Archive for October, 2016

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2016

Today would have normally been the day I post “Amazing Adjectives, Number Eight!  However, being Halloween, I found a topic that is more worthy of some interesting synonyms instead of adjectives.  The word I chose to highlight today: zombie; the synonyms I found (including a couple that I had never heard of before: lich and draugr):

The types of the “undead”


Photo courtesy of Robert Bejil (Knott 017) from Flickr

  • ghoul
  • jaingshi
  • lich
  • mummy
  • skeleton
  • revenant
  • vampire
  • wight
  • draugr

The lich, is a type of undead creature from fantasy fiction.
The draugr or draug is an undead creature from Norse mythology.

The forms of “incorporeal spirits”

  • Grim Reaper
  • banshee
  • ghost
  • spectre
  • phantom
  • poltergeist
  • shadow person
  • wraith

College Football 2016, Week Nine!

October 30, 2016

The Spartan skid continues with their loss to the University of Michigan yesterday.  And, the number of undefeated teams continues to shrink.  There are now only five unbeaten teams remaining (Alabama, Michigan, Clemson, Washington, and Western Michigan).  The Big Ten Conference has five teams in the AP top-25 rankings:   Michigan [#2], Ohio State [#6],  Nebraska [#7], Wisconsin [#11], and Penn State [#24], but some of these may change slightly following yesterday’s games.

Next up for the Spartans: on the road to face the fighting Illini of Illinois.   Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Nebraska (#7) losing to Wisconsin (#11) by six (6) points in overtime.
Baylor (#8) losing to unranked Texas by one (1) point.
West Virginia (#10) losing to unranked Oklahoma State.
Boise State (#13) losing to unranked Wyoming by two (2) points.
Tennessee (#18) losing to unranked South Carolina by three (3) points.
Navy (#22) losing to unranked South Florida by seven (7) points.

The close calls this week (games that were won by a touchdown or less) included:
Louisville (#5) defeating unranked Virginia by seven (7) points.
Ohio State (#6) defeating unranked Northwestern by four (4) points.
Virginia Tech (#25) defeating unranked Pittsburgh by three (3) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Clemson (#3) defeating Florida State (#12) by three (3) points.
Washington (#4) defeating Utah (#17) by seven (7) points.

99 Great Ways to Save (Part 8)!

October 29, 2016

In the July /August issue of the AARP Bulletin, several experts offer tips and tricks that will help you save money in a variety of categories: travel, technology, home, finance, style, food, fun, getting there (auto), health, and entertainment.  Part 8 will be the getting there (auto) category (tips courtesy of Jack Gillis [author The Car Book], and Phillip Reed [auto expert at NerdWallet]).

71.  Keep car transactions separate (price for new, selling trade, arranging financing).
72. Negotiate up from the invoice rather than down from the sticker.
73. Avoid extras when buying a new car.
74. Base tire purchases on the government’s tire-rating system.
75. Check your air filter.
76. Check your alignment.
77. Check your gas cap (loose or missing?).
78. Avoid service contracts or extended warranties.
79. Time your shopping.
80. Skip the expensive brand (Lexus, Infiniti, Acura).
81. Don’t change good oil.

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2016, p. 27-28.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Two!

October 28, 2016

Did you know . . .

. . . that penguins have an organ above their eyes that converts seawater to freshwater?  Additionally, here are some other “penguin” fun facts that you may not have heard:

  • the only bird that can swim but cannot fly is a penguin (Real Fact #121)
  • penguins can jump six (6) feet (Real Fact #756)
  • Gentoo penguins propose to their lifelong mate with a pebble (Real Fact #997)
  • Norway once knighted a penguin (Real Fact #1011)

Source: Snapple “Real Fact #121, #131, #756, #997, #1011”

Happy Birthday Roy!

October 27, 2016

roy_lichtensteinToday marks the birthday of Roy Fox Lichtenstein, one of the leading artists of the new art movement (along with Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, James Rosenquist and others) whose painting has been described as “pop art through parody” in a comic book style.
His most famous works include:
Drowning Girl
Oh Jeff … I Love You, Too … But …

I probably will never own a Lichtenstein, but I certainly admire his style.

Source: photo courtesy of Eric Koch / Anefo (CC BY-SA 3.0)

And All That Jazz!

October 26, 2016

JazzHere is another original painting (acrylic) that I acquired last summer while vacationing in the Leelanau and Grand Traverse counties of Michigan.  I found this piece at the 56th Annual Outdoor Art Fair  (sponsored by the Crooked Tree Arts Center) on the campus of the Northwestern Michigan College on the last Saturday of July.  I have already collected a couple of other paintings by this particular artist (Deborah Hoover).  The title of this one: “Flickering Colors,” and it really brightens up the hallway in which I have hung it.  This piece is most aptly named . . . I believe it was the vibrant and flickering colors that drew my eyes to this piece; I knew immediately that this one would be going home with me.   Alas.

Not Just For Kids!

October 25, 2016

Halloween, which is just around the corner, used to be a holiday primarily for the kids — costumes, trick or treating, and lots of candy. However, lately, adults are becoming the dominant consumers for this holiday — grownup parties and events, home decor, and costumes (adults, children, and pets).

According to the National Retail Federation, here were the top spending categories:

  • Candy – $2.1 billion
  • Home Decor – $1.9 billion
  • Adult Costumes – $1.2 billion
  • Child Costumes – $950 million
  • Pet Costumes – $350 million

So, Happy Halloween (next week) one and all.  Party on, Wayne!

Source AARP: The Magazine, October/November issue.

College Football 2016, Week Eight!

October 24, 2016

The Spartans were on the road again this week (to visit the Maryland Terrapins) and lost their fifth game in a row; I think it is safe to say that there will be no “bowl” game in our future this year.  There are only nine (9) unbeaten teams remaining in the AP top-25. The Big Ten Conference now has five (5) teams in the AP top-25 (three (3) in the top-10):  Michigan [#2], Ohio State [#6], Nebraska [#7], Wisconsin [#11], and Penn State [#24].

Next up for the Spartans: at home to face the Wolverines of Michigan.   Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Ohio State (#2) losing to unranked Penn State by three (3) points.
Houston (#11) losing to unranked SMU.
Arkansas (#17) losing to Auburn (#21).
Ole Miss (#23) losing to LSU (#25).

The close calls this week (games that were won by a touchdown or less) included:
Boise State (#14) defeating BYU byh one (1) point.
Oklahoma (#16) defeating unranked Texas Tech by seven (7) points.
Utah (#19) defeating unranked UCLA by seven (7) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Alabama (#1) defeating Texas A&M (#6).

Gluteus Maximus!

October 23, 2016

Happy Sunday!  Anatomy and Physiology was one of the most amazing classes I have ever taken.  And while I have not explored a career in medicine or health, I can still remember many of the terms.  The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle of the buttocks.   Some of the standard definitions for “buttocks” include:

Usually, buttocks.

  • (in humans) either of the two fleshy protuberances forming the lower and back part of the trunk. 
  • (in animals) the rump.

Sometimes, buttocks. Nautical. the after most portion of a hull above the water line and in front of the rudder, merging with the run below the water line.

So, as I was perusing my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate I ran across all of these other ways to say “buttocks.”  Enjoy!

Additionally, if you wish to describe someone as having excessively large buttocks, use steatopygic; and for having well-shaped buttocks, callipygian.

Source: and The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

99 Great Ways to Save (Part 7)!

October 22, 2016

In the July /August issue of the AARP Bulletin, several experts offer tips and tricks that will help you save money in a variety of categories: travel, technology, home, finance, style, food, fun, getting there, health, and entertainment.  Part 7 will be the fun category (tips courtesy of Jonathan Jarvis [director, National Parks Service], Curtis Pride [President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition], and Marissa Stephenson [senior editor Men’s Journal]).

62. Visit on fee-free days.
63. Get free or low-cost passes to national parks.
64. Find a park in your backyard.
65. Perform body-weight exercise.
66. Use free fitness apps.
67. Join a health or nutrition challenge.
68. Join a gym in the summer.
69. Consider small-group training.
70. Ask local retailers about free fitness classes.

Source: AARP Bulletin, July/August 2016, p. 27.