California’s Giant Sequoia ‘Tunnel Tree’ Is Destroyed by Storm

California’s Giant Sequoia ‘Tunnel Tree’ Is Destroyed by Storm

The Pioneer Cabin tree was hollowed out in the 1880s, and cars once drove through its ancient trunk.

If you were thinking (like I was) that someday, perhaps next summer you’d like to take a trip that would give you the opportunity to see that big tree, the Giant Sequoia. Maybe you pictured yourself walking through it, then standing in front or under the thing like the two guys in this picture and having your own picture to post on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram or just to show your friends.

Not gonna happen.

The first time I saw a picture of that tree, I was about ten. At first, I thought it was fake because it had a car going through it and surely either the tree or, more likely, the car was fake. My mother assured me it was real. She said, maybe someday we could go see it.

Never happened.

You’d think that with me living in California, right down the road so to speak, for a dozen years now, I’d have found a way to get up there (six hours driving away) and see it, get my picture taken and not have to cut and paste myself into it. But, like the woman I met in England years ago who told me she’d lived almost twenty years just six blocks from the Tower of London, but never managed to see it because it was so close and because there was always next weekend, I’ve been waiting for the right ‘next weekend’ to go see that tree.

Now that tree, as with so many things in life has fallen (pun intended) into the category of, “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”

Source: Giant Sequoia ‘Tunnel Tree’ in California Is Toppled by Storm – The New York Times

There Is Great Joy In Seeing an Old Man Being as Happy as a Child

There Is Great Joy In Seeing an Old Man Being as Happy as a Child

Watch the pure joy of this grandpa receiving light-up sneakers

At the end of this, you’ll find a link to a video where the man pictured on the right joyfully gets a pair of light-up sneakers. My first thought was, “either he is a child at heart or he jogs or walks a lot at night. Maybe that’s not important. What’s important is that someone in his family was paying attention to him. After all, eight years is a long time to want something, especially something that is usually thought of as a ‘kid’s sneaker,’ and yet year after year, nobody got them for him. Of course, it’s also very likely that nobody thought they were also made for adults or nobody noticed them and put two and two together. It’s wonderful that they did.

In the past I’ve often wondered why someone picked some gift or another out for me… something I thought “what could possibly have made them think I would want this?” I’d never say anything like that because #1, they did put some thought into it and I wouldn’t want to be a rude bore about it and chance hurting their feelings and #2, there have been times I’ve gotten something I didn’t think I would want, but eventually came to appreciate and was happy I had, happy someone got something for me that I would never have gotten for myself.

This year, for the fourth year in a row I did not get any of the things I told people I wanted and I thought, next year I’m not going to bother, but after seeing this video of thought better of it. Maybe they are listening but they just weren’t able to get what I was hoping for or perhaps they just had a better idea.

I’m sure I’m guilty of ignoring peoples’ requests, too. I put a lot of thought into picking out gifts and sometimes it’s very hard and sometimes, I’m sure what I’ve picked out is generating the, “What made him think I would ever want something like this.”

Now, in the event someone I know is reading this, a pair of light-up sneakers wouldn’t embarrass me at all.

Source: Watch the pure joy of this grandpa receiving light-up sneakers 



So many puppies. But none of them will be Word of the Year.

Clement, I wasn’t sure of its meaning, so I looked it up. That’s when I stumbled on this story on the Miriam Webster Dictionary site about popular word searches and the word of the year according to that site at least. 

Trending words this year included: Fascism. Misogyny. Acrimonious. Nasty. Bigot. Puppy?

However, the Miriam Webster website might have influenced the trending searches by asking its visitors to search for something other than the most searched for word: Fascism.

The site didn’t want Fascism to be its “Word of the year,” and it was looking like that was going to happen since the formula used to determine the Word of the year was simply the most searched for word.

After Miriam Webster asked its visitors to search for something else such as ‘Flumdiddle.’

I don’t know if I helped the cause at all, but I bit. I did not search for Fascism, but I did search for flummadiddle.

  1. something foolish or worthless:  nonsense, trash
  2. bauble, frill


Actually, there is a second, more important criteria that influenced Miriam Websters choice for their Word of the Year, and that is “words that show a greater year-over-year increase.” In other words, fascism won’t automatically be the choice for this year’s word. That means a word like ‘puppy, flummadiddle, sockdolager, or maybe even clement.

And by the way, I thought ‘clement’ meant easy or mild and I was right.

  1. inclined to be merciful: lenient <a clement judge>
  2. mild <clement weather for this time of year>

Source: In a Time of Uncertainty, a Divided Nation Searches for Puppies – Trending 12/2/2016 | Merriam-Webster

Quite a Sad Story: First, Because a Family Was Terrorized; Second, Because the Man Doing the Terrorizing Didn’t Even Know He Was Doing It!

Quite a Sad Story: First, Because a Family Was Terrorized; Second, Because the Man Doing the Terrorizing Didn’t Even Know He Was Doing It!

Oren Aharon Cohen told police he does not remember details of this incident because he was “black out drunk.”

The Washington Post reported this story about a family that woke up to find a stranger holding their two-year-old daughter. The man tossed the child on a sofa. He says he thought he was playing with a midget. He says he was so drunk he didn’t really know where he was or what he was actually doing.

Now, Cohen is in jail, charged with a number of crimes and wants to be deported. He feels he should be released because as far as he’s concerned all he did was go in the wrong door and play with a dwarf.

Whenever I read something like this I wonder, ‘Why do people do stupid stuff like this? ‘ Why would they want or allow themselves to get so drunk they don’t know what they’re doing. I have never understood why anyone would drink till they’ve lost control of themselves. I understand the idea of ‘getting buzzed.’ Sometimes it’s nice to feel lighter, to feel like we have fewer problems and worries, to feel a little better if only for a moment. But that often becomes the problem. The feeling is temporary. Then the feeling wears off, we get sober and we have to deal with the reason or reasons we wanted to get buzzed. Either that or we have to continue drinking (or do drugs) in order to continue dealing with our issues by not dealing with them.

No matter what a person’s reason for drinking till he or she loses control, the end result is almost always disappointing. Eventually, we have to face our problems or we continue not facing them until something much worse, often something terrible happens and we are forced to face our problems either in jail, in a hospital, or in a morgue.

I don’t know why Oren Aharon Cohen drank till he was ‘black out drunk,” but it resulted in a double tragedy. First, a family will likely be having nightmares or live in an amount of fear for awhile, maybe forever, and a man is in jail and probably going to be deported from a country he may not have been planning to leave. The saddest part about this is that Cohen doesn’t appear to realize he has a problem.

I worked with a Sport Reporter a number of years who was very good at his job, award worth;, but the rest of his life was a mess. As a result, he found any excuse to celebrate, which always meant drinking till he was ‘black out drunk.’ He often woke up in jail, having no idea how he got there. The worst though, was the night he pounded on the front door screaming for his wife to let him in. The problem was the house wasn’t his and he was 30 miles from home. He thought it was pretty funny. It took him awhile to face his problems, but it wasn’t until after he lost his wife and his job. A terrible tragedy because the first time I heard him I thought he would some day be working at a major market radio or TV station. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the path he chose and in the end, it’s all just a choice.

Source: A dad was awakened by his toddler’s crying. He found a stranger holding her in the living room. – The Washington Post

Future & Past

The stone raised over you by the future will become your past.” ~ Jane Yolen