The 2 Week, $2 Test Drive

Friends, in addition to our regular subscription offers, we are pleased to offer you yet another way to give us your money: The 2 Week, $2 Test Drive.

That’s right, for $2 you get to read the site for the next two weeks – and includes the thrilling Bottom Ten/NCAA Final column – a great way to see if a regular subscription is for you. This subscription does NOT automatically renew, either. You pay only $2 for two weeks of access to The Diary of a Nobody and The Bottom Ten, plus our books. You may purchase as many Test Drives as you like.  

Dry, Technical Matter: due to some tech issues, Two Week Test Drive subscribers will not be able to read columns posted before December 9. 

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The Daily Dose/January 20, 2019

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

Leading Off: Capsule Book Review
The President’s Club: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

Though there have usually been past presidents knocking around – the last time there wasn’t was in 1973 after Lyndon Johnson died. It lasted until Richard Nixon resigned and himself become an ex-president – the establishment of an unofficial club of ex-presidents is rather recent. It started when President Truman enlisted the help of former President Herbert Hoover to help feed Europe after World War II. It has continued to this day and over the decades has marked one of the few times in Amerian politics when partisan politics has been tossed aside to do something constructive. As this book shows throughout, regardless of their triumphs and humiliations, the one bond club members share is that each member knows only ones that have occupied the Oval Office know what in the hell’s going on, because they are the ones who have shared the burden.

Sometimes this teamwork, or lack thereof, is public, as when president’s George Bush and Bill Clinton tag-teamed to raise money for disaster relief, and sometimes it is not, such as when candidate Richard Nixon did his darndest to undermine President Lyndon Johnson’s efforts at negotiating an end to the Vietnam War, something Johnson was well aware of but, curiously, never put to advantage.

The President’s Club is a lively, engaging and sometimes wryly funny book and will provide insights into the presidency that both presidential newcomers and veterans will enjoy.

Final Ranking: B. Highly recommended.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: Sparrow chats about the big sellers at the sundry stand and the cookie tray he prepares at the hotel, plus it’s Asian night at The Shire for dinner, tho The Wife doesn’t permit the use of chopsticks.

…then sometime in the afternoon, I am not entirely sure when, they put out a tray of cookies…Stay away from these…I don’t think anyone is under any delusions that they are fresh from the oven, but neither can you be entirely sure how long they’ve been sitting…These things keep forever and will probably be the only foodstuffs remaining after the next time an asteroid barrels into Earth.

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On This Date
In 1937 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated president of the United States for the second time, becoming the first president to be inaugurated on January 20. This followed the passage of the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1933, which mandated this. The amendment also fixed the starting date of the new Congress on January 3. Previously both a new presidential term and the beginning of a new Congress had been on March 4th.

In 1968 – The Houston Cougars defeat the UCLA Bruins 71-69 at the Houston Astrodome, in what then called the Game of the Century. The game was a rematch of a national semifinal from the previous season when the Bruins had defeated the Cougars and the loss ended UCLA’s 47-game winning game streak. It was also the first regular season college basketball game broadcast nationwide in prime time and the attendance of 52,693 was the largest for a college basketball game up to that time. The Astrodome was in a football configuration for the game, and the court, which came from the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, was in the middle of the arena, far from the nearest seats.

In 1962 – The Twist by Chubby Checker is #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the second consecutive week, and third non-consecutive week. The song had also hit #1 for one week in September 1960 and while it is not uncommon for a song to drop from the top spot and return a week or two later, The Twist remains the only song in chart history to hit #1 in separate chart runs.

Quotebook
I had found what I was looking for- a man like myself, but one who in his search for meaning had discovered a worthwhile object for his life; who had paid every price and not counted it a sacrifice; who was paying it still and would pay it till he died; who cared nothing for compromise, nothing for his pride, nothing for ourselves or the opinion of others; who had reduced his life to the one thing that mattered to him, and was free.
John LeCarre
The Secret Pilgrim

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The first time an airplane took off from a ship was on November 14, 1910, when Eugene E ly took off from the USS Birmingham at Hampton Roads, Virginia.

Today’s Stumper
Who was the play-by-play announcer for the national TV broadcast of the UCLA/Houston Game of the Century. ? –Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 19

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The Daily Dose/January 19, 2019

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

Leading Off
Friends, all your fave Daily Dose features – Leading Off, On This Date, Quotebook, Trivia – will return.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: Sparrow and The Wife dig out from the blizzard.

On the way to the hotel I got stuck behind a car that had got stuck in the snow…It was the on-ramp to the highway and the car had California plates the so kids probably had some zero clue what in the hell they were doing because there really wasn’t all that much snow, altho if you’re from California it probably looked like an avalanche…I got out and walked up – more to see how long this was going to hold me up than to offer any real assistance – and Officer Lisa from the cops rolled up and they were back on the road in short order.

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 18

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The Daily Dose/January 18, 2019

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

Leading Off: Capsule Book Review
Leading Off will return. We had an item planned, but we are completely snowed in today and must deal with that.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodyAll of Sparrow’s drivel from Wednesday, including another trip to the dentist.

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On This Date
In 1911 – Eugene Ely lands an airplane on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay, the first time an airplane lands on a ship. Pennsylvania was an armored cruiser, whose after deck was modified to receive a landing aircraft and the flight did not originate on Pennsylvania as Ely had taken off from an airfield in nearby San Bruno. Pennsylvania would later be named the Pittsburgh, to free the Pennsylvania name for a new battleship.

In 1958 – Willie O’Ree makes his NHL debut for the Boston Bruins, the first black to play in the NHL. O’Ree would play in one other game that season and would return to the Bruins for 43 games in the 1960-61 season. He would spend most of the rest of his professional career with the Los Angeles Blades and the San Diego Gulls of the Western Hockey League and he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this past year.

In 1986 – Dionne (Warwick) and Friends are at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the first of four weeks with That’s What Friends Are For. The song was written by Burt Bacharach and Carol Bayer Sager and also featured Elton John, Gladys Knight and Stevie Wonder. It would later spend three weeks at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart, won Grammy Awards for Song of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group and was Billboard’s #1 single for 1982.

Quotebook
I realize that is aiming high, but I think it is not a very satisfying accomplishment for me to aim at a more modest goal and achieve it.
Woody Allen

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Luis Jose Monje was the person executed in the United States before Gary Gilmore. Colorado executed Monje on June 2, 1967.

Today’s Stumper
When was the first time an airplane took off from a ship? –Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 17

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The Daily Dose/January 17, 2019

The Daily Dose/January 17, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Leading Off will return.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: There is big news on the convenience store front in the small town, plus Sparrow, citing the weather, declines to make his usual Wednesday trip to the Mexican joint in the next county.

When I got home I went to the convenience store for a couple of those sandwich deals that come on a croissant…This is hardly in step with the healthy eating The Wife and I have been doing for the past six weeks…But it’s hardly as if I eat healthy at the Mexican joint and I’m good for 19 of 21 meals every week, up from the old average of being good for three meals each week. 

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On This Date
In  1977 – Executions resume in the United States for the first time in nearly ten years, as Utah executes convicted murderer Gary Gilmore. Gilmore had been condemned for a murder committed the previous July, had waived all appeals and was annoyed that others, like his mother and the ACLU, tried to stop his execution. After his death, his corneas were transplanted in two other people and after an autopsy, he was cremated.

In 1999 – The Atlanta Falcons earn their first Super Bowl berth, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 30-27 in overtime to win the NFC Championship Game. A missed field goal by the Vikings late in the fourth quarter led to a game-tying touchdown by the Falcons as the Vikings became the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 15-1 and not win the Super Bowl. The Falcons would lose Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19 to the Denver Broncos.

In 1981 – Kool & the Gang is at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart – then known as the Hot Soul Singles chart – for the fourth of six consecutive weeks with Celebration. It was their twelfth Top 10 hit on the soul chart and fifth #1. In February, Celebration would become Kool & the Gang’s only #1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Quotebook
This species could have been so great, and now everybody just wants a new Salad Shooter or sneakers with lights in them. This is what we’ve settled for.
George Carlin

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
I’ll Never Smile Again by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra with Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers was the first #1 song Billboard’s Best Selling Singles chart, on July 27, 1940.

Today’s Stumper
Before Gary Gilmore, who was the last person executed in the United States? –Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 16

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The Daily Dose/January 16, 2019

The Daily Dose/January 16, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off: We asked for it and we got it
The most prosperous nation in human history is approaching the end of its first month of making some of its employees work for free. They will have missed two paychecks and while they’ll eventually be paid the money they’ve earned that is not doing them a whole lot of good now.

(As we’ve noted here before, we don’t have to worry about whether or not the president and Congress and their staffs are getting paid during the shutdown. Essential government employees get paid during shutdowns and no one is more essential to this fiasco than the president and Congress.)

Everyone associated with this should be ashamed of themselves but no one really is. The president certainly isn’t. He is maximizing his only real talent of drawing attention to himself and he is accustomed to holding out and getting his way besides. The Democrats certainly aren’t feeling any shame; sniffing blood, they are also giving a clinic in hunkering down and circling the wagons. The GOP itself might be, but long ago they went all-in with a candidate and a president they never really wanted in the first place and they will continue to tolerate this.

We are tolerating it, too. We are allowing our government to completely hamstring our country. We are tolerating our government saying, in essence:

Here are the chains we have for you. Put them on.

A hundred years from when all new people are looking back on this period, they may well be looking back at the beginning of the end of The Great American Experiment, America having been tossed aside History’s scrap heap, along with, among others, the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union.

Or, perhaps, they will look at an America that collectively declared they’d had enough of perpetual war, of fiscal insanity, of a partisan, fractured and bickering government and went and did something about it at the ballot box.

We’ll see.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody
Dr Sparrow takes yet more water readings at the hotel and there is a house guest at The Shire.

I took more water readings at the hotel this morning…A classically trained scientist, I suppose, I simply needed more data before submitting my results for peer review in Nite Auditor’s Water Journal…

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On This Date
In 1605 – The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha – commonly known as Don Quixote – by Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid. Sales were strong from the start, despite the fact most of a shipment to the New World was lost. Don Quixote has long been considered one of the founding works of western literature and remains the second-translated book in human history, trailing only the Bible.

In 1869 – The University of Chicago defeats the University of Iowa 15-12 in Iowa City in the first college basketball game featuring five players on a side. The original 13 rules for the game, written by James Naismith in 1892, did not specify the number of players on a side and, previously, anywhere from seven to nine players had been used. Some sources give the date of this game as January 18.

In 1943 – Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra is at #1 on Billboard’s Best Selling Singles chart – Billboard’s very first chart, established in 1940 – with There Are Such Things. Vocals were by Frank Sinatra and the song was the fourth and final #1 single Sinatra and Dorsey would have together. The song spent four weeks at #1 before dropping out of the top spot for a week and would return to #1 for one more week on February 27.

Quotebook
Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished.
Miguel de Cervantes
Don Quixote
Editor’s Note: click here to read commentary from Gaylon on this quote, from the old Thought for the Day feature.

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The parents of Elizabeth I were Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn.

Today’s Stumper
What was the first #1 song Billboard’s Best Selling Singles chart? –Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 15

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