July 10, 2018

Here is a wonderful origami design that transforms from a simple cube into a blooming rose (or vice versa).  It requires multiple pieces of paper, but the end result will be worth it.  Happy folding!


For the Deadheads!

July 9, 2018

On this date in 1995, at Chicago’s Soldier Field, The Grateful Dead gave their last concert with Jerry Garcia.  Garcia died the next month of a heart attack.  How about listening to some Grateful Dead today?



July 8, 2018

Happy Sunday!  Kidnapping, i.e., “the unlawful carrying away (asportation) and confinement of a person against his or her will,” has been around for quite some time.  But did you know that the very first “recorded” kidnapping occurred on this date in 1524, in a letter from Giovanni da Verrazano to Francis I (then King of France)?  The letter claims that Verrazano’s crew

“tooke a [Native Amercan] childe . . .  [an] olde woman to being into France, and going about to take . . . [a] young woman which was very beautiful and of tall stature, they could not possibly, for the great out cries that she made, bring her to the sea; and especially having great woods to pass through adn being farre from teh ship, we purposed to leave her behinde, beareing away the childe only.”

Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European explorer (Italian)  to sail into New York Harbor and is credited with charting the Atlantic coast of North America between the Carolinas and Newfoundland. The Verrazano–Narrows Bridge in New York was named after him.

It’s World Chocolate Day!

July 7, 2018

Happy Saturday!  And what better way to enjoy the day than by consuming a bit of chocolate.  Here are some interesting facts about chocolate that you may not know:

  • chocolate was consumed as a liquid for 90% of its history.
  • Americans spend more than $1.7 billion on chocolate and candy (and that is just for Valentine’s Day).
  • solid chocolate was invented in 1847.
  • chocolate melts at 93 degrees fahrenheit (melts in your mouth, and in your hands).
  • chocolate has more than 600 flavor compounds (red wine just has 200).
  • chocolate comes from the fruit of the cacao tree.
  • chocolate has to be tempered to gain its shiny look.
  • chocolate is poisonous to dogs.
  • it takes 400 cacao seeds to make 1 pound of chocolate.


Fun Fact Friday, Number Eighty-Three!

July 6, 2018

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “names” (part 2).  Do you know . . . how the software company Adobe got its name?

The software company Adobe got its name from the Adobe Creek which ran behind the home of the company’s founder, John Warnock.

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

Not Your Standard Meatball!

July 5, 2018

Are you tired of the same, old, boring meatball recipe (ground beef, salt, pepper, egg, bread crumbs, parsley . . . )?  Then have I got a treat for you!  I found this divine recipe that will really shake up (spice up?) how you look at meatballs.

Lamb Meatballs

1 large egg
1/2 cup of panko crumbs (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon of ground tumeric
1/4 cup of finely chopped parsley (plus 1 cup of parsley leaves with stems)
2 Tablespoons plus 1 cup of olive oil
1-1/2 teaspoons of salt
2 cloves of garlic, divided
1 pound of ground lamb
2 cups of mint leaves
3 Tablespoons of golden raisins
Plain whole-milk Greek yogurt (for serving)

1. Place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the egg, panko, cumin, red pepper flakes, tumeric, parsley (finely chopped), 2 Tablespoons of oil, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt.  Finely grate 1 garlic clove into the bowl and then add the lamb and mix thoroughly with your hands.

2.  Gently roll the lamb mixture into small balls (about the size of a golf ball — 1-1/2″ diameter).  Place the meatballs on a rimmed baking sheet  (space them evenly apart) and bake them until they are browned and cooked through (about 8-10 minutes).

3.  While the meatballs are cooking, in your blender, purée the mint, raisins, parsley leaves and stems, remaining garlic clove, remaining 1/2 cup of the oil, and a big pinch of salt to create your pesto.  Taste the pesto and add more salt (if required).

4.  Spread the yogurt on the plates and divide the pesto and meatballs on top of the yogurt.


Happy Independence Day, 2018!

July 4, 2018

Happy Birthday America!

Amazing Adjectives, Number Thirty-Six!

July 3, 2018

Here is a word from the Latin vates, meaning “poet; prophet.”  As exemplified in The Highly Selective Dictionary of Golden Adjectives for the Extraordinarily Literate.

“Much to the surprise of Samantha’s ardent admirers, her most important vatic pronouncements, so characteristic of her, went unnoticed until long after her death.”


\ vat-ik \, adjective;

1.  of, relating to, or characteristic of a prophet.

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

Necktie of the Month – July 2018!

July 2, 2018

Stock Exchange_NecktieThis colorful and busy Nicole Miller necktie (circa 1991) was a Christmas gift last year from my financial planner (thank you Dean).  It attempts to illustrate the hectic milieu of a broker at the stock exchange.  The NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) was officially founded over 200 years ago (March 8, 1817).  Located at 11 Wall Street, Lower Manhattan, New York City, New York, and is (per wikipedia) “the world’s largest stock exchange by  market capitalization of its listed companies at US$21.3 trillion as of June 2017.”  The current building was constructed in 1903 in the classic revival style (architects: Trowbridge & Livingston; George B. Post) and was added to the U.S. National Registry Historic Places and named a U.S. National Historic Landmark on June 2, 1978.  It was later designated a New York City Landmark on July 5, 1985.  As with most of my neckties, this one will pair nicely with a variety of my colored shirts (white, black, purple, red, beige, brown, yellow, and gray) as well as many of my suits (beige or brown, black or charcoal).  A very versatile tie indeed.


National Culinary Arts Month!

July 1, 2018

Did you know that July is National Culinary Arts Month?  A month that “promotes the awareness of professional cooks and chefs, as well as their contributions to new culinary trends.”  So whether you go out to eat and have a chef spoil you with their creativity, or you stay at home and try something new yourself, focus on enjoying your culinary experience(s) this month.  I usually do not need to wait for a specific month to do this (nor do I wait), but now that I know there is an entire month dedicated to this pursuit, and I have to say is … let’s get to the cooking!  Dilly dilly!