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bleeding heart....

Carol H Tucker

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

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beladona Memorial

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


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

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I don't know what to do

Today is the 3rd day of the 25th week, the 19th day of the 6th month, the 170th day of 2018, and: 
  • Free BSD Day – celebrated since 1993
  • Garfield the Cat Day -- the ginger feline was created by cartoonist Jim Davis and appeared in a cartoon strip on this day in 1978.
  • International Day For The Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict
  • Juneteeth -- [AKA Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day] -- an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States.
  • National Cherry Tart Day
  • National Eat an Oreo Day
  • National Martini Day
  • National Pets in Film Day
  • National Watch Day
  • World Sauntering Day
  • World Sickle Cell Day

 325 – The original Nicene Creed was presented at the First Council of Nicaea, explicitly affirming the co-essential divinity of the Son, applying to him the term "consubstantial".

1586 – English colonists leave Roanoke Island, after failing to establish England's first permanent settlement in North America.

1846 – The first officially recorded, organized baseball game is played under Alexander Cartwright's rules on Hoboken, New Jersey's Elysian Fields with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23–1. Cartwright umpired.

1862 – The U.S. Congress prohibits slavery in United States territories, nullifying Dred Scott v. Sandford.

1865 – Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, Texas, United States, are finally informed of their freedom. The anniversary is still officially celebrated in Texas and 41 other contiguous states as Juneteenth.

1910 – The first Father's Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington [although that claim has been disputed]

1915 – USS Arizona (BB-39) is launched.  The wreck still lies at the bottom of Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, dedicated on 30 May 1962 to all those who died during the attack, straddles the ship's hull.

1917 - During World War I, King George V changed the British royal family's German-sounding surname, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to Windsor.

1934 – The Communications Act of 1934 establishes the United States' Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1943 – The Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL merge for one season due to player shortages caused by World War II. 

1949 – The first ever NASCAR race was held at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

1961 - The Supreme Court struck down a provision in Maryland's constitution requiring state officeholders to profess a belief in God.

1978 – Garfield, holder of the Guinness World Record for the world's most widely syndicated comic strip, makes its debut.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 37 mins 29 secs of light-travel time from Earth


The past couple of days have been very bad:
  • Crying children
  • Trade wars
  • Eviscerated health care
  • Withdrawing from the UN Human Rights council
  • Isolationism and saber rattling
  • Fake news, outright lying, refusing to accept responsibility for your own actions, and paying attention when the beloved leader speaks
  • And no water in Flint, Michigan or power in Puerto Rico

Notice that we suddenly aren’t talking about collusion with Russia or Russian interference in the election processes anymore.  Notice that we are not talking about rampant corruption and making money at the taxpayers’ expense anymore.  Add to that dealing with Pele and climate change – even FOX News is acknowledging it – and what you have is a rather toxic stew that is frankly exhausting.  I find myself looking at my neighbors and asking rather incredulously, “THIS is what you call progress?”, or I would if I wasn’t pretty sure some of them would be enthusiastic about the changes.   Well one thing is for certain, the political scene has been shaken up and I have no idea how long it will take for the dust to settle.




It took almost a decade before all the dust settled from the dust bowl.   I wonder how long it will take to repair the ravages of our current actions?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 19, 2018

some things never change

Today is the 6th day of the 24th week, the 15th day of the 6th month, the 166th day of 2018 [with only 192 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Eid-Al-Fitr -- first full day
  • Fly a Kite Day
  • Global Wind Day
  • Justice for Janitors Day
  • Magna Carta Day
  • National Day of Prayer for Law Enforcement Officers
  • National Electricity Day
  • National Flip Flop Day
  • National Kiss a Wookiee Day
  • National Lobster Day
  • National Smile Power Day
  • National Take Back the Lunch Break Day
  • Native American Citizenship Day
  • Nature Photography Day
  • Prune Day
  • Work@Home Father's Day
  • World Elder Abuse Awareness Day
  • Worldwide Day of Giving
  • And the earliest day on which Father's Day can fall, while June 21 is the latest; celebrated on the third Sunday in June

763 BC – Assyrians record a solar eclipse that is later used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history.

1215 – King John of England puts his seal to Magna Carta.

1300 – The city of Bilbao [in northern Spain] is founded.

1502 – Christopher Columbus lands on the island of Martinique on his fourth voyage.

1520 – Pope Leo X threatens to excommunicate Martin Luther in Exsurge Domine.

1648 – Margaret Jones is hanged in Boston for witchcraft in the first such execution for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

1667 – The first human blood transfusion is administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.

1670 – The first stone of Fort Ricasoli is laid down in Malta.

1752 – Benjamin Franklin proves that lightning is electricity (traditional date, the exact date is unknown).

1844 – Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

1846 – U.S. President James Polk signs the Oregon Treaty (Treaty of Washington), declaring the 49th parallel and the Strait of Juan de Fuca the boundary between Oregon and British America; Queen Victoria signs the Treaty two days later. The treaty was a compromise - the British claimed Oregon and the Americans claimed all of the west coast up to the southern limit of the Russian territory of Alaska - 54/40 - the slogan 'Fifty-four forty or fight' was a Democratic Party slogan in the 1844 election.

1864 – Arlington National Cemetery is established when 200 acres (0.81 km2) around Arlington Mansion (formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee) are officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

1878 – Eadweard Muybridge takes a series of photographs to prove that all four feet of a horse leave the ground when it runs; the study becomes the basis of motion pictures.

1916 – United States President Woodrow Wilson signs a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter.

1919 – British Army Captain John Alcock and Royal Flying Corps Lt. Arthur Brown make a nose-down landing in a peat bog in Clifden, County Galway, Ireland

in their Vickers Vimy bomber, a two-motor biplane, completing the first nonstop transatlantic flight in 16 hours, 20 minutes; they win the £10,000 prize offered by the London Daily Mail, and are both awarded knighthoods.

1923 - Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig made his major league debut with the New York Yankees.

1969 - The variety show "Hee Haw" premiered on CBS.

1985 – Rembrandt's painting Danaë is attacked by a man (later judged insane) who throws sulfuric acid on the canvas and cuts it twice with a knife.

1994 – Israel and Vatican City establish full diplomatic relations.

2007 - Bob Barker ended his 35-year run as host of the CBS game show "The Price Is Right."

2012 – Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to successfully tightrope walk directly over Niagara Falls.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 15, 2018


Today is the 5th day of the 24th week, the 14th day of the 6th month, the 165th day of 2018, and: 
  • Army's Birthday -- The Continental Army was created on 14 June 1775 by the Second Continental Congress as a unified army for the colonies to fight Great Britain, with George Washington appointed as its commander.
  • EID AL-FITR [at sundown] -- the end of the holy month of Ramadan
  • Family History Day
  • Flag Day
  • International Bath Day
  • National Bourbon Day
  • National Nursing Assistants Day
  • National Strawberry Shortcake Day ((the cake not the doll))
  • Own Your Share of America Day
  • Pause for the Pledge Day
  • Pop Goes The Weasel Day
  • World Blood Donor Day

1158 – Munich is founded by Henry the Lion on the banks of the river Isar.

1618 – Joris Veseler prints the first Dutch newspaper Courante uyt Italien, Duytslandt, in Amsterdam (approximate date).

1777 – The Stars and Stripes is adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.

1789 – HMS Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reach Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,600 mi) journey in an open boat.

1822 – Charles Babbage proposes a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society.

1872 – Trade unions are legalized in Canada.

1919 – John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown depart from St. John's, Newfoundland on the first nonstop transatlantic flight.

1937 – Pennsylvania becomes the first (and only) state of the United States to celebrate Flag Day officially as a state holiday.

1949 – Albert II, a rhesus monkey, rides a V-2 rocket to an altitude of 134 km (83 mi), thereby becoming the first monkey in space.

1951 – UNIVAC I is dedicated by the U.S. Census Bureau.1954 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a bill into law that places the words "under God" into the United States Pledge of Allegiance.

1959 – Disneyland Monorail System, the first daily operating monorail system in the Western Hemisphere, opens to the public in Anaheim, California.

1962 – The European Space Research Organization is established in Paris – later becoming the European Space Agency.

1966 – The Vatican announces the abolition of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum ("index of prohibited books"), which was originally instituted in 1557.

1967 – Mariner 5 is launched towards Venus.

2002 – Near-Earth asteroid 2002 MN misses the Earth by 75,000 miles (121,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 59 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Writing prompt of the day:

165. Suitcase: Write about packing for a trip or unpacking from when you arrive home.


I have talked to people who never ever check their baggage when flying – they always use a carryon, and in some cases that suitcase is even actually an appropriate size for a carryon too as opposed to the larger suitcases that don’t quite fit into the overheads and cause all kinds of problems.  ((You know the ones – they take up almost the entire bin by themselves and folks get downright nasty about arguing about room at times.)).  I don’t know how folks that pack so light do it actually when they are going someplace for more than a couple of days!   By the time I get together an outfit for each day [with one backup just in case], put in the shoes [you have to switch off not only for look but to keep your feet in good shape], and add toiletries, I have usually exceeded the capacity of a carryon and am packing the larger suitcase that must be checked.   At least checking the main suitcase means that I can get by with not having to use the overhead at all, but can shove it under the seat.  Of course, being short and not needing as much foot room helps too….




I have never had a problem closing the suitcase, and I am very good at Tetris, but I have had issues with being able to pick it up easily and even when you roll things, there are times you have to pick that thing up

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, June 14, 2018

"it cannot happen here" syndrome

Today is the 4th day of the 24th week, the 13th day of the 6th month, the 164th day of 2018, and: 
  • Brain Injury Awareness Day
  • International Albinism Awareness Day
  • National Kitchen Klutzes of America Day
  • New Moon at 3:43 pm EDT
  • Random Acts of Light Day
  • Roller Coaster Day
  • Sewing Machine Day
  • Weed Your Garden Day

313 – The Edict of Milan, signed by Constantine the Great and co-emperor Valerius Licinius granting religious freedom throughout the Roman Empire, is posted in Nicomedia.

1805 – Lewis and Clark Expedition: scouting ahead of the expedition, Meriwether Lewis and four companions sight the Great Falls of the Missouri River.

1881 – The USS Jeannette is crushed in an Arctic Ocean ice pack.

1927 – Aviator Charles Lindbergh receives a ticker tape parade down 5th Avenue in New York City.

1966 – The United States Supreme Court rules in Miranda v. Arizona that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.

1971 – The New York Times begins publication of the Pentagon Papers, a secret study of America's involvement in Vietnam..

1983 – Pioneer 10 becomes the first man-made object to leave the central Solar System when it passes beyond the orbit of Neptune.

2002 – The United States withdraws from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.

2005 - Pop star Michael Jackson is found not guilty of all charges after a four-month-long child abuse trial -- he had been accused of  molesting a 13-year-old cancer survivor at his Neverland ranch.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 53 secs of light-travel time from Earth


There is a reason why I don’t watch the news anymore – I cannot stomach it. 

  1. Suggesting that political opponents be jailed
  2. Suggesting that the press is the enemy
  3. Praising dictators
  4. Attacking allies
  5. Lost children, then trying to blame your political opponents for your actions
  6. Russian meddling in our election process
  7. Enriching oneself at the expense of the public, whether by the President, by relatives, or by cabinet members
  8. The end of net neutrality
  9. It’s not about the cake
  10. Gutting the ACA so that insurance companies can reject those with pre-existing conditions [including pregnancy], charge more just because you are older [high-risk pool], and re-establish lifetime caps

And ALL of this is just a week or so in the news.  I could go on – but I won’t.   But is my detachment encouraging the very things that are making me bilious?  I keep thinking about Germany in the late 1930’s.  I have a history textbook that was published in 1937 [which means it was written about a year before then] and it cannot say enough nice things about Hitler and how he was rejuvenating Germany.   He put the men back to work, began a huge program of public works including planting forests, creating the autobahns, and building hospitals and schools.  He motivated the people, developed a sense of German pride, and convinced them that they deserved better.   So they missed the warning signs of what was to come….


The analogy many people use is how to boil a frog.   Am I, are we sitting in a pot right now?

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, June 13, 2018

do you mind?

Today is the 3rd day of the 24th week, the 12th day of the 6th month, the 163rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Call Your Doctor Day
  • Crowded Nest Awareness Day
  • Ghost in the Machine Day
  • Independence Day -- the Philippines from Spain in 1898.
  • Little League Girls Baseball Day
  • Loving Day -- the anniversary of the 1967 United States Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia which struck down all anti-miscegenation laws remaining in sixteen U.S. states.
  • Magic Day
  • National Automotive Service Professionals Day
  • National Jerky Day
  • National Peanut Butter Cookie Day
  • Red Rose Day
  • Superman Day
  • Victims of Orlando, Florida Attack Day
  • World Day Against Child Labor
  • World Pet Memorial Day

1240 – At the instigation of Louis IX of France, an inter-faith debate, known as the Disputation of Paris, starts between a Christian monk and four rabbis.

1381 – Peasants' Revolt: In England, rebels arrive at Blackheath.  ((included just so I could comment "The peasants are revolting! Yes they are...."))

1550 – The city of Helsinki, Finland (belonging to Sweden at the time) is founded by King Gustav I of Sweden.

1690 - Henry Kelsey leaves York Fort with party of Stone and Assiniboine Indians on journey lasting two years to the country of the Assiniboines; Hudson's Bay Company employee will record First European description of grizzly bears and buffalo; First European to see the Canadian Prairies.

1817 – The earliest form of bicycle, the dandy horse, is driven by Karl von Drais.

1939 – Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures' Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.

1939 – The Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Cooperstown, New York.

1942 – Anne Frank receives a diary for her thirteenth birthday.

1954 – Pope Pius XII canonises Dominic Savio, who was 14 years old at the time of his death, as a saint, making him at the time the youngest unmartyred saint in the Roman Catholic Church. Side note -- In 2017 Jacinta and Francisco Marto, aged 10 and 9 at the time of their deaths, are declared saints.

1979 – Bryan Allen wins the second Kremer prize for a man powered flight across the English Channel in the Gossamer Albatross.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 48 secs of light-travel time from Earth


The "ghost in the machine" is a philosophical term introduced by Gilbert Ryle in his 1949 book, The Concept of Mind, which claims the mind as an entity is totally separate from the body and Ryle has been characterized as an "ordinary language" philosopher.  One of the book's central concepts is that as the human brain has grown, it has built upon earlier, more primitive brain structures, and that these are the "ghost in the machine" of the title.  It has come to mean all those odd little tech glitches that pop up – you know, like when suddenly your mouse decides to go into scroll mode for seemingly no reason at all, or CHROME suddenly stops populating your online forms information, or OUTLOOK provides you with a pick list of email addresses that doesn’t include someone you email all the time. 




Do you think that ghost could be related to the blasted tape recorder in our heads?  You know, the one that starts screeching at you at 3 AM and never has a single nice thing to say?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 12, 2018

rainy days and Mondays

Today is the 2nd day of the 24th week, the 11th day of the 6th month, the 162nd day of 2018, and: 
  • Corn on the Cob Day
  • Cousteau Day
  • National Cotton Candy Day
  • National German Chocolate Cake Day
  • National King Kamehameha Day
  • National Making Life Beautiful Day

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

 631 – Emperor Taizong of Tang, the Emperor of China, sends envoys to the Xueyantuo bearing gold and silk in order to seek the release of enslaved Chinese prisoners captured during the transition from Sui to Tang from the northern frontier; this embassy succeeded in freeing 80,000 Chinese men and women who were then returned to China.

1770 – British explorer Captain James Cook runs aground on the Great Barrier Reef.

1776 – The Continental Congress appoints Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston to the Committee of Five to draft a declaration of independence.

1788 – Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reaches Alaska.

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

1895 – Paris–Bordeaux–Paris, sometimes called the first automobile race in history or the "first motor race", takes place.

1919 – Sir Barton wins the Belmont Stakes, becoming the first horse to win the U.S. Triple Crown.

1920 – During the U.S. Republican National Convention in Chicago, U.S. Republican Party leaders gathered in a room at the Blackstone Hotel to come to a consensus on their candidate for the U.S. presidential election, leading the Associated Press to coin the political phrase "smoke-filled room".

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

1959 - The first Hovercraft. which can operate on sea and land, was been officially launched in the Solent, off England's south coast.  The Hovercraft, which has been described as a cross between an aircraft, a boat and a land vehicle, was invented by boat-builder Christopher Cockerell.

1962 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin allegedly become the only prisoners to escape from the prison on Alcatraz Island.

1963 – Buddhist monk Thích Quảng Đức burns himself with gasoline in a busy Saigon intersection to protest the lack of religious freedom in South Vietnam.

1963 – John F. Kennedy addresses Americans from the Oval Office proposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which would revolutionize American society by guaranteeing equal access to public facilities, ending segregation in education, and guaranteeing federal protection for voting rights.

1998 – Compaq Computer pays US$9 billion for Digital Equipment Corporation in the largest high-tech acquisition.

2002 – Antonio Meucci is acknowledged as the first inventor of the telephone by the United States Congress.

2002 - The singing competition "American Idol" debuted on Fox.

2004 – Cassini–Huygens makes its closest flyby of the Saturn moon Phoebe.

2008 – The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is launched into orbit.

2009 - The World Health Organization declared the swine flu outbreak a pandemic.


Quote of the day:

   “People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily.”

~ Zig Ziglar,  American author, salesman, and motivational speaker


And so it is Monday – and raining.   Again.   There is just something about rainy days and Mondays    And it is cooler too, which means there will be thermostat wars – is it close and stuffy?  Or is it too cold?  No one can agree….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, June 11, 2018


Today is the 6th day of the 23rd week, the 8th day of the 6th month, the 159th day of 2018, and: 
  • Banana Split Day
  • Best Friends Day
  • Betty Picnic Day
  • Ghostbusters Day
  • Jelly Filled Doughnut Day
  • Name Your Poison Day
  • National Caribbean American HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • National Marriage Day
  • Poultry Day
  • Upsy Daisy Day
  • World Brain Tumor Day
  • World Oceans Day

 632 – Muhammad, Islamic prophet, dies in Medina.  Apparently this is not a holiday on the Islamic calendar, instead they choose to celebrate his birth as Mawlid al-Nabi (12 Rabi 1)

1789 – James Madison introduces twelve proposed amendments to the United States Constitution in Congress.

1794 – Robespierre inaugurates the French Revolution's new state religion, the Cult of the Supreme Being, with large organized festivals all across France.

1856 – A group of 194 Pitcairn Islanders, descendants of the mutineers of HMS Bounty, arrives at Norfolk Island, commencing the Third Settlement of the Island.

1887 – Herman Hollerith applies for US patent #395,781 for the 'Art of Compiling Statistics', which was his punched card calculator.

1906 – Theodore Roosevelt signs the Antiquities Act into law, authorizing the President to restrict the use of certain parcels of public land with historical or conservation value.

1912 – Carl Laemmle incorporates Universal Pictures.

1918 – Nova Aquila, brightest nova since Kepler's nova of 1604, discovered

1918 – A solar eclipse is observed at Baker City, Oregon by scientists and an artist hired by the United States Navy.

1948 - The "Texaco Star Theater" made its debut on NBC-TV with Milton Berle as guest host

1949 – George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four is published.

1966 – The National Football League and American Football League announced a merger effective in 1970.

1972 – Vietnam War: Nine-year-old Phan Thị Kim Phúc is burned by napalm, an event captured by Associated Press photographer Nick Ut moments later while the young girl is seen running down a road, in what would become an iconic, Pulitzer Prize-winning photo.

1987 – New Zealand's Labour government establishes a national nuclear-free zone under the New Zealand Nuclear Free Zone, Disarmament, and Arms Control Act 1987.

1992 – The first World Oceans Day is celebrated, coinciding with the Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

2004 – The first Venus Transit in well over a century takes place, the previous one being in 1882.


Quote of the day:

   “Your dignity can be mocked, abused, compromised, toyed with, lowered and even badmouthed, but it can never be taken from you. You have the power today to reset your boundaries, restore your image, start fresh with renewed values and rebuild what has happened to you in the past.”

~ Shannon L. Alder, author


On Monday I went to TGIF Friday’s to treat myself to an anniversary dinner.  Long story short, I got up and left after having waited for over 15 minutes for a waiter to acknowledge me and at least get me a glass of water , and went next door to Panera’s to eat.  As one is wont to do these days, I tweeted about the experience and tagged @TGIFridays   I’m not sure what I expected, or if I expected anything, but within an hour I had a message from a company “social media specialist” asking me to email the entire story to Guest Relations.   I did so and moved on, giving them points for aggressively checking mentions of their product to keep their brand image up. Today [in celebration of TGIF?] I received a reply to my email  that included an apology, coupled with the usual “we’ll try to do better” language, but then followed up with an acknowledgement that such an incident leaves a bad taste on one’s mouth and a request to give them a second chance.  There was a second email that contained an invitation to return to that specific site, and a $25 “promotional Be Our Guest certificate” that is good for an entire year.   This is a local eatery, and while I might have wandered back in eventually simply because it is near-by, now I will make an effort to do so and if things go well, the relationship will be repaired.




Well played, TGIF Fridays, well played.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 8, 2018

another Friday's Eve

Today is the 6th day of the 23rd week, the 7th day of the 6th month, the 158th day of 2018 [with only 200 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Daniel Boone Day ((that coonskin cap and Fess Parker both became what we could call “meme” today))
  • June Bug Day
  • National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
  • national Moonshine Day
  • Trial Technology Day
  • VCR Day ((remember back in the day when the true measure of tech expertise was the ability to set up the VCR to record?))
  • and The first day of the Vestalia (Roman Empire)

1494 – Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas which divides the New World between the two countries.

1576 - Martin Frobisher sails on the Gabriel and Michael on his first expedition to search for the North West Passage; licensed by the Muscovy Company; backed by Queen Elizabeth I and London merchants; will sight Greenland, discover Baffin Island and name Frobisher Bay after himself.

1800 – David Thompson reaches the mouth of the Saskatchewan River in Manitoba.

1810 – The newspaper Gazeta de Buenos Ayres is first published in Argentina.

1906 – Cunard Line's RMS Lusitania is launched from the John Brown Shipyard, Glasgow (Clydebank), Scotland.

1929 - the sovereign state of Vatican City came into existence as copies of the Lateran Treaty were exchanged in Rome.

1938 – The Douglas DC-4E makes its first test flight.

1946 – The United Kingdom's BBC returns to broadcasting its television service, which has been off air for seven years because of the Second World War.

1955 – Lux Radio Theatre signs off the air permanently. The show launched in New York in 1934, and featured radio adaptations of Broadway shows and popular films.

1962 – the Organisation Armée Secrète (OAS) sets fire to the University of Algiers library building, destroying about 500,000 books.

1975 – Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder for sale to the public

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 22 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:
"That money talks, I'll not deny,
I heard it once: It said, 'Goodbye'."
~ Richard Armour, American poet and author who wrote more than 65 books

My thoughts are scattered today, flitting from one topic to another.  

It may be the sobering reflection that my deceased husband would’ve been 80 this year, or that when Grandmom Riley was my age I was 22, or that I am not at all sure  I have this “growing old gracefully” thing down as I ought.

It may be that reading the news has so unsettled my mind and spirit that I cannot rest or think – I try to stick to floods and volcanoes and tech stuff, but the current events keep demanding my attention.  They, in and of themselves, are upsetting enough, but it is the growing conviction that I am in a country with an entire clump of people that I not only don’t quite comprehend but I am starting to find morally repugnant

It may be a growing concern that perhaps I am not living my life with purpose

It may be my work anniversary   I rather liked being a knowledge nomad and working in management and I have been spending the past nine years as a workerbee just like all the organizational development training and reading didn’t happen and were for naught.

It may be the rather humbling realization that beladona Memorial is much more easily googled than my actual name

And it may be the uncertain weather with its clouds and damp first acting like the dog days of summer and then reverting to spring and back.  A/C doesn’t know what to do and some places are close and stuffy and others are about the temperature and feel as a meat locker.

Wait, does "throwback Thursday" mean I get a redo?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, June 7, 2018

why do you read who you read?

Today is the 4th day of the 23rd week, the 6th day of the 6th month, the 157th day of 2018, and: 
  • Atheist Pride Day [also on March 20th]
  • D-Day
  • Drive-in Movie Day – In 1933 the first drive-in theater opened in Camden, New Jersey, United States.
  • Global Running Day
  • National Applesauce Cake Day
  • National Eyewear Day
  • National Gardening Exercise Day
  • National Higher Education Day
  • National Hunger Awareness Day
  • National Tailors' Day
  • National Yo-yo Day
  • Russian Language Day

 913 – Emperor Alexander III dies of exhaustion while playing the game tzykanion (Byzantine name for polo). He is succeeded by his 8-year-old nephew Constantine VII.

1716 – The first slaves arrive in Louisiana.

1822 – Alexis St. Martin is accidentally shot in the stomach, leading to William Beaumont's studies on digestion.

1844 – The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in London.

1844 – The Glaciarium, the world's first mechanically frozen ice rink, opens in London

1892 – The Chicago "L" elevated rail system begins operation.

1921 – Southwark Bridge in London is opened to traffic by King George V and Queen Mary.

1925 - Walter Percy Chrysler founded the Chrysler Corp.

1932 – The Revenue Act of 1932 is enacted, creating the first gas tax in the United States, at a rate of 1 cent per US gallon (​1⁄4¢/L) sold.

1944 - the D-Day invasion of Europe took place during World War II as Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France

1946 – The Basketball Association of America is founded in New York City; the BAA was the precursor to the modern National Basketball Association

1954 – The grand opening of the sculpture of Yuriy Dolgorukiy took place in Moscow. This statue is one of the main monuments of Moscow.

1964 – Under a temporary order, the rocket launches at Cuxhaven, Germany are terminated. They never resume.

1971 – Soyuz 11 is launched.

1985 – The grave of "Wolfgang Gerhard" is opened in Embu, Brazil; the exhumed remains are later proven to be those of Josef Mengele, Auschwitz's "Angel of Death"; Mengele is thought to have drowned while swimming in February 1979.

2002 – A near-Earth asteroid estimated at ten meters in diameter explodes over the Mediterranean Sea between Greece and Libya. The explosion is estimated to have a force of 26 kilotons, slightly more powerful than the Nagasaki atomic bomb.

2004 – Tamil is established as a "classical language" by the President of India, Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, in a joint sitting of the two houses of the Indian Parliament.

2006 - The date of June 6, 2006 was significant for followers of Christian eschatology, 6/6/6 being the "Number of the Beast". Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins chose this date to publish their novel The Rapture, a Christian science fiction book with eschatological themes. 

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 17 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"Her virtue was that she said what she thought, her vice that what she thought didn't amount to much."

~ Peter Ustinov, English actor, voice actor, writer, dramatist, filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, screenwriter, comedian, humorist, newspaper and magazine columnist, radio broadcaster, and television presenter.


And therein lies the unspoken fear of every person who chooses to blog or self-publish – why should anyone read?




The struggle is to translate.  The good writers do it well; the rest of us just keep trying.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, June 6, 2018

a good man

Today is the 3rd day of the 23rd week, the 5th day of the 6th month, the 156th day of 2018, and: 
  • Apple II Day
  • Baby Boomers Recognition Day
  • Beer Pong Day
  • Festival of Popular Delusions Day
  • Hot Air Balloon Day
  • National Attitude Day
  • National Gingerbread Day
  • National Moonshine Day
  • National Veggie Burgers Day
  • World Environment Day

1817 – The first Great Lakes steamer, the Frontenac, is launched.

1851 – Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, starts a ten-month run in the National Era abolitionist newspaper.

1873 – Sultan Barghash bin Said of Zanzibar closes the great slave market under the terms of a treaty with Great Britain.

1883 – The first regularly scheduled Orient Express departs Paris.

1933 – The U.S. Congress abrogates the United States' use of the gold standard by enacting a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.

1956 – Elvis Presley introduces his new single, "Hound Dog", on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.

1981 – The "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report" of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that five people in Los Angeles, California, have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what turns out to be the first recognized cases of AIDS.

1984 - the Government of Canada and the Inuvialuit signed the Inuvialuit Final Agreement (IFA), the first comprehensive land claim agreement signed north of the 60th parallel and only the second in Canada at that time.  In the IFA, Inuvialuit agreed to give up their exclusive use of their ancestral lands in exchange for certain other guaranteed rights from the Government of Canada. The rights came in three forms: land, wildlife management and money.

1989 – The Tank Man halts the progress of a column of advancing tanks for over half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

1995 – The Bose–Einstein condensate is first created.

2018 -  NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 12 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson,Journals


I don’t remember who’s birthday is today.   You see, both Uncle Eddie and Grandmom Riley had birthdays in June – one was the 5th and one was the 10th and I no longer remember which was which.  When Grandmom was my age I was 22 and living with the guy who would become my first husband in two months, and Tom’s father in three.  I don’t know how old Uncle Eddie was then –  I really didn’t know him very well.   He lived with Aunt Nell and Grandmom in the house where she grew up, just down the street from his mother’s and every single day he would walk down to visit his mother after dinner.   I used to watch him and think that he actually never quite had a life of his own – no house, no kids, a job that he hated – and yet every single day he got up and went to work.  He did lovely woodwork and once made an entire chess set complete with chessboard that I wish I had because I have no idea what happened to it.  He never once yelled at me, just walking away when he was angry.  He is the one who taught me how to drive our car.  And every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation, he was in church.  And for Easter he made the most incredible marbleized eggs that I have never ever seen the like anywhere else.   There aren’t very many pictures of him because he was always behind the camera.   Although I never had a sense of him as a person, much less a man, there are two things that I always thought about him:  he never had a life of his own and he was the bravest man I ever knew because he just kept going despite that.




Day in and day out, his well of quiet strength knit his family together. I don’t think they realized just how much they needed him until he suddenly died of a hemorrhage in his lung one day and everything fell apart.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, June 5, 2018

it's a WIP

Today is the 2nd day of the 23rd week, the 4th day of the 6th month, the 155th day of 2018, and: 
  • "Thank God It's Monday" day
  • Audacity to Hope Day
  • Hug Your Cat Day
  • Independence Day:  Tonga from the British protectorate in 1970
  • International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression
  • National Cheese Day
  • National Cognac Day
  • National SAFE Day
  • Old Maid's Day
  • Shopping Cart Day

1411 – King Charles VI granted a monopoly for the ripening of Roquefort cheese to the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon as they had been doing for centuries

1784 – Élisabeth Thible becomes the first woman to fly in an untethered hot air balloon. Her flight covers four kilometres in 45 minutes, and reached 1,500 metres altitude (estimated).

1838 - Beachville Club play the Zorras in the first recorded baseball game in North America, one year prior to the famous Cooperstown game, and seven years before the nine-man New York game; claim is based upon Dr. Adam E. Ford's letter to "Sporting Life" magazine detailing the rules and recalling the names of various players; the site was the field just behind Enoch Burdick's shops, near today's Beachville Baptist Church.

1855 – Major Henry C. Wayne departs New York aboard the USS Supply to procure camels to establish the US Camel Corps.  The Army were sold at auction in 1864; the last of the animals was reportedly seen in Arizona in 1891

1876 – An express train called the Transcontinental Express arrives in San Francisco, via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after leaving New York City.

1896 – Henry Ford made a successful pre-dawn test run of his horseless carriage, called a quadricycle, through the streets of Detroit.

1912 – Massachusetts becomes the first state of the United States to set a minimum wage.

1913 – Emily Davison, a suffragette, runs out in front of King George V's horse at The Derby. She is trampled, never regains consciousness, and dies four days later.

1917 – The first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded: Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall receive the first Pulitzer for biography (for Julia Ward Howe). Jean Jules Jusserand receives the first Pulitzer for history for his work With Americans of Past and Present Days. Herbert B. Swope receives the first Pulitzer for journalism for his work for the New York World.

1919 – The U.S. Congress approves the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees suffrage to women, and sends it to the U.S. states for ratification.

1939 – The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, is denied permission to land in Florida, in the United States, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, more than 200 of its passengers later die in Nazi concentration camps.

1984 - The album "Born in the U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen was released.

1996 – The first flight of Ariane 5 explodes after roughly 37 seconds. It was a Cluster mission.

2009 - President Barack Obama addressed the Muslims of the world in a speech in Cairo, saying America has a common cause with Islam and never will be at war with the faith.

2010 – Falcon 9 Flight 1 is the maiden flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40.


Quote of the day:

To be mature you have to realize what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family. Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one’s own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt, You Learn by Living


One of the things I learned from the BDSM and M/s communities online is to be able to sit down and differentiate carefully between what you need, what you want, and what you desire.  The first thing a Master or Dominant does is have their sub or slave think about this and then put it in writing for clarity.   There is something about divvying up the list of feelings and stuff into those three categories that forces you to examine your values because you have to decide what are the non-negotiable items in your life




I still struggle to value Mondays though.   Even if they are the gift of a new day and week….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, June 4, 2018

happy birthday

Today is the 6th day of the 22nd week, the 1st day of the 6th month, the 152nd day of 2018 [with only 206 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Dare Day
  • Dinosaur Day
  • Don't Give Up The Ship Day
  • Flip a Coin Day
  • Global Day of Parents
  • Heimlich Maneuver Day
  • Horseradish Day
  • Hug Your Cat Day
  • International Children's Day
  • Mike, The Headless Chicken Day
  • National Dare Day
  • National Doughnut Day
  • National Go Barefoot Day
  • National Hazelnut Cake Day
  • National Leave the Office Early Day
  • National Nail Polish Day
  • national Olive Day
  • National Pen Pal Day
  • New Year's Resolution Recommitment Day
  • Oscar the Grouch Day
  • Say Something Nice Day
  • Stand for Children Day
  • Superman's Birthday (Comic Book)
  • Wear a Dress Day
  • World Milk Day

On this day in ...

1495 – A monk, John Cor, records the first known batch of Scotch whisky.

1831 – James Clark Ross becomes the first European at the North Magnetic Pole.

1855 – The American adventurer William Walker conquers Nicaragua.

1857 – Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du mal is published.

1879 – Napoléon Eugène, the last dynastic Bonaparte, is killed in the Anglo-Zulu War.

1890 – The United States Census Bureau begins using Herman Hollerith's tabulating machine to count census returns.

1910 – Robert Falcon Scott's second South Pole expedition leaves Cardiff.

1925 - Baseball Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig's streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games began when he entered a game as a pinch hitter for the New York Yankees.

1938 - Toronto-born cartoonist Joe Shuster teams up with Jerry Siegel to create Superman, making his First appearance in DC Comics' Action Comics Series issue #1; the cost is 10 cents (collectors will pay over $100,000 today)

1939 – First flight of the German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter-bomber airplane.

1967 – The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is released.

1974 – The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims is published in the journal Emergency Medicine.

1978 – The first international applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty are filed.

1980 - CNN made its debut.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 54 secs of light-travel time and Voyager 2 16 hrs 13 mins 16 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Oscar the Grouch was my son’s favorite muppet back in the days when my kids were fascinated by Sesame Street.   He knew all the words to Oscar’s signature song “I love Trash” and would warble it cheerfully.  In a way?  I have always wondered if Oscar and I didn’t meet on the family tree somewhere as there is little doubt being a pack rat means my domiciles are always cluttered.   While I play at the idea of living in a tiny house, or trailer, or even in a one bedroom apartment, the fact of the matter is that I have an awful lot of stuff.    There is the Disaster Area,  an entire room awaiting my attention for things to be either given away or thrown away.  My book shelves do not only hold books – there is also a plethora of knick-knacks that sit in front of the books.  Photos and pictures adorn every wall, even walking down the hall is a gallery of old kid pictures, and I have pictures stored in the aforesaid Disaster Area to hang and no place to do so.  There are pillows and stuffed pigs and Disney banks and just  welter of possessions that make the very idea of packing up and moving a horrifying thought.  And the idea of tackling the downsizing, of getting rid of souvenirs and gifts or of clothing that is decades old but still fits and you keep telling yourself COULD be worn again but you never will?  I guess I have gotten too fond of my stuff being the backdrop of my day-to-day life.  Like Oscar, I guess I love trash....




Incidentally, since Oscar made his debut on this day in 1969, you might think he was 49, but according to Oscar he is 43, now and always.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, June 1, 2018

the last Wednesday in May

Today is the 4th day of the 22nd week, the 30th day of the 5th month, the 150th day of 2018, and: 
  • Loomis Day
  • Mint Julep Day
  • My Bucket's Got a Hole In It Day
  • National Creativity Day
  • National Senior Health & Fitness Day
  • Save Your Hearing Day
  • Shavout
  • Water a Flower Day
  • World MS Day
On this day in...

1431 - Joan of Arc, condemned as a heretic, was burned at the stake in Rouen, France.

1539 – In Florida, Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.

1631 – Publication of Gazette de France, the first French newspaper.

1845 – The Fatel Razack coming from India, lands in the Gulf of Paria in Trinidad and Tobago carrying the first Indians to the country.

1868 – Decoration Day (the predecessor of the modern "Memorial Day") is observed in the United States for the first time (by "Commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic" John A. Logan's proclamation on May 5)

911 – At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ends with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.

1914 – The new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City.

1922 – The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C..

1958 – Memorial Day: The remains of two unidentified American servicemen, killed in action during World War II and the Korean War respectively, are buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

1971 – Mariner 9 is launched to map 70% of the surface, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface, of Mars.

1974 – The Airbus A300 passenger aircraft first enters service.

1975 – European Space Agency is established.

1982 - Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles played in the first of a record 2,632 consecutive major league baseball games.

1998 – Pakistan conducts an underground test in the Kharan Desert. It is reported to be a plutonium device with yield of 20kt TNT equivalent.


Quote of the day:

"Our lives—the people living right now—are built on the foundation of the lives given by previous generations. We are at the front line of the chain of lives going back to infinite time in the past."

~ Interview with Shinso Ito by Rachel Hiles, “Fire + Water”


When folks laugh about ancient homo sapiens, preening themselves on how much smarter we are today, I just shake my head.   The creativity of our remote ancestors, their ability to manipulate their environment and the understanding they had of the world in which they lived is totally unparalleled.  Just think about something as casual as eating steamed crabs – a delicacy here in Maryland requiring beer, rock salt and Old Bay – which is one of the messiest eating experiences one can have [and definitely worth it].  Take a good long, look at a Maryland blue crab



Now, think about the person, probably living on the Eastern Shore,  who in some remote time figured out this creature was edible – and not only edible, but then figured out it was delicious if prepared correctly.  For one thing they must’ve been really hungry and ready to try anything!  But they also had to do a lot of careful planning and thinking out what they were doing, and when the first trial proved successful, they had to experiment with different techniques of preparation.   These folks were primitive, but they weren’t stupid by any measurement.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 30, 2018


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, May 28, 2018

a holiday weekend....

Today is the 7th day of the 21st week, the 26th day of the 5th month, the 146th day of 2018, and: 
  • Amateur Radio Military Appreciation Day
  • International Heritage Breeds Day
  • Independence Day:  Georgia from Russia in 1918; Guyana from the United Kingdom in 1966.
  • International Jazz Day
  • Julia Pierpont Day
  • National Blueberry Cheesecake Day
  • National Chardonnay Day
  • National Cherry Desert Day
  • National Paper Airplane Day
  • Sally Ride Day
  • World Dracula Day
  • World Lindy Hop Day
  • World Redhead Day
On this day...

 538 – Geneva expels John Calvin and his followers from the city. Calvin lives in exile in Strasbourg for the next three years.

1521 - Martin Luther was declared an outlaw and his writings were banned by the Edict of Worms.

1830 – The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.

1896 – Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

1897 – Dracula, a novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, is published.

1897 – The original manuscript of William Bradford's history, "Of Plymouth Plantation" is returned to the Governor of Massachusetts by the Bishop of London after being taken during the American Revolutionary War.

1908 – The first major oil strike in the Middle East took place as engineers working for British entrepreneur William Knox D'Arcy hit a gusher in Masjid-i-Suleiman in present-day Iran.  The rights to the resource are quickly acquired by the Anglo-Persian Oil Company.

1923 – The first 24 Hours of Le Mans was held and has since been run annually in June.

1968 – H-dagurinn in Iceland: Traffic changes from driving on the left to driving on the right overnight

1969 – Apollo 10 returns to Earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing.

1970 – The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2.

1986 – The European Community adopts the European flag.

1998 – The first "National Sorry Day" was held in Australia, and reconciliation events were held nationally, and attended by over a million people.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 31 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America."

~ William J. Clinton, American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States


It piles up:

ICE tearing children from their parents only to lose track of them

The NFL trying to stifle protest in the name of patriotism

Trump trying to run the US government the way that he runs his business without understanding due process

The realization that a good half of my country believes things that I find morally repulsive

And a day that is supposed to be honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country changed into a weekend holiday that kicks off summer.

It piles up.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, May 26, 2018

do you know where your towel is?

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, May 25, 2018

almost there

Today is the 5th day of the 21st week, the 24th day of the 5th month, the 144th day of 2018, and: 
  • Asparagus Day
  • Aviation Maintenance Technician Day
  • Brother's Day
  • Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Day
  • EMSC (Emergency Medical Services) Day
  • Independence Day -- Eritrea from Ethiopia in 1993.
  • International Tiara Day
  • Morse Code Day: 24 (Some also observe on April 27)
  • National Escargot Day
  • Scavenger Hunt Day
On this day in ...

1595 – Nomenclator of Leiden University Library appears, the first printed catalog of an institutional library.

1607 – 100 English settlers disembark in Jamestown, the first permanent English colony in America.

1626 – Peter Minuit buys Manhattan.

1683 – The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England, opens as the world's first university museum

1738 – John Wesley is converted, essentially launching the Methodist movement; the day is celebrated annually by Methodists as Aldersgate Day and a church service is generally held on the preceding Sunday.

1830 – "Mary Had a Little Lamb" by Sarah Josepha Hale is published.

1830 - The first passenger railroad in the United States began service between Baltimore and Ellicott Mills, Md.

1844 – Samuel Morse sends the message "What hath God wrought" (a biblical quotation, Numbers 23:23) from a committee room in the United States Capitol to his assistant, Alfred Vail, in Baltimore, Maryland, to inaugurate a commercial telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington D.C.

1883 – The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City is opened to traffic after 14 years of construction.  There is no record of how many times it has been sold

1930 – Amy Johnson lands in Darwin, Northern Territory, becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia (she left on May 5 for the 11,000 mile flight).

1935 – The first night game in Major League Baseball history is played in Cincinnati, Ohio, with the Cincinnati Reds beating the Philadelphia Phillies 2–1 at Crosley Field.

1940 – Igor Sikorsky performs the first successful single-rotor helicopter flight.

1956 – The first Eurovision Song Contest is held in Lugano, Switzerland.

1958 – United Press International is formed through a merger of the United Press and the International News Service.

1962 – Project Mercury: American astronaut Scott Carpenter orbits the Earth three times in the Aurora 7 space capsule.

1976 – The Judgment of Paris takes place in France, launching California as a worldwide force in the production of quality wine.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 25 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"Oh, I just want what we all want: a comfortable couch, a nice beverage, a weekend of no distractions and a book that will stop time, lift me out of my quotidian existence and alter my thinking forever."

~ Elizabeth Gilbert, American author, essayist, short story writer, biographer, novelist, and memoirist

It's just peeking over the horizon.  Right over there, see it?

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, May 24, 2018

the making of a couch potato

Today is the 4th day of the 21st week, the 23rd day of the 5th month, the 143rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Declaration of the Báb Day – in 1844 A merchant of Shiraz announces that he is a Prophet and founds a religious movement that would later be brutally crushed by the Persian government. He is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá'í Faith; Bahá'ís celebrate the day as a holy day.
  • Emergency Medical Services for Children Day
  • International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
  • Lucky Penny Day
  • National Taffy Day
  • World Crohn's and Colitis Day
  • World Orienteering Day  -- orienting is a competitive sport in which participants find their way to various checkpoints across rough country with the aid of a map and compass, the winner being the one with the lowest elapsed time
  • World Turtle Day
On this day in ...

1498 – Girolamo Savonarola, an Italian Dominican friar and preacher who espoused republican freedom and religious reform, is burned at the stake with two of his followers in Florence, Italy.

1701 – After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd is hanged in London.

1911 – The New York Public Library is dedicated.

1934 – bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were shot to death in a police ambush as they were driving a stolen Ford Deluxe along a road in Bienville Parish, Louisiana.

1969 - The Who's rock-opera album "Tommy" was released.

1992 – Italy's most prominent anti-mafia judge Giovanni Falcone, his wife and three body guards are killed by the Corleonesi clan with a half-ton bomb near Capaci, Sicily. His friend and colleague Paolo Borsellino will be assassinated less than two months later, making 1992 a turning point in the history of Italian Mafia prosecutions.

1995 – The first version of the Java programming language is released.

Writing prompt of the day:
#143 Failure: Write about a time you failed at something. Did you try again or give up completely?

My father was a natural athlete and he enjoyed sports.   He was wiry, highly competitive,  and quick, and I imagine if soccer had been more prevalent in the US when he was growing up back in the 1930’s, he would’ve excelled at it.   He was a world class ping-pong ]or table tennis if you will] player and travelled once to the Far East to be part of an exhibition there and later claimed to have won a gold medal [totally unsubstantiated].  He was good enough at golf and tennis to be considered semi-pro, but could only play one or the other at any one given time because he couldn’t stand not being the best at it.  He would hone his golf game to  fine point, then accept an invitation to play tennis and get beat which meant he would start honing his tennis game until he got an invite to play golf ….   It was a never ending cycle as he oscillated between these two “lifetime” sports

My father  tried to teach me ping-pong.  He tried to get me to play tennis.  He tried to show me how to hit a golf ball.  I failed at all three.  He was disgusted with my lack of coordination and interest; I was brought to tears by his disappointment and anger when I just couldn’t do what he wanted me to do, and in some cases, just couldn’t grasp exactly what it was he was telling me.  He gave up on me, and I gave up on sports. 


To this day I have no desire to venture onto the tennis court or the golf course, or to pick up a ping-pong paddle.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 23, 2018

we seem to have lost our way....

Today is the 3rd day of the 21st week, the 22nd day of the 5th month, the 142nd  day of 2018, and: 
  • Bitcoin Pizza Day -- remembering the first time a Bitcoin user purchased pizza with the cryptocurrency in 2010.
  • Buddah Day (Celebration Date) Note: Historical date is always April 8)
  • Canadian Immigrants Day
  • Harvey Milk Day -- in memory of Harvey Milk, a gay rights activist assassinated in 1978
  • International Day for Biological Diversity
  • National Buy a Musical Instrument Day
  • National Maritime Day
  • National Solitaire Day -- Microsoft included Solitaire in Windows 3.0 in 1990 and everyone has been wasting time playing it ever since
  • National Vanilla Pudding Day
  • Sherlock Holmes Day – celebrating Arthur Conan Doyle’s 159th birthday
  • US Colored Troops Day -- The United States War Department issued General Order Number 143 on May 22, 1863, establishing the Bureau of Colored Troops to facilitate the recruitment of African-American soldiers to fight for the Union Army
  • World Goth Day – did you know the first “goth” lived around 1760
On this day ...

760 – Fourteenth recorded perihelion passage of Halley's Comet.

1570 – The first atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, is published with 70 maps.

1762 – Trevi Fountain is officially completed and inaugurated in Rome by Pope Clement XIII.

1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition officially begins as the Corps of Discovery departs from St. Charles, Missouri.

1819 – SS Savannah leaves port at Savannah, Georgia, United States, on a voyage to become the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.

1826 – HMS Beagle departs on its first voyage.

1849 – Future U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is issued a patent for an invention to lift boats, making him the only U.S. President to ever hold a patent.

1868 - The Great Train Robbery took place near Marshfield, Indiana in the US, as seven members of the Reno gang made off with $96,000 in cash, gold and bonds.  Pinkerton detectives floated a rumor about a big gold shipment and then nabbed the entire when they stopped the train -- they were hung by vigilantes on December 11th.

1900 – The Associated Press is formed in New York City as a non-profit news cooperative.

1906 – The Wright brothers are granted U.S. patent number 821,393 for their "Flying-Machine".

1915 – Lassen Peak erupts with a powerful force, the only volcano besides Mount St. Helens to erupt in the contiguous U.S. during the 20th century.

1964 – Lyndon B. Johnson launches the Great Society.

1969 – Apollo 10's lunar module flies within 8.4 nautical miles (16 km) of the moon's surface.

1987 – First ever Rugby World Cup kicks off with New Zealand playing Italy at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.

2012 – Tokyo Skytree opens to the public. It is the tallest tower in the world (634 m), and the second tallest man-made structure on Earth after Burj Khalifa (829.8 m).

2015 – The Republic of Ireland becomes the first nation in the world to legalize gay marriage in a public referendum.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 18 secs of light-travel time and Voyager II is 16 hrs 13 mins 21 secs of light-travel time from Earth


54 years ago today the President of the United States stood before Congress and stated we as a people would eradicate poverty in our country, give every person a chance for better education, improve living conditions for everyone by rebuilding the infrastructure and cleaning up the environment, and end immigration nationality quotas.   Why?  Because the greatest nation on earth needed to make sure all prospered.  The ambitious programs created a substantial backlash.  Too much government!  Socialism!  Handouts! Foreign invasion!  And slowly over the decades, the vision has been lost.  As a teen I despised LBJ for what happened in Vietnam; as a student of history I have to admire his vision of society as well as  his ability to wheel and deal and get things done. 



THIS is what making America great again looks like to me!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 22, 2018

this Monday's musing

Today is the 2nd day of the 21t week, the 21st day of the 5th month, the 141st day of 2018, and: 
  • American Red Cross Founder's Day
  • I Need a Patch for That Day
  • National Memo Day
  • National Strawberries and Cream Day
  • National Waiters and Waitresses Day [AKA National Wait Staff Day]
  • Rapture Party Day [AKA End of the World Day] --  Harold Egbert Camping, American Christian radio broadcaster, author and evangelist, predicted that Jesus Christ would return to Earth on this day in 2011.  The saved would be taken up to heaven in the rapture, and that there would follow five months of fire, brimstone and plagues on Earth, with millions of people dying each day and the world would end on October 21st, 2011
  • Sister Maria Hummel Day
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development
On this day in ...

1554 – Queen Mary I grants a royal charter to Derby School, as a grammar school for boys in Derby, England.  The school became co-educational and comprehensive in 1972 and was closed in 1989

1703 – Daniel Defoe imprisoned on charges of seditious libel for publishing anonymously in December 1702 pamphlet entitled The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters; Or, Proposals for the Establishment of the Church, purporting to argue for their extermination.

1758 – Ten-year-old Mary Campbell is abducted in Pennsylvania by Lenape [also known as the Delaware] during the French and Indian War. She is returned six and a half years later.

1785 - First trial by jury in Canada under British common law.

1832 - The first Democratic National Convention got under way, in Baltimore.

1871 – Opening of the first rack railway [AKA a rack-and-pinion railway, cog railway, or cogwheel railway, it is a steep grade railway] in Europe, the Rigi Bahnen on Mount Rigi in Central Switzerland

1881 – The American Red Cross is established by Clara Barton in Washington, D.C.

1892 - The opera "I Pagliacci" by Ruggiero Leoncavallo was first performed, in Milan, Italy.

1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal in the United Kingdom is officially opened by Queen Victoria, who later knights its designer Sir Edward Leader Williams.

1904 – The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) is founded in Paris.

1927 – Charles Lindbergh touches down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world's first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

1932 – Bad weather forces Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

1934 – Oskaloosa, Iowa, becomes the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens.

1937 – A Soviet station, North Pole-1, becomes the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.

1946 – Physicist Louis Slotin is fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1951 – The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition: A gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively known as the New York School.

1956 - The United States exploded the first airborne hydrogen bomb, over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific.

1959 - The musical "Gypsy" starring Ethel Merman opened on Broadway.

1992 – After 30 seasons Johnny Carson hosted his penultimate episode and last featuring guests (Robin Williams and Bette Midler) of The Tonight Show.

1999 - Susan Lucci, star of the ABC soap opera "All My Children," won her first Daytime Emmy Award for best actress in the 19th straight year she was nominated.

2005 – The tallest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opens at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey.

2010 – JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launches the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket. The vessel would make a Venus flyby late in the year.

2018 - NASAVoyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 15 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Tomorrow is promised to no one, Grandmom Hughes used to remind us – but barring something unusual happening, we all know that eventually we will simply wear out.  As I get older, one of the things that is kinda sorta (not) talked about is the idea of an expiration date as we all come to the realization that there are fewer days ahead of us than are behind us in the natural course of things.  While I have always said that I will live to be 100.  , I am quite aware that in my family, no woman has lived past the age of  83, and even more aware that is a mere 15 years away.    What if we could peer into my cells and actually see that ticking little time clock?  What would we do with that information?  Would I want to know?  Time to wind up affairs and say good-bye VS just living until you die




*sighs*  Mondays always make me feel very mortal…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, May 21, 2018

yes tomorrow is Monday, but...

Today is the 1st day of the 21st week, the 20th day of the 5th month, the 140th day of 2018, and:  
  • Bay to Breakers Race [Oldest Footrace in America!]
  • Be a Millionaire Day – did you know “millionaire” was a term coined by Lord Byron in a letter written in 1816?
  • Eliza Doolittle Day – just you wait
  • Everybody Draw Mohammed Day -- started in 2010 to support of artists threatened with violence for drawing representations of the Islamic prophet Muhammad
  • Flower Day [AKA Vrubnitsa, Floriile (in romanian) or "Willow Day"]
  • Independence day:  Cuba from the US in 1902; East Timor from Indonesia in 2002
  • National Quiche Lorraine Day
  • National Rescue Dog Day
  • Neighbor Day
  • Pentecost [AKA WhitSunday] -- celebrated ten days after Ascension Thursday, commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus Christ
  • Pick Strawberries Day
  • Ride A Unicycle Day
  • Shavuot -- identified with the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai.
  • Soil Stewardship Day
  • Stepmothers' Day
  • Take Your Parents to The Playground Day
  • Weights and Measures Day -- the Metre Convention was signed by 17 nations leading to the establishment of the International System of Units in 1875
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day
  • World Baking Day
  • World Bee Day
  • World Metrology Day
On this day in...

325 – The First Council of Nicaea is formally opened, starting the first ecumenical council of the Christian Church.

1497 – John Cabot sets sail from Bristol, England, on his ship Matthew looking for a route to the west (other documents give a May 2 date).

1498 – Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama discovers the sea route to India when he arrives at Kozhikode (previously known as Calicut), India.

1570 – Cartographer Abraham Ortelius issues Theatrum Orbis Terrarum, the first modern atlas.

1609 – Shakespeare's sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe.

1873 – Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis receive a U.S. patent for blue jeans with copper rivets.

1891 – The first public display of Thomas Edison's prototype kinetoscope.

1916 - the Saturday Evening Post published its first cover drawn by Norman Rockwell.

1932 - Amelia Earhart took off from Newfoundland for Ireland to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

1939 - Regular trans-Atlantic air service began as a Pan American Airways plane took off from Port Washington, N.Y., bound for Europe.

1949 – In the United States, the Armed Forces Security Agency, the predecessor to the National Security Agency, is established.

1956 – In Operation Redwing, the first United States airborne hydrogen bomb is dropped over Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.

1964 – Discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation by Robert Woodrow Wilson and Arno Penzias.

1971 - The album "What's Going On" by Marvin Gaye was released.

1973 - Tom Sawyer Island opened at the Magic Kingdom

1983 – First publications of the discovery of the HIV virus that causes AIDS in the journal Science by Luc Montagnier.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 10 secs of light-travel time from Earth 


While not everyone, especially in service-type industries, has the traditional Saturday and Sunday off, I think everyone appreciates the special time warp that seems to dictate the time on the weekends runs at an accelerated rate….   Friday night comes and you are delighted!  And you turn around it is Sunday afternoon….  And you have to remind yourself that this is still your time.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, May 20, 2018

and another thing ...

Today is the 6th day of the 20th week, the 18th day of the 5th month, the 138th day of 2018 [with only 220 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Buy A Musical Instrument Day: 18 Link  (Honor of The Music Man Creator)
  • Endangered Species Day
  • HIV Vaccine Awareness Day
  • I love Reeses Day
  • International Museum Day
  • International Virtual Assistants Day
  • Mother Whistler Day
  • NASCAR Day
  • National Bike to Work Day
  • National Cheese Souffle Day
  • National Defense Transportation Day
  • National Museum Day
  • National No Dirty Dishes Day
  • National Pizza Party Day
  • National Visit Your Relatives Day
  • O Henry Pun-off Day
  • Send an Electronic Greeting Card Day
  • World AIDS Vaccine Day

On this day in ...

1291 – Fall of Acre, the end of Crusader presence in the Holy Land.

1499 – Alonso de Ojeda sets sail from Cádiz on his voyage to what is now Venezuela.

1593 – Playwright Thomas Kyd's accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlowe.

1897 - A public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel "Dracula, or, The Un-dead" was staged in London.

1912 – The first Indian film, Shree Pundalik by Dadasaheb Torne, is released in Mumbai.

1951 - The United Nations moved out of its temporary headquarters in Lake Success, NY, for its permanent home in Manhattan.

1953 – Jackie Cochran becomes the first woman to break the sound barrier.

1969 – Apollo 10 was launched on a mission that served as a dress rehearsal for the first moon landing.

1974 – Under project Smiling Buddha, India successfully detonates its first nuclear weapon becoming the sixth nation to do so.

1990 – In France, a modified TGV train achieves a new rail world speed record of 515.3 km/h (320.2 mph).

1991 - Britain's first astronaut, 27-year-old Helen Sharman from Sheffield, blasted into orbit via the Soviet Soyuz TM-12 space capsule from the Baikonur cosmodrome in the Soviet republic of Kazakhstan

2003 - "Les Miserables," the third-longest running show in Broadway history, closed after more than 16 years and 6,680 performances.

2005 – A second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirms that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 07 secs of light-travel time from Earth


A couple of things that are bugging me right now [in no particular order]:
  • ANOTHER school shooting? 
  • The 7th day of rain – supposedly we will see some sun tomorrow afternoon in between showers
  • Income inequity – they keep saying the recession is over, unemployment is back down, and the economy is back on track.   Then how come I know so many people who are involuntarily retired, cannot find jobs that pay over minimum wage, and are struggling to make ends meet?
  • Why is everything that I really like to eat bad for me?
  • Partisan politics – seriously guys, stop pointing fingers at each other and figure out how to address the real problems of the country?  And by the way, it is pretty much a given that Russia influenced our election – can we just figure out how to keep it from happening again please?
  • Healthcare – the United States has the best care that money can buy.  Unfortunately 99% don’t have the wherewithal to buy it
  • Israelis VS Palestinians – well lots of things, but today?  Will someone explain to me in very simple terms how a two-state solution would work when Gazza isn’t anywhere close to the rest of the proposed Palestinian state?
  • CGI – people can be put in videos and shows when they weren’t there and made to say things they didn’t say.  How can we accept any photo/video evidence?



I’m going back to my books and 2nd life.   Catch up with you later.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, May 18, 2018

your perspective VS ?

Today is the 5th day of the 20th week, the 17th day of the 5th month, the 137th day of 2018, and: 
  • Brown Bag It Thursday
  • Hummus Day
  • International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia – it wasn’t until 1990 that the General Assembly of the World Health Organization (WHO) eliminated homosexuality from the list of psychiatric diseases.
  • National Apertif Day
  • National Cherry Cobbler Day
  • National Mushroom Hunting Day
  • National Notebook Day
  • National Pack Rat Day
  • National Walnut Day
  • Same Sex Marriage Day – in 2004 the first legal same-sex marriages in the U.S. were performed in the state of Massachusetts.
  • Syttende Mai [AKA Norwegian National Day] – in 1814 the Constitution of Norway was signed and Crown Prince Christian Frederick of Denmark  elected King of Norway by the Norwegian Constituent Assembly.
  • World Hypertension Day
  • World Neurofibromatosis Awareness Day
  • World Telecommunication and Information Society Day
Quote of the day:
A fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.”
-- William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

I don’t remember exactly the date when my 8 year old self realized the way I see the world might be different from what others see.  It had to do with getting my first pair of glasses because for the first time in years, I found the world was so much more focused and there were all these sharp lines – I still take off my glasses at times to admire lights in the night.  But I quickly realized that I had not known others saw the world so differently, and that I still could not know what things looked like to someone else because I was trapped behind my own eyes and that was a revelation that has haunted me almost daily for the past six decades.

Folks cannot agree on the color of a dress [I saw blue and black], or what the spoken word actually is saying [I heard “laurel”].  Rapprochement is seen as flinging insults even while I feel the Democrats need to start listening to the disaffected conservative working class.   Conspiracy theories present “alternative facts” and scream “fake news” at anything or anyone that disagrees with them [that said, I will admit I am not convinced Oswald acted alone].  This is not new behavior – homo sapiens have been attacking anyone who appears different from them, making sure any other species cousins went extinct [we claim out-competed for the scarce resources rather than committed genocide]. 

So why would I accept there is such a thing as an historical fact as all I have to rely upon are the written perceptions of people, some of whom were not even aware they had filters and biases and agendas?  And in this day when pictures can be photoshopped and even videos easily altered, how will historians of the future ever figure out how the Weans lived?

The line between fact and fiction seems might blurry.....
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, May 17, 2018

not depressed, and yet....

Today is the 4th day of the 20th week, the 16th day of the 5th month, the 136th day of 2018, and: 
  • Biographer's Day
  • Honor Our LGBT Elders' Day
  • International Day of Light
  • Love a Tree Day
  • National Coquilles St Jacques Day -- a dish usually consisting of scallops combined with a mixture of butter, cream, mushrooms and cheese, baked in a scallop shell
  • National Employee Health & Fitness Day
  • National Juice Slush Day
  • National Mimosa Day
  • National Piercing Day
  • National Sea Monkey Day
  • National Wear Purple for Peace Day ((well I am wearing purple today, I cannot really claim to be celebrating since I found out about this well after getting dressed))
  • Ramadan ((first full day))
  • Turn Beauty Inside Out Day – celebrated since 2000, the goal is to stop emphasizing physical beauty to the point of ignoring a person’s soul/spirit

On this day in ...

1843 – The first major wagon train heading for the Pacific Northwest sets out on the Oregon Trail with one thousand pioneers from Elm Grove, Missouri.

1866 – The United States Congress establishes the nickel.

1888 – Nikola Tesla delivers a lecture describing the equipment which will allow efficient generation and use of alternating currents to transmit electric power over long distances.

1891 – The International Electrotechnical Exhibition opens in Frankfurt, Germany, and will feature the world's first long distance transmission of high-power, three-phase electric current (the most common form today).

1918 – The Sedition Act of 1918 is passed by the U.S. Congress, making criticism of the government during wartime an imprisonable offense. It will be repealed less than two years later.

1919 – A naval Curtiss NC-4 aircraft commanded by Albert Cushing Read leaves Trepassey, Newfoundland, for Lisbon via the Azores on the first transatlantic flight.

1920 – In Rome, Pope Benedict XV canonizes Joan of Arc.

1929 – In Hollywood, the first Academy Awards ceremony takes place.

1951 – The first regularly scheduled transatlantic flights begin between Idlewild Airport (now John F Kennedy International Airport) in New York City and Heathrow Airport in London, operated by El Al Israel Airlines.

1959 – The Triton Fountain in Valletta, Malta is turned on for the first time.[1]

1960 – Theodore Maiman operates the first optical laser (a ruby laser), at Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.

1966 - The albums  "Blonde on Blonde" by Bob Dylan and "Pet Sounds" by the Beach Boys were released.

1969 – Venera 5, a Soviet space probe, lands on Venus.

1975 - Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.

1988 – A report by the Surgeon General of the United States C. Everett Koop states that the addictive properties of nicotine are similar to those of heroin and cocaine.

1991 – Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom addresses a joint session of the United States Congress. She is the first British monarch to address the U.S. Congress.


In today's Gospel reflection, Bishop Robert Barron comments:

"Sadness of soul follows from the heaviness of self-regard, a sadness and weight which precludes real union with the other...."


I was struck by that phrase  “the heaviness of self-regard “, admiring not only the turn of the phrase, but the singularly apt description of the burden carried when you are insecure.    This insecurity  manifests itself in subtle ways:  The harshness of your self-talk.   The need to be liked by acquaintances and co-workers, to feel like you fit in.  The need for affirmation and approval from friends and family.  The need to be successful by standards that you don’t necessarily agree with as you accept the priorities of those around you.  Those of us who lack in confidence are toting a heavy weight around with us that we cannot put down, and yes, it tinges our souls a delicate shade of indigo that can deepen into darkness very easily and quickly.  Watching my granddaughters grow up I often think back on the childhoods of my son and daughter and then of my own, wondering when that shining joy and confidence became marred?  Was it in an instant?  Was it an accumulation of negative criticism, of stern tones of voices that projected disapproval, of a torrent of constant corrections?




Time to meditate on and strengthen my 3rd Chakra
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 16, 2018

only questions, no answers

Today is the 3rd day of the 20th week, the 15th day of the 5th month, the 135th day of 2018, and: 
  • Dinosaur Day
  • Hyperemisis Gravidarum [HG] Awareness Day
  • Independence Day -- Paraguay from Spain in 1811
  • International Conscientious Objectors Day
  • International Day of Families
  • International MPS Awareness Day
  • National Chocolate Chip Day
  • National Safety Dose Day
  • National Slider Day
  • National Tuberous Sclerosis Day
  • Nylon Stockings Day
  • Peace Officers Memorial Day
  • Relive Your Past By Listening to the First Music You Ever Bought No Matter what It Was No Excuses Day – I cannot recall what I would’ve bought first, actually, so there is no option to celebrate this day
  • Ramadan [starts at sundown]
  • Sex Differences in Health Awareness Day
  • Straw Hat Day – rather odd given one cannot wear a straw hat until after Memorial Day but you can get it out and spruce it up!
On this day in  ...

1252 – Pope Innocent IV issues the papal bull ad extirpanda, which authorizes, but also limits, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.

1618 – Johannes Kepler confirms his previously rejected discovery of the third law of planetary motion (he first discovered it on March 8 but soon rejected the idea after some initial calculations were made).

1718 – James Puckle, a London lawyer, patents the world's first machine gun.

1793 – Diego Marín Aguilera flies a glider for "about 360 meters", at a height of 5–6 meters, during one of the first attempted manned flights.

1817 – Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania).

1836 – Francis Baily observes "Baily's beads" during an annular eclipse.

1851 – The first Australian gold rush is proclaimed, although the discovery had been made three months earlier.

1858 – Opening of the present Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London.

1891 – Pope Leo XIII defends workers' rights and property rights in the encyclical Rerum novarum, the beginning of modern Catholic social teaching.

1928 – Walt Disney character Mickey Mouse premieres in his first cartoon, "Plane Crazy".

1930 - Ellen Church, the first airline stewardess, went on duty aboard a United Airlines flight from San Francisco and Cheyenne, Wyo.

1940 – McDonald's opens its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.

1941 – First flight of the Gloster E.28/39 the first British and Allied jet aircraft.

1941 – Joe DiMaggio begins a 56-game hitting streak.

1957 – At Malden Island in the Pacific Ocean, Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple.

1958 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 3.

1960 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 4.

1963 – The launch of the final Mercury mission, Mercury-Atlas 9 with astronaut Gordon Cooper on board. He becomes the first American to spend more than a day in space, and the last American to go into space alone.


70 years ago today a new nation was attacked not 24 hours after its formation – the Arab-Israeli War

70 years ago today a huge refuge population [who became to be known as Palestinians] was created – the Nakba

Was everyone but Jews deliberately and systematically expelled?  Or did they leave because they thought the armies would slaughter the Jews then they could take everything?  Seven decades later there are few answers and little common ground – what would break the deadlock?




I don’t know what has to change.

I wish I did.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Today in history...

Today is the 2nd day of the 20th week, the 14th day of the 5th month, the 134th day of 2018, and: 
  • Accountant's Day or Accounting Day
  • Dance Like a Chicken Day
  • International Dylan Thomas Day
  • National Buttermilk Biscuit Day
  • National Chicken Dance Day
  • National Underground America Day
  • National Women's Check-Up Day
  • The Stars and Stripes Forever Day
On this day in ...

1607 – Jamestown, Virginia is settled as an English colony.

1787 – In Philadelphia, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States; George Washington presides.

1796 – English physician Edward Jenner administered the first vaccination against smallpox.

1800 – The process of the U.S. Government moving the United States capital city from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. begins.

1804 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition departs from Camp Dubois and begins its historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River.

1870 – The first game of rugby in New Zealand is played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club.

1946 - House of Commons passes the Canadian Citizenship Act; first nationality statute in Canada to define its people as Canadians

1948 – Israel is declared to be an independent state and a provisional government is established. Immediately after the declaration, Israel is attacked by the neighboring Arab states, triggering the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.

1951 – Trains run on the Talyllyn Railway in Wales for the first time since preservation, making it the first railway in the world to be operated by volunteers.

1973 – Skylab, the United States' first space station, is launched.

1981 - Bank of Canada raises lending rate to further record high of 18.98%.  In comparison, the highest US Prime Rate was 20% back on April 2nd, 1980

1998 - The TV series "Seinfeld" aired its final episode.

2008 - The Interior Department declared the polar bear a threatened species because of the loss of Arctic sea ice.

2018 - The US moves its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem – the first country in 70 years to do so

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything."
~ George Bernard Shaw

Seven Pillars of Wisdom – which became the movie Lawrence of Arabia

The Source and the movie Exodus [based on the book of the same name]

These were the books and the movies about two very different peoples, both filled with the sweep of history and both romanticizing their subject, that formed the basis of my perceptions of the Middle East.  I read a great deal about Jews, especially in college, drawn by their insular sense of community and identity, and admittedly enthralled with their insistence that God was One, not Three since the Holy Trinity was a concept that I still struggle .to really understand.  In pursuit of history, archeology, and cultural anthropology I studied the movements of Mesopotamia and the developments of civilization in the Fertile Crescent and I read the Koran.  And I have to humbly admit I have absolutely no comprehension of the level of hate these two peoples have for one another.  I simply do not understand.  I totally get why they both distrust, despise and detest the US.  I can see why they would treat Christians and Christianity with disdain.   But from my perspective, it would seem the Arab and the Jew have a vast amount of history in common, cemented by the land they have both held for centuries, a cultural conglomeration that like the West and the East is viable and powerful.


I do not believe the new state of Israel expelled all Arabs in 1948 – but that the Arabs fled and felt they could not return is indisputable.  That the surrounding Arab nations refused to assimilate these fleeing Palestinians is also indisputable, and I feel they deliberately have created the current problem by encouraging those who fled that Israel would not survive.  But while about 700K fled their homes in fear, there are now over 5 MILLION demanding land, or reimbursements and reparations -- and I am not sure any country could handle that.  I wish I could do more than pray, but I am not wise enough to see a solution….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, May 14, 2018


Today is the 6th day of the 19th week, the 11th day of the 5th month, the 131st day of 2018, and: 
  • Child Care Provider Day
  • Eat What You Want Day
  • Fintastic Friday -- Giving Sharks a Voice
  • Hostess CupCake Day – first sold in 1919, created by the Taggart Bakery and made at their Indianapolis bakery
  • Military Spouse Appreciation Day
  • National Foam Rolling Day [massage]
  • National Provider Appreciation Day
  • National Public Gardens Day
  • National Twilight Zone Day
  • Nisga'a Day, celebration of the effective date of the Nisga'a Final Agreement. (Nisga'a Nation)
  • Provider Appreciation Day
  • Root Canal Appreciation Day
and the earliest day on which Whit Monday can fall, while June 14 is the latest; celebrated on the day after Pentecost

On this day ...

 330 – Byzantium is renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony, but it is more popularly referred to as Constantinople.

 868 – A copy of the Diamond Sutra is printed in China, making it the oldest known dated printed book.

1676 - Beggars ordered to get permission from priests to beg in the streets of Montreal and Quebec.

1502 – Christopher Columbus departs Cádiz on his fourth and final voyage to the Americas.

1792 – Robert Gray commands the first expedition to sail into the Columbia River, the largest river in the Pacific Northwest region of North America

1910 – An act of the U.S. Congress establishes Glacier National Park in Montana.

1927 – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is founded.

1947 - The B.F. Goodrich Co. of Akron, Ohio, announced the development of a tubeless tire.

1949 - Israel was admitted to the United Nations.

1949 Siam changed its named to Thailand.

1972 – The United States performs a nuclear test at the Nevada Test Site, which was part of Operation Grommet.

1996 – Al Leiter throws a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies, the first no-hitter in Florida Marlins franchise history.

1997 – Deep Blue, a chess-playing supercomputer, defeats Garry Kasparov in the last game of the rematch, becoming the first computer to beat a world-champion chess player in a classic match format.

1998 - India set off three underground atomic blasts, its first nuclear tests in 24 years.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 52 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

“I'll keep rolling along
Deep in my heart is a song
Here on the range I belong
Drifting along with the tumbling tumbleweeds”

Tumbling Tumbleweeds lyrics by Bob Nolan © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

A stray article that I ran across yesterday was about the tumbleweed – that iconic symbol of the American West, portrayed in song and movies [there are at least three movies titled  “Tumbleweed”] as a metaphor for the restless life of the cowboy.  In current parlance, it signifies either an awkward moment of silence that falls on a room after a person says something stupid, unfunny or offensive, or a roaming party.    But what got my attention, was that it is actually classified as  a noxious weed and a nuisance, and an example of an invasive species’ thriving and taking over in a new environment.

Tumbleweeds probably arrived around 1873 when Russian immigrants [Ukrainian farmers] arrived in South Dakota carrying flax seed that was apparently contaminated with Russian thistle seeds (Salsola tragus) and were first reported in the United States around 1877 in Bon Homme County.  , South Dakota. Within two decades the plant had tumbled into a dozen states, and by 1900, tumbleweed had reached the Pacific Coast, growing in disturbed soils such as agricultural fields, irrigation canals and roadside shoulders and ditches.  It has also spread to and grows abundantly in Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Greece, Hawaii, Hungary, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa and Turkey. And today, tumbleweeds are not only an agricultural nuisance and fire hazard, but  massive pileups now often bury houses, block roads and driveways, and even barricade people inside their homes.  No wonder they have been portrayed as sentient beings, both on TV and on the big screen

 Apparently we don’t have them in Maryland, and after reading all this and seeing the pictures, I’ll settle for the local infestation of dandelions.  At least we can make wine from them!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, May 11, 2018

not being Pollyanna but....

Today is the 5th day of the 19th week, the 10th day of the 5th month, the 130th day of 2018, and: 
  • Ascension
  • Clean Up Your Room Day
  • Independence Day -- Romania from the Ottoman Empire in 1877.
  • Make-A-Book Day
  • National Be Kind To Lawyers Day
  • National Children's Mental Heath Awareness Day
  • National Farm Animals Day
  • National Library Workers Day
  • National Library Day
  • National Shrimp Day
  • National Sibling Day
  • Salvation Army Founder's Day
  • Safety Pin Day
  • Trust Your Intuition Day
  • World Lupus day
and the earliest possible day on which Pentecost can fall, while June 13 is the latest; celebrated seven weeks after Easter Day.


On this day in ...

28 BC – A sunspot is observed by Han dynasty astronomers during the reign of Emperor Cheng of Han, one of the earliest dated sunspot observations in China.

1497 – Amerigo Vespucci allegedly leaves Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.

1503 – Christopher Columbus visits the Cayman Islands and names them Las Tortugas after the numerous turtles there.

1768 – John Wilkes is imprisoned for writing an article for The North Briton severely criticizing King George III. This action provokes rioting in London.

1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passes the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by granting it a monopoly on the North American tea trade.

1774 – Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette become King and Queen of France.

1824 – The National Gallery in London opens to the public.

1869 – The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, is completed at Promontory Summit, Utah with the golden spike.

1872 – Victoria Woodhull becomes the first woman nominated for President of the United States although some have questioned that priority given issues with the legality of her run -- she was one year younger than the constitutionally mandated age of 35 and therefore not actually eligible, although she would've been 35 when sworn in

1904 – The Horch & Cir. Motorwagenwerke AG is founded. It would eventually become the Audi company.

1908 – Mother's Day is observed for the first time in the United States when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew's Methodist Church, in Grafton, West Virginia.

1916 – Sailing in the lifeboat James Caird, Ernest Shackleton arrives at South Georgia after a journey of 800 nautical miles from Elephant Island.

1922 – The United States annexes the Kingman Reef, a largely submerged, uninhabited triangular shaped reef, located in the North Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway between the Hawaiian Islands and American Samoa

1924 – J. Edgar Hoover is appointed first Director of the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and remains so until his death in 1972.

1946 – First successful launch of an American V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground.

1954 – Bill Haley & His Comets release "Rock Around the Clock", the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts.

1960 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton completes Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.

1962 – Marvel Comics publishes the first issue of The Incredible Hulk.

1975 – Sony introduces the Betamax videocassette recorder in Japan.

2013 – One World Trade Center becomes the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.


Quote of the day:

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.”

~ Guillaume Appollinaire,  French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic


I can’t do anything about the president making decisions that I find dangerous and impossible.  I can’t do anything about income inequity, homelessness, the high cost of health care, prejudice, intolerance, Calvinism, my inability to retire, or any of the other things that cause me angst,  raise my blood pressure, and give me indigestion.  Yes I think that winning the lottery would make me happy.  Yes I think that things getting easier for my daughters would make me [and them] happy.  But sometimes I need to choose to kick back and appreciate what I have, and enjoy the small moments



Everything comes with pluses and minuses and there is always a downside to every upside.  For today at least, I’m not going to worry and just be happy.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, May 10, 2018

a day to remember

Today is the 3rd day of the 19th week, the 8th day of the 5th month, the 128th day of 2018 [with only 230 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Childhood Depression Awareness Day
  • Free Cone Day (Haagen-Dazs)
  • Free Trade Day
  • Iris Day
  • Mothers At The Wall Day
  • National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
  • National Coconut Cream Pie Day
  • National Have a Coke Day
  • National Student Nurses Day
  • National Teacher Day
  • No Socks Day
  • Student Nurse Day
  • Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War
  • Victory in Europe Day [AKA V E Day]
  • World Ovarian Cancer Day
  • World Red Cross / Red Crescent Day
  • And the earliest day on which Mother's Day can fall, while May 14 is the latest as it is celebrated on the second Sunday of May
On this day ...

1541 – Hernando de Soto reaches the Mississippi River and names it Río de Espíritu Santo.

1794 - Antoine Lavoisier, the father of modern chemistry, was executed on the guillotine during France's Reign of Terror.

1877 – At Gilmore's Gardens in New York City, the first Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show opens.

1886 – Pharmacist John Pemberton first sells a carbonated beverage named "Coca-Cola" as a patent medicine.

1898 – The first games of the Italian football league system are played.

1899 – The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin produced its first play.

1912 – Paramount Pictures is founded.

1919 – Edward George Honey proposes the idea of a moment of silence to commemorate the Armistice of 11 November 1918 which ended World War I.

1944 - The first "eye bank" was established, in New York City.

1970 - The album "Let It Be" by the Beatles was released.

1976 – The rollercoaster The New Revolution, the first steel coaster with a vertical loop, opens at Six Flags Magic Mountain.

1978 – The first ascent of Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen, by Reinhold Messner and Peter Habeler.

1980 – The World Health Organization confirms the eradication of smallpox.  But two stockpiles of the variola virus remain in the world. Both the CDC, located in the state of Georgia, and a state laboratory in Russia have supplies of the virus. In 1990, a World Health Organization advisory committee "recommended destroying" the remaining viruses -- both countries claim their stockpiles are necessary for "research"

2012 - Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers became the 16th major league baseball player to hit four home runs in a game.




It wasn’t the end of the war for the Japanese fought on.  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May 7th 2018

Today is the 2nd day of the 19th week, the 7th day of the 5th month, the 127th day of 2018, and: 
  • Design Packaging Day
  • Great Lakes Awareness Day
  • Melanoma Monday
  • National Barrier Awareness Day
  • National Cosmopolitan Day
  • National Library Legislative Day
  • National Meeting Planners Appreciation Day
  • National Roast Leg of Lamb Day
  • National Tourism Day
  • Paste Up Day
  • Worldwide Day of Genital Autonomy
On this day in ...

1664 – Louis XIV of France begins construction of the Palace of Versailles.

1718 – The city of New Orleans is founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville.

1824 – World premiere of Ludwig van Beethoven's Ninth Symphony in Vienna, Austria. The performance is conducted by Michael Umlauf under the composer's supervision.

1846 – The Cambridge Chronicle, America's oldest surviving weekly newspaper, is published for the first time in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1864 – The world's oldest surviving clipper ship, the City of Adelaide is launched by William Pile, Hay and Co. in Sunderland, England, for transporting passengers and goods between Britain and Australia.

1895 – In Saint Petersburg, Russian scientist Alexander Stepanovich Popov demonstrates to the Russian Physical and Chemical Society his invention, the Popov lightning detector—a primitive radio receiver. In some parts of the former Soviet Union the anniversary of this day is celebrated as Radio Day.

1934 - The 9.45-inch, 14.1 lb "Pearl of Lao Tzu" is found by a diver in a giant clam in the Palawan Sea.

1941 - Glenn Miller and His Orchestra recorded "Chattanooga Choo Choo." The song was first featured in the 1941 movie "Sun Valley Serenade," a movie that starred many of the biggest names of the day.

1946 – Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering (later renamed Sony) is founded with around 20 employees.

1948 – The Council of Europe is founded during the Hague Congress.

1952 – The concept of the integrated circuit, the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey Dummer.

1977 - Seattle Slew won the Kentucky Derby on his way to horse racing's Triple Crown.

1986 – Canadian Patrick Morrow becomes the first person to climb each of the Seven Summits [composed of each of the highest mountain peaks of each of the seven continent].  The definitions of the "highest" as well as what constitutes the continent differes from list to list, but Murrow climbed Denali (1977), Aconcagua (1981), Mt. Everest (1982), Kilimanjaro (1983), Mt. Kosciuszko (1983), Mt. Vinson (1985), Mt. Elbrus (1985) and finally the Puncak Jaya (Carstensz Pyramid).

1992 – The Space Shuttle Endeavour is launched on its first mission, STS-49.

1992 - A 203-year-old proposed constitutional amendment barring Congress from giving itself a midterm pay raise was ratified when Michigan became the 38th state to approve it.

1994 – Edvard Munch's iconic painting The Scream is recovered undamaged after being stolen from the National Gallery of Norway in February.

1998 – Mercedes-Benz buys Chrysler for US$40 billion USD and forms DaimlerChrysler in the largest industrial merger in history.

1999 – Pope John Paul II travels to Romania, becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 45 secs of light-travel time from Earth


When I do these lists – both the holidays [secular and religious] of the day and the historical events --  I visit different sites and poke around a bit rather than rely on just one or two sources.  Nevertheless I find my information turns out to be very culturally limited.  I know for a fact that what we call “western civilization” leaves out a huge portion of the world, and yet I seldom find information about events and holidays celebrated outside my little bubble.  Perhaps the issue is that I only speak English and these alternative sites are in other languages.  Perhaps GOOGLE has come to know me too well and is directing my search results to “fit” me in some way.   But what if I don’t want what fits me but want to see it all?




*goes back to polishing search skills*

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, May 7, 2018

the 4th

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, May 4, 2018

what you say....

Today is the 5th day of the 18th week, the 3rd day of the 5th month, the 123rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Garden Meditation Day
  • Lag B'omer – to celebrate Rabbi Shimon’s life and the revelation of the esoteric soul of Torah.
  • Martin Z Mollusk Day
  • National Chocolate Custard Day
  • National Day of Prayer
  • National Day of Reason
  • National Lumpy Rug Day
  • National Raspberry Popover Day
  • National SAN Architect Day
  • National Specially-abled Pets Day
  • National Textiles Day
  • National Two Different Colored Shoes Day
  • Paranormal Day
  • Public Radio Day
  • Sun Day  - designated by United States President Jimmy Carter in 1978, specifically devoted to advocacy for solar power
  • Wordsmith Day
  • World Password Day
  • World Press Freedom Day
Quote of the day:

"Because I've always felt, whether the fatwa or whatever, the writer's great weapon is the truth and integrity of his voice. And as long as what you're saying is what you truly, honestly believe to be the case, then whatever the consequences, that's fine. That's an honorable position."

~ Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist

This quote was sent out as part of the Positive Quotes newsletter yesterday.  Now read what was said above again:  “as long as what you're saying is what you truly, honestly believe to be the case, then whatever the consequences, that's fine.”  Think about that statement for a moment.  This man just said that as long as you believe what you are saying, no matter what the consequences are, it is okay.  Now put in the context of the issues Rushdie has had after writing his book and the fact that there is quite literally a bounty placed on his head for daring to write about his gestalt, this statement is a downright heroic defense of free speech.  I’m sure he didn’t mean the applications of his statement that immediately sprang to my mind.  For example:   the flat-earth movement is actually growing in numbers as folks state their firmly held conviction that there is no such thing as a globe, there are measles outbreaks threatening vulnerable babies around the world  because the belief the vaccine causes autism persists,  and no matter how many times economists debunk the theory it would appear that trickledown economics is alive and well in certain segments of our society.    But each of these people passionately believe in what they are saying --  the earth is flat, vaccines cause autism and trickledown means if we give more to the rich everyone will prosper – and other people listen to them.   No amount of trumpeting about “fake news” and “alternative facts” touches them, no amount of reason or science reaches them,  because they believe and they not only act on those beliefs but proselytize – and this has real consequences for society as a whole.




No I don’t think I like or agree with this quote. 

Sorry, Salman

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, May 3, 2018

it's that time of year

Today is the 4th day of the 18th week, the 2nd day of the 5th month, the 122nd day of 2018 [think about it – 1/3 of the year is now behind us and there only 236 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • Baby Day
  • Brothers and Sisters Day
  • Great American Grump Out
  • International Scurvy Awareness Day
  • National Anxiety Disorders Screening Day
  • National Day to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy
  • National (Deaf) Interpreter Day
  • National Fire Day
  • National Life Insurance Day
  • National Play Your Ukulele Day
  • National Truffle Day
  • Roberts Rule of Order Day
  • Take a Baby to Lunch Day
  • World Tuna Day
On this day in ...

1611 – The King James Version of the Bible is published for the first time in London, England, by printer Robert Barker.

1829 – After anchoring nearby, Captain Charles Fremantle of HMS Challenger, declares the Swan River Colony in Australia.

1863 – Stonewall Jackson is wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after reconnoitering during the Battle of Chancellorsville. He succumbs to pneumonia eight days later.

1932 - Jack Benny's first radio show debuted on the NBC Blue Network.  ((all he had to do was say "well" and audiences would crack up))

1941 - General Mills began shipping a new cereal called "Cheerioats" to six test markets. (The cereal was later renamed "Cheerios.")

1952 – The world's first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1 makes its maiden flight, from London to Johannesburg.

1955 – Tennessee Williams wins the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

1963 – Berthold Seliger launches a rocket with three stages and a maximum flight altitude of more than 100 kilometres near Cuxhaven. It is the only sounding rocket developed in Germany.

1964 – First ascent of Shishapangma, the fourteenth highest mountain in the world and the lowest of the Eight-thousanders.

1969 – The British ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2 departs on her maiden voyage to New York City.

1982 - The Weather Channel debuted.

1998 – The European Central Bank is founded in Brussels in order to define and execute the European Union's monetary policy.

2012 – A pastel version of The Scream, by Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, sells for $120 million in a New York City auction, setting a new world record for a work of art at auction.


Quote of the day:

   “All things are subject to interpretation. Whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Now that it appears winter has actually left and the A/C has been turned on, the annual start of Thermostat Wars is duly noted  in the office with the hot house plants VS those of us who prefer a cooler environment


0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, May 2, 2018

has spring sprung?

Today is the 3rd day in the 18th week, the 1st day of the 5th month, the 121st day of 2018, and: 
  • Batman Day (Also in September)
  • Beltane [or Samhaim in the southern hemisphere]
  • Childhood Depression Awareness Day
  • Couple Appreciation Day
  • CSS Reboot Day
  • Executive Coaching Day
  • Foster Care Day
  • Frequent Flyer Day
  • Global Love Day
  • Hug Your Cat Day
  • International Workers' Day
  • Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Day
  • Law Day
  • Lei Day
  • Lemonade Day
  • Loyalty Day
  • May Day or May One Day
  • Mother Goose Day
  • National Bubba Day
  • National Chocolate Parfait Day
  • National Purebred Dog Day
  • New Homeowners' Day
  • Phone In Sick Day
  • Poem on Your Pillow Day
  • Save the Rhino Day
  • School Principals' Day
  • Silver Star Service Banner Day
  • Skyscraper Day
  • Stepmother's Day
  • World Asthma Day
  • Worthy Wage Day
On this day in ...

 880 – The Nea Ekklesia is inaugurated in Constantinople, setting the model for all later cross-in-square Orthodox churches.

1707 - The Kingdom of Great Britain was created as a treaty merging England and Scotland took effect.

1753 – Publication of Species Plantarum by Linnaeus, and the formal start date of plant taxonomy adopted by the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.

1759 – Josiah Wedgwood founds the Wedgwood pottery company in Great Britain.

1776 – Establishment of the Illuminati in Ingolstadt (Upper Bavaria), by Jesuit-taught Adam Weishaupt.

1786 - Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" premiered in Vienna.  ((Only those who grew up with the Saturday morning cartoons will appreciate the immediate correlation with Bugs Bunny))

1840 – The Penny Black, the first official adhesive postage stamp, is issued in the United Kingdom.

1844 – Hong Kong Police Force, the world's second modern police force and Asia's first, is established.

1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chancellorsville begins -- notable because with the loss of Stonewall Jackson, many historians feel the Confederacy lost their best chance of staying independent.

1869 – The Folies Bergère opens in Paris.

1884 – Proclamation of the demand for eight-hour workday in the United States by the International Workingmen's Association

1886 – Rallies are held throughout the United States demanding the eight-hour work day, culminating in the Haymarket affair in Chicago, in commemoration of which May 1 is celebrated as International Workers' Day in many countries.

1915 – The RMS Lusitania departs from New York City on her 202nd, and final, crossing of the North Atlantic. Six days later, the ship is torpedoed off the coast of Ireland with the loss of 1,198 lives -- and precipitated the US into WWI

1930 – The dwarf planet Pluto is officially named.

1931 – The Empire State Building is dedicated in New York City.

1941 - The Orson Welles film "Citizen Kane" premiered in New York.

1956 – The polio vaccine developed by Jonas Salk is made available to the public.

1956 – A doctor in Japan reports an "epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system", marking the official discovery of Minamata disease.

1962 - The first Target discount store opened in Roseville, Minn.

1971 - Amtrak went into service, combining and streamlining the operations of 18 intercity passenger railroads.

1989 – Disney-MGM Studios opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.

1999 – The body of British climber George Mallory is found on Mount Everest, 75 years after his disappearance in 1924.

1999 – SpongeBob SquarePants premieres on Nickelodeon after the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards.


I started this day out viewing, via live-cam, the sunrise in the Magic Kingdome.   Although WDW is in the same eastern time zone as I am, they are slightly west of my location as well as being 1,000 miles + and this  means sunrise is a little over a half hour later there than it is here.  The other?  While the cameras were focused on the east, local residents noticed west and moving overhead was a lot of clouds, which belied the beautiful day shown on the feed.  The same thing happens to me at times – my apartment faces due east and I often miss the weather when it approaches from the west or southwest.




The sunrise was gorgeous, the music appropriate, and it was a lovely, peaceful celebration for Beltane 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, May 1, 2018

EOM - April 2018

Today is the 2nd day of the 18th week, the 30th day of the 4th month, the 120th day of 2018, and: 
  • Adopt a shelter Pet Day
  • Animal Advocacy Day
  • Beltane begins at sunset in the Northern hemisphere,
  • Bugs Bunny Day
  • Day of the Child
  • Day of Vesak
  • Díá De Los Niños / Díá De Los Libros Day
  • Hairstyle Appreciation Day
  • International Jazz Day
  • Kiss of Hope Day
  • National Animal Advocacy Day
  • National Bubble Tea Day
  • National Honesty Day
  • National Military Brats Day
  • National Mr Potato Head Day
  • National Oatmeal Cookie Day
  • National PrepareAthon! Day
  • National Raisin Day
  • National Sarcoidosis Day
  • Samhain begins at sunset in the Southern hemisphere
  • Spank Out Day
  • Walpurgis Night
On this day in....

1492 – Spain gives Christopher Columbus his commission of exploration.

1789 – On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.

1803 – The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.

1859 - "A Tale of Two Cities" by Charles Dickens was first published in serial form in a literary magazine.

1885 – Governor of New York David B. Hill signs legislation creating the Niagara Reservation, New York's first state park, ensuring that Niagara Falls will not be devoted solely to industrial and commercial use.

1897 – J. J. Thomson of the Cavendish Laboratory announces his discovery of the electron as a subatomic particle, over 1,800 times smaller than a proton (in the atomic nucleus), at a lecture at the Royal Institution in London

1905 – Albert Einstein completes his doctoral thesis at the University of Zurich.

1927 – Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford become the first celebrities to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

1938 – The animated cartoon short “Porky's Hare Hunt” debuts in movie theaters, introducing Happy Rabbit (a prototype of Bugs Bunny).

1939 – The 1939-40 New York World's Fair opens and NBC inaugurates its regularly scheduled television service in New York City, broadcasting President Franklin D. Roosevelt's N.Y. World's Fair opening day ceremonial address.

1943 – The British submarine HMS Seraph surfaces near Huelva to cast adrift a dead man dressed as a courier and carrying false invasion plans.  This was a great book, incidentally, The Man Who Never Was

1947 – In Nevada, Boulder Dam is renamed Hoover Dam for the second time.

1948 – In Bogotá, Colombia, the Organization of American States is established.

1952 - Anne Frank is published in English

1975 – Fall of Saigon: Communist forces gain control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ends with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Dương Văn Minh.

1993 – CERN announces World Wide Web protocols will be free.

2008 – Two skeletal remains found near Yekaterinburg, Russia are confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei and Anastasia, two of the children of the last Tsar of Russia, whose entire family was executed at Yekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 38 secs of light-travel time from Earth


In my meanderings online over the weekend I came across the word “Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai])” and learned it  is a Japanese concept meaning "a reason for being".  You might have encountered it as  raison d'être – the basic reason for the existence of something or someone.   Standard fare for those of us who spend time gazing at our navels [so to speak] and spend time pondering our existence and purpose, but what grabbed my attention was the illustration of where you Ikigai was located:



The idea, as I understand it, is to make  three different lists of your values, things you like to do, and things that you are good at and then finding where they intersect.   The diagram above pares it down more precisely into
  • Your passion -- what do you love
  • Your vocation – what are you good at
  • Your profession – what can you do that will generate income
  • Your mission --  what the world needs
To develop the answers to these questions takes a lot of curiosity – about new experiences, about yourself, about others.  Maybe the reason I like the concept is that it encourages me to ask questions?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, April 30, 2018

watching the moments

Today is the 6th day of the 17th week, the 27th day of the 4th month, the 117th day of 2018, and: 
  • Babe Ruth Day – first celebrated in 1947
  • Day of Dialogue
  • Independence Day: Togo from France in 1960 and Sierra Leone from United Kingdom in 1961.
  • LGBT National Day of Silence
  • Matanzas Mule Day
  • Morse Code Day
  • National Arbor Day
  • National Devil Dog Cakes Day
  • National Hairball Awareness Day
  • National Little Pampered Dog Day
  • National Prime Rib Day
  • Undiagnosed Children's Awareness Day
  • World Design Day
On this day ...

1539 – Re-founding of the city of Bogotá, New Granada (now Colombia), by Nikolaus Federmann and Sebastián de Belalcázar.

1565 – Cebu is established becoming the first Spanish settlement in the Philippines.

1595 – The relics of Saint Sava are incinerated in Belgrade on the Vračar plateau by Ottoman Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha; the site of the incineration is now the location of the Church of Saint Sava, one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world, in retaliation for the Serbs in Banat uprising in 1594 using the portrait of Saint Sava on their war flags

1667 – John Milton, blind and impoverished, sells the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.

1861 – American President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of habeas corpus [a guarantee against any detention that is forbidden by law].

1865 – The New York State Senate creates Cornell University as the state's land grant institution.

1972 - Apollo 16 returned to Earth after a manned voyage to the moon.

1981 – Xerox PARC introduces the computer mouse.

2005 – Airbus A380 aircraft had its maiden test flight.

2006 – Construction begins on the Freedom Tower (later renamed One World Trade Center) in New York City.


Quote of the day:
Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.”
~ Dr. Seuss

In each day, there are 1,440 minutes, a very specific measurement of time.  They glide past, flowing gently into that river of time that stretches both behind us and in front of us, each striking our spirit with an unnoticed little ping, insignificant and insubstantial for the most part.  A moment is usually thought to be a less precise measurement of time –  a medieval unit of time defined by the movement of a shadow on a sundial [which covered 40 moments in a solar hour] and today  usually referring to a brief period of time or a specific point in time.  Arguably, we don’t remember “days” per se, we actually remember “moments” and we express it in days.  For example, I remember the date of 06.27.2017 clearly [a specific point in time] – it was then that we learned my daughter had breast cancer – but I couldn’t tell you what day of the week it was other than it was a workday because when she called and asked me to come to Mercy Hospital where she was waiting for a biopsy, I was here at work.  I vividly remember what I did, and how I felt.  Form this I deduce that  activity and emotion are more captured in moments rather than minutes and it makes me look at the historical records I scan for what happened on this day a little differently from a matter of perspective rather than fact..  Makes me wonder if you can deliberately craft a moment into a memory.


 When you reflect upon the past, which moments stand out for you?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, April 27, 2018

never had a friend like ....

Today is the 5th day of the 17th week, the 26th day of the 4th month, the 116th day of 2018, and: 
  • Audubon Day
  • Get Organized Day
  • Hug a Friend Day
  • Hug an Australian Day
  • International Girls in Information and Telecommunication
  • Lesbian Visibility Day
  • National Dissertation Day
  • National Help a Horse Day
  • National Kids and Pets Day
  • National Pretzel Day
  • National Richter Scale Day --  honoring the birth of the Richter Scale inventor, Charles F. Richter in 1900
  • National Static Cling Day --
  • Poem in your Pocket Day
  • Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day
  • Technologies Day
  • Thank You Thursday
  • World Intellectual Property Day --  The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization enters into force in 1970.
On this day ...

1336 – Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascends Mont Ventoux.

1564 – Playwright William Shakespeare is baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown).

1607 - An expedition of English colonists went ashore at Cape Henry, Va., to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere. (They later settled at Jamestown.)

1777 – Sybil Ludington, aged 16, rode 40 miles to alert American colonial forces to the approach of the British regular forces  [take THAT Paul Revere!]

1803 – Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L'Aigle, France; the event convinces European scientists that meteors exist.

1933 – The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established.

1956 – SS Ideal X, the world's first successful container ship, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas.

1958 – Final run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York City after 68 years, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.

1962 – NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.

1981 – Dr. Michael R. Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center performs the world's first human open fetal surgery.

1986 – A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world's worst nuclear disaster.

1989 – The deadliest tornado in world history strikes Central Bangladesh, killing upwards of 1,300, injuring 12,000, and leaving as many as 80,000 homeless.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 36 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe."

~ Albert Einstein


Back in the late  1950’s, when Ike was President of the US and the world seemed a much safer and simpler place, atomic power was portrayed as a huge genie that America had let out of the bottle.  The destructive force that flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki frightened everyone and there was a spate of grade B science fiction movies showing the consequences of radiation, thoughtful books picturing the end of the world, and elementary school students were drilled on how to “duck and cover” when the wailing alarms sounded – I don’t remember what day of the week it was, but it was always at 1 PM when I was growing up.   But there was also a lot of possibilities that were portrayed as a future of free, clean, limitless power for our homes and our cars.  There was a bit of a problem about building nuclear power plants [NIMBY syndrome] but the real nail in the coffin at least in the US  was first Three Mile Island topped off with Chernobyl and making the atom our friend doesn’t seem to be on anyone’s agenda these days




I think we need a safety breakthrough so we can let the genie out of the bottle granting those three wishs we were promised:  power, well-being, and peace.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, April 26, 2018


Today is the 4th day of the 17th week, the 25th day of the 4th month, the 115th day of 2018, and: 
  • Administrative Professionals Day
  • Denim Day
  • DNA Day
  • East Meets West Day
  • Hairstylists Appreciation Day
  • International Guide Dog Day
  • International Marconi Day
  • International Noise Awareness Day
  • License Plates Day -- New York becomes the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates in 1901
  • National Crayola Day
  • National Golf Day
  • National Mani-Pedi Day
  • National Plumber's Day [AKA Hug A Plumber Day]
  • National Telephone Day
  • National Zucchini Bread Day
  • Parental Alienation Awareness Day
  • Red Hat Society Day
  • World Malaria Day
  • World Penguin Day
  • World Stationary Day
On this day in ...

1792 – Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier becomes the first person executed by guillotine.

1792 – "La Marseillaise" (the French national anthem) is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

1829 – Charles Fremantle arrives in HMS Challenger off the coast of modern-day Western Australia prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom.

1859 – British and French engineers break ground for the Suez Canal.

1916 – Anzac Day is commemorated for the first time on the first anniversary of the landing at ANZAC Cove.

1938 – US Supreme Court delivers its opinion in Erie Railroad Co VS Tompkins and overturns a century of federal common law.  Afterwards in what came to be known as the Erie doctrine, Whether the federal court encounters a state law issue in diversity jurisdiction, supplemental jurisdiction, or bankruptcy jurisdiction, the federal court must honor state common law when deciding state law issue

1945 - Delegates from some 50 countries met in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.

1953 – Francis Crick and James Watson publish "Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid" describing the double helix structure of DNA.

1954 – The first practical solar cell is publicly demonstrated by Bell Telephone Laboratories.

1959 – The Saint Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opens to shipping.

1960 – The United States Navy submarine USS Triton completes the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.

1961 – Robert Noyce is granted a patent for an integrated circuit.

1983 – Pioneer 10 travels beyond Pluto's orbit.

2005 – The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum is returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937.

2007 - The Dow Jones industrial average topped 13,000 for the first time, ending the day at 13,089.89.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 36 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
"We must not allow other people's limited perceptions to define us. "
~ Virginia Satir, American author and therapist, known especially for her approach to family therapy and her pioneering work in the field of family reconstruction therapy

There were a couple of really major upheavals from what we were being taught and this was one of them as heredity became a lot more complicated of a subject.    I remember when DNA trickled into the consciousness of educators and we started hearing about it – it was about a decade after the paper when enough folks had poked at it that it was deemed worthy of being part of our learning.   First it was the ability to determine exactly who fathered a child – the mother of a baby was always obvious but the father not so much.  And then there was the question of who owned your genes – a question that I am not sure has been answered – and I remember vividly when DNA testing [and DNA profiling]  in criminal investigations started over 30 years after the discovery.  Nowadays we use DNA analysis routinely in fleshing out the past whether from learning who is related to whom or migrations patterns..  Figuring out who we are got really technical…..

Unless you are a penguin. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 25, 2018

still musing....

Today is the 3rd day of the 17th week, the 24th day of the 4th month, the 114th day of 2018, and: 
  • Armenian Genocide [AKA the Armenian Holocaust] Remembrance Day -- that started with the arrest of 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Istanbul on this day in 1915
  • National Pigs-in-a-Blanket Day
  • New Kids on the Block Day
  • Sauvignon Blanc Day
  • School Bus Drivers' Day
  • World Day for Laboratory Animals -- established in 1979 by the British National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS); this day was chosen as it marked the birthday of former NAVS president Hugh Dowding, 1st Baron Dowding.
  • World Meningitis Day
On this day in ....

1184 BC – Traditional date of the fall of Troy

1704 – The first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, The Boston News-Letter, is published.

1792 - The French national anthem, "La Marseillaise," was composed by Capt. Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

1800 – The United States Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signs legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress".

1885 – American sharpshooter Annie Oakley is hired by Nate Salsbury to be a part of Buffalo Bill's Wild West.

1895 – Joshua Slocum, the first person to sail single-handedly around the world, sets sail from Boston, Massachusetts aboard the sloop "Spray".

1913 – The Woolworth Building, a skyscraper in New York City, is opened -- more than a century after its construction, it remains, at 792 feet (241 m), one of the 100 tallest buildings in the United States as well as one of the 30 tallest buildings in New York City.

1914 – The Franck–Hertz experiment, the first electrical measurement to clearly show the quantum nature of atoms, is presented to the German Physical Society.

1915 - The Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople at the start of what many scholars regard as the first genocide of the 20th century, in which an estimated 1.5 million Armenians died.

1916 – Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launch a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organise a rescue for the crew of the sunken Endurance.

1922 – The first segment of the Imperial Wireless Chain providing wireless telegraphy between Leafield in Oxfordshire, England, and Cairo, Egypt, comes into operation.

1923 – In Vienna, the paper Das Ich und das Es (The Ego and the Id) by Sigmund Freud is published, which outlines Freud's theories of the id, ego, and super-ego.

1952 - Vancouver actor Raymond Burr makes his TV acting debut on the Gruen Guild Playhouse in an episode titled, The Tiger; later stars in Perry Mason and Ironside series. Los Angeles, California

1962 - The Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal.

1967 – Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov dies in Soyuz 1 when its parachute fails to open. He is the first human to die during a space mission.

1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope is launched from the Space Shuttle Discovery.

Quote of the day:
"Is the life I'm living the life that wants to live in me?"
~  Parker Palmer, American author, educator, and activist who focuses on issues in education, community, leadership, spirituality and social change.

When I first read this, I read “Is the life I’m living the one I want to live?” – and that is a totally different question that is asked rather often.  But this question is a bit different and there are concepts that I have to ponder –e.g.  fate, destiny, karma, The Sacred Contract, reincarnation.  It goes back to one of my core perplexities, the question that I have never been able to answer for myself as a person – what is my purpose?  Of course, when I am feeling really down I question whether or not I actually a purpose, but usually I’m stuck with trying to figure out [1] what is [or was] it and [2] did I already complete it or am I still working on it?  I think that for some their purpose is obvious but for most of us, we are kinda stumbling about in the dark trying to figure it out.   Apparently I am not alone in this – if you google the question, you can find a plethora [like 204 million results]  of questions to ask yourself, guidelines to follow to discover it – even a set of instructions at WikiHow

One of the more attractive concepts of an afterlife [to me at least]  that I have heard of is the idea that after you pass through the doorway we all must reach, you matter-of-factly sit down and do a full after action review of your life in light of what it was you should’ve or were meant to have accomplished and review your choices and the results of those choices.  Having done that, you then assess your take-aways from this life and decide what the next step is, whether you need to come back and try to learn “it” [whatever it is] again and if so, what variables you want to try and tweak.  I have joked that at some point I probably complained about having long, thick hair so in this life I have had to deal with thinning locks and have at least learned to stop complaining about that feature of my anatomy!

Oh well, some musing on not-Monday….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Monday musing....

Today is the 2nd day of the 17th week, the 23rd day of the 4th month, the 113th day of 2018, and: 
  • English Language Day
  • English Muffin Day
  • German Beer Day
  • Impossible Astronaut Day --   Beware of the Silence
  • International Nose Picking Day
  • International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day – declared back in 2007   The movement was a strong disagreement with Howard V. Hendrix's [vice president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America] open criticism of professional authors who released their works online for free and the day was created by Canadian author Jo Walton
  • Lovers' Day
  • Movie Theater Day
  • National Cherry Cheesecake Day
  • National Lost Dog Awareness Day
  • National Picnic Day
  • National Zucchini Bread Day
  • Saint George's Day -- celebrate with anything English including morris dancing and Punch and Judy shows
  • Slay a Dragon Day
  • Spanish Language Day
  • Take a Chance Day
  • Talk Like Shakespeare Day – the English actor, playwright, and poet died in 1616 at the age of 52
  • World Book Night
  • World Book and Copyright Day
  • World Book & Copyright Day
  • World Laboratory Day
On this day in ...

1348 – The founding of the Order of the Garter by King Edward III is announced on St. George's Day.

1635 – The first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, is founded in Boston.

1914 – First baseball game at Wrigley Field, then known as Weeghman Park, in Chicago.

1954 - Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 major-league home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (Aaron's career total is second only to Barry Bonds.)

1967 – Soyuz 1 (Russian: Союз 1, Union 1) a manned spaceflight carrying cosmonaut Colonel Vladimir Komarov is launched into orbit.

1985 – Coca-Cola changes its formula and releases New Coke. The response is overwhelmingly negative, and the original formula is back on the market in less than three months.

2005 – Co-founder Jawed Karim [Jawed] uploaded the first video to, titled "Me at the zoo"


How do we identify ourselves as male or female?  I’m not talking about what drives attractiveness – whether or not a woman can feel sexy without pretty hair or good boobs -- but what actually defines one as male or female.  When I had my hysterectomy back in the ‘90s, I was quietly informed by a co-worker that there were some men would not consider me a woman without a uterus and fallopian tubes.  That didn’t change how I see myself  In today’s story about a penile transfer, it is clear this man does not consider himself masculine without his equipment.   So without the reproductive organs, am I and this vet actually eunuchs of some sort, neuters?   Given that a person’s sex is as much a social construct as a biological one, I’m not sure about that…

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, April 23, 2018

on this day....

Today is the 6th day of the 16th week, the 20th day of the 4th month, the 110th day of 2018, and: 
  • Chinese Language Day
  • International Cli-Fi Day -- a day of public awareness about cli-fi novels and movies as ways to wake up humankind about the dangers we face from future global warming impact events
  • Lima Bean Respect Day
  • National Cheddar Fries Day
  • National Look Alike Day
  • National Pineapple Upside-down Cake Day
  • National Pot Smokers Day [known internationally as 420 Day] – no “420” was NOT a police code.  I am still waiting for recreational week to be legal in MD
  • National Teach Children to Save Day
  • Volunteer Recognition Day
On this day in ...

1303 – The Sapienza University of Rome is instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.

1534 - Jacques Cartier, who had likely accompanied Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, sets sail on a voyage with to Canada in two ships, with 61 men, commissioned by François I to find a passage to Asia

1535 – The sun dog phenomenon observed over Stockholm and depicted in the famous painting Vädersolstavlan.

1657 – Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).

1818 – The case of Ashford v Thornton ends, with Abraham Thornton allowed to go free rather than face a retrial for murder, after his demand for trial by battle is upheld.  In June 1819, Lord Eldon, the Lord Chancellor, introduced a bill to abolish private appeals following acquittals, and also abolish trial by battle, which passed in great haste

1828 – René Caillié becomes the second non-Muslim to enter (and the first to return from) Timbuktu, following Major Gordon Laing.

1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the experiment falsifying the theory of spontaneous generation, replacing it with the theory of biogenesis [complex living things come only from other living things, by means of reproduction].  

1865 – Astronomer Angelo Secchi demonstrates the Secchi disk, which measures water clarity, aboard Pope Pius IX's yacht, the L'Immaculata Concezion.

1884 – Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical Humanum genus -- principally a condemnation of Freemasonry as well as concepts and practices such as naturalism, popular sovereignty, and the separation of church and state.

1889 - Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau, Austria.

1902 – Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.

1912 – Opening day for baseball's Tiger Stadium in Detroit, and Fenway Park in Boston.

1972 - The manned lunar module from Apollo 16 landed on the moon.

The world of 1889 was relatively quiet,  a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar -- the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar -- and it started out with a total eclipse of the Sun is seen over parts of California and Nevada.  There were events, but nothing that causes students to have to memorize that particular year   There were a couple of births of note
  • Albert Jean Amateau,  a Sephardic Jew in Milas, Turkey.  He was a Turkish rabbi, lawyer, and activist promoting both ties between the US and Turkey as well as more Jews in the workplace and government  (d. 1996)
  • Prince Erik, Duke of Västmanland (d. 1918), a Swedish and Norwegian prince, the third and youngest son of King Gustav V of Sweden and Victoria of Baden.
  • Marie-Antoinette de Geuser, French mystic (d. 1918) -- She was known as "Consummata".  Being in close contact with the Carmelites, her state of health and the events of World War I did not allow her to take her vows
  • Tonny Kessler, Dutch footballer (d. 1960)
  • Adolf Hitler in the small Austrian town of Braunau am Inn, in Upper Austria on the Austrian-German border, the fourth of six children, to Alois Hitler and Klara Polzl.
There were no warnings, no dire predictions, no intimation the world was going to be put through a horrific holocaust and war a half of century later – in fact, the world looked pretty good from their perspective.   There was only an infant crying in a crib, suckling at his mother’s breast, sleeping with that angelic peace that all little babies have, and giving off that warm clean scent of a new person.   Every parent gazes down on their child with pride and love; every parent feels a frisson of fear that they will fail in their stewardship, somehow damaging this precious little vessel of humanity with all their future potential .   Parents are not in full control of their kids’ choices, and as soon as they can think, parents may not even be within the sphere of influence  – I can still remember with great clarity that moment of stunned realization that I could not force my 13 year old do his homework – and you constantly wonder if you could’ve done something different, been a better parent, helped your kids more.   




By 1907, both of Hitler’s parents were dead and the young man of 18 moved out into the unsuspecting world to meet his destiny.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, April 20, 2018

and what will set you off?

Today is the 5th day of the 16th week, the 19th day of the 4th month, the 109th day of 2018, and: 
  • Bicycle Day – after intentionally dosing himself with LSD, Hofmann experienced sudden and intense changes in perception. He asked his laboratory assistant to escort him home and, as use of motor vehicles was prohibited because of wartime restrictions, they had to make the journey on a bicycle.
  • Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Action Day
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • Humorous Day – a day to find the funny side of things.  Some have credited to Larry Wilde, Director of The Carmel Institute of Humor, as he had proclaimed April to be Humor Month back in 1976
  • International Pizza Cake Day --  multiple-layer pizza baked in a pot or cake pan. Recipes were posted online as early as April 2014 and the Phillsbury folks posted the recipe a few months later
  • John Parker Day – faced the British troops on the road to Concord and told his men "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
  • National Amaretto Day
  • National Ask an Atheist Day
  • National DARE Day
  • National Garlic Day
  • National Hanging Out Day
  • National High Five Day
  • National Stress Awareness Day
  • Oklahoma City Bombing Commemoration Day – In 1995 the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, USA, is bombed, killing 168 people including 19 children under the age of six.
On this day in ...

1529 – Beginning of the Protestant Reformation: After the Second Diet of Speyer bans Lutheranism, a group of rulers (German: Fürst) and independent cities protests the reinstatement of the Edict of Worms.

1770 – Captain James Cook, still holding the rank of lieutenant, sights the eastern coast of what is now Australia.

1775 - British troops fire on American minutemen, starting a seven year conflict between Britain and the Thirteen Colonies

1782 – John Adams secures the Dutch Republic's recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first American embassy.

1818 – French physicist Augustin Fresnel signs his preliminary "Note on the Theory of Diffraction" (deposited on the following day). The document ends with what we now call the Fresnel integrals.

1897 - The first Boston Marathon was run.

1933 - The United States went off the gold standard.

1943 – Albert Hofmann deliberately doses himself with LSD for the first time, three days after having discovered its effects on three days earlier

1961 - The Federal Communications Commission authorized regular FM stereo broadcasting starting on June 1, 1961.

1971 – Launch of Salyut 1, the first space station.

1975 – India's first satellite Aryabhata launched in orbit from Kapustin Yar, Russia.

1987 – The Simpsons first appear as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, first starting with Good Night.

2001 - The Mel Brooks musical "The Producers" opened on Broadway.

2011 – Fidel Castro resigns as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba after holding the title since July 1961.


It’s the little things that get you, that one step you take that is one step too far.   A scholar and his works is banned and a religious movement is born in the protests that ensue as rulers attempt to enforce an old religious decree and the Roman Catholic Church loses its monopoly in western culture.   A middle-aged man, tired and ill, looks at a column of soldiers and decides he and his men will not give way and a new country breaks away from a vast colonial power.   A scientist decides to test the  new substance he discovered  on himself and twenty years later the counter culture swept an entire generation’s imagination. And we learned to never trust anyone over 30.   And we only see these moments as pivotal in retrospect and we are left speculating about the back story


So too, we make decisions in our private lives, irrevocable choices that may seem trivial at the time but are precipitating factors, a pebble that got shifted and gets magnified into an avalanche.  I used to tell my kids it was Mom’s law of relationships:  for every action there was an opposite but not necessarily equal reaction.  You make an offhand comment and lo!  A huge cyclone of argument, dissension and hurt feelings is whirling about your ears.   You sacrifice a great deal to help out and no one even notices.  That’s why karma [and Lady Luck] is so arbitrary and chancy – you just don’t know what will happen

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, April 19, 2018

not Peter Pan

[or even one of the lost boys or girls]

Today is the 4th day of the 16th week, the 18th day of the 4th month, the 108th day of 2018 [with 250 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • Adult Autism Awareness Day
  • Independence Day:  Zimbabwe from the United Kingdom in 1980.
  • International Amateur Radio Day
  • National Animal Crackers Day --  since their start in 1903, there have been 37 different animals included in Barnum's Animal Crackers
  • National Lineman Appreciation Day –  this is a tough job and very physical.  My maternal grandfather was a lineman until he suffered a massive  heart attack and had to retire, dying two years before I was born.
  • National Stress Awareness Day [always the day after Income Tax Payment Day in the US]
  • National Velociraptor Awareness Day – a holiday that seemingly was born of social media
  • Newspaper Columnists' Day
  • Pet Owners Independence Day
  • World Amateur Radio Day
  • World Heritage Day [AKA International Day for Monuments and Sites]
On this day in ...

1506 – The cornerstone of the current St. Peter's Basilica is laid.

1521 – Trial of Martin Luther begins its second day during the assembly of the Diet of Worms. He refuses to recant his teachings despite the risk of excommunication.

1738 – Real Academia de la Historia ("Royal Academy of History") is founded in Madrid.

1775 - Paul Revere began his ride from Charlestown to Lexington warning American colonists that the British were coming.

1912 – The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia brings 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic to New York City.

1923 – The first baseball game was played at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, with New York beating the Boston Red Sox 4-1.

1925 – The International Amateur Radio Union is formed in Paris.

1930 – The British Broadcasting Corporation announced that "there is no news" in their evening report.

1946 - The League of Nations went out of business.

1955 - the human race got a little dumber as eminent scientist Dr Albert Einstein dies in hospital aged 76.

2011 - Standard & Poor's lowered its long-term outlook for the U.S. government's fiscal health from "stable" to "negative" citing governance and policy-making stability as well as revenues

2012 - Dick Clark, the TV host and producer who helped bring rock 'n' roll into the mainstream on "American Bandstand" and rang in the New Year for the masses at Times Square, died at age 82.

Quote of the day:
The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt.”
~ Max Lerner, Russian-born American journalist and educator known for his controversial syndicated column

I remember the specific turning point when I grew up, although surprisingly, I don’t remember  the exact date although I know it was in the fall of 1972.  I had married in August and a month later we decided to use the rhythm method of birth control because I had to go off the pill due to hypoglycemia and my husband didn’t want to use condoms [saying it would be like taking a shower with a raincoat on].  I missed my next period and went to the gynecologist who informed me my cervix was blue, which meant I was pregnant and due on July 4th [Tom arrived on the 14th].  I remember sitting in his office just staring at Dr Beck  as the realization washed over me that I was now and for the next 18+ years totally responsible for a life I was going to bring into this world.  At that moment, I could actually feel the doors slamming shut behind me and I knew I was now irrevocably an adult.  There was no going back -- I could only move forward into this new role.   In some ways that realization that I had to grow up caused the subsequent divorce from the baby’s father.  Bob just never seemed to me that he  grasped how profoundly life had shifted for me and I became increasingly  impatient at his immaturity and lack of comprehension thateverything had changed.  Bob, of course, was infuriated and frustrated that I had changed from the impulsive girl he married into this woman so concerned with planning and detail -- and the differences became irreconcilable.    



OTOH:  I think “growing up” gets a bad rap as it seems to have become synonymous with not being able to play anymore, or to be so steeped in “real life” as to deny fantasy, stifle imagination, and plod through everyday living without dancing [either literally or figuratively].   OTOH:  I think too much about consequences and am too aware of irrevocable choices to be truly impetuous anymore, and I miss that quality of spontaneity. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 18, 2018


Today is the 3rd day of the 16th week, the 17th day of the 4th month, the 107th day of 2018, and: 
  • Bat Appreciation Day
  • Blah Blah Blah Day
  • Elllis Island Family History Day
  • Herbalist Day
  • Income Tax Party Day
  • International Haiku Poetry Day
  • Malbec World Day
  • National Cheeseball Day
  • National Kickball Day
  • Nothing Like a Dame Day – so what triggered this day?  The bookAn artist?  Or the song
  • World Hemophilia Day
On this day ...

1397 – Geoffrey Chaucer tells The Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. Chaucer scholars have also identified this date (in 1387) as the start of the book's pilgrimage to Canterbury

1492 – Spain and Christopher Columbus sign the Capitulations of Santa Fe for his voyage to Asia to acquire spices.

1851 - James Smith launches his square-rigged clipper ship Marco Polo at Marsh Creek, Courtenay Bay; named for its full-length figurehead of the famous Venetian traveler; built with the body of a cargo ship above the water line and the configuration of a much-faster clipper ship below; soon sets a record for the passage from Saint John to Liverpool at 15 days; 1852 The Fastest Ship in the World sets a new speed record circumnavigating the globe from Liverpool to Australia and around in only five months and 21 days

1907 - The Ellis Island immigration center processes 11,747 people, more than on any other day

1951 – The Peak District becomes the United Kingdom's first National Park.

1951 - Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle made his major league debut with the New York Yankees.

1961 – Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of Cuban exiles financed and trained by the CIA lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

1964 - The Ford Motor Co. unveiled the Mustang

1970 – The ill-fated Apollo 13 spacecraft returns to Earth safely.

1973 - FedEx, then known as Federal Express, began operations.

1982 - Constitution - Queen Elizabeth II signs the Royal Proclamation of Canada's constitution in a ceremony on Parliament Hill; brings into force the Constitution Act, 1982, effective April 18; ends British authority in Canada, replaces BNA Act; incorporates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms; Canada remains a constitutional monarchy and member of the Commonwealth. Section 15 of the Charter, on Equality Rights, will officially come into force three years later, on April 17, 1985.

2001 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants hit his 500th career home run, becoming the 17th major leaguer to reach the mark.

2014 – NASA's Kepler space observatory confirms the discovery of the first Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of another star.


During the course of the day, I am on social media, sharing stories that I find interesting, making comments on others’ stories.  Does this constitute interaction?  Is this “small talk”? 


I’m not actually sure that it does – certainly it doesn’t help me indulge in the kind of chit-chat that lubricates social interactions between those who are acquaintances and/or strangers.  Maybe it has to do with charisma – I figured out a long time ago that I hadn’t rolled a high number in that category – but I am pretty much in awe at those who seem to maintain a casual flow of conversation.  Me?  I tend to ask questions.  If the person wants to talk, then the conversation flows, if they aren’t in the mood it quickly turns into an awkward interrogation and I eventually shut up.  Sometimes the person does talk, and then I ask more questions and I listen, although I always worry that I am hijacking their story when I counter with a story of my own.  Conversely as a person who asks questions usually, I am not terribly good at answering them.  It isn’t so much that I think they are prying as I just don’t know if what I am saying is of any real interest, if that makes sense, and I grow shy and start to be quiet.    There seems to be two exceptions to that pattern:  when I know someone very well, we just prattle on with ease, or when I am talking to complete strangers I am very good at introductions and ice-breaking.  


And social media – or what I call my 2nd Life [Facebook, Twitter, Linked-in, games, SL, blogging] – doesn’t seem to have changed that at all.



I need to reboot I think….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Today is the 2nd day of the 16th week, the 16th day of the 4th month, the 106th day of 2017, and: 
  • Boston Marathon Day  ((I don't run))
  • Day of the Mushroom ((are they related to Triffids?))
  • Emancipation Day -- April 15 is a Sunday and since April 16 is a legal holiday in the District of Columbia where the IRS headquarters are so it gives you an extra day to file.
  • Foursquare Day -- an homage to Foursquare, a location-based social networking service that lets users "check in" to various eating and drinking establishments
  • National Bean Counter Day  ((of all the things that you can count, did you ever wonder why beans get counted?))
  • National Eggs Benedict Day ((love that sauce))
  • National Healthcare Decisions Day ((check -- I did a colonoscopy "consult"))
  • National Librarian Day ((so read))
  • National Orchid Day ((the flower not the color))
  • National Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day ((how'd that work out for you?))
  • Patriots' Day -- a holiday commemorating the battles of Lexington and Concord, which took place on April 19, 1775. ((so why do it today instead of on Thursday?))
  • Save the Elephant Day  ((you can watch a movie -- yeah that will really help))
  • Teach Your Daughter to Volunteer Day ((would rather she pursue her dreams))
On this day in ...

1457 BC – Likely date of the Battle of Megiddo between Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Kadesh, the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail.

1582 – Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina.

1780 – The University of Münster in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany is founded.

1853 – The first passenger rail opens in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.

1858 – The Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, is wound up.

1881 – In Dodge City, Kansas, Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle.

1908 – Natural Bridges National Monument is established in Utah.

1910 – The oldest existing indoor ice hockey arena still used for the sport in the 21st century, Boston Arena, opens for the first time.

1943 – Albert Hofmann accidentally discovers the hallucinogenic effects of the research drug LSD. He intentionally takes the drug three days later on April 19.

1947 – Bernard Baruch first applies the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.

1962 - Bob Dylan debuted his song "Blowin' in the Wind" at Gerde's Folk City in New York.

1964 - "The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers)," the band's debut album, was released.

1972 – The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

1990 – "Doctor Death", Jack Kevorkian, participates in his first assisted suicide.

2012 – The Pulitzer Prize winners were announced, it was the first time since 1977 that no book won the Fiction Prize.


I am positive that it was important for every cell phone to blare out an alert that there was  flash flood warning before 4:30 AM




Monday.  What more can I say?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, April 16, 2018

when a month starts on a Sunday....

Today is the 6th day of the 15th week, the 13th day of the 4th month, the 103rd day of 2018, and: 
  • American Immigration Lawyers Association Day of Action
  • Blame Someone Else Day
  • International Skeptics Day
  • Make Lunch Count Day
  • National Donate Life (Blue and Green) Day
  • National Peach Cobbler Day
  • Scrabble Day
  • Thomas Jefferson Day – the 3rd president was born in 1743.  It was recognized as a holiday by FDR back in 1938, although it never made it to the federal holidays like Washington’s and Lincoln’s birthdays
On this day in ...

1204 – Constantinople falls to the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade, temporarily ending the Byzantine Empire.

1613 – Samuel Argall captures Native American princess Pocahontas in Passapatanzy, Virginia to ransom her for some English prisoners held by her father; she is brought to Henricus as hostage.

1742 – George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah makes its world-premiere in Dublin, Ireland.

1829 – The Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 gives Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom the right to vote and to sit in Parliament.

1870 – The New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded.

1943 – The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of President Thomas Jefferson's birth.

1960 – The United States launches Transit 1-B, the world's first satellite navigation system.

1970 – An oxygen tank aboard the Apollo 13 Service Module explodes, putting the crew in great danger and causing major damage to the Apollo Command/Service Module (codenamed "Odyssey") while en route to the Moon.

1974 – Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States' first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.

1997 – Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win the Masters Tournament.

2017 – The US drops the largest ever non-nuclear weapon on Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.


Quote of the day:

"In my real life, I see people who are really enjoying their lives - I mean, really enjoying their lives - and they take joy in their daily obligations; they just do. And I believe that at a certain point, you've got to choose to be that way. You choose to approach your life that way. Or it's all kind of a drag until Friday"

~ Holly Hunter, American actress and producer



So yeah, I have to agree that it is kind of a drag until Friday….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, April 13, 2018


Yesterday there was news of an action by the President, improbably named Executive Order Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility, that basically labelled all assistance “welfare” and proclaimed that all “able-boded” adults would be required to work.  And I thought of my cousin Dougy.

If you looked at this man you would see a former body builder who had kept his frame relatively well with strong arms and broad shoulders.  He had a shock of blond hair [assisted with a bit of peroxide], bright blue eyes and a healthy tan.   If you were told that this man was on SSI and getting disability?  You would be appalled and righteous anger would well up.  Except…..

Dougy was a superb athlete in school, a star lacrosse player who was offered scholarships to college, but had no interest in advanced schooling.  He happily went to work in construction, playing semi- pro lacrosse, doing his share of carousing.  He was all set to be the kind of blue-collar male that abounded in the area I grew up in [east Baltimore County, MD] – hard working, hard playing, eventually raising a family….   Until one day at work a ladder collapsed and he fell three stories and broke his back.    The doctors were able to repair the break, but they couldn’t fix the damage.   The company offered him an annuity or a one-time disbusrsment as a settlement, and he took the money.  And the problems started because he couldn’t work.  He could benchpress weights, but couldn’t lift anything over a certain amount so physical jobs were out of the question.  He couldn’t sit or stand for any amount of time so office or retail work was out of the question.  And he was in continual pain, which worsened as the years passed, going from doctor to doctor seeking relief then escape in drugs.  The settlement money ran out and he went on disability.  Dougy looked the part of an “able-bodied” man, but he simply wasn’t and without the safety net,  I don’t know how he or the family would’ve been able to cope.  With all the talk of an “opioid crisis” the pain medications that he needed just to face the day were becoming more difficult to get and their price was increasing – at 59 there didn’t seem to be a lot of options for him other than disability.    

And Tuesday night, he laid down to try and get some sleep and never woke back up.

Like all of us Dougy had flaws and his journey caused much heartbreak and dissension in the family that cannot be ignored as they grieve, as the extended family grieves.  He is the first of my cousins, my generation of the family, to die – I am the oldest of the group and his sister is the younges and our ages span a decade and a half.  We were never “close” but learning that he is gone has filled me with grief – and deep sympathy for his siblings who just lost their mother and his father who at 90 must bury his son.  And  I will always remember my cousin as he was in those golden years – perfectly content with his place on the wheel of life and enjoying it with zest. 
Good-bye Dougy

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, April 12, 2018

who do you trust?

Today is the 4th day of the 15th week, the 11th day of the 4th month, the 101st day of 2018, and: 
  • Barbershop Quartet Day:
  • Independence Day:  Lithuania from the Soviet Union in 1990
  • International Louie Louie Day
  • Johnny Appleseed Day
  • National Bookmobile Day
  • National Cheese Fondue Day
  • National Eight-Track Tape Day
  • National Pet Day
  • National Teach Children To Save Day
  • School Librarians' Day
  • Submarine Day
  • World Parkinson's Disease Day
On this day in ...

1702 – The Daily Courant, England's first national daily newspaper is published for the first time.

1851 – The first performance of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi takes place in Venice.

1888 – The Great Blizzard of 1888 begins along the eastern seaboard of the United States, shutting down commerce and killing more than 400.

1927 – In New York City, Samuel Roxy Rothafel opens the Roxy Theatre.

1983 – Pakistan successfully conducts a cold test [test of a nuclear bomb minus the fissionable core] of a nuclear weapon, the outcome of Project-706, who's roots lay in scientists' fears since 1967 that India was also developing nuclear weapons of its own.

1999 – Infosys becomes the first Indian company listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 34 mins 41 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
   “We're never so vulnerable than when we trust someone - but paradoxically, if we cannot trust, neither can we find love or joy.”
~ Walter Anderson, American painter, writer, and dabber

Who do you trust?  Do you trust the government of your country, the rule of law to keep a strong man from taking over?  Do you trust your local government to administer infrastructure and justice equitably?  Do you trust the media or social media to inform you?  Do you trust your teachers to give you the education you need to succeed?  Do you trust your boss, your workplace to give you a chance to contribute and to make a sustainable living?  Do you trust your creditors to apply your payments and report your credit rating accurately?   Do you trust your pastor or priest to be Christian, if you are Christian, or your spiritual leader to be a good person?  Do you trust your family to accept you as you are?  Do you trust your friends with your well-being?  Do you trust someone you’ve met at church, at school, at a bar, online?



Interesting question isn’t it?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, April 11, 2018

it's not fair

Today is the 3rd day in the 15th week, the 10th day in the 4th month, the 100th day of 2018, and: 
  • ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Day -- founded in New York City by Henry Bergh in 1866
  • Encourage a Young Writer Day
  • Equal Pay Day -- symbolizing how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
  • Free Cone Day (Ben & Jerrys)
  • Golfer's Day
  • International Be Kind to Lawyers Day
  • National Cinnamon Crescent Day
  • National Farm Animals Day
  • National Library Workers Day
  • National Library Day
  • Safety Pin Day
  • Salvation Army Founders' Day
  • Siblings Day [AKA National Siblings Day or National Sibling Day]  - originally conceived by Claudia Evart to honor the memory of her brother and sister, both of whom died at early ages. The Siblings Day Foundation was incorporated in 1997 and achieved non-profit status in 1999
On this day in ...

837 – Halley's Comet makes its closest approach to Earth at a distance equal to 0.0342 AU (5.1 million kilometres/3.2 million miles).

1710 – The Statute of Anne, the first law regulating copyright, comes into force in Great Britain.

1815 – The Mount Tambora volcano begins a three-month-long eruption, lasting until July 15. The eruption ultimately kills 71,000 people and affects Earth's climate for the next two years.

1858 – After the original Big Ben, a 14.5 tonnes (32,000 lb) bell for the Palace of Westminster, had cracked during testing, it is recast into the current 13.76 tonnes (30,300 lb) bell by Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

1872 – The first Arbor Day is celebrated in Nebraska.

1912 – RMS Titanic sets sail from Southampton, England on her maiden and only voyage.  I was thoroughly bemused a few years back as we observed the centennial of the Titanic to find that a large number of folks thought it was only a movie….

1916 – The Professional Golfers' Association of America (PGA) is created in New York City.

1925 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald is first published in New York City, by Charles Scribner's Sons.

1970 – Paul McCartney announces that he is leaving The Beatles for personal and professional reasons.

1971 – Ping-pong diplomacy: In an attempt to thaw relations with the United States, China hosts the U.S. table tennis team for a week-long visit.  One of my favorite tall tales from my father was that he was part of this group....


Quote of the day:

"It is said that power corrupts, but actually it's more true that power attracts the corruptible. The sane are usually attracted by other things than power."

~ David Brin, American scientist and author of science fiction who has received the Hugo, Locus, Campbell and Nebula Awards


Judging by the antics of our politicians?  Just substitute either “fame” or “riches” for “power” and there you have the description of what is really wrong with our society at the moment because some folks think they are above the law.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Today is the 6th day of the 14th week, the 6th day of the 4th month, the 96th day of 2018, and: 
  • Army Day
  • Church of the Latter Day Saints Day
  • Drowsy Drivers Awareness Day
  • Fresh Tomato Day
  • Hospital Admitting Clerks Day
  • Hostess Twinkie Day [AKA National Twinkie Day]
  • International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
  • Jump Over Things Day
  • National Caramel Popcorn Day
  • National Kids Yoga Day
  • National Pie Day
  • National Siamese Cat Day
  • National Student Athlete Day
  • National Tartan Day -- a celebration of Scottish heritage on the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320
  • National Walk to Work Day
  • New Beer's Eve
  • Plan Your Epitaph Day
  • Poet in a Cupcake Day
  • Sorry Charlie Day [AKA Charlie the Tuna Day]
  • Student Government Day
  • Teflon Day
On this day in ...

1327 – The poet Petrarch first sees his idealized love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon.

1652 – At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck establishes a resupply camp that eventually becomes Cape Town.

1808 – John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company, that would eventually make him America's first millionaire.

1830 – Church of Christ, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, is organized by Joseph Smith and others at either Fayette or Manchester, New York.

1860 – The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, later renamed Community of Christ, is organized by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois.

1861 – First performance of Arthur Sullivan's debut success, his suite of incidental music for The Tempest, leading to a career that included the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

1869 – Celluloid is patented.  The main use was in movie and photography film industries, which used only celluloid film stock prior to the adoption of acetate safety film in the 1950s. Celluloid is highly flammable, difficult and expensive to produce and no longer widely used, although its most common uses today are in table tennis balls, musical instruments, and guitar picks

1893 – Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is dedicated by Wilford Woodruff.

1896 – In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games is celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman emperor Theodosius I.

1909 – explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson became the first men to reach the North Pole. The claim, disputed by skeptics, was upheld in 1989 by the Navigation Foundation.

1926 – Varney Airlines makes its first commercial flight (Varney is the root company of United Airlines).

1947 – The first Tony Awards are presented for theatrical achievement.

1965 – Launch of Early Bird, the first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit.

1973 – Launch of Pioneer 11 spacecraft.

1973 – The American League of Major League Baseball begins using the designated hitter.

1974 – The Swedish pop band ABBA wins the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Waterloo", launching their international career.

1983 - Interior Secretary James Watt banned the Beach Boys from the 4th of July celebration on the Washington Mall, saying rock 'n' roll bands attract the "wrong element."

1998 – Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of reaching India.

Quote of the day

"Not for nothing is their motto TGIF – ‘Thank God It’s Friday.’ They live for the weekends, when they can go do what they really want to do."

~ Richard Nelson Bolles, Episcopal clergyman and the author of the best-selling job-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute?




I don’t even care that snow and wintry mix is forecast for the weekend….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, April 6, 2018

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