Category Archives: Rob’s Random Ramblings And Observations

Weird Storm Clouds Moving In

Since Today was the Ides Of March, I was really expecting some weird weather to move into the area. Ok, the temperatures did climb into the eighties. And our neighbor state Illinois was under several tornado watches.

Mlle Renee spent her afternoon basking in the warm sun. And I tried to catch a quick nap in an attempt to negate the dozy effects of daylight savings time. It becomes harder each year as I grow older.

Then late this afternoon the strangest storm clouds I’ve ever seen filled the skies overhead.DSC02049


They were moving in a north easterly direction, most probably to give credence to the weather forecaster’s storm alert. With all the news coverage centered on primary election results, never did hear if the storm developed or not. But Renee did not like the clouds overhead and she ran into the house and into my bedroom. (Her storm safety cover!) And not being a dummy, I joined her and we both took a nap.


It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Winter!


The sun was shining brightly … the sky was a deep cereulian blue … and the trees were noticeably bare … even though the solstice is officially still three weeks in the future, all of the indicators say it is already here!

Rob’s Random Ramblings And Observations – 11/29/2014




Despite the meddling of Congress to create a three-day holiday weekend and honor all presidents past and future in a conglomerate holiday, today really is Washington’s birthday.  My grandfather took great pride in being born on February 22, and when he heard Congress had moved the holiday celebration of Washington’s birth from the 22nd to a new floating holiday  he declared, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to let Congress change my birthday.” He was a man of many weird and various political points of view.

Rembrandt_Peale_-_George_Washington_(Porthole_type)_-_Google_Art_ProjectBut this post is just about George.  And just about facts, please.

George did not cut down a cherry tree. That was a fiction.

George did not toss a silver dollar across the Potomac. Really, that river is a mile wide! However, his step grandson did see him fling  a piece of slate across the Rappahannock River in Fredericksburg. A much narrower body of water, too.

And he did cross the Delaware River on a stormy Christmas Eve.CrossingDel_1

But didn’t anyone ever tell him you don’t ever stand up in a rowboat?  But that’s a matter of artistic license. The boats Washington used to cross the river had much higher sides. And they did have to stand because the bottom of the boat was filled with water. Also they did not bring horses and artillery across in rowboats either. They used ferries for that. The other inaccuracies of the painting were the flag and the ice floes. The stars and stripe flag did not exist when he crossed the river. And ice on Delaware does not form in jagged floes. But it does on the Rhine in Germany. And that’s where the artist who created the painting was born.

George did not wear wooden teeth. His false teeth were actually real horse, mule, human and cow teeth set into two lead plates held in place with a spring action.

George did not wear a wig.  He wore his hair long and tied in the back in a pony tail. As was custom of the time, he did powder his hair.

At the time of his death George owned and operated the largest whiskey distillery in the country at Mount Vernon.

Finally, George was not the country’s first President. There was a period of eleven year’s between the Declaration Of Independence and the signing of the Constitution in 1787. As President of the Continental Congress in 1776, John Hancock was the first president of our country. He was followed by Samuel Huntington and finally John Hanson. George Washington was the first elected President of new government under the constitution.

Final fact: Washington’s Headquarters Tent that in worked and slept in during the Revolutionary War still exists. The only reason it is still around, is the fact that it has been in storage for almost 200 years. It eventually will be put on display at the proposed Revolutionary War Museum.

Washington's Tent

Final Note: My grandfather was always proud that he and George shared the same birthday. In researching my family tree I discovered the original registration documents of his birth.  The date on the document … February 23, 1890.  Clerical error? Could be … the 22 was a Saturday and the 23 a Sunday in 1890 the official record was filled until Monday.   Anyway, today would have been his 124th birthday. skip

 And George’s 282nd!Rembrandt_Peale_-_George_Washington_(Porthole_type)_-_Google_Art_Project

Happy Birthday, guys!


HNYWell, I actually stayed up last night to personally welcome in the new year with a toast. It was a pre-packaged cocktail with 20% rum and 80% strawberry puree, pineapple juice and coconut milk. It was also the strongest mixed drink I’ve had in years. I started drinking as soon as I heard the first gunshots erupt into the air. Mlle. Renee, knowing that what goes up must come down, scurried to the safety of my bed. I finished my drink and staggered to my bed shortly behind her. Boy, that cocktail sure worked faster than NyQuil. I don’t know about Renee, but I didn’t wake up  until it was almost time to watch the Rose Parade on TV. Does anyone else find Al Roker to be an extremely annoying parade host as I do. It’s not that I like the parade, but it is a tradition left over from my childhood. My mother was the spirit of a horticuturlist trapped in a brown thumbed body and her only non-lethal contact with living vegetation was watching a parade of flower covered floats. Today’s parade was a cavalcade of commercials linked by small talk, marching bands and quickly moving floats. As usual, the broadcast ended before the parade did. I really like pipe and drum bands, and there was only one in the parade. I also hate bands that attempt current pop-rock tunes.

After the parade, I went to check my calendar … only to discover … DSC08836

Both calendars were bare …

Used up …

And totally recyclable!

So I checked the Zoo Wall Calendar in the kitchen and discovered …DSC08837


It was a puma, cougar, panther, mountain lion, wildcat or catamount. Did you know that it has more different names than any other member of the animal kingdom? Anyway, it was the featured animal on the Saint Louis Zoo’s 2014 calendar. In all my visits to the Zoo, I’ve only seen it one time and that was at twilight.  It seems he likes to sleep during the day. The rest of January was comment free, but then … it is the first day of the new year and I haven’t selected a goal or direction for my daily entries this year on SMILING BAGEL and WORD PRESS.  It might take me a couple of days to do that though. So bear with my random thoughts and observations until I do.

So, how’s my cold? I’m now sneezing instead of wheezing, and I woke up with a stiff left knee this morning.

As for the weather … it was cloudy today, but the temps got  up to 46 F. Unfortunately, an arctic blast is headed our way tonight! Here’s the latest report.

Kicking off 2014 will feature some really cold air filtering into the region tonight along with accumulating snow developing this evening! Around the metro area, the snow will taper to flurries around the Thursday morning rush hour after depositing three to four inches-perhaps a little more-overnight. 

Mlle. Renee says, “Great, just what I needed.” And went back to sleep on my bed. I just might join her.DSC07049