Part 1 – Neil Trivia:
Meet Neil Armstrong! He was born in my hometown of Wapakoneta. His claim to fame – he was the first man to set foot on the moon. That was over 50 years ago, and I still can’t believe that someone from Wapakoneta could do something so history-making. Here are two trivia questions about Neil when he was16. Would you believe he was a school year away from graduation?!
1. Which license did Neil Armstrong earn first?
Driver’s license Pilot’s license
2. What did he start building a month later?
A Wind Tunnel A Generator
The answers . . .
1. Neil earned his pilot’s license first. He started taking lessons at age 15, and he paid for them himself! Neil worked at the local drug store, stocking and sweeping. He earned 40 cents an hour. When he turned 16 on August 5, 1946, Neil took his solo flight, and he earned his pilot’s license. He didn’t get his driver’s license until the following spring, just in time to drive to prom.
2. Neil built a wind tunnel. He had dreamed about it for years. He’d studied them in aeronautic magazines, taken notes on how they were put together and how they worked. Neil modeled his wind tunnel after the Wright Brothers, the ones who were the first in flight. BTW – Neil build his generator when he was in Boy Scouts in Upper Sandusky. He was probably in middle school, but it was definitely before he moved to Wapakoneta in 1944.
Sources of Information:
Neil Armstrong - Wikipedia
Neil A. Armstrong - Ohio History Central
Neil Armstrong’s Wind Tunnel Dream
By Me, Rinda Beach
Part 2 – Wind Tunnels – What are They? What do They Do? Why are They Important?
This is one of NASA’s wind tunnels. It’s 12 feet or 12 floor tiles long. It has a model of a D-11 airplane inside. It was made to scale so it’s a miniature version of the real plane. I think this picture of the wind tunnel was taken in January of 1996.
Why is it a wind tunnel? 1. It’s a large tube. 2. Large fans blow air through it. 3. The tube is used to test how a plane that’s anchored in the tunnel, reacts when wind moves around it. It’s the same reaction the plane would have when it’s flying through the sky.
Why are wind tunnels important? It’s easier and cheaper to test a model and correct the design before the real plane is built. Some tunnels are model-size, but there are some big enough for real planes and cars to fit inside.
This is one of the earliest wind tunnels. It helped Wilbur and Orville Wright design and fly the first airplane. Obviously the Wrights never put the real plane inside. But testing a scale model of the Wright Flyer in that wind tunnel, helped them get the real one off the ground.
The Wright Flyer was the first heavier-than-air powered plane to take flight. Wilbur and Orville flew it four times on December 17, 1903. They picked the sand dunes near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina so they’d have a softer landing pad. They hoped there’d be less damage to the plane, and fewer repairs.
The first flight took the plane 105 feet in 3.5 seconds. That’s 35 yards down a football field. Their best flight was the last one that day. It took the plane 852 feet in 59 seconds. That’s 284 yards or almost 3 football fields they flew over, and they stayed in the air for almost a minute. If you’d like to see the Wright Flyer, go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
Take a look at this wind tunnel. The photo was taken in 1935 when it was part of a German aviation lab. I couldn’t find anything else about this wind tunnel, but I wanted to share it so you can see how big they can be. I’d love to walk inside, and take a look around.
This is a photo from 1990. It shows fan blades from a 16-foot transonic wind tunnel. Transonic means the plane reached or broke the sound barrier. Those flights used to get bumpy, but transonic wind tunnels helped make them smoother.
Look at the dark bar in the middle. Shift your eyes to the right. Then look for a person who’s walking around inside the tunnel. Can you imagine a fan blade that’s taller than you? I can’t!
Sorry, you can’t walk inside this tunnel any more. It was retired in 2004 from NASA’s Langley Research Center. I wonder what they have now.
Tomorrow - How I made a wind tunnel, and how you can make one too!
- Replica of the Wright brothers' wind tunnel: By The original uploader was Axda0002 at English Wikipedia. - Photographed by uploader, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3780674
- German Aviation Laboratory in 1935: By Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-17158 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5415574
Have you heard, “If you can be anything, be kind?” I have, and right now it feels like everyone could use a heaping helping of kindness. Here are three quotes from three famous people about kindness.
Quote #1 – No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.
Who said it? Aesop! You know the one from the fables? This quote came from the moral to “The Lion and the Mouse.” Here’s a recording with information I didn’t include. It’s about a minute long.
Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
Aesop was a Greek storyteller who was known for his tales. Someone gathered them together to make Aesop’s Fables. He was born around 620 BC, before Christ. He died around 564 BC or BCE (before the common era). That’s almost 2500 years ago.
Details get lost over time, but Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch wrote about him in their histories, so some details are still known. Aesop started life as a slave, but he was clever enough to win his freedom. He became an adviser to Greek kings and city-states.
No one is quite sure what Aesop looked like. This is a Greek statue of him. It’s in a collection in Rome, but I’m not sure how old it is. There’s another image of him from a woodcut that was done 1489. It’s below, with my list of sources.
Do you know the story of “The Lion and the Mouse?” It’s #150 on the Perry Index. I’ve never heard of it before, but I like to learn new things. There are 584 fables on the regular list; more on the extended one.
The fable – A mouse wakes up a sleeping lion. Mouse doesn’t want to be a snack so he asks lion to let him go. Lion does, but later he’s caught in a net. Mouse hears his cries and sets him free by chewing through the rope. Lion’s kindness is repaid.
That’s the first version of the story. Later ones, in English have the mouse asking for freedom, saying he’ll pay lion back someday. Lion of course is tickled that such a tiny creature can help him.
Aesop - Wikipedia
Aesop's Fables - Wikipedia
The Lion and the Mouse - Wikipedia
Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
- Greek Statue - By user:shakko - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5545991
- Lion and Mouse Sculpture - By Celeste Hutchins from The Hague, Netherlands - statue 2, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2186911
- Woodcut to the left - By File created by me; art by Francis Barlow (died 1704) - The 1687 edition of Aesop's Fables with His Life: in English, French and Latin, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9510028
Quote #2 – More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.
Who said it? Charlie Chaplin. Have you heard of him? He was a famous actor who starred on stage and screen from the time he was a kid until 1976. That was a year before he died. Sorry, I couldn’t find a recording this time, but if you click this link, you can read their information.
Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
If you read the information from Daily Inspiration, it’s about this photo from Charlie’s movie The Great Dictator. Charlie wrote the script. The quote about kindness and gentleness is at the end of the movie. Charlie wanted it said in 1940 because of Hitler and World War II. I think it still needs to be said today.
Charlie may have become a famous movie star, but he didn’t start out that way. He was born in 1889 in London, England to a pair of music hall performers. His parents separated when he was two, and his dad left the family behind. His mom struggled with money. Charlie was sent to a workhouse twice before he was nine. That’s where you went when you were penniless. They’d give you a place to stay, and work to do.
By the time he was 14, his mom was hospitalized for mental health issues, but a young Charlie was already taking care of himself – He was performing onstage in music halls. By age 19 he signed to do stage work with the Fred Karno Repertoire Company. The famous producer even took him to America.
Charlie soon found his way into silent movies, and by 1918 he was a world-wide star. He was only 29. A year later he went in with three friends to found United Artists. It gave him the freedom to make movies the way he wanted – to write, direct, produce, edit, star in, even compose the music. His movies were known for their slapstick comedy, with a little tragedy/sorrow on the side.
Charlie has a website. The link: Charlie Chaplin : Official Website
Charlie Chaplin - Wikipedia
Charlie Chaplin : Official Website
- Charlie starred as Adolf Hitler in The Great Dictator, 1940 – By United Artists - Cropped from File:The Great Dictator publicity still.jpg, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=29507472
- Charlie in City Lights, one of his best movies, 1931 – By United Artists - www.creativelydifferentblinds.com/TVStageandFilm/CharlieChaplin/CityLights, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19983420
- Charlie as The Tramp – his iconic role, 1915 – By Essanay Studios - British Film Institute, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24496648
Quote #3 – The point is not to pay back kindness, but to pass it on.
Who said it? Julia Alvarez. She has published 17 books so far. Most of them are both in English and Spanish. She writes everything – poetry, nonfiction, novels, and picture books. Sorry, I couldn’t find a recording this time either, but if you click this link, you can read the information from Inspiring Quotes.
Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
This quote came from her essay an Aha Moment. Julia wrote about a horrible plane ride and the acts of kindness she saw during it. She also noticed how kindness inspires more kindness. Sometimes when life is at its worst, people rise to be their best.
Julia was born in New York City in 1950, but she moved back to the Dominican Republic when she was 3 months old. Her family lived there for the next 10 years. Julia thrived! Maybe because Domincans value story-telling, and they nurture it too.
In 1960 Julia’s dad helped with a plot to overthrow the dictator. The plot failed, and her family fled to the US. Can you imagine leaving everything behind?
That night Julia lost her home, her language, family and friends, everything she knew. She was homesick in the country she’d been born in, but it wasn’t home. She felt out of place, and people didn’t accept her because she was different.
At school she was discriminated against because she was from Latin America and spoke differently, with an accent. How did Julia cope? She turned to books and literature. She had teachers who liked her writing and encouraged her to keep going.
At age 13 her parents sent her to boarding school. They wanted her to have a better education than the local schools could offer. She also spent every summer visiting the Dominican Republic. Her parents wanted to make sure she kept her heritage and grew up properly.
Those experiences with immigration, new schools, and living in two different worlds found their way into Julia’s books from the Garcia Girls to her Tia books.
In June of 2019 I found out I was going to be a grandma. Images danced through my head; of the things we’d do together. I pasted pictures of a few of them below.
This baby-to-be found a place in my heart. Boy or girl, it didn’t matter. I loved that baby in a way I still can’t explain. An idea for a story started flitting through my head. A story for Baby Beach.
Part 1 – Time to be Born – My first grandchild arrived in 2019. I live 18 hours away so I imagined stories of what we’d do together. I wrote this one down and sent it into Vivian Kirkfield’s #50 Precious Words Contest in 2020.
Time to be Born
Baby, can’t sleep?
Here’s a story –
You were tucked in your mama’s belly.
You twisted and turned.
“It’s time, baby!”
But hours passed,
Then a day. Was it two?
You twisted, tried turning.
“Need a little more room?”
You nodded and decided it was time to be born.
I tried revising it for #50 Precious Words in 2021, but I like this version better. Maybe because I wrote it for my grandchild.
But something’s missing in both versions, something I haven’t captured. There’s something special about the night you’re born. I hope if I let it sit, that I’ll find the spark this story needs.
I have a new grandchild, and a new idea. It’s something I did with my second graders when I was expecting. Each month I’d tell them about our baby and how it was growing. Maybe I can take that old idea, and make it new again!
Part 2 – Teaching Grandma – But this time, I won’t be the one doing the teaching. My grandkids will!
They both live in Texas. That’s 18 hours away from Ohio. I won’t be the granny who sees them all the time, who knows them in-and-out. I’ll be the one they meet on a computer screen.
My grandkids are so little. They’re at an age where I’m a stranger. The last time I saw them, we were there for a weekend, long enough to get acquainted. The next time I see them, I’ll be a stranger again.
I never had a grandma, and my two grandpas lived hours away. They paid more attention to the adults. Maybe they didn’t know how to talk, or to play with me.
But I spent a lifetime teaching 2nd grade. OK, it was only 33 years. 😊 But I do know how to talk, or to play with kids. Whenever I had a shy kid, I waited for them to warm-up to me. I was there. I was supportive, but I let them set the relationship where they needed it to be.
When my kids came in for a class visit, they were preschoolers. I asked my 2nds to give them space, to let them warm up to them. I did the same when pets visited the classroom. Too much stimulation is scary, for kids and pets!
So when I visit my grands, in-person or virtually, I let them set the pace and decide what we do. That’s what I did when we were there in July. I watched them, but my husband copied what they were doing. (OOPS! I forgot!)
But it worked! Smart man! They played with him first. They even let him pick them up – all because they controlled the situation.
The best part – when things got diaper or meltdown tricky – you passed them back to their parents. I’ve heard being a grandparent is great, AND, it’s true!
That visit gave me the idea for the next baby book, for my grandchildren and yours. We aren’t the only grandparents who live a computer screen away, and I’d love to help the little ones. The old ones too.
I haven’t started it yet. I’m letting the idea sit at the back of my head. When it’s time, I’ll know, and I’ll start writing . . . Soon . . . I hope . . . Fingers crossed!
Part 1 – The Story of the Photo Shoot – Leia and I did our shoot back in November or December of 2013. I had a snow day and called High 5 Photography in St. Marys. As luck would have it, Emily had an opening that day.
I remember it like yesterday. It was the first time I realized how old Leia was. I knew she was 14 in my head, but my heart still saw her the way she used to be. Leia loved to walk and would drag me down the street. Not that day . . . She walked a couple yards, and I carried her the rest of the way.
I saw more signs at the studio. Signs I’d seen with my father and his Alzheimer’s. Leia started pacing, like dad did. She wasn’t searching for scents. She was in a panic, trying to figure out where she was. She only calmed down when I held her, like I did in the picture.
That’s the day I found out Leia was old, that we didn’t have as much time left as I thought. I cried all the way home. It was only 10 minutes, but I spent it reliving what Alzheimer’s did to my dad.
People still saw the puppy in her, but look again . . . Can you see the gray hair around her eyes? I didn’t want her to suffer so I asked for advice. I wanted to know when to say good-bye. The vet said look for trouble seeing, hearing, and with bathroom issues.
I didn’t see it coming, but my friend Danelle did. She warned me. When she had bathroom issues in her crate in February, 2013, I knew it was time. I made the appointment to say goodbye.
The best thing I did that day was to tell Leia stories while I stroked her back. It helped. The worst – I didn’t let her have chocolate. It was her favorite thing to sneak. She only did it three times, but it always made her sick. Now I wish I’d made time to give her that one last treat.
Part 2 – How Leia Joined Our Family – I took this photo back on the first day of school in August of 1999. My kids were in 5th, 3rd, and Kindergarten. Leia was 4 months old. We’d had her for a few weeks. Our house was full of life – with 3 kids and a dog!
My husband lost a Super Bowl bet, so we won a dog! Not just any dog! We picked a breed that fit our family. We used one of the doggie tests I’ve written about. We took it a couple times to make sure we had good results. We did!
We got three breeds over and over again. The kids and I voted until we agreed . . . the Border Terrier won. We found our breeder in Clinton, Michigan, and in July we paid the dogs a visit. Puppies are always cute. I asked my kids to look at the adults. They decided Borders were just right for us.
We picked up Leia in August, and I remember the day she came home . . . the neighborhood kids were on alert and in our yard.
Poor Leia! She’d been living with 2 ladies, senior citizens, and now she was surrounded by kids. Oh my! They put her down the slide and introduced her to the neighbor’s cat. Within the hour she ran into her crate and refused to come out. The kids knew the crate was her sanctuary.
My husband, Mr. Non-Dog Lover, was the one who got her out. His secret – a steak bone. It was their one and only good moment in 14 years.
My kids had so many! Leia was FAST! I remember her standing, waiting between two bushes. My son and his best friend stood waiting to catch her. Sure enough, Leia squirted out, right between them, and neither kid caught her. When her kids were young, chase was Leia’s favorite game.
And if you wanted to see her doggy smile, just say the word walk, and she’d go crazy bouncing and barking. She only weighed 15 pounds, but she’d drag me down the street, choking the whole way. She was so happy to be out leading her human around! But her favorite thing of all time – taking her kids roller blading down the street. There was nothing better!
Part 3 – The Heart of the Family – No one will ever love you like your dog. She was my best friend. Leia was always happy whenever we came home. We might have been gone 10 minutes, or 10 hours. It didn’t matter . . . She’d bounce and bark with joy.
Inside or out, she loved to play. She’d chase kids, soccer balls, whatever moved! Leia loved tug-of-war. She’d never let go, even if we tugged her across the room. But her favorite kind of fun was licking any kid who landed on the floor or ground.
She slept in the kids’ rooms, but every morning I’d find her waiting for me to say three little words . . . Are you hungry? If she’d been fed, she wouldn’t move a muscle. But if not, she’d bounce and bark until I got the kids moving.
That was the starting point for her story. Leia was such a great character I knew she had to be in a book. I’ve been working on it since 2011, trying to get it just right, for my best friend.
Would you believe her character could be anything from a Great Dane to a Chihuahua? The illustrator gets to decide what she looks like. I hope my Leia is somewhere in the book. It’s why we did that photo shoot.
This was my favorite shot. We talked like this from the time she was a pup until the day she died. Leia would stop and sit. I’d lean over. She’d look and listen, sniff my breath to see what I’d eaten or where I’d been. Even as a senior dog, she kept tabs on me. I don’t think I’ll ever have a better friend. It’s been 8 years, and I still remember and hug tight the memories, of the way we were.
Summer is almost over, but there’s a little time left for one last road trip. Here are 3 sets of trivia questions for you to answer. Maybe, there’s still time for that last summer get-away!
Part 1 – Trivia Question #1 – Which state is home to the world’s largest convenience store?
California Texas New Jersey Colorado
Trivia Question #2 – How many gas pumps can you find at its biggest service station?
80 100 120 140
Answer #1 – Everything is bigger in Texas. Look for TX, its abbreviation, on the map.
Answer #2 – It has 120 pumps.
My Texas kids made sure I went inside Buc-ees the first time I visited. They’re HUGE! Think grocery store size! They’re that big! Buc-ee’s opened in 1982, and it owns 36 stores across Texas, Alabama, and Florida.
If you don’t like waiting to get gas, try Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels. It has 120 pumps, making it one of the world’s biggest gas stations. Inside – it’s the largest convenience store in the world – with 67,000 square feet. That’s big enough to fit 22 regular 7-Eleven’s inside. If you want to visit, it’s on Interstate 35 between Austin and San Antonio. It’s true – everything’s bigger in Texas!
PS – Don’t forget the Alamo in San Antonio!
1. Buc-ee’s in Terrell, TX - By Jameywiki - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47876613
2. Inside Buc-ee’s - By JamesRuddy93 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82979699
3. Buc-ee's - Wikipedia
Source: The Balance | Date Updated: April 23, 2021
Which state is home to the world's largest convenience store?: Texas | Travel Trivia
Part 2 – Trivia Question #3 – What is a Dark Sky Park?
Trivia Question #4 – What state has the most internationally identified parks?
Nebraska Utah Maine Colorado
Answer #3 – It’s a park that is dedicated to preserving and protecting the sky,
to keep it dark enough for stargazing.
Answer #4 – The International Dark Sky Association said it’s Utah, UT.
The International Dark-Sky Association was born in 2001. Its first action – an initiative to preserve and protect the sky. To keep it dark enough that people can still look up and see the stars, generations from now.
When I drive at night, I see the lights of each town I approach. It’s getting harder and harder to see the stars. I’m glad the darkest nights have IDSA protection now! That’s the International Dark-Sky Association in initialism (not an acronym).
Thanks to the Association there are now 90 International Dark Sky Parks. This is Joshua Tree National Park, and it’s one of the 21 International Dark Parks in Utah. That’s impressive – there are 90 around the world, and 21 are in Utah. Would you believe Utah added three new parks this year?
Utah is perfect for stargazing because most people live along the Wasatch Front. That leaves most of the state without light pollution. Utah is also dry. That means there’s less water vapor and clouds to block the night sky. Looking for stars – head to Utah!
Don’t worry if you live hours away from Utah! There are 66 Dark Sky Parks in the US. Geauga Observatory Park is in Ohio, and there’s a Dark Park in Michigan to the North, Indiana to the West, Tennessee to the South, and Pennsylvania to the east. To think that I’d never heard of Dark Sky Parks, and now I found five in and around Ohio! Take a look on the map at the top, and see which states you can find!
- Source: The Salt Lake Tribune | Date Updated: April 30, 2021
- What U.S. state has the most International Dark Sky Parks?: Utah | Travel Trivia
- Dark Sky Parks in the United States - WorldAtlas
Part 3 – Trivia Question #5 – Which state gets the most sleep?
S. Dakota Montana Colorado Minnesota
Trivia Question # 6 – Which gets the least?
Florida Hawaii Nevada California
Answer # 5 – If you live in South Dakota (SD), you get the most.
Answer # 6 – Hawaiians (HI) get the least.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommends seven hours of sleep a night, but only about half of Americans manage that. If you’d like to find out how your state’s sleeping, click on the CDC link below. It’s under Information Sources.
Five states are real sleepers! They had 69 – 70% of their people averaging seven hours of sleep each night. South Dakota came out on top, followed by Colorado, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Idaho. If you need sleep, you know where to go! Can you find SD, CO, MN, NE, and ID on the map at the top?
Six states don’t sleep as much as they should! They had 56 – 61% of their people getting their nightly seven. Hawaii scraped the bottom with Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan and Georgia creeping in above them.HI, KY, MD, AL, MI, and GA on the map at the top?
- Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Date Updated: May 10, 2021
- Which state's residents get the most sleep?: South Dakota | Travel Trivia=
Part 3 – Rock the Boat – They’re at it again! The folks from Applebee’s have
another great ad on TV, and it’s a blast from my past! Have you heard it yet? I have,
and my toes still tap to that beat! Now, let’s rock that boat – but don’t tip the boat over!
Meet the Hues Corporation! They’re the voices behind the song. From left to right – Fleming Williams, H. Ann Kelley, and St. Clair Lee.
Would you believe Rock the Boat was almost a flop? The trio released it on their debut studio album in 1973. The first two singles didn’t go anywhere on the top 40 charts.
Rock the Boat was their 3rd single in early 1974, and it didn’t look good either – no radio airtime or sales activity. Then somehow it became a disco favorite in New York City dance clubs, and radio picked it up. The almost-failure hit the top 40 and reached #1 on July 6, 1974.
Rock the Boat was one of the earliest disco hits. I was nearly a sophomore in high school back in 1974. Disco wouldn’t hit Ohio until I was in college. That’s when Saturday Night Fever struck. Funny, I don’t remember it from high school, but I do – from college. Disco was HUGE.
Fun Fact # 1 - Wally Holmes wrote it, and first lines are important. Wally’s was “Ever since our voyage of love began.” The producer John Florez thought the lyrics were trite and overused, and he got Wally to change that first line. Now you know how they got the notion.”
#2 – H. Ann Kelley, the girl in the band, was supposed to sing lead, but someone thought bands with female lead singers weren’t commercially successful, so they gave it to Fleming Williams. He left the group soon after the recording. I wish someone had the notion to give the lead to H. Ann.
#3 – John put Rock the Boat out on the B side of the record. Back in the day, singles came out as 45 RPM records. The A side was the hit. The B side, not.
After it did so well in dance clubs, John remixed it. He boosted the bass and rhythm instruments. Then he re-released it, and the rest is history!
Here’s what I found when I looked up Applebee’s new commercial. Take a look at the promotional information. I’ve never seen it written out like this before, but I like having all the important information in one place.
OOPS! I almost forgot the most important part – the link! How else can you see the Hughes Corporation in action singing their #1 hit Rock the Boat?!
Google: Hues Corporation - Rock the Boat - Bing video
1. Restaurant image - By Michael Rivera - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40559229
2. Applebee's TV Commercial, 'Jungle Cruise: Rock the Boat' Song by The Hues Corporation - iSpot.tv
3. The Hughes Corporation - By RCA Records - www.album.it, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45459572
1. Hues Corporation - Rock the Boat - Bing video
2. Rock the Boat (The Hues Corporation song) - Wikipedia
3. Applebee's TV Commercial, 'Jungle Cruise: Rock the Boat' Song by The Hues Corporation - Bing video
Part 1 – Meet Simone Biles – This photo was taken in 2018 at the Voice of America (VOA). It’s the largest and oldest international broadcasting company. It didn’t say why Simone was there, but maybe she stopped into say she was back in the gymnastics game again.
Did you know she took 2017 off? I didn’t! That was the year after the 2016 Brazil Olympics, and Simone won 4 gold medals, the most ever for an American gymnast. I’m glad she took a year off.
Simone probably started training nonstop in 2011. That’s when she became an elite gymnast. Imagine training as your full-time job, and school what you fit around it.
And Me Too – I never found her training schedule, but I considered going into music. I played 2 instruments, and I was told to practice an hour a day, per instrument. That was the minimum to go into music, not to become a GOAT. I wonder what Simone puts in, on 4 pieces of equipment, per day.
Can you imagine the stress of being a GOAT? You always have to deliver. There’s no room for mistakes, and everyone makes those. Did you watch Simone in team qualifications, or in the preliminaries? She was GREAT, but not perfect. She looked unhappy after each performance, even though she was at the top of the leader board.
I wonder, if Simone’s a perfectionist. I’m a recovering one. I’m learning to be OK with mistakes, but I used to go over them, over and over, endlessly. Now I stop when they teach me something that will help me grow. I have a feeling Simone does that too.
I was shocked, when I heard Simone dropped out of the team finals. She put endless hours into each of her 4 routines, for 4 years. You don’t invest that kind of time, that kind of effort into something, then quit. I don’t, and I bet Simone doesn’t either.
You keep going, whether you’re injured, or sick, until you hit a wall that tells you, YOU HAVE to. For me, it used to be losing my voice. Then I could call in sick and get my kids a substitute teacher. For Simone, it was the twisties, and they don’t look like this photo.
Part 2 – What’s a Twistie? – It happens when a gymnast is flying through the air. They can’t tell where they are, or where to land. Planes have the same problem in fog. They don’t know which way is up, or down.
I discovered twisties on July 28th when USA Gymnastics announced Simone’s withdrawal from team competition. I was shocked till I learned more. Simone said her mind and body just weren’t in sync. She also said she didn’t think many people understood how dangerous gymnastic surfaces can be.
Take a look at the picture above. It doesn’t look dangerous. Then look at the one below. It is! I thought Simone was upside down. NOT – she was in the middle of one of her twisty-airborne moves. If she lost focus, she might have landed on her head, or neck. YIKES!
Simone also talked about not having an inch of control over her body, not knowing where she was in the air. But even scarier, she had no idea how she was going to land . . . or where. I can’t imagine being brave and talented enough, to keep going after that first twistie.
I didn’t know Simone had the twisties before Tokyo, on floor and vault. This year the bars & beam piled on too. YUCK! I’m glad she took a break, but I’m also glad she came back and won bronze in the balance beam. I read that she did it for herself. Yay, Simone! Here’s to your new life beyond gymnastics!
Part 3 – Daring Young Gymnasts – Do you remember the song about the daring young men on the flying trapeze? Now they’re flying around equipment in the gym. They’re defying gravity and some of the laws of physics. It’s crazy good, also a little scary.
Did you know that about 100,000 gymnasts are injured every year? The most common injuries are wrist fractures, cartilage damage, and ACL tears. Did you also know that gymnasts are starting earlier and doing more difficult moves?
Death is rare in gymnastics, but it happened to Melanie Coleman after a fall from the uneven bars. It also happened to Julissa Gomez in 1988. She was vaulting and slipped off the springboard. Falls are dangerous.
Adriana Duffy and Sang Lan were both paralyzed by vaulting accidents 11 years apart. I’m glad there’s a new, safer springboard and horse for athletes today.
Men and women both vault over them, the gymnastic kind. Men also twist and rotate around pommel horses. It’s amazing what gymnasts can do, and they make it look so easy!
Here’s the new springboard and horse. Look at the old one, then the new one. Can you see how they’re different, and why the new one is safer? I’m so glad someone figured that out.
Take a look at all the positions this young man rotated through in a few seconds.
WOW! Gymnasts are amazing!
How Can You Protect Your Young Gymnast? – I picked 10 tips to share. To read all of them click on this link: Safety Tips: Gymnastics (for Teens) - Nemours Kidshealth
1. Wear the proper equipment – wrist straps, guards, grips, and footwear. Use spotting belts for new moves.
2. Warm up and stretch. That’s true for any sport.
3. Only practice on padded floors, not a hard surface.
4. Find a good coach! Somone who knows the latest in safety. A good coach will spot you when you try new/difficult moves.
5. Tell your coach if you’re uncomfortable with a skill. If you can’t, tell a parent or an adult who’ll help you. Kids don’t want to tell anyone. I saw it with my own, and with my 2nd graders. Sometimes parents had to tell me what their child wouldn’t.
6. Don’t try a new move at a game or competition, UNLESS you’ve practiced it A LOT.
7. No jewelry, gum chewing, or clothes that can get caught on equipment.
8. Never train alone.
9. STOP! If you get hurt or feel pain. Then get it checked out by a grown-up.
10. Play other sports so that you don’t overuse the same muscles. That leads to injuries.
CONGRATULATIONS to the Olympic athletes from all over the world! Win, lose, draw, or withdraw – you played the games and did your best. Thank you for the memories, for the inspiration you’ve given us, especially to the young athletes waiting in the wings for their turn. THANK YOU!
PS – OOPS! I forgot to write about mindfulness, but lucky for me, I already did! The link below will tell you what it is, and show you a few exercises that are great for kids.
PPS – They can help us grown-ups too!
Link: Rinda Beach - Blog - Rinda Beach
1. Simone Biles reveals depths of twisties problem at Olympics (nypost.com)
2. Simone Biles - Wikipedia
3. Gymnastics deaths are rare, but previous disasters have prompted safety changes - CNN
4. Safety Tips: Gymnastics (for Teens) - Nemours Kidshealth
Sometimes words inspire us. They help us do what we fear. We pull them out when we need courage. Here are three quotes from three famous people about persistence.
Quote #1 – You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take.
Who said it? Wayne Gretzky, the great one! He got it from his dad, Walter. Here’s a recording with information on Wayne that I didn’t include. It's about a minute long.
Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
Wayne is from Canada where hockey is king! His parents bought their first house because the backyard was perfect to build an ice rink every winter. Walter encouraged his kids to take shots, even if they missed. It worked! Three of his four boys grew up to become professional hockey players. Wayne’s the famous one!
These are Wayne’s first skates. He wore them when he was three, and they’re definitely well used! I wonder how many shots he took in them. If you’d like to check them out, go to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
At six Wayne played on a team, for ten-year-olds. When he turned ten, he scored 378 goals and 139 assists in ONE season. No one counted his practice shots or misses. By age 13 Wayne had over 1000 goals. I wonder how many thousands of shots he took at those hockey nets by the time he was 13!
Wayne played in the National Hockey League from 1979 – 1999. He didn’t wait three years to get into the Hall of Fame. He was voted in his first year. Only nine other players have done that. I’m glad he took all those shots!
Wayne Gretzky - Wikipedia
Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
- Wayne Gretzky in 2006: By Kris Krüg, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36257814
- First Skates: By Resolute - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17891111
- Wayne and the Stanley Cup. He won it four times with his first team, the Edmonton Oilers:
By 117Avenue - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=52424962
Quote #2 – Inspiration usually comes during work, rather than before it.
Who said it? Madeleine L’Engle! Here’s a recording that’s about a minute long with her thoughts about inspiration. You’ll only find them on this link. Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
Madeleine wrote her first story when she was five. She started keeping her thoughts in a journal when she was eight. She was off to a great start, but she was also shy and clumsy. Some of her teachers thought she was stupid. Her parents didn’t know what to do, but Madeleine did. She turned toward reading and writing. I’m so glad she did! Books are always a great answer!
Madeleine graduated college in 1941, cum laude, with honor. By 1942 she published two novels, but by 1958 she only had three more books in print. It must have been disappointing for her.
Madeleine decided if she couldn’t sell a book by her 40th birthday in November of 1958, that she’d quit writing. She wanted to pull her weight, money-wise, in the family, but she couldn’t stop thinking up stories.
In 1959 her family took a ten-week cross-country camping trip. Would you believe that’s when the idea for A Wrinkle in Time arrived? After she quit? I’m so glad she kept thinking!
Nothing is instant, even for Madeleine L’Engle. She finished Wrinkle in 1960, but it was rejected more than 30 times before she found the right editor, the right publisher. In 1962 Wrinkle was born. Madeleine published over 60 pieces of writing, from fiction to poetry to nonfiction. I’m glad she didn’t quit! We would have missed out on some great writing!
Sources of Information:
- Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
- Madeleine L'Engle - Wikipedia
- Madeleine L'Engle, Author of A Wrinkle in Time - The Official Website (madeleinelengle.com)
Quote #3 – Genius is 1 percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration.
Who said it? Thomas Alva Edison! Here’s a recording of the details behind the quote. Link: Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
Thomas went to school for a couple months as a kid, but he didn’t fit in. His mother homeschooled him so he could learn his way, from experiments. He went back as an adult – to take one chemistry class.
When he was 12, he developed hearing problems, but he learned it was a good thing – he could focus on work, without any distractions.
Thomas was also an entrepreneur. He made money selling candy, newspapers, and veggies on the local trains, and he was only 13. He used his money to buy supplies for his experiments.
Sometimes Thomas failed. He was experimenting with battery acid. It leaked through the floor and onto his boss’ desk. He was fired the next day.
But Thomas persevered and got his first patent for an electric vote recorder two years later. It didn’t sell, but Thomas kept experimenting. Seven years later he developed a new telegraph machine and sold it to Western Union.
The profits – he used them to build Menlo Park, the first industrial research lab, where he could constantly innovate and improve. Eventually his lab took up two city blocks and held over 8000 chemicals. Thomas also bought things like hair, silk, and feathers. They were a few of his supplies.
Thomas kept working. His next big invention was the phonograph, in the photo. The telephone transmitter, the electric light bulb, and the motion picture camera, they’re just a few of his inventions. Thomas also started 14 companies including General Electric. They all came from perspiration and experimentation – hard work.
Take a peek inside Thomas’ lab at Menlo Park, or go visit Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.
- Menlo Park - By Andrew Balet - Own work, CC BY-SA 2.5,
- Daily Inspiration | Inspiring Quotes
- Thomas Edison - Wikipedi
Take a trip to three of them. Why are they special? They all welcome those who create, those who make art. I’m a writer so I’m glad I qualify . . . because all three make me feel like I’m home!
#1 – Welcome to Riverside Art Center! It’s in my hometown of Wapakoneta, Ohio.
They invite in artists of all ages! They’re known for their bucket of chalk at the door, ready for any artist to begin a new creation.
Riverside helped me launch my first book back in 2019, and they’re still helping me today. I’m grateful!
They also support other local artists. Look around the store. and you’ll see so much creativity – from paintings to stained glass. Pottery to woodwork. If you’re looking for something unique for yourself, or for a gift, Riverside is the place to go!
Riverside is also known for celebrating Wapak’s most famous citizen, Neil Armstrong. Come in and find a way to remember the first man to land on the moon.
Look at the photo below on the left . . . The house at the top was Neil’s home when he was in high school. The basement is where he built the wind tunnel that launched all his dreams.
Below it is the picture of the Wapak movie theatre. I saw my first movie there . . . Mary Poppins. I think it’s old enough that Neil went there too. I wonder what he watched?!
The other photo is my favorite table in Riverside . . . jewelry! Riverside has some incredible jewelry makers. One of them makes things like elephants and octopi from silverware. WOW!
If you’re ever in Wapak, stop into Riverside and the other stores on Auglaize Street. There are so many great shops within a couple blocks. PLUS – the Summer Moon Festival is coming . . . July 13th – 18th. I can’t wait!
Postmark has both of my lake books. I dropped them off in June, and this is the first time I’ve been back. I looked all over the shop, but had trouble finding them. Do you see either book?
The first time I took a walk through the shop, I found a shelf of books, but I didn’t see mine. I looked a second time, and that’s when I found them! We’re on a table with another children’s book. Its cover is gorgeous! Zoe is to its right, and Lake Fun is under Zoe.
I wandered through the shop taking pictures of the things that caught my eye. I admire artists, especially those who paint. Me, I draw stick figures! But I have a good sense of color, and what goes together.
The bird on the left caught my eye! I love the colors! I wish I had a place for it, but maybe that place is at someone else’s house.
I love woodwork, like the bowls and cutting boards. I admire people who create things I can’t. Buying their work makes me happy.
I can’t do pottery either. The mushrooms caught my eye because they’re whimsical and full of color. I’m glad I can share them with you!
The third shelf’s full of children’s toys. The giraffe’s my favorite. The rocking chair is close, if only I could tell who, or what, is sitting in it.
I love jewelry, and it was scattered through the shop. I couldn’t leave without another pair of earrings!
I also love whimsy, like the purple bear, the golden seahorse, or the blue birdhouse. So cute! If you’re near Lafollette, stop inside Postmark, and do your own treasure hunting!
#3 – Welcome to rindabeach.com!
Welcome to my home online! Usually I share my blogs and book reviews with you, but now I want to show you how to shop with me, online. Hover over Books, and you’ll find my three titles. Follow along, and I’ll show you where to find each one!
Here are my books in website order. Lake Fun came out last year and it’s found its niche on Amazon. It’s my highest-ranking book, but the only place you can buy it online – Amazon. Click on their link, and in seconds you’ll be in the checkout line.
You can also buy it from me at any event, or, by sending me an email. I’ll work with PayPal and USPS to get a personalized copy right to your house, without ever leaving home! My favorite part – autographing it to you and your favorite lake!
This is my 2nd book from the dropdown menu, but it was my very first, from 2019. I finished it in time for the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. Did you know building that wind tunnel was the first step Neil took towards fulfilling his dreams? I have the directions for a simple one in the back matter. It’s the length of your kitchen table. Neil’s – it took up most of his basement!
There are 2 online links to buy Neil from Amazon and Barnes & Noble, but it’s also on IndieBound. And like Lake Fun, you can buy an autographed copy from me. I’m only an email away. Neil is my favorite book to autograph – I always personalize it with something about your dreams.
This is my newest book, the last one on the link. Zoe is a chapter book with journal pages at the end. You get to be my co-author and illustrator.
You can buy Zoe online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, or BiblioKid Publishing. Or, you can use the PayPal link and get a personalized autographed copy from me.
Pick one, two, or all three of my books to finish your summer of reading!
Don’t forget to pick up your free printable page and bookmark when you visit me online!
Part 1 – The Back Story – I’ve thought about this for a year or two, but didn’t . . . I was too afraid.
First learning something new isn’t easy. I also hate looking and listening to myself, almost as much as I hate nails on chalkboards. Publishing NEIL ARMSTRONG’S WIND TUNNEL DREAM in 2019 helped me get used to having my picture taken.
This year in May I signed up for a marketing class with Yong. We talked about what I was doing to help people find me. She suggested video as one way to connect to my audience, as a way to show what I can do as a speaker.
I started by diving into Yong’s Super 7 Live Streaming Video Challenge. I watched a video each day that modeled something new. Then I had homework. Can you guess what it was?
Making videos! They were terrible at first, but I got used to them. To seeing my face, to hearing my voice. I started to feel comfortable, and the videos got better.
I also learned to look for what I did right. I saw progress, and that kept me going. I also looked at what wasn’t right, not to pick on myself, but to look at how to improve.
The setup – I start with notes about my latest post. I didn’t use images on the 1st one, but pictures help! They give you extra information. They help me remember what to say.
I added them to the 2nd. I printed out pictures, but they were hard to hold. It’s like looking in a mirror and trying to point to the right spot. Last week I surprised myself by going to Zoom. I didn’t plan to, but it worked!
After the words and images are done, I run through them a couple times until I’m ready to try them on video. I record, watch, and repeat until I’m comfortable with what you’ll see. Then I save it.
No matter how hard I try, I’ll never make perfect videos. It’s like writing with permanent marker. You just can’t fix a mistake. It’s easier to start over again.
I’m trying not to be a perfectionist. It’s over-rated! I think close enough is good enough. So is your best. At some point we all have to decide the work is OK, and let it go.
Part 2 – My First Two Videos – The Madisons was the first video I posted. I was so nervous! I thought I was ready – I did seven videos as part of Yong’s class. OH MY! It was scary, but I’m glad I forced myself to take that step.
To get ready I wrote my script, then practiced talking through it. I made practice tapes to see how I did, and to see how I could improve. Then I finally made that final tape. OH WOW!
My secret – you never saw what I was looking at . . . my script. It was my security blanket. The only thing I had to remember was to focus on my camera. It’s the dot of yellow at the top of my computer.
I also looked at the length of the video. My first try was 11 minutes. I cut out a whole section about Dolley. I’m glad I did!.
I kept in the part about Little Jimmy, how he wrote the Constitution, and last, how he got Aaron Burr to introduce him to Dolley. I like to find the fun quirky details about people.
The HARDEST part – saving and downloading it. YIKES! I was supposed to go live at 3:00. I was 10 minutes late, but I was still sweating it out. I didn’t start taping until 1:30 on Sunday, and time flew, LITERALLY!
I finally finished taping my video at 2:40. Then I had to wait for it to download, find the notice in my email, and save it. FINALLY I could post it on Beach Girl Press. By the time I finished, it was 3:15. That was too close for me, and, no fun! It was enough to make me move taping to Saturdays.
I learned my lesson for the second video, The School of Word Play. I recorded it on Saturday, and I thought I was on track. I practiced my script. I made practice tapes so I could manage those vocabulary cards. I felt OK with everything, so I recorded and saved the video.
THEN I hit a problem – I had to download it onto my Beach Girl Press account on Facebook. That’s my business page. I think I started downloading around 2 on Sunday. I thought I’d make my 3PM deadline, but my video didn’t post on Facebook until 4:22. I had two terrible hours, full of panic and frustration! But, live and learn . . . I discovered a few tricks to make that download go faster!
BTW – here are the four words that I tried to say, and on video . . . OH MY!
Part 3 – Videos #3 & 4 – I felt comfortable talking my way through this one. It was my third video, so speaking to an audience that I’ll never see, it felt OK . . . until I held up pictures like this refrigerator.
I didn’t have trouble with the picture. I had trouble pointing to things I wanted you to notice . . . like the top left corner of the fridge. It’s the new one with my son’s family. How do I know? There are 4 names up there, not 3 . . . 2 go across, and 2 go up and down. My grandson is now officially family! His big sister was there already.
It’s HARD to point things out! Every time I tried, I was pointing at the wrong side. It’s a lot like trying to point something out when you’re looking in the mirror. Everything’s reflected . . . but in reverse. It’s the same with the reflection in a swimming pool. You think you’re reaching for a coin, but you miss . . . by a lot! TRICKY!
This came from video #4. It was about service dogs, financial literacy, and responsibility. I was planning on doing it on Facebook Live, but when I went to record, I switched to Zoom. I didn’t plan it . . . it just happened. I’ve done classes and critiques on Zoom, but I’ve never been in charge of the meeting or the video. THAT – was a whole new element.
When you have a new variable, it throws everything off balance. You don’t feel comfortable. You’re on edge, trying to keep things under control while trying to look calm, cool, and collected. TRICKY!
When I practiced, I worked on what I wanted to say about the pictures, and on moving from Zoom to Microsoft Word, then back again. It took a little longer to practice, but I got it done!
PS – My newest challenge – adding another site to share during the video. The last one was about editing and revision. I had it done, only 6 minutes long! Then I went back to save and trim the beginning and end. That’s when I discovered the problem. I could hear me talking about it, but no pictures, and a picture’s worth 1000 words! I took you home, to my author page on the international worldwide web so I could show you how to find my books, and the free journal pages.
When you make a mistake, you need to figure out where you went wrong. Mine – I didn’t click on Share New. I practiced switching around a few times and I recorded my efforts, only a minute or two to see if I could get that part right. I did! I reshot the video. I slowed down, took my time, and was happy with what I’d shot . . . until I saw the time . . . 11 minutes! OOPS! Live and learn! Shorter is always better!
See you on Sunday at 3PM! I’m still debating if I’ll share this post, or the next one I start writing. I guess we’ll both find out on Sunday!
When I write, I can only have one voice in my head, mine. A little noise is fine. But too much, or worse yet, WORDS, and I must change rooms or pull out headphones. Then I can write on!