Archive for August, 2017


August 31, 2017

UnBirthdaySo, when Emily Webb was the featured artist in the Visitor’s Gallery of the Administrative Services Building on the Broken Arrow campus of Northeastern State University last month, I found myself drawn to a number of her works. Her exhibit was titled: Alice in Wonderland Inspired Art and included a smorgasbord of abstract designs and colors. Emily was even on campus and set up in the gallery space one day for a painting demonstration.  Here is the one that I took home.  Title: UnBirthday, Medium: Acrylic.  And it fit perfectly in one of the few remaining “blank” spots on a bedroom wall.


August 30, 2017

ProgressFix_largeHappy Wednesday!  Here we are, at the middle of the week which to me seems like a perfect time to interject some humor by way of this new demotivator (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com).  As always, just enough crassness to make you laugh, but with just enough veracity to make you wonder if you should be laughing.   So, as we wrap up the week and start our downhill descent into the weekend, let’s knuckle down and stave off irrelevancy!

Talk About Abuse!

August 29, 2017

The word abuse is certainly a simple “run-of-the-mill” word.  However, according to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, there are a few other synonyms (see below) that could be used when discussing the topic of abuse (depending on your usage, of course).  Enjoy!


\ verb uhbyooz; noun uhbyoos \,

verb (used with object), abused, abusing.
1.  to use wrongly or improperly; misuse
2.  to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way

3.  to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
4.  to commit sexual assault upon.
5.  Obsolete. to deceive or mislead.
6.  wrong or improper use; misuse
7.  harshly or coarsely insulting language
8.  bad or improper treatment; maltreatment

9.  a corrupt or improper practice or custom
10.  rape or sexual assault.
11.  Obsolete. deception.
12.  abuse oneself, to masturbate.

Source: The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich.  Definitions courtesy of

Some Groaners!

August 28, 2017

Last month I ran across some jokes that were advertised as “You Gotta Laugh,” and boy, were they right!   Enjoy!

Q: What was the patriots’ favorite food in the Revolutionary War?
A: Chicken catch-a-Tory!

“I just got an email about how to read maps backward, but it turned out to be spam.”

Grandpa: Young man, I’d like to tell you a joke about Social Security.”
Grandson: “What’s that?”
Grandpa: “You probably won’t get it.”

Source: AARP Bulletin, July-August 2017, p. 54

Time to Evacuate!

August 27, 2017

Do you recall which natural disaster caused the evacuation of an entire city?  It was Hurricane Katrina (a category 3 hurricane),  that caused the evacuation of the entire city of New Orleans on this date in 2005.  As the storm approached the then mayor, Ray Nagin, asked for voluntary departures, but the very next day (August 27th), he made the exodus mandatory.  Obviously, those without transportation were unable to comply and when Katrina hit (on August 29th), she destroyed levees and sunk the city under floodwaters up to twenty feet deep.

In addition, August 27th was the day for several other “firsts,” such as the first . . .

  • expedition of Englishmen to cross the Allegheny Mountains  (Fort Henry, VA, 1650)
  • theatrical performance (The Bare and the Cubb, Accomack, VA, 1665)
  • cyclone of record (Jamestown, VA, 1784)
  • major battle lost by American forces (Battle of Long Island, 1776)
  • steamboat to carry a man (built by John Fitch, Delaware River, 1898)
  • industrial school for girls (Lancaster, MA, 1898)
  • oil well that was commercially productive (Seneca Oil Company, Titusville, PA, 1859)
  • metal clarinet (Charles Gerard Conn, Elkhart, IN, 1889)
  • radio broadcast sent from an airplane (James A. Macready, above Sheepshead Bay, NY, 1910)
  • ship to fire a Polaris missile (Observation Island, 1959)
  • Ambassador assassinated in office (John Gordon Mein, ambassador to Guatemala, 1968)

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

The Art of the Good Conversationalist!

August 26, 2017

Happy Saturday!  The key to being a good conversationalist: it is all a bit of “give” and “take.”  No one person should dominate the conversation.  First and foremost, don’t panic and just take it one idea or one sentence at a time.  Secondly, think before you speak; while “I” represents the smallest letter of the alphabet, keep from making it the largest word in your vocabulary.  Make sure you pick content that seems appropriate to the people you are conversing with.  You can never go wrong with compliments and other personal remarks (unless they are not sincere) and when you receive a compliment, simply say “thank you.”  You certainly do not want to belittle the compliment being received.  You should avoid unkind remarks and always use tact.  On the other hand, there are definitely some thing you should avoid when conversing:

  • don’t be a braggart
  • don’t throw in phrases from foreign languages to impress (this is a bit pretentious)
  • don’t be a boor or a bore
  • don’t condescend
  • don’t contradict
  • don’t correct a person’s pronunciation or grammatical errors (an exception: if they are mispronouncing your name)
  • don’t inquire about anyone’s age
  • don’t make derogatory remarks about a group or person(s)
  • don’t be an interrupter
  • don’t use annoying speech mannerisms liberally interspersed in your conversations (ummm, you know, like, etc.)
  • don’t be a name dropper
  • don’t pretend to know more than you do
  • don’t be a secret-teller
  • don’t finish others’ sentences
  • don’t be a snoop (asking too many personal questions)
  • don’t finish  (or correct the details of) someone else’s story
  • don’t dwell on your own problems
  • don’t allow your attention (or your eyes) to wander, show that you are paying attention

Source: Emily Post’s Etiquette (16th ed.) by Peggy Post

Fun Fact Friday, Number Thirty-Eight!

August 25, 2017

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

  • an elephant is capable of swimming 20 miles per day? (Real Fact #45)
  • an elephant is the only mammal that cannot jump? (Real Fact #46)
  • most elephants weigh less than the tongue of a blue whale?  (Real Fact #768)
  • George Washington had false teeth made from many different materials, including an elephant tusk and hippopotamus ivory? (Real Fact #1143)
  • elephants are afraid of bees? (Real Fact #1226)
  • an African elephant can turn the pages of a book with its trunk? (Real Fact #1318)
  • elephants can smell water up to three miles away? (Real Fact #1340)
  • a neuron star is as dense as stuffing 50 million elephants into a thimble? (Real Fact #1368)


The “Bee” Team!

August 24, 2017

Talk about a non-traditional role . . .  were you aware of the fact that the New York City Police Department has a couple of on-staff beekeepers?  Back in 1994, one of the new recruits (Anthony Planakis) was an avid beekeeper (as a hobby . . . he was a fourth generation beekeeper).  He has been helping out with bee infestations and swarms in the New York City area for years.  Planakis recently retired (2014), but the beekeeper role has been filled, as of 2015, and two officers now work in this capacity as needed.    Very cool indeed!

They even have an official twitter account!

Read the full story here.


Historical Fiction at Its Best!

August 23, 2017

The time has come for me to once again re-read the The Far Pavilions (which I do every three-to-four years for pure entertainment).  An epic novel of British-Indian history that was originally published in 1978 by M. M. Kaye (Mary Margaret).  I cannot explain exactly why I find this read so enthralling except for the possible reason that I’m a hopeless romantic deep down inside and enjoy the total “escapism” by reliving the story over and over.  It is by no means a quick read, either.  At just under 1,000 pages, this tome is a major undertaking, but is worth every treasured moment as I’m transported to nineteenth-century India for many evenings of adventure and romance.

In the opinion of Nancy Banks-Smith (critic for The Guardian), this book is “One of those big, fat paperbacks, intended to while away a monsoon or two, which, if thrown with a good overarm action, will bring a water buffalo to its knees.” (on 4 January 1984)

Source: The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, category: Books, entry #2, p. 41.

Amazing Adjectives, Number Twenty-One!

August 22, 2017

Here is a word from the Greek glyptikós, meaning “of engraving,” from the infinitive glyphein meaning “to engrave.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate,

“As the number of highly publicized jewel thefts increased, there arose a demand for persons skilled in creating tiny glyptic identifications that would thwart thieves.”


\ glip-tik \, adjective;

 1.  of or relating to carving or engraving on gems or the like.

2.  the act or process of producing glyptic ornaments.

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