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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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just a little bit of pixie dust....

Today is the 4th day of the 10th week, the 7th day of the 3rd month, the 66th day of 2018, and: 
  • Discover What Your Name Means Day -- we are now halfway through International Celebrate Your Name Week, which is celebrated the first complete week in March
  • National Be Heard Day
  • National Cereal Day
  • National Crown Roast of Pork Day
  • Stop Bad Service Day
  • Day for Women's Rights & International Peace
On this day in ...

 321 – Emperor Constantine I decrees that the dies Solis Invicti (sun-day) is the day of rest in the Empire.

1778 - Captain James Cook first sights the Oregon coast, at Yaquina Bay

1785 - James Hutton, geologist, presents his full theory of uniformitarianism [AKA the Doctrine of Uniformity, the theory that changes in the earth's crust during geological history have resulted from the action of continuous and uniform processes] at a meeting of the Royal Society of Edinburgh

1876 – U.S. Patent Office issues patent 174,465 to Alexander Graham Bell for "the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically ... by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound."

1900 – The German liner SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse becomes the first ship to send wireless signals to shore.

1926 - The first successful trans-Atlantic radio-telephone conversation took place, between New York City and London.

2007 – The British House of Commons votes to make the upper chamber, the House of Lords, 100% elected.


My mother once told me that I got more mileage out of a simple trip to Disney World than anyone else she knew – I’m not sure she meant it as a compliment though!  We used to have elaborate itineraries when going with the kids for our two week vacation with “off” days carefully scheduled to alternate with those days when we went from rope drop to closing so that we could get some rest.  We didn’t stay on site back then because we weren’t doing just Disney, but planned trips to local attractions [like the Gatorland Zoo or Crystal Springs], other parks, [Seaworld and Universal usually each got a day] and a trip to the Space Coast to immerse ourselves in dreams of the stars.  The kids would happy list their favorites and “must do” experiences in each park and we would carefully plan our time to make sure it all happened.  I would write it all down and pass out the papers and we would pour over them as we drove down – Frank would take two days and we would break in Santee NC and stop at roadside attractions, spending a full afternoon at the Mission at St Augustine each trip.  And then we would settle into our room – and promptly decide to do what we wanted to do.  Days got switched, usually we bought extra time in WDW, and there was plenty of time to lollygag in the pool and hot tube, resting our tired feet.  Trips to Disney World still require planning even when you are staying on site  – fast passes and ADRs [advance dining reservations for the uninitiated], and you have to know what your priorities are or you will be totally gob smacked by long lines and end up not feeling like you have DONE anything.  This requires that you have an idea which day you are going to be in which park ahead of time, and that you make the commitment to get up early enough to be able to be there at rope drop. 




A lot of things have changed – the prices are higher, there aren’t the same kind of perks for stockholders, and in the drive to cut costs/maximinze profits, some of the meticulous upkeep is no longer done.  The real trick is not to rush about willy-nilly trying to get on rides, but to relax and realize the reason Disney calls employees “cast members” is that they are putting on an elaborate show every day and you are able to wander around on stage and even join in the act..  If you relax and enjoy, you’ll find the magic is genuinely still there….

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

who's calling?

Today is the 3rd day of the 10th week, the 6th day of the 3rd month, the 65th day of 2017, and 
  • Alamo Day
  • Day of The Dude -- Founded in 2005 by Oliver Benjamin, a journalist based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. ,Dudeism's official organizational name is The Church of the Latter-Day Dude and based on the fictional character "The Dude", the protagonist of the Coen Brothers'  film The Big Lebowski, which was played by Jeff Bridges.   Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of "going with the flow", "being cool headed", and "taking it easy" in the face of life's difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people.  March 6th is the high holy day because it’s the day the movie was released in 1998.
  • Dentists' Day
  • Independence Day: Ghana from the UK in 1957.
  • National Dress Day
  • National Frozen Food Day
  • National Oreo Cookie Day -- Oreo sandwich cookies were first introduced by the National Biscuit Co., which later became Nabisco, in 1912.  As of June 2017, there have been 55 different flavors of Oreo’s
  • National Sportsmanship Day
  • National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
  • Peace Corp Day  (Historical 3/1/1961 when proposed by Kennedy but observed on the first Tuesday of March)
  • Sofia Kovalevskaya Math Day
  • Unique Names Day
On this day in ...

632 – The Farewell Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada') of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

1521 – Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Guam.

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

1834 – York, Upper Canada, is incorporated as Toronto.

1853 - Verdi's opera "La Traviata" premiered in Venice, Italy.

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

1899 – Bayer registers "Aspirin" as a trademark.

1930 – International Unemployment Day demonstrations globally initiated by the Comintern.  Marches, organized by the Communist International and coordinated by its various member parties, resulted in two deaths of protesters in Berlin, injuries at events in Vienna and the Basque city of Bilbao, and less violent outcomes in London and Sydney.  In the United States, full-scale riots erupted in New York City and Detroit when thousands of baton-wielding police attacked tens of thousands of marchers. A total of 30 American cities in all saw mass demonstrations as part of the March 6 campaign, including Boston, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Cleveland, Washington, DC, San Francisco, and Seattle.

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

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

1981 - Walter Cronkite signed off for the last time as anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."  "That's the way it is."

1992 – The Michelangelo computer virus begins to affect computers.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 35 mins 45 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Writing prompt of the day:
65. Telephone: Write about a phone call you recently received.

Guess you have noticed that I go looking for the number of the day when I am checking out the writing prompts – keeps things from getting too much of the same old same old

The last phone call I received was from my girlfriend, who asked me to help connect her with the Peapod delivery service.  I merged the calls and then when she was done with business, we talked for about an hour and a half.  As usual with such conversations I am not exactly sure what we were chatting about for that long, just that there was a range of topics:  our health and medical issues, what’s on TV, the news and politics [about which we both have rather strong opinions], the well-being of various family members and/or friends, taxes, the difficulty of getting reasonably priced smaller quantities of fresh produce when you cannot get out and about, next year’s season at the Shakespeare Theater, the state of her condo’s elevators, clutter, our high school reunion [been 50 years since we graduated], and probably several other things.  We have known each other for a very long time indeed so we tend to just ….  Talk.




HAH!  Although we are both old enough to have used this kind of phone, she was on a speaker phone and I was on my cell phone with a bluetooth speaker/mike in my ear….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, March 6, 2018

what's in a name?

Today is the 2nd day of the 10th week, the 5th day of the 3rd month, the 64th day of 2018, and: 
  • Casmir Pulaski Day
  • Cinco de Marcho
  • Fun Facts about Names Day
  • Multiple Personality Day
  • National Absinthe Day
  • National Cheese Doodle Day
  • National Potty Dance Day
  • National Poutine Day
  • Saint Piran's Day
  • World Tennis Day
On this day in ...

1046 – Nasir Khusraw begins the seven-year Middle Eastern journey which he will later describe in his book Safarnama [AKA the Book of Travels].  Throughout his travels he kept a minutely detailed journal which clearly describes many facets of life in the Islamic world of the 11th Century, describes cities and towns along the path of his journey, with particular focus on Mecca, Jerusalem, and Cairo (the capital of the Fatimid Caliphate at the time). Khusraw's work is appreciated for its detailed descriptions of these cities, with precise accounts of civic buildings and markets

1496 - English King Henry VII grants to Italian merchant and explorer Giovanni Caboto Montecataluna (John Cabot) letters patent with "free authority, faculty and power to sail to all parts, regions and coasts of the eastern, western and northern sea...."

1616 – Nicolaus Copernicus's book On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres is added to the Index of Forbidden Books [The Index Librorum Prohibitorum -- a list of publications deemed heretical, anti-clerical or lascivious, and therefore banned by the Roman Catholic Church] 73 years after it was first published

1836 – Samuel Colt patents the first production-model revolver, the .34-caliber.

1868 – Mefistofele, an opera by Arrigo Boito, receives its premiere performance at La Scala.

1933 – Great Depression: President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares a "bank holiday", closing all U.S. banks and freezing all financial transactions.

1933 – Adolf Hitler's Nazi Party receives 43.9% at the Reichstag elections, which allows the Nazis to later pass the Enabling Act and establish a dictatorship.

1936 – First flight of K5054, the first prototype Supermarine Spitfire advanced monoplane fighter aircraft in the United Kingdom.

1970 - The nuclear non-proliferation treaty went into effect.

1978 – The Landsat 3 is launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

1979 – Soviet probes Venera 11, Venera 12 and the German-American solar satellite Helios II all are hit by "off the scale" gamma rays leading to the discovery of soft gamma repeaters.

1981 – The ZX81, a pioneering British home computer, is launched by Sinclair Research and would go on to sell over 1.5 million units around the world.

1982 – Soviet probe Venera 14 lands on Venus.


This blog is officially seven years old now – and here is the second post that I wrote, this one  in honor of Fun Facts About Names Day explaining how my online moniker became beladona, and why just about every avatar I create in games tends to be short and either a Halfling or some other race.  Not many folks realize the misspelling is quite deliberate.  I didn’t know that having a name that starts with a lower-case letter indicates a person is a submissive in the sub-culture known as BDSM or a slave in the M/s culture, so that kinda labeled me without my understanding at first.   Other folks just assumed I was too lazy to capitalize my name, which isn’t necessarily untrue most of the time but in this case I was deliberately keeping to lower case letters.   As to my “real life” name?  According to my grandmother, my mother and she were watching a day time soap and there was a character with the name of “Carol Ann Hughes” and they both decided it sounded good.  My father didn’t have any strong opinions, so that became my name.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, March 5, 2018

Holi 2018

Today is the 6th day of the 9th week, the 2nd day of the 3rd month, the 61st day of 2018, and: 
  • Dr. Seuss Day
  • Dress in Blue Day
  • Employee Appreciation Day
  • Free Dentistry Day
  • Independence Day:  Morocco from France in 1956, Rhodesia from the United Kingdom in 1970
  • National Banana Cream Pie Day
  • National Doodle Day
  • National Read Across America Day
  • National Salesperson Day
  • National Speech and Debate Education Day
  • Old Stuff Day
  • World Day of Prayer
On this day in ...

1717 – The Loves of Mars and Venus is the first ballet performed in England.

1729 -  King Louis XV 1710-1774 authorizes a new issue of playing card money in New France; not enough printed bills or coinage to pay the troops; Governor at Quebec allowed to sign playing cards as specie.

1791 – Long-distance communication speeds up with the unveiling of a semaphore machine in Paris.

1797 – The Bank of England issues the first one-pound and two-pound banknotes.

1904 - Theodor Seuss Geisel, who wrote and illustrated the popular 'Dr. Seuss' children's books, was born.

1933 – The film King Kong opens at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

1949 – Captain James Gallagher lands his B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II in Fort Worth, Texas after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and one minute.

1961 – John F. Kennedy announces the creation of the Peace Corps in a nationally televised broadcast.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain sets the single-game scoring record in the National Basketball Association by scoring 100 points.

1968 – Baggeridge Colliery closes marking the end of over 300 years of coal mining in the Black Country [a region of the West Midlands in England, west of Birmingham]

1972 – The Pioneer 10 space probe is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida with a mission to explore the outer planets.

1978 – Czech Vladimír Remek becomes the first non-Russian or non-American to go into space, when he is launched aboard Soyuz 28.

1983 – Compact discs and players are released for the first time in the United States and other markets. They had previously been available only in Japan.

1995 – Yahoo! is incorporated.

1995 – Researchers at Fermilab announce the discovery of the top quark.

1998 – Data sent from the Galileo spacecraft indicates that Jupiter's moon Europa has a liquid ocean under a thick crust of ice.


Today is Holi or The Festival of Colors – a Hindu spring festival that actually began yesterday evening at the rising of the full moon with Holika dahan [or Bonfire] where evil is consumed in flame and people pray their internal evils will also be consumed.  Today is a festive day to end and rid oneself of past errors, to end conflicts by meeting others, a day to forget and forgive. People pay or forgive debts, as well as deal anew with those in their lives. Holi also marks the start of spring, for many the start of the new year, an occasion for people to enjoy the changing seasons and make new friends – full of color and song and dance.   Holi is celebrated at the end of winter, on the last full moon day of the Hindu luni-solar calendar month marking the spring, making the date vary with the lunar cycle.  The date falls typically in March, but sometimes late February of the Gregorian calendar.  It is especially important in India where the festival brings the entire nation together -- it is not just celebrated by Hindus but, also by the Sikhs, Christians, Jains as well. The festival is unique, as it does not discriminate against any section of the society and treats everyone equally




May you be gifted with all the colors of life; colors of joy, colors of happiness, colors of friendship, colors of love and all the other colors, you want to paint your life with.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, March 2, 2018

Wordless Wednesday
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 28, 2018

fair and impartial?

Today is the 3rd day of the 9th week, the 27th day of the 2nd month, the 58th day of 2018 [with only 300 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Anosomia Awareness – understanding how the loss of our sense of smell impacts everyday life
  • IHOP National Pancake Day --  Enjoy a FREE short stack of Original Buttermilk Pancakes and donate to help children battling critical illnesses with funds going to local children’s hospitals and health organizations
  • Independence Day:  Dominican Republic from Haiti in 1844.
  • International Polar Bear Day
  • National Kahlua Day
  • National Retro Day
  • National Strawberry Day
  • No-Brainer Day
  • Spay Day USA
  • Travel Africa Day
  • World NGO Day
  • World Spa Day -- celebrating Non-Governmental Organizations and the important endowment to society of the various people behind each one of them

On this day in ...

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

1700 - The island of New Britain is discovered.

1801 – Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, Washington DC is placed under the jurisdiction of the US Congress.  After the passage of this Act, citizens living in the District were no longer considered residents of Maryland or Virginia, which therefore ended their representation in Congress -- which doesn't seem quite fair to them I might add

1812 – Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.  A Luddite becomes the description of anyone who is anti-tech no matter what their reasoning

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

1951 – The Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution, limiting Presidents to two terms, is ratified -- clearly a reaction to Franklin D. Roosevelt's service as President for an unprecedented four terms.  Prior to that, only Grant and Theodore Roosevelt sought a third term but neither were successful.

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

1997 - Divorce became legal in Ireland

1997 - Legislation banning most handguns in Britain went into effect


Yesterday I had jury duty.  They had called in a couple hundred jurors because there was a full court docket with four cases going live in one day and it was so crowded in the lounge that folks were sitting on the floor and standing along the walls.  I was in the lucky group that got held over until after lunch.  It took over three hours for the attorneys to agree on 12 jurors and one alternate for a trail involving a man who was charged with sexual abuse and incest over a four year period with his daughter.  As usually happens, I was not chosen – once I let them know the high regard I hold the police after living with Frank who was a cop for 33 ½ years and in the crime lab for over 20.  The judge asked me why I would assume a policeman was not lying and I looked at him incredulously, repeating that I was familiar with the respect and diligence officers took with their testimony….   Apparently since I was talking about my husband, he and the attorneys decided that I was not making an excuse.  The prosecutor was careful to keep the balance equally divided between male and female though.




Can’t say it was a waste of time though, all of us there whether chosen or not, gave the defendant the ability to choose a “jury of peers” and agree to abide by their verdict [unless he decides to appeal of course]

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 27, 2018

who are you again?

Today is the 6th day of the 8th week, the 23rd day of the 2nd month, the 54th day of 2018, and: 
  • Curling is Cool Day
  • Diesel Engine Day
  • Digital Learning Day
  • International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
  • International STAND UP to Bullying Day
  • Iwo Jima Day -- During the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, a group of United States Marines and a U.S. Navy hospital corpsman reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag.
  • National Banana Bread Day
  • National Rationalization Day
  • National Skip the Straw Day
  • National Tile Day
  • National Toast Day
  • Play Tennis Day
  • Single Tasking Day
  • Tootsie Roll Day
  • World Understanding and Peace Day
On this day in ...

1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed with movable type.

1739 – At York Castle, the outlaw Dick Turpin [poacher, burglar, horse thief and killer] is identified by his former schoolteacher. Turpin had been using the name Richard Palmer.

1886 – Charles Martin Hall produced the first samples of man-made aluminum, after several years of intensive work. He was assisted in this project by his older sister, Julia Brainerd Hall.

1903 – Cuba leases Guantánamo Bay to the United States "in perpetuity".

1905 – Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch to form the Rotary Club, the world's first service club [a voluntary non-profit organization where members meet regularly to perform charitable works either by direct hands-on efforts or by raising money for other organizations].

1941 – Plutonium is first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg.

1954 – The first mass inoculation of children against polio with the Salk vaccine begins in Pittsburgh.

1987 – Supernova 1987a is seen in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

2018 - NASA Voyager has passed the 23 billion km mark in traveled distance


Writing prompt of the day:

54. Dear Diary: Write a poem or short story about a diary entry you’ve read or imagined.


Hmmm…..   One of the blogs that I follow is Therapy Bits, written by blind woman who has been diagnosed with DID.  Now and then, the alters surge forward and comment on things that are happening around them – much like the alters that made these YouTube presentations.  I believe strongly that all of us have different facets in their personalities, sometimes vastly different depending on the roles we are asked to play throughout our lives -- I know that in me I have a very well-developed Susie Homemaker facet and for a period of years, that pattern of behavior totally swamped my interactions with friends and family.  The idea that these facets could breakout and  become so fully developed that they become totally distinct and real personalities is something that I find fascinating

And I wonder where Susie Homemaker went and if she could return one day....
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 23, 2018

Yes we need gun control

Today is the 5th day of the 8th week, the 22nd day of the 2nd month, the 53rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Be Humble Day
  • Discover Girl Day
  • European Day for Victims of Crime
  • George Washington's Birthday – before things got moved to the nearest Monday, we used to have this day off for his birthday and the 12th off for Lincoln’s birthday.
  • Independence Day:  Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom in 1979
  • International World Thinking Day
  • Introduce A Girl to Engineering Day
  • National Chili Day
  • National Cook a Sweet Potato Day
  • National Margarita Day
  • National Wildlife Day
  • Tex Avery Day
  • The Great American Spit Out – even chewing tobacco causes cancer
  • Walking the Dog Day
  • Woolworth's Day -- In Utica, New York, Frank Woolworth opens the first of many of five-and-dime Woolworth stores in 1879
On this day in...

1632 – Galileo's Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published.  In it Galileo compared the Copernican system with the traditional Ptolemaic system

1819 – By the Adams–Onís Treaty [AKA the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty], Spain sells Florida to the United States for five million US dollars.  It also defined the border between Spanish and American territories in the west which later became the boundary between the United States and Mexico.

1856 – The United States Republican Party opens its first national convention in Pittsburgh.

1924 – President Calvin Coolidge becomes the first US President to deliver a radio address from the White House.

1959 – Lee Petty wins the first Daytona 500.

1980 – Miracle on Ice: in a stunning upset, the United States Olympic hockey team defeated the Soviets at Lake Placid, NY, 4-to-3. (The U.S. team went on to win the gold medal.)

1983 – The notorious Broadway flop Moose Murders, a play by Arthur Bicknell and described as a mystery farce, opens and closes on the same night at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

Quote of the day:
   “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.”
~ Edward Everett Hale [American author, historian, and Unitarian minister]

On the 14th, 17 high school students died and 14 more were injured in the 7th shooting at a school during the regular school day.   This is the fifth time  someone was injured and killed in seven weeks of one year.


My husband was a cop, an old-fashioned cop.  He owned pistols and rifles – enough that I think we might’ve qualified as an armory!  When he died, I chose to let them go.  He liked shooting and was qualified as a sharpshooter;.  I liked shooting too but since I didn’t like cleaning the guns I didn’t go very often but  I can hit what I aim at.  He quit the NRA in disgust when they fought to have armor-piercing bullets legalized.  I never liked one-issue organizations.

I have read a great deal about gun control, even the extremes of “take them all now” to “pry it out of my cold, dead hand.”  I have heard a great deal of nonsense and hyperbole.  I have read the Second Amendment for myself – it says simply: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”    And I focus on that phrase “a well regulated Militia”    What we have right now is certainly not “well regulated” in any sense of the word, what we have is a hodge-podge that simply isn’t working well for us. 

At the bare minimum:
  • If there is a legal age for buying cigarettes and booze, if there is a legal age to enter into a legal contract, if there is a legal age to get married, if there is a legal age to vote, then there should be a legal age for buying a weapon – any kind of weapon.
  • There is no reason to sell a rifle that shoots  30 – 100 rounds without reloading to any civilian for any reason.  Seriously, if a hunter cannot bag his prey without peppering it with shot, they seriously  need to practice their  marksmanship.  Those that own such weapons should immediately  turn them [and all the ammo]  in to the nearest police or sheriff office.
  • The purchase of ammunition for guns  should be as least as  difficult to buy as it is to get a decent antihistamine – requires a current, valid ID and the amount purchased over the period of 30 days is strictly limited.  
This madness must stop.  Our children shouldn’t have to go through drills about what to do if someone starts shooting in their school.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, February 22, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 21, 2018

can you tell me how to get

Today is the 7th day of the 7th week, the 17th day of the 2nd month, the 48th day of 2017 [with 310 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Independence Day: Kosovo from Serbia in 2008
  • My Way Day
  • National Cabbage Day
  • National Cafe au Lait Day
  • National Champion Crab Races Day
  • National Indian Pudding Day
  • National PTA Founders' Day
  • National Public Science Day
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day -- The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) was founded in 1995 in the US as a nonprofit headquartered in Denver, Colorado.  Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) day began in 2004 in New Zealand
  • Who Shall I Be Day
  • World Human Spirit Day
  • World Whale Day
On this day in …

1600 – The philosopher Giordano Bruno is burned alive, for heresy, at Campo de' Fiori in Rome.  He proposed that the stars were just distant suns surrounded by their own exoplanets and raised the possibility that these planets could even foster life of their own (a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism) and insisted that the universe is in fact infinite and could have no celestial body at its "center".

1753 – In Sweden February 17 is followed by March 1 as the country moves from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

1863 - The International Red Cross was founded in Geneva.

1867 – The first ship passes through the Suez Canal.

1904 – Madama Butterfly receives its première at La Scala in Milan.

1933 – Newsweek magazine is first published.

1959 – The first weather satellite, Vanguard 2, is launched to measure cloud-cover distribution.

1965 – The Ranger 8 probe launches on its mission to photograph the Mare Tranquillitatis region of the Moon in preparation for the manned Apollo missions. Mare Tranquillitatis or the "Sea of Tranquility" would become the site chosen for the Apollo 11 lunar landing.

1968 – In Springfield, Massachusetts, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame opens.

1869 - Founding of the Canadian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; today's Humane Society

1972 - President Nixon departed on his historic trip to China.

1972 – Cumulative sales of the Volkswagen Beetle exceed those of the Ford Model T.

1980 – First winter ascent of Mount Everest by Krzysztof Wielicki and Leszek Cichy.

1996 – World chess champion Garry Kasparov beat IBM supercomputer "Deep Blue," winning a six-game match in Philadelphia.

1996 – NASA's Discovery Program begins as the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft lifts off on the first mission ever to orbit and land on an asteroid, 433 Eros.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 20 secs of light-travel time from Earth

I spent the day with my granddaughters, and was struck again by what the current interests of preschoolers:  My Little Pony is still alive and kicking, Peppa Pig, Sofia the 1st, the Octonauts, Daniel Tiger and something calledCookieSwirlC interspersed with the occasional Disney movie, dominates the time they have with “screens”. 

When my kids were growing up, it was all about Big Bird [and the invisible Mr. Snuffleupagus], Cookie Monster, the Count, Maria, Bob and the entire ensemble.   My son’s favorite character was Oscar the Grouch, and he knew the trash song by heart at a very early age.  My daughter loved Bert and Ernie, oatmeal and rubber ducky and all, and still hangs their ornaments on her Christmas tree.  My favorite was always Grover, ever since he confided sadly that it wasn’t easy being Grover.  I was intensely disappointed that my teenagers categorically refused to go to the theme park when it opened back in 1980!    Sesame Street sure has changed a lot since the days it was on every morning in our house along with Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, and The Electric Company!  I am not at all fond of what I have seen of Elmo, Mr. Hooper is long gone, Bob seems to have lost his Linda, many other regulars seem to have departed [only Susan is left], and you have to subscribe to see the show these days – it moved from PBS to HBO two years ago.  So even though my granddaughters and I sing Rubber Ducky every bath time, it doesn’t look like I’ll ever get to actually see Sesame Street….




Unless I go by myself…...

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Saturday, February 17, 2018

what to do, what to do.....

Today is the 4th day of the 7th week, the 14th day of the 2nd month, the 45th day of 2017, and: 
  • Ash Wednesday
  • Frederick Douglas Day
  • International Book Giving Day
  • International Quirkyalone Day
  • League of Women Voters Day – founded in Chicago in 1920
  • Library Lovers Day
  • National Call in Single Day
  • National Cream-filled Chocolates Day
  • National Ferris Wheel Day
  • National Have a Heart Dy
  • National Organ Donor Day
  • National Women's Heart Day
  • Pet Theft Awareness Day
  • Race Relations Day
  • Read to Your Child Day
  • Singles Awareness Day or Singles Appreciation Day
  • Valentine's Day
  • World Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day
  • World Sound Healing Day
On this day in ...

1663 - Canada becomes a Royal Province of France

1849 – In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first serving President of the United States to have his photograph taken.

1852 – Great Ormond St Hospital for Sick Children, the first hospital in England to provide in-patient beds specifically for children, is founded in London.

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

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

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

1929 – Seven people, six of them gangster rivals of Al Capone's gang, are murdered in Chicago -- a debacle that came to be known as the Saint Valentine's Day Massacre

1949 – The Knesset (Israeli parliament) convenes for the first time.

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

1966 – Australian currency is decimalized.

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

"The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring."

~ Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) Irish Dramatist and Poet




Today celebrates love [at least in Western cultures] and starts a season of penance [at least among Roman Catholics]…..
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, February 14, 2018

the day before Ash Wednesday....

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

no I haven't fallen off the face of the earth....

Today is the 2nd day of the 7th week, the 12th day of the 2nd month, the 43rd day of 2018, and: 
  • Clean Out Your Computer Day
  • Extraterrestrial Culture Day
  • Extraterrestrial Visitor Day
  • Hug Day - an annual event created by Kevin Zaborney and first celebrated in 1986 in Clio, Michigan, USA.
  • International Darwin Day – Charles Darwin was born 209 years ago
  • Lincoln's Birthday – remember when we used to get this off?  Now we get “Presidents’ Day” and a holiday in January for MLK
  • NAACP Day – founded in 1909
  • National Freedom to Marry Day --  in 2004 San Francisco begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in response to a directive from Mayor Newsom.
  • National Lost Penny Day
  • National Plum Pudding Day
  • Oatmeal Monday – well I managed to celebrate this since I had oatmeal for breakfast!
  • Oglethorpe Day - British General James Edward Oglethorpe landed near what is now known as Savannah, GA in 1733
  • Paul Bunyan Day (Born 1834 in Bangor, ME)
  • Red Hand Day (AKA International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers)
  • Safety Pup Day
  • Shrove Monday – how odd is it that this year Ash Wednesday is on Valentine’s Day and Easter is on April Fools’ Day?
On this day in ...

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

1879 - First artificial ice rink in North America installed at Madison Square Gardens in New York City, NY.

1912 - Last Ch'ing (Manchu) emperor of China, Henry P'u-i, abdicates; China adopts the Gregorian calendar.

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

1935 – USS Macon, one of the two largest helium-filled airships ever created, crashes into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California and sinks.

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

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

1961 – The Soviet Union launches Venera 1 towards Venus.

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

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

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

Quote of the day

   “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.”

~  Albert Einstein

And it is Monday….



Oh yeah, I know it's been a couple of days....  I’ll work on that writing and communicating thing, KK?  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, February 12, 2018

plug it in and turn it on....

Today is the 3rd day of the 6th week, the 6th day of the 2nd month, the 37th day of 2018 [with 321 shopping days until Christmas], and:
  • African American Coaches Day
  • Canadian Maple Syrup Day
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation -- United Nations-sponsored annual awareness day first introduced in 2003
  • Lame Duck Day
  • National Frozen Yogurt Day
  • Pay-a-compliment Day
  • Ronald Reagan Day -- Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico IL in 1911
  • Safer Internet Day
  • Waitangi Day -  celebrates the founding of New Zealand in 1840 under British sovereignty.
On this day in ...

  60 – The earliest date for which the day of the week is known. A graffito in Pompeii identifies this day as a dies Solis (Sunday). In modern reckoning, this date would have been a Wednesday.

1722 - The Council of New France makes abandoning children a death penalty offence; parish priests are asked to publicize the law every few months.

1815 – New Jersey grants the first American railroad charter to John Stevens.

1819 – Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founds Singapore.

1820 – The first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society depart New York to start a settlement in present-day Liberia.

1843 – The first minstrel show in the United States, The Virginia Minstrels, opens (Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City)

1895 - Baseball Hall of Famer George Herman "Babe" Ruth was born in Baltimore.

1919 – The American Legion is founded  ?  ((some googling shows this US wartime veterans organization formed in Paris, on March 15, 1919, by three officers of the American Expeditionary Forces and  was chartered by the Congress on September 16, 1919, so I’m not sure about that date!))

1952 – Elizabeth II becomes queen regnant of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms upon the death of her father, George VI. At the exact moment of succession, she was in a tree house at the Treetops Hotel in Kenya.

1959 – Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments files the first patent for an integrated circuit.

1959 – At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the first successful test firing of a Titan intercontinental ballistic missile is accomplished.

1971 - Alan Shepard becomes the first man to hit a golf ball on the Moon during a two-day Moon walk from Apollo 14.

1988 – Michael Jordan makes his signature slam dunk from the free throw line inspiring Air Jordan and the Jumpman logo.

2003 - Rapper 50 Cent's debut CD, "Get Rich or Die Tryin'," was released.

So, I bought a new computer after my five year old Alienware X51’s fourth graphics card died.  Determined to make sure there was enough wattage to run everything, I went with an Acer Predator that I bought from the Micro Center in Rockville.  It is a monster of a  machine! I had some issues getting set up because my monitor was an older VGA model and I had to order the connector cable that would enable me to attach it to this CPU.  And then the issues started – constant crashing with the BSOD telling me I had a BAD_POOL_CALLER error.  I was angry and frustrated, especially when told by @AcerAmerica that I should take the machine for servicing.  I snapped that with a brand spanking new machine just out of the box, if I had to take the machine back to the store it would be for a full refund or replacement, not servicing!  But on the advice of Micro Center tech support, I reset the computer – which isn’t quite the same as reloading WIN10 as @AcerAmerica had suggested – and ran into the same issue.  Downloaded WhoCrashed and found out it was the Killer Ethernet Connection manager and disabled it.  End of problem….

But no.  Now every time I reboot the computer, the application starts running again and causing the BSOD.  I shrug – I can make turning the application off part of my start up routine.  Then it turns out that Microsoft OneDrive cannot load because there is suddenly a missing component.  I shrug, I don’t actually use MS OneDrive so who cares?  And then last night I noticed when I right click on the start menu, I can no longer pull up the menu that enables me to do diagnostics.  Now wait a minute!  That’s three strikes  on a brand new computer that costs more than I have ever spent before  -- but it is all software, not hardware.  Could it be the old monitor?  Could it be the cable I am using?  Could it somehow be the router?  But cable and router are both less than a year old.  Do I know if I plugged everything into the right generation of USB port?  !  See, I don’t have the expertise to be able to tell if these issues are being caused by the hardware or not and I have 30 days to take it back and get my money back.  Have I bought a lemon and am going to have to deal with the kind of constant problems I had over the past five years?  So do I just bail out now?  Or keep trying to getting the issues addressed one by one?


Why, ‘o why,  can’t it just WORK !?!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, February 6, 2018

working on it.....

Today is the 2nd day of the 6th week, the 5th day of the 2nd month, the 36th day of 2018, and: 
  • Adlai Stevenson Day – in 1900, Adlai Ewing Stevenson, the American politician and diplomat, was born.
  • Disaster Day
  • Dump Your Significant Jerk Day
  • Move Hollywood and Broadway to Lebanon PA Day because Lebanon Pennsylvania was once the home office of the David Letterman show so the logic is that if one media icon could make Amish country home, why not the rest of Hollywood or Broadway for that matter?
  • National Chocolate Fondue Day
  • National Weatherperson's Day
  • Shower With A Friend Day
  • Western Monarch Day
  • World Animal Reiki Day
  • World Nutella Day
Quote of the day:
To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”
~  Robert Louis Stevenson, Familiar Studies of Men and Books (1882)

On this day in ...

   62 – Earthquake in Pompeii, Italy.[The famous eruption was on 24 August 79]

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

1869 – The largest alluvial gold nugget in history, called the "Welcome Stranger", is found 1.2 in below the surface, near the base of a tree on a slope leading to what was then known as Bulldog Gully in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia.

1909 – Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland announces the creation of Bakelite, the world's first synthetic plastic.

1917 – The Congress of the United States passes the Immigration Act of 1917 (AKA the Literacy Act and less often as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act) over President Woodrow Wilson's veto.  The law imposed literacy tests on immigrants, created new categories of inadmissible persons, and barred immigration from the Asia-Pacific Zone

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

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

1953 - Sweet rationing ends in Britain -- the rationing of confectionery ends after 10 years, with schoolchildren first in the queue for unlimited sweets and chocolate.

1958 – A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb [a 7,600-pound Mark 15 nuclear bomb] is lost by the US Air Force during a practice exercise when an F-86 fighter plane collided with the B-47 bomber carrying the bomb. somewhere in Wassaw Sound off the shores of Tybee Island, never to be recovered.  The search was complicated by natural sources of radiation originating from monazite deposits

1971 – Astronauts land on the moon in the Apollo 14 mission.

And so it is another Monday 

 As always, the weekend seems way to short’ this “balance of life” thing seems sadly out of kilter as I spend about half of my life physically at work – and that doesn’t count commuting and getting ready for work either.  This was a quiet weekend for me, unintentionally so as I curled up yesterday with a headache and hid from the icy rain.   While I define “sleep in” as getting up anytime past 5:30AM, I do seem to lose a couple hours each day I am home to napping – I wonder if I would do so if I was home all the time?  I wonder if this napping as to do with the delicate shade of mauve that tinges my spirit these days?  Or is it that I am burning too much energy during the day by working full days?  I don’t do that much in the evenings anymore, and I am not sure whether that is because of fatigue, inertia or again, that mauve tint.   I notice when I am fully engaged, my mind stays alert and I do not fade into sleepiness as quickly, so do I need more challenges?  Do I want more challenges?  Or could my body be fighting off the effects of illness, or because I have been dilatory about medication, or am I just overthinking all of this when you come right down to it?  For busy or not, the weekends seem to flit on past and we are left awaiting the next one….


And so it is, another Monday and another work week.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, February 5, 2018

Today is the 6th day of the 5th week, the 2nd day of the 2nd month, the 33rd day of 2018 [with 325 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Bubble Gum Day
  • California Kiwifruit Day
  • Candlemas --  [AKA the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord Jesus and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary] commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple.  This is the day some folks historically take down their Christmas decorations [others take them down on Epiphany]
  • Crepe Day
  • Give Kids a Smile Day
  • Groundhog Day [AKA Groundhog Job Shadow Day] – hard to believe that we have been listening to that rodent for 131 years….
  • Heavenly Hash Day -- Vanilla marshmallow swirled into  chocolate batterr, topped off with real chopped almonds and rich chocolatey chips.
  • Marmot Day -- became an official holiday in Alaska on April 18, 2009 and is a celebration of marmots, a group of large squirrel-like animals that includes groundhogs, woodchucks and ground squirrels.
  • National Wear Red Day --  intended to help raise awareness of heart disease, in particular among women.
  • Self Renewal Day
  • Sled Dog Day – celebrating the sled run to Nome
  • Tater Tot Day - first invented in 1953 at the Ore-Ida Labs Tater Tots literally mean "baby potatoes"
  • Working Naked Day ((which is difficult to do if you are already celebrating Wear Red day, neh?))
  • World Play Your Ukulele Day
  • World Wetlands Day -- the international Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable utilization of wetlands is signed in Ramsar, Mazandaran, Iran in 1971.
On this day in ...

1536 - The Argentine city of Buenos Aires was founded by Spaniard Pedro de Mendoza .

1653 - New Amsterdam - now New York City - was incorporated.

1876 - The National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs was formed in New York.

1887 - In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed as a result of a  Pennsylvania Dutch superstition

1922 - The James Joyce novel "Ulysses" was published in Paris on the author's 40th birthday.

1925 – Dog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race.

1935 – Leonarde Keeler administers polygraph tests to two murder suspects, the first time polygraph evidence was admitted in U.S. courts.

1942 - Minister of National Defence James Ralston proclaims western British Columbia a 'protected area' under wartime regulations, and classifies all Japanese nationals resident in Canada as Enemy Aliens; orders that every male between ages eighteen and forty-five, born in Japan, be removed 100 miles from the Coast by April 1, 1942; on February 25, the government will include second and third generation Canadians of Japanese origin under the edict; they will be treated as aliens and deprived of their property.

2000 – First digital cinema projection in Europe (Paris) realized by Philippe Binant with the DLP CINEMA technology developed by Texas Instruments.


I rather pride myself on being relatively tech savvy, especially for my age bracket.  I have convinced the IT departments in different organizations to allow me to be the administrator of my own machine and even help others for one simple reason – I know what I do not know.   What that means is when I am genuinely at a loss, I holler for help and simply stop doing “stuff”.   The IT gurus tell me that the willingness to understand when to stop poking on things is vital to keep things on an even keel.


That said, I am not as knowledgeable about the ins and outs of how a computer actually works any more than I am about the inner workings of my car.  Just as I expect the car to start when I turn the key, when I hook up a computer that is brand new out of the box, I expect it to RUN.   My new monster machine, the Acer Predator, started up and runs just fine.  However Windows 10 has a persistent, continuing, debilitating problem – with depressing frequency I get the blue screen of death and told I have a BAD POOL CALLER error.  Needless to say I have rummaged about online to figure out what that is, and I have to admit that I am not quite sure what causes this software glitch – it seems to involve WIN10 looking for resources that are not actually there [if I understand the issue well enough to verbalize it] and it is ubiquitous judging by the number of inquiries on how to fix it I have found.  So far I have:
  1. Downloaded and installed all the WINDOW updates – that took overnight.  The computer informed me that I could do stuff online while updates were downloading but after crashing a couple of times, I stopped and just let WINDOWS do its thing.  Getting all the updates and doing a hard reboot made no difference
  2. Disabled the “fast start” option in settings – well that didn’t work – it crashed as soon as I tried to type something
  3. Purchased Drive Easy and updated 19 different drivers
So none of these things has helped.  When the problem started, which it did almost immediately, it was before  I had downloaded and installed Google CHROME [despite some pretty snotty messages from EDGE], Nod32, and I don’t think it is an issue with an application/program.  So the next suggestions are getting pretty technical, having me go into BIOS and make sure I am not overclocking, examine all attachments to verify compatibility, check the hard drive for corruption.  And at some point I am simply going to throw up my hands and call Tech Support


Wish me luck! 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, February 2, 2018

back in the day....

Today is the 4th day of the 5th week, the 31st day of the 1st month, the 31st day of 2018, and: 
  • Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day – please note, for those of us who have been paying FICA taxes for over 50 years neither Social Security nor Medicare are an “entitlement”.  We invested that money and now that we need it, the gov’t wants to renege. 
  • Backwards Day
  • Brandy Alexander Day
  • Eat Brussels Sprouts Day
  • Hell is Freeing Over Day --  no idea when this holiday was created or why, but the irony of it being the day after the State of the Union address here in the US is duly noted
  • Hug an Economist Day
  • Independence Day:  Nauru [a tiny island country in Micronesia] from Australia in 1968.
  • Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
  • National Hot Chocolate Day
  • Scotch Tape Day – I had to put a new roll in my dispenser, does that count as celebrating the holiday?
  • Street Children Day -- anniversary of the canonisation of John Bosco, the “Father and Teacher of Youth“.
  • Tu Bishvat -- a Jewish holiday occurring on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat AKA "New Year of the Trees."
  • And today was a super blue blood moon with an eclipse thrown in for good measure.
Yesterday I startled when I opened my mailbox and pulled out  a catalog from Montgomery Wards.   I stood there blinking at it as a flood of memories swept through me. 
HUGE Wards and Sears catalogs used to arrive at the house on Poplar Drive around August or September, huge because they were chockful of Christmas toys to be ordered and fall/winter clothing.  I used to spend hours pouring over the pages, deciding what I was going to order for the kids because if I did so before the end of September, there was a discount that took care of all the shipping and handling costs as well as the sales tax.  Of course you had to have the order delivered to the store and go and pick it up, but that was a relatively minor nuisance.  I would pick out what my daughter would get for her birthday at the end of October, what Santa would bring, what my grandmothers and my father would give them.  Of course then there was the issue of hiding all that stuff – fortunately the homeowner before us had unsuccessfully tried to make a room out of what used to be a back porch – cold and gloomy in the winter time, we had boxes in there and I don’t think the kids ever noticed when there were new boxes added to the piles.   Wards also had actual stores, and it used to be a place where you could go and buy appliances – the sales folks on the whole were knowledgeable and patient, would listen to what your needs were . In fact,  I still have and use the TV that Frank and I bought there back in the late 1980’s although the famed Wards warranty is long expired of course.  The catalogs stopped coming after a while and I had to rely on the Sears catalog alone for my Christmas shopping, and then the announcement came that the stores were closing back in 2001.   The large retails stores have long ago been re-purposed – and In Baltimore, the 1925 Wards warehouse [an eight-story, 1.3-million-square-foot building at 1800 Washington Blvd southwest of downtown Baltimore]  is now known as Montgomery Park and has been restored for office use. It has a green building with a green roof, storm water reutilization systems, and extensive use of recycled building materials and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2000 as the Montgomery Ward Warehouse and Retail Store.   But in 2004, catalog marketer Direct Marketing Services Inc [based in Iowa] purchased much of the intellectual property assets of the former Wards, including the "Montgomery Ward" and "Wards" trademarks, for an undisclosed amount of money.  The DMSI version of Montgomery Ward was not the same company as the original -- it did not honor obligations of the previous company, such as gift cards and items sold with a lifetime guarantee.  Catalog retailer Swiss Colony purchased DMSI in 2008 – and that finally explains why I was looking at the Wards catalog because I have ordered from Swiss colony in the past.

Wards was a venerable old tradition at one time and once the arrival of that catalog was eagerly anticipated; now it is just another piece of junk mail that I tossed into the recycling bin.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 31, 2018

things aren't always what they seem

Today is the 3rd day of the 5th week, the 30th day of the 1st month, the 30th day of 2018, and: 
  • National Croissant Day – Starbucks gave me a free croissant as a regular customer!
  • National Escape Day
  • National Inane Answering Machine Day – I remember buying tapes for the phone answering machine so that Boris Karlof answered around Halloween and other celebrity imitators answered at various times of the year.  Yet another little snippet of the culture those born after the advent of smart phones will never get
  • National Plan for Vacation Day – it is only 37 days to WDW, so I have this celebration well in hand
  • School Day of Non-violence and Peace - an observance founded by the Spanish poet Llorenç Vidal Vidal in Majorca in 1964 as a starting point and support for a “pacifying and non-violent education of a permanent character”
  • Yodel for Your Neighbors Day

Quote of the day:

      “The doom of a nation can be averted only by a storm of flowing passion, but only those who are passionate themselves can arouse passion in others.”

~ Adolf Hitler


On this day in ...

516 BCE – The Second Temple of Jerusalem finishes construction -- according to Jewish tradition, it replaced Solomon's Temple (the First Temple), which was destroyed by the Babylonians 70 years earlier.  It was later destroyed in 70 by Roman legions under Titus.

1646 - Father de Nouë, a Jesuit priest, freezes to death in a blizzard on the way to Fort Richelieu, Trois-Rivières, Québec

1703 – The Forty-seven Ronin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master -- and are forever immortalized in popular culture

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

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

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

1933 – Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.  It is worth remembering that no one knew he was going to become a dictator, kill millions of people because they weren’t Aryan,  and plunge the world into war -- he was just someone to counter what Germans perceived as the injustice of the post-World War I international order dominated by Britain and France. His first six years in power resulted in rapid economic recovery from the Great Depression, the abrogation of restrictions imposed on Germany after World War I, and the annexation of territories that were home to millions of ethnic Germans, all of which gave him significant popular support.

1933 - The first episode of the "Lone Ranger" was broadcast on radio station WXYZ in Detroit.

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

2007 - Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system went on sale.

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

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

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 30, 2018

OMG it's Monday

Today is the 2nd day of the 5th week, the 29th day of the 1st month, the 29th day of 2018, and: 
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
  • Curmudgeons Day
  • Freethinkers Day
  • National Carnation Day
  • National Corn Chip Day
  • National Puzzle Day
  • Seeing Eye Dog Day
  • Thomas Paine Day

On this day in ...

1790 – The first boat specializing as a lifeboat is tested on the River Tyne.

1834 – US President Andrew Jackson orders first use of federal soldiers to suppress a labor dispute.  Workers building the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal were rebelling because construction teams [consisting mostly of Irish, German, Dutch and black workers] worked with primitive tools, were forced to work long hours for low wages in dangerous conditions. The move set a dangerous precedent for future labor-management relations. When labor uprisings increased toward and into the turn of the century, business leaders were confident in the knowledge that they could turn to local, state or federal government leaders to head off labor unrest. Rather ironically, Jackson claimed to be a populist and wanted to advance the rights of the "common man" against a "corrupt aristocracy"

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

1886 – Karl Benz patents the first successful gasoline-driven automobile.

1936 - The first five members of baseball's Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, were named in Cooperstown, NY.

1959 – The first Melodifestivalen,  an annual music competition organised by Swedish public broadcasters Sveriges Television (SVT) and Sveriges Radio (SR), is held in Stockholm, Sweden.

1963 – The first inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced.

1967 – The "ultimate high" of the hippie era, the Mantra-Rock Dance, takes place in San Francisco and features Janis Joplin, Grateful Dead, and Allen Ginsberg.


Rainy days and Mondays, plus car problems and a fried computer.  I truly need to win either the lottery, Power Ball, MegaMillions or the Publishing Clearing House so that I can land on Easy Street….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 29, 2018

Today is the 5th day of the 4th week, the 25th day of the 1st month, the 25th day of 2018, and: 
  • A Room of One's Own Day – one of the advantages of being an only child is that I didn’t have to share a bedroom with any siblings….
  • Clashing Clothes Day
  • Fluoride Day
  • Macintosh Computer Day
  • National Irish Coffee Day
  • Opposite Day
  • Robert Burns Day
  • Women's Healthy Weight Day
  • Thank Your Mentor Day
On this day in ...

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

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

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

1909 – Richard Strauss's opera Elektra debuts at the Dresden State Opera.

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

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

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

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

1996 – Billy Bailey becomes the last person to be hanged in the U.S.A.

2018 - NASA Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 50 secs of light-travel time from Earth


It just recently occurred to me, as I was driving along and noticed the mileage on my 2005 Mercury Milan had hit 108000 miles, that I probably should be prepared to get a new car sometime soon.  I found that a rather intimidating thought as  I have only actually bought one other  car in my entire life.   The first was back when I was in the second year of college and it was the first car that I ever owned – a very old, well used VW bug, red and a convertible that set me back about $200 and was purchased from a fellow student.  That would be about $1,360 in today’s dollars, so it was a significant investment for a kid trying to save up for college..  Back then there wasn’t much in the way of inspections, so the fact that the floor had just about rusted out around the gas and brake pedals wasn’t a big concern, the mechanic who looked it over for me just welded a plate over the spot for $50 and we called it a day.  I got it in the spring and drove it all summer with the top down whenever I could  – I was working at Fort Holabird that year and there wasn’t any bus service to there so I had to have wheels since I couldn’t  use the Comet she had because she was working too.  Looking back, it was a rattletrap and indeed, it broke down on the way to pick up the much new VW Bug that my father got for me because he was worried when he came in for Thanksgiving.  After that?  My husbands bought the cars since they seemed to care more than I did about the way they looked.  It wasn’t until after Frank died, almost 37 years later  that I found myself choosing  my own wheels, but I went to the same dealership [which closed years ago] and salesman [long retired]  that Frank had always gone to. 




Meh – this car has been VERY reliable through the years….   with any kind of luck I won’t have to worry about car shopping for some time.  Wonder if a ritual blessing would help?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 25, 2018

reach out....

Today is the 4th day of the 4th week, the 24th day of the 1st month, the 24th day of 2018, and: 
  • Beer Can Appreciation Day
  • Belly Laugh Day
  • Bodhi Day [Observed]
  • International Mobile Phone Recycling Day
  • Library Selfie Day
  • National "Just Do It" Day
  • National Compliment Day
  • National Eskimo Pie Patent Day
  • National Lobster Thermidor Day
  • National Peanut Butter Day
  • Talk Like a Grizzled Prospector Day
An ex-peace corps volunteer who spent time in Senegal posted on Facebook about her experiences, explaining why she is a Trump supporter.  On the one hand she seemed to fully understand that while she was overseas, she was in a totally different culture:  “The longer I lived there, the more I understood: it became blindingly obvious that the Senegalese are not the same as us. The truths we hold to be self-evident are not evident to the Senegalese. How could they be? Their reality is totally different. You can't understand anything in Senegal using American terms.”  On the other hand, it was clear that she felt the people of Senegal were lacking because they didn’t follow the 10 Commandments nor did the men exhibit a work ethic that she approved of.  She was understandably overjoyed to return home to the comforts she was accustomed to, and I have to agree with her on that point, but then her comments took a tone that surprised me:
“We are lectured by Democrats that we must privilege third-world immigration by the hundred million with chain migration. They tell us we must end America as a white, Western, Judeo-Christian, capitalist nation – to prove we are not racist. I don't need to prove a thing. Leftists want open borders because they resent whites, resent Western achievements, and hate America. They want to destroy America as we know it. “
Wh-what? How did welcoming immigrants become synonymous with  wanting open borders and then  get translated into hating the culture that I am living in?  I don’t resent white people – I am one.  I am quite willing to celebrate the achievements of Western Civilization – I just happen to believe there are other cultures, past and present,  that have achieved great things too.   And while I have never been a “my country right or wrong” type patriot, I neither hate America nor want it destroyed.   Now she has a point when it comes to capitalism – I am not at all convinced that is the best economic system especially in this time of runaway income inequity and I very much would like to see an economic system where those less fortunate are not left to die by the wayside.   But these are personal differences between me and her – what really grabbed my attention was the phrases about Democrats lecturing and Leftists wanting open borders and I think it shows a failure on the part of the Democratic Party to reach out, listen, and communicate a positive  vision of the future.
NASA’s  Voyager is 19 hrs 36 mins 50 secs of light-travel time from Earth, and we can still communicate with it.  Surely we can figure out how to communicate without lecturing, to bridge the political divide and have conversations rather than just shouting at one another?  
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 24, 2018

just how powerful are our thoughts?

Today is the 3rd day of the 4th week, the 23rd day of the 1st month, the 23rd day of 2018, and:
  • Measure Your Feet Day
  • National Handwriting Day
  • National Pie Day
  • National Rhubarb Pie Day
  • Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day
  • Speak Up and Succeed Day
Quote of the day:

   “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

~ Henry David Thoreau


There is a large body of belief that says the world is created by our perceptions, that if we think a thing is true it manifests itself.   The Mistress of Avalon, admittedly a work of fantasy fiction [and a great read if you like an innovative reworking of the Arthurian legend], probably has the best description of how it works as the Lady of the Lake agonizes that the Christian priests and their church bells are driving the Holy Isle of Avalon further and further into the mists, into which the lands of Faerie have already vanished.   The Buddha stated "Whatever a monk keeps pursuing with his thinking and pondering, that becomes the inclination of his awareness, which isn’t quite the same thing as “you are what you think”, now is it?     But there is little doubt that we all don’t live in the same world, and I am beginning to doubt we ever actually did since I seem to have so little in common with my fellow citizens at times.   For example, from my black, male coworkers I have learned that despite all the marching back in the 60’s and after teaching my children to be color blind [hopefully while being culturally sensitive], there really hasn’t been a lot of change in the way that they are treated even during a traffic stop, that I will be treated totally differently and all I could do is stand there and bleat “Ithought we had come further along than that.”  .  I was an early proponent of employees becoming free agents, and thought it would bring prosperity to workers as they received acknowledgement for their knowledge, only to find out the employers saw the gig economy as a way to shed any responsibility for the welfare of their staff.   Those are just two examples where my gestalt clearly is not in line with what is actually going on.   Interestingly, the discussion over the resolution of the federal government shutdown highlights this feeling of conflict between the way things are perceived:  Trump and the conservatives are crowing VICTORY, the liberals are snarling at the Democrats for caving in, and meanwhile folks get back to work.  Which of these points of view are “correct” or “true”?  The answer is truly that it depends on how you look at it, and that goes back to your mindset and perceptions and I begin to wonder if we really can create the world that we want if enough folks think about it hard enough and often enough and refuse to let any alternatives bother them.  I have always felt that history was subject to interpretation, but now I wonder if the present is as well?  If enough of us choose to do so, can we fast forward into the 23rd century and join the Federation where no one has to worry about money?   




I think of things like this every time I move into a fog, whether physical or mental, and I wonder if I will emerge into a world that is the same as the one I left….
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, January 23, 2018

the business of gov't is to govern

Today is the 2nd day of the 4th week, the 22nd day of the 1st month, the 22nd day of 2018, [with 336 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Answer Your Cat's Questions Day ((neither of my cats have deigned to ask me any other question than “where’s the grub?”))
  • Better Business Communication Day
  • Celebration of Life Day
  • Come In From the Cold Day
  • Community Manager Appreciation Day
  • Dance of the Seven Veils Day – traditionally marking the day of the beheading of St. John the Baptist 
  • International Sweatpants Day
  • National Blonde Brownie Day
  • National Hot Sauce Day
  • National Polka Dot Day
  • Roe VS Wade Day
I didn’t like Lyndon Baines Johnson Lyndon Baines Johnson, [the 36th president of the United States, who died on this day in 1973 at his ranch in Johnson City, Texas, at age 64], who was President when I was in college.  I thought he was the epitome of an old-time politician, and could easily picture him behind the scenes, chomping on a cigar [and I don’t even know if he smoked] while he wheeled and dealed, making back room compromises, promising pork programs, twisting arms and acting with unscrupulous single-minded intensity to get his agenda through.  I blamed him for Vietnam, and cut him no slack over the problems of succeeding a younger, vibrant, visionary JFK.  But one thing I had to admit, both then and in hindsight, he got things DONE.  Congress functioned.   It took Jimmy Carter [and yes I voted for him (once) because he was such a nice man and a successful business man] to teach me the ability to accomplish things via Congress was a necessary component of being President.  Subsequent presidents don’t seem to have quite been as savvy as LBJ, and as time passed, Congress has become more and more hung up on grandstanding and bipartisan issues rather than actually thinking about the fact they represent and govern over ALL the United States.
The one thing I was willing to accede to Trump supporters was that apparently DJT was no stranger to negotiation.  I hadn’t read his book, but anyone who has gotten banks and financiers to agree to restructuring needed in bankruptcy while still coming out of it with a pretty lavish lifestyle, definitely has some skill when it comes to sitting down at the table.   So my question is, why isn’t he leveraging his position – in the White House as an outsider untouched by traditional DC affiliations, as “head” of this base of supporters – to get things done?  Now mind you, I don’t approve or agree with most of his agenda, but for crying out loud, sometimes doing even the wrong thing is better than doing nothing at all.  So now the federal government is shut down, and all he can do is whine on Twitter about how Democrats are to blame?  Seriously?  LBJ would not have had a picture taken at an empty desk, he’d have been on the phone non-stop and there would have been a compromise worked out.  A real compromise, which means no one would’ve been particularly happy, but the business of government would still be rolling on. Of course, to be able to compromise means that all parties have to trust that the President and each other are bargaining in good faith – a trust that seems to be sadly lacking at the moment.   Makes me wonder if DJT actually prefers an incompetent and inactive legislative branch.

Cope with it
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 22, 2018

when looks don't prove anything

Today is the 1st day of the 4th week, the 21st day of the 1st month, the 21st day of 2018, and:
  • Celebration of Life Day
  • National Granola Bar Day
  • National Hugging Day
  • National New England Clam Chowder Day
  • National Sanctity of Human Life Day [AKA Pro-Life Day]
  • One-Liners Day
  • Own Your Own Home Day
  • Stephen Foster Day
  • Squirrel Appreciation Day
  • World Religion Day
  • World Snow Day
I have been reading Post Secrets for quite some time -- looking at the postcards and wondering about the stories behind them, trying to think what I would send it [and drawing a blank; apparently living a life out loud means that you don't have a lot of deep dark secrets buried in the back of your life].   I have been moved to pity, occasionally to anger, sometimes to laughter, but today is the first day that I have been moved to comment

For years I heard my father make sarcastic comments about the mailman.  I don't THINK he was serious, but given the constant tension between him and my mother and the fact that he upped and left when I was in junior high school, I have never been quite certain.   You see, I stuck out like a sore thumb in my family.  My parents, indeed my entire family, were brunettes of different shades from light brown to almost black, and they all tanned beautifully.  Me?  I was so fair-skinned that I rapidly freckled when exposed to sunlight, and a couple of hours in the sun caused a painful sunburn sometimes with blisters.  And I was definitely a redhead.   Both of my parents were slender and thin-boned, graceful and athletic.  I was big boned, slightly clumsy and pudgy.  In short, I always felt like a bit of a changeling.  And then my father went to Frostburg where his mother's people live because he needed to help someone build something on a cider farm...   Well an apple farm where they made cider and apple butter.  He came home bruised and tired and apologized to my mother before he ever got cleaned up.   And he looked at me and just shook his head -- seems that when he met his 2nd cousins, there were whole families of his relatives that looked like me, had my coloring, were gingers, and were of stocky build

Genetics is a tricky thing and not all children look like their parents
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Sunday, January 21, 2018

looking it up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but the calendar SAYS it is Tuesday!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

just a bit tired

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

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

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

1866 – The Royal Aeronautical Society is formed in London.

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

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

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

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

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

1998 – Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning.

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the day:

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

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

You look tired.” 

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




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

living with generalized angst

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the day:

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

~ Charles Spurgeon, English Particular Baptist preacher

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




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1870 – John D. Rockefeller incorporates Standard Oil.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the day:

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

~ Samuel Ullman, American businessman, poet, humanitarian

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

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


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

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

I don't gotta....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quote of the day:

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

~  Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 is launched.

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

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

Quote of the day

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

~ Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955), Theoretical physicist

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


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


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

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

12th day of Christmas 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

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

1 Comment - Read Comment | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 5, 2018

1st Thursday in 2018

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

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

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

On this day in…

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

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

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

1958 – Sputnik 1 falls to Earth from orbit.

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

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

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

1993 - Deep Space 9 premiered on USA TV.

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

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


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




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

1st Wednesday of 2018

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

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

~  John F. Kennedy

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

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

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

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

the 1st workday of 2018

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

On this day in...

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

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


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




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

the 1st day of 2018

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

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

the last day of 2017

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

On this day in...

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

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

1796 – The incorporation of Baltimore as a city.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

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


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




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

the day before the last day of 2017

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

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

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

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

the last Friday of 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

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


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

1 Comment - Read Comment | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 29, 2017

we can hope, neh?

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

On this day in....

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

what will it take

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

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




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

back to the workaday world....

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

Boxing Day

National Candy Cane Day

National Thank You Note Day

National Whiner's day

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


On this day in ....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



'Twas The Day After Christmas


 Published: 28 November 2006


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

Every creature was hurting-- even the mouse.


The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;

Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.


Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while

Upstairs the family continued to snore.


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

Went into the kitchen and started to clean.


When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

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


Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.


When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a little white truck, with an oversized mirror.


The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;

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


With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox

Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.


Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.

Whistling and shouting he called them by name:


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

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


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

Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!"


He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.

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


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

Driving much faster with just half a load.


Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,



Author Unknown

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

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

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

1903 - the Wright Brothers make 1st powered aircraft flight

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

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

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

finally getting somewhat into the spirit

Acheivement unlocked:  alll packages wrapped!  How about you?

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

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

for tomorrow is promised to no one....

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

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

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

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

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

1966 - Walt Disney died at age 65.

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Writing prompt of the day:

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


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

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

13 DEC 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

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


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




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

the spirit of the season....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

51 down.....

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

1620 - 103 Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock

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

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


Quote of the day:

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

~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist


Only two more Mondays left in the year…..


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

8 DEC 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

1 Comment - Read Comment | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 8, 2017

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