12.25.2017

The Christmas Truce of 1914 - When Troops in World War I Sang Christmas Carols Together

It's Christmas morning, and I have coffee in hand, and a quiet house for the moment.
As I sat here thinking about what kind of a Christmas wish to put on It's Just the Coffee Talking, I found myself thinking about the Christmas Truce during WWI when troops defied orders, went from being soldiers to just men missing their families and loved ones back home and started to sing Christmas carols.  Soon other troops had joined in and at the break of day, some opposing forces met to trade cigarettes and puddings and sang songs together.


___________________________________


Just after midnight on Christmas morning, the majority of German troops engaged in World War I cease firing their guns and artillery and commence to sing Christmas carols. At certain points along the eastern and western fronts, the soldiers of Russia, France, and Britain even heard brass bands joining the Germans in their joyous singing.

At the first light of dawn, many of the German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a good-natured game of soccer.


Pope Benedict XV, who took office that September, had originally called for a Christmas truce, an idea that was officially rejected. Yet it seems the sheer misery of daily life in the cold, wet, dull trenches was enough to motivate troops to initiate the truce on their own — which means that it’s hard to pin down exactly what happened. A huge range of differing oral accounts, diary entries and letters home from those who took part make it virtually impossible to speak of a “typical” Christmas truce as it took place across the Western front. To this day historians continue to disagree over the specifics: no one knows where it began or how it spread, or if, by some curious festive magic, it broke out simultaneously across the trenches. Nevertheless, some two-thirds of troops — about 100,000 people — are believed to have participated in the legendary truce.

Most accounts suggest the truce began with carol singing from the trenches on Christmas Eve, “a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere”, as Pvt. Albert Moren of the Second Queens Regiment recalled, in a document later rounded up by the New York Times. Graham Williams of the Fifth London Rifle Brigade described it in even greater detail:

“First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing ­– two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”
The next morning, in some places, German soldiers emerged from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers came out warily to greet them. In others, Germans held up signs reading “You no shoot, we no shoot.” Over the course of the day, troops exchanged gifts of cigarettes, food, buttons and hats. The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades, whose bodies had lain for weeks on “no man’s land,” the ground between opposing trenches.

The phenomenon took different forms across the Western front. One account mentions a British soldier having his hair cut by his pre-war German barber; another talks of a pig-roast. Several mention impromptu kick-abouts with makeshift soccer balls.

The truce was widespread but not universal. Evidence suggests that in many places firing continued — and in at least two a truce was attempted but soldiers attempting to fraternize were shot by opposing forces.


The so-called Christmas Truce of 1914 came only five months after the outbreak of war in Europe and was one of the last examples of the outdated notion of chivalry between enemies in warfare. In 1915, the bloody conflict of World War I erupted in all its technological fury, and the concept of another Christmas Truce became unthinkable.


And of course, it was only ever a truce, not peace. Hostilities returned, in some places later that day and in others not until after New Year’s Day. “I remember the silence, the eerie sound of silence,” one veteran from the Fifth Batallion the Black Watch, Alfred Anderson, later recalled to The Observer. It was a short peace in a terrible war.”



Sources:  History.com
                Time.com











12.23.2017

Thieves are stealing your cell phone number to take your money


Tonight I was taking a coffee break (yeah, at 6:pm - don't judge me) and read this article in the news... I feel like this is not only incredible but has some serious damage potential and could quickly become widespread.  It's a major WTF? moment when you read it....

For the whole story you can check out the source - Link to the full story on KHOU


Thieves are stealing your cell phone number to take your money


"In less than 15 minutes, my dad had his cell phone number stolen from him and had his bank account hacked into, all while he watched as his email alert him every step of the way.

It appears that his T-Mobile cell phone number was used against him, ported to an account with Metro PCS, and then used to allow a thief to gain access to his online bank account."



"I was on the phone with Wells Fargo as the money was being transferred," my dad Mike Zelinger said. "As I was waiting, I was receiving emails from Wells Fargo saying that this has been completed, and your transfer has been completed."

What my dad is going through does not appear to be isolated. Customers have complained on Twitter and Reddit about their phone number being ported elsewhere and then used to gain access to bank accounts.

"When I called Wells Fargo and I described what happened, they asked me if I was a T-Mobile customer," said Afonso Salcedo, a T-Mobile customer who complained on Twitter and spoke with Next from San Francisco.

"I had two-step verification on my accounts," said Salcedo. "They actually had to send a text message with security codes to change your password, so I wasn't getting any of those messages, I only got an email alert that my password had already been changed."

That's what my dad went through on Wednesday:

10:11 a.m.: He got an email telling him that his Wells Fargo password had been changed.
10:12 a.m.: An email notified him that he was enrolled in Zelle, the service that allows you to transfer money with a phone number.

10:17 a.m.: Confirmation of a $2,500 transfer using Zelle to a person named "simon vargas."

10:36 a.m.: An email from Wells Fargo saying the company has tried to reach him by cell phone about potential fraud, but has been unable to get through.

"'We have attempted to reach you by phone, but our attempts have been unsuccessful.' That's because they had already ported my number," said Zelinger.

Funny thing, though, as soon as my dad received the 10:11 a.m. email about his password being changed, he picked up the phone and called Wells Fargo.

"While I was waiting for people to get on, and was on hold listening to their music, I noticed I was continually getting alerts from Wells Fargo," said Zelinger.

The money was transferred before he spoke with a live person.

While this was going on, he was getting calls at his work from customers asking why his cell phone number wasn't working. He also called T-Mobile to find out why.

"You had given your permission for us to port your number over to Metro PCS," a customer service representative told him. "It means that we closed out your phone number and sent it over to Metro PCS and it became your phone number at Metro PCS."

He called Metro PCS.

"Metro PCS says, 'well yeah, we ported your number to something else,' Well, who did you port it to? 'We can't tell you that,'" they said to him. "Whenever I access something, the next thing that comes up is 'please answer these security questions: What was your mother's maiden name? Who was your best friend in first grade?'"

T-Mobile and Metro PCS never gave him or Next an answer as to how a thief was able to transfer someone else's phone number to a different carrier.






All she wanted for Christmas.....

... was a nap.





 

12.14.2017

Yippee! It's the time of year when my favorite Donut Shop PEPPERMINT BARK COFFEE hits the shelves!


Although I've seen spots for it at the store numerous times in the past 2 weeks it's already almost always sold out! 

Other people obviously know just as well as I do that this is hands down the yummiest peppermint coffee.  Granted - I can't say it's the best in the world, as I've not had all the peppermint coffees.  But I've had about 5 versions and this one wins. 

I'm not a flavored coffee kind of girl - I like my coffee hot, strong and black.  Espresso would be more my style than a vanilla, pumpkin spice, chocolate anything or hazelnut... but given The Donut Shop Peppermint Bark flavored coffee and an espresso as my choices I'd probably go for this one.  There is just something delicious about it!  Smooth and 'creamy', not bitter, not sweet, not a dark chocolate or acidic flavor.  It's like having Ghirardelli Limited Edition Peppermint Bark Squares in my coffee cup.

Today while grocery shopping I happened upon a newly stocked coffee display and managed to snag a box. I've already had 3 cups...  I can't help myself.  It's a seasonal blend that is only available for a short time around the holidays.  I have to get it while I can!  :)

The Original Donut Shop Peppermint Bark Flavored Coffee - 18 K-cups (2 Box)

  • Creamy white chocolate and crushed candy cane finish
  • Light Roast
  • Caffeinated
  • Orthodox Union Kosher





You might also be interested in these related products available at your local retail stores or through these Amazon affiliate links;


The Original Donut Shop Coffee Holiday Buzz Keurig K-Cups, 18 Count
Victor Allen Coffee Holiday Favorites Coffee & Hot Cocoa Mix Single Serve K-cup, 54 Count (Compatible with 2.0 Keurig Brewers)
Contains: 18 Peppermint Bark Coffee, 18 Sugar Cookie Coffee, 9 Gingerbread Cookie Coffee, 9 Chocolate Covered Cherry Hot Cocoa.


12.05.2017

Single serve brewers similar to a Keurig but cheaper: Single serve coffeemakers for under $40


Although I've owned Keurig's since 2005 and I've since switched to the iCoffee brand in the last 2 years, I recall how shocking it was to buy my first Keurig and go from spending $25 on a coffee pot to $229 (at the time) for the 'new' coffee systems known as Keurig's.  My husband about had a heart attack when I came home from the car dealership after getting maintenance done on my vehicle and told him about this 'really cool' coffee maker they had and how it was probably the best tasting coffee I've ever tasted.   It was so fresh tasting and hot compared to what we were used to in our little old glass carafe style.

Since 2005 the world of single serve coffee brewers has exploded - and the cost has come down!  But even so, $90, $100 or $200 is still out of the budget for most people.  This morning I did a quick search on Amazon to find some affiliate links to single serve brewers that were all (as of this writing) under $40.  One of them is actually under $20!

Similar to what you might find in a hotel - very basic - no bells and whistles, it does it's thing and serves it's purpose.  But personally I like these smaller, basic versions to pack when we travel!

If you have a limited budget, are buying for a college student, an elderly relative, need a simple brewer to pack and travel with or are putting one in a second or third room in the house, these are all affordable coffee brewing options.





  • ✔ FRESH COFFEE LESS THAN 3 MINUTES - Simple one touch button design and auto shut off, It makes a cup of tasty coffee in a few minutes with just a push of a button, and the wider water tank mouth makes it more convenient to fill water and clean up.
  • ✔ PERFECT FOR TRAVELLING - Light weight and compact design of this single serve coffee maker makes it perfect for your desk at home or work, and small enough for travelling.
  • ✔ FREE 6 UNITS OF iFILL CUP FILTER Includes Free 6 Units of Ifill Cup Filter, Reusable up to 10 times
  • ✔ FAST SINGLE CUP COFFEE MAKER- Compatible with most single cup pods including k-cup pods, you can use the size as per your preference. It takes 3 minutes to get a cup of fresh coffee with fast brew technology. It is brewed hot enough that no need to put in the microwave.
  • ✔ CERTIFICATION AND WARRANTY - BPA-free material for water tank and UL, ETL, certification for coffee brewer give you guarantee. 


Compare to similar items



iFill Cup - Single Serve Coffee Maker Compact K-cup Brewer Machine
This item iFill Cup - Single Serve Coffee Maker Compact K-cup Brewer Machine
CHULUX Single Serve Coffee Maker Brewer for K Cups with 12 OZ Water Tank(Black)
Hamilton Beach 49970 Personal Cup One Cup Pod Brewer
HiBREW Single Serve Travel Size Portable Compact K Cup Coffee Maker Brewing System Coffee Machine with Detachable Lid Easy to Wash (BLACK)
Customer Rating 4 out of 5 stars  4 out of 5 stars  4 out of 5 stars  4 out of 5 stars 






















































































11.29.2017

A list of national companies that are "naughty" and "nice" when it comes to having the balls to say CHRISTMAS





Companies not only want your money, they count on your money.  Black Friday started as a way for companies to get 'out of the red' and 'into the black' by offering great sales to entice you to buy them.  They know Christmas gift giving is the bread and butter of their company but something sickening and scary has happened in the past ten years or so and it's getting worse....  companies want you to Christmas shop with them and spend as much money as you can but they don't have the balls to say "MERRY CHRISTMAS" and instead avoid the "C" word or wish the pansy-assed "Happy Holiday's" instead.

Considering 9 out of 10 Americans celebrate Christmas, these companies are pandering to the lowly little 1 out of 10 that don't celebrate this holiday which has it's roots in Christianity and celebrating the birth of Jesus the Christ. (And don't even get me started with the whole but noooo it's a pagan holiday crap.  You know as well as I do that is NOT what Americans are celebrating.  We are a Christian nation.  Sorry if you don't 'like' that but I don't care. Go find a little safe place to cry about it - which is not here.)  I'm here to talk about the fact that 9 out of 10 people in America celebrate Christmas yet the companies that want our cold, hard, Christmas cash are afraid to say "Merry Christmas" because they {gasp} offend someone.

Pew Research polling indicates that 81 percent of non-Christians celebrate the holiday. That's about a third of Jews, three-quarters of Hindus and Buddhists, and 87 percent of people who identify as nonreligious


About nine-in-ten Americans (92%) and nearly all Christians (96%) say they celebrate Christmas, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey. This is no surprise, but what might be more unexpected is that a big majority (81%) of non-Christians in the U.S. also celebrate Christmas. This includes 87% of people with no religion and even about three-quarters of Asian-American Buddhists (76%) and Hindus (73%). Roughly a third of U.S. Jews (32%)

SO WHO IS NAUGHTY AND WHO IS NICE?
"On the AFA’s “nice list” are 51 retailers: 1-800-Flowers.com, Ace Hardware, AFA Online Store, Banana Republic, Bass Pro Shops, Bath & Body Works, Bed Bath & Beyond, Belk, Big Lots, Books-A-Million, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dillards, Do-It-Best Hardware, Dollar Tree, Fred’s, H.E.B. Stores, HSN.com, Hallmark, Harbor Freight, Harris Teeter Stores, Hobby Lobby, Home Depot, Hy-Vee Stores, JCPenney, JoAnn Fabrics, Kirkland’s, Kmart, Kroger, L.L. Bean, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Meijer, Menard’s, Michael’s Stores, Neiman Marcus, Pier One Imports, ProFlowers.com, Publix, QVC.com, Rite Aid, Sam’s Club, Scheels Sporting Goods, Super D Drug, TJ Maxx, Toys R Us, True Value, Wal-Mart, and Zappos.com.

According to the AFA, most of the companies on the nice list use “the term ‘Christmas’ on a regular basis” and are considered “Christmas-friendly.” Sam’s Club, Fred’s, and Bath & Body Works refer to “Christmas infrequently, or in a single advertising medium, but not in others.”

Seven of the companies on the nice list - Cracker Barrel, Michael’s Stores, Lowe’s, Kirkland’s, Hobby Lobby, AFA Online Store, and Wal-Mart - are considered “an AFA "5-Star" rated company that promotes and celebrates Christmas on an exceptional basis.”

The AFA considers five areas to determine whether a company is “Christmas-friendly” in their advertising: print media (newspaper inserts), broadcast media (radio/television), website, social media (Facebook, Twitter) and/or personal visits to the store."




Sixteen retailers top the “naughty list” of the American Family Association’s 2017 Naughty or Nice list.

"Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Family Dollar, Foot Locker, Gap, The Limited, Maurice’s, Nordstrom, Office Depot, Office Max, Pet Smart, Staples, Stein Mart, Supervalu, UncommonGoods.com, and Victoria’s Secret are listed as “naughty.”

Thirteen of those “naughty” companies have that classification because the “Company may use ‘Christmas’ sparingly in a single or unique product description, but as a company, does not recognize it.”




Please Note: AFA does not list local or regional companies. Only nationally-recognized companies will be listed. This list only reflects a company's "Christmas" advertising and does not take into account other corporate policies AFA may not agree with. 





 
Sources:
cnsnews.com
afa.net
pewresearch.org

11.19.2017

Two Gravy Flavored Gag Gifts.... (Gag is a great descriptive word in this case!?) PLUS Bonus Link of Flavored Larva to Eat

Once in a while here on It's Just the Coffee Talking, I find myself browsing Amazon and find something I just have to share over morning coffee with my readers.  Well, today I found a gag gift that actually fits in pretty well with the Thanksgiving holiday coming up this week;  GRAVY FLAVORED CANDY.

Now, I love gravy.  LOVE gravy.  As in just give me a plate of stuffing and gravy for my Thanksgiving meal and I'm a happy camper.  But gravy candy? Ummm...

And while I was checking out the gravy candy I saw a link for gravy flavored candy canes.  Awesome - a gravy flavored gag gift for Thanksgiving followed by a gravy gag-gift for Christmas!   And last but not least (oh, not least in the least!) was a link from that page to real larva, flavored with bbq, cheddar cheese and Mexican spices available in a 3-pack sample order.

You may be braver than I.  I am not trying these.



Gravy Candy
  • With the look of old-fashioned candy and the taste of herb-infused gravy
  • You get a 3-1/4" x 2-1/2" x 2" (8.3 cm x 6.4 cm x 5.1 cm) tin with 2.5 oz. (72 g) of individually wrapped brown and white striped candy.
  • Shrink wrapped.


Gravy Candy Canes

  • GREATEST GAG GIFT AVAILABLE: White Elephant? Secret Santa? That scrooge on your Christmas list that is the hardest to buy for? Problem solved! Get them fun candy canes they’re guaranteed to love, and if they don’t… well do you really want someone in your life who doesn’t enjoy gravy?
  • ACCOUTREMENTS PROMISE: For over 30 years we've created products that provoke, challenge, and entertain. We pride ourselves on being less disappointing than other companies by producing things we love in an original way. Each item has a fresh twist that makes it just a little bit better.
  • PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS: Package contains (1) Accoutrements Novelty Christmas Candy Cane Gag Gift - Gravy Flavor - Pack of 6. Six 5-1/4" (13.3 cm) tall, flavored candy canes in illustrated box. Individually shrink wrapped. Ingredients: sugar, syrup, water, citric acid, artificial flavor and coloring.



Larvets Sampler Gift Pack- BBQ, Cheddar Cheese, & Mexican Spice

  • Sampler Gift Pack of 3
  • 100% REAL Worms
  • 1 BBQ
  • 1 Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Mexican Spice






You might also be interested in crickets, silk worms, grasshoppers and ants.... all available through Amazon;


Crick-ettes Sampler Gift Pack- Sour Cream & Onion, Bacon & Cheese, & Salt N' Vinegar
Assorted Ant Sucker Lollipop - Pack of 4 - Blueberry, Apple, Banana, Watermelon
Edible Insects Bag of Mixed Edible Bugs. Grasshoppers, Crickets, Silk Worms and Sago Worms


        









11.08.2017

What is left of the original 'War of 1812' Flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner

Star-Spangled Banner and the War of 1812

The original Star-Spangled Banner, the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem, is among the most treasured artifacts in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.



SNIPPINGS FROM THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER

In the late 1800s, souvenirs, or relics, of important events and people in American history became highly prized and collectible objects.  The Star-Spangled Banner, historic and celebrated, was subjected to this practice.

The Armistead family received frequent requests for pieces of their flag, but reserved the treasured fragments for veterans, government officials, and other honored citizens.  As Georgiana Armistead Appleton noted, “had we given all that we have been importuned for little would be left to show.” Despite efforts to limit the practice, however, over two hundred square feet of the Star-Spangled Banner was eventually given away, including one of the stars.

By giving away snippings, the Armisteads could share the Star-Spangled Banner with others who loved the flag.  The citizens who received these mementos treated them with reverence and pride.  Some framed and displayed these pieces of history in their homes; others donated them to museums.  Today, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History has thirteen Star-Spangled Banner fragments in its collections.  Since conservators and curators cannot be sure from which part of the flag these fragments were taken, the pieces cannot be integrated back into the flag.  However, they can be analyzed, allowing conservators to document changes in the condition of the flag’s fibers and better understand how time and exposure to light and dirt have affected the flag.

1914 CONSERVATION
By the time it arrived at the Smithsonian in 1907, the Star-Spangled Banner was already in a fragile and tattered condition. In 1914, the Smithsonian hired Amelia Fowler, a well-known flag restorer and embroidery teacher, to “resuscitate” the flag.  Working with a team of ten needlewomen, Fowler first removed a canvas backing that had been attached to the flag in 1873, when it was displayed and photographed for the first time at the Boston Navy Yard by Admiral George Preble.  The women then attached the flag to a new linen backing, sewing approximately 1.7 million interlocking stitches  to form a honeycomb-like mesh over the flag’s surface.  Fowler’s work took eight weeks (mid-May to mid-July 1914), and she charged the Smithsonian $1243: $243 for materials, $500 for herself, and $500 to be divided among her ten needlewomen.

The flag was then displayed in a glass case in the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building.  It remained on view there for nearly 50 years, except for two years during World War II, during which time it was housed in a government warehouse in Virginia, to be protected from possible bombing raids on the nation’s capital.  In 1964 the flag was moved to the new National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History), where it was displayed in the central hall on the second floor.



Source


FOR FURTHER READING
For detailed and illustrated stories of the British attack on Baltimore, the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and the writing of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” you find books available through these Amazon affiliate links;

Walter Lord, The Dawn’s Early Light (New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1992)
Scott S. Sheads, Fort McHenry (Santa Barbara, CA: Sequoia Press, 1989)
Scott S. Sheads, The Rockets’ Red Glare: The Maritime Defense of Baltimore 1814 (Centerville, MD: Tidewater Publishers, 1986)
Lonn Taylor, The Star-Spangled Banner: The Flag that Inspired the National Anthem (New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 2000)











The argument for the voting age to be raised to 25 years old.....




Young people reacting to Hillary losing the Presidential election to President Donald Trump

Not only does the medical science behind the brain's development and lack of decision making and long-term consequences come into play on needing a minimum age 25 voting age; but it explains the lousy 'journalism' splashed all over the internet being touted as real news.  I often find 'news' articles written in the same voice and style as if the author of the bit was writing on their own personal blog - which is fine on a blog - but not if it's being passed around as real news.

They weren't THINKING as much as they were FEELING.  Good judgement and awareness of long-term consequences don't come into play until around age 25 or so.


"It doesn’t matter how smart teens are or how well they scored on the SAT or ACT. Good judgment isn’t something they can excel in, at least not yet. 


The rational part of a teen’s brain isn’t fully developed and won’t be until age 25 or so. 


In fact, recent research has found that adult and teen brains work differently. Adults think with the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s rational part. This is the part of the brain that responds to situations with good judgment and an awareness of long-term consequences. Teens process information with the amygdala. This is the emotional part.


In teen’s brains, the connections between the emotional part of the brain and the decision-making center are still developing—and not necessarily at the same rate. That’s why when teens experience overwhelming emotional input, they can’t explain later what they were thinking. They weren’t thinking as much as they were feeling."









Source:  University of Rochester Medical Center









Daylight Savings Time Makes A Second Twin Older Than His First Born Brother



Source: Facebook/Cape Cod Hospital Maternity

This morning I was sipping the last of my coffee and getting ready to brew a second when this story caught my attention.

When it comes to twins being born and having interesting stories about the timing of their birth, the most interesting I've heard of is when one twin is delivered for medical emergency reasons and the second twin is still ok so the mother's womb is closed up with the hope of keeping the baby in Mom as long as possible to allow for more growth and development and the 2nd is born weeks or even a month or so later... (I don't remember all the details to that one and don't feel like getting off topic and looking it up right now) OR one is born before midnight on December 31st and the sibling is born after midnight; making it a January 1st baby.  One more 'odd' birth circumstance is if the birth(s) are on a leap year.  You could have one born on February 29th and the next born just over midnight making it March 1st.  The 'twins' would not only have different birthdays, but one of them would only have an official birthday once every 4 years!

Ok... so that was all going through my head in about 3 SECONDS when I saw the headline of this news story, but it took much longer to type out. 

From the news this morning in  Hyannis, MA (WWBT) - Two little baby boys are born.

Twins.

Little Samuel was born first, but his twin brother Ronan is older.

How is that possible?

Daylight savings!

Samuel was born at 1:39 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6 
Ronan was born 31 minutes later. However, Daylight Saving Time ended and the time fell back one hour, making Ronan's official time of birth 1:10 a.m.

Cape Cod Hospital Maternity nurse, Deb Totten, said it was the first time she's ever seen this happen in over 40 years of nursing.

____________________________________



















11.06.2017

The t-shirt series: FUNNY COFFEE T-SHIRTS (for men or women)


I love t-shirts and I love coffee - so it's only fitting that I sometimes browse Amazon to see what new coffee t-shirts they have.  And then of course, I share some of them!

If you follow me on twitter, you've probably seen some really great ones this morning - there were a couple I absolutely loved! You can find them through my link or by the hashtags I used - all are marked with;

☕️☕️☕️
#coffee #funnytshirts #tshirts
via amazon

More funny coffee t-shirts:  great for Christmas gifts but also really great just because... uh, coffee!


 


























10.31.2017

Don't automatically shave your head bald to 'support' someone you love with cancer.


I saw this tiny little bit of a longer quote on a site article about what doctor's really think... (link).  When I saw this little blurb I was internally nodding my head... yes yes yes yes and yes.
(In regards to the month of October and the push for everyone to wear pink ribbons...)

"Our patients hate it because they can't go anywhere without being reminded of their disease."
 —James C. Salwitz, MD, a medical oncologist specializing in breast cancer in East Brunswick, New Jersey

I will try to keep this short and sweet because it's a hot topic for me and I know I could ramble on about this one.  When it comes to 'showing support for' or 'donations for' or 'donating to' or 'fundraising for' or 'drawing attention to'  someone's disease; please make sure they WANT YOU TO.

When it comes to breast cancer the quote from the oncologist above hits the target with the people I personally know that have had this disease.  They HATE OCTOBER BECAUSE EVERYONE IS FRIGGIN' WEARING PINK RIBBONS AND "PINK".   They can't go anywhere or do anything without being able to forget about the breast cancer they have or are fighting.  Many patients hate seeing those pink ribbons, pink shirts and the over the top and in your face 'donation' pushing (example: airlines that hound flyers on EVERY FLIGHT in October to donate to breast cancer research by buying 'pink' martini's or 'pink' lemonade).

Ok but let's move on to the thing I really wanted to mention.

If you are showing 'support' for someone going through chemo and want to shave your head to show them you support them... PLEASE ASK THEM FIRST.

I saw this first hand with well meaning family members when my own Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 51.  While a family member and his 3 young boys were ready to shave their heads to show Grandma they 'support' her in her fight, luckily my Dad got to them and stopped them first.

The LAST THING SHE WANTED TO SEE WHEN SHE LOOKED AT HER BEAUTIFUL GRANDSONS WAS A SHAVED HEAD to remind her that her own head was bald due to the chemo treatment she was going through.  Seeing her grandchildren was a joy and a way to get her mind OFF her disease, OFF her fight.  To be 'normal' and forget everything but the happiness of the moment being with family.  Seeing someone with a shaved bald head in support was actually more emotionally damaging.

Everyone is different.
Some may want to see you with a bald head to match theirs.
Some do not.
Please ask them first.








10.28.2017

Update to the TSA Airline Rules Post from Just Two Days Ago...

This morning I flew again and an tiny update to my post just two days ago is in order.

Two weeks ago and again last week I not only was taking off my jacket and shoes to 'bin' them, as well as my scarf, my purse; yada yada...  As I was getting out my laptop I also had to dig out my eReader for the first time ever as they had posted signage everywhere and were warning travelers that any electronic larger than a cell phone had to be removed from luggage and placed in a bin by itself.  

In addition to that, they also had signs and were verbally asking about any food products - even ever so tiny - had to removed from your bags and bins.  Those hard candies?  Yep.  That little baggy of trailmix?  That too.  And that smashed granola bar in the front pocket of your bag?  Spill it, sister! 

So this morning as I prepared for my flight I was ready!  I had packed, unpacked and repacked so I was utilizing every inch of space but also making it easy to get through TSA security fast... laptop and cords packed separately, eReader easy to grab, protein bar ready to go in front pocket, no other liquids or foods and of course clean socks, purse over puffy outer vest for quick removal and nothing in pockets.  Whew.

I was ready! 

And... the signs were gone.

I didn't have to take out my eReader or tablet.  Only the laptop like usual.
And they didn't care about candy, trailmix or granola bars today either.

Well, hmph.  Oh well. 

So just a heads up.  Doesn't matter how often you fly; check the latest rules and regulations.  They change often!  What was ok or not ok last week may not be this week.







10.26.2017

Rambling over Coffee.... Airlines get ready for new U.S. security rules from Thursday






This morning I got my coffee in hand and sat down to read the news, but a scan of the headlines read like storylines from horror movies.  I just couldn't do it. I found myself already getting frustrated by what our country and world is turning into just by reading the headline and one or two sentence teasers so I checked emails and did other things for a bit.

When I had a second cup of coffee in hand and went back to the news, I went to the Reuters site to scan some headlines and see if there were any I was ready to click on, and I saw we were getting ready for some new rules at the airport.  Again.


This caught my attention because I'm doing a lot of traveling this Fall and I already found 2 'new' rules... wait, actually one airline made me do something else the others never have so maybe "3" new rules just over the last 3 weeks.  I'll get to those in a minute... first is the news story that was the basis for this "... it's just the coffee talking this morning" post.






Airlines get ready for new U.S. security rules from Thursday

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - New rules on all U.S.-bound flights take effect on Thursday including stricter passenger screening to comply with government security measures designed to avoid expanding an in-cabin ban on laptops, airlines said Tuesday. 

Airlines contacted by Reuters said the new measures, which could include short security interviews with passengers, would be in place by Thursday. 

They will affect 325,000 airline passengers on about 2,000 commercial flights arriving daily in the United States, on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries, and industry trade group Airlines for America has said the changes might cause disruptions. 

The U.S. announced the new rules in June to end the government’s restrictions on carry-on electronic devices on planes coming from 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified security threats. 

Those restrictions were lifted in July but the Trump administration said it could reimpose measures on a case by case basis if airlines and airports did not boost security. 

You can read the whole story by clicking on the link in the headline.  Anyway!  So that got me thinking about the other small changes I've personally seen over the last 3 weeks.

I flew twice in September and the following items were not required, but when I flew again 3 weeks later, in October they had been implemented and followed for each flight since.

The first tiny change is one I noticed while waiting in line to hand my boarding pass and ID to the first person in the TSA security check.  I noted the little signs they have stationed along the line had changed.  They now read any electronic device larger than a cellphone has to be taken out of your bag and put in a bin for scanning.  That meant my ereader... which is a Samsung Galaxy tablet.  I've never, in 5 years had to take that out before so of course when I had packed this time, it was at the bottom of my bag.  Under the things I knew I DID have to take out, like my laptop.

I commented on this when we were going through.  The TSA worker told me "Yep, that's new. Just came down this week..."

The second surprise was the signage right by the conveyor belt as I was struggling to get to the bottom of my bag to get the ereader out, I read I also had to take out any 'snacks' from my bag.  My mind raced, trying to sort just what they meant by that?  I'm careful to not bring any foods or liquids through - even if they are supposedly allowed, because I just don't want the hassle.  But snacks?  Do they mean the two little protein bars I had thrown in the front pocket of my backpack 'just in case'?  

They did.

The sign went on to list even hard candy and trailmix has to be removed and placed in the bin.

Good gracious!

So here I am struggling to move as quickly as humanly possible to slip my shoes off and get them into a bin, get my little purse into a bin, get my laptop out of the backpack, dig out the ereader I didn't expect to have to dig out and now I suddenly had to dig through the little pocket on the pack to take out my two little protein bars.  

And then I was stopped and told I had to open my laptop case because I had the power cord "IN" the squishy protective case with the laptop.  

What? I've never been asked to do that before either.

She said "you can't have a cord in with the protective case..."

Okay.

So now I finally get my crap in the bins and rush to take my place in the scanner and 'assume the position...."

And the TSA worker tells me to turn my little tiny cross necklace 'backwards' so it's hanging behind my head instead of in front where a necklace usually sits.

I've never been asked do THAT before either.  And I've worn this tiny little cross necklace daily for about 12 years now.

_______________________________________



Well, I made it through all scans just fine after all that hullabaloo but man...   flying sucks.










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