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Thursday, March 22, 2018

This Thursday's Testimony is for the Birds! (some of the birds that is)

This particular Thursday (March 22nd"is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 284 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Tuesday, Thursday or Sunday (58 in 400 years each) than on Friday or Saturday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Monday or Wednesday (56)."

Mooch and Earl are honoring the day by birding, as seen in the Mutts comic strip posted directly above, where Mooch is being "reprimanded" by a ruby-crowned kinglet for only noticing a robin.

Normally by the twenty-second of March, American Robins  have returned to my urban garden (here in NYC), but the spring season has been slow in getting underway in my area (as I mentioned in yesterday's post here on Blogger) and I haven't seen one spending time in my place as of this entry.

However, I saw them in Central Park, on February 8th, as they may have gotten the memo that the city's groundhog had predicted an early spring (which ended up being fake news) this past Groundhog Day (2-2-2018).

Be that as it may, one of the robins I encountered there can be seen in the set of pictures below.

In any event, American Robins were not the first birds I've seen in Central Park in this year of 2018, which as you may know, has been designated as The Year of the Bird, due to this being the one hundredth anniversary of The Migratory Bird Act.

Ever since the onset of 2018, I've seen the usual cast of avian characters who spend some of their time in Central Park. These include blue jays, Canadian geese, cardinals (female and male), common grackles, European starlings, House sparrows (including a very young one), Mallard ducks (female and male) pigeons, as well as white-throated sparrows. They are all represented below respectively:

For me, this Year of the Bird, has also already provided me with the opportunity to meet a number of bird types whom I've never seen in Central Park.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

This Wednesday's Wisdom is for Snowmen (And it's from Linus!)

Today, March 21st, marked the first full day of spring for 2018, the season "officially" began yesterday at 12:15 PM in NYC, but you would never know it from our weather, as I mentioned in yesterday's blog post.

And today, on our first full day of spring for the 2018 season, we are having our fourth nor'Easter since the new year began (a newspaper article re the event can be found by clicking here).

However, in spite of the inclement weather, I took a walk within nearby Central Park, and came upon a lone black squirrel (pictured directly above) nibbling on an abandoned snowball. On another side of the park, towards the lake, I came upon a snow-person holding a fishing pole.

The creation can be seen in the next picture (where the pole is indicated by a red arrow that I affixed to my photo).

Upon my seeing this snow creature, I recalled a Peanuts comic strip in which Linus had created a snowman standing on his head (and I've posted a copy of the strip directly below).

This strip was published 1-6-1975.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

It's officially the 1st day of Spring in NYC but... (Tuesdays Truths WK 83)

This particular Tuesday marks the 83rd week for my Tuesday's Truths series and it coincides with the first day of spring for 2018, but apparently NYC did not get the memo! Our fourth Nor' Easter is due in tonight.

In any event, the silent video atop this entry (from Mutts) honors the season. I hope you enjoy it, dear reader, and that you have a happy spring!

Monday, March 19, 2018

Saint Joseph's Day 2018

Today, March 19th, is the Feast Day of Saint Joseph.  I have a small statue rendered into his likeness above my desk (indicated by the arrow in the photo directly above) to remind me of my need for his intercession on my behalf. I'm grateful for the help that I've received from him in the past and I hope he will continue to come to my aid.

In any event, I've blogged about Saint Joseph in bygone years and in honor of his day, I invite you to reference my entries by clicking here.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Sunday's Sequel: It's a Northern Pintail Duck!

My photos that are atop this entry were featured in this past Friday's blog post (albeit without arrows affixed to them). At the time of that entry, the identity of the duck who is swimming in a body of water within Central Park (where the arrow is pointing) was unknown to me, but I reached out in a Facebook post today and got my answer!

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Saint Patrick's Day 2018


Today is St. Patrick's Day, and I wish all of those who celebrate it a safe and happy one! As for me, I've written about the holiday a number of times (including entries here on Blogger, so please click this to read those posts).

Friday, March 16, 2018

Remembering Eugene Schieffelin ETC

The photograph atop this entry is of a statute in Central Park that is in very close proximity to Delacorte Clock — named after philanthropist George T. Delacorte.

According to a web-page, it "is one of the most beloved monuments in the parks of New York City, this musical clock hovers above the arcade between the Wildlife Center and the Children's Zoo."

The aforementioned page goes on to say that "Delacorte conceived of the clock as a modern version of belfries in churches and city halls dating back to the Middle Ages....

... and designer Fernando Texidor collaborated with architect Edward Coe Embury (son of the 1934 zoo’s designer, Aymar Embury II) to create a brick arcaded bridge between the Monkey House (now the Zoo School) and the main Central Park Zoo quadrangle to house the clock and its animal sculpture carousel. Italian sculptor Andrea Spadini (1912–1983) crafted the whimsical bronze sculptures, which depict a penguin, kangaroo, bear, elephant, goat, and hippo parading with a variety of musical instruments as well as two monkeys with mallets that strike the bell."

This page also explains that "Each day between eight in the morning and six in the evening, the clock--now digitally programmed--plays one of thirty-two nursery rhyme tunes on the hour. On the half-hour, the mechanical performance is a bit shorter. The animals rotate on a track around the clock and each also turns on an axis."

I came upon it the clock this afternoon when walking with a friend. I've seen it on many occasions as but in all my years of living in NYC, I've rarely arrived at the clock just as it is about to "perform."

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Thursday's Testimony

I'm feeling a little bit like Franklin (one of the characters featured in the Peanuts Comic Strip atop this entry). As you can see he claims that he leads "a very active Tuesday."

My past few Tuesdays have also been very active, hence, I have not been able to offer a post (ever since 2-27-2018) for my long running Tuesday's Truths series here on Blogger.

However, unlike Franklin, my Tuesdays have not been filled with fun activities such as his (guitar lessons, Little League games, as well as swim club and '4 H' meetings). Rather, I've been wiped out with a pesky and very nasty cold! Today I seem to be on the mend and I hope to return to my regular blogging schedule in the coming days! Please Stay tuned!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Monday Musings: N'tl Napping Day & DLST

It's the Monday after the onset of 2018's Daylight Savings Time (DLST) and Cam, my visiting cardinal (pictured above where she is taking a nap under the 'Tamukeyama' which grows in a container that's within my rooftop garden).

This is a picture of Cam that you might recognize as I've featured it in a prior post here on Blogger, and if you have read volume one of her book series, Words In Our Beak (which can be seen in the image directly below), you might recall that it is featured at the conclusion of her story.

In any  event, Cam has brought it to my attention that any Monday occurring after the onset of DLST, is considered to be a holiday known as National Napping Day.

According to a web-page, "National Napping Day is observed annually the day following the return of daylight saving time.  National Napping Day provides everyone with the opportunity to have a nap and catch up on the hour of sleep they lost due to the spring forward time change."

The aforementioned page goes on to explain the history of this holiday stating: "William Anthony, Ph.D., a Boston University Professor and his wife, Camille Anthony, created National Napping Day in 1999 as an effort to spotlight the health benefits to catching up on quality sleep."

Anthony and his wife proclaim,“We chose this particular Monday because Americans are more ‘nap-ready’ than usual after losing an hour of sleep to daylight saving time."

I confess that I've never heard of National Napping Day, but there is no time like the present to take advantage of it! And just to make sure that I don't miss any more National Napping Days going forward, I've made a list of when they will occur in the coming years.

I've posted the list below for your convenience, dear reader:

March 12, 2018
March 11, 2019
March 9, 2020
March 15, 2021
March 14, 2022
March 13, 2023
March 11, 2024
March 09, 2025

Meanwhile, I hope to get a nap in on this National Napping Day, and if you are so inclined, I suggest that you take one too!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Ellen's passing was one month ago.

Today marks the one month anniversary of the passing of Ellen Rachel McConnell Blakeman, who I met when we were both in the third grade. The image atop this blog post is of a page that she read from An Inside Story, my book length piece about the inner experience of growing up with the medical condition known Neurofibromatosis (NF).

Within the page seen in this text-based image, I tell about an incident that took place at the time when Ellen and I first met.

I've put a red square around Ellen's comment to highlight her wit and insight re the situation. I miss her very much, but I guess going forward, it is far better for me to focus on how Ellen lived her life than on the date of her passing.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

DLST 2018 Begins at 2:00 AM Tomorrow!


Just a  reminder to those who live in certain areas: Daylight Savings Time (DLST) begins a couple of hours after midnight. I've written about DLST in bygone years here on Blogger. If you'd like to refer to my posts re this subject, please click here.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Friday Follow-Up

According to Snoopy, "We know that Spring is neat when it begins to get windy," as evidenced in the Peanuts Comic Strip posted atop of this blog entry. As of this posting, the official onset of spring is still twelve days away, but the tulips in  my rooftop garden apparently having gotten the memo.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The Oscars, Year 90.

Tonight marks the 90th year of "handing out" Oscars in an Academy Awards ceremony that takes place in Hollywood.

I've heard that some people jump up and down re this event, and Cam (the cardinal seen in the picture atop this post) is no exception!

Last year she persuaded me to write a blog post about the Hollywood fanfare and the movies I've created (especially the ones that feature her).

Images taken from some of my movies are included within my "Oscars poster" (which can be seen in the image directly below).

As we all know, the stories told in books are often rendered into movies, and don't tell Cam, but I think she hopes that her story will be picked up by someone in the entertainment industry for a feature film!

Who am I to discourage her?

Volume One (seen in the next image) of her book series, Words In Our Beak, has received high praise from those who have read it and the files for Volume Two (seen in image after that are now in the hands of the publisher.

Cam is very optimistic (much more than I) and when she's not indulging in black-oil sunflower seeds or peanuts, she's already preparing her academy award speech.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Learning Perseverance on Dr. Seuss's Birthday

Dr. Seuss was born 114 years ago on this day of March the 2nd. I have paid homage to his day of birth in prior posts here on Blogger and I've also referenced several of Seuss's quotations within a number of my blog entries, all of this can be referred to by clicking here.

In any event, on this day of Seuss's birth, I find myself thinking about his first book, which was titled, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (the book featured in the image atop this posting)

According to a number of sources, including Wikipedia, "At least 20 publishers rejected the book before Geisel ran into an old college classmate, who had just become juvenile editor at Vanguard Press. Vanguard agreed to publish the book, and it met with high praise from critics upon release, though sales were not as impressive." 

Knowing this fact re Seuss's initial experiences with And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, has been somewhat helpful in my consoling Cam (the cardinal who is now a published author), whenever she is ready to throw up her wings in despair (as seen below where she is expressing her feelings from the floor of my urban garden) regarding how things are, or are not, progressing with her book series, Words In Our Beak.

A photo of the hardcover format of volume one of here series can be seen in the next photograph.

The picture was taken by Chris Deatherage, who is my web-site designer and the book's formatter.

While the book has received five star reviews from a few of those who have purchased it, I cannot seem to get certain people — in spite of their promise to do so — to write a review.

Additionally, I've been unable to get anyone who works in fields related to the reviewing of books, or who work in fields related to ornithology to review volume one of Cam's book.

This really frustrates Cam! However, I continue to remind her to focus on the progress that she has made with her book endeavors — in spite of the lack of notoriety she seems to believe is holding her back from ever being taken seriously as an author.

I'm truly amazed that in spite of all her obstacles Cam has completed volume two of her book series and that Chris Deatherage has a done a fantastic job in formatting it!

Please stay tuned for details, but meanwhile take a look at the cover (posted below) for volume two of Words In Our Beak.

Thursday, March 1, 2018


It's March 1st and I want to remind readers of this blog that rather the month comes in quietly like a lamb, or comes raging in like a lion, today is also #NationalPigDay. I've discussed the origins of this holiday in prior entries here on Blogger.

Btw, something else is also occurring on this day, and that is the fact that today is #WorldBookDay and info about this event is trending on Twitter. It is a nice change between the usual ranting and raving (in tweets) re topics related to politics as well as celebrities.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

WW*: How Birds Lost Their Teeth (*Wednesdays Wisdom)

The figurine featured in the image atop this entry, as you can see, is based on the Tooth fairy. She may look familiar to you, dear reader, as I have written about this "character" in prior entries here on Blogger, which you may reference by clicking here.

She is on my mind on this last day of February for 2018, because (according to Holiday Insights) the twenty-eighth of February is just one of the days that recognizes her history.

Recently I've had a number of serious dental procedures and have joked that when one is a child they get money (from the tooth fairy) when they lose a tooth, but as an adult they pay money — a lot of money – for tooth loss.

But that is not what is what is on my mind today re the tooth fairy or tooth loss. Instead I am thinking about birds and their history with teeth.

Therefore, in terms of this Wednesday's Wisdom (WW), please allow me to refer you to an interesting article, How Birds Lost Their Teeth (by Dan Nosowitz), that discuss facts related to how birds lost their teeth:

And, please remember, our avian friends did not have a tooth fairy to compensate them (then again they didn't have over the top dental fees either)!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

It seems everything's coming up tulips! (Tuesday's Truth for Week 82)

Hello, dear reader, and welcome to week eighty-two of my Tuesdays' Truths series. Today, I want to tell you that it looks like NYC's groundhog might be right regarding the prediction she made this past Groundhog Day about an early spring was to be had in our area.

I say this because while I featured one of my garden-themed movies that features Ethel Merman singing Everything's Coming Up Roses in a recent entry on one of my TLLG FB Page, it seems, that at as of now in my urban garden that everything is coming up tulips.

This is evidenced by the five photographs atop this entry featuring the status of a tulip variety known as Elegant Lady Tulip, whose bulbs were planted with the help of Juan V this past November.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Here's to Chris Deatherage!

The text image atop this entry is a letter written by the writer E.B. White to Gene Deitch on 2/3/1971.

At that time, Deitch had been hired by a Sagittarius Pictures to produce a feature-length animated movie to be based on White's book, Charlotte’s Web.

It was very important to E.B. White (as you can see in this letter), that in any animated feature based on his book, Charolette's (a spider) voice should remain true to her very being. And so should the other voices in the story, including Wilbur (a pig) and Templeton (a rat).

Because of my love for Cam (the cardinal pictured below),

who I've been helping give voice to her book series Words In Our Beak Volume One (the hardcover variety can seen in the next image),

I can certainly relate to how vulnerable White must've felt when entrusting his beloved characters to others involved in any project related to his story.

My heart goes out to him upon learning how much he endured while going through the this process.

I am very blessed that my book formatter, Chris Deatherage, (who also serves as an editor) truly understands voice and spirit, and he definitely removes his hat when he enters my urban garden where Cam spends much of her time and where her story is set.

Cam and I are awestruck upon having seen the fantastic work that Chris has done with formatting and editing volume two of our book series. Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday's Sequel: My last convo with Ellen.

The woman seen in the image atop this entry was taken in bygone years and features my dearly departed friend, Ellen Rachel McConnell Blakeman, whom I've known since the third grade.

Ellen passed from this life on February 11, 2018, which is something I discussed in this past Saturday's blog entry, the same day a memorial service was being held for Ellen in her home state, Illinois.

I think the last time she and I spoke may have been exactly a month before her death, and I say this because I recall telling Ellen that the gutters on the rental apartment building where I live had burst and fallen off the building. This accident was probably caused from the heavy snow falls that we'd been having in NYC, starting with January's "bomb cyclone."

A photo of the gutters that crashed off the building where I live and landed in the backyard of a neighbor can be seen in the next image, which was taken from the vantage point of my rooftop garden.

The EXIF info associated with this picture indicates I took it on on January 11, 2018, which was (as I've been saying), one month before Ellen died.

At the time when I heard the loud crash when the gutters fell, I thought chunks of ice and heavy snow had fallen from buildings across the courtyard, as this has been the case for many years.

However, when I ventured out on to my rooftop garden, to see what had caused the unusually loud noise, I saw the fallen gutters in my neighbor's backyard. Over the years Ms. S (the tenant who lives there), her young daughter, their cat, and their friends, have spent a lot of time out in the yard — no matter what the weather conditions are occurring. Therefore, it was more than a lucky thing that nobody had been there at the time.

The orange arrow that I've affixed to the image indicates a frequently used hula hoop in Ms. S's yard.

The smaller orange arrow directly across from it is pointing over the fence that separate the building where she lives from the one where I live; and the "stocky" arrow is pointing towards where one of the gutters had been prior to falling.