Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Uncle Jay Explains 2008

Earl sent me this. Funny!

A Different Kind of New Year's Eve

I've celebrated the new year many different ways. As a teenager I went to the Methodist Church for an MYF program and party in a larger neighboring town where I live now. Later on my boyfriend and I went out somewhere to celebrate. Then came the parties when I drank into the next year and was hungover the next day. There were also those years when my boyfriend at the time and I made sure we were having sex before, during, and after midnight. (apologies to my son for including this) I spent some doing woo-woo spiritual things with a group of friends. A few were spent with my son and/or friends playing board games or watching movies. I used to be superstitious about it and thought what I did on New Year's Eve and Day set the tone for the year until it didn't take long to prove that wrong. Lately I've spent them alone watching movies, being online, or whatever. I enjoyed it and was just fine ringing in the new year however I chose on any given year.

This year I've invited my five-year-old grandson to spend the night. Then we'll go to Mother's tomorrow for our black-eyed peas and greens, which are traditional Southern foods for luck and wealth in the new year. I'll enjoy spending time with him but also wanted to give my son and daughter-in-law a night out to eat dinner and relax and a morning to sleep late. I'm meeting them at 2:00 to pick him up, and they'll get him tomorrow afternoon. This year I'll probably be asleep when 2009 arrives and wake up to the sounds of a sweet little boy calling me Grammy.

Taken Christmas 2003 *edit*
Brendan's First Christmas

Einstein Quote of the Day

Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. One seeks the most general ideas of operation which will bring together in simple, logical and unified form the largest possible circle of formal relationships. In this effort toward logical beauty spiritual formulas are discovered necessary for the deeper penetration into the laws of nature.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Possibly Helpful Trivia

Mosquito repellents don’t repel; they hide you. The spray or lotion blocks the mosquito’s sensors; however, it will seek out unprotected areas of skin.

Dave Barry

Frogponder had this column by Dave Barry on her blog, so I decided to put it on here as well. It's The Year in Review and is hilarious!

Here's an excerpt:

How weird a year was it? Here's how weird:

O.J. actually got convicted of something.

Gasoline hit $4 a gallon -- and those were the good times.

On several occasions, "Saturday Night Live" was funny.

There were a few days there in October when you could not completely rule out the possibility that the next Treasury secretary would be Joe the Plumber.

Finally, and most weirdly, for the first time in history, the voters elected a president who -- despite the skeptics who said such a thing would never happen in the United States-- was neither a Bush nor a Clinton.

I'm Becoming Awesome!

I have the biorhythms thingy on my iGoogle page but rarely look at it. I was just having fun adding gadgets to it, which is where I get the Einstein and Jon Stewart quotes as well as the trivia, etc. It also has literary quotes that are neat, but I can't copy and paste those. The one today was good, so I might possibly type it on here. Anyway, check this out! I'm on the upswing. I believe we have certain circadian rhythms that make us night or morning people and whatever else they do. Is that like biorhythms? As I said before, I don't really believe in this but am not above using it when I need an excuse for having dumb days. Maybe I should compare this chart with my Bernice moments and see if there's a correlation. Yeah right, like Ms ADD will follow through on that! It was a thought - fleeting and transient. (and possibly redundant) Bring it on, New Year! I'll be ready for you!

Physical: 62% Emotional: 52% Intellectual: 75%

Jon Stewart Quote

This is funny because Charlie recently had a post about the Shamwow.

(Asking Obama about his infomercial) Will it annoy us, or will we like it, afterwards will we think – “did he just sell me a “Shamwow?” what just happened? Or will we feel comforted and … (10/29/08)

Einstein Quote of the Day

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science...

Monday, December 29, 2008


This year I will watch all the nominated movies before the Oscars. I used to do that and then didn't the last couple of years. I hope they go back to having them in March the way they used to instead of February to get ahead of the others. I like for the other awards to build up to the Oscars. For those of you who don't know, I've never missed watching the Academy Awards. I watch every minute of them and like the good speeches where they say something besides thanking everyone. I like to see who they are with, hear what they say, and notice what they are wearing.

I love awards shows and always cry during them when someone is genuinely touched about winning. Not, though, when they go over the top like Halle Berry did. That was annoying. Jackie has a problem with her winning for playing that degrading role, but that's another post. In addition to the Oscars, I watch BAFTA, the Independent Spirit Awards (love this one - so irreverent, funny, and casual), SAG, Golden Globes, Tonys, and Grammy award shows. Sometimes I manage some others, like the Country Music Awards so I'll know who they are since quite a few of them live in the Nashville area.

Hugh Jackman will host the Academy Awards year. He hosted the Tonys a couple of years ago. He has a range from musical theater to Wolverine to romantic leads. As soon as the nominations are announced, I'm all over going to see the ones I haven't seen yet. I'm going to see Doubt, Milk, Australia, Frost/Nixon, and some others soon. It's my mission! We all need something to look forward to!


Part of our Christmas ritual at my daughter's house is watching movies. Here are the ones I watched when I was there with short reviews:

Hancock - It was funny and exciting. Pretty good. Will Smith really did the down and out drunk well and made the changes effectively. I didn't recognize Charlize Theron for a while for some reason. She's able to change her appearance in different movies, but I should have known who she was.

Disturbia (which I kept calling Disturbo) - Definitely disturbing! David Morse plays a creepy, scary psycho so well. Shia Labeouf is cute and believable as a geeky teenager until he kisses the girl next door. This was really good with all kinds of suspense in it.

Baby Mama - Surprisingly better than I expected. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were funny and serious. It was light entertainment and just what I needed after "Disturbo"!

27 Dresses - Hey, I have teenage granddaughters! What do you expect? This was pretty good even though I don't like Katherine Heigl so much. It was predictable but had its moments.

Then after I got home, I watched these Saturday night and Sunday:

Juno - I know, it's taken me this long to get to this one. Quirky and touching in an odd way just as I expected. I liked it and thought the cast was excellent. Diablo Cody got an Oscar for the screenplay, and Ellen Page was rightfully nominated. I can't imagine anyone else delivering those lines and giving that performance the way she did. I liked it. I've read Diablo Cody's blog after she was nominated and during the next movie, which has been interesting.

There Will Be Blood - Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis got an Oscar for this, which happens most times he makes a movie. He gave an excellent performance, but I hated this movie. Hated it. His character had no redeeming qualities at all and made greedy bastards look good. I'll probably blog about this later because it goes back to America's history of violence, greed, fear, and ruthlessness. I can understand reasons for making that movie now about oilmen. His character said he always saw the worst in people, and we saw that, too.

Rendition - This is the one with Reese Witherspoon, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Meryl Streep where Reese's character's husband was detained and tortured by our goverment for being Egyptian. Jake's character worked with the CIA and Meryl Streep was head of intelligence. What makes this so unnerving is that it happens, has happened, and we hope never happens again. I'll post separately about this one, too. Definitely thought-provoking and terrifying.

Sioux City - Lou Diamond Phillips plays a doctor who was adopted from his Sioux mother when he was four by a Jewish couple. We discover during the movie why she gave him up when he visits the reservation where he was born and meets relatives and a woman. It's actually fairly mediocre and predictable but has its moments. Some great scenery and the landscape is beautiful, too. (sorry, can't help myself)

The Bucket List - I always enjoy watching Morgan Freeman. He and Jack Nicholson played off each other so well in this. It must have made an impression because I dreamed about seeing Morgan Freeman in an airport waiting room. I waved to him and smiled, which he returned. He came over to talk to me, and I kept being interrupted by Mother and other people I know. Then there were all these little kids around, and I said I had to get away from them because I'm a retired teacher and just can't deal with that now. He laughed and then looked at me the way he can do. I said he must be thinking about something he would like to tell me. He nodded and told me that I wasn't taking care of myself as well as I should be. I know that, but when Morgan Freeman tells you, it takes on new meaning! LOL OK, OK! I get it!

I have HBO On Demand and planned to watch True Blood but was too late. They'll show it again, but since I missed it, I watched movies on there. I'm going to watch House of Saddam before they take that one off later on this week.

What Do You Think About This?

Claim: Disney forced the removal of murals featuring their cartoon figures from the walls of three Florida day care centers.

Status: True.

Origins: When Disney discovered in 1989 that three Hallandale, Florida, day care centers had 5-foot-high likenesses of trademarked Disney characters such as Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy painted on their walls, Disney threatened to go to court if the centers did not remove the drawings. The threat of legal action did not need to be carried out, as the centers replaced the drawings with cartoon characters belonging to Universal Studios Florida and Hanna-Barbera Productions, who volunteered the use of their character art as part of a publicity ploy.

Disney demanded that the unauthorized 5-foot-high painted figures of Disney characters on the walls of Very Important Babies Daycare, Good Godmother Daycare, and Temple Messianique (all in Hallandale, Florida) be removed for valid business reasons: infringements must be fought in order to keep trademarks intact; other Disney character licensees would have grounds to object if Disney provided inexpensive (or free) licenses to the centers (which are, after all, profit-making enterprises); and the use of Disney characters falsely suggested Disney's affiliation with the day care facilities.

Disney had also just dealt competing Universal Studios a severe blow in the theme park business by opening its Disney-MGM Studios park in Orlando, Florida, several months ahead of the completion of Universal Studios' own Orlando-based studio theme park. Universal, still smarting from the early opening of Disney's studio-themed park (Universal had been planning such a park in Orlando since 1981 but had been struggling with the financing) and claiming that some of the ideas for Disney's park had been stolen from them (Universal alleged that Michael Eisner had seen the plans for their park when he worked for Paramount), saw in the day care controversy a way to seize some publicity for themselves and give Disney a bad name in Florida as part of the bargain. Accordingly, Universal Studios Florida and Hanna-Barbera Productions offered the centers the use of characters from their own cartoons, such as Scooby-Doo, the Flintstones, the Jetsons, and Yogi Bear. Universal and Hanna-Barbera then held a special ceremony showcasing the newly-redecorated day care centers at the Temple Messanique on August 8, 1989, attended by costumes characters and executives from both organizations.

from Snopes

Einstein is Back!

The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the State but the creative, sentient individual, the personality...


Here's something we might need to know before we join Oprah and many others in the country on a diet and exercise program for the new year. (or is this just me?)

A buccula is a little-used term for a person’s double chin.

Sunday, December 28, 2008


I'm back, had a great time, and will catch up on blogs as soon as possible. Did you miss me?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Addictive Diversion - Warning!

Something to entertain you while I'm gone. Enjoy! I got this from the Word Mechanic and have spent too much time playing it.

You click on the box and type in letters. They'll be displayed on those blanks or below when the hangman happens.

We Are the World

Because of blogging, Facebook, MySpace, and who knows what will be next, eventually everyone will know each other.

Yuletide Greetings!

Merry Christmas, Everyone! I hope you have a wonderful warm fuzzy Christmas! I will be gone most of the time between tomorrow and Sunday so have fun and celebrate! I'm so glad I know you and will be back on here soon! If you are traveling, be safe! If you are staying home, keep warm!

christmas wreath Pictures, Images and Photos


As I told students who complained about singled out and berated because they continued to talk after the others got quiet when I asked them to, "Timing is everything." It is, you know. Think about how many events in your life would have changed if only parts of them had happened earlier or later. There are people we wouldn't have met, accidents we wouldn't have had, accidents we would have had, appointments we'd missed or made, situations that would have been different, and on it goes. It falls under the category of Might Have Been that can drive a person crazy if dwelled on too much. Most of the time we don't think about timing, but if you look back, you can see how the path led you where you are now. Interesting, isn't it?

Clock Explosion - Salvador Dali Pictures, Images and Photos

Yuletide Pondness or Pondy Christmas Greetings!

As you know, I love British humor (humour to them) and fall into the stereotypical Amercian who thinks anything is funnier and sounds more intelligent when said with a posh English accent. Some of us can't help it. Along with Scaryduck (warning: his blog is very sweary today and at other times, too), Mil Milington is totally hilarious among bloggy writers. Yes, Oxy, I did say English accent. Because of Richard Burton alone, the Welsh have the market on sexy voices. He could say anything, and I melted. I know that Anthony Hopkins is also from Wales and has quite the voice and choose to believe that is how your countrymen sound. Wonderful, just wonderful! Where was I? Oh, right. Mil Milington. Although this isn't the best example, here's his Christmas Card sent to his listers. Here's his blog which also became a book.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I think this is hilarious! It's like that saying, "Who do I have to sleep with to get off this movie?" only better. How can I get a deal like this?

Record label after record label signed the Sex Pistols then paid them to leave the label. In four months’ time the recording industry paid the band $350,000 to go away.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jon Stewart Quote

Is there any unpleasant aspect of our society that Dick Cheney isn't making money off of? (11/19/08)

Einstein Quote of the Day

I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Here's a quote by Tallulah Bankhead I copied from Bob's blog. Do any of you remember her? She was a hoot on talk shows. Here's his post about her.

"I have three phobias which, could I mute them, would make my life as slick as a sonnet, but as dull as ditch water: I hate to go to bed, I hate to get up, and I hate to be alone."

tallulah bankhead Pictures, Images and Photos

tallulah Pictures, Images and Photos

The King of Rock 'n Roll

"I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to."

- Elvis Presley

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Etiquette Question

My mother and I had a discussion today about telephone etiquette. After we talked a while, she said she forgot she called me since she was returning my call and stayed on the phone longer than she meant to. You know the rule is that the person who initiates the call is the one who ends the call and signs off first. I told her I didn't know what the etiquette is about who ends the call when it's being returned. Do any of you know? Have any of you stayed in a phone conversation waiting for the other person to end it because they called? I don't so much any more but used to.

telephone Pictures, Images and Photos


Apparently, I'm dumb as a stump right now and not so great in other ways, either. There's not much hope for me for a while, is there? We'll see if I'm more Bernice now than usual. Fortunately, I don't believe in this but am not above using it as an excuse if necessary! Ha!!

Physical: -27% Emotional: -71% Intellectual: -100%

Gross! Horror!

The bed bug epidemic in motels and hotels is horrible, and now we have to check under the beds for dead bodies, too!

Claim: After repeatedly complaining about the smell in their room, a couple staying in a hotel discovers the body of a murdered girl under their bed.

Status: True.

Origins: In The Baby Train, folklorist Jan Harold Brunvand writes that he first heard the "dead body found under hotel bed" legend 1991. Every version that came to him mentioned a Las Vegas hotel, but the lack of checkable details led him to believe this was an apocryphal tale.

Okay, so we can date the appearance of this legend to 1991. Unlike a number of other such gruesome tales, this legend appears to have sprung from a misremembering of any one of a number of actual news items, with the talebearer shifting certain details so that deaths which took place in anonymous little motels along Interstates are said to have happened in Las Vegas, America's own Sin City, and victims who'd (usually) done little else amiss than be in the wrong place at the wrong time and/or take up with questionable company were transformed through the magic of retelling into prostitutes.

Dead bodies get stashed in the box spring or the bed's pedestal more often than you'd want to believe. What's more, a fair number of them are only discovered days later - after the new tenant complains about a persistent and disagreeable odor.

In each of the following cases not only were bodies discovered under hotel beds, but it was investigations of the smell of decomposition that led to their discoveries.

On 10 July 2003, a man checked into the Capri Motel, just east of downtown Kansas City, and began complaining about a foul odor in his room. Management told him nothing could be done about the problem, and he spent three nights in his room before checking out because he could no longer stand the smell. When the cleaning staff came in to make up the room on 13 July, they lifted the mattress and underneath found a man's body in an advanced stage of decomposition.

On 10 June 1999 the rapidly decomposing remains of 64-year-old Saul Hernandez were discovered inside the bed in Room 112 at the Burgundy Motor Inn in Atlantic City, New Jersey. A German couple had spent the night sleeping over Hernandez's remains, and it was their complaint to the manager about the smell in their room which led to the discovery of the corpse.

In July 1996 a woman's body was found under a mattress in the Colorado Boulevard Travelodge in Pasadena, CA. Apparently the motel's staff discovered her ten days after her demise and only after guests had complained for several days of a foul odor coming from that room.

There were two stashed-and-smelly body cases in Florida in 1994. (Further adding to the confusability of these stories' taking place in the same year and the same state, in both instances the next tenants those rooms had were German tourists.) In August 1994 in Fort Lauderdale, hotel staff discovered the body of 47-year-old Bryan Gregory tucked under a platform bed. Though the staff had themselves noticed the strange smell for days, they only set about looking for its source after a German couple spent the night in that room and afterwards complained about the odor.

In March 1994 the body of 24-year-old Josefina Martinez was found underneath a bed at the Traveler's Hotel near Miami International Airport. Again, the discovery was prompted by an aggrieved German tourist upset about a foul odor in his room.

In Virginia in 1989, Jerry Lee Dunbar disposed of the remains of two victims this way: 27-year-old Deirdre Smith, who was discovered in May under the floor of a motel room on Route 1, and 29-year-old Marilyn Graham, who turned up in June under a bed in the Alexandria Econo Lodge. In Smith's case, the killer first kept her body partially hidden under his bed for two days, then subsequently placed it in the crawl space under the carpeted floor. Her presence seemingly didn't bother him, because he didn't move out of that room until three or four weeks later. Both girls' bodies were eventually found after other guests complained about the stink.

In Mineola, New York, motel in 1988, a body turned up in a boxspring. The remains of 29-year-old Mary Jean DeOliviera were found at the Oceanside Motel. Again, the body was discovered days later and only after other patrons complained about the smell. At least two other guests unknowingly cohabited with the body before it was found, and at least one guest refused to stay in that room because of the smell.

Here's a change of pace — not a murder, but a death by misadventure. In Rosedale, Maryland in 1987, an unidentified man died of a drug overdose after one of the thirty-four balloons of heroin he'd swallowed burst. His partner stashed the corpse under their motel bed, then split. Three days later, the family the room was next rented to complained about the odor, and this led to the body's discovery.

So far the oldest smelly body left in under the bed sighting comes from 1982. Richard Kuklinski, Daniel Deppner, and Gary Smith often teamed together to run auto theft scams. Kuklinski and Deppner decided to kill Smith, and they accomplished this by feeding him a cyanide-laced hamburger in a North Bergen, NJ, motel room. Kuklinkski finished off Smith by strangling him when watching Smith die of poisoning proved tiresome. Smith's body was stuffed under the bed and left there. It was found four days later, on 27 December 1982. During the intervening four days, the room had been rented to others each night. Guests had wrinkled their noses at the smell, but none thought to look under the bed.

There are, of course, numerous other cases of dead bodies being left under hotel beds, but I've chosen not to report on these because one of the key elements of the legend is complaints about the presence of a horrific smell leading to the corpse's discovery. What gives this urban legend its chills-down-the-spine gruesomeness is the body's being found only after an unsuspecting traveller spends the night sleeping above it. That clearly happened in at least some of the cases mentioned here (and perhaps in others where the news reports stated only that hotel guests had complained without specifying which guests).

Urban legends tend to localize to where we believe they likely would have happened. It's easy to understand how in each of the versions Brunvand related that Las Vegas was always named as the city where the corpse reposed, for Vegas is indeed viewed as Sin City, USA. Much easier to believe that the unsuspecting traveller shared his room with a mouldering corpse in Las Vegas than it is to (rightly) place that occurrence in small-town New York, Virginia, or Maryland. Especially when dealing with a half-remembered true story, it's natural for the "obvious" details to replace facts that have been misplaced due to ordinary fuzziness of memory. One, after all, does not let a lack of certainty stand in the way of a good story.

Keep in mind that the Deirdre Smith (1989, Virginia), Marilyn Graham (1989, Virginia), Mary Jean DeOliviera (1988, New York), John Doe (1987, Maryland), and Gary Smith (1982, New York) cases antedate 1991. Gruesome finds like those tend to get heavily reported on, and that certainly happened with Smith, Graham and DeOliviera (the cites below don't begin to do justice to the coverage these discoveries got — they were reported on by a double handful of various papers across the USA). It is because of that widespread coverage that I lean towards this legend's having sprung to life out of a true story whose location got shifted from Your Town, USA (where only nice people live) to Sin City (where both life and room rates are cheap).

Barbara "death takes a holiday inn" Mikkelson

Sightings: Look for this legend in the 1995 film Four Rooms.

Last updated: 2 November 2006 by Snopes

Say What, Al?

What is thought to be a 'system' is after all, just conventional, and I do not see how one is supposed to divide up the world objectively so that one can make statements about parts.


Crushed cockroaches can be applied to a stinging wound to help relieve the pain.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Vanity Card

At the end of Chuck Lorre's shows, he shows a vanity card with various thoughts on it. I usually pause the DVR to read them. I found the website where they are and will occasionally post them. Here are two I like.


I believe that inherent within the God-given right to the pursuit of happiness, is the equally God-given right to the pursuit of unhappiness. That is why I support gay marriage.


I may not have had the best childhood,
but I've certainly had the longest.

Caroline Kennedy

I think Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg is as qualified or more so than many others who have held office. Looking at the backgrounds of many of them, I think she is more qualified than some who have done really well. She's grown up in politics and has the same credentials as most. She has a degree from Harvard and a law degree from Columbia. I believe she passed the bar exam the first try, unlike her charming brother. She doesn't need the money and hasn't been in a position to owe favors. So why not? It seems like a great idea to me! I hope she is the next NY senator.

Last Year of First Decade of New Century

We're getting to that time of year when we reflect on the year coming to a close and think about the upcoming one. Some people are more reflective than others and some just go on to the next year as if it's another day. I used to be superstitious about New Year's Eve and thought it set the stage or tone for the upcoming year but realized after a few years that it didn't. Now I reflect and set some goals I hope to achieve. What about you?

p.s. I realize that there is debate about when the century/decade began. I stand by what I wrote in the title.


A camel can lose up to 30 percent of its body weight in perspiration and continue to cross the desert. A human would die of heat shock after sweating away only 12 percent of his body weight.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Rainbow

I got this from The Word Mechanic.

Your rainbow is shaded violet.


What is says about you: You are a creative person. You appreciate beauty and craftsmanship. You are patient and will keep trying to understand something until you've mastered it.

Find the colors of your rainbow at

Fascinating Trivia

The first human-made object to break the sound barrier was a whip. As the energy increases from the handle to the end of the whip, the energy is moving beyond the speed of sound at the tip. That’s why a whip makes such a loud cracking noise.


The British Council of Manufacturers publicly claimed in 1948 that the Volkswagen Beetle would be "popular for two to three years."

Einstein Quote of the Day

Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.

Unfortunately, this is way too often the case, but with exposure, education, and experience people can learn, grow, and change. The operative word here is "can" since they can but often don't or won't.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Most of you have probably received this email.

A Modern Parable.

A Japanese company ( Toyota ) and an American company (Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River. Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A
management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people owing. Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion. They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing. Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by two miles. Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, the End....

Here's something else to think about: Ford has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results:

**TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses...



Golf was banned in England and Scotland in 1457 by King James II because he claimed it distracted people from the archery practice necessary for national defense.

Oh, really?

Einstein Quote of the Day

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

Ah, yes! I identify! I have been social today, though. Paige called and asked me to go shopping with her for a drop-leaf table and some chairs. Anyone have some you'd like to sell? We went to a couple of antique places. Rachel called earlier and asked me to go to dinner with her, so we did after I got back home from the shopping excursion. Then Rachel came in and we sat around talking and drinking red wine (Merlot I bought at that winery in Florida when I was on vacation). I need some wine glasses since I'm down to two now after breaking the others. Not all at once but over time.

Paige and Rachel were both impressed with my living room since they saw it during the "before" stage. In fact, they were beyond impressed and were amazed. So how about that? Yea!! I think I'll finish the kitchen tomorrow and then hope to report that. We'll see.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Have any of you ever tracked something you ordered? I've been tracking something on the UPS site, and it's fun.

It doesn't take much to amuse me, does it?

100 Things

I don't usually do these things but discovered it on Sylvia's blog and became intrigued.

The instructions are to copy and paste the list in your own blog and color all of the things YOU have done (mine are in blue). Things you haven't done will be in black.

If you put this on your blog, let me know, so I can go read your list.

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii (on my list and I will get there)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain (Clingman's Dome in the Smokies felt like a mountain but no, not really)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo (not in front of an audience much to their delight)
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea (ON the sea but not out there at sea)
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child (gave one up for adoption and wish I hadn't - but she found me and things are great with us)
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (nope, just the Bunker Hill Monument which was so not worth it)
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train (I'd like to do that)
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon (yeah, right!)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (not on a real, organized team - in the neighborhood when we played)
32. Been on a cruise (I'm trying to build up to that - no way across an ocean!)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person (I want to do that, too)
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (in central Arizona)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke (again, thankful people everywhere applaud)
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt (on my list)
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted (I've posed for an art class but it was drawing)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (it was closed or we would have)
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper (several times and an article about my old blog Joy's Updates)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury (twice)
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one (too many)
94. Had a baby (two)
95. Seen the Alamo in person (another place I want to go)
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit (I won)
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Political Corruption

Ronni Bennett wrote about politics and corruption on her blog Time Goes By. As always, Ronni writes about topical issues in the most informative and interesting way. Her blog is primarily geared toward interests of elders, but anyone can learn and benefit from what she writes. Besides, she is an excellent writer and critical thinker! Here's an excerpt from her latest post:

Look, I’m not na├»ve. I know politicians twist corporate and rich peoples’ arms for money in exchange for legislative favors and appointments, and vice versa. But this is the first time in my memory that we know the precise, naked details of how it happens day-to-day, can see the Janus-faced politician as he is, claiming reform in public while selling the public trust for personal enrichment in private.

Much of the time corruption is so Byzantine as to be impenetrable. (What exactly did the banks and Wall Street firms do with those mortgages?) What has made the Blagojevich allegations (has anyone called it Blago-gate yet?) so “popular” is that it is corruption at its most base: “you give me money; I give you Senate seat.” It doesn’t get any simpler than that.

A majority of people go through life working hard for living, do their best to raise their children to become morally responsible adults, pay their bills and their taxes and do it all by the rules. It’s hard to know if politics attracts those who are already corrupt or if politics corrupts those who were once honest, but that short-list above tells us the kind of government we have, have always had. And it is not to anyone’s benefit but politicians and their corporate cronies.

In the recently contagious bubble of political “hope,” the Blagojevich affair is thoroughly deflating.


Just so you know in case you've seen Sen. Bob Corker on the news, I did not vote for him and do not like him. He ran one of the dirtiest campaigns against Harold Ford that you might have heard about and has an annoying, whiny voice. He's been on the news lately talking about stipulations to impose on the auto industry before they could get bail-out money. We have some foreign car plants in TN but also have a Saturn plant and maybe some others. The point Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann have made is that they are non-union plants. I guess the Saturn plant might be, but don't know for sure. Anyway, I just wanted you to be sure to know how I feel about Corker.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Another Rainy, Dreary Day

When Jay Leno announced his first guest last night, no one showed up. Then after a little while, Wanda Sykes walked out and told Jay that she was letting them know how it would be not to have a gay guest on the show. Then she said she noticed that his hair and makeup looked good, so there were other gays besides her who went to work. It called attention to the day, and they talked about Prop 8 and other concerns in an effective way.

I went to CWHS again yesterday to help the teacher I'm mentoring get organized for the end of the semester. I was there Monday as well and will go back several days next week. I will be doing this the rest of the school year but don't plan to do it again after this time.

Tonight I branched out and watched Secret Milliionaire and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader. Secret Millionaire was interesting. They have to decide who to give $100,000 to. Tonight a millionaire went to the Tenderloin section of San Francisco and lived in a barren apartment and on $98 for the week. He went to a homeless shelter where he helped prepare food and to a women's shelter. He gave money to both shelters, a woman who runs the women's shelter, and a woman who was abused and is trying to make a life her herself and her son.

People who do things like that to help others are angels on earth. The woman who started the women's shelter was from an abusive family herself and made a mission of providing a safe place for the women. Fortunately, I've never been in that situation and can't stand to think of anyone going through it. That infuriates me. I am so glad there are places for those who need them.

Another situation that I wish I could help with is the epidemic of teenage pregnancy. Teenagers think nothing of having unprotected sex and don't think oral sex can spread disease. I've mentioned before how many girls were pregnant and/or had babies and how there were quite a few boys with children, too, during my last years of teaching. It was over 10% of the student population, and those were just the ones I counted and heard about.

I missed writing and reading blogs yesterday. Wonder what effect the not going to work movement had?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

No Blogging Today

In honor of my gay cyber nephews David and Dan, my gay friends & relatives, and the civil rights principles involved, there will be no blogging today. Oops, about the Einstein quote. It was a copy and paste and maybe won't count.


It is a scale of proportions which makes the bad difficult and the good easy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Sky

Did anyone notice that I changed the picture on the header of my blog? They are quite similar but the other one was an eclipse. What is this one?

Retirement Giddiness

I've had one of those "I am so happy to be retired I feel like doing a Snoopy Happy Dance all the time!" days. It's cold and rainy, and there were a few things I'd planned to do but decided that since I didn't really have to get out that I wouldn't.

For many years I taught gifted students by going to their schools and teaching in workrooms of libraries, stages, the cafeteria, closets, and anywhere they could put us. My back seat was my traveling desk and always full. One year I went to five different schools in one day, and it rained way too many of those days! This is one reason I was thrilled not to have to get out today in the rain. Later on we had a place where the kids rode buses to us. They would have Challenge Class one day a week for three hours. We could do much more with them and had a place to keep materials and offer more for them. It was also easier on us (two of us taught the gifted students in all of the county's eleven elementary and middle schools). I liked that for the students since they could be with others in their grade, which gave the students from smaller elementary schools the opportunity to interact with peers.

I've been thinking about teaching quite a bit lately. The movie Sunday night made me proud of my profession, and I'm still working with that teacher I'm mentoring. Some people are born teachers. For us, it's never enough to know something. We have to share that knowledge with others. Some things can't be taught and are innate. It's like being funny. You either are or you aren't. It's that way with good teachers.

One thing I decided to do was to plan when I'd retire and know it was my last year. That way I prepared myself mentally for it, let students know they were my last classes, enjoyed events knowing they were my last as well, and rejoiced during what I didn't like because I'd never have to endure it again. This made me ready to go when I did and to adjust right away as soon as I retired. I didn't want to stay too long at the fair but to leave before others wondered why I was still there. As I've told my students over and over, timing is everything!


In 1 hour, your heart produces enough energy to raise almost 1 ton of weight a yard off the ground, and it beats 40 million times in a year.

Another Einstein Quote for Dogg

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Inspiring Teacher Movie

I'm such a sucker for inspiring teacher movies, and the Hallmark movie last night was wonderful! Front of the Class is also the title of the book written by the Brad Cohen. It's about his life with Tourette's Syndrome and how his dream of becoming a teacher was realized. He wanted to be the kind of teacher he wishes he'd had. I cried several times during the inspirational, touching movie. It makes me proud to be a teacher. Cohen teaches in Atlanta and is also a motivational speaker. The actors who played him as a child and an adult were marvelous. I hope you saw it. Here's his website.

From left, Jimmy Wolk, Brad Cohen, and Dominic Scott Kay pose for a photo. Wolk and Kay play Brad Cohen as a child and adult in the Hallmark TV movie Front of the Class. Photo: Jon Farmer/ Hallmark Hall of Fame

Be sure to read Charlie's post on Berry Blog about some of his teaching experiences and feelings about teaching that this movie triggered. Thanks, Charlie, for reminding me about the movie!

Trivia - Ha!!

Mickey Rooney turned down the role of Archie Bunker in the 1970s sitsom All in the Family. The former child star was convinced that the show would bomb, and he wasn’t willing to jeopardize his professional reputation, although his film career had been on the skids for years. Little-known character actor Carroll O’Connor won the role as a result.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Music Unites Us

Mark Johnson filmed a documentary Playing for Change: Peace Through Music that was featured on Bill Moyers Journal. It shows people all over the world performing "Stand By Me." I can't embed it on my blog, but if you want to watch it, go here or on the Moyers website. It's quite moving and entertaining. The documentary features other music and looks good. I'd like to have the DVD of it.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


The Brooklyn Dodgers (who later became the Los Angeles Dodgers) did not get their name because of their sporting ability. The term dodger was a shortened form of the term trolley dodgers, which was first used to describe Brooklynites for their ability to avoid being hit by trolley cars.

Einstein Quote of the Day

Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do - but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

What's in a Name?

I got this from Chris's blog, and he got it from another one (obviously British or Australian or Canadian because of the spelling). Sort of fun! Tell me yours in the comments!

1. Witness Protection Name (mother's & father's middle names)
Eunice A. My father's names are initials only. (let's hope I never have to use this one!)

2. Nascar Name (first name of your mother's dad & father's dad)
William James (which is my brother's name - well, we are Southern) This would work, especially if nicknames are used - Bill Jim, Billy Jim, Bill Jimmy, etc.

3. Star Wars Name (the first 2 letters of your last name & first 4 letters of your first name)

4. Detective Name (favourite colour & favourite animal)
Red Cat (not bad)

5. Soap Opera Name (middle name & city where you live)
Anne Dickson (that would work)

6. Superhero Name (2nd favourite colour & favourite alcoholic drink, optionally add "The" to the beginning)
The Blue Merlot (my super powers would be fluency in every language in the world)

7. Fly Name (first 2 letters of first name & last 2 letters of your last name)

8. Gangsta Name (favourite ice cream flavour & favourite cookie)
Nothing works here. Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip - nah! I could forget the cookie and use Cherry Garcia.

9. Rock Star Name (current pet's name & current street name)
Brigit Oak (so-so)

10. Porn Name (first pet's name & street you grew up on)
Frisky Vanleer (love it)


I'm doing laundry and thinking about something a friend said about not folding her underwear but putting it right into her drawer, all crumpled up. So I started wondering about you. Do you fold all of your laundry and put it away neatly like I do, or are you more like her? My son has heard this since he started doing his own laundry at eleven, "If you fold everything as soon as you take it out of the dryer, it won't be wrinkled." I've seen his piled unfolded, so I told him not to send Brendan to school in wrinkled clothes. And I think I'm not an interfering mother! LOL Fortunately, he's used to me and knows I just have to say things but am not invested in his doing more than hearing me. I've told him if I thought he'd do everything I told him, it would stifle me because that would be too much responsibility to be careful about everything I say. (note the title of this blog)

My money has to face the same direction in order of denomination - 20's in the back, then 10's, 5's, and 1's if I have all those. It bothers me when people crumple up their money and have it everywhere in their purse, but I silently judge. Yes, my books and CD's are arranged by genre and with little jokes to myself with some titles together. If I can't amuse myself, then what's the point?

So how am I living in chaos, you might ask? It's that perfectionist thing of "if I can't do it right, I just won't do it" and has bogged me down. I realize that's nuts and am making things look better without getting hung up on it all. I'm not a perfectionist about everything and not OCD but might have a few control issues. LOL

What about you?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Michael Moore

If you don't already read Michael Moore's website, here's the link. He wrote an interesting article with suggestions for what Congress should do about the Big 3. Here's an excerpt.

Let me just state the obvious: Every single dollar Congress gives these three companies will be flushed right down the toilet. There is nothing the management teams of the Big 3 are going to do to convince people to go out during a recession and buy their big, gas-guzzling, inferior products. Just forget it. And, as sure as I am that the Ford family-owned Detroit Lions are not going to the Super Bowl -- ever -- I can guarantee you, after they burn through this $34 billion, they'll be back for another $34 billion next summer.

So what to do? Members of Congress, here's what I propose:

1. Transporting Americans is and should be one of the most important functions our government must address. And because we are facing a massive economic, energy and environmental crisis, the new president and Congress must do what Franklin Roosevelt did when he was faced with a crisis (and ordered the auto industry to stop building cars and instead build tanks and planes): The Big 3 are, from this point forward, to build only cars that are not primarily dependent on oil and, more importantly to build trains, buses, subways and light rail (a corresponding public works project across the country will build the rail lines and tracks). This will not only save jobs, but create millions of new ones.

2. You could buy ALL the common shares of stock in General Motors for less than $3 billion. Why should we give GM $18 billion or $25 billion or anything? Take the money and buy the company! (You're going to demand collateral anyway if you give them the "loan," and because we know they will default on that loan, you're going to own the company in the end as it is. So why wait? Just buy them out now.)

3. None of us want government officials running a car company, but there are some very smart transportation geniuses who could be hired to do this. We need a Marshall Plan to switch us off oil-dependent vehicles and get us into the 21st century.

Secretary of Children and Pets

I noticed that Anne Heche is pregnant again. She and Men in Trees co-star James Tupper are thrilled to be expecting a baby. You know how I said I'd like to be in charge of who gets to have children and pets, well, I might let her have a pet, but it would depend on how stable he is and what kind of pet. Children? No.

Besides, I think she horned in on Ellen's big moment and was a nutcase. It detracted from an important time for Ellen and almost turned it into a circus.

Einstein Quote of the Day

To punish me for my contempt of authority, Fate has made me an authority myself.

I Like That Song

While Nirvana performed the song "Lithium" at the 1992 MTV awards show, bassist Novoselic tossed his bass in the air. It came down and hit him on the head, temporarily knocking him out. Kurt Cobain apparently missed the accident and screamed at him for being off beat.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Reindeer Games

You Are Dancer

Carefree and fun, you always find reasons to do a happy dance.

Why You're Naughty: That dark stint you had as Santa's private dancer.

Why You're Nice: You're friendly. Very friendly.

More Quizzes

Your Spiritual Number is Six

You bring communication and empathy into people's lives.

You are very open and understanding. You can accept difficult people.

Right now, your life is about being understood. You have trouble with your own vulnerability.

You end up playing the role of therapist in relationships, and it's hard to get people to ask about you.

You will take time out for those you love, even if you don't have much time. You can't help but be nurturing.

You are very responsible and ethical. You deliver on your promises.

Another Quiz

This is fairly accurate.

You Are a Blueberry Muffin

You are a nurturing, domestic, homey person.

Of all the types, you are the most likely to make your own muffins at home.

You don't like to rock the boat, and you're most content when you're making everyone else happy.

You are very loyal. You'll defend your family and friends, even if you secretly disapprove of what they're doing.

You tend to be a bit shy and withdrawn. You don't make friends quickly or easily.

But once you do make a good friend, the chances are high that you'll be friends for life.


Odetta died today at 77. I saw her perform at the Exit/In in Nashville in the 70's and was blown away! I was into folk music, went to coffee houses, and supported the 60's movements. (no surprise there, right?) These are interesting times during which I've been living.

She sang for JFK and planned to sing for Obama's inauguration. There are many articles about her online. Here are excerpts from one of them.
Odetta's repertoire of 19th-century slave songs and spirituals inspired several generations of singers including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Janis Joplin and Tracy Chapman. Her classically trained voice could sweep from husky low notes to delicate high tones and it became the soundtrack of the struggle to end racial discrimination, inspiring freedom marchers in Alabama and Mississippi and protesters in Washington.

"The first thing that turned me on to folk-singing was Odetta," Bob Dylan said in a 1978 Playboy interview. He had heard something "vital and personal" he said, adding: "I learned all the songs on that record, Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues."

Odetta's finest hour was her singing at the August 1963 march on Washington, a turning-point for the civil rights movement when she sang "O Freedom", a song dating to the days of slavery. She said blues and spirituals drew her into the civil rights movement, like two rivers running together. The words and music captured "the fury and frustration that I had growing up".


OK, I'm going to quit obsessing about my house, but right now it's what I'm working on. A major problem is the lack of storage places in my house. There are two hall closets and a closet in each bedroom. That's it. So what I have must fit into those closets, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, and bookcases. Also, I have too much stuff.

After I get all this clearing out done, there will be chaos again somewhat. I'm going to replace the counter top and sink in the bathroom. Eventually, I want to redo the kitchen. I'd love to remodel the whole thing - cabinets, counters, appliances, and floor but will do what I can when I can afford it. I'd also like to have hardwood or laminate floors in the living/dining room and hall. We'll see.

According to those clutter experts, clearing out clutter from your house makes way for money. I can deal with that and will let you know. If I win the lottery, Beth, we'll go to NYC and Chicago and see our guys!


From the 1850s to the 1880s, the most common cause of death among cowboys in the American West was being dragged by a horse while caught in the stirrups.

I'm not sure how this makes me feel. It's strange somehow.

TV Shows

Do any of you watch The Mentalist? It's so good. I've liked Simon Baker in other shows he's been in and am glad to see him in this role, too. Penn Jillette was on NUMB3RS a few weeks ago and added so much to an already good show. Criminal Minds is another favorite. The writers have brought in more of the profilers' personalities and back stories, which makes it even more interesting.

What fascinates me most about Criminal Minds is the profiling. I read one of the books written by John Douglas . This biography is from his website:

John Douglas

Legendary head of the FBI’s
Investigative Support Unit

He has hunted some of the most notorious and sadistic criminals of our time: the Trailside Killer in San Francisco, the Atlanta child murderer, the Tylenol poisoner, the man who hunted prostitutes for sport in the woods of Alaska, and Seattle’s Green River killer, the case that nearly ended his own life.

He developed the first psychological profile of the Unabomber, but found the FBI wary of his pioneering techniques. His aggressive plan of action was ignored.

He has confronted, interviewed, and studied dozens of serial killers and assassins — including Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan, Richard Speck, John Wayne Gacy, David Berkowitz (Son of Sam) and James Earl Ray — for a landmark study, to understand their motives and motivations. To get inside their minds.

He is able to become both predator and prey. He examines a crime scene and creates profiles of the perpetrators, describing their habits and predicting their next moves. Ultimately, when his work has helped snare the criminals, he can help build strategy for interrogating and prosecuting them.

He is Special Agent John Douglas, a legendary figure in law enforcement and the model for the Scott Glenn character in The Silence of the Lambs. (He was also the original choice to play the role.) As chief of the FBI’s Investigative Support Unit — the team that tackles the most baffling and senseless of unsolved violent crimes — Douglas is the man who ushered in a new age in behavioral science and criminal profiling. Now, after 25 years of service, he has retired and can finally tell his unique and compelling story.

Expanding on his national best sellers, Obsession, Mind Hunter and Unabomber: On the Trail of America’s Most Wanted Serial Killer (all co-authored with Mark Olshaker), Douglas’ lecture program delivers a fascinating inside look at some of the most intriguing criminal cases of our time. His most recent book, The Anatomy of Motive, analyzes such notorious criminal minds as Lee Harvey Oswald, Theodore Kaczynski, and Timothy McVeigh - and helps us learn how to anticipate potential violent behavior before it’s too late. Drawing from his long and extraordinary career, Douglas takes us inside the cat-and-mouse struggle between his elite squad of investigators and a chilling rogues gallery of assailants, a sort of surreal chess game with life-and-death consequences.

It's Wednesday

After checking the clock upon waking, my first thought was, "What day is it?" I did that when I was working sometimes, too, but don't have the reference points now that I did then. I reviewed what I had on my schedule today and got ready for my day. On the days I work with my homebound student (Mondays and Wednesdays now), I go by the high school to pick up and leave assignments for her teachers, discuss what I need to with the assistant principal, and do whatever needs to be done there. All of this takes a couple of hours or so. I'm supposed to meet with homebound students three hours a week, which usually works out. Most of the responsibility of getting the work done is on the student. I explain, clarify, organize, and help however I can as the liaison.

I'm still mentoring that teacher at Creek Wood which will go on all year. (a teacher year - which is an academic year from August to June - we teachers have years and summers) I figured it out and will need to spend around twenty hours a month to get all my required time in. This student will be on homebound the rest of the year, too. I'm ready for a break! LOL

I still use my favorite appointment calendar I did when I was teaching. I love it because there is room inside to write what I need to, and it feels comfortable to me. I have a stack of them and can look back during the last ten years to keep up with events that took place. It's much less filled than it was, and I'm delighted to have blank days now and then where I can stay home and do whatever I want to. I haven't had many of those since I've been retired. As David pointed out, I'm semi-retired.

As most of you know, I finally got started clearing out the clutter in my house and am 2/7 finished. The living/dining room and bathroom are the only ones completely done. The kitchen is about 3/4 cleared out and organized. Yes, I'll post pictures when I'm brave enough. So far, not there yet! You won't believe how bad it is. I've never, ever in my life lived like I have the last several years. Those clutter experts say that a trauma usually triggers the kind of chaos that is my house, and in my case, that is definitely true. During chemo and sepsis, I was too sick to do anything. Then after I went back to teaching, it took more energy than I had just to get through the day, so I'd collapse and watch TV and stay on the computer when I got home along with sleeping which I hadn't done much of for way too long. Those habits still continue quite a bit when I'm home. At last, I am beginning to dig my way out of all this and am getting my house and life back. For the first time in years, I feel some hope instead of being overwhelmed.

What the World Needs Now ...

Einstein Quote of the Day -

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Recession Tuesday

I drove Mother to Nashville for her regular dental appointment. We go to the same dentist since I started going to hers around fifteen years ago. Afterwards, we went to Green Hills Mall and did some shopping. It seemed to be between deals since some begin tomorrow and others happened Friday. I told the salesclerk that I didn't shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday but was there on Recession Tuesday.

Floods in Venice

It happened. Even more of Venice is under water in a bad way. See news story here. I read about it on Rik's blog, so it must be true.

I love Venice! The people were friendly; the city beautiful; and the ambience incomparable!

Brian and I had a cappuccino at one of those tables. That second one on the right, I think. ;-)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Seasonal Dyslexia

Sometimes for a brief moment or two, usually when I'm in the car, I go blank on which season we're in. There's really not much of a pattern for when this happens but of course not if it's snowing or sweltering, but it's usually a mild day. Momentarily I'll sort of panic and wonder if it's getting ready to be winter or summer, and if I need to do something to get the car ready for it. This is similar to waking up and wondering what day it is, so you know what to expect.

I've done this for many years, so it's not an old age kind of thing - just a Bernice one.

Remember This from Seinfeld?

festivus Pictures, Images and Photos

Daily Trivia

In ancient Greece, prostitutes wore sandals with nails studded into the soles so that their footprints would leave the message "Follow me."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

How Old is Your Brain?

Check this out. It will make you nuts! The instructions are in Japanese, so read these unless you know Japanese. It starts out easy and then becomes impossible. Some number people and those with freakish memories would find it all easy, I'm sure. That would not be me. My brain is around 34. It's ranged from 29-35.

1. Touch 'start'
2. Wait for 3, 2, 1.
3. Memorize the numbers positions on the screen, then click the circle from the smallest number to the biggest number.
4. At the end of game, the computer will tell you the age of your brain.

Test Results

I like these results. I'm not sure how much like Katherine Hepburn I could be but do see some similarities in the description. I'd love to be Cary Grant if I were a man!

Your result for The Classic Dames Test...

Katharine Hepburn

You scored 29% grit, 24% wit, 38% flair, and 29% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Your result for The Classic Leading Man Test...

Cary Grant

You scored 7% Tough, 19% Roguish, 43% Friendly, and 33% Charming!

You are the epitome of charm and style, the smooth operator who steals the show with your sophisticated wit, quiet confidence and flirty sense of humor. You are able to catch any woman you want just by flashing that disarming smile, even if you're flashing it at a kindly aunt or engaging child at the time. When you walk into a room, women are instantly intrigued and even the men are impressed, but you're too nice a guy to steal anyone else's girl...unless the guy deserves it. You're stylish, yes, but you can also be a little bit nutty. However, you're primarily seen as dashing, suave and romantic. Your co-stars include Katharine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, and Grace Kelly, stylish women with a sense of fun.


I got nothing today! That's right! Nothing! Zilch! I can't think of anything to write about. The well is dry. Maybe something will come to me eventually. Otherwise, no more blogging for me! LOL

today nothing Pictures, Images and Photos

Friday, November 28, 2008

Einstein Quote of the Day

My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities.

Thanksgiving Friday

I don't shop on the day after Thanksgiving. It's too crowded and frantic. There are people who love doing it, get up at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning, and head out with their lists and coupons. Not me.

I went to Mother's and took the tape I recorded of the Barbara Walters interview with the Obamas. We were discussing it Thanksgiving, and she missed it. She looked at me and scolded, "Why didn't you tell me that was on?" I told her she usually kept up with all that. So fortunately I hadn't deleted it from my DVR, so we enjoyed watching it together. I'd seen it but missed some of it because I often watch TV and am on my laptop at the same time. I'm not as good at multi-tasking as I used to be. Since she had some good leftovers from yesterday, we had a good lunch.

This bronchitis is finally getting better. Yesterday I thought I'd have to go to the doctor today, but my lungs quit hurting so much. Maybe I'll make it now.

I hope all of you are enjoying your holiday. What did you do?

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! There are many things I'm thankful for, and part of it is making some new friends this year. I look forward to reading your blogs and appreciate your reading and commenting on mine! Long-time friends and family are blessings, so thanks to all of you for everything!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Albert the Plumber

Einstein Quote of the Day

If I would be a young man again and had to decide how to make my living, I would not try to become a scientist or scholar or teacher. I would rather choose to be a plumber or a peddler in the hope to find that modest degree of independence still available under present circumstances.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

DWTS - Season Seven Winner

It's just been around a couple of months, but I'd almost forgotten some of the early dance-startestants. They all returned to dance on the finale in the order in which they were eliminated. Jeff Ross, Ted McGinley, and Kim Kardashian were the first dancers. Misty May-Treanor said she'd just been cleared for walking but wished she could get out there and dance. It was good to see Rocco DiSpirito again. Cloris Leachman was, well, Cloris. What can we say?

Warren and Kym performed the hustle and got a total score of 80/90. Lance and Lacey jitterbugged their way to a total score of 81/90. Brooke and Derek danced the Viennese waltz with elegance and grace for a score of 88/90. There were a couple of sweet moments at the end of their dance after the phrase, "Mothers be kind to your daughters" when Brooke danced over to her two daughters and hugged and kissed them. Then when the judges were praising her, we could see her fiancee fighting back tears. It was touching.

Now to add the audience votes to those of the judges.

And the winner is ... Brooke Burke and Derek Hough!

Brooke Burke Pictures, Images and Photos

This is only one of two pictures I could find of her with some clothes on. There are many of her in bikinis, topless, and in almost nothing. Well done, Brooke!

In second place ... Warren and Kym!

Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson-Favorite DWTS Move Pictures, Images and Photos

Without Ruth

The more stuff I get rid of the more ruthless I get. It's overwhelming for sure, and at times I am not sure I can do it. Sally helped me get started. This is going to be a long, involved undertaking, but I'll get there eventually. I told Mother I was going to send a couple of people before and after pictures. She said she thought I should just send the after pictures. No one could appreciate the difference if I did that, but I understand how embarrassing my house is for her since hers is always neat, clean, and decorated. Mine used to be. It's embarrassing to me, too. I haven't let anyone in my house for a few years except for a very few people I know like me anyway and won't have me committed.

All the clutter experts say that a traumatic event usually triggers this kind of house chaos, and that is the case for me. Just getting the living/dining room done makes me feel lighter and as if I've lost weight. I can't wait until I get the whole house back again!

Weird Trivia

I'm not sure what this means to us, but I thought I'd share it with you.
The squirrel monkey’s brain accounts for roughly 5 percent of its body weight, the largest percentage of any animal. The human brain, by comparison, makes up about 2.3 percent of body weight.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Enough Already!

I'm sniffling, coughing, and complaining. My doctor prescribed an antibiotic z-pack, which I have one more day on. I'm ready to feel better and for this to leave! Yuck!

I didn't pay that much attention to it when I first started feeling allergic and sinusey. Then my lungs got involved and made me feel draggy. Maybe it is more than I first thought, but it's overstayed its welcome.

DWTS - The Finals

First each couple showed their two favorite dances on tape they thought they did the best performing. They chose a ballroom and a Latin dance. The couples are doing a group samba smackdown, so we voters can watch them perform side-by-side. They checked out the competition during rehearsal but don't want to show all their moves. They were talking trash, and Warren said his dance would blow Lance's out of the water and then added, "Samba la vista, baby!" Well, I thought it was sort of funny.

They'll also have their free-style to do. My favorite in seasons past was Drew and Cheryl's cowboy dance. The weirdest was that doll dance Marie Osmond did.

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
Dance: Samba / Freestyle
Score: 28 + 30 = 58

Brooke and Derek chose their beautiful quickstep and intense Paso Doble. Derek said she has had consistently high scores and the highest average score.

Brooke's and Derek's samba was energetic, smooth, and good. Theirs was probably first. Her body is amazing. She must spend hours every day doing yoga, pilates, and all kinds of things to get in that shape.

Their freestyle is a jitterbug they danced to "You're the One I Want" from Grease. Their outfits were reminiscent of that era and changed by a breakaway for Brooke and added jacket for Derek. They'll probably get all 10's for this. Bruno said it was one of the best freestyles he's ever seen, and so did Len. All the judges loved it. Just as we've suspected all season, Brooke will undoubtedly win.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
Dance: Samba / Freestyle
Score: 26 + 27 = 53

Lance and Lacey showed their goth tango and the mambo. Lacy thinks Lance needs to win because he's the most improved and beat Brooke twice. Why don't I like them?

Lance did a good samba. He and Lacey looked great and were probably second.

OMG, they have on t-shirts that say LANCEY. Cute or gaggy? You decide. Their dance is a hip-hop. It was energetic, youthful, and good but not equal to Brooke and Derek. The judges were mixed in their critique but all gave them 9's.

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Dance: Samba / Freestyle
Score: 25 + 28 = 53

Warren's and Kym's favorites were their elegant Viennese waltz and their Matrix Paso Doble. Kym said Warren should win because he lights up the dance floor and excites the crowd. He started not knowing anything and can now dance all these dances.

Warren has amazed me every week with his footwork and style. Good job! They probably were third. Yep, I called 'em.

Their freestyle had all kinds of lifts, some of which looked a little awkward. They also did some costume changes during the dance to "Proud Mary." It was energetic and sometimes sort of frenetic. I don't think they'll get all 10's, but the crowd loves them. Len said he was a star and that no one touches him as an entertainer. Their routine was Carrie Ann's favorite. Len gave him a 10 based on entertainment.

They'll have one more score from the judges tomorrow night which will be half their score. Now let's vote!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Say It Ain't So!

I'm bummed that Pushing Daisies and Eli Stone are being cancelled. I love those shows. The writing is original and quirky and intelligent. Both shows have excellent casts and are entertaining. They'll keep some lame shows but cancel these. The horror of it! I'm still not over West Wing being gone.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Einstein Quote of the Day

Again with the socks, Einstein!

Even on the most solemn occasions I got away without wearing socks and hid that lack of civilisation in high boots.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baby Otters

Oh, look what they added to ZooBorns recently! They are African spotted-neck otter pups. Look at the expressions on their faces - how cute!! Feel free to caption this if you feel inspired.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Sally came down this afternoon and helped me with my house. We made a lot of progress in four hours. If I get brave enough, I'll post some pictures about it, but you'll see how bad it was. It's going to take a long time to get the whole house finished, but the living room and hall are great now. The dining table is cleared off, but there are some more magazines and other stuff that has to go from the dining area. We took many, many magazines and newspapers to recycling and threw away some other stuff.

So far, so good. She's spending the night with Mother and will be back in the morning. We went over there for dinner and visited with my sister-in-law Janelle who stopped by. That was relaxing and fun. My mother's house is organized, clean, and always looks wonderful. She's amazing!

The Economy

Ronni Bennett wrote a wonderful piece on her blog Time Goes By titled "Restoring Confidence in the Economy." Please check it out if you get a chance. You'll be glad you did. The comments are good on it, too. Here's an excerpt from it.
Just last week we were treated to news that some banks have set aside several billions of bailout money for executive bonuses this year. With the exception of one or two, there has been no announcement that the CEOs and other leaders of banks and corporations who wrecked the economy (leaving many elders and others destitute of a lifetime of savings) have been fired. No salaries have been reduced to governmental levels even though bailout banks are being partially nationalized.

While these people keep their several mansions, Bentleys, yachts, art that belongs in museums, dozens of $5,000 suits, astronomical salaries and bonuses, the American people are paying for it all in blood, hunger and cold in winter.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

DWTS - Results

While watching Julianne Hough sing on the show, I thought about Jessica Simpson who also made a country music album. Jessica was so phony as if she were "acting" the way she thought (I use that word loosely) that's how they did it. The expressions on her face and strange posturing are laughable. Julianne really sang well and performed authentically. She might make it.

DWTS has become a showcase for performers since it's so popular. Aretha Franklin, Leona Lewis, and John Legend sang on tonight's show.

The handsome guy I thought was Brooke's husband is her fiance, David Charvet. He was chewing gum, remember? Not cool. They have two children, and she has two from a previous marriage.

Well, just as we thought, cute little ol' Cody had to go. He did a great job making it to the final four!

cody linley Pictures, Images and Photos

Balance of Power

Have any of you been in a relationship with someone who made much more or less money than you did, was lots better or worse looking than you, or was many years younger or older? Usually people feel most comfortable with someone from a similar socio-economic group and who represents about the same number of looks that they do (as in someone who is a 3 not with a 9). How did it work for you if you were involved with someone in a different category like that? Was there an imbalance of power where you were aware of this and couldn't get beyond it?

I've dated and was married to someone who made quite a bit more money than I did, which isn't that hard to do with teachers' salaries being what they are. With the exception of a couple of times, it went well. Sometimes men acted as if they could make all the decisions and "take care of me" in patronizing ways, but they didn't get to stick around. I guess when the woman makes more money, is taller or older, or has a position of power in her career, things could be more difficult since those are not our role models. Lipstick Jungle has been dealing with this with the characters on there. I've been in relationships where I was from 10-15 years older than the guy I was going with, so I know something about that. In some cases it posed a problem but had more to do with other issues. Generally it was OK.

How do some of you same-sex couples handle this? The latest episode of Brothers and Sisters made me wonder since the gay couple on there dealt with one of them becoming more successful than the other who had made more money before. Does being equal play a big part of your relationship or not?

Anyway, what about you? Any thoughts on this?

Monday, November 17, 2008

DWTS - Week Nine - The Semi-Finals!

I had much more than this, but it didn't make it. I added the scores and some information but didn't recreate everything I wrote before. There was some funny stuff in there, too. :-(

We're down to four couples. Now they'll perform a dance they haven't done this season and one of the new dances. Here are the semi-finalists!

Brooke Burke and Derek Hough
Dance: Jive / Salsa
Score: 21 + 28 = 49

The only woman in the competition, Brooke has consistently been the best dancer. Derek worked on Brooke's performan as well as the choreography. Their jive was sort of frenetic. Brooke seemed a little bit stiff or something I can't quite put my finger on. Len pointed them out for me. He said it was a disaster with many mistakes. Bruno said it had wow but no how. Carrie Ann was upset about the lift. Brooke said she missed the first step and couldn't get on track after that. Ooo, all 7's - their worst score of the whole season.

Their salsa redeemed them. Good job!

Cody Linley and Julianne Hough
Dance: Paso Doble / Salsa
Score: 22 + 24 = 46

Julianne is back, and Cody was glad. He went to Nashville to see her at the CMA's. Julianne said the main difference she saw in Cody in the two weeks she was gone is his determination. Their Paso Doble was different. It looked 40's with Army uniforms (or parts of them) Cody was intense and focused. Bruno not so much, nor Carrie Ann, and Len not at all.

Cody has improved so much and did a good salsa. Len said he didn't realize he was such a strong lad, and Bruno said he came out like a little cheeky devil.

Warren Sapp and Kym Johnson
Dance: Mambo / Jitterbug
Score: 24 + 25 = 49

Warren flies to Philadelphia to do Inside the NFL after the results show and then back and forth again. Kym went with him for them to rehearse again. He's so tired but won't quit he said. The judges praised Warren's performance ability but said he needed more content and more difficult moves. All 8's - best score tonight so far. I think the competition is taking its toll on the celebrities because they all seem determined to make it to the finals and are nervous.

Warren is a competitive performer. He really moves well and is fun to watch.

Lance Bass and Lacey Schwimmer
Dance: Mambo / Jitterbug
Score: 28 + 29 = 57

Lance flew his father and grandfather from Mississippi to watch him dance. He said his grandfather was his inspiration since he used to do the jitterbug. Their mambo was really good, and they got the best score of the night so far.

Very good jitterbug and high score! Two tens!

Cody will probably go home tomorrow night based on how things went tonight.