Archive for January, 2018


January 31, 2018

Politics_largeWhen I was growing up, there was a common sentiment in our household that certain issues should not be the topic of discussion in polite conversation — religion and politics (could this be based upon the concept of the separation of church and state?).  Whether or not they rose to the level of actually being “taboo” or not, is not for me to decide.   Obviously, now that we have entered the age of social media, anything goes.  Everyone has a voice, and every voice an audience, regardless.  Interestingly enough, the whole philosophic and jurisprudential concept phrased as “the separation of church and state” does not actually appear in the Constitution.  So, in honor of the many heated discussion we have had on these topics over the years, here is a wonderful “demotivator” (courtesy of that at least puts the “politics” issue into perspective a bit (in a humorous vein).  Enjoy!


January 30, 2018

Here is yet another word that I had never before encountered that relates to rude, mocking or derisive behavior or comment.  “Julia turned at the fleer and flung a glance of acute anger at her friend.”


\ fleer \, verb;

verb (used without object)
1.  to grin or laugh coarsely or mockingly.

 (used with object)
2.  to mock or deride.

3.  a fleering look; a jeer or gibe.
Source: The Highly Selective Dictionary for the Extraordinarily Literate by Eugene Ehrlich, and

College Basketball 2018, Week Twelve!

January 29, 2018

It was a big week for the Spartans who had three games, two of which were on the road.  And they won all three!  Woot!  They started the week at Illinois where they faced a stifling defense but manged to eke out a double-digit victory despite turning the ball over twenty-five times!  A double-digit victory on Friday at home against Wisconsin where the Spartans went ahead 5 to 3 and never looked back.  And finally, on Sunday the Spartans traveled to Maryland, trailed early by as many as 13 points, but pulled out this important road victory in the second half.  The Big Ten conference continues to have four teams in the AP top-25: Purdue [#3], Michigan State [#6], Ohio State [#13], and Michigan [#25].

Next up for the Spartans: at home versus Penn State on Wednesday (January 31st) and then on the road against Indiana on Saturday (February 3rd).

The upsets this week included:
Kansas (#5) losing to Oklahoma (#12) by five (5) points.
West Virginia (#7) losing to unranked TCU and losing to unranked Kentucky.
North Carolina (#10) losing to unranked Virginia Tech and losing to unranked NC State by four (4) points in overtime.
Oklahoma (#12) losing to unranked Alabama.
Ohio State (#13) losing to unranked Penn State by three (3) points.
Florida (#20) losing to unranked South Carolina by five (5) points.
Arizona State (#21) losing to unranked Utah by three (3) points in overtime.
Nevada (#23) losing to unranked Wyoming by one (1) point in double overtime.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Villanova (#1) defeating unranked Marquette by three (3) points.
Michigan State (#6) defeating unranked Maryland by six (6) points.
Arizona (#11) defeating unranked  Utah by one (1) point.
Ohio State (#13) defeating unranked Nebraska by five (5) points.
Texas Tech (#14) defeating unranked Oklahoma State by five (5) points.
Clemson (#18) defeating unranked Georgia Tech by two (2) points.
Tennessee (#22) defeating unranked Vanderbilt by five (5) points.
Rhode Island (#24) defeating unranked Duquesne by three (3) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Virginia (#2) defeating Clemson (#18) and defeating Duke (#4) by two points.
Purdue (#3) defeating Michigan (#25) by four (4) points.

What’s the Difference . . . !

January 28, 2018

. . . between work and prison?  Here is an amusing answer that really puts this into perspective.  Obviously, the biggest difference is the whole issue of “freedom,” but just for some comic relief, check out these comparisons:

IN PRISON…….You spend the majority of your time in an 8×10 cell.
AT WORK………You spend most of your time in a 6×8 cubicle.

IN PRISON…….You get three meals a day.
AT WORK………You get a break for 1 meal and you have to pay for it.

IN PRISON…….You get time off for good behavior.
AT WORK………You get rewarded for good behavior with more work.

IN PRISON…….A guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you.
AT WORK………You must carry around a security card and unlock and open all the door yourself.

IN PRISON……..You can watch TV and play games.
AT WORK……….You get fired for watching TV and playing games.

IN PRISON…….You get your own toilet.
AT WORK………You have to share.

IN PRISON…….They allow your family and friends to visit.
AT WORK………You cannot even speak to your family and friends.

IN PRISON…….All expenses are paid by taxpayers with no work required.
AT WORK………You get to pay all the expenses to go to work and then they deduct taxes from your salary to pay for prisoners.

IN PRISON…….You spend most of your life looking through bars from inside wanting to get out.
AT WORK………You spend most of your time wanting to get out and go inside bars.

IN PRISON……There are wardens who are often sadistic.
AT WORK……..They are called supervisors.

IN PRISON…….You have unlimited time to read e-mail jokes.
AT WORK……..You get fired if you get caught.


How to Fall!

January 27, 2018

Now that we are in smack dab in the of the winter season and the correspondingly treacherous conditions that could lead to accidentally falling down (snow, ice, etc.), do you know the rules that will allow you to “fall safely” (i.e., to hit the ground as softly as possible)?

Step One: try to keep your knees and elbows bent, you don’t want to become too rigid .

Step Two: protect your head at all costs; turn your face to the side (if falling forward) and tuck your chin into your chest (if falling backward).

Step Three: “land on the meat” (the muscles in your back, butt, or thighs) if possible and avoid landing on your bones (the knees, elbows, tailbone, and hips).

Step Four: keep falling.  If you “roll with the fall” and keep your momentum moving, as opposed to a quick stop, the safer you will be.

Of course, you can also prepare yourself well before any fall occurs (to help improve your footing).

  • Be mindful of your surroundings
  • Keep your eyeglass prescription up-to-date (to see what’s coming)
  • Work on your balance

Source: AARP: The Magazine, December 2017/January 2018, p. 21.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixty!

January 26, 2018

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

  • “arachibutlphobia” is the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.? (Real Fact #362)
  • one acre of peanuts will make about 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.? (Real Fact #430)
  • peanuts are not actually nuts but legumes? (Real Fact #1261)


Plugged In!

January 25, 2018

In our modern world, electricity is king.  And for some seniors, relying on electricity to keep their home health equipment running is a life-preserving reality.  How many seniors would be at risk in the event of a power failure?  Here are the state comparisons of the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries who currently rely on electricity to keep their equipment running.  Oklahoma came in at 6.2% (middle of the pack).

Highest percentage
1. Wyoming (12.7%)
2. Colorado (11.9%)
3. Utah (11.1%)
4. New Mexico (9.8%)
5. West Virginia (8.2%)
6. Kentucky (7.6%)
7. Arkansas (7.3%)
7. Nevada (7.3%)
9. Idaho (7.0%)
9. Tennessee (7.0%)

Lowest percentage
1. Hawaii (2.1%)
2. District of Columbia (2.5%)
3. Rhode Island (2.6%)
4. New Jersey (3.1%)
5. Massachusetts (3.2%)
6. California (3.3%)
7. Maryland (3.4%)
7. New York (3.4%)
9. Connecticut (3.5%)
9. Wisconsin (3.5%)
9. Minnesota (3.5%)
9. Alaska (3.5%)

Sources: Pew Charitable Trusts’ Stateline; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; AARP Bulletin, December 2017, p. 34.

Words of Wisdom!

January 24, 2018

Wisdom, so difficult to come by (at times).  I believe William Shakespeare says it best: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”  Wisdom is a pretty common word, but if you are interested in shaking things up a bit for variety, check out some of the synonyms below.


\ wiz-duh m \, noun;

1.  the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
2.  scholarly knowledge or learning.

3.  wise sayings or teachings; precepts.
4.  a wise act or saying.
5.  (initial capital letterDouay Bible. Wisdom of Solomon.

According to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, here are some other options to help extend your vocabulary (depending on your specific need or usage): amazingly enough, all of the words below use “shivaree” in their definitions.

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

How About Some Chuck?!

January 23, 2018

Chuck Norris, that is.  Here is a small sampling of some funny Chuck Norris jokes.  For even more, check out this site.  Happy Tuesday!

  • Chuck Norris once had an arm-wrestling competition with Superman. The bet was that the loser has to then wear his underwear on top of his trousers.
  • Recently, a police patrol stopped Chuck Norris when he was driving along. They got off with only a warning.
  • Chuck Norris tried to lose weight. But Chuck Norris NEVER loses.
  • Chuck Norris went skydiving and his parachute didn’t open. He went back to the store the following day to claim a refund.
  • Chuck Norris once kicked a horse in the chin. His descendants are known today as giraffes.
  • Chuck Norris has a Grizzly bear rug. The bear is alive, but it’s too scared to move.

I could go on, but you can torture yourself some more by clicking on the above link for nine pages worth of more Chuck Norris jokes.  Enjoy!

College Basketball 2018, Week Eleven!

January 22, 2018

The Spartans only had one game this week against the Hoosiers of Indiana and they found their groove for a dominating victory (despite their continued propensity for turnovers).   Only eleven (11) games remain in their conference schedule and the Spartans will be on the road for seven (7) of them.  This will be a huge test for the inconsistently performing and turnover prone Spartans who will have to bring all the intensity and discipline they possess to close out the season with some momentum.  The Big Ten conference now has four teams in the AP top-25 as the polls have finally included (rewarded?) both Ohio State and Michigan for their excellent play of late: Purdue [#3], Michigan State [#9], Ohio State [#22], and Michigan [#23].

Next up for the Spartans: on the road against Illinois tonight (January 22nd), at home versus Wisconsin on Friday (January 26th), and then on the road against Maryland on Sunday (January 28th).

The upsets this week included:
Oklahoma (#4) losing to unranked Kansas State and losing to unranked Oklahoma State by two (2) points in overtime.
West Virginia (#6) losing to Kansas (#10) by five (5) points.
Wichita State (#7) losing to unranked SMU by five (5) points and losing to unranked Houston.
Texas Tech (#8) losing to unranked Texas and losing to unranked Iowa State.
Gonzaga (#13) losing to unranked St. Mary’s by three (3) points.
Arizona State (#16) losing to unranked Stanford.
Auburn (#17) losing to unranked Alabama by five (5) points.
Kentucky (#18) losing to unranked South Carolina and losing to unranked Florida by two (2) points.
Seton Hall (#19) losing to unranked Creighton.
Tennessee (#21) losing to unranked Missouri by four (4) points.
Michigan (#23) losing to unranked Nebraska.
TCU (#24) losing to unranked Kansas State.

The close calls this week (won by six points or less [two scores] or in overtime) included:
Kansas (#10) defeating unranked Baylor by three (3) points.
Xavier (#11) defeating unranked St. John’s by six (6) points.
Arizona (#14) defeating unranked Stanford by two (2) points.
Ohio State (#22) defeating unranked Northwestern by six (6) points.
Michigan (#23) defeating unranked Maryland by one (1) point.
Miami (#25) defeating unranked NC State by five (5) points.

Top-25 match-ups won by the higher-ranked team included:
Duke (#5) defeating Miami (#25).
Xavier (#11) defeating Seton Hall (#19).
North Carolina (#15) defeating Clemson (#20).