Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Life Should Be Inspired Before It Has Expired



While digitally paging through a myriad of blogs, I happened upon one that listed itself as filled with inspirational content. Not one of the declarations within was signed, so here is some of the inspirational wisdom I took away from it.

The only time it's too late to change yourself is when you're dead. Until then, you're simply making excuses or lying to yourself.

Determination today leads to success tomorrow.

Someone will always be prettier.
They will always be smarter.
Their house will be bigger.
They will drive a better car.
Their children will do better in school.
And their husband will fix more things around the house.
So let it go,
and love you and your circumstances.
Think about it.
The prettiest woman in the world can have hell in her heart.
And the most highly favored
Woman on your job may be unable to have children.
And the richest woman you know,
she's got the car, the house, the clothes....might be lonely.
And the word says if "I have not Love, I am nothing."
So, again, love you.
Love who you are.
Look in the mirror in the morning and smile and say
"I am too blessed to be stressed and too anointed to be disappointed!"
"Winners make things happen.
Losers let things happen."
"To the world you might be one person,
but to one person you just might be the world".

There were more, many more  -- but that's enough for now.



Napoleon III suffered from ailurophobia - which is a fear of cats.



On this day, July 31, 1975,Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa was reported missing in Detroit, Michigan. He was last seen alive in a parking lot outside the Machus Red Fox restaurant the previous afternoon. To this day, Hoffa's fate remains a mystery, although many believe that he was murdered by organized crime figures.

Authorities have never been able to confirm what really happened to Hoffa. He was declared legally dead in 1982.

The latest search for the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa ended on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 in a field near Detroit, where federal agents had dug with heavy equipment and shovels for three days in the hope of answering the decades old question, "Whatever happened to Jimmy Hoffa?"


1. an inspiring or animating action or influence: I cannot write poetry without inspiration.
2. something inspired, as an idea.
3. a result of inspired activity.
4. a thing or person that inspires.



(born July 31, 1966)
Dean Cain is an American actor. He is most widely known for his role as Clark Kent/Superman in the popular American television series Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.

(born July 31, 1989)
Zelda Williams is an American actress and the daughter of actor and comedian Robin Williams. Her father stated that she was named after Princess Zelda of The Legend of Zelda series of video games. Acting professionally, her first big role was that of Melissa Loggia, the main character's teenage love interest in the 2004 film House of D. In 2007, she was chosen as one of People Magazine's 100 Most Beautiful People

(born July 31, 1962)
Wesley Snipes is an American actor, film producer, and martial artist, who has starred in numerous films, including action thrillers and dramatic features. Snipes is known for playing the Marvel Comics character Blade in the Blade film trilogy, among various other high-profile roles.

In 2010, Snipes began serving a three-year prison sentence in McKean County, Pennsylvania for misdemeanor failure to file U.S. federal income tax returns. He was released from prison in 2013.

(born July 31, 1965),
J. K. Rowling is a British novelist, best known as the author of the Harry Potter fantasy series. Since, Rowling has parted with her agency and resumed writing for adult readership, releasing the tragicomedy The Casual Vacancy (2012) and -- using the pseudonym Robert Galbraith --the crime fiction novel The Cuckoo's Calling (2013) which, according to Rowling, is the first of a series. 

Note: The Writer's Almanac has a nice write-up about J.K. Rowling today.  When I was reading it early this morning, I noticed the following sentence: "It took J.K. Rowling awhile to find a publisher for her novel..." and I thought, 'Is that correct English grammar, using the word 'awhile' instead of the two word form, 'a while?' I haven't looked it up yet. But I will.


You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.
--Jack London


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Hey! Who You Callin' Fatso?



Book Review:
Michael Moss' Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us

With Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Michael Moss has laid out the foundation and blueprints of the inevitable future raft of class action lawsuits targeting the food industry for knowingly and scientifically designing products that encourage their over-consumption despite their known and well understood risks.

The book is a painful joy to read. Painful because it does a bang up job of demonstrating just how screwed we all are -- not only in that the food industry is savvier and scarier than we might imagine, but in the complicity of government to look the other way...

When I read the above described book review, it did not make me want to read the book, but it did make me angry. At first. Then my anger morphed into the usual sadness that nearly overcomes me every time I remember all the malicious ills visited upon the heads of the people by the greed, corruption, and general viciousness of government officials in cahoots with heads of industry.

Do not be too quick to pooh-pooh all of those seemingly laughable conspiracy theories.

My own struggle with an expanding waistline isn't progressing smoothly. I have not gained a pound in the last month or so, but neither have I lost one. But I'm not giving up, just rethinking the method. Present weight: 175 pounds.

I've been told: Persevere and you will win the prize.

We'll see.


Francis Bacon died in his attempt to find a better way to serve food. He caught a case of pneumonia while attempting to stuff a chicken with snow.

The whole story



On this day, July 30 in 1956, two years after pushing to have the phrase "under God" inserted into the pledge of allegiance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a law officially declaring "In God We Trust" to be the nation's official motto. The law, P.L. 84-140, also mandated that the phrase be printed on all American paper currency.

The first paper money with the phrase "In God We Trust" was not printed until 1957. Since then, religious and secular groups have argued over the appropriateness and constitutionality of a motto that mentions "God," considering the founding fathers dedication to maintaining the separation of church and state.



diet [die-uht]
1. The usual food and drink of a person or animal.
2. A regulated selection of foods, as for medical reasons or cosmetic weight loss.
3. Something used, enjoyed, or provided regularly.
1. Of or relating to a food regimen designed to promote weight loss in a person or an animal.
a. Having fewer calories.
b. Sweetened with a noncaloric sugar substitute.
3. Designed to reduce or suppress the appetite: diet pills; diet drugs.
verb intr.
To eat and drink according to a regulated system, especially so as to lose weight or control a medical condition.
verb tr.
To regulate or prescribe food and drink for.



(born July 30, 1947)
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-born American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served two terms as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011. Schwarzenegger's breakthrough film was the sword-and-sorcery epic Conan the Barbarian in 1982. This was followed by a sequel, Conan the Destroyer in 1984, and in 1984, he made his first appearance as The Terminator. During the 1980s he made a number of successful films, such as Commando, Raw Deal, The Running Man, Predator, Red Heat, and Twins.

In the 1990s Arnold starred in Total Recall, Kindergarten Cop,  Last Action Hero, Eraser, and Batman & Robin in which he played the villain Mr. Freeze.

 In 2003, he made his third appearance as the title character in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, which went on to earn over $150 million domestically.

(born July 30, 1963)
Lisa Kudrow is an American actress, comedian and producer. She gained worldwide recognition for her ten-season run as Phoebe Buffay in the television sitcom Friends,

(born July 30, 1961)
Laurence Fishburne is an American actor, playwright, director, and producer. He is best known for his roles as Morpheus in the Matrix science fiction film trilogy, as Cowboy Curtis on the television show Pee-wee's Playhouse, and as Ike Turner in the Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got to Do With It.

From 2008 to 2011, he starred as Dr. Raymond Langston on the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. Fishburne has starred in several cult classics, including Boyz n the Hood, Deep Cover, and King of New York. He won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Two Trains Running (1992), and an Emmy Award for Drama Series Guest Actor for his performance in TriBeCa (1993).

(born July 30, 1974)
Hilary Swank is an American film actress. She has won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice, for playing Brandon Teena in Boys Don't Cry (1998) and a struggling waitress-turned-boxer Maggie Fitzgerald in Million Dollar Baby (2004).


After a lifetime of losing and gaining weight, I get it. No matter how you slice it, weight loss comes down to the simple formula of calories in, calories out.
--Valerie Bertinelli


Monday, July 29, 2013

Why Study Shakespeare?

My Weight Today - 176 pounds


Why Study Shakespeare? I have learned through adult reading and re-reading the writings of Shakespeare and reading blogs that attempt to explain the basics of the magnificence of his works, that 'there are more things in heaven and earth, than are dreamt of in my philosophy.'

Many of the common expressions now thought to be clichés were Shakespeare's creations. Chances are you use Shakespeare's expressions all the time even though you may not know it is the Bard you are quoting. You may think that fact is "neither here nor there", but that's "the short and the long of it."

Bernard Levin said it best in the following quote about Shakespeare's impact on our language:

"If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare.

"If you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare.

"If you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare.

"Even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I were dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! for goodness' sake! what the dickens! but me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare."

So, Why Study Shakespeare?

I can remember how much I despised reading and discussing Julius Caesar back in High School (in 1954 or '55) and how I thought that Shakespeare must have been a real snob to use all those high-toned words and roundabout expressions (metaphors). Being a snob in those days, in rural Indiana, was, to we down-home Hoosiers, the epitome of arrogance.

It wasn't until much later in my life that I discovered the merits of using the exactly correct word and most effective metaphor when laboring over a serious composition.

And there are some of Shakespeare's works, especially the poems, that I still do not understand.



The original Winnie the Pooh was a real live bear found outside of Winnipeg, Canada, hence the name Winnie.


On this day, July 29 in 1981, nearly one billion television viewers in 74 countries tuned in to witness the marriage of Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to Lady Diana Spencer, a young English school teacher.

Married in a grand ceremony at St. Paul's Cathedral in the presence of 2,650 guests, the couple's romance was for the moment the envy of the world. Their first child, Prince William, was born in 1982, and their second, Prince Harry, in 1984.

Diana and Charles announced a separation in 1992. Queen Elizabeth II urged the couple to divorce and the prince and princess reached a final agreement. In exchange for a generous settlement, and the right to retain her apartments at Kensington Palace and her title of "princess," Diana agreed to relinquish the title of "Her Royal Highness" and any future claims to the British throne.

On August 31, 1997, Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris.



1. A small, sharply pointed instrument for making holes in fabric or leather.
2. A blunt needle for pulling tape or ribbon through a series of loops or a hem.
3. A long hairpin, usually with an ornamental head.
4. (Printing) An awl or pick for extracting letters from set type.
5. A dagger or stiletto.



(born July 29, 1990)
Munro Chambers is a Canadian actor, best known for his role as Wilder on The Latest Buzz and his new role as Elijah "Eli" Goldsworthy on Degrassi. His identical twin brother named Thomas Chambers is also an actor.

(born July 29, 1987)
Génesis Rodríguez is an American actress. She is known for her roles in the Telemundo TV series Prisionera, Dame Chocolate, and Doña Bárbara. She also played Becky Ferrer on Days of our Lives. She has also starred in the films Man on a Ledge, Casa de Mi Padre, What to Expect When You're Expecting, and The Last Stand.

(born July 29, 1972)
Wil Wheaton is an American actor, blogger and writer, known for his portrayals of Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, Gordie Lachance in the film Stand by Me, Joey Trotta in Toy Soldiers, and for his recurring role as a fictionalized version of himself on the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory.

(born July 29, 1936)
Elizabeth Dole is an American politician who served as Secretary of Transportation under Ronald Reagan and Secretary of Labor under George H.W. Bush before becoming head of the American Red Cross. She then served as North Carolina's first female Senator from 2003 to 2009. She is a member of the Republican Party and former chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

She is married to former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, 1976 Republican vice-presidential nominee, and 1996 Republican presidential nominee Bob Dole.


People who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch.
--Jack Nicholson


Sunday, July 28, 2013

Enforced Rest by Guest Blogger

Enforced Rest

The recovery goes slowly, but well. I'm to rest, rest, rest and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Even days after the surgery, conflicting instructions reign. If I rest, I don't hydrate much. If I hydrate, I can't rest because I'm in the bathroom. A lot. Sigh. It's a doctor conspiracy, no doubt.

God, however, intends for me to get the rest I need and is seeing -- in His divine way -- that I get it.

I play an online video game on the computer quite a bit. It's called Diablo (I play the expanded version II) and after learning the basics, doesn't require much thought. It's a bit like Christmas, as every game maze is different and the items found vary with such range that it's very hard to find the same item twice. I have a couple of folk I talk to on there, who look for me when they play just as I look for them.

The thought of six to eight weeks of playing Diablo (doctor's orders!) made me tingle.

When did my computer first start to screw up? I can't recall, now, but it was weeks before the surgery. Diablo began to run really slowly. Where my character once ran lithely over the grasslands of Act 1, she was now running through molasses. When the molasses went away, there she'd be, dead upon the field.

The monsters didn't have molasses to deal with on their end.

This just wouldn't do. I called Dell, and spent some time troubleshooting. Because we have two identical laptops, they wanted me to switch things between them. Since Harry's PC is out with him, I'd have to wait for him to get home.

So a typical call would go like this: Is it plugged in? Is there power? Do other programs work? Is it messing up now? Play a movie. Does it play? Hmm. Okay, switch the hard drives between the two PCs. Then I'd tell Dell I had to wait for the other PC to be home. Three or four days later, it'd be home, we'd do the switch and call Dell back.

Is it plugged in? Is there power? Do other programs work? Oy vey.

At the time of the surgery, my PC (laptop body) had Harry's hard drive, and vice versa. A couple of days after I got home, when I was well enough to handle all the "is it plugged in" questions, I called Dell again, and they had us switch CD/DVD ROM drives. So now my PC has Harry's hard drive and my original CD drive. Got it? Good, because I don't. You should hear us talking to Dell when they ask us to do something with a PC and we aren't sure which laptop body they're talking about.

During this time period, the port replicator died. That's the little doodad that connects the PC I'm currently using (Harry's laptop body, with my hard drive, and his CD drive) to the monitor, keyboard, mouse, and stuff that let me sit in the computer room at the computer desk. With me? Good.

We called Dell. They're shipping another port replicator, but in the meantime, I have to stand if I want to use my PC (Harry's laptop body, my hard drive, etc). Standing isn't something I can do much of just yet. So if you wonder why I haven't been writing as much as usual, now you know.

My mom came and spent a week with me after my surgery, helping around the house, cooking, making sure I rested, you know, mom stuff. (Moms are great and if yours is still around, thank her for all she's given you. Even if you don't like her much, she gave you life, right? Give her a round of applause. Come on, I want you to.) Before she left, my mom carefully arranged stuff in the house so I could do whatever I needed to do without violating the Surgery Recovery Laws. (No pushing,pulling, lifting, or driving. No sex, either, but that's not relative to this particular tale.)

She got my paperwork out of the filing cabinet that requires a bulldozer to open and close. She moved a box so the fast-growing puppy could jump onto the bed. She pre-prepared meals for the weekend. She arranged Harry's PC (my laptop body, Harry's hard drive, my CD drive) on the kitchen table so I could use WordPerfect during this holiday weekend. (It's Harry's motorcycle weekend, you know, and he went, under duress. For some odd reason he thought he should stay home with me.)

Perfect, right? Well, no. I can't get my email in the kitchen (wrong hard drive) and I can't stand very long to get it in the computer room (right hard drive, dead port replicator). I can't move my PC (Harry's laptop body, etc) because that would require violating the Laws.

The good news is that today the CD drive in Harry's PC (my laptop body, etc) screwed up so now we know for sure ... something. Was it the mother board or the CD if we moved it and it messed up? I can't remember. Harry will, or Dell will, so as soon as Harry gets home we call Dell again.

(Is it plugged in?)

Somehow I think God knew that if I had access to a dependable, working, easy-to-use PC during this time I'd sit up way more than is good for me. Since the kitchen chairs are only comfortable for a couple of hours, and standing for longer than is required to shower is still out of my reach, I'm stretching out reading more often, or relaxing with a movie.

God does indeed work in mysterious -- and even technological -- ways.

Copyright 2013 Michelle Hakala



Saturday, July 27, 2013

Life Is Still Good



Walking Westward on the sidewalk alongside Speedway Boulevard yesterday I espied at an intersection a gloved and helmeted uniformed member of the Tucson Motorcycle Traffic Police. He was busily wielding his Radar Gun at the oncoming traffic. I noticed that he aimed the instrument at me as I approached him. So when I was within earshot of him I smiled and asked, "How fast was I going?" He grinned back at me and said, "Oh, 'bout three miles an hour." Not to be outdone, I replied, "Oh surely not... I don't think this old body'll even go that fast."

And, as his smile widened, I walked on.

I thought it might be advantageous for me to do more experimenting with my camera, and perhaps to learn more about photography in general. So, after leaving the friendly officer and walking along I paused and took a few shots of a crow perched atop a distant street light. I didn't notice until after loading the pics onto my computer that one of the shots had captured a tiny faded moon up there in the bright daytime sky.

This Is My First Shot

Then I Snapped A Zoomed In Shot

This Is The Crow Cropped From
The Above Zoomed-In Shot

Don't know if I learned anything or not.

Time will tell . . . maybe.

A few minutes ago I finished watching an hour-long video made back in 2005 wherein Sam Harris discusses his then newly published book, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. It was quite interesting.

You can view the video HERE

(I really don't expect even one reader to view the talk.)


Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced Friday that NASA has received more than 400 responses to its request for information (RFI) on the agency's asteroid initiative. Released June 18, the RFI was the first opportunity for industry and other potential partners, including private individuals, to offer ideas on planning for NASA's mission to redirect an asteroid for exploration by astronauts and the agency's asteroid grand challenge.

Garver, speaking at the Space Frontier Foundation's NewSpace 2013 conference in San Jose, California, said: "The aerospace industry, innovative small businesses and citizen scientists have many creative ideas and strategies for carrying out our asteroid exploration mission and helping us to protect our home planet from dangerous near-Earth objects."

All the responses are being evaluated and rated. NASA will explore the highly rated responses for inclusion in future planning

For more information about NASA's asteroid initiative, you can visit:


The very first product Motorola developed was a record player for automobiles. At that time the most known player on the market was the Victrola, so they called themselves Motorola.



On this day, July 27 in 1949, the world's first jet-propelled airliner, the British De Havilland Comet, made its maiden test-flight in England. The jet engine would ultimately revolutionize the airline industry, shrinking air travel time in half by enabling planes to climb faster and fly higher.

After its July 1949 test flight, the Comet underwent three more years of testing and training flights. Then, on May 2, 1952, the British Overseas Aircraft Corporation (BOAC) began the world's first commercial jet service with the 44-seat Comet 1A, flying paying passengers from London to Johannesburg.

Yes, the airline industry has certainly been revolutionized.



revolution [rev-uh-LOO-shun]
1.  an overthrow or repudiation and the thorough replacement of an established government or political system by the people governed.
2.  (Sociology) a radical and pervasive change in society and the social structure, especially one made suddenly and often accompanied by violence.
3.  a sudden, complete or marked change in something: the present revolution in church architecture.
4.  a procedure or course, as if in a circuit, back to a starting point.
5.  a single turn of this kind.

A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, "a turn around") is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.



(born July 27, 1931)
Jerry Van Dyke is an American comedian and actor, the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke. He made his acting debut on The Dick Van Dyke Show with several guest appearances as Rob Petrie's brother, Stacey. Later in his career from 1989 to 1997, he was one of the supporting stars of Craig T. Nelson's ABC sitcom, Coach. He appeared in the 2000s sitcom Yes, Dear as a recurring character, "Big Jimmy," the father of Jimmy Hughes. He made a guest appearance on a September 2008 episode of My Name Is Earl and in 2010, he made an appearance on the second season episode, "A Simple Christmas" of the television series, The Middle, playing Frankie's father, Tag Spence.

(born 27 July 1990)
Indiana Evans is an Australian actress and singer best known for her roles on Home and Away, H2O: Just Add Water and Blue Lagoon: The Awakening.

(born July 27, 1957)
Bill Engvall is an American comedian and actor best known for his work as a stand-up comic, his signature "Here's Your Sign" bit, and as a member of the Blue Collar Comedy group.

(born July 27, 1948)
Peggy Fleming is an American figure skater. She is the 1968 Olympic Champion in Ladies' singles and a three-time World Champion (1966–1968). Fleming has been a television commentator on figure skating for over 20 years, including several Winter Olympic Games.


Every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.
--Franz Kafka


Friday, July 26, 2013

Of Some Interest To Me



Just after I stepped outside yesterday to begin my morning walk I beheld a hummingbird flitting from flower to flower about three feet in front of me, so I slipped my camera from my pocket and set the zoom to maximum and snapped two separate shots. I was shooting into the sun and the bird was zaggily zipping to and fro, and I am not a professional photographer, so the results were far from satisfactory.

But the pics came out just as my old eyes actually see things.

That's weird.

This Is How I See Things At My Age

And So Is This
I take a lot of pictures with my little camera. Sometimes the photo will turn out well. Other times it will not. Most of them are a bit out of focus. Sometimes they are a lot out of focus. That's how I have come to see (and remember) nearly all of the personal events in this life.


The Oxford Dictionary says the marriage definition will change to include gay people. The world's most renowned dictionary of the English language has said they are looking into how same-sex couples marrying in England and Wales will affect the word marriage.


I read a poem at The Writer's Almanac titled The Day I Die by Krista Lukas. And I thought it was a fine way to contemplate the inevitable.

Check it out.


Using data from a NASA satellite, scientists have discovered a massive particle accelerator in the heart of one of the harshest regions of near-Earth space, a region of super-energetic, charged particles surrounding the globe and known as the Van Allen radiation belts. "These new results go a long way toward answering the questions of where and how particles are accelerated to high energy," said Mona Kessel, Van Allen Probes program scientist in Washington.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., built and operates the twin Van Allen Probes for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. The Van Allen Probes are the second mission in NASA's Living With a Star program, managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. The program explores aspects of the connected sun-Earth system that directly affect life and society.

For more information about the Van Allen Probes, visit:


Birds have the right of way on all Utah highways.



Seeking to form an independent and more efficient investigative arm, in 1908  U.S. Attorney General Charles Bonaparte, head of the Department of Justice, hired 10 former Secret Service employees to join an expanded Office of the Chief Examiner Stanley W. Finch. The date when these agents reported to duty, July 26, 1908, is celebrated as the genesis of the FBI.

By March 1909, the force included 34 agents, and Attorney General George Wickersham, Bonaparte's successor, renamed it the Bureau of Investigation. In 1935 it became the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Interesting details about the FBI can be found HERE



1. A corporation made up of a number of different companies that operate in diversified fields.
2. A collected heterogeneous mass; a cluster: a city-suburban conglomerate; a conglomerate of color, passion, and artistry.
3. (Geology) A rock consisting of pebbles and gravel embedded in cement.
1. Gathered into a mass; clustered.
2. (Geology) Made up of loosely cemented heterogeneous material.

A conglomerate is a combination of two or more corporations engaged in entirely different businesses that fall under one corporate group, usually involving a parent company and many subsidiaries. Often, a conglomerate is a multi-industry company. Conglomerates are often large and multinational.



(born July 26, 1964)
Sandra Bullock is an American actress and producer. Bullock rose to fame in the 1990s after roles in successful films such as Demolition Man (1993), Speed (1994), The Net (1995), While You Were Sleeping (1995), A Time to Kill (1996), and Hope Floats (1998). In the new millennium, she appeared in Miss Congeniality (2000), The Lake House (2006), and Crash (2004).

In 2007, she was ranked the 14th richest woman in the entertainment industry with an estimated fortune of $85 million, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world

(born July 26, 1959)
Kevin Spacey is an American actor, director, screenwriter, and producer. He gained critical acclaim in the early 1990s, culminating in his first Academy Award for The Usual Suspects (Best Supporting Actor), followed by a Best Actor Academy Award win for American Beauty (1999). His other starring roles in Hollywood include Seven, L.A. Confidential, Pay It Forward, K-PAX, and Superman Returns. He currently stars in the Netflix series House of Cards.

(born 26 July 1950)
Susan George is an English film and television actress, film producer and Arabian horse breeder. Her most notable roles include those of "Amy Sumner" in Straw Dogs (1971) with Dustin Hoffman, and as "Mary Coombs" in Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974), with Peter Fonda. In the early 1970s. Her lighter side was apparent in some of her TV appearances, such as in an episode (The Gold Napoleon) of The Persuaders (1971) with Roger Moore and Tony Curtis. In 1988, George marked her film producing debut with Stealing Heaven.

(born 26 July 1943)
Mick Jagger is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor, best known as the lead vocalist and a founding member of The Rolling Stones.


A great company in the media business needs visionary leaders, not a conglomerate structure headquartered in Columbus Circle that second guesses.
--Carl Icahn


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Manifest Destiny



Although I heard the term Manifest Destiny many times throughout my lifetime, including those years in school classrooms when I was supposed to be learning new words and terminology, the meaning of manifest destiny has (until now) somehow eluded me.

Below is the dictionary definition.

manifest destiny
-  the 19th-century belief that it was inevitable for the U.S. to expand to the Pacific coast
-  a policy of imperialistic expansion defended as necessary or benevolent

Wikipedia provides much useful information on the subject, including:

In the United States in the 19th century, Manifest destiny was the widely held belief that American settlers were destined to expand across the continent. The belief has been described as follows: Historians have for the most part agreed that there are three basic themes to Manifest Destiny.

1. The special virtues of the American people and their institutions;
2. America's mission to redeem and remake the world in the image of America;
3. A divine destiny under God's direction to accomplish this wonderful task.

God's direction? Oh yes, of course, the source and inspiration for this endeavor had to spring forth from supernatural means... from God.

The belief in an American mission to promote and defend democracy throughout the world, as expounded by Thomas Jefferson and his "Empire of Liberty", and by Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, Douglas MacArthur, and George W. Bush, continues to have an influence on American political ideology.

If all this appears to be taken from an American History textbook, it can't be helped. Most of it has been. I merely searched it out, sorted through it, and transported some of it to this blog.

So? It's my blog. I can post whatever I want in it. Can't I?

Another possible influence is racial predominance, namely the idea that the American Anglo-Saxon race was "separate, innately superior " and "destined to bring good government, commercial prosperity and Christianity to the American continents and the world." This view also held that "inferior races were doomed to subordinate status or extinction." This was used to justify "the enslavement of the blacks and the expulsion and possible extermination of the Indians"

Did the idea of manifest destiny end when settlers reached the Pacific ocean?

Not only did the idea of Manifest Destiny not end in 1890, it took on a whole new face. The Manifest Destiny Doctrine can be divided into two distinct parts. One part could be defined as National Manifest Destiny. This is the drive behind building the American Main Land. The America whose borders are between Canada and Mexico on the North and South and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans on the East and West.

The other part could be defined as International Manifest Destiny which started in 1867 when America purchased Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000. Although this acquisition could fall into the example of National Destiny, it was the first time America went beyond its immediate border to acquired land. In fact, the acquisition of Alaska was a second thought. The purchase of Alaska was only approved after the senate rejected plans to purchase the Virgin Islands from Denmark.

The American History website provides more regarding The New Manifest Destiny.

It seems to me that manifest destiny has become an American idea that America is a nation favored by God and selected to overcome all other nations and eventually morph them into mirrored reflections of what the United States believes and stands for. Then the world will be a better place, where all people can live in peace and harmony.

Yeah . . .  right.


Sherlock Holmes NEVER said, "Elementary, my dear Watson." For that matter, Sherlock Holmes never existed in the first place. But the address where he supposedly lived, 221B Baker Street, still gets a lot of fan mail.


On this day, July 25 in 1978, Louise Joy Brown, the world's first baby to be conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF) was born at Oldham and District General Hospital in Manchester, England, to parents Lesley and Peter Brown. The healthy baby was delivered shortly before midnight by Cesarean section and weighed in at five pounds, 12 ounces.

Today, IVF is considered a mainstream medical treatment for infertility. Hundreds of thousands of children around the world have been conceived through the procedure, in some cases with donor eggs and sperm.


reticulate veins of a leaf
reticulate [ree-TIK- you-luht]
-  Resembling or forming a net or network.
reticulate [ree-TIK-you-LATE]
-  To make a net or network of.
-  To mark with lines resembling a network.

Reticulated Python



(born July 25, 1967)
Matt LeBlanc is an American actor, best known for his role as Joey Tribbiani on the NBC sitcom Friends and its spin-off Joey. In 2011, LeBlanc began starring as a fictional version of himself in Episodes, a BBC Two/Showtime television series created by Friends co-creator David Crane and Jeffrey Klarik.

(July 25, 1923 - July 22, 2008)
Estelle Getty was an American actress, who appeared in film, television, and theater. She was best known for her role as Sophia Petrillo on The Golden Girls from 1985 to 1992, which won her an Emmy and a Golden Globe, on The Golden Palace from 1992 to 1993 and on Empty Nest from 1993 to 1995.

(July 25, 1894  - Sept. 21, 1974)
Walter Brennan was an American actor, one of three men to win three Oscars, having won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor on three occasions between 1936 and 1940.

In Sergeant York he played a sympathetic preacher and dry goods store owner who advised the title character, played by Gary Cooper. He was particularly skilled in playing the sidekick to the protagonist or as the "grumpy old man" in films like To Have and Have Not (1944). Though he was hardly ever cast as the villain, notable exceptions were his roles as Judge Roy Bean in The Westerner (1940), 'Old Man' Clanton in My Darling Clementine (1946) opposite Henry Fonda, and How the West Was Won (1962) as the murderous Colonel Jeb Hawkins.

From 1957–1963, he starred in the ABC television series The Real McCoys, a situation comedy about a poor West Virginia family that relocated to a farm in southern California. After five years on ABC, The Real McCoys switched to CBS for a final season as simply The McCoys. The series also featured Richard Crenna, Kathleen Nolan, Lydia Reed, and Michael Winkelman.

(born July 25, 1935)
Barbara Harris is an American actress who was a Broadway stage star and later became a movie actress. She appeared in such movies as A Thousand Clowns, Plaza Suite, Nashville, Family Plot, Freaky Friday, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Grosse Pointe Blank.


Although most Americans believed in Manifest Destiny, few could agree on exactly which lands the United States was supposed to govern.
--Charles W. Carey Jr.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Bit Under The Weather



Not feeling so well. Old and run down. Probably better tomorrow. We'll see.



By raising your legs slowly and lying on your back, you can't sink in quicksand.



On this day, July 24 in 1915, the steamer Eastland overturned in the Chicago River, drowning 844 of its passengers who were heading to a picnic. The disaster was caused by serious problems with the boat's design, which were known but never remedied.

The Eastland was pulled up from the river, renamed the Willimette and converted into a naval vessel. It was turned into scrap following World War II. All lawsuits against the owners of the Eastland were thrown out by a court of appeals and the exact cause of the tipping and subsequent disaster has never been determined.

More details


-  An adherent to a party or faction.
-  A fervent, sometimes militant, supporter or proponent of a party, cause, faction, person, or idea.
-  A member of a band of detached light, irregular troops acting behind occupying enemy lines in the ways of harassment or sabotage; a guerrilla fighter.

In politics, a partisan is a committed member of a political party. In multi-party systems, the term is widely understood to carry a negative connotation - referring to those who wholly support their party's policies and are perhaps even reluctant to acknowledge correctness on the part of their political opponents in almost any situation. Partisanship can be affected by many factors including current events, figureheads (presidents), decisions, and even location.

For example, in Commonwealth realms, the monarch is seen as being distinctly non-partisan and thus is vested with certain powers to form or dissolve governments when there is a democratic impasse. This is in contrast to professional politicians who are expected to push for their party's interests.



(born July 24, 1949)
Michael Richards is an American actor, comedian, writer and television producer, widely known for his portrayal of Cosmo Kramer on the television sitcom Seinfeld. During the show's run, he received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series three times.

Richards began his career as a stand-up comedian, first stepping into a national spotlight when he was featured on Billy Crystal's first cable TV special. He went on to become a series regular on ABC's Fridays. Prior to Seinfeld, he made numerous guest appearances on a variety of television shows including Cheers, Night Court, Miami Vice and St. Elsewhere. His film credits include So I Married an Axe Murderer, Airheads, Young Doctors in Love, Problem Child, Coneheads, UHF, and Trial and Error.

(born July 24, 1969)
Jennifer Lopez is an American entertainer, businesswoman, producer and philanthropist. Lopez starred as the title role of the Selena biopic of the same name and in April, Lopez starred in the horror film Anaconda alongside Ice Cube and Jon Voight and went on to star in many more successful films.

(born July 24, 1981)
Summer Glau is an American actress. She is known for playing River Tam in Firefly and Serenity, and Cameron in the Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles series.

(born July 24, 1951)
Lynda Carter is an American actress and singer, best known for being Miss World USA 1972 and as the star of the 1970s television series The New Original Wonder Woman (1975–77) and The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (1977–79).


Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Feelin' Kinda Poorly Today



Don't have much on my mind this morning.

My muscles are stiff and my joints are sore.

And my coffee don't taste so good any more.

Sorry 'bout all that bitchin' and moanin' --

Off now for my daily walk.



The mask used by Michael Myers in the original Halloween was actually a Captain Kirk mask painted white.


On this day, July 23 in 1984, 21-year-old Vanessa Williams gave up her Miss America title, the first resignation in the pageant's history, after Penthouse magazine announced plans to publish nude photos of the beauty queen in its September issue. Williams originally made history when she became the first black woman to win the Miss America crown.

Miss New Jersey, Suzette Charles, the first runner-up and also an African American, assumed Williams' tiara for the two months that remained of her reign.

Vanessa Williams rebounded from the Miss America scandal and went on to a successful entertainment career as an actress and recording artist, performing on Broadway as well as in movies and television and releasing a number of popular albums.



-  A thin slice of fried or broiled bacon or ham.
-  A dish or an order of thin slices of fried or broiled bacon.

Rasher Of Cooked Bacon
A rasher of bacon was once defined as a single slice of bacon, but has now evolved into a serving of two or three slices of bacon.



(born July 23, 1961)
Woody Harrelson is an American actor whose breakout role came in the television sitcom Cheers as bartender Woody Boyd. Some notable film characters include basketball hustler Billy Hoyle in White Men Can't Jump, a crippled bowler in Kingpin, serial killer Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers, magazine publisher Larry Flynt in The People vs. Larry Flynt, country singer Dusty in A Prairie Home Companion, bounty hunter Carson Wells in No Country for Old Men, zombie killer Tallahassee in Zombieland, blind piano player/meat salesman Ezra Turner in Seven Pounds, conspiracy nut Charlie Frost in 2012, a delusional man who believes he is a superhero named Defendor in Defendor, Cpt. Tony Stone in The Messenger, and Haymitch Abernathy in The Hunger Games.

(born July 23, 1973)
Monica Lewinsky is an American woman with whom United States President Bill Clinton admitted to having had an "improper relationship" while she worked at the White House in 1995 and 1996. The affair and its repercussions (which included Clinton's impeachment) became known as the Lewinsky scandal.

After the scandal subsided, Lewinsky put out a line of handbags under her name, became an advertising spokesperson for a diet plan, worked as a television personality, and moved to London and obtained a Master's degree in Psychology.

(born July 23, 1940)
Don Imus is an American radio host, humorist, landscape photographer, philanthropist and writer. His nationally syndicated talk show, Imus in the Morning, is broadcast throughout the United States by Cumulus Media Networks and simulcast on television by the Fox Business Network.

(born July 23, 1974)
Stephanie March is an American actress, best known for her portrayal of Alexandra Cabot on the television series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. 


Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
--Mark Twain