Archive for the ‘Quotations’ Category

10/19/2021 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Remembered   Leave a comment

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1940 in Sussex, England of a heart attack. Six years and one month later I was born. Approximately twelve years after my birth I read my first Sherlock Holmes story and later saw my first Hollywood movie version starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Through the years I was able to find and read the occasional Holmes story but it wasn’t until I was stationed in Korea in the 1960’s that I happened upon a complete volume of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. It was left at the hooch of a Korean business girl by an American G.I. who had since returned to the states. She couldn’t read a word of English and gladly gave me the book. In the intervening years I’ve read the entire Holmes collections many times. That book I found in Korea actually piqued my interest in crime and criminal investigations.

After leaving Korea I joined the Pennsylvania State police and began a thirty year career first as a police officer, then a private investigator, and lastly as a corporate investigator. I’m not saying that Sherlock Holmes was the inspiration for my career but I can’t tell you how many times when I first initiated a case I thought to myself, “Watson, the game is afoot.” Rest in peace Sir Arthur, your legacy lives on.

THANK GOD FOR MY KINDLE, HOLMES IS WITH ME EVERYWHERE

10/12/2021 Day One – Misc. Trivia   Leave a comment

It’s time for another giant pile of flaming and utterly useless information. As you already know I’ve always been a huge fan of trivia thats unusual, odd, or strange. I’ve collected this information from books, e-mails, notes from friends, and anywhere else I could find it. I hope you enjoy them and find them as interesting and fun as I did.

  • New foreskins discarded after circumcision are sold to biomedical companies for use in artificial skin manufacture. They are also used as the secret ingredient in some popular anti-wrinkle gels.
  • Lettuce contains 2 to 10 parts of morphine per billion.
  • To see a rainbow you must have your back to the sun.
  • You can tell the temperature by listening to the chirp of a cricket. For the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and then add 37.
  • A calorie is the amount of energy it takes to raise the temperature of 1 g of water by 1°C. A gallon of gasoline contains 31,000 K calories, or the equivalent of 46.3 happy meals.
  • Bubblegum is pink because it’s creator Walter Diemer, a Fleer employee, had only pink coloring left when he mixed up his first successful batch.
  • The fly of your jeans is the flap of cloth over the zipper, not the zipper itself.
  • The term cop most likely derives from the British police acronym for Constable On Patrol.
  • There are more Subway sandwich shops in Manhattan than there are actual subway stations.
  • Henry Ford, Robert Fulton, Eli Whitney, and Paul Revere were all clock makers at one point in their lives.
  • When Thomas Edison died in 1941, Henry Ford captured his last breath in a bottle.
  • The first item sold on eBay (then called the auction web) was a broken laser pointer that sold for $14 at the time, more than the cost of a new one.
  • The term “the whole 9 yards” dates from World War II. When fighter pilots armed airplanes, the 50 caliber machine gun ammunition belts loaded into the fuselage measured exactly 27 feet. If a pilot fired all his ammo at one target, it got “the whole 9 yards”.
  • On average, women utter 7000 words a day; men manage just over 2000.

NOW WASN’T DAY 1 FUN?

10/11/2021 Famous Last Words – Part II   Leave a comment

As I promised, here is part two of the “Famous Last Words” list. They don’t need any more of an introduction than that.

“No! I didn’t come here to make a speech. I came here to die.” Crawford Goldsby, a.k.a. Cherokee Bill, when asked if he had anything to say before he was hanged.

“I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, you are only going to kill a man.” Che Guevera

“Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.” Francisco (Pancho) Villa

“I’ll be in hell before you start breakfast!” “Black Jack” Ketchum, notorious train robber

“Don’t worry… It’s not loaded…” Terry Kath, rock musician in the band Chicago Transit Authority as he put the gun he was cleaning to his head and pulled the trigger.

“Is someone hurt?” Robert F Kennedy, to his wife directly after he was shot and seconds before he fell into a coma.

“Die, my dear? Why that’s the last thing I’ll do!” Groucho Marx

“Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!” Karl Marx, asked by his housekeeper when his last words were to be

“I have a terrific headache.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage

“Drink to me!” Pablo Picasso

“I have not told half of what I saw.” Marco Polo, Venetian traveler and writer

“Dammit… Don’t you dare ask God to help me.” Joan Crawford. This comment was directed towards her housekeeper who began to pray aloud.

“Lord help my poor soul.” Edgar Allen Poe

Now that we’ve laid all these so-called celebrities to rest we can move on with our lives. If any of you come up with any epithets or last-words to celebrate your own death, let me know. I have a another post on this subject coming in the near future and I could add yours to the list.

* * * * TRIVIA WEEK COMING SOON * * * *

10/12 – 10/16

All Trivia – All Week

10/10/2021 A Modern Den of Iniquity   Leave a comment

Anyone newly elected and working in Washington DC becomes a cynic within minutes of their arrival and a power-grabbing beltway politico within days. Between the lobbyist’s kissing their asses and the ever-growing groups of citizens who want something from them, they become overwhelmed very quickly. If they’re strong of character and have an equally strong stomach they may be able to work through all the nonsense and actually accomplish something meaningful. Even if they’re successful in doing so, the powers-that-be will keep dragging them back. They just keep repeating to these rookies all of the rationales they used to excuse their own bad or illegal behavior. Your ability to remain a decent individual under the worst possible circumstances isn’t helped when you read these kind of statements made by well known Washington insiders:

  • “You will be measured in this town by the enemies you destroyed. The bigger they are, the bigger you will be.” John B Connally – Texas Gov. 1979
  • “Don’t write anything down, but save everything that anyone else writes down.” Maureen Dowd – Columnist, 1995
  • “I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport.” Vince Foster – Suicide Note – 1993
  • “If you can’t deal every day with having people trying to destroy you, you shouldn’t even think of coming down here.” Alan Greenspan – 1994

After reading these statements even I’m becoming depressed again. The question for me is why anyone would willingly choose to work under these kind of conditions. They all say they’re going to fix the system from the inside and I’m sorry to say but that’s a lot of hogwash. We been hearing that same mantra for decades from really good people who were elected with the best of intentions. They are immediately eaten alive by the veterans and unable to make any meaningful changes whatsoever.

I spend a lot of my time looking at government and criticizing everything that needs to be criticized. It really bothers me that even I can’t find a solution to this problem after years of watching so many good people fail in their attempt for change. I’d much rather criticize and then offer a workable solution, but I cannot because I don’t have one. Maybe it’s just my apathy with the entire political system as it currently exists. The “Founding Fathers” must be spinning in their graves.

THE MONSTER HAS BEEN CREATED, NOW WHAT?

10/09/2021 Famous Last Words – Part I   Leave a comment

As a person ages and begins to deal with their own mortality they sometimes think about the final moments of their life. I’ve observed that death can also be a final moment of embarrassment for some. People who are celebrities of a sort must think that their final words may be released to the public and repeated forever. The last thing you want people to think is that you were frightened or stupid at the end. Unfortunately many times these final words do seem stupid, some humorous, and others make no sense at all. This collection of final words has been in my files for years and has always made me think a little and occasionally smile a lot. What will I say at the end? I’m not a famous person so it will only mean something to me and possibly the last person I talked to. No one else will care.

Let’s now take a few minutes and review some of these last utterances of some allegedly famous people:

“I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away. Peace, Love, Empathy. Kurt Cobain.” Kurt Cobain (in his suicide note). Lead singer for American grunge band Nirvana, referencing a song by Neil Young.

“In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you’re going to see another first – attempted suicide.” 30-year-old anchorwoman Christine Chubbuck, who, on July 15, 1974, during technical difficulties during a broadcast, said these words on-air before producing a revolver and shooting yourself in the head. She was pronounced dead in the hospital 14 hours later.

“It’s very beautiful over there.” Thomas Edison

Now why did I do that?” Gen. William Erskine, after he jumped from a window in Lisbon, Portugal in 1813.

“Don’t worry, relax.” Rajiv Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, told his security staff minutes before being killed by a suicide bomber attack.

“Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” George Bernard Shaw

“I’m losing.” Frank Sinatra

“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” Oscar Wilde

“I’m tired of fighting.” Harry Houdini

“I see black light.” Victor Hugo

“LSD, 100 micrograms I. M.” Aldus Huxley to his wife. She obliged and he was injected twice before his death.

“I’m bored with it all.” Winston Churchill, before slipping into a coma and dying nine days later.

“Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool – good luck.” (suicide note) George Sanders, actor

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” Gen. John Sedgwick, Union commander in the US Civil War, who was hit by a sniper fire a few minutes after saying it.

After reading these final words I know I can do better. I just hope I have the opportunity to say something meaningful or humorous before I go. Not to be too morbid but you should really take some time to think about and write your own epitaph. Stand by for Part II of Famous Last Words . . . coming soon.

P.S. Here’s what I’ve decided should be my last words: “veni, vedi, cessi”. If Latin was good enough for Julius Caesar, it’s good enough for me. It translates to, “I came, I saw, I left”

WHAT WILL YOUR’S BE?

10/07/2021 More Trivia   4 comments

Well, for a change its a sunny Fall morning here in Maine. Everyone is out enjoying the sunshine because they know within a few weeks we could be seeing snow. Every so often in the month of October we get the first snowfall of the year which explains why today I’ll be preparing my snowblower for action. I’m moving in slow motion today after yesterday’s dose of hospitals, doctors, and nurses. It’s a real buzz kill to return to the medical community even for a short time but on the plus side my CT scan was completed without incident. Hopefully I’ll have good results sometime today. Since it’s going to be a slow day I thought I’d offer up a few tidbits of trivia for all of you trivia addicts out there. Here they are . . .

  • In the 19th century, the British Navy attempted to dispel the superstition that Friday was an unlucky day to embark on a ship. The keel of a new ship was laid on a Friday, she was named the HMS Friday, commanded by a Captain Friday, and finally went to sea on a Friday. Neither the ship nor crew were ever heard from again.
  • In the film Star Trek- First Contact, when Picard shows Lilly she is orbiting Earth, Australia and Papa New Guinea are clearly visible but New Zealand is missing.
  • In the United States there is one birth every 8 seconds and one death every 14 seconds.
  • It has been calculated that in the last 3500 years, there have only been 230 years of peace throughout the civilized world.
  • It is believed that Shakespeare was 46 around the time that the King James version of the Bible was written. In Psalms 46, the 46th word from the first word is “shake” and the 46 word from the last word is “spear”.
  • Jean-Claude Van Damme was the alien in the original Predator movie in almost all of the jumping and climbing scenes.
  • Lady Astor once told Winston Churchill “If you were my husband, I would poison your coffee”. His reply, “If you were my wife I would drink it”.
  • Lorne Greene had one of his nipples bitten off by an alligator while he was the host of Lorne Greene’s Wild Kingdom.
  • In 1980, a Las Vegas hospital suspended workers for betting on when patients would die.
  • Judy Jetson is a Libra.

So there you have it, another dose of useless (but interesting) information. . There will be a posting of a limerick later in the day, this one may be rated “R” rather than my normal “PG”. Hope you enjoy it.

DISLIKE HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS . . . GIVE ME A NURSE ANYTIME

09/29/2021 George Carlin Remembered   Leave a comment

I loved George Carlin and coming from me that is one of his greatest achievements. His comedy, except for his political views, was to me the best I’ve ever heard. Richard Pryor was right up there with him but to me Carlin was the epitome of what comics should be. His writings were just as good as his standup routine and they made you think. His English language wordplay was unbelievable and remains unmatched in my opinion to this day. He was also a better than average actor and I especially enjoyed his work in Jersey Girl from 2004. Along the way he won damn near every award possible for his work and it was richly deserved. One of his greatest moments to me was when he released his seven dirty words you couldn’t say on television. Here’s the short version of that historic event.

“I love words. I thank you for hearing my words. I want to tell you something about words that idea that I uh, I think is important. I love… as I say, they’re my work, they’re my play, they’re my passion. Words are all we have really. And the forbidden words, you know the seven don’t you? Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, and Tit’s, huh? Those are the heavy seven. Those are the ones that will infect your soul, curve your spine, and keep the country from winning the war.

Just to show you how the times are changing I’ll tell you a quick short story. A number of months back just prior to the start of the pandemic I was sitting in our local mall in one of those half-assed living room areas where husbands can wait for their wives. A large group of teens arrived and surrounded me as they chatted away about the new iPad one of them had purchased. I sat there for no more than ten minutes and overheard six of the seven famous Carlin words. He was right, we can’t say them on TV, but you’ll sure hear them said everywhere else.

I LOVED THAT GUY

09/13/2021 Become a Stupidity Spotter   Leave a comment

My blog is called everyuselessthing for a reason. Two of the many useless things I like to address on a regular basis are stupidity and political correctness. Whether it’s politicians, celebrities, or your normal run-of-the-mill idiots, stupidity is found everywhere. While I do get quite a tingle shedding light on many of these folks I think it’s only fair that I pass along to each of you the skills needed to identify them from a distance. So read on people and get educated. Here’s a clarifying definition.

Stupidity is a quality or state of being stupid, or an act or idea that exhibits properties of being stupid. According to the online Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word’s stupid and stupidity entered the English language in 1541. Since then, stupidity has taken place along with “fool”, “idiot”, “dumb”, “moron”, and related concepts as a pejorative appellation for human misdeeds, whether purposeful or accidental. Read on . . .

The Fundamental Laws of Human Stupidity

  • Always and inevitably each of us underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation.
  • The probability that a given person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic possessed by that person.
  • A person is stupid if they cause damage to another person or group of people without experiencing personal gain, or even worse causing damage to themselves in the process.
  • Non-stupid people always underestimate the harmful potential of stupid people; they constantly forget that at any time anywhere, and in any circumstance, dealing with or associating themselves with stupid individuals invariably constitutes a costly error.
  • A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person there is.

Now that you have these basic laws of human stupidity you are well on your way to becoming an expert “idiot and moron” spotter. What better way to protect your family than being able to spot the fools before they can infect innocent passers-by with the “stupidity virus”. One pandemic is more than enough for us to handle these days. The following definition is just another clue you can use to find these idiots and morons. They almost always suffer from this affliction (PC) as well.

Political Correctness (adjectivally, objectively, politically correct; both forms commonly abbreviated to PC) is a term which denotes language, ideas, policies, and behavior seen as seeking to minimize social and institutional offense in occupational, gender, racial, cultural, sexual context, and doing so to an excessive extent. In current usage, the term is primarily pejorative, while the term “politically correct” has been used as an implicitly positive self-description.

BEWARE MY FRIENDS . . . STAY ALERT . . . THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY EVERYWHERE

09/08/2021 The “Soundbite” Generations   Leave a comment

I love looking back at this country’s politics in my attempt to learn where all of the bad habits of our political elite have been learned. One of the major criticisms of our current politicians is that they are only concerned with “soundbites” rather than substance. Since I agree with that criticism I decided to try and pin down where it all started. The rise of the Mainstream Media has always been blamed for “sound biting” every candidate until we could just scream. What I discovered was more than just a little interesting. The use of campaign slogans began well before the media became so powerful. The following slogans are sometimes cute, sometimes hurtful, but always entertaining. This is just a small sampling of old and new campaign slogans that started the “soundbite revolution”.

  • Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too -1840
  • Fifty-Four or Fight -1844
  • Equal Rights to All, Special Privileges to None -1900
  • Stand Pat With McKinley -1900
  • Keep Cool With Coolidge -1924
  • A Chicken in Every Pot, A Car in Every Garage -1928
  • In Hoover We Trusted and Now We Are Busted -1948
  • One Good Term Deserves Another -1934
  • I’m Just Wild About Harry -1948
  • To Err is Truman -1948
  • Phooey on Dewey -1948
  • I Like Ike -1952
  • I Still Like Ike -1953
  • In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts -1964
  • Never Been Indicted -1980
  • It’s the Economy Stupid -1992

I guess we’ve come by it honestly. Apparently we citizens always were suckers for cheesy “soundbites” even when they were just called “campaign slogans”.

HOPEFULLY IT WILL BE “TIME FOR CHANGE” AGAIN IN 2024

09/04/2021 Have You Found Your Balance Yet?   Leave a comment

I’d like to discuss balance. All of us are bombarded on a daily basis with terms and phrases about balance. How often are we reminded by government, TV, family, and friends about eating a balanced diet. Most religions also suggest a well-balanced lifestyle makes for a harmonious existence. It seems to be a never-ending but critically important theme.

UP/DOWN – IN/OUT – START/FINISH – STOP/GO – OUT/BACK

“The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.” Euripides

YIN/YANG – BEGINNING/END – LOVE/HATE – MAN/WOMAN – GOOD/EVIL

“What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter – a soothing, calming influence on the mind, rather like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” Henri Matisse

RICHER/POORER – BETTER/WORSE – SICKNESS/HEALTH – PLUS/ MINUS – GAIN/LOSS

Even the scientific community is required to deal with balance because it is a universal constant. The third of Sir Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion explains that if you push on anything, it pushes back on you. The quote “every action has an equal and opposite reaction” is part of what we are. It can’t be ignored or avoided but must be understood and used to our best advantage.

I’ve seen many unhappy people over the years who are simply out of balance. I was one of them for more than three decades. My job, career, and prestige were all I focused on but that made me totally out of balance with my personal life. Work your life and keep trying to find your balance. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do in this day and age and just so you don’t forget, money still can’t and won’t buy you happiness. I didn’t listen to the warnings back then but I wish I had.

We come into this world head first and leave feet first.

THE ULTIMATE BALANCE

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