Sometimes, When I’m Bored, I Google

Google has an interesting feature I use when I need a little inspiration or when I feel like looking for something, but I don’t know what I want to look for.

Open the Google search page and just click on the bar that says, “I’m Feeling Lucky.” Usually, I don’t enter anything into the search bar because usually when I do this I don’t have anything in mind to look for. I suppose you could enter something such as baseball or piano or waddle**.

You can either click on I’m Feeling Lucky or you can hover your cursor over the words and Google will give you another choice such as I’m feeling trendy or I’m Feeling Artistic or I’m Feeling Doodley.

“What a large volume of adventures may be grasped within the span of his little life by him who interests his heart in everything.” ― Laurence Sterne

For instance today I clicked on I’m Feeling Lucky and found this Google Arts and Culture page:

Arc de BeràAs often happens I learned something new. In fact, I learned a couple new things. First I learned there is a city in Catalonia, Spain known a Tarragona which was once known as Tárraco, a Roman settlement, which was the site of Kesse, a native Iberian settlement that dated back to the 5th century B.C. The Romans showed up in 218 B.C. Tárraco was the first and the oldest Roman settlement on the Iberian Peninsula (Spain).

The second (or maybe it was the third) thing I learned is that Tárraco became the model for future Roman settlements because “The unique Roman plan of the town is exceptional, as it adapted to the configuration of the land by means of a series of artificial terraces, which are to be seen around the provincial forum as well as in the residential quarter.

The Roman town sat on a hill, with the primary government buildings at the top and on two terraces (created by the Romans) near the top. Among the ruins that remain are the defensive ramparts or walls, the provincial forum, some columns, an aqueduct, the circus, a theater, a couple villas, and an amphitheater built in the 2nd century A.D. There is also a triumphal arch because it wouldn’t be an ancient Roman town if it didn’t have a triumphal arch.

You’ll find Tárraco within and around Tarragona, which is about 100 km southwest of Barcelona.

**P.S. Sometimes the results are disappointing. An “I’m Feeling Lucky” search for waddle turned up a definition for the word.

Musical Improve from Ben Folds with the National Symphony Orchestra

I just stumbled across this video where Ben Folds composes a five-minute orchestral piece of music within eight-minutes. The music is good, but I question the lyrics chosen for the work. Then again, I’m pretty sure that great singers such as Tony Bennett or Billie Holiday could sing a page from a phone book or a recipe and it would sound great.


I Have a Little Running Joke with My Granddaughter

My granddaughter and I have a lot of fun when we’re together. I have a number of running jokes I use with her. For instance, I try to use her name at least once in any story I read her. I also try to change something in the story. That way I know if she’s paying attention or if she hasn’t heard the story enough to have learned it in which case I slow down and ease back on my “reader’s theater” performance so she can better absorb the story and not what grandpa is doing with it. On the other hand, if she reacts to the change and corrects me, then I know we can have more fun with the story and its characters.

One of my favorite running jokes is “chicken.” No, it’s not a game of nerves. It’s one where grandpa plays dumb to give granddaughter an opportunity to expand her knowledge of animals.

Whenever I see any animal whether it’s while we’re walking or riding in a car or sometimes while reading a book, I’ll say, “Look River, there’s a chicken!” Since she knows what a chicken looks like she’ll correct me and have a great time telling grandpa what it is and how she knows the horse is a horse or the heron is a bird and not a chicken. If I happen to see a chicken I’ll say, “Look River, horsie” or “there’s a duck,” both animals she is familiar with.

Because of that, I thought I’d already picked out her Christmas present for this year. I was planning to give her this turtle.Plush Gray Toy Chicken

Today, however, I saw another possibility so I’m in a bit a quandary do I get one or the other or perhaps both. Considering that she has soooo many toys and stuffed animals are things she’s going to be getting at least into her teen years, if I get both it seems I’ll be unnecessarily adding to her bedroom clutter. On the other hand would she one day better appreciate the humor of the horsie or should I instead get her this? 

Right now, I don’t know what to do. Should I be getting the rooster or the roasting chicken with the movable parts? The good thing is that I’ve got at least five months to decide.

Time for the Democrats to Get Their Act Together

There are many reasons the Democrats lost just about everything in the last national election, but I think the biggest reason was that too many of them did not vote, too many of them mistakenly assumed their candidate(s) would win so they didn’t bother. Those voters have no reason to complain, no excuses because they didn’t bother. It’s time to make things better, time to bother…