Posts Tagged ‘Driver Shea’

Winner (10/29): Rinn (finally), then Carole St. Martin, Uncle Creepy, and Taylor with Mistress Daphne (aka Dale Evans)

Rinn wins! Rinn wins! Been waiting to say that for a while, must have been that Halloween costume that made her a winner.

Those are three blind mice by the way.


Winner (10/22): the Driver, then Aly, and Brittany

the Driver overcame his abysmal lack of knowledge of pop culture to just sneak in with the win.


Good Question!: In which Harry Potter movie does Sirius Black die?

Choices: a. Order of the Phoenix b. Goblet of Fire C. Sorcerer’s Stone                D. Chamber of Secrets

Answer: Order of the Phoenix

If you were wondering, poor Sirius Black was done in at the hands of Lord Voldemort and his followers, the Death Eaters in this 5th of eight Harry Potter movies. It’s a pretty complicated story line (aren’t they all) so better to just watch the trailer:


Wonder what Harry Potter and his friends look like these days?

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Winner: the Driver, then Tall Paul and Frank the sports guy, along with the injured Mistress Daphne.

Tonight was the Drivers birthday and he celebrated with a tiramisu cake and a win. The birthday was a milestone, either 70 or 75, he’s not saying. In any case, we were way short of candles.

Mistress Daphne returned from her most recent voyage with her shoulder in a sling. Story I heard was that she got in a fight with some old lady who tried to take her assigned window seat in the main dining room.

Good Question!: The oldest building in the United States, 800 years old, is located in which city?

Choices: a. Panama City  b. Pueblo   c. St. Agustine  d. Santa Fe

The “Oldest” House – 215 East de Vargas Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Answer: Santa Fe

The oldest house in the U.S. is an adobe structure in downtown Santa Fe, circa 1646. The doors and windows are so small to both combat the desert heat and because people were smaller back then. This Adobe house sits on a Pueblo ruins foundation at least 800 years old.

The house was originally constructed as a part of the Pueblo de Analco, a Pueblo Indian community that existed in what is now Santa Fe, New Mexico. While the exact date of the construction of the house itself is not known, it was probably constructed some time in the thirteenth or fourteenth century as the community itself existed from about 1200 AD to about 1435 AD.

What about St. Augustine?

How can the oldest house be in Santa Fe, New Mexico when St. Augustine, Florida is the oldest city in the nation? Logically, if the oldest house in the nation is in Santa Fe, how come St. Augustine is the oldest city?

Easy – St. Augustine is only the oldest continuously occupied European city in the United States.

What is the Oldest Building in New York City?

 The Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum, at 5816 Clarendon Road, Brooklyn, is the city’s oldest surviving stucture and it’s pretty darn old. Built in stages beginning around 1652, it housed descendants of Pieter Claesen Wyckoff until 1901, when they sold the property. Repurchased by the Wyckoff Family Association in 1961, it was the first building granted protection by the newly-formed Landmarks Preservation Commission in 1965.

Not all buildings survive to a ripe old age, as Paul Newman and Steve McQueen found:

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Winner: the Driver, then Pluto, Rosebud, Eric and Tom Twin

The Driver built up a big lead, then pulled his usual foldo and fell into a tie with Pluto. Their play off went a few rounds and was decided when the Driver knew that “Midnight Cowboy” was the only X rated movie to win the best picture Oscar. Pluto protested, said that asking a question about X-rated films was unfair, because that’s the Driver’s specialty.

Tonight marked the return of Tall Paul and Judge Judy who had been in an ashram studying diligently and preparing to come back and win this game. Better get a refund from that ashram, guys. Eric did not win tonight either, but was quite pleased that he finally made the photo for the winner’s podium.

Good Question!: Hurricanes and cyclones have human names because the meteorologist who started naming them, named them after?

a.his mom’s family  b.his children  c.his neighbors  d.politicians he hated


Answer: politicians he hated.

First Hurricane Names

Clement Wragge, Director of the Queensland state meteorological department at the end of the 19th century, is credited with being the first person to systematically name storms after real people.

Describing storms over Australia, New Zealand, and the Arctic, Wragge originally plucked names from Greek and Roman mythology, then moved on to the names of Pacific Island women whose beauty caught his eye.

But when public figures opposed his projects, Wragge tacked their names onto storms, allowing him to take pleasure in reporting certain politicians as “causing great distress,” or “wandering aimlessly about the Pacific.”

After Wragge’s death in 1922, his storm naming system fell into disuse. Storms were instead described by their location or things they hit, leading to names like the 1911 Ship Cyclone and the 1938 New England Hurricane.

Current Hurricane Names

Hurricanes occur every year, and sometimes two or three hurricanes can be active at the same time. Using names for these storms makes it much easier for meteorologists, researchers, emergency response workers, ship captains and citizens to communicate about specific hurricanes and be clearly understood.

For that reason, the World Meteorological Organization develops a list of names that are assigned in alphabetical order to tropical storms as they are discovered in each hurricane season. Names can be repeated after an interval of six years, but the names of especially severe storms are permanently retired from use. In 1953, the United States began using female names for storms and, by 1979, both male and female names were used to identify storms in the Atlantic basin.

Tropical Storms (Not Hurricanes) are Named

In the Atlantic Ocean, tropical storms that reach a sustained wind speed of 39 miles per hour are given a name, such as “Tropical Storm Fran.” If the storm reaches a sustained wind speed of 74 miles per hour, it is called a hurricane – such as “Hurricane Fran.” So, hurricanes are not given names, tropical storms are given names, and they retain their name if they develop into a hurricane.

What happens when a little fishing boat meets a big storm?



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Winner: the Driver, then Jacqui, Frank the sports guy and Matt (way in the back, Mistress Daphne)

This time the Driver held on for the win. A group of players at a rear table were charged with collusion, but they finished far back, so that must have been just a delusion.

We had most members of the village board sitting at the bar tonight and they made such a racket we couldn’t hear the questions. At least, that’s the excuse some of us used.

Good Question!: What type of bird has the largest wingspan of all surviving species?

Choices: a. eagle   b. condor   c. albatross   d. great white pelican

Answer: albatraoss

An albatross aloft can be a spectacular sight. These feathered giants have the longest wingspan of any bird—up to 11 feet! The wandering albatross is the biggest of some two dozen different species. Albatrosses use their formidable wingspans to ride the ocean winds and sometimes to glide for hours without rest or even a flap of their wings.

Because of their tameness on land, many albatrosses are known by the common names mollymawk (from the Dutch for “foolish gull”) and gooney. In calm air an albatross has trouble keeping its stout body airborne and prefers to rest on the water surface, though the position makes them vulnerable to aquatic predators. Like other oceanic birds, albatrosses drink seawater. Although they normally live on squid, they also are seen to accompany ships to feed on garbage.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The word albatross is sometimes used metaphorically to mean a psychological burden that feels like a curse. It is an allusion to Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798). In the poem, an albatross starts to follow a ship — being followed by an albatross was generally considered a sign of good luck. However, the titular mariner shoots the albatross with a crossbow, which is regarded as an act that will curse the ship (which indeed suffers terrible mishaps). The albatross is then literally hung around the mariner’s neck by the crew to symbolize his guilt in killing the bird.

How far can an albatross fly?
10,000 miles

Scientists believe they have finally worked out how the mighty albatross – a seabird capable of travelling 10,000 miles in a single journey and circumnavigating the globe in 46 days – manages to fly without expending almost any energy. Find out HERE.

OR just watch this video:

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Co-Winners: the Driver and Lena, followed by Tom, Rosebud, and Pluto

Lena, an au pair from Potsdam (that’s East Germany, not upstate New York) joined us tonight and showed how good the German education system is.

Before the game, Pluto beseeched Lena: “This is a game of American trivia. Please don’t win. You will make us all feel like village idiots.” She then proceeded to finish tied for first in regulation and became our first international winner.

Good Question!: Which Apollo mission had an oxygen tank explode?

Choices: a. Apollo 7   b. Apollo 13   c. Gemini   d. Apollo 11


Answer: Apollo 13

“Houston, We Have a Problem”

On April 11, 1970, NASA launched the Apollo 13 mission to send three astronauts to the moon and mark the third manned lunar landing. The mission aimed to send commander Jim Lovell and lunar module pilot Fred Haise to the lunar surface, while command module pilot Jack Swigert remained in orbit. But on April 13, the mission suffered a crippling explosion that would nearly doom the spaceflight and its crew.

Apollo 13 carried an oxygen tank with a troubled history. The tank had been damaged in testing, but the spacecraft builders were not aware of a problem. At about 56 hours into the flight of Apollo 13, Jack Swigert was instructed to “stir the tanks,” or agitate the super-cold liquid oxygen. Moments later, oxygen tank 2 exploded. Photos taken near the end of the flight reveal the extent of the damage. “One whole side of the spacecraft is missing!” exclaimed Lovell. The command module’s normal supply of electricity, light and water was lost, and they were about 200,000 miles from Earth.

The explosion was accompanied by a sharp bang and vibration at 9:08 p.m. April 13. Swigert saw a warning light that accompanied the bang and said, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”

Grumman Lunar Module Saves the Day

With the command module losing power fast, the astronauts had to move into the lunar module, or LM, to use it as a lifeboat. This was the lunar module built right here on LI by your neighbors, who worked at Grumman.This was the same Grumman that had caused Vice Adm. John McCain Sr. to say during World War II: “The name Grumman on a plane is like sterling on silver.”

Designed for two, the LM’s cabin was a tight fit for three people, with Swigert keeping mostly to the small section at the rear of the cabin.

The LM did not have enough carbon-dioxide-scrubbing chemical canisters to keep the air breathable for three men all the way back to Earth. The astronauts had to build a crude adapter using spare parts on board, to make use of canisters meant for the command module.

At the time of the accident, Apollo 13 was on a path that would cause it to miss Earth by 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers). To return home the astronauts had to fire the lunar module’s big landing engine several times to get back on the right trajectory.

The near-disaster of Apollo 13 was a stunning reminder of the perils of human spaceflight and how NASA, through ingenuity and perseverance, managed to overcome the incident and save the mission’s three-man crew. In 1995, director Ron Howard would retell the Apollo 13 story in the film “Apollo 13” starring Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell.

This is a wonderful, very tense 3 minute clip: “Houston We Have a Problem”


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Winner; the Driver, followed by TomTwin and young Dave

The Driver has a long history of crash and burn when he’s in the lead. He can’t handle the pressure. This week he tried a new strategy and it worked. After missing four of the first five questions he thought he had no chance to win. Feeling no pressure he then proceeded to run the table and win.

Tonight we learned that Italy (1970) legalized divorce much before Ireland (1996), and that Switzerland likes to use its Latin name “Helvetia” on its stamps – who knew?

Good Question!: According to Polish folklore only marriages held in months that contain this letter can be successful?

Choices: a. Y   b. R   c. L   d. T

Answer: R

Odds are if you’re at a Polish wedding, the name of the month probably contain the letter “r” (in Polish, that includes March, June, August, September, October and December). It’s thought that these months will bring good luck to a marriage and are thus the most popular times to plan a wedding. Rosebud is headed to a wedding in Poland in April – I guess her cousin is not superstitious or just follows the English spelling.

Here are some other things you can expect at a Polish wedding.

The Unveiling and Capping Ceremony (called “oczepiny”) during wedding ceremony

This tradition is still the mainstay of many Polish brides, representing a rite of passage from young woman to married woman. All single ladies circle the bride as the maid or matron of honor stands behind the bride and removes the veil (welon, czepek) from the bride’s head as music is played. A married woman is given the responsibility of pinning the cap on the bride as all married women circle around the bride. At this moment, the bride is officially considered a married woman, Sometimes, after the unveiling the bride will toss the veil, rather than the bouquet, to one of the single women or give the veil to the maid of honor.


Some Polish favorites are: Polish beet soup (barszcz czerwony),
hunter’s stew (bigos), dumplings (kopytka), dough pockets (pierogi)
roasted meats and vegetables, potatoes with gravy, meat pastries, torte and fruit bar.
In addition to food, they serve Polish drinks as well, such as Polish vodka (make that lots of vodka) or wine.

Music and Dance

It is customary to have a polka band playing as the wedding guests began arriving at the banquet hall or the Dom Weselny (wedding house).

In Poland they sing one special song at weddings (also at birthdays). It’s one of the oldest Polish wedding traditions. The song is called “Sto Lat” and it means 100 years. They wish you to live and be well for that long.


Sto lat, sto lat niech żyje, żyje nam,
Sto lat, sto lat niech żyje, żyje nam,
Jeszcze raz, jeszcze raz,
niech żyje, żyje nam,
niech żyje nam…

Good health, good cheer, may you live a hundred years, one hundred years…

Next day after reception party, there is a follow-up party the day after the wedding (poprawiny). This is held at the home of one of the newlyweds’ parents, especially when there is quite a bit of food and drink left over from the previous day’s festivities. In fact, it is not unusual to have a wedding which last three days and nights straight. Now that’s a wedding!

My favorite American wedding is “Wedding Crashers,” just too many laughs.



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Winner: Driver Shea


Nicky’s Boys

Everyone Plays
For the first time in memory, every one of the patrons in Main Street Café –  all the diners, along with all the usual thirsty souls at the bar – played the game tonight. 18 players on a cold, rainy night – not bad. For a change the Driver answered the last few questions correctly and nipped Tall Paul, CarolD and Almond Joy for the win. It was good to see the Driver, who had been developing a reputation as a choke artist, hold on for the win.

Nicky’s Boys
Darin had met these gentlemen in Nicky’s and convinced them they would have a good time if they joined us for Tuesday Trivia. Of course, she did not tell them they would have to deal with Mistress Daphne all night. I doubt we will see them again.

No Right Answer
Two questions tonight had no correct answer among the choices and had to be thrown out. Sacre Bleu! When we asked Darin how this could happen, she said: “I was interrupted while preparing the answer sheet by a phone call from Cindy, so it was all Cindy’s fault.” Back in the day Cindy was everyone’s favorite waitress at Main Street Café. Then she left to teach and raise a family in south America. She used to be one of Darin’s best friends, now sadly, just a convenient scapegoat.

Good Question!: What deadly disease caused an epidemic approximately concurrent with the end of World War I?

Choices: a. Spanish Flu  b.Black Plague  c. Typhus  d. Small Pox


Answer: Spanish Flu

Despite the fact that the 1918 flu wasn’t isolated to one place, it became known around the world as the Spanish flu, as Spain was one of the earliest countries to be hit hard by the disease.

The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351.

A flu pandemic, such as the one in 1918, occurs when an especially virulent new influenza strain for which there’s little or no immunity appears and spreads quickly from person-to-person around the globe.

The pandemic affected everyone. With one-quarter of the US and one-fifth of the world infected with the influenza, it was impossible to escape from the illness. Even President Woodrow Wilson suffered from the flu in early 1919 while negotiating the crucial treaty of Versailles to end the World War.

More than 25 percent of the U.S. population became sick, and some 675,000 Americans died during the pandemic. Researchers later discovered what made the 1918 pandemic so deadly: In many victims, the influenza virus had invaded their lungs and caused pneumonia.



The effect of the influenza epidemic was so severe that the average life span in the US was depressed by 10 years. The influenza virus had a profound virulence, with a mortality rate at 2.5% compared to the previous influenza epidemics, which were less than 0.1%. The death rate for 15 to 34-year-olds of influenza and pneumonia were 20 times higher in 1918 than in previous years. People were struck with illness on the street and died rapid deaths.

Editor’s Note: Mark your calendar. Tuesday, Dec 20 for annual Christmas Carols sing-along @ Main Street Cafe.




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Winner: DriverShea

The Driver led from start to finish in this game. Pluto buried himself in the first half, missing seven of the first 10, but made a valiant effort to come back with a perfect second half. He fell short and finished second along with Rosebud.

Almond Joy and Donna returned from Yellowstone just in time to play, but based on their performance, they should’ve spent more time with the geysers.

A couple of Irish questions stumped even our Irish tourists. We learned that Bushmills, not Jameson, is Ireland’s oldest licensed whiskey distillery. And get this, the fastest growing religion in Ireland is Buddhism. Who knew?

Good question!:  In what country did donuts originate?

Choices: a. Canada  b. Holland  c. Italy  d. China


Answer: Holland

Well, maybe.

Doughnuts have a disputed history. One theory, relying on it’s earliest mention in a cookbook, suggests they were a British invention, while another theory holds they were invented in North America by Dutch settlers.

Here’s what the Oxford Companion to American Food and Drink. has to say on the subject:

“Doughnuts are deep-fried cakes with a long European history and roots in still earlier Middle Eastern cuisine. They were introduced to America by the Dutch in New Netherlands. These doughnuts took the form of irregular balls, at some point called oliebollen, or oil (fried) balls. The doughnut “hole” is a relatively new invention, introduced in the mid 1800’s by Captain Hanson Gregory.

The history of the doughnut goes back centuries, long before the discovery of the New World. In ancient Rome and Greece, cooks would fry strips of pastry dough and coat them with honey or fish sauce (eww!). In Medieval times, Arab cooks started frying up small portions of unsweetened yeast dough, drenching the plain fried blobs in sugary syrup to sweeten them. The fritters spread into northern Europe in the 1400’s and became popular throughout England, Germany and the Netherlands. Over the years, doughnuts have become a distinctly American food passion.



World War I “Doughboys.”
Doughnuts took on a patriotic resonance on the front lines of World War I, when female Salvation Army workers known as “Doughnut Girls” would fry and distribute doughnuts to the American soldiers fighting in France. They offered a taste of home to the soldiers, who became known as “Doughboys.” Doughnut Girls were replaced by “Doughnut Dollies” during World War II.

And of course, we all know how much our favorite American Homer Simpson loves his doughnuts, speaking of which:

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Winner: Driver Shea

It had been a close game, but the Driver was about to eke out a win. Then it happened again. He booted the last question. He fell back into a tie with Judy and Pluto and now the winner would be decided in a sudden death playoff.

Judy’s attempt to 3peat ended early, but the Driver and Pluto remained tied round after round. Finally, a French question ended it – It is known in France as the “le golfe de Gascogne”. What is the English name for it? The Bay of Biscay, of course.

Mistress Daphne butchered her attempt to pronounce “le golfe de Gascogne”, leaving all of us wondering what the heck she was talking about. Fortunately MainStreetCafe’s favorite Parisian, CaroleG was in town and she stepped in to give us the correct pronunciation.

Good Question!: Which explorer introduced pigs to North America?

a. Columbus  b. Marco Polo  c. Henry Hudson  d. John Cabot

Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwich with BBQ Sauce and Fries

Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwich with BBQ Sauce and Fries

Answer: Christopher Columbus

“Pigs were domesticated in China around 4900BC and were being raised in Europe by 1500BC. The Romans improved pig breeding and spread pork production throughout their empire.

Jewish religious law banned the eating of pork before 1000BC, based on a belief that pigs were unclean since they ate waste, and there was the fear of disease (no doubt associated with contracting trichinosis from eating improperly cooked pork.) Early Christians also shunned pork, but by around AD50 those restrictions were relaxed. Muhammad also banned the consumption of pork. Europe, being principally Christian, embraced the pig: Swine ate anything, reproduced prodigiously, and their meat was easily preserved.

At Queen Isabella’s insistence, Christopher Columbus took eight pigs on his voyage to Cuba in 1493. They were tough and could survive the voyage with minimal care, they supplied an emergency food source if needed, and those that escaped provided meat for hunting on return trips.

But Hernando de Soto was the true “father of the American pork industry.” He brought America’s first 13 pigs to Tampa Bay, Fla., in 1539. As the herds grew, explorers used the pigs not only for eating as fresh meat but for salt pork and preserved pork. American Indians were reportedly so fond of the taste of pork that attacks to acquire it resulted in some of the worst assaults on the expedition. By the time de Soto died three years later, his original herd of 13 pigs had grown to 700 – a very conservative estimate.

Let’s hear it for deSoto! The pork industry in America had begun.

Wall Street Pigs
Pig production spread rapidly through the new colonies. Semi wild pigs ravaged New York colonists’ grain fields to the extent that every pig 14 inches in height that was owned by a colonist was required to have a ring in its nose to make it easier to control. On Manhattan Island, a long solid wall to exclude rampaging pigs was constructed on the northern edge of the colony; it created the name for the area now known as Wall Street.”
source: austinchronicle.com

When I’m not thinking of pork Bar-B-Q, I’m thinking of Porky Pig:

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Winner: The Driver

His high altitude training in Ecuador paid off and The Driver dominated tonight’s game. Of course, it also could have been those cocoa leaves he was chewing on. Trailing behind were Rhys and Pluto, but it really was no contest.

Due to technical difficulties this week’s post will be much abbreviated.

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