Archive for the ‘Observations on the Strange and Unexpected and on Life Itself’ Category

Happy Fourth of July!

July 4, 2019

I think that most Americans know enough about our country’s history to realize that today is a celebration of the signing and approval of the Declaration of Independence, beginning our fight for independence in 1776.  But I also think that most of us take the holiday for granted, and view it as just another day off from work, particularly this year when it creates a long weekend for many of us.  But few of us know much else about the holiday; in fact, I learned a lot as I researched it, such as:

  1. In 1778, General George Washington gave his troops a double ration of rum to observe the date. Fortunately, they were recovering from the Battle of Monmouth and didn’t have to prepare for another battle.
  2. In 1779, July 4 was on a Sunday, so the celebrations were held on Monday…perhaps that set the precedent for what we do today.
  3. In 1781, Massachusetts was the first state to make it an official state celebration
  4. The first time July 4 was referred to as Independence Day was in 1791
  5. It was made an unpaid holiday for federal workers in 1870
  6. It was finally declared a paid federal holiday in 1938
  7. The oldest continuous July 4th celebration has been held in Bristol, Rhode Island since 1785.

So whatever you do today, remember the intent of Independence Day as you celebrate!

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

https://www.amazon.com/author/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

Advertisements

Celebrating Flag Day!

June 14, 2019

       I would guess that many of us do not know that today is Flag Day here in the United States.  Established by Congress in 1949, it commemorates the adoption of our national flag by the Second Continental Congress on this date in 1777.  And it’s an opportunity to show our patriotism – if you have an American flag and the weather permits, please display it for all to see.  And if you don’t have a flag, please consider buying one.

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

https://www.amazon.com/author/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 Memorial Day – A Time to Remember Our Veterans

May 27, 2019

       Most of us think of Memorial Day as another Monday holiday, another day off from work, and baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie.  But the real purpose, as the name implies, is in memory of our men and women who died while in the military service.

       On this day, I remember two friends who were killed in the Vietnam War.  The first is Jonathan C. Shine, who was in my company at West Point and graduated 2 years before me.  The second was Michael J. Callahan, a friend and neighbor when I was growing up in New City, New York.  Both are memorialized on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, and which you can visit virtually at http://www.vvmf.org/Wall-of-Faces/.  Please remember those who have given their lives for our country.

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

https://www.amazon.com/author/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

Celebrating May Day

May 1, 2019

       When I was growing up, I never thought there was anything special about May 1, other than we had less than 2 months until summer vacation.  But in many cultures, particularly those in the Northern Hemisphere, do in fact celebrate it, and the day is a declared holiday in many of those cultures.  Many pre-Christian cultures regarded February 1 as the beginning of Spring, and May 1 then became the beginning of Summer, with cause to celebrate. In other cultures, it was regarded as the end of the unfarmable winter season, another cause for celebration. 

       What it seems to have become now is a celebration of culture.  Here in the United States, it’s known as Lei Day in Hawaii, where it is now a celebration of the island culture and Spring. 

       Whether it’s a holiday or not where you are, enjoy Spring! 

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

https://www.amazon.com/author/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 HaleCelebrating May Day

New York City’s Easter Parade

April 21, 2019

You may know that this parade, one of the most famous in the world, is held every year on Easter Sunday, and is known as a showcase for new clothes and bonnets; hence the popular song by Irving Berlin, “Easter Parade.”  The photo above is of Fifth Avenue during the parade in 1900.

You may also know that today is also April Fool’s Day…but this post is no joke!

You probably don’t know that the Easter Parade differs from other New York City parades in its loose organization, as people generally wander around the area.  Between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon tomorrow, Fifth Avenue will be closed to vehicles between 49th and 57th Streets, and the crowds turn out, some dressed in very unique bonnets, and even some pets dressed up as well.  Good weather – as is expected tomorrow – draws even more people…and zanier outfits.  But in addition to the Easter Parade, there are many other activities planned in the City, including a history and dessert tour of Greenwich Village, Easter Egg Hunts, Easter brunches and dinners, and even special Easter Egg programs at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Children’s Museum.  Find your activity at http://gonyc.about.com/cs/holidays/a/easter.htm.  Happy Easter!

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

https://www.amazon.com/author/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 April Fool’s Day

April 1, 2019

       But I’m not going to write something to fool you or pull any pranks.  Maybe.

       I have seen some good ones, though.  Years ago when I lived in Reading, Pennsylvania, I was a faithful listener of the Mike and Dave Morning Show on WRFY radio.  On this particular day, I turned on the radio in my car on the way to work, only to find that the late morning DJ was hosting the early show.  I heard no mention of the change for several minutes.  Finally, an announcement came on air that Mike and Dave were no longer employed by the station.  Now, they (particularly Dave) had a reputation of pushing the airwave envelope – not to the point of being shock jocks, but pushing it nevertheless – so their termination did not surprise me.  But it really disappointed me.  In fact, I was really in a funk the rest of the day.  The next morning, I heard their familiar voices on the radio.  And then it occurred to me that the day before was April 1!  I called them and let them know that they “got” me.  They just laughed and said that was the point.  So go ahead and play your pranks, and maybe leave a comment abut the funniest April Fool’s prank you’ve seen!

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

https://www.amazon.com/author/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 St. Patrick’s Day!

March 16, 2019

       This seems to be an appropriate time to write about St. Patrick’s Day, so I will.  Tomorrow is the national holiday of Ireland, and celebrates the life of Saint Patrick, a Christian missionary who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries.  It began as a religious holiday, and became a public holiday in 1903.  The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in Boston in 1737, but the longest-running and largest parade is in New York, which has run every year since 1762, and today attracts two million spectators and 150,000 marchers.  And green is the color of choice, with a river dyed green in Chicago, a canal in Indianapolis, and fountains in Savannah.  Even those not of Irish ancestry participate in the festivities (in fact, I’ve gone to several “St. Paddy’s Day” parties in the past few years, and I’ve got only one connection – McCracken – and that name hails from Northern Ireland).  So regardless of your background, 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

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale

Happy Presidents Day!

February 18, 2019

 

      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…

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

It’s Groundhog Day!

February 2, 2019

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…

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

Questions to How Well Do You Know Mark Twain?

January 25, 2019

Here are the questions to the Jeopardy! answers in the category “Mark Twain Really Said It” I posted last month:

  1. “I would throw out the old maxim My Country,” this, “and instead I would say, ‘My Country When She Is Right.’”. – What is “Right or Wrong?”
  2. “This city is the grand old benevolent national asylum for the helpless.” – What is Washington, DC?
  3. Of one of these practitioners, Twain quipped he had the “surgical look of a man who could endure pain in others.” – What is a dentist?
  4. The advantages of riding this big creature include an “immunity from collisions” & “the fine view one has from up there.”  – What is an elephant?”
  5. Of this Devil’s Dictionary author, Twain wrote, “For every laugh there are five blushes and ten shudders.” – Who is Ambrose Bierce?

I didn’t do bad for my favorite author, getting four correct.  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

Death Inside Diamond Head (under construction)

Nathan Hale


%d bloggers like this: