Did you…

  • …ever hear of anything compared to the bottom of an iceberg?
  • …ever wonder why there are the three balls for pawn shops?
  • …ever wonder why we say ‘in-law’?
  • …ever wonder who besides a candlemaker would want a whole ball of wax?
  • …ever wonder what keys to the city are and what they would open?
  • …ever wonder if graves are ever any depth except shallow?
  • …ever wonder if there is any other way to get to the hospital besides rushed?
  • …ever wonder why sometimes when you look in the mirror all you see is the mirror?
  • …know now that During World War I (and others no doubt) young men from remote Russian villages were given funerals before leaving to join the Tsar’s armies?
  • …know that the writer O. Henry was a pharmacist?
  • …know that the writer and teacher Wallace Stegner once said “You can’t make a writer out of a born pharmacist.”
  • …know that the poet Hart Crane’s father invented Lifesavers candy?
  • …know that Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. lived so long he shook hands with John Quincy Adams and John F. Kennedy?
  • …know that a million seconds is less than twelve days, but a billion seconds is almost thirty-two years?

Unusual or Odd

  • Ray Fosse, the baseball player who Pete Rose ran over during the 1971 All Star game contributing to the shortening of his (Fosse’s) career, was born in Marion, Illinois where Rose later went to prison for income tax violations.
  • King George IV of England who was barely five feet tall, on a visit to Edinburgh kissed all 200 ladies present for his reception, then when offered a choice of desserts between pie and pudding selected both. Hence the rhyme: Georgie Porgie, Pudding, Pie. . .
  • Reality check? In Hannibal, Missouri you can see the fence that Tom Sawyer whitewashed and the jail that housed Huck’s dad. These sites are promoted as if they were part of actual history.
  • In certain religious orders monks build and then sleep in their own coffins to remind them of eternity.
  • In my travels I’ve driven on the following streets or highways:
    – Johnny Cake Road (Apply Valley, Minnesota)
    – Egg and I Road (Near Port Townsend, Washington)
    – Oink Joint Road (Western Minnesota)
  • A couple computers ago I had an email from Microsoft that said “your storage is growing” which I read as “your strangeness” and wondered how they knew.
  • I was once in a remote part of Alaska where I believed that I was beyond the reach of pop culture and was grateful for it when I heard one young Inuit girl say to another: “Did Fergie have her baby yet?”
  • While traveling in Prague I came upon a demonstration of some kind. Our guide told us to ignore it, to not get too close, and that if we paid no attention it would soon be over. I found that attitude remarkably interesting considering the history of the region. The guide was young. I wonder if she realized what her life would be like if her parents and grandparents had avoiding protesting.
  • Don’t know what to cook for dinner tonight? Here’s something easy, fast, and cheap:
    (From Laura Ingalls Wilder cookbook)
    Mix some flour and salt, boil it a while, bake it, poke holes in it with an 8 penny nail.
  • Horrible irony: the cell phones ringing in the pockets of Virginia Tech massacre victims.
  • Love lasts. Tess Gallagher rubbed Raymond Carver’s feet just after he died because that’s what he liked having done while alive.
  • “John Gill of Rockville Center, Long Island, was thrown 50 feet when a train struck his truck which was loaded with mattresses. Luckily, John landed on one of them unharmed” –Pages from the Past’ 60 years ago Turtle Mountain Star, 1/28/1988

Where are you now

  • David Foster Wallace
  • Selena
  • Jim Croce
  • Pete Maravich
  • Tupac Shakur
  • Joe McCarthy
  • Sami Anas
  • Ken Hubbs
  • Oliver Hardy
  • Tupac Shakur
  • John Cazale
  • Gene Siskel
  • Martha Gellhorn
  • Buddy
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Dan Blocker
  • Eva Peron
  • Otis Redding
  • Wendell Willkie
  • Maria Callas
  • Bobby Driscoll
  • Peaches Geldof
  • Natasha Richardson
  • John Kennedy O’Toole
  • Pier Angeli
  • Edouard Manet
  • Phil Ochs
  • Sal Mineo
  • James Gandolfini
  • Gil Hodges
  • Harvey Milk
  • Skip Caray
  • Michael Dunn
  • “Champagne Tony” Lema
  • Tiny Tim
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Abbie Hoffman
  • Herve Villechaize
  • Margaret Laurence
  • Chemical Ali

Jackson’s list of people he’s tired of hearing about

  • Rudy Guiliani (America’s what?)
  • Dick Vitale (The shtick wore out before the turn of the century.)
  • Tiger Woods (One ouch too many.)
  • Samuel Jackson (A former actor now turned pitchman.)
  • Oprah (We get it. She knows everything and everybody. And also reads.)
  • Don Jr., Eric, Ivanka (Like trying to find meaning and usefulness in old chewing gum.)
  • Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell, Andrew Cuomo, et al. (Who’s in charge here?)