Showing posts from December, 2017

Celebrities' Real Names

Probably on one of the lower eschelons as far as any real importance in life, but a fun thing to gather information about, at least if you're the kind of person who likes that sort of thing. 

For better of worse, that's me. 

There was a list of these celebrity birth names at the office, 5 or 6 years ago, when I was still engaged in the world of dayjob. It was circulated by  a fellow who loved to memorize stuff and then rattle it back at you. Somehow a lot of them got lodged into my own brain. So I'm sharing them here, in just a minute. Lucky you.

I suppose something as meaningless as celebrities' birth names, and what and how they were modified could have some social relevance. The ones from the 40s and 50s do reflect attitudes after WWII, where you saw many German names 'whitebreaded'. One quick example before we get to the master list, is Fred Astaire. Frederick Austerlitz. 

Well, then again, Astaire is more euphonious than Austerlitz. Less- austere. So that…

Everything I Know About Norway

I don't generally travel worth a damn. Being packed into a tight space with other humans starts to feel like prison, and I'm just off my game for the entire journey to and fro. I hate traveling.

 Being there is quite a different matter.  I love being different places, experiencing different environments, different cultures- that is, once the jetlag wears off. Once I'm there, all is well. It's just the getting there. For me this involves one of two different courses of action: either I suck it up momentarily as far as my enmity for travel, or go there as a virtual trip. 

   In this instance I took a cyber-journey. An all-day boat ride down the Telemark Canal in central Norway. It's the kind of thing you watch for a half-hour or hour at a time. I guess you could watch the entire 8 hours(or was it 9?)at a stretch, but it would probably have to involve a lot of liquor or some major hallucinogens.

I don't drink anymore, and am probably too old to be messing around wit…


I remember Tony Soprano lamenting to his therapist the various behavioral problems he's passed on to his son, AJ- namely depression and anxiety-and specifically panic attacks. "My putrid f*ing DNA is my gift to my son!"

 My own Dad, pictured above in his 'element', made a similar but refreshingly undramatic comment. "Son, most of your shittier characteristics you got from my side of the family." Unlike Soprano Sr, he wasn't prone to depression as such, but he did have anxiety out the ass. 
  That was my Dad's genetic gift to his son. Actually both his sons. I could've gotten the height, but no-o-o-o. I had to get the hypertension..
  We never had panic attacks though. Just the heebie-jeebies from time to time. And it is pretty controllable, if you set your mind to it. You never wipe it out entirely, but you can greatly reduce it. 
  And it could've been a lot worse. I'm thinking first of one of my favorite jazz pianists, Michel Petruccia…

Rivers of the World

I remember learning a few things in High School- not all that many but a few. One was from Geography class. We learned about what I thought were just two rivers in Pittsburgh: The Allegheny and Monongahela. 
  Well , I was wrong . There are actually three rivers involved here. The Allegheny and Monongahela come together to form the Ohio River. 
  Most rivers start in mountainous terrain, as fresh and quickly moving streams. The Allegheny, which is 325 miles long, starts in north central Pennsylvania, Porter County, and moves north into New York, then back into Pennsylvania. Allegheny is American Indian(don't remember which tribe)for "fine river". 
  The Monongahela, which is 128 miles long, originates in Freemont, West Virginia and moves its way due north. It's one of the few navigable north-south rivers. The name again is from the American Indians and means "high bluffs". 
  These two converge in downtown Pittsburgh to form the Ohio River. It's 981 miles l…


Welcome to my new site! I love learning new things, gathering more information- sometimes the more useless the better. My interests are fairly broad, and include just about everything except Politics and Opera, so there should be a wide spate of topics in here. 
  Just getting started here, so my first post is forthcoming. As Adam was supposed to have said to Eve, "stand back, honey. I don't know how big this thing is supposed to get!"