Archive for March, 2017

Amazing Adjectives, Number Fourteen!

March 28, 2017
Sometimes you run across words that are highly descriptive!  Here’s one that takes us back to Bacchanalian orgies.   Per The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate, “A Supreme Court justice is reputed to have said of ithyphallic writing, ‘I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it.'”


\ ith-uhfal-ik \, adjective;
1. of or relating to the phallus carried in ancient festivals of Bacchus.
2. grossly indecent; obscene.
3. (Classical Prosody). noting or pertaining to any of several meters employed in hymns sung in Bacchic processions.

4. a poem in ithyphallic meter.
5. an indecent poem.
Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.

March Madness 2017, Final Four!

March 27, 2017

The second weekend of the NCAA Tournament has come to a close and we have reached the pinnacle of the tournament — the Final Four teams!  And as usual, probably not the four teams that the majority of fans would have picked.  Only two of the #1 seeds survived along with a number three seed and a number seven seed.  Cinderella is alive and well.  What another exciting tournament for college basketball fans.

The upsets in the tournament during the second round this second weekend included:
Kansas (#1) losing to Oregon (#3).
Florida (#4) losing to South Carolina (#7)

The Final Four teams remaining (by regional):

East Regional
South Carolina (#7)

Midwest Regional
Oregon (#3)

South Regional
North Carolina (#1)

West Regional
Gonzaga (#1)

The Borrower!

March 26, 2017

Happy Sunday!  As we begin the wrap-up th weekend, how about a bit of library humor?  Enjoy!

A blonde stormed up to the front desk of the library and said, “I have a complaint!”

“Yes, Ma’am?” said the librarian looking up at her.
“I borrowed a book last week and it was horrible.”

Puzzled by her complaint the librarian asked, “What was wrong with it?”
“It had way too many characters and there was no plot whatsoever,” said the blonde.

The librarian nodded and said, “Ahhh. So you must be the person who took our phone book.”

March Madness 2017, Elite Eight!

March 25, 2017

Happy Saturday!  As we reach the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, the field has been halved yet again to the Elite Eight with the Final Four yet to be determined by the end of the weekend.  Three (3) number one seed still remain (Kansas, North Carolina, and Gonzaga), but a couple of Cinderellas are still hanging around (South Carolina [#7 seed] and Xavier [#11 seed]) so it will be fun to see how the games go today and Sunday.

The upsets in the tournament during the first round of the second weekend included:
Baylor (#3) losing to South Carolina (#7).
Arizona (#2) losing to Xavier (#11).

The teams remaining (by regional):

East Regional
Florida (#4)
South Carolina (#7)

Midwest Regional
Kansas (#1)
Oregon (#3)

South Regional (top four seeds advanced)
North Carolina (#1)
Kentucky (#2)

West Regional
Gonzaga (#1)
Xavier (#11)

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixteen!

March 24, 2017

Well that’s just peachy!  Today’s unique facts will center on peaches.  Were you aware that peaches were . . .

  • members of the almond family (Real Fact #21)? — hmm, their pits do look a bit like almonds?
  • also members of the rose family, along with apples and raspberries (Real Fact #422)?
  • the first fruit to be eaten on the moon (Real Fact #722)?

In addition, did you know that . . .

  • the game of basketball (as we enter NCAA March Madness) was first played using a soccer ball and two peach baskets (Real Fact #221)?
  • the phrase “you’re a real peach” originated from the tradition of giving peaches to loved ones (Real Fact #1017)?
  • George Washington was a successful liquor distributor, making rye whiskey, apple brandy, and peach brandy in his Mount Vernon distillery (Real Fact #1140)?


So, Would You Like to Live Longer?!

March 23, 2017

No one knows exactly how long they will live, but who doesn’t want to maximize their time in this world?  Here is a list of fifty (50) ways that if put into practice, could help you extend your life (obviously any medically-related “advice” should be vetted through your personal physician).

  1. Consider extra vitamin D (but too much could also be bad).
  2. Cut back on pain pills (including over-the-counter types)
  3. Please go to bed (get more than six hours per night)
  4. But don’t always go right to sleep (ah, the benefits of sex)
  5. Get (or stay) hitched
  6. Ripeness matters (fully ripe = more benefits)
  7. Say yes to that extra cup (of coffee)
  8. Frozen is fine (fruits and veggies)
  9. Go green (as in tea)
  10. Don’t sweeten with sugar
  11. Eat whole grains
  12. Spice it up (chili peppers)
  13. Drink whole milk (dairy fat can be good)
  14. Just add water (stay hydrated)
  15. Be food safe (keep and store food correctly)
  16. Eat less (stop when you feel full)
  17. End the day’s eating by 9:00 PM
  18. Eat your veggies
  19. Eat like the Greeks (i.e., Mediterranean diet)
  20. Or live like the Amish (tend to live longer with less hospitalization)
  21. Drink less
  22. Save your pennies (higher income = live longer)
  23. Or move to one of these states (California, New York, Vermont)
  24. Ponder a ponderosa (experience a sense of awe; nature, music, art)
  25. Go nuts (10 grams a day)
  26. Find your purpose (have something to look forward to)
  27. Embrace your faith
  28. Vacation or else (take some time off)
  29. Consider mountain life (live in higher altitude)
  30. Get a friend with four legs (pet ownership)
  31. Keep watching lol cat videos (laughter is important)
  32. Get social (reduce lonliness)
  33. Watch your grandkids
  34. Try to stay out of the hospital
  35. Monitor yourself (don’t wait for annual checkup)
  36. Visit the hardware store (monitor carbon monoxide, radon, and lead levels)
  37. You need to read (30 minutes per day)
  38. Toss that rug (risk for fall)
  39. Practice home fire drills (know what to do in advance, have a plan)
  40. Find a woman doctor
  41. Make peace with family
  42. Take the stairs – every day
  43. Trade in ol’ Bessie (news car all have high-tech safety features)
  44. Beware the high-tech dash (distracted driving)
  45. And drive less
  46. Better yet, walk (exercise best prescription for long life)
  47. Just not in the street
  48. And go a little faster  (exceed one meter per second)
  49. Get fidgety (don’t “sit” too long)
  50. Read the AARP Bulletin (shameless plug)

Source: AARP Bulletin, March 2017, p. 23-30.

Are You Responsible?!

March 22, 2017

Happy Wednesday!  Congratulations, you are nearly halfway through the week.  I ran across a great joke the other day  . . .

EMPLOYER: We need someone who is highly responsible.

APPLICANT: In that case, I’m your man.  At my last job, every time something went wrong, they told me I was responsible.

As I pondered the whole idea of responsible (and responsibility) I remembered a couple of quotations on the topic that really hit the mark:

“Responsibilities are given to him on whom trust rests. Responsibility is always a sign of trust.”  (James Cash Penney)

“The price of greatness is responsibility.”  (Winston Churchill)


March 21, 2017

I can think of many examples of voices that could be described as orotund.  Military, police, actors (stage especially), radio announcers, politicians, etc. (to name just a few). “He pitched his orotund voice upon me as if he were giving a command in gale at sea.”  From: A Republic Without a President and Other Stories by Herbert Ward.


\ awruh-tuhnd, ohr– \, adjective;

1. (of the voice or speech) characterized by strength, fullness, richness,and clearness.
2. (of a style of speaking) pompous or bombastic.

March Madness 2017, Down to Sixteen!

March 20, 2017

The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament has come to a close and the field has been cut to the Sweet Sixteen.  As with the first round of games, there were a couple of surprises (a #1 seed, two #2 seeds, and one #3 seed all lost this round). The biggest surprise?  Villanova (#1 overall seed and the first #1 seed to lose) losing to Wisconsin (#8 seed).  But several close games and several lower seeds moving on.  All in all, a very entertaining weekend of play for college basketball fans.  The Madness continues!

Next up for the Spartans?  No one . . . . until next season!    Go Green!

The upsets in the tournament during the second round this first weekend included:
Villanova (#1) losing to Wisconsin (#8).
Louisville (#2) losing to Michigan (#7).
Duke (#2) losing to South Carolina (#7)
Florida State (#3) losing to Xavier (#11).

The teams remaining (by regional):

East Regional
Baylor (#3)
Florida (#4)
South Carolina (#7)
Wisconsin (#8)

Midwest Regional
Kansas (#1)
Oregon (#3)
Purdue (#4)
Michigan (#7)

South Regional (top four seeds advanced)
North Carolina (#1)
Kentucky (#2)
UCLA (#3)
Butler (#4)

West Regional
Gonzaga (#1)
Arizona (#2)
West Virginia (#4)
Xavier (#11)

Foul Play!

March 19, 2017

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

Foul Play


Walking through Fleet-street on a time,
I saw a prentice, in his prime,
Come running from a house in haste,
As if by twenty devils chased:
His face with blood was all besmeared.
And on his head a wound appeared.
This sight about him quickly drew
Of gazing fools and idle crew;
Till some one wiser than therest,
Called Lovell, thus the youth addressed:

“Dear cousin, I am quite confounded
“To see your head thus sadly wounded;
“Pray, tell me, Will, who did this deed?”
“For I am vexed to see you bleed.”

William replied, “I’ll here declare:
“My master’s wife is very fair,m
“But he’s an old and fumbling beast,
“And jealousy disturbs his breast:
“For, wanting youth, and wanting vigor,
“He’s angry at my handsome figure,
“And thinks, in spite of our concealing,
“His wife and I have private dealing.
“This put him to a deal of pain,
“And has at last quite turned his brain:
“And now he lurked within the house,
“On purpose to surprise his spouse;
“Who, being from suspicion free,
“Had sat her down upon my knee;
“And, kissing me, as she was wont,
“I kindly took her by the —–;
“On this the wretch (good Master Lovell)
“Came in with a cursed paring shovel.
“And, like a villain knocked me down,
“Making this gash across my crown:
“Again he did his blow repeat,
“Till I was fain to make retreat:
“This is the reason why I bleed.”
“Your case is very hard indeed,”
Said Lovell: “let me understand,
“Had you got nothing in your hand,
“To save you from the cuckold’s stroked?”
Will, frowning, said, “None of your jokes;
“I had his wife’s —–, Master Lovell,
“But what’s a —– to a paring shovel?”

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.).