Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunday Song.

The first concert I ever went to was Harry Chapin. (I have only been to three.) It is a shame that he died so young. He actually wrote about dying young in his song There Only Was One Choice.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jesse Is That You?

In February I bought some Topps American Heritage cards. I wrote about it here. I mentioned that I was to receive a Jesse Ventura relic card. It was supposed to ship in May. In May I received an email from Topps saying they were having problems with the card. I had the option of getting another card then or waiting. Since I like Jesse I opted to wait. Tuesday there was a package in the mail. Looking forward to to Jesse card I immediately opened it up. Enclosed was a letter telling me that they had problems with the Jesse card and they were sending me a different card instead. The card was placed between 4 pieces of cardboard for protection. I cut the tape holding the cardboard and there was my relic card. Instead of Jesse Ventura I got Erik Estrada. It is a relic card, but to replace Jesse Ventura with Erik Estrada is somewhat of a let down. I did watch C.H.I.P.S. when I was a kid, but is not something I would watch today. Oh well, at least I got something.
Travis was right. Odin was greatest of all Norse Gods.
Today's question is Grade 2/Vocabulary.

What word that starts with the letter "Q" can mean both a spike on a porcupine or a bird feather used as a pen?
I knew this one. 142-22.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Religious Discrimination?

The Tesco chain in Great Britain is being accused of religious discrimination. The claim is being made by the Jedi Church. There actually is a religion based on the Star Wars movies. The founder of the religion, Daniel Jones, says he was stopped by store management and told to remove his hood or leave the store. According to Jones when appearing in public, Jedi are required to have their heads covered. I checked on their website and found no mention of it. There must be a handbook somewhere that explains it, but it isn't on-line.

I am not sure why Tesco has a policy about head coverings. There are a few religions who do practice it. For that matter, I wear a hat if I am going to be out for a long time. I have noticed that the top of my head gets sunburned if I don't. (I am still trying to figure out how that happens.) Regardless of the reasons why, Tesco did point out an interesting thing about Jedi. If you watch the movies there are instances of the Jedi being out in public without their hoods. Personally, I don't have a problem with the Jedi religion. I do think they are carrying it a little to far with the head covering issue.
The Anglo-Saxons were defeated at the Battle Of Hastings.
Today's question is Grade 3/Literature.

In Norse mythology, who is Thor's father and the greatest of all Norse gods?
Being a good comic book fan, I knew this one. 141-22.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Drought? What Drought.

Three years ago people in Georgia were praying for rain. Now they are praying for it to stop. In the last eight days the National Weather Service has recorded over 10 inches of rain in eight cities, with the high being 17.14 inches in Canton, GA. Last night our truck that delivers frozen foods and dairy was over an hour late. He had to deliver to the Fort Oglethorpe store before ours. The road he took was flooded out and he had to turn around and take an alternate route.

There are many roads closed around Atlanta today. If you are interested here is a full list. Amazingly people are ignoring road closed signs. This morning five people had to be rescued when one person ignored a sign and drove into a flooded road. Four people tried to rescue the first and they also had to be rescued. Currently seven people have drowned. The flood waters tore apart a trailer and sadly a two year old boy was drowned. His body was recovered a mile away. Four of the drowning victims were in their cars which were swept off the road.

The forecast is for more rain until Monday, when the sun is supposed to return. Hopefully this is accurate. I am ready for some sunshine.
Yesterday's answer was false. The Equator does not pass through any part of North America.
Today's question is Grade 4/World History.

Whom did the Normans defeat in 1066 at The Battle of Hastings?
I knew that one. 140-22.

Monday, September 21, 2009

He Did What?

We have all been shopping and have heard a child who is very unhappy and is letting everyone know it. Since I work retail I hear it more than most of you. It can get annoying, but I have sympathy for the parents. They are in a no win situation. No matter what they do, they can't win. Everyone has an opinion on what to do, and are quick to criticize when the situation is not handled their way.

Roger Stephens qualifies for the Grumpy Old Man Of The Year Award.
Stephens approached a woman whose two year old daughter was screaming and told her “if you don’t shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you.” He then grabbed the little girl and hit her four times in the mouth. Nearby customers held him until police arrived. Currently Mr Stephens is still in jail, a situation that his attorney approves of. Maybe he was taking Hilary Clinton's book, It Takes A Village, literally. There is no justification for what he did. Of course if you read any comments on this story there are people who are complimenting him for his actions.

I find it amazing the number of people who have their young children out in the middle of the night. Then again, I realize that a lot of them are single parents and may not have any other choice. After all, if your options are to get the children up or leave them home alone, by all means get them up. However, when it comes to disciplining children, leave that to the parents.
The answer was 51 hours. Today's question is Grade 3/Geography.

True or False? The Equator passes through the southern tip of North America.
I knew this one. 139-22.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday Song.

I was going to embed a video here, but YouTube is not allowing it for this song. Go here and check out the video for Huey Lewis and the News with If This Is It. On Monday I mentioned my friend John Means appeared in several videos for Huey. He appears here as a carny at the 1:58 point.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

31 Years Ago Today.

31 years ago today I did something that I have only done once in my life. I got married. It doesn't seem like it has been that long ago. Of course, as you know, the marriage ended with my wife's death in 2000. I am not mentioning this looking for sympathy. Life goes on and I am enjoying mine. I hadn't even realized what today was until I checked in the milk truck at work last night. I have to take the temperature of the milk and record it. Writing down the date made me think, "Oh yeah." Originally I was just going to post a picture for today. I still am going to do that. The post would have been titled A Man and His Rabbit. I am using this picture as my wallpaper. I hope you all have a great weekend. As usual, I'll be working tonight.

Travis was right. A xylophone is a member of the percussion family.
This weekends question is Grade 4/Dates and Times.

Rosh Hashanah, or the Jewish New Year, begins at sundown in two days. How many hours after Rosh Hashanah begins in New York will it end in California?

I knew this one. 138-22.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A New Plan 9.

Some people consider Ed Woods movie, Plan 9 From Outer Space, as the worst movie ever made. Personally, I don't think it is that bad. It is by no means a classic, but I find it entertaining. I consider it an unintentional comedy. It has a very cheesy feel, but when you consider the budget for it was $40,000, you don't expect great special effects. IMDB rates it a 3.6, which doesn't even come close to the bottom 100 list.

It is the last movie that you would think would be remade. Never underestimate Hollywood. A teaser trailer has been released. They have a website. When I first read the article I told myself there is no way I will watch this. However, after watching the trailer I just might. It looks like it might be a lot of fun.
Travis was right. Wow is an interjection.
Today's question is Grade 1/Music.

Which of the following instruments is a member of the percussion family?

  • A) viola
  • B) xylophone
  • C) bassoon
I knew this one. 137-22.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Beatlemania is back. You can buy the RockStar Beatles game and try your hand at playing with the Beatles. I have never played any of those games. My musical talent is equal to my singing talent. I have always said, you have heard of a person who can't carry a tune in a bucket? I can't carry the bucket. When it comes to musical ability, I play a great stereo.

Better than the game, the entire Beatles catalog has been re-released. The CD's have been remastered. The versions being released are the British versions. With the early United States releases Capital records changed them a little. There were more albums in the U.S. I am a long time Beatles fan. Ironically, I became a fan after they had broken up. I was 13 before I got interested in music. The first album I ever bought was Paul McCartney's Ram. At one time I had all of their albums, but the albums were sold years ago. When they were first released on CD I could not afford them. My plan now is to buy them all, adding more each payday. Last night I bought Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road. I listened to them before I started this. The sound is great. There are some purists who claim the only way to listen to music is on the original vinyl. I am not among them. I am enjoying hearing all of these songs again.

I mentioned yesterday that I had a major difference with someones opinion. Entertainment weekly rated the Beatles albums. Two writers are credited with this. I wonder what their criteria was for it. My major gripe with this list is they rated Sgt. Pepper as the seventh best Beatles album. Huh? From the first time I heard it, Sgt. Pepper was my favorite. Rolling Stone ran a list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time. Care to guess what number one was? These people rate it as the seventh best Beatles album. Amazing. I totally disagree, and if you read the comments about it I am not alone.

Dana pointed something out that I said yesterday and I feel I should clarify it. I made the comment about Kanye West's apology on Jay Leno's show was half-hearted. I should have worded it that it appeared to me it was a half-hearted apology. I intend on severely punishing my editor. He should have pointed that out to me.
In yesterday's question there were three singular nouns, Jeff, park, and flock.
Today's question is Grade 4/English.

True or False? The word wow is an interjection.
I knew this one. 136-22.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Poor Sportsmanship.

There has always been a well established antagonism between athletes and the officials overseeing their sports. In their desire to win they see the officials as the reasons for their failures. Sometimes they are right. Officials are humans who make mistakes. After all, no one is perfect. However their calls are final. Rarely are their decisions overturned. At the U.S. Open Saturday a line judge called a foot fault on Serena Williams. It was clearly a bad call as video showed that Williams had not faulted. However, her reaction was over the top. She had her say, started to resume play, and then decided to say some more. That decision cost her the match. She obviously wasn't having a good day. The match had been delayed 32 hours because of rain. Serena had dropped the first set 6-4 and was losing the second. The bad call pushed her over the edge and she lost it. It still doesn't excuse her for her reaction. She has been punished, being fined $10,000 and faces further punishment. After something like this happens it takes a little time for the publicity storm to pass. Fortunately for Serena, Kanye West provided the perfect distraction.

MTV's Music Video Awards have a history of being controversial.
In 1991 Bret Michaels and C.C. DeVille of Poison got into a fistfight. In 1996 the fighters were David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen, though they used words instead of fists. In 1999 Lil' Kim paved the way for Janet Jackson with a very revealing outfit. Britney Spears has shocked people several times with her outfits and behavior several times. Eminem had his fight with Triumph The Comic Insult Dog in 2002. 2003 centered on the kiss between Madonna, Britney Spears and Christine Aguilera. I could go on, but you get the idea. This year however Kanye West topped them all. Taylor Swift won the award for Best Female Video for her song "You Belong with Me." As she was giving her acceptance speech West came on stage to proclaim Beyonce's video for her song "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)" was one of the best videos of all time. West found himself tossed out of the video awards. I don't remember where I read it but someone commented "I didn't think that was possible".

The fallout for West was swift. This isn't the first time his remarks have gotten him in trouble. He seems to suffer from terminal Foot In Mouth Disease. Even President Obama called him a jackass. He offered a half-hearted apology on Jay Leno's show, where he revealed he is taking some time off. Considering public opinion today, if he didn't he would get a very bad reaction wherever he appears. It wasn't until Taylor Swift appeared on The View that West finally called her and apologized.

I really think he doesn't understand why people are upset. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Tomorrow I will talking about a major disagreement I have with someones opinion. However much you disagree with someone, you don't do it the way Kanye did. When someone is getting the spotlight you don't spoil their moment. Of course not everyone thinks she deserves the award. There were five nominees and each of them got votes. She was the winner. It takes quite an ego to go up there and proclaim your opinion is the right one. I am impressed with Beyonce's reaction to the whole controversy. Her video won the award for Video Of The Year. She called Taylor swift up so Taylor could give her acceptance speech. I have never been a big Beyonce fan, but it was a very classy move on her part and I applaud her for it.

Things will not always go our way. Our favorites do not always win. (Spoken like a true Cubs fan.) Complaining about it doesn't solve anything. It only leads to arguments. The best thing to do is say I disagree and move on. Both Serena Williams and Kanye West have tarnished their reputations. Time will tell if they have learned from their mistakes.
Travis was right. Adverbs describe verbs.
Today's question is Grade 2/Grammar.
How many singular nouns are in the following sentence? "Jeff went to the park to see the flock of seagulls."

I didn't know they had seagulls in Indiana, Jeff. As far as the nouns go, I knew how many were there. 135-22.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vacation Tales.

The main reason I go to central Illinois around Labor Day is on the Sunday before Labor Day we have a family gathering. This way I can see more of my relatives. I had an especially nice time with my Uncle Norman, Dad's older brother. He is 86 and gets around remarkably well for his age. He no longer drives and uses a walker, but he stays as active as he can. I went and picked him up for the gathering. He had told Mom that he couldn't bring anything because he had not been able to get his groceries. A van picks him up and takes him but they weren't able to get him that week. I offered to take him grocery shopping before I took him home. At first he wasn't going to let me, but then decided to. He told me that way we could spend more time together.

I think that part of my enjoyment of working in retail comes from him. He was a manager for Kroger and then opened his own store in Urbana, Illinois. He was an independent in the days when you could make money without being a chain. The name of his store was Norm's Shopping Bag. When I told him about that he told me the thing he liked about was the grocery business was you were always working. It was not quite as seasonal as farming. We went to a Wal-Mart, (imagine that) in Springfield and he picked up what he needed. After i took him home he offered to give me some money for gas, but I told him all I needed from him was a hug. You don't have to get paid for doing something for someone, especially family.

I didn't do any sight-seeing this time. I did talk to a friend of mine who is on a crusade to revitalize Mason City. He has spent a lot of time and money buying buildings downtown, painting murals and planting trees. There has been a definite improvement since he started. His name is John Means. In the '80's he moved to San Francisco and performed under the name Dr Gonzo. He appered in a few videos with Huey Lewis and the News. I will see if I can find a link to one he appeared in and will post it some Sunday. John showed me some of his current projects. Next year I will take some pictures and post them. I am working on another post about Mason City which I should be posting in a week or so.

My rabbit missed me while i was gone. He had started wanting to sit in my lap for about 5 minutes a day. Since I have returned he is now coming to me several times a day. I'll put my camera on my desk and take a picture of him and post that later.
Dana was right. Orange is the third of the secondary colors.
Today's question is Grade 3/English.
Adverbs describe what part of speech?
  • A) pronoun
  • B) verb
  • C) interjection
I knew this one. 134-22.

Back From Vacation.

Last year I made three trips to Illinois. In February I went up and picked up the car my parents gave me. In August I was told Dad would not be with us much longer. I took some extra time off of work, combined it with my vacation and was able to spend 10 days with him. I returned home but two days later I went back because he had passed away. That was on September 4. I was very glad that I was able to spend that time with him. This year I arrived there on the third. I was conscious of the fact that the one year anniversary would be the next day. It was a little sad, but over all I had a very nice time there. Of course the top picture is Dad's tombstone. The next three are the view standing by Dad's grave. I really enjoy the view from there.

The cemetery is about a mile from where I grew up. The oldest grave that I have seen is from 1860. Next year I am going to spend a little extra time there and see if there is any older grave.

I had planned on writing more, but right now my mind is fried. I still haven't got my body back on the third shift schedule. I will talk more about my vacation tomorrow.
Today's question is Grade 1/Art.

There are three secondary colors. Two of them are purple and green. What is the third?

I had never heard of secondary colors. I made a guess and I was wrong. 133-22.