Oct 30, 2012

Abigail Adams

She was the first Second Lady and the second First Lady. She was the wife of  John Adams, who was the first Vice President and second President of the US.

She said something to remember around election time, "Many of our disappointments and much of our unhappiness arise from our forming false notions of things and persons."

Voting Tuesday

Between 1788 and 1845, states decided their own voting dates. In 1792, a law was passed mandating that state elections be held within a 34-day period before December, so most elections took place in November. By November the harvest was finished but winter had not begun, so it made for a good time to vote.

During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, communication was slow, so results took weeks to announce, but with the advent of the railroad and telegraph, Congress decided it was time to standardize a date.

Monday was out, because it would require people to travel to the polls by buggy on the Sunday Sabbath. Wednesday was not an option, because it was market day, and farmers would not be able to make it to the polls. So it was decided that Tuesday would be the day that Americans would vote in elections.

In 1845, Congress passed a law that presidential elections would be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

Baseball Record

Joel Youngblood was the only major league baseball player to get hits for two different teams in two different cities on the same day. On April 4, 1982, he hit a single that drove in two runs for the New York Mets at Shea Stadium against the Chicago Cubs. He was traded to the Montreal Expos and flew to Philadelphia in time to get a hit in the 7th inning at Veterans Stadium.

Poll, Polled, Polling, Polls

The word comes from the German Poller, meaning head. Modern use seems to have evolved from 'counting heads'. Poll has many definitions:


1. The casting and registering of votes in an election.
2. The number of votes cast or recorded.
3. The place where votes are cast and registered. Often used in the plural polls.
4. A survey of the public or of a sample of public opinion to acquire information.
5. The head, especially the top or back of the head where hair grows.
6. The blunt or broad end of a tool such as a hammer or ax.

polled, polling, polls Verb,
1. To receive a given number of votes.
2. To receive or record the votes of: polling a jury.
3. To cast a vote or ballot.
4. To question in a survey; canvass.
5. To trim or cut off the hair, wool, branches, or horns of: polled the sheep; polled the trees.
Sometimes, when the polls do not go their way, people feel like they have been clipped.

Oct 26, 2012

Happy Friday

You look at where you are going and where you are and it never makes sense, but then you look back and a pattern emerges.

It makes much sense when you have a history of having Happy Fridays!

Jack O' Lantern

This was originally one of the numerous names given to ignis fatuus (Medieval Latin for “foolish fire”), another of which is “Will O’ the Wisps”, basically the odd light that can occasionally be seen over marshes, swamps, etc.

When you see someone carrying a lantern in a distance at night you see is a man, but you can’t make out who exactly it is, he is literally “man with a lantern”, a.k.a. “Jack of the Lantern” or “Jack O’ Lantern.” This was also commonly used for a nickname for night watchmen.

“Jack O’ Lantern” first popped up in the mid-17th century in East Anglia, UK and spread from there through parts of England, Ireland, and Scotland. The name likely originally derived from the practice of calling men generically “Dick, Jack, Tom, etc.” In particular, men who were lower class, were often called generically “Jack” beginning around the 14th century in England.

How this name made the jump to referring to carved pumpkins with lights inside, it has its origins in the Celtic practice of hollowing out and carving faces into turnips and other vegetables during Samuin (a festival where many of the traditions of Halloween come from). After carving the vegetables, they placed candles inside and put them in windows or carried the make-shift lanterns with them as they walked to ward off evil spirits.

In Britain, pranksters would make these types of carved lanterns to scare people on the road or children would carry them around during Hallowmas while begging for soul cakes.

Milk Duds

They really are duds. The Milk Duds name came about because the original idea was to have a perfectly round piece. Since this was to be impossible to do at the time, the word 'dud' was used. Each piece was a dud, because it was not round.

In 1928, Milton J. Holloway took over F. Hoffman & Company of Chicago, the original manufacturer of Milk Duds chocolate covered caramels. The brand passed through many other hands in subsequent years and is now owned by Hershey.

Marx Brothers Name Origins

The five Marx brothers got their nicknames during a poker game. The Marx family comedy act was made up of Julius, Adolph, Leonard, Milton, and Herbert Marx. The five characters became better known as Groucho, Harpo, Chico, Gummo, and Zeppo. Four of the five were given their new names in 1915.

The boys were involved in a poker game with monologist Art Fisher. It was a popular fad around this time to give everyone a nickname that ended in “o”. Common nicknames were “Jingo” or “Bongo” or “Ringo, etc.

In this poker game, Fisher was dealing out the cards to the four Marx brothers and he gave them each their nicknames as he dealt. “First, here’s a card for ‘Harpo’.” Adolph Marx played the harp.

“Here’s one for ‘Chicko’.” Leonard Marx was a notorious ladies’ man and, in those days, women and girls were often referred to as “chickens”. Later the slang term became “chicks.” Supposedly, a typesetter accidentally left the “k” in “Chico” out in one town the brothers were performing in, and his name became “Chico.”

Next was Julius, “And here’s a card for Groucho.” The name derived from Julius’ not-so-friendly demeanor. Julius denied this for most of his life.

The fourth was Milton, “And here’s a card for Gummo”, Fisher said. This one has two popular theories behind it. The one the family (except Harpo) is because Milton often wore gumshoes (rubber soled shoes), hence “Gummo.” The alternate from Harpo is that Gummo was sneaky and would creep up on people like a gumshoe detective. Gumshoe detectives received their name for the same reason, rubber sole shoes.

A few years later, the youngest of the five brothers entered the act, replacing older brother Gummo. Herbert Marx became “Zeppo.” Harpo said Zeppo was named in honor of a wild monkey who played on the bars and ran around named “Zippo”. Groucho said in 1972 that Zeppo was named after the Zeppelin airships.

What's in a Name, Grawlix

That is the name we give to a sequence of typographical symbols used to represent a non-specific, profane word or phrase. That is no #@$%*! It is true.
The term was coined in 1964 by American cartoonist Mort Walker, who is best known as the creator of the Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois cartoons.

He also created and named an international set of symbols used in comics around the world and called it Symbolia. A few examples:
 briffits: clouds of dust indicating that a character left in a rush
 plewds: drops of sweat indicating that a character is hot or stressed
 squeans: asterisks with an empty center indicating drunkenness or dizziness

Dog Years Myth

Most of us have heard one dog year is equal to seven human years. This bogus fact is usually worked out so that a dog life is equal to a human life in total years, but the numbers do not add up. The average human life expectancy is 78, while the average dog life expectancy in dog years would equal around 90 years.

Furthermore, different dog breeds have dramatically different life expectancies, ranging from a short 6 years to 13 or more years. In general, the smaller the dog, the longer its life expectancy. Well, I'll be doggoned.

Oct 25, 2012

Bonilla Bonus

In 1999 Bobby Bonilla returned to the Mets for a second time following his borderline disastrous free-agent signing in 1992. He again didn't so well, so the Mets waived him in 2000.

However, the team still owed him $5.9 million in guaranteed salary. His agents agreed to defer the salary if the team would pay him $1,193,248.20 every July 1 from 2011 (he was 48) to 2035. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Fortune Cookie Facts

The commonly held notion that they were invented in China typically comes from the fact that they are primarily served in American Chinese restaurants. However, you will not find fortune cookies in actual Chinese restaurants, nor will you find historical records of a similar food item in China.

The largest manufacturer of fortune cookies, Wonton Food, based in New York, even once tried to introduce fortune cookies to the Chinese in the late 1980s. After three years, they gave up, as they simply were not a popular food item in China.

The people often credited with inventing fortune cookies were Japanese immigrants to America. Fortune cookies were actually invented in Japan.

A researcher, Yasuko Nakamachi, encountered a fortune cookie-shaped cracker, called a Tsujiura Senbei, made by hand in a family bakery near a Shinto shrine outside of Kyoto, Japan. This cracker, not only looked like a fortune cookie, it also contained a fortune, called an “omikuji” (fortune slip), and was traditionally sold in shrines and temples.

Around 3 billion fortune cookies are consumed annually world-wide, with most consumed in the United States. Wonton Food produces around 4.5 million fortune cookies per day.

As an aside, Chop Suey, which translates to “break into many pieces,” is commonly believed to be a Chinese food invented in America. Not so. It was invented in Taishan, a district of Guangdong Province, China.

Halloween Facts

Here are some interesting tidbits about the holiday.

    In parts of Mexico, rather than saying the Spanish equivalent of “trick or treat”, “dulce o travesura” (literally “candy or mischief”), it is common to say ¿Me da mi calaverita? (“Can you give me my little skull?”)
    During Samuin, it was also traditional to leave a place and food at the table for deceased loved ones temporarily returned from the grave.
    The word Halloween originally came from the Middle English ‘Alholowmesse’, meaning “All Saints’ Day”.  The night before Alholowmesse was called “All Hallows Even (evening)” which was eventually shortened to “Hallowe’en” until it just became “Halloween” in the 20th century.
    In North America about $3 billion is spent on Halloween costumes.
    Haunted house attractions bring in about half a billion dollars annually.
    Halloween candy sales average around $2 billion per year in the United States.  Chocolate candy bars are consistently rated as the #1 treat to get, with the Snickers candy bar being most preferred.  In addition, Reese’s peanut butter cups and candy corn are among the most sold Halloween candy items.
    Over 35 million Halloween cards, worth $100 million are given every year.
    Halloween is the second most commercially successful holiday world-wide after Christmas.
    Recently “Trunk or Treat,” where many people will gather in a parking lot with their trunks open and the children will walk from car to car to get their treats from the trunks.  This is purported to be a safer way to do trick or treating than having kids go door to door.

Oct 19, 2012

Happy Friday

The place to improve the world is first in one's own heart, head, and hands, and then work outward from there.

It is the same for having a Happy Friday!

High Tech Halloween Costumes

Check this site to see some awesome and battery wasting costumes. LINK

Velcro Myth

Some say that Velcro was invented by NASA for the space program. Not true, Velcro was already commercially available before being used by NASA. It did receive a huge boost in popularity after being used by NASA on parts of astronaut’s space suits as well as used to allow astronaut’s to store things along the walls of their space craft. Because of this, similar to Tang, it is a common misconception that Velcro was invented by or for NASA.

World Championship of Punkin' Chunkin

This year it runs from Nov. 2-4, 2012. The World Championships of Punkin' Chunkin in Bridgeville, Del., brings together some of the most determined, ingenious, and crazy hobbyists, who arrive with various contraptions engineered to launch pumpkins thousands of feet.

The competition started in 1986, and last year drew more than 200,000 people. The winning "chunk" in the Adult Air category flew 4,329 feet.

If you can't get there in person, they always have the finals on TV and it is fun and very entertaining.

Poinsettia Poison

Myths and rumors about the toxicity of the poinsettia plant are common late in the year, when the popular red-leaved plants take center stage in holiday decorations. While the genus (Euphorbia) to which the poinsettia plant belongs does contain some highly toxic plants, the popular poinsettia itself is not toxic. Some sources attribute the rumor about the dangers of poinsettia leaves to a case of poisoning in 1919 that led to the death of a two year-old child. At the time, the cause of the poisoning was incorrectly determined to be a poinsettia leaf.

Contact with the sap of a poinsettia plant may cause a mild, itchy rash. If this happens, wash the affected area with soap and water and apply a cool compress to ease itching. Eating the leaves or stems of a poinsettia plant may cause a mild stomachache, vomiting or diarrhea, but severe signs and symptoms are unlikely.

A 50 pound child would need to eat about 500-600 leaves or about 20 ounces of the bitter tasting leaves of a poinsettia plant before any medical action would be necessary.

Lighting Pumpkins Tip

This year for Halloween, get a few glow sticks to light your pumpkins. They are safer than candles and last most of the night. You can find them for a dollar at the Dollar store. They also come in fun colors.

Pleased as Punch

This phrase came from an English puppet show, Punch and Judy that goes all the way back to the 1600s. No two performances of the show were totally alike, but they all usually involved the same events:
1. Punch kills his infant child
2. Punch punches Judy until she dies
3. Punch goes to prison and escapes using a golden key
4. He then kills doctors, lawyers, and a hangman
5. He kills Death, as in the Grim Reaper
6. Then it all ends spectacularly as he kills the Devil.

Apple Tracking

No, not a way to look for apples. It is a way Apple is tracking your iPhone. The new operating system that came out a few weeks ago has a feature that is turned on by default. IFA or IDFA stands for "identifier for advertisers." It is a random, anonymous number that is assigned to you and your iPhone.

The good news is that you can turn it off so advertisers cannot track your every move.

First, what it does. When you look at an app, or browse the web, your presence generates a call for an ad. The site you are looking at passes the IFA to the ad server so an advertiser knows a specific iPhone user is looking at a specific publication and can direct a specific ad to you.

To disable this, go to "Settings," "General," then "About," and then "Advertising." The tracking control is titled "Limit Ad Tracking," and must be turned to On. On means 'limit tracking' so tracking is not working. Interesting, you have to turn it on to turn tracking off.

State Rocks

Many people do not know there are many states that have a state rock. Here are states that do.
Serpentine California
Geode Iowa
Bauxite Arkansas
Slate Vermont
Thunder egg Oregon
Red granite Wisconsin
Agate Kentucky, Nebraska
Limestone Tennessee
Petoskey stone Michigan
Cumberlandite Rhode Island
Barite rose Oklahoma
Mozarkite Missouri
Roxbury puddingstone, Massachusetts
Marble Alabama, Colorado, Vermont
Coal Utah, West Virginia
Sandstone Nevada
Granite New Hampshire, North Carolina, Vermont

Robot Pole Dancer

This struck me funny and had to share. It is a pole dancing robot shown at the Tobit Software booth prior to the opening of the CeBIT IT fair in Hanover, Germany, on March 5, 2012. It should destroy the myth that nerds do not have a sense of humor.

You can find this and many more robots for work and play at LINK.    

Oct 12, 2012

Happy Friday

Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old.

I still depend on the habit and excitement of having a Happy Friday!

What's in a Name, FICO

This is the scoring that is used for credit reporting. FICO is a public company that provides analytics and decision making services, including credit scoring intended to help financial services companies make complex, high-volume decisions.

FICO was founded in 1956 as Fair, Isaac and Company by Bill Fair and Earl Isaac. It went public in 1987 and was originally called Fair, Isaac and Company, it was renamed Fair Isaac Corporation in 2003, then changed its name and ticker symbol to FICO. It also sells other financial related products.

The big three credit reporting companies use this scoring to determine your creditworthiness. Each has its own name, but all use the FICO calculations methodology. Score is calculated on the following. Payment history 35%, amounts owed 30%, length of history 15%, new credit 10%, and types of credit used 10%. It includes only information on your credit report, and nothing else, like race, age, employment, income, etc. It is a snapshot in time and changes as your circumstances change, so you can influence the number for better or worse. Scores range from 300 to 850 with 60% of people falling between 650 and 799.

FICO score is used for home and auto loans, calculating interest rates, and buying insurance, etc. Some states allow employers to use the score to determine potential hiring.

Some tips - Paying down credit cards and revolving credit are better to increase your score than paying off auto or home loans. Also, making payments on time is important. Closing accounts does not make them go away.

You can get your credit history for free once a year, but I have not found a way to get an actual FICO score without paying something. There are free trials, but they entail an automatic enrollment in a program that takes some work to get out of before a payment is subtracted from your credit card. If your credit is OK, do not worry about your FICO.

Magazine Phone

There is a real working smartphone in Entertainment Weekly paper magazine. Wow. This is how cheap phones have become.  LINK

What Fall Colors Mean

As the days turn longer, less sunlight means less oxygen and glucose for plants and leaves and ultimately less chlorophyll, which hides the reds, yellows and oranges. Different materials cause different colors in leaves. Red comes from glucose, brown from waste and purple from anthocyanin. Yellow is always present in leaves, but during spring and summer, the green overpowers it.

The timetable for leaf transformation runs from September through early November. Typically, the first to see breathtaking fall foliage are the Rockies, Upper Midwest, and New England. From there leaves begin to change further south into the Ohio Valley, Pacific Northwest, and Middle Atlantic toward mid and late October.

The first frost and time of leaf change typically go hand in hand. Within a week or so of the first frost, expect quick leaf transformation. Other factors such as the amount of water during the summer and early fall impact the full potential of color. More water means better color.

Wordology, Naked and Nude

Naked implies unprotected or vulnerable or without clothes. It also describes something that is without embellishment, as in the 'naked truth' or without aid, as in 'seen by the naked eye'. Nude means one thing, unclothed.

Moon Size

Did you ever wonder how large the moon is. Here is a picture comparing it to the United States.

Plastic Hanger Fix

If you have clothes slipping off of plastic hangers, put a few dobs of hot glue along the top and let it dry, to provide some traction. Your clothes will no longer slip off the hangers.

Oct 9, 2012

Flu Season

It is that time of year again when the flu bugs invade and many people get the flu or a cold. Most viruses last a week or less, while others last for weeks. There is no cure, due to the many varieties of viruses.

The name “common cold” came into use in the 1500s, because its symptoms seemed to appear in cold weather. Of course, we now know that a common cold is not limited to cold weather. It seems more prevalent, because people spend more time indoors in close proximity to each other and sharing the virus.

Good news, kissing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, thereby lowering blood pressure and optimizing immune response. Also, kissing a person with a cold will not cause you to catch it. The quantity of virus on the lips and mouth are miniscule.

Zinc, echinacea, vitamin C, garlic, eucalyptus, honey, lemon, menthol, steam, hot toddies, alcohol, Zicam, chicken soup, and many other “cures” have been repeatedly tested and have been scientifically proven to not prevent or shorten the duration of a cold. At best they provide some physical relief.

Flu shots are designed to prevent the most common types of virus. Most are effective for only those types.

Antibiotics do not cure a cold as they work on bacteria and most colds are caused by virus. However, if it is bacterial, such as half of pneumonia strains, it does help. Bacterial pneumonia usually comes on suddenly and viral types take some time to develop.

Smaller is Better

Here’s a challenge: envision a trillionth of something. You might think of one penny compared to 10 billion dollars.

Now you can add one more thing to the list, thanks to researchers in Zurich: a picometer, or a trillionth of a meter, is around the smallest distance that humans can resolve with a microscope. A team from IBM has refined their method to precisely measure the structural details of a single molecule. That is  3 picometers or 0.000000000003 meters. That’s one-hundredth the diameter of an atom.

Money Diet

A few years ago, baseball pitcher Curt Schilling started to get a bit pudgy. When the Boston Red Sox re-signed him to a one-year deal with $8 million before the 2008 season, it included a clause in which Schilling could pick up an extra $2 million if he made weight at six random weigh-ins over the course of the season.

Schilling picked up a $333,333 check each time he didn’t tip the scales too far.

Safety Glass Origin

In 1903 Edouard Benedictus, a French scientist, dropped glass flask and it did not shatter.

The pieces of glass were broken, but they stayed in place and maintained the shape of the container. Upon investigation Benedictus found the flask had originally contained a solution of cellulose nitrate, a liquid plastic that had evaporated.

This was the first type of safety glass developed, a product which is now frequently used in car windshields, safety goggles, doors, stairs, bank protection shields, and more.

Oct 5, 2012

Happy Friday

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.

You can see it on my face that I maintain the enthusiasm for having a Happy Friday!

Five Handy Kitchen Tips

Keep your onions in the refrigerator. A chilled onion is easier to chop, and causes fewer tears.

If you use seltzer instead of tap water or milk, you get fluffier pancakes, waffles, and scrambled eggs.

To freeze berries, spread them on a pan or plate and freeze, then take out and put into freezer bags. That way they stay separate and not in one big lump.

Keep milk fresher for longer by adding a dash of salt into the carton right after opening it for the first time.

Take your eggs out of the refrigerator and let sit out so that when you begin breakfast the eggs are at room temperature. They cook better and make especially fluffy omelets.  For other dishes, eggs separate better when cold but whip better when warmed.

Wordology, Grand Slam

The immediate origin was from the card game, Bridge. Grand slam means to take all 13 tricks in a hand.

It has since come to take on other meanings, such as in tennis to win all four major singles titles; the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open in one year. A grand slam in golf is to win; Masters Tournament, U.S. Open, British Open, and  PGA Championship in one year. It is used in baseball to signify hitting a home run with all bases loaded.

Chess, Curling, Rugby, and other sports each have a grand slam definition of their own,

Denny's restaurant chain is famous for its Grand Slam breakfasts consisting of various combinations of meat, eggs, bread, and pancakes. We also cannot forget Grand Slam Pizza in Dripping Springs, Texas.

Happy Birthday Zippers

A hundred years ago in 1912, zippers were first used in clothes. The Titanic sunk in 1912, but there is no relation between that and zippers.

Soft Drinks and Sugar

A typical carbonated soft drink will have 200 calories in a 16-ounce serving. All of those calories come from sugar, and sugar contains 16 calories per teaspoon. Divide those two and you find a 16-ounce serving contains about 12.5 teaspoons of sugar.

I wanted to compare this to coffee, so I looked at a 12 ounce soda, which has about 140 calories or about 8.75 teaspoons of sugar. Standard coffee cups (not mugs) contain about 6 ounces of fluid. Take half the calories and sugar of a 12 ounce soda and it would take about 4.38 teaspoons of sugar to make coffee as sweet as soda.

Cheap Parts Storage

When storing unused cables, plugs, or other parts and pieces, use kitchen storage bags and put a note in the bag telling what the item is used for. Saves space and helps you remember.

Oct 2, 2012

Origin of the Simpsons

The inspiration for Homer Simpson came from a character in “The Day of the Locust” book, which featured a hopelessly clumsy and disaffected character named Homer Simpson, and Eddie Haskell in “Leave it to Beaver” TV Series.

Life in Hell started in 1977 as a self-published comic book written and produced by Matt Groening and was a story about life in Los Angeles and the things which Groening encountered at school, at work in a succession of seedy jobs, and in his personal love relationships.

The series reached the attention of James L. Brooks who commissioned Groening to create short skits for the Tracey Ullman Show. While waiting in Brooks’ office reception for the interview, Groening sketched out a number of basic designs which would go on to become the basis for The Simpsons. He walked in to the office, presented his 10 minute-old drawings and got the job.

He named the characters after members of his own family, his father Homer, mother Marge, and sister Lisa. He substituted Bart for himself. Bart Simpson was named as an anagram of “brat,” and Matt's older brother Mark produced much of the early inspiration for Bart’s attitude.

The entire Simpson family was designed so that they would be drawn very quickly, allowing the often tight budget to reach further, and be recognizable in silhouette. When designing Homer's hair he initially just sketched his initials, ‘M’ for the hairline and ‘G’ for Homer's ear. Matt Groening's initials still remain on the final character to this day. Marge’s hair was based on the iconic Elsa Lanchester hairdo as worn in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), and on a similar style worn by Margaret Groening during the 1960s. Lisa’s hair was initially a cluster of hand drawn hairlines, but this was changed to the simpler ‘hexagon hair’ design before the pilot episode.

So far the show is still on the air after 500+ episodes and is regarded as the longest running animation series of all time.

What's in a Name, Denny's

Richard Jezak and Harold Butler founded Denny's as Danny's Donuts in Lakewood, California in 1953. It expanded to twenty restaurants by 1959, when the chain was renamed Denny's to avoid confusion with another chain, Coffee Dan's.

KKR bought 47% of Denny's among others from owner TW corporation. Eventually, Denny's operations dominated the parent company so much that the Flagstar Companies changed its name to Denny's Corporation.

Russian Service

While most of our Western food flavors originate in French cuisine, the style of service we are all most used to – individual plates pre-filled and served – is called Russian service, and it originates from the table of the Czar.

In French cuisine it was traditional for all food to be prepared in advance and displayed in huge amounts on side tables. It was an extremely lavish affair, but the end result of this was that much food was wasted and wasn't always hot.

Russian service, prepared with the expertise of the chef in the kitchen, caught on very fast and was so convenient that it is now the primary way we dish our meals at home.

Grandfather Clocks

The name for the free standing tall clocks is actually newer than you might think. In 1875, an American songwriter named Henry Clay Work was visiting England. While there, he checked in to the George Hotel in North Yorkshire.

In the hotel’s lobby was a large pendulum clock. The clock had stopped many years prior and just sat in the lobby as decoration.

He was told a long made-up story how the clock stopped when the previous owner of the inn passed away. Work went home and penned a song about the clock. The song was called “My Grandfather’s Clock”, released in 1876.

You might remember the familiar lyrics of the children's song.

My grandfather’s clock was too large for the shelf, So it stood ninety years on the floor; It was taller by half than the old man himself, Though it weighed not a pennyweight more.
It was bought on the morn of the day that he was born, And was always his treasure and pride;  but it stopp’d short – never to go again – When the old man died.

Ninety years without slumbering (tick, tick, tick, tick),
His life seconds numbering (tick, tick, tick, tick),
It stopp’d short – never to go again – When the old man died.