Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And From Memphis

This was worth posting the whole article. Reading the previous post will give more information leading up to this. There are stories I can tell you about state senator asshat and possibly will eventually!
(UALR Public Radio) - "We've already seen in this community a number of shootings in bars and restaurants and parking lots, I think this just makes it worse and I don't understand what the public purpose was for passing this law," John Elkington said.

John Elkington represents the Beale Street Merchants Association and Performa Entertainment. He says guns and alcohol don't mix, which is why all handgun carriers will have to leave their weapons at home if they want to enjoy Beale Street. Come July 17th signs will be posted stating "No Guns Allowed." The new legislation restricts handgun carriers from drinking alcohol while inside the bar or restaurant but does not require the carrier to expose their weapon. Elkington says locally business owners can choose whether or not to permit handgun carriers in their establishments.

"We are in a much more volatile situation as a bar than we are as a restaurant. I kept hearing these remarks from various legislators about how they want to protect these people in Chili's and all that, that's great but that's not where the problems occur. You know we have a very tough job in handling security anyway and this is just going to make it that much more difficult," Elkington said.

Elkington says businesses on Beale Street will use security measures including batons to check for firearms. He says knives are already restricted from the street. In one summer security collected more than 650 knives. Elklington says it is not that he doesn't support Second Amendment rights, rather he sees no public purpose in the legislation. State senator Doug Jackson of Dickson is a strong proponent of the bill, he says the purpose is not only to uphold Second Amendment rights but to provide the individual the opportunity to protect themselves. Jackson says that Governor Phil Bredesen's decision to veto the bill was an emotional decision rather than factual, Jackson says Gun Free Zones simply don't work.

"I mean if you look at the travesties that occur, the mass shootings, they're almost always in the gun free zones. You had a restaurant there in the city of Memphis, a deranged individual went out and got a gun illegally. He wasn't a handgun carry permit holder. He went in there and shot the manager. I remember that because I spoke about that in the committee. The manager and everyone in there was defenseless. It is really hard to imagine how government can get to the point to tell a citizen that you don't have the right to defend yourself," Jackson said.

Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton says the new gun legislation takes Memphis in the opposite direction it should be going. He says the no drinking mandate will do little to protect from the chaos that comes with alcohol and guns.

"If you got it on, you better not get any alcohol. And you know even if you prosecuted somebody who violated it, violated that restriction, it is too late for the victim. All the prosecution in the world is not gonna bring it back and we are trying to lessen the chances of that and there is one thing for sure if the gun isn't in there, no one is going to get shot," Wharton said.

"I really don't like getting into these what if scenarios. You can let your imagination run free and wild and come up with all sorts of scary thoughts. What you have to do to look at this issue correctly is to look at the statistics and facts and experience of all these other states, it's like a living laboratory every single day." Jackson said.

Senator Jackson says the 36 other states with similar gun legislation have yet to revoke their current policy. He says the state safety department records show handgun permit holders in Tennessee are responsible as well--with only 278 permits revoked in the last year. According to Memphis police records, there were 1,296 assaults through May; 727 of them involved guns. There were 55 criminal homicides, 44 of those were also committed with guns.
© Copyright 2009, UALR Public Radio

Guns and Such

Owners of restaurants and bars in my county have said they will not allow guns and have posted announcements to that effect that they will enforce. I get so tired of people saying that we need guns to defend ourselves. I've never had to defend myself and don't want to start now. If for some reason someone wants to kill me, it won't be that difficult. If someone breaks into my house, I hope it's when I'm not here. If I am here, I'll pretend to be asleep and hope they don't hurt me but really hope they don't ever break in. We don't all need to go around armed like in the Wild West. How did that work out?

What gets me is that one of the state senators who co-sponsored it is a Democrat from my district, Doug Jackson. So that lets us know that he wants votes no matter what since the Republicans have a majority in our legislature for the first time in ages. I hope someone runs against him in the primary next time.

This article in the NY Times gives a different perspective on that TN gun law.

Gov. Phil Bredesen, a Democrat, who vetoed the guns-in-bars bill but was overridden, said in a statement late Friday that he would allow the exemption bill to become law without his signature. The bill “represents a fringe constitutional theory” that will be thrown out of court, Mr. Bredesen said, but letting it become law may speed that challenge and yield clarity sooner. He said that in the meantime, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives would enforce federal regulations, and he predicted confusion for gun makers, dealers and importers.

Gun-control advocates say these efforts to exempt states from federal gun laws will have a limited effect because few federal laws exist anyway. Those that do exist, said Daniel Vice, senior lawyer at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, involve background checks and what he called “basic record-keeping.” But evading any federal laws, Mr. Vice added, could make it easier for criminals to get guns.

Whatever the practical result of Tennessee’s new gun laws, they may well serve a political purpose: firing up the conservative base before next year’s state, local and Congressional elections.

“The Republicans are trying to embarrass the Democrats,” said John G. Geer, a political scientist at in Nashville at Vanderbilt University. “They want to put these proposals on the table not only because they believe in guns, but they want to force the Democrats to come out as anti-gun,” Professor Geer said. “You can see the attack ads forming already. The Republicans have won this issue.”

Source for this:
Lawmakers have passed a bill that would allow guns in restaurants, that serve alcohol. A coalition will sue state lawmakers, to stop the law from happening.

The core of the coalition is restaurant owners, attorneys, and civic leaders who believe state lawmakers were duped.

When the bill passed lawmakers said Tennessee was joining dozens of other states with similar gun laws. The coalition begged to differ and said the state has one of the strongest gun laws in the country.

"Our legislators were actually mislead by some slick lobbyists to believe this is common in 37 other states, and it is law, and it was just a flat lie, and they fell for it," said attorney Adam Dread.

Some statistics:

Every year more than 30,000 Americans die by gunshot, most of them suicides, but at least 10,000 by murder. This is twice the number of 4,316 US soldiers killed in six years of the Iraq war. England and Wales, by contrast, had 50 deaths through gun crime in 2005-06.

Comcast Woes

Whatever Comcast did Sunday night when they shut down internet and phone services in order to improve them has made them worse. They did this from midnight until 5 or 6 am. My phone sounds like static to people I'm talking to, and my internet service is really slow and won't let me get on some sites because it times out. A friend called and was told they couldn't do anything until July 5, so she called one of our contacts who is sending someone to her house. It's not in our houses! We tell them that, but they come anyway. She gave them my name and two others because they said at least three people have to have a problem before it's considered an outage. We pay a lot for these services for them to suck so much at times. The most they've done to compensate is to give me a free movie or two, yet they make all these deals to attract new customers. What about those of us who have been with them for 20 years or more? The only choices around here are Comcast cable and Direct satellite TV. Guess I'll have to call them, too.

So far it's taken several tries and way too long to publish these posts this morning!

I Did Not Know This Trivia

A whale’s penis is called a dork. Know any dorks?

Now when I call someone a dork, I'll have jokes in my mind.

Information Please

Those of you who are part of a couple (same or opposite marriages/relationships) please let me know how long you've been in them. If not now, what's the longest one you've had. I'm mostly just curious. Some I know from reading your blogs but can't quite remember or don't know about others.

Me? I made it 9 1/2 years being married. No other relationships have lasted that long except with a car, cat, job, or friends. I guess I'm more of a sprinter than marathon runner of romantic relationships. I made it to the finish line of those. Or maybe it's the ADD.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fashion Trivia

Toward the latter part of the fifteenth century, men’s footwear had a square tip resembling a duck’s beak, a fashion trend started by Charles VIII to hide the deformity of one of his feet, which had an extra toe.

Einstein Fashion Quote

Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


2009 has seen many deaths of celebrities so far - Natasha Richardson, Bea Arthur, David Carradine, Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, Dom DeLuise, Jack Kemp, Marilyn French, England Dan Seals, John Updike, Andrew Wyeth, Pat Hingle, Paul Harvey, James Whitmore, Marilyn Chambers, Dan Miller (Nashville news anchor), Gale Storm, Billy Mays, Kenny Rankin, and others.

I'm glad Deepak Chopra is speaking out about Michael Jackson's addiction to prescription drugs (Demerol,Oxycontin) and how doctors enable celebrities. The following is from various sources.
"There are a plethora of doctors in Hollywood. They're drug peddlers, they're drug pushers, they just happen to have a medical license," Chopra said. "I hope this episode today. this tragic death of a great human being will bring to light the huge problem we have in Hollywood with some of the medical establishment. The celebrity doctors who not only imitate people into the drug experience, but then they perpetuate it so that the people become dependent on it. I will be bold enough to identify these people at a certain time, but I think the police should do their own investigation. I think this is something that really should be investigated because it's a disease. The number one cause of drug addiction in the world - and particularly in the United States - is not street drugs, but medical prescriptions given legally by physicians."
From Lisa Marie Presley's blog where she revealed that Jackson feared that he would die like her father, Elvis Presley.
I became very ill and emotionally/ spiritually exhausted in my quest to save him from certain self-destructive behavior and from the awful vampires and leeches he would always manage to magnetize around him.

I was in over my head while trying.

I had my children to care for, I had to make a decision.

The hardest decision I have ever had to make, which was to walk away and let his fate have him, even though I desperately loved him and tried to stop or reverse it somehow.

After the Divorce, I spent a few years obsessing about him and what I could have done different, in regret.

Then I spent some angry years at the whole situation.

At some point, I truly became Indifferent, until now.

As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.

Any ill experience or words I have felt towards him in the past has just died inside of me along with him.

I copied this from Hollywood Memoir about a similar death and what disclosure might help prevent.

I hope David Carradine's family members and publicists will not try to cover up David Carradine's death. A lot of people die of autoerotic asphyxia. It's about time we raise awareness.

Please don't cover up his death. There is nothing wrong with people's desire for physical pleasure. We all pursue physical pleasure.

What's wrong is the fact that society is not talking about autoerotic asphyxia. What's wrong is that David's death was not prevented. The society looks at this as something so wrong and twisted. Remember back in the 40's? Your hands supposed to fall off if you do "it".

I guarantee you that public awareness will be raised in the future regarding autoerotic asphyxia. It's sad that now is not the time. We'll have to wait for more deaths, possibily more famous deaths, so people will talk about it again. I hope their family will openly talk about it without covering up.

Knowledge and awareness is power. It will save lives and create better world. Imagine INXS still has the original member. Imagine David Carradine would live to make several more movies and host more TV shows. We are losing good things in the world, because we refuse to raise awareness.

We sell "Girls Gone Wild" "Viagra" and "Extenze" on TV. But we refuse to talk about what's killing people. We see a lot of campaigns saying "Talk to your kids about smoking & drugs". A campaign like that might have prevented David's death.

Get over it people. David had a healthy life. I hope he's death will raise awareness to save countless others who didn't know the danger.

So, I say this now:
Hanging is a dangerous act. Media won't tell you, but a lot of people die from it. Most people do it sitting down and die sitting down. If you must experiment, have your partner with you. If you have done it many times and if you think you have a handle on it? That's when it's going to kill you.

I wanted to correct the misspellings and grammar mistakes in some of the quotes but managed to refrain from that and from inserting [sic] in the quotes.

Trivia for Aled (Oxy)

During his midnight ride on April 18, 1775, Paul Revere did not shout, "The British are coming." Instead, his call was "The regulars are coming The regulars were the British troops. Apparently, you could be considered "regular" in those days even if you were a constipated Brit.

Trekkie Trivia

The name of the first space shuttle was the Constitution. Pres. Gerald Ford changed it to Enterprise after receiving 100,000 letters from Star Trek fans.

My son had a model of one in his room, so because of him I knew to google Starship Enterprise for a picture of it. He also had posters of the Union Jack, the Beatles, Wolverine, the White Queen, Farrah Fawcett, and that's all I can remember right now.

Brian writes a comic book blog that's on my blog list titled Noetic Concordance that he doesn't update very often. Wonder Man might enjoy it. I just told Brian about your blog, too, WM. I'm not sure which of the rest of you had/have comic book collections and would be interested but check it out if you are.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


I watched Finding Forrester again last night. It was on HBO, but I have the DVD. It's one of my favorite movies, and I showed it to my creative writing classes. There are a few movies I enjoy watching several times, and it's definitely one of them.

Right now I'm watching The Dark Knight on HBO and miss Heath Ledger so much. I'm not over his death and mourn the loss of such a talented actor who died way too young.

Squillions of Dollars Trivia! Damn!

Comedian Bill Cosby became the spokesperson for Jell-O pudding in 1974. His upbeat, childlike personality worked well with on-screen youngsters, and he later began the "Kids Love Pudding" TV campaign. By the late 1980s and early 1990s, Cosby became the uncontested king of product endorsements. By 1992, he was earning approximately $125,000 an hour, or $1 million a day, and he is still going strong today.


I lasted two hours but it felt like ten! I was at the festival from around 1:30 until almost 3:30 and had to give up and get home. I was getting shaky and nauseated from the heat. It was 96 with over 60% humidity, so the heat index was over 100. Brian and Brendan stayed to listen to some more music but left before Brian thought they would because of the heat. Paige and Tina also felt like I did and had to go home, too.

It's a shame because the location was so good, the exhibitors had quality art, the music was entertaining, and it was well-planned. This is unseasonably hot weather for us right now and is more like late July and August. If the weather had cooperated or this had been in October, there would have been a huge crowd who stayed longer and bought some things. I felt bad for the artists, organizers, musicians, and others who worked so hard and traveled to get here for this and hope the weather is better next year for it.


I'm heading to the Firefly Fine Arts Festival here in Dickson today. It's at the Renaissance Center but will be OUTSIDE during the hottest day predicted so far. According to the site, there will be a selection of artists who have created some interesting pieces. It's juried, so the quality should be on par with some of the better arts and crafts shows. This one will have music, too. Jason of Jason and the Scorchers was there last night performing children's songs, but I didn't go. Brian and his family are coming down for it. He hated to miss Farmer Jason, as he is known for this venture. More information about the artists and performers is on the website I linked earlier. There are pictures of some of the art on there, too.

More later!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Not Totally a Red State

Frogponder asked if we knew where our governor was yesterday. I mentioned a bit about our governor Phil Bredesen and his wife Andrea Conte. I found a site that has a brief biography about him with questions about his opinion about the appointment of Roland Burris, the election of President Obama, Sarah Palin and other topics I think you'll appreciate. Read it to get a better feeling about TN since he might be the last Democrat we have for governor for a while after the next election. I hope not and wish the legislature would change as well as our two Senators. HERE is the article. I like his answers!

This is part of his bio from there:

Phil Bredesen took office as Tennessee's 48th governor on Jan. 18, 2003. In November 2006, he was reelected in a landslide victory, reportedly becoming the first governor in over a century to win all 95 counties in Tennessee.

Before serving as Tennessee's governor, Bredesen served as mayor of Nashville from 1991 to 1999.

Prior to entering public service, Bredesen worked in the health care industry. Between research trips to the public library, he drafted a business plan at his kitchen table that led to the creation in 1980 of HealthAmerica Corp., a Nashville-based health care management company that eventually grew to more than 6,000 employees and was traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The company was sold in 1986.

Phil Bredesen was born on Nov. 21,1943.

He grew up in rural Shortsville, N.Y., and earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Harvard University. He and his wife, Andrea Conte, moved to Nashville in 1975. Bredesen is an avid hunter and outdoorsman, a licensed pilot and enjoys painting as a hobby. Bredesen and Conte have one son, Ben.

Andrea Conte was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She trained as a nurse at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MA, receiving her RN in 1961 and subsequently her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Washington in Seattle in 1968. After moving to Nashville, she attended night classes at the University of Tennessee downtown campus (now Tennessee State University Avon Williams campus) and received an M.B.A degree in 1983.

Andrea Conte and Philip Bredesen were married in Wheatley, Oxfordshire, England on November 22, 1974; Bredesen was working in the United Kingdom at the time. She has retained her own name. Following their marriage, Ms. Conte obtained a job with Hospital Corporation of America in Nashville, TN, and the couple moved to Tennessee in 1975. They have one son, Benjamin (b. 1980).

On December 7, 1988 she was kidnapped and injured in the parking lot of her retail shop in Nashville She fought, and was able to escape the kidnapper’s car as it drove on the road. The kidnapper was not identified or captured immediately. The following year he killed a woman in a Nashville park and was captured fleeing. Under questioning he admitted to the Conte kidnapping as well. Following her experience, Ms. Conte founded a non-profit organization, You Have the Power, to assist victims in dealing with the criminal justice system and to advocate for victim's rights.

Passport Update

I got my previous passport in the mail today with two holes punched in the front cover, so that made me feel better to get it back. Why aren't more of you upset about the computer chip in the new passports? I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but that's scary in terms of identity theft and being tracked and who knows what else!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

June 25

June 25 is my niece's birthday. It's also Rosemary's Baby's birthday, so I told her about it every year and ran it in the ground so much that I was banned from saying it for a long time. It's great that she's so well-adjusted, so apparently I didn't scar her for life. The time to say it again will come up eventually when she least expects it.

She's 40 today! Happy Birthday, Amy! (you know what I'm thinking)

My son will be 40 in September. They grew up together and are still close.


Have any of you renewed your passports since they have all those quotes? On the first two pages are words from "The Star Spangled Banner" and "The Gettysburg Address." Next two pages are the picture and information and the Preamble to The Constitution on page 4. And on it goes with scenes from the US and quotes from documents, presidents, and leaders. The one I had before was plain by comparison. Perhaps it is to make it more difficult to forge them. Do they change them every year? They didn't send my old one back which I thought they would do. These are samples of the new passports.

I googled and discovered there's a computer chip in the new passports. That gold box on the front lets us know about it. It's at the bottom with a circle and lines.

Procrastination worked against me since I should have renewed it before the end of 20o6. Bruce Schneier wrote this September, 2006, in The Washington Post
If you have a passport, now is the time to renew it -- even if it's not set to expire anytime soon. If you don't have a passport and think you might need one, now is the time to get it. In many countries, including the United States, passports will soon be equipped with RFID chips. And you don't want one of these chips in your passport.

RFID stands for "radio-frequency identification." Passports with RFID chips store an electronic copy of the passport information: your name, a digitized picture, etc. And in the future, the chip might store fingerprints or digital visas from various countries.

By itself, this is no problem. But RFID chips don't have to be plugged in to a reader to operate. Like the chips used for automatic toll collection on roads or automatic fare collection on subways, these chips operate via proximity. The risk to you is the possibility of surreptitious access: Your passport information might be read without your knowledge or consent by a government trying to track your movements, a criminal trying to steal your identity or someone just curious about your citizenship.
Read more HERE and HERE or google and find out more to tell us about.

Computer scientists, however, have criticized that encryption method as flawed. In a recent paper (PDF here), RSA Laboratories' Ari Juels, and University of California's David Molnar and David Wagner, warned that the design of the encryption keys is insufficiently secure. They said that the use of a "single fixed key" for the lifetime of the e-passport creates a vulnerability.

The Bush administration could face an eventual legal challenge. A letter to the State Department from privacy groups (PDF here) says there is "no statutory authority" for the RFID passport because Congress has not authorized it.

"Our point is, whatever Congress may have meant in giving the State Department authority to issue passports was probably to issue passports that were like the old passports," said Lee Tien, staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which co-authored the comments. "But at some point you are doing something that is significantly different, which should probably require some sort of additional congressional authorization. The argument is how broadly does that authority go, and honestly, it's something no one knows."

I don't recall reading or hearing anything about this. Do any of you?


"Don't be afraid of making mistakes, because if you're not making mistakes, you're not doing anything. However, if you're making the same mistake over and over again, then you're not learning anything!"

Thanks to Aled (aka Oxy) for sending me this quote.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cleaning Questions

I'd like to get a steam cleaner and a pressure washer. Do any of you have any suggestions if you own or have used any that you particularly like or don't? I'll probably rent a pressure washer to see how I like it and how it works but want to have a steam cleaner.

This site
has some comparisons.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Toy Trivia

The popular drawing toy Etch a Sketch, invented by Arthur Granjean, was originally named the L’Ecran Magique. Sales skyrocketed in 1960 after its name changed and some innovative TV advertising was launched.

Don't Know What to Say Trivia

In ancient Greece, women counted their age from the date on which they were married, not from the date of their birth—a tradition many women appear to follow today.

Trivia I Don't Want to Try

Surprisingly, a cat stands a greater chance of survival if it falls from a higher place than from a lower place. The laws of physics explain why: A falling object, after traveling a certain distance through the air, reaches a final speed, or "terminal velocity," because the object’s friction with the air slows the fall. The smaller the object’s mass, and the greater its area, the more it will slow.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Trivia That Doesn't Help

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

Croc Trivia

The crocodile is surprisingly fast on land. If pursued by a crocodile, a person should run in a zigzag motion, for the crocodile has little or no ability to make sudden changes of direction.

My Kind of Bird Trivia

The female knot-tying weaverbird will refuse to mate with a male who has built a shoddy nest. If spurned, the male must take the nest apart and completely rebuild it in order to win the affections of the female.

Colorful Trivia

Flamingos are not naturally pink. They get their color from their food, tiny green algae that turn pink during digestion.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Visit with the Boys

Brian and Brendan came down today for the afternoon and evening. We had such a good visit and all enjoyed it. We went out to eat, rode around, and had a good time. Brian and I got the little pool inflated and filled with water for Brendan to play in. He also played outside and in the house. We had fun with the activity books again, and Brian and I got to talk quite a bit. I told Brian he came here on Father's Day because I was both a mother and father to him. He's heard this before as you might have guessed. I got a divorce when he was five years old, so there's something to that in many ways.

Anyway, it was great to see him and spend time together. Melissa had a deadline for an art project she's completing for a gaming company, so she stayed home to work on that. Hope to see them next weekend for the Firefly Fine Arts Festival at the Renaissance Center here in Dickson. Information HERE.

Trying to Picture This Trivia

The song "Back in the U.S.S.R." (1968) was originally written for model Twiggy to record, but the Beatles decided to keep it and use the song themselves.

Oz Trivia

Tennis pro Evonne Goolagong’s last name means "Kangaroo’s Nose" in one of Australia’s Aboriginal languages.

But does the kangaroo make that loud grunting noise when it hits a tennis ball with its nose? Perhaps.

Eye Trivia

Poker players take note: the pupil of the eye expands as much as 45 percent when a person looks at something pleasing.

Like my pupils while reading the previous bit of trivia. :-)

Smirk Trivia or Size Matters

A man’s brain is only 2 percent of his body weight, while a woman’s brain makes up 2.5 percent of her body weight—a full 25 percent more.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Seven Deadly Sins

Maddie has a really interesting study on her blog about how the sins are distributed throughout the US. Check it out HERE. There's also a link to a quiz to see which circle of Hell you'll be in with me or others. Here are my results. I knew Sloth would edge the others out. I'm not sure which sin was affected the most by how much I eat out and use frozen dinners. I'd think Sloth but maybe that's what raised my Gluttony score since they didn't ask about chocolate.

Let me know how you did and if you put this on your blog. OK? Thanks!!



Wrath:Very Low





Take the Seven Deadly Sins Quiz

It Keeps Happening

And this is what it looks like - all 81 of them! Now what do you think? Is this happening to any of you? Why not?

家出 [noreply-comment@blogger.com]

家出 has left a new comment on your post "SNL Trivia":


ps ... I found out how to delete and block followers and blocked this one. I also added word verification and then will do comment moderation to see which one works better. Maybe I'll remove them after this settles down.

Jocks vs Nerds

Did you see John Hodgman's address to President Obama at the 2009 Radio and TV Correspondents Dinner? I LOVE IT!!

Mystery Partly Solved

Hey! Look over there at my followers. Put the cursor over that one on the top left that looks like a black and white photo of part of a face right next to Howard (unless they mix everybody up as they are wont to do). The name "gracjc" will show up when you do that. Click on the face and those Asian-type symbols are on there that show up on my email. Apparently this is the source of it. Obviously, I will not click the name and go to that site but will delete that follower once I figure out how to do it. I wanted you to see it in case that person becomes a follower on your blog. Be warned!!

Now, how do I delete a follower?

Brass Monkey Trivia

The saying, "It's so cold out there it could freeze the balls off a brass monkey," comes from the Civil War. In those days, cannonballs were stacked beside cannons in a pyramid formation called a brass monkey. When it became extremely cold outside, these stacked cannonballs would crack and break off.

OR ....

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannon fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck?

The best storage method devised was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of thirty cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.

There was only one problem -- how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with sixteen round indentations. But, if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make "Brass Monkeys."

Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!"

AND ...

There is no better visual cue that it is cold out than this brass monkey. Once the temperature gets to be frigid, about 23 degrees Fahrenheit, a piece of his anatomy drops off as illustrated in the picture above. This will bring life to the adage “cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.” To reset him all you have to do is let him thaw out a bit and reattach his boys. This may be the only time you find emasculation amusing.

Grave Trivia

The first graves in Arlington National Cemetery were dug by James Parks, a former Arlington Estate slave. Buried in Section 15, James Parks is the only person buried in Arlington National Cemetery who was also born on the property.

Friday, June 19, 2009


Today in the mail I got the special "> P,B!" button from our dear David! Thank you for helping me once again feel included in the DDBW Extravaganza!! You are too sweet! Love you! Love the Dust Bunnies! xoxoxoxo


I get the comments from my blog emailed to me and have been getting many from all my posts with Asian symbols on them. Are any of you getting those from here? If so, how bad is this? What do I need to do about it?

Thursday, June 18, 2009


When I first retired, I went to work immediately at Feet & More Wellness Center. (I told him it was a silly name.) My reflexologist I had gone to for several years and his wife moved from the place he worked and opened his own store. He has reflexology appointments and sells vitamins and supplements. She handles the business part of it mostly and is in the supplement part of the store. They asked what I was going to do when I retired and asked if I'd like to work there part-time. I worked a couple of days a week or so for over a year but then decided to teach homebound students since I could make more money in less time. I still worked very part-time until now when I just work a couple of days or so about three or four times a year when they are out of town.

They are at a conference, so I worked today and will tomorrow and Saturday. I take crossword puzzles, a book, knitting, an audio book to listen to while I knit, and whatever paperwork I need to do. Sometimes it's barely busy in there and other times there's a steady stream of customers, so I am prepared to keep myself entertained.

That was before I got a BlackBerry! Today I spent hours on it reading email, blogs, and Facebook. I was able to send email and make comments on FB easily. Blogs were another experience! First of all, I forgot my password to sign in to Blogger. I have an automatic sign-in for sites and have to think about it or look it up. No way over there. Eventually I remembered it, but it wouldn't let me post any comments. I tried about eight times before that one showed up on David's blog. Fortunately, the comment stayed on there while I kept trying to post it, so I didn't have to redo it since there's no way to copy and paste on that phone. Then I wrote a comment and tried ten times to post it on Charlie's blog (Berry). Nada! Zilch! No way! I never got it on there. My thumbs were tired, and I was frustrated. But I was totally entertained for a long time catching up. Nothing looks as good on that small screen as it does on the 17" monitor of my laptop. I'd take it to work if they had internet connection, which they don't, so I'm really glad to have the BlackBerry! You just don't know what I went through to make comments and send email on it!

I'll be back over there the next two days and will be back on the phone trying to do the best I can.

My cousin Sally came in briefly (funny story - wrong day) and brought me some lunch because she called to let me know she was on the way. Then Vicki visited for the afternoon, and we had a nice conversation. I feel much better today than I have been. I think I need an office to go somewhere else and do something, but what would I do. Any suggestions?

Actually I know what I should do to get myself on a schedule and get out of the house on a regular basis. I do belong to two gyms. I contribute financially to one of them and my medicare insurance plan pays for the other one. There's a Silver Sneakers class in that one on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 9:00 I keep planning to go to but have had conflicts or haven't gotten up early enough. No, real conflicts like appointments for me, Mother, or Brendan. Really! That's happened about half the time and the not getting up in time to go is the other half. I need to be more like my mother in several ways but need to stay like me in others.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Have You Heard About This?

The Viaduct de Millau in France is an exceptional work of engineering and probably scary to drive over, at least for me. I could ride across it with a good driver I trust and enjoy the view. Check out these sites about it HERE and HERE. Have you seen it or driven on it, Oxy?
The Millau Viaduct is part of the new E11 expressway connecting Paris and Barcelona and features the highest bridge piers ever constructed. The tallest is 240 meters (787 feet) high and the overall height is an impressive 336 meters (1102 feet), making this the highest bridge in the world. It is taller than the Eiffel Tower.
Intriguingly, the Millau Viaduct is not straight. A straight road could induce a sensation of floating for drivers, which a slight curve remedies. The curve
is 20km in range. Moreover, the road has a light incline of 3% to improve the visibility and reassure the driver. It is an amazing engineering feat!

Einstein Quote

It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom.

Priorities Trivia

The legendary Groucho Marx died three days after Elvis Presley did. Unfortunately, due to all the fevered commotion caused by Presley’s unanticipated death, the media paid little attention to the passing of this brilliant comedian and television, radio, and film star.

The Ears of Maine

After Charlie and I had known each other a while and had progressed to talking on the phone, I asked him what part of Maine he lived in, the face, nose, or ears. He was momentarily speechless and asked me what I was talking about. (I get that often.) I explained that since Maine is shaped like a hand shadow rabbit, there are those of us who think of it as divided into those areas. Apparently, that's not a widespread concept. Perhaps I explained it better to Al in the Country or maybe because he's also not a native Maineiac, but he answered right away and typed, "the ears." Btw, Charlie lives in the neck of Maine. Is Kennebunkport under the chin?

See? What do you think?


I notice new followers have added themselves while I wasn't looking! Thank you and welcome! :-)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Smirky Revenge Trivia

There are two more victims of the Coke and Pepsi war. Joan Crawford and Bette Davis had been feuding for years. During the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Davis had a Coca-Cola machine installed on the set due to Crawford’s affiliation with Pepsi—she was the widow of Pepsi’s CEO. Crawford exacted her revenge by putting weights in her pockets when Davis had to drag her across the floor during certain scenes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Astronomy Trivia

I'll bet Tina, Melissa, and Frogponder know this.

Aristarchus, a Greek astronomer living about 200 B.C., reportedly was the first person to declare that the Earth revolved around the sun. His theory was disregarded for hundreds of years.

Name Trivia

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Chevy Chase’s real first name is Cornelius, and comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s real name is Jacob Cohen.

TV Questions and Comments

Criminal Minds

What's going on there? Was Hotch killed by the guy behind him in the mirror or was that a fig newton of his imagination from the stress of his profession? Anyone heard anything about Thomas Gibson leaving the show? I like that show and like Joe Mantegna on it after Mandy Patinkin, who was also excellent on it. Good cast and good writing.

True Blood

What's going on with that dungeon where the vampire sheriff (or whatever the blonde vamp's title is) went down to throw one of the prisoners around? And what's with the aluminum foil pieces all over his head? I'm glad Lafayette wasn't dead in that car. I really do need to read those novels.

Top Chef Masters

I like it. I really like Hubert Keller. It might be hard for me to cheer another chef on, but I'll try to stay neutral. The way they have the star ratings is good, and the camaraderie between the chefs who were supportive yet competitive was fun to watch. They are all professionals and rise to the occasion. To paraphrase Tim Gunn, they make it work.

Army Wives

It's back with all the problems, conflicts, and drama possible. Primetime soap opera on Lifetime? Yep, but I'm hooked. I have to mention Kim Delaney's puffy lips, though. I wish they wouldn't do that.

New seasons for The Closer,The Cleaner, In Plain Sight, Burn Notice, and Rescue Me. Any of these you watch, too?

Entertainer Rush the Blowhard?

Bicycle Trivia

Tied at 5 wins each, the top Tour de France winners since the event began in 1903 are Jacques Anquetil (France), Eddy Merckx (Belgium), Bernard Hinault (France), and Miguel Indurain (Spain).

Lance Armstrong won seven times. Where is his name on this list? Useless Knowledge, you got some 'splainin' to do!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Dr. Drew Pinsky said that of all celebrities who took the Narcissistic Personality Inventory Test the people on reality shows scored the highest. I can believe that. After Charlie wrote about I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here and how whoever Spencer and Heidi are acted, I saw excerpts of his tirade and couldn't believe he had such an inflated view of himself. He said he was too famous and too rich to put up with being on there. Uh, yeah.

Here's a site that has the test on it and an explanation of the results. I thought I'd score higher than I did (10) but guess I'm just self-absorbed more than narcissistic. I don't want to be famous and am glad I'm not. Being a teacher for a long time in a small town brings more attention than I want.

As Emily Dickinson wrote:
I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Cat Trivia

Cats have amazing hearing ability. A cat’s ear has 30 muscles that control the outer ear (by comparison, human ears only have 6 muscles). These muscles rotate 180 degrees, so the cat can hear in all directions without moving its head.

Just as we always suspected, they really are ignoring us.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Don't wanna but gotta, gotta, gotta!

Gerald Ford Trivia

Gerald Ford was an assistant football coach at Yale. He played football at the University of Michigan and turned down offers to play for the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers. Eventually he tackled the job of being president, but was carried off the field after only one term.

Clinton hitting on him.

History Trivia

George Armstrong Custer’s younger brother, Thomas Custer, was the only soldier to win two Congressional Medals of Honor during the Civil War. He joined his older brother’s regiment and also died at Little Bighorn.

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer

Captain Thomas W. Custer, Company C commander

I'm on the side of the American Indians in all this.