Happy February 27th Birthday!

February 27, 2017

longfellow

It’s February 27, so a hearty Happy Birthday wish (past and present) to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (that’s him above, not me!), David Sarnoff, John Steinbeck and Gene Sarazen (same year), Joanne Woodward, Elizabeth Taylor, Van Williams and Ralph Nader (same year), Howard Hesseman, Mary Fran, Adam Baldwin, Chelsea Clinton, Josh Groban, and…me!  I’m not being narcissistic; I just realized that I’m in pretty good company, three of us are writers, and two of us were born in New York.  If you want to find out what famous people share your birthday, one resource is http://www.famousbirthdays.com.  But you won’t find me on the February 27 list…yet…

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Happy Presidents Day!

February 20, 2017

George Washington

When I was a kid, I used to love February.  My birthday’s in this month, and we also celebrated two holidays – and had two days off from school – in February as well.  What kid wouldn’t love that?

We were off on February 12, Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday, and February 22, George Washington’s Birthday.  Then in the 1970s, some lawmakers had the wonderful idea to move the celebration of Washington’s Birthday to the third Monday in February, and in the following years Lincoln’s Birthday was dropped as a holiday and the new holiday became a celebration of all of our presidents.  It just seems strange that Presidents Day never falls on the actual birth date of George Washington (it’s always somewhere between February 15 and February 21).  And it’s also strange that only 4 of our 43 presidents were born in February.  But all I know is that we lost a day off from school…

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Another Three Answers from Jeopardy!

February 11, 2017

Empire State Building

The final answers on a few Jeopardy! episodes during the past several months related to New York City; the categories and answers are shown below.  Let’s see if you know the questions:

Broadway Musicals:  Winner of a Tony for Best Musical, it culminates with an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Broadway Musicals:  “Iowa Stubborn” was the second song heard in this show when it opened on Broadway in 1957.

NYC TV:  In 2010, in its fourth season, this TV show shifted its primary setting to 6th Avenue, 2 blocks west.

Think you know them?  Leave a comment if you do; I’ll share the questions with you in a future post!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

It’s Groundhog Day!

February 2, 2017

punxsutawney-phil1

Many of us have probably seen the movie with Bill Murray, essentially about reliving something many times, until we change our behavior and transcend it.  And most of us probably associate Groundhog Day with Punxsutawney Phil, the famous prognosticator in western Pennsylvania who predicts the arrival of Spring each year, based on whether or not he sees his shadow.  However, did you know that each year no fewer than 15 groundhogs make their predictions?  Take a look at this list:

  1. Balzac Billy – Alberta, Canada
  2. Dunkirk Dave – New York
  3. French Creek Freddie – West Virginia
  4. General Beauregard Lee – Georgia
  5. Jimmy the Groundhog – Wisconsin
  6. Josh Porter – Ohio, I think (I couldn’t find a more specific reference)
  7. Malverne Mel – New York
  8. Octoraro Orphie – Pennsylvania (Phil’s rival)
  9. Punxsutawney Phil – Pennsylvania
  10. Queen Charlotte – North Carolina
  11. Shubenacadie Sam – Nova Scotia, Canada
  12. Sir Walter Wally – North Carolina
  13. Staten Island Chuck – New York
  14. Wiarton Willie – Ontario, Canada
  15. Woodstock Willie – Illinois

Interestingly enough, half of the furry creatures typically predict six more weeks of winter each year, and the others predict an early Spring.  So who do you believe?  I think the best way is to do it yourself: walk out of your house at daybreak and see if your shadow appears.  I would have done it, except the weather forecast was morning breezy and cold.  So I  stuck with the electric blanket and let the groundhogs do the work…

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Questions to How Well Do You Know Broadway?

January 24, 2017

Broadway

Here are the questions to the Jeopardy! answers in the category “The Broadway Musical’s Characters” I posted a couple of weeks ago:

  1. Max Bialystock, Franz Liebkind, Hold-Me Touch-Me. – What is “The Producers?”
  2. Kenickie, Frenchie, Betty Rizzo. – What is “Grease?”
  3. Nick Massie, Mary Delgado, Frankie Valli. – What is “Jersey Boys?”
  4. Glinda, Fiyero, Nessarose. – What is “Wicked?”
  5. Mungojerrie, Mistoffelees, Grizabella. – What is “Cats?”

I got all of them correct this time!  How did you do?

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

A Time to Weep, and a Time to Laugh

January 16, 2017

alan-rickman

You may recognize those words from the song Turn, Turn, Turn by The Byrds (and written by Pete Seeger), and earlier from the Book of Ecclesiastes in The Bible; in fact, I spoke those words at the memorial service for my father in 1998.  And it’s so true at this time of year, when the list of celebrities who passed away during the year is published.  Among those in 2016 were Pat Harrington Jr., David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty, Glen Frey, Abe Vigoda, George Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Robert Horton, Joe Santos, Joe Garagiola, Ken Howard, Peter Brown, Garry Shandling, Patty Duke, Doris Roberts, Prince, William Schallert, Morley Safer, Alan Young, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Noel Neill, Gary Marshall, Gene Wilder, Hugh O’Brian, Arnold Palmer, Robert Vaughn,  Florence Henderson, Fidel Castro, Ron Glass, Van Williams, John Glenn, Alan Thicke, Bernard Fox, Zsa Zsa Gabor, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, and William Christopher.  For me, the ones I don’t have around any more include my parents Lyman and Alice, my father-in-law Ray, my brother-in-law Jim and his wife Edna, my brother-in-law Mike, and our Aunt Joan, Uncle Joe, and Aunt Rita.  But we did get one blessing seven years ago with our grandson Evan, and another 4½ years ago with our grandson Noah.  So, remember to be thankful for those we do have close to us…

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

How Well Do You Know Broadway?

January 8, 2017

Broadway

One of the categories on a recent Jeopardy! episode was “The Broadway Musical’s Characters.”  Here are the answers; just come up with the correct question for each.  I’ll give those questions in a future post:

  1. Max Bialystock, Franz Liebkind, Hold-Me Touch-Me.
  2. Kenickie, Frenchie, Betty Rizzo.
  3. Nick Massie, Mary Delgado, Frankie Valli.
  4. Glinda, Fiyero, Nessarose.
  5. Mungojerrie, Mistoffelees, Grizabella.

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Happy New Year!

December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve 2

So here we are, 2017.  It seems that every year I’ve said, “I can’t believe how fast this year is going!”  And 2016 is no exception.  Overall, it was a very good year that included selling and buying a new house, and I’m confident that 2017 will bring more of the same.  My wife and I had our usual New Year’s Eve activity – stay at home, enjoy a great meal of beef fondue, and watch the celebrations, particularly the ball drop at Times Square, a mere 60 miles from our former house.  Actually, I’ve never really had the desire to go there in person.  Being squeezed in with more than a quarter million other people (the official estimates the past few years have been much higher) doesn’t really appeal to me.  A friend of mine did brave it once, but the best way.  It was for New Year’s Eve in 1999 (ushering in 2000, which I really don’t think was the true Millennium – that came a year later).  Anyway, she had entered a lottery to reserve a room at the Marriott Marquis (right in Times Square), and her number was picked.  Further, she was able to garner a corner room overlooking the activity in Times Square.  The room was expensive, but she shared it with some 5-6 other people, making the cost much more manageable.  Now, that’s the way to do it!  And this year, for the first time, the ball stayed on the pole the entire year…presumably in an attempt to attract more tourists.  As if Times Square really needs that; there have been many occasions in which I’ve found it difficult enough to navigate my way through the area!

In case you’re curious, the ball is 12 feet in diameter and weighs almost 6 tons.  It’s covered with almost 3,000 Waterford crystal triangles, with the new patterns representing friends holding hands for this year’s theme of Let There Be Friendship, and the lighting is provided by more than 30,000 LEDs in red, blue, green, and white.  Just for comparison, the first ball in 1907 was made of iron and wood, was lighted by one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, had a diameter of 5 feet, and weighed less than half a ton…quite a difference!

If you can’t make it to Times Square tonight (or if you’re like me and you don’t want to make it), you can watch it live at http://www.timessquarenyc.org/, starting just before 6pm tonight.  Happy New Year!

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Kwanzaa Begins

December 26, 2016

Kwanzaa

I’ve learned a lot doing research for this blog, and the latest thing I’ve learned is about Kwanzaa.  Most of you have probably heard of it, but I’d guess that most of you don’t really know what it’s all about (as was the case with me).

The official Kwanzaa website describes it as a “Celebration of Family, Community, and Culture.”  Further words from the site add a little more meaning to that: “Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense.”

It’s a seven-day celebration (December 26 through January 1) created by Maulana Karnga in 1966, and today is observed by up to 28 million people around the world.  Kwanzaa is based on seven principles:

  1. Unity – to strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation, and race
  2. Self-Determination – to define ourselves, name ourselves, create for ourselves, and speak for ourselves
  3. Collective Work and Responsibility – to build and maintain our community together and make our brother’s and sister’s problems our problems and to solve them together
  4. Cooperative Economics – to build and maintain our own stores, shops, and other businesses and to profit from them together
  5. Purpose – to make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to restore our people to their traditional greatness.
  6. Creativity – to do always as much as we can, in the way we can, in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it
  7. Faith – to believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders, and the righteousness and victory of our struggle.

Not bad principles to live by, are they?  You can learn more at their official website at http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml.  Happy Kwanzaa!

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2016

Christmas

Most of us know that Christmas is a Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.  Over the years, however, it has expanded beyond Christianity, and other traditions and symbols have surfaced.  Many of us don’t know the origin of things such as:

  1. The custom of erecting a Christmas tree goes back to Germany in the 1500s, and was perhaps decorated with paper flowers and candles
  2. Christmas lights, which actually started when early Christians, persecuted for their group worships, placed candles in the windows of houses where those gatherings would take place
  3. Hanging stockings popularly started when Saint Nicholas was looking for a place to put gifts of gold coins for the three daughters of a poor man; the only thing he could find were stockings that had been hung over the mantel to dry
  4. The modern-day Christmas tree ornament, known as a bauble, was first produced in 1847
  5. About that same time, candy canes were first hung on Christmas trees
  6. Christmas hymns have been around since the 4th century
  7. Even traditional Christmas Carols date back to the Middle Ages
  8. The first commercial Christmas card was produced in 1843 in London
  9. Santa Claus originated in Holland, and comes from the Dutch Sinterklaas, which means Saint Nicholas.

Whether your customs and traditions are Christmas, Hannukah (which started last evening), Kwanzaa, or even Festivus, enjoy the day and the season!

Feel free to leave a comment, and please come back – I write and post often!  And if you like what I have to say and how I say it, you’ll probably enjoy my novels as well.  They’re listed below, and you can read more about them on my improved website, designed and built by my son Don, http://www.randolphmase.com.  On my site, you’ll also find excerpts of my books that you can read – please check it out!

Randolph Mase, Fiction Writer

http://www.randolphmase.com

http://www.facebook.com/randolphmase

http://www.facebook.com/MatthewHoganMysteries

http://twitter.com/randolphmase

My Novels:

Death on Broadway

Death Beneath the Streets

Death in Central Park

Death at The Cloisters

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale


%d bloggers like this: