It’s National Pizza Day!

February 9, 2016

Pizza Slice

You may not have known this, but today is National Pizza Day here in the US. I typically have pizza once a week, but now that I realize the special nature of this day, I may have doubled that this week. And I found even more facts about pizza:

  • The popularity of pizza here is attributed to American soldiers in World War II returning home from Italy with a taste for pizza
  • The first pizzeria opened in Naples, Italy in 1738, and the first US pizzeria opened in New York City in 1895
  • Pepperoni is the most popular pizza, with 38% of the market
  • There are about 63,000 pizzerias in the United States, with 17% of US restaurants being pizzerias
  • Pizza consumption in the US amounts to an average of 23 pounds per person each year

So enjoy!

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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

It’s Groundhog Day!

February 2, 2016

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 snow and cold. I’ll stick to the electric blanket and let the groundhogs do the work…

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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Double Fun, Double Savings in New York City!

January 25, 2016

Randolph Mase Blogging Tips 2

For the first time (as far back as I can remember), NYC Restaurant Week® and Half Price Broadway Shows are occurring at the same time, and through February 5. Almost 300 restaurants are participating, and they offer either a three-course prix fixe lunch for $25 or a three-course prix fixe dinner for $38 (some restaurants offer both), and you can also get 2-for-1 tickets at many Broadway shows! Just go to http://www.nycgo.com/restaurantweek/?pid=hp-hero-1-full_image and http://www.nycgo.com/broadwayweek for details, and enjoy!.

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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Let’s Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 18, 2016

Martin Luther King

Since today is the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday (he was actually born on January 15, and would have been 87 years old this year), it only seems fitting that I share a few words about Dr. King. In case you don’t know, he was a leader of the movement to end segregation and discrimination in the 1950s and 1960s, leading to his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, as well as posthumous awards of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. His life was tragically cut short in 1968, at the young age of 39. His most memorable and inspiring speech was likely was “I Have A Dream,” delivered at the Washington Mall in August of 1963. If you’ve never heard it, I strongly suggest that you watch the March on Washington and Dr. King’s speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smEqnnklfYs.

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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

A Time to Weep, and a Time to Laugh

January 10, 2016

Christopher Lee

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 2015 are Mario Cuomo, Donna Douglas, Ernie Banks, Leonard Nimoy, Ben E. King, B.B. King, Anne Meara, Christopher Lee, Dick Van Patten, Jack Carter, Omar Sharif, Roger Rees, Alex Rocco, Frank Gifford, Darryl Dawkins, Yvonne Craig, Wes Craven, Moses Malone, Al Molinaro, Yogi Berra, Martin Milner, Jackie Collins, Maureen O’Hara, Fred Thompson, David Canary, Robert Loggia, and Wayne Rogers. 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 six years ago with our grandson Evan, and another 3½ years ago with our grandson Noah. So, remember to be thankful for those we do have close to us…

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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2016

New Year's Eve 2

So here we are, 2016.  I can’t say how many times I said last year, “I can’t believe how fast this year is going!”  And now I still feel the same way…2015 just flew by for me.  Overall, it was a good year, and I’m confident that 2016 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 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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Kwanzaa Begins

December 26, 2015

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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Merry Christmas!

December 25, 2015

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, 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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

It’s Christmas Eve…

December 24, 2015

Christmas Eve

…and what would be more fitting than quoting the poem The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore or Henry Livingston (I never knew this, but evidently there’s quite a controversy about who actually wrote it). My grandsons Evan and Noah love me to read this to them, so I’ll do exactly that tonight. Enjoy the holidays!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

‘Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!’

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound,

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

and laying his finger aside of his nose,

and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

and away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

‘Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.’

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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Questions to How Well Do You Know Broadway?

December 15, 2015

Broadway

Here are the questions to the Jeopardy! answers about shows in the category “On Broadway” that I posted before Thanksgiving:

  1. This mane event of all musicals that opened in 1997 is Disney’s longest-running show on Broadway. – What is “The Lion King?”
  2. Josh Gad played Elder Cunningham, who had a strange trip to Uganda, in this Tony Award-winning musical. – What is “The Book of Mormon?”
  3. This musical about a silent screen star eager for a comeback was based on a Billy Wilder film. – What is “Sunset Boulevard?”
  4. Bradley Cooper won rave reviews for his recent portrayal of the severely deformed John Merrick in this drama. – What is “The Elephant Man?”
  5. Ruth Gordon played Nora Helmer in this play in 1938; Liv Ullmann played her in 1975..– What is “A Doll’s House?”

I got three of them right this time. How did you do?

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 (just published!)

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale


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