Monopoly Update

Photo. Washington Post.

A dinosaur, a penguin and a rubber ducky.

Millions of voters in 100 countries were surveyed, and Hasbro has announced that 3 new tokens will be featured in the August 2017 edition.

The original plan was to replace the thimble. The survey revealed that the boot and the wheelbarrow were also unpopular, and had to go.

The more modern suggestions of a hashtag, cell phone, emoji of Mr. Monopoly did not poll well.

Our country’s leaders cannot claim a victory over health care this weekend, but Monopoly fans have spoken, and have been heard.

Just thought you might want to know.

Posted in Art, Beauty, Education, Entertainment, Family, Humor, Nature, News, Politics, Technology | Tagged , , | 58 Comments

When Doves Cry

Heading out on the first day of Spring, I came upon a pair of birds at an intersection near home. They would not budge. They almost stared into my windshield as I approached. I ended up going around them.

Photo credit. Sequoia Hughes.

I had to look them up. They were Mourning Doves, male and female. Since doves mate for life, I took it as a good sign.

There is an ancient practice called Ornithomancy, used by Greeks and Romans to identify omens associated with bird sightings. One legend associated the first bird seen on Valentine’s Day as a forecast for the type of soul mate you could expect.

A few examples:

Bluebird: They like to make people laugh, e.g. a comedian or clown.

Duck: Your relationship will be homey and stable.

Sparrow: They work with the land, e.g. a farmer or geologist.

Dove: Your marriage will be happy.

Canary: They’re involved in healing, e.g. a doctor or masseuse.

Turkey: They love nature and are passionate about the environment.

Swan: They’re creative, e.g. a writer or dancer.

Eagle: They will be powerful, maybe even a bully, e.g. politicians, business leaders.

Blackbird: They will have great kindness, spirituality, charity.

Goldfinch: The yellow color reflects wealth.

Not sure how accurate these forecasts turned out to be for most ancient couples, but it was an interesting find.

And if I had better luck with Youtube videos, I’d include my favorite Prince song here, “When Doves Cry”.

Have a wonderful Spring.


Posted in Art, Books, Education, Entertainment, Family, Home, Music, Nature, News, Photography | Tagged , , | 98 Comments


So you have been walking for decades, convinced that you have good cardiovascular health, and then it happens.

A winter storm dumps more than a foot of heavy, wet snow on your space.

It started white and fluffy, turned into sleet, then back into snow, creating what one blogger called a “winter parfait.” Thanks, Joey.

It provided a challenge for any snow blowing equipment.

So you pull up your “moon boots” and head out with the shovel.

Cardio fitness ? Not so much.

Be careful out there.

Posted in Education, Entertainment, Exercise, Family, Home, Nature, News, Photography, Technology | Tagged , , | 64 Comments

Alligator on Fridays

fish sticks


Fish sticks, macaroni and cheese, with a side of stewed tomatoes.

It was the meal of choice on Fridays in families who adhered to the Catholic tradition of meat abstinence.

Where did this practice originate ?

The information is not very clear.

Many believe it is a carry-over from Old Testament fasting traditions. Most people cite Christian teachings of the Apostles, who mandated sacrifice in memory of the crucifixion on Good Friday.

Reinforced in the Middle Ages, it was sometimes attributed to a particular Pope who was an advocate for the struggling fishing industry.

The original intent was to ban all meat-derived food products, including cheese, butter and eggs. The 40 day denial during Lent may have led to the abundance of Easter eggs, the food celebrated as the ban was lifted.

Historically, meat has been expensive, a luxury for those who could afford it; giving it up one day a week was an acceptable sacrifice. Some scholars referred to denying pleasures of the flesh; citing the high zinc content of meat and its effect on libido.

In the late 20th century, the Catholic Church softened its restrictions to meat abstinence only on Fridays during Lent.

In 1962, the owner of a McDonald’s franchise in Ohio created a sandwich to boost struggling Friday sales. The Filet-o-Fish was tested there, became a huge success, and soon went national.

Friday fish fry events have been very popular in certain parts of the country. Fast food restaurants seem to engage in fish sandwich wars every year during Lent.

howtodrawalligators_html_m52a03f9As for the title of this piece, it is comforting to know that it is okay to eat alligator on Friday.

“The alligator is part of the fish family.”

So said Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans, Louisiana in 2010. As such, it is permissible for Catholics to consume this and other cold blooded reptiles, amphibians, and creatures of the water.

Just thought you should know.


*** Repost inspired by a recent report of this massive alligator with his “catch of the day” casually crossing a Florida golf cart path.


Posted in Education, Entertainment, Family, Food, History, Nature, News, Sports | Tagged , , , , , | 124 Comments

Spamalot ???

With the utmost respect for all things Monty Python, this post asks a very different question. spamalot

Since more than 90 % of the items in my spam folder are attached to one particular post, will the spammers go away if I eliminate that post ?

Or will they just attach to another ?

Does anyone have a clue about what draws them to your blog in the first place ?

Some followers seem to have taken up residence in spam, and I am reminded to go there frequently to rescue comments. I’m not really clear on why that happens.

Any suggestions or advice will be most appreciated.

And yes, always “look on the bright side of life”…it’s out there.

Posted in Art, Books, Education, Entertainment, Food, Humor, Movies, Music, News, Technology | Tagged , , , | 94 Comments

Thimble 1935-2017

The Monopoly thimble is being retired.

Following 4 million votes in an online poll, toymaker Hasbro announced that one of its original token pieces will be replaced in the 2017 edition of the popular real estate board game.

It makes sense. I was trying to remember the last time I used a thimble in real life, or maybe the last time I did any hand-sewing. Okay, any sewing at all ?


Image. Hasbro, Inc.

Everyone had a favorite token back in the day, and I can guess it was not the thimble.

I remember folks fighting over the top hat, the race car, or the Scottie dog. For some reason, I liked the shoe.

In a similar “token madness” campaign in 2013, the iron was replaced by a cat.

The most surprising aspect of this story might be the 4 million voters who responded.

Not including power outages, holiday gatherings, or vacations in Wifi dead zones, how many people still play Monopoly, or any board game ?

Maybe the votes reflect a bit of nostalgia for a simpler game and a simpler time.

There was just enough interest to encourage the public vote on a new token piece, to be announced on March 19.

Stay tuned.

Posted in Art, Education, Entertainment, Family, Humor, News, Technology | Tagged , , | 72 Comments

February Potato Salad

She brought the dish to every luncheon, picnic, potluck dinner. Gail’s potato salad was a huge hit, and made its way into the Welcome Wagon cookbook. Her secret was bacon.

Is there really anything that is not made better by bacon ?


The full bowl of new red potatoes with creamy dill dressing was always topped by crumbled bacon.

But that was not the secret. While the potatoes were still warm, she added a few tablespoons of the reserved bacon grease. It made all the difference.

I’ve made it her way for many years since then, with pretty positive results.

There is no real recipe, it tastes a bit different each time, but the technique is constant.

When the forecast here was for several days of sun and springtime temperatures, I set out for the new red potatoes.

It is one of the many times that I have built a meal around a side dish.

It didn’t matter if we were to have BBQ, simple sandwiches or fried chicken, I was determined to find a main course to complement that potato salad.

It’s not just for holidays, picnics and parties.

It’s a dish that deserves to show up on ordinary days.

Thanks, Gail.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Family, Food, News, Travel | Tagged , , , | 51 Comments