Archive for February, 2012

Men at Work: Mark Million, Provider of Medical Equipment

February 29th, 2012 Comments off

I work to provide medical equipment for people in their homes . In 1974 my father and some partners bought a business in Little Rock and Memphis.  I began working part time in Memphis during summers and then became full time after college. Except for five years from 2000-2005 this is what I have done. 
The family business was sold in the early 80’s which began my adventure of working for 5 different medical companies.  I have worked for large companies ($125 million) to the small business with a friend today.
The greatest challenge is the sad fact that there is a never ending line of sick people.  Every person in healthcare today feels the problem of too many people that need care, too little resources,  and not enough money or insurance for all people in need. 
If everyone could spend a day in some of these people’s shoes, the world might be different.  It’s not about the salary I make (we all have to make a living), it’s that too many people can’t get  what they need because they have no insurance and no ability to pay.  We still care for these people and try to get them what they need but the financial strain of provider companies get worse each year. The reality of day to day is not what is read in the paper about big insurance and pharmaceutical companies, it’s about the little guy who all of a sudden is sick and needs help.
I get satisfaction from helping people who truly need and  appreciate what you can do for them.  There will always be “welfare cheats”. We have to look past them for the little lady living on social security who just fell and broke a hip or the farmer who worked the farm for 50 years only to have a stroke at 70 and suddenly can’t ever work again. 

Jonathan, Lauren, Mark and Brenda

I have met some of the most wonderful people thru this business.  Sadly, I see most of them during one of the worst times in their life.  But, their human spirit can be amazing. 
Anyway,  life is a long strange trip. As Forrest’s Mom said, “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get!”  Kinda corny, but true.

Baby Girls Named Mona . . . Mona Lisa?

February 29th, 2012 Comments off

As I continue  puzzling over Mona Lisa . . .

The song, Mona Lisa, performed by Nat King Cole, won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1950. It was also the #1 song in the nation for eight weeks straight in mid-1950.

It refers, of course, to Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa, a 16th-century portrait of Lisa Gherardini. Mona is a contraction of Madonna, Italian for “my lady,” and Lisa is a short form of Elisabetta, the Italian form of Elizabeth.

Not surprisingly, the song inspired dozens of expectant parents to name their baby girls Monalisa in 1950 :

  • 1949: fewer than 5 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1950: 35 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1951: 15 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1952: 7 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1953: 9 baby girls named Monalisa
  • 1954: 6 baby girls named Monalisa

…and it’s been on the list ever since. (In 2010, 12 babies were named Monalisa.)

Even more impressive? The jump in the number of babies named Mona that year:

  • 1948: 455 
  • 1949: 515 
  • 1950: 1,087 
  • 1951: 1,103 
  • 1952: 949 

Are you a Mona?  What is your middle name?


From : Info on Leap Year

February 29th, 2012 1 comment

A leap year consists of 366 days, as opposed to a common year, which has 365 days.

During Leap Years, we add a leap day,  an extra – or intercalary – day on February 29. Nearly every 4 years is a Leap Year in our modern Gregorian Calendar. 

Why do we need Leap Years?

Leap Years are needed to keep our calendar in alignment with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun. 
It takes the Earth approximately 365.242199 days (a tropical year) to circle once around the Sun.

The Earth's motion around the sun

Note: The illustration is not to scale.

However, the Gregorian calendar has only 365 days in a year, so if we didn’t add a day on February 29 nearly every 4 years, we would lose almost six hours off our calendar every year. After only 100 years, our calendar would be off by approximately 24 days!

How do we calculate Leap Years?

In the Gregorian calendar 3 criteria must be met to be a leap year:

  • The year is evenly divisible by 4;
  • If the year can be evenly divided by 100, it is NOT a leap year, unless;
  • The year is also evenly divisible by 400. Then it is a leap year.

Who invented Leap Years?

Julius Caesar introduced Leap Years in the Roman empire over 2000 years ago, but the  Julian calendar had only one rule: any year evenly divisible by 4 would be a leap year. This lead to way too many leap years, but didn’t get corrected until the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar more than 1500 years later.

Oh, oh!

February 29th, 2012 Comments off

A married couple, both avid golfers, was discussing the future one night.
“Honey”, the wife said, “if I were to die and you were to remarry, would you two live in this house?”
“I suppose so – it’s paid for.”
“How about our car? Continued the woman. “Would the two of you keep that?
“I suppose so – it’s paid for.”
“What about my golf clubs? Would you let her use them?
“Definitely not!” the husband blurted out. “She’s left-handed.”

Pocahontas Girl, Lauren Gray: Her ‘Idol’ Time May Not Be Over Yet!

February 29th, 2012 Comments off


From her father’s band… The Mike Gray Band
“Friends and Fans, Lauren has been chosen to go on world tour to 20 countries with American Idol this summer. She leaves in June. This is just the beginning!”

Lauren was a favorite of the judges during auditions, but something went amiss and they dropped her when it came to the top 24.  Maybe they felt she needed more stage presence.  Whatever their true reasons, it was a major disappointment to many of us who felt she should have continued.

If this report from her father’s band is correct, then that means Idol is giving her a chance to gain more experience on the big stage.  I am surprised that they have already announced this, but if it is on Facebook it has to be correct . . . right?  Okay, stay tuned, we’ll know more later.

 To get the raves of the judges during her audition and then to be dumped was pretty cruel, but they recognized  something special in her  and I believe traveling with the Idol concert will prepare her and give her the type of  experience that she needs on the performance end of things.  They already know she can sing and they believe in her or they wouldn’t take this chance with her.  I hope it is accurate ,and that it happens.  

Handy Tip from Elaine

February 29th, 2012 Comments off

 Whenever I buy S.O.S Pads, I use my scissors to cut each pad into halves.   Half is about all that is needed at one time.  I  toss the used one instead of keeping it around to rust and smell funky. Now a box of scouring pads last a lot longer (and the scissors get sharpened at the same time!)

Smile, Wabbit!

February 29th, 2012 Comments off

Men at Work: School Psychologist, Timothy Taylor

February 28th, 2012 Comments off

One of the reasons I became a School Psychologist, other than wanting to advance my career, was because during my   five years of teaching  I encountered many children who had special needs.  I decided to go from the classroom to school psychology, to help identify and place  kids in the correct educational setting.  Teaching was a challenge and a good experience, but I feel I am better suited, long term, for the position I have now.  

 The greatest challenge in my work is that many students who need counseling don’t want to be in therapy.  This is especially true for Junior High and High School students.  Their resistance makes it difficult for them to benefit from the counseling process. 

Alice and Tim


The greatest satisfaction I get from my work is when I feel like I have made a real connection with a student, and help him or her solve a life problem. That makes it all worth while.

Note from the Schoolmarm:

This ‘Man at Work’ is also known as #1 son on this website.  

Two Other Timothy Taylors

February 28th, 2012 Comments off

When we named our son Timothy Taylor, we had no idea that there was an art gallery by that name in London, England.

Canadian Author, Timothy Taylor







We also didn’t know that he would share his name with a  bestselling, award-winning novelist and journalist. His new novel is The Blue Light ProjectAuthor Timothy Taylor lives in Vancouver, Canada. Nice looking chap.

Another surprise was discovering  that there is a well known  English brewery by that name. Their website says:

In 1858 Timothy Taylor began brewing beer in Cook Lane in the West Riding town of Keighley. He clearly struck upon a successful formula for in 1863 he set up and built a larger brewery at Knowle Spring, where the company has remained ever since. 

The superb spring water that wells up from deep under the Pennines is still used today to produce the country’s best

Brewer, Timothy Taylor

traditional cask ales. The brewery remains in the Taylor family and is now the last independent brewery of its type left in West Yorkshire. This independence enables Taylors to survive as one of the few brewers still brewing true cask ales in the same way it has always done. 

Timothy Taylor Brewery c. 1900








The elder Timothy Taylor might have been disappointed to learn that the California Tim Taylor is a non-drinker, but that is fine with me,  and there are plenty of others who will enjoy his namesake brew.

Mona . . . Still Drawing Crowds

February 28th, 2012 Comments off

When Bill and I saw the Mona Lisa in 1966 it was unprotected and we (and and guard) were the only ones in the room.  But look at the crowds today!  She has been put into her own protective room.  Many are disappointed that the painting is so small and badly faded, and they have a hard time getting a view.  It makes me realize just how special our brief visit with the lady was.

 2005  BBC News Caroline Wyatt
The room has been renovated at a cost of 4.8m euros, so that visitors can be guaranteed a better view of her mysterious smile.The 500-year-old Leonardo Da Vinci masterpiece now has its own state-of-the-art exhibition space.

But moving the painting was a little more complicated than most house-moves.

Hardly daring to breathe, curators at the Louvre gently lifted the Mona Lisa from her gilded frame and wrapped her in tissue paper before she was ceremonially wheeled along the endless corridors of the Louvre to her new home.

The tense faces only relaxed once she was safely installed in the grand renovated room and back behind bullet-proof glass.

“She’s like a living person,” he says, laughing.bJean Habert, the Louvre’s chief curator of Venetian paintings, says Mona Lisa’s every move is always carefully scrutinised – making her one of the world’s first real celebrities, with the cameras never far away.

“She was surrounded by photographers the second she re-opened. They were acting like the paparazzi – kneeling in front of her, craning to get the best spot, standing up, sitting down.

Indeed, the 500-year-old Florentine beauty looks positively rejuvenated, with the new ceiling allowing daylight in from above, and subtle spotlights getting rid of the greenish tinge of age.“It was amazing, exactly as if she were a star – and she is a star who will never die.”

Visitors seeing her for the first time in her new setting today seem delighted.

“For me it’s wonderful to see her like this – she looks so much better than before,” enthuses one French art fan.

But why should this portrait – probably of a little-known Florentine merchant’s wife – attract quite so much attention?

Mona Lisa has always attracted the crowds – 6 million people a year come to admire her 

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