Once and awhile a person comes across a quite off-the-wall, a bit humorous, unique piece of news. This information struck me as a bit of Monty Pythonesque satire even if true. What leaps to mind is the term from MP of “I fart in your general direction”. Certainly gaseous related humor finds a home in the Thayer family, even the female side. I remember going to Las Vegas with my mother and grandmother and listening to a Los Angeles radio station and the Tom Lykus program. He spent an hour having people call in about what were the grossest things the people had seen or experienced. One story was about a farting episode referred to the Birmingham Blunderbuss. More detail could be covered yet some delicacy must be maintained.
So a Frenchman has developed an anti-flatulence pill or at least one to make them smell like roses. His reason is explained with the following and more detail occurs in the article.

“65-year-old inventor says he came up with his range of indigestion tablets after he was "nearly suffocated" by the smell of farts”

2014 Wreath Making

The Jantzis were hosts again for the holiday wreath making. Phyllis Copeland was able to make it this year again. Renee and her friend and co-worker, Sandy Williams, came to join in the festivities this year. Everyone made some lovely wreaths and Renee was as creative as always. Randy Jantzi was good enough to take a great photo of this group of holiday wreath makers and their creations.

Those Sunrises in Berlin

A few weeks ago, we woke to one of those great winter sunrises with lots of color across the sky. I wish they could last longer since they are so wonderful and bright.

Battleship Kid

One minute you are 18 months old and watching how the bigger kids play Battleship….

The next minute you are ready to take over the world with your own Battleship, go Ryan…



Kamikaze Pilots

During World War ll, one of the most alarming aspects of the Asian/Pacific theatre was the development of the Japanese Kamikaze pilot. One bit of trivia is information about how the pilots were chosen. Ultimately, it came down to pressure and peer-pressure. A more extreme version of this scenario is the suicide bomber found World-wide though primarily in the Middle-East.

Story of Arthur the Dog

Time to read one of the most heart warming stories you might ever come across. This has to be the luckiest and most determined dog you could ever find. That determination though (and desperation) is what allowed Arthur to be a lucky dog. Along with kind-hearted people.Tough enough to live in Ecuador trying to find a meal, even harder to keep up with an extreme sports team in the Amazon. Read about Arthur here.

Sentences and Prepositions

Bob has a better memory and understanding of English grammar than I do. What I was exposed to was not absorbed to the level of sticking with me. Many times he reminds me you should not end a sentence with a preposition. Well, this rule overall is full of hooey. Just see what Churchill thought of this.

A great man once said, “This is the sort of English up with which I will not put.” “

Read about it here and see where definitely one can use prepositions at the end of a sentence.

“As for today, according to the Oxford Dictionaries, there are four primary types of sentences where it sounds more natural to end a sentence with a preposition:

Infinitive: Joe had no one to go with.
Who, what, where type questions: What song were you listening to?
Passive: The cat was let in.
Relative clauses: That’s the man she lived with.”

Paperback Books and World War ll

Did paperback books help win World War ll for the Citizen Soldier? Did it help with their war experience and to pass the time? Maybe this was their type of dime store novel. Find out the background here.

“A decade after the Nazis’ 1933 book burnings, the U.S. War Department and the publishing industry did the opposite, printing 120 million miniature, lightweight paperbacks for U.S. troops to carry in their pockets across Europe, North Africa and the Pacific.

The books were Armed Services Editions, printed by a coalition of publishers with funding from the government and shipped by the Army and Navy. The largest of them were only three-quarters of an inch thick—thin enough to fit in the pocket of a soldier’s pants. Soldiers read them on transport ships, in camps and in foxholes. Wounded and waiting for medics, men turned to them on Omaha Beach, propped against the base of the cliffs. Others were buried with a book tucked in a pocket.”

A Page for Free Books

Here is a webpage for accessing a number of free books. One such section is the 51 volumes of Harvard Classics. A lot of other items are able to be found here too. At least a lot of free reading.

Ryan and the Big Bed

Ryan came to spend the day today. Upstairs he saw the steps to our big tall bed. Up he went and enjoyed the view sitting in the middle of his grandparent’s bed. Happy

Birth of Alien Solar System

Scott had gall bladder surgery today. We ended up spending a good portion of the day at the Lebanon hospital. Saw my cousin, Linda, there and had a nice chat about family and remembrances of her parents. Surgery went fine though Scott was a sleepy sore person for that evening.

On another note, here is some information from National Geographic magazine about the birth of an alien solar system. The space photos from the Hubble Space Telescope are great. It is an interesting site.

“Only one million years old, HL Tau sits in the constellation Taurus, the Bull, and is some 450 light-years from Earth.
Our own Earth was born more than 4.5 billion years ago from a similar "protoplanetary" disk, explaining astronomers' interest in witnessing planetary origins around a nearby star.”

Ia Drang

There is a good Mel Gibson movie based on the book, “We Were Soldiers Once and Young.” This was based on the Vietnam battle in the Ia Drang in November of 1965. The book was written by Joe Galloway and Lt. Col. Hal Moore’s book. A bit of history and detail about this can be found at this web page.

Duchess of Devonshire

A recent article covered the death and some history of the Duchess of Devonshire, Debo, as she was known. Debo was a Mitford. To read about an example of the upper British class and some of its oddities, you have to read about the Mitfords. Especially the Mitford sisters. The author of this piece evidently knew the family and has written about them. Enjoy reading about a different world from ours. Are they privileged or damaged?

The Big Apple

Another Trivia Day. Why is New York City referred to as The Big Apple. Read about it here.

The earliest documented reference to New York being referred to as “The Big Apple” comes from a 1909 book by Edward Martin, called The Wayfarer. In it, he uses the moniker in a metaphorical sense, rather than a proper name for the city:

"Kansas is apt to see in New York a greedy city… It inclines to think that the big apple gets a disproportionate share of the national sap…"

Crowd Size

Trivia Day again. Today I Found Out recently covered how crowd size is determined. This can be a controversial issue because people use the numbers to boost the importance of their issue or message. Usually people of a leftist persuasion can get by with exaggeration while others cannot. It is interesting to read in this story about how a fairly simple mathematical look at determination was the basis for what is done today. Read about it.

Grandma's Work Clone

There is a little man out there who seems to have picked up Grandma’s work habits of late. I seem to spend a lot of time on the computer and someone is also learning the same. Maybe not such a good thing.
Ryan at the computer desk at his home

John Cleese Speaks or Is It Basil Fawlty

There is no doubt that one of the people I enjoy mightily in the humor and acting side of life is John Cleese. His TV show Fawlty Towers was the best, the number one comedy in Britain. It is a gem.

He has just written an autobiography that should be interesting. There is an explanation for the “dead parrot” sketch in the book. That would be worth the price of admission or buying the book. Unbelievable that he just turned 75. Makes one feel old, though watching his humor makes one feel young. Happy Who else can maneuver those silly legs for “The Ministry of Silly Walks” in Monty Python? More about John Cleese here.

Thor's Hammer

I seem to live in a family with younger males who like Avenger movies. I do a bit too. With one of the main characters being Thor, his hammer comes into play with any reference. How can he be worthy and lift this hammer when many others cannot. You can read the theory here…………………and some excerpts below.

“In the Avengers: Age of Ultron clip, Tony Stark speculates that there is a biosensor in the hammer’s shaft that recognizes when Thor has grasped Mjolnir. He is correct, in a sense—though it is not Thor’s fingerprints that the hammer is reading. Most likely it is taking some complex biological and psychological profile that calculates the “worthiness” of whoever is trying to lift the hammer. This is consistent with the scene in the clip where Steve Rogers (Captain America) is able to move the hammer (albeit slightly), while Tony Stark and Jim Rhodes, using thruster-assisted Iron Man and Iron Patriot gloves, are unable to budge Mjolnir at all. But if someone the hammer’s nanotechnology has determined to be “unworthy” tries to raise Mjolnir, how does it prevent itself from being moved?”

“Here the answer lies with Newton’s First Law of Motion, which states that an object at rest will remain at rest, if no net force acts upon it.”

“After all, they couldn’t put it in a comic book or Hollywood movie if it weren’t true!”

Lincoln and the Press

Abraham Lincoln it was claimed knew how to play the press. A review of a book that discusses this in a thorough manner is found here. It makes you wonder how well he would do handling Facebook and Twitter.

“It was a dirty game by later standards, and no one played it better than Abraham Lincoln. He developed new stratagems as he rose from citizen to candidate to officeholder. Without abandoning his old methods, he developed new ones, more effective if no more scrupulous, as he got better himself (and better situated), for controlling what was written about him, his policies, and his adversaries. Harold Holzer, who has been a press advocate for candidates (Bella Abzug, Mario Cuomo) and institutions (the Metropolitan Museum of Art and various Lincoln organizations), knows the publicity game from the inside, and he is awed by Lincoln’s skills as a self-publicist, that necessary trait of his time. Holzer is also a respected and influential Lincoln scholar who does not come to bury Lincoln with this new information but to wonder how a man could swim so well through the sewer and come out (relatively) clean.”

The Yanks Are Coming

Today is Veteran’s Day. It is a bit fitting to blog about World War I again and an article about a book out about this period and how the Yanks came to fight over in Europe. There is a bit more about that time and the book that is available here.

“Though the country was unprepared for war and there were questions about the leadership of the administration, the threat of unrestricted warfare from German U-boats, the sinking of the passenger ship Lusitania with American civilians on board, and the dubious telegram sent from Germany to Mexico—promising a return of territory in the American southwest if the central American country joined Germany in a war against the United States—drew America into World War I.”

Scarred Landscapes

History still shows and bears the scars of what are scenes from our war time history. A photographer has made a project of taking a number of photos from above and from different perspectives of the battlefields of World War I. The images are beautifully photographed and haunting. In the long run they are downright amazing. Please view them here. People lived and died here. No wonder the British call it Remembrance to

Where Bad Guys Go To Be Buried

Ever wondered where the bad guys, gangsters and outlaws are buried? Some people visit President’s gravesides, there are probably those who like to visit where the troubled have final resting places. Here is a story showing where to find 8 of these people. I don’t know if I would list Doc Holiday as an outlaw. Interestingly, he is related to Margaret Mitchell, author of “Gone With The Wind”. Go here to learn more about these burial sites.

Breakfast at the Other Thayers

David and Renee invited the whole family over to their new place to cook and serve breakfast at their new place. They certainly have more room than they did in the small apartment. The kids sure had fun racing around the placed and down the hall. We were shot by many a stick and soft ball at the end. Pow, Pow, Pow!
Ryan at the breakfast table when all is said and done.

Where Art Thou, T-Shirt?

T-shirts are everywhere. Under our outer wear shirts, a fashion item themselves, a public statement, or just an advertisement, we all wear them. We don’t give any thought to where they came from, how they were invented. Surprisingly they are a newer piece of clothing. Check out their history here.

“Relatively speaking, the t-shirt is a fairly new addition to our collective wardrobes and it has only been an acceptable piece of clothing in its own right for around half a century. While the garment itself has existed in a recognisable form (albeit with wider necks and shorter sleeves) since the early 20th century, it was almost universally considered to be underwear and it was rarely, if ever worn in public.

So where did the t-shirt come from? It’s thought that it evolved from a kind of all-in-one underwear made from red flannel known as the “union suit” which was popular with workers in the 19th century. The union suit was patented in 1868 in New York and was based on a similar kind of underwear that had been popular with Victorian women. While the Union Suit excelled at keeping men warm, it was all but useless at keeping them cool in hot weather, unless that is, it was cut in half, which many workers did. In so doing, they inadvertently created the top half of what many would recognise today as “Long Johns”, a similar garment which consisted of two pieces of long underwear.”

Zombie Obsession

I have featured articles by Michael Totten on this blog before. He is an interesting writer and also a fellow Oregonian. He has also written a Zombie book, Resurrection, which probably will lead to a sequel. The book is optioned for a movie. Because of this, he has written an article not related to war or distant locations, but one about our Zombie obsession (which I admit I have). I am a Walking Dead fan. I like to watch Zombie movies and shows and read the books. It is different and not run of the mill, even if there is a lot of Zombie stuff out there. Check out his look at where The Walking Dead has been over the last years and Zombie mania.

“Zombies seem to be everywhere these days. Barnes and Noble called the decade from 2003 to 2013 a “Golden Age for zombie fiction.” Max Brooks—son of comedian Mel Brooks—has written several zombie-themed books, the most popular of which—2006’s World War Z—sold more than 1 million copies and inspired the blockbuster 2013 movie of the same name, starring Brad Pitt. (I recently jumped into the genre myself, with a novel called Resurrection, which has been optioned for film.) Zombies dominate the video-gaming world. Dead Rising 3 for Xbox One and Microsoft Windows, released last November—the latest in a zombie-killing franchise—has already sold 1.2 million copies, at $50 a pop.”

Country Music Awards

Country Music Awards are on tonight. We were in Nashville just a few days before they had the big event there. Where Bob and I sat in the Patron Club last Saturday night looked right down on the MVPs tent for the awards. About as close as we are ever to get. Happy

Aunt Doris

My Aunt Doris passed away today. I regret I did not see her in her final good days. I left it too long and that was my fault. Too wrapped up in trying to keep up with work unfortunately. We had a lot of good times going out to dinner. I like to think of her when I saw her best last fall versus this last spring and she was not doing as well. Talking to her kids, my cousins and cousin-in-law, they miss her. I put a nice photo I got of her and Nancy, her daughter-in-law when Renee had her baby shower. Good memories.

James K. Polk

President James K. Polk came into office making a promise to serve one term and accomplish his goals in that time frame. He pushed the expansion of the United States to the West..........Manifest Destiny as it were. I have a biography on his presidency which I still need to read. He is buried in Nashville and here is his burial site. Another interesting fact gleaned while there is that the town was established by settlers, one of whom was last name Donelson. He was the father of Rachel Donelson, the wife of Andrew Jackson. Interesting connections.

Huey and the Print Shop

Last day in Nashville. We did some wandering around the shops near the hotel before off to the airport hotel. A long time poster print shop is located between the Omni and the Country Music Hall of Fame. We learned they have two cats living in the print gallery, Maow and Huey. We got a glimpse of Huey watching the poster printers working. Having a cat adds a lot of color to the place.

Got My ABVP Recertification Certificate

This is probably not the best picture and I hope to see if a better one comes along from ABVP yet it shows me getting my second ABVP recertification. I made Bob go along to Nashville to see me get this for one thing since he had to put up with me working so hard to review and write items for points. I am up on the stage with others in the group. Unfortunately the one of me accepting the award is out of focus. The Patron Club was a really nice location to have a dinner. A really cool place as part of the Bridgestone Arena for the Tennessee Panther hockey team.
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