Since the beginning of the year we have lost some notable celebrities; David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Abe Vigoda etc. I usually don’t care about celebs except for those that somehow remind me of my youth. Today we lost one of those people, Maurice White. Maurice White was a founding member of the band Earth, Wind and Fire. Now it may sound odd that a guy like me would like these guys but growing up in the 70s and 80s there was no avoiding them. The fact that I thought they were cool helped too. Their songs always had a positive vibe and even if for a few minutes would make you feel better if you were down. I still enjoy the greats; Shining Star, September, Boogie Wonderland etc. Check them out if you can. RIP Mr. White
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I like trivia. I like history. I like little tidbits of worthless information floating around in my brain. A lot of times people are surprised that I would know something so trivial (pardon the pun) and on occasion I surprise myself. One of my favorite sites to visit is called Mental Floss. It is basically a site catered for people like me, those with the desire to accumulate as much worthless trivia as possible. The need for this type of knowledge is endless. On Mental Floss I particularly enjoy the various quizzes. There are different types that I usually score from fair to excellent, with the occasional poor score. One of these is called What’s The Kennection? It is one of the harder quizzes. The idea is to answer five unrelated questions then those answers have a connection. Well today is the first time I got it all correct and I just had to share. So if you’re so inclined please give it a try and let me know how you do.
Sorry I haven’t posted anything in the last couple of days. Nothing really exciting going on. Yesterday was my younger (giggle snort) sister’s birthday, so a happy one to her.
For those that give a damn, yesterday was the Iowa caucus which is essentially the beginning of the process of selecting the nominee for each party in the presidential election. If you do give a damn you know how it turned out so I’ll spare the details. You should already know which way I am leaning but I am actually undecided at this moment, even though I have a favorite. No matter who gets nominated I will vote for that person over anyone who wants to keep killing this country. The last several years have been very divisive and many of us our seeing this country, as we know and love it, slipping away. With that being said, pay attention to the candidates and their proposed policies and make a wise and informed opinion. Remember, there are idiots out there whose votes count just as much as yours.
Today is the 30th anniversary of the Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy. Like with most major events everyone remembers where they were or what they were doing at that moment. For me that moment was my junior year in high school. There was a small group of us able to watch it in the school library while working on other assignments. By this time shuttle launches had become routine and the only thing special about it was the first teacher in space. I have always been interested in space, science and technology but to be honest this launch was routine for me too. I would give the occasional look at the tv screen. As the shuttle lifted off I paid closer attention, still fascinated at how something that big could get off the ground and travel that fast. As everyone remembers it just happened. Something didn’t seem right. Even as teenagers we had seen enough launches to know that this one was very, very different. After a few seconds, those of us watching started to realize the shuttle was gone, destroyed but at the same time not comprehend what we had just seen. As we stared in disbelief, the images of wreckage hitting the water and the looks of anguish and shock of those on the tv screen, the realization of what happened hit all of us. How can this happen? We are the greatest country in the world with the smartest people. I am a student of history, I love history, I was aware there were other tragedies that came before. Apollo 1 (27 January 1967) for example. We learned from them, this can’t happen to us. Needless to say the news travelled very fast; and this is before cell phones or the internet. Within minutes the entire school had changed and in a way a little bit of our innocence. I like to think we all grew up a little that day. Seeing something so routine go horribly wrong and learning how fast it can all end. The rest of the day was a loss. We just sat in our classes until it was time to go home. The rest of the night and into the next few days we would just stare at the tv and watch over and over the replay of the last moments still not understanding what had happened just as we did on 9/11. We mourned, we investigated, we learned and ultimately we persevered and continued on with the program even after tragedy would strike again in the space shuttle Columbia (1 February 2003). Just as with 9/11, these things did not destroy us but make us stronger and if only for a little while brought all of us together. I will close this out with President Reagan’s words from that tragic day.
Abe Vigoda has died today. If you are under the age of 35 or 40 you may not know he is. Any fan of The Godfather movies will recognize him as Sal Tessio one of Vito Corleones’s flunkies. He also starred in the tv show Barney Miller in the 70s as Detective Phil Fish. The reason I’m posting this was that every year or so there would be a hoax story of his passing. Unfortunately today it is finally true. He was 94. To end with a smile he was in one of the funniest commercials ever for Snickers with Betty White. Here you go.
So most of you know I like to smoke the occasional cigar, much to Mother’s chagrin. What you may not know is that I also like pipes and even hookahs. I was perusing my inventory of smoking paraphernalia (nothing illegal, of course) and was reminiscing about a pipe I purchased in 2006. It is a freehand (carved by hand) from a pipe maker named Erik Nording. The reason it’s special to me is that I actually purchased it from Mr. Nording himself and he signed and dated it with a wood burner. Well this pipe is coming up to 10 years old and to be honest I probably smoked it about five times. I started thinking about all the things we collect and rarely or never use. I have about a dozen pipes of different styles and grades, hardly a huge collection. I have a few regular burners and a couple that are in the rarely use category. Pipe smoke is one of my all time favorite smells. Here is the aforementioned pipe and a picture of me and Erik Nording.
There is an added bonus to pipe smoking.