The Very First . . . !

July 24, 2017

Did you know that July 24th represents the month and day of the year with several significant “firsts?”

  • in 1824, the first opinion poll was conducted (the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian asked voters their preference between presidential candidates Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams).
  • in 1860, the first doctoral degree was awarded by an American University (Yale University — the degree was “authorized” in 1860 but not actually awarded until 1861).
  • in 1866, the Union readmitted the first state following the Civil War (Tennessee).
  • in 1934, the first ptarmigan that was hatched and reared in captivity (Ithaca, New York).
  • In 1946, the first atomic bomb underwater explosion (Pacific Ocean, three miles off Bikini).
  • in 1950, the first rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral (U.S. armed forces and General Electric Company, Bumper 2).
  • in 1956, the first adaptable railroad freight car (the Adapto Car; Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific Railroad Company; operating between St. Louis, MO, and Wichita, KS).
  • in 1998, the first Capitol Police Officers killed in the line of duty (Special Agent John Michael Gibson and Police Private First Class Jacob Joseph Chestnut).

Source: Famous First Facts by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell.

Getting to “Done!”

July 23, 2017

A couple of weeks ago, a colleague (thank you Ruth) shared “The Cult of Done Manifesto” by Bre Pettis and Kio Stark with me.  As I continue to ponder this manifesto, it just makes more and more sense . . .

  1. There are three states of being: not knowing, action, and completion.
  2. Accept that everything is a draft.  It helps to get done.
  3. There is no editing stage.
  4. Pretending you know what you’re doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you’re doing, even if you don’t, and do it.
  5. Banish procrastination.  If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
  6. The point of being done is not to finish, but to get other things done.
  7. Once you’re done you can throw it away.
  8. Laugh at perfection.  It’s boring and keeps you from being done.
  9. People without dirty hands are wrong.  Doing something makes you right.
  10. Failure counts as done. So do make mistakes.
  11. Destruction is a variant of done.
  12. If you have an idea and publish it on the internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
  13. Done is the engine of more.

Nighthawks!

July 22, 2017

Nighthawks_by_Edward_Hopper_1942Happy Birthday Edward Hopper!  (Born 135 years ago in Nyack, New York).  “Nighthawks” (pictured here) is by far my favorite of Edward Hopper’s paintings.

Hopper studied under Robert Henri and William Merritt Chase and has been associated with the New Realism Art Movement (American Realism).  He was influenced by numerous artists: Robert Henri, William Merritt Chase, Edouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Childe Hassam,  as well as the Impressionism Movement; Hopper in turn influenced such notable artists as Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, and Jim Dine.  My favorite quotation by Hopper:

“If you could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint.”

Fun Fact Friday, Number Thirty-Three!

July 21, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “time.”  If it is noon in Pensacola, Florida, what time is it in Fargo, North Dakota?

Believe it or not, it would be “noon” in Fargo, North Dakota.   Despite the more that 1,500 miles separating these two cities, they both reside within the central time zone of the United States.  That’s one huge time zone!

Source: Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong, by Dr. Rod L. Evans.

The Boots, Part Two!

July 20, 2017

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Check back tomorrow for the conclusion to this poem.  Enjoy!

The Boots (Part 2)

 

‘Twas thus he told his amorous pain,
But all he said was spoke in vain;
For Judith, without frown or smle,
Stood listening to him all the while;
But when she saw that he was done,
She laughed aloud, and thus begun.

“Indeed, my friend, thou art deceived,
“If thou hast foolishly believed,
“Because that I was young and gay,
“And passed the time in mirth away;
“That therefore I was lewdly given,
“And did not fear the wrath of Heaven:
“My friend, thou art mistaken quite,
“For though in laughing I delight,
“I am not that abandoned fool,
“As ever to swerve from Virtue’s rule:
“I still shall laugh, and still be gay,
“And spite of all that thou can’st say,
“Shall lead an honest virtuous life,
“And be Ezekiel’s faithful wife:
“Although he is long past his youth,
“Believe me, friend, I speak the truth.”

The captain sighed at what she spoke,
Yet hoped the fair one was in joke;
But, to his grief, he found it true,
She never more complaisant grew;
And, though a thousand ways he tried,
Her virtue, was as oft denied:
‘Till, quite overcome with discontent,
One day he to the country went,
And with him took dog, gun, and net,
In hopes he might his love forget;
But while that Judith was unkind,
He could no sport or pleasure find;
so gave his tackle to his groom,
And straight returned to his room;
Where being come, he saw a sight,
That filled his soul with great delight;
‘Twas lovely Judith all alone,
Who, for a frolic, had put on
His winter boots; when this he spied,
The happy youth in raptures cried,
“You’re mine;” and, without more ado,
Upon the bed the charmer threw,
The lucky minute now was come,
Surprise had struck poor Judith dumb;
Upon the bed she speechless lay,
And let the captain take his way;
But what he did I do not know,
Ezekiel, who was set below,
Hearing the noise upon the floor,
Ran up, and, peeping through the door,
Beheld four legs upon the bed,
One pair in boots, and one in red,
Away he ran down stairs in haste,
As if by twenty devils chased:
The loving couple heard the noise,
And Judith knew her cuckold’s voice;
Away the fatal boots she threw,
Kissed the dear captain, and withdrew.
She found Ezekiel in the hall,
And feared he had discovered all.
Poor man, he shook from head to foot,
And muttered something of a boot;
While Judith trembled at his look,
Yet happily the cause mistook.

The captain too, came down the stair,
To see an end of this affair:
But old Ezekiel cried — “Avant!
“Out of my house, vile miscreant!
“You spoke of whoredom with despite,
“Yet arty thyself a Sodomite,
“And did that deed with a dragoon,
“That brought down fire on Sodom town:
“I saw the boots, too much I saw,
“Thy life if forfeit by the law;
“but if thou’lt leave this house to-day,
“Of what I’ve seen I’ll nothing say.”
The captain swore ’twas a mistake,
“I’m not,” said he, “so great a rake,
“I had a swimming in my head,
“That made me lie upon the bed;
:And, if you will go up the stair,
“You’ll find the boots still lying there.”

Away the wife and Ezekiel went,
He found the boots, and was content.

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).

The Boots, Part One!

July 19, 2017

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Check back tomorrow for the conclusion to this poem.  Enjoy!

The Boots (Part 1)

Think not, my friend, you love in vain,
Though Chloe treats you with disdain;
Nay, though she frowns at all you say,
And, scornful, turns her head away:
Yet let not that disturb your mind,
The fair one may at least be kind:
For there’s in love one happy hour,
In which few women have the power
To cross a wanton inclination,
Or struggle with the strong temptation:
But if the lucky minute’s lost,
You never can a conquest boast.

I know the truth of what I say,
I’ve let that minute slip away;
Long time I waited, but in vain,
It never more came back again:
But I in love affairs was raw,
And of the fair one stood in awe:
I thought her chaste as turtle-dove,
For I confess I was in love;
And freely own it, to my shame,
That it was I who was to blame;
As she has oftentimes confessed,
And of my folly made a jest.
But men are wiser grown of late,
And real love is gone out of date;
Few know the soft respectful passion,
While lewdness is become the fashion;
Seducing widows, maidens, wives,
Is all the pleasure of the lives;
And though they find the fair one shy,
And what they ask with scorn deny;
Yet they do not their suit give over,
Resistance but inflames them more:
And though at first their projects fail,
They think with patience to prevail:
The lucky minute watch with care,
And hoe at last to gain the fair.

Such men as these, I just confess,
Both meet with and deserve success:That perseverance will prevail,
I shall illustrate by a tale.

A handsome captain, young and gay,
With some dragoons at Limerick lay,
And with a quaker quartered there,
whose wife was to a wonder fair:
The captain viewed her with surprise,
Admired her features, shape, and eyes:
She seemed so formed to give delight,
That, quite transported with the sight,
He scarcely could conceal the flame,
Raised in his bosom by the dame.

The quaker knew his wife was fair,
And did not far advance in years,
He was not free from jealous fears;
Since Judith, spite of all her dress,
Was full of love and wantonness:
Was ever smiling, always gay,
Yet she had never gone astray;
But what she had not done, she might, —
This kept Ezekiel in a fright.

The captain, though exceeding young,
Had wit and a deluding tongue;
whenever he with Ezekiel sat,
He still complained of this and that,
And seemed to be so very nice,
He scarce could pardon any vice;
Regretting all the crying crimes,
That were so frequent in our times:
At drunkenness he loudly railed,
And swearing that too much prevailed,
Against uncleanness much inveighed
And gravely said he was a maid.
Thus did he talk, in hopes to gain
Ezekiel’s favor, but in vain;
The quaker was not apt to bite,
But thought him a young hypocrite,
And always was upon his guard,
Nor for his cant a farthing cared.

But, when with Judith left alone,
The youthful captain changed his tone;
He talked of love, of flames, and darts,
Of killing eyes, and wounded hearts:
And, falling down upon his knees,
Did on her slender fingers seize;”
And swore that he would die of grief,
If she denied him kind relief.

To be continued tomorrow . . .

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).

Let’s Get a Translation!

July 18, 2017

During my previous career in law enforcement, I was able to speak a little Spanish and communicate on the simple stuff.   But very now and then, an actual interpreter with more advanced language skills was required.  And while everyone knows and understands what an interpreter is, there is quite the variety of other words that you could use instead (see below).

interpreter

\ in-tur-pri-ter \, noun;

1.  a person who interprets.
2.  a person who provides an oral translation between speakers who speak different languages.
3.  Computers.
a.  hardware or software that transforms one statement at a time of program written in a high-level language into a sequence of machine actions and executes the statement immediately before going on to transform the next statement.
Compare compiler (def 2).
b.  an electromechanical device that reads the patterns of holes in punched cards and prints the same data on the cards, so that they can be read more conveniently by people.

But according to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, here are some options (some better than others) to help extend your vocabulary (depending on your specific need or usage):

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.  Definitions courtesy of http://www.dictionary.com

Tumbling Torrent!

July 17, 2017

Rushing TorrentHere is a second piece that I was able to acquire from Charles R. Murphy during his spring 2017 painting potluck.  The title: Tumbling Torrent; the artist: Charles R. Murphy; the medium: watercolor; the genre: impressionistic.  This particular piece had an added bonus . . . on the reverse of the painting, there seemed to be a “study” of trees (Check back later.  I’ll post this image in the not too distant future.)

What a Tree-t!

July 16, 2017

PAM-TreeHere is another exceptional work of art that I discovered last month while at the Phoenix Art Museum.  This sculpture, by Rebecca Campbell, is entitled “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?” and “is composed of a tree wrapped in black velvet, standing in a base of salt and with tiny, windex-filled glass birds sitting on its branches” (from the media release).  Campbell explained that her inspiration for the sculpture came from seeing a group of burned trees against a stark snowy background.

Here’s a link to an interview with the artist.

Cheesecake of the Month – July 2017!

July 15, 2017

Last month, a recipe was circulating around facebook (courtesy of Lindsay and her Life, Love and Sugar blog) that I can’t wait to try . . .

Kahlua Coffee Brownie Cheesecake

The bottom crust is basically a brownie onto which you put the kahlua-coffee cheesecake batter and then top the cheesecake with a heavenly ganache and garnish with kahlua-flavored whipped cream.  Yum!

Here’s the recipe.