Fewer than 3 percent of cars sold today in the US have stick shifts and clutch pedals. You can’t even get a stick shift in a Volkswagen Beetle. I had a 1975 chocolate brown Toyota Celica that I couldn’t quite get into reverse, so the first day I had the car, the boy that carried out my groceries had to do that for me. (That tells you how long ago it was, because no one has carried out our groceries in forever.) After that, I always pulled through to the second parking place, so I could go forward. It took me about a week to master shifting and reverse, then it was THE MOST fun car to drive. It was a 5-speed and I rolled through those gears. I’m making wistful sounds right now.
American Girl Dolls is introducing Luciana, an 18-inch doll, a creative, confident 11-year-old girl and aspiring astronaut who dreams of being the first person to go to Mars. She has skills and brains, is a good leader and team player, has STEM-inspired outfits and accessories including a flight suit, space suit and a Mars Habitat loaded with science and research tools. To insure the doll’s authenticity, they worked with female experts from NASA. Barbie. I miss playing with you in your wedding dress and putting together carboard furniture to go in your Dream House where you could live happily after with Ken. My, how times have changed.
A Louisiana teacher was ejected from a meeting room by a marshall, handcuffed on the floor and put into a patrol car when she stood up at a school board meeting and asked why the superintendent was getting a raise while educators and support staff hadn’t received a raise in 10 years. This teacher had won a teacher of the year award in 2016 and is said to be a really, good teacher and nice person. It’s all on video so there are facts. I watched it all and she should not have been arrested. Maybe there was more to the story.
A New Jersey couple were renovating their new $2-million condo, only to find that the inside of the walls, the insulation and the ceiling had been stuffed full of water bottles filled with urine. There were also containers of partially eaten Chinese food, cupcake wrappers, construction debris, and the insulation in the master bedroom was soaked in urine. The couple tried to sell the condo back to the construction company but are now suing the company. Ugh.
You saw the picture of the little boy in the hoodie that had “Coolest Monkey in the Jungle” written across the front. The ad prompted some celebrities to end their partnerships with the H&M clothing line. Well, this little boy’s mom doesn’t have a problem with it and says, “(I) am the mum and this is one of hundreds of outfits my son has modeled. Stop crying wolf all the time, unnecessary issue here…get over it.” “Everyone is entitled to their opinion about this…I really don’t understand but not coz (I) am choosing not to but because it’s not my way of thinking, sorry.” OUCH. At my house, if momma is happy then everybody is happy.
Part of my children’s Christmas gift (memories instead of stuff) involved tickets to see Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, author and science rock star. He and his enthusiasm strips down complex ideas, make jokes and suddenly you understand what a black hole is. All this is done while he is walking around on stage in his socks. He recently released “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” and it immediately went to No. 1 on the New York Times’ nonfiction best seller list. He’s a good Google.
Neil deGrasse Tyson – “Kids should be allowed to break stuff more often. That’s a consequence of exploration. Exploration is what you do when you don’t know what you’re doing.”
RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Country singer Naomi Judd is 72. Singer Rod Stewart is 73. Boxing Hall of Fame and entrepreneur George Foreman is 69. Singer Robert Earl Keen is 62. Singer Mary J. Blige is 47. Texas-born, Mexican-American rock musician Alejandro Escovedo is 67. Singer Pat Benatar is 65. Hall of Fame race car driver Bobby Rahal is 65. Folk singer Joan Baez is 77. Rockabilly singer Roy Head is 77. Treat Her Right.
Comedian Larry Storch is 95. Ahh. Remember him on F Troop. CBS newsman Charles Osgood is 85. Singer Shirley Bassey is 81. She recorded the theme songs to Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, and Moonraker for the James Bond movies. Game show host Bob Eubanks is 80. Actress Yvette Mimieux is 76. Musician Robby Krieger is 72. The Doors.
Musician Stephen Stills is 73. Actress Victoria Principal is 68. Actor-Director Mel Gibson is 62. NFL quarterback Eli Manning is 37. The Amazing Kreskin is 83. He predicted that Trump would be elected 11 months before it happened. Actress Kirstie Alley is 67. Country singer Ricky Van Shelton is 66. Radio-TV personality Howard Stern is 64. Entrepreneur Jeff Bezos is 54. Amazon.com.
Rock singer Jimmy Page is 74. Led Zeppelin. Rock singer-musician Dave Matthews is 51. Singer Crystal Gayle is 67. Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue. Floor length hair. Voted one of the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World by People magazine in 1983. Baby sister of 84-year-old Loretta Lynn (who btw fell and broke her hip last week.)
Physicist Stephen Hawking is 76. A good quote of his (and he has some really great ones) is, “I believe alien life is quite common in the universe, although intelligent life is less so. Some say it has yet to appear on planet Earth.” Hmmm.
Ray Thomas, Moody Blues founding member and flautist, died at age 76. Thomas stepped back from the band due to ill health in 1999 and in 2014 confirmed that he had been diagnosed with inoperable but treatable prostate cancer. Nights in White Satin. The Moody Blues are to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in April.
President Oprah? Fact or Fiction or just Fantasy?
Stephen Hawking – “My advice to other disabled people would be, concentrate on things your disability doesn’t prevent you doing well, and don’t regret the things it interferes with. Don’t be disabled in spirit as well as physically.” That’s good advice whether you are disabled or not.
Houston Auto Show, January 24-28, at NRG Center and presented by The Houston Chronicle.
In Southern California at a private residence, authorities found 13 siblings, ages 2 to 29 years old, all malnourished, in filthy conditions and some chained to furniture, after one of the children, a 17-year-old, jumped out a window, called 911 and led police to the home. The child that escaped was so small that police thought she was 10-years-old. The mother and father are being held on $9-million bail.
Mahatma Gandhi – “I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.”
The LJ Civic Center Ballroom will be the location of the annual Daddy-Daughter Dance this year. February 9th and it always sells out so get your tickets soon. Tickets are not sold at the door.
Actually, this was a really boring week. I struggled to find something interesting to tell you. I will do better next week.
Dr. Seuss – “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”