Archive for the ‘General Musings’ Category

Looking for a Nursing Home?!

April 19, 2018

So, what are the chances that you will be able to find a bed in a quality, highly-rated facility in your state?  Here’s the breakdown (courtesy of the AARP Bulletin) by percentage of beds by state (highest versus lowest).

Highest percentage
1. Maine (56%)
1. Washington (56%)
3. Utah (55%)
3. Vermont (55%)
3. Minnesota (55%)
3. District of Columbia (55%)
7. Delaware (54%)
7. Rhode Island (54%)
9. New Hampshire (53%)
9. Colorado (53%)
10. New Jersey (52%)
10. Arizona (52%)
10. Idaho (52%)
10. Montana (52%)

Lowest percentage
1.West Virginia (26%)
2. Louisiana (27%)
3. North Carolina (28%)
3. Texas (28%)
5. Kentucky (30%)
6. Georgia (32%)
6. Oklahoma (32%)
6. New Mexico (32%)
9. Virginia (35%)
9. Illinois (35%)
9. Pennsylvania (35%)
10. Alabama (37%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, March 2018 issue, p. 44; U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; America’s Health Rankings/United Health Foundation.  All percentages are rounded.


Death and Taxes!

April 17, 2018

Happy Tax Day 2018!  According to my copy of The Highly Selective Thesaurus for the Extraordinarily Literate, there are several other synonyms or variants (see below) that could be used to represent the word tax (if you are so inclined for a little variety).  Enjoy!


\ taks \

1.  a sum of money demanded by a government for its support or for
specific facilities or services, levied upon incomes, property, sales,etc.
2.  a burdensome charge, obligation, duty, or demand.

verb (used with object)
3.  to demand a tax from (a person, business, etc.). demand a tax in consideration of the possession or occurrence of (income, goods,
sales, etc.), usually in proportion to the value of money involved.
5.  to lay a burden on; make serious demands on.
6.  to take to task; censure; reprove; accuse.
7.  Informal. to charge.
8.  Archaic. to estimate or determine the amount or value of.

verb (used without object)
9.  to levy taxes.

Other words you may consider using (depending on your context/usage, of course):

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

You’ve Come a Long Way . . . !

April 16, 2018

Remember when Amazon was primarily an online bookseller?  Well, if you didn’t know, they have grown into the largest online retailer . . . and don’t look to be slowing down at all.  Here’s an infographic that gives you all the facts about this internet giant.  Enjoy!


Fun Fact Friday, Number Seventy-One!

April 13, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “American history.”  Do you know . . . what was Billy the Kid’s real name?

William H. Bonney was actually an alias that Billy the Kid was using when he was sentenced to die.  His real name was probably William Henry McCarty, Jr.  His mother preferred to call him Henry because she did not want him known as a junior.

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

Amazing Adjectives, Number Thirty-Two!

April 11, 2018

Here is a word from the Latin operosus, meaning “industrious, active; laborious, elaborate”; from opus, meaning  “a work; workmanship; building.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate.

“It did not take them long to devise a plan that was much less operose and could be done quickly.”


opuh-rohs \, adjective;

1.  industrious, as a person.
2.  done with or involving much labor.

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

A Well-Developed Conscience!

April 8, 2018

Having a conscience, the ability to judge the rightness or the wrongness of your behavior,  is something that develops over the course of time (as we mature).  It is usually taught to us by our parents about the behaviors that must be demonstrated to effectively operate within society.  Okay, that’s all well and good . . . but here are some additional “definitions” courtesy of The Cynic’s Dictionary.  Enjoy!

“What your mother told you before you were six years old.”  (Brock Chisolm)

“An anticipation of the opinions of others.”  (Henry Taylor)

“Ought-to suggestion.”  (H.L. Mencken)

“The thing that hurts when everything else feels good.”  (Hebert Prochnow)

“What makes cowards of us all.”  (William Shakespeare)

“What makes egotists of us all.”  (Oscar Wilde)

“The inner voice that warns us that someone may be looking.”  (H.L. Mencken)

“Something that doesn’t only make cowards of us all, but dyspeptics too.”  (Helen Simpson)

“What makes a boy tell his mother before his sister does.”  (Franklin P. Jones)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone, p. 59-60.

Trouble Sleeping?!

April 7, 2018

Did you know that certain houseplants promote drowsiness?  Here’s a list of plants that just may help you obtain better sleep.

Jasmine — eases anxiety and encourages sleep (very simlar to barbiturates).

English ivy —  cleans mold spores out of the air.

Lavender — sleep inducer (primarily lavender bouquets and essential oils, but give a lavender houseplant a try).

Aloe vera — sucks up unhealthy indoor chemicals (volatile organic compounds).

Boston fern — removes formaldehyde from the air.

Snake plant — an air cleaner (and very simple to care for).

Source: AARP, The Magazine, February/March issue, p. 13.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Seventy!

April 6, 2018

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

  • a duck cannot walk without bobbing its head? (Real Fact #122)
  • a duck has three eyelids? (Real Fact #762)
  • Duck, Duck, Goose is called Duck, Duck, Gray Duck in Minnesota? (Real Fact #1276)


Pulling Together!

March 31, 2018

PullingTogether_largeTeamwork.  This is what crosses my mind when I hear the phrase “pulling together.”  But as this demotivator (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com) accurately points out, to be successful in a teamwork frame of reference, you have to be pulling in the same direction.  “Pulling together” in opposite directions is known as a tug-of-war.  In sports-speak, a tug-of-war is “a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line.”  The non-sports definition is “a situation in which two evenly matched people or factions are striving to keep or obtain the same thing.”  One interesting note of difference: the sports definition has no mention of “evenly matched” teams.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Sixty-Nine!

March 30, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “geography.”  Do you know . .. what is the longest railroad tunnel?

Nope, it is not the Channel Tunnel (aka the Chunnel), which runs for more than 31 miles between England and France.  The Seikan Tunnel  (Japan) spans an impressive 33.46 miles between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido.  Now, when it comes to the longest underwater tunnel, yes, the Chunnel is it (24 miles underwater); the Seikan Tunnel is onlyb 14.5 miles underwater.

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