Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Week That Was #4 (#atozchallenge)

Another good week in the world of the A to Z Challenge. Writing the posts before the Challenge actually starts really makes a difference. I’ll tell you, though, I’m checking out close to 200 blogs a day, and by the time I stop, I’m beat. If I was trying to do all that and write the entries at the same time, I’d be totally frazzled. I mean, this is my fourth challenge, and I’m following blogs and bloggers from all four years. Add to that the blogs I’m overseeing as a cohost, and you get the idea.

All of that to say that, if I didn’t reply to a comment you left, accept my apologies and know that I read all of them and, when things get a wee bit less crazy around here, I will respond. And thank you for coming by, and I will reciprocate.

So, let’s see what on around here this week…

Monday we looked at exchange-traded funds, an investment vehicle similar to a mutual fund but with the price volatility of a stock. There were some good ideas for books on investing, including those by Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman, The Wealthy Barber books by David Chilton, as well as The Truth About Money by Ric Edelman. My brother Kip suggested the last of these, as well as saying this:

I am trying to remember the name of the one that starts with Chapter 1: Never take responsibility for anything that eats. That’s the entire chapter. Chapter 2 begins with: now that you’ve completely ignored chapter 1…

Matthew MacNish added that there are a few courses offered by Khan Academy on investing. I’ve never taken any classes from Khan; maybe I’ll check them out.

Tuesday’s post on razors was a reprint of an entry I had made several months before. Since writing that post, I’ve grown a beard, but it was a good post, anyway, and it helped me finish one entry in the challenge. (Maybe next year my theme will be my favorite entries for each letter in previous years… hmmm…) Paul McCartney once called shaving “the bane of existence.”

I’m glad people liked my post on starlight mints, which was as much a post about Grandma Holton as it was about the candies. I think everyone would have loved Grandma; she was really one of a kind. She died at 92, and I swear, she died too young.

Being an old instructor, I’m glad when I can write a post that informs as well as entertains. I managed to do that a couple of times this week. Thursday, I talked about twilight and the three kinds (civil, nautical, and astronomical) that happen both at the beginning and end of the day. A lot of people didn’t realize that “twilight” happens both at dawn and at dusk, which doesn’t surprise me, because I didn’t know it, either. I think it was an episode of NCIS where I heard the civil, nautical, and astronomical distinctions, and learned they happen at both ends of the day when I started looking a little more closely at (Do you find you learn a lot of stuff just by seeing something and asking yourself, “wonder what that’s all about?”)

My post yesterday about Vladislav Volkov was another example. A lot of people (myself included) didn’t recall the disaster of the Soyuz 11 where, after successfully docking and undocking with the Salyut 1 space station, the capsule in which Volkov and the two other cosmonauts were flying depressurized, killing all three men. I only remember hearing about it vaguely, and looking at the dates of the mission (June 6-30, 1971), I now know why: my family and I were moving at the end of that month, and things were really confused around that time (and my being 15 probably didn’t help much). This was also in the latter stages of the Cold War, when communication between the United States and the Soviet Union were sketchy at best, probably explaining why most of us hadn’t heard about it, either.

Friday we talked about Ayer’s Rock, also known as Uluru, one of Australia’s best-known natural monuments. I heard from someone on Facebook that she had climbed it, so I guess it can be done, though the Aborigines frown on it, as it’s a sacred place to them. Most people settle for walking around it, a 10K hike. Most people remarked at the natural beauty of the rock and the scenery around it; I can only imagine what it’s like in person. Sisyphus said he was reminded of the movie Picnic at Hanging Rock, filmed at Hanging Rock, a similar formation in Victoria in southern Australia. I should see if I can locate a copy of that.

So, that was last week. This week is the final one for the A to Z Challenge, so best of luck to everyone on that. Friday, the day after the Challenge, we’ll have a Battle of the Bands (still to be determined) and, of course, Two for Tuesday. See you then!

from The Sound of One Hand Typing

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