On Beach Walk: No. 25

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I like walking the beach. It’s good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

I think of my mother. How difficult it must have been to come to America with a 3-month old, a husband, and not knowing the language. She integrated into small-town America life, but she was fortunate to have other Italian families in the town and area.

I think about my mother as her and I returned to Italy for 6-8 months. It was her first trip back to see her mother, father, three sisters, and a brother. I was five years old, arriving knowing primarily English, yet returning only knowing Italian. Oh how the young mind absorbs language.

I think our return six years later. This time our entire family of four. But I didn’t realize until many years later that the passing of my grandfather initiated the summertime journey that gave me my first plane ride.

I think about my mother receiving a letter that my grandmother died. How lonely of a feeling that must have been, yet I recall not really knowing what to tell her.

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I think about my mother displaying kindness and acceptance from the first day she met the one who would eventually became my wife … and that would never change – and my wife still remembers her first exposure to a festive meal involving homemade ravioli as a side dish … (not the main course).

I think about my mother returning to Italy to see her sisters a few more times – but without me. I was older – either in college or working.

I think about my mother battling cancer for three years – first a breast, then the liver. She never wanted the rounds of chemo and radiation – but she took it all.

I think about the phone call I received from my mother sometime during that three-year battle. She was in Florida, I in Ohio – Crying, she said “I love you.” … words that were not commonly spoken in our house.

I think about various events around the day of her passing – it’s timing with the start of a new school year – the words I spoke at her funeral (which I posted here as in several parts).

I think about my mother smiling on my return to Italy in 2013 – a trip when I visited my mother’s only surviving sister – my aunt that I had seen in 48+ years. (Posted here)

I think about my mother as I passed her family’s home – the apartment where I spent 6-8 months – a building that is now abandoned, but awaiting a new life. (Posted here)

I think about my mother dying young – a month shy of her 59th birthday – and to think my life has surpassed hers by six years. She would be 90 this September.

Today is Mother’s Day – but I wrote this post after a beach walk because walking the beach is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. You never heard this song, but you would have loved it.

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On 88

cooltext_88momMy mother passed away in August 1987 at an age that is younger than I am now. Characterized by calm, kindness, and hard-working, my admiration for her has grown over time. With Mother’s Day 2016 upon us, I salute her with a number tribute – 88 – which would be her age on her 2016 birthday later this year.

I don’t have many digital images of her – and the ones that I have are old. I hope to digitize some of the old family pictures and some of my own, but for now, these from 1964 will do. Happy Mother’s Day Mom. We love you, miss you, and we’re doing fine.

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In Language
Tetëdhjetë e tetë (Albanian), Åtti åtte (Norwegian), Achtentachtig (Dutch), Ottantotto (Italian), Osamdeset osem (Slovenian), LXXXVIII (Roman numerals) … Feel free to add others!

In Mathematics
88 – a refactorable number, a primitive semiperfect number, an untouchable number, a hexadecagonal number, an Erdős–Woods number, a palindromic number in bases 5 (3235), 10 (8810), 21 (4421), and 43 (2243), and a repdigit in base 10, 21 and 43

88 – Divisible by 1, 2, 4, 8, 11, 22, 44, 88

88 – with a square of 7744 but a square root of 9.38083151965

In Chemistry
88 – the atomic number of the element Radium whose neutrally charged atom has 88 protons and 88 electrons

In Biology
Eighty-eights – two genera of butterflies (Diaethria and Callicore) because the markings on their wings look like the number 88

88 – the total number of chromosomes for the woodland hedgehog, a species of banana and coffee, and a species of shrimp

In Astronomy
88 – the number of constellations in the sky as defined by the International Astronomical Union

Messier object M88, is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices

The New General Catalogue object NGC 88, a spiral galaxy in the constellation Phoenix, and a member of Robert’s Quartet

Space Shuttle Mission 88 (STS-88) launched and completed in December, 1998, began the construction of the International Space Station.

88 – the Saros number series of the solar eclipse series which began on 246 October 6 (BC) and ended on 1233 March – a span of 1478.4 years, and containing 83 solar eclipses.

88 – the approximately the number of days it takes Mercury to complete its orbit

In Culture
88 symbolizes fortune and good luck in Chinese culture

88 – shorthand for “love and kisses” in amateur radio

88 – in Japanese, often used to mean “a great many” or “countless” or infinite numbers.

88 – short for “byebye” in short Chinese chat

In Sports
88 – the number of LPGA tournaments won by golfer Kathy Whitworth

Retired numbers

  • MLB, NBA, NHL – None
  • NFL: Alan Page (Vikings) and JV Cain (Cardinals)

Red Slot Right Halfback Stay 88 – the play the Cleveland Brown ran that ended a game-winning attempt interception thrown by QB Brian Sipe (4 January 1981 in Cleveland vs. Oakland Raiders)

NASCAR car 88 – In over 1500 races, 74 wins, top 5 (385), top 10 (658) … most commonly driven by Dale Jarrett, Dale Earnhardt, Darrell Waltrip, Buddy Baker, and Ricky Rudd.

88 – the number of a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car owned by Hendrick Motorsports that is currently driven by Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

In Entertainment
88.0 MHz (FM radio) – stations in Australia (10), Turkey (1), and Bangladesh (1)

88 – the speed (in miles per hour) that the DeLorean automobile must attain in order to travel in time (Back to the Future)

88 Minutes, a 2008 film starring Al Pacino

88 Keys, character in Dick Tracy (1990 film)

88 – the name of a gang in the American film Gridiron Gang (2008)

In Books
Psalm 88

Sonnett 88

88 Poems – a book of poems by Ernest Hemingway

The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber

In Music
88 – the number of keys on a typical piano (36 black and 52 white)

Eighty Eight – a live album by the Christian rock band The 77s

Rocket 88 – a song first recorded at Sam Phillips’ studio in 1951;

Rocket 88 – a 1980s band in the UK named after the song above

Symphony No. 88 by Joseph Haydn

88 Basie Street – A Grammy Award winning album by Count Basie

88-Keys – American record producer and rapper born as Charles Misodi Njapa

88 Lines About 44 Women by The Nails

88 – by the Sum 41, Apartment 26, Level 43, The Cool Kids, and LM.C

In History
88 – the number of Australians killed in the 2002 Bali bombings

Pope Gabriel V of Alexandria – the 88th Roman Catholic Pope

Year 88 (LXXXVIII)

  • a leap year starting on Tuesday
  • Egyptians erected two obelisks in front of the Temple of Isis to honour of emperor Domitian.
  • The First Dacian War ends
  • Chinese Emperor Han Zhangdi dies at age 31
  • Pope Clement I succeeds Pope Anacletus I as the fourth pope.

Year 88 BC

  • Berber calendar year 863, Buddhist calendar year 457, Korean calendar year 2246
  • The Social War ends with the Romans defeating the Italian allies
  • First Civil War in Rome, between Marius and Sulla
  • King Mithridates VI of Pontus invades Greece.

In Geography
Interstate 88 in Illinois and New York are not contiguous with each other

Ohio State Route 88 – To the best of my knowledge, I have never travelled this road

88th meridian west crosses land in Canada, USA, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador

88th meridian east crosses land in Russia, Mongolia, China, Nepal, and India

In Miscellaneous
88 – a popular ice cream bar manufactured by GB Glace

88 – a model number of an Oldsmobile

the Crazy 88 the name of O-Ren Ishii’s Army in Kill Bill

88 – the ISBN Group Identifier for books published in Italy and Switzerland

Detachment 88 – an anti-terrorist police squad in Indonesia called “Detachment 88”

The Group of 88 – 88 professors at Duke University who signed a controversial advertisement published after a woman falsely claimed to have been raped by members of Duke’s lacrosse team

The Cambridge Z88 – a portable computer in 1988

88 – slang for “what” in the US Navy

Movement 88 – a political party in Armenia

Happy Mother’s Day to all readers who are mothers and to all your mothers. 

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 258

Biggest yawn of the week – Providing 3 new presidential candidates on the Republican side: Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee. Then again, additional candidates increases the odds of someone saying something stupid.

Several weeks ago I posted the graphic below showing our energy usage for the past year. Some of the reasons include LED lights in high-use areas, natural gas water heater and stove, programmable thermostat, and reasonable temperature settings.

EnergyUse1year

I asked my wife what song the handbell choir is playing for the final Sunday before the summer break, and a hit from years ago. Here’s Morning is Broken. Enjoy. Do you recall the artist who made it a hit?

Meals: The Musical returns next week, thus I will announce the theme in the next Monday Morning Entertainment.

No Saturday morning post this weekend, thus neither Cartoons or Explore features. Not that I don’t have a post ready, but I’m falling more and more behind, so I don’t want to make matters worse.

To lead you into the week’s headlines from The Onion, enjoy either a review of the latest Avengers film or links to the latest Republican presidential candidates” Carly Fiorina (R-CA), Ben Carson (R-MD), and Mike Huckabee (R-AR).

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On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion
Head of National Potato Council declares US in midst of potato renaissance
Sports drink company putting first advertisement on the moon
Hotels now charging customers for looking at items in minibar
Tiger Woods & Lindsey Vonn blame breakup on hectic sex lives
Man frantically returns to website that just crashed his browser
Fetus going to pretend he didn’t hear loud argument coming from other side of uterine wall

Interesting Reads
Unnecessary health care
Pew Research Projecting Religions to 2050
(Video) Left brain and right brain
The fossil record: What it shows
Interpreting chickens communicating 
(Slideshow) 166 years of riots & protests in the US

Your Weekend Celebrations
(Fri) No Socks Day, Free Trade Day, Animal Disaster Preparedness Day, Victory in Europe Day, Child Care Provider Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Red Cross/Red Crescent Day, Ovarian Cancer Day, Giving Sharks a Voice Day, Coconut Cream Pie Day, Have a Coke Day, Iris Day, Empanada Day, Time of Remembrance & Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War

(Sat) Birth-Mother’s Day, Moscato Day, Hurray for Buttons Day, Train Day, Butterscotch Brownie Day, Cornelia De Lange Syndrome Awareness Day, Windmill Day, Peter Pan Day, Root Canal Appreciation Day, Stay Up All Night Day, World Belly Dance Day, Archery Day, Lost Sock Memorial Day, Fair Trade Day, American Indian Day, Migratory Bird Day, Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive Day, Babysitters Day, Miniature Golf Day, World Belly Dance Day (For those, like Bulldog, needing an erotic belly dance)

(Sun) Mother’s Day, Shrimp Day, Lipid Day, Lupus Day, Mothers at the Wall Day, Clean Up Your Room Day

To send you into the weekend, here are the Stray Cats (including a young Brian Setzer) with Rock this Town. Do you remember this video? (If you can’t see it, try this.)Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

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.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 219

On Politics
When are public figures going to learn that references to the Holocaust, Hitler, or 9-11 seldom are effective. Here’s the latest: “Democrats bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for Obamacare is like Germans bragging about the number of mandatory sign ups for ‘train rides’ for Jews in the 40s.” (Stacey Campfield State Senator, (R-Tennessee). And then in a follow-up phone interview, he stood by his comments and wasn’t concerned about criticisms – but has since apologized. I yield to these words of a great American orator.

Las Vegas hosts the most conventions in the US (over 22,000 in 2013). Interestingly, neither of the major political parties have ever chosen the glamour and lights of the desert to host their convention – but 2016 could be different because Las Vegas is on the Republican shortlist of six finalists.

This past Tuesday was Primary Day in Ohio. I proudly proclaim that I am not longer a registered Republican. Because I wouldn’t declare as a Democrat, this means I received an “issues-only” ballot.

The US is divided into 435 Congressional districts, with each district electing a representative every two years. I can’t recall the source (but it is reputable), but only 7 districts have toss-up elections this fall. Surely this has nothing to do with gridlock in Washington.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • Tree outside window upset man changed channel
  • Poll: 56% of voters say country better than it was 4 eons ago
  • Picasso’s “Guernica” triples in value after being autographed by the 1994 New York Rangers
  • Donald Sterling just glad tape recorder batteries died
  • National jeweler recalls 2 million cursed wedding rings

Onion Extras
Pros and cons of homeschooling
Pros and cons of gun control
Reasons for and against capital punishment

Interesting Reads
Alan Shepherd’s first space flight
A conservative economist about the tax reform vacuum
Bonds infographic
Interesting collection of black & white nature images from National Geographic
About journalist Lara Logan
How eyes sense motion

On Potpourri
Earlier this week I posted images of some of Cincinnati’s companies. I took them while walking the streets during the Opening Day festivities. I forgot one major company … and I even walked into their building that day. E.W. Scripps Company is a major media company operating newspapers and television stations throughout the country. You may be familiar with Scripps as the sponsors of the National Spelling Bee. Plus, in 2007, Scripps split separated into two company with Scripps Network Interactive (based in Nashville) … and many of you know their cable television stations as Food Network, Travel Channel, DIY Network, Home & Garden Television (HGTV), and Cooking Channel.

Time has worked against me this week, so no Saturday Morning Cartoon Classic post this weekend.

Here are your weekend celebrations

  • (Fri) Tear the Tags Off the Mattress Day, Moscato Day, Lost Sock Memorial Day, Military Spouse Appreciation Day, Hooray for Buttons Day, Fintastic Friday (Give Sharks a Voice), Peter Pan Day, Butterscotch Brownies Day
  • (Sat) Birthmother’s Day, Belly Dance Day, Train Day, Chinese Language Day, Clean Your Room Day, Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Awareness Day, Trust Your Intuition Day, Fair Trade Day, Mother Ocean Day, Babysitters Day, Miniature Golf Day, Lupus Day, Windmill Day, Astronomy Day, Shrimp Day, Stay Up All Night Day, Military-Amaetur Crossband Communications Day
  • (Sun) Mother’s Day, Eat What You Want Day, Hostess Cupcake Day, Mocha Torte Day, Fibromyalgia & Chronic Fatigue Awareness Day, Root Canal Appreciation Day

To send you into the weekend, here’s a 1973 hit by Deely Stan Steely Dan. Enjoy, Reelin’ in the Years. Have a safe weekend and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Opinions in the Shorts: Vol. 181

On Politics
The Republican Party admits to having an image problem – (a Sherlock Award for the statement) – but are their words similar to whitewash? Here’s one a good read for this thought.

The attack of the US Embassy in Benghazi is unquestionably a political football. I heard this quote this week (paraphrased): “If we knew there would be a second attack, we would have prepared to it.” (Yep – another Sherlock Award)

Cheers to The Onion for discovering the real schedule of the recent NRA convention.

On This Week’s Headlines from The Onion

  • EPA warns Americans not to breathe
  • No one in limo going to prom with the one they wanted
  • Malicious focus group convinces marketers Cinnamon Mountain Dew is the next big thing
  • Woman places poison in Starbucks orange juice
  • Rescue chip sent in to save broken Tostito submerged in 7-layer dip
  • Snooze button time traveler sets coordinates for 5 minutes in the future

Interesting Reads
Pope Francis update
Absoluteness of the Bill of Rights
For those who know Bazooka Joe
Speaking ill, with skill: a book review
The criminal mind and the anatomy of violence

On Potpourri
28_CompHappy Mother’s Day to all the moms! Mine passed away in 1987, and I am now older than she was then.

Earlier this week I had this post about Amber (the LD student), Bette (the LD teacher), and me (the science teacher). I heard from Bette, and she appreciated the post.

Last Saturday was an anniversary that isn’t fun to remember – May 4, 1970 – the shootings at Kent State University. Here’s a historical perspective of that day from Kent, and a classic song marking the occasion.

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Cheers to the following bloggers (so far) for meeting the A Frank Angle A-to-Z Challenge: Fasab, Red, and Tom – so, give them a visit.

My wife was off Thursday, so we saw Iron Man 3. Whew …. only 10 people in the theater for this weekday matinée. I imagine it will be a tad more crowded this weekend. Oh yes – it’s a fun movie. By the way, stick around through the lengthy credits. Well, try counting the number of names listed.

Sorry – no Saturday Morning Cartoon feature this weekend.

You may recall that last weekend our handbell choir did our first-ever concert. It was fun and a success for a volunteer group. A friend of our told me that she that rings bells, but we play them. I’ll send you into the weekend with us doing the first song on the program. Have a good weekend! In the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

On Mother’s Day

With this being Mother’s Day weekend, a quick change in plans on today’s post, thus a quick introduction about my mother.

My mother passed away in 1987 one month shy of turning 59 – much too young, but cancer can do that – and to think that I’m now 59. Because this post is short and spontaneous, here’s something about her today. Besides, I recently converted slides into digital files.

Mom was an Italian citizen, and we came to the US together when I was 2’2’’ at the ripe old age of three months. She grew up in the shadows of WW I, Mussolini’s Fascist rule, and Nazi occupation. She met my dad in the early 1950s while he served in Italy after his re-enlistment.

My grandfather worked in a factory to support my grandmother and four kids: my mother, her two sisters, and a crippled brother. They had to be poor as I can remember staying at their small, third floor apartment with its  cobblestone floor and the kitchen as its heat source.

I never asked why she never became a U.S. citizen, but I think she dealing with reading a test and dealing in her adopted language scared her because her skills  lie in her hands as she loved to cook and sew – much like my grandmother – her work ethic, and her gentle, kind nature was the personality that people loved.

Here’s my mom at age 35 and her Tuscan hometown in the background. Interestingly, I think that’s the factory where my grandfather worked.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!