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The Daily Dose/Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Daily Dose/August 22, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Leading Off will return.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody:  
Devani’s rise to world domination begins at the hotel. Today’s Diary. 

It’s all but official that Devani is going to be the new assistant front desk manager…She relieved me this morning and we talked about it and while nobody’s said anything official she did say GM Barbara noted that they should “start getting her ready” which seems pretty official to me…I then, rather solemnly, made the sign of the cross with a grace that would have impressed the archbishop of Canterbury, followed by baptismal motions. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1953 – One history’s most notorious prisons, Devil’s Island in French Guiana on the northeastern coast of South America, closes for good. The French had stopped sending prisoners there in 1938 and the remaining convicts were allowed to return to France, though some elected to stay behind. Over the years, over 80,000 prisoners served sentences at Devil’s Island, most of which never left. Many died due to the harsh treatment and or diseases caused by limited sanitation and by mosquitos. Devil’s Island had opened in 1852. 

In 1851 – The yacht America, representing the New York Yacht Club, wins the first America’s Cup. The competition was held in one day, a race between 15 boats around the Isle of Wight, off the coast of southern England. The race covered 53 nautical miles (a nautical mile is about 2,000 yards) and America won in 10 hours and 34 minutes, 18 minutes ahead of runner-up Aurora. The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron won the last America’s Cup in 2017 in Bermuda and is scheduled to defend it in 2021. 

I964 – The Supremes are at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the first of two consecutive weeks with Where Did Our Love Go. It was the first #1 song for the Supremes and the first of five consecutive #1s, a record then held with Elvis Presley, eventually broken by the Beatles (6) and now held by Whitney Houston (7). The Supremes would finish with 12 #1 songs, then a total that trailed only the Beatles and Elvis. The song also went to #1 in Canada, peaked at #3 in Great Britain and was Billboard’s tenth biggest song of the year. 

Quotebook
The tragedy of life is not that man loses, but that he almost wins.
Heywood Braun

Answer To The Last Trivia Questions
The Bee Gees last #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 was Love You Inside and Out which spent one week at the top in 1979.

Today’s Stumper
What position did Where Did Our Love Go peak at on Billboard’s soul chart? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/August 21

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The Daily Dose/Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Daily Dose/August 21, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
OUTTA SITE: At first, the headline excited us: a private company, funded in part by NASA,  awarded a contract for a component of its mission to the moon. It’s target date for a landing, a bit ambitious if you ask us, is for 2024. 

All Together Now: We pontificate about manned space travel regularly here. It has long been our opinion that Apollo in general, and Apollo 11 specifically, were mankind’s finest hour, providing a line of demarcation separating everything that came before from everything that has followed. 

Once More With Feeling: America could have had men on the moon in the 1980s had she wanted to. She didn’t though. America lost interest. 

Dry, Technical Matter: The company planning a lunar mission is Astrobotic and they have spaces available for anyone who wants to send something to the moon. Space appears to be priced to move, too, the company charging $1.25 million for every kilogram (2.2 lbs) of payload. 

FunFact: The plan is to have 20 unmanned missions go to the moon.

We found ourselves asking, though: for what

We’ve been to the moon. We’ve walked on it, driven on it, even played golf on it. Heck, several American flags are still there. While mindful the assorted technological advances we’ve made over the ensuing decades, what are 20 more unmanned missions going to tell us? 

Dry, Historical Reference: America going back to the moon is akin Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first two to summit Mt Everest, announcing with appropriate fanfare, his plans to climb a hill. 

OTOH: It’s important not to miss the big picture here: that it is a private business, with some government funding, that is planning a lunar mission. Good for private business. But the fact it took private business so long to catch might be a sign of what we began suspecting a few years ago: 

Apollo was ahead of its time, both socially and technologically and we are only now starting to catch up. 

Today At The Site
The Diary of  a Nobody
And Sparrow is back in the gym. Today’s Diary. 

Ol’ Sparrow was back in the gym tonight, too…It had been about a week and I plead illness because my nose was a snot locker the past week…Good gravy, if snot were a salable commodity I could have put it in #10 cans and made a mint. 

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1831 – A rebellion led by a slave named Nat Turner begins in Southampton County, Virginia. Using knives, hatchets, axes and anything else they could get their hands on, Turner led up to 70 slaves and free blacks from house to house, ultimately killing around 60 whites. The following day the state and local militia got involved, finding and killing over 150 blacks and the rebellion was completely suppressed on Aug. 23rd, though Turner wasn’t caught until late October, after which we was tried, convicted and executed. 

In 2002 – Kentucky defeats Texas 2-1 in 11 innings in the US semifinals at the Little League World Series (LLWS), tying the record for the longest game in LLWS history. The team from Louisville would go on to win the LLWS title, defeating Japan 1-0 in the title game. The 11-inning record had been established in 1998 when New Jersey defeated Michigan 13-9 in pool play and was equaled last year when Hawaii defeated Georgia 2-0 in an opening round game. 

In 1971 – The Bee Gees are at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the third of four consecutive weeks with How Can You Mend a Broken Heart. It was the group’s ninth Top 40 hit in America and their first of nine #1s. The song also went to #1 in Canada and Malaysia and was Billboard’s fifth biggest song of the year. The song was originally offered to Andy Williams before the group decided to record it themselves. 

Quotebook
People are more disposed to suffer than right themselves by resistance.
John Locke

Answer To The Last Trivia Questions
Gino Auriemma was the head coach of the US women’s basketball team at the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

Six of the Beatles 20 #1 songs on the Billboard Hot 100 spent one week at the top.

Today’s Stumper
Which song was the Bee Gees last #1 hit in America? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/August 20

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The Daily Dose/Tuesday, August 20, 2019

The Daily Dose/August 20, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
OH, GOOD GRAVY: Any feature that asks trivia questions about career plate appearances plainly likes figures, so it should be no surprise that some Labor Department statistics we came across on wages in the fourth quarter of 2018 thrilled us no end. 

Now, we are not economists – thank goodness – and some of this was above our head, but we’re not complete idiots, either, and we’ve long had a knack for mining useful figures in these circumstances and here is what we found moderately interesting:

Leading Off: The average weekly wage for an American in the fourth quarter of 2018 was $1,144…This comes out to $59,800 a year, which is not too bad a living, especially if you take care of your money. On the other hand, it’s not going to put you on Easy Street, either. You will probably be obliged to rustle up a living until you are 65 or so. 

Fly In The Ointment: Unfortunately most Americans – a bit more than three-quarters of us – don’t make this amount. 70.23% of Americans earn less than $50,000 a year and the median income – the amount where half make more and half make less –  in America is about $31,000. 

Boring, Broad, Historical Context: Some research we did for something or another a few years ago yielded the tidbit that $31,000 more or less has always been, dollar for dollar, the median income in this country since the first half of the 20th century. 

FunFact: A bit more than 9% of Americans made more than $100,000 a year. 

Dry, Technical Matter: Santa Clara County, California had the highest weekly wage average, $2,760, while Hidalgo County, Texas had the lowest at $680.

Is There A Point To Any Of This?: For the several states, Massachusetts had the highest weekly average at $1,457 while Mississippi had the lowest average weekly wage at $793. 

No, I Guess There Isn’t A Point To Any Of This: The July 2019 unemployment figures are in from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationally, unemployment was 3.7 percent which is pretty good. Our own experience hiring people is that an unemployment rate of less than 3% generally means that anyone who wants a job and can hold down a job generally has a job. So a figure of 3.7 percent makes for what we like to call a Practical Unemployment Rate of about 1% or so. You are always going to have a small percentage of people who are unwilling or unable to find work. 

Your Not Just Padding This Feature Are You?: Vermont had the lowest unemployment rate of the several states at 2.1%, while Alaska had the highest, 6.3%.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow pretends to give a guest a deal on a room. Today’s Diary. 

Anyway, I told him I couldn’t give him the corporate lodging rate, but I made a big fuss over giving the $129 rate I was going to give him anyway, a time-proven way to make the guest think he is getting a deal.  

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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The Bottom Ten/Preseason Q&AAnd so it begins, the dregs of the dregs, the worst of the worst, begin their quests for Bottom Ten glory.

What in the hell is Zero Week?: In the past, early games all featured teams that were scheduled to play at Hawaii later that year. This was to allow them an extra week off later on. (If you go to Hawaii you also get to play an extra game. The extra game was allowed to help schools offset the cost of having to travel to Hawaii.) 

Refreshingly, however, Zero Week has been turned into merely another way for ESPN to make money, as Florida and Miami play Saturday and neither team is playing in Hawaii this season. 

Editor’s Note: The Preseason Q&A and the Week 1 and Week 2 surveys, both NCAA and NFL, are with the compliments of the Bottom Ten pollsters. After that, they will be behind a paywall. 

The good news is there will be a special offer during Week 2.

On This Date
In 1977 – The United States launches Voyager 2 from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a mission to explore the outer planets. Voyager 2 would reach Jupiter in 1979, Saturn in 1981, Uranus in 1986 and Neptune in 1989. Voyager 2 left the Solar System in 2018 – the second spacecraft to do so – and is now 11.2 billion miles away from Earth. Her sister Voyager 1, has also left the Solar System and is 13.6 billion miles away, the farthest man-made object from Earth. Both have sufficient power to continue to send data back to Earth until 2025. 

In 2016 – The United States women’s basketball team wins their sixth consecutive Olympic gold medal, defeating Spain 101-72 in the gold medal game. The last team other than the Americans to win the women’s basketball gold medal was the Unified Team at the 1992 Barcelona Games. The Unified Team/Soviet Union and the US are the only teams to win the gold medal since women’s basketball was introduced to the Olympics at the 1976 Montreal Games. The United States went 8-0 in the tournament, their closest game a 19-point victory over France in the semifinals. 

In 1977 – The Emotions are at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the first of five non-consecutive weeks with Best of My Love. It was the second of three Top 40 hits for the Emotions and the song was written by Earth, Wind & Fire members Maurice White and Al McKay. Earlier, the song had spent four non-consecutive weeks at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart and was Billboard’s third-biggest song of the year. It also won a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.

Quotebook
Do not trouble your hearts with thought of the road tonight. Maybe the paths that you each shall tread are already laid before your feet, though you do not see them.
J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Yesterday’s trivia question will be answered in another column.  

Today’s Stumper
Who was the head coach of the US women’s basketball team at the 2016 Olympics? – Answer next time!

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The Bottom Ten/Preseason Q&A

The Bottom Ten/Preseason Q&A
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy 

With college football still beginning a week earlier than it used to – and with federal law requiring material before the season kicks off – your more or less fearless Bottom Ten pollsters are pleased to trot out the now-annual Preseason Q&A. 

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The Diary of a Nobody/August 19

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The Daily Dose/Monday, August 19, 2019

The Daily Dose/August 19, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Leading Off will return.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow buys the cat some different canned yummies. Today’s Diary.

I picked up some cat food at the retailer, too, HOWEVER, instead of getting a box of her treasured canned yummies – either the grilled fish or chicken – I got individual cans…I am not making that up…There’s a bigger assortment of individual cans than you get in the box and this morning when I got home the cat was treated to a tuna and shrimp combo that looked so good I almost made a sandwich out of it…For the cat, it was love at first taste.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1991 – The dissolution of the Soviet Union begins in earnest when some hardline communists get their shorts in a knot and overthrow Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who is on holiday in the Ukraine and discovered the coup when he tried to make a phone call and couldn’t get a dial tone. The coup lasted two days, thanks mainly to resistance led by Russian President Boris Yelstin, and Gorbachev was returned to power. Gorbachev resigned as Soviet president on Dec. 25th and the last vestige of the Soviet Union, its Council of Republics, voted the nation out of existence the following day. 

In 1951 – Eddie Gaedel makes his only major league appearance, pinch-hitting in the second game of a doubleheader, a 6-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Batting in the bottom of the first inning for leadoff hitter Frank Saucier, Gaedel was walked on four pitches by pitcher Bob Cain and then was immediately replaced by pinch-runner Jim Delsing. Gaedel, a professional entertainer, was 3 feet, seven inches tall, had a strike zone about the size of a coffee cup and remains the shortest player to appear in a major league game. 

In 1967 – All You Need Is Love by the Beatles is at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for its only week. The song had debuted in June on a live television show, with a recorded musical track, and was later included on the group’s Magical Mystery Tour album. The song was the second of three #1s for the Beatles in 1967 and their 14th of 20 #1 songs, a Hot 100 record that still stands. The song went to #1 in nine other countries, including Great Britain and West Germany,

Quotebook
Neither age nor size makes a man…It is the willingness to accept responsibility.
Louis L’Amour
The Lonesome Gods

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Carl Yastrzemski holds the American League record for most career plate appearances with 13,990. 

Today’s Stumper
Of the Beatles’ 20 #1 songs, how many spent one week at #1? – Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/August 18

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The Daily Dose/Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Daily Dose/August 18, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

The Sunday Bottom 5
The very best of the very worst of the week that was:

  1. President Trump, Real Estate MogulSunday Bottom 5 pollsters were “pretty sure” President Trump wanting to buy Greenland was fake news, however you never know with someone who thinks the moon is part of Mars…Turns out White House staff actually looked into it, which shows no one White House staff was either smart enough to know it was not doable, or wasn’t brave enough to tell Trump.
  2. New York YankeesLed by man-child manager, team now nothing more than petulant children who who argue and bang bats against dugout roof when they don’t get their way…Sunday Bottom 5 pollsters “pretty sure” this isn’t way game was meant to be played.  
  3. Jeffrey EpsteinStill dead child molester judged to have killed himself by NYC medical examiner…What does she know???…Clintons, British royal family, Elvis, still high on list of murder suspects for conspiracy theorists.
  4. Major League BaseballRecord for most three home run games by a player about to fall, as everyone except Amerian League pitchers seems to have accomplished feat in 2019…Sunday Bottom 5 pollsters “pretty sure” this isn’t way game is meant to be played either, but are reserving judgment until after attending 8/27 Red Sox/Rockies game.  
  5. Fake NewsPresident Trump Fact Check gets week off from usual spot in five hole, replaced with twaddle we were believing this week…Click here for fake news wrap up.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a N obody: Sparrow deals with a man wearing lederhosen. Today’s Diary. 

This is not my first shift at a hotel front desk, but I cannot recall ever seeing someone in lederhosen, complete with that hat, too…What’s more, he looked completely at home in lederhosen…He had a casual air about him that, rather subtly, also whispered hustler, tho exactly what kind of hustle you can run in lederhosen, especially here, still isn’t clear.

It’s Sparrow, an average man passing an average life.

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On This Date
In 1920 – The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution – allowing women to vote – is ratified when it is approved by the Tennessee legislature. The Amendment had been sent to the several states – after no small amount of contention in Congress – on June 4, 1919 and was first ratified by Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan on June 10th. The final state to ratify the Amendment was Mississippi in 1984. Mississippi was also the last state to ratify the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, doing so in 1995. 

In 1982 – Pete Rose of the Philadelphia Phillies established a new major league record with his 13,941 plate appearance as the Phillies defeat the Houston Astros 5-3 in 15 innings. Rose broke the record established in 1963 by Stan Musial and retired in 1986 with 15,890 plate appearances, a record that still stands. 

In 1973 – Diana Ross is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the only week with Touch Me in the Morning. It was the second solo #1 for Ross, who has also hit #1 twelve times with the Supremes. The song also peaked at #5 on Billboard’s soul chart and was Billboard’s tenth biggest hit of the year.

Quotebook
A ship does not sail with yesterday’s wind.
Louis L’Amour
The Walking Drum

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The United States has yet to have a spacecraft land on Mars. In 1978, four probes from the Pioneer 13 mission impacted the planet, but the Soviet Union remains the only country to land a spacecraft on Venus.  

Today’s Stumper
Who holds the American League record for most plate appearaces in a career? – Answer next time!

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