Deflate-gate isn’t new

Since it seems like every newscast begins with the headline “Deflate-gate” over the past few days, most people probably think this just came up in the playoff game for the Super bowl. Actually, the Indianapolis Colts “smelled a rat” back last November about under-inflated balls supplied by the Patriots following its regular season game against them. But I guess that was just “swept under the rug.” After all, it wasn’t a big championship game.

But this time the charge was taken more seriously. Savannah Guthrie on NBC’s Today show this morning said she thought they were now “Trying to get their ducks in a row.”

Quarterback Tom Brady says he had nothing to do with any deflating of balls. Head Coach Bill Belichick said repeatedly that “He has no idea how that could have happened.”

This is just the latest in a series of scandals which the media has dubbed “Gate”

When I was in Washington, DC last August I saw the building where it all began on 17 June 1972 when the Democratic National Committee Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel was bugged by members of the Republican party. We all know that was traced back to President Richard M. Nixon, and that’s what took him down. After that every scandal became a “Gate.” There are so many I won’t attempt to name them all. All the way from Billy-gate to Debate-gate to Frankie-gate to House-gate to Iraq-gate, Korea-gate, Closet-gate, Flake-gate, Gamer-gate, Portrait-gate and on and on. You get the picture. I guess this just goes down as another infamous cliche.

The question remains as to whether these incidents, take Watergate and Deflate-gate, for example… whether they were isolated incidents or just one more in a string of such practices that happen all the time but those involved are not caught. In the latter in certainly seems so, and I think the former as well.

But let’s get our mind off of the news and think about all of these sayings! All the ones used above except gate, along with their origins, may be found in Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions. If you don’t have your copy, order one online today at Amazon or any reputable retailer. They are “going like hotcakes!” (That’s in there too!)


What do you do when it is frigid outside?

I awoke this morning, like so many other Americans, to record low temps for the day. It was 1 degree F with a wind chill of 12 below zero outside my house. I still had to walk our little doggie, of course, so I bundled up with layers of clothes, a knit hat and scarf, put the leash on Brody, and headed out to brave the elements. But it’s warmed up now. It is only 3 degrees. I’m at the computer with our kitty, Shia, on my lap.

So what do you do when the weather is so bad that you don’t want to get out? One thing I do, which lots of folks do, is snuggle up with something nice to read. Daytime TV isn’t great anyway, and I check facebook and other things online before breakfast.

Luckily, I have more than ample reading material when I am taking a little break from writing. St. Clair Publications has so many great books in so many genres that we can pretty much match anyone’s tastes. Everything from fast moving novels, to classics to  science fiction to self-improvement, to spiritual beliefs to animal books to historic topics to poetry, to children’s books, to word and phrase meanings and origins to travel…and the list goes on,

To see a near-complete listing of our books just go to and search the authors’ pages. You may purchase them there with PayPal or you may go on Amazon all over the world and make your selection. Many of them are also available from Barnes and Noble, Abe Books and other sources. And if you want something today, download one of our great ebooks, either in PDF at our website or on Kindle from Amazon. People are getting our books every day. If you’re not, check it out. You might like what you see!

The Little Giant will be sorely missed

Yesterday fans of Country music lost one of the greatest legends of all time. Grand Ole Opry star Little Jimmy Dickens had been a permanent fixture of the the music industry since 1925. His hit, “I’m Little But I’m Loud” was a testimony to the fact that his 4’11″ frame held a real giant. He even referred to himself as “Mighty Mouse in pajama’s.”

It was my great pleasure to see and hear this gentleman live in his heyday, and what a talent he was! He joined the Opry in 1948 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1983. I can still hear him singing, “Take an old Clod ‘Tater (and wait).” .And how about “May the Bird of Paradise Fly up Your Nose”? One day after his last (94th) birthday he preformed at the Opry! We will miss you, Little Jimmy!

Musician Little Jimmy Dickens performs during day 2

Reflecting on 2014

Today is the last we will see of 2014, whether for good or bad. The years continue to fly by, for “Time and the Tide wait on no man.” As you will see on page 548 of Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, that old saying has been with us since at least 1225–almost 800 years!

Thinking about the past year, I look back on it with ambivalent emotions. There have been sad times and good times. But isn’t this true with every year, and to some degree, every day? I missed my 50th High School Class reunion due to sickness, and two days ago was sent a package with a video. On it are memories of those who have, “Been promoted to that Big Classroom in the Sky.” The pictures of the 31 class members who are gone move forward on the screen while “Memories” plays.

But though I have lost a son, several class members, a dear friend and a beloved pet over the past year, I am still here to enjoy the blessings of life. Most Comprehensive Origins...has exceeded my expectations and Rhonda and I are in decent health.

So, my wish for my readers is “Have a happy and prosperous 2015, and reflect more on the positive than the negative. Don’t worry about things you can’t change, and change that which would be better by your doing so.”

Remembering Joe Cocker

Yesterday another legendary giant in the music industry passed away. British-born  Joe Cocker died at his home in Crawford, Colorado of lung cancer. He was 70.

His 1968 recording of the Beatles song, With a Little Help from My Friends took him to the top of the charts in the U.K., but his performance of it at Woodstock hit a chord with the American audience that was never forgotten.

Though I never attended a concert at which he preformed, as I did with so many great talents, I loved his raspy, soulful voice, and I had at least one thing in common with him: my favorite song by him was You Are So Beautiful. When he did the take which went down on vinyl, his voice cracked at the end, showing great emotion. Rather than take it out, the producers left it in. That choice helped to make that record one of the most beloved of all times.

Rest in peace, Joe, we will miss you!

Now you can begin your journey Exploring Our Exciting World!

I have just approved and released Exploring Our Exciting World Book One: The Greater Southeastern United States Including Washington, D.C. It should appear on Amazon in one to two days. Years of forethought has gone into this series which will be global is scope and direct the reader to great vacation destinations, giving many directions and a lot of history of each featured area. It includes State and National Parks, Attractions, Festivals, Civil War Battlefields, Monuments, Old Cemeteries, Sports, Best Lakes, Institutions of Higher Learning, and lots of other features, much of which is from firsthand observation and experience. It has a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED notation on many locales. Photos and information passed on by family and friends are also included. It is filled with photos and illustrations.

Future volumes will include writing by other skilled contributors. Like Most Comprehensive Origins of Cliches, Proverbs and Figurative Expressions, it is a unique tome built upon much research and study, and I believe each reader use these volumes for reference many years down the road of life. This one is 609 pages and covers featured areas in 12 states and the District of Columbia, all of which I have personally visited. So check Amazon soon for your personal copy!

And the Winner Is:

Last night millions of Americans were glued to their TV screens watching NBC’s The Voice Finale. The four finalists stood in a row on the stage with solemn looks on their faces, even their arms around one another at times.

It came down to the last two: Matt McAndrew from Team Adam and Craig Wayne Boyd from Team Blake. Carson Daly spoke, “And the winner of the Voice is…” the pause must have lasted at least an hour in the minds of those two artists. “CRAIG WAYNE BOYD!”

I was happy. I felt that those two were the better choices to win, But all of them, Damien, Chris Jamison, Matt and Craig, are stars, and should go on to great careers in the music world. In fact, many of the final 20 should have fruitful careers, not just these four.

TV talent shows have propelled the success of so many young people, even those who did not take the trophy or win the million dollars, or sometimes more.

In order for a person’s talent to have a showplace they must be POSITIVE, PERSISTENT, and PROMOTED. I have had two persons talk to me this week about others that have a dream of seeing their work in print. I can’t help with singers, but I can with writers.

Just remember, all of these attributes must exist in order to .be a success. If you think you have them, contact me at

Closure, though sad

I’m simply going to say it this way, as I find other words difficult.


It was a frosty morning in mid-December

As I walked my dog this morning.

I blankly stared through the fine bare limbs

Of a giant maple at a dark gazebo.

The silver-grey skies beyond

Reminded me of the gloomy focus

Of my troubled soul.

The five past days were filled with angst.

Our rambling cat had dashed away

As we were leaving home at night.

Because before he’s be there waiting

At the door the following morning,

That is what we thought would be.

But not this time.

Every effort I made to find him

Proved another fruitless gesture.

Then yesterday I told a neighbor

To keep a watch for him.

An hour later she came calling.

Out on the highway near her house,

Our cat had been struck down.

I brought him home; laid him to rest

Beside two other loved ones.

Every second December,

We’ve lost a pet;

Our hearts have been distressed.

Rest in peace, our Fonzie, dear,

You’re gone, but never far.