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Friday, December 31, 2010

Dumbing It All Down


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

Dumb and Dumber

Yeah, this makes me feel better.

I don't want to offend anyone out there who serve(s/d) in the any branch of the military, but I think I have the same impression of everyone else who has never served. No, I haven't been in the military. They won't take deaf girls who can't go more than six days without a visit to the spa.

Anyway...

It is a common assumption that in terms of performance on exams, the Air Force is hardest to get into. Then comes the Navy, followed by the Marines, and the Army brings up the rear with the lowest over all standards. Again, I apologize if that is not correct, and I don't mean to imply that the Army has low standards, just that they are a bit less than the other branches.

But the fact is that 25% of the kids today can't get in the Army. The Army just won't have them.

Everyone except the government and educators know exactly how to fix this.

Increase the standards in schools and focus on what is important and have quality teachers.

And people wonder why my kids are home-schooled using my curriculum.

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 31 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 31

1687 - The first Huguenots set sail from France for the Cape of Good Hope, where they would later create the South African wine industry with the vines they took with them on the voyage.

1695 - The window tax was imposed in Britain, which resulted in many windows being bricked up.

1711 - The Duke of Marlborough was dismissed as commander-in-chief.

1775 - The British repulsed an attack by Continental Army generals Richard Montgomery and Benedict Arnold at Quebec. Montgomery was killed in the battle.

1841 - The State of Alabama enacted the first dental legislation in the U.S.

1857 - Britain's Queen Victoria decided to make Ottawa the capital of Canada.

1862 - U.S. President Lincoln signed an act admitting West Virginia to the Union.

1877 - U.S. President Rutherford B. Hayes became the first U.S. President to celebrate his silver (25th) wedding anniversary in the White House.

1879 - Thomas Edison gave his first public demonstration of incandescent lighting to an audience in Menlo Park, NJ.

1891 - New York's new Immigration Depot was opened at Ellis Island, to provide improved facilities for the massive numbers of arrivals.

1897 - Brooklyn, NY, spent its last day as a separate entity before becoming part of New York City.

1923 - In London, the BBC first broadcast the chimes of Big Ben.

1929 - Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians played "Auld Lang Syne" as a New Year's Eve song for the first time.

1946 - U.S. President Truman officially proclaimed the end of hostilities in World War II.

1947 - Roy Rogers and Dale Evans were married.

1953 - Willie Shoemaker broke his own record as he won his 485th race of the year.

1954 - The last episode of the radio show "Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok" aired.

1955 - General Motors became the first U.S. corporation to earn more than one billion dollars in a single year.

1960 - The farthing coin, which had been in use in Great Britain since the 13th century, ceased to be legal tender.

1961 - In the U.S., the Marshall Plan expired after distributing more than $12 billion in foreign aid.

1967 - The Green Bay Packers won the National Football League championship game by defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17. The game is known as the Ice Bowl since it was played in a wind chill of 40 degrees below zero. (NFL)

1974 - Private U.S. citizens were allowed to buy and own gold for the first time in more than 40 years.

1978 - Taiwanese diplomats struck their colors for the final time from the embassy flagpole in Washington, DC. The event marked the end of diplomatic relations with the U.S.

1979 - At year end oil prices were 88% higher than at the start of 1979.

1986 - A fire at the Dupont Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, killed 97 and injured 140 people. Three hotel workers later pled guilty to charges in connection with the fire.

1990 - Titleholder Gary Kasparov of the U.S.S.R. won the world chess championship match against his countryman Anatoly Karpov.

1996 - NCR Corp. became an independent company.

1997 - Michael Kennedy, 39-year-old son of the late U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was killed in a skiing accident on Aspen Mountain in Colorado.

1999 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin resigned. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was designated acting president.

1999 - Five hijackers left the airport where they had been holding 150 hostages on an Indian Airlines plane. They left with two Islamic clerics that they had demanded be freed from an Indian prison. The plane had been hijacked during a flight from Katmandu, Nepal to New Dehli on December 24.

1999 - Sarah Knauss died at the age of 119 years. She was the world's oldest person. She was born September 24, 1880.




Whose Birthday Is It?

Henri Matisse 1869

George Marshall 1880

Simon Wiesenthal 1908

Jonah (Robert) Jones 1908

Rex Allen ("The Arizona Cowboy") 1924

Ross Barbour (The Four Freshmen) 1928

Odetta 1930

Anthony Hopkins 1937

Rosalind Cash 1938

Sarah Miles 1941

Andy Summers (Police) 1942

John Denver 1943

Ben Kingsley 1943

Pete Quaife (The Kinks) 1943

Barbara Carrera 1945

Diane von Furstenberg 1945

Tim Matheson 1947

Burton Cummings (The Guess Who) 1947

Donna Summer 1948

Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith) 1951

James Remar 1953

Bebe Neuwirth 1958

Joe Dallesandro 1958

Val Kilmer 1959

Paul Westerberg 1959

Scott Ian (Anthrax) 1963

Joe McIntyre (New Kids on the Block) 1972



Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


Thursday, December 30, 2010

Splat Goes The Baby


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

Babies Do NOT Bounce

Wait a minute...

What safety?

There is nothing safe about holding your infant in your lap while flying OR driving.

It doesn't matter if you're doing 60 MPH or 600 MPH, when the vehicle is in a collision with another object, that baby will come out of mom's arms at about the same speed as the impact.

Yes, infants must be harnessed in a seat on a plane, just like in a car.

But I understand the FAA's problem...they have an impossible job.

The FAA has a mandate to both regulate and promote the airline industry. The two tasks are incompatible.

To be blunt, the FAA should regulate without regard to the profit margins. Let the airlines take care of promotion and such.

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 30 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 30

1460 - At the Battle of Wakefield, in England's Wars of the Roses, the Duke of York was defeated and killed by the Lancastrians.

1853 - The United States bought about 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase.

1879 - Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Pirates of Penzance" was first performed, at Paignton, Devon, England.

1880 - The Transvaal was declared a republic. Paul Kruger became its first president.

1887 - A petition to Queen Victoria with over one million names of women appealing for public houses to be closed on Sundays was handed to the home secretary.

1903 - About 600 people died when fire broke out at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, IL.

1911 - Sun Yat-sen was elected the first president of the Republic of China.

1919 - Lincoln's Inn, in London, admitted the first female bar student.

1922 - The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was formed.

1924 - Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galactic systems.

1927 - The first subway in the Orient was dedicated in Tokyo, Japan.

1935 - Italian bombers destroyed a Sweedish Red Cross unit in Ethiopia.

1936 - The United Auto Workers union staged its first sit-down strike, at the Fisher Body Plant in Flint, MI.

1940 - California's first freeway was officially opened. It was the Arroyo Seco Parkway connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena.

1942 - "Mr. and Mrs. North" debuted on NBC radio.

1944 - King George II of Greece proclaimed a regency to rule his country, virtually renouncing the throne.

1947 - King Michael of Romania abdicated in favor of a Communist Republic. He claimed he was forced from his throne.

1948 - "Kiss Me Kate" opened at the New Century Theatre in New York City. Cole Porter composed the music for the classic play that ran for 1,077 performances.

1953 - The first color TV sets went on sale for about $1,175.

1954 - Pearl Bailey opened on Broadway in the play, "House of Flowers."

1954 - James Arness made his dramatic TV debut in "The Chase". The "Gunsmoke" series didn’t begin for Arness until the fall of 1955.

1961 - Jack Nicklaus lost his first attempt at pro golf to Gary Player in an exhibition match in Miami, FL.

1972 - The United States halted its heavy bombing of North Vietnam.

1976 - The Smothers Brothers, Tom and Dick, played their last show at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas and retired as a team from show business. Both continued as solo artists and they reunited several years later.

1978 - Ohio State University fired Woody Hayes as its football coach, one day after Hayes punched Clemson University player Charlie Bauman during the Gator Bowl. Bauman had intercepted an Ohio pass.

1980 - "The Wonderful World of Disney" was cancelled by NBC after more than 25 years on the TV. It was the longest-running series in prime-time television history.

1993 - Israel and the Vatican established diplomatic relations.

1996 - A passenger train was bombed by Bodo separatists in India's eastern state of Assam. At least 26 people were killed and dozens were seriously injured.

1996 - About 250,000 striking workers shut down vital services across Israel in protests against budget cuts proposed by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

1997 - More than 400 people were massacred in four villages in the single worst incident during Algeria's insurgency.




Whose Birthday Is It?

André Messager 1853

Rudyard Kipling 1865

Simon Guggenheim 1867

Stephen Leacock 1869

Hideki Tojo 1884

Vincent Lopez 1895

Bert Parks 1914

Marie Wilson 1915

Jo Van Fleet 1922

Bo Diddley 1928

Barbara Nichols 1929

Jack Lord 1930

Skeeter Davis 1931

Russ Tamblyn 1934

Fred Lorenzen 1934

Sandy Koufax (MLB) 1935

John Hartford 1937

Noel Paul Stookey 1937

Paul Stookey (Peter, Paul and Mary) 1937

Joseph Bologna 1938

Del Shannon 1939

Fred Ward 1942

Michael Nesmith (Monkees) 1942

Davy Jones (Monkees) 1945

Roger Glover (Rainbow) 1945

Patti Smith 1946

Jeff Lynne (E.L.O., Traveling Wilburys) 1947

Suzy Bogguss 1956

Sheryl Lee Ralph 1956

Patricia Kalember 1956

Matt Lauer 1957

Tracey Ullman 1959

Ben Johnson 1961

Jay Kay (Jamiroquai) 1969

Tiger Woods 1975

Meredith Monroe 1976

Tyrese 1978



Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Universe Next Door


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

An Old SF Standard

I love this disagreement for several reasons...

First, I have doctoral degrees in math and theoretical physics. I find the solutions to the equations and observations both eloquent and intriguing.

Second, I write science fiction. HARD science fiction where the fiction has to fit the facts.

SF authors, myself included, have used the idea of multiple universes for decades. Maybe centuries. The fact is that there are many solutions in physics—classical, quantum, relativistic, and M-theory—that support the concept. The problem comes in that no one can think of a way to test if these other universes exist outside of the pretty equations. By definition, any one universe can't "see" the others.

Maybe...

Have the researchers found actual physical evidence of other universes?

Personally, I don't think so. I think they are seeing the results of much more mundane things in the early history of our universe. As the article points out, there are much simpler explanations for the rings they see in the cosmic background radiation.

But that does not mean that the other universes don't exist. Again, just my opinion, but I believe that there are many other universes. To be precise, an infinite number of them.

And this is where it gets fun for both physicists and SF authors...

The universes can all have very different laws of physics.

And there are hints that we might, just maybe, be able to "see" these other universes in the equations of relativity, quantum mechanics, and M-theory.

One of my favorite solutions is based on M-theory...

It might be possible that a single-ended string, like a graviton, could hook one end in our universe and the other end to another universe. We then simply travel along the graviton to go to the other universe.

OK, so we need to work on the details a little. Maybe a lot.

But it sure makes for good SF!

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 29 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 29

1170 - St Thomas à Becket, the 40th archbishop of Canterbury, was murdered in his own cathedral by four knights acting on Henry II's orders.

1812 - The USS Constitution won a battle with the British ship HMS Java about 30 miles off the coast of Brazil. Before Commodore William Bainbridge ordered the sinking of the Java he had her wheel removed to replace the one the Constitution had lost during the battle.

1813 - The British burned Buffalo, NY, during the War of 1812.

1837 - Canadian militiamen destroyed the Caroline, a U.S. steamboat docked at Buffalo, NY.

1845 - U.S. President James Polk and signed legislation making Texas the 28th state of the United States.

1848 - U.S. President James Polk turned on the first gas light at the White House.

1851 - The first American Young Men's Christian Association was organized, in Boston, MA.

1860 - The HMS Warrior, Britain's first seagoing iron-hulled warship, was launched.

1888 - The first Performance of Macbeth took place at the Lyceum Theatre.

1890 - The U.S. Seventh Cavalry massacred over 400 men, women and children at Wounded Knee Creek, SD. This was the last major conflict between Indians and U.S. troops.

1895 - The Jameson Raid from Mafikeng into Transvaal, which attempted to overthrow Kruger's Boer government, started.

1911 - Sun Yat-sen became the first president of a republican China, following the Revolution.

1913 - "The Unwelcome Throne" was released by Selig’s Polyscope Company. This was a moving picture and the first serial motion picture.

1934 - The first regular-season, college basketball game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. New York University defeated Notre Dame 25-18.

1934 - Japan renounced the Washington Naval Treaty of 1922 and the London Naval Treaty of 1930.

1937 - Babe Ruth returned to baseball as the new manager of the Class D, De Land Reds of the Florida State League. Ruth had retired from baseball in 1935.

1940 - During World War II, Germany began dropping incendiary bombs on London.

1945 - The mystery voice of Mr. Hush was heard for the first time on the radio show, "Truth or Consequences", hosted by Ralph Edwards.

1945 - Sheb Wooley recorded the first commercial record made in Nashville, TN.

1949 - KC2XAK of Bridgeport, Connecticut became the first ultrahigh frequency (UHF) television station to begin operating on a regular daily schedule.

1952 - The first transistorized hearing aid was offered for sale by Sonotone Corporation.

1953 - Jean Stapleton debuted in her first Broadway play, "In the Summer House", which closed after only 55 performances.

1972 - Following 36 years of publication, the last weekly issue of "LIFE" magazine hit the newsstands. The magazine later became a monthly publication.

1975 - A bomb exploded in the main terminal of New York's LaGuardia Airport. 11 people were killed.

1985 - Phil Donahue and a Soviet radio commentator hosted the "Citizens’ Summit" via satellite TV.

1986 - The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, FL, reopened for business after eighteen years and $47 million expended on restoration.

1989 - Following Hong Kong's decision to forcibly repatriate some Vietnamese refugees, thousands of Vietnamese 'boat people' battled with riot police.

1996 - The Guatemalan government and leaders of the leftist Guatemalan National Revolutionary Union signed a peace accord in Guatemala City, ending a civil war that had lasted 36 years.

1997 - Hong Kong began killing 1.25 million chickens, the entire population, for fear of the spread of 'bird flu'.

1998 - Khmer Rouge leaders apologized for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed 1 million lives.




Whose Birthday Is It?

Marquise de Pompadour 1721

Charles Goodyear 1800

Andrew Johnson (U.S.) 1808

William Gladstone 1809

Pablo Casals 1876

Viveca Lindfors 1920

William Gaddis 1922

Rose Lee Maphis 1922

Dina Merrill 1928

Inga Swenson 1932

Tom Jarriel 1934

Ed Flanders 1934

Ray Nitschke 1936

Jon Voight 1938

Mary Tyler Moore 1938

Ed Bruce 1940

Ray Thomas (Moody Blues) 1942

Marianne Faithfull 1946

Ted Danson 1947

Cozy Powell 1947

Jon Polito 1950

Gelsey Kirkland 1952

Yvonne Elliman (Jesus Christ Superstar) 1953

Ed Autry 1954

Neil Geraldo 1955

Paula Poundstone 1960

Mark Day (Happy Mondays) 1961

Jim Reid (The Jesus and Mary Chain) 1961

Jason Gouuld 1966

Mystro Clark 1966

Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket) 1970

Jude Law 1972

Shawn Hatosy 1975

Jessica Andrews 1983



Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dodging Balls and Bullets


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

If You Can Dodge A Wrench, You Can Dodge A Ball

Before we get into why this important, you need to be up to speed on kinetic energy...

Kinetic Energy of an object is defined as: "The energy which it possesses due to its motion. It is defined as the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its stated velocity. Having gained this energy during its acceleration, the body maintains this kinetic energy unless its speed changes. The same amount of work is done by the body in decelerating from its current speed to a state of rest." Therefore, the kinetic energy of an object is a function of its mass (weight for our purposes) and its velocity (speed). If we increase either the mass or the velocity, the total kinetic energy goes up.

For those who are really curious, the formula is: ((m*v)*(m*v))/2. At least for classical physics.

Anyway...

An average person can run short distances at about 5 MPH. Go outside and run as fast as you can into the wall of your house. When you wake up and get home from the hospital, come back to reading.

Back? Good. How's the head?

Now, go out to your car and drive it at 5 MPH into the wall of your house.

See any difference in the damage to your house?

Even though the velocity was the same (5 MPH), the mass of the objects was vastly different. If you weigh, say, 150 pounds, your kinetic energy is about 11.5 kilojoules. Don't worry about what a kilojoule is. For the car, assuming its mass is 3,000 pounds, the energy is about 4,626.3 kilojoules. For an increase in mass of about a factor of 20, the kinetic energy went up by a factor of more than 400.

Just for fun, here are the kinetic energies of a few objects you might recognize...

22 caliber LR bullet: 0.2 kilojoules
357 magnum bullet: 1 kilojoule
Car at 29 MPH: 156,521 kilojoules
Car at 70 MPH: 307,350 kilojoules
Semi Truck at 70 MPH: 645,001,625 kilojoules
Fright train at 70 MPH: 23,220,485,106 kilojoules

Now, back to the article...

Let's assume a piece of space junk that has a mass of only 5 pounds. That's not much. The problem is that orbital velocity is about 17,000 MPH at an altitude of 150 miles. Lots of satellites live in that area, too. So what? The kinetic energy of a hunk of junk with a mass of 5 pounds at 17,000 MPH is about 152,775 kilojoules. See the table above.

Now imagine what would happen to the typical satellite if you hit it with your car at about 30 MPH. Yeah, it ain't gonna be pretty.

Now imagine ramming your car into the International Space Station. So much for the crew.

Interestingly enough, the airbags would probably let you walk away from the collision.

Now here's another twist...

Some armor-piercing rounds fired from a gun can blow clear through a steel plate up to several inches thick, but even though a car at 29 MPH has more kinetic energy, it won't plow through that same plate wall. Why not? Because the bullet offers a smaller area of impact, so the energy it carries is concentrated more than that of the car...

Assume a bullet of 0.357 inches diameter. If we ignore the fact that the bullet comes to a point, that's an impact area of about 0.4 square inches. If the front of the car (again assumed to be flat and a perfect rectangle) is 8 feet by 3 feet, that's an area of 3,456 square inches. The 357 slug carries about 2.5 kilojoules per square inch of energy (1Kj/0.4), while the car at 29 MPH imparts about 45 kilojoules per square inch. Then things start to spread out from the impact. The fact is that the car spreads out more and faster than does the bullet. According to calculations, 1 millisecond after impact, the bullet still has about 2.4 kilojoules per square inch of energy, but the car has fallen off to about 11. After 4 milliseconds, the bullet is at 2.1 and the car is below 1.

The bullet is denser and stays together better, keeping its energy concentrated.

Most space junk is fairly dense. Remember our 5 pound space junk from above? That would be a hunk of steel with a volume of about 18 cubic inches. That's a block of steel about 2.5 inches on a side. Not very big.

Again, think about the damage such an object would cause to a satellite. To use NASA's tidy little term, loss of vehicle.

What if the vehicle lost is a weather satellite watching hurricanes to provide warnings to people? How about a navigation satellite that the airlines use to get around? Maybe it's just the satellite that is feeding the Super Bowl game to your house?

Yeah, this is serious stuff, and we need to address the issue, and sooner is better.

The longer we wait, the worse it will get.

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 28 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 28

1065 - Westminster Abbey was consecrated under Edward the Confessor.

1694 - Queen Mary II of England died after five years of joint rule with her husband, King William III.

1732 - "The Pennsylvania Gazette," owned by Benjamin Franklin, ran an ad for the first issue of "Poor Richard’s Almanack."

1832 - John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Jackson.

1836 - Mexico's independence was recognized by Spain.

1846 - Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

1869 - William E. Semple, of Mt. Vernon, OH, patented an acceptable chewing gum.

1877 - John Stevens applied for a patent for his flour-rolling mill, which boosted production by 70%.

1879 - In Dundee, Scotland the central portion of the Tay Bridge collapsed as a train was passing over it. 75 people were killed.

1897 - "Cyrano de Bergerac," the play by Edmond Rostand, premiered in Paris, France.

1902 - The first professional indoor football game was played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Syracuse defeated the Philadelphia Nationals 6-0.

1908 - An earthquake killed over 75,000 at Messina in Sicily.

1912 - The first municipally-owned street cars were used on the streets of San Francisco, CA.

1917 - The New York Evening Mail published a facetious essay by H.L. Mencken on the history of bathtubs in America.

1926 - The highest recorded cricket innings score of 1,107 runs was hit by Victoria, against New South Wales, in Melbourne.

1937 - The Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland when a new constitution established the country as a sovereign state under the name of Eire.

1942 - R.O. Sullivan crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the 100th time.

1945 - The U.S. Congress officially recognized the "Pledge of Allegiance."

1950 - The Peak District became Britain's first designated National Park.

1956 - After five years on television, the last "Ding Dong School" was aired on NBC-TV.

1964 - Initial filming of the movie "Dr. Zhivago" began on location near Madrid, Spain. The movies total running time is 197 minutes.

1973 - The Chamber of Commerce of Akron, OH, terminated its association with the All-American Soap Box Derby. It was stated that the race had become "a victim of cheating and fraud."

1973 - Alexander Solzhenitsyn published "Gulag Archipelago," an expose of the Soviet prison system.

1981 - Elizabeth Jordan Carr, the first American test-tube baby, was born in Norfolk, VA.

1982 - Nevell Johnson Jr. was mortally wounded by a police officer in a Miami video arcade. The event set off three days of race related disturbances that left another man dead.

1987 - The bodies of 14 relatives of R. Gene Simmons were found at his home near Dover, AR. Simmons had gone on a shooting spree in Russellville that claimed two other lives.

1989 - Alexander Dubcek, who had been expelled from the Communist Party in 1970, was elected speaker of the Czech parliament.

1991 - Nine people died in a rush to get into a basketball game at City College in New York.

1995 - Pressure from German prosecutors investigating pornography forced CompuServe to set a precedent by blocking access to sex-oriented newsgroups on the Internet for its customers.

2000 - U.S. District Court Judge Matsch held a hearing to ensure that confessed Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh understood that he was dropping his appeals. McVeigh said that he wanted an execution date set but wanted to reserve the right to seek presidential clemency.

2000 - Shannen Doherty was arrested for driving under the influence.




Whose Birthday Is It?

Woodrow Wilson 1856

Arthur Stanley Eddington 1882

John Molson 1763

Cliff Arquette (Charley Weaver) 1905

Earl "Fatha" Hines 1905

Lew Ayres 1908

Billy Williams 1910

Sam Levinson 1911

Lou Jacobi 1913

Roebuck "Pop" Staples 1915

Stan Lee 1922

Johnny Otis 1924

Hildegarde Kneff 1925

Martin Milner 1927

Dorsey Burnette 1932

Maggie Smith 1934

Bruce Yarnell 1935

Charles Neville 1938

Bobby Comstock 1943

Hubert "Hubie" Green 1946

Edgar Winter 1946

Dick Diamonde (Dingeman Van Der Sluys) 1947

Aurelio (Ituarte) Rodriguez 1947

Alex Chilton 1950

Denzel Washington 1954

Nigel Kennedy 1956

Joe Diffie 1958

Mike McGuire 1958

Chad McQueen 1960

Marty Roe 1960

Anita Doth 1971

Mackenzie Rosman 1989



Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


Monday, December 27, 2010

Imagine...


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

Would That I Could

Am I the only one who would love to actually see an ice volcano?

Can you imagine being on the surface of Titan watching the ices of water and more exotic chemicals as they stream down the sides of the cone?

I wonder what it would really be like...

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 27 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 27

1703 - The Methuen Treaty was signed between Portugal and England, giving preference to the import of Portuguese wines into England.

1831 - Charles Darwin set out on a voyage to the Pacific aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin's discoveries during the voyage helped him form the basis of his theories on evolution.

1845 - Dr. Crawford Williamson Long used anesthesia for childbirth for the first time. The event was the delivery of his own child in Jefferson, GA.

1900 - Carrie Nation staged her first raid on a saloon at the Carey Hotel in Wichita, KS. She broke each and every one of the liquor bottles that could be seen.

1904 - James Barrie's play "Peter Pan" premiered in London.

1927 - Leon Trotsky was expelled from the Communist Party.

1938 - The first skimobile course in America opened in North Conway, NH.

1945 - The World Bank was created with an agreement signed by 28 nations.

1947 - The children's television program "Howdy Doody," hosted by Bob Smith, made its debut on NBC.

1949 - Queen Juliana of the Netherlands granted sovereignty to Indonesia after more than 300 years of Dutch rule.

1951 - In Cincinnati, OH, a Crosley automobile, with a steering wheel on the right side, became the first vehicle of its kind to be placed in service for mail delivery.

1965 - The BP oil rig Sea Gem capsized in the North Sea, with the loss of 13 lives.

1968 - "The Breakfast Club" signed off for the last time on ABC radio, after 35 years on the air.

1971 - Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Woodstock of Charles Schulz’ "Peanuts" comic strip were on the cover of "Newsweek" magazine.

1978 - Spain adopted a new constitution and became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.

1979 - Soviet forces seized control of Afghanistan. Babrak Karmal succeeded President Hafizullah Amin, who was overthrown and executed.

1985 - Palestinian guerrillas opened fire inside the Rome and Vienna airports. A total of twenty people were killed, including five of the attackers, who were slain by police and security personnel.

1985 - Dian Fossey, an American naturalist, was found murdered at a research station in Rawanda.

1992 - The U.S. shot down an Iraqi fighter jet during what the Pentagon described as a confrontation between a pair of Iraqi warplanes and U.S. F-16 jets in U.N.-restricted airspace over southern Iraq.

1996 - Muslim fundamentalist Taliban forces retook the strategic air base of Bagram, solidifying their buffer zone around Kabul, the Afghanistan capital.

1997 - In Northern Ireland, Billy Wright was assassinated. He was imprisoned as a Protestant paramilitary leader.

2000 - Mario Lemeiux (Pittsburgh Penguins) returned to the National Hockey League (NHL) as a player after over 3 years of retirement. He was the first owner-player in the modern era of pro sports. Lemieux had purchased the Pittsburgh Penguins during his retirement from playing.

2001 - U.S. President George W. Bush granted China permanent normal trade status with the United States.

2002 - North Korea ordered U.N. nuclear inspectors to leave the country and said that it would restart a laboratory capable of producing plutonium for nuclear weapons.

2002 - Clonaid announced the birth of the first cloned human baby. The baby had been born December 26.

2002 - In Chechnya, at least 40 people were killed when suicide bombers attacked the administartion of Grozny.



Whose Birthday Is It?

Johannes Kepler 1571

George Cayley 1773

Louis Pasteur 1822

Sydney Greenstreet 1879

Marlene Dietrich 1901

Anna Russell 1911

William H. Masters 1915

Oscar Levant 1916

Scotty Moore 1931

Walter Norris 1931

Lee Salk 1926

Inga Swenson 1932

Dave Marr 1933

Bernard Lanvin 1935

John Amos 1941

Leslie Maguire 1941

Cokie Roberts 1943

Pete Quaife 1943

Tracy Nelson 1944

Mickey Redmond 1947

Mick Jones 1947

Gerard Depardieu 1948

Terry Bozzio 1950

Karla Bonoff 1952

Tovah Feldshuh 1952

David Knopfler 1952

Arthur Kent 1953

John Watts 1954

Maryam D'Abo 1960

Youth 1961

Jeff Bryant 1962

Matt Slocum 1972

Wilson Cruz 1973

Olu 1973


Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Killer On The Road


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

Here We Go Again

All I know about serial killers is what I learned doing research for books.

And frankly, that isn't much.

All I know for certain is that there is something in us humans that freaks out at the idea of a serial killer being on the loose.

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 26 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 26

1620 - The Pilgrim Fathers landed at New Plymouth, MA, to found Plymouth Colony, with John Carver as Governor.

1776 - The British suffered a major defeat in the Battle of Trenton during the American Revolutionary War.

1865 - The coffee percolator was patented by James H. Mason.

1871 - The "Gods Grown Old" was performed for the first time. It ran for 64 shows.

1898 - Marie and Pierre Curie discovered radium.

1908 - Texan boxer "Galveston Jack" Johnson knocked out Tommy Burns in Sydney, Australia, to become the first black boxer to win the world heavyweight title.

1917 - During World War I, the U.S. government took over operation of the nation's railroads.

1921 - The Catholic Irish Free State became a self-governing dominion of Great Britain.

1927 - The East-West Shrine football game featured numbers on both the front and back of players’ jerseys.

1941 - Winston Churchill became the first British prime minister to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress.

1943 - The German battlecruiser Scharnhorst was sunk in the North Sea, during the Battle of North Cape.

1944 - Tennessee Williams' play "The Glass Menagerie" was first performed publicly, at the Civic Theatre in Chicago, IL.

1947 - Heavy snow blanketed the Northeast United States, burying New York City under 25.8 inches of snow in 16 hours. The severe weather was blamed for about 80 deaths.

1953 - "Big Sister" was heard for the last time on CBS Radio. The show ran for 17 years.

1954 - "The Shadow" aired on radio for the last time.

1956 - Fidel Castro attempted a secret landing in Cuba to overthrow the Batista regime. All but 11 of his supporters were killed.

1959 - The first charity walk took place, along Icknield Way, in aid of the World Refugee Fund.

1974 - Comedian Jack Benny died at age 80.

1982 - The Man of the Year in "TIME" magazine was a computer. It was the first time a non-human received the honors.

1986 - Doug Jarvis, age 31, set a National Hockey League (NHL) record as he skated in his 916th consecutive game. Jarvis eventually set the individual record for most consecutive games played with 964.

1986 - "Search for Tomorrow" was seen for the last time on CBS-TV. The show had been on the air for 35-years.


1990 - Garry Kasparov beat Anatoly Karpov to retain the chess championship.

1991 - The Soviet Union's parliament formally voted the country out of existence.

1995 - Israel turned dozens of West Bank villages over to the Palestinian Authority.

1996 - Six-year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey was found beaten and strangled in the basement of her family's home in Boulder, CO.

1998 - Iraq announced that it would fire on U.S. and British warplanes that patrol the skies over northern and southern Iraq.

1999 - Alfonso Portillo, a populist lawyer, won Guatemala's first peacetime presidential elections in 40 years.

2000 - Michael McDermott, age 42, opened fire at his place of employment killing seven people. McDermott had no criminal history.

2002 - The first cloned human baby was born. The announcement was made the December 27 by Clonaid.

2004 - Under the Indian Ocean, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake sent 500-mph waves across the Indian Ocean and Bay of Bengal. The tsunami killed at least 283,000 people in a dozen countries, including Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Sumatra, Thailand and India.



Whose Birthday Is It?

Thomas Gray 1716

Juan Lovera 1778

Laurent Clerc 1785

Charles Babbage 1792

Goerge Dewey 1837

Henry Miller 1891

Mao Zedong 1893

Richard Widmark 1914

Steve Allen 1921

Alan King 1927

Donald Moffat 1930

Abdul "Duke" Fakir 1935

Phil Spector 1940

Jane Lapotaire 1944

John Walsh 1945

Joyce Jillson 1946

Carlton Fisk 1947

Ozzie Smith 1954

Brian Westrum 1962

Lars Ulrich 1963

J 1967

Audrey Wiggins 1967

Peter Klett 1969

Jared Leto 1971


Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Hot Lips


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

Flirt or Slut?

God knows I'm a flirt. Or a slut. There's a fine line between the two.

I'm like most women, and I like an original opening line. I use that term loosely, because sometimes it can be a line I've heard a million times before presented in a new and different way.

I'm not sure how I would react to being told I have beautiful lips would work, though. I'm more preoccupied with my legs. One line that did work was a guy who walked up to me in an airport and said, "Pardon me, miss, but those are the hottest damned legs I have ever seen." Even though he was going to Los Angeles and I to New York, he joined the Mile High Club. We were in Denver.

Notice that the article really only talks about how a man can flirt with a woman? That's because men have to work at flirting with a woman. We're a pretty particular bunch and hard to impress. But it's easy for a woman to flirt with a man.

Just lick your beautiful lips.

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


There's No Crying In Baseball...



But Crying On Christmas is OK.

Well, the visit from Santa went well, and now the aftermath of the carnage called "Opening The Presents" is all that's left around the tree.

The kids had a great Christmas...

Amanda is the oldest. She'll be eleven soon, and she gave up believing in Santa a couple of years ago. But she's great with the younger kids and plays the game to keep them believing. Her big score was a guitar and amplifier. Amanda has played for over four years now, and she's pretty good. In that time, we've bought her two other guitars. Her first was a real cheap guitar—both in terms of price (less than $100 including a small amp) and quality. Think about it...a six-year-old wants to play the guitar. Does it make sense to spend a bunch of money on a first instrument for her? No, not at all. After a year or so, and her sticking with the guitar and getting better, we bought her another, better guitar. I don't know the brand, but it's an OK, middle of the road guitar, and I seem to recall paying about $300 for it and another $50 or so for the amplifier. She loved it, and still does, and plays it nearly every day. But the only thing Amanda really wanted for Christmas this year was a "good" guitar. She had picked out a Fender "Standard" Telecaster with a price tag around $700 retail. We found one at a local shop for about $550. Then her dad did something I never expected him to do...Jack said to me, "Baby, why don't we just get her a really good instrument?" We ended up leaving the shop that day with a Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster HSS with the rosewood fretboard and tungsten finish (MSRP $2,099.99), a Fender G-DEC 3 Fifteen amplifier (MSRP $399.99), a Fender case, and assorted other goodies that I don't understand but the sales guy said she would need. We made it out the door for just under $2,300 with tax and all. Yeah, that's a lot of money for a guitar, especially a guitar for a not-quite-eleven-year-old girl. Amanda knew it was a guitar just from the size and shape of the box, but she was expecting the lesser grade Telecaster she had asked for. The look on her face when she tore open the package and saw what it really was made the price all worthwhile. She forgot everything else around the tree, and in moments had the guitar tuned and was picking out songs while sitting in the middle of the family room floor in her pajamas. She didn't need the amp to know that she had a real instrument in her hands. That was about 8:00 AM or so. It's a little after ten now, and she's in her room (next to my office), and is playing the guitar. I can feel the vibrations on my desk. She didn't exactly promise her dad that she wouldn't blow out the windows, but I think she's trying to avoid that.

Debbie is our middle child, and she's coming up on nine next year. Debbie is very logical and scientific, and she wants to be a doctor. But she's still a kid, and she hasn't quite decided if she still believes in Santa or not, but she is very clear on the idea that it's not worth taking chances, at least not yet. Debbie doesn't care for the toys that a normal 8-year-old girl would like. The exception is that she likes stuffed animals, especially unicorns. I think she has all of them. No, I don't mean that she has all of the stuffed unicorns they make...I means she has ALL of them on the planet. Anyway, when her dad and I asked what she would like for Christmas, she gave us the standard list of clothes, stuffed animals, that sort of thing. I could tell that Debbie was holding something back, though, so when her dad left the room, I pressed her. She looked a little embarrassed, and took me to her room and pulled up a web site from the University of California book store. She wanted a medical textbook on neurology. Yeah, I didn't mistype that. So, I got it for her. Her dad still thinks I'm nuts, but that's what Debbie wanted. By the way, ever bought a medical textbook? Unless you want to take out a second mortgage, don't. The bloody things are like gold! I peeked in on her a few minutes ago, and Debbie is sitting at her desk with the book and a notepad, reading about things that I can't even begin to comprehend.

JJ—technically Jack Junior—will be three in April. He has no doubt that there is a Santa Claus. He nailed a good deal of toys, some clothes, and in general had a gay old time with Christmas. Funny thing is that he seemed to have more fun with the ribbons, bows, and paper all over the floor than he did with his haul. Go figure.

And then there's Jack, my husband. Jack quit smoking when I was pregnant with JJ, and in some ways that made Christmas harder for me. Jack didn't smoke cigarettes or cigars: He smoked a pipe. I could always get him a pipe or something related to his pipes, but since he quit, that's not an option now. He also likes guns and to shoot, but there just seems to be something wrong with the idea of buying someone a gun or ammo for Christmas. So Jack ended up with some clothes and shoes from me. Oh, and me in a killer sexy elf outfit.

What about me? Well, Jack made me cry like a baby this morning. After all the gifts were opened, I had the pile of normal things from the kids and a few things from Jack like perfume and some makeup. He stood and said that he needed to go outside to get my last gift. When he came back, he had the biggest single red rose I have ever seen wrapped up with some wildflowers and other flowers he had picked by hand from the yard. He stood in front of me smiling a little sheepishly and told me that he had no idea what to get me that I didn't already have. He handed me the flowers and kissed my cheek. I must have looked like the proverbial 24-carat idiot sitting there clutching those flowers to my chest with tears streaming down my face. At one point, Jack left the room for a minute and Amanda asked me, "Mom, how can guys be so stupid most of the time, and then do something so sweet and romantic like that?"

I still can't answer that question.

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 25 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 25

800 - Charlemagne was crowned first Holy Roman Emperor in Rome by Pope Leo III.

1066 - William the Conqueror was crowned king of England.

1223 - St. Francis of Assisi assembled one of the first Nativity scenes, in Greccio, Italy.

1776 - Gen. George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River for a surprise attack against Hessian forces at Trenton, NJ.

1818 - "Silent Night" was performed for the first time, at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorff, Austria.

1868 - U.S. President Andrew Johnson granted an unconditional pardon to all persons involved in the Southern rebellion that resulted in the Civil War.

1894 - The University of Chicago became the first Midwestern football team to play on the west coast. U.C. defeated Stanford, 24-4, in Palo Alto, CA.

1896 - John Philip Sousa finally titled the melody "The Stars and Stripes Forever."

1914 - During World War I, British and German troops observed an unofficial truce and even playing football together on the Western Front.

1917 - The play "Why Marry?" opened at the Astor Theatre in New York City. "Why Marry?" was the first dramatic play to win a Pulitzer Prize.

1926 - Hirohito became the emperor of Japan after the death of his father Emperor Taisho.

1930 - The Mt. Van Hoevenberg bobsled run at Lake Placid, New York opened to the public. It was the first bobsled track of international specifications to open in the U.S.

1931 - Lawrence Tibbett was the featured vocalist as radio came to the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. The first opera was "Hansel und Gretel" and was heard on the NBC network of stations.

1937 - Arturo Toscanini conducted the first broadcast of "Symphony of the Air" over NBC radio.

1939 - "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens, was read on CBS radio for the first time.

1941 - Hong Kong surrendered to the Japanese.

1946 - W.C. Fields died at the age of 66.

1950 - Dick Tracy married on Tess Truehart.

1962 - The Department of Commerce Census Clock in Washington, DC, recorded the U.S. population on this day as 188,000,000.

1971 - The longest pro-football game to date finally ended when Garo Yepremian kicked a field goal in the second quarter of sudden death overtime. The Miami Dolphins defeated Kansas City, 27-24. The total game time was 82 minutes and 40 seconds.

1972 - The Nicaraguan capital Managua was hit by an earthquake. Over 10,000 people were killed.

1979 - The USSR invaded Afghanistan in a bid to halt civil war and protect USSR interests.

1989 - Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed following a popular uprising.

1989 - Former baseball player and manager Billy Martin died in a truck crash in Fenton, NY.

1989 - Dissident playwright Vaclav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia.

1991 - Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev went on television to announce his resignation as leader of a Communist superpower that had already gone out of existence.

1998 - Seven days into their journey, Richard Branson, Steve Fossett and Per Lindstrand of Sweden gave up their attempt to make the first nonstop round-the-world balloon flight. They ditched near Hawaii.

2000 - Over 300 people were killed and dozens were injured by fire at a Christmas party in the Chinese city of Luoyang. The incident occurred at the Dongdu Disco.



Whose Birthday Is It?

Sir Isaac Newton 1642

Clara Barton 1821

Mohammed Ali Jinnah 1876

Maurice Utrillo 1883

Conrad Hilton 1887

Dame Rebecca West 1892

Robert Ripley 1893

Cal Farley 1895

Humphrey Bogart 1899

Cab Calloway III 1907

Tony Martin 1914

Pete Rugolo 1915

Anwar Sadat 1918

Robert N. Hall 1919

Rod Serling 1924

Dick Miller 1928

Chris Kenner 1929

O’Kelly Isley 1937

Hanna Schygulla 1943

Henry Vestine 1944

John Edwards 1944

Ken Stabler 1945

Gary Sandy 1945

Noel Redding 1945

Larry Csonka 1946

Jimmy Buffett 1946

Barbara Mandrell 1948

Sissy Spacek 1949

Desireless 1952

Steve Wariner 1954

Robin Campbell 1954

Annie Lennox 1954

Shane McGowan 1957

Klea Scott 1968

Noel Hogan 1971

Alecia Elliot 1982


Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Health


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

Medical Good News

This is another one that is a long way from being practical, but it offers a glimmer of hope.

And it also pointedly attacks the wisdom of restricting stem cell research.

Yeah, this conservative is about to take a hard left turn, so if your image of me being a female version of Rush Limbaugh is subject to damage, you may want to stop reading now.

Still with me? Good!

First, let's put things into the cold, hard light of reality and perspective, shall we?

HIV/AIDS is not a pandemic nor even an epidemic. Most estimates put the total number of people worldwide with HIV at around 35-million. If we assume a global population of 6-billion, that comes out to about 0.6% of the world's population. On the other hand, about 500-million people (about 8% of global population) have genital herpes. See http://www.avert.org/worldstats.htm and http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/123926.php for all the details. And, just for fun, the Black Death killed nearly half the population of the known world.

The fact is that calling something an epidemic sells more commercials on the evening news than looking at the actual facts.

But, that does not mean that HIV is not a problem and a terrible illness.

It is both.

Anyway...

We have one person who was effectively cured of HIV. Oh, and his leukemia. That's hardly firm research, but due to the nature and prevalence of the illness, it is worth looking at a little closer.

The problem is the extreme right-wingers who oppose stem cell research are being just plain stupid about it all. Yeah, I said that.

Let's move forward with this finding and see what we can do.

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


The Christmas Present



When I was a kid, my family didn't have a lot. We were kind of like the poverty-stricken snake: We didn't have a pit to hiss in.

One thing we did have was family, such as it was.

I never knew my dad's mother or my mom's father; they both died before I was born. I never really knew my dad's father, either. He was what folks back then called a "wino" and what we would, in today's politically correct world, call a homeless person.

But I did know my mom's mother. In fact, she lived downstairs from us for a long time.

I had a good assortment of aunts, uncles, and cousins, all from my dad's side, who lived fairly close. There were another set from my mom's side, but they mostly lived in Denver, and we didn't see them very often.

But Grandma was always around.

I always had toys for Christmas, but not many and never very expensive things. I sometimes think that my dad always wanted a son, because often he would get me toys that would seem, at least at first, as being more appropriate for a boy.

Like the year he spent who-knows-how-much on a toy plane, some big airliner or another, that had a "remote control" on a wire so I could make the lights come on, the engines sound like they were revving, and it would taxi around while I steered it. I loved the plane and played with it for years.

Or the year dad got me BB gun, followed a year later by a Winchester lever-action 22 rifle. No, I didn't shoot my eye out, either. I loved them, too.

Looking back, it was more about dad giving me something rather than the gifts themselves that I loved. Like so many kids, I equated the gifts with dad loving me.

I don't have any of those toys or gifts today. They were all lost to the passing years, and I have no clue where or how. All I have now are the memories, and that's more than enough for me.

Then there was the year that Grandma died.

She had breast cancer, and the doctors did all they could, but they didn't have the treatments available then that we have today. There was really little they could do other than keep her comfortable. Well, at least as much as possible.

Her last Christmas was a sad one, but at six, I really didn't understand that she, mom, and dad all knew it would be her last. I thought it was just another visit from Santa.

The medical bills took as big a toll as anything else. There weren't many presents under the tree that year.

But I remember one small package, only a few inches long, and far less than that in width and height. It had worked its way to the very toe of my stocking hanging above the old gas fireplace, and I had to take the red sock down and shake it to get the present to fall to the floor.

I recall thinking that it must be something good because it was heavy and made a loud clunk when it hit the white and blue ceramic tile that made up the floor in front of the burning fire. I can still see the red wrapping paper, covered in white snowmen dressed in the traditional black top hats with their carrot noses and coal lump eyes. It was tied with a thin green ribbon, and a silver bow twice as big as the package itself finished it off.

I'd already opened all my other gifts, but something about this odd present fascinated me. It was so unusual, so different from all the others, that I had this feeling in my six-year-old mind that something must be very special about this last item.

A small card was taped to the package, and it read simply: "To Melodee From Grandma and Grandpa".

That puzzled me. Grandpa? Did it mean Grandpa Bunny, the aforementioned wino? Surely not.

But at six, I didn't worry about it too much, and tore into the ribbon and paper, tossing them to join the small, sad pile already on the floor.

Inside was a simple, unmarked cardboard box, and when I opened that, I found an old, well-worn pocket knife.

As I turned it in my hands, it was marked on one side with the word "Primble" and on the other with "Barlow". I had no idea who these people might be, but they must have lost this knife a long time ago, because far from the bright, shiny color of a new tool, this one was brown with the color of old rust, rubbed off by wear from being carried and used on a regular basis.

I opened the larger of the two blades, and it was thin from repeated sharpening. Carefully, I ran my finger across the blade as I'd seen dad do when he sharpened his knife, and it was like a razor. I couldn't get my tiny hands to open the smaller blade, though. The spring was too strong for my fingers to work.

Grandma, sitting in the old, big easy chair, waved her hands to get my attention so I could read her lips. "Child, close that knife and come on over here."

I folded the knife and went to where she sat, and I crawled up in her lap.

I know now that probably hurt her. Her bones were brittle and ached from the cancer that, unknown to a six-year-old child, ravaged her body. But Grandma didn't complain. She didn't even wince.

Instead, she put her arm around me and tapped at the old knife with her other hand, the tremble noticeable even to me. "That was your Grandpa's knife. He carried that everyday for a long, long time. It's yours now."

I saw a few tears running down her cheeks, but I really didn't understand, because she smiled bright as daybreak. When I glanced over at mom, she too was crying softly, but she also smiled. Dad was busy poking at some invisible spot on his shirt, his eyes carefully averted from my gaze.

I remember saying thank you, but totally without understanding.

Grandma died in February, but it was many more years before I understood the meaning of her last Christmas present to me.

As I said, all the toys and other things from those times are gone, all a part of history now.

All but one...

As I write this, I look down at the desk and see the familiar knife there, the words "Primble" and "Barlow" still easily readable in the brownish metal, the colors of the artificial horn flowing across the handle. The blade is a little thinner now, but it's still razor-sharp. Both blades now, because I can get the smaller one to fold out.

I carry that little knife with me everywhere I can. If I wear jeans, it's in my pocket. Otherwise, it's in my purse.

It's not worth anything. It wasn't even an expensive knife when new. To me, though, it's priceless. It's a tie across the miles and years to a woman I loved very much and miss terribly. It's also a tie to man I never knew, but who I love just as much.

Some of you may be disappointed, because most of the stories from my childhood have a funny aspect, and this one is seriously lacking in the comedic department. No, this wasn't a funny story, but it is a happy one.

Memories define who we are. To a large degree, they also define who we will become. That, in turn, defines how we live our life and how we impact others. The memory of Grandma's last Christmas is a good one. She gave me a gift beyond all measure.

She gave me a past much longer than my years.

Yes, there is a good dose of bitter with the sweet, but like a fine wine or the most delectable chocolate available, the sweet far outweighs the bitter, reducing the painful twinge to giving us a reminder of how good things really are. The bitter only serves to enhance the sweet.

Happy Holidays

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 24 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 24

1814 - The War of 1812 between the U.S. and Britain was ended with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent in Belgium.

1818 - Franz Gruber of Oberndorf, Germany composed the music for "Silent Night" to words written by Josef Mohr.

1828 - William Burke who, with his partner William Hare, dug up the dead and murdered to sell the corpses for dissection, went on trial in Edinburgh.

1851 - A fire devastated the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, destroying about 35,000 volumes.

1865 - Several veterans of the Confederate Army formed a private social club in Pulaski, TN, called the Ku Klux Klan.

1906 - Reginald A. Fessenden became the first person to broadcast a music program over radio, from Brant Rock, MA.

1914 - In World War I, the first air raid on Britain was made when a German airplane dropped a bomb on the grounds of a rectory in Dover.

1928 - The first broadcast of "The Voice of Firestone" was heard.

1943 - U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower supreme commander of Allied forces as part of Operation Overlord.

1944 - The Andrews Sisters starred in the debut of "The Andrews Sisters’ Eight-To-The-Bar-Ranch" on ABC Radio.

1944 - A German submarine torpedoed the Belgian transport ship S.S. Leopoldville with 2,235 soldiers aboard. About 800 American soldiers died. The soldiers were crossing the English Channel to be reinforcements at the battle that become known as the Battle of the Bulge.

1948 - For the first time ever, a midnight Mass was broadcast on television. It was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City.

1948 - The first completely solar-heated house became occupied in Dover, MA.

1951 - NBC-TV presented, "Amal and the Night Visitors," the first opera written for television.

1951 - Libya achieved independence as the United Kingdom of Libya, under King Idris.

1965 - A meteorite landed on Leicestershire. It weighed about 100lbs.

1966 - Luna 13 landed on the moon.

1967 - Joe Namath (New York Jets) became the first NFL quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards.

1968 - The crew of the U.S. Navy ship, Pueblo, was released by North Korea. The Captain of the Pueblo, Commander Lloyd M. Bucher, and 82 of his crew were held for 11 months after the ship was seized by North Korea because of suspected spying by the Americans.

1968 - Three astronauts, James A. Lovell, William Anders and Frank Borman, reached the moon. They orbited the moon 10 times before coming back to Earth. Seven months later man first landed on the moon.

1979 - Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan in support of the country's Marxist government.

1981 - Reggie Jackson announced that he would join Gene Autry’s California Angels for the 1982 season.

1981 - In Eastern Kazakh/Semipalatinsk, the Soviet Union performed a nuclear test.

1985 - Fidel Castro, the Cuban president, announced that he was a non-smoker.

1989 - Ousted Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega took refuge at the Vatican's diplomatic mission in Panama City.

1990 - Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were married.

1992 - U.S. President H.W. Bush pardoned former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and five others in the Iran-Contra scandal.

1997 - Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, known as "Carlos the Jackal," was sentenced by a French court to life in prison for the 1975 murders of two French investigators and a Lebanese national.

1998 - At Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, a tourist was hit by a piece of flying metal while waiting to board a ride. The man's wife and a Disneyland employee were also injured. Luan Phi Dawson died December 26th from his injuries.

1999 - Ivory Coast President Henri Konan Bédié was overthrown in a coup.

1999 - An Indian Airlines plane was seized during a flight from Katmandu, Nepal, to New Delhi. In Afghanistan, the 150 hostages were freed on December 31 after India released three Kashmir militants from prison.

2000 - 36 minutes after the end of a game, both the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins were called back to the playing field. The teams had to play the final 3 seconds of the game which the Dolphins had won 27-24. The end result did not change.

2000 - The "Texas 7," seven convicts that had escaped a Texas prison, robbed a sports store in Irving, TX. The suspects killed Officer Aubrey Hawkins, stole $70,000, 25 weapons and clothing. The men had escaped on December 13.



Whose Birthday Is It?

John (King of England) 1167

Ingatius 1491

Benjamin Rush 1745

Kit Carson 1809

James Joule 1818

Matthew Arnold 1822

Harry Warren 1893

Howard Hughes 1905

I.F. Stone 1907

Ralph Marterie 1914

Dave Bartholomew 1920

Ava Gardner 1922

Lee Dorsey 1924

Carol Haney 1924

Robert Joffrey 1930

Ray Bryant 1931

Jill Bennett 1931

Mike Curb 1944

Nicholas Meyer 1945

Lemmy Kilmister 1945

Jan Akkerman 1946

Sharon Farrell 1946

Clarence Gilyard 1955

Stephanie Hodge 1956

Ian Burden 1957

Mary Ramsey 1963

Diedrich Bader 1966

Ricky Martin 1971


Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Open The Pod Bay Doors, Hal


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

Sure Beats A Commodore 64

I can't help but wonder how the computer will be paid if it wins.

And will it get endorsement contracts for iPod?

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
Home Page
Melodee's Books at BookStrand


December 23 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 23

1783 - George Washington returned home to Mount Vernon, after the disbanding of his army following the Revolutionary War.

1788 - Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government. About two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.

1823 - The poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" by Clement C. Moore was published.

1834 - English architect Joseph Hansom patented his 'safety cab', better known as the Hansom cab.

1852 - The Theatre of Celestial John opened on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, CA. It was the first Chinese theatre in the U.S.

1880 - Thomas Edison incorporated the Edison Electric Light Company of Europe.

1888 - Following a quarrel with Paul Gauguin, Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh cut off part of his own earlobe.

1893 - The Engelbert Humperdinck opera "Hansel und Gretel" was first performed, in Weimar, Germany.

1913 - The Federal Reserve Bill was signed into law by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. The act established 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

1919 - The first ship designed to be used as an ambulance for the transport patients was launched. The hospital ship was named USS Relief and had 515 beds.

1922 - The British Broadcasting Corporation began daily news broadcasts.

1930 - Ruth Elizabeth Davis, an unknown actress, arrived in Hollywood, under contract to Universal Studios. Universal changed her name to Bette Davis for the movies.

1938 - "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch" was heard for the final time on the radio.

1941 - During World War II, American forces on Wake Island surrendered to the Japanese.

1942 - Bob Hope agreed to entertain U.S. airmen in Alaska. It was the first of the traditional Christmas shows.

1943 - "Hansel and Gretel," the opera, was televised on New York's WRBG. It was the first complete opera to be televised.

1947 - John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley invented the transistor.

1948 - Former Japanese premier Hideki Tojo and six other Japanese war leaders were executed in Tokyo. They had been found guilty of crimes against humanity.

1951 - A National Football League (NFL) championship game was televised nationally for the first time. The Los Angeles Rams beat the Cleveland Browns 24-17. The DuMont Network had paid $75,000 for the rights to the game.

1953 - Soviet secret police chief Lavrenti Beria and six of his associates were shot for treason following a secret trial.

1954 - The Walt Disney movie "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" was released.
Disney movies, music and books

1957 - Dan Blocker made his acting debut on television in the "Restless Gun."

1965 - A 70-mph speed limit was introduced in Britain.

1968 - Eighty-two crewmembers of the U.S. intelligence ship Pueblo were released by North Korea, 11 months after they had been captured.

1972 - The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Oakland Raiders 13-7 in an NFL playoff game on a last-second play that was dubbed the "Immaculate Reception." Pittsburgh's Franco Harris caught a deflected pass and ran it in for the winning touchdown.

1981 - NASA approved a plan to continue the Voyager II spacecraft on a trajectory that would take it within 66,000 miles of Uranus on July 24, 1986.

1986 - The experimental airplane Voyager, piloted by Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager, completed the first non-stop, around-the-world flight without refueling as it landed safely at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

1987 - Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, serving a life sentence for the attempted assassination of U.S. President Ford in 1975, escaped from the Alderson Federal Prison for Women in West Virginia. She was recaptured two days later.

1989 - Ousted Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were captured as they were attempting to flee their country.

1990 - Elections in Yugoslavia ended, leaving four of its six republics with non-Communist governments.

1995 - A fire in Dabwali, India, killed 540 people, including 170 children, during a year-end party being held near the children's school.

1995 - The bodies of 16 members of the Solar Temple religious sect were found in a clearing near Grenoble, France. 14 were presumed shot by two people who then committed suicide.

1997 - Terry Nichols was convicted by a Denver jury on charges of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the 1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma City. The bomb killed 168 people.

1998 - Guerrillas in south Lebanon fired dozens of rockets at northern Israel.



Whose Birthday Is It?

Richard Arkwright 1732

Alexander I 1777

Joseph Smith 1805

Samuel Smiles 1812

Connie Mack 1862

Fredi Washington 1903

Don McNeill 1907

Yousuf Karsh 1908

Maurice Denham 1909

James Gregory 1911

Jose Greco 1918

Gerald O’Loughlin 1921

Ruth Roman 1923

Harry Guardino 1925

Robert Bly 1926

Dick Weber 1929

Akihito 1933

'Little' Esther Phillips 1935

James Stacy 1936

Frederic Forrest 1936

Johnny Kidd 1939

Tim Hardin 1940

Eugene Record 1940

Jorma Kaukonen 1940

Elizabeth Hartman 1943

Harry Shearer 1943

Ron Bushy 1945

Susan Lucci 1948

Johnny Contardo 1951

Dave Murray 1958

Eddie Vedder 1964

Corey Haim 1972

Jamie Murphy 1975


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Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

How Healthy Are You?


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

Waiting For Mr. Badbar

Most people will tell you that Medicaid and ObamaCare have no connection.

Wrong.

They are intimately connected.

The goal of ObamaCare is to eliminate private insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare and to replace them with Universal Single-Payer government sponsored health care.

Notice I didn't say "insurance". The insurance companies are on the chopping block, too.

Anyway...

Read the ObamaCare law as passed by the Senate and not voted on by the House. I want you to actually read the law, so I will just tell you that the bits that detail this are between pages 693 and 1727.

Hell, you might as well read it since the members of Congress didn't. Like Pelosi said, "...we have to pass it so we can find out what's in it..." Hell of a way to run a government if you ask me.

Services like the ones this article talk about are only the first to go.

Let's get rid of pharmacies. You'll get your medications from the government. Well, the ones they want you to have, anyway.

Who needs transplants? If you had taken care of yourself, your liver/kidney/heart would still be OK and we wouldn't need to spend all that money on you.

Teeth? We don't need no stinking teeth! Ensure is covered by the plan. Root canals aren't.

Our records show that you voted for a Tea Party candidate in 2010. Take two aspirin and call us in the morning.

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Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
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December 22 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 22

1715 - James Stuart, the "Old Pretender", landed at Petershead after his exile in France.

1775 - A Continental naval fleet was organized in the rebellious American colonies under the command of Ezek Hopkins.

1807 - The U.S. Congress passed the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe.

1864 - During the American Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to U.S. President Lincoln from Georgia. The message read, "I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah."

1877 - The "American Bicycling Journal" went on sale for the first time.

1894 - The United States Golf Association was formed in New York City.

1894 - French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.

1895 - German physicist Wilhelm Röntgen made the first X-ray, of his wife's hand.

1910 - U.S. Postal savings stamps were issued for the first time. They were discontinued in 1914.

1939 - Gloria Jacobs became the first girl to hold a world pistol record when she shot 299 out of a possible 300 points. She was 17 years old at the time.

1943 - Sporting goods manufacturers received permission to use synthetic rubber for the core of baseballs.

1941 - British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.

1956 - Colo, the first gorilla to be born in captivity, was born at the Columbus, Ohio zoo.

1956 - The last British and French forces evacuated Egypt.

1961 - James Davis became the first U.S. soldier to die in Vietnam, while U.S. involvement was still limited to the provision of military advisers.

1976 - The last show of "Let’s Make A Deal" was aired.

1984 - New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths on a Manhattan subway. Goetz claimed they were about to rob him.

1989 - Romania's hard-line Communist ruler, Nicolae Ceausescu, was overthrown in a popular uprising.

1990 - Lech Walesa was sworn in as Poland's first popularly elected president.

1991 - The body of Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage murdered by his captors, was found along a highway in Lebanon.

1996 - A car bomb exploded in Belfast, injuring a known IRA supporter. Police suspected that Protestant loyalists were responsible for the attack.

1998 - A unit of RJR Nabsico pled guilty to attempting to smuggle cigarettes into Canada.

2001 - Thirty Afghans, including two women, were sworn in as part of the new interim government in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai was the head of the post-Taliban government.



Whose Birthday Is It?

Giacomo Puccini 1858

Andre Kostelanetz 1885

Dame Edith Margaret 1907

Lady Bird Johnson 1912

Gene Rayburn 1917

Frankie Darro 1917

Barbara Billingsley 1922

Peggy Castle 1927

Hector Elizondo 1936

Red Steagall 1937

Steve Carlton 1944

Barry Jenkins 1944

Diane Sawyer 1945

Steve Garvey 1948

Robin Gibb 1949

Maurice Gibb 1949

Bob Fitchner 1950

Rick Nielsen 1950

Jan Stephenson 1951

Ian Turnbull 1953

BernNadette Stanis 1953

Ricky Ross 1957

Luther Campbell 1960

Chuck Mead 1960

Ralph Fiennes 1962

Dina Meyer 1968

Lauralee Bell 1968

Heather Donahue 1974


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Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Health and Welfare


Melodee's Home Page

I can't seem to leave some news stories alone...

It's A Start

A single ruling by one judge is hardly what I would call a "major legal roadblock", but it's a start.

I don't know of a single person—myself included—who does not believe that there are some problems with the American medical system.

Costs are out of control. Too many people lack access to basic preventative care. Insurance premiums are so high that many people simply can't afford them.

But socialized medicine is not a good solution. There are three principle reasons why not...

First, costs are higher in a socialized system. Look at any country with socialized medicine for examples. The combined governmental and private expenditures per capita run higher than what we now have. Sometimes the increase is as much as 70% higher.

Second, quality of care goes down in a socialized system. Again, look at the examples. Life span decreases as does the life expectancy following major illnesses like cancer. Perhaps more telling are the self-reported state of health from people at various ages.

Third, access to health care goes down in a socialized system. Waits for treatment get longer, choices get narrower, and work loads on providers go up. All of these contribute to both the first and second reasons, too.

A better solution seems totally unrelated to heath care to most people at first glance, and that is why it is often dismissed. You have to be able and willing to see the "big picture"...

Create Jobs

Good, long term, well paying jobs from employers who are making money can provide quality health insurance. Yes, it's really just that simple.

How this happens is just as simple...

Get The Government Off The Backs Of Business

With the current mass of regulations, forms, taxes, and all the rest, business can't be streamlined and efficient. They spend so much time and money on governmental compliance issues that a business can't afford to create jobs.

The easiest way to make all of this happen is for government to, basically, do nothing. Get rid of the unneeded regulations and taxes, and then just sit back.

Let The Free Market Fix Itself

In a nutshell, a health care provider or insurance company that is not offering a good value will not have any customers, and they will go away or change their offering. Costs will come down. Premiums will come down. Access will increase. Service will increase. Quality will increase. More people will take part in the programs because they have a job and can afford the program.

In other words, problem solved.

And we don't have to call each other Comrade.

Keep Loving!

Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
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December 21 - This Day In History



This Day In History
Courtesy of
On-This-Day.com

December 21

1620 - The "Mayflower", and its passengers, pilgrims from England, landed at Plymouth Rock, MA.

1849 - The first ice-skating club in America was formed in Philadelphia, PA.

1879 - Ibsen's "A Doll's House" was first performed in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a revised happy ending.

1898 - Scientists Pierre and Marie Curie discovered the radioactive element radium.

1909 - McKinley and Washington schools of Berkeley, CA, became the first authorized, junior-high schools in the U.S.

1913 - The "New York World" Sunday edition included a crossword puzzle as an added feature of the "Fun" supplement. It was the first crossword puzzle to be published.

1914 - Marie Dressler, Charlie Chaplin, Mabel Normand and Mack Swain appeared in the first six-reel, feature-length comedy. The film was entitled "Tillie’s Punctured Romance".

1925 - Eisenstein's film "Battleship Potemkin" was first shown in Moscow.

1937 - Walt Disney debuted the first, full-length, animated feature in Hollywood, CA. The movie was "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs."

1944 - Horse racing was banned in the United States until after the end of World War II.

1945 - U.S. Gen. George S. Patton died in Heidelberg, Germany, of injuries from a car accident.

1948 - The state of Eire (formerly the Irish Free State) declared its independence.

1951 - Joe DiMaggio announced his retirement from major league baseball.

1958 - Charles de Gaulle was elected to a seven-year term as the first president of the Fifth Republic of France.

1968 - Apollo 8 was launched on a mission to orbit the moon. The craft landed safely in the Pacific Ocean on December 27.

1971 - The U.N. Security Council chose Kurt Waldheim to succeed U Thant as secretary-general.

1978 - Police in Des Plaines, IL, arrested John W. Gacy Jr. and began unearthing the remains of 33 men and boys that Gacy was later convicted of killing.

1981 - Cincinnati defeated Bradley 75-73 in seven overtimes. The game was the longest collegiate basketball game in the history of NCAA Division I competition.

1988 - 270 people were killed when Pan Am Boeing 747 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, due to a terrorist attack.

1990 - In a German television interview, Saddam Hussein declared that he would not withdraw from Kuwait by the UN deadline.

1991 - Eleven of the 12 former Soviet republics proclaimed the birth of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

1995 - The city of Bethlehem passed from Israeli to Palestinian control.

1996 - After two years of denials, U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich admitted violating House ethics rules.

1998 - Israel's parliament voted overwhelmingly for early elections. It was the signal to the demise of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's hard-line government.

1998 - A Chinese court sentenced two dissidents to long prison terms for attempting to organize an opposition party. A third man was sentenced to 12 years in prison on December 22, 1998.

1998 - The first vaccine for Lyme disease was approved.

2001 - The Islamic militant group Hamas released a statement that said it was suspending suicide bombings and mortar attacks in Israel.

2002 - Larry Mayes was released after spending 21 years in prison for a rape that maintained that he never committed. He was the 100th person in the U.S. to be released after DNA tests were performed.




Whose Birthday Is It?

Jean Baptiste Racine 1639

Benjamin Disraeli 1804

Henrietta Szold 1860

Joseph Stalin 1879

Walter Hagen 1892

Pat Weaver 1908

Andor Foldes 1913

Heinrich Böll 1917

Kurt Waldheim 1918

Alicia Alonso 1921

Paul Winchell 1922

Phyliss Love 1925

Ed Nelson 1928

Freddie Hart 1933

Phil Donahue 1935

John Avildsen 1935

Jane Fonda 1937

Frank Zappa 1940

Ray Hildebrand 1940

Carla Thomas 1942

Albert Lee 1943

Gwen McCrae 1943

Jared Martin 1943

Michael Tilson Thomas 1944

Gordon Kannegiesser 1945

Josh Mostel 1946

Carl Wilson 1946

Nate Wright 1947

Elliott Maddox 1947

Samuel L. Jackson 1948

Claude Chartre 1949

Betty Wright 1953

Chris Evert 1954

Jane Kaczmarek 1955

Jim Rose 1956

Lee Roy Parnell 1956

Ray Romano 1957

Florence Griffith Joyner 1959

Christy Forester 1962

Andy Dick 1965

Gabrielle Glaser 1965

Kiefer Sutherland 1966

Khrystyne Haje 1968

Brad Warren 1968

Julie Delpy 1969

Brett Scallions 1971



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Melodee Aaron, Erotica Romance Author
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