Wednesday, August 21, 2013


When we lived in California, I listened to KNX Radio quite often [primarily news radio with lots of traffic reports].  One regular feature was "The Athlete Arrest Of The Day" and sadly, they had way too much material to work with.  Of course Aaron Hernandez tops the list of hoodlums, and Plaxico Burress is possbily the stupidest [and most humorous].  However, I was a bit saddened by the recent arrest of Ty Lawson [and his girlfriend] for a domestic dispute.  Ty is one of my favorite Denver Nuggets, and he always comes across as a fairly mild-mannered fellow - so much for appearances.

Here is the news summary and a mug shot - - Ty, Ty, My, Oh, My

Nuggets guard Ty Lawson has been charged with physical harassment and criminal mischief, according to the Denver Post. The harassment charge reportedly deals with "either striking, shoving, or kicking." The incident occurred Saturday, with a judge prohibiting Lawson from contacting the apparent victim. He was released on $1,000 bail Monday. More on Lawson at Denver Stiffs The 25-year-old has gotten into minor trouble at various points in his professional career. Most notably was a DUI during his North Carolina days, but nothing along those lines has surfaced since. He was found guilty in 2012 for "permitting an unauthorized person to drive" and in January was arrested for "flight to avoid prosecution." Lawson has emerged as a promising point guard in Denver, guiding a squad that finished third in the Western Conference last season. He averaged career highs of 16.7 points and 6.9 assists in 2012-13 with the reins of an offense-heavy Nuggets squad in his hands, and his fast-paced style of play meshed with the up-tempo style of play George Karl favored. But it's been a turbulent summer, as Karl, general manager Masai Ujiri and star Andre Iguodala have left the team. Not to conflate ugly accusations with basketball moves, but an arrest adds to the chaos in Denver.

Monday, August 19, 2013


From Alan Bean's blog, Friends of Justice:

By Alan Bean This map gives us the highest paid public employees by state. I would have thought social workers or school teachers would win the prize in at least one state. Sadly, no. On first glance, it appears that Blue states tend to favor basketball coaches while Red states lean toward football coaches. But that theory breaks down under close examination. Northern states, Blue and Red, are more likely to pay academics more than coaches. Must be the influence of that cool Canadian air. Vermont pays the big bucks to hockey coaches (another Canadian influence, obviously) but I bet they don’t get paid as well as the football and basketball gods.

Saturday, August 17, 2013



News Clip: Amish men take about 18,425 steps per day. Amish women take about 14,196. The average American adult takes about 4,000 steps per day.  Four percent of Amish are obese, compared to 31% of the general population. A more detailed description of the study can be found here. Since s many Amish ride bikes, it would have been nice if that would have been a part of the study as well. On only anecdotal personal observation, I would have to quibble with the 4% obesity rate in the Amish - seems higher to me - but that's a limited sample from Shipshewana, Indiana!  Also, their statement of 31% of the general population does not tell the whole story, for example:
  • Rates vary by region, with the 20 states having the highest percentages of obesity and overweight all located in the South or Midwest
  • Rates vary by age, with obesity rates for Baby Boomers (45- to 64-year olds), having reached 30% in 41 states, but exceeding 30% in one state -- Louisiana -- for seniors (65 years old or older)
  • Obesity rates in 2010 were nearly the same for men (35.8%) and women (35.5%) despite a nearly 6-percentage-point difference a decade ago (men: 27.5%, women: 33.4%)
  • Almost a third of adults with incomes less than $25,000 a year were obese compared with a quarter of those who earn more than $50,000 a year
  • More than 35% of those ages 26 and older who didn't graduate from high school were obese, compared with 21.3% of those who graduated from college or technical school
A detailed report on obesity can  be found here - the really sad fact is that while Colorado has the lowest rate at 20.5%, just 30 years ago, that percentage would have been the HIGHEST in the country!   All of this reminds me of a short-lived marketing campaign for  'designer' jeans for lard-asses!!

The following will also no doubt end up with the big corporation squashing a bit of humor: 


Wednesday, August 14, 2013


When I recently read that Karen Black had died at the age of 74 [read obituary and career summary here], I had the vague recollection that the Aschliman family had claimed her as some sort of relative.  My hunch was that it was via the Heller clan, so I contacted the font of all family knowledge, my cousin S Man, and here is what he had to say:

"Tom Foy was married to my sister Loretta.  Tom is a first cousin of Karen Black.  Their mother's were sisters.  Tom and Loretta's kids would be blood relatives of KB, and since you and I are blood relatives of those kids, we are blood relatives of blood relatives of Karen Black.  She was at my sister's wedding way back when, though only a teenager at the time and definitely not a celebrity."

So there is your daily dose of nearly worthless trivia!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Friday, August 02, 2013


The title is one of the sayings that is described below regarding origins.  I have not checked out Snopes to determine veracity, but regardless of whether they are correct or apocryphal, they are interesting.  H/T to Sister K....enjoy.
Did you know the saying "God willing and the Creek don't rise" was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water? It was written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. He was a politician and Indian diplomat. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to Washington . In his response, he was said to write, "God willing and the Creek don't rise." Because he capitalized the word "Creek" it is deduced that he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.
In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)
As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October) Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn't wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term 'big wig... ' Today we often use the term 'here comes the Big Wig' because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.
In the late 1700's, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The 'head of the household' always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal.. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the 'chair man.' Today in business, we use the expression or title 'Chairman' or 'Chairman of the Board.'
Personal hygiene left much room for improvement.. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt . .. . Therefore, the expression 'losing face.'
Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced' wore a tightly tied lace..
Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades...' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck..'
Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip some Ale and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'
At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the phrase 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations.However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.' Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.' (All this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you.)