Monday, February 28, 2022

No Place Like Home

Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz (1939)
There's no place like home, so declared Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. She clicked her ruby red heels and hoped to return to the Kansas farm of Auntie Em and Uncle Henry.

Homesickness is an emotion shared by many,  young and old. While the American spirit has always encouraged travel and exploration. We usually are happy to return home — at least for a while.

And, so it was with Grenville and myself, maybe even more as my name is also Dorothy. However, I have never owned a pair of ruby red shoes.

After nearly 3 weeks on the road traveling from NH to FL and places in between, we were ready and happy to return home to Nashua. To be sure we had a great time and, thankfully, no bad weather, aside from rainy days which prohibited outdoor adventures. Yes, we are fair weather explorers, who do not enjoy walking around in inclement weather. While there were some indoor venues we could have visited, as luck would not have it, a couple were closed on the particular days we were there.

But as posted about earlier, the main focus of this trip, aside from Grenville's ham radio convention in Orlando, FL, was to also visit friends and family in NJ, FL, AL, and GA some of whom we had not seen in several years. It was great to see everyone again; hopefully, the next time will be sooner.
February 25 snowstorm in Nashua, NH
We arrived home last Wednesday afternoon and had timed our arrival to be ahead of a predicted snowstorm on Friday which arrived early morning as forecast. Before moving out late Friday afternoon, there was a fresh 8-inch snowfall left behind. We had the day before to get out and do some needed grocery shopping.
Clearing after the snowstorm
This snowfall was a light and "fluffy" one and by early the next morning, main roadways had been plowed and by late afternoon were nearly down to blacktop. 
Forecast for Nashua, NH, this week
Today's forecast indicates that it will be the coldest one for the next few days, and later in the week a lot of daytime snow melting will happen in the city.

Anyone who has been away from home, knows there are a myriad of tasks to catch up on, which for apt dwellers such as ourselves, are lessened somewhat. Besides shopping, there's always the laundry and housekeeping chores.

In addition, I spent several hours this weekend catching up on some of your recent blog posts. Because of time constraints, I did not comment on all of your earlier posts; but did endeavor to comment on the most recent posts. Most days, many  of my fellow bloggers are more prolific than myself in posting. I enjoy your images, views and photos, thank you.

L. Frank Baum, circa 1911
As many know, in The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy killed the Wicked Witch of the East by tossing water on her while attempting to douse fire the
wicked witch induced on her Scarecrow friend. Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, instructed her to click her heels and think, There's no place like home. Dorothy says it aloud several times before waking up in her bedroom, just like she had never left.

Did you know that Lyman Frank Baum, the author of The Wonderful Wizard of Ozdid not name any of the witches in his series of 14 Oz books? (neither did I). In the novel, Dorothy simply throws water on the WW in a fit of anger.

There won't be many posts detailing our recent road trip. I still have catch-up posts about several of our 2021 New England explorations.

Before then, a future post will detail our visit to a GA town which has trademarked itself as The Hollywood of the South. 

Thanks to everyone for the reactive comments to last week's Friday Funnies. It was fun reading them. And, now, some may also be looking at commonplace items in a different (funny) way.

Friday, February 25, 2022

Friday Funnies

 Oh No or an unhappy trio?

Humor can be found in so many unexpected places and things as well. As always, please free to add your own suggestions in the comments.

Enjoy Your Weekend, Everyone
We enjoyed our travels and were home before today's 🌨

Monday, February 21, 2022

Where We've Been

It's been awhile (three weeks or so) since my last post right before we left home in Nashua, NH. (Thanks, everyone for the birthday well wishes). 

In the interim, we've visited six states (NJ, VA, SC, FL, AL, GA) with a couple more to come before we're back home. Unfortunately, there has been little sightseeing in most places. A couple of states were overnight stays; in others it rained nearly all the time (1-3) days we visited.
Fernandina Beach, FL
Anyone who has traveled knows that bad weather can dampen extended sightseeing. We try to explore as much as possible on road trips and often this requires outdoors time, definitely not enjoyable during downpours. Thankfully, there hasn't been any snow or ice but temps in FL, AL and GA were cooler than anticipated. The morning we left NH, the temperature was in the single digits. Daytime FL temps in the 40s and 50s were like springtime to us, but less so for residents.

The incentive for this road trip (aside from my birthday and Hearts Day) was Grenville's ham radio convention in Orlando, FL, which he called disappointing in that several major product vendors were no-shows. This event had been cancelled in 2021, apparently event attendance is not back to pre-pandemic levels of the 2020 convention he attended there.

We had anticipated the possibility of meeting fellow bloggers in FL and TN on this trip. However, after exchanging emails and phone conversations, we mutually agreed that this was not the best time because of you-know-what. We always enjoy meeting people, but would rather everyone be safe and feel comfortable. And, just maybe, we will have the chance to meet up on a future trip. 

Social distancing was recommended in most of our accommodations, which have all been Hampton Inns with the exception of the Orlando convention hotel. The least said about that one the better as it was like an oversized motel that featured outside facing rooms on six levels. Mask wearing was not required in, aside from when using trolleys in Alexandria, VA and Orlando, FL, where masks were required regardless of vaccination status. One hotel required guests to don plastic gloves at the in-house breakfast and had an employee positioned there to ensure compliance. While similar gloves were provided at a couple of other locations, their use was optional and I noticed that most guests opted not to wear them, myself included.

Weather and lack of sightseeing aside, the best thing about the trip was visiting family and friends who we saw three years ago when Grenville attended a convention in Dayton, OH.

Grenville has cousins in FL and AL and a Navy buddy in FL. I have a cousin and former co-worker in GA. We also visited my brother and his wife in NJ where we co-celebrated their January wedding anniversary and my February birthday. 
Architecture in downtown Fernandina Beach, FL
After two days of rain, we spent a sunny afternoon in downtown Fernandina Beach which is the northernmost city on Florida's Atlantic coast and located on Amelia Island, known as the Isle of 8 Flags because it has had the flags of that many nations flown over it: France, Spain, Great Britain, Spain (again), the Republic of East Florida, the Republic of the Floridas, Mexico, the Confederate States of America, and the United States.

While the French, English, and Spanish all maintained a presence on Amelia Island at various times during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, the Spanish established Fernandina named in honor of King Ferdinand VII of Spain.
Grenville posed with a couple of "new" but silent friends. The weather was warm and sunny on the last of our 3-day stay. The pirate on the left was standing guard outside the Palace Saloon, Florida's oldest bar; the one on the right was outside a gift store.
Fernandina Beach, FL, sunset
The day ended with a beach walk, and as shown by our outerwear, it was a chilly late afternoon. After leaving FL, our adventures continued, some highlights will be in future posts. 

This week we're headed home with a overnight stops for dining and sleeping only. There's a forecast of ❄️ snow by the end of the week and we plan to be home before then.

FYI — blog reading/commenting has been delayed during our travels; hopefully I will get to read your recent posts once we're back home in Nashua.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

It's My Birthday, Once Again

And not just celebrated for one day, but throughout the entire year. It's my long-standing belief that celebrants should party on that long as this particular day (unfortunately) will only come once in a lifetime.

I'm part of the Baby Boomer generation which covers the age range between 58-77 years from 1945 to 1964. The term comes from the explosion of babies born during the post WW II baby boom when the number born during this time period was about 50% higher than average. Baby Boomers are now reaching the age of retirement which both Grenville, also a Baby Boomer, and myself have been enjoying for 20+ years.

I was born on a Thursday a.m. in 
II•III•MCMXLIX or 73 years ago in Arabic numerals! It wasn't a leap year, that was the year before (1948). My astrological sign is Aquarius, the water bearer; nice that there was a song about it too; The Age of Aquarius by The 5th Dimension remains a favorite. My Chinese zodiac sign is the Ox. My birthstone is the amethyst, and lucky for me as purple is my favorite color.

These events happened on my birthdate in various years

1864 - Maj. Gen. William Sherman begins the Meridian campaign through Mississippi
1869 - Booth theater opens in NYC at 23rd & 6th (Romeo & Juliet)
1918 - Twin Peaks Tunnel light rail/streetcar tunnel begins service in San Francisco, CA
1945 - Walt Disney releases The Three Caballeros
1945 - Yalta Conference agreed that Russia would enter WWII against Japan
1964 - Meet the Beatles LP goes Gold
1966 - Soviet Luna 9 is the first spacecraft to soft-land on the moon
1984 - Challenger 4,10th Space Shuttle Mission 4 is launched

While there were notable occurrences(and fun ones) worldwide in my birth year, none happened on my actual birthdate, but here's some major 1949 events:

Some Major Events
  • Communist forces gain power in China; nationalists flee to Taiwan
  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) established
  • Soviet Union detonates its first atomic bomb
  • Israel admitted to United Nations
  • Soviet Union lifts 11-month blockade against West Berlin
  • West Germany and East Germany formally established as nations
Business & Economy
Nearly 500,000 steel workers went on strike in 29 states shutting down 95 percent of the nation's steel mills. The issue was whether workers should contribute to a pension plan recommended by a Presidential fact-finding board. The strike coincided with a coal miners strike that year.

Science & Technology
U.S. Air Force’s Lucky Lady II, a Boeing B-50 Superfortress, became the first airplane to circle the world non-stop. Its 1949 journey, assisted by in-flight refueling, lasted 94 hours and 1 minute. 

In the World Series, the New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers winning in five games for their second defeat of the Dodgers in three years

Arts & Entertainment
Here's what was happening in the movies, TV, on the radio, in books, and more:
  • Movies: The Third Man, All the King’s Men
  • Songs: So In Love, Riders in the Sky, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Some Enchanted Evening
  • TV Shows: Texaco Star Theatre, Candid Camera, Colgate Theatre, Kukla Fran & Ollie
  • Books: The Man with the Golden Arm, Nelson Algren; The Jacaranda Tree, H.E. Bates; Guard of Honor, James Gould Cozzens; Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford; 1984, George Orwell; This I Remember, Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Rodgers and Hammerstein's production of South Pacific opened on Broadway
  • Death of a Salesman, a play by Arthur Miller won the Pulitzer Prize for drama
Everyday Life
  • Grocery stores: a loaf of bread cost 13 cents on average. Milk was 84 cents a gallon. A pound of bacon was 50 cents. A 13 ounce box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes was 19 cents. A 10-1/2 ounce can of Campbell's Soup was 10 cents.
  • Average annual salary $2,950 to $3,600; minimum wage 40 cents per hour.
  • There were about 44,000 TVs in American households, compared to 44,000 in 1947, and that number swelled to 940,000 in 1949 and 20 million in 1953.
  • The fad of pyramid clubs began in California. The concept was that a dollar would get you in the door and 12 days later you were over $2,000 richer. The promise of easy money made these clubs hard to resist and they quickly spread across the U.S. and into Canada. Only a handful of people would make any profits from the fad; most will be organizers of their own pyramids. 
Popular 1949 Baby Names
Mary, Patricia, Barbara, Susan, Sandra, Linda, Carol, Kathleen, Margaret, Judith, Chirley
James, Robert, John William, Michael, Richard, David, Charles, Thomas, Donald, Joseph

Celebrated 1949 Birthday Babies
John Belushi, Jeff Bridges, Simon Callow, Keith Carradine, Patrick Duffy, Julian Fellowes, Victor Garber, Richard Gere, Billy Joel, Don Johnson, Lawrence Kasdan, Andy Kaufman, Jessica Lange, Nancy Meyers, Bill Nighy, Michael Richards, Sissy Spacek, Meryl Streep, Zoe Wanamaker, Sigourney Weaver

Couple of Fun Facts
Silly Putty® was introduced in a 1949 toy catalog and priced at $2, it outsold everything else. It was originally called Nutty Putty, and invented in 1943 by James Wright, an engineer working in a General Electric laboratory in New Haven, CT. When a rubber shortage threatened war production during WW II, the government had asked U.S. companies to invent a synthetic rubber with similar properties, but made with non-restricted ingredients. Wright found that combining boric acid and silicone oil produced a putty that could bounce when dropped, stretch farther then rubber, and had a high melting temperature, while amazing, it didn't contain properties needed to replace rubber. Unable to come up with an idea on how to use the putty, Wright sent samples to other scientists, but none found a use for it until Peter Hodgson, an advertising consultant, persuaded a toy seller to advertise it in a toy catalog. He later changed its name. Sales poured in after a 1950 article in The New Yorker magazine. It was considered a novelty toy for adults, before becoming a hit with children.

Gussie Moran
U.S. tennis player Gussie Moran, ranked No. 4, and playing at Wimbledon wore an outfit that featured a short skirt revealing, at certain angles, lace-trimmed panties. It was created by Cuthbert Tinling, a tennis player, fashion designer and sports writer. The outfit, a first at Wimbledon, caused photographers to lay down to capture the “racy” and “naughty” outfit. Moran was called Gorgeous Gussie in newspaper reports which reported the fringed panties were in evidence when Gussie races across the court or leaps for a high shot. The Committee of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club accused Moran of bringing “vulgarity and sin into tennis.” Tinling, who had served as an official Wimbledon host for 20 years, was asked to “take leave” of his position by the outraged tennis establishment. He wasn't invited back for 33 years. 
Thanks for reading this birthday post and also
for your well wishes, always MUCH appreciated.

We're on a road trip and Grenville told me it was for my birthday and Hearts Day. He said it was mere coincidence that there's a ham radio convention in Orlando, FL in between the two dates.