Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day 2014

     


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In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive.
--Lee Iacocca

Today is a federal holiday in the United States.

Today is Labor Day.

Labor Day is annually held on the first Monday of September. It was originally organized to celebrate various labor associations' strengths of and contributions to the United States economy. In modern times it is largely a day of rest. Many people mark Labor Day as the end of the summer season and a last chance to make trips or hold outdoor events.

Labor Day, as are most holidays, is a day (or a weekend) for the masses of workaday stiffs to go out and spend, spend, spend so the super rich Fat Cats can get richer and fatter.


I am not merely a curmudgeonly cynic. I am a just guy who is able to observe, analyze, and reach an obvious conclusion. In other words I am one of those people considered by the hoi polloi as being a know-it-all pain in the ass.

Note: Hoi polloi is a borrowing of the Greek phrase hoi polloi, consisting of hoi, meaning "the" and used before a plural, and polloi, the plural of polus, "many." In Greek hoi polloi had a special sense, "the greater number, the people, the commonalty, the masses."

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Did You Know . . .?

The Kumbuk River Hotel in Sri Lanka is shaped like an elephant.


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HISTORICAL EVENT

The town of Hinckley, Minnesota, was destroyed by a forest fire on this day in 1894. A total of 440 people died in the area. Fires near two rail lines south of Hinckley broke out and spread north. As the raging fire reached the town's train depot, 350 of the townspeople got on a train to escape. The train had to pass right through flames, but reached safety in West Superior, Wisconsin. Other Hinckley residents sought refuge in the swamps near town, but many in this group were killed In all, 300,000 acres of town and forest burned in the fire, causing about $25 million in damages. In Hinckley, 228 people died. More than 200 others in the surrounding areas also perished, including 23 Ojibwa natives.


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WORD FOR TODAY

shoal
noun
1. A shallow place in a body of water.
2. A sandy elevation of the bottom of a body of water, constituting a hazard to navigation; a sandbank or sandbar.

A shoal, sandbank, or sandbar is a linear landform completely within or extending into a body of water. It is typically composed of sand, silt, and/or small pebbles.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born September 1, 1950)
Dr. Phil is an American television personality, author, psychologist, and the host of the television show Dr. Phil, which debuted in 2002. McGraw first gained celebrity status with appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the late 1990s.



(born September 1, 1939)
Lily Tomlin is an American actress. She became a featured performer on television's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. Tomlin's career has spanned television, comedy recordings, Broadway, and motion pictures. She has starred in such films as Nashville, 9 to 5, All of Me, The Beverly Hillbillies, Orange County, and I Heart Huckabees. Her notable television roles include Laugh-In as a cast member from 1970–73, Ms. Frizzle on The Magic School Bus, Kay Carter-Shepley on Murphy Brown, Deborah Fiderer on The West Wing, and Lillie Mae MacKenzie on Malibu Country.



(Sept 1, 1948 - Mar 21, 2014)
James Rebhorn was an American actor who appeared in over 100 films, television series, and plays. At the time of his death, he had recurring roles in the current series White Collar and Homeland.



(born September 1, 1980)
Lara Pulver is an English actress. She is best known for her portrayals of Erin Watts in the popular British BBC spy drama Spooks, and Irene Adler on BBC's TV adaptation Sherlock.

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Life is truly known only to those who suffer, lose, endure adversity and stumble from defeat to defeat.
--Anais Nin

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Guest Blogger 8/31/14

     

The Trucks Just Keep Getting Bigger

I admit it.

We have a truck addiction in our household.

First, there was the glory and wonder of that little tan Toyota 4x4, the one we bought when we were young and stupid. We paid and paid and paid for that truck because we had no credit and didn't know enough to dicker at the signing table. Still, the truck served us well and we had many years good use out of it.

Then, enter the amazement of the Tundra. Toyota's first true full-size truck (the T-100 was a joke; nice enough, but *not* full-size). We snuck in on the ground floor of that, purchasing one of the first year's models. It's sitting in our driveway this very moment, with about 70,000 miles on it. I'm still in lust with that truck.

You can see the progression, right? Start small, then move into the stronger stuff, then . . . then what comes next? You got it! The hard stuff.

Sigh. Today we signed papers for something a bit bigger.

It's a Volvo VNL64T300. For those of you who know truck-talk, it's the front half of a tractor-trailer rig, with three axles. It's a day cab, in white, with a short nose.

Whether you know truck-talk or not, I think Harry said it best, "This one's torquier."

I hope there's nowhere bigger we can go with trucks . . .

Copyright 2014 Michelle Hakala
http://www.winebird.com/









 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

8/30/14

     


____________________


"We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible."
--Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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Did You Know . . .?

Male students at Brigham Young University need a doctor's note before they can grow a beard.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American to be confirmed as a Supreme Court justice. He would remain on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring for health reasons, leaving a legacy of upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Justice Marshall came out in favor of abortion rights and against the death penalty, as he continued his tireless commitment to ensuring equitable treatment of individuals -- particularly minorities -- by state and federal governments.

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WORD FOR TODAY

hooligan (HOO-lih-guhn)
noun
1. a rough lawless young person
2. A tough and aggressive or violent youth.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born August 30, 1930)
Warren Buffett is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is the chairman, CEO and largest shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway and consistently ranked among the world's wealthiest people. He was ranked as the world's wealthiest person in 2008 and as the third wealthiest person in 2011. In 2012, American magazine Time named Buffett one of the most influential people in the world



(born August 30, 1972)
Cameron Diaz is an American actress. She rose to prominence during the 1990s, with roles in the movies The Mask, My Best Friend's Wedding and There's Something About Mary. Other high-profile credits include the two Charlie's Angels films, voicing the character Princess Fiona in the Shrek series, Any Given Sunday, Knight and Day, The Holiday, The Green Hornet and Bad Teacher.



(born August 30, 1963)
Michael Chiklis is an American actor. Some of the roles for which he is best known include Commissioner Tony Scali on the ABC police drama The Commish, LAPD Detective Vic Mackey on the FX police drama The Shield, the Thing in the Fantastic Four film series, and Jim Powell on the ABC science-fiction comedy-drama No Ordinary Family.



(born August 30, 1966)
Michael Michele is an American film and television actress. She played Dr. Cleo Finch on the medical drama ER and Detective Rene Sheppard on the police procedural Homicide: Life on the Street. Her films include the Academy Award-nominated film Ali.

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Literature is the art of discovering something extraordinary about ordinary people, and saying with ordinary words something extraordinary.
--Boris Pasternak

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Friday, August 29, 2014

8/29/14

     


____________________


Did You Know . . .?

Mobile devices can carry ten times more bacteria than toilet seats.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 2005, Hurricane Katrina, the most destructive hurricane ever to hit the United States, makes landfall on the U.S. Gulf Coast, near New Orleans, Louisiana. Katrina, which formed over the Bahamas on August 23, was the third major hurricane of a particularly severe 2005 season.  The storm caused massive devastation in and around the city of New Orleans and major damage elsewhere in Louisiana and along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama. Hurricane Katrina was the most costly natural disaster in American history, with damages of more than $80 billion. In all, more than 1,800 people died, 1 million more were displaced and 400,000 lost their jobs as a result of the disaster.


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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(August 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009)



(born August 29, 1936)
John McCain is the senior United States Senator from Arizona.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

8/28/14

     


____________________


“Every man's memory is his private literature.”
--Aldous Huxley

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Do You Know . . .?

Where the city of Halifax is located?


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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1941, more than 23,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered by the Gestapo in occupied Ukraine. The irony is that Ukrainians had originally viewed the Germans as liberators from their Soviet oppressors and an ally in the struggle for independence. On August 28, SS General Franz Jaeckeln marched more than 23,000 Hungarian Jews to bomb craters at Kamenets Podolsk, ordered them to undress, and riddled them with machine-gun fire. Those who didn't die from the spray of bullets were buried alive under the weight of corpses that piled atop them. All told, more than 600,000 Jews had been murdered in Ukraine by war's end.


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WORD FOR TODAY

trenchant [TREHN-chunt]
adjective
1. Forceful, effective, and vigorous: a trenchant argument.
2. Caustic; cutting: trenchant criticism.
3. Distinct; clear-cut.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born August 28, 1969)
Jack Black is an American actor. He starred primarily in comedy films. He is best known for his roles in High Fidelity, Shallow Hal, School of Rock, King Kong, Nacho Libre, Tropic Thunder, The Holiday, Bernie and the Kung Fu Panda films.



(born August 28, 1961)
Jennifer Coolidge is an American actress and comedian, known for playing "Stifler's mom" in the film American Pie, Hilary Duff's stepmother in A Cinderella Story, Paulette in Legally Blonde and its sequel, the voice of Aunt Fanny in the animated feature Robots, for her role in The Secret Life of the American Teenager as Betty; and for her regular role in the NBC sitcom Joey. She stars in the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls as Sophie.



(born August 28, 1956)
Luis Guzman is a Puerto Rican American actor, who is known for his character work. For much of Guzman's career, he has played character roles largely as sidekicks, thugs, or policemen. He was cast in Out of Sight, The Limey, and Traffic, Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love. Guzman recently starred in the HBO original series How to Make It in America.



(born August 28, 1960
Emma Simms is an English television actress best known for her role as Holly Sutton on the American daytime soap opera General Hospital and for replacing Pamela Sue Martin as Fallon Carrington Colby on the prime time soap opera Dynasty.

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“I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.”
--Emily Dickinson

Halifax is the capital of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

6/27/14

     



____________________

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.
--Plato


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Did You Know . . .?

Lemons contain more sugar than strawberries.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1883, the volcanic island of Krakatoa near Indonesia erupted, killing thousands in one of the worst geologic disasters of modern times. At noon, the volcano sent an ash cloud 20 miles into the air and tremors triggered several tsunamis. This turned out to be just a small indication, however, of what would follow the next day. For four-and-a-half hours beginning at 5:30 a.m. on August 27, there were four major and incredibly powerful eruptions. The last of these made the loudest sound ever recorded on the planet. It could be heard as far away as central Australia and the island of Rodrigues, 3,000 miles from Krakatoa. The air waves created by the eruption were detected at points all over the earth. At least 35,000 people died, though exact numbers were impossible to determine.

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WORD FOR TODAY

craven  [KRAY-vuhn]
adjective
1. Characterized by abject fear.
2. Cowardly; contemptibly timid.
noun
A coward.

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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born August 27, 1952)
Paul Reubens is an American actor, writer, film producer, game show host, and comedian, best known for his character Pee-wee Herman.



(born August 27, 1976)
Sarah Chalke is a Canadian actress known for portraying Dr. Elliot Reid on the NBC/ABC comedy series Scrubs, Rebecca "Becky" Conner on the ABC sitcom Roseanne, and Stella Zinman in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother. She has also had a recurring role in the third season of ABC sitcom Cougar Town.



(born August 27, 1969)
Chandra Wilson is an American actress, best known for her role as Dr. Miranda Bailey in the ABC television drama Grey's Anatomy.



(born August 27, 1947)
Barbara Bach is an American actress known as the Bond girl Anya Amasova from the James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me. She subsequently starred in Force 10 from Navarone with Robert Shaw and Harrison Ford. She is married to former Beatle Ringo Starr.


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One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn't do.
--Henry Ford

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

8/26/14

     


____________________


I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.
--Mahatma Gandhi

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Did You Know . . .?

A bear has 42 teeth.

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HISTORICAL EVENT

On this day in 1920 the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women the right to vote, was formally adopted into the U.S. Constitution by proclamation of Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby. The amendment was the culmination of more than 70 years of struggle by woman suffragists. Its two sections read simply: "The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex" and "Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

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WORD FOR TODAY

denounce
verb
1. To condemn openly as being evil or reprehensible.
2. To accuse formally.
3. To give formal announcement of the ending of (a treaty).


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CELEBRITY BIRTHDAYS


(born August 26, 1980)
Macaulay Culkin is an American actor and musician. He became famous for his role as Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. He is also known for his roles in Richie Rich, Uncle Buck, My Girl, The Pagemaster, The Good Son, Party Monster, and the music video for Michael Jackson's "Black or White".



(born August 26, 1970)
Melissa McCarthy is an American actress. She first gained recognition for her role as Sookie St. James on the television series Gilmore Girls. On the ABC sitcom Samantha Who? she portrayed Dena from 2007 to 2009. McCarthy was then cast as Molly Flynn-Biggs on the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly.



(born August 26, 1980)
Chris Pine is an American actor. He is best known for his role as James T. Kirk in the 2009 film Star Trek, and its sequel, Star Trek Into Darkness, and has also appeared in films including: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Just My Luck, Smokin' Aces, Unstoppable, This Means War, Rise of the Guardians, and as Jack Ryan in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit.



(Aug 26, 1935 - Mar 26, 2011)
Geraldine Ferraro was an American attorney, a Democratic Party politician, and a member of the United States House of Representatives. She was the first female vice presidential candidate representing a major American political party.

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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
--Albert Einstein


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