Boom 🧨

Just what pleasure do people get from setting off obnoxiously loud fireworks for hours on end?  I’ve never understood it.  I am sitting here at just after midnight, and every few seconds comes another loud BOOM!  This is an apartment complex of 180 townhouses, most occupied by working class families with children and pets.  Some actually go to bed and sleep at night, but obviously not tonight. My own cats are cowering under the sofa.  There are a number of fireworks shows in and around this city with fireworks that are actually pretty, that light up the night sky with colour, so why don’t these fools attend one of those?  No, they would rather set off fireworks that only make loud noise and cause my heart to literally jump with every single one.  I am too old for this crap.

The reason for the fireworks?  Today is the 4th of July 2021.  Here in the United States it is a federal holiday commemorating the passage of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.  There was a time when this day meant something to me. Today, I find it difficult to feel any particular loyalty to a nation that is so divided we seem to be two distinctly separate countries, only without geographic boundaries.  There is no middle ground anymore … you are either a liberal or conservative, Democrat of Republican, human or racist, thinker or follower.  There have, of course, always been such divisions, but until about a decade ago, there was a middle ground, some things that we could all agree on.  Today, that middle ground is gone, replaced by a wide chasm, a desolate wasteland where neither side will venture.  Worse yet, civility and respect have also flown the coop such that if one person disagrees with another, they will call each other vulgar names and hurl accusations, maybe even threats.

We are on a path that is taking us far from the ideology that this nation was once based on, that of “all ‘men’ being created equal.”  Racism is on the rise around the nation, promoted by many of our elected officials.  Our right to participate in our government via our vote is on the chopping block and was dealt what may turn out to be a death blow last Thursday by none other than the U.S. Supreme Court.

Inflation is >5% just in the past year, and many families who lost income during the pandemic are struggling to survive while state governments are cutting unemployment benefits.

Gun violence is beyond words … anybody can buy and own a gun … as many of them as they want.  They can buy automatic weapons that can kill everyone in the room within a minute or two.  Shootings at grocery stores, mosques, on the streets, in theaters and bars have become commonplace and one half of the nation would protect their right to own a gun before they would protect their own children.

The U.S. is the #1 per capita emitter of the carbon that is literally killing us all with melting icecaps, rising sea levels, deadly heat, water shortages, ruined crops and more and the people of this nation rebel at any suggestion that they make certain lifestyle changes to try to turn things around.

No, I’m afraid there really isn’t a whole lot to celebrate this holiday.  The one bright spot is that we do, after four long years, finally have a president who is intelligent and compassionate, who cares about the needs of the people, but even that bright light is dimmed by those who would put up obstacles at every turn to slow or halt any progress he might make.

So no, I’m not celebrating this holiday … this is just another Sunday to me and frankly I’ll be glad when this long weekend is over and the fireworks stop so the kitties can come out from under the sofa, we can stop worrying about a fire here in da hood, and my heart can settle back into my chest.

Juneteenth — Another Point Of View

While I have applauded the passage and presidential signing of the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act and have chalked up most of the objections to both ignorance and racism, I did come across one thought-provoking OpEd.  This piece by a professor at Morehouse College, a historically Black liberal arts college in Atlanta, Georgia, makes some very valid points.  Professor Robert A. Brown is not against the Juneteenth holiday, but reminds us that declaring it a federal holiday is not the end goal, that there is much work to be done in this country yet before Blacks have true freedom and equality.  The phrase, ‘Talk is cheap, actions speak louder than words’ comes to mind as I read his words and ponder what he says …


Juneteenth As A National Holiday Is Symbolism Without Progress

June 19, 2021  6:00 AM ET

ROBERT A. BROWN

This week, President Biden signed into law the “Juneteenth National Independence Day.”

It is honoring the work of Black Americans, including people such as 94-year-old Civil Rights Activist Opal Lee, who had long advocated for the celebration that started in Galveston to be made a federal holiday.

Juneteenth celebrates the date when Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19th, 1865, bringing news that the Emancipation Proclamation had freed the enslaved population living in the Confederacy, albeit two years prior.

Yet the reaction amongst many African Americans, myself included, has been muted.

There is a growing discontent in the African American community with symbolic gestures that are presented as progress without any accompanying economic or structural change.

The vestiges of a shameful past continue

Though Juneteenth is a celebration of the people who endured slavery, the vestiges of slavery and the Jim Crow segregation designed to preserve it continue to this day.

As law professor Michelle Alexander notes, “There are more African American men in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850.”

The average white household holds almost 7 times more than the wealth of a Black household. Perhaps more concerning, education does little to close the Black-white wealth gap as white families headed by those without a college degree have more wealth than Black families headed by those with a graduate or professional degree.

And yet, in the face of these stark disparities, lawmakers have been more willing to engage in performative symbolism than passing laws to make substantive change.

We have seen federal lawmakers take a knee, draped in kente cloth, but we have seen no substantive change about reforming police brutality that inspired Colin Kaepernick’s initial protest.

Lift Every Voice and Sing” is sung across the country, while legislation for reparations for the horrors of slavery languish. Sports arenas and streets have the words “Black Lives Matter” emblazoned for all to see, and yet police reform and anti-lynching laws that were some of the initial goals of the Black Lives Matter movement remain unpassed.

What is needed are substantive steps

There are substantive steps that federal lawmakers could take to honor the historic debt owed to the descendants of the enslaved in addition to a federal holiday.

House Resolution 40 has called for a committee to study reparations. If advanced, it could ultimately begin a national discussion about cash reparations at the federal level.

Substantive reform to end the immunity police who brutalize our citizens should be enacted, as well as a reversal of the decades-long militarization of the police.

Historically Black colleges and universities, most of which were founded around the end of slavery, should receive substantial increases in federal funding.

In many ways, the history of Juneteenth and the end of U.S. slavery mirrors the uneven pace of progress for African Americans during the following 150 years.

I have celebrated Juneteenth at festivals that honor the culture and community of the descendants of those who had been enslaved. Those celebrations always featured a community singing of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” just like members of Congress did upon the signing of the Juneteenth holiday into law.

This year, while I’ll sing about being “full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,” like many African Americans, I’ll be mindful that, as the song says, we must continue to fight on “till victory is won.”

Opal Lee — Grandmother Of Juneteenth

Look at this beautiful woman …

This is Opal Lee, age 94, and on this, the first time Juneteenth is being celebrated as an official U.S. holiday, I want to tell you a little bit about Ms. Lee who is known as the Grandmother of Juneteenth.  While yesterday I wrote a bit about the negativity of some racists toward the new holiday, Juneteenth, today I want to put aside the negative and focus on the positive … and the voice of Ms. Opal Lee.


When Opal Lee was growing up in Texas, she would spend Juneteenth picnicking with her family, first in Marshall, where she was born, then in Sycamore Park in Fort Worth, near the home she moved into at age 10.  Ms. Lee’s paternal grandmother was born into bondage in Louisiana, and while Ms. Lee, born in 1927, was not a slave, she felt the cruel edge of racism at a very early age.

She and her family lived in a predominantly white neighborhood in Fort Worth. On Juneteenth 1939, when Ms. Lee was 12, a mob of 500 white supremacists set fire to her home and vandalized it. The structure was destroyed, and no arrests were made.  Says Lee of that time …

“People gathered. The papers say that it was 500 strong, and that the police couldn’t control them. My dad came home with a gun, and the police told him if he busted a cap, they’d let that mob have him.  If they had given us an opportunity to stay there and be their neighbors, they would have found out we didn’t want any more than what they had – a decent place to stay, jobs that paid, to be able to go to school in the neighborhood, even if it was a segregated school. We would have made good neighbors, but they didn’t give us an opportunity. And I felt like everybody needs an opportunity.”

And that incident was the spark that lit Ms. Lee’s subsequent decades of activism.  Ms. Lee earned her college degree and became a teacher.  She joined the Tarrant County Black Historical and Genealogical Society, which oversaw local Juneteenth celebrations. But she said that after more than 40 years as a community activist, she “really doubled down in 2016” by “going bigger.”

At the tender age of 89, she decided to start with a walking campaign in cities along a route from her home in Fort Worth, Texas, to Washington, D.C. It wasn’t a straight line. Over several weeks, Lee arrived in cities where she’d been invited to speak and walked 2½ miles to symbolize the 2½ years that it took for enslaved people in Texas to learn they were free.  She made the entire 1,400-mile trek from Fort Worth, Texas to Washington D.C.

“I knew I just had to spread the word about Juneteenth to everybody.  I was thinking that surely, somebody would see a little old lady in tennis shoes trying to get to Congress and notice.”

Since then, Ms. Lee has become known far and wide as the Grandmother of Juneteenth.  So, it only made sense that on Thursday when President Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, Ms. Opal Lee was invited to attend the signing.

Not only that, but the President himself called her “a grandmother of the movement to make Juneteenth a federal holiday” and got down on one knee to greet her in the audience.  During his speech before the signing, Biden asked the audience to give Lee, who was seated in the front row, a standing ovation.  And after he signed the bill into law, he gave Ms. Lee the first pen he used to sign it.

“I have to say to you, I have only been president for several months, but I think this will go down, for me, as one of the greatest honors I will have as president – not because I did it, you did it, Democrats and Republicans. It’s an enormous, enormous honor.”


What follows is a part of an interview between Ms. Lee and the New York Times last year on Juneteenth:

What is your first memory of celebrating Juneteenth?

It was in Marshall, Texas, where I was born. We’d go to the fairgrounds to celebrate. It was like going to Christmas or Thanksgiving, we had such a good time.

Some people still compare Independence Day to Juneteenth. How would you explain the type of freedom and community that comes from celebrating Juneteenth?

The difference between Juneteenth and the 4th of July? Woo, girl! The fact is none of us are free till we’re all free. Knowing that slaves didn’t get the word for two and a half years after the emancipation, can’t you imagine how those people felt? They’d been watching — that’s what they call Watch Night services — every New Year’s, thinking freedom was coming. And then to find out they were free, even two and a half years after everybody else.

So, the 4th of July? Slaves weren’t free. You know that, don’t you? And so we just celebrate the hell out of the 4th of July, so I suggest that if we’re going to do some celebrating of freedom, that we have our festival, our educational components, our music, from June the 19 — Juneteenth — to the 4th of July. Now that would be celebrating freedom.

How do you think the protests for Black lives that are happening around the country have shaped the way that people understand Juneteenth?

We have simply got to make people aware that none of us are free until we’re all free, and we aren’t free yet. There’s so many disparities. You know, we need some decent education and some decent jobs that pay money, and we need health care and all kinds of things and if people would just get together and address these disparities, we’d be well on our way to being the greatest country in the world.

Right now lots of companies are making Juneteenth an official holiday. How does it feel to see your vision coming to fruition?

Ooh girl, I could do a holy dance. I’m so happy to see things coming to fruition and the fact that we are almost there making it a holiday. We started out talking about 100,000 signatures and now we’re saying let’s take a million signatures to Congress to let them know that it’s not just one little old lady in tennis shoes.

I hope they understand that we’re talking about a holiday like Presidents’ Day or Flag Day. We’re not talking about a paid holiday. However, I’m delighted to have the big companies give their employees the day off with pay.

What changes do you hope to see in our country beyond having Juneteenth recognized on a national level?

If we would unify, if we would get together and do something about homelessness, and do something about people having decent housing, and decent food, and they would have not only a place to stay but a decent education.

If we could just love one another, you know? If you could get past the color of my skin and love me like you do that boy next door to you.


And those, my friends, are words for us all.  If Ms. Lee has one message for us it is that one – get past the colour of people’s skin and just love them!  Stop the hate, the violence, the petty bickering and … just love one another.  Life is too short to waste it with bigotry of any sort.  And on that note, I wish you all a very Happy Juneteenth!

Juneteenth Is Now Official, But …

Tomorrow is Juneteeth.  If you don’t know what Juneteenth is, please visit my post from last year to refresh your memory.  In short, Juneteenth is “a holiday celebrated on 19 June to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved people in the US. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, in the aftermath of the Civil War, slaves were declared free under the terms of the 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.”  But in this, the era of extreme racism in government, police, and society, it is much, much more than that.

I was so moved that I was speechless, a rarity for me, when President Biden signed a bill, the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, into law yesterday declaring that June 19th is, from this point forward in the United States, a federal holiday.  The bill landed on the President’s desk despite some 14 members of the House of Representatives who objected.  Yes, my friends, 14 people who We the People elected to federal office, to the United States Congress, are still so blinded by bigotry that they refused to honour the day that, at least on paper, Black people won the right to be free and equal in the eyes of this nation.

Those 14 representatives are …

  1. Mo Brooks (Alabama)
  2. Andy Biggs (Arizona)
  3. Andrew Clyde (Georgia)
  4. Scott DesJarlais (Tennessee)
  5. Paul Gosar (Arizona)
  6. Ronnie Jackson (Texas)
  7. Doug LaMalfa (California)
  8. Thomas Massie (Kentucky)
  9. Tom McClintock (California)
  10. Ralph Norman (South Carolina)
  11. Mike Rogers (Alabama)
  12. Matt Rosendale (Montana)
  13. Chip Roy (Texas)
  14. Tom Tiffany (Wisconsin)

Remember their names, for these are some of the most racist, bigoted representatives in the United States Congress today.  Also note that ten of the fourteen are from states SOUTH of the Mason-Dixon line … states that fought on the side of the Confederacy trying to preserve slavery just 150 years ago.

There seem to have been two schools of ‘thought’ (and I use that term loosely) among these fourteen as to why they do not support this bill.  Some said it was because of the bill’s name as ‘Independence Day’, and others objected … believe it or not … to federal workers getting yet another paid holiday!  Remember that members of Congress get numerous, lengthy paid holidays each year, far in excess of what the average worker gets.  A few of the more ignominious comments …

  • “Juneteenth is more debunked Critical Race Theory in action.” – Paul Gosar
  • “… I do not support more days off for federal employees.” – Ronny Jackson
  • “Naming this day ‘National Independence Day’ would create confusion and push Americans to pick one of those two days as their independence day based on their racial identity.” – Thomas Massie
  • “I don’t believe it’s healthy to reach into the dead past, revive its most malevolent conflicts and reintroduce them into our age.” – Tom McClintock
  • This isn’t an effort to commemorate emancipation, it’s very clearly tied to the larger hard-left agenda to enshrine the racial history of this country as the prime aspect of our national story.” – Matt Rosendale
  • “… needlessly divides our nation on a matter that should instead bring us together by creating a separate Independence Day based on the color of one’s skin.” – Chip Roy

Apparently Mr. McClintock and Mr. Rosendale do not believe in that old adage that if we forget the lessons of history, we are destined to repeat it.  And Mr. Roy must have his head buried in the sand if he doesn’t realize that this nation is already hopelessly divided on matters of race, among other issues.  What a bunch of narrow-minded bigots these 14 white males are, with no sense of history, no sense of humanity, only their own belief in their white supremacy.  Folks, please, vote these jerks out next year … our very lives depend on it.

April Fool’s!

I gave some thought to trying to pull an April Fool’s joke on you guys by telling you that this would be the last post ever on Filosofa’s Word, but … I figured some would see the title or read the first sentence and say, “Whew, it’s a good thing, for that old hag never had anything interesting to say anyway.”  And then my feelings would be hurt.  Not to mention that I’ve never been any good at pulling April Fool’s jokes.  The best one I tried was hiding my daughter’s car after she went to bed one March 31st night.  But, after an hour or two, I feared she might wake up, think it had been stolen, and call the cops (I only moved it one street over), so I moved it back before going to bed.  My girls … and anyone who knows me … can tell when I’m “up to something”, for my face gives me away every time.  So … instead of pulling a prank on you guys, I’m going to share some of the best April Fool’s pranks by others in years past.

Nearly every site I visited had this one …

On April 1, 1957, the BBC TV show “Panorama” ran a segment about the Swiss spaghetti harvest, enjoying a “bumper year” thanks to mild weather and the elimination of the spaghetti weevil. Many credulous Britons were taken in, and why not? The story was on television – then a relatively new invention – and Auntie Beeb would never lie, would it?

It accompanied this announcement with footage of Swiss peasants pulling strands of spaghetti down from trees. Huge numbers of viewers were taken in. Many called the BBC wanting to know how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. To this the BBC diplomatically replied, “place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best.” Even the director-general of the BBC later admitted that after seeing the show he checked in an encyclopedia to find out if that was how spaghetti actually grew (but the encyclopedia had no information on the topic). The broadcast remains, by far, the most popular and widely acclaimed April Fool’s Day hoax ever, making it an easy pick for the #1 April Fools’ hoax of all time on the Museum of Hoaxes website – a fine source for all things foolish.

More recently, in 2015, Cottonelle tweeted that it was introducing left-handed toilet paper for all those southpaws out there.

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Few people may have been taken in by Cottonelle, but that wasn’t the case in 1973, when Johnny Carson cracked a joke about a toilet paper shortage. Worried Americans immediately stocked up. Well, you can never be too sure.

In this now-classic 1996 prank, Taco Bell took out newspaper ads saying it had bought the Liberty Bell “in an effort to help the national debt.” Even some senators were taken in, and the National Park Service even held a press conference to deny the news. At noon, the fast-food chain admitted the joke, along with donating $50,000 for the bell’s care. The value of the joke, of course, was priceless.

In 1994, PC Magazine ran a column about a bill making its way through Congress that would prohibit the use of the Internet while intoxicated. Despite the name of the contact person, Lirpa Sloof (“her name spelled backward says it all,” the column concluded), many people took the story seriously.

In retrospect, however, perhaps the bill – fake or not – wasn’t such a bad idea.

Here are some of the best April Fool’s pranks from around the globe …

France: According to Le Parisien, in 1986, the Eiffel Tower was going to be dismantled and rebuilt inside the new Euro Disney park.

Denmark: In 1965, a Copenhagen newspaper reported that Parliament had passed a law that all dogs be painted white to improve road safety because they could then be seen clearly at night.

Norway: In 1987, after reading that the government was planning to distribute 10,000 litres of wine confiscated from smugglers, hundreds of citizens turned up carrying empty bottles and buckets.

China: Claiming that it would reduce the need for foreign experts, the China Youth Daily joked in 1993 that the government had decided to exempt PhDs from the nation’s one-child-per-family policy. After foreign press picked up the hoax, the government condemned April Fools’ Day as a Western tradition.

Great Britain: In 1980, those serial pranksters at the BBC announced that Big Ben, London’s historic clock tower, would undergo a face-lift and become digital to keep up with the times. This one didn’t go over so big, as enraged callers flooded the station with complaints.

Canada: In 2008, WestJet airlines advertised its overhead cabin bins as “among the most spacious of any airline” and said it would charge passengers an extra $12 to use these “sleeper cabins.”

Taiwan: In 2009, the Taipei Times claimed that “Taiwan-China relations were dealt a severe setback yesterday when it was found that the Taipei Zoo’s pandas are not what they seem.” The paper reported that the pandas, a gift from the Chinese government, were brown forest bears dyed to resemble pandas. Among the complaints sent to the paper was one from the zoo’s director.

Germany: In 2009, BMW ran an ad promoting its new “magnetic tow technology.” The invention enabled drivers to turn off their engine and get a “free ride” by locking onto the car ahead via a magnetic beam.

Perhaps the most fun part of April Fool’s pranks are that somebody, somewhere, will fall for almost anything!

And if you need some ideas for your own pranks, Bored Panda has a few

Insect Lamps

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Attach An Airhorn To Their Seat

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Delight Their Taste Buds With Caramel Onions

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Prank At Walmart

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Now, use your imagination and have a bit of fun with the day … just keep it fun, not mean.  Unless you’re pranking someone who deserves mean … then it’s okay to be mean.

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Jolly Monday — Is It Spring Yet???

Good Monday morn, dear friends!  Be careful of the ice on your in … Jolly salted the sidewalk, but it’s so cold I’m not sure how much good it did.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr … come in, warm yourselves by the (imaginary) fire!  So, how was your weekend?  Did any of you do anything special for Valentine’s Day?  It isn’t a holiday that I celebrate in general, but a special someone sent me and the girls chocolates from ‘cross the pond, and that brought a big smile to my face.

Joyful has been concocting something in the kitchen, but she won’t even let me in to see what it is, or to offer my expertise, so we’ll just have to mosey over to the table and see what delicacy she has prepared for us!  Then, we’ll proceed to find something to start this week out on a positive note and with a smile on our faces!

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Jollys girlfriend Joyful  Can’t forget the bacon lovers, now can we?


Lucky dog!

Lulu is an 8-year-old border collie who, until recently, lived with her human, Bill Dorris.  Sadly, Bill died late last year, and now Lulu lives with Martha Burton, who sometimes took care of Lulu when Bill was out of town traveling on business.

When Mr. Dorris’ will was read a few weeks ago … imagine Lulu’s surprise to find that Bill left her $5 million!!!  In it, he stipulated that Lulu is to reimburse Ms. Burton for ‘reasonable monthly expenses’.  Wow … the dog’s a multi-millionaire!  I suspect Lulu’s reasonable monthly expenses are likely to come to several thousand dollars per month, eh?


A Valentine’s Day … gift?  💔

This from the Associated Press

A North Carolina sheriff’s office is giving people a chance on Valentine’s Day weekend to show their former lovers they’re still wanted by turning them in if they have outstanding warrants.

The Nash County Sheriff’s Office is offering what it calls a “Valentine’s Day Weekend Special,” which it described as “a special too sweet to pass up.”

The “offer” posted on its Facebook page includes what the sheriff’s office described as a set of limited-edition platinum bracelets, free transportation with a chauffeur and a one-night minimum stay in “our luxurious (five-star) accommodations.” It tops the offer with a special Valentine’s dinner.


And on that note, it’s time for some ‘toons!

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In the mood for a few funny signs?

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And last but not least, if it’s Jolly Monday, it must be time for a cute animal video, yes?  I just know you’re gonna fall in love with this baby fox!


Well, my friends, it’s that time once again … time for us all to be useful in one way or another.  I’ve really enjoyed our time together today, and I hope you have too.  Have a great week, and please share those smiles … tough times with the pandemic and the political situations in so many countries … just a smile sometimes makes it all seem bearable.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

Happy Groundhog Day!!! – Redux (again)

This is a repeat of my 2017 Groundhog Day post.  I considered writing a new one, but after I read this one, and it even made me laugh, I figured I couldn’t come up with anything better, so why re-invent the wheel, eh?  If you remember this from last year, or the year before, or the year before … pretend you don’t and read it again, laugh again, okay?  We need to find humour these days …


“Ground Hog Day is tomorrow. We’re the only country that accepts weather predictions from a rodent, and denies climate change facts by scientists.” – Alt-NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

ghd-3Good morning!  Today is a very special day, so I am setting aside my usual fare for this morning’s post to pay due respect and homage to none other than Pennsylvania’s own … {drumroll} … {applause} … Punxsutawney Phil!!!!  A brief summary of the legend and the history for my friends across the pond who may not know about Phil:

On this day in 1887, Groundhog Day, featuring a rodent meteorologist, is celebrated for the first time at Gobbler’s Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. According to tradition, if a groundhog comes out of its hole on this day and sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow means an early spring.

ghd-5Groundhog Day has its roots in the ancient Christian tradition of Candlemas Day, when clergy would bless and distribute candles needed for winter. The candles represented how long and cold the winter would be. Germans expanded on this concept by selecting an animal–the hedgehog–as a means of predicting weather. Once they came to America, German settlers in Pennsylvania continued the tradition, although they switched from hedgehogs to groundhogs, which were plentiful in the Keystone State.

The line of groundhogs that have since been known as Phil might be America’s most famous groundhogs, but other towns across North America now have their own weather-predicting rodents, from Birmingham Bill to Staten Island Chuck to Shubenacadie Sam in Canada.

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According to the Weather Channel, the forecast in Punxsutawney is a high chance of cloudy skies, and even a chance of a flurry or two. According to the legend, this means an early spring is ahead. For the record, Punxsutawney Phil has only been accurate 39% of the time since 1887.

I used to say that Groundhog Day was my favourite holiday, mostly because it did not require a lot of effort on my part … no huge meal to cook, no presents to buy and wrap, no tree to decorate or lights to string.

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I happened across a humorous piece I thought you might enjoy.  Scott Feschuk, a Canadian speechwriter, humourist and former newspaper journalist, wrote this satire piece after hearing Trump’s rather ridiculous speech on black history.  It is his take on what a speech by Trump to commemorate Groundhog Day might be like:

“Well, this is Groundhog Day, so these are just a few little notes I want to share with you. On this day, we honour the tremendous history of groundhogs throughout our country. Throughout the world, if you really think about it, right? Because that’s where groundhogs are and where they live. Here but also there. Everywhere, really, except not exactly everywhere but almost.

Mostly in the ground though, on or it, or in the vicinity – which is why we call them that. Groundhogs. Right there in the name.

They’re incredible animals and their incredible example is unique in many ways. So many unique ways that honestly there’s no point in me examining any of them in any detail. We all know. We all know bigly.

You’ve all heard about groundhogs. They are well known and people know about them. We have some good ones. We have the one from that place in Pennsylvania and we have other ones and we have the one from that golf movie with one of the Ghostbusters. There are others. Many others that we all know, and I also know them.

The groundhog from the movie Groundhog Day is an example of a groundhog who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I noticed. Big impact. But all groundhogs – big impact on the seasons and the changing of the seasons. There are several seasons and we all know what they are.

I do very well with groundhogs, by the way, not that you’d know from CNN which is fake news and disgraceful. But I do substantially better than others have done. They hear me talk about underground life—it’s horrible, life is short, you can get killed by a wolf on the way to pick up an acorn. They hear me and they love me.

The groundhog is cherished. I am very proud of the fact that people in America can learn about groundhogs, and many other things. And they can learn about their many, many accomplishments, which we celebrate on this day, which is why it is called Groundhogs Day and is so special.

I’m proud to honour our groundhog heritage and will be honouring it more and more. Like I said before, a groundhog is an animal—much like a fox is also an animal. And Fox News has treated me very nice. Wherever Fox is, thank you.

Omarosa saw a groundhog once.” 

So there you have it.  Everything you always wanted to know about Groundhog Day and more!  For the record, though I am not a cute, furry little animal that lives in holes in the ground, my prediction is that the sun has taken a permanent vacation.  Here, we have had exactly one sunny day since January 20th.  One.  Just ONE!  I think the sun came out, saw something evil, and went back behind the clouds for protection.

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Celebrating Australia

I initially started out to do a fun, positive, upbeat post about Australia Day.  I had even snagged a few fun memes about the day and the country from over at Phil’s Phun (Phil is an Aussie, you know).  But then, I discovered that not everybody in Australia is all that happy to observe a national commemoration on January 26th, and with good reason.  It’s reminiscent of our own Christopher Columbus Day in October that … well, should really be ended.  According to an article I found on VOA (Voice of America) News …

The first fleet of British convicts arrived in Sydney on Jan. 26, 1788, but Aboriginal groups mourn what they call “Invasion Day.”  Australia’s national day is controversial because it is held on a date marking British colonization. Aboriginal Australians have led the charge for it to be commemorated at a different time of the year. 

Cricket bosses have removed the term “Australia Day” from promotional material for matches because they insist it was a time of “mourning” for many Indigenous players. Many Australia Day events this year are being scaled back or postponed because of COVID-19 restrictions, but the clamor for the date to be altered is likely to be undiminished.

Australia’s Indigenous peoples make up about 3% of the national population. They believe that high rates of unemployment, poverty and incarceration are the direct result of the dispossession and marginalization caused by European colonization that began in 1788.

Aus-mapSadly, Australia’s current Prime Minister Scott Morrison seems rather oblivious to the pain the date recalls.  He is angry that the cricket teams will not be touting the day, and says, “When those 12 ships turned up in Sydney all those years ago, it wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either.”  This statement in itself reminds me so much of the person we here in the U.S. just voted out of the Oval Office … no empathy, no consideration for others’ feelings.  And he doesn’t even know the history of his nation, for according to historians there were 11 ships, not 12.

So now, I am torn.  I have a number of Australian blogging friends and I want to honour their country, and yet, I fully understand the reasons that this day should not be one of celebration, for it would be rather like celebrating the arrival of the first slave ships on U.S. soil … not something to be proud of.  So, instead of writing about the day and the tragedies of history, I will share a few of the beautiful areas and wildlife of Australia and drink a toast to all my Aussie friends … Paul, Andrea, Simeon, Anne, and all the rest!  Cheers, my friends — you guys live in a beautiful country!  🥂

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Uluru, the iconic monolith, also known as Ayers Rock, is the emblem of Australia. The massive sandstone rock is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Uluru, one of Australia’s World Heritage Sites, is sacred to its indigenous custodians. The monolith is now off-limits for climbers.

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Iconic Sydney Opera House

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The Great Barrier Reef is located off the east coast of Queensland and is one of Australia’s natural wonders and a World Heritage Site.

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The Twelve Apostles, the collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park in Victoria.

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The ‘Totem Pole’ from the last lookout of the Cape Hauy Track, in Tasman National Park, Tasmania.

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Weedy Sea Dragon

Lake Hillier, whose pink hue defies scientific explanation. 

I think that Australia has some of the cutest wildlife on the planet!  My two favourites are the Quokka and the Koala, but they are all beautiful!

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Baby Echidna, aka Hedgehog

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Kangaroo with Joey in the pouch

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Koala

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Quokka

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Tasmanian Devil

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Hello 2021!

I find myself unable to write a post this afternoon.  The nightmares that have plagued both my sleep and waking hours have left me in a dark mood, down a rabbit hole, and anything I would write today would not be worth reading.  So, I turn instead to that lady who, every week, scours the political cartoons to pick the best for our viewing pleasure, TokyoSand!  Thanks once again, TS, for this terrific selection!


Just like we were, editorial cartoonists were pretty focused on saying goodbye to 2020 and welcoming 2021. Here are my favorite cartoons from this past week.

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See All The ‘Toons!

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Holiday Edition

Today I am remarkably uninspired to write a post.  Post-holiday exhaustion, or political overload — I don’t know which.  So, since I haven’t yet shared with you TokyoSand’s latest cartoon post, I shall do so this afternoon!  Thank you, TS, for doing such a great job of picking out the best holiday-themed political cartoons!

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View the rest of the ‘toons!