March Madness 2017, Down to Thirty-Two!

March 18, 2017

The Spartans win!  The first round of the NCAA Tournament has come to a close and the field has been cut in half.  The first full-day of games had only a couple of surprises and both involved the higher-seeded Big Ten school going down in defeat (Minnesota [#5] and Maryland [#6]).   Day two found only a couple more “upsets” — Dayton (#7) losing to Wichita State and Miami (#8) losing to Michigan State (#9).  Tom Izzo worked his March magic as the Spartans found a way, following a very slugging start, to get the win.

Next up for the Spartans:  a Sunday game in the Tulsa Regional Final where they will face the Jayhawks from Kansas . . . .    Go Green!

The upsets in the tournament this first weekend included:
Minnesota (#5) losing to Middle Tennessee State (#12).
Maryland (#6) losing to Xavier (#11)
SMU (#6) losing to USC (#11)
Dayton (#7) losing to Wichita State (#10)
Miami (#8) losing to Michigan State (#9).

The teams remaining (by regional):

East Regional
Villanova (#1)
Duke (#2)
Baylor (#3)
Florida (#4)
Virginia (#5)
South Carolina (#7)
Wisconsin (#8)
USC (#11)

Midwest Regional
Kansas (#1)
Louisville (#2)
Oregon (#3)
Purdue (#4)
Iowa State (#5)
Michigan (#7)
Michigan State (#9)
Rhode Island (#11)

South Regional
North Carolina (#1)
Kentucky (#2)
UCLA (#3)
Butler (#4)
Cincinnati (#6)
Arkansas (#8)
Wichita State (#10)
Middle Tennessee State (#12)

East Regional
Gonzaga (#1)
Arizona (#2)
Florida State (#3)
West Virginia (#4)
Notre Dame (#5)
St. Mary’s (#7)
Northwestern (#8)
Xavier (#11)


Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifteen!

March 17, 2017

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  And Happy Friday!   In honor of the patron saint of Ireland, today’s fun fact(s) will center on all things Irish.  Did you know . . .

  • that the average height of Irish men is 5’8″?
  • that the average height of Irish women is 5’5″?
  • that 90% of Irish nationals are Catholic?  (Only 30% of which ever attended church.)
  • that the Irish have the lowest number of UFO sightings in all of Europe (per year)?
  • that 73% of all Americans cannot locate Ireland on a map?
  • that only 9% of the Irish population are natural redheads?
  • that May is generally the driest month of the year in Ireland?
  • that 57% of Irish people wear glasses or contact lenses?
  • that cats now outnumber dogs (2 to 1) as the most popular pet in Ireland?
  • that there is one pub for every one hundred persons in Dublin?
  • that a song can top the Irish music charts if it sells 5,000 copies?
  • that a book can top the Irish bestsellers list if it sells 3,000 copies?
  • that the River Shannon is the longest river in Ireland or Britain?


The Cost of Care!

March 16, 2017

Judging from the below data re: the cost of nursing home/long-term care, it might behoove me to remain in the State of Oklahoma in my retirement years.  Here’s a list of the states where these costs are least expensive as well as most expensive (median daily cost for long-term care in a semi-private room in 2016) . . .

Most Expensive:
1. Alaska ($800)
2. Connecticut ($407)
3. Massachusetts ($370)
4. New York ($361)
5. North Dakota ($359)
6. Hawaii ($355)
7. District of Columbia ($333)
8. New Jersey ($325)
9. New Hampshire ($320)
10. Delaware ($315)

Least Expensive:
1. OKLAHOMA ($145)
2. Texas ($148)
3. Missouri ($156)
4. Louisiana ($160)
5. Arkansas ($161)
6. Kansas ($171)
7. Iowa ($182)
8. Illinois ($184)
9. Nebraska ($185)
9. Utah ($185)

Source: AARP Bulletin, March 2017, p. 44 (from Genworth 2016 Cost of Care Survey)

Cheesecake of the Month – April 2017!

March 15, 2017

This month’s delectable recipe is for a savory cheesecake (meant to be served as an hors d’oeuvres).  Three types of cheese and bacon . . . of course I’ll like it!

Gorgonzola Cheesecake

1-1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup lightly toasted bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 cup finely chopped onions
1-3/4 pounds cream cheese, softened
1/2 pound gorgonzola cheese
4 eggs
1/3 cup whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Hot sauce to taste

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle the crumb mixture in the pan, turning the pan to coat evenly.

Fry the bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Dispose of all but about one tablespoon of bacon fat from the skillet. Add the onions, and cover and cook over low heat about 10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.

Crumble the bacon. Combine the cream cheese and the Gorgonzola in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add the eggs, cream, salt and hot sauce and process until smooth. Blend in the bacon and onions, but don’t over mix.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Set the pan in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the springform. Bake until the cheesecake sets, about an hour and 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and cool the cheesecake about an hour with the oven door ajar. Transfer to a rack and cool to room temperature before removing the pan and serving.

Source: Judy Walker, a writer for The Times-Picayune, Greater New Orleans (newspaper).


March 14, 2017

I’m going to assume that we all know or are familiar with some of the slang words for excrement (shit, crap, turd, dung, etc.).  However, were you aware of these other useful synonyms that you might just find occasion to use?


\ ek-skruh-muh nt \, noun;

1. waste matter discharged from the body, especially feces.

But 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):

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

Origins of State Names!

March 13, 2017

Happy Monday!  Do you know how your state got its name?  Here is an informative infographic that details this very thing.  Enjoy!

How All 50 U.S. States Got Their Names[Source: Today I Found Out]

Selection Sunday 2017!

March 12, 2017

It has arrived . . . March Madness!  Later today, the field will be selected for the 2017 NCAA College Basketball Tournament.  Is your team in?  My team (Michigan State, Go Green!) is not guaranteed entry this year, but I remain hopeful that their rigorous non-conference schedule, coupled with more than a couple of key players out with injuries (before the season even began), coupled with still managing to play above .500 in Big Ten play, coupled with very few upperclassmen with a good showing in the Big Ten Tournament, will earn them a berth in the tournament.  But if not . . . there is always next year!  Here are some helpful links as we begin the Road to the Final Four in earnest.  Tulsa’s BOK Center is hosting some of the regional games this year (Friday and Sunday games for the East and Midwest Regionals) and I will be at each and every game!  Woot!  I love this time of year!

Tournament Schedule
Joe Lunardi’s latest “Bracketology
Tournament Challenge (create your brackets now)


Library Version!

March 11, 2017

Happy Saturday.  Here is a librarian parody of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” that was making the rounds on Facebook last month.  Thank you Shoalhaven Library (Nowra, New South Wales, Australia)  Enjoy!

Fun Fact Friday, Number Fourteen!

March 10, 2017

Today’s fun fact comes from the category: The Bible and Religion.

Do you know how many goats there were on Noah’s Ark?

It certainly wasn’t just two.  The answer lies in the “type” of animal it was.  Clean versus unclean.  In the King James version of the Bible, Genesis 7:2 it says: “Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female.”  In the Douay-Rheims Bible (the authoritative source for Roman Catholics), the passage reads: “Of all clean beasts, take seven and seven, the male and the female.”

So, it would appear that the correct answer is: there were fourteen goats on the Ark.

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


March 9, 2017

From the book titled: oxymoronica (by Dr. Mardy Grothe), G.K. Chesterton was quoted as saying “A yawn is a silent shout.”  I’ve heard that yawns were a sign of an oxygen deficiency to the brain and they generally occur during time of relaxation and drowsiness.  There are several theories as to the why . . . physiological theory, evolution theory, boredom theory, brain-cooling theory . . . and who knows what other reasons may get posited at one time or another.  What about the “contagious” theory?  Here’s an interesting video to help explain it all.  Or, if you want to read more, here’s a link to some additional information.