Welcome to ToTG!

September 30, 2012

Did You Know?

That the polar bear is practically invisible to infrared? That's because a bear's (outward) body temperature is the same as the snow, with only their eyes, nose and breath visible to infrared vision.

September 28, 2012

This Study is Nuts

I guess this is why single men don't live as long as married guys.

If it had been up to my ex-wife, she would have had mine in the divorce settlement.

Men without testicles might live longer

Rockaria! - ELO

I feel like posting a little more Electric Light Orchestra.

This is a cool tune;  the references to the classical composers plus the following little snippets of their famous songs makes it unique.

Google Alerts

A few years ago, I discovered a very useful feature of Google, the Google Alerts. With it, I can keep up with the topics that interest me, such as specific news items, articles about Hank Skinner or anytime this blog is mentioned or linked to. (very rare).

Some webmasters also use the service to check for plagiarism or backlinks to articles they've written.  Companies can use it to see what others are saying about their products, especially useful when someone is unjustly smearing their reputation.

You can configure the results to show up in your reader feed or delivered to your email inbox.

From the site:

Monitor the Web for interesting new content

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your queries.

Enter a search query you wish to monitor. You will see a preview of the type of results you'll receive. Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

    *monitoring a developing news story
    *keeping current on a competitor or industry
    *getting the latest on a celebrity or event
    *keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

Google Alerts

September 27, 2012

Results Are Roughly Right

Not sure about being a visionary and I'm fairly competitive, but the rest is correct.

You Are a Mixed Berry Smoothie

You are a visionary. You have big ideas for the future.

You are not competitive in the least.

There's plenty of room at the top.

You value solitude. Some of your best ideas and creations come out of alone time.

You do not like crowds. You find them to be both overwhelming and draining.

Money Orgami

25 Extremely Cool Examples Of Money Origami

I always think of Brad when I see origami. RIP Binky

I used to like to take two dollar bills and make an origami ring from them and leave them as a tip.  Before you think I'm a cheapskate, let me add: I seldom eat out except for the rare breakfast, so that wasn't a bad tip for a $7-8 meal. I don't even eat breakfast much these days, other than fixing myself a bowl of steel-cut oatmeal.  I have to avoid hash browns, biscuits and gravy. -sigh-


From our Word of the Day module

palter pal·ter [pawl-ter]

verb (used without object)

1. to talk or act insincerely or deceitfully; lie or use trickery.
2. to bargain with; haggle.
3. to act carelessly; trifle.

That would describe just about anything coming out of a politician's mouth.

September 26, 2012

Stairway to Heaven - Led Zepplin

That "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zepplin didn't make the charts until 2007, when it was made available as a digital download? It was part of the album known as IV4. It never made the charts because it was never released as a single.

September 25, 2012

Did You Know?

That Ray Kroc (the founder of McDonald's) and Walt Disney both served in the same ambulance unit in WWI?

(and before someone calls me on it, Kroc didn't build the first McDonald's restaurant, but he founded the huge company that it is today)

This is the first post in what I hope to be at least a weekly affair. It may be several times a week or more sporadic than once/week. (my friends and regular readers know how much of a procrastinator I am.) I'm going to post only that trivia that surprised me when I learned it and think that it might surprise you as well.

Besides, if ToTG is going to be one of the most trivial blogs on the 'net, we might as well have some more trivia, huh?

A World Without Love - Peter & Gordon

September 24, 2012


Color coded by category, Newsola shows the top news stories from around the world at a glance with a treemap visualization using Google News

(click for larger view)


More Than One Thing In Common

The ship Titanic and my love life have more than one thing in common, but the main similarity is that they're both in the depths.  (and they both never completed the voyage) My romantic endeavors aren't anywhere near as close to being successful as the movie.  In fact, my love life is more like "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes!". 

On second thought, that might not be fair to that particular movie. (It wasn't THAT bad)  Instead, you can take your pick.

Your Love Life is Like Titanic
"Promise me you'll survive. That you won't give up, no matter what happens, no matter how hopeless."

You think that you only really have one true love in your life. And that you better do anything and everything to be with that person.

You tend to be very nostalgic about past loves that didn't work out. There are many secret feelings that you keep to yourself.

Your love style: Deep and emotional

Your Hollywood Ending Will Be: Bittersweet

Cast Away End Scene

The end scene from "Cast Away", filmed near by.

Other posts about the movie. (and posts about the posts!)

September 22, 2012

Glory Days

I was moving some files last night and found this little snippet I had created from the digital copy of our 8-man championship game. It was very near the first of the game and we had just thrown an interception. In the first few seconds of the video, you can see me help make the tackle on the guy who had intercepted it. (I don't know why I can't get that little bit off;  I will have to plead ignorance of video editing - this was one of my first attempts)

Besides ticking me off with us losing the ball, I felt as though the momentum of the game might change if they made a big play after the turnover and I was determined to make one of my own.

Here's a screen shot with the arrow pointing towards me. (so you can make out which one I am in the old, grainy video)

As you'll be able to see, I shucked off a block, then had to take a wide angle to the ball carrier. I wasn't expecting him to be slowed up, plus I had to curve even more on my pursuit in order to dodge one of my own men. I started to hold up for an instant because I thought he was down, then saw he wasn't going to be stopped, so I laid the wood on him.

I know you're probably thinking I'm living in the past and that maybe you've seen a lot better players and both would be true, particularly the latter, but I DID make a great play and help to lift my teammate's spirits. My dad later told me the sound of the collision was like a shotgun blast and that he could "feel the hit' from where he was sitting in the stands.

Anyway, here's about eight seconds of my "glory days".

September 21, 2012

Stuck In The Middle With You - Stealers Wheel

Like My Heart

Your Name is Black

Your name tells people that you are serious and sophisticated. Your name makes you seem like a total mystery.

You are elegant and a bit apart from everyone else. You are much more formal than those around you.

People see you as smart and together. You also come off as a bit eccentric, and others respect that you are different from them.

You can adapt well to most situations, but you never feel like you truly fit in anywhere.

End of the World Countdown

September 19, 2012

Storage: Then and Now

I recently added another external hard drive to my computer system, one with 2TB storage. Of course, it's not two full terrabytes, because of the odd way manufacturers measure a KB as compared to what the actual size of a KB (decimal vs. binary) There's also the file system to consider, which takes away from the expected total, then the recovery partition on my computer hard drive has to be taken into account.

That said, I was sitting here marveling at how much cheaper hard drives and external storage have become, as well as the relatively huge sizes of them. My first computer was advertised as having 13.1 GB of storage and I never really came close to maxing it out before the computer bit the dust. Oh, I had come "close" a few times, but then I went through and deleted duplicate files and many of the animated GIF files I had transferred from disks to upload to my MSN Groups and not deleting them after the upload.

When that first hard drive failed, I lost everything. I didn't have much "real" music saved to my computer, mostly midi files, thousands and thousands of them, plus photos I had taken and had transferred from film to digital as well as the first photos taken w/ my first digital camera. I was upset, to say the least. That's when I started researching external hard drives. I had saved a few photographs to floppy disks, but they were limited in their capacity, even by the standards back then. My next computers all had CD burning capabilities and I saved many files to disk, but they too were limited.

Around that same time I also upgraded my internet connection from dial-up to DSL and I found myself saving more and more things, such as free songs from Amazon, YouTube videos and all sorts of downloadable games. With the increased broadband came storage concerns; I was running out of room for things and it didn't help that I was transferring music from CDs to my computer for my mp3 jukebox.

So, with my last computer, I also bought a 1TB external drive. When the 'puter bit the dust (not "dead", it just needs a new power supply) at least I had saved all my music and digital photographs. This computer has a 1TB hard drive (actually 914GB what with the recovery space and file system) so that meant I had nearly 2TB of storage.

About a month or so ago, I became a little alarmed after seeing that I had used over 3/4 of my external hard drive's space.  I decided I needed to do something.  I d/l a duplicate file finder and let it go to work. I found thousands of duplicate tunes (the main problem was how I had put music into different genre folders as well as dupes via Amazon, downloading free tunes I had forgotten I had already downloaded) I was also copying folders I use in a monthly "work" folder and not replacing the older folders w/ the new ones. (What can I say? I'm an anal retentive pack rat, albeit a disorganized one.)

I managed to find over 35GB of dupes until I became too bleary eyed to check each file to see which duplicates I wanted to delete. 35GB! In a few hours I had deleted nearly three times as much file space as my first computer had total in storage!  I've probably got another 5-10GB of files I can delete.

What's funny is my first computer having just around 3% (if my math is correct) of the storage I have now, but being more concerned now with how many files I am able to keep! Here's a screen shot of my current storage, both computer hard drive and external drives. (Click for larger view)

Block Posters

make your own wall posters

Create any size wall posters from any size images. Upload an image from your computer and chose how many sheets wide you would like your poster to be printed. Totally free to use!


Just Don't Judge Me By My Cover

You Are a Book
You are a very intellectual and logical person. You like to think, and a lot of your thinking is quite deep.

You are both philosophical and idealistic. You think it's interesting to imagine how the world could be.

You enjoy spending a good deal of time alone. In fact, you tend to go sort of crazy if you don't get your space.

While you may seem distant, you care very deeply for humanity. You're trying to figure out how to save the world. 

September 17, 2012

Midnight Confessions - The Grass Roots

This, and other Grass Roots songs were what me 'n my girlfriend (one of 'em, anyway) would listen to while we were parking.

September 16, 2012

A Shining Moment

After getting so many comments on my new profile pic on Facebook, it made me stop and think when I started losing my hair. I know that I would've eventually gone bald, but my back surgery in the late 80's hastened the acceleration of my receding hairline. I also noticed that I lost several inches of hairline after my last surgery, the one for kidney stones.  Since I'm not fond of my head looking like the top of a huge egg in a tiny nest, I've started shearing it with an electric razor and sometimes I shave it.  (and then my head looks like a huge egg resting on my shoulders)

I was dating a crazy woman shortly after my first surgery and one day we were sitting on her couch watching TV. A commercial came on and I turned and leered at her.

"Don't do that!" she practically screamed at me.

"Why not?" I asked.

"You look just like Jack Nicholson in that scene from "The Shining!  Horrible!"

Wow, I thought. I just got insulted. She was good at that, though. In fact, that was her best trait.  She couldn't cook worth a damn, she was a horrible mother, a bad driver who thought she was an excellent one, only wanted to talk about herself and had a temper that was triggered by the most innocent of incidents;  looking back, I think she fit the profile of a psychopath. I could go on about what was wrong with her, but won't.  I must have been nuts to have stayed around her as long as I had.

"Well, 'Here's Johnny!' " I replied with a toothy grin, making her protest again.  She pushed me away as if she was genuinely afraid. Wow.  She thinks I'M crazy.  I sat quietly for a few seconds, then said:

"Well, if you had blonde hair, you'd look like Glenn Close."

"Oh really?" she said, pleased...pleased for a moment, until I said:

"Yeah...like she was in Fatal Attraction".

September 13, 2012

If I Only

Looked 26, I'd be happy.

You Act Like You Are 26 Years Old

You are a twenty-something at heart. You feel like an adult, and you're optimistic about life.

You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

You're still figuring out your place in the world and how you want your life to shape up.

The world is full of possibilities, and you can't wait to explore many of them.

September 11, 2012

September 8, 2012


manifold man·i·fold [man-uh-fohld]


1. of many kinds; numerous and varied: manifold duties.
2. having numerous different parts, elements, features, forms, etc.: a manifold program for social reform.
3. using, functioning with, or operating several similar or identical devices at the same time.
4. (of paper business forms) made up of a number of sheets interleaved with carbon paper.
5. being such or so designated for many reasons: a manifold enemy.


6. something having many different parts or features.
7. a copy or facsimile, as of something written, such as is made by manifolding.
8. any thin, inexpensive paper for making carbon copies on a typewriter.
9. Machinery . a chamber having several outlets through which a liquid or gas is distributed or gathered.
10. Philosophy . (in Kantian epistemology) the totality of discrete items of experience as presented to the mind; the constituents of a sensory experience.

I'm familiar with the use of the word as "many", but the first thing that comes to mind is the exhaust manifold on a car. The exhaust manifold taught me a couple of lessons, one being it's always best to let an engine cool down before working on it and two, that I didn't like working on cars, hot engine or cold.

When I worked on drilling rigs, I used to know a guy who would bring out one of those TV dinners in an aluminum tray and put it on one of the huge diesel engine's manifolds when he got out there; after a few hours, it would be piping hot and he'd enjoy a warm meal on a cold winter's night while the rest of us choked down our baloney sandwiches.

I told my wife (now ex) about it and she bought me a few dinners to put on the manifold, but those old TV dinners really didn't taste very good and I told her not to bother.  I was surprised when she packed me a lunch with a casserole in one of those small loaf pans.  I put it on the manifold when I got out there and sure 'nuff, it was hot when I was ready to eat and it was delicious.  She was pleased when I got home and told her how good it was and how jealous my hands were that I had such a great lunch.  She then started putting in two pans into my lunch, telling me I should share with the guys who worked for me and I did;  usually one was more than I could eat, so I had enough to share with at least one other guy.

My favorite was her broccoli, cheese and rice and she'd usually pack another one - meat loaf, Mexican casserole, sometimes lasagna.  I'd wash out the pans before I brought them home as so to save her from having to scrub out baked on food. 

One day, however, we got busy shortly after I got out there and I didn't get to eat.  I was so tired at the end of the shift, I forgot to retrieve my meal.  That evening my ex asked me where the pans were and I slapped my forehead and told her I had forgotten them and I bet they were still on the manifold.  The next day (with sandwiches in my lunch pail) I got out there and saw one of the pans in my locker, empty, except it hadn't been cleaned.  I got busy again and forgot about the other one.  When shift change came around, one of the guys relieving us said he had found it and eaten it. "Tell yer old lady thanks!"  I told him the least he could have done was taken a water hose to it. When I got home, my ex opened up my lunch box and found it and asked where the other was and I had to plead forgetfulness again.

That didn't make her mood any better, nor did her having to try to scrub out the pan.  With a few choice words, she gave up and chunked the thing into the trash.  "Might as well throw the other one away, too." she scolded me.

I got baloney sandwiches until she bought some more pans.  I think she took her time buying them, too, just to teach me a lesson.

Well, I didn't remember the other pan the next day and it wasn't until the rig move when I discovered the forgotten pan.  I figured it might stink, but as I peeled away the aluminum foil I found nothing but a hard-as-a-rock slab of casserole, petrified by several days of baking on the hot manifold.  I thought I might be able to salvage the pan, but even with a hammer and chisel I couldn't get the remains out of the pan.

I've got another story about hot meals on a drilling rig, but I'll wait a day or two to post it.  I'm sure I've bored you enough with THIS one!

Fooled Around And Fell In Love - Elvin Bishop

I learned something about this song on the YouTube comments (a first, I think!); Bishop didn't sing it, but instead it was Mickey Thomas, a backup singer in his band. Thomas was later invited to be a part of Jefferson Starship. source

I Don't Think So

I think it means a black umbrella is the only kind I've ever had that stood up to the fierce Panhandle wind. I had a little red umbrella once; I kept it in the glove box and used it exactly one time during an afternoon thunderstorm to get from my car to the house without getting wet.

I reckon it was in Oklahoma by supper time.

Your Black Umbrella Says You're Powerful
When faced with adversity, you respond with authority. You don't let problems faze you.

You are naturally powerful and commanding. People look to you to take charge.

You are elegant and classy. You know how to always say and do the right thing.

While you stand out, you also fit it. You thrive in a variety of situations.

On a rainy day: you carry on as normal - a little bad weather isn't going to get in your way!

The Note

Several years ago, my favorite neighbor was stricken with Alzheimer's Disease.  The once funny and personable friend of mine was now paranoid and delusional and it broke my heart to see him that way.

One night I heard a commotion on the porch and opened the door to see him standing there in his bath robe.  "What's up?" I asked him.  "My wife is trying to kill me!" he said.  I assured him she loved him and would do no such thing and led him back across the street to his home.  By that time, his wife had noticed he had gone missing and met me at the door.  Relieved, she thanked me and against his protests, took him back inside.

I had no sooner got back home when I heard some yelling "Help me!  HELP ME!!! She's going to kill me!"  I rushed back across the street to see if I could help and saw him running along the side of their house.  I helped his wife get him back under control and that's when she told me she had hidden his guns, afraid that he would hurt himself or someone else.  He couldn't find his guns, so that was the reason he thought she was going to kill him.

My neighbor's daughter was there, too, and she thanked me for my help and I told her that's what friends and neighbors were for and to call me if they ever had any more trouble.  She said she didn't have my number and I told her it was published.  She said her phone was unlisted and started to tell it to me but I told her I wasn't good at remembering numbers and I'd get it from her another time or from her mother.

The next day I found a sticky note on my screen door with a nice little message and her phone number.  I stuck it up on the bulletin board by my phone and didn't give it another thought.

My neighbor passed away shortly after that night.  I still miss him, especially on the 4th when we'd pop firecrackers and set off bottle rockets and act innocent when the police cars slowly drove by.   We used to sit on his porch and drink beer, talk politics and the world's problems and what we'd do to fix them. My favorite times with him were watching the meteor showers; he had never done that (as a planned activity) and it was so much fun to be with him and watch the fireballs as they streaked across the sky.  The first time we watched a shower, we saw one so close that we could see the smoke trail and heard it as it made a noise like tearing a bed sheet.   That had him hooked and he was always game to sit out and watch a summertime meteor shower.

It was several months later when I had my girlfriend over and she asked to use the phone.  I told her to help herself and after she was through she turned to me and asked "What is this?" in a hurt and suspicious tone, pointing to a piece of paper on my bulletin board.

It was the note.  I had to do some quick explaining and I guess my explanation was so detailed and specific she believed me.  Still, I didn't blame her because the note read:

"Thanks for last night.  If you need anything, call me. Love, Teresa." with her phone number.

Yep, I'd have wondered about that, too.

Por Una Cabeza

One of my favorites of all time, this tango scene from the Al Pacino film Scent of a Woman. I also love the song.

Dedicated to someone very special.

Here are the words to the song, Por Una Cabeza, in English.


Losing by a head of a noble horse
who slackens just down the stretch
and when it comes back it seems to say:
don't forget brother,
You know, you shouldn't bet.

Losing by a head, instant violent love
of that flirtatious and cheerful woman
who, swearing with a smile
a love she's lying about,
burns in a blaze all my love.

Losing by a head
there was all that madness;
her mouth in a kiss
wipes out the sadness,
it soothes the bitterness.

Losing by a head
if she forgets me,
no matter to lose
my life a thousand times;
why live?

Many deceptions, loosing by a head...
I swore a thousand times not to insist again
but if a look sways me on passing by
her lips of fire, I want to kiss once more.

Enough of race tracks, no more gambling,
a photo-finish I'm not watching again,
but if a pony looks like a sure thing on Sunday,
I'll bet everything again, what can I do?

September 7, 2012

Does a Bear...

**** in the woods?

I was reminded of one of my dad's stories when I read this on a Facebook friend's wall:

Heading to lake McClellan for Boy Scout one day campout hope they can handle the bear that's gonna be growling while they are asleep LOL

My pop used to tell a story of going to the lake with a bunch of his buddies;  they drank beer all the way there (that was legal then, btw) and ate cheese crackers and hot sausages and all sorts of stuff.  They weren't far away from the lake when dad said he started suffering from "intestinal distress" because of all the beer and junk he had consumed.  As soon as they found a campsite, he jumped out of the car, grabbed some TP and headed off into the bushes.

It was a moonless night, pitch black and he stumbled his way through the brush until he figured he had gone far enough away from the campsite to be as sanitary as could be considering the rough conditions.  He hurriedly dropped his pants and crouched down, his stomach loudly rumbling, a sure sign that he had better be quick with his business.

Not to get too graphic, but pop said "it" was explosive, making a noise such as he hadn't heard in a long time. ("Like a wildcat well comin' in!" he would describe.)  No sooner than he had started, he heard a muffled female voice: "Did you hear that?" then a man's voice, "What was it?" then the female replying in fright:  "I dunno, sounded like a bear!  "Where's my pistol?" said the male voice.

Without hesitation, my pop pulled up his pants and hastily made his way through the brush and dark night back to where his pals were setting up camp under the light of a gas lantern.  Drunk and tired from their trip, dad and his friends went to sleep.

The next day, more than a little hungover, dad looked in the direction of where he had stumbled to make his emergency toilet and saw he had relieved himself right smack-dab in the middle of someone's campsite.

September 6, 2012


cacology ca·col·o·gy [ka-kol-uh-jee, kuh-]; noun

defectively produced speech; socially unacceptable diction.

September 3, 2012

September 2, 2012

ก็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็ ก็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็็ กิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิิ ก้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้้

Weird, huh?

I'm Thinking

Of this oldie but goody.

This won't mean anything except to those of us who used to frequent the now-defunct MSN Groups. The post titles were in response to a woman making a post in the off-topic board "I'm Thinking of Changing My Nickname". As you can see, *some* of us thought the topic was hilarious and decided to poke a little fun at her. What was even funnier than the responses was her indignation at the rather gentle ribbing.

I don't remember who gorgeous was, but I do remember SPIRITDAVID and his spats with the CF management team, always good for a chuckle.  I also remember RVSnowbird, an older man who lived in an RV and was looking for female companionship.  I remember that last about Snowbird because he had specific criteria, very strict, with weight limits and the woman had to be several years younger than himself.  (I figured he needed someone younger than himself and in better health to take over driving duties and the weight limit?  Maybe his RV had poor springs, who knows?)  Brad, or "Binky" is no longer with us now, he was a great guy.  I don't know what happened to Quinduno, either, but he probably blew a gasket if he kept up with his vendetta against authority.

New Triva Quiz Has Started!

A new trivia quiz has started! Test your knowledge at:

September 1, 2012

13 Reasons

To adopt a black cat:

1. You can’t tell if they’re dirty, and their teeth always look white!
2. A black cat is a great accessory to any outfit, and they go with everything.
3. Black is very slimming—holding your cat will make you look extra-slender.
4. Save time on date night—you don’t need to use the lint brush on your black dress.
5. Your cat doesn’t care what color YOUR hair is!
6. Black cats are the most fun to play hide and seek with.
7. They have a “black belt” in cuddling.
8. You’ll never need to go shopping for Halloween decorations.
9. In most cultures, a black cat in your home brings good luck!
10. A black cat will help you celebrate your inner “Goth.”
11. They are always in the best-dressed category.
12. They make you look beyond the surface to find true love and beauty.
13. They are the least likely to be adopted and need your love the most!

Crazy On You - Heart

Wind Map

From the website:

An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future.

This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US.