Archive for November, 2017


November 30, 2017

Affirmation_largeHere is another wonderful demoti-vator (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com).This seems to be especially relevant in today’s world of the participation trophy generation.  And, to add credence to this phenomenon, Georgetown University celebrated “Millenial Day” back in September.  The director of marketing at Georgetown, Chris Grosse, stated: “We decided we could come up with something that would be clever and funny, kind of honoring millennials, but also poking fun at some of the stereotypes that I think are incorrect.” The headline for an article written about this event read: “Participation trophies abound as Georgetown celebrates ‘Millennial Day’.” Ha!  Too funny!  I must give credit where credit is due . . .  a very catchy idea.

Are You Visiting Your Dentist?!

November 29, 2017

Most people would probably self-report that they do not enjoying going to the dentist. And, there is probably a good chunk of the population that fails to go for economic reasons.  When you look at the senior population (aged 65+) the percentage varies drastically from state to state.  Here are the states with the highest percentage of seniors visiting dental professionals as well as the states with the lowest percentages.

Highest percentages
1.  Hawaii (78.1%)
2.  Minnesota (75.6%)
3.  Connecticut (75.1%)
4.  New Hampshire (74.1%)
5.  Michigan (72.4%)
6.  Vermont (71.9%)
6.  Massachusetts (71.9%)
8.  Wisconsin (71.6%)
9.  California (71.3%)
10.  Utah (71.0%)

Lowest percentages
1.  West Virginia (48.6%)
2.  Mississippi (54.0%)
3.  Arkansas (54.5%)
4.  OKLAHOMA (55.4%)
5.  Kentucky (57.0%)
6.  Louisiana (57.2%)
7.  Alabama (57.9%)
8.  Tennessee (58.6%)
9.  Missouri (58.8%)
10.  Nevada (9.7%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, October 2017, p. 44 and 2017 Heath Rankings Senior Report.

Allow Me to Offer the Eulogy!

November 28, 2017

It has recently become the tradition at many of the Catholic funeral masses I have attended to have an encomiast (or the invitation for any attendee(s) to provide an encomium).


\ en-koh-mee-ast, –uh st \, noun;

1.  a person who utters or writes an encomium; eulogist.

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

College Basketball 2018, Week Three!

November 27, 2017

Well, it was a busy week of college basketball with a host of holiday tournaments underway (Feast Week).  And a lot of ranked teams found themselves on the losing end of the scores . . . it is going to be an awesome season as we travel the road to the Final Four and March Madness.  The Spartans traveled to Portland to participate in the PK80 Invitational Tournament and amassed three victories in four days (over DePaul [NR], UConn [NR], and North Carolina [#9]) to be crowned the Champions of the Victory Division.  The Big Ten conference only has three teams in the AP top-25: Michigan State [#4], Minnesota [#14], Purdue [#18].

Next up for the Spartans: at home versus the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (#14) on Thursday (November 30th) and at home versus Nebraska on Sunday (December 3rd)

The upsets this week included:
Arizona (#2) losing to unranked NC State by six (6) points, losing to SMU by six (6) points, and losing to Purdue (#18).
Wichita State (#6) losing to Notre Dame (#13) by one (1) point.
Xavier (#15) losing to unranked Arizona State.
Purdue (#18) losing to unranked Tennessee by three (3) points and losing to Western Kentucky by four (4) points before defeating Arizona (#2).
USC (#10) losing to Texas A&M (#16).
Seton Hall (#20) losing to unranked Rhode Island by one (1) point.
St. Mary’s (#21) losing to unranked Washington State by five (5) points and losing to unranked Georgia by two (2) points in overtime.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Duke (#1) defeating unranked Texas in overtime and defeating Florida (#7) by three (3) points.
Florida (#7) defeating Gonzaga (#17) by six (6) points in double overtime.
Minnesota (#14) defeating Alabama (#25) by five (5) points.
Gonzaga (#17) defeating unranked Texas by five (5) points in overtime.
Baylor (#22) defeating unranked Creighton by six (6) points.
UCLA (#23) defeating unranked Wisconsin by two (2) points.
West Virginia (#23) defeating unranked Missouri by four (4) points.
Alabama (#25) defeating unranked UT Arlington by one (1) point.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Duke (#1) defeating Florida (#7) by three (3) points.
Michigan State (#4) defeating North Carolina (#9).
Florida (#7) defeating Gonzaga (#17) by six (6) points in double overtime.
Minnesota (#14) defeating Alabama (#25) by five (5) points.

College Football 2017, Week Thirteen!

November 26, 2017

The regular season has now come to a close and the Spartans finished out the regular season with a win on the road against the Scarlet Knights of Rutgers.  There continue to be five Big Ten teams in the CFP top-25 (Wisconsin [#5], Ohio State [#9], Penn State [#10], Michigan State [#16], and Northwestern [#22]) and following the week’s action, only two undefeated teams at the close of the regular season (Wisconsin and UCF).  Conference Championships will be played next weekend and for the Big Ten it will feature Wisconsin against Ohio State.   And with the top two teams losing this week, there could be a serious shake-up in this week’s CFP top-25.  Next up for the Spartans: a bowl game.  Woot!  Go Green!

The upsets this week included:
Alabama (#1) losing to Auburn (#6)
Miami (#2) losing to unranked Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame (#8) losing to Stanford (#21).
Washington State (#13) losing to Washington (#17).
Mississippi State (#14) losing to unranked Ole Miss.
Boise State (#23) losing to unranked Fresno State.

The close calls this week (games that were won by a touchdown or less) included:
UCF (#15) defeating unranked South Florida by seven (7) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Clemson (#3) defeating South Carolina (#24).

Peaceful Place!

November 25, 2017

Peaceful PlaceHere is a fabulous piece that I acquired this summer while on vacation in Michigan (Lake Leelanau and Traverse City areas).  There is a MUST ATTEND annual art show, the Crooked Tree Outdoor Art Fair, that is always held on the last Saturday of July on the campus of Northwestern Michigan College.  This year I was able to acquire a couple of pieces from a couple of local artists that I had not been acquainted with previously (Debbie Orthner Lamson and John Fletcher).   And, both of these artists live very near to where I grew up.  This piece is entitled: Peaceful Place, it was painted by Debbie Orthner Lamson, it is an original acrylic, and it is already hanging in my apartment where I can enjoy its beauty each and every day (my available wallspace continues to shrink, alas).

Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty-One!

November 24, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “insects and related things.”  Do you know what male bees are called?

The male bees are NOT considered the “worker” bees, these would be the females (unless the female is the queen).  The male bees are actually the “drones.”

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

Happy Thanksgiving 2017!

November 23, 2017

Did you know that Turkey Trots are the most popular races in America?  Did you also know that eating that large Thanksgiving Day meal can cause you to gain a full pound in one day and consume more than 4,000 calories?  Here’s an infographic to show you how long you would have to run to burn off some of these calories.  Enjoy!


Long-Term Care!

November 22, 2017

According to a study compiled by the AARP Public Policy Institute, the Commonwealth Fund, and the SCAN Foundation, “more than 9 in 10 Americans want to live at home or with a relative — rather than at a nursing home — for as long as possible.”  According to the study some states would be able to provide this to seniors better than others.  For the states that do it well, it is not only good for the person needing care, but it is generally less expensive to boot.  The states that do this the best include:

  1. Washington
  2. Minnesota
  3. Vermont
  4. Oregon
  5. Alaska

The states that don’t do quite as well include:

46.  Tennessee
47.  Mississippi
48.  Alabama
49.  Kentucky
50.  Indiana

Source: AARP Bulletin, September 2017, p 38.

College Basketball 2018, Week Two!

November 21, 2017

The Big Ten conference has three teams in the AP top-25: Michigan State [#4], Minnesota [#14], and Purdue [#18].  The Spartans faced the #1 Duke Blue Devils last Tuesday and came up a little short to suffer their first loss of the season, alas.  They played again Sunday and came away with the victory against the Stony Brook Seawolves.  Come March, I’m confident that the Spartans will be ready for a deep run into the tournament.  Go Green!

Next up for the Spartans: at the PK80 tournament in Portland versus Depaul on Thursday (23rd).

The upsets this week included:
Northwestern (#20) losing to unranked Creighton by four (4) points and losing to unranked Texas Tech (by more than 30 points!).
UCLA (#23) losing to unranked Creighton.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
USC (#10) defeating unranked Vanderbilt by four (4) points.
Baylor (#22) defeating unranked Wisconsin by five (5) points.
UCLA (#23) defeating unranked Central Arkansas by five (5) points in overtime.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Duke (#1) defeating Michigan State (#2).
Kansas (#4) defeating Kentucky (#7) by four (4) points.