Archive for February, 2018

A President’s Words

February 22, 1732, the birthday of George Washington, our first president.

Here are a few quotes from him:

A good moral character is the first essential in a man. It is therefore highly important that you should endeavor not only to be learned but virtuous.

I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.

Let us therefore animate and encourage each other, and show the whole world that a Freeman, contending for liberty on his own ground, is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

I had always hoped that this land might become a safe & agreeable Asylum to the virtuous & persecuted part of mankind, to whatever nation they might belong.

Imagine if these were the tweets we hear today.

The Jig is up

I borrowed the title and content for this blog from my engineer husband. One of his passions is doing puzzles — acrostics, cryptoquotes, anagrams, and the ones requiring some amount of real estate in our family room: jigsaw puzzles.

He has his own blog that features all the puzzles he and his family and friends have done over the last couple of years. But high-level security concerns make him wary of posting his blog publicly. Potential readers and contributors are required to submit an application to his editor at I’d post his URL here, but he’d only delete it.

Being an engineer, he looks for problems to solve.

The latest, in his own words:

Have you ever wondered if a puzzle maker uses the same cutting process for all the puzzles of the same size and number of pieces?  I have. The next puzzles to be solved are going to be that kind of 500 piecers.  After one of them is solved, I’m going to keep it assembled and compare it to the second one, to see if the pieces are related to each other.

Fortunately for us, the project has been completed and we have the answer: yes! The bottom left-hand corner of two 500-piece (brand name here) puzzles are shown here, as evidence.

If you have any other crucual puzzle-related problems you need solved, submit to the email address above.

Super Books!

I hope you enjoyed Super Bowl as much as I did. Here’s how I spent it: at Mrs. Dalloway’s Book Shop on College Avenue in Berkeley. It has been a while since I’ve browsed in a brick-and-mortar book shop. I highly recommend this one.

Me and Mrs. Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.

There’s no lack of analysis of this quote, the line that opens Virginia Wolff’s novel, but here’s one that I like. The site provides a “pretentious factor” — if you were to drop this quote at a party would your friends be impressed or roll their eyes and never invite you back? What do you think?

The Oscars

It’s Awards season, and I feel it’s my duty to provide handy guides. Last week it was the Edgars™, this week the Oscars.

Here’s the full list of nominees.

There was a time when I’d try to see all the nominated movies, but I’ve gotten old, and, for the most part, movies have stayed young. Fortunately, there’s always at least one I can recommend. If you liked All the President’s Men, you’ll probably like The Post, and, in a few years, maybe Fire and Fury will be out.  But for now I just concentrate on my Oscar party.

Dusting off party goods for the Oscars

I know it’s early, but I need time to get quizzes and prizes ready. Here are some sample Name That Movie quotes from 2012 and 2013. Who said this? Try them and let me know how you do. You know there will be a prize or two.

1. Person A: “How did she die?”

Person B: “Saw herself in the mirror one day.”

2. “Can you please not fight in here? I don’t think I can take it. For some reason, my Xanax isn’t kicking in.”

3. “Half of North America just lost their Facebook.”

4. “Your eggs are dying. Would it kill you to go on a date?”

5. “No one freely shares power in Washington, D.C.”

6. “It used to be about trying to do something. Now it’s about trying to be someone.”

7. “I want you to help me catch a killer of women.”

8. “Make for the sewers!”

9. “It’s incredible that the Coliseum is still standing after thousands of years. You know, Sally and I have to re-tile the bathroom every six months.”

If you’re in the neighborhood, drop by on March 4, 2018. Costumes welcome.