On Personal Stuff

In the following past post of not that long ago, I provided links to many of the new sites I’ve discovered in the past 4-5 months to fulfill my quasi requirement for various awards. As we know, many awards also come with an obligation to tell more about yourself. Good news is that I haven’t run out of this kind of information – bad news is I haven’t run out of this kind of information.

Whenever I go to the pharmacist, I’m fearful of seeing a busload of senior citizens unloading as I approach the store – but this has never happened to me.

Whenever I go to a hotel, I’m fearful of a tour bus unloading as I’m approaching to check in – and this happened once!

I typically sneeze in threes.

I have leaped out of our hot tub/spa, ran into the snow and did a snow angel, then raced back into the hot water.

Because I get too light headed when I give blood, I don’t give any more (sad to say).

I regularly use one Clinique product – a comb.

My favorite sleepwear includes an approximately 20-year old orange t-shirt.

I think my first kiss was with Bobbie Jo in her basement during elementary school years. I can’t recall when she moved away, so I wonder whatever happened to her and her brother.

I recall having only one blind date in my life. I recall having a good time.

When I was in elementary school, I decided to hitch a ride on the back of a milk truck and then jumped off it when it was moving 25 miles per hour. Yep – I end up in the hospital for several days – and very lucky.

I’ve never been one to sleep in – thus I’m an early riser and a morning person.

Two of my favorite travel highlights:
The most beautiful inhabitable scenery: Na Pali Coast, west coast of Kauai (Hawaii)
The most beautiful habitable scenery: Amalfi Coast (Italy)

On the day I was born, Teresa Brewer’s Till I Waltz Again with You was #1 on the charts. Interestingly, this is not a song for waltz.

I want to drive the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile.

My wife and I are greedy – thus only playing lottery games when they reach $100 million.

I was in a car accident and in the same car with a person who died.

I went to Madrid, Spain for a 3-day weekend from Ohio: left Friday afternoon, arrived Saturday morning, left Monday early afternoon, home Monday night, and at work Tuesday morning.

I make oat bran muffins (various flavors) and eat two for breakfast in an attempt to control my blood cholesterol. OK – I should post the recipe in the future.

I can’t be the only person who likes caramel topping by the spoonful without ice cream.

I still get daily newspaper delivery and read the Sports section first.

I know college dorm rooms are small, but while sitting on opposite beds, my roommate tossed a Ritz Cracker, and I caught it on my tongue.

My wife says I’m too serious.

With the perfect timing associated with a light switch, I once farted and the only light in the room went out.

My left hand is prosthetic because I preserved the original in a jar. Yep – it had to be after Shania Twain touched it. To first timers here, I’ve said this here more than once.

Before the last tidbit, anyone desiring more information about the person behind this blog, click here or see Categories > About Me in the sidebar.

Early in our marriage, my wife caught me dusting the apartment to the beat (and in time) to this Lou Rawls song from on LP on the turntable. Of course as she reads this she is wondering, how do you remember that and why? Enjoy Lou and his surprise guests.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 133

On Politics
In the past month, Rick Santorum lead in the state he served as senator, has gone from +30 to +2.

Delusional? “We are reorganizing to execute the strategy we need to win the nomination.” (Joe DeSantis, Communications Director of the Newt Gingrich Campaign after the campaign lay-offs staff)

While in Cincinnati, Karl Rove (a Republican strategist) recently proclaimed President Obama “the most vulnerable Democratic president since Jimmy Carter.” Brilliant for the partisans, but weak for the pragmatic because President Obama is the second Democratic president since President Carter.

A quote by me on another blog, “Contradictions and politicians are a better match of words than macaroni and cheese.”

If there was ever a time to broadcast the US Supreme Court, the latest healthcare hearings was it. The Court’s decision to deny broadcast has nothing to do with tradition, privacy, or obstruction. After all, there was a time when the justices rode a horse to their job. (Thank you CNN viewer for the line.)

As Reuters reports two-thirds of Americans are unhappy how President Obama is handling something he cannot control, I say a high majority of that two-thirds needs to be educated about the factors depending gas prices.

Does anyone think that the US Supreme Court Justices haven’t already made up their mind before hearing the presentations about the Affordable Care Act?

On Headlines from The Onion
Small Town Mayor Steps Down Amidst Scandal over Forged Coupon
Procrastinating Catholic 20 Rosaries Behind
Jeff Beck Lured into Dark Alley with Old-Guitar-Pick-on-a-String Trick
Boss’s Going Away Party a Little Too Jubilant
Man Died in Sleep During Terrible Nightmare
Closing of State Aviary Facilities Puts Hundred of Mentally Ill Birds on the Streets

Interesting Reads
John Avlon about the Right and the Mandate
The Foulness of the “Activist Judges” Cry
Michel Tomasky on the Freedom Fetish
Thomas Friedman about Mid-East Policy
Kathleen Parker on Moderation

On Sports
Baseball season is about to start. Ah yes, I remember the days when Major League Baseball respected and honored Cincinnati with the traditional opener. Meanwhile, there is nothing like Opening Day in Cincinnati, which is this April 5th.

In the spirit of college basketball’s Final Four weekend, I propose that college who recruit a player and then that player leaves after one year, the college loses that scholarship for 3 years (and a similar progression for year 2). Oh I forgot that NCAA leadership are eunuchs and at least as bad as, and possibly worse, than Congress.

On Potpourri

Jonas Salk tested his polio vaccine on himself and his own family. It’s fun imagining what the FDA might make of that today. But Salk’s selflessness was genuine. For one thing, neither he, nor Albert Sabin, who developed the oral version of the vaccine, ever even patented their inventions.

But Jonas Salk was not some absent-minded science nerd. He had originally gone to college to study law, and what he cared about most intensely was his fellow man. In a 1991 interview, four years before he died, Salk explained that as a young man he was never drawn to science, per se. “I was merely interested in things human, the human side of nature, if you like,” he said. “That’s what motivates me. And, in a way, it’s the human dimension that has intrigued me.” (Carl Cannon, Editor, Real Clear Politics)

The latest sensation from Britain’s Got Talent brought a tear to my eye.

Congratulations Starla for being the 9000th comment on this blog (earlier this week).

I will have a post on Saturday.

I think the video below will send you into the weekend with a smile. Have a good weekend everyone, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Pompeii: The Visit

The A Day in Pompeii exhibit stimulated many personal reflections. Even through the recent post, the wide variety of comments from readers added to my experience.

Although all of us recall our early thoughts of Pompeii during are elementary school years, some readers shared their experience of visiting the historic city. For us, the year was 2007. We were aboard Royal Caribbean’s Serenade of the Seas as it docked in Naples, the last stop before disembarking from our wonderful 12-day cruise of Italy and Croatia.

The day started as any other cruise day by me wondering about the view outside the cabin – and there was Mt. Vesuvius standing tall and quiet. We had a full day planned as we took a tour that included a brief stop in Sorrento,  driving the Amalfi Coast (simply stunning), and a wonderful lunch in the seaside resort town of Maiori before the final stop in Pompeii.

The day was full of sunshine and great views, yet as we approached Pompeii, a light drizzle came from the gray cloud cover now hovering over us. Given that we had already seen much on this day, our time in Pompeii would be limited to about 2 hours; yet, in that short time, we would capture the essence of the culture and the surreal nature among the ruins as Vesuvius watched our visit. Below are a few of our pictures.

Across the Forum to Vesuvius


Walking Down “Main Street”


One of Many Frescos


Courtyard for a Wealthy Homeowner


Directing the Way to the Bordello


Some Ruins


I also remember looking up toward Vesuvius wondering homes are up there. Since 79 A.D., Vesuvius has erupted at least 28 times, including three in the 1900s with the last being 1944. I took this at the exhibit. I wonder when the next eruption will happen. Will we ever learn?

PS (and a post-publish addition)

Here is a 4-5 minute tour of Pompeii by Rick Steves. Enjoy.

On Satire News Bits: Vol. 11

Thought I would try a twist on these satirical offering with hopes of propelling readers over the midweek hump. These are from The Onion, but this time, I selected a word to shift through the The Onion’s archives to see what I could find. Lo’ and beyond, there’s interesting material deep in those vaults.

  • This post’s search theme is Congress.
  • Which is your favorite?
  • Do you have any suggestions for future search themes?

Congress Asks President for Permission to have Congress Outside today

New Puppy Teaches Congress Important Lesson about Responsibility

Congress Threatens to Leave DC Unless New Capitol is Built

Congress Awards Itself Congressional Medal of Honor

Congress Votes Itself More Scotch

Congress Hires Drummer

Congress Accidentally Approves Arts Funding

Congress Relieved to Admit It’s not Going to Accomplish Anything This Year

Congress Sets Sail in Search of Fabled Sword of Bipartisanship

President Asks Congress for $30 Billion to Help Fight War on Criticism

Stuffed-Up Congress Allocates $250 Million to Destroy Pollen

On Pompeii: The Exhibit

We recently attended the travelling exhibit A Day in Pompeii. Cookware, jewelry, armor, frescos, utensils, statues, mosaics, religious figurines, and more told visitors about life in this modern city of over 20,000. Our short visit to Pompeii (2007) helped us appreciate the exhibit even more. And to think that Pompeii was covered for 17 centuries!

Figuring the museum would prohibit photography, I did not take a camera. Once there, I was people taking pictures, but it was not until I was more than halfway through that I recall having the camera on my phone in my pocket.

The exhibit is at the Cincinnati Museum Center through August 12. (Image from the Cincinnati Museum Center)


Karl Briullov’s Last Day of Pompeii (not on display) (Image from Wikipedia)




Statues of garden statues of Hermes in front of outdoor frescos


Floor Mosaic


Replicas of Body Casts


Animations: Below are two segments of a computer animation of that last day. Although the full version is 3-4 minutes long, these two segments will stimulate your thought. Be patient with the second because the end is profound.