On Fall Break 2015

Over the past few weeks, I have struggled with visiting other blogs and my own writing. Experience tells me that’s a sign of needing a blog break. Besides, I normally take one in the September-October time frame. So, the stars are aligning for me to take a blog break, thus I’m hitting the Pause button.

Most of my blog-break time will be Level 1 – Total Abstinence – however, I will creep a bit of Level 2 as I hope to write a little during that time. (For those needing more information about the levels of blogging breaks, click here.) To help separate myself during the break, I’m turning off my notifications. Meanwhile, my comments are On because I will be phasing myself into break oblivion.

Regular series as Monday Morning Entertainment and Satire Bits gave me a chance to share bits from my personal life, which many seemed genuinely interested. Now that those series are no more, so is my personal sharing – so going into the break is a good time for an update.

After my year off, I didn’t return to the handbell choir, but my wife still plays. They recently played this version the Led Zeppelin classic – Stairway to Heaven. (Consider playing it as your background music while reading).

My golf game started the season with a bang, but then I hit a 6-8 week spell of what I described as my worst golf in 30 years. However, I righted the ship.

For those who miss my list of monthly, weekly, and daily celebrations, I promised to provide my main sources – and here are the top 2 – this one and that one.

Ballroom remains part of our life. You may recall that I doing a tango routine for a showcase event at a private studio. It’s not with my wife, but she approves of my partner. It’s been an interesting experience, but because of the time commitment, I’m not sure if I would do this again. Nonetheless, here’s the song – which is a tad fast, so we slowed it down.

I continue volunteering with ballroom dance for those with Down Syndrome and other disabilities. It’s a very rewarding experience, and I try to attend most of the weekly events. Unfortunately, this year I’m going to miss their competition, the event started my interest. (Remember this post?)

I recently started serving as a volunteer in an English Second Language (ESL) program for adults. It’s off to a good start. Regardless of their individual reasons for being in the US, each of them wants to improve their proficiency in English.

However, our season of ushering at plays is underway. We recently saw The Secret Garden, and young artist (Caitlin Cohn) in the lead role impressed both of us. We are curious to see how far she climbs on the ladder to stardom.

I’m a Christian who believes in Interfaith dialogue and efforts – both within Christianity AND between different religions. The Friday’s Interfaith ceremony at the 9-11 Memorial in NYC was very moving!

My initial plan is to stay away 3-5 weeks, but time will tell. I encourage you to visit bloggers you may not know -the good people listed on my Sidebar and those on the Blogroll page – especially the New Acquaintances section. Regarding all bloggers listed today, I hope to reorganize them in the future.

To lead you into my break, here are several videos for you to enjoy. Take your pick – a singing two-year old, a singing comic, today’s comics doing their version of a classic routine, or a major hit from many years ago that still sounds great today.

Wishing you all the best and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Touching the Core

Who are you? Who am I? Not only how do we identify ourselves, but also, what identifies each of us?

I’ve embedded many videos on this pages during my blogging time, but some stick with me. They touch my core. They define who I am.

The European immigrants of the late 19th Century and the early 20th Century impacted the world. My paternal grandparents were in that group while my maternal family remained in Europe.

I believe the majority of the world is good. In a global environment when language can be a barrier, other things can link people – such as smiles, kindness, and respect. Blogging is has reinforced that to me, and so has Matt.

The ending of some movies cause a tear – yep, It’s a Wonderful Life does it, and so does this one.

Human behaviors are complex and quite wide-ranging. That given, there is a lot of bad in the world, but one cannot deny the power of I’m Sorry.

I believe universal creation is spectacular, and creation is ongoing. From our tiny perspective, the wonders of the universe are just for us. Whether Earth is home to the only life in the universe doesn’t matter to me, but nobody can deny this perspective.

Any favorites here? Are their videos that define you?

On a Burger Trail

It was about 2003 as I was working on a long-term project for an upstart company. A retired friend and I would talk about him coming down to my work area for lunch. Our target was a nearby establishment having a local reputation for good hamburgers.

He came, we went, had a good time, and even discussed the burger. He returned a month later, but we went to a different place for a burger – discussed and compared. Another time, a third place, a third burger, and then ranking the three. Little did we know about the road ahead.

My project ended, but we continued trying different places – especially ones with a positive reputation or recommendations. I’m not sure of the timeline, but a third friend joined us after he unexpectedly lost his job; thus more comparisons, rankings, and notes.

In July 2005 I decided to start a blog to post reviews of our ventures. I hustled to get local readers by commenting at various local blogs and bulletin boards … then a major (and unexpected) break … a high-profile writer at the Cincinnati Enquirer contact me, and he wanted to have lunch with us. With a photographer and his notepad, we met at the place of our choosing.

I was in Abilene, Texas the day the Enquirer published. Emails were flying into our mailbox, but I didn’t respond because the link to the article was malfunctioning. I did my morning presentation in Abilene, and I was anxious during my flight to Cincinnati. I returned home to discover a call from a local radio station whose powerful signal reaches most of the country, let alone a feature article in the paper’s Life section that extended to an inside page, and many comments on the blog. Yep – the next night we were on the radio for about an hour.

Receiving burger recommendations was one of the benefits from the publicity … thus the reviews chronicling of the adventures of Bucky, Freddie, and Wolfie continued. Eventually, we were also featured in the Enquirer’s weekly entertainment paper – CinWeekly. A local food personality also invited us to her radio show. An upstart podcast company also did a 30-minute interview.

Our journey continued for a few more years. Jobs, projects, or health issues caused us to fade away. Nonetheless, a touch of pride still remains for being one of the Cincinnati Burger Guys … so, Happy Hamburger Week.


From the top down: Freddie, Bucky, and Wolfie


On 62 on the 62nd

1) Sixty two is also written as Soixante-deux (French), Шестдесет две (Bulgarian), Sessantadue (Italian), Εξήντα δύο (Greek), Tweeënzestig (Dutch), LXII (Roman numeral)

2) Sixty second should not be confused with sixtieth second

3) 62 is a composite number, and the sum of the 3rd, 5th, and 10th Fibonacci number

4) 62 is only divisible by 2, 31, and 62

5) Binary for 62 is 111110

6) 62 in base 5 is 222 (but Karen Valentine did not star in Room 62)

7) 62 is the only base-10 number whose cube consists of 3 different digits occurring twice … 238328

8) 62 squared is 3,844, but 62’s square root is 7.87400787401

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

9) 62 is the atomic number of the element samarium, whose neutral atom has 62 protons and 62 electrons

10) The 62nd day of a normal year is March 3rd, but during a leap year it’s March 2nd

11) 62 is the code for international direct dial calls to Indonesia

12) Sigmund Freud had an irrational fear of the number 62

13) 62 has not been retired by any team in Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL), National Hockey League (NHL), or the National Basketball Association (NBA)

14) In 62 BCE included the founding of Florence (Italy), Julius Caesar divorcing Pompeia, and the birth of a future Egyptian pharaoh – Ptolemy XIII

Year 62 CE

  • 15) a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar
  • 16) A great earthquake damages cities in Campania, including Pompeii.
  • 17) Paul of Tarsus is imprisoned in Rome
  • 18) Nero’s first wife, Claudia Octavia, is presumably executed, but Nero marries Poppaea Sabina later that year … (so does that make Poppaea the second fiddle? )

19) Car #62 has only won one NASCAR race (out of 292 races) – driven by Frankie Schneider (1958)

20) 62 designates a star in constellations Aquila, Andromeda, Sagittarius, Ophiuchus, and probably a few more

From PortfolioCollection.com

From PortfolioCollection.com

21) Click to see images of Messier Object M62

22) Highway 62 can be found in United States, India, Iran, Malaysia, Canada, Taiwan, Mexico, Greece, UK, South Africa, 32 US states, and the US Virgin Islands

23) US Route 62 runs from the northeast/southwest connecting El Paso, Texas, to Niagara Falls, New York … 2248 miles (3618 km) … and comes within 30-40 minutes of my home

24) Although too numerous to list, various guns, planes, helicopter, missiles, submarines, and other weapons included 62 as a model number

25) These people died at age 62 include Aristotle, Louis Pasteur, Martin Luther, Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Wayne, Linus Pauling, and Robert Goddard

26) Musical compositions include Symphony No. 62 (Haydn), Opus #62, No. 1 – Nocturne (Chopin), Song Without Words – Opus 62 (Mendelssohn), Cantata #62 (Bach), and Coriolan Overture, Opus 62 (Beethoven) … (Do any of the piano players here play these?)

27) Fabric 62 is a 2012 album by DJ Sneak

28) James Madison wrote Federalist Paper No. 62 about the organization of the US Senate

29) 62nd parallel south only crosses land on King George Island – which is claimed by Argentina, Chile, and the United Kingdom, but not by Turkmenistan or this blog

30) 62nd parallel north crosses Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, United States, Canada, and Greenland

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

31) 62 meridian east crosses Russia, Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, and India

32) 62 meridian west crosses Canada, Greenland, Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina, and Antarctica

33) “The Class of ’62” is an episode of the BBC sit-com Only Fools and Horses (the fourth episode of series 7, and first broadcast on 20 January 1991)

34) William Shakespeare wrote Sonnet 62

35) 62 is the Retirement Age in Azerbaijan, Colombia, France, Hungary, Latvia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, and Turkmenistan, yet within the retirement age range in Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, and United States

36) 62 kg is a men’s weightlifting division in the Olympics

37) Television channel 62 is found in Burbank (CA), Detroit (MI), and Greenville/Spartanburg (SC)

38) Mature Wasabi plants have 62 leaves

39) In temperature, 62 C = 143 F, but 62 F = 16 C

40) Melting point of Acetic Acid is 62 F, but the boiling point of chloroform and Arsine is 62 C

41) 62 is the molecular weight of nitrate and boric acid

42) Barcelona has a SixtyTwo hotel

From Wikipedia

From Wikipedia

43) The 62nd street bridge crosses the Allegheny River in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

44) The 62nd Academy awards were held in 1990 with Driving Miss Daisy winning Best Picture

45) HP Ink Cartridge #62 is used on 5 different HP printers

46) The Montreal Alouettes won the 62nd Grey Cup by defeating the Edmonton Eskimos 20-7 in 1974

47) 62nd US Congress served during the third and fourth years of President William Howard Taft (a Cincinnatian)

48) The 62nd Golden Globe (2005) winners included The Aviator and Sideways

49) 62 West 62nd Street is the address for The Allegro condominiums in New York City

50) NYC 62nd Street subway station (at New Utrecht Ave) is in Brooklyn

51) Google Images of 62nd Street (Lame to verify)

52) 62nd episode of Seinfeld (“The Handicap Spot”) aired May 13, 1993

53) Rane 62 is a performance mixer (electronics) that can be bought on Amazon

54) 62 miles = 100 kilometers

55) The Karman Line, the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and outer space is 62 miles (100 km) above sea level

56) Here’s someone thoughts about 62 questions to ask on the first date

57) 62-word short stories are found here

58) 62nd Floor is an independent art-zine, printed six times a year. (from their About page) We are dedicated to analogue photography, nostalgia, crazy characters and a bit of weirdness. 

59) The numerology values of each of these word & combinations add to 62: philosophy, beauty knowledge, divine enneads, pearl spirit, silver light, Mercury Uranus, wisdom return, mind in itself, space time earth, love beauty truth

60) The Greek-based numeric prefix dihexaconta- means 62

61) 62 is the sum of the number of faces, edges and vertices of icosahedron (20 faces) or dodecahedron (12 faces); the number faces in the rhombicosidodecahedron (20 regular triangular faces, 30 square faces, 12 regular pentagonal faces) and truncated icosidodecahedron (30 square faces, 20 regular hexagonal faces, 12 regular decagonal faces) both of which are Archimedean solids. (Yep, expect this on the quiz, so the links help you study, as will this post.)

62) 62 years ago (February 17, 1953) I was born in this city. The best birthday present I could receive here is to have many birthday wishes from my blog friends and their friends. Thanks for stopping by and cheers to your kindness.




On an Autobiography: Blog Style

BabyPic1) I was born here

2) … but grew up 4,614 miles (7,26 km/4,010 nautical miles) to the west of my birthplace

3) … and A, I, and O are were important letters

4) I wasn’t consider a troublemaker, but this strange night happened during my senior year.

5) Upon graduating high school, I traveled to the opposite corner of the state for college 

6) … where one of my favorite things was this, which delivered a surprise moment 

7) Since college graduation, my home has been this metropolitan area

8) I married my college sweetheart on this date

9) … spent most of my professional years doing this

10) One of my proudest moments was delivering a strong message at my mother’s funeral 

11) We now live in this town

12) … and we enjoy travelling like this way

13) This is our favorite local pastime

14) … but I also did this for about 12 years before stepping away this year

15) All in all, a good life, a happy life, with its share of ups and downs … yet my heart is still with my heritage (one and two in the same region)

16) Blogging here for the past 6+ years (since August 2008), and I’ve grown to appreciate goodness of so  many good people across the globe.

On a Belated Tribute

Mother’s Day was this past weekend. Although time didn’t work in my favor to get a post together, mothers aren’t forgotten.

This is my mother. She learned her English by exposure, thus everyone noticed her Italian accent. Her strength was her kindness and her hands … that is, she could cook and sew with the best of them.

My Mother with her Tuscan hometown in the background

My Mother with her Tuscan hometown in the background

My mother died much too young … a month shy of her 59th birthday back in 1987. However, I was lucky to have someone else.

This is my mother-in-law (MIL).  Like my mother, she grew up during the depression, thus those times influenced her. Like my mother, my MIL was genuinely kind and cared about people … and always supportive of my wife and I. She and my mother were very close to the same age, but she lived much longer.

My mother-in-law - a kind, generous, and genuine person

My mother-in-law: a kind, generous, and genuine person

My MIL passed away this past December, so this past Sunday was new to me as it was the first Mother’s Day I exclusively relied on memories.

On Enchanted to Remember


That was August 23, 1952. Their wedding eventually led to their daughter introducing me to them before a college football game in the fall of 1974. We married in April 1977. August 2012 was their 60th anniversary celebration, and the delightful footnote that the entire wedding party was still alive.

My mother-in-law loved both of these songs. A toast to a good person with the gentile heart that everyone enjoyed and respected. We will miss her, but the love and memories she gave us will last forever.