Friday, March 31, 2017

Through the Keyhole - April 2017

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guess the location
     APRIL 2017 turnkey-color-logo-white 7
Through the Keyhole

Informative & Interesting... not your everyday company newsletter.
This is NOT FAKE NEWS (but it's not real either)!
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Welcome to April.  It is already the beginning of the second quarter of 2017 and those April showers are coming your way.  Sometimes it feels like we are living in Scotland where it is cold, damp and dreary but we begin to see the flowers and trees bloom.  For those of you with allergies, get your Flonase ready - you are going to need it.

This month we celebrate Passover and Easter and I am going to take the opportunity to get a little deep during this holy please afford me some latitude...  This is GOOD STUFF.  You may even be interested AND informed (the purpose of this newsletter). 

Growing up on the west side of Chicago, I have vivid memories of getting ready for the Easter Feast at my Grandmother's house above the funeral home at 4255 W. Division (pictured present day, now a church below). My Grandparents had a very nice apartment above the funeral home that we spent every major holiday in.  What was great growing up was having the empty chapels below to play in.  What great memories in a funeral home - odd for most, normal for me.

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We would get together a basket full of items for the traditional Polish Easter dinner - bread, lamb shaped butter, horseradish, sausage, ham, eggs, cheese, bacon, salt and a candle on Holy Saturday (the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday).  We would then head over just a couple of blocks to the church where the priest would bless our basket along with hundreds of others.  It was a great tradition and one that is impressed upon me for my entire life.

For those who may be interested, there is great symbolism in the items placed in the traditional Polish Easter basket:
Maslo (Butter) - This dairy product is often shaped into a lamb (Baranek Wielkanocny) or a cross. This reminds us of the good will of Christ that we should have towards all things.

Babka (Easter Bread) -
A round or long loaf topped with a cross or a fish, symbolic of Jesus, who is the Bread of Life.

Chrzan (Horseradish)
- Symbolic of the Passion of Christ still in our minds.

Jajka (Eggs) and Pisanki (decorated with symbols of Easter, of life, of prosperity)
- Indicates new life and Christ's Resurrection from the tomb.

Kielbasa (Sausage)
- A sausage product, symbolic of God's favor and generosity.

Szynka (Ham)
- Symbolic of great joy and abundance. Some prefer lamb or veal. The lamb also reminds Christians that the Risen Christ is the "Lamb of God."

Slonina (Smoked Bacon)
- A symbol of the overabundance of God's mercy and generosity.

Sol (Salt)
- A necessary element in our physical life. Symbolic of prosperity and justice and to remind us that people are the flavor of the earth.

Ser (Cheese)
- Symbolic of the moderation Christians should have at all times.

- Represents Christ as the Light of the World.

Colorful Ribbons and Sprigs of Greenery
- are attached to the basket as signs of joy and new life in the season of spring and in celebration of the Resurrection.

Linen Cover
- drawn over the top of the basket which is ready for the priest's visit to the home or the trip to church where it is joined with the baskets of others to await the blessing. The food is then set aside and enjoyed on Easter Sunday.

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Interestingly, if you look at the Seder Plate for Passover, you will find some great similarities:

Maror and chazeret — Bitter herbs symbolizing the bitterness and harshness of the slavery the Hebrews endured in Egypt.

Charoset — A sweet, brown mixture representing the mortar used by the Hebrew slaves to build the storehouses or pyramids of Egypt.

Karpas — A vegetable other than bitter herbs, which is dipped into salt water at the beginning of the Seder. Parsley, celery or boiled potato is usually used. The dipping of a simple vegetable into salt water, and the resulting dripping of water off of said vegetables visually represents tears and is a symbolic reminder of the pain felt by the Hebrew slaves in Egypt.

Zeroa — Also called Z'roa , it is special as it is the only element of meat on the Seder Plate. A roasted lamb or goat shankbone, chicken wing, or chicken neck; symbolizing the korban Pesach (Pesach sacrifice), which was a lamb that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem, then roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.

Beitzah — A roasted hard-boiled egg, symbolizing the korban chagigah (festival sacrifice) that was offered in the Temple in Jerusalem and roasted and eaten as part of the meal on Seder night.

I hope you enjoyed that little lesson.  I'll revisit it again next year for review. 

And now for a new picture above- Can you guess where it is by looking through the keyhole?  "This sacred place is still under construction since 1882.  It sits in this city by the sea where inflation and unemployment are sky high. By 2026, they say it will be complete." Can you guess the location?

Correct answers will be given recognition but half the fun is trying to figure it out.  The correct answer will be revealed in the subsequent issue.  Good luck and have fun.

If you like this newsletter, forward it to someone else or
sign them up HERE.

As always, send any items you think are newsworthy, interesting or just plain odd to

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland - Keyhole Answer


"This 5 mile stretch of cliffs has served as a viewing point for hundreds of years. On a clear day you can see Twelve Pins and the Dingle Peninsula. It is a must stop when touring this green country."
Last month, Bob Conway won the location by guessing correctly.  He correctly said "the
Picture is of the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland."  It is a must see when visiting this green land.


At an Irish wedding reception I recently attended, the best man, in preparing to give the toast, said...
"Would all the married men, please stand next to the one person who has made your life worth living?"
The bartender was almost crushed to death.
And now...
I had the privilege of traveling to Ireland when I was 15 years old for a high school band and orchestra trip. It was the trip of a lifetime and I have many fond memories of it:
  • flying into Shannon Airport and unloading on the tarmac
  • the color green that seemed to be much more lush than I have ever seen
  • long bus rides through the Irish countryside
  • Wool, lots of it on everyone and everywhere
  • Beer, lots of it in everyone and everywhere
  • The St. Patrick's day parade (marching in the band) in a sea of people
  • Irish accents that I could barely understand
  • Smoking a cigar for the first time - yuck.
  • Getting our bus driver drunk and making him take us to the pub (in the bus) - don't ask.
  • The cliffs of Moher - what a site to see
  • Playing 22 concerts in 8 days
  • Wonderful people and beautiful countryside
  • Waterford crystal
  • The Blarney Stone that locals pee on...
  • Bunratty Castle where they mistakenly served us real Glug or wine - can you say TIPSY?
Anyway you look at it, Ireland is a beautiful country and one worth visiting.  I have many friends who have visited recently and they tell stories of great people, food, sites, golf, pubs, history and fun.

Ireland has really emerged as a technology leader in the world. When the country found itself in a depressed position, the Irish embraced technology and it has been a boon to their economy. 


What attracts big tech companies to Ireland? Hint: It’s not just low taxes (article)

The Mystery of Flying Kicks
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No one really knows why there are shoes hanging from wires above... but you see them everywhere throughout the world.  You see them in areas that are rich and poor, populated and rural.  What do they mean?  Why do people do it?  I had a conversation with a friend last week about it and decided to include it in my newsletter.

There are a lot of urban myths surrounding this phenomenon and no one really knows.

Is it a signal for a bad area?  Is it a marking for a drug dealer's area?  Is it a gang territory marking?  Are they shoes of people who have died in street warfare?  Or is it simply shoefiti?  But how can you compare throwing shoes on a wire with street "art"?  Is it just something to mark an event in one's life?

Someone made a 15 minute documentary about it and it is entertaining.  Watch here.
If you haven't noticed these shoes, from now on you will.  You are welcome.

Kids Jokes


Your Internet History is FOR SALE (Thanks Google)
I am not sure if you have noticed lately that almost everything you do and everywhere you go, Google seems to be following you.  When you go to a restaurant, they want you to share pictures, and reviews.  If you are in the airport, your phone gives you a map of the terminal.  If you have an appointment in your calendar, your phone will remind you to leave your location with enough time to travel there.  It's kind of spooky how much data is collected.  They know where you live, where you frequent, what you buy, what you are interested in and where you are RIGHT NOW.

With all of this information about you and I being collected, it's no wonder it might be sold and used against you.  I don't want to sound paranoid but it certainly should make you wonder.

Also, new regulations or lack thereof in Congress, give access to this information - BIG BROTHER MAY BE WATCHING.   Article here.

"Mad Dog" Mattis REAL Quote of the month
"I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you f*ck with me, I'll kill you all"

Favorite Easter Lamb Cake FAIL
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Never gets old...

Origins of Phrases
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Pictured above is a brass monkey (the thing at the bottom of these cannonballs).  I cannot tell you that all of the information below is true or simply interesting made up lore.  Either way, it is entertaining and you might be able to use some of it at your next social gathering.

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During WWII, U.S. Airplanes were armed with belts of bullets which they would shoot during dogfights and on strafing runs. These belts were folded into the wing compartments that fed their machine guns. These belts measure 27 feet and contained hundreds of rounds of bullets. Often times, the pilots would return from their missions having expended all of their bullets on various targets. They would say, I gave them the whole nine yards, meaning they used up all of their ammunition.
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In George Washington's days, there were no cameras. One's image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are 'limbs,' therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, 'Okay, but it'll cost you an arm and a leg.' (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint.)  
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Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee's wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman's face she was told, 'mind your own bee's wax.' Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term 'crack a smile'. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt. Therefore, the expression 'losing face.'
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Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in 'straight laced' wore a tightly tied lace.
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Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the 'Ace of Spades.' To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren't 'playing with a full deck.'
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Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV's or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to 'go sip some Ale and listen to people's conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. 'You go sip here' and 'You go sip there.' The two words 'go sip' were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term 'gossip.'
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At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid's job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in 'pints' and who was drinking in 'quarts,' hence the phrase 'minding your 'P's and Q's'.
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In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under the others. The solution was a metal plate called a 'Monkey' with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make 'Brass Monkeys.' Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, 'Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.'

Look Closely. Pic of the day.
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Why women can't put on mascara with their mouth closed?

Why you never see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'? 

Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?

Why is it that doctors and attorneys call what they do 'practice'? 

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? 

Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour? 

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes? 

Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?

You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes?  Why don't  they make the whole plane out of that stuff??

Why don't sheep shrink when it rains? 

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together? 

If flying is so safe,  why do they call the airport the terminal? 

Photos that will blow your mind.
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Blue ice...the result of snow falling on a glacier becoming compressed.
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Not Legoland. It's a housing complex in San Buenaventura, Mexico.
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What your skin looks like after being struck by lightening (and living).
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Commuting.  Then vs. Now. American vs. Asian.  Not sure how this Meme got made...
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Dubai.  A bird's eye view.  These people have too much money.

Could this be REAL? Nah. It's from CNN.
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Japanese town uses funeral discount to entice elderly drivers off the road

  • Aichi town uses discounted funerals to lure elderly drivers to give up the wheel
  • Prefecture-wide, over 13% of road accidents are caused by those aged 75 and older
Japanese pensioners aren't in a rush to dump their driving licenses, but one police department is hoping to entice them to retire from the roads with a novel incentive -- discount funerals.

A town in Aichi prefecture is piloting the scheme, which it hopes will see a decrease in the number of elderly drivers getting behind the wheel.

Drivers aged 75 or older were responsible for over 13 percent of fatal traffic accidents in Aichi in 2016, according to statistics released by the prefectural police and published by Japanese news agency Kyodo.

Complete Article here.

Meet Sedric - The self driving VW


Dad Takes Care of Baby19 2

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Common Errors in Grammar

1. Leaving too many white spaces between words
Example: To  the left.
Correct: To the left.
2. Missing a comma
Example: If the weather remains the same we'll leave early.
Correct: If the weather remains the same, we'll leave early.
3. Missing a comma after an introductory phrase
Example: First of all we must make sure that the power is off.
Correct: First of all, we must make sure that the power is off.
4. Missing a hyphen
Example: My 3 year old son
Correct: My 3-year-old son
5. Incorrect subject-verb agreement
Example: The cats eats.
Correct: The cats eat.
6. Incorrect capitalization
Example: It's cold, But we are going out.
Correct: It's cold, but we are going out.
7. Mixing up possessive and plural forms
Example: My sisters car is old.
Correct: My sister's car is old.
8. Incorrect agreement with noun phrases
Example: I would like to buy this apples.
Correct: I would like to buy these apples.
9. Commonly confused words
Example: After all that running, I am out of breathe.
Correct: After all that running, I am out of breath.
10. Incorrect verb form after auxiliary
Example: They had ate when we arrived.
Correct: They had eaten when we arrived.

Who Wrote These Washing Instructions?


Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs
(and you thought it was easy)...

Hard-boiled eggs are so simple to make but also, sadly, simple to mess up. Our method brings the eggs and water to a boil, then immediately stops the boiling and lets the eggs cook, covered, in the saucepan. They emerge firm yet moist, with no green ring around the yolks. Favorite ways to eat them include sliced, deviled, atop buttered toast with sea salt, and minced or pushed through a sieve and sprinkled over steamed asparagus with a drizzle of white wine vinegar, olive oil, and kosher salt.

1. Place the eggs in a saucepan and fill with enough cold water to cover the eggs (they should sit in a single layer). Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. As soon as the water comes to a boil, turn off the heat and cover the pan; let sit for 13 minutes (15 minutes if you’re cooking a dozen).
2. Drain the eggs, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Let cool completely.
3. To peel, gently crack the eggs on the countertop all over, then roll them between your hands. Peel the eggs.


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