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Saturday, January 31, 2009


In the Hawaiian language "Aloha" means "Hello", "Goodbye" and "I love you."

This post covers all three definitions.

2008 was a pretty lousy year for me. My failing eyesight has made the creation of this blog an exercise in futility..

My sources of income are dried up and I will become homeless on March 1st, to survive on the streets until I can start receiving Social Security at the beginning of 2010. Life is a crapshoot and I have rolled "snake-eyes."

This blog has been fun and I appreciate all the web friends I have made over the years. With a bit of luck I hope to be back in about a year. Maybe along the way I can find a free wifi "hotspot" and write about life on the streets.

I will miss each and every one of you. If things go really bad, just remember that you are all in my thoughts.


"Let's all be careful out there!"


Today is Saturday, Jan. 31, the 31st day of 2009.
There are 334 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Jan. 31, 1958, the United States entered the Space Age with its first successful launch of a satellite into orbit, Explorer I.

On this date:

  • In 1606, Guy Fawkes, convicted of treason for his part in the "Gunpowder Plot" against the English Parliament and King James I, was executed.
  • In 1865, Gen. Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of all the Confederate armies.
  • In 1917, during World War I, Germany served notice it was beginning a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.
  • In 1919, baseball Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Ga.
  • In 1929, revolutionary Leon Trotsky and his family were expelled from the Soviet Union.
  • In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began a successful invasion of Kwajalein Atoll and other parts of the Japanese-held Marshall Islands.
  • In 1945, Pvt. Eddie Slovik, 24, became the first U.S. soldier since the Civil War to be executed for desertion as he was shot by an American firing squad in France.
  • In 1949, the first TV daytime soap opera, "These Are My Children," began broadcasting from the NBC station in Chicago. (It lasted all of four weeks.)
  • In 1971, astronauts Alan Shepard Jr., Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa blasted off aboard Apollo 14 on a mission to the moon.
  • In 2000, an Alaska Airlines jet plummeted into the Pacific Ocean, killing all 88 people aboard.

Ten years ago:
  • The Denver Broncos repeated as NFL champions, defeating the Atlanta Falcons 34-19 in Super Bowl 33.
  • Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham presented what they called convincing proof that the AIDS virus originated in chimpanzees and spread to people in Africa.

Five years ago:
  • Six U.S.-bound flights from England, Scotland and France were canceled because of security concerns.
  • Justine Henin-Hardenne won her third Grand Slam title, defeating Kim Clijsters 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 in the Australian Open.
  • John Elway and Barry Sanders were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on their first attempt; they were joined by Bob Brown and Carl Eller.

One year ago:
  • President George W. Bush, speaking at the Nevada Policy Research Institute, said he would not jeopardize security gains in Iraq by withdrawing U.S. forces too quickly.
  • A drifter pleaded guilty to murdering a young woman who'd gone missing while hiking in the north Georgia mountains; Gary Michael Hilton was swiftly sentenced to life in prison in the death of Meredith Emerson.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actress Carol Channing is 88.
  • Actress Jean Simmons is 80.
  • Baseball Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks is 78.
  • Composer Philip Glass is 72.
  • Actor Stuart Margolin is 69.
  • Actress Jessica Walter is 68.
  • Former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., is 68.
  • Blues singer-musician Charlie Musselwhite is 65.
  • Actor Glynn Turman is 63.
  • Baseball Hall-of-Famer Nolan Ryan is 62.
  • Singer-musician KC (KC and the Sunshine Band) is 58.
  • Rock singer Johnny Rotten is 53.
  • Actress Kelly Lynch is 50.
  • Actor Anthony LaPaglia is 50.
  • Singer-musician Lloyd Cole is 48.
  • Actor John Dye is 46.
  • Rock musician Jeff Hanneman (Slayer) is 45.
  • Rock musician Al Jaworski (Jesus Jones) is 43.
  • Actress Minnie Driver is 39.
  • Actress Portia de Rossi is 36.
  • Actor-comedian Bobby Moynihan is 32.
  • Actress Kerry Washington is 32.
  • Singer Justin Timberlake is 28.

Thought for Today:
"Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have."
Rabbi Hyman Judah Schachtel, American theologian, author and educator (1907-1990).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Friday, January 30, 2009


Today is Friday, Jan. 30, the 30th day of 2009.
There are 335 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Jan. 30, 1968, the Tet Offensive began during the Vietnam War as Communist forces launched surprise attacks against South Vietnamese provincial capitals; although the Communists were beaten back, the offensive was seen as a major setback for the U.S. and its allies.

On this date:

  • In 1649, England's King Charles I was beheaded.
  • In 1882, the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was born in Hyde Park, N.Y.
  • In 1909, community organizer and social activist Saul Alinsky was born in Chicago.
  • In 1933, Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany. The first episode of the "Lone Ranger" radio program was broadcast on station WXYZ in Detroit.
  • In 1939, the Supreme Court, in Tennessee Electric Power Co. v. Tennessee Valley Authority, upheld the right of the federally owned TVA to compete with private utilities.
  • In 1948, Indian political and spiritual leader Mohandas K. Gandhi was shot and killed by a Hindu extremist.
  • In 1962, two members of "The Flying Wallendas" high-wire act were killed when their seven-person pyramid collapsed during a performance in Detroit.
  • In 1972, 13 Roman Catholic civil rights marchers were shot to death by British soldiers in Northern Ireland on what became known as "Bloody Sunday."
  • In 1979, the civilian government of Iran announced it had decided to allow Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who'd been living in exile in France, to return.
  • In 2003, Richard Reid, the British citizen and al-Qaida follower who'd tried to blow up a trans-Atlantic jetliner with explosives hidden in his shoes, was sentenced to life in prison by a federal judge in Boston.

Ten years ago:
  • NATO authorized its secretary-general to launch military action in Yugoslavia if the warring parties failed to negotiate an agreement for autonomy in Kosovo.

Five years ago:
  • Former French Prime Minister Alain Juppe was found guilty in connection with a party financing scandal and declared ineligible for public office for 10 years.
  • NASA's Mars rover Opportunity spied hints of a mineral that typically forms in water — a finding that could mean the dry and dusty Red Planet was once wetter and more hospitable to life.

One year ago:
  • John Edwards bowed out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Rudy Giuliani dropped out of the Republican presidential contest and endorsed front-runner and longtime friend John McCain.
  • The Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate for the second time in just over a week, reducing the federal funds rate by a half point to 3 percent.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actress Dorothy Malone is 84.
  • Producer-director Harold Prince is 81.
  • Actor Gene Hackman is 79.
  • Actress Tammy Grimes is 75.
  • Actress Vanessa Redgrave is 72.
  • Country singer Jeanne Pruett is 72.
  • Country singer Norma Jean is 71.
  • Vice President Dick Cheney is 68.
  • Rock singer Marty Balin is 67.
  • Rhythm-and-blues musician William King (The Commodores) is 60.
  • Singer Phil Collins is 58.
  • Actor Charles S. Dutton is 58.
  • Actress-comedian Brett Butler is 51.
  • Singer Jody Watley is 50.
  • Actor Norbert Leo Butz is 42.
  • Country singer Tammy Cochran is 37.
  • Actor Christian Bale is 35.
  • Pop-rock singer-songwriter Josh Kelley is 29.
  • Actor Wilmer Valderrama is 29.
  • Actor Jake Thomas is 19.

Thought for Today:
"The excellent becomes the permanent."
Jane Addams, social worker and Nobel Peace laureate (1860-1935).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Today is Thursday, Jan. 29, the 29th day of 2009.
There are 336 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Jan. 29, 1820, Britain's King George III died at Windsor Castle, ending a reign that had seen both the American and French revolutions.

On this date:

  • In 1843, the 25th president of the United States, William McKinley, was born in Niles, Ohio.
  • In 1845, Edgar Allan Poe's poem "The Raven" was first published, in the New York Evening Mirror.
  • In 1861, Kansas became the 34th state of the Union.
  • In 1919, the ratification of the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which launched Prohibition, was certified by Acting Secretary of State Frank L. Polk.
  • In 1929, The Seeing Eye, a New Jersey-based school which trains guide dogs to assist the blind, was incorporated by Dorothy Harrison Eustis and Morris Frank.
  • In 1936, the first members of baseball's Hall of Fame, including Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, were named in Cooperstown, N.Y.
  • In 1939, Irish poet-dramatist William Butler Yeats died in Menton, France.
  • In 1963, the first members of pro football's Hall of Fame were named in Canton, Ohio.
  • In 1979, President Jimmy Carter formally welcomed Chinese Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping to the White House, following the establishment of diplomatic relations.
  • In 1998, a bomb rocked an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Ala., killing security guard Robert Sanderson and critically injuring Emily Lyons, a nurse. (The bomber, Eric Rudolph, was captured in May 2003 and is serving a life sentence.)

Ten years ago:
  • The Senate delivered subpoenas for Monica Lewinsky and two of President Bill Clinton's advisers, summoning them for private, videotaped testimony in the impeachment trial.
  • Attorney General Janet Reno rejected a special prosecutor investigation of former White House deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes.

Five years ago:
  • A suicide bomber struck a bus in Jerusalem, killing 10 Israelis.
  • British author M.M. Kaye died in Lavenham, England, at age 95.

One year ago:
  • John McCain won a breakthrough triumph in the Florida primary, easing past Mitt Romney for his first-ever triumph in a primary open only to Republicans.
  • Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton claimed victory in a campaign-free Florida presidential primary in which all the candidates had signed pledges not to compete. (The national Democratic Party had stripped the state of its delegates as punishment for moving its primary ahead of Feb. 5.)
  • Margaret Truman, the only child of President Harry S. Truman, died in Chicago at age 83.
  • Raymond Jacobs, believed to be the last surviving member of the group of Marines photographed during the first U.S. flag-raising on Iwo Jima, died in Redding, Calif., at age 82.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actor John Forsythe is 91.
  • Actor Noel Harrison is 75.
  • Author Germaine Greer is 70.
  • Actress Katharine Ross is 69.
  • Actor Tom Selleck is 64.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Bettye LaVette is 63.
  • Actor Marc Singer is 61.
  • Actress Ann Jillian is 59.
  • Rock musician Tommy Ramone (Ramones) is 57.
  • Rock musician Louie Perez (Los Lobos) is 56.
  • Talk show host Oprah Winfrey is 55.
  • Country singer Irlene Mandrell is 53.
  • Actress Diane Delano is 52.
  • Actress Judy Norton Taylor ("The Waltons") is 51.
  • Rock musician Johnny Spampinato (NRBQ) is 50.
  • Olympic gold-medal diver Greg Louganis is 49.
  • Rock musician David Baynton-Power (James) is 48.
  • Rock musician Eddie Jackson (Queensryche) is 48.
  • Actor Nicholas Turturro is 47.
  • Rock singer-musician Roddy Frame (Aztec Camera) is 45.
  • Actor-director Edward Burns is 41.
  • Actress Heather Graham is 39.
  • Actor Sharif Atkins is 34.
  • Actress Sara Gilbert is 34.
  • Actor Andrew Keegan is 30.
  • Actor Jason James Richter is 29.
  • Blues musician Jonny Lang is 28.

Thought for Today:
"And were an epitaph to be my story I'd have a short one ready for my own. I would have written of me on my stone: 'I had a lover's quarrel with the world.'"
Robert Frost, American poet (born 1874, died on this day in 1963).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Today is Wednesday, Jan. 28, the 28th day of 2009.
There are 337 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Jan. 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Cape Canaveral, Fla., killing all seven of its crew members: flight commander Francis R. "Dick" Scobee; pilot Michael Smith; Ronald McNair; Ellison Onizuka; Judith Resnik; Gregory Jarvis; and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.

On this date:

  • In 1547, England's King Henry VIII died; he was succeeded by his 9-year-old son, Edward VI.
  • In 1853, Cuban revolutionary Jose Marti was born in Havana.
  • In 1878, the first daily college newspaper, Yale News (now Yale Daily News), began publication in New Haven, Conn.
  • In 1909, the United States withdrew its forces from Cuba as Jose Miguel Gomez became president.
  • In 1915, the United States Coast Guard was created as President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill merging the Life-Saving Service and Revenue Cutter Service.
  • In 1916, Louis D. Brandeis was nominated by President Woodrow Wilson to the Supreme Court; Brandeis became the court's first Jewish member.
  • In 1945, during World War II, Allied supplies began reaching China over the newly reopened Burma Road.
  • In 1969, a major oil spill off Santa Barbara, Calif., occurred as a Union Oil well blew out, sending oil and natural gas into the Santa Barbara Channel.
  • In 1973, a cease-fire officially went into effect in the Vietnam War.
  • In 1978, fire swept through the historic downtown Coates House hotel in Kansas City, Mo., killing 20 people.

Ten years ago:
  • Ford Motor Company announced it was buying the Volvo car division in a $6.45 billion deal.
  • Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan honored a personal request for mercy from Pope John Paul II, sparing triple murderer Darrell Mease from being executed.

Five years ago:
  • British Prime Minister Tony Blair won vindication when a judge said the BBC was wrong to report the government had "sexed up" intelligence to justify war in Iraq.
  • Former U.S. Navy commander Lloyd "Pete" Bucher, who'd helped his USS Pueblo crew survive brutal captivity in North Korea, then faced criticism back home, died in Poway, Calif., at age 76.

One year ago:
  • President George W. Bush, in his last State of the Union address, urged passage of an economic stimulus package and asked Americans to remain patient with the long, grinding war in Iraq.
  • In a daring ambush, Iraqi insurgents blasted a U.S. patrol with a roadside bomb and showered survivors with gunfire from a mosque in Mosul; five American soldiers were killed in the explosion.
  • A U.S. missile attack in Pakistan killed veteran al-Qaida leader Abu Laith al-Libi.
  • Massachusetts Sen. Edward M. Kennedy endorsed Barack Obama for the White House.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Musician-composer Acker Bilk is 80.
  • Actor Nicholas Pryor is 74.
  • Actor Alan Alda is 73.
  • Actress Susan Howard is 67.
  • Actress Marthe Keller is 64.
  • Actress-singer Barbi Benton is 59.
  • French President Nicolas Sarkozy is 54.
  • Actress Harley Jane Kozak is 52.
  • Movie director Frank Darabont is 50.
  • Rock musician Dave Sharp is 50.
  • Rock singer Sam Phillips is 47.
  • Rock musician Dan Spitz (Anthrax) is 46.
  • Country musician Greg Cook (Ricochet) is 44.
  • Gospel singer Marvin Sapp is 42.
  • Singer Sarah McLachlan is 41.
  • Rapper Rakim is 41.
  • DJ Muggs (Cypress Hill) is 41.
  • Actress Kathryn Morris ("Cold Case") is 40.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Anthony Hamilton is 38.
  • Rock musician Brandon Bush (Train) is 36.
  • Singer Joey Fatone, Jr. ('N Sync) is 32.
  • Rapper Rick Ross is 32.
  • Actress Rosamund Pike is 30.
  • Singer Nick Carter (Backstreet Boys) is 29.
  • Actor Elijah Wood is 28.

Thought for Today:
"Since when do we have to agree with people to defend them from injustice?"
Lillian Hellman, American author and playwright (1905-1984).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Today is Tuesday, Jan. 27, the 27th day of 2009.
There are 338 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Jan. 27, 1967, astronauts Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, Edward H. White and Roger B. Chaffee died in a flash fire during a test aboard their Apollo spacecraft at Cape Kennedy, Fla.

On this date:

  • In 1756, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria.
  • In 1880, Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric incandescent lamp.
  • In 1901, opera composer Giuseppe Verdi died in Milan, Italy, at age 87.
  • In 1943, some 50 bombers struck Wilhelmshaven in the first all-American air raid against Germany during World War II.
  • In 1944, the Soviet Union announced the complete end of the deadly German siege of Leningrad, which had lasted for more than two years.
  • In 1945, Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau in Poland.
  • In 1951, an era of atomic testing in the Nevada desert began as an Air Force plane dropped a one-kiloton bomb on Frenchman Flat.
  • In 1967, more than 60 nations signed a treaty banning the orbiting of nuclear weapons.
  • In 1973, the Vietnam peace accords were signed in Paris.
  • In 1981, President Ronald Reagan greeted the 52 former American hostages just released by Iran at the White House.

Ten years ago:
  • The Republican-controlled Senate blocked dismissal of the impeachment case against President Bill Clinton and then voted for new testimony from Monica Lewinsky and two other witnesses — but by margins well short of the two-thirds needed to oust the president.

Five years ago:
  • John Kerry won the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary.
  • A jury in New York heard opening arguments in the trial of Martha Stewart, who was accused of lying about a stock sale. (She was convicted in March 2004 and sentenced to five months in prison.)
  • Former "Tonight Show" host Jack Paar died in Greenwich, Conn., at age 85.

One year ago:
  • Former Indonesian president Suharto, whose regime killed hundreds of thousands of left-wing political opponents, died in Jakarta at age 86.
  • Gordon B. Hinckley, the 15th president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, died in Salt Lake City at age 97.
  • Novak Djokovic fended off unseeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (2) in the Australian Open final, earning his first Grand Slam title.
  • Evan Lysacek won his second straight title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, in St. Paul, Minn.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Singer Bobby "Blue" Bland is 79.
  • Actor James Cromwell is 69.
  • Actor John Witherspoon is 67.
  • Rock musician Nick Mason (Pink Floyd) is 64.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Nedra Talley (The Ronettes) is 63.
  • Ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov is 61.
  • Chief U.S. Justice John Roberts is 54.
  • Country singer Cheryl White is 54.
  • Country singer-musician Richard Young (The Kentucky Headhunters) is 54.
  • Actress Mimi Rogers is 53.
  • Rock musician Janick Gers (Iron Maiden) is 52.
  • Sportscaster and political commentator Keith Olbermann is 50.
  • Rock singer Margo Timmins (Cowboy Junkies) is 48.
  • Rock musician Gillian Gilbert is 48.
  • Actress Bridget Fonda is 45.
  • Actor Alan Cumming is 44.
  • Country singer Tracy Lawrence is 41.
  • Rock singer Mike Patton is 41.
  • Rapper Tricky is 41.
  • Rock musician Michael Kulas (James) is 40.
  • Actor Josh Randall is 37.
  • Country singer Kevin Denney is 33.

Thought for Today:
"There's a difference between beauty and charm. A beautiful woman is one I notice. A charming woman is one who notices me."
John Erskine, American author and educator (1879-1951).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"

Monday, January 26, 2009


Today is Monday, Jan. 26, the 26th day of 2009.
There are 339 days left in the year.
This is the Lunar New Year.

Today's Highlight in History:

  • On Jan. 26, 1788, the first European settlers in Australia, led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney.

On this date:

  • In 1784, in a letter to his daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the choice of the eagle as the symbol of America, and stated his own preference: the turkey.
  • In 1837, Michigan became the 26th state.
  • In 1841, Britain formally occupied Hong Kong, which the Chinese had ceded to the British.
  • In 1861, Louisiana seceded from the Union.
  • In 1870, Virginia rejoined the Union.
  • In 1942, the first American expeditionary force to go to Europe during World War II went ashore in Northern Ireland.
  • In 1950, India officially proclaimed itself a republic as Rajendra Prasad took the oath of office as president.
  • In 1962, the United States launched Ranger 3 to land scientific instruments on the moon — but the probe missed its target by more than 22,000 miles.
  • In 1969, President Richard M. Nixon declared a federal disaster in California in the wake of major flooding.
  • In 1979, former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller died in New York at age 70.

Ten years ago:
  • President Bill Clinton welcomed a frail Pope John Paul II as the pontiff began his seventh pilgrimage to the United States in St. Louis.
  • Jordan's King Hussein turned over the temporary operation of his country to his eldest son and flew back to the United States for urgent medical care.

Five years ago:
  • The White House retreated from its once-confident claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction; Democrats swiftly sought to turn the about-face into an election-year issue.
  • Lionel Tate, the Florida teen who'd killed a 6-year-old playmate and became the youngest defendant in the nation to be locked away for life, was released after three years behind bars.
  • At least 16 people were killed in the collapse of a building in Nasr City, Egypt.

One year ago:
  • Barack Obama routed Hillary Rodham Clinton in the South Carolina primary.
  • Maria Sharapova won the Australian Open, beating Ana Ivanovic 7-5, 6-3 for her third Grand Slam singles title.
  • Mirai Nagasu became the second-youngest woman (after Tara Lipinski) to win the title at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, held in St. Paul, Minn.
  • Christian Brando, the troubled eldest son of the late actor Marlon Brando, died in Los Angeles at age 49.
  • Radical PLO leader George Habash died in Amman, Jordan, at age 81.

Today's Birthdays:
  • Actress Anne Jeffreys is 86.
  • Actress Joan Leslie is 84.
  • Cartoonist Jules Feiffer is 80.
  • Sportscaster-actor Bob Uecker is 74.
  • Actor Scott Glenn is 70.
  • Singer Jean Knight is 66.
  • Activist Angela Davis is 65.
  • Rock musician Corky Laing (Mountain) is 61.
  • Actor David Strathairn is 60.
  • Alt-country singer-songwriter Lucinda Williams is 56.
  • Rock singer-musician Eddie Van Halen is 54.
  • Reggae musician Norman Hassan (UB40) is 51.
  • Actress-comedian-talk show host Ellen DeGeneres is 51.
  • Hockey Hall-of-Famer Wayne Gretzky is 48.
  • Musician Andrew Ridgeley is 46.
  • Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazzie B. (Soul II Soul) is 46.
  • Actor Paul Johansson is 45.
  • Gospel singer Kirk Franklin is 39.
  • Actress Jennifer Crystal is 36.
  • Rock musician Chris Hesse (Hoobastank) is 35.
  • Actress Sarah Rue is 31.
  • Country musician Michael Martin (Marshall Dyllon) is 26.

Thought for Today:
"Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking."
Albert Einstein, German-born physicist (1879-1955).

"Let's all be careful out there!"


"Let's all be careful out there!"