05/20/19 – Hello from Gdañsk, Warclaw and Krakow

CURRENT EVENTS

This Week’s Post Is Coming To You From The Following Polish Cities:

Gdañsk

Warclaw

(Famous for its Gnomes)

and

Krakow

BOOK OF THE WEEK

The First Triumvirate

By Clifford Alexander

Last week I mentioned a book titled The Second Triumvirate by Clifford Alexander. I liked the book so much and I obtained and read this book.

The First Century BC was a century characterized by warfare and political strife in Rome, and was beginning to undergo an uneasy transition from Republic to Imperial Power.

Central in this change were the actions of the First Triumvirate: an alliance between the most powerful men in Rome. The Triumvirate was composed of Gnaeus Pompey Magnus, Marcus Licinius Crassus, and Gaius Julius Caesar, and together these individuals combined their vast political influence to reduce the Roman Senate to a mere charade.

Soon, it too began to show signs of corruption, and each man started to suspect the other of looming betrayal. These misgivings would seep through the alliance until the poison had successfully turned the members of the First Triumvirate against one another. The political tension, and the ensuing war, would fundamentally alter the very fabric of the Roman state forever. From the chaos of the Triumvirate, a new form of government would take root: the Roman monarchy we now know as the Empire.

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

I watched a couple of movies this week, but I don’t want to mention what they were because I am afraid you might simply take a look at them out of curiosity. Trust me, the majority of you will be disappointed. I was crossing the Atlantic Ocean and could not sleep; which is the only reason I watched them.

If you have a movie suggestion, please mention it in the comment section of this blog.

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

If you have never been exposed to classical music, you should give it a try.

Kensho Watanabe was the conductor and what an amazing performance he put on.

We got there early and was able to sit in the first row. When Kensho walked by us he said, “You guys are really close.” I thought that was cool, first time a conductor ever spoke to us.

After intermission, Kensho came by again and said, “Thank you for staying.” I thought he was really cool.

ART OF THE WEEK

Neptune Fountain

Location: Gdansk, Poland

The focal point of Długi Targ, the Long Market, is the Neptune Fountain, a bronze statue of the sea god erected in 1549 and converted to a fountain in 1633 and restored in 2011/12.

During WWII, this symbol of Gdańsk was dismantled and hidden with many of the city’s other treasures. It was only returned to its rightful place in 1954. 

  EXTRAORDINARY PERSON OF THE WEEK

Lech Walesa

Lech Wałęsa (Born 29 September 1943) is a Polish retired politician and labour activist. He co-founded and headed Solidarity, the Soviet bloc’s first independent trade union, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and served as President of Poland from 1990 to 1995.

While working at the Lenin Shipyard (now Gdańsk Shipyard), Wałęsa, an electrician, became a trade-union activist, for which he was persecuted by the Communist authorities, placed under surveillance, fired in 1976, and arrested several times. In August 1980 he was instrumental in political negotiations that led to the ground-breaking Gdańsk Agreement between striking workers and the government. He co-founded the Solidarity trade-union movement.

After martial law was imposed in Poland and Solidarity was outlawed, Wałęsa was again arrested. Released from custody, he continued his activism and was prominent in the establishment of the 1989 Round Table Agreement that led to semi-free parliamentary elections in June 1989 and to a Solidarity-led government.

In the Polish general election of 1990, Wałęsa successfully ran for the newly re-established office of President of Poland. He presided over Poland’s transition from communism to a post-communist state.

I was at the Gdañsk Shipyards and took this photo.

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

Last week I mentioned that Józef Pitsudski, the great Polish patriot, was more of a “My Way Or Prison” type guy than a “My Way Or The Highway” type guys.

Here I am in prision.

PHYSICAL TRAITS

My “Age/Weight” national raw deadlift record arrived.

I am actually going to be lifting in the AWPC world powerlifting championships on my birthday, August 16. And on my birthday, I am going to try in my “Age/Weight” category to win the raw bench press & raw deadlift championships, plus break the current AWPC world’s raw deadlift record. The record is currently held by a Russian, who set it in Moscow on June 15, 2013. It will be a nice birthday present for a 73 year-old. 

CHARACTER TRAITS

Auschwitz

I was at this horrible place, but did not what to take many pictures. The camp commandants were publicly hung, but I was told the guards were typically given one to three years prison. I think they should have all been hung.

I was just following orders is never an excuse.

SOCIAL TRAITS 

Poor Choices

LEARNING TRAITS

MISCELLANEOUS

LAST WEEK’S POLLS

Have you ever been to Poland?

No  96.3%  (26 votes) 

Yes  3.7%  (1 votes) 

Total Votes: 27

For people who are at least 50% Polish, have you ever been to Poland?

No  100%  (7 votes) 

Yes  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 7
Regarding the movie “Green Book”:

I did not see it, but I want to see it.  61.9%  (13 votes) 

I saw it and liked it.  23.81%  (5 votes) 

I did not see it and I do not wish to see it.  14.29%  (3 votes) 

I saw it and did not like it.  0%  (0 votes)  

Total Votes: 21

Have you been guilty of rescuing someone who consistently makes poor choices?

Yes  64.71%  (11 votes) 

No  35.29%  (6 votes) 

Total Votes: 17
If you have or are continuing to rescue someone who consistently makes poor choices, are you going to stop?

Yes  91.67%  (11 votes) 

No  8.33%  (1 votes)  

Total Votes: 12

Are you holding on to anger?

No  76.47%  (13 votes) 

Yes  23.53%  (4 votes) 

Total Votes: 17
If you are holding on to anger, are you going to let it go?

Yes  57.14%  (4 votes) 

No  42.86%  (3 votes) 

Total Votes: 7

Are you putting off things you wanted to do and things you wanted to say to people?

No  54.55%  (6 votes) 

Yes  45.45%  (5 votes) 

Total Votes: 11

Book

If you have ever been curious about this book, the Kindle version of this book has now been reduced to $1.00 and the paperback version has been reduced to $10.00

However, I must warn you that this book will not change your life, 

only you can do that.

05/13/19 – Hello from Warsaw

CURRENT EVENTS

This Week’s Post Is Coming To You From Warsaw, Poland

 

BOOK OF THE WEEK

The Second Triumvirate

By Clifford Alexander

If you don’t know anything about The First Triumvirate, than this book probably isn’t for you. However, if you do know about The First Triumvirate; I think you will enjoy this easy to read book.

With the murder of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March 44 BC, a new political constellation seized control of the city of Rome. Known as the Second Triumvirate, this alliance between Gaius Octavius (Augustus), Marc Antony, and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus formed in the year 43 BC and saw the three most powerful men in Rome overcome their own personal differences to bring about a new stability to their tumultuous city. 

Gradually emerging victorious over the assassins, the Second Triumvirate attempted to consolidate their hold on the Roman Empire by partitioning its vast expanse amongst themselves.  In what followed, political intrigue pitted each member of the Triumvirate against one another, as all attempted to seize absolute power.

This contest between the greatest Roman politicians mobilized vast armies from across the world, and featured battles that stretched from the sands of the Persian heartlands to the Spanish steppes. From the ashes of the Second Triumvirate emerged a new form of government that we now know as the Empire. (Source: Amazon)

MOVIE OF THE WEEK

Green Book (2018)

This movie is both very entertaining and also very educational. I took college classes until my mid-50s and I am still trying to wake up as so many classes were boring.

Education should be engaging and entertaining. If it isn’t, I’m not sure what you are being taught; but, it probably isn’t to think for yourself.

I thought this movie was excellent

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

I enjoy watching this video, it is both music and a story. I hope you enjoy it too.

Beer For My Horses

By Toby Keith & Featuring Willie Nelson

ART OF THE WEEK

The Nut Gatherers (1887)

By William Adolphe Bouguereau

Location: Detroit Institute of Arts

Bouguereau shows us two innocent girls posing in a glade, unaware of the dangers of life. The fresh faces, smooth skin, and bare feet remind us of the vulnerability of youth and of that privileged world of simple pleasures and intense youthful friendship before the responsibilities of adult life begin. Bouguereau was a teacher who upheld traditional values in painting at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris.

What a surprise when I stopped by our local library and saw a replica of this famous painting on the building’s wall.

Since, I have a copy of this same painting in my hallway.

  EXTRAORDINARY PERSON OF THE WEEK

Józef Pitsudski

I was really impressed with this guy. Not only is he a great Polish patriot, but he looks like someone you would be better off not messing with. 

Perhaps, you hear the saying, “My way or the highway.” Well this is more of a “My way or prison” type guy.

Józef Klemens Piłsudski, (5 December 1867 – 12 May 1935) was a Polish statesman who served as the Chief of State (1918–22) and First Marshal of Poland (from 1920).

He was considered the de facto leader (1926–35) of the Second Polish Republic as the Minister of Military Affairs. From World War I he had great power in Polish politics and was a distinguished figure on the international scene.

He is viewed as a father of the Second Polish Republic re-established in 1918, 123 years after the 1795 Partitions of Polandby Austria, Prussia and Russia

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

I grew up in a neighborhood that was predominantly Hill Billy, Italian and Polish; so I think I should be allowed to tell a couple of ethnic jokes.

I remember when I first got married, my family was so upset with me. I recall them saying, “What is the matter. Ain’t your own kin good enough for you.”

One of my hill billy friends went to a doctor and told the doctor he just had to be Polish. The doctor warned him, that he was going to have to have half of his brain removed. My hill billy friend said, “That’s okay, I’ve got to be Polish.”

After the operation, the doctor came in and told my friend that there had been a horrible mistake. Instead of removing half of his brain, they accidentally removed his entire brain.

My friend said “Mamma Mia!”

PHYSICAL TRAITS

I would not recommend anyone start drinking, if they don’t currently drink. However, I suspect one or two drinks a day may be helpful.

So for you drinkers out there, check out this Warsaw restaurant menu.  How about that, “Brzeski” on their menu. And I love the way they spell “Alkohole”.

CHARACTER TRAITS

Monument to the Ghetto Heroes in Warsaw

This Memorial is dedicated to people who did not die fighting for freedom. These people died “fighting for an honorable death.” They knew they had absolutely no chance of surviving, if they rose up against the Nazis; since, they were surrounded by Nazis and vastly outgunned. They just didn’t want to go to their deaths without a fight. They died a noble death, they were truly extraordinary.

SOCIAL TRAITS 

Poor Choices

LEARNING TRAITS

MISCELLANEOUS

The above is a rather strange image, but it should make you think.  After seeing this, I would be reluctant to put off things I wanted to do and things I wanted to say to people.

LAST WEEK’S POLLS

Regarding the film “Bohemian Rhapsody:

I’ve seen it and I liked it  35.71%  (5 votes) 

I have not seen it, but I want to see it.  35.71%  (5 votes) 

I have not seen it and I do not wish to see it.  28.57%  (4 votes) 

I’ve seen it and I did not like it.  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 14

Do you listen to your body?

Yes  69.23%  (9 votes) 

Not until it screams  15.38%  (2 votes) 

I do when I can; but I have so many responsibilities  15.38%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 13
Do you choose wisely what you feed your mind?

Yes  53.85%  (7 votes) 

Both  46.15%  (6 vot

No  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 13

Do you believe the majority of American colleges and universities teach critical thinking?

No  66.67%  (8 votes) 

Yes  33.33%  (4 votes) 

Total Votes: 12

Book

If you have ever been curious about this book, the Kindle version of this book has now been reduced to $1.00 and the paperback version has been reduced to $10.00

However, I must warn you that this book will not change your life, 

only you can do that.

05/06/19 – Spring Time

CURRENT EVENTS

Spring time and the bunnies are helping me mow my lawn.

BOOKS OF THE WEEK

Quest for the Best

By Stanley Marcus

I had the privilege of meeting Stanley Marcus October 13, 1992 and he signed his book for me. Although I was only with him a minute or so, I walked away knowing I had just met someone who was truly extraordinary. As for the book, Stanley Marcus wrote it, so the book has to be remarkable. I’ve read it and reviewed it a number of times over the last quarter century that I have had it. 

Who better to know what is “the best” than the man who made Neiman Marcus synonymous with excellence for more than fifty years? Quest for the Best outlines Marcus’s philosophy of what constitutes the best in goods and services and how to receive it.

Marcus describes how increased labor costs and the disappearance of family owned businesses into the pockets of corporate giants have led to an institutionalized indifference to quality. “I have observed,” he writes, “that when you talk with an independent fine-quality maker, he speaks with pride about his product; when you talk with the chairman of a large corporation, he refers with pride to its net profit and balance sheet.”

Quest for the Best is not just a nostalgic look, however, at the age of handcrafted elegance. Marcus gives good advice on how consumers can educate themselves about the best, demand it, and get it. He describes his own experiences with the best in chapters such as “The Things You Love to Touch,” and “Bed and Board.” Witty, urbane, but always accessible, Marcus is a joy to read.

PLAY & MOVIE OF THE WEEK

I saw this play on April 28 at Meadow Brook Theater, in Rochester, Michigan; and I thought it was excellent. I didn’t look at my watch even once, the time just flew by with some comedy and a lot of great songs.

If you live in the Detroit area, it will be running through May 19, 2019.

This hit takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where we meet four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! As we learn about their lives, the girls serenade us with classic ‘50s hits including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” and “Stupid Cupid.” When the girls reunite to take the stage and perform at their ten-year reunion we learn about the past decade’s highs and lows.

Bohemian Rhapsody

It has taken me a while to get around to watching this film. I found it well worth watching and the acting was superb.

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Given the movie of the week, it seems appropriate to feature some music by Queen.

We Will Rock You

By Queen

ART OF THE WEEK

Bird’s Eye View of Niagara Falls

This week I wanted to provide a bird’s-eye view of Niagara Falls; however, Bird photo bombed my shot of the Falls.

  EXTRAORDINARY PERSON OF THE WEEK

Stanley Marcus

Harold Stanley Marcus (April 20, 1905 – January 22, 2002) was president (1950–1972) and later chairman of the board (1972–1976) of the luxury retailer Neiman Marcus in Dallas, Texas.

During his tenure at the company, he also became a published author, writing his memoir Minding the Store and also a regular column in The Dallas Morning News.

Marcus introduced many of the innovations for which Neiman-Marcus became known, creating a national award for service in fashion and hosting art exhibitions in the store itself, as well as weekly fashion shows and an annual Fortnight event highlighting a different foreign country for two weeks each year.

He established the Neiman-Marcus Christmas Catalogue, which became famous for extravagant “His and Hers” gifts such as airplanes and camels. Marcus prided himself on his staff’s ability to provide service and value for each client, often citing his father’s dictum, “There is never a good sale for Neiman Marcus unless it’s a good buy for the customer.”

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

PHYSICAL TRAITS

CHARACTER TRAITS

SOCIAL TRAITS 

There are so many mysteries is the world, with the help of numerous friends, this blog is trying to give you a greater understanding of the world we live in. 

LEARNING TRAITS

I’m getting the impression that the majority of American colleges and universities are at best trade school and for many not even that. 

MISCELLANEOUS

Guys, here is some advice on how to flirt with girls.

LAST WEEK’S POLLS

Regarding the film “My Cousin Vinny”:

I have seen it and liked it  73.68%  (14 votes) 

I have not seen it, but I would like to see it.  15.79%  (3 votes) 

I have not seen it and do not wish to see it  10.53%  (2 votes)  

I have seen it and did not like it  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 19

Females, have you ever lifted weights?

Yes  57.14%  (8 votes) 

No  28.57%  (4 votes) 

Yes and I still do  14.29%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 14
Males, have you ever lifted weights?

Yes  50%  (4 votes) 

Yes and I still do  25%  (2 votes) 

No  25%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 8

Do you make enough time to create the life you want?

Yes  64.71%  (11 votes) 

No  35.29%  (6 votes)  

Total Votes: 17
Did the above instructions on how to fold a fitted sheet help you?

Yes  50%  (9 votes) 

No  50%  (9 votes) 

Total Votes: 18

Book

If you have ever been curious about this book, the Kindle version of this book has now been reduced to $1.00 and the paperback version has been reduced to $10.00

However, I must warn you that this book will not change your life, 

only you can do that.

04/29/19 – Sliding Through Life

CURRENT EVENTS

Since my last day of work, December 31, 2009,  I have just been sliding through life as you can see.

It is my hope that this blog will in some small way, help you also slide through life.

BOOKS OF THE WEEK

When Paris Sizzled

By Mary McAuliffe

Overall, this is not an easy book to read. Unless you are familiar with many of the people below, I think you would be better served by watching the film Midnight in Paris. However, if you are familiar with the majority of people mention in this book, you may find after reading this book you will know much more about this period in history.

When Paris Sizzled vividly portrays the City of Light during the fabulous 1920s, that saw seismic change on almost every front, from art and architecture to music, literature, fashion, entertainment, transportation, and, most notably, behavior.

Major figures on the Paris scene—such as Gertrude Stein, Jean Cocteau, Picasso, Stravinsky, Diaghilev, and Proust—continued to hold sway, while others now came to prominence—including Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, Cole Porter, and Josephine Baker, as well as André Citroën, Le Corbusier, Man Ray, Sylvia Beach, James Joyce, and the irrepressible Kiki of Montparnasse.

MOVIES OF THE WEEK

At times a touching film, but with enough comedy to keep it from being a real tear jerker.

Instant Family (2018)

Adopting three foster children at once thinking that it’s a perfect way to start a family, Pete and Ellie fail to consider that their new charges may be hellions — which they are. Not only do the kids flout the rules, they see no reason for parents.

My Cousin Vinny (1992)

I have no idea how many times I have watched this film, but it is still one of the funniest films I have ever seen.

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

Love Shack

By The B-52’s

ART OF THE WEEK

Family photos are a common tradition and I believe practically all of you have had one or more of them taken over the years. My family certainly isn’t large, but I think the artist, Lindsey; has done an excellent job of capturing our inner uniqueness far more than any photographer could.  Below is me, Bear and Carol.

Thank you Lindsey

  EXTRAORDINARY PERSON OF THE WEEK

Mike

Mike was one of the most fun people I have ever encountered. We were friends in high school. I went into the Army after high school and Mike went into the Navy. The world was a much different place when we got out of the service and we hung out together in the late 1960 and early 1970s. It was an interesting time and we did a lot of interesting things.

I think the character Steve Martin played in the film My Blue Heaven captures Mike’s fun-loving personality. After I watched this film, I telephoned Mike and told him that I had just seen him in this film.

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

PHYSICAL TRAITS

Every woman should learn to iron.

CHARACTER TRAITS

SOCIAL TRAITS 

LEARNING TRAITS

I believe many of you have had a hard time trying to figure out how to fold a fitted sheet. I hope this helps.

MISCELLANEOUS

LAST WEEK’S POLLS

Regarding “The Man From Earth” film:

I have not seen it and I do not want to see it  45.45%  (5 votes) 

I have not seen it, but I would like to see it  36.36%  (4 votes) 

I’ve seen it and I liked it  18.18%  (2 votes) 

I’ve seen it and I did not like it  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 11

What did you think of the Mogul music by The HU?

I have heard Mogul music before and liked it  36.36%  (4 votes) 

My first time listening to Mogul music and I thought it was interesting  27.27%  (3 votes) 

My first time listening to Mogul music and I did not care for it.  18.18%  (2 votes) 

I have heard Mogul music before and did not care for it  18.18%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 11
Have you permitted yourself to become fat?

No  38.46%  (5 votes) 

A little  38.46%  (5 votes) 

Yes  23.08%  (3 votes) 

Total Votes: 13

Do you have trouble making a decision?

Yes  35.71%  (5 votes) 

No  35.71%  (5 votes) 

I can’t decide if I have trouble making a decision  28.57%  (4 votes) 

Total Votes: 14
Do you think President Harry S. Truman is more right than wrong, when he says “You can’t get rich in politics, unless you’re a crook.”

Right  100%  (16 votes) 

Wrong  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 16

Do you think the majority of news outlets try to promote their own agenda more so than deliver unbiased news?

I think the majority of news outlets are pushing their own agenda  84.62%  (11 votes) 

I think the majority of news outlets try to deliver unbiased news  15.38%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 13

Book

If you have ever been curious about this book, the Kindle version of this book has now been reduced to $1.00 and the paperback version has been reduced to $10.00

However, I must warn you that this book will not change your life, 

only you can do that.

04/22/19 – Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

CURRENT EVENTS

What a terrible tragedy to this 850-year-old Paris landmark. I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited this historical site years ago as one of the many millions who visit Notre Dame de Paris each year.

Notre Dame Cathedral Fire

Notre Dame’s Spire

Spire on Fire

Notre-Dame de Paris is a medieval Catholic cathedral in Paris, France. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Its innovative use of the rib vault and flying buttress, its enormous and colourful rose windows, and the naturalism and abundance of its sculptural decoration set it apart from the earlier Romanesque style.

The cathedral was begun in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely complete by 1260, though it was modified frequently in the following centuries. In the 1790s, Notre-Dame suffered desecration during the French Revolution; much of its religious imagery was damaged or destroyed.

In 1804, the cathedral was the site of the Coronation of Napoleon I as Emperor of France. Popular interest in the cathedral blossomed soon after the publication, in 1831, of Victor Hugo’s novel The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. This led to a major restoration project between 1844 and 1864, supervised by Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, who added the cathedral’s iconic spire.

The cathedral is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris and the French nation. Approximately 12 million people visit Notre-Dame annually, making it the most visited monument in Paris.

While undergoing renovation and restoration, the roof of Notre-Dame caught fire on the evening of 15 April 2019. Burning for around 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage, including the destruction of the spire and most of the lead-covered wooden roof above the stone vaulted ceiling. (Source: Wikipedia) 

BOOKS OF THE WEEK

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

By John C. Maxwell

I read this book a couple of years ago and found it interesting. If you like history, you may like this book.

Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World (2004) is a history book written by Jack Weatherford, Dewitt Wallace Professor of Anthropology at Macalester College. It is a narrative of the rise and influence of Genghis Khan and his successors, and their influence on European civilization. Weatherford provides a different slant on Genghis Khan than has been typical in most Western accounts, attributing positive cultural effects to his rule. (Source: Wikipedia)

MOVIES OF THE WEEK

I saw this movie a long time ago, but just watched it again last week. It is very interesting, thought provoking and has stood the test of time.

The Man From Earth (2007)

An impromptu goodbye party for Professor John Oldman becomes a mysterious interrogation after the retiring scholar reveals to his colleagues he has a longer and stranger past than they can imagine. (Source: IMDB)

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

How about some Mogul music this week.

Yuve Yuve Yu

By The Hu

ART OF THE WEEK

I bought the Black Cat (It is actually soap) and Carol bought the little green bathtub in Myrtle Beach. Carol put the cat in the bathtub and that was the art. Creating something new out of two existing objects, which have an affinity to one another (i.e.; soap & a bathtub).

  EXTRAORDINARY PERSON OF THE WEEK

Genghis Khan

Genghis Khan as portrayed in a 14th-century Yuan era album; the original version was in black and white. Paint and ink on silk. Now located in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan.

Genghis Khan (c. 1162 – August 18, 1227) was the founder and first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death.

After founding the Empire and being proclaimed “Genghis Khan”, he launched the Mongol invasions that conquered most of Eurasia. By the end of his life, the Mongol Empire occupied a substantial portion of Central Asia and China.

Genghis Khan died in 1227 after defeating the Western Xia. By his request, his body was buried in an unmarked grave somewhere in Mongolia. His descendants extended the Mongol Empire across most of Eurasia by conquering or creating vassal states in all of modern-day China, Korea, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and substantial portions of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia.

Many of these invasions repeated the earlier large-scale slaughters of local populations. As a result, Genghis Khan and his empire have a fearsome reputation in local histories.

Beyond his military accomplishments, Genghis Khan also advanced the Mongol Empire in other ways. He decreed the adoption of the Uyghur script as the Mongol Empire’s writing system. He also practiced meritocracy and encouraged religious tolerance in the Mongol Empire, and unified the nomadic tribes of Northeast Asia. Present-day Mongolians regard him as the founding father of Mongolia.

Genghis Khan was known for the brutality of his campaigns, and is considered by many to have been a genocidal ruler. However, he is also credited with bringing the Silk Road under one cohesive political environment. This brought relatively easy communication and trade between Northeast Asia, Muslim Southwest Asia, and Christian Europe, expanding the cultural horizons of all three areas. (Source: Wikipedia)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

PHYSICAL TRAITS

CHARACTER TRAITS

SOCIAL TRAITS 

LEARNING TRAITS

MISCELLANEOUS

LAST WEEK’S POLLS

Is the “Step Jamie Progressive Insurance” ad better than the films you watched this week?

Yes  36.36%  (4 votes) 

No  36.36%  (4 votes) 

No, but the ad is pretty good  27.27%  (3 votes) 

Total Votes: 11

Have you ever considered plastic surgery?

No  87.5%  (14 votes) 

Yes  12.5%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 16
Have you ever had plastic surgery

No  93.75%  (15 votes) 

Yes  6.25%  (1 votes) 

Yes, but only because of a birth defect or accident  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 16

Do you think people in poverty take enough steps to escape poverty?

Some do and some don’t  80%  (12 votes) 

No  13.33%  (2 votes) 

Yes  6.67%  (1 votes) 

Total Votes: 15
Which of the following would you most “not” want to hear someone discuss?

Current politics  53.33%  (8 votes) 

Money problems  26.67%  (4 votes) 

Health issues  13.33%  (2 votes) 

Relationship dilemmas  6.67%  (1 votes) 

Total Votes: 15

Do you think the majority of people accept truth or do they reject truth when it conflicts with their own views?

Reject  43.75%  (7 votes) 

More often than not, truth is actually just an opinion held by a majority  43.75%  (7 votes) 

Accept  12.5%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 16

Book

If you have ever been curious about this book, the Kindle version of this book has now been reduced to $1.00 and the paperback version has been reduced to $10.00

However, I must warn you that this book will not change your life, 

only you can do that.

04/15/19 – Results of AAPF National Championships

CURRENT EVENTS

I lifted in the raw bench press and raw deadlift, 181.7 to 198 lbs. category, aged 70 to 74.

In my age/weight category, I took first place in both the raw bench press and raw deadlift. In the deadlift, I set a new AAPF age/weight national record of 363.7 lbs.

BOOKS OF THE WEEK

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader

By John C. Maxwell

This book is a bit old, it came out in 1999 and although the title indicates it is about leadership; in a sense all of us are leaders in one way or another, even if we don’t bear the official title indicating we are a leader.

What struck me was the part of the book’s description that reads, “John C. Maxwell provides a concise, accessible leadership book that helps readers become more effective leaders from the inside out.” Who doesn’t need to work of their insides or to gain a deeper understanding of humans.

I first read this book long ago and have recently taken a second look at it and found insights such as, “It’s hard for a person to be generous when [they] are not satisfied with what [they have]. And if you’re not generous with little, you won’t suddenly change if you become wealthy.”

MOVIES OF THE WEEK

I thought this ad was better than the movies I watched this week.

Step Jamie – Progressive Insurance Ad

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

I certainly didn’t work as hard getting ready for the AAPF National Powerlifting competition as Rocky did getting ready for his fight, but since November I have worked harder at the gym than I ever have to get ready for the AAPF Nationals.

Rocky Theme Song

ART OF THE WEEK

I’d say this tree is a bit of an artist.

  EXTRAORDINARY PERSON OF THE WEEK

Pericles

Bust of Pericles Marble, Roman copy after a Greek original from c. 430 BC, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican Museums,

Pericles (495 – 429 BC) was a prominent and influential Greek statesman, orator and general of Athens during its golden age. Pericles led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the “Age of Pericles”.

Pericles promoted the arts and literature; it is principally through his efforts that Athens acquired the reputation of being the educational and cultural center of the ancient Greek world.

He started an ambitious project that generated most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis (including the Parthenon). This project beautified and protected the city, exhibited its glory, and gave work to the people.

Bill & Carol at the Acropolis

Pericles also fostered Athenian democracy. He, along with several members of his family, succumbed to the Plague of Athens in 429 BC, which weakened the city-state during a protracted conflict with Sparta. (Source: Wikipedia)

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

This answers the question.

PHYSICAL TRAITS

Other than some terrible accident or birth defect, I don’t understand why anyone would want to change the interesting features that nature provides and are often the thing that makes you both interesting and unique.

CHARACTER TRAITS

It was the great Athenian leader, Pericles, who said that there was nothing wrong with poverty. It could be caused by so many things—a business failure, the sudden loss of a family’s breadwinner, theft, even just plain old back luck. Like the Stoics, he knew that Fortune could swoop in, and, in the blink of an eye, undo years of hard work and careful planning.

But Pericles would not have said, as religious leaders and populist demagogues have tried to argue for thousands of years, that there was anything special or holy about poverty. While it wasn’t necessarily someone’s fault they were poor, and so they shouldn’t be judged for it, Pericles said, there was “real shame…in not taking steps to escape it.” (Source: Daily Stoic)

SOCIAL TRAITS 

LEARNING TRAITS

MISCELLANEOUS

LAST WEEK’S POLLS

Regarding the movie “IL Postino”:

I haven’t seen it, but I want to see it  38.46%  (5 votes) 

I haven’t seen it and I don’t wish to see it  38.46%  (5 votes) 

I have seen it and I liked it  23.08%  (3 votes) 

I have seen it and I did not like it  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 13

Is the man in the picture sitting inside the house or outside the house?

Outside  42.86%  (6 votes) 

Depends upon your perspective  35.71%  (5 votes) 

Inside  21.43%  (3 votes)  

If you voted either inside or outside, you may want to look at the picture again and try to see why someone would vote opposite of you.

Total Votes: 14
Do you ever wonder why you are here?

Yes  73.33%  (11 votes) 

No  26.67%  (4 votes) 

Total Votes: 15

Do you know why you are here?

No  66.67%  (10 votes) 

Yes  33.33%  (5 votes) 

Total Votes: 15
Do you believe losing weight and getting into shape is or can be easy?

No  66.67%  (10 votes) 

Yes  20%  (3 votes) 

Maybe  13.33%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 15

Do you believe in 20 years you will be more disappointed about what you did not do, then what you did?

No  53.85%  (7 votes) 

Yes  46.15%  (6 votes) 

Total Votes: 13
Are you going to try harder to withhold judgement about people, until you get to know them a bit better?

Yes  71.43%  (10 votes)  

No  14.29%  (2 votes) 

Maybe  14.28%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 14

Are you storing things you have not used in over five years?

Yes  86.67%  (13 votes) 

No  13.33%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 15
Which of the following age milestones do you expect to make?

85  28.57%  (4 votes) 

90  21.43%  (3 votes) 

100  21.43%  (3 votes) 

75  14.29%  (2 votes) 

80  7.14%  (1 votes) 

95  7.14%  (1 votes) 

Total Votes: 14

Book

If you have ever been curious about this book, the Kindle version of this book has now been reduced to $1.00 and the paperback version has been reduced to $10.00

However, I must warn you that this book will not change your life, 

only you can do that.

04/08/19 – AAPF 2019 National Powerlifting Championships

CURRENT EVENTS

I’ll be there, lifting in the raw bench press and raw deadlift, 181.7 to 198 lbs. category, aged 70 to 74.

BOOKS OF THE WEEK

This week I am suggesting two poetry books. All I know about poetry, I learned from watching this movie:

If like me, you don’t understand poetry; why not open yourself up to something different by watching this movie.

If you haven’t read a poetry book or if you like poetry, here are two books that you may want to consider. One is written by my good friend Chris Doka.

An Unfamiliar Ache

By Chris Doka

And the other is written by my wonderful wife, Carol Gammicchia (now Carol Allen)

Love Life

By Carol Gammicchia

MOVIES OF THE WEEK

As you can see below, I have been on a Great Expectation binge.

Great Expectations (1974)

Here is what a critic had to say about this 1974 version: The Listener – ‘Everything is wrong about it with a sort of dedicated, inspired wrongness that, in itself, is breath-taking’.

I just saw it and really liked it. Sarah Mills did a fantastic job as both young and older Estella. Michael York was as good a Pip as any I’ve seen. Anthony Quayle was impressive in the role of the attorney Jaggers. 

This 1988 version of Great Expectations took considerable liberties with the story and was my least favorite version. The fantastic character attorney Jaggers, is played as if Jaggers was a mafia bag man. On the plus side, it is always a joy to watch Gwyneth Paltrow.

Great Expectations (1988)

This 2011 PBS version of Great Expectations may be the best that I have seen to date. David Suchet brings attorney Jaggers to life. 

As for someone leaving Miss Havisham standing at the altar, not believable if the role is played by Gillian Anderson

PBS Great Expectations (2011)

MUSIC OF THE WEEK

I heard this song on the radio the other day, it came out in 1964, the year I graduated and the world was still normal. Things were soon to change with Viet Nam and riots. But for a couple of minutes, let’s let Millie Small take us back to 1964.

My Boy Lollipop (1964)

Millie small

ART OF THE WEEK

I always enjoy these pictures that force one to think about perspective. Like so many things in life, there is little absolute truth. So much simply depends upon your perspective.

  EXTRAORDINARY PERSON OF THE WEEK

Carolyn Cruse

That’s Carolyn between Jerome and Me,  shortly before I retired

Carolyn was the best all around corporate middle managers I ever encountered. She is now retired from the corporate world like me, but she certainly isn’t retired from life.

It is rare to find someone who cared so much for the welfare of her team members, had the respect of everyone she came in contact with, was so fair even when it perhaps was not always in her best interest to be fair. And as wise as they come. I can’t say enough good things about her.

THIS WEEK’S JOKE

PHYSICAL TRAITS

If you go for the quick fix, the easy way; in the end I believe you are going to be disappointed. Losing weight and getting into shape is not easy–it is hard, very hard.

If all you had to do was drink something, take a pill or do this or that exercise for a few minutes, the whole world would be in great shape. Look around you, is that what you see–I don’t think so.

If you want it, you have to work hard for it, very hard and it takes time. You didn’t get in your present shape overnight, so don’t expect changes to take place overnight either.

CHARACTER TRAITS

SOCIAL TRAITS 

As much as possible, one should try to withhold judgement regarding someone until you get to know them. You could be pleasantly surprised.

LEARNING TRAITS

There are a few good reasons for putting your stuff in a storage unit temporarily; but for most people it is a very expensive option for delaying the discarding you or whoever inherits your stuff will have to do.

MISCELLANEOUS

LAST WEEK’S POLLS

Have you ever posted something on Facebook that you later regretted?

No  70%  (14 votes) 

Yes  30%  (6 votes) 

Total Votes: 20

Regarding the 2011 science fiction film Paul:

I have not seen it and I don’t wish to see it.  43.75%  (7 votes) 

I have not seen it, but would like to see it.  43.75%  (7 votes) 

I’ve seen it and I liked it  12.5%  (2 votes) 

I’ve seen it and I didn’t like it.  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 16
Do you invest enough time and money into your health?

Yes  56.25%  (9 votes) 

No  43.75%  (7 votes) 

Total Votes: 16

Do you believe most people invest enough time and money into their health?

No  87.5%  (14 votes) 

Yes  12.5%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 16
Do you believe successful people have a sense of gratitude and unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement?

Yes  47.06%  (8 votes) 

I don’t know  41.18%  (7 votes) 

No  11.76%  (2 votes) 

Total Votes: 17

What do you primarily do at parties?

Talk  62.5%  (10 votes) 

Think about whether it’s okay to leave yet  31.25%  (5 votes)  

Eat  6.25%  (1 votes) 

Total Votes: 16
Do you trust the U.S. government?

No and I am an independent  47.06%  (8 votes) 

No and I am a Republican  41.18%  (7 votes) 

No and I am a Democrat  11.76%  (2 votes) 

Yes and I am a Republican  0%  (0 votes) 

Yes and I am a Democrat  0%  (0 votes) 

Yes and I am an independent  0%  (0 votes) 

Total Votes: 17

Book

If you have ever been curious about this book, the Kindle version of this book has now been reduced to $1.00 and the paperback version has been reduced to $10.00

However, I must warn you that this book will not change your life, 

only you can do that.