Thursday, September 24, 2015

10 for 10 (10th entry): Three Hip Urban Slang Defintions............Defining Hottish with Tori Spelling

Greetings to our blog readers in the Netherlands, Argentina, and Burkina Faso....

We will be the first to admit that we should be at the gym in a yoga class or in a public library reading "Esquire," "Mental Floss," or "The Atlantic." But, we are here, and this will mark the 10th and final entry for a series commemorating the tenth anniversary of our blogging practice, which started on Sept. 21, 2005.

Today, we are going with three definition from The Urban Dictionary which have been slightly altered.

Tori Spelling, the former "Beverly Hills 90210" (original show) actress, is pictured here because she is the first woman who came to mind when we heard the term 'hottish.' The second woman who came to mind was Florence Henderson from "The Brady Bunch" (original version). And, the third choice was Sarah Palin (now, we are swimming over our heads).

To find out what that word and the other two urban slang words/terms of the day just keep reading, Angry Birds will be waiting for you when you are finished here:

1) Hottish: Somewhat hot. Although cannot be considered as 'hot,' a person who is hottish is not completely ugly either. (Our apologies to Ms. Spelling)....

2) Donald Trump: Living proof that money simply can not buy good hair.

3) More Issues Than Vogue:  When you imply that your amount of issues (personal problems) are greater than the amount of issues of Vogue (the magazine).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

10 for 10 (9th entry): A Quote from Jazz Great Herbie Hancock

Greetings to our blog readers in Austria, Dubai, and Singapore....

Tonight, we continue marking our tenth anniversary of blogging with an inspiring quote from noteworthy person.

The Quote of the Week and a series of quotes from people in a given, such as playwrights (Arthur Miller and Neil Simon) or punk rockers (Lou Reed of Iggy Pop) used to be standards on our two blogs, so hence we are quoting jazz great Herbie Hancock ("Watermelon Man," "Rockit") with one of his vintage quotes:

"It's a part of life to have obstacles. It's about overcoming obstacles that's the key to happiness."

SIDEBAR: We want to welcome Pope Francis to the United States, and we hope he enjoyed his time in Washington, DC, today. Somehow, we can't imagine that he will go to the 9:30 Club while he is in the nation's capital.

Monday, September 21, 2015

10 for 10 (8th Entry): The First Line of a Hip Novel............The H-Bomb and The Jesus Rock

Greetings to our blog readers in Slovenia, Greece, and Lebanon..........sorry, we don't have the score of the Indianapolis Colts-New York Jets football, but we will name-drop Frank Gore and Geno Smith in the hopes that will yield us more hits!

Today is actually the 10th anniversary of our blog, and let's go ahead and do this before we run into technical problems for a third consecutive time............?!

A few years ago we had fun posting entries with the first lines of novels like "Moby Dick" by Herman Melville or "1984" by George Orwell, so we are going a bit retro tonight.

Here is the first line of "The H-Bomb and The Jesus Rock," a 2010 gem of a novel by John Manderino from a small publishing house:

"First of all the name is Toby, not Tubs. You want to call me Tubs? Go somewhere else for your cards. I'm talking about baseball cards."

Saturday, September 19, 2015

(10 for 10; 7th Entry): Virtual Postcard from West Virginia

Greetings to our blog readers in Malaysia, Brazil, and Spain.....

Today, we continue our occasional tradition of virtual postcards with an image of the Hawks Nest State Park in West Virginia, located one hour east of the state capital Charleston. The park is a common destination during the autumn months.

For those of you who follow MLS soccer, we have just learned that Sebastian Giovinco scored two goals for Toronto FC in the team's 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids.

(10 for 10; 6th Entry): Virtual Postcard from Maryland

Greetings to our blog readers in New Zealand, Jamaica, and Sweden......

Today, we feature an image of Keyote (pictured) the mascot of the Frederick Keys in Frederick, Maryland, a Carolina League affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.

We had a chance to visit Frederick and meet Keyote back in August on a surprisingly hot day in which Frederick was actually hotter than Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! (The Keys play the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the Carolina League; the Pelicans won the league title earlier this week).

While we were in Frederick, we also had a chance to dine at Ayse Meze Lounge, a Turkish restaurant downtown, where we feasted on lahmacun, also known as 'Turkish pizza.'

Hope you are enjoying your Saturday afternoon (or evening/night in other parts of the world). We are currently listening to "The Moth Radio Hour." This week's NPR show has a story performed by former American astronaut Michael Massimino who talks about what earth looks like from outer space. The radio shows airs at 8:00 p.m. on WNYC (New York).

Friday, September 18, 2015

10 for 10 (5th Entry): Love Those Yorkies!

Greetings to our blog readers in Belgium, Canada, and Japan......

Tonight, we are desperately trying to catch up on our 10 for 10 series, and we now know you perhaps cartoonist Bill Griffith must feel if he has gotten behind on drawing his comic strip "Zippy the Pinhead." But, we imagine he is not a notorious procrastinator.

We are featuring an image of Yorkshire terrier, also known as yorkies.

You may not find a yorkie at your community animal shelter here in America, but you may just find a friend for life, so here are two animal local shelters we will provide links for: (Animal shelter in Brunswick, Maine) (Animal shelter in Hays, Kansas)

10 for 10 (4th Entry): Say Hi 2 a Calico Cat...

Greetings to our blog readers in Turkey, Slovenia, and Mexico....

We are continuing our trying to catch up series of blog entries with one dedicate to the calico cat, a popular breed of cat here in America and perhaps the world.

No, we don't actually own one.

There are many cats available at animal shelters here in virtually every community in the United States.

Today, we are choosing these three at random: (Humane Society of Alamance County (Burlington), North Carolina (Franklin County Animal Shelter in Rocky Mount, Virginia) (Jefferson County, Colorado Animal Shelter near Denver)

10 for 10 (3rd Entry): Love Those Zoo Animals

Greetings to our blog readers in Saudi Arabia, India, and France....

Alas, we are running way, way behind in our efforts to post 10 entries in honor of our 10th anniversary of blogging, which is on Sept. 21st.

Life has been crazy and zany lately, and I promise our good friend Chris Knight of Reidsville, NC, that it is not due to watching hours of the '70s English sitcom "Are You Being Served?" on Youtube.

Here is a link to the Denver Zoo, the Philadelphia Zoo and the North Carolina Zoo (in Asheboro, NC, near Greensboro) in case you want to see a giraffe or another zoo animal of your choice in real life. (A link to the Singapore Zoo for our world audience)

Sunday, September 13, 2015

(10 for 10; 2nd Entry): Our Most Popular Blog Entries: Silly Dog Photo to Fill Space

Greetings to our blog readers in Guatemala, Slovakia, and Saudi Arabia.........whoops, sorry about the hot dog image!

In our ten years of blogging, we have often been surprised and some times stunned by which entries prove to be more popular than others. When I posted an entry about hot dogs, as in two dogs dressed like hot dogs (center image), on August 18, 2009, from a small town library in North Carolina, I never could have imagined that it would yield more hits than any entry we posted before or since.

Because our blog is, for some reason, popular in Russia and Ukraine, I suppose it's not shocking that our blog entry with a quote from the legendary gymnast Svetlana Boginskaya, (top image) who competed for the Soviet Union on her native Belarus, became popular, but it's still surprising that it got over 5,000 hits.

Another popular entry with a quote from a celebrity was one from Feb. 9, 2009, featuring reality tv show Heidi Montag ("The Hills") who endorsed John McCain for president, and that apparently wasn't enough for the Republican Arizona senator to get enough votes to win over Barack Obama.

Our second most popular entry featured Mr. Potato Head (pict. bottom), which still seems popular almost five years after its posting as it inches towards the 20,000-hit mark.

Here are our most six most popular blog entries, with links to those entries (alas some photos from the entries have been removed from the net):

1. Silly Photo to Fill Space-Hot Dogs. Aug. 18,2009. 21,464 hits.

2. Bonus Silly Photo to Fill Space-Mr. Potato Head. Dec. 10, 2010. 19,985 hits

3. PSA-Don't Drink and Drive. May 27, 2010. 13,240 hits.

4. Quote of the Day: Heidi Montag. Feb. 9, 2009. 7,928 hits.

5. Quote of the Day: Svetlana Boginskaya. April 19, 2012. 5,250 hits

6. Political Confusion Test (21 of 21)_ The Oak Ridge Boys vs. The Village People. Aug. 14, 2009. 5,142 hits

Saturday, September 12, 2015

10 for 10: The Nine Countries Outside America Where Our Blog Is Most Popular

Our original blog "Politics, Culture and Other Wastes of Time," which is still up and existent 

....will be turning ten years old on Sept. 21t. So to honor the occasion, we are posting 10 entries on both blogs commemorating the anniversary.

We start here with a round-up of the nine countries outside the United States where "The Daily Vampire" has had the highest number of hits from. We do want to take a moment to recognize people from smaller nations, such as El Salvador, Gabon, and Laos, where we have seen hits from over the years. But, as one would expect larger countries are in the top nine. We have been stunned by how popular both blogs are in Russia and Ukraine, and we are grateful that Turkey, the country of my late father, is in the top nine for this blog.

The images we have chosen to represent three of the countries on the list are of Misha the Bear (or Mishka) who was the mascot of the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, Karagoz and Hacivat, two beloved Turkish shadow puppets which have been in existence since Ottoman times, and a still from Federico Fellini's 1969 film "Satyrican" for Italy (alas, the Italian director's name is one we have frequently spelled incorrectly!)

While we are at it, let's take a moment to salute Italian female tennis player Flavia Pennetta for winning today's U.S. Open finale.

Here are the countries and the number of hits from each one:

1. Russia 29,585

2. United Kingdom 27,223

3. Canada 17, 098

4. Germany 15,121

5. France 7,495

6. Australia 7,256

7. *Turkey 2,586

8. Ukraine 2,493

9. Italy 2,371

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Celebrating International Literacy Day with Stephen King

Greetings to our blog readers in Italy, Ukraine, and Sweden.

We are thrilled to see that someone from the coastal African nation of Gabon has checked out our blog!

Today is International Literacy Day, so we thought we'd post a random list of ten novels we need to read again as we listen to Depeche Mode:

1) Misery. Stephen King. 1987 (pict. top)

2) Choke. Chuck Palahniuk. 2001 (pict. center)

3) Bright Lights, Big City. Jay McInerney (pict. bottom)

4) The Great Gatsby. F. Scott Fitzgerald. 1925.

5) The Chosen. Chaim Potok. 1967.

6) The Hours. Michael Cunnigham. 1998.

7) The Breakfast of Champions. Kurt Vonnegut. 1973.

8) Netherland. Joseph O'Neill. 2008. (The author is half-Irish, and half-Turkish)

9) Deliverance. James Dickey. 1970. 

10) Chilly Scenes of Winter. Anne Beattie. 1976. (Hartford Public Library; McInerney was born in the Connecticut capital)/

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Saturday Afternoon Tweets: Big Ben to Bao Bao the Panda

This afternoon on Twitter, we found out that, much to our horror, there are actually some crazy people who think the murders of WDBJ (CBS. Roanoke, Va.) reporter Alison Jones and photojournalist Adam Ward which occurred last week in the Smith Mountain Lake town of Moneta, Va., was a staged hoax. The incident is still a shock to those of us in southwest Virginia, though we saw this amusing sign in the Roanoke County community of Bent Mountain: "Prayers for WDBJ. Lopes. Tomatoes."

This week, there has also been considerable discourse over the drowning death of Aylan Kurdi, a 3-year-old Syrian Kurdish refugee, after he fell from a raft and drowned en route from Bodrum, Turkey, and the Greek island of Kos, some three miles apart (both are resort areas). Today, we learned of another tragic infant death off the coast of the Greek island of Samos, near Kusadasi, Turkey. Refugees have also been stuck in Budapest, Hungary, and today the prime minister of Finland offered his residency to refugees in his country.

Today, the National Festival of the Book is also underway in Washington, DC.

Here are ten tweets from this afternoon, between 1:00-2:00 eastern United States time (6:00pm in London, 7:00pm in Amsterdam, and 8:00pm in Istanbul):


2) The Hill: Hillary Clinton raised up to $500k in Puerto Rico.

3) Des Moines Register (Des Moines, Iowa, newspaper): Several roads have already been closed ahead of Des Moines Triathlon.

4) VICE: Some rich a--hole in the UK used children's gravestones to decorate his mansion.

5) GlobalPost: Greek Coastguard say newborn infant found dead (near Samos island)

6) Jon Winkaur: I don't have to live in the real world_ I'm a fiction writer, Aaron Sorkin (Tv's "West Wing," "A Few Good Men" screenplay)

7) Talking Points Memo: Scared of ISIS attacks? For $525, Vickers Tactical will teach you to kill terrorists.

8) The Guardian (English newspaper): "To end the refugee crisis, we need more than grief. We need to see we're broken," Sabrina Hersi Issa.

9) Frederike Geerdink: Note to self, always, always, take a toothbrush.

10) Bao Bao (National Zoo panda, pict. bottom): Whoa. I just realized that two of my favorite things are very different but have similar sounding names: trees and treats.