Aren’t You Glad You Stopped By!


Did you ever wonder where so many of our unusual sayings came from? Take the one that goes:

“Fancy meeting you here!”

 This particular salutation actually was a line of dialogue in an old 1927 Broadway play (“The Royal Family”) that ran for over 300 performances and was about the Barrymore family, (John and Lionel Barrymore as well as their sister Ethel Barrymore). I am sure that many of you reading this will not remember the Barrymore’s. But I am sure that many of you will know the name Drew Barrymore. Miss Barrymore is the granddaughter of John Barrymore and many of you might also remember her as the child actress that played Gertie in Steven Spielberg’s film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial which debuted in 1982.  Small world, isn’t it? Oh, another interesting tidbit of information is that the play went on to become such a hit that they made a movie of it in 1930 entitled (“The Royal Family of Broadway”) but alas, none of the Barrymore’s were in the film. The actors tapped for the roles were Frederic March and Ina Claire. Who knew? No problem, but do not shed any tears over this piece of history.  Speaking of tears – another saying from some time back had to do with:

Crocodile tears!

Remember way back when and you heard someone make the comment: “He or she is shedding crocodile tears!”  Did you think of the following question like I did: “Do crocodiles even cry?”  Well, I believe I read somewhere that they do not cry. As for the saying, the expression “Crocodile tears” goes way back in time to tales spun by Pliny the Elder. Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher during the early Roman Empire. Supposedly as the story goes, after devouring the body of a victim, the crocodile shed many tears over the head before eating that as well. As I understand it Bogorad (1928) and Kaminsky (1929) applied the name “crocodile tears” to the syndrome of excessive lacrimation while eating. Again, who knew? Now, let us leave the realm of unusual sayings and turn our attention to:

Fact or Fiction

 Over the years, we have heard about or read stories about some of our well-known personalities. Try this one on for size! Did the actress Lucille Ball assist the FBI during World War II?  Rumor has it that one day while driving home after having just visited her dentist where she had several teeth filled, Miss Ball, suddenly heard sounds coming from her mouth. Those sounds were due to a wireless transmitter apparently within the vicinity of where she was driving. Rumor also has it that the sounds were similar to dots and dashes. Informed about the incident, supposedly, the military authorities may or may not have realized that the sounds coming from Lucy’s mouth were because of the fillings within her mouth.  The thought was that her fillings might have acted as a receiver. Later although never confirmed, the government was able to unearth a secret Japanese underground transmitter that was operating in California. What do you think …… fact or fiction?  Who knows! My guess is that we will never know.

Okay, my time here is once again rapidly coming to a close. Hope I made you smile as what I just shared is merely the rants and raves of an old fart trying to keep his mind active and having a ball while doing it.  That which I share is meant to be both  informative and entertaining. Hopefully I have met both criteria. Until next time!




Life Can Be Complicated – Keep it Simple!


Did you ever stop and think how complex this world is?  Were we to try and figure out everything about this world of ours, we would drive ourselves crazy very quickly. This thought process applies to all levels of life including most areas of life as well.

Not everyone thinks alike nor do they follow the same pattern of living as we do. In many respects, this is good because just think how boring life would be if we would all follow the same pattern day in and day out. The secret is to recognize this fact early on. Knowing that things happen that are out of our comprehension enables us to go about our business without allowing these “things” to, how shall I say, distract us. Were we to attempt to figure out why some people do the things they do when they seem contrary to our way of doing things – we would be in the loony bin before we knew it. Better way to handle it is to accept the fact that there will always be stuff happening that we won’t understand and just move on with our own lives.

And I am talking about both small stuff as well as big stuff. An example of small stuff might be when you agree to assist someone doing, say a project that should only take an hour to do, but a third party to this project allows their mind and actions to wander off onto some other project that also needs being done but can wait, causing everyone to have to wait for them to get back on track. Small problem – Yes – irritating – definitely. Earth shattering, No. Just something we learn to accept and move on versus making a big deal out of it.

This same principle works whether we are talking about small stuff or large stuff. Just as people don’t make sense about some of the small things they say and do, same theory holds true with some of the other things that happen in our lives. Fact is – at times I am sure that we all think “Life doesn’t make sense”. But so that we do not drive ourselves crazy trying to figure things out that we probably never will, best thing to do is to just let it go.

One thing is for certain – if we let it go and no longer worry about it, we will discover the peace of mind that will come over us as we say to ourselves:

“I know I will never know or understand everything, but as long as I can make sense about most of what our lives are about – well, I am satisfied. “

Until next time!


One Day At a Time!

How often do we hear that saying or for that matter say it to ourselves on any given day or during any given week?

Life today can be hectic but for the most part, enlightened people throughout the ages have understood sayings such as this. As a matter-of-fact, a more common saying which is more of a prayer than a saying is The Serenity Prayer, you know, the one that goes as follows:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

Courage to change the things I can,

And wisdom to know the difference.

Most of us know or should be cognizant of the fact that all life takes place in the present, or more precisely, in this very moment. And as the saying goes, this moment is a gift which is why it is called the present.

Each of us no matter where we stand in the hierarchy of things all get the same 24 hours in a day. Let me clarify a bit. No matter what our circumstances – we each get the same 24 hours. Therefore, time is the one commodity all people get equally. What we do with those 24 hours is what determines whether we will be happy or sad, angry or peaceful, coolheaded or upset, you name it – our mood, no our attitude is ours and ours alone to choose.

Keeping the above in mind every day is one of the reasons why I do my best to make a list each and every day. The list keeps me focused and is my way to stay on track with what is important to me, not others. Checking off items on that list at the end of the day provides me with the assurance that what I am doing is what I consider to be important and that all else sort of becomes secondary.

My decision as to what would be the best use of my time, i.e., living in the moment, is what keeps me grounded and why I take “one day at a time!”

Other signs we may follow could be: “Live and Let Live”

                                                            “First Things First”

                                                            “Think, Think, Think”

Following such a philosophy does keep one grounded and, speaking for myself, quite content.


Where is the Fun in That?


When Is a Test Only a Test?

What does the above sentence mean? I have always been fascinated with various quotes and what they mean. Most definitions or comments pertaining to this statement have religious connotations. Seeing that my style of writing stays away from two subjects, namely religion and politics, I prefer to go with a quote by Tom Bodett (remember him – the Motel 6 guy – “We’ll leave the light on for you!”), who said:

“In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.”

Isn’t that what we face every day – new lessons. The secret is to learn from them which in many cases we do. True, in some instances, we wish we would have known the outcome before-hand but where’s the fun in that.

Believe it or not, at age seventy-seven, I am still learning and it is comical (shame on me) at times to watch our children or even others go through the process of learning some of life’s simple lessons.  You want to share your knowledge of the subject involved and many times do. But, sometimes it is best to keep one’s mouth shut and let them learn for themselves.

While it pains me to see my children go through some of life’s lessons – how shall I put it –  sometimes it is for the best. If you are like me, we seniors learn early on, life is much simpler without confrontation and family confrontations. While they do happen, fact is they aren’t the most fun things to go through.

At our age, the only test I want to take anymore, is the one that I take every morning – that of searching the obituaries to see if my name is there. If it is not, well – the lesson I learned for the day is that I have one more day to get it right!

Until next time!