Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Warehouse Of Useless Information...!

Sometimes I worry that I might be a little disturbed.

That's alright, though, because others have been thinking that same thing for years! I have often said that I am a vast warehouse of almost useless information, and here are some of those facts to prove my case!

You might know some of these (I did), but others you may not have heard of until now! See? I can be of some use...some of the time!

A group of unicorns is called a blessing.

Twelve or more cows are known as a "flink."

A group of frogs is called an army.

A group of rhinos is called a crash.

A group of kangaroos is called a mob.

A group of whales is called a pod.

A group of geese is called a gaggle.

A group of ravens is called a murder.

A group of officers is called a mess.

A group of larks is called an exaltation.

A group of owls is called a parliament.

After reading this list, I have to wonder if some of these group names came about because of how the group acted, ya know?

I also wonder if the owls resent their particular group being named after a part of the government! Could be that's the reason they stay pretty much out of sight during the day!

Just a thought!

Coffee inside today! It's supposed to rain, so I'm thinking a pot of chili might be just the thing!

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Lone Ranger Rides Again...!

Remember some of your favorite radio heroes?

I'm talking about the guys that rode into your living room on the radio, then finally on the television! I can remember hearing so many of them, Boston Blackie, The Shadow, Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, and one of the most remembered...the Lone Ranger! Maybe it's because he had one of the best theme songs ever!

Jan 30, 1933:
The Lone Ranger debuts on Detroit radio

With the stirring notes of the William Tell Overture and a shout of "Hi-yo, Silver! Away!" The Lone Ranger debuts on Detroit's WXYZ radio station.

The creation of station-owner George Trendle and writer Fran Striker, the "masked rider of the plains" became one of the most popular and enduring western heroes of the 20th century. Joined by his trusty steed, Silver, and loyal Indian scout, Tonto, the Lone Ranger sallied forth to do battle with evil western outlaws and Indians, generally arriving on the scene just in time to save an innocent golden-haired child or sun-bonneted farm wife.

Neither Trendle nor Striker had any connections to or experience with the cowboys, Indians, and pioneers of the real West, but that mattered little to them. The men simply wanted to create an American version of the masked swashbuckler made popular by the silent movie actor Douglas Fairbanks in The Mark of Zorro, arming their hero with a revolver rather than a sword. Historical authenticity was far less important to the men than fidelity to the strict code of conduct they established for their character. The Lone Ranger never smoked, swore, or drank alcohol; he used grammatically correct speech free of slang; and, most important, he never shot to kill. More offensive to modern historical and ethnic sensibilities was the Indian scout Tonto, who spoke in a comical Indian patois totally unrelated to any authentic Indian dialect, uttering ludicrous phrases like "You betchum!"

Historical accuracy notwithstanding, the radio program was an instant hit. Children liked the steady stream of action and parents approved of the good moral example offered by the upstanding masked man. Soon picked up for nationwide broadcast over the Mutual Radio Network, over 20 million Americans were tuning into The Lone Ranger three times a week by 1939. In an early example of the power of marketing tie-ins, the producers also licensed the manufacture of a vast array of related products, including Lone Ranger guns, costumes, books, and a popular comic strip.

The Lone Ranger made a seemingly effortless transition from radio to motion pictures and television. The televised version of The Lone Ranger, staring Clayton Moore as the masked man, became ABC's first big hit in the early 1950s. Remaining on the air until 1957, the program helped define the golden age of the TV Western and inspired dozens of imitators like The Range Rider, The Roy Rogers Show, and The Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok. Although the Lone Ranger disappeared from American television and movie screens by the 1960s, he lived on in a popular series of comic books well into the 1970s.

I'm just thinking that we could sure use a few more heroes of this kind again. One thing about it, it sure wouldn't hurt!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. Fresh biscuits with butter and honey OK?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Remember These Guys...?

Growing up when I did, we were fortunate to have a lot of folk singers.

Besides the obvious harmony and easy beat of the music, there was often a message in the lyrics. I miss those old groups! Not many groups have their pleasing and soothing way of singing! This group was always one of my favorites!

Jan 29, 1962:
Peter, Paul and Mary sign their first recording contract

Peter, Paul and Mary didn't revolutionize folk music the way Bob Dylan did. Dylan's songwriting fundamentally altered and then ultimately transcended the folk idiom itself, while Peter, Paul and Mary didn't even write their own material. They were good-looking, crowd-pleasing performers first and foremost—hand-selected and molded for success by a Greenwich Village impresario named Albert Grossman. Yet in their good-looking, crowd-pleasing way, Peter, Paul and Mary helped make Dylan's revolution possible, both by popularizing his songs and by proving the commercial potential of "serious" folk music in doing so. They took a decisive step on their path to success on January 29, 1962, when they signed their first recording contract with Warner Bros.—the label they still call home nearly half a century later.

Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers ran in the same Greenwich Village circles, but had never performed together before Albert Grossman came along. Grossman, a co-founder of the Newport Folk Festival, was a controversial figure on the New York folk scene—a man openly seeking to commercialize a movement that wore its self-serious leftist political roots on its sleeve. Grossman recognized commercial potential in the "message songs" he was hearing in famous Village venues like Gerde's Folk City, if only he could combine the music of brilliant songwriters like Pete Seeger with the non-threatening appeal of singers like the Kingston Trio.

Pete Seeger's former group, the Weavers, had enjoyed enormous success in the early-1950s with hits like "Goodnight Irene," until their leftist background derailed their career during the Red Scare. The downfall of the Weavers led to a split within the nascent folk revival—a split between political folk that had no chance for commercial success and entertaining folk that was utterly apolitical. Grossman believed that he could span that divide with a group whose youthful good looks and non-threatening demeanor would make subtly political folk music acceptable within the popular mainstream. Enter Peter, Paul and Mary and songs like "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," both from their debut album in 1962. In 1963, Peter, Paul and Mary would release their biggest hit ever: "Blowin' in the Wind," written by a new client of Grossman's named Bob Dylan. It was the first sample of Dylan's work that most of the world would ever hear.

Mary Travers passed away in 2009.

Man, now I'm really feeling my age! Let's get some fresh coffee and go sit in the kitchen. I'll put on some oldies but goodies!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Not A Pretty Sight...!

Ready for some really strange plant pictures to go with your breakfast?

This is one strange looking plant, being both pretty and ugly at the same time! Mother Nature is a master at this sort of handiwork! Let me introduce you to...

Bleeding Tooth Fungus

The bleeding tooth fungus looks kind of like a wad of chewing gum that leaks blood like a rejected prop from The Shining.

They're also called the strawberries and cream, the red-juice tooth, and the devil's tooth. Whoever is in charge of naming scary bullshit seems really insistent that this thing looks like a tooth, while mostly skirting over the fact that it freaking sweats blood.

Oh, and they are listed as "inedible," which implies that someone attempted to eat one at some point. On the other hand, the bloodlike substance has anticoagulant and antibacterial properties. It's nature's next penicillin! All you have to do is lick it. Go ahead.

Read more: 10 Creepy Plants That Shouldn't Exist | Cracked.com http://www.cracked.com/article_18979_10-creepy-plants-that-shouldnt-exist.html#ixzz1kila04dx

I'm all in favor of some fresh coffee in the kitchen this morning. Got some home made fried pies with apple butter!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Let's Get Bombed...!

Actually, we already did...and we did it to ourselves!

That's right! We actually dropped a bomb on ourselves, and it wasn't just any bomb either! This bad boy was a thermonuclear bomb! That's the kind that could make a real big impression on anyone within range! Here is the story behind this...taken from the archives of Now I Know!

The Mark 15 hydrogen bomb, pictured above is a thermonuclear bomb weighing a relatively light 7,600 pounds. It is roughly twelve feet long and three feet in diameter. Like most nuclear weapons, it can cause a great deal of destruction upon its detonation. Unlike most nuclear weapons, we managed to lose one.

On February 5, 1958, a B-47 bomber carrying a Mark 15 took off from Homestead Air Force Base near Florida’s southern tip. The B-47 was on a training run off the coast of Tybee Island, on the outskirts of Savannah, Georgia. But the mock mission went awry, as the bomber collided with an F-86 fighter jet also involved in the exercise. The F-68 was disabled and its pilot immediately ejected and survived. The B-47 was able to remain airborne, but was greatly damaged. Unable to guarantee a safe landing — a critical concern, given the plane’s payload — its pilot, Colonel Howard Richardson, proposed a solution: drop the bomb in the ocean.

And that is exactly what happened. Richardson, with permission from command, dropped the bomb from a distance of about 7,000 feet above sea level while traveling at over 200 miles per hour. The bomb landed in the ocean just off Tybee Island and, per Richardson, did not explode. The B-47 made an emergency landing at Hunter Army Air Field, and no one, miraculously, died. Richardson earned a medal for his cool-under-pressure performance in the skies.

But what ever happened to the bomb? No one knows. The day after the mid-air collision, Air Force and Naval recovery crews took to the seas to recover the jettisoned hydrogen bomb, but after a nine week search, they came back empty handed. Another recovery effort was made in 2001, but it, too, was unsuccessful. More recently, in 2004, another Air Force colonel asserted that he has narrowed down the location to an area roughly the size of a football field, by triangulating off heightened levels of radioactivity in the area. But to date, the bomb still sits somewhere in the ocean, unrecovered.

This may be by design. The Air Force asserts that the bomb is safer there than it would be if jostled, as they assert, the weapon lacks a plutonium trigger, which is requisite to creating an explosion. However, prior testimony from W.J. Howard, an Assistant Secretary of State suggests that this may be incorrect, and that the lost Mark 15 is, in Howard’s words, a “complete bomb.”

Now, doesn't that give you a warm and fuzzy feeling all over? Not only did we have to drop a nuclear bomb just off the coast of Georgia, but no one can find the blessed thing! Even with all the tech toys at the government's disposal, it still remains lost to this day!

I don't know about you, but I don't think I want to be living anywhere around Savannah, Georgia! Call me crazy, but I figure why take the chance, ya know?

Coffee on the patio this morning. Don't worry about the weather, it's cool but dry!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Australia Day...!

In many ways, the history of Australia and the U.S. are very similar .

I think we could almost consider Australia a sister country. I did a little study of the early years of Australia, and I have to admit I was fascinated. Here is a short history that you may enjoy reading!

Jan 26, 1788:
Australia Day

On January 26, 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip guides a fleet of 11 British ships carrying convicts to the colony of New South Wales, effectively founding Australia. After overcoming a period of hardship, the fledgling colony began to celebrate the anniversary of this date with great fanfare.

Australia, once known as New South Wales, was originally planned as a penal colony. In October 1786, the British government appointed Arthur Phillip captain of the HMS Sirius, and commissioned him to establish an agricultural work camp there for British convicts. With little idea of what he could expect from the mysterious and distant land, Phillip had great difficulty assembling the fleet that was to make the journey. His requests for more experienced farmers to assist the penal colony were repeatedly denied, and he was both poorly funded and outfitted. Nonetheless, accompanied by a small contingent of Marines and other officers, Phillip led his 1,000-strong party, of whom more than 700 were convicts, around Africa to the eastern side of Australia. In all, the voyage lasted eight months, claiming the deaths of some 30 men.

The first years of settlement were nearly disastrous. Cursed with poor soil, an unfamiliar climate and workers who were ignorant of farming, Phillip had great difficulty keeping the men alive. The colony was on the verge of outright starvation for several years, and the marines sent to keep order were not up to the task. Phillip, who proved to be a tough but fair-minded leader, persevered by appointing convicts to positions of responsibility and oversight. Floggings and hangings were commonplace, but so was egalitarianism. As Phillip said before leaving England: "In a new country there will be no slavery and hence no slaves."

Though Phillip returned to England in 1792, the colony became prosperous by the turn of the 19th century. Feeling a new sense of patriotism, the men began to rally around January 26 as their founding day. Historian Manning Clarke noted that in 1808 the men observed the "anniversary of the foundation of the colony" with "drinking and merriment."

Finally, in 1818, January 26 became an official holiday, marking the 30th anniversary of British settlement in Australia. And, as Australia became a sovereign nation, it became the national holiday known as Australia Day. Today, Australia Day serves both as a day of celebration for the founding of the white British settlement, and as a day of mourning for the Aborigines who were slowly dispossessed of their land as white colonization spread across the continent.

Looks to me as though we have another reason to celebrate! Not that many of us really need a reason to have a little party, ya know?

We'll have coffee in the kitchen this morning, because it still looks like it might rain some more! Happy Australia Day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Too Close For Comfort...!

You know, this happened in the not too distant past!

It may be that a simple oversight like this could bring down the whole house of cards the world governments have built over the years, only next time it will probably come from the middle East!

Just like the old saying goes, if we don't learn from our history we are more than likely going to repeat it!

Jan 25, 1995:
Near launching of Russian nukes

Russia's early-warning defense radar detects an unexpected missile launch near Norway, and Russian military command estimates the missile to be only minutes from impact on Moscow. Moments later, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, his defense minister, and his chief of staff were informed of the missile launch. The nuclear command systems switched to combat mode, and the nuclear suitcases carried by Yeltsin and his top commander were activated for the first time in the history of the Soviet-made weapons system. Five minutes after the launch detection, Russian command determined that the missile's impact point would be outside Russia's borders. Three more minutes passed, and Yeltsin was informed that the launching was likely not part of a surprise nuclear strike by Western nuclear submarines.

These conclusions came minutes before Yeltsin and his commanders should have ordered a nuclear response based on standard launch on warning protocols. Later, it was revealed that the missile, launched from Spitzbergen, Norway, was actually carrying instruments for scientific measurements. Nine days before, Norway had notified 35 countries, including Russia, of the exact details of the planned launch. The Russian Defense Ministry had received Norway's announcement but had neglected to inform the on-duty personnel at the early-warning center of the imminent launch. The event raised serious concerns about the quality of the former Soviet Union's nuclear systems.

I would like to thank the folks at History.com for reminding me of just how damned scary real life can be! I would hate to wake up dead from a nuclear attack, just because some meat-head somewhere didn't get the memo!

Before we go get our coffee, I'd like you to welcome a new blogger to our group! Please go by Life In Iowa and say hello to Sella, who is just getting started with her blog, OK? Thanks, guys!

Fresh coffee in the kitchen this morning. Cool and rainy outside, so the patio is no good!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Ol' George Was pretty Slick...!

It could be that we could learn more from George Washington than we ever imagined!

I found some interesting information over at Listverse.com that pretty much surprised me! I think that Ol' george managed to put one over on the Congress, and for that you have to give him credit!

Fact: Washington cleverly tricked congress into paying him obscene amounts of money

First of all, this is what elementary schools teach about Washington: “Later, in 1775, at age 43, Washington was appointed military advisor for New York, defending it from British attack. A few weeks later he was appointed Commander-and-Chief of the entire American army. He did not ask for this position, and did not even ask to be paid for it. [...] The most important reason George was asked to be president was that he was very honest, and people both trusted and admired him. He was the most trusted, admired, and respected man in the whole country.”

Unfortunately what they miss entirely is the fact that he turned down a salary of what would have amounted to a little over 1,000 per month, but said: “Sir, I beg leave to assure the Congress that as no pecuniary consideration could have tempted me to have accepted this arduous employment, I do not wish to make any profit from it. I will keep an exact account of my expenses. Those I doubt not they will discharge, and that is all I desire.”

And then the shopping began:

- To cash paid for Sadlery, a Letter Case, Maps, Glasses, &c &c &c. for the use of my Command… $831.45
- To sundry Exp.’s paid by myself at different times and places… on the Retreat of the Army thro’ the Jerseys into Pennsylvania & while there… $3,776
- From September 1775 to March 1776, Washington spent over six thousand dollars on liquor

In eight years, by turning down a salary and taking an expense account, instead of being paid around $12,000, he was paid $449,261.51 in 1780 dollars (around $4,250,000.00 in today’s money).

Washington, being a clever man, tried the same ploy when he was elected President but he was turned down and given a set salary of $25,000 per year. You can view scans of Washington’s expense account at the Library of Congress.

Looks like George figured out a way to get what he wanted and still look like a hero at the same time! Yep...Ol' George was a pretty slick man!

Fresh coffee in the kitchen again this morning. It's turning off a little chilly again! I have oven fresh cinnamon rolls...!

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Love These Things...!

Even at my age, I can still play a mean game of Frisbee!

When I was just a kid, and coffee cans had lids that had to be opened with a key, we would use the lids of the can to throw back and forth. You had to be careful though, as the sharp edges on the lids would really cut your thumb if you caught it wrong!

The main trouble was, being metal the lids had a way of getting bent and twisted until they were no longer any fun! When the plastic Frisbee came out, it was an immediate hit!

Jan 23, 1957:
Toy company Wham-O produces first Frisbees

On this day in 1957, machines at the Wham-O toy company roll out the first batch of their aerodynamic plastic discs--now known to millions of fans all over the world as Frisbees.

The story of the Frisbee began in Bridgeport, Connecticut, where William Frisbie opened the Frisbie Pie Company in 1871. Students from nearby universities would throw the empty pie tins to each other, yelling "Frisbie!" as they let go. In 1948, Walter Frederick Morrison and his partner Warren Franscioni invented a plastic version of the disc called the "Flying Saucer" that could fly further and more accurately than the tin pie plates. After splitting with Franscioni, Morrison made an improved model in 1955 and sold it to the new toy company Wham-O as the "Pluto Platter"--an attempt to cash in on the public craze over space and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

In 1958, a year after the toy's first release, Wham-O--the company behind such top-sellers as the Hula-Hoop, the Super Ball and the Water Wiggle--changed its name to the Frisbee disc, misspelling the name of the historic pie company. A company designer, Ed Headrick, patented the design for the modern Frisbee in December 1967, adding a band of raised ridges on the disc's surface--called the Rings--to stabilize flight. By aggressively marketing Frisbee-playing as a new sport, Wham-O sold over 100 million units of its famous toy by 1977.

High school students in Maplewood, New Jersey, invented Ultimate Frisbee, a cross between football, soccer and basketball, in 1967. In the 1970s, Headrick himself invented Frisbee Golf, in which discs are tossed into metal baskets; there are now hundreds of courses in the U.S., with millions of devotees. There is also Freestyle Frisbee, with choreographed routines set to music and multiple discs in play, and various Frisbee competitions for both humans and dogs--the best natural Frisbee players.

Today, at least 60 manufacturers produce the flying discs--generally made out of plastic and measuring roughly 20-25 centimeters (8-10 inches) in diameter with a curved lip. The official Frisbee is owned by Mattel Toy Manufacturers, who bought the toy from Wham-O in 1994.

It's funny how we used to be satisfied with simple toys, and how these toys kept us outside and running much more than the toys today do!

It's no wonder we were much more healthy back then than the youth of today are! I don't remember obesity being much of a problem in the old days! Of course, there wasn't as many problems with youth crime either, but I think that the reason behind that was because family values were still important!

Now, I'm ready for some fresh coffee on the patio this morning. Sound good to you?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sunday...A Day Of Rest !

That being said, I'm taking a day off.

Don't know why, but it seemed like a good idea! It's not like I have anything really important to say anyhow.

Let me just leave you with this thought for today...

Have a great day, my friends! See ya on the flip side! Oh...want some fresh coffee?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Way To Go, Mr. Browning...!

Hard to believe how much the world of firearms owes to this man!

Starting at a very young age, he managed to make more advances in the world of firearms than nearly anyone else to date! You have to wonder where we would be today without the inventions and improvements of Mr. Browning.

Jan 21, 1855:
Gun designer John Browning is born

John Moses Browning, sometimes referred to as the "father of modern firearms," is born in Ogden, Utah. Many of the guns manufactured by companies whose names evoke the history of the American West-Winchester, Colt, Remington, and Savage-were actually based on John Browning's designs.

The son of a talented gunsmith, John Browning began experimenting with his own gun designs as a young man. When he was 24 years old, he received his first patent, for a rifle that Winchester manufactured as its Single Shot Model 1885. Impressed by the young man's inventiveness, Winchester asked Browning if he could design a lever-action-repeating shotgun. Browning could and did, but his efforts convinced him that a pump-action mechanism would work better, and he patented his first pump model shotgun in 1888.

Fundamentally, all of Browning's manually-operated repeating rifle and shotgun designs were aimed at improving one thing: the speed and reliability with which gun users could fire multiple rounds-whether shooting at game birds or other people. Lever and pump actions allowed the operator to fire a round, operate the lever or pump to quickly eject the spent shell, insert a new cartridge, and then fire again in seconds.

By the late 1880s, Browning had perfected the manual repeating weapon; to make guns that fired any faster, he would somehow have to eliminate the need for slow human beings to actually work the mechanisms. But what force could replace that of the operator moving a lever or pump? Browning discovered the answer during a local shooting competition when he noticed that reeds between a man firing and his target were violently blown aside by gases escaping from the gun muzzle. He decided to try using the force of that escaping gas to automatically work the repeating mechanism.
Browning began experimenting with his idea in 1889. Three years later, he received a patent for the first crude fully automatic weapon that captured the gases at the muzzle and used them to power a mechanism that automatically reloaded the next bullet. In subsequent years, Browning refined his automatic weapon design. When U.S. soldiers went to Europe during WWI, many of them carried Browning Automatic Rifles, as well as Browning's deadly machine guns.

During a career spanning more than five decades, Browning's guns went from being the classic weapons of the American West to deadly tools of world war carnage. Amazingly, since Browning's death in 1926, there have been no further fundamental changes in the modern firearm industry.

I sort of feel that I haven't done much so far after reading of folks like Mr. Browning. Why do I call him Mr. Browning, you ask? Simple! It's a sign of respect! That's something that I feel a lot of...for him and the others of his imaginative nature!

Once again, thanks to the folks at History.com for teaching me something!

Coffee outside again today, as the temps are supposed to go back up to the 80s again!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Now This Is Pretty Corn-y...!

Most of the folks I know really like popcorn!

For something so good, it is actually considered a healthy snack. Low in calories, easy to make, and it can be the basis for so many other snacks! Not only used for eating, popcorn can be used for decorating as well...and has been since the days of the Aztecs!

I found some interesting facts about popcorn over at Popcorn.com and figured I would share them with you!
Corny Facts

Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of this whole grain, good-for-you treat. That’s 51 quarts per man, woman, and child.

Compared to most snack foods, popcorn is low in calories. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per cup. Oil-popped is only 55 per cup.

Popcorn is a type of maize (or corn), a member of the grass family, and is scientifically known as Zea mays everta.

Of the 6 types of maize/corn—pod, sweet, flour, dent, flint, and popcorn—only popcorn pops.
Popcorn is a whole grain. It is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm, and pericarp (also know as the hull).

Popcorn needs between 13.5-14% moisture to pop.

Popcorn differs from other types of maize/corn in that is has a thicker pericarp/hull. The hull allows pressure from the heated water to build and eventually bursts open. The inside starch becomes gelatinous while being heated; when the hull bursts, the gelatinized starch spills out and cools, giving it its familiar popcorn shape.

Most U.S. popcorn is grown in the Midwest, primarily in Indiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri.

Many people believe the acres of corn they see in the Midwest during growing season could be picked and eaten for dinner, or dried and popped. In fact, those acres are typically field corn, which is used largely for livestock feed, and differs from both sweet corn and popcorn.

The peak period for popcorn sales for home consumption is in the fall.

Most popcorn comes in two basic shapes when it's popped: snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it doesn't crumble.

Popping popcorn is one of the number one uses for microwave ovens. Most microwave ovens have a "popcorn" control button.

"Popability" is popcorn lingo that refers to the percentage of kernels that pop.

There is no such thing as “hull-less” popcorn. All popcorn needs a hull in order to pop. Some varieties of popcorn have been bred so the hull shatters upon popping, making it appear to be hull-less.

How high popcorn kernels can pop? Up to 3 feet in the air.

The world’s largest popcorn ball was created by volunteers in Sac City, Iowa in February, 2009. It weighed 5,000 lbs., stood over 8 ft. tall, and measured 28.8 ft. in circumference.

If you made a trail of popcorn from New York City to Los Angeles, you would need more than 352,028,160 popped kernels!

I might mention just one more thing here. Popcorn was used in the colonial days for breakfast, much in the same way we use corn flakes today! Think I'm pulling your leg? Check out the article right here!

Let's have our coffee out on the patio this morning. It sure feels like Spring!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

How About A Hand Job...!

Now I know what you're thinking! Has the Hermit lost his mind?

Truth be known, I lost it a long time ago! I just wanted to get your attention since it's so early! So just grab a cup and take a gander at these wonderful, creative works of art!

It's amazing the talent that some folks have! I've done a lot of things with my hands (careful now!)but never anything that could compare to this!

Let's grab a fresh cup of coffee and go sit on the patio this morning. Supposed to warm up again, and I need some sun! OK?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Thanks For The Great Story, Dad...!

I would bet that Mr. Milne had no idea that these stories would be so enduring!

You just never know when something written for a child will become one of the better known children's fictional characters ever!

Jan 18, 1882:
A.A. Milne is born

On this day in 1882, A.A. Milne, creator of Winnie-the-Pooh, is born.

The youngest of three sons born to schoolteacher parents, Milne taught himself to read at age two. He began writing humorous pieces as a schoolboy and continued to do so at Cambridge, where he edited the undergraduate paper. In 1903, he left Cambridge and went to London to write. Although he was broke by the end of his first year, he persevered and supported himself until 1906 with his writing. That year, he joined humor magazine Punch as an editor and wrote humorous verse and essays for the magazine for eight years, until World War I broke out. While at Punch, he wrote his first book-for adults, not children.

In 1913, he married his wife, Daphne, and two years later went to France to serve in World War I. While in the military, he wrote three plays, one of which, Mr. Pim Passes By, became a hit in 1919 and provided financial security for the family. In 1920, the couple's only son, Christopher Robin, was born. In 1925, the family bought Cotchford Farm in Sussex. A nearby forest inspired the 100-Acre Wood where Winnie-the-Pooh's adventures would be set.

Milne published two volumes of the verse he wrote for his son. When We Were Very Young was published in 1924, followed by Now We Are Six in 1927.

When Christopher Robin was about a year old, he received a stuffed bear as a present. The child soon accumulated a collection of similar animals, which inspired Milne to begin writing a series of whimsical stories about the toys. Winnie-the-Pooh was published in 1926 and The House at Pooh Corner in 1928. Ernest Shepard illustrated the books, using Christopher Robin and his animals as models.

A.A. Milne wrote numerous other books and plays but is remembered almost solely for his beloved children's work. He died in 1956.

Thanks to the love of a dad for his son, and a wish to make his childhood very memorable...the world now has a never ending source of adventures in the 100 Acre Woods! What a gift for his son and for the world!

Thank you, Mr. Milne!

How about coffee inside this morning? It's trying to rain again outside!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Welcome To Cowpens, Now Surrender...!

Many times in the past, the Redcoats mistakenly underestimated the American patriots!

Very often the small numbers of American fighters turned what seemed to be a hindrance into a very successful fighting force! Some lessons are best learned the hard way, I guess! This was one of them for the Redcoats!

Jan 17, 1781:
Battle of Cowpens, South Carolina

Relying upon strategic creativity, Brigadier General Daniel Morgan and a mixed Patriot force rout British Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton and a group of Redcoats and Loyalists at the Battle of Cowpens on this day in 1781.

Commander in chief of the Southern Army, Major General Nathaniel Greene had decided to divide Patriot forces in the Carolinas in order to force the larger British contingent under General Charles Cornwallis to fight them on multiple fronts—and because smaller groups of men were easier for the beleaguered Patriots to feed. Daniel Morgan took 300 Continental riflemen and 740 militiamen with the intention of attacking the British backcountry fort, Ninety-Six.

In response, Cornwallis dispatched Tarleton with 1,100 Redcoats and Loyalists to catch Morgan, whom he feared might instigate a broad-based backcountry Patriot uprising. Morgan prepared for the encounter with Tarleton by backing his men up to a river at Cowpens, north of Ninety-Six.

As Tarleton's men attacked, Morgan instructed the militia to skirmish with them, but to leave the front line after firing two rounds. The British mistook the repositioning of the Americans as a rout and ran into an unexpected volley of concentrated rifle fire coupled with a cavalry charge and followed by the return of the militia. Tarleton escaped, but Morgan's troops decimated his army.

American rifles, scorned by Britain's professional soldiers, proved devastatingly effective in this engagement. The British lost 110 men and more than 200 more were wounded, while an additional 500 were captured. The American losses totaled only 12 killed and 60 wounded in the first Patriot victory to demonstrate that the American forces could outfight a similar British force without any other factors—such as surprise or geography—to assist them.

Country folks, squirrel guns, and a blessed determination to be free! Folks, that's a combination that's just plain hard to beat! Just ask the British!

Coffee on the patio again this morning. Trying to be Summer early!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Lord Bless This Child...!

Not all kids are up to mischief, even though it may seem that way.

I, for one, am always pleased to find a story like this one that shows that there may just be hope for the human race yet! If this girl, and others like her, are an example of what's ahead, then I am indeed hopeful!

O'Fallon, Mo., girl, 9, turns hobby into benefit for kids with cancer


Photo by Susan Weich, sweich@post-dispatch.

Katie Hilke, 9, of O'Fallon, Mo., knits a cap like those she donated to St. Louis Children's Hospital to give to a child battling cancer. Katie also raised $510 for the hospital.

Katie Hilke is a chatty third-grader except when it comes to her plan to help sick children.

Instead of talking about how she raised $510, she shrugged her shoulders and giggled nervously before going back to work on her knitting.

Katie, who recently turned 9, started knitting when she was doing what she does a lot — waiting at the YMCA near her home in O'Fallon, Mo., while her older sister, Hannah, practiced with her swim team. Earlier this year, at one of those practices, Katie saw one of the moms knitting on a circular loom and asked her about it.

The mom showed Katie how to loop the yarn around the pegs, and Katie learned to use a special tool to turn the loops into stitches and eventually into a warm winter cap.

At first, Katie used the smallest looms to make hats for her American Girl doll. Then she used bigger ones and gave the caps as gifts at baby showers.

Katie went up another loom size and knitted some kid-size caps. She made plain ones and striped ones and some with flowers on the side or pom-poms on top. She made matching purple caps for herself and her friends at Immaculate Conception Grade School in Dardenne Prairie.

Katie might have kept on making the caps for just family and friends if she hadn't seen the pamphlet her dad brought home for a golf tournament. Her dad, Don Hilke, used to be a golf pro and still plays in a lot of tournaments.

The event on the brochure was sponsored by a foundation set up by former pro football player Mark Rypien. On the cover was a picture of Rypien posing with a young cancer patient who was wearing a cap that looked a lot like the ones that Katie knitted.

"Kate looked at it for a while and you could see the light go on in her head," said her mom, Debbie Hilke. "She said 'Do you think I could make hats for kids with cancer?' And I said, 'Of course you can.' "

Hilke said she figured her daughter would make maybe 10 hats at the most, but Katie knitted right past that number and kept going.

Every day Katie would come home from school, turn on the TV and work on her hats. She'd stop to do her homework, but later she'd go back to making hats.

If Katie had the time, she probably could have knitted a cap every day, Hilke said, but Katie had other obligations. She plays soccer, softball, basketball and she swims on her own team in the summer. She's a Brownie.

"She's a busy little girl," Hilke said.

By August, Katie had finished 37 caps. When her dad told his friend, Chris Buehrle, about it, Buehrle suggested that Katie sell the caps at his annual golf tournament, which raises money locally for cancer research. Any money Katie raised could be earmarked for children.

Katie agreed and set up a table on the 10th green where she peddled her caps for $10 apiece. She sold every cap, and people donated all but one of them back so Katie could give them to children who had lost their hair. Others just donated money.

Katie's mom arranged for Katie to meet with Erin Taake, project coordinator of special events at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Katie got a tour of several common areas of the hospital but because of patient privacy and a rule that says visitors have to be at least 16, Katie didn't get to meet any of the children who got one of her hats.

Taake said the hospital gets donations a few times a year from groups of children, like a grade school, but usually not from just one child.

"For somebody, especially someone as young as Katie, to initiate this and make the items herself is unique," she said. "And the caps were so nice; it was very impressive that she was able to make these."

Katie's mom, of course, was beaming at the praise for her daughter, who plans to knit and sell the caps again next year.

"Her dad and I are so proud, and it was neat that she came up with the idea herself," she said.

As for Katie, she listened to her what he mom said, lowered her blue eyes to the loom and got back to work.

Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/columns/susan-weich/o-fallon-mo-girl-turns-hobby-into-benefit-for-kids/article_19430aaa-ad95-5cc6-8d4f-bab04a8684d8.html#ixzz1jZvoz5Hy

Sorry for the length of the post, but I thought it important enough to share this story with you. God bless this child, her heart and her family!

Coffee on the patio this morning! I feel it's warm enough, don't you?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Really nothing new here today, but a look back on a few quotes about one of life's greatest treasures...friendship!

Nothing I can say is nearly as good as these few quotes by others. I think they about say it all.

Mighty proud I am that I am able to have a spare bed for my friends.
Samuel Pepys

Never explain - your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyway.
Elbert Hubbard

Nothing but heaven itself is better than a friend who is really a friend.

One's friends are that part of the human race with which one can be human.
George Santayana

Silences make the real conversations between friends. Not the saying but the never needing to say is what counts.
Margaret Lee Runbeck

Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.
Francesco Guicciardini

The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship.
William Blake

The friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
Elbert Hubbard

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing... not healing, not curing... that is a friend who cares.
Henri Nouwen

The language of friendship is not words but meanings.
Henry David Thoreau

The most I can do for my friend is simply be his friend.
Henry David Thoreau

The only way to have a friend is to be one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The real test of friendship is: can you literally do nothing with the other person? Can you enjoy those moments of life that are utterly simple?
Eugene Kennedy

The sincere friends of this world are as ship lights in the stormiest of nights.
Giotto di Bondone

There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship.
Thomas Aquinas

Think where mans glory most begins and ends, and say my glory was I had such friends.
William Butler Yeats

True friends stab you in the front.
Oscar Wilde

We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him? Here every language is silent and holds its peace in impotence.
Joseph Roux

When a friend is in trouble, don't annoy him by asking if there is anything you can do. Think up something appropriate and do it.
Edward W. Howe

That's really all the deep thoughts I had for this Sunday. I hope you all have a great day!

I suggest we have our coffee inside the kitchen this morning. It's always better shared with friends!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

History Of Craigslist...!

I'll be willing to bet that I use Craigslist at least once or twice a week, at the very least!

But, like most folks, I had no idea of their history! Well, thanks to the site called Now I Know...I do! You might find this interesting!


Craigslist, the website, is one of the few inhabitants of the rarified air reserved for the upper-echelon of consumer-facing websites such as Facebook, Google, Wikipedia, and Amazon. With over 20 billion (yes, billion) page views each month, it claims to be in the top 10 of all companies by English language pages served. Over 50 million Americans use the site each month — with craigslist having only 30 or so employees. Not thirty thousand. Thirty.

The service — a mostly unfiltered, almost entirely free series of local forums — seems incredibly simple, so simple that many copycats have tried to enter the space. If you build it, they will come, the copycats believe. Grab a domain name, install some software, maybe put up some flyers and wait. People will post jobs they need filled, apartment listings, and try and buy and sell everything from baseball tickets and used books to old couches and broken electronics. After all, that’s how the Craig of craigslist did it. A fool-proof plan.

Except that isn’t how craigslist came to be.

In 1994, a java developer named Craig Newmark was living in San Francisco, working for Charles Schwab, the investment services firm. Being connected to the nascent consumer Internet, he caught onto a salient fact rather early: people were using the new technologies available to them to self-organize around topics, helping each other out by sharing knowledge and information. Newmark himself was looking for more social events in and involving the SF technology scene, so he started his own online community — an informal email list consisting of a handful of friends. Newmark would email out events that he thought looked interesting. No heavy technology involved; just a simple email — basically, a way to manage a liberally-used “cc:” field.

Pretty quickly, the list grew, in both size and scope. List members told friends about this guy Craig’s list. And recipients of the email began requesting posts for things other than events — jobs, stuff for sale, etc. Newmark himself realized that apartment listings were also a natural fit. By the middle of 1995, about 250 people were on the list. Not huge, but significant, especially for his mail server — which could no longer handle the list size. He installed a list server (called majordomo) to manage the emails, and intended to call the list “SF Events.” But list members were already calling it “Craig’s List,” and he deferred.

But users were clamoring for more; specifically, a web interface. In the fall of 1997, Newmark registered the domain craigslist.org. And the rest is history — the history you already knew.

As the man once said...Now you know the rest of the story!

I'm having coffee in the kitchen this morning. Want to join me?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Some More Thoughts On Age...!

Here's another one I got from my Baby Sis.

I hope this poem has the same effect on you as it did on me. If it does, then my work is done!

Walk with me by the water - worth the read...


I forgot the words....

Guess that about says it all! Ya know, sometimes I worry about Baby Sis! Why does she always seem to find these things to send to me? Reckon she is trying to tell me something? NAW!!! Surely not!

Coffee inside this morning! It's colder than an ex mother-in-law's heart outside!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Something For The Ladies...!

Even though this is primarily for the ladies, some men might like it as well!

My Baby Sis sent me this and I couldn't help but think that some of the women out there, especially the mothers, might see the humor in it!

It's cold here this morning, so let's have coffee in the kitchen. Biscuits and gravy might be just what we need to go with it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Persistence Pays...!

We've all had 'em!

Those days when everything works against us, the days that make us want to run down the street screaming! You know, the kind of day that makes you throw up your hands and ask "why me?"

How we handle ourselves on days like these defines us in many ways! It tests our mettle, as the old timers used to say! In other words...take a deep breath, hike up your britches, and deal with the day head on!

Don't give up! Don't give in! Play life's game, but play to win!

Now the guy in this video doesn't know that he's beaten! He refuses to admit that the river has won this round! He is facing Death, spits in his eye, and says "Hell, no! Not this time!" That, my friends, is persistence!

While we are on the subject of folks that are fighting the good fight, I would like you to drop by A blog I found called Mystic Mud! These are some folks that are surely playing to win! I think you will be impressed with the spirit this family has! OK?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning! Turned off chilly again!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Father Of Sam Spade...!

As many of you know, I really like mystery stories.

This particular author probably did more for the hard nose mystery stories and heroes than anyone I know of. His characters are still familiar to many folks, especially mystery lovers! Takes a heck of an imagination to be a good story teller, don't you think? Especially mystery stories!

Jan 10, 1961:
Dashiell Hammett dies

Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon, dies on this day in 1961.

Hammett was born in Maryland on May 27, 1894. He left school at age 13 and took a series of low-paying jobs, eventually landing at Pinkerton's detective agency. He worked as a detective for eight years and turned his experiences into fiction that set the mold for later writers like Raymond Chandler. Hammett's deadpan description of violent or emotional events came to be known as the "hard-boiled" style of detective fiction.

Hammett published short stories in his characteristic deadpan style, starting in 1929 with Fly Paper. He published two novels in the same style that year, Red Harvest and The Dain Curse. The following year, he published The Maltese Falcon, which introduced detective Sam Spade. The novel was filmed three times: once in 1931; once in 1936 under the title Satan Met a Lady, starring Bette Davis; and again in1941, starring Humphrey Bogart.

Hammett became involved with playwright Lillian Hellman (author of The Children's Hour in 1934 and The Little Foxes in 1939), who served as the model for Nora Charles in his 1934 comic mystery The Thin Man. The book was made into a movie the same year, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, and the characters of Nick and Nora Charles inspired several sequel films. Hammett and Hellman remained romantically involved until Hammett's death in 1961.

Writers like Hammett were the founders and fathers of most all of the tough cops, hardened private detectives, and two timing females we find in most detective stories even today! Long live Sam Spade!

It's still raining this morning, so let's have our coffee in the kitchen, OK?

Monday, January 9, 2012

Just Some Things To Consider...!

Things are starting out pretty crazy this year.

I was hoping for a more productive and improved 2012, but you just never know! I did find a few points to be remembered this year, though. I figured I would share them with you!

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing stinks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Bad decisions make good stories.

9. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

10. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection ... again.

11. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my 10-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

12. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

13. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

14. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile
because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?

15. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

16. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone and pinning the tail on the donkey --but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from three feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

I'm thinking I need some more coffee this morning, ya think? It's trying to rain this morning, so we'll have to stay inside.

Fresh coffee in the kitchen, OK?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Stories Of Treasure...!

First of all, our very first story of treasure is a visit from my Baby Sis yesterday!

When ever Sis comes over, I find treasure in sharing memories, swapping childhood stories, and browsing through old pictures as well. Mom is never happier than when she gets an extended visit from one of her daughters, I think.

Come to think of it, I get a real kick out of it myself! Sometimes the simple things become the biggest treasures, don't you think?

The next treasure? A story about a single penny! Now this penny is not your everyday variety of penny...no sir! This one cent piece is worth just a tad more.

1793 penny fetches $1.38M at Fla. auction

James Halperin of Texas-based Heritage Auctions told The Associated Press on Saturday that the sale was "the most a United States copper coin has ever sold for at auction." The Orlando Sentinel reports (http://thesent.nl/xZBfyw ) that the final bid by an unknown buyer for the coin was one of the largest sales at the Florida United Numismatists coin show and annual convention.

Now for the biggest and best treasure of all! I noticed this morning that we now have a grand total of 300 followers! That's amazing to me! 300 new friends, even though many have been with me since I first started my babbling here on this blog!

I never thought when I started this blog on 11/17/07 that I would have posted a total of 1528 post, or that I would have had a total number of page views of 199,054! Most importantly, I am just so thrilled about having a total of 300 folks that took the time to sign up as a friend!

All of the people that take the time out of their lives to drop by for a visit and to share a cup everyday...that's the true treasure this Sunday! That's a treasure that is worth so much more than money!

I do appreciate the visits more than I could ever say, believe me! It's truly a humbling experience to me and to say THANK YOU seems so little in return! Still, I do thank you and I mean that, my friends, more than you could know!

Now, let's get some fresh coffee and sit out on the patio! The new coffee pot works just fine!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Always A Movie Lover...!

Growing up one of the real treats for me was getting to go to the movies!

I was always happy when we went to a family reunion in Georgetown because the movies there were so much cheaper than here in Houston. Not only that, but we were allowed to walk! That would never happen in the big city, believe me!

Only drawback was that they had the serials, and I never got to see more than one episode...BUMMER! Still, the movies were a really fun time for me, and still are when I can catch a good one on the oldies channel! I'll bet many of you know exactly what I mean!

C'mon...admit it! I know there must have been at least one old movie that you loved as a kid, right?

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Supposed to be in the 70's again today! Not too bad for the middle of Winter!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Can't Escape Father Time...!

This date is important to me for more reasons than one.

First of all, today is my Baby Sis's Birthday! Since I'm almost a gentleman, I won't reveal her age! I will say, though, that I call her "baby Sis" for a reason...she was the youngest of four children born to my Mom and Dad! I was the first born, the only boy, and the "leader of the pack" so to speak!

Over the years, I've lost just one sister who passed on due to cancer! I feel very blessed to still have my other two sisters here to share memories with and to back me up with advice when needed. I do miss my sister Sue, the one that passed, but life goes on and the memories of our family with her in our midst are very fond ones still!

I did find this picture of my sisters and Mom I thought I'd share with you! It's from several years ago, so keep that in mind! I'm actually prettier now than I was then! (You believe that, right?)

Now, I didn't get my sisters permission to post this, so don't tell them...OK? That's Baby Sis on the left, Mom next to her, yours truly next to Mom, and "B", oldest of the sisters, on the right!

I might mention that both my sisters AND MY MOM are all much prettier now! You can quote me on that, OK?

Coffee outside on the patio this morning! Fresh made peanut clusters for everyone that says "Happy Birthday" to Baby Sis!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Feeling My Age...!

For some reason, I'm feeling a little down today.

Guess it's just an age thing, or maybe it's because I always feel a little down when the holidays are over. I don't like the holidays, but I've already said that before!

Anyway, I finally got all the decorations down at Mom's house and helped her get her house back in shape for her sewing group today! After the last two weeks, I need a vacation, but this is as close as I'm gonna get!

Coffee on the patio this morning if that's alright! I need the fresh air!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

And Now For Something Different...!

I wanted to put something really nice on here today.

I have never seen these before, but if I had seen one I'm not sure if I would have eaten one! Just goes to show that even though Mother Nature can be a hard lady when she wants to...she also can package some very beautiful snacks!

Bear's Head Tooth Mushroom

Though they appear to be dangling worms, this is actually an enormous, edible white mushroom. They can also grow branches and are said to be helpful in fighting cancer, stimulating nerve growth, and helping kill roundworms.

At least if you or I are ever lost in the woods and run across something that looks like this...then supper is served! You can have the first bite, OK?

Coffee in the warm kitchen this morning. It's a little chilly outside, so I'm for staying in!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Seward's Folly...!

I love a bargain as much as the next guy...but I think that America got the bargain of all bargains with the purchase of Alaska!

If I could find a nice little piece of land at this price, I'd jump right on it! Even I could afford 2 cents an acre! Heck, I might even sell something important to raise more! Something important...like maybe my prize comic book collection, or my favorite hand carved back scratcher, or...well, you get the idea!

No matter ! The point is this was a wonderful purchase at a excellent price! What a great addition to our country!
Jan 3, 1959:
Alaska admitted into Union

On January 3, 1959, President Eisenhower signs a special proclamation admitting the territory of Alaska into the Union as the 49th and largest state.

The European discovery of Alaska came in 1741, when a Russian expedition led by Danish navigator Vitus Bering sighted the Alaskan mainland. Russian hunters were soon making incursions into Alaska, and the native Aleut population suffered greatly after being exposed to foreign diseases. In 1784, Grigory Shelikhov established the first permanent Russian colony in Alaska on Kodiak Island. In the early 19th century, Russian settlements spread down the west coast of North America, with the southernmost fort located near Bodega Bay in California.

Russian activity in the New World declined in the 1820s, and the British and Americans were granted trading rights in Alaska after a few minor diplomatic conflicts. In the 1860s, a nearly bankrupt Russia decided to offer Alaska for sale to the United States, which earlier had expressed interest in such a purchase. On March 30, 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward signed a treaty with Russia for the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million. Despite the bargain price of roughly two cents an acre, the Alaskan purchase was ridiculed in Congress and in the press as "Seward's folly," "Seward's icebox," and President Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden." Nevertheless, the Senate ratified purchase of the tremendous landmass, one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States.

Despite a slow start in settlement by Americans from the continental United States, the discovery of gold in 1898 brought a rapid influx of people to the territory. Alaska, rich in natural resources, has been contributing to American prosperity ever since.

Despite the fact that Texas lost the title of the biggest state in the union, despite the fact that I was born in Texas and should resent that loss, I don't! My personal thought is that Alaska was one of the best things to happen to the Union in a long time! Just my opinion, ya understand!

Coffee in the kitchen this morning! I have some fresh baked bread and some honey!

Monday, January 2, 2012

I'll Admit, I'm Cheap...!

I'm not saying that I'm cheap, but like it or not...I Am!

I don't remember where I found out about this site, but I'm really glad that I found it. At least, I think I'm glad ! This site can be addictive!

For a while now, my coffee maker has been acting strangely. So, being the coffee lover that I am, I needed to convince myself to get a new one. Trouble is, Christmas was upon us and I had to place the new pot on the back burner...no pun intended!

After signing up on this site and getting started in the bidding process, I managed to win two items on my first night! This brand new coffee pot cost me a grand total of $.23 cents! Even with the shipping fee, which was resonable, I still ended up paying less than $10.00! Pretty cool!

My second item was a $25 gift card from WalMart...$2.99 total! Pretty cheap way to pick up some nice gifts, ya know? You might want to go by and see everything that they are auctioning off. If you do it right and get lucky like I did, you might get a bargain! QuiBids!

If you decide to go over and try your luck, just remember...I told you it was addicting, OK?

Coffee in the kitchen this morning. It's foggy and chilly on the patio!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome To Janus...!

I found this article in Farmer's Almanac and I thought it might be of interest to you.

In this article there is mention of a Temple of Peace! Interesting concept, I think! See if you don't agree!


Ruler of new beginnings, gates and doors, the first hour of the day, the first day of the month, and the first month of the year, the Roman god Janus gave January its name.

He was pictured as two-headed and situated so that one head looked forward into the new year while the other took a retrospective view.

Janus also presided over the temple of peace, where the doors were opened only during wartime.

It was a place of safety, where new beginnings and renewed commitments could be forged, just as the new year is a time for us to reflect.

Just imagine! A temple where the doors were always opened during time of war, as though they were welcoming home the warriors! During time of peace, the very same doors were left shut in order to keep war from entering!

I think we need one of these in Washington, just as a reminder! Just my opinion!

Fresh coffee on the patio this morning! What a way to start the New Year...coffee with good friends!