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Showing posts from April, 2018

30 April – One of a Kind

July 25, 2012 – that’s the day he died – my only brother, my sole sibling. Within a year of his death, both of our parents died, too. I know I have presented several poems with a theme of death. As I age, the subject is more and more on my mind – not in a macabre of obsessive way, but rather from a curious and accepting perspective. I, too, will experience it. Also, death is worth study and meditation as each one of us experiences it at some point in time, even if we try not to believe it, or think that we have much time remaining. When I wrote this poem I kept thinking, “I am the last one standing.” Such an intriguing and distracting thought. In every family, barring a tragic accident, eventually, one member of the group will outlive all the others. What a strange position to be in, to be: “one of a kind.”
One of a Kind

Upon the sudden death of an only brother
25 July 2010

First of two Second of two Years ago, almost one Then near to forty far apart These last ten one again

A week ago Two minu…

Sunday Squibs

These bodies of ours...temporary huts, no more, no less.

It feels good telling my story. Do I feel bad boring my listener? No, no, again I say no.

I was taught to have sympathy for my fellow man. But it’s hard when my fellow man keeps doing stupid stuff.

Longevity gets you no respect. Look at the house fly. Fifty million years and we still squash him like he was born yesterday.

If there’s any magic in this benighted world, it will be found in the kitchen first.

Inhabiting the air of better antique shops are the spirits of those who used to own the stuff.

My past sins are as water under the bridge. It’s the current plank in the eye that’s spoiling my view.

Get good at expressing condolences. It’s a skill you’ll need till condolences are offered for you.

I don’t wish to be a mansplainer, but if a damsel asks me where all the unicorns have gone, I’ll attempt to elucidate that point.

We tell the dead to rest in peace as if they had another choice.

Three beers and I’m a lout. A beer, a wi…

Wannaskan Almanac for Saturday, April 28th

Welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Saturday, April 28th.

I am in no way a history buff. The ladies in book club ladies can testify to how terrible I am at recounting stories or historical events with any semblance of accuracy. But, this Wannaskan Almanac blog has grown on me. I look forward to learning about which historical events occurred, and whose birthday it is, on this day. Here are some highlights that caught my attention including an occasional annotation.
On This Day357 Constantius II visits Rome for the first time. That "first time" caught my eye. So I looked it once. He was doing a lot of fighting, trying to hold down the proverbial fort, keeping him at his base camp in Mediolanum, i.e. present day Milan (which I have visited.) Learn more here.
up and it turns out that, despite being the Emperor of the Roman Empire, he only visited Rome

1282 Sicilian Vespers: Villagers in Palermo lead a revolt against French rule in Sicily. - This France/Italy connection made me …

Friday, April 27

Good morning and welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Friday.

     It's the birthday in 1791 in Charlestown, Massachusetts of Samuel Morse. Morse attended Yale University where he studied religion, mathematics, and the science of horses. He supported himself by painting and was so talented that his father sent him to England for three years to improve his skills.
    While doing a portrait in Washington 1825, he received a message that his wife was dying in New Haven. By the time he got home, his wife had been buried. He was so distraught by this that he devoted the rest of his life to finding a means of improving communications.
    Europeans had been working on telegraphs for years but they could only transit short distances. Morse and his colleagues set up a series of relays and in 1844 were able to send a message from the U.S. Capitol to Baltimore, 38 miles away. By 1850 there were 12,000 miles of wire across the country. There had been various attempts over the years …

A belated iskigamizige-giizis Thor's Day, 26, 2018

Last Thor’s Day, April 12, we were packing up for an eleven day trip to Red Cliff, in NW Wisconsin, beginning Friday the 13th. A weekend winter storm was forecast for the region of Ashland, Washburn, Bayfield and Red Cliff and we intended to get there with it on our heels, not in our headlights. I over-prepare for such weather events--you know, the whole bit, with a winter emergency kit plus warm clothes, boots, blankets in case we would have an extended stay in our car somewhere. I marvel at the people who have not a care in the world traveling through our part of the country and wear only the clothes they would wear in their house or apartment, with no portent of outside temperatures, predicted snow accumulations, or poor visibility, fully expecting to arrive at their destination, maybe hundreds of miles away, without incident. Sometimes I throw in an additional blanket for just those fools, if Jackie doesn’t see me.

    We arrived about check-in time, 3:30 PM. It's a seven h…

Word-Wednesday April 25, 2018

And here is the Wannaskan Almanac for Word-Wednesday, April 25, 2018, brought to you by Pipe Dreams Plumbing, Sprague, Manitoba; "We can even repair what your husband has fixed!" Reach us from anywhere at

April 25 is the 115th day of the year, with 250 days remaining until the end of the year, and 342 days remaining until April Fools Day.

Earth/Moon Almanac for April 25, 2018
Sunrise: 6:14am; Sunset: 8:30pm
Moonrise: 3:32pm; Moonset: 4:39am; waxing gibbous

Temperature Almanac for April 25, 2018
         Average    Record    Today
High    58              83           65
Low     32              13            36

April 25 Celebrations
National DNA Day
National East Meets West Day
National Hug a Plumber Day
National Telephone Day
National Zucchini Bread Day
National Administrative Professionals Day

April 25 Riddle-Pun
What do you call a bunch of chess players bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?*

April 25 Notable historic events, literary or otherwise
1507, Germ…

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Welcome to the Wannasakan Almanac for Tuesday, April 24, 2018. This the 114th day of 2018. If this has been a bad year so far, take heart because there are only 251 days left until you can start a fresh year, tentatively to be called 2019.
Your unusual word of the day is jentacular. Perhaps this morning you did something jentacular. It is important. More on that later.
The first thing that I noticed for this day in history is that Thutmose the third (my personal favorite of all the Thutmoses) became pharaoh of Egypt in 1479 BC.
I have often wondered how accurate the dating of an event so many years ago could possibly be. First of all, the calendar we currently use is the Gregorian calendar. It was implemented in 1582 in order to fix a problem with the Julian calendar. The Julian calendar was introduced about 1600 years earlier by the same people who invented those delicious Julian potatoes. My concern has always been how can we precisely say that something that happened be…

23 April 18 The Web Master

Spiders? Like them? Hate them? Indifferent toward them?

Whatever your disposition, they are creatures worth our time and admiration.
The greater the number of natural objects (trees, weeds, rocks) nature provides, the more elegant and exquisite the spider can build silk webs. Sadly, spiders can’t visually appreciate the artistry of their creations, even though they have six to eight eyes. Poor eyesight is the spider-norm. They know the world and their own webs through touch, vibration, and taste, skills that support them in navigating to their prey.
Yes, prey, for the spiders emerge as master hunters. The structures they build function as sticky nets that catch doomed insects and small animals. Other uses for the webs include cocoons for protection of offspring and for wrapping their prey in a kind of arachnid straight jacket. Of course, we’ve all seen spiders swinging like circus performers, suspended from a nearly invisible strand. Commonly, spiders eat their own webs. They digest …

Sunday Squibs

Some churchgoers believe not in God, but in the security of the crowd.

The afternoon storm passes...the sky grows lighter and lighter, though the clock says "No."

The youngest child in a grade is often the class clown, who held back a year will be the class sage.

A church service is like a boat trip. The anchor's dropped for the sermon, and the longer we tarry there, the later we'll reach our lunch on shore.

DNA science has confounded our ideas about race. It seems we are each a race unto ourselves.

As my brother Steve says, "I'd rather have a reading list than a bucket list."

Sign of hope: MAGA caps being dropped in red country rummage stores.

If the pholosphers are right and we all are one, then what I hate is just reflections in a broken mirror.

Neglect of one's surroundings is a sign of advanced old age, and one of its pleasures.

There's no such thing as a stupid question, but if someone ever manages to ask one, it'll be a dooozy.


Wannaskan Almanac for Saturday, April 21st

Welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Saturday, April 21st.

Happy Birthday to the Queen Mother!

The royal matron, celebrates the big 9-2 today. She is Britain’s longest-ever ruling monarch, having reigned for 66 years. She has lived through the terms of 21 UK prime ministers and 16 US presidents.

Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary was born on April 21,1926. She was the first child of the Duke and Duchess of York. Technically, becoming queen wasn't on the family radar. But, in 1936, when her uncle, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in favor of marrying an American socialite, Wallis Simpson, Elizabeth's father, Albert, acceded the throne, becoming King George VI. Young Elizabeth's mother became the first Queen Elizabeth. (Fortunately Edward's nuptials lasted until his natural death, making it all seemingly worth it.)

Elizabeth was a teenager during WWII, giving her first radio broadcast at age 14. At 18, she joined the Women’s Auxiliary Territorial Service, the only female…

Friday, April 20

Welcome to the Wannaskan Almanac for Friday.

      It's the birthday in 1889 near Linz, Austria of that ultimate agent of evil, Adolph Hitler. The family moved from Austria to Bavaria when Hitler was three. Hitler was a good student at first, but conflicts with his father and the death of a younger brother changed his personality. He wanted to attend art school but his father forced him to attend a technical school where Hitler did poorly on purpose.
    When his father died suddenly, Hitler convinced his mother to support him in art school. After basic art school, he moved to Vienna, but was rejected at the fine arts academy. By this time his money had run out and he lived in homeless shelters and supported himself with odd jobs. He joined the army when WWI broke out and served as a messenger. He was injured during a battle and received a medal for bravery.
     He thought Germany lost the war because it was stabbed in the back by Jews and Marxists at home. This was the st…

Wannaskan Almanac for Thor's Day, April 19, 2018

1849        Mar 3, US Congress created the Minnesota Territory. 
    (AP, 3/3/99)

1851        In Minnesota Chief Shakopee and the Dakota Indians were pressured into selling 24 million acres for pennies an acre. Food and money from the federal government was to be distributed to the Indians as part of the treaty.
    (WSJ, 2/5/98, p.A1,6)

1854        St. Paul, Minn., was founded.
    (USAT, 3/5/04, p.9A)

1856        In Minnesota Benedictine monks arrived in St. Cloud and established a priory. In 1865 they moved to the shores of Lake Sagatagan and the following year the priory was raised to the status of Abbey. In 1913 they established St. John’s University.
    {Minnesota, USA}

1858        May 11, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union.
    (AP, 5/11/97)

1861        Jun 29, William James Mayo, co-founder of the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, was born.
    (HN, 6/29/98)

1862        Aug 8, Minnesota’s 5th Infantry fought the Sioux Indians …