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bleeding heart....

Carol H Tucker

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

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

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what I CAN do....

Today is the 5th day of the 3rd week, the 16th day of the 1st month, the 16th day of 2020 [with only 343 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Appreciate a Dragon Day
  • Bean Day
  • Book Publishers Day
  • Civil Service Day
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • International Hot and Spicy Food Day
  • National Fig Newton Day
  • National Good Teen Day
  • National Nothing Day
  • National Quinoa Day
  • National Without a Scalpel Day
  • Prohibition Remembrance Day
  • Psychiatric Technicians’ Day
  • Religious Freedom Day

1412 – The Medici family is appointed official banker of the Papacy.

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

1493 - Christopher Columbus leaves the New World and sets sail for Spain

1501 - Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral and 6 ships begin their return voyage to Lisbon

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.

1749 - Hoax article advertising fictitious theatrical performer "The Bottle Conjuror" drew huge crowds to the Haymarket Theatre, London, whose inevitable non-appearance caused a riot. It's alleged the Duke of Montagu perpetrated the fiasco to win a bet

1832 - Charles Darwin lands at Porto Prayo in the Cape Verde islands, the first landing of his HMS Beagle voyage

1868 - Refrigerator car patented by William Davis, a fish dealer in Detroit

1877 - Color organ (for light shows) patented, by Bainbridge Bishop

1897 - John Dewey's essay "My Pedagogic Creed" appears in School Journal

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

1920 – The League of Nations holds its first council meeting in Paris, France

1936 - the first photo finish camera installed at Hialeah Race track in Hialeah, Florida

1939 - Daily newspaper comic strip "Superman" debuts

1951 - World's largest gas pipeline opens (Brownsville Texas, to 134th St, New York City)

1952 - New Dutch bible translation finished

1957 - three B-52s leave California for their first non-stop round world flights

1964 – Hello, Dolly! opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.

1965 - "Outer Limits" last airs on ABC-TV

1965 - The Searchers' "Love Potion Number 9" peaks at #3

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

1969 – Soviet spacecraft Soyuz 4 and Soyuz 5 perform the first-ever docking of manned spacecraft in orbit, the first-ever transfer of crew from one space vehicle to another, and the only time such a transfer was accomplished with a space walk.

1973 - NBC presents 440th and final showing of "Bonanza"

1973 - USSR's Lunakhod 2 begins radio-controlled exploration of Moon

1974 - "Jaws" by Peter Benchley is published by Doubleday

1976 - "Donny & Marie" [Osmond] musical variety show premieres on ABC TV

1976 - Peter Frampton released platinum live album "Frampton Comes Alive"

1978 - Soyuz 27 returns to Earth

1985 - "Playboy" announces end of stapling centerfolds

1989 - USSR announces plan for two-yr manned mission to Mars

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

2016 - First ever flower grown in space - a zinnia aboard the International Space Station using NASA Veggie system

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 13 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"You need to pay attention to what is going on. You should never think that you can’t make a difference in this world. You can. That is very, very important to understand."

~  Interview with Losang Samten by Anne Doran and Frank Olinsky, “The Mandala Master


Of late, I have been tired, bone tired.  And I have to admit that I feel rather helpless – what can I do about income inequity, rampant capitalistic greed, corruption in politics, climate change, the lack of a social safety net, or even the health and well-being of my family and friends.  None of these, while within my area of concern, are within the circle of my control or even in the realm of my influence



But I can keep trying not to add to the cacophony by not  raising a strident voice, and to add a little graciousness in the world by being more accepting and sharing.    Doing those things are and will ever be, within my grasp. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 16, 2020

Today is the 4th day of the 3rd week, the 15th day of the 1st month, the 15th day of 2020: 
  • Alpha Kappa Alpha Day
  • Humanitarian Day - Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday, started in 2009 by a committee for King Days of Respect.
  • Museum Selfie Day
  • National Bagel Day
  • National Booch Day - First celebrated in 2019, created by KeVita, a beverage company, to celebrate kombucha.
  • National Fresh Squeezed Juice Day
  • National Hat Day
  • National Strawberry Ice Cream Day
  • Wikipedia Day – the free Wiki or content encyclopedia, launched by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger, went online on this day in 2001
  • The second day of the sidereal winter solstice festivals in India


588 BC - Nebuchadrezzar II of Babylon lays siege to Jerusalem under Zedekiah's reign. The siege lasts until July 23, 586 BC.

1541 – King Francis I of France gives Jean-François Roberval a commission to settle the province of New France (Canada) and provide for the spread of the "Holy Catholic faith"

1759 – The British Museum opens to the public.

1785 - Mozart's string quartet opus 10 premieres

1797 - the first top hat worn by John Etherington of London

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

1831 - the first documented US railroad honeymoon trip is taken by Mr & Mrs Pierson, of Charleston, South Carolina

1846 - Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky's first novel "Poor Folk" is published in the St Petersburg Collection almanac

1861 - Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1943 - World's largest office building, the Pentagon is completed to house the US military

1945 - The Manhattan Project's G-5 Group, headed by Physicist's Donald Kerst and Seth Neddermeyer, take their first betatron pictures of a nuclear implosion at the Los Alamos Laboratory

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

1961 - Berry Gordy signs The Supremes with Motown Records

1962 – The Derveni papyrus, Europe's oldest surviving manuscript dating to 340 BC, is found in northern Greece.

1962 - Coco the Clown [Nicolai Poliakoff] is the subject of the BBC TV programme "This is Your Life"

1964 - the Teamsters negotiate the first national labor contract

1965 - Soviet underground nuclear test creates the atomic lake Chagan, Kazakhstan

1967 – The first Super Bowl is played in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35–10.

1969 – The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.

1969 - Nuclear test at Pacific Ocean

1974 - TV sitcom "Happy Days" begins an 11 year run on ABC, starring Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross and Ton Bosley

1975 - Pioneering female comedian Phyllis Diller get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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

1997 - Space Shuttle Atlantis docks with Mir Space Station

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

2005 - An intense solar flare blasts X-rays across the solar system

2009 - Chesley Sullenberger lands US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in NYC. All passengers and crew members survive in what becomes known as the "Miracle on the Hudson"

2016 - American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan unveils newest exhibit replica skeleton of a Titanosaur dinosaur (found 2010 Argentina), largest known dinosaur at 70 tons, 37m

2019 - Chinese scientists confirm they have germinated a cotton seed on the moon on board the Chang’e 4 lander

2019 - Plastic will outweigh fish in the world's oceans by 2050 according to report by the World Economic Forum

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 13 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Once my father, home because of a steel strike, told me that Republicans were the party of the rich and Democrats were the party of the worker.  I was going to pontificate on the perfidy of the GOP, how they haven’t cared for the common folks in my memory, with special invective aimed and Nixon, Reagan, and Trump.  I was going to snarl at those who perceive these Presidents differently.  My blood pressure was spiking as the torrent of words poured out, the keyboard clacking quickly.


And then I paused…. 


You know what?  Right this moment, I don’t need to play the blame game today.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, January 15, 2020

dressing for yourself or others?

Today is the 2nd day of the 3rd week, the 13th day of the 1st month, the 13th day of 2020, and: 
  • Korean American Day
  • Make Your Dream Come True Day
  • National Clean off Your Desk Day
  • National Gluten-Free Day
  • National Peach Melba Day
  • National Rubber Ducky Day
  • National Sticker Day
  • Old New Year's Eve (Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Republic of Srpska, North Macedonia), and its related observances Malanka (Ukraine, Russia, Belarus)
  • Public Radio Broadcasting Day
  • Sidereal winter solstice's eve celebrations in South and Southeast Asian cultures; the last day of the six-month Dakshinayana period
  • Stephen Foster Memorial Day


1610 - Galileo Galilei discovers Callisto, the fourth satellite of Jupiter

1695 - Jonathan Swift ordained an Anglican priest in Ireland

1785 - John Walter publishes the first issue of "The Times" of London

1863 - Chenille yarn making machine patented by William Canter in NYC

1888 – The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.

1898 – Émile Zola's J'accuse…! exposes the Dreyfus affair.

1910 – The first public radio broadcast takes place; a live performance of the operas Cavalleria rusticana andPagliacci are sent out over the airwaves from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.

1912 - -40°F (which is also -40°C), Oakland, Maryland (state record)

1920 - NY Times editorial reports that rockets can never fly

1928 - RCA and GE install three test television sets in homes in Schenectady, New York allowing American inventor E.F.W. Alexanderson to demonstrate the first home television receiver which delivered a poor and unsteady 1.5 square inch picture

1930 - the "Mickey Mouse" comic strip first appears

1938 - The Church of England accepts the theory of evolution

1942 – Henry Ford patents a plastic automobile, which is 30% lighter than a regular car

1942 – World War II: First use of an aircraft ejection seat by a German test pilot in a Heinkel He 280 jet fighter.

1948 - the first country music TV show, Midwestern Hayride, premieres on WLW Cin

1958 - 9,000 scientists from 43 nations petition UN for nuclear test ban

1962 - Chubby Checker's song "The Twist", credited with starting the Twist dance craze, goes to #1 in the charts two years after first reaching number one spot

1966 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1968 – Johnny Cash performs live at Folsom State Prison.

1976 - American inventor Ray Kurzweil and the National Federation of the Blind unveil the Kurzweil Reading Machine, the first omni-font optical character recognition system

1978 - NASA selects its first American women astronauts

1988 - Supreme Court rules (5-3) public school officials have broad powers to censor school newspapers, plays & other expressive activities

1989 - "Ryan's Hope" ends 13½ year run on ABC-TV

1989 - Computers across Britain hit by "Friday the 13th"/Jerusalem virus

1993 – Endeavour heads for space for the third time as STS-54 launches from the Kennedy Space Center.

2016 - Record Powerball lottery held in America - $1.6 billion, (3 winning tickets)

2018 - Early-morning ballistic missile alert sent across Hawaii in error, revoked after 38 minutes

2018 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 12 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Over the weekend, my daughter posted a picture on her Facebook feed of my oldest granddaughter, who had picked out her own outfit to wear to church.  She was wearing a light blue sleeveless summer dress with ruffles on the bottom [her favorite], a shirt pulled over the dress, leggings and stripped red and green socks.   My first reaction was that she looked like a little ragamuffin and how could my daughter let her go out the door like that?  Certainly, my daughter was always dressed nicely for church and school, indeed, at all times, but as I read the comments and reflected on things I wonder what I taught that young girl I was bringing up by dressing her all the time.  And I came to the conclusion that without realizing it, I inadvertently taught her:  [1] The need to confirm to everyone’s expectations and need to worry about looking like everyone else; [2] That looking attractive was very important at all times; and [3] to question her own choices, to ask whether or not they were good enough.  And I looked again at the way my granddaughter in the photo.  She had taken thought to being comfortable and warm, and her smile was bright, and she was standing with complete confidence.  And then I thought about not having a big argument right before leaving for church, so she was in a good frame of mind. 




And you know what?   I agree with her father’s comment on the post, “I think she looked perfect!.”  But even with that revelation, how my daughter managed not to say anything about those bright Christmas socks, I’ll never know!
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, January 13, 2020

fortunately it's Friday!

Today is the 6th day of the 2nd week, the 10th day of the 1st month, the 10th day of 2020, and: 
  • Houseplant Appreciation Day
  • League of Nations Day – the League of Nations Covenant entered into force in 1920.  Just 26 years later, in 1946, the first General Assembly of the United Nations opened in London with representatives from 51 nations
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
  • National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
  • National Oysters Rockefeller Day
  • Peculiar People Day
  • Save the Eagles Day

49 BC – Julius Caesar defies the Roman Senate and crosses the Rubicon, uttering "alea iacta est" (the die is cast), signaling the start of civil war which would lead to his appointment as Roman dictator for life

AD 9 – The Western Han dynasty ends when Wang Mang claims that the divine Mandate of Heaven called for the end of the dynasty and the beginning of his own, the Xin dynasty.

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

1839 - Tea from India first arrives in the United Kingdom

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

1900 - Lord Roberts and Lord Kitchener reach Capetown

1911 - the first photo in US taken from an airplane, San Diego

1928 - George Gershwin, Sigmund Romberg and P. G. Wodehouse's musical "Rosalie" premieres in New York

1932 - "Mickey Mouse" and "Silly Symphony" comics are syndicated

1945 - No one is elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

1949 - RCA introduces the 45 RPM record

1952 - "The Greatest Show on Earth", directed and produced by Cecil B. DeMille, starring James Stewart and Charlton Heston, premieres in New York (Best Picture 1953)

1962 – NASA announces plans to build the C-5 rocket launch vehicle, which became known as the Saturn V Moon rocket, which launched every Apollo Moon mission.

1956 - Elvis Presley records single "Heartbreak Hotel"

1958 - Jerry Lee Lewis' "Great Balls of Fire" reaches #1 on the UK pop charts

1964 - US version of "That Was The Week That Was" premieres

1964 - "Introducing the Beatles" released 1st Beatles album released in the US

1968 - US Surveyor 7 lands near lunar crater Tycho

1969 - USSR's Venera 6 launched for parachute landing on Venus

1970 - Preview Center opens at Walt Disney World, Florida - first building to open

1973 - For the first time graduates studying from home with 'the Open University' receive their degrees

1980 - Last broadcast of "The Rockford Files" on NBC

1984 – The United States and Holy See (Vatican City) re-establish full diplomatic relations after almost 117 years, overturning the United States Congress's 1867 ban on public funding for such a diplomatic envoy.

1986 - NASA's STS-61-C mission scrubbed at T -9 minutes because of bad weather at Florida's Kennedy Space Center

1990 - "Les Miserables" opens at Mechanic Theatre, Baltimore

1999 - "The Sopranos", starring James Gandolfini as mobster Tony Soprano, debuts on HBO

2004 - 9th Critics' Choice Movie Awards: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King wins Best Film

2011 - Ian McKellen officially confirms that he will reprise the role of Gandalf in "The Hobbit" film adaptations

2018 - Jeff Bezos becomes the second man worth over $100 billion as his wealth hits $106 billion due to a rise in Amazon's share price

2019 - Oceans warming faster than previous thought due to fossil fuel burning, according to data published in journal "Science"

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 36 mins 09 sec of light-travel time from Earth


Last night I had a NyQuil nightmare.  Well not exactly a nightmare, despite the presence of not one but both ex-husbands and one ex-mother-in-law, but more of a “now where’d THAT come from” kind of dream, complete with a friend sporting a rainbow-hued beehive and dressed in a roman toga rushing to a class, as well as me trying to cook in the narrow little kitchen of the row house I grew up in.




Seriously, what was going on in my psyche last night to come up with THAT hodgepodge?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, January 10, 2020

back to work in 2020

Today is the 5th day of the 1st week, the 2nd day of the 1st month, the 2nd day of 2020 [with only 357 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • 55 MPH Speed Limit Day – the speed limit was imposed in 1974 by Nixon to help conserve gasoline consumption
  • Bodhi Day (Rohatsu) - the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama, experienced enlightenment
  • Happy Mew Year for Cats Day
  • International Jewish Book 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 Who Salutes It Day
  • National Science Fiction Day – celebrated on the birthday of Isaac Asimov, who would’ve been 100 today
  • Pet Travel and Safety Day
  • Swiss Cheese Day
  • World Introvert Day
  • First Quarter of the Moon at 11:45 pm EST
  • The first day of Blacks and Whites' Carnival, celebrated until January 7. (southern Colombia)
  • The first day of the Carnival of Riosucio, celebrated until January 8 every 2 years. (Riosucio)
  • The ninth of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • The second day of New Year (a holiday in Kazakhstan, North Macedonia, Mauritius, Montenegro, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine)


1814 - Lord Byron completes "The Corsair"

1818 - Lord Byron completes "Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" (4th canto)

1832 - the first Curling club in US (Orchard Lake Curling Club) opens

1843 - Richard Wagner's opera "The Flying Dutchman" premieres in Dresden

1905 - Elara, a satellite of Jupiter, discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine in San Jose, California

1906 - Willis Carrier receives a US patent for the world's first air conditioner

1929 - the US and Canada agree to preserve Niagara Falls

1936 - the first electron tube to enable night vision described, St Louis, Missouri

1938 - Book publisher Simon and Schuster founded

1954 - Herman Wouks "Caine Mutiny," premieres in NYC

1955 - the first "Bob Cummings Show" premieres on NBC (later on CBS)

1959 - USSR launches Mechta (Luna 1) for the first lunar fly-by, 1st solar orbit

1960 - John Reynolds sets age of solar system at 4,950,000,000 years

1969 - Australian Rupert Murdoch gains control of the 'News of the World'

1972 - Mariner 9 begins mapping Mars

2020 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"Prediction is very difficult, especially if it's about the future."

~  Niels Bohr, Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922.


Or in other words, only hindsight has 20/20 vision!


As this morning, I changed the theme in WIN 10 on both my home and work computer, and set Pandora to playing something other than Christmas music, I got to wondering -- when do you un-decorate from Christmas?  Back in the day, when we had a live tree, it went up the weekend before Christmas and came down the weekend after New Years, and I’ve kinda kept to that schedule even though I have an artificial tree.




The 12th day of Christmas [which marks the coming of the Magi, the three wise men (the Epiphany, sometimes also called Three Kings' Day)] isn’t until Monday, so technically we shouldn’t get rid of the holiday cheer until the weekend after that, neh?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, January 2, 2020

the end of 2019

Today is the 3rd day of the 1st week ((odd, isn’t it?  I mean today is the last day of the year and it doesn’t seem quite right that it is in the first week of the new year!)), the 31st day of the 12th month, the 365th day of 2019, and: 
  • First Nights
  • Hogmanay or "Auld Year's Night" (Scotland)
  • Leap Second Time Adjustment Day
  • Look On The Bright Side Day
  • Make Up Your Mind Day
  • National Champagne Day
  • New Year's Eve
  • New Year's Eve Banished Words List
  • New Year's Dishonor List
  • No Interruptions Day
  • One Voice Day
  • Universal Hour of Peace Day
  • Unlucky Day
  • World Healing Day
  • World Peace Meditation Day
  • The seventh of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • The sixth and penultimate day of Kwanzaa (United States)
  • Last Day of the Year or Bisperás ng Bagong Taón, special holiday between Rizal Day and New Year's Day (Philippines)


1600 – The British East India Company is chartered.

1687 – The first Huguenots set sail from France to the Cape of Good Hope.

1700 - Frisia and Groningen adopt Gregorian calendar, tomorrow is 1/12/1701

1744 - English astronomer James Bradley announces discovery of Earth's nutation motion (wobble)

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.

1879 – Thomas Edison demonstrates incandescent lighting to the public for the first time, in Menlo Park, New Jersey.

1907 – The first New Year's Eve celebration is held in Times Square (then known as Longacre Square) in Manhattan.

1923 - BBC begins using Big Ben chime ID

1929 - Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Divini illius magistri

1935 - Charles Darrow patents Monopoly

1945 - Ratification of United Nations Charter completed

1961 - The Beach Boys play their debut gig under that name

1962 - "Match Game" debuts on NBC with host Gene Rayburn

1966 - Monkee's "I'm a Believer" hits #1 & stays there for seven weeks

1967 - Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to jump the Caesar's Palace Fountain, Las Vegas, breaking his pelvis, femur, wrist, hip and both ankles

1968 – The first flight of the Tupolev Tu-144, the first civilian supersonic transport in the world.

1970 - Paul McCartney files a lawsuit to dissolve The Beatles

1981 - CNN Headline News debuts

1990 - Sci-Fi Channel on cable TV begins transmitting

1994 – This date is skipped altogether in Kiribati as the Phoenix Islands and Line Islands change time zones from UTC−11:00 to UTC+13:00 and UTC−10:00 to UTC+14:00, respectively.

1994 - the first snowless December in Baltimore Maryland

1997 - Microsoft buys Hotmail email service for $400 million and re-launches it as MSN Hotmail

1997 - More Swedes died than were born in 1997, first time since 1809

2009 – Both a blue moon and a lunar eclipse occur.

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

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 54 secs of light-travel time from Earth


My friend, after reading my post from yesterday, pointed out that hitting 70 did not mean I was starting my 7th decade, I was finishing it and starting my 8th .  Doesn’t sound right, does it?  But it is true nevertheless, just as those who point out that 2001 was the start of the new millennium and that 2021 is actually the start of the new decade are correct.  Doesn’t keep us from feeling that the change over of the digits – to the 70’s for me personally and to the 2020’s for all of us – is more meaningful.   And how will I bring the new year in?  The same way I have for years – fix myself a good dinner, go into my Second Life and dance, drink ice wine, then go to bed after midnight with a prayer.



May the New Year be kind!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, December 31, 2019

the last Monday of 2019

Today is the 2nd day of the 1st week, the 30th day of the 12th month, the 364th day of 2019, and: 
  • Bacon Day
  • Falling Needles Family Fest Day
  • Festival of Enormous Changes at the Last Minute
  • National Bicarbonate of Soda Day
  • No Interruptions Day
  • The fifth day of Kwanzaa. (United States)
  • The sixth of the Twelve Days of Christmas. (Western Christianity)

1731 - the first US music concert (Peter Pelham's great room in Boston)

1809 - Wearing masks at balls forbidden in Boston

1853 - A dinner party is held inside a life-size model of an Iguanodon (ornithopod dinosaur) created by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and Sir Richard Owen in south London

1873 - American Metrological Society forms (NYC) weights, measures & money

1879 - Gilbert & Sullivan's "Pirates of Penzance" premieres

1924 - Astronomer Edwin Hubble formally announces existence of other galactic systems at meeting of the American Astronomical Society

1927 - Japan dedicates the first subway in Orient (route under 2 miles long)

1936 - Beginning of the "feud" between comedians Fred Allen and Jack Benny on Allen's "Town Hall Tonight" show

1939 - "Of Mice and Men", starring Burgess Meredith as George, Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie, is released

1948 - "Kiss Me, Kate" opens at New Century Theater NYC for 1077 performances

1953 - The first ever NTSC color television sets go on sale for about USD at $1,175 each from RCA.

1963 - "Let's Make A Dea," debuts on NBC-TV

1967 - The Beatles' song "Hello Goodbye" single goes #1 & stays there for three weeks

1968 - Frank Sinatra first records "My Way" with lyrics were written by Paul Anka and based on the French song "Comme d'habitude"

1969 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1971 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1973 - the first picture of a comet from space (Comet Kohoutek-Skylab)

1974 - Beatles are legally disbanded (4 years after suit was brought)

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

1978 - "The King & I" closes at Uris Theater NYC after 719 performances

1980 - "Wonderful World of Disney" last performance on NBC-TV

1981 - "That Girl" single released by Stevie Wonder (Billboard Song of the Year 1982)

1985 - IBM-PC DOS Version 3.2 released

2012 - The opening of Line 6 of the Beijing subway makes it the longest metro network in the world at 442km

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 52 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"I don't know anybody who doesn't have a lost decade."

~  Marianne Williamson - American author, spiritual leader, politician, and activist


First, whatever the causes of the 2007 – 08 financial crisis, the recovery from it has been long and tortuous.   While the stock market has apparently rebounded, and the 1% has prospered, the plight of average citizens has actually gotten worse as bills go up while wages stagnate.  Second, despite the warmest decade ever recorded, we lost an opportunity to actively address climate change in such a way that we could actually achieve meaningful results.  And last, all the things that I thought we had accomplished in the way of universal acceptance of differences seems to be wiped out by a flood of jingoism and intolerance the like of which simply appalls me on a very personal level




As I start my 7th decade, I am struggling to stay optimistic about the world my granddaughters will live in when, like Bilbo, I "...think of how the world will be when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see."
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 30, 2019

the end of a decade

Today is the 6th day of the 52nd week, the 27th day of the 12th month, the 361st day of 2019, and: 
  • Free Balloon Day (SpongeBob Squarepants)
  • Howdy Doody Day – first broadcast in 1947 as the Puppet Playhouse on NBC
  • Make Cut Out Snowflakes Day
  • National Fruitcake Day
  • Visit the Zoo Day
  • The third of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • The fifth day of Hanukkah
  • The second day of Kwanzaa

 537 - Hagia Sophia inaugurated by the Emperor Justinian I as an Eastern Orthodox cathedral

1831 - HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board departs England for a survey of South America, a voyage Darwin later said "determined my whole career"

1845 - Ether first used in childbirth in US in Jefferson, Georgia

1892 - Foundation Stone of Cathedral of St John laid (NYC)

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

1932 - Radio City Music Hall opens in New York City

1937 - Mae West performs Adam & Eve skit that gets her banned from NBC radio

1945 - International Monetary Fund formally established by 29 member countries based on ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes

1960 - France performs nuclear test

1968 - Apollo 8 returns to Earth

1968 - China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC

1974 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1981 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

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

1988 - Bulgaria stops jamming Radio Free Europe after more than 3 decades

2001 - The People's Republic of China is granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.

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

2012 - NASA unveils plans to capture a 500 ton asteroid in 2025

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 45 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"It is not necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paper work, and the other is nostalgia."

~ Frank Zappa, musician


Technically it isn’t the end of a decade, anymore more than 2000 was the beginning of the new century, but only the very pedantic make that point these days as 2019 wanes.   As I look back,  I don’t know what to say about what I have seen happening in society – the recession was declared over, but folks are still not working, and it seems like the bills are mounting to the skies while the middle class disappears and only the 1% can relax.  And don’t get me started about politics and Calvinism and cruelty and the cult of exclusion!   I have to struggle to even remember what 2010 looked like ((GOOGLE is my friend when I needed a wayback machine)), and even something as simple as what we know about our own Solar System came into question.   And pop culture seems a little…  less at the end of the decade.    


On a personal level, our family has been both physically and emotionally scarred by this decade – we lost loved ones, and have had to learn to live with the battlefields left by the ravages of disease.  On a brighter note, our family has grown too, and I cannot imagine life without my son-in-law or my two granddaughters, not to mention the slew of furry friends that have joined us.



Many of us are looking thoughtfully at the past as the calendar clicks over…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 27, 2019

these are Christmas too...

Today is the 5th day of the 52nd week, the 26th day of the 12th month, the 360th day of 2019, and: 
  • Boxing Day – no it has nothing to do with knocking people out
  • Hanukkah – the fifth night
  • Kwanzaa (1st fruits of harvest)  - first of six days, and established in 1966 by  Maulana Karenga
  • National Candy Cane Day
  • National Thank You Note Day
  • National Whiners' Day
  • New Moon at 12:13 am EST
  • Second day of the Twelve Days of Christmas (Western Christianity)
  • St. Stephen's Day - public holiday in Alsace, Austria, Catalonia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia and Switzerland), and its related observances
It’s a lot of work for one day.
Yeah, I know, that isn’t a very Christmassy thing to say, but it is something that I have thought again and again throughout the years.   After all, Hanukkah is eight days and Kwanza is six, so how come Christmas is just one?  We build up the holiday, we invite people over, we cook, we bake, we wrap presents and the weight of all those expectations crashes into this one little day.  Kids get overexcited, over stimulated, and parents get stressed out, and yet, memories are made.  This Christmas we didn’t take any pictures of the unwrapping orgy, but mental snapshots will linger.  My oldest granddaughter prancing around in shorts because she needed to show off her fuzzy socks that matched the sleep mask she was wearing on the top of her head all day.  The taste of those apple mimosas my son-in-law plied us with.  Everyone laughing “I got a box!” as they opened my usual contribution to each person of Disney stuff from loot boxes collected throughout the year.  And the hugs…..
Every year, at some point if not actually on Christmas Eve, my family watches “Christmas Eve on Sesame Street” andone of my favorite Christmas songs is sung:
When Christmas time is over and presents put away, don't be sad
There'll be so much to treasure about this Christmas day and the fun we've had
So may happy feelings to celebrate with you
And, oh, the good times hurry by so fast,
But even when it's over there's something you can do to make Christmas last
Keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
You can keep it near.
Think of this Christmas day
When Christmas is far away.
Keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
Save some Christmas cheer.
These precious moments,
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year.
Christmas means the spirit of giving
Peace and joy to you,
The goodness of loving,
The gladness of living;
These are Christmas too.
So, keep Christmas with you
All through the year,
When Christmas is over,
Save some Christmas cheer.
These precious moments,
Hold them very dear
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year.

And we only need the one day.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, December 26, 2019

for the rest of us....

Today is the 2nd day of the 52nd week, the 23rd day of the 12th month, the 357th day of 2019, and: 
  • Forefather's Day ((although some folks have this listed for the 22nd))
  • Festivus
  • HumanLight or Human Light Celebration Day - a secular holiday that focuses on the "positive, secular human values of reason, compassion, humanity and hope"
  • Metric Conversion Day - In 1975 Congress passes Metric Conversion Act, but 44 years later, we are no closer to converting.
  • National Pfeffernusse Day - tiny spice cookies, popular as a holiday treat in Germany, Denmark, and The Netherlands, as well as among ethnic Mennonites in North America
  • National Roots Day – it’s all about your family history

1690 - English astronomer John Flamsteed observes Uranus without realizing it's undiscovered

1788 - Maryland votes to cede a 10 square mile area for District of Columbia

1823 - "Visit from St Nicholas" [AKA "'T’was the Night Before Christmas"] is a poem first published anonymously in Troy (NY) Sentinel and later attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, who claimed authorship in 1837

1888 - Vincent van Gogh cuts off his left ear with a razor, after argument with fellow painter Paul Gauguin, and sends to a prostitute for safe keeping

1907 - the first all-steel passenger railroad coach completed, Altoona, Pa

1919 - Alice H Parker patents gas heating furnace

1938 - Margaret Hamilton's costume catches fire in filming of "The Wizard of Oz"

1938 - Discovery of the first modern coelacanth in South Africa.

1947 - Transistor invented by John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley in Bell Labs

1948 - "Cinderella" the first full-length ballet by Frederick Ashton with music by Sergei Prokofiev is first presented by Sadler's Wells Ballet at Covent Garden, London

1954 - The first human kidney transplant is performed by Dr. Joseph E. Murray at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts

1963 - Beach Boys first appearance on "Shindig"

1968 - the first documented US case of space motion sickness as  Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders become the first men to orbit the Moon

1970 - USSR performs nuclear test

1983 - Journal Science publishes the first report on nuclear winter

1986 - Experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan & Jeana Yeager, completed the first nonstop, round-the-world flight without refueling and lands

1997 - US Agriculture Department estimates it costs $149,820 to raise a child to 18


Festivus was a holiday featured in the Season 9 Seinfeld episode "The Strike", which first aired on December 18, 1997.  How do you observe this holiday?  Well first there is the Airing of the Grievances – you got a problem with someone?  Now is the time to tell them off and make sure that they know how you feel.  Then there are the Feats of Strength [your mileage may vary with this one, and you don’t really have to pin someone for the day to be over, fortunately].  Putting up the Festivus pole is easy,  the Festivus dinner can be anything you put on the table, and the Festivus miracles [circumstances that have completely reasonable explanations, but are celebrated all the same] are easy to celebrate. 




The whole idea struck a chord as an alternative to the more saccharine side of mandated togetherness, and a relief from the hassles, pressures, and commercialism of the holiday season.   Festivus is refreshingly free of any expectations, and a reminder not to get so focused on what we think the holiday should be that we forget to enjoy what it is. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, December 23, 2019

home and sick

Today is the sixth day of the 51st week, the 20th day of the 12th month, the 354th day of 2019, and: 
  • Cathode-Ray Tube Day
  • Dot Your I's Day
  • Games Day
  • Go Caroling Day
  • International Human Solidarity Day
  • Mudd Day
  • National Sangria Day
  • National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day
  • Poet Laureat Day - in 1985, the position of American Poet Laureate was established (Robert Warren is the first)
  • Sacagawea Day
  • Underdog Day
  • World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

1606 - The English colonial expedition to America, consisting of the ships Discovery, Godspeed and Susan Constant, departs Blackwall and will later found Jamestown

1699 - Russian Tsar Peter the Great ordered Russian New Year changed from Sept 1 to Jan 1

1790 - the first successful US cotton mill begins spinning yarn in Pawtucket, Rhode Island built by Samuel Slater based on Richard Arkwright's design

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

1879 - Thomas Edison privately demonstrated incandescent light at Menlo Park

1883 - the international cantilever railway bridge opens at Niagara Falls

1891 - Strongman Louis Cyr withstands pull of 4 horses

1892 - Pneumatic automobile tire patented, Syracuse, NY

1919 - Canadian National Railways established (N America's longest, 50,000 KM)

1920 - Bob Hope becomes an American citizen  ((he was born in London, England))

1928 - the first international dogsled mail leaves Minot, Maine for Montreal, Quebec

1935 - Pope Pius XI publishes encyclical Ad Catholici Sacerdotii

1946 - Christmas classic "It's a Wonderful Life" film premieres in New York, directed by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore

1949 - Maurice Ravel and John Cranko's ballet "Beauty & the Beast" premieres

1950 - "Harvey" starring James Stewart premieres in New York

1951 - Walter Zinn's Experimental Breeder Reactor I, the first nuclear reactor to produce electric power, goes live at the Argonne National Laboratory, USA

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

1962 - Osmond brothers debut on Andy Williams Show

1966 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1969 - Peter, Paul & Mary's "Leaving on a Jet Plane" reaches #1

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

1977 - the first Space walk made by Soviet cosmonaut Georgy Grechko during Salyut 6 EO-1 mission

1984 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

2005 - US District Court Judge John E. Jones III rules against mandating the teaching of "intelligent design" in his ruling of Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

2007 - Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II becomes the oldest ever monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria, who lived for 81 years, 7 months and 29 days.

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

2018 - New figures show average US male weighs 198 pounds and stands 5 feet 9 inches, women 171 pounds and 5 feet 4 inches

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 35 mins 24 secs of light-travel time from Earth
Here lately I have noticed that every single time I get on an airplane to come home, I get off and get sick.  It happened after my trip in the spring, after AWA the end of October, and now.  Maybe it’s because I am rundown from all the vacation activities?  I just know that when I am sitting in the cabin, listening to the chorus of sneezing, snuffling, coughing, and throat clearing, that about 48 hours later, I am going to be sick.    I do everything I can to avoid it, take care of myself when I get home, dress warmly, pamper myself, catch up on my sleep, but here I am again, running a fever and coughing a lung out, losing my voice and getting stink eyes from my coworkers who kindly don’t say anything because they know I am out of leave for this year and have to come in no matter how I feel.  I spray Lysol around and keep using hand sanitizer and stay ensconced in my cubicle as much as possible. 

Two things have me concerned – I don’t want to make my granddaughters ill by seeing them while I’m contagious and it’s especially crucial to get better in just five days – four if I want to make it to Christmas Eve services with my family. 

Meanwhile I’m drinking lots of fluids, putting herbal ginger patches on aching joints,  mainlining DayQuill, NyQuill, and Mucinex, and keeping the heater under my desk going
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, December 20, 2019


Today is the 3rd day of the 48th week, the 26th day of the 11th month, the 330th day of 2019 [with only 28 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Good Grief Day – the birthday of Charles Schultz in 1922
  • National Cake Day
  • New Moon at 10:06 AM


1778 - British explorer Captain James Cook is the first European to visit Maui in the Sandwich Islands (now Hawaii)

1789 - 1st national Thanksgiving in America

1793 - Republican calendar replaces Gregorian calendar in France

1805 - Official opening of Thomas Telford's Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, carrying the Llangollen canal 126 feet above the River Dee

1825 - the first college fraternity founded (Kappa Alpha (Union College, NY))

1832 - the first streetcar railway in America starts operating in New York City with 12 cent fare

1859 - Last weekly installment of Charles Dickens' "A Tale Of Two Cities" is published in literary periodical "All the Year Round"

1865 - "Alice in Wonderland" by Lewis Carroll is published in America

1867 - Refrigerated railroad car patented by JB Sutherland of Detroit

1868 - the first baseball game played in enclosed field in San Francisco, at 25th & Folsom

1922 - English archaeologist Howard Carter opens Tutankhamun's virtually intact tomb in Egypt

1942 - "Casablanca" directed by Michael Curtiz and starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman premieres at Hollywood Theater, NYC (Academy Awards Best Picture 1943)

1943 - Last Judy Garland-Mickey Rooney movie "Girl Crazy" released

1945 - Charlie "Bird" Parker leads recording session for the Savoy label marketed as the "greatest Jazz session ever" with Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis

1948 - the first Polaroid camera sold for $89.75 in Boston at the Jordan Marsh department store. The Land Camera model 95 becomes prototype for all Polaroid Land cameras for next 15 years

1956 - "The Price Is Right" debuts on NBC ((63 years later it is still showing))

1962 - Fab Four have their first recording session under name The Beatles

1963 - Explorer 18 spacecraft launched by NASA

1965 - France launches their first satellite, 92 lb (42 kg) A1-capsule (Astérix), named after the popular French comic character

1966 - the first major tidal power plant opens at Rance estuary, France

1973 - Nixon's personal secretary Rose Mary Woods, tells a federal court she accidentally caused part of 18½ minute gap in a key Watergate tape ((nobody believed her))

1975 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1985 - 23rd Space Shuttle Mission (61-B)-Atlantis 2-is launched

1985 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1988 - Alexander Volkov, Sergei Krikalev & Jean-Loup Chretien launch

1988 - Pioneer 6's closest approach to Earth since 1965 launch (1.87 M km)

2003 - Supersonic airplane the Concorde makes its last ever flight, returning to Bristol, England.

2010 - Christopher Hitchens and Tony Blair debate - is religion a force for good in the world, in a Monk Debate, Toronto, Canada

2018 - NASA's InSight mission lands on Mars after a 7 month voyage

2018 - Chinese scientist He Jiankui claims to have made the first genetically edited baby

2018 - Third of a species begin dying (23,000) over a two day period, the spectacled flying foxes , unable to survive heatwave of 42 degrees in northern Queensland, Australia

One of the blogs that I read recently posed an interesting thought question:  “If you had the chance to ask an angel one question, what would that be?”

Let’s smoothly slip past the first spasm of incredulity generated by suddenly being confronted by a celestial being, assume that the first thought wouldn’t be an hallucination, and  ignore the  knee jerk reaction of “holy cow, angels are REAL” and think about what you would actually want to know, what answers you are prepared to live with.

Me?  My question would be:  Have I fulfilled my purpose?

If the answer is “yes”, then I will feel that my life has not been in vain.  If the answer is “no”, then I will know that I need to be on the lookout for what I can do, how I can contribute, where I can help.  If the answer is “what purpose” then I have an entirely different set of spiritual wrangling to do….


Of course, my hypothetical heavenly visitor would rather haughtily refuse to answer any other questions that I can think of, so they’ll have to wait until the After Action Review of my life at its end. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 26, 2019

what we don't know...

Today is the 4th day of the 47th week, the 20th day of the 11th month, the 324th day of 2019, and: 
  • Africa Industrialization Day
  • Beautiful Day
  • Future Teachers of America Day
  • Geographic Information Systems Day
  • Globally Organized Hug a Runner Day
  • Latina Women's Equal Pay Day
  • Name Your PC Day
  • National Absurdity Day
  • National Educational Support Professionals Day
  • National Peanut Butter Fudge Day
  • Transgender Day of Remembrance
  • Universal Children's Day – in 1959 UN adopts Universal Declaration of Children's Rights

1521 - Arabs attribute shortage of water in Jerusalem to Jews making wine

1886 - Sherlock Holmes's first story "A Study in Scarlet" is accepted by publisher Ward and Lock with payment of £25

1888 - Willard Bundy patents timecard clock

1889 - Gustav Mahler's First Symphony is performed

1914 - US State Department starts requiring photographs for passports

1923 - Garrett Morgan patents his traffic signal design, an important development in automobile safety

1945 - The Nuremberg war trials begin as 24 Nazi leaders are put on trial before judges representing the victorious Allied powers

1966 - "Cabaret" opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 1166 performances

1968 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1971 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1979 - US's first artificial blood transfusion occurs at University of Minnesota Hospital

1980 - Steve Ptacek in Solar Challenger makes first solar-powered flight

1983 - An estimated 100 million people watched the controversial ABC-TV movie "The Day After." The movie depicted the outbreak of nuclear war.

1984 - SETI Institute (Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence) is founded.

1985 - Microsoft Windows 1.0 is released

1986 - The one billionth Little Golden Book was printed. The title was "The Poky Little Puppy".

1990 - The space shuttle Atlantis landed at Cape Canaveral, FL, after completing a secret military mission.

1995 - Princess Diana admitted being unfaithful to Prince Charles in an interview that was broadcast on BBC Television.

1998 - Forty-six states agreed to a $206 billion settlement of health claims against the tobacco industry. The industry also agreed to give up billboard advertising of cigarettes.

2008 - After critical failures in the US financial system began to build up after mid-September, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level since 1997.

2018 - Sell-off in technology stocks leads stock market losses wiping out all 2018 market gains

2019- NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 32 mins 48 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Writing prompt of the day:

How do you think the colors of the traffic light:  red, yellow and green, were decided upon?  The short answer is that the color scheme was lifted from the railroads, but that doesn’t explain why the railroads used them. 


Picture an archeologist of the future pondering over an artifact that has been dug up from a Weans dig.  The questions abound – why three lights?  Were all three on at the same time, or two at a time, or just one?  When were the lights lit and for what purpose did they festoon the city streets?  It seems almost a universal color scheme – we know that red stands for stop or danger, yellow means caution, green means okay or go. – but how would our archeologist know that?  They  might speculate the color red was used because the wavelength of the color is the longest in the visual spectrum, and therefore the easiest to see from a distance – but how would they figure out the meaning?    They might speculate as we do today that red stood for danger years because it is the color of our blood and of fire.  Along those lines, green can be seen as a symbol of life because of trees, brush, and grass – and therefore of safety.   Yellow, despite being the color of sunshine, could be associated with cowards, madness, jaundice because the toxic materials used created the yellow pigments [cadmium, lead, chrome, and urine].  Think of all the misconceptions our unknown, intrepid explorer could form – and realize just how little we know today about the world of our own ancestors.




No wonder so many outre theories abound!

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 20, 2019


Today is the 3rd day of the 47th week, the 19th day of the 11th month, the 323rd day of 2019 [with only 35 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • American Made Matters Day
  • "Have a Bad Day" Day
  • Equal Opportunity Day
  • Gettysburg Address Day
  • International Men's Day
  • National Blow Bagpipes Day
  • National Camp Day
  • National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day
  • National Entrepreneurs' Day
  • Parents Day (Tuesday of National Education Week)
  • Play Monopoly Day
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle Day – in 1959 "Rocky & His Friends" debuted on ABC
  • Women's Entrepreneurship Day
  • World Philosophy Day
  • World Toilet Day

1493 - Christopher Columbus discovers Puerto Rico, on his 2nd voyage

1620 - The Mayflower reaches Cape Cod and explores the coast

1621 - Rabbi Isaiah ben Abraham aha-Levi Horowitz arrives in Israel

1805 - Lewis and Clark expedition, led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, reaches the Pacific Ocean, first European Americans to cross the west

1835 - A ship carrying 500 armed Maori from Ngati Tama and Ngati Mutunga arrives on the Chatham Islands; those Moriori (indigenous people of the Chatham Islands) that are not killed are enslaved

1861 - Julia Ward Howe committed "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to paper

1861 - The first petroleum shipment (1,329 barrels) from the U.S. to Europe leaves Philadelphia, USA, for London, England on the Elizabeth Watts

1863 - US President Abraham Lincoln delivers his Gettysburg address beginning; "Four score and seven years ago..."

1872 - E.D. Barbour of Boston is awarded the first U.S. patent for the first 'calculator', an adding machine capable of printing totals and subtotals

1881 - A meteorite lands near the village of Großliebenthal, southwest of Odessa, Ukraine.

1893 - the first newspaper color supplement (NY World)

1894 - the first mushroom on a stamp (China 1 & 5 Ap)

1895 - American inventor Frederick E. Blaisdell patents the pencil

1911 - NY receives first Marconi wireless transmission from Italy

1916 - Samuel Goldwyn and Edgar Selwyn establish Goldwyn Pictures, the company later became one of the most successful independent filmmakers

1947 - a 200" mirror arrives at Mt Palomar

1951 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1962 - Fidel Castro accepts removal of Soviet weapons -- 57 years later, Russia is contemplating putting them back again

1965 - Kellogg's Pop Tarts pastries created

1969 - Apollo 12's Charles Conrad and Alan Bean become the 3rd and 4th humans on the Moon

1970 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1971 - Disney World's Fort Wilderness opens

1987 - France performs nuclear test

1995 - CNET launches />
1996 - Space Shuttle STS 80 (Columbia 21), launches into space

1997 - STS 87 (Columbia 24) launches into orbit

1998 - Vincent van Gogh's "Portrait of the Artist Without Beard" sells at auction for $71.5 million

2017 - Oumuamua first detected by scientists, 400 meters long and reddish, first known interstellar object in our solar system first and of possible alien origin


I remember the annual ritual of Education Week very well.  Once a year, parents were invited to sit in the back of our classrooms and observe a “typical” day of their kids’ educations.  The days, of course, were anything BUT typical.  Everyone put on their very best performance for the company.  Teachers dressed nicely and had lesson plans designed to be interesting and interactive, speaking to their students in deliberately honeyed tones.  Students were also dressed nicely and everyone was on their best behavior, excessively polite to each other and the teacher, raising hands to give answers instead of ignoring questions.  The lunch room was immaculate and the food aromas from the steam table smelled enticing as the cafeteria ladies primly ladled food out.   There was usually an assembly scheduled for the afternoon.  Every single thing about the day was scrubbed, sanitized, and staged.




I hated it – both when I was a student and then when I was a parent.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, November 19, 2019

it can wait one day....

Today is the 5th day of the 45th week, the 7th day of the 11th month, the 311th day of 2019, and: 
  • Hug a Bear Day
  • Employee Brotherhood Day
  • International Merlot Day
  • International Project Management Day
  • International Stout Day
  • Little League Girls Day -  in 1973 NJ becomes the first state to allow girls into the Little League
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
  • National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day
  • National Cash Back Day
  • National Men Make Dinner Day (Must Cook. No BBQ Allowed)
  • Notary Public Day
  • Read for The Record Day

1631 - Pierre Gassendi observes transit of Mercury predicted by Kepler

1665 - the first edition of "London Gazette" published as "The Oxford Gazette"

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

1805 - Lewis and Clark Expedition first sights the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River

1874 - the first cartoon depicting elephant as Republican Party symbol, by Thomas Nast

1875 - Verney Cameron is the first known European to cross equitorial Africa

1885 - Canadian Pacific Railway completed at Craigellachie

1904 - Broadway musical "Little Johnny Jones" written by George M. Cohan, featuring the song "Yankee Doodle Dandy" opens in New York

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

1918 - Robert Goddard demonstrates tube-launched solid propellant rockets

1932 – the first broadcast of "Buck Rogers in the 25th century" on CBS-radio

1933 - Pennsylvania voters overturn blue law, by permitting Sunday sports

1957 - Cold War: The Gaither Report calls for more American missiles and fallout shelters.

1961 - France performs underground nuclear test at Ecker Algeria

1963 - First use of the instant replay machine invented by CBS in US Army vs Navy football game

1967 - Surveyor 6 launched for soft landing on Moon

1968 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1981 - France performs nuclear test

1990 - "Those Were The Days" opens at Edison Theater NYC for 126 performances

2012 - Voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington approve measures for same-sex marriage

2017 - Opera soprano Audrey Luna sings highest-ever note at Met Opera in New York, A above high C

2018 - World's oldest figurative painting of a beast at least 40,000 years old identified in Lubang Jeriji Saléh cave, Indonesian Borneo

This morning when I stopped at Starbucks, I noticed they had posted their holiday hours for Thanksgiving Day, and I thought that was kinda sad. 

Blue laws were a fact of life when I was growing up.  I remember most gas stations were closed, but I think supermarkets and restaurants were open – I know that bakeries did a thriving business with the after-church crowds – but shopping malls and retail stores were closed as were bars.   I think you could still buy beer at the sporting events.  As time passed, more and more of the restrictions were loosened, but I was an adult when the first retail stores got permission to stay open for limited hours  [noon – 5 PM] during the Sundays between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Slowly but surely, the idea of there being one day where just about everyone had off and families were together fell by the wayside.  Ocean City NJ held out for a long time, but finally caved to the tourists who wanted to play miniature golf, shop on the boardwalk and/or drink seven days a week.  At least the holidays were still there for us! 

Then somebody decided to be open on New Year’s Day for a special promotion, and other stores quickly followed suit.  Easter Sunday became a work day because not everyone celebrated that.  Last to fall was Thanksgiving, the first store pushing the Black Friday envelope back to Thursday at midnight, then Thursday at dusk.   For a long time Christmas Day itself stayed sacrosanct –  although the movie theaters pushed that boundary pretty quickly -- but nowadays, there are even places that stay open late on Christmas Eve or open Christmas Day for regular business hours. 

While I don’t have strong feelings about Sunday being a holy day, and I understand that we don’t all celebrate the same religious holidays, I am rather sorry that we just don’t take an official break anymore, that there isn’t one day left in the entire year where you can reasonably expect everyone to be off work.   It just makes life feel more frenetic all the way around for everyone.    


I can’t change the trend, but I can and do make a point of NOT shopping on holidays
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, November 7, 2019

a choice that was made

Today is the 4th day of the 45th week, the 6th day of the 11th month, the 310th day of 2019 [with only 48 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Basketball Day
  • Button Day
  • International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict - on the anniversary of the last oil fire in Kuwait set by retreating Iraqi troops being extinguished in 1991
  • International Stress Awareness Day
  • Marijuana Recreational Legalization Day (Colorado & Washington)
  • Marooned Without a Compass Day
  • National Eating Healthy Day
  • National Nachos Day
  • National Saxophone Day

1528 - Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes first known European to set foot in Texas

1572 - Supernova is observed in constellation known as Cassiopeia

1862 - New York to San Francisco direct telegraphic link established

1879 - Canada celebrates their first Thanksgiving Day

1910 - SDAP/NVV initiate campaign for general males/female suffrage

1917 - [OS Oct 24] Bolshevik revolution begins with bombardment of the Winter Palace in Petrograd during the Russian October Revolution

1923 - USSR adopts experimental calendar, with 5-day "weeks"

1928 - Colonel Jacob Schick patents 1st electric razor

1935 - the first test flight of Hawker Hurricane fighter aircraft

1936 - RCA displays TV for press

1941 - USA lends Soviet Union $1 million [equivalent in purchasing power to about $17,466,598.64 in 2019, quite a difference over 78 years]

1945 - The first landing of a jet on a carrier takes place on USS Wake Island when an FR-1 Fireball touches down

1946 - Karol Wojtyla (future Pope John Paul II) holds his first Mass as newly ordained Catholic priest in Wawel Cathedral's crypt

1947 - NBC's "Meet the Press" debuts - US's longest running TV show

1955 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1966 - for the first time, an entire lineup was televised in color (NBC)

1966 - Lunar Orbiter 2 launched

1967 - US launches Surveyor 6; makes soft landing on Moon Nov 9

1971 - US performs underground nuclear test at Amchitka Island Aleutians

1977 - "Hair" closes at Biltmore Theater NYC after 43 performances

1982 - Joe Altobelli succeeds Earl Weaver as Oriole manager ((it was the end of an era for the O's))

1985 - 22nd Space Shuttle Mission (61A) -Challenger 9- lands at Edwards AFB

1985 - Space shuttle Challenger lands at Edwards Air Force Base, California

1991 - Keck II, biggest telescope in use at Mauna Kea Hawaii

1991 - Maximus 2.0 BBS released

2005 - "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", the 4th film based on the books by J. K. Rowling, premieres in London. Goes on to become most successful film of the year, earning almost US$ 900 million.

2018 - Great Britain's Prince Charles calls slavery "an indelible stain" but stops short of an apology in a speech in Accra, Ghana

2018 - Colorado votes to abolish slavery as a form of punishment in state constitution

2018 - Human longevity less than 10% dependent on genetics according to study published in journal "Genetics" based on 400 million people from Ancestry

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 30 mins 58 secs of light-travel time from Earth


When the road version of Hair came to the Morris Mechanic, I was a redcoat – not an usher but part of the paid staff that helped the ushers.  As such, we used to get to see the performances several times and would get to the point where we would interact with the cast sometimes.  At the end of Hair, audience members were encouraged to run down and join the cast dancing on the stage, and I always did so – usually dancing with a very tall man who’s dreadlocks seemed to have a life of their own.  On the last night, he pulled me aside and suggested that instead of going home, I leave for San Francisco with him.   I remember staring up at him and I was wildly tempted and suddenly I realized that I could go.   Like a flash, I could see the choice laid out before me – the estrangement from my family, dropping out of college, the excitement of the road, becoming a gypsy and living a lifestyle I had only read about.  It was such a great contrast to the plain Jane life I was living….   When I shook my head, he took my hand and told me that I had to get out of my cage;  I don’t remember what I said next, but I didn’t go. 




To this day, some 48 years later, while I cannot say I have ever regretted my decision, I still look back and wonder where I would be, who I would be, today if I had gone.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, November 6, 2019

I remember....

Today may have been Grandmom Hughes’ birthday.   I’m not quite sure when you come right down to it.  I know that my daughter was born on the 27th and that my cousin’s oldest daughter was either born two days earlier or two days later and Grandmom always joked that neither one of us got it right, missing her birthday by only a day.  I’m not quite sure what year she was born in either – unlike my mother’s mother whose age I always knew because she was 23 when she had my mother and my mother was 23 when she had me.  I think she was a couple of years younger than my maternal grandmother, but I’m not sure by how much.


But I remember Grandmom.  I remember sitting in her living room after finishing in the kitchen, cleaning up from the big dinner, the menfolk yelling at the TV sport of the season and smoking, just talking until the talk would fade away and we would all start singing.  I remember the taste of those rolls – she gave me the recipe and I used to bake a lot of bread, but I never managed to make those dinner rolls like she did.  I remember the smell of the boxwoods when getting out of the car to go into her house.  I remember that we always went in and out of the back door because she was probably in the kitchen and who used the front door anyway?   I remember that she took the name off Grandpop’s boat before she sold it and then was sorry she did because the buyer never renamed the Nim Nell, although he joked once that if he ever did, it would be “Captain Harry’s Old Boat” because that was what folks would say to him out on the water.   I remember that she taught me about unconditional love even while telling me off when she didn’t like my behavior.  I remember that everyone like visiting her for family dinners because after we ate, you could go for a walk or watch TV or sit and read or go down the basement and play pool or play outside or do anything you wanted.   I remember getting exasperated because she talked so often about who would get what when she died only to appreciate how clearly she left her feelings and desires be known because not one of the three children or six grandchildren had a single dispute about the settlement of her estate.    I remember arguing with her hotly about politics, about religion, about just about anything that could be argued about, then veering off to talk about something else.  I remember playing pinochle and 500 rummy.  I remember that Thanksgiving was your holiday when we all tried to gather.




But most of all?  I still sing the old songs, Grandmom, and I have taught them to my granddaughters. 


I remember you.


And I always will. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 28, 2019

Today is the 6th day of the 43rd week, the 25th day of the 10th month, the 298th day of 2019 [with only 60 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Chucky, The Notorious Killer Doll Day
  • Frankenstein Friday
  • International Artist Day
  • National Bandanna Day
  • National Breadstick Day
  • National Cartoonists Against Crime Day
  • National Greasy Foods Day
  • National I Care About You Day
  • National Pharmacy Buyer Day
  • Punk for a Day Day
  • Sourest Day
  • St. Crispin's Daybringing shaming to a new level
  • World Lemur Day
  • World Pasta Day
  • World Pizza Makers Day

1521 - Emperor Charles V bans wooden buildings in Amsterdam

1616 - Dutch East India Company ship "The Eendracht" discovers Dirk-Hartog Island, Australia

1854 - The infamous "Charge of the Light Brigade" during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War results in over 100 killed

1870 - Postcards first used in USA

1906 - US inventor Lee de Forest patents "Audion", a 3-diode amplification valve which proved a pioneering development in radio & broadcasting

1911 - London's last horse drawn omnibus made its way from London Bridge Station to Moorgate

1923 - Senate committee publishes 1st report on Teapot Dome scandal

1929 - Former Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall convicted of accepting $100,000 bribe in the Teapot scandal - 1st US Cabinet member to go to jail

1943 - Burma railroad completed and opens

1952 - First Dutch edition of children's magazine "Donald Duck"

1960 - the first electronic wrist watch placed on sale, NYC

1961 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1962 - the first Belgian nuclear reactor begins operation

1964 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1964 - Rolling Stones appear on Ed Sullivan for the 1st time

1971 - United Nations votes to expel the Chinese Nationalist ruled Taiwan and admit the Communist People's Republic of China

1975 - USSR's Venera 10 makes day-side Venus landing

1977 - Digital Equipment Corporation releases OpenVMS V1.0.

1978 - "Halloween", directed by John Carpenter, starring Donald Pleasence and Jamie Lee Curtis in her film debut, is released

1979 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1984 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1985 - Kosmos 1700 communications satellite placed in geostationary orbit

1988 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1995 - "Victor/Victoria" opens at Marquis Theater NYC for 738 performances  ((this was a great movie with Julie Andrews later))

2000 - A team led by Brigitte Senut and Martin Pickford discover Orrorin tugenensis, one of the earliest species on the human family tree that lived about 6 million years ago, in the Tugen Hills, Kenya

2001 - Windows XP first becomes available

2007 - The first Airbus A380 passenger flight, operating for Singapore Airlines, with flight number SQ 380, flying scheduled service between Singapore and Sydney, Australia.

2017 - First fossil of a ichthyosaur (marine reptile, 152 million years old) found in India. Reports published in "Plos One" science journal.

2018 - First work of art produced by artificial intelligence "Edmond de Belamy" concieved by Obvious sells for $432,500 at Christie's in New York


Quote of the day:

One day when I was studying with Schoenberg ((Austrian-born American composer, music theorist, teacher, writer, and painter, widely considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century)), he pointed out the eraser on his pencil and said, ‘This end is more important than the other.’

~  John Cage, Silence


In my younger days, I lacked a robust editor and had to learn to keep some things unspoken by a lot of hard knocks.   I’m still not that good at it, which has an upside as well as a downside for while being considered less than tactful at times, there is a reputation for not being duplicitous at least.  One of the symptoms of dementia is that you lose the social filter – that self-editing tool that makes sure everything that comes into your mind does not come out of your mouth – and I have occasionally wondered if anyone would notice if I did start losing it since I’m already seen as being so blunt.   I hadn’t actually realized how much I do censor myself [in public at least] until after the 2016 US presidential election when I found myself starting to post or comment and would quietly delete it rather than add to the cacophony of shouting. 




So just how far do you go with self-editing these days?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, October 25, 2019

Today is the 5th day of the 43rd week, the 24th day of the 10th month, the 297th day of 2019, and: 
  • 40-Hour Work Week Day – despite all the dire predictions of economic collapse resulting,  the US Fair Labor Standards of 1938 comes into effect on this day in 1940, setting both a minimum wage [25 cents per hour. Adjusted for inflation, that would be worth about $4.45 today] and a 40 hour week
  • Black Thursday
  • Food Day
  • National Bologna Day
  • National Crazy Day
  • National Good & Plenty Day
  • Recycle Your Mercury Thermostat Day
  • Take Back Your Time Day
  • United Nations Day -- the Charter of United Nations comes into effect in 1945
  • Unity Day
  • Wear Purple for Domestic Violence Awareness Day
  • World Development Information Day
  • World Polio Day
  • World Tripe Day

1260 - The spectacular Cathedral of Chartres is dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX of France; now a UNESCO World Heritage Site

1818 - Felix Mendelssohn aged 9 performs his first public concert in Berlin

1836 - Earliest American patent for a phosphorus friction match by Alonzo Dwight Phillips of Springfield, Massachusetts

1851 - William Lassell discovers Ariel and Umbriel, satellites of Uranus

1861 - First US transcontinental telegram is sent (from San Francisco to Washington, DC)

1881 - Levi P Morton, US ambasador to France drives first rivet in Statue of Liberty

1901 - Daredevil Anna Edson Taylor became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel. She was 63 years old.

1908 - Billy Murray hits the charts with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

1911 - Orville Wright remained in the air 9 minutes and 45 seconds in a glider at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina setting a new world record that stood for 10 years.

1926 - Harry Houdini's last performance, at the Garrick Theatre in Detroit, Michigan

1929 - "Black Thursday", start of stock market crash, Dow Jones down 12.8% as investors dumped more than 13 million shares

1938 - US forbids child labor in factories

1939 - Benny Goodman records "Let's Dance"

1939 - Nazi require wearing of Star of David by Jews

1939 - Nylon stockings go on sale for first time (Wilmington, Delaware)

1946 - A camera on board the V-2 No. 13 rocket, launched from Whites Sands US, takes the first photograph of earth from outer space.

1948 - The term "cold war" was used for the first time in a speech by Bernard Baruch before the Senate War Investigating Committee.

1951 - United Nations publishes its first postage stamps

1954 - Dwight D. Eisenhower pledges United States' support to South Vietnam ((what a slippery slope that turned out to be))

1971 - Harry Drake sets longest arrow flight by a footbow (1 mile 268 yds)

1973 - John Lennon sues US government to admit FBI is tapping his phone

1979 - Guinness Book of Records presents Paul McCartney with a rhodium disc as all-time best selling singer-songwriter

1980 - Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1984 - Intelsat 5 re-enters Earth's atmosphere 5 months after it failed

1989 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1990 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1992 - The Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-U.S. team to win the World Series.

1995 - Total solar eclipse in SW/S Asia (2m09s)

2001 - NASA's 2001 Mars Odyssey spacecraft successfully entered orbit around Mars.

2002 - Microsoft Corp. and Walt Disney Co. announced the release of an upgraded MSN Internet service with Disney content.

2003 - Concorde makes its last commercial flight

2006 - MESSENGER spacecraft performs a Venus flyby

2009 - First International Day of Climate Action, organized with, a global campaign to address a claimed global warming crisis.

2017 - Albert Einstein's "Theory of Happiness", written as a note for a bellboy instead of a tip in Tokyo in 1922 sells for $1.56 million

2018 - Scientists confirm East Island in Hawaii, half a mile long, has been wiped out after contact with Hurricane Walaka

2018 - EU directive bans single-use plastics by 2021


This morning as I came down the hall I noticed a plastic bottle in the middle of the walkway.  It was position just on the edge of the five steps that go down to the exit to the garage door.  At first as I walked towards it, I thought it had been dropped, but then I could see it was about 2/3 filled with water and the top was off.  Where it was positioned?  I stopped as I realized this was no accident, the bottle was clearly left there deliberately.  There was no way to go past without knocking it over, which would not only soak the walker’s feet but would throw water all over the steps as well, making them slippery.  There was no one around to see or laugh at the reaction of the person who was going to get wet or fall, but the intent to cause that was there.  While not an horrendous an act of cruelty, someone took the time and energy to booby trap the steps – and why?




Hearing a family coming up behind me, I quickly stooped and picked it up, discarding it in the trashcan as I walked to my car, shaking my head and pondering whether or not this was just a harmless prank or an expression of casual cruelty. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, October 24, 2019

Today is the 4th day of the 43rd week, the 23rd day of the 10th month, the 296th day of 2019, and: 
  • Event Organizers Day
  • International Print Day
  • Lung Health Day
  • Medical Assistants Recognition Day
  • National Boston Cream Pie Day ((I was in elementary school when I first tasted this treat; it became and remains my very favorite kikd of cake or pie))
  • National Canning Day
  • National Croc Day
  • National iPod Day – Apple released the iPod in 2001
  • National Mole Day
  • National Slap Your Irritating Co-Worker Day
  • Paralegal Day
  • Swallows Depart from San Juan Capistrano Day
  • TV Talk Show Host Day
  • Unity Day

1760 - First Jewish prayer books printed in North America

1775 - Continental Congress approves resolution barring blacks from army ((so much for liberty and equality for all))

181 -3 The Pacific Fur Company trading post in Astoria, Oregon is turned over to the rival British North West Company (the fur trade in the Pacific Northwest was dominated for the next three decades by the United Kingdom).

1814 - the first plastic surgery is performed (England) ((I included this but couldn't verify it, indeed, if you google the topic you'll find that cosmetic surgery has been performed throughout human history))

1819 - the first ship sails through the Erie Canal from Rome, New York to Utica, New York

1910 - Blanche Scott becomes the first woman to fly at a public event in the US at Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1915 - the first national horseshoe throwing championship (Kellerton, Iowa)

1933 - John Dillinger and his gang rob Central National Bank, in Greencastle, Indiana. They take $75,000 [equal to $1,438,356.87 in 2019]

1934 - Jean Piccard & Jeanette Ridlen attain balloon height of 17.341 m (rec)

1941 - Walt Disney's animated film "Dumbo" released

1958 - USSR lends money to UAR to build Aswan High Dam

1958 - The Smurfs first appear in the story "Johan and Pirlouit" by Belgium cartoonist Peyo

1961 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1964 - Time Magazine uses term "op art" for 1st time ((do you remember those psychedelic design pictures from the late 1980’s that you had to cross your eyes to see the 3-D picture they depicted?))

1972 - "Pippin" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 1944 performances

1972 - Access credit cards introduced in Great Britain

1977 - Paleontologist Elso Barghoorn announces discovery of a 3.4-billion year old one-celled fossil, one of the earliest life forms on Earth

1981 - US national debt hits $1 trillion ((38 years later, as of June 2019, federal debt held by the public was $16.17 trillion and intragovernmental holdings were $5.86 trillion, for a total national debt of $22.03 trillion.))

1984 - STS 51-A launch vehicle moves to launch pad

1987 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1987 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1989 - US 62nd manned space mission STS 34 (Atlantis 5) returns from space

2009 - The United Nations "Rotterdam Rules" convention regulating international maritime carriage of goods is ratified with its twentieth signature.

2018 - Microplastics found in human stools for the first time by Austrian scientists

2018 - World's oldest intact shipwreck, ancient Greek vessel 2,400 years old, found at bottom of the Black Sea by archaeologists

My friend and I went to see Everybody this past weekend – an old morality play where God wants Death to deliver to Him Somebody to explain what they have been doing with their lives.  In the end, Everybody got Death’s okay to bring Somebody along, but only gets to take Love and Every Shitty and Evil Thing You Ever Did with them into the afterlife to give a presentation to God about what living was about – nothing else wants to come along, not friends nor family nor stuff nor even Mind and Understanding make that final trip into the unknown.   

Now the fact that they stripped Everybody of mind and understanding surprised me in retrospect.  In many ways, I consider my ability to think and to comprehend as part of my spirit, or the essence that makes me “me”, or my soul if you wish.  Certainly if there is to be an afterlife in any way, shape, or form, my spirit or essence or soul would be what would be in residence, neh? 


I always wanted to leave a Carol-sized hole in the world when I left it, but in my self-centered hubris, I hadn’t realized that it would only be the size of a single, tiny grain of sand – a thought that is both humbling and comforting as I get older.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Today is the 3rd day of the 43rd week, the 22nd day of the 10th month, the 295th day of 2019, and: 
  • Clean Up the Earth Day
  • Eat a Pretzel Day
  • International Stuttering Awareness Day
  • Kof Awareness Day  ((not to be confused with “kef”  ))
  • National Color Day
  • National Knee Day
  • National Make a Dog's Day Day
  • National Nut Day
  • Simchat Torah
  • Smart is Cool Day

 362 - The temple of Apollo at Daphne, outside of Antioch, is destroyed in a mysterious fire

1797 - Andre-Jacques Garnerin makes the first parachute descent from a balloon in Paris

1861 - the first telegraph line linking the US West and East coasts completed

1875 - First telegraphic connection in Argentina.

1897 - World's first car dealer opens in London

1907 - Ringling Brothers Greatest Show on Earth buys Barnum & Bailey circus

1930 - the first concerto of BBC Symphony Orchestra, under Adrian Boult

1936 - the first commercial flight from mainland to Hawaii

1938 - Chester Carlson demonstrates the first Xerox copying machine

1939 - NBC becomes first network to televise a pro football game; Brooklyn Dodgers beat Philadelphia Eagles, 23-14 at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field

1951 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1956 - Great Britain performs nuclear test at Maralinga Australia

1962 - US President John F. Kennedy addresses TV about Russian missile bases in Cuba and imposes a naval blockade on Cuba, beginning the missile crisis

1962 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1964 - US performs underground nuclear test at Hattiesburg, Mississippi

1966 - USSR launches Luna 12 for orbit around Moon

1968 - Apollo 7 returns to Earth

1971 - USSR performs nuclear test

1975 - Soviet spacecraft Venera 9 soft-lands on Venus, becoming the first lander to return images from the surface of another planet

1976 - Red Dye No. 4 is banned by the US Food and Drug Administration after it is discovered that it causes tumors in the bladders of dogs. The dye is still used in Canada.

1977 - International Sun-Earth Explorers 1 and 2 launched into Earth orbit

1979 - Walt Disney World's welcomes its 100-millionth guest

1981 - Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization decertified, which many consider the start of the disenfranchising of unions and the decline of the middle class

1981 - US national debt tops $1 trillion

1981 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1987 - "Cabaret" opens at Imperial Theater NYC for 262 performances

1992 - Space Shuttle STS 52 (Columbia 13) launches into space

1993 - Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Serebrov makes record 9th space walk

1997 - Compaq testifies Microsoft threaten to break Windows 95 agreement if they showcased a Netscape icon

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

2008 - Google Play is launched, the official app store for the Android operating system

2016 - AT&T buys Time Warner for $85.4 billion


Okay, I’m going on a rant here, so if you want to ignore the rest of the post, please feel free to just skip to the bottom of the post for the usual picture..




And like so many rants, it is triggered by something very trivial – in this case the toilet paper in the ladies room at work.  Now I get that owning a building involves a lot of costs, and that if you contain costs you increase your net income – which is why the business exists.   But how much money do you really save by putting in a roll of toilet paper that is so thin one can see their hand through it?  To get a decent wipe, one has to pull of over a yard of toilet paper, and sometimes do that multiple times, which means the paper runs out more quickly, so explain to me how you are realizing any cost savings again?  And on top of it, the paper is so thin that a chunk will tear off before the roll starts to roll – which results in a litter on the floor of each stall of little pieces of torn paper.  Looks unsightly and unclean, two vibes you don’t want to subject tenants or visitors to!




*takes a deep breath*


Okay I feel better now.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Today is the 2nd day of the 43rd week, the 21st day of the 10th month, the 294th day of 2019, and: 
  • Back to the Future Day - In Part II of the iconic movie trilogy that spawned a generation of “Make like a tree and get outta here” quipsters, Marty McFly travels forward in time to October 21, 2015.
  • Apple Day ((the fruit not the company))
  • Babbling Day
  • Celebration of the Mind Day
  • Check Your Meds Day
  • Count Your Buttons Day
  • Garbanzo Bean Day
  • Global Iodine Deficiency Disorders Prevention
  • International Day of the Nacho
  • Lung Health Day
  • Multicultural Diversity Day
  • National Clean Your Virtual DesktopDay
  • National Pets for Veterans Day
  • National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day
  • Reptile Awareness Day
  • Shemini Atzeret - observed the 22nd of Tishri in the Hebrew calendar
  • Xterra World Championship

1520 - Explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his fleet reach Cape Virgenes and become the first Europeans to sail into the Pacific Ocean

1803 - English scientist John Dalton reads his paper on the absorption of gases by water, the fist outline of his atomic theory, to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society

1854 - Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War

1869 - the first shipment of fresh oysters comes overland from Baltimore

1948 - UN rejects Russian proposal to destroy atomic weapons

1948 - Facsimile high-speed radio transmission demonstrated (Washington, D.C.)

1949 - Author of 'Brave New World' Aldous Huxley writes to congratulate George Orwell on his new novel '1984'

1957 - Jailhouse Rock starring Elvis Presley opens in Memphis, Tennessee

1961 - USSR performs nuclear test at Sary Shagan USSR

1964 - Film version of "My Fair Lady" directed by George Cukor and starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn premieres in New York (Academy Awards Best Picture 1965)

1965 - Comet Ikeya-Seki approaches perihelion, passing 450,000 kilometers from the sun.

1969 - Leonard Gersh's "Butterflies are Free" premieres in NYC

1971 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1975 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1990 - The first Apple Day, is held in Covent Garden, London.

2003 - Images of the dwarf planet Eris are taken and subsequently used in its discovery by the team of Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo, and David L. Rabinowitz.


Quote of the day:

"Life is mostly about mundane experiences. When you start thinking that only your most thrilling experiences are significant, you have already lost the most precious thing in life, the ability to fully immerse yourself in every experience."

~ Brad Warner, “It’s the Journey, Not the Trip


Back in the day, long before emails and other social media, we had a thing called “pen pals” -  strangers that you wrote letters to and got letters back from telling you both about your lives and trying to get to know them through that medium.    What you quickly learned was that if you waited until something “important” happened to write, the relationship languished and expired.  The way to keep a flourishing correspondence was to talk about stuff that was happening around you, day in and day out.  This was directly in contrast to the soap operas that just kept piling event upon event, catastrophe after catastrophe, to keep their viewers entertained – the routine stuff turned out to be better for engagement.   I was later to take this skill to a different level when I created the story line of “As the Bank Turns” which kept readers up to date watching the throes of a small community bank thrashing through organizational changes.   And even later, when I was online and in Second Life, some of the more fun role plays were not about the big things, but when you could take an everyday happenstance and get an entire group involved with something simple and slightly absurd – like trying to cook a huge meal for an entire group, then serve them, in a tent on a windy day.




As the old saw proclaims, life really is what is going on while you are waiting for something to happen. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 21, 2019

putting TGIF in perspective

Today is the 6th day of the 42nd week, the 18th day of the 10th month, the 291st day of 2019, and: 
  • Air Force Birthday
  • Chiropractic Founders Day
  • Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day
  • Hug A Greeting Card Writer Day
  • International Day Against DRM
  • International Legging Day
  • National Ceiling Fan Day
  • National Cheeseburger Day
  • National Chocolate Cupcake Day
  • National Exascale Day
  • National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
  • National Mammography Day
  • National No Beard Day
  • National Rehabilitation Day
  • National Respect Day
  • National School Backpack Awareness Day
  • World Menopause Day
  • World Student Day
  • World Water Monitoring Day

1767 - Mason Dixon line, the boundary between Maryland & Pennsylvania agreed upon

1776 - In a bar decorated with bird tail in Elmsford, New York, a customer requests a glassful of “those cock tails” from bartender Betsy Flanagan

1867 - Alaska Purchase: US takes formal possession of Alaska from Russia, having paid $7.2 million

1878 - Edison makes electricity available for household use

1892 - the first commercial long-distance phone line opens (Chicago-NY)

1951 - USSR performs nuclear test

1952 - Date of the first Mad Magazine issue

1961 - "West Side Story", directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, the film adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical, starring Natalie Wood, is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1962)

1962 - US launches Ranger 5 for lunar impact; misses Moon

1962 - US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Johnston Island

1967 - Walt Disney's "Jungle Book" film is released

1969 - Soyuz 8 returns to Earth

1975 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1979 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1979 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1984 - Discovery moves to Vandenberg AFB for mating of STS 51A mission

1984 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1988 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1989 - US 62nd manned space mission STS 34 (Atlantis 5) launches into orbit

1991 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1993 - STS-58 (Columbia) launches into orbit

Writing prompt of the day:
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - You get some incredibly, amazingly, wonderfully fantastic news. What’s the first thing you do?

How do you celebrate?  My first instinct would be to make a loud, joyous exclamation and maybe break into a dance.  And then I would give thanks – nothing formal like a real prayer, just a shouted THANK YOU into the aether.  If there were folks around me [such as at work], I’d be telling them.  If I was home alone, I would pick up the phone and call on of my two close friends and babble at them.  I would text my son and my daughter – and follow up with a phone call if they were available.  Then I would post on social media. 

Now what would qualify as “incredibly, amazingly, wonderfully fantastic news “?  Something wonderful happening for someone that I love.  Finding out that I am 100% hale and hearty.  Hearing “I love you” from someone I love.  Winning the lottery.  

Or after you get the good news, do you wait for the other shoe to drop?


Like when you know you’ll pay for a three day weekend with a four day week that feels much longer than the normal five day work week?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, October 18, 2019

When you have an ex

Today is the 5th day of the 42nd week, the 17th day of the 10th month, the 290th day of 2019 [80% of the year is over], and: 
  • Black Poetry Day
  • Conflict Resolution Day
  • Edge Day
  • Forgive an Ex Day
  • Four Prunes Day
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • International Credit Union Day
  • International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
  • International ShakeOut Day
  • Mulligan Day
  • National Get Smart About Credit Day
  • National Pasta Day
  • National Playing Card Collection Day
  • Pay Back a Friend Day
  • Spirit Day
  • Spreadsheet Day
  • Wear Something Gaudy Day
  • World Trauma Day

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

1829 - Delaware River & Chesapeake Bay Canal formally opens

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

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

1919 - Radio Corporation of America (RCA) is created as a subsidiary of General Electric

1933 - Albert Einstein arrives in US as a refugee from Nazi Germany

1939 - "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", directed by Frank Capra and starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur, is released

1956 - "Around the World in 80 Days", based on the book by Jules Verne, directed by Michael Anderson and starring David Nivon and Cantinflas, premieres in New York

1959 - Queen Elizabeth is fined $140 for withdrawing her race horse

1963 - The Beatles record "I Want to Hold Your Hand" at EMI Studios in London

1965 - "On A Clear Day You Can See Forever" opens in NYC for 280 performances

1967 - "Hair" premieres on Broadway

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

1969 - Soyuz 7 returns to Earth

1975 - UN passes resolution saying "Zionism is a form of racism and racial discrimination” which was later revoked in December 1991

1976 - China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC

1978 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1982 - the first live orchestra on a US commercial network since 1954 (National Symphony)

1982 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1990 - "Les Miserables" opens at Imperial Theatre, NY & His Majesty's Theatre, Perth

2007 - The Dalai Lama receives the United States Congressional Gold Medal

2008 - Iran's attempt to create the world's largest sandwich (1,500 metres) fails when crowds eat it before it can be measured

2012 - Exoplanet Alpha Centauri Bb discovered orbiting Alpha Centauri announced (later thought to be a false finding)

2016 - Chinese spacecraft Shenzhou-11 launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre in northern China

2018 - Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch puppeteer Caroll Spinney leaves "Sesame Street" after 50 years

Quote of the day
"You show up on time. When you say you're going to do something, you try to do your best at it. You don't backstab people.  You don't bitch and complain about what you're doing. Being compassionate is big. And it's always important to act like a gentleman."
~  Scott Eastwood on the code taught by his father Clint Eastwood, American actor

I have two ex-husbands, each of them the father of one of my children.  On this day that is devoted to forgiving an Ex, I poke my feelings towards them.  A long time ago, I realized that the opposite of love is not hate, and I worked on achieving indifference as far as what happened between them and me.  Forgiving what they have each done to their offspring?  That comes a bit harder.  My son has come to a place where he accepts his father for what he is and doesn’t have any negative emotional investments in the relationship for the most part, so I have been able to let my first husband go completely.  My daughter?  I do not understand how her father can live each day without speaking, without knowing about her health saga and his granddaughters, and so I am annoyed with him even after 34 years.  I’m not sure how to forgive him for his intransigence and arrogant pride that causes the rift between him and our daughter, but it’s no skin off my nose and he is the loser thereby, so is forgiveness even mine to grant or withhold?    

*looks a little sad*

I don’t think either of them have forgiven me for my part in the failed relationships.  Sometimes, if I think about it, knowing there are two people who might actively wish me ill is rather dispiriting.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, October 17, 2019

End game

Today is the 4th day of the 42nd week, the 16th day of the 10th month, the 289th day of 2019 [with only 69 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • BRA Day USA
  • Breast Reconstruction Day
  • Department Store Day
  • Dictionary Day (Noah Webster's Birthday)
  • Global Cat Day
  • Global Dignity Day
  • Hagfish Day
  • Information Overload Day
  • Love Your Body Day
  • National Boss Day
  • National Cut Up Your Credit Card Day
  • National Department Store Day
  • National Dictionary Day
  • National Feral Cat Day – but winter is coming
  • National Fossil Day
  • National Learn a Word Day
  • National Liqueur Day
  • National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day
  • National Take Your Parents to Lunch Day
  • Steve Jobs Day
  • Thank Your Cleaner Day
  • World Food Day
  • World Spine Day

1847 - Charlotte Brontë's book "Jane Eyre" published

1867 - Alaska adopts Gregorian calendar, crosses international date line

1913 - George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion" premieres in Hofburg Theatre in Vienna, Austria

1916 - Margaret Sanger opens the first birth control clinic in the US at 46 Amboy St, Brooklyn

1923 - Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio founded

1923 - John Harwood patents self-winding watch (Switzerland)

1950 - The first edition of C.S. Lewis' "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" is released in London

1957 - USAF sends two aluminum bullets into space

1958 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1964 - China becomes world's 5th nuclear power

1968 - Americans Tommie Smith (gold 19.83 WR) and John Carlos (bronze) famously give the Black Power salute on the 200m medal podium during the Mexico City Olympics

1969 - Soyuz 6 returns to Earth

1976 - Soyuz 23 returns to Earth

1980 - "Brigadoon" opens at Majestic Theater NYC for 133 performances

1982 - Mt Palomar Observatory is the first to detect Halley's comet on 13th return

1982 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1983 - "Zorba" opens at Broadway Theater NYC for 362 performances

1985 - Intel introduces 32-bit 80386 microcomputer chip

1986 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

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

1992 - "Gilligan's Island" TV pilot filmed in 1964 is 1st shown on TV (CBS)

2002 - Bibliotheca Alexandrina in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, a commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity, is officially inaugurated.

2017 - Findings published of neutron star collision that occurred two months prior on August 17, the first cosmic event seen in gravitational waves and light. Confirms heavy elements such as gold the result of such collisions


Quote of the day:

"The end of life often offers rare opportunities to affirm and deepen our highest human values—reconciling conflicts, sharing forgiveness and gratitude, deepening a sense of loving intimacy, and rising above our myopic experience of ourselves, our lives, and the world."

~  Joseph Loizzo, “So the Darkness Shall Be the Light


As time goes by, one becomes aware that there are more days behind one than before one.  While all of us know that tomorrow is promised to no one, as I approach 70, I find myself realizing like Bilbo, there will be a time  “… when winter comes without a spring that I shall ever see.“   Neither of my grandmothers nor my mother made it past their 85th birthday, so I feel as though my expiration date is just over the horizon at times.  I look at the news and wonder what kind of world my granddaughters will grow up in, what they will choose to be, whether they will remember me.  I wonder about my kids, what their lives will look like when they are my age.  And, of course, I wonder what will happen  to “ME”, the soul or spirit or essence or kernel of consciousness that makes up my personality and being. 




And I reflect rather wryly that those with a strong and simple faith have a lot more confidence as they reach the inevitable conclusion of their story…..

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Today is the 6th day of the 41st week, the 11th day of the 10th month, the 284th day of 2019, and: 
  • "You Go, Girl" Day - celebrated on the anniversary of Kathryn Dwyer Sullivan's spacewalk in 1984
  • General Pulaski Memorial Day - commemorating his death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779 and to honor the heritage of Polish Americans.
  • International Day of the Girl Child
  • Kimberly Day
  • Kraken Day
  • Myths & Legends Day For All Fantasy Movie, Books and Legends Cephalopods
  • National Family Bowling Day (or Kids Bowl Free Day)
  • National Coming Out Day
  • National It's My Party Day
  • National Sausage Pizza Day
  • Southern Food Heritage Day
  • Stem Cell Awareness Day
  • Vet Nurse Day
  • World Day Against the Death Penalty
  • World Egg Day
  • World Obesity Day

1521 - Pope Leo X titles King Henry VIII of England "Defender of the Faith".  Of course, 11 years later he left the Church and took England with him

1811 - The Juliana, the first steam-powered ferryboat, begins operation

1881 - David Houston patents roll film for cameras

1887 - A Miles patents elevator

1929 - JC Penney opens store #1252 in Milford, Delaware, making it a nationwide company with stores in all 48 U.S. states.

1939 - Albert Einstein informs FDR of the possibilities of an atomic bomb

1950 - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission issues the first license to broadcast television in color, to CBS

1956 - Great Britain performs nuclear test at Maralinga, Australia

1958 - 2nd US Moon probe, Pioneer 1, reaches 113,810 km, falls back

1961 - USSR performs nuclear test

1968 - Apollo 7 (Schirra, Eisele & Cunningham) made 163 orbits in 260 hours

1969 - Soyuz 6 launched; Soyuz 7 & 8 follow in next 2 days

1975 - "Saturday Night Live" created by Lorne Michaels premieres on NBC with George Carlin as host

1977 - American inventor Gordon Gould issued his first US patent for a optically pumped laser amplifier, 20 years after first claiming to have invented the laser

1980 - Cosmonauts Popov & Ryumin set space endurance record of 184 days

1980 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1981 - Unknown rocker Prince opens for Rolling Stones at LA Coliseum

1983 - Last hand-cranked telephones US went out of service as 440 telephone customers in Bryant Pond, Maine, were switched over to direct-dial

1984 - NASA launches space vehicle S-208

1994 - Space shuttle STS-68 (Endeavour 7), lands

2000 - The 100th Space Shuttle mission (STS-92) is flown.

2018 - Russian Soyuz spacecraft makes emergency landing when rocket fails two minutes after liftoff, with American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut aboard

2019 - NASA Voyager I is 20 hrs 26 mins 45 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Quote of the day:

"The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking."

~  A. A. Milne, English author best known for his books about the teddy bear Winnie-the-Pooh


While we claim to honor the renegade, the lone person who speaks up against what they perceive as injustice, the fact is that anyone who stands out in everyday life finds themselves being bullied pretty quickly.  Heaven help the kid who looks different, the teen who doesn’t fit in with the popular crowd, then worker who gets out of step with the office clique



Thinking independently is not easy – I guess that is what the quote means by making those minds first rate.

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, October 11, 2019

mental well being....

Today is the 5th day of the 41st week, the 10th day of the 10th month, the 283rd day of 2019, and: 
  • Hug a Drummer Day
  • International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction
  • International Newspaper Carrier Day
  • International Stage Management Day
  • Motorsports Memorial Day
  • National Angel Food Cake Day
  • National Cake Decorating Day
  • National Depression Screening Day
  • National Handbag Day
  • National Hug-a-Kevin Day
  • National Love Your Hair Day
  • National Metric Day
  • National SHIFT10 Day - a nonprofit initiative encouraging shoppers everywhere to shift 10% of their spending to local, community-driven businesses
  • National Tuxedo Day
  • Powers of Ten Day
  • Squid and Cuttlefish Day
  • US Naval Academy Day - first called the Naval School, it opened in 1845 in Annapolis, MD where it remains
  • World Day Against The Death Penalty
  • World Homeless Day
  • World Hospice and Palliative Care Day
  • World Mental Health Day
  • World Porridge Day
  • World Sight Day

1846 - Neptune's moon Triton discovered by William Lassell

1886 - the first dinner jacket (tuxedo) worn to autumn ball at Tuxedo Park, NY

1899 - African-American inventor Issac R. Johnson patents the bicycle frame

1932 - Dnjepr Dam in USSR put into operation (world's biggest at the time, to be replaced by the Hoover Dam, and now the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River is the largest hydroelectric dam in the world)

1957 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1957 - A fire at the Windscale nuclear plant in Cumbria, England becomes the world's first major nuclear accident

1958 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1958 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1959 - Pan Am begins regular flights around the world

1961 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1963 - "From Russia With Love" 2nd James Bond film based on a novel by Ian Fleming, starring Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi, premieres in London

1965 - The Supremes appear on Ed Sullivan Show

1966 - The Beach Boys release their influential single "Good Vibrations" ((a song that has weathered the years much better than their surfing songs))

1968 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1969 - "Jesus Christ Superstar" soundtrack album by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is recorded

1973 - US Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns after pleading no contest to allegations of tax fraud

1976 - Greece's 98 year-old Dimitrion Yordanidis, is oldest man to compete in a marathon; he finishes in 7:33

1990 - US 67th manned space mission STS 41 (Discovery 11) returns from space

1991 - Ex-postal worker Joseph Harris kills 4 postal workers  ((giving rise to the slang phrase "going postal" meaning "becoming extremely and uncontrollably angry, often to the point of violence, and usually in a workplace environment"))


Quote of the day:

Humor is the antidote to overthinking. It’s a way of saying that life is paradoxical. Humor contains contradictions; it does not resolve them but revels in them. It says that the right way to exist among the contradictions, paradoxes, and absurdities of life is to cope with them through laughter.”

— Bob Mankoff, How About Never: Is Never Good For You?


Although humans have been described as the only animal that laughs, there have been studies showing that animals, well some of them at least, seem to have a sense of humor too.  As we live through the upheavals brought on by our changing economies and social structures, keeping a healthy perspective on the quintessential absurdity of life is all that stands between sanity and taking ourselves way too seriously.



If you cannot look in the mirror at times, see what a funny concoction you are, then laugh?  Then I truly pity you.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, October 10, 2019

a heavy day

Today is the 3rd day of the 41st week, the 8th day of the 10th month, the 281st day of 2019, and: 
  • Ada Lovelace Day
  • Alvin C York Day – in 1918 he single-handedly attacked a German gun nest, killing at least 25 and capturing 132 Germans
  • American Touch Tag Day
  • Headspace Day [Australia] – what if taking care of your mind was as “normal” as getting a checkup?
  • International Lesbian Day
  • National Face Your Fears Day
  • National Fluffernutter Day –  a fluffernutter is a sandwich made with peanut butter and marshmallow creme usually served on white bread ((since I had to google it I figured others might need to know as well))
  • National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day
  • National Pierogi Day
  • National Salmon Day
  • Own Business Day
  • World Child Development Day
  • World Octopus Day

1480 - Great standing on the Ugra river, standoff between forces of Akhmat Khan, Khan of the Great Horde, and Ivan III Grand Prince of all Rus, Tataro-Mongols retreat, leds to disintegration of the Horde

1769 - Captain James Cook lands in New Zealand (Poverty Bay)

1818 - Two English boxers are first to use padded gloves

1871 - Great Fire of Chicago kills 200 people and destroys over 4 square miles (10 square km) of buildings and the original Emancipation Proclamation

1927 - "The Second Hundred Years" silent short film was released starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, which marks the first time with Laurel and Hardy appearing as a team

1942 - Comedy duo Abbott and Costello launch their weekly radio show

1945 - Microwave oven patented

1958 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1964 - Ringo Starr passes his driving test

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

1971 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1980 - USSR performs nuclear test


Yom Kippur starts at sundown this evening and runs through tomorrow.  Tomorrow is my mother’ birthday; she would’ve been 92.  It seems to me to be appropriate these two things happen on the same day as I always get introspective on her birthday, wondering what I could’ve done or said or been differently to enable my mother and I to have a better relationship, which seems quite appropriate for a day of atonement and repentance.   I remember my last conversation with her a couple days before she died, if it could be called that, for she was too weak to even speak.   I told her then that it was okay that she had made the decision to stop eating, that I understood her weariness, that I wished things had been better for the two of us.  She just looked at me.   Did she hear me?  Did what I said make any difference?  Although I got to say goodbye, I don’t actually feel like there was a resolution – but over the past six years I have come to understand that there couldn’t be any closure because the core issue was that my mother wouldn’t or couldn’t accept me as I am rather than as she would have me be. 



Through the years, I have struggled with feelings of failure, but have tried really hard to make sure the weight of my expectations do not weigh as heavily on my relationships with my son and daughter.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, October 8, 2019

the first Monday in October

Today is the 2nd day of the 41st week, the 7th day of the 10th month, the 280th day of 2019, and: 
  • Bathtub Day – did you know the earliest bathtubs we have found date back to 1700 BCE? 
  • Blue Shirt Day/World Day of Bullying Prevention
  • Child Health Day
  • Day of unity
  • National Chocolate Covered Pretzel Day
  • National Consignment Day
  • National Flower Day
  • National Forgiveness & Happiness Day
  • National Frappe Day
  • National Inner Beauty Day
  • National LED Light Day
  • Team Margot Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Registration Day – since 2014
  • World Architecture Day
  • World Habitat Day
  • You Matter to Me Day – since 2010

3761 BC - The epoch (origin) of the modern Hebrew calendar (Proleptic Julian calendar).

1492 - Christopher Columbus misses Florida when he changes course

1520 - first public burning of books in Netherlands, in Louvain

1806 - Carbon paper patented in London by inventor Ralph Wedgwood

1816 - first double decked steamboat, Washington, arrives in New Orleans

1900 - The term "orienteering" is first used for an event

1916 - Georgia Tech, coached by John Heisman, defeats Cumberland, 222-0; most lopsided score in the history of US college football

1919 - KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines, established (oldest existing airline)

1931 - the first infra-red photograph taken in Rochester, NY

1942 - the US & UK governments announce establishment of United Nations

1952 - First "Bandstand" broadcast in Philadelphia on WFIL-TV (Dick Clark joins in 1955 as a substitute-host)

1958 - US manned space-flight project renamed Project Mercury

1959 - Far side of Moon seen for the 1st time, courtesy of USSR's Luna 3 space probe

1962 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1963 - JFK signs ratification for nuclear test ban treaty

1978 - USSR performs nuclear test

1979 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1982 - Musical "Cats" opens at Winter Garden Theater on Broadway NYC and runs for nearly 18 years before closing on September 10, 2000.

1985 - 21st Space Shuttle Mission (51-J)-Atlantis 1 lands at Edwards AFB

1994 - China performs nuclear test at Lop Nor, PRC

1996 - Rupert Murdoch launches Fox News with Roger Ailes as CEO

2008 - Music, podcast, and video streaming service Spotify is launched by Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon




Yeah that about sums up today
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, October 7, 2019

the house of the mouse

Today Is the 2nd day of the 40th week, the 30th day of the 9th month, the 273rd day of 2019, and: 
  • Ask a Stupid Question Day
  • Chewing Gum Day
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Day
  • International Blasphemy Rights Day
  • International Podcast Cay
  • International Translation Day
  • National Hot Mulled Cider Day
  • National Love People Day
  • National Mud Pack Day
  • National Preparathon! Day
  • Recovery Day – a reminder that one can always start anew, defeating addiction in all its forms one day at a time
  • Rosh Hashanah [since sunset of the 29th]
  • The Time for Yoga
  • Thunderbirds Day

1659 - Robinson Crusoe is shipwrecked (according to Daniel Defoe)

1791 - Mozart's opera "Magic Flute" premieres in Vienna

1841 - Samuel Slocum patented the stapler

1846 - Anesthetic ether used for first time by American dentist Dr William Morton who extracts a tooth

1880 - American amateur astronomer Henry Draper takes the first known photograph of the Orion Nebula

1927 - Babe Ruth hits record setting 60th HR (off Tom Zachary)

1949 - American chemist Percy L. Julian at the Glidden Company announces an improved method for producing cortisone

1950 - Radio's "Grand Ole Opry" is broadcast on TV for the first time

1955 - American actor and cultural icon James Dean is killed in a car crash aged 24

1958 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1960 - On Howdy Doody's last show Clarabelle finally talks "Goodbye Kids"

1960 - "The Flintstones" the first animated sitcom created by Hanna-Barbera premieres on ABC in the US

1966 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1967 - BBC starts its own popular music radio station (Radio 1)

1967 - USSR's Kosmos 186 & 188 complete first automatic docking

1968 - the first Boeing 747 rolls out

1973 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1977 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1977 - Due to US budget cuts, the Apollo program's ALSEP experiment packages left on the Moon are shut down.

1980 - Ethernet specifications published by Xerox working with Intel and Digital Equipment Corporation.

1986 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1989 - NASA closes down tracking stations in Hawaii and Ascension

1994 - Space shuttle STS-68 (Endeavour 7), launches into orbit

1997 - Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4


Quote of the day:

"Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."

~  Charles M. Schulz (1922 - 2000)

((This thought has often occurred to me, especially when celebrating the coming of a New Year, which is one reason I thought it so appropriate that mankind met its end On the Beach in Australia)) 


I have been listening to Disney Wars while driving, fascinated with the office politics and simple aghast at the amount of money the top executives walked away with, literally millions upon millions of dollars each year.  And the most stunning thing of all?  They thought they were worth more!  I found it interesting that Disney’s website offers to do a job search using your LinkedIn profile to find a good fit – unfortunately, it seems they have zero interest in someone with a Loan Servicing background at this time, so I’m not in line either to make that kind of money or to work in “the happiest place on earth”.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m a rabid Disney fan and pine if I don’t visit the House of the Mouse regularly, but I do wish there was less money spent on the executives and more money put back in making the theme parks all that they could be.



0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 30, 2019

Today is the 6th day of the 39th week, the 27th day of the 9th month, the 270th day of 2019, and: 
  • Ancestor Appreciation Day
  • German Butterbrot Day
  • Google's Birthday
  • Hug a Vegetarian Day
  • Love Note Day
  • Morning Show Hosts Day
  • National Bakery Day
  • National BRAVE Day
  • National Chocolate Milk Day
  • National Corned Beef Hash Day
  • National Crush a Can Day
  • National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
  • National Scarf Day
  • Native American Day – first celebrated in 1916
  • Save the Koala Day
  • Sport Purple for Platelets Day
  • Vegan Baking Day
  • World Tourism Day

1066 - William the Conqueror's troops set sail for England

1590 - Pope Urban VII dies 13 days after being chosen as the Pope, making his reign the shortest papacy in history.

1822 - French scholar Jean-François Champollion announces that he has deciphered the Rosetta stone

1825 - George Stephenson's "Locomotion No. 1" becomes the 1st steam locomotive to carry passengers on a public rail line, the Stockton and Darlington Railway in England

1892 - Book matches are patented by Diamond Match Company

1905 - The physics journal Annalen der Physik publishes Albert Einstein's paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", introducing the equation E=mc².

1908 - Henry Ford's first Ford Model T automobile leaves the Piquette Plant in Detroit, Michigan

1912 - WC Handy publishes "Memphis Blues", considered the first blues song

1921 - American swimmer Johnny Weismuller sets his first 2 world records in the 100m and 150yd freestyle events the A.A.U. Nationals meet in Brighton Beach, NY ((I still say he was the best Tarzan, although not the closest to the book character))

1937 - the first Santa Claus Training School opens (Albion NY)

1937 - Balinese Tiger declared extinct.

1960 - Europe's first "moving pavement" (travelator), opens at Bank station on the London Underground

1962 - Rachel Carson publishes 'Silent Spring' about the deleterious impacts of pesticide use in the US on the environment

1964 - Findings of the Warren Commission into the assassination of President John F. Kennedy released, finds Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone

1967 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1971 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1973 - Soyuz 12 carries two cosmonauts into Earth orbit where they stayed for 2 days

1973 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1973 - “The Way We Were” single released by Barbra Streisand (Billboard Song of the Year 1974)

1978 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1978 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1979 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1990 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

2003 - Smart 1 satellite is launched.

2008 - CNSA astronaut Zhai Zhigang becomes the first Chinese person to perform a spacewalk while flying on Shenzhou 7.

2012 - The Mars Curiosity rover discovers what evidence of a fast-moving streambed-in Mars

2015 - A "Supermoon" coincides with a lunar eclipse creating a "Blood Moon" over much of the earth

2018 - Half of all orca could die through pollution involving polychlorinated biphenyls in the ocean, according to study published in "Science"


The pacing of what we call progress with the full hubris of humankind is rather interesting sometimes.  From having a book of matches considered an innovation worthy of being patented to Einstein’s famous E=mc² was only a span of 13 years.  From Rachel Carson’s warning about the impact of pesticides on the land to the warning about PCBs in the ocean is a stretch of 56 years – obviously we didn’t listen very well. It took three years from finding the stream bed to actually finding water on Mars.   In the 82 years since the Balinese tiger went extinct to July 2019, there are now only 3,900 tigers in the wild all over the world.  Want to talk about human impact on ecology?  How about seven [7] nuclear tests over a 23 year period?  I don’t remember hearing much about conspiracy theories before the Warren Commission report, but finding Oswald acted totally alone seems so improbable that to this day there are so many unanswered questions.   Was this the start of popular conspiracy theories?




I’m just glad it’s Friday. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 27, 2019

an apple a day ...

Today is the 5th day of the 39th week, the 26th day of the 9th month, the 289th day of 2019, and: 
  • European Day of Languages
  • Forget-Me-Not Day
  • Human Resource Professional Day
  • Johnny Appleseed Day
  • Lumberjack Day ((see National Pancakes Day))
  • Mesothelioma Awareness Day
  • National Better Breakfast Day
  • National Compliance Officer Day
  • National Dumpling Day
  • National Pancakes [AKA johnnycakes, griddle cakes or hotcakes] Day – it used to be called Lumberjack Day and is one week after Talk Like a Pirate Day  ((and here you thought it was back on Shrove Tuesday))
  • National Situational Awareness Day
  • Remember Me Thursday – it’s all about the pets languishing in shelters awaiting adoption
  • Shamu the Whale Day or why whales shouldn’t be kept in captivity
  • World Contraception Day
  • World Maritime Day

1580 - Frances Drake completes circumnavigation of the world, sailing into Plymouth aboard the Golden Hind

1738 - Scottish philosopher David Hume enters into a contract to publish the first two volumes of his seminal work "A Treatise of Human Nature" with John Noon in London

1772 - New Jersey passes bill requiring a license to practice medicine

1892 - first public appearance of John Philip Sousa's band (NJ)

1946 - 1st edition of Tintin (Kuifje), publishes until June 1993

1957 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1958 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1960 - the first of four TV debates Nixon & Kennedy took place (Chicago)

1964 - "Gilligan's Island", starring Bob Denver as Gilligan, debuts on CBS ((and inevitably I find myself adding "for a three hour tour"))

1968 - first broadcast of "Hawaii Five-O" on CBS-TV

1969 - The Beatles release "Abbey Road" album

1971 - Jim Palmer is fourth Oriole pitcher to win at least 20 games this season  

1973 - Concorde makes its first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic (Washington, D.C. to Paris) in record-breaking time (3h33m).

1974 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1979 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1980 - Soyuz 38 returns to Earth

1981 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1983 - Cosmonauts Titov and Strekalov are saved from exploding Soyuz T-10

1986 - Dallas jumps the shark when Bobby (Patrick Duffy) returns to Dallas, his death is attributed to his wife Pam's bad dream (erases all of last season)

1988 - US space shuttle STS-26 launched

1992 - Tsuruhiko Kiuchi rediscovers Comet Swift-Tuttle, the first time it has been spotted since 1862

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

2017 - World's second-largest gem-quality diamond, the "Lesedi La Rona", sells for $53M


Johnny Appleseed was actually a real person who was born on this day 245 years ago in Leonmister, Massachusetts.  His real name was John Chapman, but he earned his nickname by working as an orchardist [which is still a profession today], wandering about the frontier – back then most of Pennsylvania and Ohio was considered wildland.  He would plant the trees, establish a land claim, then circle back later and make hard cider – all of which draws a very different picture than the whimsical wandering eccentric of folklore.



I wonder what John Chapman would think about being remembered as Johnny Appleseed?
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 26, 2019

Today is the 4th day of the 39th week, the 25th day of the 9th month, the 268th day of 2019 [with only 90 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Banned Websites Awareness Day
  • Binge Day
  • International Ataxia Awareness Day
  • Math Storytelling Day
  • National Comic Book Day
  • National Crab Meat Newburg Day
  • National Food Service Employees Day
  • National Lobster Day
  • National One-Hit Wonder Day
  • National Psychotherapy Day
  • National Research Administrators Day
  • National Tune-Up Day
  • National Women's Health and Fitness Day
  • See You at the Pole
  • World Dream Day
  • World Lung Day
  • World Pharmacist Day
  • World School Milk Day

1492 - Crewman on Pinta sights "land"-a few weeks early

1513 - Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa crosses the Panama Isthmus becoming first European to see the Pacific Ocean

1639 - First printing press in America

1639 - Suzuki Shosan, Samurai monk of Zen Buddhism, found awakening

1789 - US Congress proposes the Bill of Rights -- the first ten amendments to the newly ratified Constitution, ratified in 1791 and guaranteeing such rights as the freedoms of speech, assembly, and worship. 

1804 - Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution, establishing the procedure for electing the President and Vice President, becomes effective

1820 - French Physicist Francois Arago announces electromagnetism in his discovery that a copper wire between the poles of a voltaic cell could laterally attract iron filings to itself

1878 - British physician Dr. Charles Drysdale warns against the use of tobacco in a letter to The Times newspaper in one of the earliest public health announcements on the dangers of smoking

1906 - Leonardo Torres Quevedo successfully demonstrates the Telekino at Bilbao before a great crowd, guiding a boat from the shore, considered the birth of the remote control

1926 - Henry Ford announces an 8 hour, 5-day work week because he wanted to provide a customer base for his product

1932 - Poona Act signed by Madan Mohan Malaviya and B R. Amedkar in India, reserving legislative seats for depressed classes (untouchables)

1949 - Evangelist Billy Graham begins his "Los Angeles Crusade" in a circus tent erected in a parking lot

1956 - Transatlantic telephone cable goes into operation from Newfoundland to Oban

1962 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1965 - Beatle cartoon show begins in US

1973 - 3-man crew of Skylab 3 make safe splashdown in Pacific after 59 days

1974 - Scientists first report that freon gases from aerosol sprays are destroying the ozone layer

1980 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1980 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1982 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1983 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya, USSR

1992 - US Mars Observer launched from Space shuttle

1997 - STS 86 (Atlantis 20) launches into orbit

2008 - China launches the spacecraft Shenzhou 7.

2016 - World's largest radio telescope at 500m wide in Guizhou Province, China begins operating

Today I highlighted a couple of the historical events.

In 1878, there was already concern about tobacco, nicotine addiction, and the health of users.  It took 86 years to react to those concerns, and even longer to get smoking banned in public places such as restaurants and work, and there are still those who scoff at the evidence and smoke.

In 1926, Henry Ford, the father of the assembly-line and a great believer in productivity, making a god of efficiency, understood the working class had to have both money and leisure time in which to spend and enjoy it.  This is a lesson that apparently the oligarchy that rules us all hasn’t grasped in the ensuing 93 years.  The old saw about the “rich get richer and the poor get poorer” was never so apt as it is today.

In 1974, we knew that human activity was affecting the ozone layer.  Now, 45 years later, we are still arguing with folks who don’t believe climate change is real and not doing enough to mitigate the human impact upon the environment.



We know what has to be done.  We’ve known for years.  The 1% put their profit ahead of everyone else’s wellbeing.   It’s that simple
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Today is the 3rd day of the 39th week, the 24th day of the 9th month, the 267th day of 2019, and: 
  • Festival of Latest Novelties
  • Gallbladder Good Health Day
  • Innergize Day – for all you folk who want a reason to take a mental health day off
  • Kiss Day – yes another one if you missed February 13th
  • National Bluebird of Happiness Day
  • National Cherries Jubilee Day
  • National Familial Hypercholesterolemia Day
  • National Punctuation Day
  • National Voter Registration DayIf you haven’t registered, please do so.  If you have?  Please verify your registration is current
  • National Woman Road Warrior Day
  • Schwenkfelder Thanksgiving

1493 - Christopher Columbus embarks on his second expedition to the New World, setting sail with a fleet of 17 ships

1657 - first autopsy and coroner's jury verdict is recorded in Maryland

1852 - Henri Giffard, a French engineer, makes first engine powered dirigible/airship flight with steam power

1853 - first round-the-world trip by yacht by Cornelius Vanderbilt

1889 - Alexander Dey patents dial time recorder

1951 - USSR performs nuclear test

1952 - American fast food restaurant chain "KFC" [Kentucky Fried Chicken] opens its first franchise in Salt Lake City, Utah

1958 - first welded aluminum girder highway bridge completed in Urbandale, Iowa

1960 - USS Enterprise, first nuclear power aircraft carrier, launched

1964 - first Minuteman II ICBM was tested

1966 - France performs nuclear test at Fangataufa Island

1968 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1970 - Soviet space probe Luna 16 lands on earth after first unmanned round trip to moon

1978 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1979 - CompuServe began operation as first computer information service

1979 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1981 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1983 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1987 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

2015 - Pope Francis becomes the first pope to address the US Congress. Names Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Thomas Merton and Dorothy Day as his American heroes.

2017 - Plastic polystyrene rubbish discovered for first time only 1,000 miles from the north pole by international team of scientists

2019 - NASA Voyager is 20 hrs 23 mins 34 secs of light-travel time from Earth


Writing prompt for the day:  “For a moment today, time stands still — but you can tweak one thing while it’s stopped. What do you do?”


Well I am going to assume that one cannot change the past – so no going back and wiping out something you regret or setting yourself up to succeed.  Plus  you cannot do something like grant yourself the winning lottery ticket because you don’t have today’s number.  No, it has to be something that you can do right now.  And I know what I would change – I would take my daughter’s pain away. 


You see, she won the war against cancer – she defeated stage 3C breast cancer.   But as she puts it, she won the battle and now she has to live with the battlefield – a body that for two years was deliberately and systematically  poisoned, radiated, and mutilated.  Her body and her mind have been unbearably battered, and she pays the price every single hour of every single day as she tries to come back to health and well-being.    So if time stopped, if between one breath and the next, I could take away her pain I would.




But I can’t.  All I can do is admire her indomitable and gamin spirit as she continues to get up and faces each and every day
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, September 24, 2019

99 days left in 2019...

Today is the second day of the 39th week [and the year is 3/4th over], the 23rd day of the 9th month, the 266th day of 2019, and: 
  • Autumn (Autumnnal Equinox) 3:50AM EDT
  • Celebrate Bisexuality Day
  • Family Day
  • International Day of Sign Languages
  • Mabon – although tied to the equinox, it actually started on the 21st and ends on the 29th
  • National Checkers Day or National Dogs in Politics Day
  • National Falls Prevention Awareness Day
  • National Great American Pot Pie Day
  • National Snack Stick Day
  • Native American Women's Equal Pay Day
  • Proposal Day
  • Restless Legs Awareness Day
  • Teal Talk Day – actually a day to raise awareness of ovarian cancer  
  • The First Day of Fall
  • Za'atar Day – an herb and spice blend used in Middle Eastern cooking

1561 - King Philip II of Spain forbids Spanish settlements in Florida

1806 - Lewis & Clark return to St Louis from Pacific Northwest

1879 - Baldwin steam motors tram first tried in Sydney Australia

1879 - Richard Rhodes invented a hearing aid called the Audiophone

1913 - Roland Garros is 1st to fly over Mediterranean Sea

1938 - Time capsule, to be opened in 6939, buried at World's Fair in NYC (capsule contained a woman's hat, man's pipe & 1,100' of microfilm)

1941 - The first gas murder experiments are conducted at Auschwitz. concentration camp

1958 - Great Britain performs atmospheric nuclear test at Christmas Island

1962 - ABC's first color TV series - The Jetsons by Hanna-Barbera  - first broadcast

1964 - "Fiddler on the Roof" with Zero Mostel premieres in NYC

1969 - "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford premieres ((SRSLY, this film is 50 years old?))

1973 - Largest known prime, 2 ^ 132,049-1, is discovered

1976 - Soyuz 22 returns to Earth

1977 - third test of Space Shuttle Enterprise

1980 - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opens at WDW

1982 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1986 - Congress selects the rose as US national flower

1993 - "Les Miserables" opens at Playhouse, Edinburgh

1994 - "The Shawshank Redemption", directed by Frank Darabont and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, is released

1999 - NASA announces that it has lost contact with the Mars Climate Orbiter.

2002 - The first public version of the web browser Mozilla Firefox ("Phoenix 0.1") is released

2018 - Japan's space agency is the first to place two robotic explorers on an asteroid - Ryugu, from its Hayabusa-2 spacecraft


Quote of the day:

"Only have enough of little virtues and common fidelities, and you need not mourn because you are neither a hero or a saint."

~  Henry Ward Beecher (1813 - 1887), American Presbyterian Minister


Over the years, I have slowly come to accept that there are people who just plain don’t like me, for one reason or another.  Yes, I know, one should not worry about what others think about you because they probably aren’t thinking about you at all.  But it is only fairly recently that I stopped beating myself up over it.  I have spent countless hours trying to figure out what I could’ve said differently in various social situations, wondering if I could’ve dressed different to fit in better, or just worried that my aura was projecting some sort of “hate me” vibe.  I would try and rehearse interactions, but then I would get all contrary and act like a rectal cavity, trying to be as bad as I was being treated.  It took a long time to understand that it was all about meeting their expectations if you wanted to belong while I always felt that meeting MY expectations of me was more important.  It took an even longer time to understand that didn’t mean I was wrong or misguided, just me. 



Thank you, my friends
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 23, 2019

not what I planned....

Today is the 6th day of the 38th week, the 20th day of the 9th month ((if you can figure out where September has gone, please let me know)), the 263rd day of 2019, and: 
  • Constitution Day/Pledge Across America
  • International Grenache Day
  • National Concussion Awareness Day
  • National Doodle Day
  • National Fried Rice Day
  • National Gibberish Day
  • National Pepperoni Pizza Day
  • National POW/MIA Recognition Day
  • National Punch Day
  • National String Cheese Day
  • National Tradesman Day

1814 - "Star Spangled Banner" published as a song, lyrics by Francis Scott Key, tune by John Stafford Smith

1839 - fist railroad in Netherland opens (Amsterdam-Haarlem)

1848 - The American Association for the Advancement of Science is created.

1873 - Panic sweeps NY Stock Exchange (railroad bond default/bank failure) NY shut banks for 10 days due to a bank scandal

1893 - The first gasoline-powered car debuts in Springfield, Massachusetts

1904 - Orville & Wilbur Wright fly a circle in their Flyer II

1946 - Churchill argues for a 'United States of Europe'  ((how ironic as BREXIT continues to loom))

1951 - first North Pole jet crossing

1954 - first FORTRAN computer program run

1958 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1961 - USSR performs nuclear test at Novaya Zemlya USSR

1963 - JFK proposes a joint US-Soviet voyage to the moon

1973 - Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in battle-of-sexes tennis match

1984 - "Cosby Show" premieres on NBC-TV

1985 - Walt Disney World's celebrates its 200-millionth guest

1990 - Both East and West Germany ratify reunification

1990 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1992 - Space shuttle STS-47 (Endeavour 2) lands

1994 - Space shuttle STS-64 (Discovery 20), lands

Quote of the day:
"Even though we cannot see clearly how it’s going to turn out, we are still called to let the future into our imagination. We will never be able to build what we have not first cherished in our hearts."
~  Joanna Macy and Sam Mowe, “The Work That Reconnects

So many first day of school pictures – and some, like my granddaughters’, showed their current answers to “what do you want to be when you grow up?”, the thought being it would be fun to see how it changed through the years.   Me?  I always wanted to be a teacher.  Yup, I loved school that much – thought about being a librarian when I was a bit older but couldn’t afford the extra money to go through librarian school after getting my undergraduate degree.  I had it all figured out -- I was going to teach for two years [I was on the tuition waiver plan] and then decide if I was a good teacher.  If I was?  I would teach until I retired.  If I wasn’t?  I was going to quit and join the Peace Corps.  The only question was which topic would I teach and at what grade level?

History, specifically ancient and medieval history [the world went to hell in a handbasket it seemed to me in modern times, although I dearly loved Napoleon and Stonewall Jackson],  turned out to be my major, along with minors in Education and Anthropology.   I added to the background by taking classes in political science and economics, which prepared me [or so I thought] to teach Social Studies.  As for the level?  I figured out pretty quickly that I didn’t want to teach elementary school – I have a tremendous amount of respect for those teachers, but I knew I wasn’t interested in teaching Johnny how to read.  Didn’t want to teach high school either, having a vivid memory of the mouth and attitude that age group brought to school each year.  No, I wanted to teach in what used to be called Junior High – middle school these days – and my target was 6th and 7th graders. 

Well, things didn’t work out quite the way that I planned.  Although I did my student teaching and some subbing, I never actually taught.  Instead I got married, and after my kids went off to school, I started working retail, then landed in community banking where I have worked the past 34 years.  There was one point in the early 90’s when I thought about switching back to teaching.  I took the competency test that was then required in Maryland, and was appalled when I only scored a B-, then was even more flabbergasted to find out that teachers who only made 28/100 were being hired for some inner city schools!  I found I had to take classes so I could teach reading as apparently Johnny’s reading abilities had become worse since I graduated from Towson.  And I learned that teachers weren’t actually needed anymore, at least not in the area I was living, so I stayed where I was in Loan Servicing. 


And here I am, light years away from where I thought I would be.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, September 20, 2019


Back in the day?

Facebook had a "pirate" language option and In Second Life,  just about every avatar rigged themselves out appropriately

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, September 19, 2019

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

Today is the 4th day of the  38th week, the 18th day of the 9th month, the 261st day of 2019 [with only 97 shopping days left before Christmas], and: 
  • Chiropractic Founders Day
  • First Love Day
  • Hug a Greeting Card Writer Day
  • International Day Against DRM
  • International Read an eBook Day
  • National Cheeseburger Day – and where to get freebies
  • National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day
  • National Respect Day
  • National School Backpack Awareness Day
  • Rice Krispies Treats Day
  • World Bamboo Day
  • World Water Monitoring Day
Most of the links and stories I share are on social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, but once in a while I aggregate some of what I found interesting in a blog post:

A staple of science fiction is the space elevator and it is rather surprising to find out that it may actually be possible: />
Volcanoes always fascinate me, even extraterrestrial ones, and the fact that we might actually be able to predict an eruption on one of Jupiter’s moons?  awesome: />
Despite the fact that I personally have never ridden any of the rides, I always liked the carnival atmosphere of this area and I’m sorry to see it fall into disfavor: />
Amazon’s series about Middle Earth is something that I am watching very closely indeed.  I’m glad that they are returning to New Zealand: />
Evolution is not a straight line, but has branches on a tree.  Anthropology is one of the subjects that I follow avidly: />
Archeology and cultural anthropology go hand-in-hand, and again, it’s something I have always been fascinated by recent developments : />
Space may be the final frontier, but space junk is becoming a real problem.  Gotta luv the human race, we litter everywhere: />
This should increase the popularity of the Caribbean Beach resort:  Frank always liked staying there.  It’s a nice enough resort if you are fairly near the main building

Being old does not mean you are senile: />
A hologram is going on tour:   I always liked Whitney Houston – she had an incredible voice

Medicaid is NOT free: />
There weren’t a lot of fun pictures today, but this meme tickled my fancy:
For what it is worth, I’ve tried RL.  The graphics are great, but it is only a beta version and getting an upgrade seems to be impossible

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 18, 2019

yes we remember

Today is the 4th day of the 37th week, the 11th day of the 9th month, the 254th day of 2019, and: 
  • "I Want to Start My Own Business" Day
  • Libraries Remember Day
  • Make Your Bed Day
  • National Day of Service and Remembrance
  • National Emergency Responders Day
  • National Hot Cross Bun Day
  • National No News is Good News Day
  • Patriot Day
  • Remember Freedom Day
  • Women's Baseball Day

1773 - Benjamin Franklin writes "There never was a good war or bad peace"

1792 - The French Blue gem (later the Hope Diamond) is stolen with other French crown jewels from Royal storehouse in Paris during Reign of Terror

1847 - the first singing of Stephen Foster's "Susanna" (in Pittsburgh)

1853 - the first electric telegraph used - Merchant's Exchange, San Francisco to Pt Lobos, California

1875 - the first women's baseball game where fans were charged and players were paid took place. It was between "Blondes" and "Brunettes" and was held in Springfield, Illinois.

1906 - Mahatma Gandhi coins the term "Satyagraha" to characterize the Non-Violence movement in South Africa.

1914 - WC Handy "Father of the Blues" publishes his most famous composition "St Louis Blues"

1930 - Stromboli volcano (Sicily) throws 2-ton basaltic rocks two miles

1940 - George Stibitz pioneers the first remote operation of a computer.

1945 - Physician Willem J Kolff performs the first successful kidney dialysis using his artificial kidney machine, the Netherlands

1946 - the first mobile long-distance car-to-car telephone conversation

1950 - the first typesetting machine to dispense with metal type exhibited

1950 - Dick Tracy TV show sparks uproar concerning violence

1959 - Congress passes a bill authorizing food stamps for poor Americans

1961 - Foundation of the World Wildlife Fund.

1965 - Beatles' "Help!" album goes #1 & stays #1 for nine weeks

1966 - France performs nuclear test at Mururoa atoll

1967 - US Surveyor 5 makes first chemical analysis of lunar material

1969 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1978 - The last known person dies of smallpox - medical photographer Janet Parker through infection in a laboratory, in Birmingham, England

1983 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1985 - International Cometary Explorer (ISEE 3) passes Giacobini-Zinner by 7900 km

1986 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1986 - Dow Jones Industrial Avg suffered biggest 1-day decline ever, plummeting 86.61 points to 1,792.89. 237.57 million shares traded

1995 - Soyuz TM-22, lands

2003 - The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety enters into effect.

2007 - Russia tests the largest conventional weapon ever, the Father of all bombs.

Quote of the day:
Forever—is composed of Nows—"
~  Emily Dickinson, The Poems of Emily Dickinson

Today, 18 years ago, a lot changed in the US.  For a time we came together, and then the fracture lines appeared.  There were those who looked upon any foreigner [defined by not looking like “us” whether visitor, immigrant, or citizen] with suspicion because the terrorists had lived amongst us before they struck.   The polarization seemed to start there – I remember losing a friend I had known for years because I tried to be even-handed about strangers in our land.  He, shook with grief and loss of someone close to him, would have none of it and rounded on me, never to speak to me again.  I wonder sometimes if our annual revisiting of this day exacerbates rather than assuages our grief, impeding our progess to togetherness.  I wish I could talk to Grandmom Hughes about Pearl Harbor Day, but then again, they had the catharsis of WWII afterwards whereas for us there has been no real resolution, just more and more Homeland Security.    


Yes we all remember – I just hope we are remembering the right things
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 11, 2019

just be there....

Today is the 4th day of the 36th week, the 4th day of the 9th month, the 247th day of 2019 [with only 111 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Eat an Extra Dessert Day
  • Global Talent Acquisition Day
  • National Macadamia Nut Day
  • National Newspaper Carrier Day – in 1833 the first newsboy (Barney Flaherty, 10 years old) was hired by the NY Sun
  • National Wildlife Day

 476 - Romulus Augustulus, last Western Roman Emperor, abdicates after forces led by Odoacer invade Rome. Traditional end of the Western Roman Empire

1609 - Navigator Henry Hudson first European to discover island of Manhattan

1682 - English astronomer Edmond Halley observes the comet named after him

1781 - Los Angeles is founded by 44 Spanish speaking mestizos in the Bahia de las Fumas (Bay of Smokes)

1807 - Robert Fulton begins operating his steamboat

1882 - in its first large-scale test, Thomas Edison's light bulb is used to light NY's Pearl Street Station

1888 - George Eastman patents the first roll-film camera & registers "Kodak"

1893 - English author Beatrix Potter first writes the story of Peter Rabbit for a 5 year old boy

1912 - First accident (collision) in London Underground; 22 people injured

1920 - Last day of Julian civil calendar (in parts of Bulgaria)

1922 - William Walmsley and William Lyons officially found the Swallow Sidecar Company (later Jaguar Cars) in Blackpool, England

1936 - "Swing Time", directed by George Stevens, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, is released

1945 - American chess grandmaster Reuben Fine wins four simultaneous rapid (10 seconds per move) games blindfolded in New York City

1950 - NASCAR’s first paved super speedway, Darlington Raceway hosts Southern 500, first 500-mile event in NASCAR history; winner Johnny Mantz in a Plymouth

1964 - NASA launches its first Orbital Geophysical Observatory (OGO-1)

1965 - Beatles' single "Help!" goes #1 & stays #1 for three weeks

1967 - Jerry Lewis' 2nd Muscular Dystrophy telethon

1972 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1972 - "The Price is Right" - US's longest running games show debuts on CBS

1977 - "Godspell" closes at Broadhurst Theater NYC after 527 performances.  It played at the Morris Mechanic for nine weeks and we got to know much of the cast who went on to Broadway!  I loved that show.

1982 - USSR performs underground nuclear test

1992 - "Scared Silent" is 1st non news program to be seen on three networks simultaneously. (CBS, NBC & PBS), about child abuse hosted by Oprah

1998 - Google is formally incorporated by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two students at Stanford University

2018 - F.B.I. announces they have recovered Dorothy's ruby red slippers from "The Wizard of Oz", stolen 13 years ago

Quote of the day:
Most of us are experts at solving other people’s problems, but we generally solve them in terms of our own and the advice we give is seldom for other people but for ourselves.”
~  Nan Fairbrother, The House in the Country

When somebody starts to share their story with you, just listen.  Don’t try and solve their problem, don’t try and fix what is wrong.  You see, sometimes what is needed is a shoulder to cry on and a willing sympathizer, not advice.

 Seriously, you can tell YOUR story another time
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Happy Labor Day

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, September 2, 2019


Today is the 4th day of the 34th week, the 21st day of the 8th month, the 233rd day of 2019 [with only 125 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • International Day of Remembrance and Tribute To The Victims of Terrorism
  • Internet Self-care Day
  • National Brazillian Blowout Day
  • National Medical Dosimetrist Day
  • national Senior Citizens Day
  • National Spumoni Day
  • Poet's Day
Quote of the day:
Read at whim! Read at whim!”
Randall Jarrell, American poet, literary critic, children's author, essayist, and novelist

 That about describes how I read and why I always have different books laying around in various stages of consumption.  Long before the concept of binge watching was known, I was immersed in binge reading and now that I live alone, there is absolutely nothing to stop me from diving into the printed page and not emerging until absolutely necessary.  Now and then, especially after I mention I have been reading, I get asked what I am reading.  Now usually if I rattle off the titles, there is a short silence and then the person who asks then talks about the books they would like to read.  Unspoken is the context of “purposeful reading”.  Now there are times when I am reading for information, but nine times out of ten? I am reading for pleasure and entertainment and that makes me rather sheepish when questioned because I seldom read non-fiction for those purposes. 

So, what do I read?  Science fiction.  Comedy.  Adventure.  Fantasy.  Historical romances.  Arthurian adaptations.  Short stories.  Sherlockian adaptions.  Fan fiction.  Lovecraftian horror.  Disney guidebooks, magazines, etc etc and so forth.  And I reread books – I have lost count of how many times I have been to Middle Earth, or played Ender’s Game, or agreed that God is an Englishman, shivered at The Stand, chuckled at Georgette Heyer, indulged in Harry Potter, flown with the dragons of Pern, visited the Source and Hawaii, or travelled to Darkover or Dune.   I could go on and on listing favorite books that because I read quickly I get to go back to again and again and again – Watership Down, Battleship Earth, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Cities in Flight, Little Women, The Last Unicorn, and the list grows and grows even as I think about it. 

When I say I live a 2nd life, I don’t just mean the avatars that romp through online worlds – I mean the world of imagination that I discovered as soon as I learned how to read.  In some ways my 2nd life has always been more real to me than this so-called “real life” we stumble through each day. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Hiroshima Day

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Today is the 2nd day of the 32nd week, the 5th day of the 8th month, the 217th day of 2019, and: 
  • Assistance Dog Day
  • Civic Day
  • Green Peppers Day
  • International Traffic Light Day
  • National Doll Day
  • National Oyster Day
  • National Underwear Day
  • Work Like a Dog Day

The first of four Mondays in August and vacation is “only” 124 days away.



1583 - Humphrey Gilbert claims Newfoundland for the British crown - first English colony in North America and the beginning of the British Empire

1884 - Cornerstone for Statue of Liberty laid on Bedloe's Island (NYC)

1891 - The world's first traveler's cheques issued (American Express)

1912 - Japan's first taxicab service begins in Ginza, Tokyo

1914 - The first electric traffic light installed in the USA on the corner of East 105th Street and Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, Ohio

1926 - Houdini stays in a coffin under water for 1½ hrs before escaping

1953 - "From Here to Eternity" based on book by James Jones, directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift and Frank Sinatra is released (Academy Awards Best Picture 1954)

1957 - "American Bandstand" premieres on network TV (ABC)

1957 - Comic strip "Andy Capp" makes its debut

1957 - WJZ-TV in Baltimore MD begins radio transmissions

1966 - USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1969 - Mariner 7 flies past Mars

1973 - USSR launches Mars 6

1981 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1982 - US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1986 - It's revealed Andrew Wyeth of Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, had secretly created 240 drawings and paintings of his neighbor Helga Testorf

1989 - NASA Venus probe Magellan launched from Space shuttle, the first to do so

2011 - NASA launches its Juno space probe from Cape Canaveral to orbit and study Jupiter


It has been a rough weekend here in the US -- there have now been 248 mass shootings this year.   246 people have been killed and 979 wounded




This is going to take a lot more than thoughts and prayers to fix. 

((picture courtsy of Sandra Boynton))

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, August 5, 2019

Today is the 6th day of the 31st week, the 2nd day of the 8th month, the 214th day of 2019, and: 
  • Braham Pie or Homemade Pie Day – apparently this is an event in Braham, Minnesota as Braham was declared the Pie Capital of Minnesota by former Governor Rudy Perpich in 1990
  • Dinosaurs Day – as happens with many of these holidays, there is no indication of why TODAY is the day to celebrate these awesome beings.   Maybe it was the day they think the asteroid hit
  • International Beer Day
  • National CAD [computer-aided design] Day –
  • National Coloring Book Day – since 1990, it hasn’t been just for kids anymore
  • National Ice Cream Sandwich Day - The original ice cream sandwich, some vanilla ice cream pressed between two thin graham crackers, sold for a penny in 1900 from a pushcart in the Bowery neighborhood of New York.  The name of that inventive vendor has never been found
  • National Water Balloon Day
  • Tomboy Tools Day – those pink tools quickly became ubiquitous
  • Twins Day
Quote of the day:

"You are the light, with your ability to be conscious and mindful, and to act with wisdom and foresight. To serve the light means to show up—by which I mean, to be present—for yourself, as your best and highest self, and to show up for others in your life as well."

~  Dawa Tarchin Phillips, “What to Do When You Don’t Know What’s Next”

No the quote doesn’t have anything to do with my …   well I guess rant is the only applicable word

My doctor visit on July 9th wasn’t exactly pleasant.  For the past nine years, after being diagnosed with Type II Diabetes,  I have been successfully managing my blood sugar levels with a combination of diet and medication.  The wheels seemed to have come off the bus back at the beginning of the year and my A1C level, which indicates an average bloods sugar level in the bloodstream, suddenly started climbing despite my best efforts to manage it.  The doctor told me on that Tuesday that I would have to go on low-level insulin to try and get things back under control.    As much as I hated and dreaded the idea of giving myself daily injections, I agreed and she suggested getting a pen as a delivery system. 

But in this day and age, the space between the doctor’s prescription and actually taking medication has to be negotiated via insurance.  Now insulin, especially via pen is a tier 2  to 4 drug – translation?  The patient pays 30% to 100% of the drug cost even in its generic form and there has been a lot of publicity about how much prices have soared.  Medicare does not provide any coverage for insulin, so it was all about what the Baltimore County Retired Police Officers had negotiated with Cigna.   After a long phone call and much research into the formulary, I was astonished to discover [1] there were different types of insulin, not just different strengths, and [2] that certain types of insulin were 100% covered by my plan.  I copied the formulary and submitted it to my doctor – unfortunately the type she wanted to use was not on that plan but she was able to find one she though would work, and then they sent in the prescription

Now this insurance company prefers you use their mail service to fill prescriptions.  Back and forth, phone calls to Cigna and the doctor’s office.  And then there is the time for shipping.  So finally, on July 31st the insulin pens arrive.  One small problem – the doctor’s office had prescribed “supplies” and didn’t specify needles, so no needles were sent and no instructions on how to do injections.  Another doctor visit and a trip to Walgreens and I finally was able to take my first injection on August 1st,  over three weeks after the doctor’s diagnosis. 

And I am quite aware that I am one of the lucky ones that has insurance coverage and the medication is covered,for now at least. The doctor is frustrated with the wait, the bureaucracy, and the fact I am not taking what she thought best to use. 


This is health care in America.

There has to be a better way.
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, August 2, 2019

Today is the 5th day of the 31st week, the 1st day of the 8th month, the 213th day of 2019 [with only 145 shopping days until Christmas], and: 
  • Homemade Pie Day
  • India Pale Ale Beer Day
  • International Can-It-Forward Day
  • Lammas (Merry Loafmas)
  • Lughnasadh
  • National Girlfriends Day
  • National IPA Day
  • National Mahjong Day
  • National Minority Donor Awareness Day
  • national Raspberry Cream Pie Day
  • Planner Day
  • Play Ball Day
  • Respect for Parents Day
  • Rounds Resounding Day
  • Scout Scarf Day
  • Spider-Man Day
  • Start Up Day Across America
  • US Air Force Day
  • Woman Astronomers Day
  • World Lung Cancer Day
  • World Wide Web Day
  • Yorkshire Day
It seems as though once we get past the 4th then July is over.  August is just as fleeting as the back-to-school advertisements have us looking towards September long before it comes.  Fortunately our governor has all Maryland schools starting after Labor Day, which comes very early this year.  At least August has five Fridays and only four Mondays, so that is a point in our favor. 

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, August 1, 2019

Today is the 2nd day of the 31st week, the 29th day of the 7th month, the 210th day of 2019, and: 
  • Army Chaplain Corps Anniversary – created back in 1775 and consisting of ordained clergy who are commissioned Army officers who serve as military chaplains
  • Earth Overshoot Day [AKA Ecological Debt Day] -  started back in 2007, the calculated date on which humanity's resource consumption for the year exceeds Earth’s capacity to regenerate those resources that year.
  • International Tiger Day
  • National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day -  supposedly this is about saving your house from mice. You are supposed to buy some cheese today and "sacrifice" it by putting it on a mouse trap to rid your house of any mice.
  • National Chicken Wing Day
  • National Lasagna Day
  • Rain Day
Quote of the day:

"When you look at getting stuck in traffic as an opportunity to slow down (literally!), it can seem like more of a blessing than a nightmare. Getting stressed out won’t make those cars go any faster. Finding ways to enjoy it is a lot more rewarding. It makes it feel less like wasting time."

~  Brad Warner, “How to Not Waste Time


I posted this picture on Facebook and poked my cousin who is a bit of an introvert and has now taken up residence in a tourist area to see if I could get a chuckle.  To my surprise, several people responded that it was a great place mat and that got me to thinking about how the concept of “visiting” has changed over the years.


Both of my grandmothers’ homes enjoyed almost a constant stream of people who just dropped by.   Some were neighbors who walked over, sometimes it was family on their way to one place or another, sometimes it was friends or acquaintances who were out for a drive and just decided to come by, their arrival only heralded by the crunch of tires on the gravel driveway and/or the barking of the dog [back in the day].    It never seemed to bother anyone to find the house closed up and the occupants not home – sometimes they would stick a note in the door or mailbox telling them that they had been by, sometimes they didn’t.  It never seemed to fluster Grandmom, who would greet the visitors effusively and wave them into the house, stopping whatever it was that she was doing and sitting down to talk a spell.  And you never let anyone leave without servicing refreshments!  The table had to be set and the drinks poured and there were always cookies or some cake or pie that could be put out as conversation lingered over the table until the visitors decided it was time to head back home or someone produced a deck of cards or a board game.


Nowadays we make appointments in advance, deliberately clearing our schedules and making a visit an event rather than just a causal dropping in.  I think it started with our parents, at least I don’t remember my mother and father treating visits as casually as my grandmothers did, nor do I remember folks just dropping in at our house.  In my own homes, very few people ever just dropped in – even family would call ahead and make sure we were going to be home and that it was convenient.    


I wonder what changed – was it that our neighborhoods became less community oriented?   Was it that family moved so far away that just stopping by wasn’t practical?  Did we all become so busy that we couldn’t just hang out or didn’t know what to say if we had to just sit and talk?  How did the concept of individual dwellings become that of isolation from one’s fellows?  Is this a temporary phase our society is going through or the direction of the future?  I wonder….

0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Monday, July 29, 2019


*whew*   Finally!  Today is the 6th day of the 30th week, the 26th day of the 7th month, the 207th day of 2019, and: 
  • Americans With Disabilities Day - Americans with Disabilities Act comes into effect in 1990
  • Armed Forces Unification Day – in 1947 President Truman signed National Security Act (1947), establishing Department of Defense, CIA, National Security Council and Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • Aunt and Uncles Day
  • Lumberjack Day
  • National All or Nothing Day
  • National Bagelfest Day - In 1986, Murray Lender, owner of Lenders Bagels, started the festival in Mattoon, Illinois, home of the world's largest bagel factory
  • National Coffee Milkshake Day
  • National Get Gnarly Day – does “gnarly” get a bad rap?  The day was established in 2016 as the result of a Whirlpool employee motivation campaign
  • National Talk in an Elevator Day
  • One Voice Day
  • System Administrator Day 


1267 - Inquisition forms in Rome under Pope Clement IV

1903 - the first automobile trip across the United States (San Francisco to New York) completed by Horatio Nelson Jackson and Sewall K. Crocker

1945 - Physicist Raemer Schreiber and Lieutenant Colonel Peer de Silva depart Kirtland Army Air Field to transport the plutonium core for the Fat Man bomb (bombing of Nagasaki) to the island of Tinian where the bomb is assembled

1957 - the USSR launches the first intercontinental multistage ballistic missile

1958 - the US Army launches the fourth US successful satellite, Explorer IV

1963 - US Syncom 2, 1st geosynchronous communications satellite, launched

1971 - Apollo 15 launched (Scott and Irwin) to 4th manned landing on Moon

1972 - Rockwell receives NASA contract to construct Space Shuttle

1974 - France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa atoll

1974 - USSR's Soyuz fails to dock with Salyut 3

1975 - Soyuz 18B returns to Earth

1977 - USSR performs underground nuclear Test

1978 - France performs nuclear Test at Mururoa atoll

1983 - Light flashes seen on Jupiter moon Io

1993 - Mars Observer takes its first photo of Mars, from 5 billion km

2005 - Space Shuttle STS-114 Mission - Launch of Discovery, NASA's first scheduled flight mission after the Columbia Disaster in 2003

2018 - Observation of a black hole by The Very Large Telescope in Chile proves Albert Einstein's prediction of "gravitational redshift", published in "Journal Astronomy & Astrophysics"


Quote of the day:
“In each moment our experience is determined to a great extent by seeds from the past that are bearing fruit right now. In each moment, too, we can plant a seed intentionally that will create fruit in the future.”
~  Ben Connelly, “Cleaning Out the Storehouse

This is one of those statements that just make you stop and think.   It’s kinda a nicer way of saying “as ye reap, so shall ye sow

I have always believed “I” [as in the person who I am right now] was crafted by the choices I have made in the past.  For example, if I had stayed married to my second husband, I wouldn’t be working at 69+, I would be home every day doing things around the house instead of getting up with the sun [or before the sun as the days shorten] and heading out to the workplace.  In that sense, I chose to be working at my age, although I may not have realized that would be a consequence of divorcing him and marrying Frank.    It makes me wonder what choices I am making today, what seeds am I sowing, that will impact my future self’s well being or very state of being?    Makes you look at the entire butterfly concept of consequences on a very personal level – everything is connected not only with your present wellbeing but your future self.  And think about it – if you could change just one thing and unravel the entire tapestry of your life, then what one thing are you doing today that will cause the warp and woof of your future to take form and substance?  

Category:  #becarefulwhatyuowishfor
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Friday, July 26, 2019

it is Friday's Eve at least

Today is the 5th day of the 30th week, the 25th day of the 7th month, the 206th day of 2019 [and despite being known as “Christmas in July” there are 152 shopping days remaining until Christmas], and: 
  • Culinarians Day - a special day for anyone who cooks. ...
  • Feast of Saint James
  • Health and Happiness with Hypnosis Day
  • International Red Shoe Day
  • National Carousel Day or Merry-Go-Round Day - William Schneider of Davenport, Iowa patented the design for the modern carousel in 1871
  • National Chili Dog Day
  • National Hire a Veteran Day
  • National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
  • National Intern Day
  • National Refreshment Day
  • National Wine and Cheese Day
  • Thread the Needle Day – for those who sew and those who tread warily amidst clashes of opinion
  • Video Games Day – but why today?


1814 - English engineer George Stephenson introduces his first steam locomotive, a travelling engine designed for hauling coal on the Killingworth wagonway named Blücher

1832 - the first railroad accident in US, Granite Railway, Quincy, Massachusetts, kills one person

1837 - The first commercial use of an electric telegraph successfully demonstrated by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone between Euston and Camden Town in London

1850 - Gold discovered in Oregon (Rogue River)

1854 - Walter Hunt is awarded the first U.S. patent for a paper shirt collar

1908 - Ajinomoto Co. is founded. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University discovers a key ingredient in Konbu soup stock is monosodium glutamate (MSG), patents a process for manufacturing it.

1917 - Sir Thomas Whyte introduces the first income tax in Canada as a "temporary" measure (lowest bracket is 4% and highest is 25%).

1957 - US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site

1963 - US, Russia & Britain sign nuclear Test ban treaty

1969 - The Apollo 11 command module Columbia with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin aboard splashed down at 11:49 AM CDT

1982 - France performs nuclear Test

1983 - first non-human primate (baboon) conceived in a lab dish, San Antonio

1984 - Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya becomes the first woman to walk in space

1985 - US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Siteand and USSR performs nuclear Test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR

1987 - USSR launches Kosmos 1870, 15-ton Earth-study satellite

1990 - US performs nuclear Test at Nevada Test Site

2019 - NASA Voyager  is 20 hrs 12 mins 03 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
"Do not be afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact."
~  William James (1842 - 1910), American Philosopher and Psychologist

What makes a week, especially a work week, "long"?  And why is that perception unexpected shared not just with office mates or even folks who work closely together online, but with others further away or even complete strangers?  I can understand if my co-workers agree with me, after all, they are working in the same environment.  But to hear the same plaint from elsewhere makes me wonder what is going on.  No, being busy does not always make the time go faster.  In fact those are the worst days when you are functioning at warp speed but the clock seems to be in a time warp of its own!


And yet, despite the fact that this particular week feels like it has stretched on forever, making last weekend a remote memory, I find it rather appalling to realize July is just about over
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Thursday, July 25, 2019

getting over the hump

Today is the 4th day of the 30th week, the 24th day of the 7th month, the 205th day of 2019, and: 
  • Amelia Earhart Day
  • Cousins Day
  • International Self Care Day
  • National Drive-Thru Day
  • National Tell an Old Joke Day
  • National Tequila Day
  • National Thermal Engineer Day
  • Pioneer Day
Quote of the day:
Don’t worry about the future; don’t worry about the past. Stay right here. Ultimately you get so that you can’t say that you’re going forward, you can’t say that you’re going back, you can’t say that you’re staying in place. There’s nothing to be attached to.”
~  Ajahn Chah, “The Last Gift”

Musing:  My mind is skittering about today.  I blame Facebook.  And the weather.  And the political news. 

Reading a book and listening to it are two very different ways to appreciate a story.    I have been listening to James P Hogan’s Inherit the Stars and his brand of science fiction is very precise with technobabble carefully explained and illustrated in a way that I might’ve been tempted to skim over had I been reading instead of listening.  The cultural assumptions are rather dated –  women are pretty docile, there is a great respect for the alpha male, and everyone smokes even in the office – but it is still an interesting tale and I’ll probably spring for the sequels. 

Just a stray …   well it is more than a thought but less than a rant….  Back in the day, my daughter had a very successful podcast known as Bucket ((no you won’t find it online, it was a long time ago)).  One segment that she always did personally was “Potty Talk” where she railed against such things as folks wanting to talk to you while you were pooping – things like that.  My personal gripes are the ladies who come into a stall and immediately flush the toilet, not because has the remains of a former occupant’s business mind you, but just because they want clean water in which to deposit their….   er, contribution.  Now I can see the point when there is something in the toilet, but not just to have a fresh bowl of water!  Nine times out of ten, the same ladies will stand on one foot and use their foot to accomplish the flushing, so not only do they waste water, but the next person who doesn’t perform the same gyration gets to touch a handle onto which they have scraped all the possible germs they picked up from the bathroom floor.  My guess is that they do this because they assume the same hand that wipes is the hand that flushes [which might be valid in all fairness].  And then, having preserved themselves from possible biological waste contamination, they then wash their hands, dry them, then get another dry paper towel so they can not touch the handle of the ladies room door and leave.  Makes me wonder what kind of environment they live in or came from….

Looking forward to the weekend is really just another way to be “wishing your life away”, as Grandmom Hughes used to say.

Why is Christmas in July a thing when it would make more sense for June 25th to be the midpoint between one Christmas and another?

And last:

That seems to be a pretty good note to end on. 
0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | Wednesday, July 24, 2019

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