Friday, June 29, 2012

Quote of the Day- Karl Marx

Since there were "Jeopardy" categories pertaining to both Karl Marx and John Lennon (a play on the term Marx and Lenin), we thought we'd quip the German philosopher Marx (1818-1883) who known for being the first to develop the political philosophies of socialism, at least in the modern era.

Marx is also one of the subjects made into a plush doll from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild.

Due to his controversial views, Marx lived much of his later life in exile, including stints in Paris and London, where he died. His most famous works are "The Communist Manifesto" (1848) and "Das Capital" (1867-1894).

Marx was born in Trier in southwestern Germany. His theories revolved around class struggle and conflicts between ownership and the working class.

There are historians who believe that the Soviet Union and red China which were established in theory according to Marxism were actually against Marx's thinking because he was opposed to totalitarianism.

Here is his quote:

"Capital is dead labor, which vampire-like, lives only by sucking labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks."

Quotes of the Da/Week- Emily Dickinson

We continue quoting figures who have been made into plush doll toys by the American novelty company the Unemployed Philosophers Guild with a quip from poet Emily Dickinson , who lived a quiet, reclusive life during the mid-1800s in New England where she penned many famous works, including "A Bird Came Down the Walk."

There is an Emily Dickinson museum in Amherst, Mass.

Here is her quote:

"Behavior is what a person does, not what he thinks, feels, or believes."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week_ Andy Warhol

Today, we continue with quotes from figures who have been made into plush toy dolls from the American novelty company The Unemployed Philosophers Guild, which usually retail for circa $17.95, as we quip the great artist Andy Warhol  (1927-1987). The man who was certainly famous for more than 15 minutes is mentioned in an excellent article by David Wolman in "Wired" (June issue) about an exemplary money counterfeiter in Germany, who was inspired by Warhol.

Currently, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pa., is showing film and video screenings by Warhol. Across the world in Singapore, there is an exhibit called "Andy Warhol, 15 Minutes" at the Singapore ArtScience Museum.

An interesting thing we learned about Singapore from an article about flight attendants is that Singapore Airlines actually has a corpse on board in case anyone doesn't complete the journey across the Pacific.

I guess if a traveler has that situation, their relatives will need to check with the Singapore embassy in Washington, DC. Incidentally, we first saw this Warhol doll in real life at a Smithsonian gift shop.

Here is the quote from Warhol, and we do wonder if the Rev. Johnny Robertson of Martinsville, Va., who is reportedly a bit over-the-top would make of this:

"I never think that people die. They just go to department store."

SIDEBAR: We learned today from the Urban Dictionary that word 'bittertweet' is about a tweet (which is a message on Twitter for those of you who lives in caves with no wi-fi access) that relays sorrow or disappointment. An example would be: "RIP, Rover. You were a great dog, and you will be missed. We just wish you hadn't gone after the soccer ball in front of a school bus." That may have exceeded 14 characters, but you get the idea. Right?

SIDEBAR TWO: We are making an effort to appear hip and trendy here at "The Daily Vampire," and we thought what better way to do that than to talk about the topics that are trending on the search engine; these include Channing Tatum, Lamar Odom, Italy vs. Germany (we still can't believe Germany lost!) and, of course, Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Ok, that is a joke, but we can tell you that the most famous man named Ahmet in the world (well, perhaps he is second to Ahmet Zappa, the son of the late Frank Zappa) is 53 years old and that he was born in the Turkish city of Konya.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Quote of the Day- Marilyn Monroe

Today, we continue quoting people who have been made into plush toy dolls from the American novelty company The Unemployed Philosophers Guild. Most of the companies' other dolls, do in fact, include the likes of Sigmund Freud and Frederick Nietzsche.

We are going with Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962), one of the newer dolls (we believe) and by quoting the actress who alas died under mysterious circumstances at age 36; amazingly enough she would be age 86 today.

One of Monroe's signature film the musical "Gentleman Prefer Blondes" (1953, (dir. Howard Hawks)will air on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) on July 12 at 8:00 p.m., New York time/6:00 p.m., Aspen, Colorado, time.

And, we believe that by quoting Marilyn, we are the only blog in the world (perhaps) to quote both Marilyn Monroe and James Monroe, the fifth president of America, within the same week.

Special thanks to those of you in Slovenia, Turkey and Thailand for visiting the blog.

Here is her quote:

 "Being a sex symbol is a heavy load to carry, especially when one is tired, hurt and bewildered."

UPDATE_ The answer to our question regarding the distance between Los Angeles and Tokyo is B) 5,452 miles

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Quote of the Day_ Andrew Jackson

Well, we are getting ready to watch "Jeopardy," and we wish that game show's host Alex Trebek a speedy recovery from his heart attack, but we have just a few minutes to post this entry, the latest in our series dedicate to the first eight American presidents (hmmm....I'm not exactly the world's fastest typer!).

Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) was America's seventh president. There is actually a dispute over which state he was born in as he was born in the Waxhwas region between North Carolina and South Carolina. And, officially, South Carolina is credited with being his place of birth. Ironically, like the two presidents officially born in North Carolina, James K. Polk and Andrew Johnson, 'OLd Hickory' went in to the White House representing Tennessee. One historian in North Carolina also claims that Abraham Lincoln was actually born in the Tarheel State. We'd explain more, but we don't want to miss the contestants' introductions.

Here is Jackson's quote:

"Americans are not a perfect people, but we are called to a perfect mission."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quote of the Day- James Monroe

Pop singer Justin Bieber, the Supreme Court and Tropical Storm Debby are trending on Bing. We sense that this quote from James Monroe (1758-1831) will not go viral. but we'll see what happens.

One of the most surreal things regarding American presidential history is that three of the first five presidents died on the Fourth of July; none have died on that day since.

Both John Adams, the second president, and Thomas Jefferson, the third president, died on July 4, 1826. Monroe died on that exact date five years later.

Four of the first five presidents, everyone except Adams, was from Virginia, including Monroe.

Here is his quote:

"A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue."

Quote of the Day/Week- Thomas Jefferson

Today, we continue quoting the first eight American presidents in honor of the up-coming presidential election in the United States in November. Egypt just had elections over weekend, and Mexico is expected to hold them this week.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), one of eight presidents to come from Virginia and the first one from the Democratic Party, has approximately 16 high schools named after him, including ones in Alexandria, Va., Brooklyn, NY, and Dallas, Tex.

The late comic actor Danny Kaye (1913-1987) who our sixth grader teacher mistakenly told us was dead (this was 1982, he did indeed die five years later) graduated from the JHS in Brooklyn, while actress Brenda Vaccaro, who is alive and presumably well, graduated from the school of the same name in Dallas.

Jefferson's historic home Monticello is a major tourist destination in Charlottesville, Va. I was supposed to go there on an ninth-grade field trip, but I overslept (the bus left at circa 7:30 p.m.) ...oh well!

Here is Jefferson's quote:

 "A coward is much more exposed to quarrels than a man of spirit."

10 People Who Will Decide Who Becomes President (2 of 10)- Truck Driver in Indiana

First of all, thanks to those of you in Slovakia, Ecuador and Finland for visiting our blog today. Just last week, I got the best-selling book "Procrastination"  by Jane Burka and Lenora Yuen, and I have actually delayed this entry for three days now, so let's get to it. Note: Be sure to read the disclaimer at the end of the entry.

Here is a profile of today's fictional character_

Name: Danny Givens

Age: 37

Profession: Truck Driver

Residency: Fort Wayne, Indiana

Will Likely Vote for: Mitt Romney

In 2008, Barack Obama became the first Democrat to win the presidential vote in Indiana since Lyndon B. Johnson, and this took even the most objective, non-partisan political experts by surprise. Obama edged out John McCain by a 50-49 percent margin. McCain won Allen County, where Fort Wayne is, by a 52-48 margin. Obama won the state's more liberal area, including Saint Joseph County, where South Bend and Notre Dame University is, by a 58-42 margin.

Obama's largest margin of victory, however, was in neighboring Lake County while McCain had his highest percentage of votes in rural northern Indiana in Kosciusko County, where the town of Warsaw is.

In the 1996 election, Bob Dole edged the eventual victor Bill Clinton by a slim 47-42 percent margin. But, George W. Bush was able to defeat both Al Gore and John Kerry with relative ease. However, in 2004, when Bush got 60-precent of the vote, then Sen. Evan Bayh (D) got 62 percent of the vote.

There are circa three million truck drivers in the United States. Though we could not find sources to verify this, it is widely believed that in the South, truck drivers tend to be partisan Republicans whereas in northern and mid-western states where labor unions are significantly stronger, they tend to be more independent-minded.

Some ten years ago, I read a "Washington Post Magazine" article about an African-American truck driver passing through the hamlet of Toms Brook, Va., in the Shenandoah Valley where there is a large truck station, who was surprisingly held extreme right-wing political views.

Since Indian's current governor Mitch Daniels (R) has a strong national presence, it seems like the Hoosier State will likely go back to the Republicans this year, but Obama did pull a major upset there just four years ago.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Danny Givens is a fictional character. There is a Danny Givens who is a pastor in Minnesota, but in no way, is our fictional character indicative of him or his political views. The person who is picture is not Danny Givens, and the person in the picture's political views are not known.

Though this blog is satirical in nature, with a center-left bias, this series is not meant to be partisan. It simply reflects the author's theory that indeed every vote counts.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Olympic Cities Distance Quiz (2 of 6)- Los Angeles to Tokyo

As the world gets ready for the 2012 London Olympics, we take a look at the distances between cities which have previously hosted the games. One thing we learned while putting this together is that Detroit tried many times to get the games, but they were unable to land them.

Los Angeles has had considerably more luck as they have hosted the 1932 Olympics and the 1984 Olympics.

Tokyo, Japan, was supposed to get the 1940 put an invasion of China sent the games to Helsinki, Finland. But, they were able to secure the games in 1964, becoming the first Asian country to host the Olympics. In more recent years, South Korea and China have hosted them as well.

There is an amazing contrast in the amount of international athletes who competed in each of the games. In 1964, they were athletes from 93 countries in Tokyo. 20 years later, in spite of a boycott from the Soviet Union, eastern block countries (except Romania and the now nonexistent Yugoslavia) and Cuba, athletes from 140 countries came to southern California.

In Tokyo, judo and women's volleyball become Olympic sports. Among the highlights in Japan were Soviet gymnast Larisa Latyrynina, a Ukrainian who is now 77, won two golds, a silver and two bronze medals. While Ethiopian marathon runner Abebe Bikila (1932-1973) won a second consecutive gold medal. For the Americans, recently deceased boxer Joe Frazier (1944-2011) won gold as a heavyweight in boxing.

In L.A., synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics debuted in the games where American gymnast Mary Lou Retton, now 44, won a gold in the all-around competition as well as a team silver and a silver on the vault. Carl Lewis won four gold medals in track. And, a barefoot runner from South Africa named Zola Budd, who competed for the United Kingdom, collided with American runner Mary Slaney*, who was wearing shoes, in a highly controversial and dubious 3,000 meter relay. Thus, many people have forgotten that Romanian runner Maricica Puica actually won the race.

So, what is the distance in miles between Los Angeles and Tokyo....

Is the answer:

A) 5,351 miles

B) 5,451 miles

C) 5,556 miles

D) 5,701 miles

PICTURED: A sumo wrestler and Sam the Eagle, who was the official mascot of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.

*-Mary Slaney is now known as Mary Decker

SIDEBAR: As for the answer to our tv quiz entry from yesterday, "M*A*S*H" ran for 251 episodes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Rabbit Ears Quiz (11 of 12)_ M*A*S*H

Today, we continue our long-running Rabbit Ears Quiz series with a look at "M*A*S*H, which is arguably the most popular television show made from a film. The movie, directed by Robert Altman, is my personal favorite one from 1970. The tv sitcom aired in 1972, and according to the IMDB, Altman did not care for the show, though the series was a success with audiences and critics alike.

The tv version of "M*A*S*H" actually outlasted the Korean War, which it is set in by eight years! Only three actors were in both the film and tv version, the main one of them is Gary Burghoff (Radar O'Reilly), who was the first actor cast for the tv show.

Alan Alda was the only actor who appeared in all the episodes. Alda, 76, has seen a resurgence in his acting career thanks to his Oscar nomination for his supporting role in the Martin Scorsese film "The Aviator" (2004).

Harry Morgan and Mike Farrell joined the cast after the fourth season of the series. Morgan, the oldest member of the cast, died last year at age 96. Farrell,73, is known for being one of the leading anti-capital punishment activists in America (editorial note: I am also a capital punishment opponent).

So, today, we are asking how many episodes did this show which ran for 11 seasons air. Is the answer:

A) 266

B) 256

C) 251

D) 236

As always, we will send the winner an 8-track copy of "The Oak Ridge Boys' Greatest Hits" (that is a joke).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Casualties of Modern Technology- Stamps (11 of 12)

Today, we turn our attention to yet another casualty of modern technology, though it's still around and used widely around the globe, postage stamps usage has decreased everywhere from Baku, Azerbaijan, to Montevideo, Uruguay.

The postage stamp that was first used, according to Wikipedia, was the Penny Black Stamp in the United Kingdon, which sold for one penny, in 1840. A century later, Airmail stamps were widely used in America and shortly thereafter everywhere else. Other stamps include military stamps and official stamps.

Stamp collecting, known as pjphilately, is a popular hobby. Highly sought after stamps include the Hawaiian missionary stamps, first issued in 1851, which are worth circa $5000,000 today. Stamp collectors also tend to like stamps from Carribean nations, such as The Bahamas and Jamaica, since they occasionally feature  unusual design and topics.

Here in America, popular stamps, include the Statue of Liberty forever stamp, the Eid stamp used for the Muslim holiday, and Black History Month stamps, which this year, included "Ebony" magazine founder John H. Johnson.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Quote of the Day- Josip Broz Tito

Today, we conclude our quotes from 16 people associated with the 16 countries in Euro Cup 2012 (eight on each blog, the other eight can be found on our sister blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time."

And, we finish things off with the founder of Yugoslavia Marsal Josip Broz Tito, known simply as Tito, who was Croatian by birth. Croatia faces Spain next week in the last game of the first round. Tito (1892-1980) was born in the village of Kumrover, a Croatian village in the north which borders Slovenia.

Many have compared Tito to Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938). Both formed their respective countries in the ashes of changing geopolitics, and both were the proverbial strong man in their respective nations. The major difference was that Ataturk was a capitalist and Tito was a socialist. And, Turkey has had its borders in tact since the foundation of the Republic in 1923 whereas Yugoslavia, a coalition of six republics, is now seven separate countries.

Though he was despised by many ethnic Serbs and Croats in America and western Europe for his politics, Tito was respected by the West for giving Yugoslavia autonomy from the Soviet Union, more so than the other Iron Curtain countries in eastern Europe.

But, ironically, it was Yugoslavia which suffered the most from the Soviet Union's sudden collapse in 1990, and Serbia went to war with Croatia and Slovenia shortly thereafter. The war went on to grasp Bosnia-Herzegovina and turn its capital city of Sarajevo, the site of the 1984 Winter Olympics, into a war zone.

Tito visited both John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon during their respective presidencies in Washington, D.C.

Here is his now seemingly haunting quote:

"We have split an ocean of blood for the brotherhood and unity of our peoples and we shall not allow anyone to destroy it within."

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Quote of the Day- Roberto Benigni

Today, we continue quoting people associated with the 16 nations competing in the Euro Cup 2012 soccer championships with a quote from Italian comic/actor/director Roberto Benigni ,59, who won a Best Actor Oscar for his role in "Life is Beautiful" (1997), a film that he also directed.

Though his fellow Italian Marcello Mastroianni (1924-1996) was a legendary actor who won two Golden Globes for Best Actor, Benigni was actually the first Italian to win a Best Actor Oscar.

For our quote, Benigni refers to the late director Frederico Fellini who directed many Mastroianni films including "La Dolce Vita" (1960):

"For me, Fellini was like a watermelon. It is there. A watermelon cannot die."

Friday, June 15, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-Hans Christian Andersen

This just in, though we were unable to watch the second half, we have learned from that England defeated Sweden 3-2 today, which certainly surprised those of us who just saw the first half in which England was only up 1-0.

But, we are quoting a famous Dane in Hans Christian Anderson as Denmark is among the 16 countries in the Euro Cup 2012 competition. Alas, the Danes were stuck in the 'group of death' which also features the Netherlands (Holland), Germany and Portugal.

Andersen (1805-1875) was born in Odense, which is Denmark's third largest city. He is known penning several well-known fairy tales, including "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid" and "The Ugly Duckling."

Here is his quote:

"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Yanni

There was a letter in today's "Roanoke Times," a daily newspaper in Roanoke, Va., complaining that the media outlet had not properly covered the new age instrumentalist Yanni who gave a concert in Roanoke (my hometown) on June 4th.

I must profess that today's quote was initially to be from the great Greek composer Mikis Theodakris, who turns 87 in July, and is known for the scores to "Z" and "Zorba the Greek."

But, we couldn't find quotes from Theodakris, who was born on the island of Chios, just across the Aegean Sea from the resort town Cesme, Turkey. Cesme is a sister city to Wise,Va., a small Appalachian town in far southwestern Virginia, which also known for being the birthplace of the late actor George C. Scott.

This month, we are quoting famous people associated with the 16 countries in the Euro 2012 Cup, which is being played in Poland and Ukraine. The Greek soccer team must defeat Poland on the country's home grass in order to advance in the tournament. Greece lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Russia is the other team in Group A.

As for Yanni, he came to international prominence following his 1992 concert at the Acropolis in Athens. Yanni was born in Kalmata, a city in the southern Greek mainland.

Here is his quote, which country singer Dolly Parton can probably identify with:

"I don't think we're put on this planet to experience it from nine to five."

SIDEBAR: We want to congratulate the race horse Union Rags on the horse's Belmont Stakes victory. The horse edged out Paynter in the final leg of the race in New York state. John Velasquez was the jockey for Union Rags, who was born on March 3, 2009.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Charlie Chaplin

Thanks to those of you in Afghanistan?!, Spain and Serbia for visiting us today. Hope the weather is nice in Kandahar province.

Today, we continue quoting famous people associated with each of the 16 nations competing in the Euro 2012 Cup in Poland and Ukraine. Yesterday in Warsaw, there were ugly clashes between fans for Russia and Poland on the eve of the two countries' soccer match. Thankfully, the game ended in a 1-1 tie and things were apparently less tense after the game....well, we hope!

England is one of those 16 countries, and since we are also quoting people who have been humorously merchandised by the American company The Unemployed Philosophers Guild, we thought we'd go with the great actor/director/composer Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977). A Little Thinker plush doll toy from the company retails for $17.95. Another company has a line of Charlie Chaplin ties, which might not be the best choice for a job interview unless you are interviewing for a manager's position at an old cinema, such as the Byrd Theatre in Richmond, Va., which is now screening "The Artist," which pays homage to silent films, such as the ones which made Chaplin famous.

Chaplin is best known for several cinematic masterpieces, including "The Gold Rush" (1925), "City Lights" (1931) and "Modern Times" (1936). Since Chaplin held left-wing views, he was targeted by the controversial FBI director J. Edgar Hoover during the infamous McCarthy period. This caused Chaplin who was living in America at the time, to move to Switzerland where he lived out his last years.

Here is his quote:

"Actors search for rejection. If they don't get it they reject themselves."

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Jean Luc-Godard

We continue quoting people associated with the 16 countries represented in Euro 2012 with a quote from the great French film director Jean-Luc Godard, 81, who is best-known for his New Wave classic "Breathless" (1960). Many of his films are available on dvd through the Criterion Collection.

France tied England 1-1 in Euro 2012 play yesterday.

Here is Godard's quote, with his take on William Shakespeare:

"To be or not to be. That's not really a question."

Quote of the Day/Week- Salvador Dali

Today, we continue to quote famous people from the 16 countries represented in the 2012 Euro Cup championships in Poland and Ukraine, which got underway on Friday. Originally, we were going to quote just eight people from eight of the teams, but we figured those of you visiting us from Croatia and Portugal, two national teams in Euro 2012, might feel snubbed.

We thus turn our attention to the great Spanish surreal painter Salvador Dali (1904-1989) who is perhaps best-known for "The Persistence of Memory" (1931), which is the painting with melting clocks. Dali is also one of the people who has his very own plush toy from the Unemployed Philosophers Guild, which retails for circa $17.95. This month, we are also quoting individuals who have plush toys made in their image as was the case with Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter who was the subject of our last quote entry.

A museum dedicated to Dali's works is located in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Over the weekend, Spain tied Italy 1-1 in the team's first Euro 2012 game.

Here is Dali's quote:

"I don't do drugs. I am drugs."

Friday, June 8, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Frida Kahlo

Greetings to those of you in Thailand, Greece and Norway who have been visiting us lately.

Today, we start a series of quotes from persons associated with the Unemployed Philosphers Guild, a toy/novelty production company which offers everything from Russian Leon Trotsky (who was friends with Kahlo) to Albert Einstein. Today, there are advertising a Leonardo Da Vinci plush toy for $17.95.

The manufacturer also offers a plush toy of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, pictured here, for the same price, and there is also a Frida Kahlo puppet for $5.95.

Here is Frida's quote; it is reference to her relationship with fellow Mexican painter Diego Rivera:

"There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst."

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week-George Washington

Today's quote of the day comes from George Washington, the first American president. This month we are quoting the first eight American presidents on our two blogs. A quip from the second president John Adams is available on "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time," our sister blog.

We have time constraints and we are very hungry (it's fish taco time), so we will keep in short with just a quote from George Washington, who has a high school named after him in Danville, Va. (and assuredly one hunderd other places) and a university named after him in Washington, D.C. His estate in Mount Vernon, Va., relatively close to Washington, D.C., is open to the public.

Here is the quote from the man on our one dollar bills, which reminds me that through the web site, I was able to discover that my bill had originated quite a ways down the highway from me, in the city of Jacksonville, Fla.:

"Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company."

And, thanks to those of you in places like Mumbai, India, for checking in with us today.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Quote of the Day/Week- Lech Walesa

Today, we begin our month-long series of quotes from famous people associated with eight of the 16 countries participating in the Euro 2012 soccer championships, which most people here in the United States will probably follow as closely as water polo, with the exception of rabid D.C. United fans of course!

We start with a quip from Lech Walesa, 69, the Nobel Prize winner and former prime minister of Poland, one of two countries along with Ukraine that is hosting the cup.

Walesa was born in 1943 in the north central Polish village of Popowo. He came to prominence by leading the anti-communist solidarity movement in the 1980s, which lead to him winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983.

Walesa then became the first prime minister in post-Iron Curtain in Poland in December of 1990; he held the post for five years.

On a personal note, we had also hoped that Turkey (my late father's country) had qualified as well as Slovenia, since we really wanted to quote philosopher Slavoj Zizek again (he is always amusing).

But, Walesa is a vintage persona in himself and here is his quote:

"He who puts out his hand to stop history will have his fingers crushed."

Friday, June 1, 2012

Virtual Postcard from Virginia

We were initially going to go with an image I myself took of a dog next to a fire station in the Grandin village section of my hometown, Roanoke. Then, we thought about going with an image of Foamhenge, near Natrual Bridge and Lexington, the latest creative project from eccentric artist Mark Cline, who resides in that area in the lower Shenandoah Valley. Foamhenge has gotten worldwide attention through CNN.

But, ultimately we decided to go up Route 11 from Lexington to New Market, a distance of some 70 miles, where one can see the Doofy Johnny Appleseed statue beside a restaurant/hotel. There is another Johnny Appleseed statue in Fredericksburg.

New Market is most famous for a Civil War battle, and the Endless Caverns tourist attraction, which also produces great bottle water, is near that community as well.

SIDEBAR: Our deepest thoughts go out to the family of the Rev. Mack Wolford Randall, a snake-handling pastor from Matoaka, West Virginia, who died yesterday while using a rattlesnake during a sermon; as the old cliche goes; 'Don't try this at home.'

But, West Virginia should not be the only state one thinks when it comes to fringe ministers. We gather that the Rev. Johnny Robertson of Martinsville, Va., has pretty much done everything radical or unimaginable except snake-handling.

SIDEBAR TWO: We are intending to take a brief hiatus, well until Tuesday, which means we will not have to time to congratulate Northwestern University for winning an NCAA title in women's lacrosse. But, though several members of my family have gone to various Big Ten schools, none of them have gone to Northwestern.