Friday, January 31, 2020

Sophia, Electress of Hanover (for Yorkshire Pudding, who knows why)

For the rest of you, I will explain.

In my previous post (Three Lists), I included a list beginning with King George V (1865-1936) that showed his descendants who have been British monarchs or are in the current line of succession to become the British monarch. There were 59 names of people who are currently in the line of succession.

True to form, blogger Yorkshire Pudding of Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, left the following comment:

Shame you missed Number 60 from the third list or was it simply an act of peevishness?
60 Lord Pudding of Yorkshire (b.1953 d.?)

to which I replied, possibly also true to form:

Lord Pudding of Yorkshire, I must admit that you do bear an uncanny resemblance to Sophia, Electress of Hanover.

I can hear some of you asking, “Who in the name of all that’s holy is Sophia, Electress of Hanover?”

I will tell you.

Sophia, Electress of Hanover, is the person who, had she lived for two more months, would have become Queen of England after Queen Anne died in 1714. But since she couldn’t because she was dead, her son became George I instead. Put another way, if you work your way backward from George V through Edward VII and Victoria and William IV and George IV and George III and George II and George I you will finally reach Sophia, Electress of Hanover (1630-1714), the mother of the House of Hanover line of British monarchs. The House of Hanover morphed into the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha when Victoria married Albert, morphed again into the House of Windsor when George V decided Saxe-Coburg-Gotha sounded too German when Germany became the enemy during World War I, and morphed yet again into the current House of Mountbatten-Windsor when Elizabeth II married Philip.

What I am about to say now may seem obvious to many, but I hear it being confused by Americans all the time. A person is a descendant of those who came before him or her and an ancestor of those who come after him or her. Elizabeth II is a descendant of Victoria. Victoria is an ancestor of Elizabeth II. Your grandfather is your ancestor; you are his descendant. Your grandchildren are your descendants; you are their ancestor. Let’s all try to get those two words straight in the future, shall we?

Continuing with what I was saying, I was just being snarky to Yorkshire Pudding. However, he responded to my comment with this:

Being a humble fellow, I have never previously alluded to this royal connection over at my blog but yes there is a familial link to Sophia through her grandson, King George II.

This could well be true, of course, but I am more inclined to think Lord Pudding is pulling my leg, the giveaway phrase being “Being a humble fellow”. On the off-chance that Neal (for that is his name) really is one of the more than 5,000 living descendants of Sophia, Electress of Hanover, through her grandson, King George II, I decided to produce this post.

For the record, I really don’t think he looks anything at all like Sophia.

I told you I was being snarky.

This seems to be the perfect time to reveal that I have a familial link to U.S. President Grover Cleveland.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Three lists to keep you occupied on an otherwise dreary day

1. Here is a list, in no particular order, of famous and semi-famous people I have seen in person, though not necessarily on the stage:

Dick Clark
Carol Channing
Patrice Munsell
Kay Armen
Howard Morris
Thomas J Watson Jr. (CEO of IBM)
Ronnie Millsap
Cliff Barrows
Angie Dickinson
Burt Bacharach
John F. Kennedy
Ethel Waters
Irving Berlin
George Otis (CEO of Lear Jet)
Senator Herman Talmadge
Pat Boone
Kathryn Kuhlman
Dino Kartsonakis
Lucie Arnaz
Tommy Tune
Ludlow Porch
General Curtis LeMay
Barbara Dooley (Mrs. Vince Dooley)
Eva Mae LeFevre
Jack Cassidy
Anita Bryant
Lyndon Baines Johnson
Noel Harrison
Lieutenant General William G. "Jerry" Boykin
Peggy Cass
Lou Jacoby
Anita Gillette

2. Here is a neat list of the NATO phonetic alphabet and Morse Code characters in a single chart:

3. Here is a list showing all of the direct descendants of King George V and their place in the line of succession to the British throne:

King George V (1865–1936)
King Edward VIII (1894–1972)
King George VI (1895–1952)
Queen Elizabeth II (born 1926)
(1) Charles, Prince of Wales (b. 1948) B D W
(2) Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (b. 1982) B D W
(3) Prince George of Cambridge (b. 2013) B D W
(4) Princess Charlotte of Cambridge (b. 2015) B D W
(5) Prince Louis of Cambridge (b. 2018) B D
(6) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (b. 1984) B D W
(7) Archie Mountbatten-Windsor (b. 2019) B D
(8) Prince Andrew, Duke of York (b. 1960) B D W
(9) Princess Beatrice of York (b. 1988) B D W
(10) Princess Eugenie, Mrs Jack Brooksbank (b. 1990) B D W
(11) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (b. 1964) B D W
(12) James Mountbatten-Windsor, Viscount Severn (b. 2007) B D W
(13) Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor (b. 2003) B D W
(14) Anne, Princess Royal (b. 1950) B D W
(15) Peter Phillips (b. 1977) B D W
(16) Savannah Phillips (b. 2010) B D W
(17) Isla Phillips (b. 2012) B D W
(18) Zara Tindall (née Phillips; b. 1981) B D W
(19) Mia Tindall (b. 2014) D W
(20) Lena Tindall (b. 2018)[5] D
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon (1930–2002) 1952
(21) David Armstrong-Jones, 2nd Earl of Snowdon (b. 1961) D W
(22) Charles Armstrong-Jones, Viscount Linley (b. 1999) D W
(23) Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones (b. 2002) D W
(24) Lady Sarah Chatto (née Armstrong-Jones; b. 1964) D W
(25) Samuel Chatto (b. 1996) D W
(26) Arthur Chatto (b. 1999) D W
Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester (1900–1974) 1952
(27) Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester (b. 1944) D W
(28) Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster (b. 1974) D W
(29) Xan Windsor, Lord Culloden (b. 2007) D W
(30) Lady Cosima Windsor (b. 2010) D W
(31) Lady Davina Windsor (b. 1977) D W
(32) Senna Lewis (b. 2010) D W
(33) Tāne Lewis (b. 2012) D W
(34) Lady Rose Gilman (née Windsor; b. 1980) D W
(35) Lyla Gilman (b. 2010) D W
(36) Rufus Gilman (b. 2012) D W
Prince George, Duke of Kent (1902–1942)
(37) Prince Edward, Duke of Kent (b. 1935) D W
(38) George Windsor, Earl of St Andrews (b. 1962) M D W
Edward Windsor, Lord Downpatrick (b. 1988) X D W
Lady Marina Windsor (b. 1992) X D W
(39) Lady Amelia Windsor (b. 1995) D W
Lord Nicholas Windsor (b. 1970) X D W
(40) Albert Windsor (b. 2007) D W]
(41) Leopold Windsor (b. 2009) D W
(42) Louis Windsor (b. 2014) D W
(43) Lady Helen Taylor (née Windsor; b. 1964) D W
(44) Columbus Taylor (b. 1994) D W
(45) Cassius Taylor (b. 1996) D W
(46) Eloise Taylor (b. 2003) D W
(47) Estella Taylor (b. 2004) D W
(48) Prince Michael of Kent (b. 1942) M W
(49) Lord Frederick Windsor (b. 1979) W
(50) Maud Windsor (b. 2013) W
(51) Isabella Windsor (b. 2016)
(52) Lady Gabriella Kingston (née Windsor; b. 1981) W
(53) Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy (b. 1936) W
(54) James Ogilvy (b. 1964) W
(55) Alexander Ogilvy (b. 1996) W
(56) Flora Ogilvy (b. 1994) W
(57) Marina Ogilvy (b. 1966) W
(58) Christian Mowatt (b. 1993) W
(59) Zenouska Mowatt (b. 1990) W

Sources or note on exclusion from succession

1952: Succession published on the accession of Queen Elizabeth II in 1952
B: Listed by the official website of the British Monarchy, "Succession", retrieved 8 May 2019.
D: Listed on Debrett's website (as of 27 May 2019): "The Line of Succession"
W: Listed by Whitaker's Almanack 2015, London: Bloomsbury, ISBN 978-1-4729-0929-9, p. 22
M: These people had been excluded through marriage to a Roman Catholic. This exclusion was repealed on 26 March 2015, restoring them to the line of succession, when the Perth Agreement came into effect.
X: Excluded as Roman Catholics. This exclusion is not affected by changes subsequent to the Perth Agreement.

My fervent hope is that these lists have helped you to pass an otherwise dreary day with a modicum of amusement, interest, or joie de vivre. In the comments, if you like, tell us what famous or semi-famous persons you have come into contact with, seen with your own eyes (not on television or film), breathed the same air as, as it were. You need not attempt to insert yourself into the line of succession to the British throne. We will not believe you. We were not born yesterday.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

I must have made poor choices careerwise

Some people either have far more clothing than I do or spend a great deal more for their clothing than I do.

I saw a television commercial recently for something called Poshmark, which I later learned advertises itself as the “#1 way to buy and sell fashion”.

The commercial featured three satisfied customers.

Woman #1 said, “With the money I’ve made on Poshmark, I’ve been able to pay for all our family’s vacations.”

Woman #2 said, “I can pay for my wedding just on what I’ve made from Poshmark!”

Woman #3 said, “I made 10,000 dollars and I was able to buy my new car!”

My first reaction was “Really?” and my second reaction was “Who was this commercial aimed at anyway?”

My third, fourth, and fifth reactions were “Who believes this pitch?”, and “Who can possibly earn enough from selling their used clothing to pay for a family vacation, a wedding, or a new car?”, and (but I repeat myself) “Really?”

The answers, my friend, are blowing in the wind and they are, in alphabetic order:

Not me, Not me, Not me, Not me, and Not me.

I worked for two Fortune 500 companies for 33 years altogether and made a very nice living, but somehow I neglected to make a fortune of my own along the way.

Where did I go wrong?

Do you have enough clothes (or enough expensive ones) to pay for your family’s vacations, your wedding, or a new car with the proceeds you could acquire from selling them to a salivating public?

I guess I will never understand being a millennial.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Time flies whether you’re having fun or not having fun

...unless it drags, which is a post for another day.

I just noticed that I haven't posted anything in over a week. Bad blogger! Bad blogger!

The days run together in a blur. Last Thursday afternoon Mrs. RWP fell in the kitchen. She tripped over our little dog, Señorita Juanita Rosita Lolita Abigail, Abby for short. And she is short. Part Mexican chihuahua and part terrier (Jack Russell, I think), she weighs between 13 and 14 pounds. A little pudgy, but aren't we all?

You may scream, "No!" at the screen if you aren't pudgy.

I'm screaming "No!" right now because I have lost nearly 30 pounds since last June and Mrs. RWP has lost 46 so far. Each of us is, to be frank, a work in progress.

Anyway, Mrs. RWP was trying to help things along by putting Abby into her harness so that I could take her for a little walk -- I usually do it myself -- when Abby suddenly decided to dart in a different direction and over Mrs. RWP went.

She was not hurt seriously, although her knees are badly bruised. This was the second time she has fallen, the first having been a week before Thanksgiving. This time she also had a little scrape on her nose and a little gash (emphasize little) on her forehead. The nosepiece on her $750 titanium frames was bent out of shape but a trip to the optician got it straightened out nicely. I didn't want to attempt it myself for fear of breaking it off altogether.

So that was the excitement for the week.

We are praying for a little less excitement.

Our oldest son and his wife and daughter made a trip to Orlando, Florida, over the Martin Luther King Day three-day weekend. While they were there our daughter-in-law celebrated her 61st birthday. She looks about 20 years younger than that because she has always kept herself in great shape, being a ballet teacher and all. Their daughter is taking a semester away from university to participate in the Walt Disney World program for college students. I wonder if time will fly for her also.

I will try to post more often but I'm not promising anything. I know I don't respond to comments in a timely manner but there is a reason for that. I have to be at the desktop computer in our bedroom to reply to comments because my smartphone won't let me do it any more. Mrs. RWP and I usually sit in the family room when she is not tripping over Abby because that's where the television is and we can also look out the windows at people walking by on the sidewalk and cars driving up and down the street (literally up and down as our street is on a hill). If I go into the bedroom to use the computer it separates us, and neither of us is fond of that, even after almost 57 years.

I usually am on the computer in the early mornings while Mrs. RWP is still sleeping, after I have fed the dog and taken her out for her morning constitutional.

That's where I am now and what time it is now.

I suppose you don't really care, but I wanted to get it off my chest in case some of my vast reading audience is wondering where I have gone.

The answer to the question "Where have I gone?" is usually "Nowhere, at least nowhere interesting."

Yorkshire Pudding has a post up currently about how many thousands of visitors his blog has and which of his posts they visit most often. I checked my statistics just now and the largest number was 25.

We can't all be Yorkshire Pudding.

Thank God for small favors.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

A brain teaser for a rainy afternoon

We are having much warmer temperatures in north Georgia this January than usually occur. It is expected to reach 70°F (21°C) on Wednesday. We’ve also received a lot of rain lately, lots and lots of rain. It’s ultimately good for the grass, I know, but right now my back yard (British, garden) is saturated, spongy to walk on, downright unpleasant.

But enough about me and my problems. I want to ask you a question.

Something I either heard a meteorologist say several years ago or read in a newspaper or magazine article that was written by a meteorologist — I can’t remember which — Is now stuck in my brain. What I want to know from you is (a) do you think it is true? and (b) is there a difference?

Here it is:

When you hear a weather person say there’s a 60% chance of rain tomorrow, it doesn’t mean there is a 60% chance of rain in 100% of the viewing or listening area. It means there is a 100% chance of rain in 60% of the viewing or listening area.

Years ago my friend and workplace colleague Sanford J. Epstein, a 305-lb. Jew from Burlington, Vermont (as he often referred to himself, and who always wore a bright Kelly green suit to work on St. Patrick’s Day and changed his name tag to read “Sanford J. O’Epstein”) said “If there is a difference that makes no difference, then there is no difference.”

Is the “60% of 100% will have rain” versus “100% of 60% will have rain” puzzle easily dismissed simply by applying the Epstein Rule, or is there a true difference?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Think about it awhile; don’t jump to a conclusion prematurely.

The Bible says it rains on the just and on the unjust. I believe that. I also believe that it rains more on the just than on the unjust, because the unjust stole the just’s umbrella.

You heard it here first.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Blackeyed peas and collard greens and Auburn University

After living most of our lives in the South —- Mrs. RWP's family moved from Pennsylvania to North Carolina when she was 12 and mine moved from Rhode Island to Texas when I was 6 —- Mrs. RWP and I finally took a major step toward becoming true Southerners when we ate the following on New Year's Day:

Both of us have eaten collards and blackeyed peas before, mind you, but neither of us had ever bothered to eat them on New Year's Day. To Southern minds, this is rather like going to one’s local polling place on election day but not bothering to vote.

Eating blackeyed peas and collard greens on New Year's Day in the American South is a long-standing tradition, probably dating back to the Civil War (a.k.a. the Late Unpleasantness), which ended in 1865, more than 150 years ago. This is considered a long time in America, but it's only yesterday to those of you who can trace your family back to the reign of Ethelred the Unready. Eating collard greens and blackeyed peas on New Year’s Day is said to bring one not only good luck during the year but also lots of money. The collards represent paper money and the blackeyed peas represent coins. Collard greens taste terrible unless they are cooked with ham or served with vinegar, or both, but it is actually blackeyed peas that usually taste like paper money. We don't believe the superstition but we decided to join in the fun.

I thought these “seasoned Southern style” blackeyed peas were quite good, however, although a blogger friend tells me that Glory brand is toxic. I guess that’s why ice cream comes in both chocolate and vanilla. I didn't enjoy the canned chopped collard greens at all. I prefer fresh collards to canned. (Note. I don't care for turnip greens or mustard greens at all, nor is cornbread something I dream about, long for, or drool at the thought of. (Gracious, what a lot of prepositions.) Maybe I am not a true Southerner yet even though I have lived here in Texas, Florida, and Georgia for most of my life. I can hear some of you saying “Well, Texas isn’t the South, it’s the Southwest“ but it seceded, if that’s any qualification. The non-southern years of my life include six years in Rhode Island, three years in Nebraska, and three years in New York.)

We did something else during the last week of 2019 that should help qualify us as Southern in the minds of the unconvinced. While visiting our daughter's family in Alabama, we set foot on the campus of Auburn University for the very first time. In the distance in the photograph below is the oldest part of the campus including historic Samford Hall, now the Administration Building:

That is not a black-and-white picture. It was taken looking directly into the sun about four in the afternoon, not the best time to try to take a photograph. If you enlarge the photo and look closely at a sign near the opposite corner, you will see that it is indeed a color photo. I was standing in front of Toomers Corner, where Auburn fans go to have a lemonade after a home football victory.

Here's proof:

On November 30, 2019, Auburn (War Eagle!) defeated the University of Alabama (Roll, Tide!) 48-45 in this season's Iron Bowl. Auburn's stadium, better known locally as Pat Dye Field at Jordan-Hare Stadium, seats 87,000 people. Here's an aerial view of it empty.

Toomers Corner was quite busy on November 30th.

This is my 1803rd post. 1803 was the year Thomas Jefferson, America’s third President, purchased the Louisiana Territory from France, doubling the size of the United States.

This is Thomas Jefferson:

This isn't.

Monday, January 6, 2020

I had an epiphany on Epiphany

...when I saw this encore azalea bush in our yard today, valiantly blooming away on a dreary day in January.

Encore azaleas are supposed to bloom in April and October, but not in January. Though the bush itself looks a bit drab and lackluster, the way bushes are supposed to look in winter, the splashes of color (or, if you are in one of the British Commonwealth of Nations countries, colour) brightened my day, bringing me happiness and joy by simply being.

I decided to look around the house for other splashes of color/colour and found several.

A purple puff just hanging around in the laundry room.

Oranges on the kitchen counter.

Red rugs in the guest bathroom.

A yellow candle on the baker's rack.

A pink baby blanket Mrs. RWP is making, on a table covered with blue and white fabric purchased in Mumbai in 2018 by one of our grandsons.

Two insulated bags I take to the supermarket for the bagger to put frozen stuff in.

My desktop computer screen.

The modem next to my computer.

Lighter blues in the master bedroom.

Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls made by Mrs. RWP 45 years ago.

An angel in a blue dress, some little dishes that our son brought back from either Guatemala or Honduras, a green vase, and a blue tin that contains tea.

Finally, because Christmas wasn't officially over until today, a ceramic Christmas Tree that lights up and plays Christmas carols with a little train circling its base.

I took the wreath down from the front door and packed the ceramic Christmas tree away for another year.

And I felt happy and joyful.

I hope you do too.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

It's only January 4th

...and already I'm falling behind. Sometimes life drags by, and sometimes it whizzes. The older I get, the faster it seems to go.

It's not that my life is filled with exciting, whirlwind activities, it's that my ability to cope with things seems to be declining, ebbing, going away even.

For your information, I am 78; I'll be 79 in March. Tomorrow is the birthday of my only remaining step-brother out in Texas. He'll be 83. In April he and his wife will have been married for 60 years. I played the piano at their wedding.

That's a lot of water under the bridge or over the dam or whatever it is people say about water. I just know that an awful lot of time has gone by. I can't have too much time left. I'm hoping to live longer than my grandfather who died in his 96th year.

Speaking of Texas, one of my step-cousins out there lost her husband Charles to cancer about two months ago. He was a fire marshall, and his widowed father, Herman, lived with them. Herman died early in the morning on New Year's Day. He was 99 years old and had retired from two careers, one as an Army Master Sergeant and one as a High School ROTC instructor. The dates on his obituary caught my eye: 11/15/1920 - 1/1/2020. Everyone who knew them loved both Charles and Herman.

I'm rambling.


I think I have finally caught up with replying to comments on my blog and leaving comments on other people's blogs and welcoming new bloggers to the blogosphere (Bonnie in Missouri).

I will quit while I am ahead, if I am in fact ahead.

I don't want to tax my readers beyond their limits.

The best way to take me is in small doses.


Friday, January 3, 2020

Mitsubishi means three diamonds

Not that it matters one whit, but when it comes to languages, I know snippets of things. Also, I am too lazy today to supply the accents and diacritical markings. You'll have to do that yourself.

French: coup d’etat, c’est la vie, bon soir, coup de grace, c’est la guerre, au revoir, honi soit qui mal y pense, oui, non, peut-etre, merci beaucoups, liberte, egalite, fraternite

Spanish: Feliz Navidad, si senor, gracias, mas agua por favor

Swedish: god Jul, varsogod, sjo hundra sjottiosjo, tack so mycket, var finst der herrtoaletten?

Portuguese: obrigado, feliz Natal, bom Dia

Japanese: arigato, sayonara, sukiyaki, teriyaki, mitsubishi

German: Auf Wiedersehen, gesundheit, dummkopf, ich liebe dich, Wiener schnitzel

Chinese: sheh-sheh, ni hao?, ding hao!

Swahili: jambo, asante

Italian: ciao

I hope you know I am only kidding. Sort of.

I just remembered that I also know a few Russian words and quite a few Albanian words, but you probably don't care so I won't bore you further with them.

This is my 1,800th post since September 28, 2007.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

My name is Barbara Walters (NOT)...

...and this is 2020.

[Editor's note. This post is so short because I have been busy replying to comments on the last three posts. I fell down on my job over the holidays. Not literally. Figuratively. It's just an expression. I am no longer employed, for those who might have been concerned. --RWP]

I will be laboring (<i>British,</i> labouring) under a handicap for the next couple of weeks (<i>British,</i> fortnight)

More about that below. First, though, I want to add an addendum (what else would you do with an addendum?) to my previous post about phone...