Tastes Like Chicken and Other Chicken-y Things

bionic chicken

I was reading some Weird News today and found the story of a chicken who was going to be receiving a prosthetic leg made from a 3 D printer.  The operation will cost around $2,500.  That must be a really special chicken.  Possibly it lays golden eggs?  Another story advertised next to the bionic-legged chicken was all about the new Pumpkin-Spiced Peeps that will be coming to a store near you very soon, so you can add fluffy baby marshmallow chicks to your Pumpkin Spiced Everything list.

pumpkin-spice-all-the-things

I started thinking about how lucky the chicken is that, out of all the world’s chickens, it ended up being someone’s beloved pet instead of someone else’s beloved dinner.  I then thought about how delicious those peeps will be and how they will not “taste like chicken”.  And then, as my thoughts tend to do, I began to wonder why so many things taste like chicken.  What does fried alligator taste like?  Tastes like chicken.  What does rattle snake taste like?  Tastes like chicken.  Turkeys are just very large juicy, delicious chickens.  Not really….but…..they taste like chicken.  Here is a very professional graph that shows what all tastes like chicken:

funny-chicken-graphic

So how long have people been using the phrase “Tastes like chicken”?  According to Howie Reith, who is not a historian but likes to answer questions on Quora.com:

“The earliest known documentation of the phrase ‘Tastes like chicken’ is in The Log of Christopher Columbus, describing the first time he and his group tried eating a serpent.
‘The people eat them and the meat is white and tastes like chicken.'”

Since we know that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue…. the phrase has been around for a while.

Quora.com looks like a good website for people with questions.  One such question related to chicken-ness asked was, “How close are we to discovering Colonel Sanders 11 secret herbs and spices?”  Well curious person… the answer to that is: “They could tell you, but then they’d have to kill you.”  Some things are better left a secret.

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A Dime a Dozen or Ten Really Important Phone Calls

"Dime Reverse 13" by United States Mint - http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?flash=no&action=photo#Pres. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dime_Reverse_13.png#/media/File:Dime_Reverse_13.png

I was running a little late for work this morning, but still stopped to grab a cup of coffee on the way in.  I don’t function well without my morning coffee.  I noticed when the lady gave me my change that she shorted me a dime.  Being in a hurry, I didn’t bother bringing the mistake to her attention.  Meh.  It’s just a dime.  Right?

I started thinking about that dime and dimes in general.  I found dimes to be much more valuable back in the early 90’s before everybody had cell phones.  I called them “phone calls”.  The pay phone off Navy Rd. in Millington, TN cost a dime to make a call.  I was 17 and madly in love with a Marine stationed on the base up the road.  My parents were not crazy about my love interest and I worried my siblings might listen in on my phone conversations at home in order to gain information to use as leverage against me.  This could be easily accomplished by slowly picking up the handset of another house phone, sliding your finger over the receiver button, putting the handset to your ear, and then easing your finger off of the button.  Voila!  As long as you didn’t giggle or breathe too loudly, you could listen in on someone’s conversation without their knowledge.  I found dimes to be very valuable because of this.

For the most part, especially these days, dimes are not worth a whole lot.  That’s why we use phrases like “Those are a dime a dozen.”  What we mean is that they are easy to come by and we do not find much value in them.  I’m not sure when this phrase began to be used, but I do know it was after 1796.  1796 is the year the first dimes were minted.  A decimal based coinage system was proposed in 1783 by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, David Rittenhouse, and Benjamin Franklin.  The dime (originally spelled “disme”) was to be one of 6 coins proposed.  The value was to be “…in weight and value, one tenth part of a silver unit or dollar”.  The word “dime” is French and means “tithe” or “one-tenth part”.   Franklin D. Roosevelt’s profile has not always been on the dime, as Mr. Roosevelt was not our first immortal President.  Some designs over the centuries include: the Draped Bust, the Capped Bust, the Seated Liberty, the Barber, the Mercury, and finally the Roosevelt dime.  One of the most sought after dimes by collectors is the 1916 D issue. They are NOT a dime a dozen!  Only 264,000 were made.  If you are interested in purchasing one of these beauties, you can make a bid on Ebay. THIS one looks nice.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure – Benjamin Franklin

benjamin franklin

Sometimes my mouth works faster than my brain.  Ever have that problem?  I’m sure I am not the only one.

This is my third week at Ateb, Inc.  New job, new people.  I’m a fairly outgoing person and enjoy meeting my co-workers.  We are an eclectic bunch. You have sales professionals on one side, IT folks down the center, accounting professionals on another side, engineers and support toward the back.  Drastically different types of people in different roles all working together under one roof.  I am the administrative support for all departments.  It’s quite an undertaking.

Today I met a guy from the back of the office.  He must have checked out my Linkedin profile or something and introduced himself as someone who also worked for Alltel Communications long ago.  As we were talking, I noticed his shirt.  “United Federation of Planets”, I suddenly read out loud.  “Are you a member, because I’d like to join?”  He gave a nervous laugh and headed on back to his department.  Eh.  Maybe it was too soon to throw out a Star Trek joke.  I mean….you should really know someone better before you talk Trekkie.

StarTrek_UnitedFederationofPlanets_freedesktopwallpaper_1024

Benjamin Franklin, way back in the 1700’s  once wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  This could have many applications, but in my case, I take it to mean “think before you speak”.  Benjamin Franklin was a pretty smart ol’ chap.  Boy was that an understatement.  Benjamin Franklin was a writer, a scientist, an inventor, a diplomat, and a statesman just to name a few.  Imagine what his Linkedin profile would look like?  Probably something like THIS.

Charles Dickens includes a similar quote in his 1850 novel “David Copperfield”.  Dickens wrote, “Least said, sooner mended.”  Wise men….words to live by.

For more words of wisdom by the wonderful Benjamin Franklin, I recommend reading “Poor Richard’s Almanac” and you can browse more quotes HERE.

YOLO – You Only Live Once

Credit: https://collegecandy.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/yoda-yolo.jpg

YOLO.  You Only Live Once.

Here we have another recently popular saying that has a not so recent history; although the Canadian rap artist, Drake, would like to think he invented this catchy phrase (good luck trying to trademark it).  He is, however, credited with the new popularity of the phrase which can be found on all kinds of merchandise.  For all of you “Walking Dead” fans, try this on for size.

“So, if Drake didn’t come up with these words of wisdom, who did?”  Hey!  I’m so glad you asked!

This phrase can be found in slightly varying forms throughout history.  In an epistolary novel, Clarissa, by Samuel Richardson around 1747 – 1749, Richardson writes, “…we live but once in this world; and when gone, are gone from it for ever.”

In the 1860’s novel ,Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky (yay for cliff notes!), Raskolnikov uses the phrase, “I only live once, I too want.”

There was a 1937 movie starring Henry Fonda titled You Only Live Once.

There are many more versions of this popular phrase in history.  Even Schlitz Brewing Co. used the slogan during their “Gusto” campaign in 1966, “You only go around once in life, so grab all the gusto you can!”

If you think about it and will consider all variations, the poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (65 BC – 8 BC) in his Odes Book I uses the phrase “Carpe Diem” which most of of have learned means “Seize the day”, but is more accurately translated to mean “Pluck the day”.  Carpe diem…. pluck the day….enjoy the now…you only live once.  See?

So, this simple phrase stating a simple truth has gotten a lot of use and I am sure, as we see the popularity of YOLO wane, another version with the same meaning will be ready to take it’s place.

Carpe Diem, y’all!

Keep Calm and Stop Adding Your Own Nonsense !

Keep-Calm-and-Carry-On

If you have not seen this poster, you must have been living in a cave far away on a deserted island with no internet nor human contact.  It. Is. Everywhere!  Coffee mugs, wine glasses, t-shirts, car decals, hand towels, notebook covers, tea boxes, etc.  So are the hundreds of variations so cleverly created by those with a hobby or wish and the humor of a 12 year old boy making fart jokes.  “Keep Calm and fill in the blank.”  I have to admit it; THIS one makes me laugh.

So, what is the origin of this popular meme?  It dates all the way back to 1939 Britain.  The world was bracing for yet another World War because the Germans were not behaving themselves.  Of course they were not.  The Germans had been blamed for WWI and the cost of the war had been placed on their shoulders.  They had nothing to lose.  The British Government’s Ministry of Information (MOI) put together this swell idea to create millions of posters for distribution that would, hopefully, raise citizen’s morale.  Many slogans were suggested, but the Treasury would not approve the spending for what the MOI wanted.  They narrowed it down to three slogans:  “Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution; Will Bring Us Victory”, “Freedom is in Peril; Defend it with all Your Might”, and “Keep Calm and Carry On”.  The first two were printed up and distributed.  The third was not.  The plan for the third poster was to be distributed as soon as the bombing began, however, feedback from the first two posters were negative.  Citizens found them to be patronizing.  In April of 1940, due to a paper shortage, the retained copies of the third poster were reduced to pulp in order to produce new paper.  A few copies survived, but remained unseen until the year 2000 when a bookseller found one at the bottom of a box of goods he won at auction.  He decided to display it behind his desk and people began to request copies of the poster.  Because of the interest, he received government permission to modernize the poster which can now be found printed on merchandise all over the world.

Now you know something new.

You’re Only As Old As You Feel – Unknown

Stages

An old saying came to mind the other day: You’re only as old as you feel.  I was picking up a few items at the grocery store when I noticed the man gathering the carts in the parking lot.  He was elderly, slightly bent, slowly shuffling, pushing a row of carts toward the entrance of the store.  My first thought was, “Poor old man having to work like this at his age.”  Then I thought, “Maybe he wants to do this?  Maybe he has chosen this work and enjoys it?”  Sure, from my perspective he looks like he should be enjoying his final years playing checkers and eating pudding with his retirement home buddies.  That might not be how he sees himself.  You’re only as old as you feel.

I have heard this saying hundreds of times growing up.  I wondered where it originated.  Doing some research, I found many variations of this saying throughout the decades (“You’re only as young as the woman you feel.” –Groucho Marx and “Age isn’t how old you are, but how old you feel.” –Gabriel Garcia Marquez); but I could not pinpoint an origination.  What I did find is that people are OBSESSED with aging!  There are so many quotes, conversations, books, and poems about growing old.  Not surprising really.  Everybody ages. However, as one man put it, “Old age isn’t so bad, when you consider the alternative.”

growing old

Some of my favorite quotes about aging include:

“Age is an issue of mind over matter; If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” – Betty Friedan

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” – George Burns

“I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.” – Albert Einstein

For more great quotes on aging, click here!

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Good Seasons Start with Good Beginnings -Sparky Anderson

Dad

Our everyday language is filled with colorful sayings we grew up hearing, but maybe never stopped to consider the origins.

Recently my father sent a long text to me and my 4 siblings including one of these sayings and the interesting history behind it.  I found it fascinating and tasked him with researching more of these anecdotes for which he has obliged. I decided to start a blog based on the history behind old sayings and famous quotes.  My first quote is in honor of my dad, Bill Barger (pictured above).  The quote is by the author, Sparky Anderson.  Sparky Anderson is a baseball guy…my dad is a baseball guy.  It is fitting.  =)  Also, the quote “Good seasons start with good beginnings” is an excellent quote to begin my new blog! George Lee “Sparky” Anderson was a Hall of Fame, major league baseball player who later managed the Cincinnati Reds and the Detroit Tigers to the Championships in 1975, 1976 (Reds), and 1984 (Tigers).  He also authored the book “Bless You Boys: Diary of the Detroit Tigers’ 1984 Season”.   Coach Anderson is quoted many times through out the internet and his quips are sometimes listed under the category “cynical quotes”.  I don’t know that I would consider them cynical.  Maybe just realistic and down to earth. You can read more quotes by Sparky Anderson here….  and here. Enjoy!

Wise old sayings, quips, quotes, and anecdotes.