The Hollow Men by TS Eliot

Today reminds me of that poem.

Here is the first stanza and the ending.

T.S. Eliot’s The Hollow Men
Mistah Kurtz-he dead
            A penny for the Old Guy

I    We are the hollow men
    We are the stuffed men
    Leaning together
    Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
    Our dried voices, when
    We whisper together
    Are quiet and meaningless
    As wind in dry grass
    Or rats’ feet over broken glass
    In our dry cellar

    Shape without form, shade without colour,
    Paralysed force, gesture without motion;

This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

Fitbit and Me

I’ve been a fitbit fan for a few years now–the proud owner of a Fitbit zip (the cheapest and most basic product).

Over the years, I bought and lost several of them because the plastic clip never worked well; they fell out of my pockets too easily. Switching from the dark grey to the bright fuchsia plastic cover made they easier to find under the car seat or on the pavement next to the car .

When they started disappearing from several stores and refurbished ones appeared online for double the $35-$45 price of the new ones, I bought a couple to stockpile. My last zip quit functioning; I was forced to buy a new one to keep my addiction going.

The Inspire 2 was “only” $120. I hated the feel of the plastic band and continued to carry it in my pocket.

As a reclining bike junkie, I like to watch the steps increase on the fitbit app on my computer as I merrily peddled away. Fitbit no longer supports the app on Windows 10. When I was forced to update the firmware on my Inspire, that small pleasure was taken away. I now have to sync my fitbit on my phone, which just happens to be a model that fitbit doesn’t officially support. The sync now lags between what is on the Inspire, what is on the dashboard, and what is on one of the graphs.

I can not directly tie what I miss about the earlier fitbit (devices and ability to sync with the computer) to it’s purchase by Google but I am suspicious. (Does that qualify for a conspiracy theory?

Perspective–Rock Solid

Famous Rock in Brazil

 In Brazil, people take spectacular pictures tempting fate by hanging from this famous rock..r

No photo-shops. These are real pictures:

Incredibly brave people.

The truth is, the rock is only a few feet above the ground.

All that is required is the proper perspective!

Remember this lesson when you read/view material on the Internet.

Sometimes, the truth is a lot different than what it appears.

Why you shouldn’t believe everything you see in pictures.

NOT photo-shopped, just perspective!

Happy International Typing Day-January 8, 2020

As a typo queen, aka Typonista, this is a holiday I discovered by chance this morning. It really resonates with me.

Typing Day was created to encourage people to express themselves via written communication and to promote speed, accuracy and efficiency in this type of communication. It is marked with various events and activities.

From the webpage

Typing Day, also referred to as World Typing Day or International Typing Day, is an annual event that originated in Malaysia in 2011. It is held on January 8.

Typing Day was established to commemorate the Malaysian Speed Typing Contest of 2011. It was originally conceived by Team TAC (Type Auto Corrector), a group of young professionals that has designed and developed SecondKey, a tool for automatic correction of typing mistakes in any type-written interface. Team TAC is one of the two main coordinators of Typing Day. The other is Speed Typing Contest Team from JCI Mines.”

The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is an English-language pangram—a sentence that contains all of the letters of the English alphabet. Owing to its brevity and coherence, it has become widely known. The phrase is commonly used for touch-typing practice, testing typewriters and computer keyboards, displaying examples of fonts, and other applications involving text where the use of all letters in the alphabet is desired.

The qujick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog. I just tayped that and left the errors in to demonstrate my lack of typing proficiency.

How is your typing? Did you learn in school or are you self taught?

What an Epiphany It Was

Did you ever expect to see the US Capitol swarmed by people carrying the American flag?

  • Both the Vice President and the Speaker of the House were whisked away for their own safety.
  • Congressmen and Senators were told to shelter in place.
  • A woman, bleeding profusely from a probably gun wound, was seen being taken away on a gurney. About 5:50, it was announced that she had died. Later three other deaths from medical conditions were announed.
  • One of the protestors made himself at home in the Speaker’s Chair with his boots on her desk.
  • Some of the newscasters referred to people looting the Capitol as they strolled around the building.
  • People were seen breaking windows and entering the building through windows.
  • A Capitol police officer with a baton was chased up the stairs by protestors who probably thought it was great fun to make the portly African American retreat, although they did not seem to be threatening him with weapons.
  • The FBI announced that two explosive devises had been safely defused.
  • Congress vows that it will continue to certify the election results tonight.
  • Both the Republican governor of Maryland and the Democratic governor of Virginia have sent the National Guard in to assist the police with clearing the demonstrators from the area and securing the Capitol building.
  • Today, Trump is angry at Pence for declaring Biden the winner and Trump has tweeted about a commitment to a peaceful transfer of power, despite still proclaiming voting irregularities.
Where are our better angels?

January 6–Epiphany

Epiphany – 3a(1) : a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something. (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (such as an event) usually simple and striking. (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure.

It seems quite ironic that the United States will count the electoral college votes on January 6.

The January 6 session is normally a pro forma exercise in which the vice-president, in his capacity as presiding officer of the Senate, is required to “open” certificates from the states naming presidential electors. The electors are then counted, leading to the affirmation of a winner entitled to be inaugurated on January 20, assuming someone captures a majority.

This year will not be a proforma year. Will the Coup Klutz Clan have an epiphany and realize that this is unlikely to work. Or will a coup prevail and end an almost 250 year tradition of a peaceful transfer of power?









But they will if the coup prevails.

January 2021 (Finally the end of 2020) Days to Celebrate

January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year’s Day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa.

January (in Latin, Ianuarius) is named after Janus, the god of beginnings and transitions in Roman mythology.[1]

Did any of us predict how last year would end up?

January 1 is New Year’s Day. For many people. it is a time to make (and usually break) New Year’s resolutions.

January is National Braille Month. It celebrates the birthday of Louis Braille, who was born on January 4th, 1809.  We now celebrate National World Braille Day on January 4th in honor of his legacy.  We invite you to play the Louis Braille Timeline Game and sing the “Louis, Louis” song in celebration!  Download the game and lyrics in print and braille to share with your students.

January 6 is Epiphany Day. (It also marks the end of the 12 Days of Christmas). Many Christians around the world annually celebrate Epiphany on January 6. It is a public holiday in many countries and marks two events in Jesus Christ’s life, according to the Christian Bible. The first event was when the three wise men, or kings, visited infant Jesus. The second event was when St John the Baptist baptized Jesus.

January 18 is Martin Luther King Day.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the only national holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities, according to the corporation for National & Community Service.

January 18 is also Winnie the Pooh Day. A.A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh was born on this day in 1882.

An offbeat way of looking at the Winnie the Pooh characters is to identify which mental disorders they represent.

  • Winnie the Pooh: Impulsive eating disorder. His near-obsession with honey indicates an eating disorder and his habit of repetitive counting shows evidence of obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD.
  • Piglet: Generalized anxiety disorder. Piglet is in a perpetual state of worry and can often be heard saying “Oh, dear.” He has also developed an ear twitch, common in overly anxious individuals.
  • Eeyore: Depressive disorder. He always has a bleak outlook on life, and never feels any positive emotions like happiness and excitement.
  • Rabbit: Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Rabbit is very orderly and obsessive, mostly with regard to his garden.
  • Owl: Dyslexia and narcissistic personality disorder. While he is exceptionally bright, it is frequently shown that Owl has trouble reading

January 20 is Inauguration Day. If you are a federal employee in Washington, DC you normally get the day off because of the expected Inauguration Day crowds. Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president on January 20 at noon. Inauguration Day has been held in January since 1937. The Corona virus will affect many of the ordinary inaugural events. One of the big questions is whether or not Donald Trump will attend the Inauguration. If not, he will be the fourth president to skip the Inauguration of his successor

In the past, three outgoing presidents — John Adams in 1801, John Quincy Adams in 1829 and Andrew Johnson in 1869 — refused to attend their successors’ inaugurations.

Data Privacy Day is January 28. One of the major ways that you can help protect yourself is to go into the security settings on the equipment and apps that you use.

Who Noticed?

She and her husband had been attending this church for over three years. They sat in the pew together, attending at least one service a month. For the past three weeks, she had been attending by herself. Nobody asked where her husband was.

This week she invited the lady from the pew behind her to join her. “Where is your husband?” the woman asked. “I notice he has not been with you.”

“He has cancer and has not felt well enough to attend.”

One of the ministers who was fixing a microphone nearby heard her.

“Would you like us to pray for your husband?” the minister asked. “We noticed that he was not with you. Would he like someone to call him?”

“That would be nice,” replied the wife.

The next morning, the wife went to a restaurant where she and her husband visited at least once a week. Their normal waiter sat her in their usual booth. “I noticed your husband has not been here. I was going to ask you last week and when you showed up alone today, another waitress and I wondered if everything was OK.”

She told him about her husband’s cancer. “Thank you for asking. It’s ironic that you should ask today because as of yesterday, nobody at the church we attend had asked where he was. When I invited somebody to sit next to me, she finally asked where my husband was. You would think the church would have at least asked if everything was OK since we’ve been attending that church for three years.”

You can find kindness in unanticipated places.

Reblog of Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

This year seems a fitting time to re-blog a bit of the story behind I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.

Very few of us know the original verses of this Civil War-era poem by Henry Wardsworth Longfellow. He wrote the words in 1864 after the Civil War had raged for three years. Lincoln had barely won his second presidential election. Longfellow had recently lost his beloved wife, Fanny. His elder son had been severely wounded while serving with the Union Army. For several months he had been unable to write any poetry and that also weighed heavily upon him.

Please pray that there will be Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards Republicans, Democrats and people of all beliefs in 20212.

Library Carrels 2020–O Little Swamp of Washington

O little swamp of Washington
How clearly we hear the lies
No matter the administration
the same of old alibies
within your marble buildings
where strange transactions dwell
Each side has honed what it calls truth
And has a tale to tell

Three branches of our government
All have a role to play
One branch or the other
At times has had more sway
When we have an imbalance
Bad tidings will arrive
Unless we all can compromise
Our nation won't survive

Happy Holidays from Beta Bridge

From Goodnight Cavaliers by Catherine Jennings Davis & Traci Shirley Thompson (Herndon, VA: Mascot Books, 2013) 1620860384; 9781620860380

“Beta Bridge-Named for neighboring Beta Theta Pi fraternity, this bridge on Rugby Road has served as an ever-changing canvas for student painted messages since 1926.”

This is the prettiest I have ever seen Beta Bridge look. You can see where some other students have already started to paint over some of the snowflakes on the far right hand side.
This is what the other side looked like at the same time. It is more indicative of how Beta Bridge normally looks.
Beta Bridge connects Rugby Road over the railroad tracks. At least once a year, several UVA student groups cleanup along this culvert. Trash can include electric scooters that some students throw into the ditch.

Library Carrels 2020: What Election is This?

What election is this 
That's laid to rest
On the Supreme Court's docket

While Republicans hope
To overturn the vote
Democrats still

Thrown out
Thrown out
Like other lawsuits
From all other court case

Not now
Not now
His supporters proclaim
Time to make some 

I learned about the Verse block from helpful blogger, Denzil Walton of Discovering Belgium.  Thanks Denzil!