance to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity, and promote multilingualism
  • Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day
  • National Grain-Free Day
  • National Sticky Bun Day
  • Single Tasking Day
  • The Great American Spit Out ((just in case you were wondering, it is a campaign against chewing tobacco))
  • The first day of the Birth Anniversary of Fifth Druk Gyalpo, celebrated until February 23. (Bhutan)
  • The first day of the Musikahan Festival, celebrated until February 27. (Tagum City, Philippines)

1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.

1828 – Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah.

1842 – John Greenough is granted the first U.S. patent for the sewing machine.

1848 – Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels publish The Communist Manifesto.

1874 – The Oakland Daily Tribune publishes its first edition.

1878 – The first telephone directory is issued in New Haven, Connecticut.

1885 – The newly completed Washington Monument is dedicated.

1918 – The last Carolina parakeet dies in captivity at the Cincinnati Zoo.

1947 – In New York City, Edwin Land demonstrates the first "instant camera", the Polaroid Land Camera, to a meeting of the Optical Society of America.

1948 – NASCAR is incorporated.

1970 - Jackson 5 make TV debut on "American Bandstand"

1972 – The Soviet unmanned spaceship Luna 20 lands on the Moon.

1981 - NASA launches Comstar D-4

1990 - "The Batman Theme" by Danny Elfman wins Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition at 32nd Annual Grammy Awards

1995 – Steve Fossett lands in Leader, Saskatchewan, Canada becoming the first person to make a solo flight across the Pacific Ocean in a balloon.

1996 - Soyuz TM-23, launched into orbit

2014 - 10 words from the 15th C Voynich manuscript have been decoded

Quote of the day:
The greatest gift is the passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind.”
~  Elizabeth Hardwick, American literary critic, novelist, and short story writer, The Paris Review, interview

As the girls have gotten older, they don’t ask to have books read to them as often, although reading is still very much a part of the bedtime routine.  I remember my kids going through this phase, when toys and TV seemed much more interesting than the written word.  I remember being very worried, concerned enough to discuss it with Dr Wall, our pediatrician.  A very old-fashioned doctor, he leaned back and considered me for a moment, then asked “Do you read for enjoyment?”  Of course I said that I did, and he inquired if my kids ever saw me reading a book.   Obviously they had, and then he told me that sooner or later, they would eventually return to reading as a pastime because they saw me doing it and it obviously was something I really enjoyed.  But my concern with my granddaughters is that with the advent of iPads and phones and digital books, they don’t actually see anyone reading a book for the most part.  I have been at pains to show them that when Grandmom is staring at her phone, she is actually reading, but I have to admit, I am not always doing so.  I know both of their parents read, especially when studying or researching, but they too are often on a laptop or other device.


Their parents take them to the library, have always read to them and the girls have many books of their own!  I’m sure it will be fine and the girls will discover the escape route into a wider, more fantastical world eventually, but the impact of digital books it is one of those things I ponder about in the odd moments….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, February 21, 2019

ignorant about ignorance?

Today is the 3rd day of the 8th week, the 19th day of the 2nd month, the 50th day of 2019, and: 
  • International Tug-of-War Day
  • Iwo Jima Day
  • National Chocolate Mint Day
  • National Lash Day
  • National Vet Girls ROCK Day
  • Travel Africa Day
  • Prevent Plagiarism Day

 842 - Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ends as a council in Constantinople formally reinstates the veneration of icons in churches

1771 - Messier adds M46-M49 to his catalog (galactic clusters in Puppis & Hydra & galaxy in Virgo)

1819 – British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands and claims them in the name of King George III.

1878 – Thomas Edison patents the phonograph.

1910 - English premiere of Richard Strauss' "Elektra"

1922 - Ed Wynn becomes the first talent to sign as a radio entertainer

1942 – United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs executive order 9066, allowing the United States military to relocate Japanese Americans to internment camps.

1960 – China successfully launches the T-7, its first sounding rocket.

1963 - "The Feminine Mystique" by Betty Friedan, widely credited as the start of second-wave feminism, was published.

1968 - "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" debuts on NET (now PBS)

1973 - "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree" single released by Dawn featuring Tony Orlando (Billboard Song of the Year 1973)

1976 – Executive Order 9066, which led to the relocation of Japanese Americans to internment camps, is rescinded by President Gerald Ford's Proclamation 4417.

1977 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1977 - Space shuttle Enterprise makes first Test flight atop a 747 jetliner

1985 – William J. Schroeder becomes the first recipient of an artificial heart to leave hospital.

1985 - Canned and bottled Cherry Coke introduced by Coca-Cola

1985 - Mickey Mouse welcomed in China

1990 - Soyuz TM-9 lands

1996 - Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in York PA on WQXA 105.7 FM

1997 - FCC makes available 311 for non-emergency calls & 711 for hearing or speech-impaired emergency calls

1998 - Soyuz TM-26 lands

2002 – NASA's Mars Odyssey space probe begins to map the surface of Mars using its thermal emission imaging system.

2007 - Blogging website Tumblr is founded by David Karp in New York

Quote of the day:
Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.”
~ W.E.B. Du Bois, American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor, in a speech at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, August 1906

As we talk about taxes, I have heard more than one person complain either about sales tax, property tax, or income taxes that are raised for the benefit of schools.  The most common comment is something along the lines of “I don’t have any children.  Why should I pay for someone else’s?”.  I have also heard it said, usually by proponents of zero population growth, that there should be a limit to the number of dependents allowed as deductions, again the reasoning being that they shouldn’t have to pay for someone else to have kids.  And then there is the drive for vouchers – parents who choose to send their kids to private and/or religious schools want to siphon off their tax dollars away from the general education fund.

Teachers are treated like disposable assets instead of the education professionals they are, and getting them a pay raise seems difficult if not impossible.  Schools are under-staffed and lack supplies – unless you live in certain privileged zip codes or go to private schools.   Curriculums are altered to follow the agendas of politicians – history is altered with sins of omission, the liberal arts are considered “soft” and unnecessary, science is lumped as theory, and “alternative” points of view are touted as needing to be stressed.


The result?   Being educated has come to mean being trained to work, and the breadth of learning how to think critically is no longer considered a desirable or valued outcome.   We as a nation have become ignorant even as we become more immersed in technology – a dangerous combination.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 19, 2019

why haven't you answered yet?

Today is the 5th day of the 7th week, the 15th day of the 2nd month, the 46th day of 2019, and: 
  • Angelman Syndrome Day
  • Annoy Squidward Day (AKA Your Boss as per Sponge Bob Squarepants)
  • Love Reset Day
  • Lupercalia
  • National Caregivers Day
  • National Gumdrop Day
  • National Hippo Day
  • National I Want Butterscotch Day
  • National Woman's Heart Day
  • No One Eats Alone Day
  • Remember the Maine Day
  • Singles Awareness Day
  • St Skeletor's Day
  • Singles Awareness Day
  • Susan B Anthony Day
  • World Information Architecture Day
  • Women in Blue Jeans Day

Quote of the Day:
This feature of being able to know whether your partner read your text message may have the power to create and/or increase feelings and behavior similar to symptoms of attachment anxiety and make relationships more fragile.”
~ Dr. Danielle Forshee, a psychologist and relationship therapist, tells Digg how the read receipts on our smartphone apps can complicate relationships.

Remember back in the day when if the phone rang at an inconvenient moment, you just ignored it?  “if it is important, they’ll call back” my father always said.   Or when you would mail a letter that you spent a couple hours or maybe even a couple of days writing, knowing that you were going to have to wait days if not weeks or even months before getting an answer?    Then we graduated to answering machines and faxes that demanded attention a little more quickly, which morphed into emails > texts > IMs, each with an increasing burden of immediate response.    No matter what kind of relationship – professional, customer, personal, family – the expectation that you treat every communication as urgent and respond quickly has intensified, and the speed of your response is somehow considered an indicator of the strength of said connection.

So yes, I think in both my “real” life and my 2nd life, the weight of expectation of an answer has indeed complicated things and caused angst.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 15, 2019

when Cupid's arrows fall short....

Today is the 4th day of the 7th week, the 14th day of the 2nd month, the 45th day of 2019, and: 
  • Frederick Douglas Day
  • International Book Giving Day
  • International Quirkyalone Day
  • League of Women Voters Day
  • Library Lovers Day
  • National Call in Single Day
  • National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
  • National Ferris Wheel Day
  • National Have a Heart Day
  • National Organ Donor Day
  • National Women's Heart Day
  • Pet Theft Awareness Day
  • Race Relations Day
  • Read to Your Child Day
  • Valentine's Day
  • (World) Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
  • World Sound Healing Day


1747 - Astronomer James Bradley presents his discovery of the wobbling motion of the Earth on its axis to the Royal Society, London

1794 - first US textile machinery patent granted, to James Davenport, Philadelphia

1849 = In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes first serving US President to have his photograph taken (by Matthew Brady).

1876 – Alexander G. Bell & Elisha Gray apply separately for telephone patents; Supreme Court eventually rules Bell rightful inventor

1894 - Venus is both a morning star & evening star

1895 - Oscar Wilde's final play, "The Importance of Being Earnest," opened at the St. James' Theatre in London.

1899 – Voting machines are approved by the U.S. Congress for use in federal elections.

1920 – The League of Women Voters is founded in Chicago.

1924 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company changes its name to International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

1931 - The original "Dracula" film starring Bela Lugosi as the titular vampire, is released

1961 – Discovery of the chemical elements: Element 103, Lawrencium, is first synthesized at the University of California.

1972 - Luna 20 (Russia) launched to orbit and soft landing on Moon

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1978 - first "micro on a chip" patented by Texas Instruments

1980 - "West Side Story" opens at Minskoff Theater NYC for 341 performances

1980 - US launches Solar Maximum Mission Observatory to study solar flares

1985 - "Whitney Houston" debut album by Whitney Houston is released (Grammy Award Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female 1986, Billboard Album of Year 1986)

1989 - Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini issues a fatwa calling for the death of Salman Rushdie and his publishers due to his novel "Satanic Verses". A bounty was also place on his head.

1990 – The Voyager 1 spacecraft takes the photograph of planet Earth that later become famous as Pale Blue Dot.

2000 – The spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker enters orbit around asteroid 433 Eros, the first spacecraft to orbit an asteroid.

2003 - Dolly the sheep - the first mammal cloned from an adult - was put to death at age 6 due to premature aging and disease.

2005 – YouTube is launched by a group of college students, eventually becoming the largest video sharing website in the world and a main source for viral videos.

2011 - The TV game show "Jeopardy!" began airing the first of three episodes pitting human players Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings against an IBM computer named "Watson."

Quote of the day:
“The potential to develop the heart-mind is truly limitless. Myths and ideas that limit us can fall away, and the heart opens to reveal love.”
~  Cator Shachoy, “Valentine’s Day Buddhist Heart Replacement”

This day dedicated to love and romance can be a bit hard on those of us who are alone.  Yes I know there is something I could do about it in the way of being more social, going out to meetings, being more chatty in world when I am indulging in a 2nd Life, joining dating sites or making it clear in forums that I am seeking and available for connection.   Been there done that – and I treasure the memories generated.  There is just a feeling of not wanting to force the issue right now.  There are worse things than being alone.


 But today can be a bit of a tough day. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, February 14, 2019

M & A activity

Today is the 6th day of the 6th week, the 8th day of the 2nd month, the 39th day of 2018, and:
  • Boy Scouts Day – The Boy Scouts of America is incorporated by William D. Boyce in 1910
  • International Winter Bike to Work Day
  • Laugh and Get Rich Day
  • National Kite Flying Day ((seems a bit early for this))
  • National Molasses Bar Day
  • National No One Eats Alone Day ((well this is a day I won’t be celebrating!))
  • Opera Day
  • Propose Day
  • The Inbox Day

1575 – Leiden University is founded,[3] and given the motto Praesidium Libertatis.

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

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

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

1794 - Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge was a German analytical chemist. Runge identified the mydriatic effects of belladonna extract, identified caffeine, and discovered the first coal tar dye

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

1879 - Sandford Fleming first proposes adoption of Universal Standard Time, by dividing the world into 24 equal time zones, with standard time within each zone; in lecture at the Canadian Institute in Toronto; idea adopted by North American railways four years later, and by 24 countries at a conference in 1884.

1898 - John Ames Sherman patents the first envelope folding & gumming machine

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

1926 - Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio becomes Walt Disney Studios

1928 - the first transatlantic TV image received in Hartsdale, NY

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

1936 - the first NFL Draft -- Jay Berwanger from University of Chicago first pick by Philadelphia Eagles

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

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

1952 - Princess Elizabeth proclaims herself Queen at a ceremony in St James's Palace, London.

1960 - Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom issued an Order-in-Council, stating that she and her family would be known as the House of Windsor, and that her descendants will take the name "Mountbatten-Windsor".

1962 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1967 - Peter (Asher) & Gordon (Waller) discontinue their singing partnership

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

1969 - Last edition of Saturday Evening Post

1971 – NASDAQ, the world's first electronic stock exchange, held its first trading day, debuting with 50 companies and a starting value of 100.

1974 – After 84 days in space, the crew of Skylab 4, the last crew to visit American space station Skylab, returns to Earth. 

1979 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1984 - for the first time, there are 8 people in space -- Oleg Atkov, Leonid Kizim, Vladimir Solovyov [USSR]; Vance D. Brand, Robert L. Gibson, Bruce McCandless II, Ronald McNair, Robert L. Stewart [USA] aboard the Salyut 7 EO-3, Soyuz T-10, and  the Space Shuttle Challenger.

1992 - Ulysses spacecraft passes Jupiter

1996 - The massive Internet collaboration "24 Hours in Cyberspace" takes place

Whenever a “merger” of two banks is announced [like BB&T and SunTrust], the conversation around the office centers on our personal experiences with banks being sold.   It is a common experience in banking and follows a clear path:
  1. The transaction is announced.  Both organizations are jazzed to be working together.  And not to worry, jobs are not on the line, the assimilation will be seamless, and customers are going to be ecstatic.  At this point?  Those of us who have been down this road polish up their resumes and contact recruiters
  2. Then talks start, and words like “synergy” and “consolidating resources” and “maximizing impact” start to be bandied about.  At this point?  Employees start to eye one another uneasily, wondering how they can prove their value in the new organization while others are openly interviewing
  3. Details emerge – who of the senior management staff have been given gold parachutes, who has been locked in at special pay to stay during the transition, who is leaving.  This is when the handwriting is really on the wall as folks start heading out the door wishing those who remain luck.
  4. And then positions, departments, branches start getting the notice that they are redundant.  Employees find out when they are being terminated


I’m rather glad I’m not in banking anymore
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 8, 2019

Happy New Year

To all who celebrate the Luna New Year

It is the Year of the Earth Pig

For those like me, born in the year of the Tiger?  looks like a good year, but with some health concerns....

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Chinese New Year's Eve

Today is the 2nd day of the 6th week, the 4th day of the 2nd month, the 35th day of 2019, and: 
  • Facebook's Birthday  -- a social network known as, initially aimed at students at Harvard College, was launched in 2004
  • Independence Day -- Sri Lanka from the United Kingdom  in 1948
  • Liberace Day – the flamboyant pianist who always kept an ornate candelabra on his instrument,  died this day in 1987
  • Medjool Date Day
  • National Create a Vacuum Day
  • National Hemp Day
  • National Homemade Soup Day
  • National Quacker Day
  • National Stuffed Mushroom Day
  • National Thank a Mailman Day
  • Rosa Parks Day – she was born in 1913
  • Torture Abolition Day
  • USO Day
  • World Cancer Day


1488 – Bartolomeu Dias commands the first European expedition to reach South Africa and the Indian Ocean.

1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), all but one of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master's death.

1758 – Macapá, Brazil is founded.

1824 - J W Goodrich introduces rubber galoshes to public

1825 – The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.

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

1859 – World's oldest known Bible, "The Codex Sinaiticus" (Sinai Bible), is discovered or stolen in Egypt by Constantin von Tischendorf

1895 - the first rolling lift bridge opens in Chicago

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

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

1938 - The Thornton Wilder play "Our Town" opened on Broadway.

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

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

1970 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

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

1976 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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


Quote of the day:

"How many people just get up on Monday and do the same thing they've done every single Monday - go to work and just turn on route automatic and no longer have any meaning in their life?"

~ Erwin McManus, author, mystic, futurist, filmmaker, and designer


There is an element of repetitive automation in every job at every level – it is this that makes us so fearful of being replaced by AI or robots.  But does this mean there is no meaning in your work and/or your life?  Me?  As I have often said, I work to live; I do not live to work.  



But just because I am a cog in the wheel, doesn’t mean my work doesn’t have any meaning!  Besides, I don’t define myself by the work that I do….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, February 4, 2019

EOY crapola

Today is the 45h day of the 5th week, the 30th day of the 1st month, the 30th day of 2019, and: 
  • National Croissant Day – Starbucks is really celebrating with different kinds and baristas wearing berets
  • National Escape Day
  • National Inane Answering Message Day – not too many answering machines left these days, but at one time, this was really a popular thing.  For a long time, our phone used to be answered by Boris Karloff or John Wayne
  • School Day of Non-violence and Peace
  • Yodel for Your Neighbors Day


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

1790 - A lifeboat was first tested at sea, by Mr Greathead, the inventor

1815 - The US Library of Congress, burned during the sacking of DC in the War of 1812, was re-established with Thomas Jefferson's 6,500 volumes

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

1847 – Yerba Buena, California is renamed San Francisco, California.

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

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

1883 - James Ritty and John Birch received a U.S. patent for the first cash register.

1911 – The destroyer USS Terry makes the first airplane rescue at sea saving the life of Douglas McCurdy ten miles from Havana, Cuba.

1933 - The first episode of the "Lone Ranger" was broadcast on radio station WXYZ in Detroit; it would run for 21 years.

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

1958 - Baseball announces players & coaches rather than fans pick all stars

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

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

1969 – The Beatles performed in public for the last time in a 45-minute gig on the roof of their Apple Records headquarters in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.

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

1982 – Richard Skrenta writes the first PC virus code, which is 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot program called "Elk Cloner".

2013 – Naro-1 becomes the first carrier rocket launched by South Korea.


Back when I first got into commercial lending,  the different companies in our portfolio had varying fiscal years, usually based on when the company was actually formed.  In some ways it was easier not to have all the fiscal statements due at one time but staggered along the year, although Septemeber 30th and December 31st were by far the most popular.  But then the IRS apparently wearied of having to balance tax years with fiscal years with calendar years during their reviews, and they changed the provisions of the IRS Code so that most small businesses had to make their fiscal year coincide with the calendar year to simplify the tax year calculations.  There are some exceptions – some were grandfathered in [not many of those left], partnerships, corporations, and S corporations may have a fiscal year-end that's different from the calendar year-end, but most switched to a calendar year for their fiscal statements.  Of course this means that everything comes due at the same time, and therefore auditors and accountants are extremely busy during the first quarter trying to assemble everything that is needed – which means your friendly neighborhood loan servicing department will be scrambling



Ah well, at least I don’t have to explain as often anymore that a tax return marked 2016 is really for fiscal year 07.01.2016 – 06.30.2017 and yes the borrower is up-to-date with their financial reporting covenant to anyone!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Today is the 2nd day of the 5th week, the 28th day of the 1st month, the 28th day of 2019, and: 
  • Better Business Communication Day
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
  • Community Manager Appreciation Day
  • Daisy Day
  • Data Privacy Day
  • National Blueberry Pancake Day
  • National Kazoo Day
  • National Pediatrician Day
  • Pop Art Day
  • Rattlesnake Roundup Day
  • Rubber Duckie Day – according to Sesame Street -- and it's Ernie's birthday
  • Thank a Plugin Developer Day


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

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

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

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

1724 – The Russian Academy of Sciences is founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented by Senate decree. It is called the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917.

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

1813 – The novel "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen was first published anonymously in London.

1851 – Northwestern University becomes the first chartered university in Illinois.

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

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

1878 - George W Coy hired as 1st full-time telephone operator as the first telephone exchange started up in New Haven, Connecticut

1918 - Manitoba passes An Act to amend The Manitoba Election Act (Statutes of Manitoba 1916, c. 36); becomes the first province in Canada to grant women the right to vote and to hold provincial office; two years before Ottawa.

1938 – The World Land Speed Record on a public road is broken by Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W195 at a speed of 432.7 kilometres per hour (268.9 mph).

1956 – Elvis Presley makes his first national television appearance.

1958 – The Lego company patents the design of its Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.

1960 - first photograph bounced off Moon, Washington, D.C.

1965 - The Who make their 1st appearance on British TV

1973 - "Barnaby Jones" premieres on CBS TV and ran until April 3, 1980

1986 – Space Shuttle Challenger disintegrates after liftoff, killing all seven astronauts on board.

1982 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

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

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 06 mins 30 secs of light-travel time from Earth and Voyager II is 16 hrs 42 mins 09 secs of light-travel time from Earth


By now most folks have their Christmas decorations down and the ads for Valentine’s Day are ratcheting up.  We haven’t gotten completely out of the EOY report fog, and suddenly another month end is looming right in front of us. 



Maybe it is a good thing January feels so short since it seems so workaday after all the holiday festivities? 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 28, 2019


Today is the 6th day of the 4th week, the 25th day of the 1st month, the 25th day of 2019, and 
  • A Room of One's Own Day
  • Earned Income Tax Credit Awareness Day
  • Fluoride Day
  • Macintosh Computer Day
  • National Activity Professionals Day
  • National Big Wig Day
  • National Fun at Work Day
  • National Irish Coffee Day
  • National Opposite Day
  • National Preschool Health and Fitness Day
  • Robert Burns Day
  • Thank Your Mentor Day
  • Women's Healthy Weight Day


1554 – Founding of São Paulo city, Brazil.

1755 – Moscow University is established by Elizabeth of Russia and founded by Mikhail Lomonosov on Tatiana Day

1792 – The London Corresponding Society is founded.

1817 - Gioacchino Rossini's opera "La Cenerentola" (Cinderella) premieres in Rome

1840 - American naval expedition under Charles Wilkes is first to identify Antarctica as a new continent

1858 – The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn is played at the marriage of Queen Victoria's daughter, Victoria, and Friedrich of Prussia, and becomes a popular wedding processional.

1881 – Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell form the Oriental Telephone Company.

1890 – Nellie Bly completes her round-the-world journey in 72 days.

1909 – Richard Strauss's opera Elektra receives its debut performance at the Dresden State Opera.

1915 – Alexander Graham Bell inaugurates U.S. transcontinental telephone service, speaking from New York to Thomas Watson in San Francisco.

1937 – The Guiding Light debuts on NBC radio from Chicago. In 1952 it moves to CBS television, where it remains until September 18, 2009.

1947 – Thomas Goldsmith Jr. files a patent for a "Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device", the first ever electronic game.

1949 – The first Emmy Awards are presented; the venue is the Hollywood Athletic Club.

1959 - American Airlines opened the jet age in the United States with the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707.

1961 – Walt Disney's animated film "101 Dalmatians", based on the novel by Dodie Smith and directed by Clyde Geronimi and Hamilton Luske is released in the US

1964 - The Beatles get their first US #1, "I Want to Hold your Hand" (Cashbox)

1964 - Echo 2, US communications satellite launched

1993 - Sears announces it is closing its catalog sales department after 97 years

1994 – The spacecraft Clementine by BMDO and NASA is launched.

1995 – The Norwegian rocket incident: Russia almost launches a nuclear attack after it mistakes Black Brant XII, a Norwegian research rocket, for a US Trident missile.

2004 - Opportunity rover (MER-B) lands on surface of Mars.


And it is Friday – while it is cold outside, at least the sun is out



‘nuff said!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 25, 2019

I really thought we'd be further along than we are...

Today is the 5th day of the 4th week, the 24th day of the 1st month, the 24th day of 2019, and: 
  • Beer Can Appreciation Day
  • Belly Laugh Day
  • Clashing Clothes Day
  • International Mobile Phone Recycling Day
  • Moebius Syndrome Awareness Day
  • National "Just Do It" Day
  • National Compliment Day
  • National Eskimo Pie Patent Day
  • National Lobster Thermidor Day
  • National Peanut Butter Day
  • Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day
  • Women's Healthy Weight Day


1848 – James W. Marshall finds gold at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento, triggering the California Gold Rush

1857 – The University of Calcutta is formally founded as the first fully fledged university in South Asia.

1908 - The first Boy Scout troop was organized in England by Robert Baden-Powell, who also publishes "Scouting for Boys" as a manual for self-instruction in outdoor skills and self-improvement

1916 – In Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad Co., the Supreme Court of the United States declares the federal income tax constitutional.  (( there's a decision I'll bet a lot of folks would like to see SCOTUS reconsider! ))

1918 – The Gregorian calendar is introduced in Russia by decree of the Council of People's Commissars effective February 14(NS)

1925 - Moving picture of a solar eclipse taken from dirigible over Long Island

1979 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1984 – Apple Computer places the Macintosh personal computer on sale in the United States.

1993 - Soyuz TM-16 launches

1986 - The Voyager 2 space probe swept past Uranus, coming within 50,679 miles of the seventh planet from the sun.

2004 - NASA's Opportunity rover landed on Mars three weeks after its identical twin, Spirit.


Quote of the day:
"By extinguishing the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion, we are transforming our emotional range. Emotions such as kindness, generosity, compassion, confidence, and gladness for the good fortune of others continue to function and are even enhanced by being uncovered."
~ Andrew Olendzki, “Pinch Yourself

I know I am a pack-rat.   I know that I keep things that others would cast away, especially older things, feeling that somehow someone should be hanging onto these little bits of history.  And I know most of what I am saving will be discarded as clutter.  Why do you think antiques and old papers, books, letters et al are so valuable?  Because it is rare for such things to survive the cleansing that happens when folks have to downsize, when the next generation takes charge and doesn’t want old “stuff” around. 

I have come to realize I had hoped that old ways of thinking would also be cast off as clutter.  I had hoped that as a society we would become progressively more inclusive, more tolerant, more caring as each new generation comes forth and old stereotypes and prejudices would be thrust into a mental garbage heap.  That is the real reason I personally reacted with such dismay to the pictures of young torchbearers shouting in Virginia or young students smirking snidely at a Native American elder.  That is the real reason I hate the casual cruelty of Calvinism so evident in “trickle down” economics, couched in the familiar screeds against “socialism”. 


No, we didn’t start the fire, but I thought we were doing a better job of putting it out
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 24, 2019

the storm isn't coming, it's here

Today is the 4th day of the 4th week, the 23rd day of the 1st month, the 23rd day of 2019, and: 

Quote of the day:

"I [suspect] that we are throwing more and more of our resources, including the cream of our youth, into financial activities remote from the production of goods and services, into activities that generate high private rewards disproportionate to their social productivity. I suspect that the immense power of the computer is being harnessed to this 'paper economy', not to do the same transactions more economically but to balloon the quantity and variety of financial exchanges."

~ James Tobin, July 1984.  He was American economist who received the 1981 Nobel Prize “for his analysis of financial markets and their relations to expenditure decisions, employment, production, and prices”, and is regarded as America’s most distinguished Keynesian economist



Whether you call it the service economy, the attention economy, the tech economy, the knowledge economy, or simply the new economy, there is little doubt that historians will peg the change of the century as a time of social upheaval caused by a changeover from the industrial revolution to it.   As happened in the early 1900’s with the fading of the agricultural economy to the industrial or manufactory, there was a period of time when there was deeply divisive issues caused by disappearing occupations and the changing demands upon the infrastructure.  Even as late as 1984, a Nobel-winning economist was still focused on “production” as the purpose of business, not realizing how rapidly technology was overtaking the entire world.


It took WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII before humanity worked out the kinks of the transition to an industrial society.  I hope I live through the coming turmoil to see how we all figure out who to live conformably within the global economy. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Truth is a three-edged sword...

Today is the 3rd day of the 4th week, the 22nd day of the 1st month, the 22nd day of 2019, and: 
  • Answer Your Cat's Questions Day
  • Celebration of Life Day
  • Come in From the Cold Day
  • Dance of the Seven Veils Day
  • National Blonde Brownie Day
  • National Hot Sauce Day
  • National Polka Dot Day
  • Roe VS Wade Day – in 1973 The Supreme Court of the United States delivers its decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states.
  • Speak Up and Succeed Day
1506 – The first contingent of 150 Swiss Guards arrives at the Vatican.
1807 - Curling - Founding of the Montréal Curling Club, Canada's first, by 20 merchants and a chaplain, in Gillis Tavern. The Royal Montreal Curling Club is the oldest active athletic club in North America
1879 – Battle of Rorke's Drift: British garrison of 150 holds off 3,000-4,000 Zulu warriors. Eleven Victoria Crosses and a number of other decorations were awarded to the defenders.  (( they made a totally awesome movie about this ))
1889 – Columbia Phonograph is formed in Washington, D.C.
1890 – The United Mine Workers of America is founded in Columbus, Ohio.
1908 - Katie Mulcahey is arrested for lighting a cigarette, violating the 1-day old "Sullivan Ordinance" banning women from smoking in public, and is fined $5. Appearing before the judge she stated “I’ve got as much right to smoke as you have. I never heard of this new law, and I don’t want to hear about it. No man shall dictate to me.”
1927 – Teddy Wakelam gives the first live radio commentary of a football match anywhere in the world, between Arsenal F.C. and Sheffield United at Highbury.
1938 - Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town" premiered in Princeton, N.J.
1946 – Creation of the Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.
1947 – KTLA, the first commercial television station west of the Mississippi River, begins operation in Hollywood.
1953 - The Arthur Miller drama "The Crucible" opened on Broadway.
1964 - World's largest cheese (15,723 kg) manufactured in Wisconsin for New York's World Fair
1965 - US launches TIROS 9 weather satellite
1968 - "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" premiered on NBC.
1968 – Apollo 5 lifts off carrying the first Lunar module into space.
1970 – The Boeing 747, the world's first "jumbo jet", enters commercial service for launch customer Pan American Airways with its maiden voyage from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport.
1973 – The crew of Apollo 17 addresses a joint session of Congress after the completion of the final Apollo moon landing mission.
1973 – In a bout for the world heavyweight boxing championship in Kingston, Jamaica, challenger George Foreman knocks down champion Joe Frazier six times in the first two rounds before the fight is stopped by referee Arthur Mercante
1975 - Landsat 2, an Earth Resources Technology Satellite, launched
1984 – The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, is introduced during a Super Bowl XVIII television commercial.
1992 – Roberta Bondar, a Canadian Space Agency Mission Specialist born in Sault Ste. Marie, blasts into Space from the Kennedy Space Center on an eight-day flight aboard the shuttle Discovery with six other astronauts; performs life and material-science experiments, Canada's first woman astronaut.
2002 – Kmart becomes the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
2003 - Last successful contact with NASA spacecraft Pioneer 10, one of the most distant man-made objects
2014 - Water vapour is detected on the dwarf planet Ceres
Yes I was one of those who posted about the disrespect shown by a group of smirking little twerps to a Native American singer.  No I am not convinced by the subsequent stories about their innocence.  Yes I have looked at the different videos.  No I will not call either of them “fake news” although I have snarled a bit about “alternative facts”.  Yes I agree that justice by social media is deeply flawed, and as much as I deplore the rampant racism, I cannot condone those who respond to this idiocy with threats and intimidation.
This is exactly why I often make the statement that there is no such thing as an historical fact. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 22, 2019


Today is the 3rd day of the 3rd week, the 15th day of the 1st month, the 15th day of 2019, and: 
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Day
  • Humanitarian Day
  • National Bagel Day
  • National Booch Day
  • National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day
  • National Hat Day
  • National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
  • Printing Ink Day
  • Rid the World of Fad Diet and Gimmicks Day
  • The second day of the sidereal winter solstice festivals in India
  • Wikipedia Day


1541- François I names Jean-François de la Rocque, Sieur de Roberval lieutenant-general of New France and commissions him to begin a colony in Canada and provide for the spread of the "Holy Catholic faith". On March 9, 1541, the King gives him a grant of £40,000 livres, and appoints him "Viceroy of the Kingdom of Canada, as well as Hochelaga, Saguenay, Newfoundland, Belle Isle, Cap Rouge, Labrador, the Great Bay and Baccalaos". Roberval was given the expedition to colonize the St Lawrence over Jacques Cartier; under his orders,

1759 – The British Museum opens in Montague House, London.

1782 – Superintendent of Finance Robert Morris goes before the U.S. Congress to recommend establishment of a national mint and decimal coinage.

1785 - Mozart's string quartet opus 10 premieres

1818 – A paper by David Brewster is read to the Royal Society, belatedly announcing his discovery of what we now call the biaxial class of doubly-refracting crystals. On the same day, Augustin-Jean Fresnel signs a "supplement" (submitted four days later) on reflection of polarized light.

1831 - first US-built locomotive to pull a passenger train makes 1st run, with the first US railroad honeymoon trip, Mr & Mrs Pierson, Charleston, South Carolina

1844 - The University of Notre Dame received its charter from the state of Indiana.

1861 - Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis

1870 – A political cartoon for the first time symbolizes the Democratic Party with a donkey ("A Live Jackass Kicking a Dead Lion" by Thomas Nast for Harper's Weekly).

1876 – The first newspaper in Afrikaans, Die Afrikaanse Patriot, is published in Paarl.

1889 – The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is incorporated in Atlanta.

1892 – Basketball rules first published in Triangle Magazine, written by James Naismith

1895 - Tchaikovsky's ballet "Swan Lake" premieres, St Petersburg

1907 - 3-element vacuum tube patented by Dr Lee De Forest

1907 - Gold dental inlays first described by William Taggart, who invented them

1919 – Great Molasses Flood: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, Massachusetts, killing 21 and injuring 150.

1927 - The Tennessee Supreme Court overturns (on a technicality) John T. Scopes' guilty verdict for teaching evolution — but the law itself remains in force

1936 – The first building to be completely covered in glass, built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, is completed in Toledo, Ohio.

1943 - World's largest office building, the Pentagon is completed, and 1,000 workers complete the air conditioning system for it

1948 - "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre", film based on B. Traven's novel, directed by John Huston and starring Humphrey Bogart premieres

1969 -  Nuclear test at Pacific Ocean by the US

1969 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.

1974 -  "Happy Days" begins an 11 year run on ABC

1976 - US-German Helios B solar probe launched into solar orbit

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

2001 – Wikipedia, a free wiki content encyclopedia, debuts online.

2004 - The NASA Spirit rover rolled onto the surface of Mars.

2005 – ESA's SMART-1 lunar orbiter discovers elements such as calcium, aluminum, silicon, iron, and other surface elements on the Moon.

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 06 mins 32 secs of light-travel time from Earth (2019:015:120000:1L)


Quote of the day:

"When we ask an open question we have not yet found an answer. And this leaves the mind free, unobstructed, and ready for adventure… There is nothing ignorant or vague about this openness, because questioning actively engages the movement and fluidity of life."

~  Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel, “The Power of an Open Question


I have a bit of a reputation for asking questions, usually in threes, when I am interested in someone or something.  I like the idea of finding out what makes a person tick, what they think and feel about stuff, how they see themselves in relationship to the universe.  I find that while some enjoy the attention and the interest, some find it intrusive or nosey or even rather vulgar [that was certainly how my mother’s family viewed question asking!].   At work, I learned the hard way being a person who always wants to understand the whys and wherefores quickly labels you as a trouble-maker as those who are more set in their ways view question asking as combative or competitive.  And yet, I do want to know, to understand!




And as those who know me well can attest, when I stop asking them questions, it is a very bad sign indeed….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 15, 2019

my new year's resolution

Today is the 3rd day of the 2nd week, the 8th day of the 1st month, the 8th day of 2019, and: 
  • Argyle Day
  • Bubble Bath Day
  • Earth's Rotation Day
  • Midwife's Day or Women's Day
  • National English Toffee Day
  • National Joy Germ Day
  • National Man Watcher's Day
  • National Poetry at Work Day
  • National Shop for Travel Day
  • National Winter Skin Relief Day
  • Show and Tell Day at Work Day
  • War on Poverty Day
  • World Typing Day


1454 – The papal bull Romanus Pontifex awards the Kingdom of Portugal exclusive trade and colonization rights to all of Africa south of Cape Bojador.

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

1610 - Simon Marius. a German astronomer, independently discovers the first three moons of Jupiter one day after Galileo

1656 - Oldest surviving commercial newspaper begins (Haarlem, Netherlands)

1675 - First American commercial corporation chartered (NY Fishing Co)

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

1760 - Comet C/1760 A1 (Great comet) approaches within 0.0682 AUs of Earth

1816 – Sophie Germain wins the Paris Academy of Sciences' Grand Prize for her mathematical work on Elasticity (physics).

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

1835 – The United States national debt is zero for the only time during the term of Andrew Jackson, the first Democratic president.

1856 - Dr John A Veatch discovers borax, Tuscan Springs, California

1884 - Chrome tanning process for leather patented by Augustus Schultz

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

1902 - first National Bowling Championship held (Chicago, Illinois)

1904 – The Blackstone Library is dedicated, marking the beginning of the Chicago Public Library system.

1935 - Spectrophotometer patented by AC Hardy

1936 – Kashf-e hijab decree is enforced by Reza Shah of Iran [Persia] ordering the police to physically remove the Hijab from any woman in public, turning dress into an integral problem of Iranian politics.

1951 - Thought extinct since 1615, a Cahow (the Bermuda petrel) is rediscovered in Bermuda

1954 - Elvis Presley pays $4 to a Memphis studio & records his 1st two songs, "Casual Love" & "I'll Never Stand in Your Way"

1956 - Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" single goes #1 & stays #1 for a record 11 weeks (for a single)

1962 - Golfer Jack Nicklaus, 21, frist pro appearance, he came in 50th

1963 – Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa is exhibited in the United States for the first time, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

1966 - The Who & the Kinks perform on the last "Shindig" TV show on ABC

1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 is launched.

1974 - Gold hits record $126.50 an ounce in London and silver hits record $3.40 an ounce in New York

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".

1987 - The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 2,000 for the first time, ending the day at 2,002.25.

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.

2004 - The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, is christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.

Quote of the day:
"The same power that moves the universe exists within our lives. Each individual has immense potential, and a great change in the inner dimension of one individual’s life has the power to touch others’ lives and transform society."
~ Daisaku Ikeda, “On Hardship & Hope

Of late I have been feeling pretty helpless.  I can’t do anything about the fluctuations of the stock market that is decimating the 401K, nor can I solve the little age related issues that are starting to impact my mobility.  I can’t protect my children, I cannot keep them healthy nor guaranty their financial wellbeing.  I can’t help my friend as much as I would like or light her darkness.  I can’t keep my apartment building a pleasant place to live or my neighbors congenial.  I can’t do much more than chew my fingernails as it appears to me that our democracy is being hijacked by old rich white men who are only interested in their own welfare.

But I can work on my spirituality and try to radiate the peace that I would like to see in the world.  I can let it begin with me.  I don’t have to be helpless.

And that gives me hope.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 8, 2019

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