Words of Wisdom (and Advice)!

June 26, 2017

Last week I received a book as a gift (thank you Dee!) that outlines the ten principles that Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) learned during his Navy SEAL training. These principles helped him overcome assorted challenges throughout his Navy career as well as his life.   Anyone can apply these principles to their lives to foster change and I would highly recommend this book to all.

The book: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life . . . and Maybe the World

The principles:

  • start your day with a completed task (i.e., make your bed)
  • you can’t go it alone
  • only the size of your heart matters
  • life’s not fair, drive on
  • failure can make you stronger
  • you must dare greatly
  • stand up to the bullies
  • rise to the occasion
  • give people hope
  • never, ever quit

Was Gaudí Gaudy?!

June 25, 2017
Sagrada Familia nave roof

Ceiling of the nave

In my opinion, no, but very artistic.  Happy Birthday Antoni!  On this the anniversary of Antoni Gaudí‘s birth, let’s take a moment to honor and acknowledge one of the most famous Spanish architects who spent more than 40 years designing the Temple of the Sagrada Familia (most visited attraction and Gaudí’s most famous ) in Barcelona, Spain.  And, while the Temple is not yet complete (the anticipated completion date is in 2026 — the centenary of Gaudí’s death), it does not diminish this great accomplishment.  I was privileged to have been able to visit Barcelona (in 1998 or 1999) and got to see this structure firsthand.  Truly remarkable.

A First-Time for Everything!

June 24, 2017

In addition to this being one of my older brothers’ birthday (Happy Birthday Jim!), and some friends’ anniversary (Happy Anniversary Tanya and Bob), and, the ninth anniversary of the creation of my blog, today also represents the day that the first European (after the Vikings) to set foot on the North American continent (John Cabot, 1497).   Cabot embarked from Bristol, England, on May 24th and arrived on the coast of either Newfoundland or Maine on June 24th.

In addition, June 24th was the day for several other “firsts,” such as the first . . .

  • Christian religious service in English on the Pacific Coast  (San Francisco Bay, CA, 1579)
  • woman in America to appeal for the right to vote (Margaret Brent, 1647)
  • tethered balloon flight (Baltimore, MD, 1784)
  • Episcopal bishop who was African-American (Reverand Samuel David Ferguson, 1885)
  • Army officer killed in battle in the Spanish-American war (Captain Allan Kissam Capron, 1898)
  • land battle in the Spanish-American war (Las Guasimas, Cuba, 1898
  • federal law requiring radios on ships (Wireless Ship Act, 1910)
  • radar detection of airplanes (Dr. Alberte Hoyt Taylor and Leo C. Young [Naval Aircraft Radio Laboratory], 1930)
  • federal administrator who was an African-American woman (Mary Jane McLeod Bethune, 1936)
  • political convention to be televised (22nd Republican Convention, 1940)
  • Presidential candidate who was renominated after a defeat (Thomas Edmund Dewey, 1948)
  • picturephone commercial service (New York, Chicago, Washington, DC, 1964)
  • cabinet member to serve in four different capacities (Elliott Lee Richardson, 1976)
  • internet camera showing the site of a presidential assassination (Dallas, TX, 1999

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

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twenty-Nine!

June 23, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “names.”  Do you know from which animal the Canary Islands got their name?

Nope, it was not the canary birds.  Rather, they derived their name from a now extinct race of large dog (Canis in Latin) that freely roamed the island.

On the flip side, the canary bird is so named because they actually did come from the Canary Islands.

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

Turbulence!

June 22, 2017

I’m not the most traveled person in the world (nor am I the least traveled), and certainly I have had my share of frustrating experiences during the course of my travels, but rarely have the issues been up in the air.  Yes, there have been “minor” bouts of turbulence (the violent, unpredictable bursts of air that cause the plane to dip and dive wildly), but all in all, I have not had any serious turbulence in all of my years of flying.

Here are some interesting facts that perhaps you didn’t know about turbulence.

  • It is the most dangerous for the airline employees.
  • Pilots usually decelerate to a “turbulence penetration speed.”  At slower speeds, you are less likely to sustain damage from the shaking that can occur.
  • Jet streams, while helpful at your back can cause turbulence when hitting head-on.
  • All of the math has been done, and turbulence alone will not cause the plane to go down.
  • Turbulence in unpredictable, you just never know when it will hit.
  • Technology has been developed that can detect conditions for turbulence on the fly (the Light Detection and Radar tool (LIDAR) usually installed in the nose of the craft).
  • The industry continues to work on even newer technologies to assist in the understanding of air flows.
  • Turbulence is particularly bad in North America (we can thank the Rocky Mountains for effecting our jet streams).
  • Best solution: fly above the turbulence, but to do this you must pass through the tropopause which can in itself cause turbulence.
  • Give larger aircraft a wide berth — they can create their own “wake turbulence.”
  • Turbulence is not a safety issue; it is so normal and harmless that is is considered more of a convenience issue.
  • Planes are designed to endure way more than what occasional turbulence can deliver (i.e., the wings will NOT fall off from turbulence).

So, relax, it may scare the living daylights out of you, but on any properly functioning airplane, turbulence will not kill you.

Source: http://www.destinationtips.com

Muy Caliente!

June 21, 2017

800px-Barrel_cactus_with_a_viewWelcome to Phoenix!  I arrived last Thursday (to attend the Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association) and Thursday has been the “coldest” day of the week thus far at 109 degrees fahrenheit.  It has been gradually getting warmer each day throughout the week peaking around 118 degrees on Monday and the temps will remain in the one hundred and teens range through the end of the week.  What a fitting start to the official first day of summer (which was actually at 11:24 PM last night, the 20th)  The good news: less than 10% humidity each day and no precipitation.  Positively glorious.  Hot, but glorious!

Amazing Adjectives, Number Eighteen!

June 20, 2017

Here is a word from the Latin flavescens, the present participle of the infinitive flavescere, meaning “to become yellow,” from flavens “yellow, golden.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“Rene finally achieved her goal of developing a distinctly flavescent hibiscus.”

flavescent

\ fluhvesuh nt \, adjective;

 1. turning yellow; yellowish

Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

Small Print!

June 19, 2017

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

Small Print

I knew a judge, alas the day!
Death took the honest man away;
He was my true, my steady friend,
And so continued to the end:
Though old, he had a deal of wit,
Whole days we would together sit;
Together sup, together dine,
Sometimes drink arrack, sometimes wine.
Pen, ink, and paper still was by,
For oft we did the rhyming try;
Our lines were from ill-nature free,
This made us never disagree.

One day, when wearied on the bench,
He to the tavern went to quench
His raging thirst; I met him there,
And while he did the bowl prepare,
I from my pocket gravely drew
A verse that was entirely new.
On this he took his glasses out,
And straightway clapped them cross his snout,
But thought it would not be amiss,
Ere he began, to go and p—–,
The careless waiter had forgot
To set down a clean chamber-pot,
So to the door the honest judge
Did, without once complaining trudge,
But thoughtlessly (as I suppose)
Still kept the glasses on his nose.

While thus employed, a maid came by,
And did his dwarfish member spy;
But, much offended with the sight,
Cried out, “Your honor’s in the right,
“With spectacles, perhaps, you’ll see,
“What otherwise would hidden be;
“For me, I vow to God, I’d squint,
“If I were put to read such print.”

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.).

Oh Where, Oh Where Should I Retire?!

June 18, 2017

According to the 2016 United Movers Study (unitedvanlines.com/movers-study/move-for-retirement), the most tax-friendly states are as follows:

  1. Delaware (no tax on social security benefit)
  2. Florida (no tax on retirement income)
  3. Nevada (no inheritance or estate tax)
  4. South Carolina (no tax on social security benefit)
  5. Arizona (property tax break for seniors)
  6. New Mexico (tax rebates for those 65+)
  7. Idaho (no tax on social security benefit)
  8. Montana (No state sales tax)
  9. Maine (no tax on social security benefit)
  10. New Hampshire (no income tax)

Source: AARP Bulletin, June 2017

A Stitching Sampler!

June 17, 2017

Happy Saturday!  Here Stitching Sampleris a unique piece that has more than its share of sentimental value.  This is a needlework stitching sampler that was done by my grandmother (Naomi Peplinski) and just recently gifted to me by my late aunt (Shirley Withbroe) who just happened to love anything strawberry.  A wonderful keepsake that I will treasure forever.