The Thought for the Day – Winston Churchill

I felt as if I were walking with destiny, and that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial… – Winston Churchill

Winston Churchill was prime minister of Great Britain during World War II (and again in the 1950’s). He was an inspirational and charismatic man who, like FDR and Lincoln, remains a great example of a leader whom History put in the right position at the right time. Churchill was also an army officer and a writer, earning the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953.

Today’s Thought reveals a trait we’ve noted in great people and that we’ve talked about here before: they had a deep-seated belief in themselves and what was meant to happen in their lives. This trait is not reserved for good people, either. Another World War II leader who felt as if he were merely living out was meant to happen to him was Adolf Hitler who, of course, is as evil a man as our species has produced.

Both Churchill and Hitler displayed the four traits that attend success.

One, they had a plan for their life. Neither doubted they were destined for the history books and would live down the ages.

Two, they made the execution of that plan the primary purpose of their life. Hitler made it his sole purpose while Churchill chose to bother with the distractions of a wife and children.

Three, both came back strong from defeat and the other setbacks that attend any achievement.

Four, both believed their success was a foregone conclusion.

These four traits are not reserved for those in the history books, either. They are traits displayed by anyone who has achieved anything of merit. They’re traits you’ve displayed when you’ve achieved something worthwhile and we’ve even displayed them from time to time on the occasion of one of our few and modest attainments.

What destiny are you walking with? What has your past life prepared you for? If you have a plan for your life, if you execute that plan, if you come back strong from defeat and if you believe success is merely a foregone conclusion, your path will take exactly where you are meant to go in this life.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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The Daily Dose/January 14, 2017

The Daily Dose/January 14, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

CIRCLE OF LIFE AND ALL THAT: We don’t get too worked up over death here at the Daily Dose, and very little space in this column is spent on people dying. The death rate remains – as it has since time immemorial – a healthy 100 percent and each of us has a death to look forward to. Even our own death is a foregone conclusion, though we hardly see how humanity will muddle forth without this column, The Thought for the Day and The Bottom Ten.

Fly In The Ointment: Not only is our end inevitable, but to make our journey on this planet completely fraught with peril the extent of that time is unknown its end is indeterminate. So we’re not in a state of depression over the recent deaths of three men who influenced a wanna-be sports announcer and, later, a new sports official.

We would, however, like to respectfully request of those who are in charge of these things stop having my early influences die in packs of three.

Dry, Technical Matter: Earlier this year Dick Enberg died. We grew up in LA when Enberg still did California Angels games and boy oh, boy, LA was a great place, and the 1970’s were a great time, to be a kid who wanted to be a sports announcer because Enberg was just the tip of the iceberg. Vin Scully, Chick Hearn, Jiggs McDonald and then Bob Miller were all there to be enjoyed and influenced by. Not only that, Jimmy Lennon was the greatest ring announcer ever and John Ramsey is still the ideal PA announcer, doing PA at seemingly everything except the high school track regionals. There was Chick Anderson calling races at Santa Anita. All of these men are on the short list of the best there was at what they did.

Then Keith Jackson, the Voice of College Football for a lot of us, died Friday and Doug Harvey, one of ten umpires in baseball’s Hall of Fame, died Saturday. 

We’ve done some umpiring ourselves and Harvey’s influence, primarily about how a good umpire conducts himself and goes about his work, was profound. We met him once, too. Many years ago we were radio announcers and amongst our duties was announcing the games for Central Union High School in El Centro, California, where Harvey graduated from. He noted the best pitcher he ever saw was Sandy Koufax and the toughest call was a close swipe tag. Harvey’s death gets personal, too, because we know his son Todd.

The Bottom Line: We don’t get too worked up over death. The ashes of my dad, mom and brother are under the bed and their deaths didn’t cause us to weep and rend garments and we kept their ashes mainly because the had to go someplace.  

But if whoever is in charge of these things could space these out a little more, we’d be obliged.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: The Congress of the Confederation ratifies the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution, on this date in 1784.

All Over But The Shoutin’: While the war was long over, the Treaty of Paris still had not taken effect yet. Great Britain ratified the Treaty in April, and the Treaty officially went into force on May 12 when everyone exchanged ratified copies in Paris.

Dry, Technical Matter: The Treaty of Paris has ten articles. Some were ignored and some, especially the ones concerning boundaries, were difficult to enforce because no one really knew what in the hell was going on there. Only the Article 1, which grants the United States sovereign and independent status, is still in force.

Great Moments In Meeting To Defeat Hitler: American President Franklin Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill begin a ten-day conference in Casablanca, Morocco on this date in 1943. Known by History as the Casablanca Conference, it was held to plan further Allied strategy in World War II. The conference produced the Casablanca Declaration, which announced the Allies would accept nothing less than unconditional surrender from the Axis powers.

Up, Up And Away: Prior to the Casablanca Conference, FDR became the first president of the United States to fly by airplane, leaving from Miami to Casablanca on January 11.

“We’ll Be Back After A Station Break.”: The Today program debuts on this date in 1952 with Dave Garroway hosting. It is still on the air today, the fifth oldest American television show.

Hut, Hut, Hike: The first NFL Pro Bowl is played on this date in 1951. 53,676 fans wander into the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum to watch the American Conference, led by Cleveland Browns quarterback Otto Graham, defeat the National Conference 28-27.

It was the first NFL all-star game since 1942 and came three weeks after the Cleveland Browns had defeated the Los Angeles Rams 30-28 in the NFL Championship Game.

Quotebook: If you are extraordinary, be extraordinary. People only err when they try to be who they are not. Deng Ming Dao, 365 Tao

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: There wasn’t a Trivia feature last time, silly!

Today’s Stumper: What are the four American TV shows that have been on the air longer than Today? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – Gore Vidal

– That is ignorance, I fear.
– No, not ignorance. Simply another kind of knowledge. – Gore Vidal, Creation

Gore Vidal is no stranger to regular readers of this feature. His influence on us is profound and we will dispense with the usual biographical paragraph, except to say, not for the first time, that for our money Vidal does a brilliant job of providing the insights into our human experience you pay us writers to produce. We do wish we would have noted which characters were having this little chat that makes up today’s Thought. We suspect it was the main character, Cyrus Spitama, who’s fictional, and Confucius, who’s not, but we don’t know for sure.

Knowledge is an interesting animal. When we’re young we tend to think we have a lot of it. At least we thought we did, both knowledge about ourselves and knowledge about everything else. The only question was how long it would take us to accomplish our laundry-list of goals and achieve complete world domination.

So you set out and chase some dreams and find that ambition doesn’t serve you well. You set out to something, do it, then one day you wake to find you’ve come to end of your interest. Knowledge you didn’t have before. Then you try something else, fall short of your ultimate goal but, with some patience and work, you find life issues you a completely satisfactory result. More knowledge you didn’t have before.

All this leads to one of the great benefits of the years: wisdom. Not only the wisdom of having heeded life’s lessons but the knowledge there is still much we don’t know. This could be because we’re not ready to know it or, perhaps, it’s unknowable or because we don’t need or want to know it.  

Simply another kind of knowledge.

What we suspect might be ignorance is merely knowledge we haven’t been made aware of yet. We must not be hasty in labeling others ignorant. After all, there are some who might label our knowledge as ignorant, too. Knowledge can be mined from anyone, if only we’re open to it.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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The Daily Dose/January 13, 2017 – Capsule Underwear Review

The Daily Dose/January 13, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

CAPSULE UNDERWEAR REVIEW: Duluth Trading Company Buck Naked 93 Percent Nylon, Seven Percent Spandex Blend Boxer Brief: Underwear is a pretty standard present from The Wife for me and her kids, so it was not the Upset of the Year when she started making her usual noises about getting me some for Christmas. It was rather pressing, too, because for the past three weeks or so one pair of Under Armour boxer briefs had been MIA. We usually only roll with three pairs, so this meant I was down a full one-third of my personal underwear inventory.

So Much For Brand Loyalty: The switch to Duluth Trading Company comes after many years of loyalty to Under Armour boxer briefs. And, really, we had no complaints with UA. We never have. We go way back with Under Armour, having discovered them when back in our early sports officiating days. Under Armour is first-class gear and some are still providing good service after 15+ years.

But we have lots of Duluth Trading Company stuff, too. Boots, a vest for warmer weather and our winter coat, among other things, and this also is the first-class gear my snotty ass demands.

He Is Risen: At least they got here before Easter. The wife admitted she “probably” had not ordered them in time for Christmas, but she could’ve sworn she’d bought them in time for arrival before the New Year. She didn’t. We did some checking from time to time and were able to track its progress from Michigan to Nepal to Malaysia where, apparently, it was transferred to a Kon-Tiki type raft for transport to the States. They didn’t even make it in time for Epiphany. 

Dry, Technical Matter: We go way back with underwear, too, having worn it since we outgrew diapers. At first, we went with the whitey tighties, first from Sears, then from JCPenny when Dad switched – for reasons which remain a family secret – sometime in the mid-70’s. We wore Penny’s briefs for years, too, the ones with the blue and gold stripes on the waistband

There really weren’t a whole hell of a lot of options back then. You had briefs and you had boxers because us humans had not yet evolved to the point where we were smart enough to combine them into boxer briefs.

There was a period in eighth grade when we did wear boxers. These were the late-70’s in Los Angeles and shorts were short back then and it was cool to have your boxers hanging below your cutoffs. I  am not making that up. I did this for about month before deciding this was silly.

Final Rating: A: Duluth Trading Company puts out first-class underwear. Highly recommended.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Robert C Weaver is appointed the first secretary of Housing and Urban Development by President Lyndon B Johnson on this date in 1966. He would take office on January 18, the first black presidential cabinet member. He would serve until December 1968 and would later serve as president of Baruch College and would later teach urban affairs at Hunter College.

“Hi Convicts, I‘m Johnny Cash”: Johnny Cash plays two shows at Folsom State Prison in California on this date in 1968. Cash was joined by his wife June, Carl Perkins and the Statler Brothers. 

This Is Casey Counting Them Down: The resulting album, with 15 cuts mainly from the first show, would hit #1 on the country chart and #15 on the national album chart. The album marked a comeback for Cash, who had not had much chart success while be battled a drug problem. All told, including re-releases in 1999 and 2008, At Folsom Prison has sold over three million copies.

This Was Definitely A Violation Of Company Policy: The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia runs aground and almost sinks off Isola del Giglio off the western coast of Italy on this date in 2012. The Costa Concordia was on the first leg of a cruise around the Mediterranean and of the 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew members on board, 32 died.

The collision with underground rocks happened when the captain, Francesco Schettino decided to get cute and sail closer to the island than originally planned. The collision caused a 175-foot long gash on the port side and resulted in a loss of propulsion and electrical power.

Schettino bravely fled his ship, though he would later claim he had fallen into a lifeboat, which nobody really believed. He was found guilty of manslaughter in 2015 and sentenced to 16-years in prison, a sentence he began serving last May.

Some Places Have Interns For This: Salvaging the Costa Concordia took time. Fuel and oil were extracted the following March and the ship wasn’t righted until September 2013. In July 2014 it was towed to Genoa and complete scrapping of the ship was completed this past summer.

Quotebook: …there is not effort without error and shortcoming; – Theodore Roosevelt, Man in the Arena speech, 4/23/1910

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: Oprah Winfrey has won one Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2011.

Today’s Stumper: The Trivia feature will return.

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The Thought for the Day – Dan Duffy

No balls, no blue chips. – Dan Duffy, MS2(SS), United States Navy

Dan Duffy was an old shipmate of mine an old diesel submarine, the USS Blueback (SS-581). He was a pretty good cook and from time to time we found ourselves partners in the friendly spades games that happened during the odd hours whenever four of us had some time to kill. We were both pretty good and we made a good team and he had a habit of uttering today’s Thought whenever I took some risks bidding my hand risks, that combined with my modest skills and his confidence in me, usually paid off.

No balls…

It takes courage to get on in this world, but you might be surprised at how little courage is required. Sure, some steps are momentous and require not only courage but a huge leap of faith, but sometimes only the decision to set out and give something a try is the difference between success and failure. As we like to say, no one climbs Mount Everest while wandering around in the Gobi Desert. 

Now, simply setting out does not guarantee success. There are billions of people on this planet all leading random lives and sometimes matters are out of your control. However, you spend enough time on your path, what’s meant to happen will come to you. Some dreams you will catch – life’s great prize. Some dreams will elude you – life’s great lesson. Some dreams you will continue to chase until you die – life’s great challenge.

…no blue chips.

We cannot be afraid of the successes and failures that awaits us. Both may be out of whatever realm we are accustomed to, but the blue chips are worth the work and courage it takes to rake in.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.



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The Daily Dose/January 10, 2017

The Daily Dose/January 10, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

USA! USA!: This country has completely lost its mind.

Fresh of her speech accepting the Cecil B DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the Golden Globe Awards this past weekend, Oprah Winfrey – Oprah Winfrey! – is now being touted by some as a candidate for president of the United States in 2020.

Now, Oprah certainly has her talents. Like our current president, she has a supreme ability to draw attention to herself. Unlike our current president, she has other talents, too, and she has combined these talents with no small amount of ambition and an immense capacity for work to achieve things that a lot of people – male or female, white or black – would, to steal a Frank Sinatra line, kill Grandma for.

We read Oprah’s speech. It wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t Speech of the Year, but it was all right, about what you would expect a woman of Oprah’s stature to deliver under the circumstances. She talked about the inspiration she received watching Sidney Poitier receiving an Oscar on TV as a girl and thanked some people that helped her on her journey and talked about a new day dawning in how women and men interact with each other. She talked about a “culture broken by brutally powerful men” and said “their time is up” three times. 

Good. We hope it is. Us men have a lot to answer for in our quest for wealth and power and it is about time we are held accountable.

Can We Talk?: But let’s be honest, Oprah is no more qualified to be president than Donald Trump. Neither this speech nor, really, anything she’s done in the past has indicated she has a substantive, long-term vision for our country.

OTOH: For a long time our government has been a partisan, fractured and bickering mess, so can you blame people for running Oprah’s name up the flagpole? Not really, because who else is there? Can you name one current major party politician that has a substantive, long-term vision for our country and the charisma to get elected? I  can’t, and you probably can’t either.

The Bottom Line: Oprah for President will go about as far as Oprah wants it to go. America elected Donald Trump, so we write Oprah off at our peril.

HUT, HUT HIKE: Nick Saban, the head football coach at Alabama, was probably already on the list of the very best major division college coaches before Alabama won another national championship Monday night, but his place on that list is secure now. Put his name up there with Wooden, Auriemma, Bryant and Dedeaux.

Monday’s 26-23 overtime win over Georgia in the College Football Playoff title game was Saban’s sixth national championship overall – tied with Bear Bryant for the most in the poll era – and fifth in eleven seasons at Alabama. Saban also won a national title at LSU.

It will be interesting to see if he stays. Saban’s head coaching record in the NFL was mediocre and he may well feel he has some unfinished business there. He hardly needs any more collegiate championships and the New York Giants certainly are dragging feet in finding another head coach, though they may well be waiting until the New England Patriots have finished their season.

OH, WHAT THE HELL: Julius Caesar, commanding the 13th Legion, crosses the Rubicon River and begins a Roman civil war generally named after him on this date in 49 BC. Caesar was fresh off a number of stirring military victories that extended all the way to the English Channel, which some in the Roman Senate saw as a threat, so they ordered him to step down from his command.

F*ck That Noise: This is hardly what ambitious men hell-bent on world dominance want to hear, and Caesar ignored the order, remaining in command of the 13th Legion.

Fly In The Ointment: Crossing the Rubicon meant Caesar was entering Roman Italy under arms, considered an act of war. Caesar’s Civil War would last four years, result in his victory and lead to the establishment of the Roman Empire. Caesar may or may not have said “the die is cast”. Though generally attributed to him, History is unclear on the matter.

Some Places Have Interns For This: The Rubicon River was then the border between Gaul and Italy and “crossing the Rubicon” remains in our vernacular, referring to the crossing of a line of demarcation from which there is no going back.

Great Moments In Sending Radar Waves To The Moon And Having Them Bounce Back To Earth: Man reaches the Moon for the first time when the US Army Signal Corps sends radar signals to the Moon and receives them back here on Earth on this date in 1946.

Known as Project Diana, probably after a cute secretary in the office, though perhaps after the Roman moon goddess, the test established that radio waves could penetrate Earth’s atmosphere, establishing communications with manned space missions was possible, and it also established that communications could be bounced off the Moon to reach other places on Earth, though this advancement was rendered obsolete with the advent of satellite communications.

FunFact: The test also showed the Moon was 238,000 miles from Earth on that day, about its average distance. Due to the Moon’s elliptical orbit, its distance from Earth varies, from as close 225,000 miles to as far away as 252,000 miles.

Quotebook: Let everyone mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made.Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: 14 astronauts who flew in the Apollo program, including those who flew to the Moon but did not land, are still alive today.  

Today’s Stumper: How many Oscars has Oprah Winfrey won? – Answer next time!

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The Bottom Ten/Best Of 2017

The Bottom Ten/Best Of 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Vote early, vote often!

The polls are open in the first ever reader voting for the Bottom Ten Line of the Year!

And what a selection to choose from! Every poll from this past season was reviewed, every line fussed over and only the very best were selected for your review, with Bottom Ten pollsters “pretty sure” you’ll have a tough time picking your faves.

List your faves in the Facebook comments box below. And if your fave isn’t listed, no problemo, merely enter it in the comments box. If you are one of the five (5) people on this planet without a Facebook account, feel free to email your selections to gaylonthewriter at gmail. 

Entries are listed without regard to how the team finished, so early entries for the Chargers and Jaguars are included even though the Chargers finished the season winning nine of twelve while the Jaguars are still in playoffs of all the silly things.

Winners will be announced next week when the first-ever Bottom Ten Tenny Awards are issued.

The 2017 fiasco:

1. Rice NCAA/Week 1
One of those “academic” schools, Rice players getting big props for predicting Hurricane Harvey months in advance, getting athletic department to move opener to Sydney, Australia.

2. Louisiana-Famous Dead Person (UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe) NCAA/Week 1
While Lafayette is, of course, named for French army officer, Monroe not named for former president of the United States, but for legendary, local Cajun accordion player Billy “Sugar Plum” Monroe.

3. Army NCAA/Week 1
Cadets expected to be hampered by offseason Defense Secretary ruling – to help better prepare for future battles against ISIS – requiring playbook to be written in Farsi.

4. Hamilton Tiger-Cats NFL/Week 1
Lost a game earlier this season 60-1, which isn’t easy to do, even with current, lousy exchange rate.

5. East Carolina NCAA Week 2
First ever Pirate appearance in survey has B-10  staff scurrying to find East Carolina on map, though B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” it’s somewhere near West Carolina…Or maybe Finland.

6. UMess NCAA/Week 3
UMess only losing games by 31-23 margin, forcing coaching staff to really focus on basics this week, like giving up points off turnovers and jumping offsides at crucial times…

7. East Carolina NCAA/Week 3 
Lack of preparation cited for current skid, as coaching staff spending most of their time explaining why North and South Carolina are states but East Carolina is not.

8. Jacksonville Jaguars NFL/Week 4
Jaguars owner Genghis Khan subjects coaching staff to beating for not achieving goal of being on B-10 medal stand by Islamic New Year…

9. Silver Convention: UNLV/Nevada NCAA/Week 5
B-10 pollsters “pretty sure” this is first time two teams from gambling states have formed joint entry since Tijuana Tech and Monte Carlo A&M joined forces in 1960’s

10. NFL NFL/Week 5
Entire league expected to wipe asses at midfield before this week’s games, though plans to hold fists up during Tenny Awards – the annual B-10 awards show – still under construction.

11. Air Force NCAA/Week 6
Air Force hampered by President Trump order requiring Falcons to waterboard opposing ball carriers, resulting in NCAA record 23 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

12. Los Angeles Chargers NFL/Week 6
StubHub Center spokesman assures LA football fans tarps will be taken off seats in time for next month’s high school football playoffs…

13. Georgia Southern NCAA/Week 8
Coaching staff motivates team at halftime with inspiring speech about how “they came here to win B-10 titles and not be some middling, pansy-ass two (2) win team”.

14. Baylor NCAA/Week 8
To instill sense of chivalry in players in wake of sex abuse scandal, athletes now required to bow, say ‘top of the morning’ m’lady’ and squirt coeds with seltzer bottles instead of sexually assaulting them.

15. Vanderbilt NCAA/Week 8
Vanderbilt still feeling effects of turn-of-century merger of Athletic, Student Affairs departments as Drama Department students assigned temporary duty as defensive coaches require linebackers to really “get in touch with their inner self” while Ole Miss running backs blow past them for 252 yards rushing.

16. Earlham NCAA/Week 9
Team so bad squad has Nike logo on jerseys even though they are sponsored by Under Armour.

17. Tennessee at Cleveland NFL/Week 9:
Forget anthem protest, nation outraged at being force-fed 74 minutes of this crap, as teams thrill TV audience with seven (7) field goals, zero (0) touchdowns, 17 penalties in overtime game.

18. Rice NCAA/Week 10
Owls wore pink ribbons on helmets to show solidarity with other one-win schools missing out on B-10 medal stand…

19. Kansas NCAA/Week 11
Team so bad Memorial Stadium expansion fundraising focus has shifted from premium seating and video boards to new taquito stand for east concourse.

20. Air Force NCAA/Week 11
Though B-10 pollsters suitably patriotic, they still long for days when all three service academies were bad enough to combine for hilarious joint entry in order prevent complete military occupation of B-10 medal stand.

21. Charlotte NCAA/Week 13
B-10 pollsters really enjoyed research into team until realizing scantily clad girls weren’t Charlotte coeds, but models at Charlotte Russe website.

22. Cincinnati Bengals NFL/Week 13
Head coach Marvin Lewis still unable to shake ‘can’t lose the big one’ tag, as Bengals need big loss this week to even think about B-10 medal stand finish

23. 2017 Holiday Season NCAA/Interregnum Poll
Americans eagerly awaiting day when Amazon, Walmart give permission for holidays to begin with He Is Risen sales after Easter sunrise services.

24. Charlotte NCAA/Final
Fourth-year program at crossroads, but fan(s) confident 49ers will be able to turn corner and combine complete lack of tradition with coaches not good enough for ACC for continued B-10 success.

25. Earlham NCAA/Final
Incoming crop of future hotel desk clerks and bank tellers might be Quakers weakest recruiting class yet.

26. New York Giants NFL/Week 15
Giants ownership so intent on complimenting Vince Lombardi trophies with Dan Henning Trophy they fired coach, GM immediately after game, making them take taxi home

27. Bahamas Bowl NCAA/Bowl Game Edition
Thomas Robinson Stadium almost as bad a bowl facility as Yankee Stadium, with 50-yard line seats a mere 130 feet from field, behind running track, long jump/triple jump pits, detention area for opposition leaders.

28. Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman NCAA/Bowl Game Edition
Great game to watch if you’re doing shots every time announcer says Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman.


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The Thought for the Day – Gene Cernan

America’s challenge of today has forged man’s destiny of tomorrow.  – Gene Cernan

Gene Cernan was an American astronaut. He is best known as the commander of America’s last lunar mission, Apollo 17, and was the last human to set foot on the moon. Before becoming an astronaut Cernan flew fighter jets in the Navy, reaching the rank of Captain. Cernan died in January of last year at the age of 82.

Today’s Thought came as Cernan prepared to leave the Moon for the last time. Immediately before uttering today’s Thought, Cernan had noted that while man was leaving the Moon, he hoped they would return “not too long into the future”.

He was wrong. America, the only country able to show any leadership in this matter, took a flier on exploring other heavenly bodies. And, actually, not returning to the Moon was not all that bad. We had accomplished a lot there and interest in further Moon landings, both amongst the public and Congress, was waning, as evidenced by the fact that three future Apollo missions were canceled.

Not returning to the Moon was of no consequence. No, what hurt was that we’ve never gone to Mars. Regular readers know we yap about this seemingly every other day. Well, there’s a reason for that. We’ve always felt that landing on the Moon is our greatest achievement, a line of demarcation separating everything that came before from everything that followed like few other events in human history. However, instead of the summit of space exploration, it should have been the foundation for going farther and we’ve long felt we could have made Mars in the 1980’s had we cared to.

Success begets success, and our failure to go to Mars meant mankind has missed on future triumphs, successes and innovations. And tragedies, too, frankly, because man has never done any kind of exploration, be it across an ocean or across space, without someone dying. It’s the way the world is built.

America’s challenge of today…

There is a lesson in this for us, too. The challenges we face today will forge our destinies of tomorrow. Are we taking advantage of what nature and circumstance are presenting us today, or are we taking a flier on them? If we are going to get on in this world and live the lives we were meant to live, we had best be taking advantage of the challenges of today.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.

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The Daily Dose/January 9, 2018

The Daily Dose/January 9, 2017
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Notes from around the Human Experience…

UP, UP AND AWAY: John Young, an American astronaut who was one of three people to have flown to the Moon twice, died last week. He was 87. Young went into space six times, twice each with the Gemini, Apollo and space shuttle programs and was the ninth human to walk on the lunar surface, commanding Apollo 16 in 1972.

Fly In The Ointment: Young’s death leaves mankind with five men who can tell us what it’s like to walk on the moon, not that anybody particularly cares anymore. The youngest of these are Charles Duke and Harrison Schmitt, both of whom are 82 and within a few years our species will have no one left to tell us firsthand of man’s greatest adventure.

Our loss. Our nation’s loss. Our planet’s loss.

Numbers Game: The roughly 164.2 million people born after December 1972, when we left the Moon for the last time, are the ones who are really missing out. A bit more than half our country has no memory of going to the Moon or of the great national effort it took to get there. Their only memories, frankly, are of a country perpetually at war and mired in internal division and mass shootings.

Dry, Technical Matter: Today’s kids should be getting acquainted with an entirely new generation of explorer, those who have been to Mars and back. Some of them should be preparing for space exploration careers themselves. Instead of setting the pace for the future of manned space exploration, however, they are flocking to other fields. Our loss there, too, because not only are we denied the achievements themselves, but we have also been denied the technological and other innovations these endeavors would have provided.

Get Your Official Daily Dose Policy Right Here: Veteran readers of this crap know we feel we could’ve made Mars in the 1980’s if we had wanted to. We didn’t want to, though and America and the world missed out on the accomplishment a manned Martian landing would have brought. Sure, we send unmanned spacecrafts to Mars, and they’re pretty useful, frankly, able to everything a human can do except one thing:

Tell us what it’s like to be there!

The Bottom Line: Which is why we go. Which is why explorers have been going places no one has gone before since time immemorial. We are worse off for having stopped.

ON THIS DATE! ON THIS DATE!: Mankind’s irrational persecution of the Jews continues when 600 Jews in Basel, Switzerland – then part of the Holy Roman Empire – are burned herded into a barn, shackled and the burned to death on this date in 1349. Europe and Eurasia at the time were mired in the Black Plague and some Basel citizens blamed the Jews because they appeared to have had a lower mortality rate from the disease than Gentiles.

Jews were banished from Basel for 200 years, an edict which lasted until an earthquake in 1356, when Basel need Jewish money to help rebuild the city.

Not So FunFact: The plague is estimated to have killed between 30 and 60 percent of Europe’s population, which did not recover to pre-plague levels until the 17th century. The plague is believed to have been carried by fleas that rode on the back of the rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships that sailed the Mediterranean.

Can We Get A Selfie Here?: Ernest Shackleton and his Nimrod Expedition reach 88 degrees, 23 minutes south latitude on this date in 1909, then the farthest south any humans had gone. They were a mere 112 miles from the South Pole, but would get no further, forced to turn back when food and other supplies ran low.

It’s All Over: The Los Angeles Lakers lose a basketball game for the first time in two months on this date in 1972, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks 120-104. The loss ends their 33-game winning streak, the longest in the history of American major league sports. The streak had started with a 110-106 victory over the Baltimore Bullets on November 5, 1971.

The Postgame Show Is Brought To You By Brew 102: The Lakers broke the record of 20 games, held by both the Washington Capitols (1947-48, five games, 1948-49, 15 games) and Milwaukee (1970-71).

Is This The Party To Whom I Am Speaking?: The iPhone makes its debut at a gathering of Mac geeks in San Francisco on this date in 2007. It had been developed in secret over the past 30 months at a cost of $150 million. The iPhone would go on sale the following June 29th.

Quotebook: But in truth, success doesn’t demand a price. Every step forward pays a dividend. – Dr. David J. Schwartz

Answer To The Last Trivia Question: The longest State of the Union message by a president of the United States was 33,667 words delivered in writing by President Jimmy Carter in 1981.

Today’s Stumper: How many astronauts who flew in the Apollo program are still living? – Answer next time!

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The Thought for the Day – Anthony Trollope

…never think that you are not good enough yourself…My belief is that in life people will take you very much at your own reckoning. – Anthony Trollope

Anthony Trollope (1815-82) was an English novelist, primarily known for a series of novels known as the Chronicles of Barsetshire. Trollope was a prolific writer, known to set daily goals regarding how much he was going to write while also working as a postal inspector. Trollope also ran for the House of Commons in 1868 and finished last amongst four candidates.

…never think that you are not good enough yourself.

In any endeavor confidence is key. You must believe you have what it takes. It doesn’t matter the endeavor, either. It could be a tryout for the church choir or making a quilt for the county fair next summer or preparing for the Olympic Trials. Sometimes the difference between champion and runner-up is the champions deep-seated believe in himself. 

This deep-seated belief must be earned, however. You cannot go into an endeavor blindly believing in yourself because this is not confidence, this is cockiness, an emotion that does no one any good. Only when you enter the arena humbly and without expectation will the rewards come. Belief in yourself must be built on past success, confidence’s blade sharpened on the stone of experience.

My belief is that in life people will take you very much at your own reckoning…

How many times have you drawn conclusions about someone based on how they conducted or presented themselves? Probably a lot. Perhaps it was an opponent or someone you were interviewing for a job, how they projected themselves gave you a first impression, one that was probably pretty accurate.

It’s the same when people regard us. If we’re confident, if we look the part, if we exude energy and purpose people will sense that. If we’re slouched, or unenthusiastic or otherwise giving the impression of not being interested or caring, people will sense that, too.

Confidence is good. It is the sum of your experience and training, your efforts and your planning. While confidence itself does not guarantee success – there might be someone better than you – it is difficult to find success without it.

The Thought for the Day runs regularly. Quotes are from Gaylon’s private stock.


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