The Daily Dose/Monday, January 17, 2022

The Daily Dose/January 17, 2022
By Gaylon Kent – America’s Funniest Guy™

Leading Off
Notes from around the human experience. 

CAPSULE BOOK REVIEW: Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow: One of the pleasures of reading biographies of those who are living down the ages is having confirmed things you might only have suspected, or finding out things you didn’t know at all.

Now You Know: One, while a significant landowner, Washington had extravagant tastes and was generally strapped for cash. Two, while Washington never had wooden teeth (nor did he ever admit to chopping down a cherry tree) he eventually lost all his teeth and tried a variety of forms of dentures over the years, none of them satisfactory. 

Oh Hell, Let’s Leave It For Future Generations: Like others, he fretted over slavery but, also like others, Washington didn’t do anything about it while alive. His will, however, did specify the slaves he owned (as opposed to dowery slaves owned by his wife Martha’s estate) were to be freed after Martha’s death, a wonderful way to put a price on her head. Martha, no dummy, realized this and freed George’s slaves short after he died. 

Running The Numbers: Hardly atypical of the era, Martha Washington buried two husbands, four children and seven siblings over her long life. 

Back On Message: Despite winning the Revolution, Washington was not a great general. Like nation’s throughout history, the British found it difficult to fight on another continent and the French certainly did their part for the American cause. Washington’s great strength as a leader was his ability to always keep the ultimate goal in mind and to read and inspire others, to say this is where we are and this is where we are going, so strap it on and follow me. 

The More Things Change…The More They Don’t: It was also comforting to know that America under President Washington was as much a partisan and bickering mess as it is today, with Thomas Jefferson, in particular, a conniving rascal. 

’Tis Well: The chronicle of Washington’s death was adroit and poignant, a trait we’ve noticed from other biographers as if the final act of a life is deserving of more diligence and care than the other parts. 

Your Daily Dose Rating Scale: 1 – The best the medium can offer; 2 – Very good; 3 – Good; 4 – Average; 5 – A steaming pile. 

Final Rating: B: Regular readers of this crap know we do not issue the highest mark willy-nilly and we are not going to issue it here. But this was really good, as good a biography as we’ve read and this wasn’t our first. 

The Bottom Line: Washington: A Life is highly recommended for general readers. Washington scholars, as well as others well-read in the era, will find it has merit, too. Very well done. 

Today At The Site
Writing worth reading. Usually. 

The Diary of a Nobody – Sparrow has a funny incident at the gym. Today’s Diary. 

I’d just gotten to my locker after soaking when some broad’s at the door yapping for her husband in a tone that sounded like a sergeant ordering his troops to fall in with the husband – who was a row or two over – answering up in a tone that indicated frequent usage over the years, a clear indication they were not Couple of the Year…


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On This Date
History’s long march. 

In  1377 – The papacy returns to Rome when Pope Gregory XI returns after having left Avignon, France in September 1376. Gregory’s death the following year was followed by the Western Schism, a time when bishops in both Rome and Avignon, and later Pisa, would claim to be popes. Popes had ruled from Avignon since 1309, which followed a period of conflict between Rome and the French crown and Gregory remains the last French pope. 

In 1991 – Andy Van Hellemond establishes a new NHL record for most games by a referee in a 4-2 Montreal Canadiens win over the St Louis Blues. It was the 1,173rd NHL game for Van Hellemond, research into whose record he broke was inconclusive and the current mark is 1,904, held by Kerry Fraser, who retired in 2010. Van Hellemond began his NHL career in 1969, retired after the 1996 season and worked 19 Stanley Cup Finals. 

In 1981 – John Lennon is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the fourth of five consecutive weeks with Starting Over. It was Lennon’s tenth of 13 Top 40 hits as a solo act or with the Plastic Ono Band, his fifth of eight Top 10 hits and his second of two #1s (Whatever Gets You Through the Night, one week, 1974). The song went to #1 in seven other countries, including Spain and Great Britain and was Billboard’s fourth-biggest song of the year. Lennon had been murdered the month before. 

Some Philosophy Crap
The wisdom of the ages. Whatever.

Sometimes as I sit idly on Walden Pond, I cease to live and begin to be.
Henry David Thoreau

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Knowledge is power.

Adolf Hitler was born in Braunau am Inn, in what was then Austro-Hungary and is now Austria. 

Today’s Stumper
Match wits with Gaylon. It’s not that hard.

How long did the Western Schism last? – Answer next time!  

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