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Final Four, 2018!

March 26, 2018

Is the cream starting to rise to the top?  There are still a a couple of “blue blood” teams left in the tournament, but the lower seeds continue to win.  Loyola University-Chicago (#11) continued its Cinderella story by advanced to the elite eight and then on to the Final Four!  On Thursday, only one of the higher seeds advanced (Michigan [#3]); whereas on Friday, only one of the higher seeds did NOT advance (Purdue [#2]).  On Saturday and Sunday all of the higher seeds advanced except for #9 Kansas State who could not get past this year’s Cinderella, Loyola-Chicago.  On to San Antonio next weekend for the Final Four!

Sweet Sixteen games
Villanova (#1) defeated West Virginia (#5)
Kansas (#1) defeated Clemson (#5) by four (4) points.
Duke (#2) defeated Syracuse (#11) by four (4) points.
Michigan (#3) defeated Texas A&M (#7)
Texas Tech (#3) defeated Purdue (#2)
Florida State (#9) defeated Gonzaga (#4)
Kansas State (#9) defeated Kentucky (#5) by three (3) points.
Loyola-Chicago (#11) defeated Nevada (#7) by one (1) point.

In the regional finals, there was only one #1/#2 matchup (Kansas/Duke in the midwest); a #1/#3 matchup (Villanova/Texas Tech in the east), a #3/#9 matchup (Michigan/Florida State in the West), and a #9/#11 matchup (Kansas State/Loyola Chicago) in the south).

Elite Eight games
Villanova (#1) defeating Texas Tech (#3)
Kansas (#1) defeating Duke (#2) by four (4) points in overtime.
Michigan (#3) defeating Florida State (#9) by four (4) points.
Loyola-Chicago (#11) defeating Kansas State (#9).

The madness continues.  Congratulations to the four teams who survived the second weekend to arrive at the Final Four.

The
East Regional Champs
Villanova (#1)

will play . . . the

Midwest Regional Champs
Kansas (#1),

and, the

South Regional Champs
Loyola-Chicago (#11)

will play . .  the

West Regional Champs
Michigan (#3).

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Sweet Sixteen, 2018!

March 19, 2018

History was made this weekend when a #1 seed (Virginia) was defeated by a #16 seed (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) for the first-time ever in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.  Congratulations to UMBC!  Virginia was not the only “favored” seed to not survive the first weekend . . . eight (8) other higher-seeded teams lost in the first round: Arizona (#4), Wichita State (#4), TCU (#6), Miami (#6), Arkansas (#7), Missouri (#8), Creighton (#8), and Virginia Tech (#8).  Then in round two, the upsets continued with six (6) additional “favored” teams losing: Xavier (#1), North Carolina (#2), Cincinnati (#2), Tennessee (#3), Michigan State (#3), Auburn (#4).  Madness indeed.  The Michigan State Spartans took care of business to win their opening-round game against a formidable Bucknell team on Friday, but were unable to handle Syracuse’s zone defense and lost by two (2) points yesterday thus ending their season.   Congratulations are in order for the “Sweet Sixteen” survivors of the first weekend.  Good luck one and all next week!  Let the Madness continue?

East Regional
Villanova (#1)
Purdue (#2)
Texas Tech (#3)
West Virginia (#5)

South Regional
Kentucky (#5)
Nevada (#7)
Kansas State (#9)
Loyola-Chicago (#11)

Midwest Regional
Kansas (#1)
Duke (#2)
Clemson (#5)
Syracuse (#11)

West Regional
Michigan (#3)
Gonzaga (#4)
Texas A&M (#7)
Florida State (#9)

Soaring Above the Rest!

February 10, 2018

Happy Saturday!  Looking for a project for the weekend?  Why not try this origami version of the bald eagle?  The American Bald Eagle, our national bird, is actually the only eagle that is unique to North America.  Happy folding!

Some Holiday Humor!

December 17, 2017

With Christmas right around the corner, here are a few amusing jokes that I found (courtesy of http://www.theholidayspot.com).  Enjoy!

1.  It was Christmas and the judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner, “What are you charged with?”

“Doing my Christmas shopping early,” replied the defendant.

“That’s no offense,” said the judge. “How early were you doing this shopping?”

“Before the store opened.”

2. A lady lost her handbag in the bustle of Christmas shopping. It was found by an honest little boy and returned to her. Looking in her purse, she commented, “Hmmm…. That’s funny. When I lost my bag there was a $20 bill in it. Now there are twenty $1 bills.”

The boy quickly replied, “That’s right, lady. The last time I found a lady’s purse, she didn’t have any change for a reward.”

3.  A guy bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas.
After hearing about this extravagant gift, a friend of his said, “I thought she wanted one of those sporty four-wheel-drive vehicles.”

“She did,” he replied. “But where was I going to find a fake Jeep?”

Source: www.theholidayspot.com

These Stats are Smokin’!

December 7, 2017

I know that smoking is somewhat passe these days and the number of smokers has dropped significantly (in the 1960s, approximately 42% of Americans smoked; by 2014 this percentage had dropped to 15.1% of all adults in 2015 (courtesy of the Center for Disease Control).  But when it comes to seniors (age 65+) how do the State rankings fare?  Here are the rankings by state of the percentages of seniors who currently smoke.

Highest percentage:
1. Tennessee (13.8%)
2. Oklahoma (13.0%)
3. Kentucky (12.3%)
3. Nevada (12.3%)
5. Arkansas (11.4%)
5. Louisiana (11.4%)
7. Indiana (10.9%)
8. New Mexico (10.8%)
9. West Virginia (10.7%)
9. Mississippi (10.7%)

Lowest percentage:
1. Utah (5.2%)
2. Hawaii (6.1%)
2. California (6.1%)
4. Texas (6.7%)
4. New Hampshire (6.7%)
6. Connecticut (7.3%)
7. Minnesota (7.4%)
8. Rhode Island (7.5%)
8. New Jersey (7.5%)
10. Maryland (7.6%)

Source: AARP Bulletin, November 2017, p. 44; America’s Health Rankings 2017 Senior Report.

Spheniciformes!

November 9, 2017

Okay, I’ll speak English . . . penguins!  This aquatic, flightless bird lives predominantly in the Southern Hemisphere (only one species does not — the Galapagos Penguin can be found north of the Equator).  Here is an origami version that really does remind me of the Roman Catholics sisters (nuns) of my youth!

Necktie of the Month – September 2017!

September 2, 2017

KlimptTieThis month’s tie is an acquisition from my recent trip (the Annual Conference of the Special Libraries Association) to Phoenix, Arizona back in June.  Yes, I was there during a recent “heat wave,” but surprisingly enough, it was not record setting.  Regardless, I opted to stay an extra day, “post-conference,” to take in a few sights and to visit my nephew (Matt) and his finacee (Korrin).  To escape the heat of the day, I  ventured forth to the Phoenix Art Museum (they had a wonderful exhibit of Samurai Armor).  Well, no visit to an aart museum is ever complete with out meandering through the gift shop . . . an voila! . . . I was able to find and acquire a couple of new neckties.  This one is based on the design and style of Gustav Klimpt.  Shown here on my golden yellow shirt, this tie will pair equally well with my light or bright orange shirts as well as my bright yellow or even my beige and brown-toned shirts.  Ah, the versatility!

The Joys of “Getting Away!”

August 10, 2017

Vacations are wonderful . . . the process of “getting away” from the day to day drudge is ever so important for one’s mental health and well-being.  But how many of us are guilty of not taking advantage of our vacations to relax and recharge our physical and emotional batteries?  I know that I’ve been guilty of not taking appropriate vacations or travel (from time to time), but I’m certainly striving to do better in this department lately. Speaking of travel, here are some humorous definitions (by way of quotations) on the topic of “travel” and “tourist.”

Travel
“The process of journeying thousands of miles away from people to avoid them, and then sending them a card saying, ‘Wish you were here.'”  (E.C. McKenzie)

“What’s only glamorous in retrospect.”   (Paul Theroux)

And, regarding a “tourist,”

“A man who travels hundreds of miles just to get a photograph of himself standing beside his car.”  (Hal Roach)

Source: The Cynic’s Dictionary by Aubrey Dillon-Malone.

Bonus on the Back!

July 31, 2017

Revers of Tumbling TorrentIt’s not everyday that you run across bonus material on the back of a painting.  Imagine my surprise to discover this hidden extra on the back of one of the paintings that I acquired last spring as part of Charles R. Murphy‘s painting potluck. If you look closely, you can see the title of the painting that is on the reverse of this image (Tumbling Torrent).   It would appear that Charles used this side of the painting to practice his technique for painting trees/woodlands.  Very cool indeed!

Small Print!

June 19, 2017

Here is the next installment of poetry generally attributed to Thomas, the sixth Earl of Harrington (circa 1730).  Enjoy!

Small Print

I knew a judge, alas the day!
Death took the honest man away;
He was my true, my steady friend,
And so continued to the end:
Though old, he had a deal of wit,
Whole days we would together sit;
Together sup, together dine,
Sometimes drink arrack, sometimes wine.
Pen, ink, and paper still was by,
For oft we did the rhyming try;
Our lines were from ill-nature free,
This made us never disagree.

One day, when wearied on the bench,
He to the tavern went to quench
His raging thirst; I met him there,
And while he did the bowl prepare,
I from my pocket gravely drew
A verse that was entirely new.
On this he took his glasses out,
And straightway clapped them cross his snout,
But thought it would not be amiss,
Ere he began, to go and p—–,
The careless waiter had forgot
To set down a clean chamber-pot,
So to the door the honest judge
Did, without once complaining trudge,
But thoughtlessly (as I suppose)
Still kept the glasses on his nose.

While thus employed, a maid came by,
And did his dwarfish member spy;
But, much offended with the sight,
Cried out, “Your honor’s in the right,
“With spectacles, perhaps, you’ll see,
“What otherwise would hidden be;
“For me, I vow to God, I’d squint,
“If I were put to read such print.”

Note: printed on the page following the title page was the following: “from a collection of poems that have been generally ascribed to Thomas, sixth Earl of Harrington. He was the son of Charles, the fifth Earl, and Margaret Lesslie, Countess of Rothes; and fought on the Royal side at the battle of Shirreffmuir, along with his brother John Lesslie, Earl of Rothes, and his own son, Lord Binning. These poems, according to Pinkerton, were printed about 1730, and have been reprinted in 1753, 1765, 1767, and 1777. He was also the author of Mia treatise on forest trees, which has gone through several editions. He died in 1735.” However, if these dates are correct (and I am by no means an expert historian in such matters), these poems could only have been written by either the first or second Earl of Harrington (William Stanhope and W.S. Jr.).