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Five Good Things About Casimir Pulaski

7 Mar

It’s his day!  City workers and members of some unions did not go to work in honor of Cas.

1.) A character on Star Trek: The Next Generation was named after him.  (Dr. Pulaski, season two)

2.) TWO holidays honor him – a state one in Illinois (first Monday in March) and a federal one (October 9).

3.) He stood up to Russia and Prussia, for Poland’s liberty.

4.) He was friends with Ben Franklin.

5.) He trained American soldiers and cavalry, using his own funds when necessary (often).


Five Good Things About Henry VIII

3 Mar

Henry VIII might not have been the best husband ever (he wasn’t) and he might have been crabby (he was) and morbidly obese in his later years (a true fact), but he did accomplish some neat stuff.  Admittedly, he was also kind of a jackass, so this is a somewhat charitable perspective.

1.) Bibliophile king.  In addition to owning a bunch of books, he also wrote – and published – one himself.

2.) He was one of the founders of the Royal Navy.  He DODECATUPLED the number of ships during his reign.  That’s so big I needed to make up a conjugation.  Its navy has proven pretty key to England on multiple occasions.

3.) Whether Catholic or Protestant, it’s pretty great that he allowed the Bible to be translated into English, for comprehension by the masses.  He was the first monarch to do this.  (Granted, the number of English-speaking countries limited his competition, but still!  Bible!  English!  16th century!)

4.) His coat of arms includes a red dragon.

5.) Via his Act of Succession, his son and two daughters succeeded him.  I think it’s pretty great that he recognized his daughters, as the younger one was a pretty stellar monarch.


Five Good Things About The Catcher in the Rye

1 Mar

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger isn’t my favorite book, but I read it anyway.  I think that qualifies me as a better-rounded reader.  I didn’t loathe it or anything, rather it just didn’t do much for me…Regardless, it does have some good points:

1.) The chapters are short.  I suspect this is because it was originally published in serial form (fact), but it breaks things up really nicely and keeps the flow of the pages quick.

2.) The sentence “All I can say is, don’t see it if you don’t want to puke all over yourself.”  (Chapter 18) cracked me right up.  I’m not sure exactly why it cracked me up, but it sure did.  I think I might work that sentence into conversation.

3.) It’s a quick read.  Some books are big commitments; this is not one of them.  (Pillars of the Earth and The Coming Plague, I’m looking at you.)  Sometimes I don’t want a big commitment from a book.

4.) In addition to being a quick read, it’s a physically light read.  Fantastic for commuting or while working out on a stationary bike.

5.) Despite being a “little” and “quick” book, it manages to say a lot.

Five Good Things About Stephen Colbert

18 Jan

1.) Stephen Colbert is well aware of the dangers of bears.  He is quite possibly the primary voice of warning against (and fear of) bears.

2.) Among other awards, his mantle features an Emmy and a Peabody – tres prestigious!

3.) Without Stephen Colbert, we would not have the word ‘truthiness.’

4.) Ben and Jerry named an ice cream flavor after him; it’s delicious.  Even better, the proceeds from it go to charity.

5.) Although the character he portrays is a bit of a caricature, the portrayal is both hilarious and respectful.

Five Good Things About Prince William’s Engagement

17 Nov

It’s official: Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement.

1.) The tabloids and entertainment magazines were ready years ago to evolve from engagement speculation to wedding speculation

2.) I anticipate a whole slew of collectible plates, dolls, and bric-à-brac.  Hello, economic stimulation!

3.) Royal weddings yield (legitimate) royal babies – i.e. the future of the monarchy!

4.) A pretty ring is once again being worn.

5.) While millions of girls are probably in the depths of despair, at least two people are pretty darn happy.

Five Good Things About Veterans

11 Nov

Please note: This is not a post about whether this war or that conflict should be classified as right, wrong, necessary, frivolous, just, or unjust.  What it is intended as is a sign of respect and gratitude to those who protected others during or from a conflict or war that could be classified as right, wrong, necessary, frivolous, just, or unjust. 

1.) Veterans are survivors.  Not only are they survivors, because of them, other people are also survivors.

2.) Veterans do a lot for little personal pay or recognition.

3.) Veterans hold to a code and concepts such as honor and team that have faded to old ideals for others.

4.) Veterans gave more than they asked.

5.) Veterans signed on to a set ideals, despite not knowing how much would be asked of them to preserve those ideals.

Happy Veterans’ Day!  Thanks to vets, like my dad, and active duty personal.

Five Good Things About Regan

18 Oct

i'm pretty sure if regan was a dog, she would be this (her) dog

I get to see my friend Regan, this weekend, which I am super pumped up about.  When I first met Regan, I found her a bit frightening; I suspect the feeling was mutual, albeit for different reasons.  It’s been over a decade since that first meeting and I now know that she’s just pretty darn great.

1.) One of Regan’s gifts is the ability to come up creative, endearing, and appropriate nicknames for people.  She doesn’t always know where they come from; they come the way true gifts do.

2.)  A high school that Regan used to work with named an expensive piece of athletic equipment in honor of her.

3.) Regan always appreciates a good treat.  She is ever-ready for treats as well, which is a good trait in a friend.

4.) Whether athletic, professional, or personal; Regan pursues her passions.

5.) I like her dog an awful lot.

Five Good Things About Lyndon B Johnson

8 Sep

LBJ, his autobiography, and his stetson

Lyndon Baines Johnson was the 36th President of the United States.  I to only think about him in relation to Vietnam (which doesn’t yield the most flattering image ever) but he was a lot more than Vietnam. 

1.) Out of all the presidential libraries, only one is free.  It’s (obviously) LBJ’s because he said that if they wanted to put his name on a museum, they were not going to charge people to enter it.  I think that is fantastic: knowledge ought to be free.  That LBJ thought to specify such speaks volumes.

2.) Even the parking at the museum is free!    

3.) While it’s common to focus on Johnson and international affairs, he did a fantastic job domestically: medicare, food stamps, public television, head start, environmental protections, civil rights, aid to education, “war on poverty,” “Great Society” – he had a pet country, versus a pet project.

4.) The dude was a sort of acowboy, yet his wife went by the name “Lady Bird.”  (Her real name was Claudia.)  So, he would come in from the ranch, all muddy and macho, and then have to be all like, “Um, excuse me please, Lady Bird.  Do you happen to know where my slippers might be?”  I cannot even conjure up dialogue for potential intimate moments, but he probably still had to call her Lady Bird.  (They had two kids.)

5.) He taught poor Mexican-American kids in the late 1920s.  As a teacher, he was conscious of the lives of his students outside of the classroom and got toothbrushes and such donated to them.