Thursday, December 31, 2009

I'm Here

Things have been busy lately. All the Christmas festivities and visits are keeping me quite social and occupied. I've been with family, knitting circle, and other friends, and it's still going on. I'm going to dinner and play games with friends tonight and did last night with other ones. Figuring out which Medicare Advantage plan to sign up for took a long time. My doctor decided not to take the one I was on and let us know at the last minute! Yikes!

I'll be back in touch tomorrow and will catch up on blog reading and writing. Haven't been on the computer much lately but checked email on the Blackberry.

What are y'all doing tonight?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Here's Johnny Trivia

Johnny Carson delivered 4,531 opening monologues during his 30 years as host of The Tonight Show.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Hope you had a good Christmas! See you on here soon.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Our family will be at Mother's this evening to open gifts and enjoy being with each other. Brian, Melissa, Brendan, and I will spend the night at Mother's and enjoy a relaxing day tomorrow. Saturday I'm going to my daughter Kathy's for a few days. Her children are 16, 14, and 11, and Brian's son is 6. We always play games and watch movies while I'm there.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas with the people you love and want to be with! That's what it's about, isn't it?


I'm sad about the break-up of Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins after 23 years. I thought they would be together for the duration. Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell need to stay with each other and not do this!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yes, I am 12.

Yes, Curt, my humor can be very immature. I blame teaching teenagers for almost 40 years for it. That and my habit of running things into the ground can be quite irritating to others. Most of my family and friends ignore me and move on, but I know they heard me and smick to myself. Yes, "smick" is one of them, too. I got it from Tommy's saying, "Just you smick, Dirkie Smothers!"

There are some things I say that I never get tired of and always find amusing. Is this some kind of disorder? Probably. The main thing I like to do is call those plastic wrappers around newspapers "newspaper condoms" and usually just leave it at that but sometimes mutter "for safe reading" afterward. I still think that's funny but probably need to save it for new audiences because I've exceeded my limit with several friends.

I had to retire "it must be free" when the price is not on items in shops. Salespeople never thought that was funny except for maybe two of them. They always corrected me which takes away all the jokiness in a situation when others take the statement seriously. This also happens sometimes when I say Norwegia and Canadia. You just have to let them think you're a dithering dumbass because if you have to explain a joke, it's not worth it. Right?

Maybe I Can Remember to Start Noticing This

The fingernails grow faster on the hand you favor. If you are right-handed, your right fingernails will grow faster, and vice versa. The middle fingernail grows faster than any other nail.

Rough Riders

Theodore Roosevelt also led the Rough Riders, which was comprised of football players, cowboys, and Eastern polo players.

Interesting site HERE.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The previews of Season 7 of Project Runway sound promising. Check it out here on Project Rungay. Last season was a disappointment for sure. Nina and Michael are supposed to be on every episode which is a huge relief. When does it begin?

Strange Trivia (and Yuck)

One of Napoleon’s drinking cups was made from the skull of the famous Italian adventurer Cagliostro.

Monday, December 21, 2009

More Tennis Trivia

According to the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, a tennis ball is supposed to bounce between 53 and 58 inches when it is dropped on concrete from a height of 100 inches. The concrete surface should be 4 inches thick.


Did you see that comment on the CSN post that just might have been from Graham Nash? Wow! How cool is that!!!!

O Trivia

The brain comprises about 2 percent of a person’s total body weight. Yet it requires 25 percent of all oxygen used by the body, as opposed to the 12 percent used by the kidneys and the 7 percent used by the heart.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Jeopardy Material

The belly scales on a snake are called scutes.

Einstein Quote

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.

Taste Trivia

Pigs, dogs, and some other animals can taste water, but people cannot. Humans don’t actually taste water or even Perrier; they taste the chemicals and impurities in the water.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

CSN Trivia

When David Crosby, Graham Nash, and Stephen Stills first started singing together, they were called the Frozen Noses in honor of unique harmonies and rumored drug habits.

Dog Safety

More than 100,000 family dogs are killed each year in car accidents. As a result, a manufacturer in the eastern United States has developed a car restraint designed specifically for dogs riding in the car.

Snow No!

David has this map on his blog, so I stole it and copied it on here. This is a lot of snow some of you will have! Let us know what happens where you are and how you're doing. Look how clever David is! This is his title: "The Snowpocalypse Is Coming! SnOMG!!!"

A little snow with no accumulation is predicted for us, but that eastern part of TN is in for several inches. That's where the Smokey Mountains are and where that picture on my blog header was taken.

Medicare & Other Headaches

The doctors' association here decided not to take the Medicare Advantage Plan I'm on (Health Spring), so Paige and I started doing research for another one that wasn't an HMO or PPO but a PFFS. Doncha just love all the initials? We got a letter, but my internist had already told me about it. I told Paige, and she did most of the research. Then we got another letter letting us know that DMA and HealthSpring had reached an understanding, so I quit thinking about it and was glad to have that settled. Well, I got a letter from my doctor letting me know that he decided not to take HealthSpring but that he will participate with traditional Medicare and all Medicare Private Fee for Service Advantage Plans. Back to the drawing board for me! The time for changing plans is from November 15 - December 31 every year. Yikes!

I think I've decided what to do after spending lots of time online comparing plans. Paige is fine because her doctor and all the others here are still taking HealthSpring. Just not mine, and I like him and have broken him in and don't want to change. Fortunately for me, I haven't been in the hospital and mostly need it for regular doctor visits and meds. I'll try to keep it that way and get healthier and in better shape, so I don't need to use many of their services. Just thought I'd let you know what you have to look forward to even though some of you might be familiar with Medicare because of your parents.

Friday, December 18, 2009


The psychology department of Dayton University reports that loud talk can be ten times more distracting than the sound of a jackhammer. Loud, incessant chatter can make a listener nervous and irritable, and even start him on the road to insanity.

The loudest voice that comes to mind right now is Mary Murphy on So You Think You Can Dance. I don't know how poor Nigel stands it sitting right there beside her while she shrieks, whoops, and shrills. OK, that last word isn't a verb, but it applies.

There are a few former students who also had loud voices, but no one holds a candle to Mary Murphy. Who has a disturbingly loud voice to you?

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Mother and I went shopping today and finished her list. We had a good day and always enjoy each other and think we're really funny. We went to several places and to lunch, of course. We bonded early over shopping long ago and have that all worked out. I learned from her and my aunt and then passed it down to my son. I still have a few gifts to buy - whew! I am looking forward to being with family and enjoy that and need to plan ahead better next year! Where have I heard that before? How about you? Ready yet?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I'm sure some of you are planning to see Avatar. I'll probably babysit Brendan so Brian and Melissa can see it but will also watch it. I also want to see It's Complicated, Precious, Up in the Air, Nine, A Single Man, Invictus, and that one with Hugh Grant and Sarah Jessica Parker. I'll have to build up to seeing The Lovely Bones but will do it. Missed and will see on DVD: Julie & Julia, Inglourious Basterds, The Messenger, and Crazy Heart. I haven't heard much about The Young Victoria, The Last Station, and An Education but will see them. Have you seen any of these or have any recommendations?

The Good Wife has become one of my favorite shows on TV. Julianna Margulies is excellent in it, and the rest of the cast and the writing are outstanding.

Just sayin'

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Still Difficult to Get It To Do

A bowling pin needs to tilt only 7 1/2 degrees to fall.

Book Questions

For those of you who have read both series, how do the Golden Compass novels compare with Harry Potter? A friend recommended Phillip Pullman's novels and said she liked them as much as she did Rowling's novels and that the characters were complex. I bought the His Dark Materials Trilogy at McKay's today while we were there and look forward to reading them. What do you think?


Ms. Moon's post on Christmas contains this: Joni Mitchell singing "It's coming on Christmas, they're cutting down trees, they're putting up reindeer, singing songs of joy and peace and I wish I had a river I cut skate away on," is more close to my bone. If you've never read her blog, you are missing so much. Ms. Moon writes from her soul with eloquence, humor, and force. We have a group of fans here who discuss what she wrote and just know the others read her.


Congratulations to Houston on the election of their new mayor Annise Parker!


I'm going to Nashville to do some more shopping for Christmas but have done some here in town and online.


I really am going to make some major changes early in the year and stick with them.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Might Be Useful

Usually bushmen hunt with poison arrows. The poison is extracted from the pupae of beetles found in the soil beneath infested marula trees. A few drops of the poison squeezed onto an arrow are enough to kill an antelope; one drop of it can kill a human if it enters his bloodstream.

TV Trivia

"Television is an invention that permits you to be entertained in your living room by people you would not have in your home."—David Frost

Timing Trivia

In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry said: "They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." Only a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969, Perry hit the first and only home run of his career.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I learned some things at the IEP meeting today to help Brendan some more. I've mentioned her before, but we think Ada, one of the autism specialists in the Nashville school system, is a goddess! She is wonderful!

After the meeting, Brian, Melissa, and I had lunch and a good visit. Then I enjoyed driving through downtown Nashville since I hadn't been there for a while. It was fun looking at familiar places and checking out some changes. When I tried on some clothes at Green Hills Mall, I must have lost an earring, which I didn't notice until almost home. I called Dillard's to see if they found it, but she didn't find it when she checked the dressing room I was in. I've looked everywhere here and would like to retrace my steps to see if I can find it, but that would require driving back to Nashville. I love those earrings and am really bummed about it. I got them on sale at Studio 123 which is my favorite place to buy jewelry, and those were the only pair like that. So upsetting!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Almost Like Tweeting

There's an IEP meeting at my grandson's school I'm attending today. Then lunch and some shopping. I'll probably go to the yarn shop and knit with my knitting circle when I get back to town. Have a good day!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I Tried

I wrote to my Senators and Congressman about health care, marriage civil rights, abortion, environmental concerns, and abolishing the Electoral College. I heard from Alexander about abortion and health care and from Corker about DOMA and health care. I knew they don't represent me and that we disagree on almost every issue but need to let them know my views. It puts me in their minority list, but they do need to hear from all of us even though it doesn't do any good. Theirs is the majority opinion here, so they are reflecting the views of their voters who put and keep them in office.

Here are the form letters they emailed back to me, all of which were what I expected from them. Just wanted you to know how it is with our Senators here. Not only that, but the state legislature will never vote for marriage equality in my lifetime. It will have to be federally mandated here.

Notice that Corker of the whiny voice misspelled transferable. Ha! His campaign was the dirtiest, most repulsive one I've seen in the state. A Karl Rove operative orchestrated it against Harold Ford, Jr. You've probably seen excerpts and heard about it. I cannot stand Corker.
Dear Ms. Durham,

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office about supporting a public health insurance plan option in comprehensive health care reform. Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts.

I strongly believe that no issue requires an innovative cure more than our country's ailing health care system. No matter whose statistics you believe, millions of Americans, including 800,000 Tennesseans, lack adequate health insurance. Beyond the chaos this causes to our health care system and the American economy, the human and emotional toll is enormous. I believe, as you do, that all Americans, regardless of medical history or preexisting conditions, deserve the opportunity to have access to high-quality health insurance coverage that is both affordable and transferrable between jobs. I also agree with you that increasing efficiency, reducing fraud, and maximizing competition between health insurance plans is the best way to achieve the best health insurance system.

I want you to know that I am meeting regularly with doctors, hospital representatives, the insurance industry, and patients like you to get a well-rounded perspective on every option available that presents a possible solution. As the Senate debates comprehensive health care reform, I assure you that I will be working with my colleagues to craft legislation with the best possible balance of choice, quality, and affordability among health insurance plans. The insight you have provided in your letter will certainly help my staff and I more effectively look in to this issue.

Thank you again for your letter. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with me.


Bob Corker
Dear Ms. Durham,

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts.

The Defense of Marriage Act, which became law in 1996, defined marriage for purposes of federal law as between one man and one woman and prevented actions in one state affecting the definition of marriage from impacting the marriage laws of any other state. The Respect for Marriage Act would repeal these provisions of DOMA, requiring that for the purposes of Federal law, a marriage will be valid if it is recognized in that state. I do believe that committed individuals should have access to certain benefits. However, I believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and will not support legislation seeking to repeal DOMA.

Thank you again for your letter. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with me.


Bob Corker
United States Senator

I told him I wasn't gay and would not be affected personally by this except to be invited to weddings and to buy wedding presents, which is a sacrifice I am willing to make.
November 17, 2009

Dear Joy,

Thanks very much for getting in touch with me and letting me know what's on your mind regarding health care reform.

Providing every American with genuine access to quality, affordable health care is one of my highest priorities as a member of the U.S. Senate. Unfortunately, the health care bills we're debating right now flunk their most important test, which is cost. These bills - including the Kennedy health care bill that I voted against in committee on July 15, 2009 - are good faith efforts to find the best way to go in the wrong direction. We have to start over to get it right.

Why do we have to start over? People at home in Tennessee, the Mayo Clinic, 1,000 local chambers of commerce and businesses, Democratic governors, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office all basically say, "These plans have too many problems." Add all those problems up, and this is what you'd get in Tennessee:

- Dumping 300,000 low-income Tennesseans into the failed Medicaid program (known as TennCare in Tennessee), even though right now 40 percent of doctors won't see Medicaid patients. Then they're going to shift the cost to the states after about five years - the equivalent of a 5 percent to 10 percent new state income tax in Tennessee.

- Around 900,000 Tennesseans could be affected by proposed cuts to Medicare.

- Up to 1.6 million Tennessee workers could lose their employer-provided health insurance.

- As many as 2 million Tennesseans are at risk of being forced into a new government-run plan.

I believe that the era of the thousand-page bill is over. The best way to get a result on health care and other major issues facing our nation is to re-earn the trust of the American people by working step by step to begin solving the challenges facing our country. Instead of a trillion-dollar, thousand-page comprehensive health care bill centered around a government-run plan, as a first step we might allow small business pooling to reduce health care costs and increase access to affordable coverage. We could reform medical malpractice laws so runaway junk lawsuits don't continue to drive up the cost of health care. We could allow individual Americans to purchase health care across state lines like they can with their car insurance today. We could enact meaningful insurance market reforms, such as making sure that people aren't disqualified from getting health coverage because of preexisting conditions.

These are some steps we could take in the right direction, which would improve our existing health care system without adding trillions more to the national debt and dumping new debt on the states. I appreciate your taking the time to let me know where you stand on this important issue, and I'll be sure to consider your comments as health care is discussed and debated in Washington and in Tennessee.


Dear Joy,

Thanks very much for getting in touch with me and letting me know what's on your mind regarding abortion.

I am pro-life. I have a deep and abiding respect for life in all of its forms. During my time in the Senate, I have been proud to support numerous pro-life measures. For example, in May 2003 I opposed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2004 that would have lifted restrictions on funding for abortions in overseas military hospitals. In April 2004, I supported the Unborn Victims of Violence Act - also known as Laci and Conner's Law - which made it a criminal offense to injure or kill a fetus during the commission of a violent crime against a pregnant woman.

In July 2006, the Senate voted 65-34 to approve the Child Custody Protection Act, which would make it a federal crime to transport a minor across state lines to obtain an abortion if the intent is to circumvent a parental notification or consent statute in the state where the minor lives. I was proud to cosponsor this bill to help protect the health and safety of pregnant minors, as well as the rights of parents to be involved in the medical decisions of their minor daughters. I also cosponsored the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 to end that horrible procedure. That law was challenged in federal courts, but in April 2007 the U.S. Supreme Court did the right thing by upholding the ban.

I continue to believe that what women in crisis need most is our care and support. I support adoption as an alternative to abortion and encourage efforts to make adopting a child easier.

I'll be sure to keep your comments in mind as these issues are discussed and debated in Washington and in Tennessee.




Well, I actually had to work quite a bit today. There were many customers, which is great for their business, who knew what they wanted. That makes it easier for both of us. I did almost finish my book and will read the rest of it tonight.

This year I'm not into Christmas and actually wish I could skip it. I can't get enthusiastic about it at all and wish I were somewhere else during December and January. I prefer Thanksgiving. This would be a good time to be where it's warm. Not hot. Warm.

I used to decorate trees (yes, sometimes two), have decorations around the house and a few outside including my sign that says Yuletide Joy (I can't help myself and have decorations with my name on them), bake goodies, make candy, wrap presents with a theme, and get excited about it all. Now not so much. So I'd better work on my attitude. It won't be long until the festivities.

Time for Another Einstein Quote

Mass and energy are both but different manifestations of the same thing - a somewhat unfamiliar conception for the average mind.


I'm working tomorrow afternoon at my very part-time job at the vitamin store called Feet & More because it's owned by a reflexologist. I'll take a book and my knitting and also do some work waiting on customers and pricing and stocking shelves if anything comes in. I have a hard life! :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Espanol Car Trivia

Why isn’t the Chevy Nova sold in South America? No va means "it doesn’t go" in Spanish!

You Probably Knew This

Hookers got their title during the Civil War, when Gen. Joseph Hooker, of the Union Army, tried to boost morale by allowing prostitutes access to his troops. Quickly dubbed "Hooker’s girls," the prostitutes shortened the name to "hookers." The term stuck.

Leon Redbone

What a treat yesterday when I was driving and heard Leon Redbone sing on the radio. I really like him and saw him in concert too long ago and totally enjoyed it. I can't remember who else performed or which one opened for the other. I'm not sure if Howard has showcased him on his excellent blog because I've missed some posts, but he might know that. Howard knows all! Do any of you like Leon Redbone, too? He's so droll and sardonic and has a distinctive voice. His website is interesting.

Weather and the Homeless

I know it's snowing where some of you are. Tell us about it and post pictures if you want to. It's raining here with flash flood warnings in some counties. Cold, gray rain. I've been cozy in the house reading a John Grisham book I discovered that I hadn't read with a warm cat beside me. Brigit likes it when I read and likes to snuggle beside me. She really liked it when I read the Harry Potter novels back-to-back. I bought that Grisham novel for five cents at McKays! It's The Street Lawyer and the flip side of The Blind Side since it's about the homeless. One of the women was like Michael Oher's mother, and her son was in a foster home where he blossomed. The economy is creating more and more homeless people, and many of us are one or two pay checks away from disaster. Thank goodness there are places that help them, but it's a huge problem, especially during such cold weather.

Chef Academy

Are any of you watching Chef Academy? If not, you missed Emmanuel's abs last night when the guys were surfing and the women had a baby shower for Michelle. Some of the others discovered that Emmanuel has been a porn star. He answered, "No comment" with a grin when asked about it. Check out his photos HERE, and I know you won't want to miss next week's episode when much more of his body will be exposed!
David mentioned watching it once but hasn't said more. Chef Jean Christophe Novelli, world renowned Michelin and 5AA Rosette award-winning chef with restaurants in London, France and South Africa, and voted "World's Sexiest Chef" by The New York Times. French born and residing in London, his Novelli Academy Cookery School in the UK has placed in the "Top 25 Cookery Schools in the World," and he's thinking of opening one stateside, setting his sights on Venice, California. Working with Novelli on the ambitious experiment is his executive chef and right hand man, Steve Kitchen. For additional support during his extended stay in the U.S., Chef Novelli brings along his pregnant fiancée, Michelle, and hires a temporary assistant, Joel. (Source: Bravo site for the show)

Here is ze sexeeee pose for you, no?

Suzanne's house!!! Joel was hilarious talking about all the dead animals in it. Her husband is a big game hunter who has kept a taxidermist busy. Joel said, "Let's talk about the elephant standing in the room, shall we? I can understand a bear and a lion, but a GIRAFFE and ELEPHANT!!! Those are nice animals. Giraffe's eat leaves!" His look of horror and disgust equaled mine! Chef Novelli said something like it was a dead zoo in there.

Suzanne lives in Orange County. Check out her bio here. She fancies herself a psychic and told Chef that Michelle would have a boy. Turns out to be true. He said she had a 50% chance of being right and said for her not to mention it to the others. She has an ingenuousness about her and is likeable in an needy, self-absorbed housewife of Orange County kind of way. That's what she is! Really.

I got hooked on the show and am fascinated by the way Chef Novelli performs and teaches.

Sort of Social

I went to a party Saturday night where I didn't know anyone except the one who invited me. One of the women in our knitting circle works at Vanderbilt and invited me to the Christmas party hosted by doctors she works for and with in the psychiatric department. It was held at the home of one of them who renovated a beautiful home on the historic register. HERE is a photo and information about it. It was a lovely house with fireplaces in all the rooms, many beautifully decorated Christmas trees, and food in every room prepared by caterers and served on festively appointed tables. There were lots of people there.

Soon after we entered the house, this guy introduced himself to us and said he and the host whose house we were in had been friends since they were in school in Memphis. He is a pediatric dentist and gay. We hit it off really well and spent most of the party on a couch chatting away. He's been with his partner for 20 years. This worked out well because I was enjoying the conversation, and Yvonne could mingle and talk with people she knew. She came by and checked on me periodically, and I got up and walked around the house several times. Mostly I enjoyed the conversation there on the sofa.

Week before last I had lunch with my friend Janey and her good friend John. They are both law professors in Australia. Janey is from here, but he is from Australia. She's been there around 20 years and really likes it there. We all went to McKay's and Hot Kabobs last week and had another good visit. They told me another reason to like living in Australia - no tipping! That would be nice.

They went to Publix with me since I like to stop in when I'm in the area to get this bread I like they bake there that has oats on the top. They said they don't have all those choices there and instead of shelves of maple syrup there might be two kinds. John said, "Land of plenty and Americans do it better than anybody." I enjoyed our conversations and had a great time. I'm saving for a trip there and hope I can go in a couple of years.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Did We Know This?

Edward Kennedy, brother of JFK and future U.S. senator, scored the only touchdown for Harvard when they played Yale in 1955.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Historic Baseball Trivia

Satchel Paige became the first black ever to pitch in the American League, and the fifth to play in the major leagues. As the majors’ oldest rookie, Paige had a 6-1 record, mostly in relief, as Cleveland won the 1948 pennant. He also pitched for the St. Louis Browns, and pitched three innings for the Kansas City Athletics in 1965 at the age of 59.

Full Name: Leroy Robert Paige
Born: July 7, 1906 Mobile, Alabama
Died: June 8, 1982 Kansas City, Missouri

Height: 6'3 1/2"
Weight: 180
Threw: Right
Position: Pitcher

Did You Know?

* He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1971.
* Satchel was over 40 years old the entire time he played in the majors.
* He earned his nickname, "Satchel," as a young boy, when he took a job carrying bags (and satchels) at railroad stations for passengers.
* Satchel started his career in 1924 when he had a tryout with the Mobile Tigers, a semi-pro baseball team.
* He went on to become the dominant pitcher of the Negro Leagues.
* When the Negro League wasn't playing in the winter, he would go to the Caribbean leagues and pitch.
* He claimed that the more that he pitched, the stronger he got, so he did not work out on his own.
* He started 29 games in one month in Bismarck, North Dakota.
* He claimed that he won 104 of the 105 games he pitched in 1934.
* He would face major league players annually by playing against major league barnstorming teams.
* He was brought into the major leagues in 1948 by Bill Veeck to play for Cleveland.
* He holds the record for being the oldest rookie in the Major League.
* In his first year with Cleveland, he went 6-1 with one save and a 2.48 ERA.
* He ended his six-year major league career with a 28-31 record and a 3.29 ERA.
* Joe DiMaggio called him "the best and fastest pitcher I've ever faced."
* He retired in 1953.
* He made a special appearance in 1965, pitching 3 innings for the Kansas City Athletics.
* Pitching for the Kansas City Athletics made him the oldest player in the Major Leagues.
* Paige did not commit a single error in 179 major league games.

Some Quotes: (I am going to keep that last one in mind.)

"My pitching philosophy is simple; you gotta keep the ball off the fat part of the bat."

"I never had a job. I always played baseball."

"I never threw an illegal pitch. The trouble is, once in a while I would toss one that ain’t never been seen by this generation."

"Mother always told me, if you tell a lie, always rehearse it. If it don't sound good to you, it won't sound good to no one else."

"Ain’t no man can avoid being born average, but there ain’t no man got to be common."

"Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines."

"How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"

Source HERE.

In Case You're on Jeopardy

A male goat that has been neutered is known as a wether.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

There Might Be People Like This

A jellyfish is not a single animal but a colony of animals. Some tentacles act as a balance, others sting enemies, some catch prey, while others are in charge of breeding. Jellyfish are more than 95 percent water and have no brain, heart, or bones, and no actual eyes.

Bat Building

Occasionally I feel compelled to show you the Bat Building in Nashville. Actually it's the AT&T Building, but we call it that because it looks like Batman. See?

Read more about it HERE and HERE.

Wish I'd Been A Geek

The first technology corporation to move into California’s Silicon Valley was Hewlett-Packard, in 1938. Stanford University engineers Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started their company in a Palo Alto garage with $1,538. Their first product was an audio oscillator bought by Walt Disney Studios for use in the making of Fantasia.

Munster Trivia

The first television sitcom couple ever to share the same bed on a regular basis was gruesome twosome Lily and Herman Munster.

I Remember This

On November 12, 1995, NBC’s "Mad About You" featured the acting debut of 62-year-old Yoko Ono, who once was universally blamed for the breakup of the Beatles. The show’s star and cocreator Paul Reiser had been coaxing John Lennon’s widow to appear for more than two years.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Trivia Trivia

The word trivia derives from the Latin tri + via, which translates as "three streets." As a major public service in Roman times, at the intersection of three streets, there was a kind of kiosk where further info was posted for travelers. Apparently these data were so useless that citizens often ignored them entirely: thus, they were truly bits of "trivia."

Ferengi Trivia

The Star Trek: The Next Generation series introduced the ultracapitalistic and ultrashort alien race called the Ferengi. The Ferengi are a part of the Star Trek universe, primarily in Deep Space Nine. They're a race of ultra-capitalists whose every business transaction is governed by the 285 Rules of Acquisition. There's a rule for every possible business situation -- and, inevitably, an interpretation of those rules that gives the Ferengi license to cheat, steal, and bend the truth to suit their needs.

Remind you of anyone?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Blind Side

Mother, my cousin Emily, and I went to see The Blind Side yesterday. It was so good! The tears started early and kept escaping down my cheeks periodically throughout the movie. All the actors did a great job. Sandra Bullock nailed the personality and look of Leigh Ann Tuohy. Quentin Aaron, Tim McGraw, Jae Head, and Lily Collins were good as Michael Oher, Sean Tuohy, SJ (the son), and Collins (the daughter). It was an inspiring, feel-good, true story about Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher and his adopted family in Memphis.

From the Movie

Real Family

I laughed when Leigh Ann told him even if he went to the University of Tennessee, which she hates along with MikeinBama, that she would attend every game but would never wear that gaudy orange. I went to UT and did wear it but know what she means. Not a flattering color. Sean and Leigh Ann are die-hard Ole Miss fans and even have a condo in Oxford where they stay during games. We really did enjoy this movie.

Rest of Week and Weekend

After returning from Philadelphia, I hit a wall and was depressed. It was probably from being so social, having lots of fun, and then coming back and feeling lonely. It took a few days, but I'm feeling better now. I also don't like being old, but probably no one else does, either. Anyway, I'm doing better now after working on it.

We had a good Thanksgiving with lots of family members there. The food was wonderful and the company even better. My brother, sister-in-law, their children and four grandchildren, my son, daughter-in-law, their son, and my cousin Sally all went to Mother's. Which one of these is my grandchild? Yep!!

Reese (little legs - rest of her below), Brendan, Ally, Carter, Will (clockwise)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sunday in Philadelphia

Sunday morning ( a week ago) Tina and I walked to Independence Square and had a tour of Independence Hall.

It was a beautiful day. Seeing where the Founding Fathers actually met and signed the Declaration of Independence and began our government as the United States of America was an amazing experience.

I taught American Literature and US History. My favorite part of teaching history is the Constitution. I often thought about how much fun it would be to teach U.S. History based on the Constitution - the formation of it, including the arguments, events, and reasons for all the parts of it and the Amendments. This fascinates me. I took the LSAT to go to law school when Brian was nine years old but couldn't figure out how to live on student loans and child support and pay for school and a place to live and all of that, so I didn't do it. If I'd gone, I'd have specialized in Constitutional law and probably wouldn't have made any more money than I did teaching since the career options for that would have been working for a federal judge or with the ACLU. I could have taught it, too. Sometimes I wish I'd done that, but teaching what I did had its rewards.

When I taught American Lit, I showed the movie 1776 for them to understand the format of a play but even more to see an entertaining interpretation of the First Continental Congress. This means that I saw the movie five times a day for many years as well as the play a few times in the theater. I know most of the lines and songs in it but will spare you my singing them.

Going into the actual room where the Founding Fathers met and seeing the tables where they sat was one of the most moving experiences I've had. I was overcome with awe and gratitude for what they accomplished. Those were the finest minds who had the foresight to write such a Constitution. The two areas we've had the most problem with were the definition of states' rights and inclusion of civil rights. We're still struggling with those. While I'm at it, the Electoral College needs to be abolished for so many reasons. Presidents should be elected by popular vote. Period.

Where Benjamin Franklin sat.

Thomas Jefferson's table.

Tina and I walked about seven blocks to Independence Square and saw the Liberty Bell first. They have it blocked off, so people like me won't touch it.

House where Jefferson wrote the Declaration.

Statue of George Washington


For Brian, another picture of a sign!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy T-Day!

Trivia: The name of the Pilgrims’second ship was the Speedwell. However, unlike the Mayflower, it had to turn back because it wasn’t seaworthy.

Hope everyone has a good holiday and celebrates it in whatever way means the most to you. I'll be at Mother's with lots of family members. I am thankful for all of them and look forward to spending time with them. I also appreciate my blog friends so much! Let's focus on what we are thankful for and wish for more blessings for all of us. A very Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Those letters also stand for Walking Auntie Flame Day, and I'll tell you why.

Maddie called to let me know that he and Curt would be by to pick me up in front of the hotel. I kept watching for his car when he walked up and smiled! What a total cutie! We hugged and greeted each other like the good friends we are! We knew we wouldn't behave when we got together and of course didn't!

The Adorable Maddie!

I got to ride in the front seat beside the excellent tour guide, Curt, who told stories about the Curse of Billy Penn, where no buildings were supposed to be taller than William Penn's hat on the City Hall statue according to an ordinance when the city was planned by Benjamin Franklin. This site explains it, too:
For nearly a century, William Penn stood atop the city, one hand extended over the thriving society that had sprouted from the seeds of freedom which he had planted so long ago. For all those years, the wishes of the commissioners of his statue were upheld by a simple gentlemen's agreement - a handshake.

However, in 1984, that agreement was broken. Plans to build Philadelphia's first skyscraper - One Liberty Place - had commenced. The 945 foot glass skyscraper, to be located only three blocks west of City Hall, would exceed Penn's hat by a whopping 397 feet.

Philadelphia sports teams had, up until that point, enjoyed a wealth of success - back to back Stanley Cups for the Flyers in 1974 and 1975, an NBA title for the Sixers in 1983, and the appearance of all four major sports teams in their respective finals in 1980, concluding in a World Series Title for the Phillies. The Golden Age of Sports in the City of Brotherly Love was brought to a halt in 1985, only a few months after discussions to build Liberty One had commenced, when Wayne Gretzky and the Edmonton Oilers hoisted the Stanley Cup following a win over the Flyers in game five.

Since then, the Eagles, Sixers, Phillies and Flyers, have gone 0 for 7 in Championship finals, accumulating in an 88-season drought - the longest of any city with four professional sports teams. Meanwhile, the City of Brotherly Love now sports seven skyscrapers that rise above the ever mysterious statue of William Penn. Interestingly enough, all of the offending buildings stand to the west of City Hall as the city's founder faces northeast, conceivably giving Penn an unobstructed view of the Delaware River (where he and the Quaker settlers originally landed in the late 1600s). Whether the buildings were constructed keeping Penn's view in mind or not, the fact still remains that Philadelphia pro sports fans had been deprived of a championship until October 29, 2008, when the Philadelphia Phillies won the 2008 World Series, a year and four months after a statuette of the William Penn figure atop City Hall was affixed to the final beam during the June 2007 topping-off of the Comcast Center, currently the tallest building in the city.
You gotta love that!

Curt drove us around to various neighborhoods and gave fascinating commentaries. In South Philly we saw Geno's and Pat's Steak Houses. Each claims to be the first and the best. Curt said Geno's is like the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld where you have to order correctly or get put at the end of the line. He said John Kerry messed up when he was there during his campaign because he ordered one with Swiss cheese. I recall hearing about that on the news after he mentioned it. I probably should have gotten one but will do it next time I go there. Nutwood Beth said it was delicious, so Tina and I should have ordered one at the Market.

We drove over to the train station to pick up David, who was on the phone with his Mama Bunny when I first saw him. We hugged and pantomimed until he was off the phone. It was so funny because he said he rarely gets phone calls and got two as soon as we met. It was wonderful to get to be with our fearless leader, who dragged himself out of his sick bed and rode the train to be with us. I felt so honored and appreciated it so much! He's wonderful like that and still lots of fun even when sick.

See how proud I am to hug our talented, wonderful David?

We went back to downtown, parked the car, and walked about 20 blocks to the Franklin Museum. OK, I'm sure it was closer to 20 than to 15. We had so much fun talking along the way and commenting on everything. Then we walked back! Did I mention how young all of them are? I did it, and the walking was good for me, but my feet and knees complained.

Fountain at Logan Square

I think I offended Curt only about three times, which was pretty good for me. He's not used to me the way David and Maddie are and at one time glared at us and asked, "What are all of you - 12!!!" Yeah, probably. He reminded me the most of my son Brian, who rolls his eyes and tolerates me at times but mostly thinks I'm pretty funny. I couldn't believe Curt and Maddie hadn't seen 1776 since I've seen it almost a hundred times because of actually seeing the play three times and the movie 5 times a day for years when I showed it to my American Lit classes. I wasn't trying to be stereotypical that time. Yes, I know I said "that time" - I'm bad.

The Franklin Institute Science Museum has exhibits about all kinds of wonderful things - the Earth, electricity, sports, space, the heart, the sea. Tina, Frogponder, and many others would love it there. I want to go back and take Brian, Melissa, and Brendan. Check it out HERE. We went to the Planetarium to see a show about the Sun. David and Curt were sleeping bookends while Maddie and I learned all kinds of things.

Maddie Looking at the Constellations

Giant Heart You Can Walk and Climb Through

Foucault's Pendulum INFO

Maddie and Curt Fascinated by Shiny Objects

We walked back to the hotel where Tina joined us and ate at a sub place in the gayborhood. It really is - there are rainbow strips on the street signs. We laughed and had more fun there and then made our pilgrimage to the Naked Chocolate Cafe. David doesn't like chocolate and ordered a cupcake and iced tea, but the rest of us indulged - especially Maddie and me! I ordered a frozen mocha blend, which I thought would probably be a normal size, but no! See the comparison! I drank most of it - delicious! - and bought a few things to take with me for later.

It was a wonderful day with my nephews! David gave up his Saturday to be with me when he needed to recuperate and was as much fun as I knew he'd be! Maddie presented me with a thoughtful gift bag filled with a box of delicious buttery sand tarts he baked himself, a print of the Philadelphia Museum of Art created by a friend of his, and a knitlace made of eyelash and other novelty yarn. As if giving his time was not generous enough, that was so sweet of him!

I was treated so well and felt like royalty! Thank you Maddie, David, and Curt!!! I miss you and want to get together again soon.

Why don't I have more photos of David, you might ask. The answer is that he asked me not to, so I didn't - even though he is totally cute!

Coming next - Sunday at Independence Hall!