Tuesday, September 29, 2020

No Matter Which Side You're On - This Is Funny

"Trump is no more than a broke father of five kids by the three different women, living in public housing." 

Courtesy of one Devita Davidson

Monday, September 28, 2020

This morning's (9/28/20) Daily Breeze has a front page coverage of the just completed Gerald Desmond bridge which replaces the old Gerald Desmond bridge which was build back in in 1966.  

The new version is 515 feet tall, making it the second tallest bridge in the U.S. and has a vertical clearance of 205 ft.  It took seven years to construct for a cost of $1.45 billion.  It will be formally opened next Friday.    Richie was irritated about this because he'd planned a road trip, followed by a picnic lunch to admire it this week.  But philosophic as always, he shrugged and said, "Next week will be fine."

All of the above tweaked my curiosity and here are the results in the event you decide to take a vacation with no other goal then to visit notable bridges.  Imagine yourself on Jeopardy and Alex asks you about your hobbies and you respond, "Oh, I collect Bridges and so far have visited 10 - from the scariest to the longest."  Imagine Alex's face!

Tallest:  Ravenel Bridge in Charleston, SC  573 feet.

Scariest Bridge Chesapeake Bay which serves Baltimore and Washington DC  

The Causeway linking New Orleans to Metairie, Louisiana,  23.8 miles long.

The State with the most bridges - Texas!  Who'd a thunk that?

Friday, September 25, 2020

The 624 Acre Front yard

The estate that goes with all of this land was once owned by Mary Anne Custis Lee who inherited  it  from  Martha Washington who was her great, great grandmother.  Who was clearly clearly quite  fond of Mary Anne who, at the time, was Mrs. Robert E. Lee

Today it is Arlington National Cemetery established as such on May 13, 1864. 

And it is a busy place as some 25 to 30 burials are held every day.  No wonder they are running out of space for new arrivals.  There are 22 million people okayed to be buried here but there are fewer than 95,000 spaces available 

An expansion to accommodate another 60,00 spaces is apparently still pending.  If it passes or the money is found, that would increase the Arlington"  life for another 150 years.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

How The Hell Did Ruth Bader Ginsburg Wind Up In Arlington?

 More to the point how did her husband precede her ?  He was a very good lawyer; he also taught Law in various universities, such as Harvard, to name one.  But I saw no mention of any military service that would (as far as I know) qualify him.  

There are only four deceased Justices buried at Arlington - William Howard Taft, Earl Warren, Warren Burger and William H. Rehnquist. Only three U.S. Presidents went to the funerals.  Apparently it is not a mandatory "thing" for Presidents to do that.  

Justice Scalia, who died February 13, 2016, drew an enormous crowd.  A photo accompanying his rites shows that the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception was filled to the rafters.  In life he had been a devout Catholic. 

But no answers to the question of both Ginsburg's burial at Arlington.  I could speculate that the original paperwork to do this was a reaction to one of her  bouts with cancer when the outcome of the disease was problematic.  Not that I grudge the space for them.  Simply sheer curiosity on my part.  If you know, tell me in the Comments block.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Surrounded By Cancer

Ruth Bader Ginsberg's  mother died of cervical cancer when Bader was in high school.  Bader's husband of 56 years developed testicular cancer which traveled and  killed him age 78. 

I thought this was interesting - generation to generation.  Zap!

Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Stigma of Being Stared At Is Lifelong

It starts early ...

Age 5 or 6, on a car trip to a family vacation comes  a plaintive wail from the back seat:  "Ma-ohm, He's looking at me! Make him stop!"

Age 14 or 16.  Suzie elbows her friend Barbara and says softly, "Don't look now, but see that guy over by the punch bowl?  He was looking at me!"  Girlish giggles ensue.

21+  Suzie to Babette   " Well this bar  is a big waste of time - isn't there anyone here who's not with someone?  I haven't gotten a single look."

Age  45 to 50  "You get off of Skype this instant!  If I catch you lurking again, I'm going to report you!"

And finally, in the assisted living center,  "I'm glad that people want to want to visit me on this my 106th birthday but it's no big deal.  Either you kept going or you died."

And in the coffin, "I told them Closed Casket!  Didn't they hear me! Weren't they listening?.  I'll get them for this." 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

 A Very Unlikely Flight Crew

That would be a duck, a rooster and a sheep.  In a hot air balloon in front of  King Louis XV and his lovely wife Marie Antoinette in a demonstration on September 19, 1783,  of the possibilities of flight. This test flight  took place over the fields of Versailles.  

This first test flight went well; it was up for eight minutes and covered two miles before making a safe landing.

Neither the sheep nor the duck nor the rooster were available. for comment. 

Friday, September 18, 2020


Today begins Rosh Hashana which has been described as the Jewish New Years and will herald the beginning the year of 5781 on their calendar. The shofar's horns will  blaring away across this our great country.

As a sweet, there will be apple slices or chunks of challah,  eaten after being dipped in honey.  So will pomegranates who carry an interesting legend.  It seems that a pomegranate contains 615 seeds each of which - aha! - coincidence?  is the same number of commandments in the Torah!  How well things sometimes work out...

Discovering that the shofar is converted  from  a ram's horn into a musical instrument  reminded me of a family story I heard about my grandparents. And of course I can't remember which grandparent it was.  Both of them were 12 year old orphans at the time they arrived in America.   One of them wouldn't have been stepping onto Ellis Island  if it hadn't been for a cow horn.  At birth one of them was fed via the horn as a substitute for a bottle.  I cant think either horn is soft in any way so for horn-fed (horn not corn)   Dine and Teeth all at the same time!  

You can buy a great many Jewish artifacts from a website:   judaicawebstore.com  I saw a couple of them on a quick pass through -shofars  $18" to $21  

In the spirit of good advice, don't buy a bris kit for baby boys unless you are a doctor.  

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Honoring First Responders

Richie's cousin, in South Florida, wrote in this morning to tell us that her greyish-blondish hair now has bright red streaks  -to honor the California fires.  Her daughter, she went on, is a Person of Service - she is the Director of Ambulances in a small Northern California town.  She is an EMT person and now she is The Boss!  "Anyway, this is why my hair is  now a lot of red!"

Bravo to them both!" 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

How Come?

Not one politician has died from the virus,  lost their job or had their business looted or, missed a hair cut or wears a mask (unless on camera somewhere)  and we could wonder about that in their own neighborhoods.

Remember when we panicked when no toilet paper could be found? What are we going to do when we need a cop?  And there they aren't

NYC just defunded the very people who ran into the 911 towers to help any where they could.  Grateful thanks NYC.  Just not much.

Why are mobs tearing up statues instead of crack houses Why aren't we?


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

I Never Thought I'd Hear Me Thinking This!

Which are mentions of Climate Change.  The Virus news put it in a dark corner evidently.  I thought (happily) "Huh - maybe it's been vanquished forever!  Yay!"

Maybe because it seemed to strike me as a return to arguing about Climate Change and thus normalcy!   Loud and bitter have been the debates I've overheard in the past.  We can all live happily at the thought of that mess being gone!  

Especially if that precocious teen Greta starts to pop up in various places yelling "How dare you!"  

Sure sign.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Good for a grin If Not a Laugh - It IS Monday...

On Day 121 the dog looked at me and said, "Now you see why I chew the furniture"?

Thanks to whomever decreed singing Happy Birthday as you wash your hands.  I come out of the bathroom and my kids look for the cake.

If we're all in quarantine, I guess it's inside jokes only.

Every few days, check the fit of your jeans - pajamas lie.

We ran out of toilet paper and have to use lettuce leaves.  That was the tip of the iceberg; tomorrow romaine's to be seen.  

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Of Note? - Or Not

New York gets a moment in 1788.  The Congress of the Confederation authorized  the first national (what there was of it) election declaring New York City the temporary capital.  I don't think they ever got over it.  They still think the Big Apple is the boss of everyone.

The Pope, of all people came out for fine food and sex.  Now one of those receiving the papal endorsement struck me as odd.  The sex part.  No details please, but since he is widely considered to be chaste, I wondered where that came from.  Further research discovered that we should eat well to keep and maintain a healthy body (to serve God and the church?).  Sex is still mainly for propagation (to add new members to the clergy?)

I was impressed at the great view he has of St. Mark's Square but I bet tourists are not allowed anywhere near that balcony.  Pity - great photo opp.

More if or as they roll in.  Have a great day!

Saturday, September 12, 2020

To His Last Breath!

This probably caught your eye, too.   A report spot lit online that Henry Ford caught Thomas Edison's last breath in a test tube; meticulously wrapped the tube in paper with all of the pertinent data.  "Huh!" we probably all thought. "How crazy is that?" 

It turns out that Henry Ford and Edison were great friends with Ford idolizing Edison.  Very much his acolyte.  They bought land in Fort Meyers, Florida and built themselves, wives and kids very large houses to not only hold them but visiting friends from in the freezing North (Dearborn.)  For everyone's pleasure the duo also built a pool and the ladies directed the gardeners and household help.    The kids basically did what kids seem to do - run around a lot.

They have a mutual museum across the road from the houses.  Amazing what Edison, in particular, invented.  

Ladies if you, as a child, had a Chatty Cathy doll - thank Edison.  Although it was alternately thought of as amazing and equally as the work "of the devil."  It had been programmed to utter 11 phrases such as "I love you"  "May I have a cookie?" via a tiny tape recorder hidden inside the doll body.  

Edison invented an Electric Pen to duplicate letters and photos on waxed paper and a stylus system said to be the first safe office tool.  It was also proved later to be a useful way later to do tattoos!

Leaving with one of Edison's sayings when questioned about the number of things he had invented (1,093 patents)  "I have not failed, I just made 10,000 things that will not work!"

Friday, September 11, 2020

Interesting Tidbits - 911

The NY on-site 911 Museum is finally going to re-open Friday after six months of closure due to The Virus.  I read that it will not charge admission on Tuesdays.  Hours are 5 to 8 p.m. 

Normally the ticket costs are

adult - $26+

age 7 to 12 $15

ages 13 to 17 are charged $20

seniors pay $20.

You can walk past it any day of the week no charge.  As yet anyhow.  We're in The Big Apple, you know.  When it opened in '04 or '06 it was a great deal more expensive  - something like $40 apiece - souvenirs and mementos extra.  And I can only whimper softly at their prices.  For the hell of it Google NY 911 Museum store.  If it's like I imagine, you may well be as outraged as I am at the crass commerciality.

Conversely, the monument for  those who died in Pennsylvania is a great deal simpler.  As it  is a property of the National Park Service admission appears to be free because I couldn't find a list of them.

It is open from 9 to 5 on Sundays and Saturdays.

Most recently a 93 ft. tall carillon has been added. Every 5 to 10 feet is a windchime, each with it's own, individual chime sound.  All of them face North, away from the crash site to ring out   over the fields and hills  as each person who died was an individual.  This really appeals to me.  The honoring of the  individuality; not the brash crass commerciality of the 911 Museum in Manhattan.

Souvenir or not, God bless them all. 


Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Krash of the Kardashions?

Dare we hope?  One show goes off - Doc Martin - sadness ensues.  But then elation pokes a finger into our ribs at the news that E! doesn't want to renew them for $150 million for Kim and the Klan for  new five year contract.   I have never sat down and watched a whole show.  Why bother?  I've seen people get off of a plane many times.  Wave out of tinted limo windows... yawn.

Famous for Being Famous was never more aptly used.  Utterly wasteful conspicuous consumption.  

Bye Bye  I won't kry for you.     

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Our MidWest Correspondent Weighs In With a First-hand Report on What's Going On There

My cousin Doug and his wife Melanie drove from Indiana to Ohio for a nephew's wedding this weekend.  He says that they took  US 36 and OH55 and along the way saw and logged the following in the way roadside signs.

14 Trump signs

 9 sweet corn for sale. 

 6 yard/rummage sale notification signs

 5 homes for sale

 3  tomatoes signs

 1  Biden sign covered in bird droppings

This is by no means scientific, he added, but but indicative of small town and rural thinking.   

Monday, September 7, 2020

A Confident Prediction for Spring, 2021

And you shake your head and mutter to yourself, "I know there's no way to be confident about something as ephemeral as a prediction. "

To which I retort, there is if you are talking about the legions of PBS "Doc Martin" fans.  They are not only in America, but Canada, Germany, France and the Czech Republic.  All have had their fans since 2000.

Some tidbits - 
Martin Clues, the actor who plays Doc Martin (he hates that; he's Doctor Ellingham)  has confirmed what I've thought for a long time - he's on the autistic spectrum.  Who wouldn't have some "issues" if both of his parents hated him and couldn't wait to ship his ass off to boarding school?  Inside his often brusque, if not actually downright rude manner, peeks of a sad little boy pop up from time to time.  This I have to see and haven't.

Now I'm waiting for confirmation from someone, anyone, that his mouth looks like that due to a bad hair lip surgery.  

His formality and distance from others is illustrated by the fact that he wears a suit in the office, or making a house call or delivering a baby for that matter.  

He's gone through two receptionists so far and even if I didn't love the dialogue, plots I would tune in to see their mad outfits which I can only describe as gypsy on acid.

The pharmacy lady Mrs. Tishell is played by Selina Cadell, age 67.

The sets used in the show are kept in an old barn and I believe the tour includes it.  Photo opp!  

When a show is as popular as Doc Martin, the villagers decided to participate, in a little profit-making. too.  Hence a walking tour of Port Isaac, led by a former extra, which stars as the show's Port Wenn which takes 90 minutes and "is not recommended for pregnant women"  Certainly is easily affordable at $20.

Friday, September 4, 2020

Two Things Your Surgeon May Forget to Tell You

Both occur post op primarily because it wouldn't make sense to suffer them PRE surgery.  

 I finally made my escape from Providence Little Company of Mary aka the little house of horrors (beginning in their kitchen.)   This is my interpretation of the place - it's always twilight inside.  The rooms are dim; the halls are perhaps a watt brighter (but no more than that.) 

As I am fixated on finding a little sun somewhere, anywhere this tells on my psyche.  

Back to original business.  The two conditions post op are:  anorexia and/or depression.  

I'd already lost weight in the hospital; as previously remarked, I lived on Italian gelato (less wiggly than American) and yogurt for three days and at that, one meal a day.  The first dinner home I was able to eat about four bites and that was it.  Up until recently, the pattern persisted.
Am now back , more or less, to usual diet.  

Post op depression according to the literature, is routinely thought to be a last ditch bummer from trace anesthesia still in the body.   

Today, 9/4/20 I have felt better inch by inch every day which, as you can imagine, is quite welcome.  I have an appt. with the surgeon next Tuesday at which I am hoping that he will remove the dressing.  It itches all around the borders.  Last night I had to put an ice pack on it.  Hot tip - ice acts against itching.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Chasing Pain Pills When You're Not a Dope Addict

A bittersweet tale of patient error (massive error) and a semi-recovery.  When I was being discharged, I was told that they would give me pain pills to take home.  Saucily I informed them that Dr. Cutter (surgeon who did the posterior lumbar decompression) had assured me several times that my back pain would vanish!  End of pain!  Which is the reason I elected to go with this surgery.

Very big mistake.  When I woke up at home the day after getting home, I was in agony.  I had to get something.  

Now, knowing that the doctor had ordered the pills from the hospital pharmacy, I called them and explained.  They said they couldn't help me so I called the doctor.  "Oh, doctors can't just phone in opioid prescriptions."  I argued that the pharmacy had the Rx just fill the damn thing.  No go.

On "Raffish"'s suggestion I called the hospital and asked to speak to the on-call orthopedic doctor.  They don't have one.  They aren't a teaching hospital.

Decided to throw myself on the mercy of the Urgent Care on Sepulveda in Manhattan Beach.  There we were told to go to the ER of that hospital because they can't treat another doctor's patient.

I don't like bothering ER but all of them insisted that this was the solution.  So we went there.  That doctor finally appeared - young, brisk, no nonsense - and wrote an Rx for generic Norco (I think 95 % aspirin' 5% codeine.)  Any road it is by no means effective at all.  As I promised the ER doctor; I will take one per night and I don't care if it's one of Jack in the Beanstalk's  Magic Beans!

So am back on Advil which the ER doctor told  me is recommended by ERs.  Who knew?

And none of this would have happened if I hadn't believed the surgeon.  Trust No One is my new motto.


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

This'n That

The meaning of words:  I was reading a book (which I can't really recommend - "The Red Room" by Nicci French which is a sort of Brigette Jones Diary and a couple of murders.) and one of the lead characters said to another, "I'm just on tenterhooks about whether..."

And I thought, we hear that word in sentences that express agitation - so what the hell is a 'tenterhook'?

Wikipedia told me that it's a hooked nail which is called a tenter which is used on the wood frames used in making woolen cloth since the 14th century.

Dissing Great Britain.  One of the travel sites released a bunch of letters that express distaste for some of the great sights there.  With no further ado - Big Ben (common name) 

"It's just a clock and I can't understand all of the hype about it.  It'll be digital in 30 years anyhow."

It's just a pile of a few rocks disgusting to look at and nothing to do.  If they knocked it down and put in a funfair or an arcade... it's just a silly place.  

The London Eye isn't an eye just an overgrown Ferris wheel with too much PR. 
Source  boredpanda.com

These letters were clearly written by foreign hands.  Brits are unfailingly polite!  And I like'em!

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Up In The Air - or Not

This morning I read with interest the following tidbits.  The pilots on AA1997 inbound from La Guardia to LAX reported to the flight controller, "We just passed a guy in a jetpack."  This was on landing  at LAX! At the time of the incident reportage, the jetpack pilot? was unidentified.  Look for the movie soon. 

You can be sure great mirth followed this riveting announcement.  Pilots and controllers love to play with each other's heads.  I have it on good info.

Perhaps not meanwhile, but back in LaGuardia, the pilots were being informed of a pair of women brawling on the floor of the jet bridge - not even on the plane yet.  Which was a Delta to fly from LGA to Atlanta.  They were wearing pink sweats on one combatant and grey on the other.  Bystanders thought they were related - sisters or cousins.  From the back of the crowd now observing came a woman's voice, "Go get Aaliyah - she's fighting."   This whole megillah delayed the flight by 40 minutes, due largely the article said, on the necessity of going through all of the baggage to find the brawlers' bags.  Which I took to mean they would  not flying anywhere that day.   Certainly not to Atlanta on Delta.