Archive for February 2023

02/22/2023 “Medical Trivia”   2 comments

Now that I’m laid up with this broken ankle, I thought I should delve into the medical profession for a few items of trivia. Unfortunately, most of my conversations these days are with doctors, nurses, hospitals, and those lovely insurance companies. I should mention that as a young kid I was bullied for almost a year which makes me very aware of people who bully others. I understand that medical folks are only trying to do good, but really their job is all about being gentle bullies and I tend to react badly at times. It makes me a little crazy. I’m sure that somewhere in one of the many medical computer files some well-meaning person has noted next to my name, “A-Hole“. So, sit back and enjoy some medical trivia from a proud, card-carrying A-Hole.

  • The Egyptian mummy was a standard drug of European pharmacology until the eighteenth century. Despite criticism within the medical profession, doctors prescribed mummy powder as a cure for internal ailments. Portions of many embalmed Egyptian dead were swallowed before science and common sense rendered the practice obsolete.
  • Sigmund Freud turned down a $10,000.00 fee in 1920 to spend six months in New York treating patients in the morning and lecturing in the afternoon. He calculated that he would return to Vienna poorer than when he left so he declined.
  • Opium was frequently used as a painkiller by Army doctors during the US Civil War. By the end of the war, according to conservative estimates 100,000 soldiers had become addicted to opium, at a time when the population of the entire country was only 40,000,000.
  • In the eighteenth century, there were American slaves who were physicians. They treated not only other slaves and free blacks and whites as well, until restricted by law to serving only the black community.
  • Approximately 3500 men were practicing medicine at the time of the American Revolution. Only about 400 had an actual medical degree. Of the much larger number of women who practiced, even a smaller number had any formal training.

SOMETIMES I HATE TRIVIA

02/18/2023 👩‍⚕️Here We Go Again! 👩‍⚕️   4 comments

Since I decided to reduce my posting to three days a week thing have gotten even more screwed up. I just spent two glorious days in the Southern Maine Medical Center for surgery on my ankle. I was walking around my home, minding my own business, when I took a step from a carpeted room to the hardwood floor of the living room. Tip #1: Never wear thick cotton socks on hardwood floors. I went down hard after sliding on the floor and absolutely crushed my ankle. The surgery lasted a couple of hours and now I’m screwed for the next 6-8 weeks.

The two days in the hospital were exactly as you’d suspect; they were the worst. Uncomfortable beds, questionable food, and not just a few condescending staff members. I was my fun-loving self except for a few profane outbursts that frightened a few of the more sensitive caregivers. One exceptional nurse stood out from the others. She was everything you could hope for, and I wish there were many more like her. A big thanks to Heather for her handling of a big hard-to-get-along-with ape like me under really crappy circumstances. She did herself proud.

Needless to say, my blogging will be sporadic at best until the wheelchair arrives.

C’mon Amazon!!

02/13/2023 🏀⚽🥎Sports Trivia🏉🏈🥊   Leave a comment

Now that the Superbowl has come and gone we can all start living our normal lives again. Congrats to the Chiefs for pulling out a lucky win which I really didn’t care about anyway. A special thanks to Rhianna who is so hot I think I burned myself adjusting the volume knob. It’s nice to see a superstar showcasing her music instead of her body. It was a pleasant surprise. It’s the first Super Bowl half-time show I’ve ever watched from start to finish. She did herself proud and “Oh Yeah” . . . she’s also worth over a billion dollars. OMFG

Today I’ll be staying with a Sports theme, which will help to wean me off sports until baseball season gets started. I like baseball better than football, but their games are utterly boring to watch. I’ll just check the updated scores on Google and then watch the recaps on Facebook. No nasty comments please, I realize I’m a lazy fan but once again I.D.C. (I don’t care).

  • Did you know that the sport of dodgeball has been banned by public schools in six U.S. states?
  • The first recorded game of handball was played in the year 1427. That’s the first written mention of a game involving a ball being hit by hand against a wall.
  • Did you know that the smallest NBA player ever was Tyrone Bogues. He stood 5 feet, 3 inches tall and played for 10 years with the Charlotte Hornets.
  • After soccer, volleyball is the world’s second most played sport. An estimated 46 million Americans, and more than 800 million people worldwide, play volleyball at least weekly.
  • The year 688 B.C. was when boxing first became an Olympic sport. It has been part of the modern Olympics since 1904 with women boxers competing for the first time at the 2012 Olympics in London.

  • The square boxing platform is called a “ring” because in the ancient Greek and Roman Olympics the combatants met in a circular ring. They’ve been known as “rings” ever since.
  • Did you know that the world record for longest time aloft of a successfully caught boomerang was 3 minute and 49 seconds.
  • Early forms of baseball allowed throwing the ball at a runner for an out and pitching underhanded. Balls caught on one bounce were considered outs.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt is credited with instituting the forward pass rule in football. He demanded a change to the rules in 1905, after 18 players were killed and 159 injured that year. The forward pass was intended to open up the game and minimize the chaotic dog piles associated with lateral passes. The rule was officially adopted in 1906.
  • The Nerf football was invented by Fred Cox, a kicker for the Minnesota Vikings. He came up with the idea of a soft foam football while playing in the NFL. He still earns royalties on every Nerf football sold.

SPRING TRAINING STARTING SOON

02/11/2023 “Weird, Odd, and European”   Leave a comment

Today’s history lesson contains a few unusual occurrences as recorded by European media during the last 100 years. They are quirky and strange but nonetheless true. After reading some of these you can understand how we Americans are at times a bit bizarre as well. We get it honestly from many previous generations from the Continent.

  • On April 14, 1930, the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky shot himself. In his suicide note he said, “I do not recommend it for others.”
  • In 1931 the Spanish tennis player Lily de Alvarez Shop the tennis world when she appeared at Wimbledon wearing a divided skirt (culottes), the forerunner of shorts.
  • On October 23, 1933, a temperature inversion trapped fog and smog over London, obliterating the sun and causing total darkness at midday.
  • On December 24, 1935, the death of the avant-garde Austrian composer Alban Berg from an insect bite was reported.
  • In 1936 King Edward VIII once avoided what he thought might be an awkward interview with his private secretary by jumping out of a window of Buckingham palace and running away to hide in the garden.

  • On July 21, 1937, at six o’clock in the evening, all BBC transmitters and post office wireless telegraph and wireless telephone stations in the British Isles closedown for 2 minutes, to coincide with the funeral of Guglielmo Marconi the inventor of the radio.
  • On June 1, 1938, the Hungarian playwright Odon von Horvath, who had lived in fear of being struck by lightning all of his life, was killed in Paris when a branch fell on his head during a thunderstorm.
  • In 1939 a patent application was lodged for the “Wind Bag”, designed for receiving and storing gas formed by the digestion of foods. A tube linked the rectum led to a collection chamber, while the device was held in place under one’s clothes by a belt.
  • In 1940 during the height of the German spy scare, a vicar’s daughter in Winchester reported the British officer billeted with them to the authorities on the grounds of his suspiciously foreign behavior. The man had failed to flush the toilet.
  • On July 23, 1943, Eric Brown, blew up his paralyzed father by attaching a landmine to his wheelchair. He later explained to the court that he had not liked his father’s attitude. Brown was eventually declared insane.

I’ve posted about many odd and strange things that have taken place in the United States, and I think it’s only fair that these postings today give our European forefathers credit for some of their weirdness.

BE WEIRD, BE ODD, AND BE PROUD

02/09/2023 💥💥Children’s Limerick Alert💥💥   3 comments

It’s time for me to try and convince you non-limerick lovers that they can be something other than lewd and bawdy. They’re fun to create and even more fun to read when written by members of the younger generations. Here are a few written by and for children. Enjoy!

There once was a young chap from Eugene.

Who grew so abnormally lean,

And flat and compressed

That his back met his chest,

And, viewed sideways, he couldn’t be seen!

😗😗😗

A sea serpent saw a big tanker.

Bit a hole in its side and then sank her.

He swallowed the crew

In a minute or two,

And then picked his teeth with the anchor.

😊😊😊

There was a young bather from Bewes,

Who reclined on the banks of the Ouse.

His radio blared,

And passers-by stared,

For all he had on was the news!

🙃🙃🙃

There are men in the village of Erith

Whom nobody seeth or heareth.

They spend hours afloat

In a flat-bottomed boat,

Which nobody roweth or steereth.

🤩🤩🤩

And here’s one final extra limerick for a nurse I once knew.

Believe me, this limerick is understating her illness. LOL

❤️

Jo Beth went to the doctor last night,

Rather hoping he’d help with her plight.

What she said, whilst bent double.

“It’s farting that’s the trouble.”

And what did he give her? A kite!

*****

DON’T WORRY, THE WEEKEND IS IN SIGHT

02/07/2023 “Names”   Leave a comment

People love coming up with odd names or nicknames for just about everything. Even if a real name already exists, someone will attempt to create a nickname for it. I remember one from my childhood that was used to replace the term “bad breath” and it was “doggie breath”. We were stupid kids but never passed up an opportunity to create what would be considered a wise-ass replacement name. “Tubby’ was the skinny kid, “Slim” was the fat kid, and “brainiac” was the dumb ass. Why we felt the need to change the names of things that don’t need to be changed, who knows. Here are a few examples from history to further make my point without answering the big question, “Why do we do it?”.

  • The U.S. nickname “Uncle Sam” was derived from Uncle Sam Wilson, a meat inspector in Troy New York. During the war of 1812, Wilson’s “U.S.” stamped on meat barrels prepared for the U.S. Army was interpreted by some workmen to stand for their boss, “Uncle Sam” and the legend grew. (In newspaper cartoons during the Civil War, the figure of Uncle Sam took on the appearance of President Lincoln.)
  • During his career, Vladimir Ilyich Ulanov employed at least 150 pseudonyms. The best-known was Lenin. (1870-1924).
  • The most common name in the world is neither Ching nor John. It’s Muhammad.
  • The original name for the United Nations was “Associated Powers”. Prime Minister Winston Churchill affected the change to “United Nations” by quoting Lord Byron to President Roosevelt.

Millions of pounds recorded the, and anew.

Their children’s lips shall echo them, and say –

Here, where the sword united nations drew,

Our countrymen were worrying on that day!

And this is much, and all which will not pass away.”

  • Natives of Papua, New Guinea, who deposit their money in the bank at Port Moresby don’t get numbered accounts. Instead, they are identified by the names of fish and birds and other natural objects. One bank customer is called “sawfish” and another “hornbill”. Each depositor keeps his symbol secret.

  • The male Mayan Indian would change his name twice as he was growing up. His original name was linked with the date he was born. He would get a new name, describing a personal feature, when he was initiated into manhood. On marrying, he would take on his formal name.
  • A book of maps is called an atlas because the innovative 16th-century Flemish geographer Gerard S. Mercator’s books of maps detailing various portions of Europe sported on its cover a picture of the Greek titan Atlas holding the world on his shoulders – and thus this book became known as an atlas.
  • When Adolf Hitler was in charge in Germany, policemen and farmers were not allowed to call their horses by the name “Adolf”.
  • In 1935, “Iran” became the new name for what had been Persia, which was the new name for what had earlier been Iran.
  • There are an estimated 2.4 million people in the US named Smith, and over 1.8 million named Johnson, and over 1.6 million named Williams or Williamson, and over 1.4 million named Brown, and over 1.3 million named Jones. Keeping up with the Joneses would appear to be easier than keeping up with the Smiths.

As a kid, my given name was John. You can’t get much more boring than just John but that didn’t keep my friends from calling me just that, “Just John”. I had another nickname, “Crazy Legs” but the explanation for that one will remain a deep and dark secret that I’ll take to my grave. LOL

“A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SMELL AS SWEET”

Shakespeare

02/04/2023 An Unexamined Life #9   1 comment

Welcome to installment #9. These questions are a little more intense but very interesting answers should be forthcoming. And for those of you who feel these questions are dark and threatening, here’s one for you tamer or lamer folks: How many cute and furry puppies must you save from a fate worse than death to be considered a true pet lover? LOL

Let’s get going!

*****

  • If you were able to wake up tomorrow in the body of someone else, would you do so? Whom would you pick?
  • If you are happily married, and then met someone you felt certain would always bring you deeply passionate, intoxicating love, would you leave your spouse? What if you had kids?
  • When you do something ridiculous, how much does it bother you to have other people notice it and laugh at you?
  • Who is the most important person in your life? What could you do to improve the relationship? Will you ever do it?
  • Assuming that complete recovery was instantaneous, would you be willing to accept a year of complete paralysis below the neck to prevent the otherwise certain extinction of the blue whale?

*****

  • Do you believe in capital punishment? Would you be willing to execute a man sentenced to death by the courts if you were selected by lot to do so and he would go free if you refused? Assume you know no details of the trial.
  • If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  • You are at a lake with some friends; the sun is warm, and the water is cold. Going into the water would temporarily chill you but you knew that later on the warm sun would be even more enjoyable and you’d be glad you had gone in. Would you take the plunge?
  • Do you believe in any sort of God? If not, do you think you might still pray if you were in a life-threatening situation?
  • While out one day, you are surprised to see your mother holding hands with someone who is clearly her lover. She notices you, runs over, and begs you not to say anything to your father. How would you respond? What would you do if your father later told you that he was going crazy because he kept thinking your mother was having an affair yet knew it was just his imagination?

*****

  • If 100 people your age were chosen at random, how many do you think you’d find leading a more satisfying life than yours?
  • If you went to a beach and it turned out to be a nude beach, would you stay and go swimming? Would you swim nude?
  • Have you had satisfying sex within the last three months?
  • Would it disturb you much if, upon your death, your body were simply thrown into the woods and left to rot? Why?
  • Which would you prefer: a wild, turbulent life filled with joy, sorrow, passion, and adventure – intoxicating successes and stunning setbacks; or a happy, secure, predictable life surrounded by friends and family without such wide swings of fortune and mood?

*****

IF THESE QUESTION DON’T PROVOKE DISCUSSION, NOTHING WILL!

02/02/2023 “A High-Five for PHIL!”   1 comment

It’s painfully obvious to me that the month of February is boring. The craziest solution to liven up February is to assign ridiculous holidays and commemorative days to keep us all from diving off the nearest bridge. The following list is only a portion of the things assigned to February.

February 1, 2023  – National Freedom Day

February 2, 2023 – Groundhog Day

February 9, 2023 – National Pizza Day

February 12, 2023 – Lincoln’s Birthday

February 12, 2023 – Super Bowl 2023 / Super Bowl LVII

February 14, 2023 – St. Valentine’s Day

February 9-20, 2023 – Chicago Auto Show

February 20, 2023 – Washington’s Birthday / Presidents’ Day 

February 21, 2023 – Mardi Gras Carnival in New Orleans, LA

February 21, 2023 – Fat Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday, Day before Lent

February 22, 2023 – Ash Wednesday

*****

That being said, here is a reposting of mine concerning Ground Hog Day and the insanity of living in western Pennsylvania.

This holiday means only one thing in Pennsylvania and that is the appearance of our old friend ‘Punxatawney Phil’ on Gobbler’s Knob.  He’s scheduled to show his furry little face on the second of February every year to let us know whether we’ll have six more weeks of winter.

To reminisce a bit, way too many years ago I was a rookie state police trooper in Pennsylvania. To a newbie that means getting stuck with every crappy police detail they can find for you.  One of the crappier of those was being sent to Punxatawney to guard “Phil” and for crowd control in and around Gobbler’s Knob.  I thought they were kidding but they weren’t.

A few of us rookies were ordered to make the trek to Punxatawney, PA along with a veteran sergeant who must have lost the coin toss. We arrived in our cleanest and well pressed uniforms, met with all of the local politicians, and then were introduced to ‘Phil”’.  He was cordial enough for a stupid gopher, but we were well advised to keep our hands away from him.  He was a touch cranky and known to nip off a finger or two if provoked.

Believe it or not the crowds were huge.  I’ve never understood why every local politician from miles around flocks to that ceremony.  I guess they’re just hoping to get some free TV facetime or maybe even an interview with some of the local media. I met some mayors, some councilmen, and a few political hacks which unfortunately weren’t even as interesting as meeting ‘Phil’.

The only good thing I experienced that day was a rather buxom news reporter from a nearby town who took an immediate liking to my manly stature and my pretty uniform.  She was much less furry than ‘Phil’ which was a plus and she also paid for my dinner.  She even convinced me that dating her was the right thing to do.  So, I did.

It’s sad to say but we all know any relationship built upon a Groundhog Day Ceremony was doomed from the start.  She couldn’t understand why I didn’t care to drive to Punxatawney (a three hour round trip) every weekend.  I finally explained to her that long distance relationships just never work out no matter what.  It wasn’t her it was me.  I dragged out all of the old clichés I could remember and disappeared from her life.

FEBRUARY IS NUTS!!

SO ARE PENNSYLVANIANS

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