Archive for February, 2017


February 28, 2017

“Some held knives, scalpels, syringes, objects he could not recognize tho their minatory nature was all too apparent.” (Usage example courtesy of


minuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee \, adjective;

  1.  menacing; threatening.

    Some additional synonyms might include the following: abusive, blustering, bulldozing, comminatory, fear-inspiring, hectoring, intimidating, menacing, ominous, terrorizing, and threatful.



College Basketball 2017, Week Seventeen!

February 27, 2017

What a happy week for Spartan fans.  The Spartans had a couple of home games this week and they found a way to win both of them!  They won easily on Thursday against the Cornhuskers of Nebraska, and had a positively awesome game against the #16 Badgers of Wisconsin (yesterday afternoon).  Woot!  The Big Ten only has three (3)  teams currently in the AP top-25 (but this could change later today since all three had losses this week): Purdue (#14), Wisconsin (#16),  and Maryland (#24).  Following the  Gonzaga (#1) loss over the weekend, who will be the new #1?  Villanova (who also lost)?  Kansas?  Can you tell it is almost March?  Let the madness begin!

Next up for the Spartans: finishing out the regular season with a couple of road games: at Illinois (Wednesday) and at Maryland (Sunday).    Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Gonzaga (#1) losing to unranked BYU.
Villanova (#2) losing to Butler (#22).
Arizona (#4) losing to UCLA (#5) by five (5) points.
Louisville (#7) losing to North Carolina.
Baylor (#9) losing to unranked Iowa State by three (3) points.
Duke (#10) losing to unranked Syracuse by three (3) points.
Duke (#10) losing to unranked Miami by five (5) points.
Purdue (#14) losing to unranked Michigan.
Cincinnati (#15) losing to unranked UCF by four (4) points.
Wisconsin (#16) losing to unranked Ohio State.
Virginia (#18) losing to unranked Miami by six (6) points in overtime.
Creighton (#23) losing to unranked Providence by two (2) points.
Maryland (#24) losing to unranked Minnesota.
Maryland (#24) losing to unranked Iowa.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Oregon (#6) defeating unranked Cal by three (3) points.
Oregon (#6) defeating unranked Stanford by two (2) points.
Baylor (#9) defeating unranked Oklahoma by six (6) points.
West Virginia (#12) defeating unranked TCU by one (1) point.
Purdue (#14) defeating unranked Penn State by four (4) points in overtime.
Florida State (#19) defeating unranked Clemson by two (2) points.
Notre Dame (#21) defeating unranked Georgia Tech by four (4) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Villinova (#2) defeating Creighton (#23).
Kwntucky (#11) defeating Florida (#13).


February 26, 2017

cautioniceberg_largeLife is unpredictable and just when you think things are cruising along without a hitch, something always surfaces as a gentle reminder that you really aren’t in as much control of the situation as you’d like.  Not to worry, nothing has happened to me lately, but rest assured, something will one of these days.  All you can do is hope for the best and deal with the adversity as best you can.  Exercise “caution” at every turn (and stay alert for the threat(s).  Here is a wonderful demotivator (courtesy of to help reinforce this idea.  Enjoy!

Everything Happens for a Reason!

February 25, 2017

I recently read a book entitled: Everything Happens for a Reason: Finding the True Meaning of the Events in Our Lives by Mira Kirshenbaum.  The author offers us a list of ten basic “reasons” that things happen; Ms. Kirshenbaum posits one underlying principle behind these reasons: “the good that comes out of the bad things that happen to you is to help you become your best most authentic self.”  The reasons:

  1. To help you feel at home in the world.
  2. To help you totally accept yourself.
  3. To show you that you can let go of fear.
  4. To bring you to the place where you can feel forgiveness.
  5. To help you uncover your true hidden talent.
  6. To give you what you need to find true love.
  7. To help you become stronger.
  8. To help you discover the play in life.
  9. To show you how to live with a sense of mission
  10. To help you become a truly good person.

I really do believe that things happen for a reason and this book has provided a framework for this that I can get my head around to help make sense of the why!

Source: Everything Happens for a Reason by Mira Kirshenbaum

Fun Fact Friday, Number Twelve!

February 24, 2017

Happy Friday!  Are you ready for the weekend?  Our fun fact today is in the category of quotations.  Do you know which American politician said “I was recently on a  tour of Latin America, and the only regret I have was that I didn’t study Latin harder in school so I could converse with those people”?

If you guessed former Vice President Dan Quayle you would be incorrect.  However, the quotation was attributed to him by Representative Claudine Schneider (Rhode Island) as she was making fun of him in a joke.

Have a great weekend!

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

NatureWorks 2017!

February 23, 2017

If you love nature and you love art, then this weekend’s NatureWorks Art Show and Sale is a must see event in Tulsa.  Held annually at Tulsa’s Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, this show brings together the top wildlife, western, and landscape artists from across the United States.  Last year I was able to pick up a few new pieces (see below) from some of my favorite artists (Christopher Westfall, Jerry Ricketson, and Matthew Higginbotham) while discovering other quality artists along the way (Virginia Stroud).  Who knows what artist’s work will catch my eye this weekend . . . this show never disappoints.


Pure Strength by Virginia Stroud

Evening Calm

Evening Calm by Jerry Ricketson


Prairie Grasses by Matthew Higginbotham


Cloudburst by Christopher Westfall

One Wish Each!

February 22, 2017

Happy Wednesday!  We are half way through the work week, so here is a bit of homeland security/TSA humor to help get us through today and a bit closer to the weekend.  Enjoy!

A New York fireman, an American mother of three, and a TSA supervisor are the only survivors of a plane crash in the Pacific Ocean. They all wash up on a desert island where, half drowned, the fireman spots a lamp in the sand. As soon as he touches it, a genie emerges in a cloud of smoke.

“I am the Genie of the Lamp,” he intones. “Because you have released me, I will grant you each one wish.”

The mother breaks into tears. “Oh, thank you, thank you!” she cries. “I just want to fly back home to my babies!”

“Very well,” says the genie, and a pontoon plane appears by the shore, its pilot beckoning to her. Happily she runs off and climbs aboard.

“All I want,” says the fireman, “is to return to my fire station in New York. People there rely on me to help them in times of trouble.”

“Very well,” intones the genie, and another plane pops out of nowhere to idle next to the first. The fireman runs out and climbs aboard.

“And what is your wish?” the genie asks the TSA supervisor.

“Get those people back here. They haven’t been properly searched!”

Source: unknown

Speaking of Tuesday . . .!

February 21, 2017

Happy Tuesday!  And speaking of Tuesday, one of my favorite books was Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom.  If you’re not familiar with the book, the gist of it is as follows (courtesy of Shmoop):

“Morrie is an extremely lovable college professor who—in his late sixties—finds out that he is dying. The story of his last few weeks on earth is told by Mitch, one of Morrie’s former students, who happens to bump into him during his final days.”

So in light of the fact that it is Tuesday, here are a few memorable quotations from the book.  Enjoy!

“Accept who you are; and revel in it.”

“Death ends a life, not a relationship.”

“Don’t let go too soon, but don’t hold on too long.”

“I give myself a good cry if I need it, but then I concentrate on all good things still in my life.”

Source: and

College Basketball 2017, Week Sixteen!

February 20, 2017

The inconsistencies continue for the Spartans  — they won earlier in the week (Ohio State) but lost on the weekend (Purdue).  And with just four games remaining in the regular season (two against ranked teams), this trend could continue.  The good news: both games this week are at home (which means both games next week are on the road).  Alas, a bit of a down year. The Big Ten continues to only have three (3)  teams currently in the AP top-25: Wisconsin (#11), Purdue (#16),  and Maryland (#23).  Undefeated Gonzaga (#1) continues its #1 ranking and would probably have to lose in order to get bumped out of the top position.  March Madness is right around the corner . . .  are you ready?

Next up for the Spartans: a couple of home games, against Nebraska (Thursday) then Wisconsin (Saturday).    Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Baylor (#4) losing to unranked Texas Tech by six (6) points.
Wisconsin (#11) losing to unranked Michigan by six (6) points.
Florida State (#17) losing to unranked Pittsburgh.
Creighton (#20) losing to unranked Seton Hall by six (6) points.
South Carolina (#21) losing to unranked Arkansas.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Kansas (#3) defeating West Virginia (#9) by four (4) points in overtime.
Kansas (#3) defeating Baylor (#4)  by two (2) points.
Louisville (#8) defeating unranked Syracuse by four (4) points in overtime.
Louisville (#8) defeating unranked Virginia Tech by four (4) points.
West Virginia (#9) defeating unranked Texas Tech in double overtime.
Duke (#12) defeating unranked Wake Forest by five (5) points.
Kentucky (#13) defeating unranked Georgia by five (5) points.
Florida (#15) defeating unranked Mississippi State by five (5) points.
SMU (#19) defeating unranked Tulane by five (5) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Kansas (#3) defeating West Virginia (#9) by four (4) points in overtime.
North Carolina (#10) defeating Virginia (#14).
Duke (#12) defeating Virginia (#14).

The Sutler!

February 19, 2017

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

The Sutler

It happened in Flanders, when Louis le Grand
Beat the allies each year under William’s command.
The confederates seeing they fought but in vain
Did wisely  resolve to break up the campaign;
The weather was cold, to quarters they went,
But whether to Brusssels, to Bruges, or Ghent,
Or Bergen-op-zoom, it doth not avail
A groat to the public, far less to my tale;
But, as I was saying, the tents were all struck,
Amongst them a sutler’s, who had the good luck
To have a large purse to the strings full of gold,
In return for the meat and the wine he had sold,
A large covered wagon he had of his own,
And four as good horses as ever were known:
In this he enclosed his wife and his pelf,
And, for saving expenses, he drove it himself.

I often have heard it, and I think it is right,
A purse very heavy makes a heart very light;
‘Twas so with the sutler, who whistled all day,
Till he met with a party of French by the way,
That seized on his wagon, searched him and his wife,
And put him in bodily fear of his life:
He cursed his hard fortune, and his cruel stars,
And railed at the men who delighted in wars:
His goods taken from him and stripped to the skin,
In sorrowful pickle he went to an inn,
Where he sighed and he grieved, and complained of his fate.
At last he was cheered by his kind loving mate,
Who said to him, “Robin, pray be not cast down
“In a pint of Geneva our sorrow we’ll drown.”
“Alas!” said the man, “you’re distracted, I think
“I have not a farthing to pay for the drink.”
“No matter,” she said, and looked with a smile,
“I did the damned party, in some sort, beguile;”
Then drew out a purse, twice as big as your fist,
“Thought they searched me,” said she, “this treasure they missed;”
“then, prithee, be cheerful.”  This gave him new life,
He wept, and he laughed, and he ogled his wife,
And leering upon her, said, “Tell me, my dear,
“Where was it you hid the purse I see here?”
She smiled on her spouse, then laughed in his face,
“I hit it,” said she, “in a certain place,
“With which you’re acquainted.”  He said, — “My dear life,
“I see you’re a careful and provident wife;
“You’ve done very well, but you’d had more to brag on,
“If you there had disposed of the horses and wagon.”

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.).