Monday, August 31, 2015

National Dog Day, Etc.


NOTICE: Although we have been celebrating National Dog Day on August 26th for the last 11 years, this year it was brought to our attention that National Dog Day was drawing focus away from Women's Equality Day and thus, out of respect for this extremely important day of recognition and observation for women's rights everywhere, we are happy to permanently change the date of our celebration to August 31st, to end the Dogs Days of Summer with a grand celebration.


Three more 2016 presidential candidates

Benjamin Solomon "Ben" Carson, Sr.
born September 18, 1951
Ben Carson is an American author, politician, retired Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon, and an overall nice guy.

But remember what Leo Durocher once kinda said, "Nice guys finish last."

Cara Carleton "Carly" Fiorina (née Sneed)
born September 6, 1954

Carly Fiorina is a Republican politician and former business executive who rose to the top in two major American companies . . . and then failed in each. Oh,  and she was an adviser to Republican John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, which he lost.

Christopher James "Chris" Christie
(born September 6, 1962)

Chris Christie is the 55th Governor of New Jersey. He is running for president in the 2016 election, although running is perhaps the wrong word to use.


I honestly don't know what to think about this fellow

"Obama started this war on police intentionally
... right in line with his community agitating."

Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. is the 64th Sheriff of Milwaukee County. In 2002, Clarke was appointed to a vacancy by Governor Scott McCallum, and later elected that same year to his first four-year term. He was re-elected in November 2006, 2010, and 2014, and is currently serving his fourth full term.

Just don't know what to think about him.


Did You Know . . .?

August 26 was National Dog Day, but now it's today, August 31, 2015. Oh yeah, I already mentioned this.



On this day in 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died as a result of injuries sustained in a car crash near Paris, France. Her friend, Dodi Fayed, and the driver of the Mercedes-Benz W140, Henri Paul, were pronounced dead at the scene; the bodyguard of Diana and Dodi, Trevor Rees-Jones, was the only survivor. Although the media blamed the paparazzi following the car, an 18-month French judicial investigation found that the crash was caused by Paul, who lost control of the car at high speed while drunk.



to reject, renounce



(born August 31, 1949)

Richard Gere is an American actor and activist. He began acting in the 1970s, playing a supporting role in Looking for Mr. Goodbar and a starring role in Days of Heaven. He came to prominence in 1980 for his role in the film American Gigolo. He went on to star in several hit films, including An Officer and a Gentleman, Pretty Woman, Primal Fear, Runaway Bride, Arbitrage and Chicago.

(born August 31, 1976)

Shar Jackson is an American actress and singer, best known for playing Niecy Jackson on the UPN show Moesha. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

(Aug 31, 1924 - June 30, 2003)

Buddy Hackett was an American comedian and actor. His best remembered roles include Marcellus Washburn in The Music Man, Benjy Benjamin in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Tennessee Steinmetz in The Love Bug, and Scuttle in The Little Mermaid. 

(born August 31, 1958)

Julie Brown is an American actress, comedian, screen/television writer, singer-songwriter, and television director. Brown is perhaps best known for her work in the 1980s, where she often played a quintessential valley girl character. Much of her comedy has revolved around the mocking of famous people (with a strong and frequently revisited focus on Madonna).


Sunday, August 30, 2015



New Thoughts? New Directions?

Hillary Clinton
(born October 26, 1947
Grannie says,
"68 ain't old..."
"...but 74 is."

Bernie Sanders
(September 8, 1941)
Grampie says, "Eh?  What?"

Marco Antonio Rubio
(born May 28, 1971)
Marco Rubio says,
"I was the junior United States Senator from Florida, serving since January 2011, and a candidate for President of the United States. A member of the Republican Party, I previously served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives."

Wikipedia says:
Marco Antonio  Rubio is a Cuban American native of Miami. He graduated from the University of Florida and the University of Miami Law School. In the late 1990s, he served as a City Commissioner for West Miami and was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, representing the 111th House district. He was elected Speaker in September 2005.

More candidates another day... perhaps.

A Voice We Could Do Without

Donna Brazile is an American political analyst who is Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee. She was the first African American to direct a major presidential campaign, acting as campaign manager for Al Gore in 2000.

And I get so sick of hearing her blab, blab, blab tired platitudes and overheard opinions over top of everyone else when she appears on news shows, which is way too often. I wish they would stop inviting her.


Did You Know . . .?

The hiss of a cat is a warning that says aggression will follow if you don't back off.

A cat who hisses is fearful but ready to engage in battle if necessary. Many behavior experts believe that the cat produces the hissing sound to mimic that of a hissing snake in order to deter opponents



On this day in 1967 the US Senate confirmed Thurgood Marshall as the first African-American Supreme Court justice.
Thurgood Marshall (July 2, 1908 – January 24, 1993) was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, serving from October 1967 until October 1991. Marshall was the Court's 96th justice and its first African-American justice.



aberration [abb-uhr-aey-shun]
1. a state or condition markedly different from the norm
2. a departure from what is normal, usual, or expected, typically one that is unwelcome.
"they described the outbreak of violence in the area as an aberration"



(born August 30, 1930)

Warren Buffet is an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He is the most successful investor of the 20th century. Buffett 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 in 2015. In 2012 Time named Buffett one of the world's most influential people.

(Aug 30 1797 - Feb 1, 1851)

Mary Shelley was an English novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, and travel writer, best known for her Gothic novel Frankenstein: or, The Modern Prometheus.

(born August 30, 1963)

Michael Chiklis is an American actor, director and television producer. Some of the previous 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, 1972)

Cameron Diaz is an American actress, producer, and former fashion model. She rose to stardom in the 1990s with roles in The Mask, My Best Friend's Wedding, and There's Something About Mary, and is also known for voicing the character of Princess Fiona in the Shrek series. Other high-profile credits include Charlie's Angels and its sequel Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Knight and Day, The Green Hornet, Bad Teacher, and The Other Woman.


Saturday, August 29, 2015

What Are Thoughts?


Did you ever try to recall the many random thoughts that run through your mind while listening to a boring conversation?

I tried that once or twice.

And once I made notes.

Here are some of those items:

The nearly unbelievable immensity of the Universe.  Amaazing! Incredible!

How can any person nearing comprehension of the vast expanse of the entire universe avoid absolute madness when attempting to accept the tremendous distances between clusters of galaxies... if the word comprehend means to approach an understanding of a concept?

Goethe wrote, "A man can stand anything except a succession of ordinary days."
That's nonsense.
That's a load of crap.

What exactly is the difference between the concepts of Time and Duration?

Definition of Time:
Time is a measure in which events can be ordered from the past through the present into the future, and also the measure of durations of events and the intervals between them.

Definition of Duration:
Duration is the time during which something continues.


So what, then, is a jiffy? If you look it up, you will find that a jiffy is used to measure the duration between alternating power cycles. Also a jiffy is a casual term for a short duration.

Did you ever hear of a hectosecond?
A hectosecond equals 100 seconds
or 1 minute and 40 seconds.

Well, that's enough of that for now.

Oh wait --

Try to imagine this:

The entire universe, in all its immensity, is probably only a drop in a bucket... only a single molecule of some unknowable whole.

Yes, my thoughts are random and scattered.


Yesterday's episode of Celebrity Jeopardy featured Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller), some female designer, and Zachary Quinto (the new Mister Spock) -- and I noticed that the Answers given by Alex Trebeck were considerably dumbed-down from the usual.

Oh well, they are celebrities, you know.


Did You Know . . .?

About 400 million years ago, before trees were common, the Earth was covered with giant mushrooms.


Hurricane Katrina made landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, as a Category 4 hurricane on this day in 2005. Despite being only the third most powerful storm of the 2005 hurricane season, Katrina was the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States. After briefly coming ashore in southern Florida on August 25 as a Category 1 hurricane, Katrina gained strength before slamming into the Gulf Coast on August 29. In addition to bringing devastation to the New Orleans area, the hurricane caused damage along the coasts of Mississippi and Alabama, as well as other parts of Louisiana.



the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time --filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.



(Aug 29, 1958 - June 25, 2009)

Michael Jackson was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Called the King of Pop, his contributions to music and dance, along with his publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades.

(born August 29, 1938)

Elliott Gould is an American actor. He began acting in Hollywood films during the 1960s, and has remained prolific ever since. In addition to his performance in the classic comedy Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, for which he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Gould is perhaps best known for his significant roles in Robert Altman films, starring in M*A*S*H, The Long Goodbye; and California Split. In recent years, he has starred in a recurring role as Jack Geller on Friends and as Reuben Tishkoff in Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Twelve, and Ocean's Thirteen.

(born August 29, 1936)

John McCain is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican presidential nominee in the 2008 United States presidential election.

(born August 29, 1959)

Rebecca De Mornay is an American actress and producer. Her breakthrough film role came in 1983, when she played Lana in Risky Business alongside Tom Cruise. Her other notable film roles include Sara in Runaway Train, Thelma in The Trip to Bountiful, Helen McCaffrey in the thriller Backdraft, and her portrayal of the nanny Peyton Flanders in the 1992 thriller The Hand That Rocks the Cradle.


Friday, August 28, 2015



I keep hearing on the TV news shows that even though all the prominent politicians and elected officials say they abhor (definition of abhor: regard with disgust and hatred) all the tragedies brought about by gun violence. But not one of the government employees has a solution.


I have a solution: Any intentional murder committed by firing a gun of any kind carries an automatic death sentence. And temporary insanity is no longer a defense.

Of course, that workable solution won't even be considered. Except maybe by Donald Trump.


I heard the word "aggregate" being used instead of "congegrate" and wondered if the two words were interchangable. So I did a search on the subject.

1. gather into a crowd or mass.

1. a whole formed by combining several (typically disparate) elements.
"the council was an aggregate of three regional assemblies"
2. a material or structure formed from a loosely compacted mass of fragments or particles.

Now I know the difference. I think.


Did You Know . . .?

Motorists will be able to recharge their cars as they drive if a scheme being proposed by Highways England comes to fruition. The government agency has announced plans to test wireless power-transfer tech that it hopes to build under the country's motorways and major A roads.



Emmett Louis Till was an African-American teenager who was murdered on this day in Mississippi at the age of 14, after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was from Chicago, Illinois, visiting his relatives in Money, Mississippi, in the Mississippi Delta region, when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store there. Several nights later, Bryant's husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam went to Till's great-uncle's house. They took Till away to a barn, where they beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. Three days later, Till's body was discovered and retrieved from the river.
Emmett Till



Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton (Aug. 28, 1774 - Jan. 4, 1821) was the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonized by the Roman Catholic Church (September 14, 1975). She established the first Catholic girl's school in the nation in Emmitsburg, Maryland, where she also founded the first American congregation of religious sisters, the Sisters of Charity.



utter [uh'-tur]
The adjective utter is often used as an intensifier to mean "total" - often with negative connotations (like "utter failure"). As a verb, the word has a totally unrelated meaning: to speak or to articulate a sound.



(Aug. 28, 1828 - Nov. 7, 1910)

Leo Tolstoy was a Russian novelist regarded as one of the greatest of all time. He is best known for War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).

(born August 28, 1969)

Jack Black is an American actor, comedian, singer, and producer. His acting career has been extensive, starring primarily in comedy films. He is 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, 1956)

Luis Guzman is a Puerto Rican 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 is a favorite of director Steven Soderbergh, who cast him in Out of Sight, The Limey, and Traffic, and Paul Thomas Anderson, who cast him in Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch-Drunk Love.

(born August 28, 1965)

Shania Twain is a Canadian singer and songwriter. Twain has sold over 85 million records, making her one of the world's best-selling artists of all time. She is also the best selling female artist in the history of country music.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Where Quite A Few Have Gone Before


Excerpt From:
August 26, 2015
NASA Television to Air Launch of Next International Space Station Crew

The next three crew members bound for the International Space Station are set to launch to the orbital outpost Wednesday, Sept. 2. NASA Television launch coverage will begin at 11:45 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 1.

Sergei Volkov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 12:37 a.m. Wednesday (10:34 a.m. Baikonur time). Mogensen and Aimbetov are short duration crew members while Volkov will spend six months on the orbital complex.

Hey Mike... Hey Anthony... These guys are "just children."

For the full schedule of pre-launch, launch and docking coverage, visit:


Did You Know...

Eidetic memory is an ability to recall images, sounds, or objects in memory after only a few instances of exposure, with high precision for some time after exposure, without using mnemonics. It occurs in a small number of children and generally is not found in adults

I watch Jeopardy almost every day, partly in the hope that it will keep my aging memory processes working actively and partly because I find the show extremely interesting (and pleasurably entertaining.)

An entire week was recently devoted to young people, mostly sub-teens. From their answers to age-appropriate categories, it seemed that most of the kids possessed either eidetic, or at least phenomenal non-eidetic memories.

 One of the Jeopardy kids said he wanted to grow up and be a physicist so he cold study black holes and time travel.

I found that to be quite interesting.

Time travel.

I thought about that for a while.

And I thought:

What if this nascient ten year old kid were to grow up to eventually discover a means, not to travel in time, but to view,  day-by-day, hour-by-hour, events from the past? Would the devilishly demanding evangelists and arrogant Catholic priests and other robed and bejeweled nobles cleverly find a way around the facts, around the visible proof that their so-called Gospel was not so much Gospel after all? There was no deified Jesus after all, no crucifixion with its attendant miraculous darkening of the sky and other such nonsense and twaddle. No rising from the dead. And not even the water-into-wine fable.

What if a scientific viewing of the past completely disproved any and all those so obviously phony supposed happenings preached by the hordes of misguided mavins of organized religion?

Isn't that an interesting question?



1. Absence of knowledge or awareness; ignorance.
2. Holding that only material phenomena can be known and knowledge of spiritual matters or ultimate causes is impossible.
3. Uneducated in general; lacking knowledge or sophistication; "nescient of contemporary literature"; "an unlearned group incapable of understanding complex issues"; "exhibiting contempt for unlettered companions."



(born August 27, 1976

Sarah Chalke is a Canadian actress known for portraying Dr. Elliot Reid on the NBC/ABC comedy series Scrubs, the second Rebecca "Becky" Conner on the ABC sitcom Roseanne, and Stella Zinman in the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother.

(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, 1943)

Tuesday Weld is an American actress. She began acting when she was a child, and progressed to mature roles in the late 1950s. She won a Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Female Newcomer in 1960. Over the following decade she established a career playing dramatic roles in films.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015



One of today's PBS headlines was: "How a global network of telescopes may give us first glimpse of a black hole."

This struck me as being a stupendous feat, because I had always thought of a black hole as being a region where gravity s so strong that nothing can escape from it... even light. And I can only see an object when light strikes it and then rebounds and strikes my eyes. So, you can probably understand my confusion. Probably.

Indeed, a Google search for black hole brings up: A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying. Because no light can get out, people can't see black holes.

But the report byRebecca Jacobson goes on to say that even though black holes are vital to our understanding of the universe, no one has ever seen one -- yet. To change this, a team of scientists in northern Chile, is using a network of telescopes around the globe to capture an image of a black hole for the first time to prove Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity. 


Predicted appearance of non-rotating black hole with toroidal ring of ionized matter, such as has been proposed as a model for Sagittarius A*. The asymmetry is due to the Doppler effect resulting from the enormous orbital speed needed for centrifugal balance of the very strong gravitational attraction of the hole.

Notice that the above is the "predicted appearance."

I imagine it would look more like this
(black hole is tiny dot in center)


Monday, August 24, 2015



I love good movies that move forward at thrilling speed, scene after compelling scene, and yet contain hints of a certain intellectual meat looming in the background. But because of the incessant writing-school dialogue and predictable explosive cartoon-like action and the tired, run-of-the-mill resurrected age-old plots, I have reluctantly restricted most of my current TV watching to the cable news shows.

It seems that a new movement called BLACK LIVES MATTER has captured the imaginations of a few disgruntled black activists. Well, I believe that some black lives matter. And some do not.

Another series of TV shows I have been following is LOCKUP, wherein cameramen and reporters enter various prisons and document the activities and supposed philosophies of selected prisoners, euphemistically labeled "inmates."

Being the simple, average, emotion-driven TV viewer that I am, I have listened to enough self-descriptions of inmate attitudes to convince myself that some black people (and brown people, and white people) have lives that absolutely do NOT matter. I n fact, in my opinion, there are countless lives lived in civilized society which would have been better served if each had been legally aborted.

And it's not limited to men only

Examples of longtime inmate (lifers) declarations:

"I just like to hurt people, and
I ain't gonna change... ever."

"I'm turned on by young kids. and
that ain't never gonna change... ever."

I hate all niggers and Jews, and
nothin's gonna change my mind... ever."

"If I ever get out of here, I'll rape
and kill some more bitches... gladly."

And there are more... many, many more


Did You Know . . .?

Dogs lick you because they lick each other to show affection, groom, heal, and communicate what they want. (They also think you taste good, because you’re salty and sometimes you have tiny food particles on your skin.)



On this day in 1981, Mark David Chapman was sentenced to 20 years to life for the murder of John Lennon, a founding member of The Beatles, one of the most successful bands in the history of popular music.

Mark David Chapman
On December 8, 1980, Chapman shot and killed the 40-year-old singer, songwriter and peace activist, outside Lennon’s New York City apartment building, the Dakota, where he lived with his wife Yoko Ono and their young son Sean.



a type of people or things similar to those already referred to.



Marlee Beth Matlin
(born August 24, 1965)

Marlee Matlin is an American actress. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Children of a Lesser God (1986), and is both the only deaf performer to win the award, and, at 21, the youngest to date.

Rebecca Leigh Mader
(born April 24, 1977)

Rebecca Mader is an English actress, best known for her roles as Charlotte Lewis in the ABC series Lost, and as Zelena, the Wicked Witch of the West, on ABC's Once Upon a Time.