Monday, September 15, 2014

More Of This And That



Easy reading is damn hard writing.
--Nathaniel Hawthorne

I was asked by a reader of my blog why I have a guest blogger on Sundays. The reason is because the guest blogger,Michelle Hakala, told me she was willing to contribute some of her thoughts and observations regarding her life (which she characterizes as drivel) -- and that's exactly what I publish regarding my life the other six days of the week, a bit of drivel spilling out from the days of my life.

Also, I find Michelle's life, from a female perspective, fascinating... to say the least. And I like the way she writes.

While walking the mile from my apartment to Fry's Food Store yesterday (Sunday) morning I espied a strange looking flower growing atop a cactus. I snapped a shot of it, and it is displayed below.

A cropped closeup gives a better view

A few feet away, a smaller version was growing



This artist's concept shows NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) spacecraft orbiting Mars.

Image Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center                                   

MAVEN is the first spacecraft dedicated to exploring the upper atmosphere of Mars. The mission’s goal is to determine how the loss of atmospheric gas to space played a role in changing the Martian climate through time.

For more about the MAVEN mission, visit:

USA TODAY reports that the number of militants fighting with the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria is two to three times more than previously estimated, according to a CIA analysis. There are believed to now be 20,000 to 31,500 IS fighters across Iraq and Syria.

CIA spokesman Ryan Trapani says "This new total reflects an increase in members because of stronger recruitment since June following battlefield successes and the declaration of a caliphate, greater battlefield activity, and additional intelligence."

When Arnold Schwarzenegger's official portrait was done, there was a personal touch -- he was depicted wearing a lapel pin featuring the face of his wife, Maria Shriver. When Arnold had her picture removed, it left a noticeable smudge.


Did You Know . . .?

Burger King Japan has a new all-black burger.



On this day in 1963, a bomb exploded during Sunday morning services in the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls: Cynthia Wesley, Carole Robertson and Addie Mae Collins -- all 14 years old -- and 11-year-old Denise McNair.. Alabama's governor, George Wallace, made preserving racial segregation one of the central goals of his administration, and Birmingham had one of the most violent and lawless chapters of the Ku Klux Klan. Well-known Klan member, Robert Chambliss, was charged with murder and with buying 122 sticks of dynamite. Chambliss was convicted in 1977 and sentenced to life in prison. In 2000Thomas E. Blanton, Jr. was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. On May 22, 2002, Bobby Frank Cherry was convicted and sentenced to life



Of or pertaining to a breakfast taken early in the morning, or immediately on getting up.
From Latin jentaculum "a breakfast taken immediately on getting up."



(born September 15, 1946)
Tommy Lee Jones is an American actor and film director. He received an Academy Award for his performance as U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard in the 1993 thriller film The Fugitive. Other notable starring roles include former Texas Ranger Woodrow F. Call in the award-winning TV mini-series Lonesome Dove, Agent K in the Men in Black film series, Sheriff Ed Tom Bell in No Country for Old Men, the villain Two-Face in Batman Forever, terrorist William Strannix in Under Siege, a Texas Ranger in Man of the House, rancher Pete Perkins in The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Colonel Chester Phillips in Captain America: The First Avenger and Warden Dwight McClusky in Natural Born Killers.

Jones has also portrayed real-life figures such as businessman Howard Hughes, Radical Republican Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, executed murderer Gary Gilmore, U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur, Oliver Lynn, husband of Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter, and baseball great Ty Cobb.

(born September 15, 1979)
Amy Davidson is an American actress. She is best known for playing Kerry Hennessy in the ABC sitcom 8 Simple Rules.

(born 15 September 1984)
Prince Harry is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. His paternal grandparents are Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

(born September 15, 1962)
Dina Lohan is an American television personality and occasional actress who rose to fame as the mother and manager of actress and pop singer Lindsay Lohan and the fashion model Ali Lohan. She also is mother of Michael Lohan Jr. and Dakota "Cody" Lohan.


By reading a lot of novels in a variety of genres, and asking questions, it's possible to learn how things are done - the mechanics of writing, so to speak - and which genres and authors excel in various areas.
--Nicholas Sparks



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