Thursday Book Review: Ben Franklin

The signature of Benjamin Franklin is on The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War with Great Britain

I just read a book on Benjamin Franklin, the statesman & inventor whose face is on the American 100 dollar bill.

It was a short little book produced by kappabooks.com, yet it was considerably informative.

B.F was a very wise & witty man

Some look at Mr. Franklin as a natural-born genius, and so do I!

“If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are rotten, either write things worth reading or do things worth the writing.”
Ben Franklin was a gentleman who practiced what he preached.

I recently watched a Ken Burns documentary on Ben Franklin. It was very good.

https://www.pbs.org/show/benjamin-franklin/

Born in 1706, Benjamin Franklin is still worth reading about, and if you travel to Philadelphia, you’ll find the Franklin Court and the Benjamin Franklin Museum.

These sites are part of Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

For more information on Benjamin Franklin please visit http://www.nps.gov/inde.

A penny saved is a penny earned!
However, these days people throw pennies on Franklin’s grave!

Monroe Memories

So why is Marilyn Monroe’s beauty so iconic?

Movie star magic

In retrospect, she seemed to be a product, as well as a person.

Colouring her hair light blonde, affecting baby talk now and then, along with her wiggle-walk, seemed to cement her reputation as a vixen, automatically discounting her innate intelligence, and setting herself up as a target for exploitation and envy.

Sadly, she was not able to find serenity in her life, although she seemed to seek it by drinking booze, smoking cigarettes, and swallowing barbiturates.

(Judy Garland also passed away from overdosing on barbiturates.)

Marilyn left a lot behind when she died at the young-ish age of 36 in 1962.

Mostly captured on film, her lovely face and figure, along with her sweet voice, is forever available and easily accessible for all to enjoy.

What are some of your favorite films with Marilyn Monroe?

I really liked her in “Bus Stop,” and “Niagara.”

I’m sorry that she had to endure all kinds of emotional and mental issues, along with addiction problems.

When you consider it, addictions and drug abuse seem to be a sad fate of many rich and famous stars.

Many of them die young, or else prematurely.

Readers are leaders

In the end, what people see when they look at Marilyn Monroe (Norma Jean Baker) depends on how you perceive her in the light of hindsight and our modern-day mindset.

Was Marilyn just a tragic beauty? Or was she just an enviable person out of touch with life’s realities?

Or was she like you and me, someone looking to live life, make friends and be happy.

Chances are, not being famous may be better than all the pressures of dealing with the public, and the share of criticisms, sufferings and insecurities that are often brought on by other people’s demands and expectations!

We will never know what really happened to Marilyn, since conspiracies abound surrounding her death, but in life she certainly made a splash!

On the Tube: Oxford, Morse, and Lewis

Lewis and Morse

I have to say that the late John Thaw has always been a favourite actor of mine.

His Inspector Morse series was always interesting to me.

The spin off on PBS regarding Inspector Lewis is also a lot of fun!

Oxford situated in the City of Dreaming Spires holds a special place in my heart!

Oxford University has 39 colleges

I do love England and what is more English than Oxford University?

So many wonderful writers came out of there, including C.S. Lewis and Tolkien!

It’s also a great research University as well.

You get a lot of Oxford in your eyeballs when you watch Inspector Morse and inspector Lewis.

If you love opera, Inspector Morse is right up your alley!

Morse loves Grand Opera

Apparently, the interest in Inspector Morse has not died, what with the new seasons and episodes of “Endeavour.”

Shaun Evans and Roger Allam

I like watching Endeavour too!

Mark Twain got an honorary degree from Oxford University and he was always wearing his robes even to his daughter’s wedding!

Yes! There are many fine universities you can go to throughout the world, but everybody has heard of Oxford University!

Car Watch: Big Black Cadillac

Big Black Caddy

There are a lot of country songs about a Cadillac.

Do you remember “Guitars, Cadillacs,” by Dwight Yokum?

https://youtu.be/ovTNQflSECc

Some are sad, and some are happy like this one from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

https://youtu.be/ax1zQZhvVOs

But let’s take a look at this long black Cadillac.

Fun car or funeral car?

Any other fine Cadillac songs you love?

Share them in the comments below

Saturday Small Town Talk: Bavarian Blast in New Ulm, MN

Alpensterne Band from Minnesota

I decided each Saturday I would review things I partook of in this city, or things that my city has to offer.

I live in the city of New Ulm, Minnesota.

This weekend we are having our big German celebration called Bavarian Blast!

Lots of German bands show up to perform their fine music!

People dance a lot to the oompah music.

Alpensterne

https://www.jodler.biz/

Dan Witucki, and his dual Alphorns

https://www.reverbnation.com/danwiituckiandmeinheimatlandmusikanten

Leon Olsen Show

https://m.facebook.com/pages/category/Musician-band/The-Leon-Olsen-Show-436876409808552/

Larry Olsen Band

https://www.larryolsenband.com/contact

Brian Brueggan & the Mississippi Dutchmen

https://m.facebook.com/590653344317744/

Marv Nissel Band

https://m.facebook.com/590653344317744/

Last night I went to see a band called Free Falling, a Tom Petty Tribute band.

https://www.freefallin.us/

Awesome Tom Petty Cover Band

We also saw some of the show, Shirts and Skins.

Shirts & Skins

https://www.shirtsandskinsband.com/

All these bands have appeared at one time or another at our Bavarian Blast.

https://www.bavarianblast.com/

Anyway I’m headed back there tonight to see the Stein Holding contest.

Anyway here I am introducing Leon Olsen

Schunkelfest 2022

Hubby wearing his free T-shirt!

This morning we met around the Glockenspiel for the 8th Annual Schunkelfest!

It was the most well-attended one we had so far, with over 100 people in attendance.

This is the weekend of our Bavarian Blast.

https://www.bavarianblast.com/

Each Friday morning from 7 AM until 8 AM during the weekend of Bavarian Blast we shunkel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schunkeln

Free t-shirts, free food & drink, live oompah music and group dancing 🎶

It’s a fun time for the whole community!

Even the New Ulm Narren showed up to join in the fun!

The Narren were there too!

http://www.narrenofnewulm.com/

Thursday Book Review: M.C. Beaton Mystery Series from Book to Screen

Do you prefer the character of Agatha Raisin,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agatha_Raisin

The TV actress does not physically resemble the author’s portrayal of Agatha Raisin in her books

or Hamish Macbeth?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamish_Macbeth

Robert Carlyle is too short for the author’s portrayal of Hamish

I have read both series by the late M.C. Beaton aka Marion Chesney.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Chesney

I feel the reason the Hamish Macbeth series is so readable and likable is because the author grew up in the very country Hamish is from!

I love mystery doused with comedy, and if you do too, Hamish Macbeth is for you!

Whether you are on Team Agatha or Team Hamish, keep in mind the books are always way better than the shows on TV!

I like Ashley Jenner and I like Robert Carlyle as actors, nevertheless, I think perky, blonde Ashley Jenner would be an ideal in the character’s mind, but bears little resemblance to the close-set, bearlike-eyed, thick-waisted, and brown-haired Agatha Raisin of the Agatha Raisin novels!

Also, 5’8″ Robert Carlyle is no 6 foot plus tall police constable Hamish Macbeth. 6′ 1″ David Tennant would probably suit the role of Hamish Macbeth a whole lot better.

I imagine it would mean hiring shorter actors amd lowering ceilings to see the gangly Hamish bumping his head on door entrances!

(No. Unrelated to all this, I am not pleased with Anna Chancellor playing Lord Veternari either in Terry Pratchett’s TV rendition of, “The Watch.”)

To summarize, the books are way better, and sorry if I was harsh in my critique.

Nevertheless, M.C. Beaton is a fine writer and her books are a lot of fun!

Question: Have you ever been disappointed with a character’s film portrayal in comparison to the book?

Wednesday Diet Wisdom: The Obesity Cycle

The ride to weightloss is difficult

Once you get fat, it’s a very hard trap.

I call it the obesity cycle: overeat, repent, repeat.

Once you get to a certain weight or a certain BMI, it can be very hard to change to get slim again.

For many people, getting fat only leads to getting fatter.

To make significant weightloss happen, it is clear that the solution to obesity is far more harder to achieve than prominent Weightloss Companies may promise, to say the least.

Yes, it’s true that exercise is the key to a healthier body, but so is what we eat on a daily and nightly basis.

Too many calories can make us fail in our quest to get fit and trim.

Today I am in the repentant phase of the obesity cycle.

For over a month I counted every little calorie that went into my mouth. Suddenly, counting calories began to be very tiresome.

So, after stepping on the scale at the orthodontist clinic yesterday, I saw that I was up 3 pounds because I recently quit counting calories.

I need to start counting my calorie intake again!

I had oral surgery yesterday and I’m kind of spent.

Keep fighting the fine fight and don’t let yourself get too fat.

If you’re already too fat, continue to get proper nourishment and lots of exercise, fresh air and rest, but continue to count calories and if you can stand it, be sure to get on the scale to check your weight.

If you fell off the weight reduction track, get back on-board

P.S. All diet advice by me is my opinion and does not reflect on any professional advice. Lose weight at your own risk.

Monthly Memoir: The Distinguished Dropout

Off to my Memoir Writing Meeting

I walked to the New Ulm public library on Monday morning to attend my first Memoir Writing meeting.

I saw my old friend, retired school teacher, Nancy Busse with her friend Jan.

Nancy and Jan

I listened to other people read or talk about their memoirs.

Tom and Benny

Tom is 95. He was born in 1927! Benny is a trumpet player who traveled with many popular dance bands!

Our Librarian/Technician spoke of the Memory Lab where you can preserve all your old photos, Lps, 18mm film and other memories on digital media for free!.

Librarian and Memory Lab Expert LeRoy Harris

If you want you can read my memoir I read to the group, here it is!

“The Distinguished Dropout,” by Amy Zents


When I was 15 years old I was fed up with school. I had desperately tried to be a good student, but to no avail. I was either tardy or absent. I even tried changing schools, going from an eilite collegiate high school to a few other not-so-elite ones. 

Living in downtown Toronto I could not focus.Little did I know I had ADHD, and the stimulation of city-life overwhelmed my brain.At the time I could not understand why I couldn’t focus, and why I felt like such a failure.

After changing high schools to try and find the right fit, I quit school altogether and went to work.I kept changing jobs over and over again. I worked as a chambermaid, or housekeeper in downtown hotels Once while cleaning in the Sheraton, a guy claiming to be a Maple Leafs Hockey coach tried to pick me up stating his credentials.  I just ignored his advances.

In my later teens, I worked in a fancy travel agency. Although I had no experience I was put in the Accounts Payable department located in the prestigious Toronto Star Building. The job was not for someone like me. The pay was excellent, but I made too many errors because math was not my strong suit.

For awhile I ventured into working in retail. I learned how to use a cash register, albeit poorly, and I had a locker. The job was so slow and so boring, I could not bear it, so I quit. 

Later on, I worked at Sears in the mail room, where I delivered mail to the different departments. I felt invisible and degraded there for some reason.One day I saw an old lady lying flat on her back near the shoe department, and I alerted staff.. All they did was call the EMT’s while she lay there unconscious. She died at Sears.That incident upset me a lot, so I quit.

The last job, and the one I held the longest, was in catering and cafeteria food service at the Canada Life Insurance company. We served lawyers at their breakfasts, and banquets and each noon in their private dining room we filled their lunch orders that they checked off with a pencil from a daily menu.

At some point in my job search, I went to Canadian Man Power and took an employment aptitude test. The results showed my ideal job was a cook.Shortly before I got married, Man Power invited to pay for me to take a commercial cooking course. I declined.I was also contacted by the new IKEA store asking me come work for them. 

There seemed to be a lot of employment opportunities for me in spite of my work record. But I chose to leave that all behind.

At the tender age of 19 I got married and left the big city for a small town in Northern Minnesota. After eight long miserable years living in Sauk Center, earning two dollars an hour babysitting, I finally realized that in order to get ahead, I needed to get my GED! 

I learned to drive in a manual transmission car and it took me 3 tries to get my driver’s license at age 25, now I was ready to try to get a high school equivalency diploma.

I took classes at Melrose high school to review old subjects to prepare for my GED.I had to take the GED test in Alexandria, MN. I was so nervous, epecially since I remembered it took me three times to pass my driver’s road test. I hoped I would only need to take the GED test once and for all.

After the test, I waited to receive my notice in the mail, I was proud to find out I had passed! 

Along with the verification that I had succeeded in getting my GED, was a special note. 

It was a gold-embossed card that stated, “Congratulations to Amalia for Excellence in Adult Education.” I learned I had nearly perfect scores in all the areas of the test! I felt so amazed. I was a distinguished dropout!

Memoir resources were handed out
Personal experience is the ingredients of a good menoir

On The Tube: Delicacies Destiny

Feelings of love abound in “Delicacies Destiny.”

Disney Channel streams this enjoyable series of 16 episodes set in the Royal Courts of China.

Food and cooking holds a central role in this show and so does the Delicacy Kitchen Head chef!

Modest Head Chef Ling

Also, slow-motion eating, combined with expressive sounds and moans of pleasure make you vicariously feel as if you are eating what you see on your screen.

Hubby and me will often eat and watch the show. Whether it’s a big steaming bowl of stirfried rice or a delicious tapioca pudding like this I had at lunchtime, Delicacies Destiny is always sure to satisfy your taste for good viewing.

Yummy 😋