Archive for June, 2017

Fun Fact Friday, Number Thirty!

June 30, 2017

Today’s real facts (courtesy of are all about alligators.  Did you know that . . .

  • an alligator can go through 3,000 teeth in a lifetime? (Real Fact #754)
  • Herbert Hoover’s son had two pet alligators that were occasionally allowed to run loose throughout the White House? (Real Fact #1158)
  • President John Quincy Adams’ pet alligator lived in a White House bathroom?  (Real Fact #1211)
  • The Florida Everglades is the only place in the world where both alligators and crocodiles live together? (Real Fact #1390)



June 29, 2017

MediocrityPenguins_grandeHow often have you found yourself in the situation of saying to yourself that something you are working on is “good enough,” or that it is not worth putting any more effort into?  You could be suffering from a dose of “mediocrity.” Then again, you may also realize that while it is good to strive for excellence, perfection is never truly achieved and “good enough” can sometimes be an excellent compromise rather than being a slave to perfectionistic tendencies.  Regardless, here is a humorous look at mediocrity, courtesy of, that should hopefully bring a smile to your face!  Hang in there, the weekend is nearly upon us.

Advice From . . . !

June 28, 2017

If you are looking for a creative gift idea, check out the Your True Nature website and their “Advice from . . . ” series of inspirational items.  I was recently gifted one of these laminated bookmarks (thanks again, Dee) and I will certainly be visiting this website on a more regular basis for many of my gift-giving ideas.

The bookmark I selected: Advice from a Golden Eagle

  • Spread Your Wings
  • Have a Clear Vision
  • Soar to New Heights
  • Keep a Keen Perspective
  • Swoop Down On Opportunities
  • Live Large
  • Make Golden Memories


Your True Nature:
Dig deep, Stand true,
Reach for the light
and Enjoy the view.
Drink lots of water,
Go out on a limb,
and Be true to
your true nature.


A Dedication!

June 27, 2017

I think it is fair to say that we’ve all seen an occasional “inscription” inside a book, or possibly on a gravestone.  And while “inscription” seems to be a fairly common word, you can certainly use some other descriptive and less common words to get the point across as well, if you so choose (see below).


\ in-skrip-shuh n \, noun;

1.  something inscribed.
2.  a historical, religious, or other record cut, impressed, painted, or written on stone, brick, metal, or other hard surface.
3.  a brief, usually informal dedication, as of a book or a work of art.
4.  a note, as a dedication, that is written and signed by hand in a book.
5.  the act of inscribing.
6.  Pharmacology. the part of a prescription indicating the drugs and the amounts to be mixed.

British.1.  an issue of securities or stocks.
2.  a block of shares in a stock, as bought or sold by one person.

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

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.


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.


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!