Posts Tagged ‘General Musings’

The Tell-Tale!

November 18, 2017

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

The Tell-Tale

When youthful blood distends the veins,
Love fills the heart, and fires the brains,
Makes virgins dream they toy and kiss,
And long to taste substantial bliss.
Since this with females is the way,
And thus they wish both night and day;
Then, without witchcraft, one may guess
Their thoughts, by what their looks express;
And what discourse may pass between
Two wishing maidens of fifteen.

To prove what I have said is truth,
Two sisters in the bloom of youth,
Born by their mother at a birth,
Overcharged with blood, and full of mirth;
Alike in features, shape, and air,
With sparkling eyes and flaxen hair;
With lips like any coral red,
And lilies over their bosom spread,
For ever smiling, always gay
And, spite of what mamma could say,
About the town all day would roam,
And scarcely stayed one hour at home.

My lady was an arrant prude,
And could not bear such latitude:
Was formal, forward, stiff, and nice,
Each morning railed at sin and vice,
And gave her daughters sage advice,
But all in vain, it would not do,
The girls had something else in view,
And still went gadding up and down
To each amusement in the town,
Till mamma, in an angry tone,
vowed, if they would not let alone
Their idle ways, her skill she’d try,
And lock them up three stories high.
As thus my lady, like to choke,
In anger to the fair ones spoke,
A daughter younger by some years,
Than her dear sisters showed her fears;
Yet, smiling to mamma, did say,
“I know a sure and certain way
“Will make my sisters keep the house.”
“Pray what is that my little mouse?”
My lady said, and on her smiled,
“Get them stiff p—–les,” said the child;
“Whether they sit, or lie, or walk,
“Of p—–les they forever talk;
” ‘Tis that they wish for, and they want,
“And if you will their wishes grant;
“I’ll lay my life that they shall stay
“Within the house both night and day.”

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.).


Fun Fact Friday, Number Fifty!

November 17, 2017

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

  • about 11% of the people in the world are left-handed? (Real Fact #52)
  • ancient Egyptians believed the “vein of love” ran from the third finger on the left hand to the heart? (Real Fact #309)
  • twins have a very high occurrence of left-handedness?  (Real Fact #729)
  • left-handed people tend to chew food on the left side? (Real Fact #834)
  • all of the major candidates in the 1992, 1996, and 2008 U.S. Presidential elections were left-handed? (Real Facts #985)
  • six of the last twelve U.S. Presidents have been left-handed, far greater than the national average of lefties?  (Real Fact #1178)


Fun Fact Friday, Number Forty-Nine!

November 10, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “slang.”  Do you know what the slang phrase “blowing the grampus” means?

It originates from a naval tradition of throwing a bucket of cold water on a sailor who has been caught asleep while on watch.

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

Journalistic License!

November 8, 2017

Journalists have certainly been taking a beating lately over their style and method of reporting (fake news, biased/slanted, sensationalism, etc.).  So, I thought I would consult my copy of The Cynic’s Dictionary, by Aubrey Dillon-Malone, to see how others have classified this profession.  Enjoy!

“A profession whose business is to explain to others what it personally does not understand.”  (Lord Northcliffe)

“Organized gossip.”  (Edward Eggleston)

“Survival of the vulgarist.”  (Oscar Wilde)

“A walk of life that consists of saying ‘Lord Jones is dead’ to people who didn’t know he was alive.”  (G.K. Chesterton)

“The ability to meet the challenge of filling space.”  (Rebecca West)

“The only thinkable alternative to working.”  (Jeffrey Barnard)

“The last refuge of the literary mediocre.”  (Brendan Behan)

“A man who lies in the sun all day, then goes home to his typewriter to lie some more.”  (Frank Sinatra)

How Soothing!

November 7, 2017

Getting sick is never fun (especially in the summer) and having a raw or irritated throat can make your life miserable.  So, when I feel the first tickle in my throat, I’m quickly reaching for any demulcent throat lozenge that I can find.


\ dih-muhl-suh nt \, adjective;

1.  soothing or mollifying, as a medicinal substance

2.  a demulcent substance or agent, often mucilaginous, as for soothing or protecting an irritated mucous membrane.

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

Fun Fact Friday, Number Forty-Eight!

November 3, 2017

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

  • all porcupines float in water? (Real Fact #15)
  • porcupines each have 30,000 quills? (Real Fact #220)
  • a group of porcupines is called a prickle? (Real Fact #1000)



October 30, 2017

Teams_largeHappy Monday!  As we begin a new work week, what better time to reflect on our current “team” climate at our assorted places of employment?  And, what better tool than one of the latest demotivators (courtesy of www-dot-despair-dot-com) on the topic.  Yes, we’ve all been there, those team, or group projects, where not every member pulls their weight or contributes at the same level.  Yet another example of humor that hits a little too close to the truth of how life sometimes operates.

Fun Fact Friday, Number Forty-Seven!

October 27, 2017

The category for today’s trivial imponderable is “physics.”  Do you know why a person would put a teaspoon in the neck of an opened bottle of champagne?

Contrary to any actual scientific or empirical evidence, people believe (erroneously) that this will help the champagne retain its carbonation.

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

A Mule is Born!

October 26, 2017

Today marks the day that the first mule was born in the United States (1785).

In addition, October 26th represents the day for several other “firsts,” such as the first . . .

  • Jewish weekly newspaper in English  (The Jew [monthly], New York, NY, 1849)
  • washing machine (Hamilton Erastus Smith, Philadelphia, PA, 1858)
  • steeplechase (American Jockey Club, Jerome Park, Westchester County, NY, 1869)
  • Army pilot to fly solo in an airplane (2nd Lieutenant Frederic Erastus Humphreys, College Park, MD, 1909)

Source: Famous First Facts, by Joseph Nathan Kane, Steven Anzovin, and Janet Podell

Fun Fact Friday, Number Forty-Six!

October 20, 2017

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

  • mosquitoes are attracted to people who just ate a banana? (Real Fact #10)
  • mosquitoes have 478 teeth? (Real Fact #50)
  • only female mosquitoes bite?  (Real Fact #725)