Subscribe to This Blog | Author Login | Join CEOExpressSelect | Private Label CEOExpress

Banking on Tomorrow
"tomorrow is promised to no one"
Amazon | CNN | Wikipedia | CEOExpress 
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

Contact Me
Subscribe to this blog

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...

  Navigation Calendar
    Days with posts will be linked

  Most Recent Posts

<< 51-100 Posts 101 - 150 of 1681 151-200 >>
still the season

Today is the 5th day of the 52nd week, the 27th day of the 12th month, the 361st day of 2018, and: 
  • Free Balloon Day (SpongeBob Squarepants)
  • Howdy Doody Day --  in 1947 the children's TV program debuted on NBC.
  • Independence Day:   Indonesia from the Netherlands in 1949
  • Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day
  • National Fruitcake Day
  • Third of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • Visit the Zoo Day

 537 – The construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is completed.

1512 – The Spanish Crown issues the Laws of Burgos, governing the conduct of settlers with regard to native Indians in the New World.

1521 – The Zwickau prophets arrive in Wittenberg, disturbing the peace and preaching the Apocalypse.537 – The construction of the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople is completed.

1657 – The Flushing Remonstrance, signed by a group of Dutch citizens who were affronted by persecution of Quakers and the religious policies of Stuyvesant. articulates for the first time in North American history that freedom of religion is a fundamental right.

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

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

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

1904 - 'Peter Pan" by J. M. Barrie premieres at the Duke of York Theatre in London

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

1922 – Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō becomes the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.

1927 – The musical "Show Boat," with music by Jerome Kern and libretto by Oscar Hammerstein II, opened at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City.

1927 - The Daily Mail newspaper publishes the world's First wire photo, the invention of Winnipeg born engineer William Stephenson, later know as Intrepid, head of British security in North America during World War II. According to the Daily Mail, it was a great scientific event, and a new era in illustrated journalism was just beginning

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

1934 - Shah of Persia Mohammed Reza Pahlavi declares Persia now Iran

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

1945 – The International Monetary Fund is created with the signing of an agreement by 29 nations.

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

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

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

1968 - China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC

1970 - "Hello, Dolly!" closed on Broadway after a run of 2,844 performances.

1977 - Star Wars fever hits Britain as thousands flock to UK cinemas to watch the long-awaited blockbuster.

1986 - "Les Miserables" opens at Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C.

1991 - "Carol Burnett Show" last airs on CBS-TV

2002 - "Chicago" (Best Picture 2003), based on the musical, directed by Rob Marshall, starring Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Catherine Zeta Jones released.

2004 – Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reaches Earth. It is the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.


The 12 Days of Christmas was always a favorite carol for my kids and many a car commute was passed with singing as they tried at an early age to remember all the different things that were given.  Today is the third day and the cost of today’s gift, should you be thinking of gifting them to anyone, would be $181.50.  That’s just for the birds of course, not the cage or house and food and toys and other accessories.  And have you checked the zoning regulations at your domicile?




I hope you are enjoying the season and remembering to treat those who are not with kindness

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, December 27, 2018

keep Christmas with you....

Today is the 4th day of the 52nd week, the 26th day of the 12th month, the 360th day of 2018, and: 
  • Boxing Day 
  • First day of Junkanoo street parade, the second day is on the New Year's Day (The Bahamas)
  • National Candy Cane Day
  • National Thank You Note Day
  • National Whiner's Day
  • Second day of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • St. Stephen's Day (public holiday in Alsace, Austria, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland), and its related observances


1492 - First Spanish settlement La Navidad (modern Môle-Saint-Nicolas) in the New World is founded by Christopher Columbus

1606 - First known performance of William Shakespeare's tragedy "King Lear" before the court of King James I at Whitehall, London

1860 – The first ever inter-club English association football match takes place between Hallam and Sheffield football clubs in Sheffield.

1862 – Four nuns serving as volunteer nurses on board USS Red Rover are the first female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.

1862 – The largest mass-hanging in U.S. history took place in Mankato, Minnesota, where 38 Native Americans died.

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

1878 - First US store to install electric lights is Wanamaker's in Philadelphia PA. 

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

1908 - Jack Johhnson became the first black heavyweight boxing champion when he knocked out Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia.

1919 – Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox is sold to the New York Yankees by owner Harry Frazee, allegedly establishing the Curse of the Bambino superstition.

1924 - Judy Garland, 2½, billed as Baby Frances, makes her show business debut

1931 - Pulitzer Prize-winning musical play "Of Thee I Sing" by George and Ira Gershwin premieres on Broadway, New York City

1933 - FM radio patent granted to American engineer Edwin Howard Armstrong

1940 - "The Philadelphia Story" film directed by George Cukor, based on the Broadway play of the same name and starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is released (Academy Awards Best Actor 1941)

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

1944 - Tennessee Williams' play "The Glass Menagerie" premiered at the Civic Theatre in Chicago.

1946 - Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas opens 

1951 - "The African Queen", directed by John Huston and based on the 1935 novel of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, is released in LA, California (Academy Awards Best Actor 1952)

1954 - "The Shadow" airs for last time on radio

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

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

1973 - Horror film "The Exorcist" based on book and screenplay by William Peter Blatty, starring Linda Blair, rated X, premieres - 1st horror film to be nominated for Best Picture

1975 – Tu-144, the world's first commercial supersonic aircraft, surpassing Mach 2, went into service.

1977 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1982 - TIME's Man of the Year is a computer

1986 - TV soap "Search for Tomorrow" ends 35 year run

2004 - Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts broke Dan Marino's single-season touchdown pass record when he threw his 48th and 49th of the season in a victory over San Diego.

2009 – China opens the world's longest high-speed rail route, which links Beijing and Guangzhou.


Quote of the day:
"Being is the source of love because learning to love means learning to be content with the life you have been given. Being fully present to what is—without judging or evaluating or wanting something different—is the most basic act of love."
~ C. W. Huntington Jr., “The Miracle of the Ordinary

This quote is probably one of the better descriptions I have read when it comes to explaining my concept of unconditional love – the simple acceptance of another “as is” without trying to weigh them down with your expectations.  It is harder to do than it is to say.   In these holidays of all faiths, the theme of family sounds loud and clear, and to keep a family functional,  we all need to work on practicing such acceptance of each other.


 It is my hope the knowledge of acceptance and of being heard will reduce the virulent violence of expression of all extremists.   It is my fear, however, that evil cannot be surmounted by such loving behavior alone, but it is a very good first step.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Christmas Eve

Today is the 2nd day of the 52nd week, the 24th day of the 12th month, the 358th day of 2018

There is a lot of news in the world.   The Federal Government is disabled over a debate about building a wall.   I am nonplussed that so many supporters feel that DJT is being unfairly attacked and vilified when he is doing the right things for the right reasons.    The death toll from that unexpected tsunami in Indonesia keeps climbing – the video of the rock concert that was wiped out is downright horrifying.   Wall Street seems intent on eviscerating everyone’s 401Ks at the very moment the social safety net is being shredded.     

Somehow it all seems so wrong

Today is Christmas Eve and I guess in my narrow-minded, privileged Anglo-Saxon, Roman Catholic perception, somehow the holiest night of the year for Christians [who after all, make up almost a third of the world’s population] should be a little more peaceful?   And joyous too – and certainly kids all over the world are eagerly awaiting Santa to arrive and anticipating goodies.   I checked with NORAD and at 6AM, Santa was in the air, circling the Arctic before heading off to his first port of call -- Novoye Chaplino, Russia.

The story of how NORAD got into tracking back in 1955 is legend nowadays – it all began with a typo in a Sears ad.  I often think about the other folks – the person who made the mistake in the ad copy, for example.  Did they lose their job over sending calls to the red phone during the height of the Cold War?  How about the operators that Sears had standing by to take all those phone calls?  They must’ve wondered why the phones weren’t ringing, don’t you think?  Had they been instructed to convince kids to ask for things out of the then ubiquitous Sears catalog?  Was the ad corrected in subsequent printings or pulled?    

I am old enough to remember getting excited when the news [or the weatherman] would break in with an announcement from The Continental Air Defense Command had reported with great seriousness an unidentified flying object had been sighted and fighter planes were being scrambled, complete with scary footage of airmen running to their plans and jets swooshing for takeoff.  And then the thrill when a live radio report from a pilot exclaimed “why it’s a sleigh, pulled by reindeer with a red light shining out in the front”.  And the order to stand down could be heard, and the sound of jingle bells…..    And I remember the first year that my son swore stoutly that he didn’t believe in Santa Claus anymore and how white he turned when Bob Turk went through the same routine because he was afraid he wouldn’t get any presents.    Since 1997, we all can track the jolly old elf’s progress around the world online

So today I am going to concentrate on happier thoughts and prayers for “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” and hope that everyone is enjoying the holidays

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 24, 2018

surviving the Wild Wild West

Today is the 5th day of the 51st week, the 20th day of the 12th month, the 354th day of 2018, and: 
  • Cathode-Ray Tube Day
  • Dot Your I's Day
  • Free Shipping Day  (3rd Thursday at Participating Retailers)
  • Games Day
  • Go Caroling Day
  • International Human Solidarity Day
  • Mudd Day
  • National Re-gifting Day
  • National Sangria Day
  • Poet Laureat Day
  • Sacagawea Day
  • World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

1606 – The Virginia Company loads three ships with settlers and sets sail to establish Jamestown, Virginia, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas.

1699 - Russian Tsar Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed from September 1 to January 1

1790 - The first successful cotton mill in the United States began operating at Pawtucket, R.I.

1792 - Opening of First Montréal Post Office, with regular twice-weekly mail service between Canada and the United States.

1803 – The Louisiana Purchase was completed as the territory was formally transferred from France to the United States during ceremonies in New Orleans.

1808 – Peninsular War: The Siege of Zaragoza begins.

1808 – The original Covent Garden Theatre in London is destroyed by a fire, along with most of the scenery, costumes and scripts.

1812 - "Grimm's Fairy Tales" or "Children's and Household Tales" by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm is first published

1832 – HMS Clio under the command of Captain Onslow arrives at Port Egmont under orders to take possession of the Falkland Islands

1879 - Thomas Edison privately demonstrated his incandescent light at Menlo Park, N.J.

1880 - NY's Broadway lit by electricity, becomes known as "Great White Way"

1883 - International cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls

1891 - Strongman Louis Cyr withstands pull of 4 horses

1892 - Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse, NY

1900 - Giacobini discovers a comet -- it was the first comet visited by spacecraft, the International Cometary Explorer spacecraft, which passed through its plasma tail on September 11, 1985.

1917 – Cheka, the first Soviet secret police force, is founded.

1946 – The Frank Capra film "It's A Wonderful Life" had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its official premiere.

1951 – The EBR-1 in Arco, Idaho becomes the first nuclear power plant to generate electricity. The electricity powered four light bulbs.

1957 – The initial production version of the Boeing 707 makes its first flight.

1957 - 1957 Elvis Presley receives his draft notice to join the US Army for National Service

1962 - The Osmond brothers debut on Andy Williams Show

1966 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1967 – A Pennsylvania Railroad Budd Metroliner exceeds 155 mph on their New York Division, also present day Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.

1971 - First preview issue of "Ms" magazine is published in the US launched by Gloria Steinem

1977 - First Spacewalk made by Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Grechko during Salyut 6 EO-1 mission

1984 - 33 unknown Bach keyboard works found in Yale library

1990 - The world's first website and server go live at CERN

1984 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1985 - Position of American Poet Laureate established (Robert Warren is the first to receive the honor)

2007 – Elizabeth II becomes the oldest monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, seven months and 29 days.

2012 - Apple is denied a patent for mobile pinch-to-zoom gestures by the US patent authorities


Some time ago I got a notice from the identity protection firm I subscribed to after the Equifax breach telling me my current email address with a password had been found on the Dark Web.  To be honest, since I have been on Gmail since back when you had to find someone with ten invitations to share before you could get in, I rather expect that particular addy has been all over the place.  The two highly redacted passwords displayed were ancient from back when a five letter word was sufficient.  I changed my current password just to be on the safe side and moved on.  In the intervening weeks, I have noticed that I get a LOT more spam than I used to and some of the phishing attempts look really legitimate.  Perhaps this is the greatest danger of breaches and personal information getting out – it enables traps to be laid using that information that will trick one into coughing up information that can be used to take them to the cleaners.  The most insidious emails this time of year purport to be from USPS, or UPS, or FedEx, announcing that you need to give them information so a package can be delivered. 




Be careful out there – don’t click through using any email links but go to the vendor website and search from scratch if you think it might the real thing.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, December 20, 2018

the days of our lives

Today is the 4th day of the 51st week, the 19th day of the 12th month, the 353rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Holly Day
  • Look for an Evergreen Day
  • National Hard Candy Day
  • National Oatmeal Muffin Day


1606 – The ships Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery depart England carrying settlers who founded, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.

1686 - Robinson Crusoe leaves his island after 28 years (as per Daniel Defoe)

1732 - Benjamin Franklin under the name Richard Saunders begins publication of "Poor Richard's Almanack"

1776 – Thomas Paine publishes one of a series of pamphlets in The Pennsylvania Journal entitled "The American Crisis".

1835 - HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin aboard arrives in New Zealand

1843 – The novella A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is first published.

1871 - Albert L Jones of New York City patents corrugated paper

1890 - Start of Sherlock Holmes "Adventure of Beryl Coronet"

1910 - Rayon first commercially produced in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania

1917 - First two NHL games are played -- Montreal Quebec/ Toronto Ontario - NHL starts inaugural season: original members of the league are the Montreal Canadiens, the Montreal Wanderers, Toronto Arenas, Ottawa Senators and Quebec Bulldogs.

1918 - Robert Ripley began his "Believe It or Not" column (NY Globe)

1924 – The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England.

1932 – BBC World Service begins broadcasting as the BBC Empire Service.

1955 - Carl Perkins records "Blue Suede Shoes"

1957 - "Music Man" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 1375 performances

1958 - first radio broadcast from space, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower Christmas message "to all mankind, America's wish for peace on Earth and goodwill to men everywhere"

1962 - Transit 5A1, first operational navigational satellite, launched

1971 - CBS airs "Homecoming A Christmas Story," (introducing the Waltons)

1971 - NASA launches Intelsat 4 F-3 for COMSAT Corp

1972 – The last manned lunar flight, Apollo 17, crewed by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans, and Harrison Schmitt, returns to Earth.

1991 - 6,000th episode of One Life To Live

1997 - "Titanic," the second highest-grossing movie of all-time, opened in American theaters.

2001 – A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 inHg) is recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl, Mongolia.

2001 - "The Fellowship of the Ring", 1st Lord of the Rings film is released. Makes US$47 million US opening weekend, $871 million total worldwide.

2013 – Spacecraft Gaia is launched by European Space Agency.

Quote of the day:
"How we spend our days is how we spend our lives."
~ Annie Dillard, an American author, best known for her narrative prose in both fiction and non-fiction.

Today I learned what a micromort is – a measurement of the very tiny chance of any given activity leading directly to your death and one micromort is defined as a unit of one one-in-a-million chance of death.  Now that sounds pretty infinitesimal for any one thing you might contemplate doing.  There are two classes of risk – acute and chronic  The interesting thing is that it is cumulative the more you indulge in an activity – or rather not YOU personally but you on average because it is calculated across the entire population.

  "According to Cambridge University's Understanding Uncertainty site, getting out of the bed every morning for an 18-year-old costs roughly 1 micromort. For a 90-year-old man, that number skyrockets to a whopping 463 micromorts, which means that getting out of bed kills roughly 463 90-year-old men out of one million."

Interestingly, although folks put a high price on their lives – you know, the kind of question like “would you jump out of a plane without a parachute for a million dollars?’ – when it comes to actually paying to add safety features to their day-to-day lives that would reduce their risk, they aren’t quite as willing to put cash on the barrelhead.  As a result, the current real world monetary value for a single micromort is approximately $50



Just stray thoughts on how we spend the moments of our lives….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Happy Holidays

Today is the 2nd day of the 51st week, the 18th day of the 12th month, the 352nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Answer the Phone Like Buddy the Elf Day  ((I guess you had to see the movie?))
  • Arabic Language Day -- established by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010 seeking "to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization". December 18 was chosen as the date for the Arabic language as it is "the day in 1973 when the General Assembly approved Arabic as an official UN language "
  • Bake Cookies Day
  • Flake Appreciation Day
  • Give A Wine Club Day
  • International Migrants Day
  • National Ham Salad Day
  • National Roast Suckling Pig Day
  • National Wear a Plunger on Your Head Day

1271 - Kublai Khan renames his empire "Yuan" (元yuán), marking the start of the Yuan Dynasty of China

1603 - First fleet of the Dutch East India Company under Admiral Steven van der Haghen departs for the East-Indies

1719 - Thomas Fleet publishes "Mother Goose's Melodies For Children"

1777 – The United States celebrates its first Thanksgiving, marking the recent victory by the American rebels over British General John Burgoyne at Saratoga in October.

1793 – Surrender of the frigate La Lutine by French Royalists to Lord Samuel Hood; renamed HMS Lutine, she later becomes a famous treasure wreck.

1833 – The national anthem of the Russian Empire, "God Save the Tsar!", is first performed.

1892 – Premiere performance of The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

1898 – Gaston de Chasseloup-Laubat sets the first officially recognized land speed record of 39.245 mph (63.159 km/h) in a Jeantaud electric car.

1900 – The Upper Ferntree Gully to Gembrook, Victoria Narrow-gauge (2 ft 6 in or 762 mm) Railway (now the Puffing Billy Railway) in Victoria, Australia is opened for traffic.

1932 – The Chicago Bears defeat the Portsmouth Spartans in the first NFL playoff game to win the NFL Championship.

1957 - the Shippingport Atomic Power Station in Pennsylvania, the first civilian nuclear facility to generate electricity in the United States, went online.

1958 – Project SCORE, the world's first communications satellite was launched by the United States aboard an Atlas rocket.

1966 – Saturn's moon Epimetheus is discovered by astronomer Richard Walker.

1981 – First flight of the Russian heavy strategic bomber Tu-160, the world's largest combat aircraft, largest supersonic aircraft and largest variable-sweep wing aircraft built.

1999 – NASA launches into orbit the Terra platform carrying five Earth Observation instruments, including ASTER, CERES, MISR, MODIS and MOPITT.

2015 – Kellingley Colliery, the last deep coal mine in Great Britain, closes.


I’m one of those who never thought there was a “war on Christmas” or who was offended by the greeting of “Happy Holidays”.  I was aware at a fairly young age that Hanukkah was also in December, and that it may or may not coincide with the Christian celebrations -- indeed, it was very early this year and has already passed.  I also knew, thanks to my interests in anthropology and ancient history,  that the Winter solstice, which is Yule in the pagan calendar,  will be at 5:23 PM EST on Friday, December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere.  I remember when the holiday of Kwanzaa was created.  And thanks to a 2nd cousin who taught in Japan I was aware that  Ōmisoka —or ōtsugomori — is celebrated there at the end of the year, and the main impetus seems to be to conclude the old year by winding up as many things as possible so as to start the New Year fresh –  rather like the idea of paying as many of your bills as possible before the 1st of January.  Activities for that day include visiting temples or shrines, countdown parties, and catching Kohaku Uta Gassen, a famous music program show, on television.  I am more than happy to see these other celebrations, and to have my kids and granddaughters learn about other cultures even while celebrating Christmas.  *ponders*   Although I may not want to explain Saturnalia to the very yourng…..




But there is one holiday that I really really REALLY would like to start celebrating – Boxing Day.   The idea of always having the day after Christmas off is just awesome. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, December 18, 2018

after all these years...

Today is the 2nd day of the 51st week, the 17th day of the 12th month, the 351st day of 2018 [and if you are still counting the shopping days befoe Christmas I wish you luck], and: 
  • A Christmas Carol Day (Story) -- in 1843, Charles Dickens' classic story “A Christmas Carol” is published
  • Clean Air Day
  • National Maple Syrup Day
  • Pan American Aviation Day
  • Wright Brothers Day -- the first successful flight of a mechanically propelled and heavier-than-air airplane. This feat was reached by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903, at a spot about five miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in what is now the town of Kill Devil Hills, on the Atlantic Coast.
Yes it has been very quiet in here

Yes it is a bad sign when I go quiet

Over the past decade, I have been doing a lot of reading about grief, about the process of coming to terms with loss.  It dovetailed nicely  with my ongoing interest about the impact of change in individual lives, in the stories of organizations, in the progress [or lack thereof depending on your point of view] of society.  I even went and talked to a counselor about the stages of grieving as my family and friends became increasingly concerned that I was not “getting over” losing my husband that Thursday, December 16th, 2004.    Frank was 12 years older than I and had been ill for almost seven years when he died, so I can’t say that I was completely surprised to find myself a widow, but I was totally unprepared for the shock – perhaps there is no way to steel oneself against loss. 

Over the years, although I have taken lovers, and have loved and been loved, I have not settled back down into a permanent relationship and I have to admit that has caused me [and my friends] some mild surprise.  I hadn’t expected to detest the dating game quite so much, hadn’t realized that most men around my age are looking for women much younger, hadn’t stopped and thought about knowing so many folks online that were actually part and parcel of a different generation.  Of late I have begun to wonder why that should be so, and it has only been this year that I have finally realized the answer.  You see, I never once questioned that Frank loved me.   I don’t think I took him for granted, but the fact that he was deeply emotionally attached to me, protective of my welfare, and found me sexually attractive, was a constant for 20 years.  He accepted me exactly as I am, without trying to change me, without conditions.   In the intervening 14 years, I have not found that bedrock surety again.  I ask myself at times if I truly appreciated it enough when Frank was living,   I ask myself if perhaps I have not offered the same to the other relationships, not made others feel loved – I’m working on that.   So I miss Frank, his humor, his very being, his presence in my life and I find tears pricking my eyelids even after all this time, and I really have to work hard to be in a holiday spirit….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 17, 2018

The Festival of Lights

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah.

ay it also be a festival of hope, happiness, love, and health!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, December 2, 2018


Today is the 4th day of the 48th week, the 28th day of the 11th month, the 332nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Baha (Baha'i festival-Qawl 6, 78)
  • Bedfordshire Day  -- celebrated in the county of Bedfordshire to celebrate the birth of John Bunyan
  • Hōonkō -- a holiday in the tradition of Japanese Jodo Shinshu Buddhism that observes the memorial of its founder, Shinran Shonin. Depending on whether the old Japanese lunar calendar is used, or the western Gregorian calendar, typically this holiday is observed either in around November 28 (as in the Higashi Honganji) or early January from the 9th to the 16th (as in the Nishi Honganji) respectively
  • Independence Day:  Panama from Spain in 1821; Ka Lā Hui --  the Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by the United Kingdom and France as an independent nation in 1843; Albania from the Ottoman Empire in 1912; Mauritania from France in 1960; East Timor from Portugal in 1975; South Ossetia from Georgia in 1991.
  • It's Letter Writing Day
  • Make Your Own Head Day
  • National French Toast Day
  • National Package Protection Day
  • Red Planet Day
  • Rockerfeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting
  • Turkey Leftover Day
((and no, you don’t want me telling you how many shopping days are left before Christmas))


Quote of the day:

Sweep everything under the rug for long enough, and you have to move right out of the house.”

-- Rachel Ingalls, Mrs. Caliban


As a confirmed Tetris master, I squirrel away items with alacrity.  The problem with the ability to “straighten up” in this way is that it all slowly and inexorably accumulates until tackling it all when you want to relocate is a thoroughly daunting prospect – hence my extreme reluctance to move.  Upon reflection I have found that I do the same thing with relationships.  Although I do have a “done” switch, and do possess the ability to move on without regrets, I often find old attachments still floating about.    It appears that once I give my heart, once I make an emotional investment, it never truly comes back or goes away.



I am content to have it so as, like the choices I have made, these relationships have sculpted me into who I am.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, November 29, 2018

shopping and decorating?

Today is the 2nd day of the 48th week, the 26th day of the 11th month, the 330th day of 2018, and: 
  • Cyber Monday
  • Good Grief Day
  • National Cake Day
Black Friday, with its predictable crowds and mayhem, is behind us.  Cyber Monday is upon us as many are suddenly jolted by the fact there are only 28 days left before Christmas to accomplish all of their holiday gift-giving goals.  Oddly enough, I was much better at this shopping when I had more people to buy for and had to coordinate the kids’ gifts from Santa, two great-grandmothers, and my father.  In those long bygone days, I was usually done my shopping by the end of October and would observe the frenetic activities of those who insisted on waiting to accomplish the tasks with some complacency – at least until it occurred to me that I had to wrap everything up!   Even years later, Frank and I would have the shopping done relatively early, the decorations up by early December and presents under the tree to add to the festive look.  At least until 2004, when he was flagging and I was depressed and we debated about not decorating at all.  We had finally settled to put up the tree at least on the Saturday before Christmas.  It didn’t happen as he died that Thursday morning.  I was intensely grateful that the shopping was already done and there were no decorations to deal with that year and greeted January with relief
It was four years before I put anything out in the apartment for Christmas, but then my daughter gave me a little table top pre-lit tree I had admired at the MD Christmas Show and I started putting that out.  Slowly other decorations made it out from the Disaster Area although many boxes of ornaments remain unopened.  But last year was a bit of a hiccup due to my daughter’s cancer treatments/surgery, and the place only got decorated because my son was able to come home for the first time in many years.  This year?  I don’t know, there is surgery again and he won’t be here for the holiday, so I don’t know whether I will take the time and energy needed.  You see, the problem with putting things out – which is kinda enjoyable – is that then you have to put everything away and that I always find is sad and laborious.   As for the shopping?  Well I have one person done, another I know what to get and just need to order it, have started the grandchildren and one other, but have no idea what to get the remaining three adults yet.   And time is running out….
And every year since 2004 as I work to get into the Christmas spirit, I find myself voicing the same thought,  “it is an awful lot of work for one day.”

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 26, 2018

getting ready for tomorrow

Today is the 4th day of the 47th week, the 21st day of the 11th month, the 325th day of 2018, and: 
  • Alascattalo Day – about Alaska and humor
  • Blackout Wednesday
  • False Confession Day
  • Geographic Information Systems Day
  • Mawlid Al Nabi - the observance of the birthday of Islamic prophet Muhammad which is commemorated in Rabi' al-awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar
  • National Family Caregivers Day
  • National Gingerbread Day
  • National Jukebox Day
  • National Red Mitten Day [Canada]
  • National Surfing Day
  • Pumpkin Pie Day
  • Tie One On Day – no you are not being encouraged to binge, they are talking about aprons
  • What Do You Love About America Day
  • World Hello Day
  • World Television Day

164 BC – Judas Maccabeus, son of Mattathias of the Hasmonean family, restores the Temple in Jerusalem. This event is commemorated each year by the festival of Hanukkah.

1620 – Plymouth Colony settlers sign the Mayflower Compact (November 11, O.S.)

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

1783 – In Paris, Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes, make the first untethered hot air balloon flight.

1832 – Wabash College is founded in Crawfordsville, Indiana.

1837 - Thomas Morris of Australia skips rope 22,806 times

1848 -  Cincinnati Turngemeinde founded

1849 -  Friedrich Hebbel's "Der Rubin" premieres in Vienna

1852 -  Duke Uiversity, founded in 1838 as Union Institute, chartered as Normal College

1871 -  Moses F Gale patents a cigar lighter (NYC)

1871 -  The first human cannonball, Emilio Onra, is fired

1877 – Thomas Edison announces his invention of the phonograph, a machine that can record and play sound.

1895 - Start of Sherlock Holmes "Adventure of Bruce Partington Plans" (BG)

1901 - Richard Strauss' opera "Feuersnot" premieres in Dresden

1902 – The Philadelphia Football Athletics defeated the Kanaweola Athletic Club of Elmira, New York, 39–0, in the first ever professional American football night game.

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

1921 - King George V proclaims Canada's Coat of Arms; designates white and red as the official Canadian colours; on the crest, a red maple leaf is added in the right paw of the lion and three maple leaves joined by one stem in the crest.

1942 – The completion of the Alaska Highway (also known as the Alcan Highway) is celebrated (however, the highway is not usable by standard road vehicles until 1943).

1946 - Harry Truman becomes 1st US President to travel in a submerged sub

1952 - 1st US postage stamp in 2 colors (rotary process) introduced

1953 – The Natural History Museum, London announces that the "Piltdown Man" skull, initially believed to be one of the most important fossilized hominid skulls ever found, is a hoax.

1959 – American disc jockey Alan Freed, who had popularized the term "rock and roll" and music of that style, is fired from WABC-AM radio over allegations he had participated in the payola scandal.

1961 – The "La Ronde" opens in Honolulu, first revolving restaurant in the United States.

1964 – The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opens to traffic. At the time it is the world's longest bridge span.

1965 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk, USSR

1967 - Phillip & Jay Kunz fly a kite a record 28,000 feet

1968 - Supremes & The Temptations release "I'm Gonna Make You Love Me"

1969 - KXIX (now KVCT) TV channel 19 in Victoria, TX (ABC) 1st broadcast

1969 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

1974 - Freedom of Information Act passed by Congress over President Ford's veto

1976 - "Rocky" directed by John G. Avildsen and starring Sylvester Stallone premieres in New York (Best Picture 1977)

1977 – Minister of Internal Affairs Allan Highet announces that the national anthems of New Zealand shall be the traditional anthem "God Save the Queen" and "God Defend New Zealand".

1977 - First flight of Concorde (London to New York)

1980 - Dallas' "Who Shot JR?" episode (Kristen) gets a 53.3 rating (83 mill) in the US  ((this was the only episode I ever watched thanks to the persistent "who done it" hype

1989 - Law banning smoking on most domestic flights signed by US President George H. W. Bush

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


Serious cooks are in the kitchen getting ready for the big day tomorrow, neh?



Interesting question – I think I’d be quaking in my boots since I am definitely plump and filled out!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 21, 2018

musing ....

Today is the 3rd day of the 47th week, the 20th day of the 11th month, the 324th day of 2018, and: 
  • Africa Industrialization Day
  • Beautiful Day
  • Future Teachers of America Day
  • Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day
  • Name Your PC Day
  • National Absurdity Day
  • National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • Universal Children's Day

1805 – Beethoven's only opera, Fidelio, premieres in Vienna.

1820 – An 80-ton sperm whale attacks and sinks the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America. (Herman Melville's 1851 novel Moby Dick is in part inspired by this story.)

1945 – Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals start at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg.

1947 – The Princess Elizabeth marries Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten, who becomes the Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey in London.

1959 – The Declaration of the Rights of the Child is adopted by the United Nations.

1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis ends: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ends the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.

1966 - The musical "Cabaret," with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, opened on Broadway.

1969 – The Plain Dealer [the major daily newspaper of Cleveland, Ohio] publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.

1969 - The Nixon administration announced a halt to residential use of the pesticide DDT as part of a total phase-out.

1980 -  On Jefferson Island, Louisiana, an oil rig in Lake Pigneur pierced the top of the salt dome beneath the island. The freshwater lake completely drained within a few hours. The Delcambre Canal reversed flow and two days later the previous freshwater lake was a 1,300-foot-deep saltwater lake.

1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released.

1998 – Zarya - the first space station module component for the International Space Station was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.




I was introduced to The Prophet in my junior year of high school, when a senior that I really liked gave me a slip of paper and told me to think about it.  I was embarrassed by the insight, and promptly checked out the book from the library, then bought it and I have owned a copy ever since in different formats.  Often dismissed as pop psychological babble by critics since the book was first published in 1923. I have found this poet’s insights meaningful and his words have held up over the years and still resonate with me.   


But as far as being a chatter-box?   My friends and co-workers still worry about me when I get quiet…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 20, 2018

It's still fall

Today is the 2nd day of the 47th week, the 19th day of the 11th month, the 323rd day of 2018, and: 
  • "Have a Bad Day" Day
  • American Made Matters Day
  • Equal Opportunity Day
  • Gettysburg Address Day
  • International Men's Day
  • National Blow Bagpipes Day
  • National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day
  • Play Monopoly Day
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle Day
  • Women's Entrepreneurship Day
  • World Philosophy Day
  • World Toilet Day

1493 – Christopher Columbus goes ashore on an island he first saw the day before. He names it San Juan Bautista (later renamed Puerto Rico).

1802 – The Garinagu arrive at British Honduras (Present day Belize)

1816 – Warsaw University is established.

1847 – The second Canadian railway line, the Montreal and Lachine Railroad, is opened.

1863 - President Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated a national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield in Pennsylvania.

1881 – A meteorite lands near the village of Grossliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.

1916 – Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures.

1954 – Télé Monte Carlo, Europe's oldest private television channel, is launched by Prince Rainier III.

1955 – National Review publishes its first issue.

1959 – The Ford Motor Company announces the discontinuation of the unpopular Edsel.

1967 – The establishment of TVB, the first wireless commercial television station in Hong Kong.

1969 – Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") and become the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.

1969 – Association football player Pelé scores his 1,000th goal.

1990 - The pop duo Milli Vanilli was stripped of its Grammy Award after it was revealed that neither performer sang on the group's records.

1994 – In the United Kingdom, the first National Lottery draw is held. A £1 ticket gave a one-in-14-million chance of correctly guessing the winning six out of 49 numbers.

1998 – Vincent van Gogh's Portrait of the Artist Without Beard sells at auction for US$71.5 million.

1999 – Shenzhou 1: The People's Republic of China launches its first Shenzhou spacecraft.

2001 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants became the first baseball player to win four Most Valuable Player awards.

2006 - Nintendo’s first video game console with motion control, the Wii, is released.

2007 - Inc. introduced the Kindle, an electronic book-reading device.

Last Thursday, this area was hit with the first nor’easter of what promises to be a miserably snowy winter.   The weather patterns that have given the area its wettest weather since 1876 when record-keeping started seems to be firmly in place, with the addition of a polar vortex or two to turn on the snow-making machine.  And yet, the reason that snowstorm was so remarkable was it was still autumn in many minds and a sigh of relief was heard as the couple of inches that accumulated quickly melted in the rain the next day. 

It got me to thinking – when do you feel like fall is over and it is winter?

Getting the technical definitions out of the way:  Meteorological winter starts on December 1st and runs through February 28th [or 29th], quartering the year in tidy little three month packets for each season.  Astronomical winter runs from the winter solstice [varying from December 20th to the 23rd] to the spring equinox [varying from March 19th to the 21st].

But I’m not talking about what the weatherman or the astronomers say, but how we feel.  To me?  Halloween is definitely a fall holiday, and so is Thanksgiving, while Christmas is definitely a winter holiday so the transition is sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Is it triggered by temperatures?    Not really because I can remember odd Christmases where it was unseasonably warm as well as some Halloweens that were bitter cold for trick-or-treating.  Is it triggered by advertisements or decorations?  No way given that some imbeciles started putting out Christmas decorations before the Halloween candy had been sold!


 No I think that for me, the trigger is the first Sunday of Advent – that is the clear line of demarcation that gives one’s thoughts a more frosty turn. 

PS  today there are 35 shopping days left
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 19, 2018

a wintry mess

Today is the 15th of November and it is a week before Thanksgiving, which I might add, is early this year.  And for the first time since 1996, shcools were closing or opening late, government offices were on liberal leave, and traffic was snarled.

I can answer that question -- like Christmas decorations and carols,  this kind of winter storm shouln't be happening until after Thanksgiving, at the earliest......
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, November 15, 2018

another Monday-ish Tuesday

Today is the 3rd day of the 46th week, the 13th day of the 11th month, the 317th day of 2018 [and only 41 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Actor's Day
  • National Indian Pudding Day
  • National Mom's and Dad's Day
  • National Young Reader's Day
  • Sadie Hawkins Day
  • Start a Rumor Day
  • World Kindness Day 

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

1851 – The Denny Party lands at Alki Point, before moving to the other side of Elliott Bay to what would become Seattle.

1927 – The Holland Tunnel opens to traffic as the first Hudson River vehicle tunnel linking New Jersey to New York City.

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

1956 – The Supreme Court of the United States declares Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, thus ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

1971 - Space probe Mariner 9 reaches Mars and goes into orbit

1974 – Ronald DeFeo, Jr. murders his entire family in Amityville, Long Island in the house that would become known as The Amityville Horror.

1982 – Ray Mancini defeats Duk Koo Kim in a boxing match held in Las Vegas. Kim's subsequent death (on November 17) leads to significant changes in the sport.

1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, DC after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.

1992 – The High Court of Australia rules in Dietrich v The Queen that although there is no absolute right to have publicly funded counsel, in most circumstances a judge should grant any request for an adjournment or stay when an accused is unrepresented.

1997 - The Disney musical "The Lion King" opened on Broadway.

2015 – WT1190F, a temporary satellite of Earth thought to have been space debris from the trans-lunar injection stage of the 1998 Lunar Prospector mission and first discovered on 18 February 2013 by the Catalina Sky Survey, impacts just southeast of Sri Lanka.


Quote of the day:

"There is only one success - to be able to spend your life in your own way."

~ Christopher Darlington Morley (1890 - 1957), American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet


By this measure, alas, I am not a success. 


How many times growing up, as you obeyed parents or teachers, did you mutter to yourself,  “When I grow up, no one is going to tell me what to do!”?   As a kid, it seemed as though life was nothing but rules that covered everything – eating, sleeping, playing, activities, even pooping!   There wasn’t any corner of your life where some adult didn’t have an opinion about, or a standard that should be met, unless you retreated into your own head and let loose your imagination.  I used to tell myself stories in which the narrative was about me doing what I wanted when I wanted and how I wanted.   And I couldn’t wait to grow up so that I could actually be in charge of myself….  I don’t remember at what point reality sunk in for me.  Maybe I had an inkling when in high school I started to work part-time and had to deal with the unyielding expectations of a boss.  Maybe it was in college while I struggled with working and going to classes.   Maybe when it was when I got pregnant and realized that for the rest of my life, every choice impacted another person who hadn’t asked to join my journey.   Of course, I had a choice not to conform -- to stay up all night or to party hearty on school or work nights for example -- but then the consequences of those choices were so blasted onerous and they just wouldn’t dissipate with an exercise of my will.   And so I settled into a routine dictated by the needs of family and employment.   I wonder sometimes if I made the right call and try to imagine where I could’ve broken out and danced down the road not taken to the beat of a different drummer.




But I will say, thanks to a vibrant and active 2nd Life lived over many decades in the reaches of the mind, I may have grown older but I haven’t  become an old lady.


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Happy Diwali

Today is the 4th day of the 45th week, the 7th day of the 11th month, the 311th day of 2018, and: 
  • Diwali
  • Employee Brotherhood Day
  • Hug a Bear Day
  • International Merlot Day
  • International Stress Awareness Day
  • Little League Girls Day
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
  • National Eating Healthy Day
  • Notary Public Day
  • Sigd


 335 – Athanasius is banished to Trier, on charge that he prevented a grain fleet from sailing to Constantinople.

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

1665 – The London Gazette, the oldest surviving journal, is first published.

1775 – John Murray, the Royal Governor of the Colony of Virginia, starts the first mass emancipation of slaves in North America by issuing Lord Dunmore's Offer of Emancipation, which offers freedom to slaves who abandoned their colonial masters to fight with Murray and the British.

1786 – The oldest musical organization in the United States is founded as the Stoughton Musical Society.

1861 – The first Melbourne Cup horse race is held in Melbourne, Australia.

1874 – A cartoon by Thomas Nast in Harper's Weekly, is considered the first important use of an elephant as a symbol for the United States Republican Party.

1885 – The completion of Canada's first transcontinental railway is symbolized by the Last Spike ceremony at Craigellachie, British Columbia.

1907 – Jesús García saves the entire town of Nacozari de García by driving a burning train full of dynamite six kilometers (3.7 miles) away before it can explode.

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

1910 – The first air freight shipment (from Dayton, Ohio, to Columbus, Ohio) is undertaken by the Wright brothers and department store owner Max Moorehouse.

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

1912 – The Deutsche Opernhaus (now Deutsche Oper Berlin) opens in the Berlin neighborhood of Charlottenburg, with a production of Beethoven's Fidelio.

1914 – The first issue of The New Republic is published.

1929 – In New York City, the Museum of Modern Art opens to the public.

1949 – The first oil was taken in Oil Rocks (Neft Daşları), oldest offshore oil platform.

1954 – In the US, Armistice Day becomes Veterans Day.

1967 – US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

1973 – The United States Congress overrides President Richard M. Nixon's veto of the War Powers Resolution, which limits presidential power to wage war without congressional approval.

1996 – NASA launches the Mars Global Surveyor.


Today Hindus are celebrating the third day of Diwali, the Festival of Lights that marks the victory of light over dark, of good over evil.    It is a day of feasting and celebrations, both family and community. 



In the aftermath of a contentious election with the certainty of more disruption and acrimony ahead, it is good to take a moment and celebrate the good in the world!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 7, 2018

today is the day

Today is the 3rd day of the 45th week, the 6th day of the 11th month, the 310th day of 2018, and: 
  • Basketball Day
  • Election Day in the US
  • International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict
  • Marooned Without a Compass Day
  • National Nachos Day
  • National Saxophone Day

1528 – Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first known European to set foot in the area that would become Texas.

1856 – Scenes of Clerical Life, the first work of fiction by the author later known as George Eliot, is submitted for publication.

1935 – Edwin Armstrong presents his paper "A Method of Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a System of Frequency Modulation" to the New York section of the Institute of Radio Engineers.

1947 – Meet the Press, the longest running television program in history, makes its debut.

1965 – Cuba and the United States formally agree to begin an airlift for Cubans who want to go to the United States. By 1971, 250,000 Cubans had made use of this program.

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

1995 – Cleveland Browns relocation controversy: Art Modell announces that he signed a deal that would relocate the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore, the first time the city had a NFL team since 1983 when they were the Baltimore Colts.  ((I personally think that we should've waited for an expansion team, but at least we had the courtesy to rename the team instead of stealing the identity as happened with the BALTIMORE Colts))


There are 35 Senate seats and all 435 House seats on the ballots today, as well as 36 gubernatorial elections to be decided.    Widely seen as a referendum on the current presidency, there are many eyes both at home and abroad anxiously watching the outcome.




Think your vote doesn’t make a difference? 

Only 27.31% of those eligible to vote elected a president in 2016
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 6, 2018

be heard

The #1 reason people don’t vote? 
They thinktheir vote doesn’t make a difference. 

In 2016, over 39% of the eligible voters sat the election out.
In 2016 The President was elected by the votes of only 27.31%  of the eligible voters.  

In 2018 voters will influence which policies elected officials enact going forward
In 2018 voters will influence whose interests are ignored and whose are acknowledged

Your vote is your chance to speak out, loud and clear. 

Speak now or forever hold your peace.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, November 5, 2018

fall back

Today we -- well most of the US -- turned the clocks back for one hour.

On Tuesday, we -- every eligible voter in the US -- have the ability to go to the polls and make our opinions known on the following issues:

  • corruption and lies in government

  • acceptance of minorities

  • voter suppression

  • foreign interference in our elections and government

  • Medicare and Social Security

  • who the recent tax cut benefited

  • the rising costs of health care and whether or not pre-existing conditions ought to be covered

  • unions

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, November 4, 2018

the end of October

Today is the 4th day of the 44th week, the 31st day of the 10th month, the 304th day of 2018, and: 
  • Beggars' Night
  • Books for Treats Day
  • Carve a Pumpkin Day
  • Day of the Seven Billion
  • First day of the Day of the Dead, celebrated until November 2 (Mexico)
  • Girl Scout Founder's Day
  • Halloween or All Hallows Eve
  • National Caramel Apple Day
  • National Doorbell Day
  • National Increase Your Psychic Powers Day
  • National Knock Knock Jokes Day
  • national Magic Day
  • Reformation Day
  • Samhain
  • Scare a Friend Day
  • Sneak Some of the Candy Yourself Before the Kids Start Knocking Day
  • Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF Day
  • World Cities Day
  • World Savings Day

 683 – During the Siege of Mecca, the Kaaba catches fire and is burned down.

1517 – Protestant Reformation: Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.

1614 – First performance of Ben Jonson's comedy Bartholomew Fair by the Lady Elizabeth's Men company at the Hope Theatre in London.

1920 - Frederick Banting discovers a treatment for diabetes

1923 – The first of 160 consecutive days of 100° Fahrenheit at Marble Bar, Western Australia.

1924 – World Savings Day is announced in Milan, Italy by the Members of the Association at the 1st International Savings Bank Congress (World Society of Savings Banks).

1926 – Last issue of the independent Italian newspaper Il Mondo, thereafter suppressed by the Mussolini regime

1938 – In an effort to restore investor confidence, the New York Stock Exchange unveils a fifteen-point program aimed to upgrade protection for the investing public.

1941 – After 14 years of work, Mount Rushmore is completed.

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

2011 – The global population of humans reaches seven billion. This day is now recognized by the United Nations as the Day of Seven Billion.

Although you will hear folks referring to October 31st interchangeably as Halloween [AKA All Hallows’ Eve] and Samhain, they are actually very distinct, albeit related celebrations.  As indicated by the name, Halloween is a holiday that was created by the Church when it designated November 1st as All Saints Day [AKA Hallows’ Day] and therefore the night before became the time when the veil between the dead and the living thinned.  Samhain was a Celtic holiday, one of the cross quarter days that indicate the change of seasons, in this case the change from fall to winter, that shifts even as the Spring and Fall equinoxes do.  Halloween therefore is a fixed date and always occurs on the last day in October while the date for Samhain drifts according to the stars, for example, when the Pleiades is high in the sky of the Northern Hemisphere.  According to the calendars I have found, this year Samhain is actually on November 7th.but it can be as late as November 20th.     

In the United States Halloween, due to its pagan roots,  was not welcome in the northern colonies, but in the South [including Maryland] it was celebrated.  However as the millions of Irish fled from the Potato Famine, they brought with them the popular celebrations of dressing up and asking for food or money,   By the 1920’s it was an established community tradition and today a quarter of all the candy sold in the US is purchased around Halloween. 

Want to be reallyl scared?  

There are only 54 shopping days until Christmas
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 31, 2018


Today is the 3rd day of the 44th week, the 30th day of the 10th month, the 303rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Buy a Doughnut Day
  • Checklist Day
  • Create a Great Funeral Day
  • Haunted Refrigerator Night
  • Mischief Night
  • National Candy Corn Dy
  • National Publicist Day
  • National Speak Up for Service Day
  • Pumpkin Bread Day
  • Sugar Addiction Awareness Day
  • World Audio Drama Day

1869 - George Desbarats publishes the premiere issue of his Canadian Illustrated News in Montréal; the world's first periodical to use the half-tone technique to reproduce a photograph

1925 – John Logie Baird creates Britain's first television transmitter.

1938 – Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, causing anxiety in some of the audience in the United States.

1944 – Anne and Margot Frank are deported from Auschwitz to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they die from disease the following year, shortly before the end of WWII.

1945 – Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs signs a contract for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the baseball color line.

1953 – President Eisenhower approves the top-secret document NSC 162/2 concerning the maintenance of a strong nuclear deterrent force against the Soviet Union.

1957 - The British Government reveals details of plans to reform the House of Lords which include creating the first women life peerages.

1961 – The Soviet Union detonates the Tsar Bomba, the most powerful explosive device ever detonated.

1973 – The Bosphorus Bridge in Turkey is completed, connecting the continents of Europe and Asia over the Bosphorus for the second time.

1974 – The Rumble in the Jungle boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman takes place in Zaire.

1985 – Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off for mission STS-61-A, its final successful mission.

Quote of the day:
"The past cannot be changed. The future is still in your power."
~ Hugh Lawson White (1773 - 1840), American Politician


Why is the voter turnout historically so low in the United States?   We certainly have no compunction about vociferously stating our opinions and defending our points of view.  In other countries?  
  • Voting is made easy.  There is voting on line or by mail weeks before election day
  • Registration is made easy.   For example, the Swiss automatically registers each citizen as a voter and then sends out notices telling them where and when to vote
  • Election Day is either held on a weekend or made a national holiday to encourage people to go to the polls
  • In about two dozen countries, voting is actually mandatory and not voting negatively impacts both your ability to get a job and your credit rating
  • In at least one country, you can vote at any polling place instead of having to go to a designated spot
So how can we encourage people to get out and vote?  Certainly the early voting in many states is a step in the right direction as is the uptick in acceptance of mailed ballots but we need to do more.  My main suggestions would be to [1]  increase the number of eligible voters by making the process of voter registration simple and intuitive and widely available – online and at every Post Office for example.  Then I would [2] make Election Day a federal holiday so that folks are less worried about having to stand in long lines because so many are trying to vote before or after work.  We need to do something because over a third of the registered voters [39.78% or 91,739,344 people] did not vote two years ago. 



No matter who or what you are voting for, get out there and let your opinion be heard because if you don’t you still have to live with the result
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 30, 2018

a moment of reflection

Today is the 2nd day of the 44th week, the 29th day of the 10th month, the 302nd day of 2018, and: 
  • International Internet Day -- celebrating the anniversary of the first internet transmission in 1969
  • National Cat Day  --
  • National Hermit Day --  The feast day of Saint Colman mac Duagh.   It is said that Colman declared that no person nor animal in the diocese of Kilmacduagh would ever die of lightning strike, something that appears true to this day
  • National Oatmeal Day
  • World Psoriasis Day
  • World Stroke Day

539 BC – Cyrus the Great (founder of Persian Empire) entered the capital of Babylon and allowed the Jews to return to their land.

1390 – First trial for witchcraft in Paris leading to the death of three people.

1675 – Leibniz makes the first use of the long s (∫) as a symbol of the integral in calculus.

1682 - The founder of Pennsylvania, William Penn, landed at what is now Chester, Pa.

1787 – Mozart's opera Don Giovanni receives its first performance in Prague.

1792 – Mount Hood (Oregon) is named after Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood by Lt. William E. Broughton who sighted the mountain near the mouth of the Willamette River.

1863 – Eighteen countries meet in Geneva and agree to form the International Red Cross.

1888 – The Convention of Constantinople is signed, guaranteeing free maritime passage through the Suez Canal during war and peace.

1929 – The New York Stock Exchange crashes in what will be called the Crash of '29 or "Black Tuesday", ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression.

1956 - "The Huntley-Brinkley Report" premiered as NBC's nightly TV newscast.   Arguably the most famous set of co-anchors on the TV, the tag line of ”Good night, Chet. Good night, David. And good night, for NBC News ran until July 31st, 1970 when Huntley retired.  Brinkley continued as co-anchor for what was then called NBC Nightly News until 1981. 

1960 – In Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay (who later takes the name Muhammad Ali) wins his first professional fight.

1962 - The Beach Boys' debut album, "Surfin' Safari," was released and started a wave of imitators

1964 – A collection of irreplaceable gems, including the 565 carat (113 g) Star of India, is stolen by a group of thieves (among them is "Murph the surf") from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.  At the time of the heist the burglar alarm system was non-operational, and a fourth story window in the jewel room was usually left open to aid in ventilation. The thieves climbed in through the window and discovered that the display case alarms were non-functional as well. The thieves were caught two days later and the uninsured Star of India was recovered in a foot locker at a Miami bus station. Most of the other gems were also recovered, except the Eagle Diamond, which has since been hypothesized to have been cut down into smaller stones

1966 - The National Organization for Women was founded.

1967 – Montreal's World Fair, Expo 67, closes with over 50 million visitors.

1967 - The musical "Hair" opened off-Broadway.

1969 – The first-ever computer-to-computer link is established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.

1991 – The American Galileo spacecraft makes its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.

1998 – Space Shuttle Discovery blasts off on STS-95 with 77-year-old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space.

1998 – ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the United States is inaugurated with the launch of the STS-95 space shuttle mission.

2015 – China announces the end of One-child policy after 35 years.

When the quote of the day came up, I wondered if it had been chosen in advance because it is certainly apropos


Let us hope she is right.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 29, 2018

making a difference

Today is the 6th day of the 43rd week, the 26th day of the 10th month, the 299th day of 2018 [and there are only 59 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Frankenstein Friday
  • Horseless Carriage Day
  • Intersex Awareness Day
  • National Bandanna Day
  • National Breadstick Day
  • National Day of the Deployed
  • National Mincemeat Day
  • National Mule Day
  • National Pharmacy Buyer Day
  • National Pumpkin Day
  • World Lemur Day
  • Worldwide Howl at the Moon Night

1670 - Louis Gaboury jailed for eating meat during Lent. Québec, Québec

1825 - The Erie Canal opened in upstate New York. The 363-mile canal connected Lake Erie and the Hudson River at a cost of $7,602,000.

1861 – The Pony Express officially ceases operations.

1863 – The Football Association is founded.

1881 –  Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and "Doc" Holliday confronted Ike Clanton's gang in a gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Ariz. Three members of Clanton's gang were killed; Earp's brothers were wounded.

1921 – The Chicago Theatre opens.

1936 – The first electric generator at Hoover Dam goes into full operation.

1958 – Pan American Airways makes the first commercial flight of the Boeing 707 from New York City to Paris, France.

1970 – Muhammad Ali faces off against Jerry Quarry in Atlanta, Georgia for the first time after Ali's three-year hiatus from evading to be drafted in the Vietnam War.

1977 – Ali Maow Maalin, the last natural case of smallpox, develops rash in Merca district, Somalia. The World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider this date the anniversary of the eradication of smallpox, the most spectacular success of vaccination.

1984   A newborn with a severe heart defect was given the heart of a baboon in an experimental transplant in Loma Linda, Calif. She lived for 21 more days.

2004 – Grand Theft Auto San Andreas makes its debut.

2005 - The Chicago White Sox won their first World Series since 1917 by defeating the Houston Astros 1-0 in Game 4.

Quote of the day:
"Effort is more important than so-called success because effort is a real thing."
~ Brad Warner, “Think Not Thinking

I remember vividly how much I used to annoy my mother back in the day when I would grandiosely announce that I would never be just a cog in the wheel; MY life was going to make a difference in the world.   Fortunately for me, my measurement and definition of ‘making a difference’ changed as I grew and matured because there is little doubt that I am very much another cog in the wheel of society and thus far have shown no inkling of being a world-shaker in any way.  But I don’t feel that my life, or the lives of the worker bees around me or preceding me, have been in vain for we have all made the best choices that we know how and lived with the consequences.  Every day living – getting up and getting to work, raising a family, all the little chores that need to be done – takes real effort, and it counts in the global scheme of things. 

I can only hope the hymn is apt and that peace will indeed start with me….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, October 26, 2018

post-lottery blues

Today is the 4th day of the 43rd week, the 24th day of the 10th month, the 297th day of 2018, and: 
  • 40 Hour Work Week Day
  • Black Thursday
  • Food Day
  • Hunter's Moon at 11:45 AM EDT -- according to the Old Farmer's Almanac, so called because it occurs when the season for hunting many game animals begins
  • Independence Day – Zambia [AKA Northern Rhodesia at that time] from United Kingdom in 1964
  • Lung Health Day
  • National Bologna Day
  • National Crazy Day
  • National Good and Plenty Day
  • Take Back Your Time Day
  • United Nations Day
  • Unity Day
  • World Development Information Day
  • World Polio Day


1260 – Chartres Cathedral is dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France; the cathedral is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

1621 - Eustache Martin baptized; born to Marguerite Langlois, the wife of Abraham Martin, the farmer who gave his name to the Plains of Abraham; First French child born in North America. Québec, Québec

1851 – William Lassell discovers the moons Umbriel, and Ariel, orbiting Uranus.

1857 – Sheffield F.C., the world's oldest association football club still in operation, is founded in Sheffield, England.

1861 – The first transcontinental telegraph line across the United States is completed, and the first transcontinental telegraph message was sent from California to President Abraham Lincoln.

1901 – Annie Edson Taylor [a 63 year old Bay City, Michigan, teacher, a widow and a non-swimmer, accompanied by her pet kitten] becomes the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel -- and survives.  Fifteen other people try it [10 survive]

1911 – Orville Wright remains in the air nine minutes and 45 seconds in a Wright Glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina.

1926 – Harry Houdini's last performance takes place at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit.

1929 – "Black Thursday" stock market crash on the New York Stock Exchange.

1931 – The George Washington Bridge,connecting New York and New Jersey, opens to public traffic.

1945 – Founding of the United Nations with 51 nations joining

1946 – A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket takes the first photograph of earth from outer space.  The flat earthers have been claiming all photos of the earth are doctored ever since.

1947 – Famed animator Walt Disney testifies before the House Un-American Activities Committee, naming Disney employees he believes to be communists.

1949 – The cornerstone of the United Nations Headquarters is laid.

1954 – Dwight D. Eisenhower pledges United States support to South Vietnam -- a decision that would cost the US dearly

1957 – The United States Air Force starts the X-20 Dyna-Soar program.

1977 – Veterans Day is observed on the fourth Monday in October for the seventh and last time. (The holiday is once again observed on November 11 beginning the following year.)

1992 – The Toronto Blue Jays become the first Major League Baseball team based outside the United States to win the World Series.

1998 – Launch of Deep Space 1 comet/asteroid mission.

2002 – Police arrest spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks in the area around Washington, D.C.

2003 – The era of supersonic jet travel came to an end as three British Airways Concordes landed at London's Heathrow Airport.

2007 – Chang'e 1, the first satellite in the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program, is launched from Xichang Satellite Launch Center.

2008 – "Bloody Friday" saw many of the world's stock exchanges experience the worst declines in their history, with drops of around 10% in most indices.

2014 – The China National Space Administration launches an experimental lunar mission, Chang'e 5-T1, which will loop behind the Moon and return to Earth.


My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”
~  Maya Angelou

So I didn’t win the MegaMillions huge cash bonanza.  In fact, I didn’t win a dime and am out $6.  And I am okay with that.  I’ll pack all those dreams up for now and put them away.  The one thing that I really wish I could’ve had was knowing that I would never be a financial burden on my family – the rest was just icing on the cake.



And so we all showed up at work this morning and live goes on
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 24, 2018

you gotta play to win

Today is the 3rd day of the 43rd week, the 23rd day of the 10th month, the 296th day of 2018, and: 
  • National Boston Cream Pie Day
  • National Canning Day
  • National IPod Day -- Apple Computer Inc. introduced the iPod portable digital music player in 2001
  • National Mole Day -- an unofficial holiday celebrated among chemists, chemistry students and chemistry enthusiasts on October 23, between 6:02 am and 6:02 pm reflecting Avogadro's number
  • National Slap Your Irritating Co-Worker Day
  • Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day
  • TV Talk Show Host Day  (Always on Johnny Carson's birthday)


 425 – Valentinian III is elevated as Roman emperor at the age of six. He was to rule for 30 years, and by the time he was assassinated virtually all of North Africa, all of western Spain, and the majority of Gaul had passed out of Roman hands and the power of the Papacy [AKA the bishop of Rome] was bolstered based on the merits of Saint Peter and the dignity of the city

1707 – The Parliament of Great Britain, created by the Acts of Union between England and Scotland, held its first meeting.

1906 – Alberto Santos-Dumont flies an airplane in the first heavier-than-air flight in Europe at Champs de Bagatelle, Paris, France.

1911 – First use of aircraft in war: Italo-Turkish War: An Italian pilot takes off from Libya to observe Turkish army lines.

1929 – Wall Street Crash of 1929. After a steady decline in stock market prices since a peak in September, the New York Stock Exchange begins to crash.

1939 – The Japanese Mitsubishi G4M twin-engine "Betty" Bomber makes its maiden flight.

1946 – The United Nations General Assembly convenes for the first time, at an auditorium in Flushing, Queens, New York City.

1970 – Gary Gabelich sets a land speed record in a rocket-powered automobile called the Blue Flame, fueled with natural gas.

2012 – After 38 years, the world's first teletext service (BBC's Ceefax) ceases broadcast due to Northern Ireland completing the digital switchover.

1993 - Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Joe Carter became the second player to end a World Series with a home run in an 8-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 59 mins 12 secs of light-travel time from Earth


The weather was bright, sunny and mild – perfect for a little stroll to the 7-11 to buy tickets for the MegaMillion jackpot this afternoon.  Five of us from the office banded together and we each have five chances.   And I bought two tickets for my friend and myself, so I my odds of winning 1.6 billion dollars are about 7:302,000,000+    We are all dues paying members of the hopeless dreamers club, but for the $6 I spent, I get to daydream about being able to take care of my entire family and myself for all of our lives – seems worth it to me




Okay, maybe I am a sucker and addicted to gambling, but I can dream, can’t I?

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Monday, Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 43rd week, the 22nd day of the 10th month, the 295th day of 2018 [and there are only 63 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Clean Up the Earth Day
  • Eat a Pretzel Day
  • INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY – interestingly enough, the sites that I found about how to celebrate were laced with profanity
  • International Stuttering Awareness Day
  • Jidai Matsuri (Kyoto, Japan)
  • Kof Awareness Day – the versatility of the Hebrew letter
  • National Color Day
  • National Knee Day
  • National Nut Day
  • Smart is Cool Day

1575 – Foundation of Aguascalientes, located in North-Central Mexico

1730 – Construction of the Ladoga Canal -- one of the first major canals constructed in Russia and one of the projects of Peter the Great --  is completed.

1746 – The College of New Jersey (later renamed Princeton University) receives its charter.

1784 – Russia founds a colony on Kodiak Island, Alaska.

1797 - French balloonist Andre-Jacques Garnerin made the first parachute descent, landing safely from a height of about 3,000 feet.

1844 – The Great Anticipation: Millerites, followers of William Miller, anticipate the end of the world in conjunction with the Second Advent of Christ. The following day became known as the Great Disappointment.

1875 – First telegraphic connection in Argentina.

1878 – The first rugby match under floodlights takes place in Salford, between Broughton and Swinton.

1879 – Using a filament of carbonized thread, Thomas Edison tests the first practical electric incandescent light bulb (it lasted 13½ hours before burning out).

1883 – The Metropolitan Opera House in New York City opens with a performance of Gounod's Faust.

1884 – The Royal Observatory in Britain is adopted as the prime meridian of longitude by the International Meridian Conference.

1927 – Nikola Tesla introduces six new inventions including single-phase electric power.

1928 – Phi Sigma Alpha fraternity is founded at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus.

1957 – First United States casualties in Vietnam.  ((the war that shaped an entire generation))

1962 – US President John F. Kennedy, after internal counsel from Dwight D. Eisenhower, announces that American reconnaissance planes have discovered Soviet nuclear weapons in Cuba, and that he has ordered a naval "quarantine" of the Communist nation.  ((it was a terrifying time, even kids were scared of nuclear war as the standoff became more tense))

1964 – Jean-Paul Sartre is awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, but turns down the honor.

1964 – Canada: A Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selects the design which becomes the new official flag of Canada.

1966 – The Supremes become the first all-female music group to attain a No. 1 selling album (The Supremes A' Go-Go).

1966 – The Soviet Union launches Luna 12.

1968 – Apollo 7 safely splashes down in the Atlantic Ocean after orbiting the Earth 163 times.

1975 – The Soviet unmanned space mission Venera 9 lands on Venus.

1976 – Red Dye No. 4 is banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs.

2001 – Grand Theft Auto III was released, popularizing a genre of open-world, action-adventure video games as well as spurring controversy around violence in video games. ((the controversy actually started years earlier with a game called Death Race, an arcade game developed and released by Exidy in the United States, first shipping to arcade distributors on April 1, 1976))

2008 – India launches its first unmanned lunar mission Chandrayaan-1.


Once more it is Monday.   Once more the roads are clogged with rush hour traffic in the morning for the weekend is over.  As the hubbub around the rapidly ballooning MegaMillions payout reaches a crescendo and people rush to buy tickets just because you gotta play to win, even if your chances are infinitesimally remote, one dreams of the world inhabited by the 1% in which you work because you want to, not to get by.   I am grateful I have a job that I am good at and that I like in an office with people I get along with well, that pays enough that I can enjoy some amenities of life – but every Monday morning as another week starts, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that I am grateful because when you come right down to it, I work to live rather than live to work.




Okay week, let’s do this

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 22, 2018

mama said...

Today is the 4th day of the 42nd week, the 17th day of the 10th month, the 290th day of 2018, and: 
  • Black Poetry Day
  • Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day [AKA BRA Day USA]
  • Four Prunes Day
  • Hagfish Day
  • Information Overload Day
  • International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • International Print Day
  • Love Your Body Day
  • Medical Assistants Recognition Day
  • Mulligan Day
  • National Edge Day
  • National Fossil Day
  • National Pasta Day
  • National Playing Card Collectors Day
  • National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day
  • National Take your Parents to Lunch Day
  • Pay Back A Friend Day
  • Spreadsheet Day
  • Wear Something Gaudy Day
  • World Trauma Day


1456 – The University of Greifswald is established, making it the second oldest university in northern Europe (also for a period the oldest in Sweden, and Prussia).

1534 – Anti-Catholic posters appear in public places in Paris and in four major provincial cities supporting Huldrych Zwingli's position on the Mass -- he was questioning the doctrine that Jesus is really or substantially present in the Eucharist, not merely symbolically or metaphorically.

1558 – Poczta Polska, the Polish postal service, is founded.

1604 – Kepler's Supernova: German astronomer Johannes Kepler observes a supernova in the constellation Ophiuchus.

1814 – Eight people die in the London Beer Flood.

1817 – Giovanni Belzoni discovers the tomb of Seti I.[1]

1827 – Bellini's third opera, Il pirata, is premiered at Teatro alla Scala di Milano

1860 – First The Open Championship (referred to in North America as the British Open).

1888 – Thomas Edison files a patent for the Optical Phonograph (the first movie).

1907 – Guglielmo Marconi's company begins the first commercial transatlantic wireless service between Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Canada and Clifden, Ireland.

1919 – RCA is incorporated as the Radio Corporation of America.

1931 – mobster Al Capone was convicted of income tax evasion and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He was released in 1939.

1933 – Albert Einstein flees Nazi Germany and moves to the United States.

1943 – The Burma Railway (Burma–Thailand Railway) is completed.

1956 – The first commercial nuclear power station is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II in Sellafield, in Cumbria, England.

1956 – Donald Byrne and Bobby Fischer play a famous chess game called The Game of the Century. Fischer beat Byrne and wins a Brilliancy prize.

1965 – The 1964–65 New York World's Fair closes after a two-year run. More than 51 million people had attended the event.

1980 – As part of the Holy See–United Kingdom relations a British monarch makes the first state visit to the Vatican

2003 – The pinnacle is fitted on the roof of Taipei 101, a 101-floor skyscraper in Taipei, allowing it to surpass the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur by 56 metres (184 ft) and become the world's tallest highrise.

2018 – Legalization of recreational use of cannabis in Canada.


Today I find myself humming quietly “Mama told me there’d be days like this” and thanking heaven that the week is halfway over.  It’s been a very long week and I have auditors in tomorrow.

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

what have you got to lose?

Today is the 3rd day of the 42nd week, the 16th day of the 10th month, the 289th day of 2018 [with only 69 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Dictionary Day (Noah Webster's Birthday)
  • First quarter of the moon at 2:02 PM EDT
  • Global Cat Day
  • Information Overload Day
  • National Boss Day
  • National Cut Up Your Credit Card Day
  • National Department Store Day
  • National Dictionary Day
  • National Face Your Fears Day
  • National Feral Cat Day
  • National Learn a Word Day
  • National Liqueur Day
  • national Pharmacy Technician Day
  • Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity
  • Steve Jobs Day
  • World Food Day
  • World Spine Day

1841 – Queen's University is founded in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

1843 – Sir William Rowan Hamilton comes up with the idea of quaternions, a non-commutative extension of complex numbers.

1846 – William T. G. Morton first demonstrated ether anesthesia at the Massachusetts General Hospital in the Ether Dome.

1847 – The novel Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë is published in London.

1869 – The Cardiff Giant, one of the most famous American hoaxes, is "discovered".

1869 – Girton College, Cambridge is founded, becoming England's first residential college for women.

1875 – Brigham Young University is founded in Provo, Utah.

1882 – The Nickel Plate Railroad opens for business.

1916 – In Brooklyn, New York, Margaret Sanger opens the first family planning clinic in the United States.

1923 – The Walt Disney Company is founded by Walt Disney and his brother, Roy Disney.

1950 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is published, starting The Chronicles of Narnia series.

1962 - the Cuban missile crisis began as President John F. Kennedy was informed that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.

1964 – China detonates its first nuclear weapon.

1969 - The New York Mets, a previously hapless expansion team, won the World Series 4 games to 1 over American League powerhouse the Baltimore Orioles.

1975 – Rahima Banu, a two-year-old girl from the village of Kuralia in Bangladesh, is the last known person to be infected with naturally occurring smallpox.

1995 – The Skye Bridge, a road bridge over Loch Alsh, Scotland, is opened.

1996 - The British Government announces plans to outlaw almost all handguns in the UK following Dunblane massacre in March.

Quote of the day:
"Loss is a fact of life. Impermanence is everywhere we look. We are all going to suffer our losses. How we deal with these losses is what makes all the difference. For it is not what happens to us that determines our character, our experience, our karma, and our destiny, but how we relate to what happens."
~ Lama Surya Das, “Practicing With Loss

It would seem that change, which is inevitable, often entails loss of one kind or another.   Some losses are irrevocable – the loss of a loved one, the loss of a pet, the loss of your home – and they leave a hole in your life and your heart.  Easy to say “get over it and move on” but not so easy to do it, I have found.    While it may be true that when a door closes, somewhere a window opens, what if you really aren’t very good at or even able to start, climbing through windows?

Just been thinking a lot about loss lately – the loss of civility in the political process, the loss of rights or citizenship [how easily the UK decided as part of the Brexit process or the US decided that someone cannot identify themselves adequately, and therefore they must be aliens]; the loss of property as the folks try to put their lives back together after tsunamis and earthquakes and hurricanes; the loss of beloved pets or family or friends; the loss of health; the loss of hope  


Guess you never really know how you will react until you yourself are tested.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 16, 2018

when are you home?

Today is the 6th day of the 41st week, the 12th day of the 10th month, the 285th day of 2018 [with only 73 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Columbus Day (Traditional)
  • Cookbook Launch Day
  • Day of the Six Billion
  • Drink Local Wine Day
  • Freethought Day
  • Independence Day -- Equatorial Guinea from Spain in 1968.
  • International Moment of Frustration Scream Day
  • National Family Bowling Day (or Kids Bowl Free Day)
  • National Farmer's Day
  • National Gumbo Day
  • National Savings Day
  • Old Farmers Day
  • Spanish Language Day
  • Stem Cell Awareness Day
  • World Arthritis Day
  • World Day Against the Death Penalty
  • World Egg Day


1113 – The city of Oradea is first mentioned under the Latin name Varadinum ("vár" means fortress in Hungarian).

1279 – Nichiren, a Japanese Buddhist monk founder of Nichiren Buddhism, is said to have inscribed the Dai Gohonzon.

1492 – Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached the Indies.

1535 - Iroquois show Jacques Cartier and his crew the use of tobacco,Québec

1582 – Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

1692 – The Salem witch trials are ended by a letter from Massachusetts Governor Sir William Phips.

1773 – America's first insane asylum opens.

1792 – The first celebration of Columbus Day is held in New York City.

1793 – The cornerstone of Old East, the oldest state university building in the United States, is laid on the campus of the University of North Carolina.

1799 – Jeanne Geneviève Labrosse becomes the first woman to jump from a balloon with a parachute, from an altitude of 900 metres (3,000 ft).

1810 – First Oktoberfest: The Bavarian royalty invites the citizens of Munich to join the celebration of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

1823 – Charles Macintosh of Scotland sells the first raincoat.

1847 – German inventor and industrialist Werner von Siemens founds Siemens & Halske, which later becomes Siemens AG.

1849 – The city of Manizales, Colombia is founded by 'The Expedition of the 20'.

1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited by students in many US public schools, as part of a celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Columbus's voyage.

1901 – President Theodore Roosevelt officially renames the "Executive Mansion" to the White House.

1928 – An iron lung respirator is used for the first time at Children's Hospital, Boston.

1933 – The military Alcatraz Citadel becomes the civilian Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.

1960 – Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a desk at United Nations General Assembly meeting to protest a Philippine assertion of Soviet Union colonial policy being conducted in Eastern Europe.

1964 – The Soviet Union launches the Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits.

1971 – The 2,500 year celebration of the Persian Empire is held (until October 16).

1971 - "Jesus Christ Superstar," a rock opera by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, opened on Broadway.

1979 – The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction series by Douglas Adams is published.

1979 – The lowest recorded non-tornadic atmospheric pressure, 87.0 kPa (870 mbar or 25.69 inHg), occurred in the Western Pacific during Typhoon Tip.

1994 – The Magellan spacecraft burns up in the atmosphere of Venus.

2005 – The second Chinese human spaceflight Shenzhou 6 launched carrying Fèi Jùnlóng and Niè Hǎishèng for five days in orbit.


Home is where the heart is” goes the old saw, but then other folk wisdom cautions that “you can never go home again”.    One of the first things a lot of folks do when they go into Second Life is settle down and create a home for their avatar[s] that may or may not include other people, sometimes with quite elaborate furnishings and landscaping and a surprising degree of realism for a fantasy world.    Makes me wonder sometimes what mysterious alchemy turns a dwelling place into a “home” as opposed to a residence or way station or base, especially if you are living alone.     Is it being surrounded by your stuff?  Is it being able to shut out the outside world, creating a refuge?  I know it doesn’t happen instantaneously when you move but takes time to settle in before it feels like a place belongs to you and you belong to there, but how does that change process?




Things you think about on a lovely Friday afternoon when the weekend is beckoning….

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

Today is the 5th day of the 41st week, the 11th day of the 10th month, the 284th day of 2018, and: 
  • "You Go, Girl" Day
  • General Pulaski Memorial Day
  • International Day of the Girl Child
  • Myths and Legends Day
  • Myths & Legends Day For All Fantasy Movie, Books and Legends Cephalopods
  • National Coming Out Day
  • National Depression Screening Day
  • National It's My Party Day
  • National Sausage Pizza Day
  • Southern Food Heritage Day
  • World Sight Day


1582 – Due to the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, this date does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

1767 – Surveying for the Mason–Dixon line separating Maryland from Pennsylvania is completed.

1809 – Explorer Meriwether Lewis dies under mysterious circumstances at Grinder's Stand inn on the Natchez Trace in Tennessee.

1811 – The Juliana begins operation as the first steam-powered ferry in New York harbor.

1890 – In Washington, D.C., the Daughters of the American Revolution is founded.

1899 – The Western League is renamed the American League.

1906 – San Francisco sparks a diplomatic crisis between the United States and Japan by ordering segregated schools for Japanese students.

1910 – Piloted by Arch Hoxsey, Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane.

1950 – CBS's mechanical color system is the first to be licensed for broadcast by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

1957 – Operation Moonwatch scientists calculate Sputnik 1's booster rocket's orbit.

1958 – NASA launches the lunar probe Pioneer 1 (the probe falls back to Earth and burns up).

1962 – Second Vatican Council: Pope John XXIII convenes the first ecumenical council of the Roman Catholic Church in 92 years.

1968 – NASA launches Apollo 7, the first manned Apollo mission, with astronauts Wally Schirra, Donn Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham aboard.

1975 - "Saturday Night Live" debuted on NBC.

1976 – George Washington is posthumously promoted to the grade of General of the Armies.

1984 – Aboard the Space Shuttle Challenger, astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan becomes the first American woman to perform a space walk.

1987 - A huge sonar exploration of Loch Ness fails to find the world famous monster known affectionately as Nessie.

2000 – NASA launches STS-92, the 100th Space Shuttle mission, using Space Shuttle Discovery.

2001 – The Polaroid Corporation files for federal bankruptcy protection.




It’s been a long week.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, October 11, 2018

you have a choice...

Today is the 4th day of the 41st week, the 10th day of the 10th month, 
  • Emergency Nurses Day
  • Hug a Drummer Day
  • Independence Day -- Cuba from Spain 1868 and Fiji from United Kingdom in 1970
  • International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
  • International Newspaper Carrier Day
  • International Stage Management Day
  • International Top Spinning Day
  • International Walk to School Day
  • Motorsports Memorial Day
  • National Angel Food Cake Day
  • National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work and School Day
  • National Cake Decorating Day
  • National Handbag Day
  • National Love Your Hair Day
  • National Metric Day
  • National Pet Obesity Awareness Day
  • National SHIFT10 Day
  • National Stop Bullying Day or Bullying Prevention Day
  • National Tuxedo Day
  • Naval Academy Day
  • Powers of Ten Day
  • Squid and Cuttlefish Day
  • Stop America's Violence Everywhere [SAVE] Today
  • US Naval Academy Day
  • World Day Against The Death Penalty
  • World Homeless Day
  • World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
  • World Mental Health Day
  • World Porridge Day


1582 – Because of the implementation of the Gregorian calendar this day does not exist in this year in Italy, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

1754 - Hudson's Bay Company trader and explorer Anthony Henday becomes the First European to visit the Blackfoot First Nation, near modern Red Deer, Alberta

1845 – In Annapolis, Maryland, the Naval School (later the United States Naval Academy) opens with 50 students.

1846 – Triton, the largest moon of the planet Neptune, is discovered by English astronomer William Lassell.

1886 - The tuxedo dinner jacket made its American debut at the autumn ball in Tuxedo Park, N.Y.

1935 - George Gershwin's opera "Porgy and Bess," featuring an all-black cast, opened on Broadway.

1957 – The Windscale fire in Cumbria, UK is the world's first major nuclear accident.

1963 – The Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty comes into effect.

1964 – The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, is broadcast live in the first Olympic telecast relayed by geostationary satellite.

1966 - The Beach Boys released the single "Good Vibrations."

1967 – The Outer Space Treaty, signed on January 27 by more than sixty nations, comes into force.

1973 - Vice President Spiro T. Agnew pleaded no contest to one count of federal income tax evasion and resigned his office.  Corrupt?  ((This was no surprise to the constituency of Baltimore County, where he had been the exec in the early 60's, as he was often criticized for being too cozy with big business and for contracts awarded to cronies))

1999 - Thousands gather to watch the giant Ferris wheel [known as Millennium Wheel] become the latest landmark on the London skyline.


Quote of the day:

   “At the end of the day, you are solely responsible for your success and your failure. And the sooner you realize that, you accept that, and integrate that into your work ethic, you will start being successful. As long as you blame others for the reason you aren't where you want to be, you will always be a failure.”

~ Erin Cummings, an American actress


Some choices are irrevocable.  Sometimes you open your mouth and you know, you just know, that what you are going to say or not say is going to change your life and/or the lives of others.  Time seems to slow down, your breath chills in your chest, your,  peripheral vision fades and as you speak, the sound of a door slamming loudly behind you echoes in your soul.  This moment is etched in your psyche, a moment frozen in time where everything changed, seared into your very indentity.  And you watch with tears pricking your eyelids, with intense sorrow in your soul for all the might-have-beens that just winked out of existence, and you take a deep breath. 




And you go on into the new future, into the new state of being, into the different possibilities you just created.  The choice has been made and now the consequences have to be dealt with.

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

Every October 9th...

Today is my mother’s birthday – she would’ve been 91 years old.

Marian was a proud woman with a backbone of sheer tempered steel.  Like the rest of her family, she equated love and acceptance as only deserved by those who behaved properly and lived up to expectations.  She took what life dealt her and coped, and she had little sympathy, patience, or even tolerance for those who could not do the same. 
My mother and I were not close.  In fact, we had a downright contentious relationship and the result was that we spent many years totally estranged, despite the fact that I was an only child.  On the whole, she may have loved her daughter, but she definitely didn’t LIKE or approve of me.  As a result, she never saw her two grandchildren grow up.   We were reconciled while I was with Frank, and indeed,  she even moved in with me eleven years ago when the apartment complex where she had lived for 35 years declined to renew her lease again.  That turned out to be a huge mistake for I had no idea how far gone in dementia she was.  The result was she needed far more care than I could provide.   And at the end of her life, when she needed assistance, it was the wife of her cousin, rather than I, who stepped up and took care of her needs, smoothing the way when she had to transfer from assisted living to a nursing home, taking her to doctor appointments, visiting with her.   I only tried to visit my mother once a year, on her birthday, and settled for sending her flowers for the other holidays.  Margaret did a wonderful job working with her and only towards the end did she have the same issues with my mother that I had experienced from the get go. 

But I learned a lot from my mother that I applied to raising my own children.  I learned that love should be unconditional --  and worked hard to send the message that even when I didn’t approve of behavior or actions, my kids were always and forever, family.  I learned that fighting by going for the jugular and tearing someone apart emotionally was not the way to engage in conflicts was not a sustainable course of action if you wanted to stay in relationships.  I learned that unlike the law of physics, every action could have an opposite and totally disparate reaction.  I learned never to wear white before Memorial Day and after Labor Day.  And most importantly, I learned that I always have a choice – I may not like the alternatives in front of me  [such as do this or die] but I can choose, and that I am as a person the sum total of those choices that I have made.

Mothers’ Day and her birthday are both days of reflection for me.  I may look like Pete [that was her nickname], but I am not like her and never will turn into her.  
But sometimes I do hear echoes of her and I still don’t wear white out of season….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 9, 2018

not politically correct

Today is the 6th day of the 40th week, the 5th day of the 10th month, the 278th day of 2018 [with only 80 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Chic Spy Day
  • Do Something Nice Day
  • Global James Bond Day
  • International Day of No Prostitution
  • Kids Music Day
  • Manufacturing Day
  • National Apple Betty Day
  • National Body Language Day
  • National Denim Day [or Lee's National Denim Day]
  • National Diversity Day
  • National Get Funky Day
  • National Storytelling Day
  • Plaidurday
  • World Smile Day
  • World Teacher's Day


1550 – Foundation of Concepción, Chile

1607 – Assassins sent by the Pope attempt to kill Venetian statesman and scientist Paolo Sarpi.

1665 – The University of Kiel is founded.

1857 – The city of Anaheim, California is founded.

1905 – Wilbur Wright pilots the Wright Flyer III in a flight of 24 miles in 39 minutes, a world record that stood until 1908.

1911 – The Kowloon–Canton Railway commences service.

1914 – An aircraft successfully destroys another aircraft with gunfire during WWI

1921 – The World Series is the first to be broadcast on radio.

1938 – In Nazi Germany, Jews' passports are invalidated.

1947 - in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.

1962 - The Beatles' first hit, "Love Me Do," was released in the United Kingdom.

1962 - The first James Bond theatrical feature, "Dr. No" starring Sean Connery as Agent 007, premiered in London.

1966 – A reactor at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station near Detroit suffers a partial meltddown

1969 - "Monty Python's Flying Circus" debuted on BBC Television.

1970 – The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) is founded.

1982 – Tylenol products are recalled after bottles in Chicago laced with cyanide cause seven deaths.  As a result, every pill bottle became much much harder to open

1984 – Marc Garneau becomes the first Canadian in space.

1986 – Israeli secret nuclear weapons are revealed when the British newspaper The Sunday Times runs Mordechai Vanunu's story.

1990 – After 150 years The Herald newspaper in Melbourne, Australia, is published for the last time as a separate newspaper.


You know what?  It may not be very sensitive of me, but I honestly don’t care whether or not you call it Columbus Day or Indigenous Peoples Day, I’m just all kinds of pleased that it is a federal holiday and I have off




Three day weekend for the win!!!

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

gotta play to win though

Today is the 5th day of the 40th week, the 4th day of the 10th month, the 277th day of 2018, and: 
  • Blessing of the Animals at the Cathedral Day [AKA Feast of Saint Francis of Assisi]
  • Bring Your Bible To School Day
  • Cinnamon Roll or Kanelbullens Day
  • Dick Tracy Day -- (originally Plainclothes Tracy),[1] a tough and intelligent police detective created by Chester Gould, the strip made its debut ion October 14, 1931, in the Detroit Mirror
  • eDay – founded by Computer Access New Zealand in 2006
  • Improve Your Office Day
  • Independence Day -- Lesotho [a high-altitude, landlocked kingdom encircled by South Africa] from the United Kingdom in 1966  ((are you going to pretend you had ever heard of this country before?))
  • International Toot Your Flute Day
  • National Golf Day
  • National Poetry Day [UK]
  • National Ships-in-Bottles Day
  • National Taco Day
  • National Vodka Day
  • Ten-Four Day -- 10-4 simply means 'yes, I understand your message' in general CB (Citizen's Band) slang.
  • World Animal Day

1535 – The Coverdale Bible is printed, with translations into English by William Tyndale and Myles Coverdale.

1876 – The Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas opens as the first public college in Texas.

1883 – First run of the Orient Express.

1883 – First meeting of the Boys' Brigade in Glasgow, Scotland.

1895 – Horace Rawlins wins the first U.S. Open Men's Golf Championship.

1904 – The IFK Göteborg football club is founded in Sweden

1920 - Wing Commander Robert Leckie of the Canadian Air Board, forerunner of the Royal Canadian Air Force, takes off from Dartmouth to begin the first flight across Canada

1927 – Gutzon Borglum begins sculpting Mount Rushmore.

1941 – Norman Rockwell's Willie Gillis character debuts on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

1957 – Sputnik 1 becomes the first artificial satellite to orbit the Earth -- the first man-made object ever to leave the Earth's atmosphere kicks off the Space Race for the next two decades.

1957 - "Leave It to Beaver" premiered on CBS.

1970 - Rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, was found dead of an accidental heroin overdose.

1983 – Richard Noble sets a new land speed record of 633.468 miles per hour (1,019.468 km/h) at the Black Rock Desert in Nevada.

1985 – The Free Software Foundation is founded.

2004 – SpaceShipOne wins the Ansari X Prize for private spaceflight.

2006 – WikiLeaks is launched.

What would I do all day if I was not getting up and going to work?  After all, being retired isn’t like being on vacation, it isn’t a hiatus but a permanent alteration of your fundamental lifestyle.  I don’t think I would have an identity crisis as I never defined myself by what I was doing for a living, which is an issue that many retirees face – Frank got downright depressed because once he was retired, he didn’t think he was a cop anymore [all of his family assured him he was still a cop because he never lost those instincts].  I don’t think I would find it hard to fill up the hours if I was staying home….

Well for the first three months, I would probably do very little and lollygag about reading and enjoying my 2nd Life -- there are so many communities I would like to explore, so many games stacked up that I want to play!  But then, what would I DO?   Not possessing the wherewithal to saunter casually  about the globe on regular basis, or dive into a new Masters and PhD program, I would have to look about to fill up my time productively.  First I would spend more time with friends and family – outings and visits.  And I would tackle pending projects – the Disaster Area and downsizing comes to mind immediately, as well as limbering up my sewing and baking skills that have been in abeyance since I rejoined the workforce back in 1982, not to mention needlework of various kinds.    Maybe I would start going back to the movies,  taken in a matinee at the theater, stroll through a museum, or actually go to events such as lectures during the week.      Sounds pretty good to me!


I may need to work on my retirement plan though….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, October 4, 2018

so I have a job

Today is the 4th day of the 40th week, the 3rd day of the 10th month, the 276th day of 2018, and: 
  • Balloons Around the World Day
  • Coffee With A Cop Day
  • Independence Day - Iraq from the United Kingdom in 1932
  • Look at the Leaves Day
  • Mean Girls Appreciation Day
  • National Boyfriend Day
  • National Butterfly and Hummingbird Day
  • National Caramel Custard Day
  • National Family TV Show Day
  • National Kale Day
  • National Pumpkin Seed Day
  • National Techies Day
  • National Virus Appreciation Day
  • Pet Obesity Awareness Day
  • Random Acts of Poetry Day
  • Walk To School Day

2457 BC – Gaecheonjeol, Hwanung (환웅) purportedly descended from heaven. South Korea's National Foundation Day.

1283 – Dafydd ap Gruffydd, prince of Gwynedd and the last independent ruler of Wales, is the first nobleman to be executed by hanging, drawing and quartering, a fate decreed by King Edward I of England for his insurrection

1863 – The last Thursday in November is declared as Thanksgiving Day by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln.

1942 – A German V-2 rocket reaches a record 85 km (46 nm) in altitude.

1951 - Bobby Thomson hit the "shot heard 'round the world" – a three-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning of a playoff game at the Polo Grounds – to send the New York Giants into the World Series.

1952 – The United Kingdom successfully tests a nuclear weapon to become the world's third nuclear power.

1955 - "Captain Kangaroo" premiered on CBS and "The Mickey Mouse Club" premiered on ABC.

1957 – The California State Superior Court rules that the book Howl and Other Poems is not obscene.

1960 - "The Andy Griffith Show" premiered on CBS.

1961 - "The Dick Van Dyke Show" premiered on CBS.

1962 – Project Mercury: Wally Schirra in Sigma 7 launched from Cape Canaveral for a six-orbit flight.

1985 – The Space Shuttle Atlantis makes its maiden flight.

1986 – TASCC, a superconducting cyclotron at the Chalk River Laboratories in Canada, is officially opened.

1990 - West Germany and East Germany ended 45 years of postwar division, declaring the creation of a new unified country.


Thought of the day:
Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.”
~ Johnny Carson, American television host, comedian, writer, and producer

All of us have worked in positions where the job description and/or title do not reflect the actual position one holds in the company.  One of the prompts for today asked  “If you had a title that reflected the best of what you brought to the party, what would it be?”.  In every organization I have worked in since Commercial & Farmers, I have requested my card not give a “title” whether it be Director, VP or SVP, but instead simply say “Loan Servicing”.  Back in the 90’s when I first asked for this, the VP of Operations who handled such things refused, saying I had to have a title on the cards.  We argued back and forth and finally I told her my title was CCBW.   Suspicious, she asked our boss [the EVP] what it meant and he suggested she call me and ask.  I didn’t know I was on speaker phone when she called, reminded her that I didn’t want a title if possible and that CCBW was a compromise.   When she pressed for the meaning, I admitted it was “Chief Cook and Bottle Washer” and she hung up abruptly as our boss started laughing – and my card read “Loan Servicing” as I requested.


 I may not “love what I do” but I don’t hate my job.  Trust me -- been there done that – it is not worth it to work at a job you hate or with people you cannot get along with just for money.  Me?  I work to live; I don’t live to work.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 3, 2018

not envious

Today is the 3rd day of the 40th week, the 2nd day of the 10th month, the 275th day of 2018, and: 
  • Guardian Angel Day
  • Independence Day -- Guinea from France in 1958
  • International Day of Non-Violence
  • National Custodial Worker Day
  • National Fried Scallops Day
  • National Fruit at Work Day
  • National Name Your Car Day
  • National Research Maniacs Food Day
  • Peanuts (Cartoon) Day – the strip debuted in 1950
  • Phileas Fogg's Wager Day
  • Simchat Torah -- a Jewish holiday that celebrates and marks the conclusion of the annual cycle of public Torah readings, and the beginning of a new cycle
  • World Day for Farmed Animals
  • World No Alcohol Day

1528 – William Tyndale publishes The Obedience of a Christian Man [the full title isThe Obedience of a Christian Man , and how Christen rulers ought to govern, wherein also (if thou mark diligently) thou shalt find eyes to perceive the crafty convience of all iugglers],  and is best known for advocating that the king of a country was the head of that country's church, rather than the pope, and the divine right of kings.

1535 – Jacques Cartier discovers the present site of Montreal.

1789 – The United States Bill of Rights is sent to the various States for ratification.

1925 – John Logie Baird performs the first test of a working television system.

1928 – The organization "Prelature of the Holy Cross and the Work of God", commonly known as Opus Dei, is an institution of the Roman Catholic Church which teaches that everyone is called to holiness and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity, is founded.

1959 – Rod Serling’s anthology series The Twilight Zone premieres on CBS. The first episode is “Where Is Everybody?”

2000 - The International Space Station got its first residents as an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts arrived aboard a Russian Soyuz capsule for a four-month stay.

2002 – The Beltway sniper attacks begin, extending over three weeks.  A total of ten people randomly gunned down and three critically injured while going about their everyday lives—mowing the lawn, pumping gas, shopping, reading a book.  Apparently they hoped to get money from the government in an extortion scheme to end the shootings. He then planned to use the money to fund a camp to train children to commit acts of terrorism in the United States.


Thought for the day:

I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life; I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

~ Theodore Roosevelt


There is little doubt that if I go by their Facebook pages, many people [some of whom I actually know personally rather than just follow] live a life that is very much more fun-filled than my own.   I keep in mind, though, as I peruse the pictures and videos, that I am only seeing the light-hearted side they turn to the public – I have no idea of the daily interactions, any struggles they may be having, or troubles they are not referring too.  I have had way too much experience with families that present one face to the world at large while actually very turbulent and angst-ridden.  



I’ll just keep trudging along in my own moccasins, thank you very much

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 2, 2018


Today is the 2nd day of the 40th week, the 1st day of the 10th month, the 274th day of 2018, and: 
  • Blue Shirt Day
  • CD Player Day
  • Child Health Day
  • Day of Unity
  • Homemade Cookie Day
  • Independence Day -- Cyprus and Nigeria from United Kingdom in 1960; Palau from the UN Trust Territory status in 1994; Tuvalu from United Kingdom in 1978.
  • International Coffee Day
  • International Day of Older Persons
  • International Music Day
  • International Raccoon Appreciation Day
  • Less Than Perfect Day {{finally a day that I can celebrate with ease!))
  • Model T Day
  • National Black Dog Day
  • National BOOK IT! Day
  • National Consignment Day
  • National Fire Pup Day
  • National Hair Day
  • National Lace Day
  • National Walk Your Dog Day
  • Shemini Atzeret -- a Jewish holiday. It is celebrated on the 22nd day of the Hebrew month of Tishrei in the Land of Israel, and on the 22nd and 23rd outside the Land
  • Vegan Baking Day ((why?  Don’t they taste good raw?))
  • Willy Wonka Day -- in the 1971 film, the golden ticket states that the tour of the candy factory will be on October 1st.
  • World Architecture Day
  • World Habitat Day
  • World Vegetarian Day


1829 – South African College is founded in Cape Town, South Africa. It will later separate into the University of Cape Town and the South African College Schools.

1843 – The News of the World tabloid begins publication in London.

1861 – Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management is published, going on to sell 60,000 copies in its first year and remaining in print until the present day

1890 – Yosemite National Park is established by the U.S. Congress.

1891 – Stanford University opens its doors in California.

1898 – The Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration is founded under the name k.u.k. Exportakademie.

1903 – The Boston Americans play the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first game of the modern World Series.

1908 – Ford Model T automobiles are offered for sale at a price of $825, which is roughly $22,980 in today's dollars

1918 – Sayid Abdullah becomes the last Khan of Khiva.

1931 – The George Washington Bridge linking New Jersey and New York opens.

1940 – The Pennsylvania Turnpike, often considered the first superhighway in the United States, opens to traffic.

1946 – Mensa International is founded.

1947 – The North American F-86 Sabre flies for the first time.

1957 – First appearance of “In God we trust” on U.S. paper currency.

1958 – The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics is replaced by NASA.

1961 – The United States Defense Intelligence Agency is formed, becoming the country's first centralized military intelligence organization.

1961 - Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hit his 61st home run of the season, breaking Babe Ruth's record of 60 set in 1927.

1962 - Johnny Carson debuted as regular host of NBC's "Tonight" show.

1964 – Japanese Shinkansen ("bullet trains") begin high-speed rail service from Tokyo to Osaka.

1969 – Concorde breaks the sound barrier for the first time.

1971 – Walt Disney World opens near Orlando, Florida.

1971 – The first practical CT scanner is used to diagnose a patient.

1979 – The MTR, the rapid transit railway system in Hong Kong, opens.

1982 – Epcot opens at Walt Disney World in Florida.

1982 – Sony launches the model CDP-101 compact disk player.

1989 – Denmark introduces the world's first legal same-sex registered partnerships.


October.  I am not ready for this!  How can there only be 91 days before 2019 and 84 shopping days until Christmas?  Should be the time for crisp mornings and bright fall colors, not for heat and humidity!  Apparently the goddess of weather hereabouts hasn’t gotten the memo about the season change, although at least we have some sunshine and offset the mold and mildew that started to take over our lives after all that rain.




Soon ….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 1, 2018

We have met the enemy and they are us

Today is the 6th day of the 39th week, the last business day of the 3rd Quarter, the 28th day of the 9th month, the 271st day of 2018 [75% of the year is gone], and: 
  • Ask a Stupid Question Day
  • Fish Tank Floorshow Night
  • Hug a Vegetarian Day
  • International Right to Know Day
  • Love Note Day
  • National BRAVE Day
  • National Drink Beer Day
  • National Gay Men HIV AIDS Awareness Day ((again?))
  • National Good Neighbor Day
  • National Strawberry Cream Pie Day
  • Read a Child a Book You Like Day
  • Save the Koala Day
  • Silver Lining Day
  • Support Purple for Platelets Day
  • Vegan Baking Day
  • World Rabies Day


1542 – Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo of Portugal arrives at what is now San Diego, California.

1871 – The Brazilian Parliament passes a law that frees all children thereafter born to slaves, and all government-owned slaves.

1892 – The first night game for American football takes place in a contest between Wyoming Seminary and Mansfield State Normal.

1893 – Foundation of the Portuguese football club FC Porto.

1912 – Corporal Frank S. Scott of the United States Army becomes the first enlisted man to die in an airplane crash.

1924 – two United States Army planes landed in Seattle, Washington, having completed the first round-the-world flight in 175 days.

1928 – Alexander Fleming notices a bacteria-killing mold growing in his laboratory, discovering what later became known as penicillin.

1941 – Ted Williams achieves a .406 batting average for the season, and becomes the last major league baseball player to bat .400 or better.

1951 – CBS makes the first color televisions available for sale to the general public, but the product is discontinued less than a month later.

1987 - Premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation drawing 27 million viewers, with the two-hour pilot "Encounter at Farpoint", set in the year 2364, 99 years after the start of the five-year mission described in the original series, which began in 2265. It was broadcast it in first-run syndication on independent stations 

2008 – Falcon 1 becomes the first privately-developed liquid-fuel ground-launched vehicle to put a payload into orbit.

The conflict of 1861 – 1865 – whether you call it the Civil War, the War Between the States, or the War of Northern Aggression – as well as the events leading up to it and following it, was especially hard on Maryland.  The Mason-Dixon line is the traditional divide on the East Coast between the North and the South, but Marylanders have a bit of a identity crisis.  The North definitely considers Maryland to be a southern state, but the South definitely feels Marylanders are Yankees.  We who live here are pretty much split on the subject and in those years, many families were irrevocably ripped asunder.    Even today, while the Democrats seem firmly in control, the state often elects Republican governors and Congressional representatives of both houses.  The economy of the state is equally at odds, from the mountains of Western MD to the flats of the Eastern shore to the city of Baltimore and the suburbs of DC –not many of our interests are aligned.  It is a fiercely partisan state, but the O’s and the Ravens and crab feasts as well as a resentment and distrust of DC society thinking unites us, providing common ground.

But what unites the country as a whole?  Where is our common ground where we can agree?  When did our own fellow citizens become the enemy, the target of so much hate and vitriol?


 And who will unite us instead of dividing us furher?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 28, 2018

things haven't changed for some of us

Today is the 5th day of the 39th week, the 27th day of the 9th month, the 270th day of 2018, and: 
  • Ancestor Appreciation Day
  • Google's Birthday
  • National Chocolate Milk Day
  • National Corned Beef Hash Day
  • National Crush a Can Day
  • National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Native American Women's Equal Pay Day
  • Remember Me Thursday
  • World Maritime Day
  • World Tourism Day
On this very day 27 years ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee was deadlocked, 7-7, on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court after the testimony of Anita Hill.  Thomas, who was nominated by George W Bush,  assumed office in October 1991, and is now the senior  Justice and generally viewed as the most conservative member of the court.  He is also known for almost never speaking during oral arguments.  Today we have another woman, Christine Blasey Ford, testifying before the same committee [indeed, before five of the same men] about another Supreme Court lifetime appointee. 

I would like to point out two things:

First--  We are hearing the same old excuses for unacceptable behavior that we have heard again and again and again:
  • “Attempted” rape is not a crime because nothing actually happened
  • It was a long time ago.  You can’t be held accountable for something that happened 36 years ago!
  • Boys will be boys.  He was just 17and he was drunk and horny, and inappropriate behavior is just natural
  • He is a good man, a pillar of his faith and community
  • He says he didn’t do it.  ((He says he didn’t do anything to the other women who have come forward either))
Now imagine your daughters or granddaughters just entering puberty reading or hearing all this in the news.  And don’t forget the teenage boys they will be with are getting these messages too.

Second -- just think about the victim shaming and questioning that is going on.  Now remember the other big sex scandal that recently broke -- have you heard anyone ridiculing any man who came forward with allegations of being molested by a Catholic priest after 35 years of silence?  Asked why they didn’t come forward sooner? Called sluts?  Had to move because their phone numbers and addresses were posted in social media?  Told they were mixed up or confused or asked for it because of the way they were dressed or what they were drinking or where they were at the time?  Asked why they want to ruin a good man’s life?


I thought we were further along than this. 

Apparently I was wrong. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 27, 2018

things haven't changed for some of us

Today is the 5th day of the 39th week, the 27th day of the 9th month, the 270th day of 2018, and: 
  • Ancestor Appreciation Day
  • Google's Birthday
  • National Chocolate Milk Day
  • National Corned Beef Hash Day
  • National Crush a Can Day
  • National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • Native American Women's Equal Pay Day
  • Remember Me Thursday
  • World Maritime Day
  • World Tourism Day

On this very day 27 years ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee was deadlocked, 7-7, on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court after the testimony of Anita Hill.  Thomas, who was nominated by George W Bush,  assumed office in October 1991, and is now the senior  Justice and generally viewed as the most conservative member of the court.  He is also known for almost never speaking during oral arguments.  Today we have another woman, Christine Blasey Ford, testifying before the same committee [indeed, before five of the same men] about another Supreme Court lifetime appointee. 


I would like to point out two things:


First--  We are hearing the same old excuses for unacceptable behavior that we have heard again and again and again:
  • “Attempted” rape is not a crime because nothing actually happened
  • It was a long time ago.  You can’t be held accountable for something that happened 36 years ago!
  • Boys will be boys.  He was just 17and he was drunk and horny, and inappropriate behavior is just natural
  • He is a good man, a pillar of his faith and community
  • He says he didn’t do it.  ((He says he didn’t do anything to the other women who have come forward either))
Now imagine your daughters or granddaughters just entering puberty reading or hearing all this in the news.  And don’t forget the teenage boys they will be with are getting these messages too.


Second -- just think about the victim shaming and questioning that is going on.  Now remember the other big sex scandal that recently broke -- have you heard anyone ridiculing any man who came forward with allegations of being molested by a Catholic priest after 35 years of silence?  Asked why they didn’t come forward sooner? Called sluts?  Had to move because their phone numbers and addresses were posted in social media?  Told they were mixed up or confused or asked for it because of the way they were dressed or what they were drinking or where they were at the time?  Asked why they want to ruin a good man’s life?




I thought we were further along than this. 


Apparently I was wrong. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 27, 2018

so you found your people, then....

Today is the 4th day of the 39th week, the 26th day of the 9th month, the 269th day of 2018 [and only 89 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Banned Websites Awareness Day
  • Compliance Officer Day
  • European Day of Languages
  • Forget-Me-Not Day
  • Johnny Appleseed Day
  • Lumberjack Day
  • National Better Breakfast Day
  • National Compliance Officer Day
  • National Dumpling Day
  • National Pancake Day
  • National Situational Awareness Day
  • National Women's Health and Fitness Day
  • School Backpack Awareness Day – granted some of those backpacks are way too heavy for growing bones, but it is still better than balancing all those books in the crook of one arm which is what we did back in the day!
  • Shamu the Whale Day
  • Stanislav Petrov Day – a day to remember that 35 years ago, we almost destroyed ourselves, and we still have the capacity to do so today
  • World School Milk Day


46 BC – Julius Caesar dedicates a temple to Venus Genetrix, fulfilling a vow he made at the Battle of Pharsalus.

1493 – Pope Alexander VI issues the papal bull Dudum siquidem to the Spanish, extending the grant of new lands he made them in Inter caetera.

1580 – Francis Drake finishes his circumnavigation of the Earth.

1687 – The Parthenon in Athens is partially destroyed during the Morean War.

1905 – Albert Einstein publishes the third of his Annus Mirabilis papers, introducing the special theory of relativity.

1933 – As gangster Machine Gun Kelly surrenders to the FBI, he shouts out, "Don't shoot, G-Men!", which becomes a nickname for FBI agents.

1934 – The ocean liner RMS Queen Mary is launched.

1941 – The Military Police Corps is created as a permanent branch of the United States Army

1957 - The musical "West Side Story" opened on Broadway.

1960 – In Chicago, the first televised debate takes place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy -- almost 70 million Americans tune in to watch.  Many analysts feel that Nixon lost the election as a result because he looked old, tired, and shifty next to the very photogenic JFK

1969 – Abbey Road, the last recorded album by The Beatles, is released.

1973 – Concorde makes its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic in record-breaking time.

1977 – The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant opens for official usage, the first nuclear power plant in the (then) Ukrainian SSR.

1981 – Nolan Ryan sets a Major League record by throwing his fifth no-hitter.

1983 – Soviet Air Force officer Stanislav Petrov identifies a report of an incoming nuclear missile as a computer error and not an American first strike.  He prevented a nuclear war between the Soviets, who had 35,804 nuclear warheads, and the US, which had 23,305, by taking a moment to research the possibility of a false alarm .  It probably isn’t an exaggeration to credit this man for single-handedly saving more lives than any other individual ever. 

2005 – The PBS Kids Channel is shut down and replaced by a joint network with Comcast called Sprout.

2008 – Swiss pilot and inventor Yves Rossy becomes first person to fly a jet engine-powered wing across the English Channel.


Post convention depression actually exists.  After all, from the moment you walked into the con, you have been surrounded by your people – they grok you, accept you, embrace you.  This is your tribe!  And then you go from an intensive atmosphere of enjoyment and fun where you are around people who are steeped in the same interests you cherish, you leave friends and acquaintances that you probably only see at such events behind, and you find yourself suffering from the blues as you try to integrate back into the workaday world.  “Real life” seems boring and colorless, the people around you don’t seem to understand your interest in the fandom you just immersed yourself in, and the chances of having brought some form of the con crud [AKA the Blorch or the con plague] home is pretty high since you just spent days not sleeping, eating and drinking everything, traveling, in close and sometimes intimate contact with lots and lots of strangers.    




Time to start figuring out who to cosplay next year.   What character did you not see any of from your favorite show?   Hmmmmm…..
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Today is the 4th day of the 37th week, the 19th day of the 9th month, the 262nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Independence Day -- Saint Kitts and Nevis from the United Kingdom in 1983.
  • International Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • National Butterscotch Pudding Day
  • National Rehabilitation Day
  • National School Backpack Awareness Day
  • National Woman Road Warrior Day
  • Yom Kippur
1654 - Jean Aubuchon, age 20, marries 11 year old Marguerite Sédilot; first New France and first Canadian marriage on record; the couple will have 16 children.
1778 – The Continental Congress passes the first United States federal budget – and except for about a year during 1835–1836, the United States has continuously had a fluctuating public debt
1852 – Annibale de Gasparis discovers the asteroid Massalia from the north dome of the Astronomical Observatory of Capodimonte.
1952 – The United States bars Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after a trip to England.
1957 – Plumbbob Rainier becomes the first nuclear explosion to be entirely contained underground, producing no fallout.
1970 – Michael Eavis hosts the first Glastonbury Festival.
1970 - "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" debuted on CBS.
1991 – Ötzi the Iceman is discovered in the Alps on the border between Italy and Austria.
2011 – Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees surpasses Trevor Hoffman to become Major League Baseball's all time saves leader with 602.

Hope you be keepin' a weather eye out for squalls and remember -- dead men tell no tales!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 19, 2018

boxed in... again

Today is the 3rd day of the 37th week, the 18th day of the 9th month, the 261st day of 2018, and: 
  • Air Force Birthday
  • Chiropractic Founders Day
  • Get Ready Day
  • Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day
  • Independence Day: Chile from Spain in 1810
  • International Read an eBook Day
  • National Ceiling Fan Day
  • National Cheeseburger Day
  • National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
  • National IT Professionals Day
  • National Respect Day
  • Rice Krispies Treats Day
  • Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day
  • World Bamboo Day
  • World Water Monitoring Day


1618 – The twelfth baktun in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar begins.

1793 – The first cornerstone of the United States Capitol is laid by George Washington.

1809 – The Royal Opera House in London opens.

1837 – Tiffany & Co. (first named Tiffany & Young) is founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and Teddy Young in New York City. The store is called a "stationery and fancy goods emporium".

1851 – First publication of The New-York Daily Times, which later becomes The New York Times.

1870 – Old Faithful Geyser is observed and named by Henry D. Washburn.

1873 – The bank Jay Cooke & Company declares bankruptcy, contributing to the Panic of 1873

1879 – The Blackpool Illuminations are switched on for the first time.

1882 – The Pacific Stock Exchange opens.

1919 – Fritz Pollard becomes the first African American to play professional football for a major team, the Akron Pros.

1927 – The Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting System (later CBS) debuted with a network of 16 radio stations.

1928 – Juan de la Cierva makes the first autogyro crossing of the English Channel.

1959 – Vanguard 3 is launched into Earth orbit.

1977 – Voyager I takes the first distant photograph of the Earth and the Moon together.

1980 – Soyuz 38 carries two cosmonauts (including one Cuban) to the Salyut 6 space station.

1981 – The Assemblée Nationale votes to abolish capital punishment in France.

1984 – Joe Kittinger completes the first solo balloon crossing of the Atlantic.

1997 – United States media magnate Ted Turner donates US$1 billion to the United Nations.

I have made my home in Building B of the Enclave Silver Spring (Formerly Enclave Apartments and Berkshire Towers at Silver Spring) since 2006.  For two years I lived on the 19th floor in a three-bedroom unit – chosen because my mother was supposed to be living with me, which she did for about nine months before going into assisted living – and then on the 20th floor in a two-bedroom   I chose the Enclave for four reasons:  the location was perfect,  the washer/dryer in each unit, the garage parking, and it was wired for high-speed internet [both Comcast and FIOS].   I like my apartment and have often shared pictures of the locale  #theviewfromthebalcony    The office and maintenance staff have always been friendly and cooperative, and I have been happy to make my home here

Unfortunately, as a business venture the apartment complex has not been successful.  Apparently after taking on debt for renovating apartments right before the crash of 2008, the owners seem to have run into financial difficulties and had to declare bankruptcy – I wish I had saved the legal letter that was sent to each resident – but life seemed to go on.  Services were cut back, mostly the concierge was no longer 24/7, security no longer manned the kiosk at night, and packages could only be picked up at the management office, and utility expenses quadrupled as more costs were passed onto residents [which seemed fair].   The management companies started changing now and then, but it was only in the past two years that it became obvious cost-cutting was starting to take precedence over resident satisfaction.  Then the Donaldson Group took over the management of the apartment complex in April and things have rapidly spiraled downwards at an alarming pace.  This particular management company appears to be poorly rated by the residents it serves both in GOOGLE reviews [2.4, but the positive reviews I read were from employees] and the Better Business Bureau [F]; they have not responded to me so I don’t have a personal assessment   The issues that are going unaddressed are major:  damage to common areas, worries about mildew and mold, elevators and HVAC units being left unrepaired, and a lack of adequate pest control.    While the onsite staff have continued to try and help, the communications from the management company have been notably missing and all residents are beginning to fear the downward trend to reach a tipping point where the deterioration cannot be reversed.

I’ve renewed my lease for another year, but if things continue in this vein, I fear I am going to have to start looking for a new home.  And you know what THAT means!




I hate moving!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, September 18, 2018

When Grease is NOT the word

Today is the 2nd day of the 37th week, the 17th day of the 9th month, the 260th day of 2018 [with only 98 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Citizenship Day
  • Constitution Day - observed on the previous Friday if it falls on a Saturday, the following Monday if on a Sunday; and the beginning of the Constitution Week (United States)
  • International Country Music Day
  • National Apple Dumpling Day
  • National Monte Cristo Day
  • Respect for The Aged Day
  • Time's Up Day -- a day when people tell themselves that time is up when it comes to deciding if they should make up with someone who they've had a falling out with. Tomorrow someone may be gone and it will be too late.
  • VFW Ladies Auxiliary Day
  • World Goat Day


1630 – The city of Boston, Massachusetts is founded.

1683 – Antonie van Leeuwenhoek writes a letter to the Royal Society describing "animalcules" [AKA microscopic animals or protozoan]

1776 – The Presidio of San Francisco is founded in New Spain.

1778 – The Treaty of Fort Pitt is signed. It is the first formal treaty between the United States and a Native American tribe.

1787 – The United States Constitution is signed in Philadelphia.

1859 – Joshua A. Norton declares himself "Norton I, Emperor of the United States."

1908 – The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashes, killing Selfridge, who becomes the first airplane fatality.

1917 - Finance Minister Sir Thomas White's "War Tax Upon Income", passed July 25, comes into effect; first national tax on personal income on Canadians; 4% on all income of single men over $2,000; for others, the personal exemption was $3,000; for those Canadians with annual incomes of more than $6,000, the tax rate ranged from 2 to 25 per cent; supposedly a temporary wartime measure only.

1920 – The National Football League is organized as the American Professional Football Association in Canton, Ohio

1954 – The novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding is first published.

1961 – The world's first retractable roof stadium, the Civic Arena, opens in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1972 - The comedy series "M.A.S.H." premiered on CBS.

1976 – The Space Shuttle Enterprise is unveiled by NASA.

1983 – Vanessa Williams becomes the first black Miss America.

1991 – The first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) is released to the Internet.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 52 mins 35 secs of light-travel time from Earth


At the end of Grease [one of the few movies that were actually as good as the play], the entire graduating class sings happily about the wonderful memories they are taking with them and how they will always be together no matter how far afield they went.   This week Overlea’s Class of 1968 celebrated their 50th year with a reunion and the lady who did the organizing did a fantastic job.  Facebook was full of pictures of happy laughing people, dancing, hugging, mugging for the camera, and looking like they were having a grand time.  Some looked vaguely like the kids that I went to high school with but most were completely unrecognizable.   I looked through the names and recognized those, but the few I was curious about, the ones who left high school and disappeared [at least to me], the couple that out of curiosity I googled their names and never did find them, not one of them were there that I saw.   I went to the 5 year reunion, helped plan the 10 year, went to the 15 year –all I really did was sit at the table with the two friends that I had stayed in touch with through the years and watched the others for I was always a bit of an outsider in my class and that had not changed.   When you come right down to it, my memories of high school were neither happy nor fond, and I realized my experiences of those years differed from those the rest in the room were obviously enjoying recalling and I was done with nostalgia for those days.   My one friend made one or two more, and then she stopped going as well. 




When one person asked if I would be there then expressed regret they wouldn’t see me, I offered to drive over and get together during the weekend, but they didn’t have time to do so because they had to head back out of town.  I’m sorry I didn’t get to see those folk I was curious about, but I know they can find me via social media if they wish.  And I will continue to treasure the two friends who have stayed in my life through the years – and yes, we will always be together.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 17, 2018

Today is the 6th day of the 36th week, the 14th day of the 9th month, the 127th day of 2018 [with only 101 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Eat a Hoagie Day
  • National Bakery Day
  • National Coloring Day
  • National Cream-Filled Donut Day
  • National Hug your Boss Day
  • National Live Creative Day
  • National Quiet Day
  • Stand Up to Cancer Day
  • The Exaltation of the Holy Cross -- (AKA the Elevation of the Holy Cross or the Feast of the Cross) -- one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church.  According to Orthodox Church teachings, Saint Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine the Great, discovered the Holy Cross in 325 AD in the vicinity of Golgotha, where it lay buried in the dust of the centuries. On the spot where the Cross was discovered, there was also found a hitherto unknown flower of rare beauty and fragrance, which has been named Vasiliko (Basil), meaning the flower of royalty, out of respect for the Dowager Queen who led the expedition.


1682 – Bishop Gore School, one of the oldest schools in Wales, is founded.

1723 – Grand Master António Manoel de Vilhena lays down the first stone of Fort Manoel in Malta.

1741 – George Frideric Handel completes his oratorio Messiah.

1752 – The British Empire and its American colonies replace the Julian calendar with the Gregorian calendar. The error between it and the Julian calendar was rectified by eliminating 11 days, yesterday being September 2; ten days are 'lost' when the new calendar which had been adopted by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 made adjustments to keep it accurate to within about 25 seconds a year

1940 -  Congress passed the Selective Training and Service Act, providing for the first peacetime draft in US history.

1956 – The IBM 305 RAMAC is introduced, the first commercial computer to use disk storage

1958 – The first two German post-war rockets, designed by the German engineer Ernst Mohr, reach the upper atmosphere.

1959 – The Soviet probe Luna 2 crashes onto the Moon, becoming the first man-made object to reach it.

1960 – The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is founded.

1975 – The first American saint, Elizabeth Ann Seton, is canonized by Pope Paul VI.

1984 – Joe Kittinger becomes the first person to fly a gas balloon alone across the Atlantic Ocean.

1985 – Penang Bridge, the longest bridge in Malaysia, connecting the island of Penang to the mainland, opens to traffic.

1994 – The Major League Baseball season is canceled because of a strike.

2000 – Microsoft releases Windows ME.

2015 – The first observation of gravitational waves was made, announced by the LIGO and Virgo collaborations on 11 February 2016.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 52 mins 00 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:
There is no such thing as fantasy unrelated to reality
~ Maurice Sendak,  American illustrator and writer of children's books. He became widely known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, first published in 1963.

So all fantasy is tethered to reality?  Now that is an interesting question – what is the limit of imagination and thought?   It is a bit like the puzzle of Schrödinger’s Cat – once you have created and crafted a thought of “it” does “it” now exist in some form, albeit incorporeal?  And if “it” is totally unique, isn’t “it” actually made of existing components  that have been assembled in a new and unanticipated pattern?  Is all fantasy then, whether narrative or visual, actually an idealized or prettyfied version of exists in what we so laughingly call “real life”?


 Let me ask you, where would you rather live if you had your druthers?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 14, 2018

perchance to dream

Today is the 5th day of the 36th week, the 13th day of the 9th month, the 256th day of 2018, and: 
  • Bald is Beautiful Day
  • Fortune Cookie Day
  • International Chocolate Day
  • Kids Take Over the Kitchen Day
  • National Celiac Awareness Cay
  • National Defy Superstition Day
  • National Peanut Day
  • Positive Thinking Day
  • Programmers' Day -- On the 256th day of the year, was chosen because it is the number of distinct values that can be represented with an eight-bit byte, and is also the highest power of two that is less than 365, the number of days in a common year.
  • R U OK Day [Australia] -- a national day of action in September dedicated to reminding people to ask family, friends and colleagues the question, "R U OK?", in a meaningful way, because connecting regularly and meaningfully is one thing everyone can do to make a difference to anyone who might be struggling.
  • Roald Dahl Day – the children’s author’s 101st birthday is today
  • Scooby-Doo Day – it is his birthday
  • Snack a Pickle Day
  • Uncle Sam Day - became official in 1989, when a joint resolution of Congress designated September 13 "Uncle Sam Day". This date was selected, as "Uncle Sam" Wilson was born on September 13, 1776.


1501 – Michelangelo begins work on his statue of David.

1504 – Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand issue a Royal Warrant for the construction of a Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) to be built.

1541 – After three years of exile, John Calvin returns to Geneva to reform the church under a body of doctrine known as Calvinism.

1584 – San Lorenzo del Escorial Palace in Madrid is finished.

1609 – Henry Hudson reaches the river that would later be named after him – the Hudson River.

1814 – In a turning point in the War of 1812, the British fail to capture Baltimore. During the battle, Francis Scott Key composes his poem "Defence of Fort McHenry", which is later set to music and becomes the United States' national anthem.

1848 – Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage survives an iron rod 1 1⁄4 inches (3.2 cm) in diameter being driven through his brain; the reported effects on his behavior and personality stimulate thinking about the nature of the brain and its functions.

1898 – Hannibal Goodwin patents celluloid photographic film.

1899 – Henry Bliss is the first person in the United States to be killed in an automobile accident.

1899 – Mackinder, Ollier and Brocherel make the first ascent of Batian (5,199 m – 17,058 ft), the highest peak of Mount Kenya.

1906 – The Santos-Dumont 14-bis makes a short hop, the first flight of a fixed-wing aircraft in Europe.

1949 - The Ladies Professional Golf Association of America was formed in New York City.

1956 – The dike around the Dutch polder East Flevoland is closed.

1985 – Super Mario Bros. is released in Japan for the NES, which starts the Super Mario series of platforming games.

1987 – Goiânia accident: A radioactive object is stolen from an abandoned hospital in Goiânia, Brazil, contaminating many people in the following weeks and causing some to die from radiation poisoning.

1990 - "Law & Order" premiered on NBC.

2001 – Civilian aircraft traffic resumes in the United States after the September 11 attacks.

2007 – The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples is adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 51 mins 48 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:
"Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it."
~ Jane Wagner, American writer, director and producer

Man of La Mancha was a musical that came out in 1965 based on the 17th Century novel Don Quixote.  This quote sums up how I feel about “reality”: 

“Life as it is. I've lived for over 40 years and I've seen life as it is. Pain. Misery. Cruelty beyond belief. I've heard all the voices of God's noblest creature. Moans from bundles of filth in the street. I've been a soldier and a slave. I've seen my comrades fall in battle or die more slowly under the lash in Africa. I've held them in my arms at the final moment. These were men who saw life as it is, yet they died despairing. No glory, no brave last words, only their eyes, filled with confusion, questioning "Why?" I do not think they were asking why they were dying, but why they had ever lived. When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness To surrender dreams - -this may be madness; to seek treasure where there is only trash. Too much sanity may be madness! And maddest of all - to see life as it is and not as it should be!”

Now excuse me, that monstrous giant of infamous repute with four great arms whirling at his back needs to be chastised. 

May you never forget how to dream an Impossible Dream
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 13, 2018


Today is the 4th day of the 36th week, the 12th day of the 9th month, the 255th day of 2018, and: 
  • International Day for South-South Cooperation
  • Mindfulness Day
  • National Chocolate Milkshake Day
  • National Day of Encouragement
  • National Police Woman Day
  • National Report Medicare Fraud Day
  • Video Games Day


1609 – Henry Hudson begins his exploration of the Hudson River while aboard the Halve Maen.

1814 – Battle of North Point: an American detachment halts the British land advance to Baltimore in the War of 1812.

1846 – Elizabeth Barrett elopes with Robert Browning.

1885 – Arbroath 36–0 Bon Accord, a world record scoreline in professional Association football.

1890 – Salisbury, Rhodesia, is founded.

1906 – The Newport Transporter Bridge is opened in Newport, South Wales by Viscount Tredegar.

1910 – Premiere performance of Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 in Munich (with a chorus of 852 singers and an orchestra of 171 players. Mahler's rehearsal assistant conductor was Bruno Walter)

1933 – Leó Szilárd, waiting for a red light on Southampton Row in Bloomsbury, conceives the idea of the nuclear chain reaction.

1940 – Cave paintings are discovered in Lascaux, France.

1952 – Strange occurrences, including a monster [the Flatwoods monster, AKA the Braxton County Monster or Phantom of Flatwoods] sighting, take place in Flatwoods, West Virginia following the appearance of bright object crossing the sky. Nearly fifty years later, investigators concluded that the light was a meteor and the creature was a barn owl perched in a tree, with shadows making it appear to be a large humanoid.

1953 – U.S. Senator and future President John Fitzgerald Kennedy marries Jacqueline Lee Bouvier at St. Mary's Church in Newport, Rhode Island.

1954 - "Lassie" made its TV debut on CBS.

1958 – Jack Kilby demonstrates the first working integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments.

1959 – The Soviet Union launches a large rocket, Lunik II, at the moon.

1959 – Bonanza premieres, the first regularly scheduled TV program presented in color.

1962 – President Kennedy delivers his We choose to go to the Moon speech at Rice University.

1966 – Gemini 11, the penultimate mission of NASA's Gemini program, and the current human altitude record holder (except for the Apollo lunar missions)

1984 – Dwight Gooden sets the baseball record for strikeouts in a season by a rookie with 246, previously set by Herb Score in 1954. Gooden's 276 strikeouts that season, pitched in 218 innings, set the current record.

1992 – NASA launches Space Shuttle Endeavour on STS-47 which marked the 50th shuttle mission. On board are Mae Carol Jemison, the first African-American woman in space, Mamoru Mohri, the first Japanese citizen to fly in a US spaceship, and Mark Lee and Jan Davis, the first married couple in space.

2011 – The National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York City opens to the public.

2013 - Voyager 1 had reached interstellar space; NASA is still in contact with the spacecraft, even though it is over 13 billion miles (over 20 billion kilometers) away

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 51 mins 36 secs of light-travel time from Earth.


Do you daydream?  Do you just stare out into space, locked in the pictures of your mind’s eye?   I look at the busy lives my granddaughters live with the number of activities they are involved in and I wonder how much time they have to ponder.  The things they do are so much fun and they have experiences I never had as a kid, that’s for sure!  I didn’t know there was such a thing as daydreaming too much – after all one gets grounded in real life pretty quickly when you have bills to pay – but apparently there are those who are “hopelessly addicted” to the warm fuzzies you get when you drift away in your own head.  And who hasn’t imagined being richer, prettier, more popular, faster, stronger, famous, or memorable?  Too much of a good thing is too much, I guess.   But on this day 56 years ago, the President articulated a dream of reaching to the moon and I have been gazing longingly at the stars and daydreaming of the final frontier ever since. 




Such is the power of daydreams
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 12, 2018

yes we remember....

My grandmother remembered October 29th, 19.29 because the bank where she had their little nest egg closed its doors.  She remembers exactly how she felt, and what happened afterwards.  The Great Depression left many scars on that generation.    And we learned the rich were not good stewards of the nation’s wellbeing

My parents all remembered December 7th, 1941  as a “date which will live in infamy”.  They could tell me exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news – I wish I could remember – and the United States entered WWII.  And we learned one country couldn’t exist in isolation but needed allies.

I remember November 22nd, 1963.  My mother picked me up from school and I was chattering as always and she just kept looking over at me.  Finally she asked me if the teachers had said anything about the news, and then told me what had happened.   We lost Camelot that day; I often wonder if things would be different now if he had survived.  “Don’t let it be forgot” we sang and wept, and we learned that change was inevitable as well as disruptive. 

And my kids remember 09.11.  They can tell their stories from 17 years ago; Frank and I were in the Animal Kingdom watching The Lion King when the show was interrupted with an order to evacuate the parks.  Even after seeing tape after tape of the attack and the collapse of the buildings, even after seeing the damage to the Pentagon, even after the last plane was reported as crashed, there hung an air of incredulity over the entire story.  We learned the power of unity; we learned that extremism was deadly.   But today, some people remember the wrong things and have learned to hate and fear others.  Today we seem all too eager to give up freedom in return for an illusion of security.  Today we seem to focus on the terrorists, never asking or even caring what embittered them.
Yes, we will all remember what happened – but have we forgotten what we learned?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, September 11, 2018

we need to pay attention

Today is the 2nd day of the 36th week, the 10th day of the 9th month, the 253rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Blame it on the Large Hadron Collider Day --  the anniversary of the date that the Large Hadron Collider was first fired up in 2008 just outside of Geneva, Switzerland
  • I'm on Top of It Day  ((I’m not – hope you have this))
  • International Creepy Boston Dynamics Robotic Horse Day
  • International Make-Up Day
  • National Boss/Employee Exchange Day
  • National Hot Dog Day
  • National Swap Ideas Day
  • Sew Be It Day
  • Rosh Hashanah – this actually started at sundown yesterday.  Lots of schools are closed today
  • TV Dinner Day
  • World Suicide Prevention Day

1846 – Elias Howe is granted a patent for the sewing machine.

1858 – George Mary Searle discovers the asteroid 55 Pandora.

1932 – The New York City Subway's third competing subway system, the municipally-owned IND, is opened.

1936 – First World Individual Motorcycle Speedway Championship, Held at London's (England) Wembley Stadium

1937 – Nine nations attend the Nyon Conference to address international piracy in the Mediterranean Sea.

1941 - Alberta, Canada government orders all schools closed due to the epidemics of infantile paralysis (poliomyelitis) and encephalitis; lessons published in the newspapers.

1955 - "Gunsmoke" premiered on CBS.

1960 – At the Summer Olympics in Rome, Abebe Bikila becomes the first sub-Saharan African to win a gold medal, winning the marathon in bare feet.

1977 - A convicted murderer became the last person to be executed by the guillotine in France.

2000 - The Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "Cats" closed after 7,485 performances over nearly 18 years as the longest-running show in Broadway history.

2001 – Charles Ingram cheats his way to £1 million on the UK game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?

2008 – The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history, is powered up in Geneva, Switzerland.

2018 -  NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 51 mins 12 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." 

~ Voltaire (1694 - 1778)


The story of the LHC [Large Hadron Collider] has been strewn with all kinds of detritus and debris caused by pseudo-science, partially fueled by a lack of understanding of particle physics.    You have to admit the formation of microscopic black holes does sound a bit like a grade-B sci fi movie about mad scientists.   This resulted in an actual lawsuit to keep the LHC from ever operating, stating it would unleash a planet-eating monster.  Granted it is still dangerous to flesh – the story of a scientist who got in the way of a particle beam proved that proton radiation can do a great deal of damage – but the fear a black hole could actually grow and gobble up the Earthis just not rational.     Now the one about opening a gateway into a parallel universe or a different dimension?  Personally I think we’ll have to wait and see about that one, because apparently physicists never read up about Cthulhu and the Elder Gods who live in that different plane of existence…..




Pretty farfetched you say?  "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" or “Make America Great Again” --  in this world of “alternative facts” and the barrage of “fake news” either incantation worrying about Cthulhu is just absurd.  And I worry about atrocities to follow....
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 10, 2018

read a book

Today is the 5th day of the 35th week, the 6th day of the 9th month, the 249th day of 2018, and: 
  • Barbie Doll Day
  • Fight Procrastination Day
  • Great Egg Toss Day
  • Independence Day -- Swaziland from the United Kingdom in 1968
  • National Coffee Ice Cream Day
  • Read a Book Day ((isn’t that every day though?))
  • Stillbirth Remembrance Day
The earliest date on which the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance is performed [it will be on the 10th this year



1492 – Christopher Columbus sails from La Gomera in the Canary Islands, his final port of call before crossing the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.

1522 – The Victoria returns to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan's expedition and the first ship to circumnavigate the world.

1620 – The Pilgrims sail from Plymouth, England on the Mayflower to settle in North America. (Old Style date; September 16 per New Style date.)

1628 – Puritans settle Salem which became part of Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1775 - George Washington issues his Address to the Inhabitants of Canada asking for their support in the American war of independence; calls for volunteers to accompany Benedict Arnold and his Virginia and Pennsylvania militia in the invasion of Québec.

1803 – British scientist John Dalton begins using symbols to represent the atoms of different elements.

1847 – Henry David Thoreau leaves Walden Pond and moves in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family in Concord, Massachusetts.

1916 – The first self-service grocery store Piggly Wiggly was opened in Memphis, Tennessee by Clarence Saunders.

1936 - British aviatrix Beryl Markham becomes the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west, taking off in England and crash-landing in Nova Scotia twenty-one hours later.

1943 – The Monterrey Institute of Technology is founded in Monterrey, Mexico as one of the largest and most influential private universities in Latin America.

1952 - Canadian television broadcasting begins at 4 p.m. on this day as CBFT-TV in Montréal (now part of CBC's French network Radio-Canada) goes on the air with the movie Aladdin and His Lamp, followed by a cartoon, then a broadcast of Jean Cocteau's drama Oedipus Rex, a news segment and a bilingual variety show

1959 -- The first Barbie doll was sold for $3.00  Today, a mint condition Barbie from 1959, wearing a black and white bathing suit and clutching sunglasses, can garner more than $20,000 on eBay.

1962 – The United States government begins the Exercise Spade Fork nuclear readiness drill.

1962 – Archaeologist Peter Marsden discovers the first of the Blackfriars Ships dating back to the second century AD in the Blackfriars area of the banks of the River Thames in London.

1991 – The name Saint Petersburg is restored to Russia's second largest city, which had been known as Leningrad since 1924.

1995 – Cal Ripken, Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles plays in his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking a record that had stood for 56 years.

1996 - Eddie Murray of the Baltimore Orioles hit his 500th career home run during a game against the Detroit Tigers.

2001 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants became the fifth player in baseball history to hit 60 home runs in a season. (He finished the year with a record 73 homers.)

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 50 mins 25 secs of light-travel time from Earth


I can tell you when I learned how to read – it was in first grade.  I can tell you which book broke my mother’s habit of reading every book I read and quizzing me on the contents because she didn’t believe I was actually reading because I was devouring them too quickly – Bambi, a Life in the Woods  – and that it was somewhere around the 3rd grade, but I cannot be more precise than that.  She took one look at the book I was holding [I was required to show her all the books I was getting checked out at the library] and decided there and then that [1] I was limited to a book a day and [2] it would take too much of her time to keep checking up on me.  To her frustration, I took that “book a day” limit to heart – and once I found out that even looking at a magazine counted as my reading for the day, I started picking longer and more difficult books to read because they would last longer.  Back then, Penguin Books had a “classics” series that had very distinctive covers, and the Middle River Library had bought if not the entire series, then a good portion of them.  Stubbornly I started working my way through the alphabet in the fiction area.   This was before The Hobbit was accepted as a classic – I didn’t dive into Middle Earth until I encountered The Fellowship of the Ring as a junior in high school.   I didn’t read one right after the other, but whenever I didn’t know what to read, that was how I picked my next book.  My mother was more than a little disgruntled – I would turn down an invitation to go outside and play because I hadn’t finished my book for the day.  She tried everything to limit the amount of time I spent just reading, but I was addicted.   I was not a happy child – plain and pudgy, socially inept, a nerd/geek long before it was cool, in a dysfunctional family – and I had found a way to escape.




The doorway is always there for me.  No matter how upset I am, no matter how broke I am, no matter what I have to deal with, all I have to do is open the book and let my mind slip the bounds of reality.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 6, 2018

<< 51-100 Posts 101 - 150 of 1681 151-200 >>