Saturday, August 29, 2020

Yesterday I learned ...

 ... that Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General of the United States. 

He and George Washington were chosen to be on the first U.S. postage stamps issued July 1, 1847.

Benjamin Franklin served on many committees in the Second Continental Congress including one to establish an independent postal system.  On July 27, 1775, the Congress appointed him to be the first Postmaster General of the organization now known as the United States Postal Service. He received an annual salary of $1,000 plus $340 for a secretary and comptroller. 

Benjamin Franklin was proud of the Postal Service and served it well for more than two decades, during which he orchestrated a regular schedule that allowed mail to move efficiently along post roads up and down the Eastern Seaboard. 

The current Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, was hand-picked by Trump and sworn into office on June 15, 2020. He is doing Trump's  dirty work in the hope that the public will lose faith in the USPS.  His yearly salary is $291,650.00.   

Benjamin Franklin must be whirling in his grave ! 


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Staying alert …

I have always been a bit of a “loner” but this pandemic has really proved to be a challenge for me as I'm sure it has for all of you reading this. As an octogenarian I don't take chances so I've been pretty much home bound for the past 5 months. However, one thing I am adamant about is keeping my little family group close. My two boys live near but my daughter and her husband live in NY as does my niece. Addin my 18 year old granddaughter and it makes six that I keep up with daily and here's how we do it ... 

I've always loved researching things so I decided I would learn something new every day and then pass it on to my family the following morning in a group email. Since I live in North Carolina I thought that the following example was interesting but I don't limit my search and I find there is always something out in our fascinating world that is new to me! 

Here is an example of one I sent last week:  The “subject” is always the same ...”Yesterday I learned ...” and then in the body of the email I wrote... “an interesting and fun fact about Babe Ruth.

George Herman Ruth Jr. hit his first home run in Fayetteville, NC on March 7th 1914. It was the beginning for "Babe Ruth" ...  perhaps the most legendary player in baseball history. He would belt his first home run as a professional and earn the famous moniker “Babe″ during a month-long visit here for spring training in 1914. Having signed just two weeks earlier with the then-minor league Baltimore Orioles, Ruth launched a shot “350 to 400 feet″ to right field in his second time at bat during an inter squad exhibition March 7 at Cape Fear.

Researching and writing my daily email gives me something to concentrate on every day. I've made it clear to the family that I don't expect, nor get, answers every day but I always sign out at night so they can go to sleep knowing that the "3 of us" ... Mom, Aunt Ginnie and Grandma ... are doing just fine.

(So, if you see a blog entry with the heading “Yesterday I learned will be me sharing with you from the group emails.)

Friday, August 21, 2020

The Amazing Benjamin Franklin …

Did you know that Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General of the US? A far cry from what we are putting up with right now., but that's just one of his many ventures. Another fascinating fact about Benjamin Franklin is that of all his inventions the one he was most proud of was his creation of the glass armonica, a musical instrument.

Franklin was fascinated with the  sound that children produced when playing with  water filled glasses and he set to work applying the principles of wet fingers on glass to his own musical  creation. Working with a glassblower in London, Franklin made a few dozen glass bowls, tuned to notes by their varying size and fitted one inside the next with a cork. A hole was put through the center of the glass bowls and an iron rod ran through the holes and attached to a wheel which was turned by a foot pedal. Moistened fingers touched to the edge of the spinning glasses produced the musical sounds. 

The glass armonica was one of the most celebrated instruments of the 18th century. Later composers such as Beethoven, Donizetti and Mozart would write music for the armonica and it seemed destined for permanence. However, by the 1820's it was nearly a forgotten instrument.

Rumors were spread about the armonica being a lethal weapon when a child died during a performance. Then word got about that the instrument caused ill effects and that the high pitched, mystical tones invoked the spirits of the dead and had magical powers that drove listeners mad. No proof was ever given to these claims but the damage was done.

Franklin ignored it all and continued to play the instrument until the end of his life, but the armonica's popularity never returned to what it had been when first introduced.

My friend Jan sent this to me:  ENJOY

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Definition of INSIDIOUS:


Something unpleasant or dangerous, gradually and secretly causing harm.                                        Synonyms: Stealthy, cunning, crafty, sly, wily, tricky, deceitful, deceptive, dishonest, indirect, underhanded, etc.     Sound Familiar?????

Yes … it's Trump and his bunch of Republican sycophants who are doing everything they can to ruin our country. It's now or never that we Democrats and Republicans (the REAL ones) have to unite to get our country back from his sleazy grasp. Yes, I did say “real” Republicans and it speaks to the seriousness of the situation that they are joining with the Democrats to get this pariah out of the White House.

These are prominent current and former Republicans who have formed groups that concentrate on doing whatever they can to rid our country of Trump. “The Lincoln Project” and other Republicans called “Never Trumpers” are producing very effective political ads as well as conducting town meetings and writing articles that explain who they are and why it is in the country's good that they be listened to.

I am thrilled that they have joined forces with us (the Democrats) and hope that if our joint efforts are successful in removing Trump we will remember to work with them in the future. Compromise has been sadly missing in the past 4 years and I have a suggestion. I would like to see both the House and the Senate seat their members by alphabetical order (regardless of their political designation.) It would mix them up and (just like we do all the time out in the real world) it would make them actually see and hear what their neighbor has to say. 

 What an interesting concept …  but way too simple to ever actually be enacted !

Monday, August 10, 2020

Remembering Chi Chi and the other great golfer

I love that the golfing world still talks about Chi Chi Rodriquez, the famous professional golfer and first Puerto Rican to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

His name came up recently as I was watching a golf game and it reminded me of a day in 1987 when Chi Chi was in Pinehurst, NC.  He was playing in a Senior's Tournament and stomach pains brought him to the ER.  I happened to be working the from desk and registered him in.

It was actually a fairly slow day and word soon spread that he was in the ER.  The amount of doctors who found an excuse to come to the ER to "treat' this famous one-of-a-kind golfer was amazing.  He received an inordinate amount of attention from them but to be fair you could tell that Chi Chi was thoroughly enjoying it too.

This was also the day that my husband Dick came to the ER.  He was having breathing problems and the Triage nurse took him directly to the back.  I was sorry that I didn't have a chance to tell him that Chi  Chi was back there because he was a great favorites of Dick.  He loved the casual and fun way that Chi Chi treated golf.

When the Triage nurse came back she told me that Dick asked why there were so many doctors there and when she told him about Chi Chi he just chuckled and, pointing to himself, he said, "What do you know?  2 great golfers in one day.

A cute comment but it didn't lure the ER doc away from Chi Chi.  The nurse got her orders however so they did treat Dick and, as his breathing got easier, he had the fun of seeing up close and in person how Chi Chi could captivate an audience.  

Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Fodder for my brain …

I've always loved being challenged by crossword puzzles and am convinced that it's helped to keep my brain active. That's never seemed to be more important than now during this lock-down phase of the Covid pandemic.

So … when I realized I was down to my last few puzzles in my current crossword book I decided to buy a new one. When I saw this one I was thrilled. Imagine getting 1001 New York Times puzzles for the paltry sum of $15.79.

For some reason that number of puzzles didn't really compute with my mind until I received the actual book. It's HUGE, (8 ½ x 11 and 1½ inches thick), very heavy and has 4 puzzles to a page (2 on the front and 2 on the back). I was almost overwhelmed at first but now I've found a way to make it work for me.

I would never deface a “regular” book by tearing out a page at a time but, happily, this book is printed on a light newspaper-like paper that cries out for me to do just that. It makes it so much easier to handle and I just toss the page when done.

So I am very happy with my purchase and am determined to finish it …even though, at a puzzle a day, I will be 92+ when that day gets here.