On a Beach: But Not Just Any Beach

The walk to the view from above is as serene as the view.

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The view from the beach is calm. The surrounding houses, people on the beach and in the water are reminders of the why.

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The statue, the sign markers, the museum, the photos are reminders of what happened on 6 June 1944 – right here on Omaha Beach.

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The rows and rows gravemarkers also reminded us of the importance of being about to enjoy happiness today on the beach below. This is the US cemetery above the beach.

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You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world. Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well-trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. (General Dwight D. Eisenhower, United States Army)

Next post: More Normandy

For other posts about our time in the British Isles, click here.

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. 

On a Knob

Knob: a projecting part, usually rounded, forming the handle of a door, drawer, or the like (dictionary.com)

Knobs seem so simple and mundane. This story starts in 2004 when we decided to update our kitchen. Not a major overhaul involving gutting what we had, but just updating – so we hired a husband and wife team we somewhat knew, plus we know others who used their skills.

In their team, he did most of the heavy work while she had a gifted eye for coordination and detail. Interestingly, his communication touch was quite a bit softer than hers. As time went one, it was time to pick the knobs. I can still hear her unique voice and manner saying, “Come on Frank. The knobs are going to be the final touch that makes this room right because they are more than something to grab and pull.”

Our previous cabinets lacked knobs. Meanwhile, selecting knobs is not an easy task, and believe me, I traveled the city looking for the perfect, 40 attractive, reasonably priced knobs – and yes, I saw some expensive ones too!

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We got to better know this couple after the project, did things with them socially, and eventually both of them joined our chime choir – which shortly thereafter transformed into a handbell choir. Although she lets everyone know that she is not a good player, she is the least confident and very much part of us all. Her occasional frantic meltdowns during rehearsals caused much laughter – and her husband simply smiled to say, “And that’s my wife.”

The lady in this story is the friend who passed away last week. Her funeral was joyous, sad, and difficult – but a celebration of her life. We played a peaceful piece that brought all of us to tears during rehearsals – but we got through it when it counted. We also had a simple tribute displaying a bell, empty gloves, and a rose (which we gave to her daughter). By the way, I will feature the beautiful tune on Friday, or watch it here.

Our handbell choir continues without her and her husband (although he could return in time). We are adjusting, yet it is not the same as each of us glance to her spot in our U-shaped arrangement with a sense of emptiness and sorrow. (We also had a rose in a vase at her position.)

The piece below is an interesting arrangement that intertwines Oh Come Emmanuel and Carol of the Bells. To me, it has a Manheim Steamroller feel, This choir plays it very well – and they have a good four-in-hand player, which is an interesting skill that is definitely not me.  (I play the same part as the far-right female.)

Our group plays this piece (Emmanuel Bell Choir, arr John Malinowski) on Sunday in our first regularly scheduled time since her passing – so enjoy this music of the season as I dedicate this to my friend – the one whom our kitchen serves as a daily reminder to my wife and I. Blessings my friend!