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National Name Your Poison Day!

National Name Your Poison Day

After a hard day of herding 5000 head of cattle and chasin’ off rustlers, your only recourse for relaxation is to hit up the town saloon for a frosty brew. You round up your crew and walk on in to Dust Mug Saloon where the barkeep, Patrick Flannigan – Sudsy to his friends and regulars – looks up from polishing his beer mug and nods. Your boys pick a spot at a table, away from the door, and start playing Three-Card Monte. You take out a smoke and sidle up to the bar next to Sudsy.
“Hey, Bill” he says putting down his mug and wiping his hands on his apron.
“Hey, Suds,” you say with a voice that’s full of dust from the trail.
“What’ll it be?”
“What ya got, Suds? It’s been a hell of a day.”
“Name your poison, Bill. We just got a shipment from Laramie – all the best.”

…Wait, what? This isn’t the old West, and you’re not an honest cowboy just tryin’ to get by? Well, shuck my corn, partner! My mistake! I musta got confused, because you know what? Today IS national Name Your Poison day.

Continue reading “National Name Your Poison Day!” »

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Power to Oppress

Editor’s note: This post is a departure from our usually editorial content on the DIFF blog, but we wanted to share this with our readers, as the writer strongly believes in civil and human rights – something we all hold dear. The content here does not reflect or represent any official stance of Quicken Loans and is not intended to do so. This is simply the opinion of the writer and his position on world events he feels important. In most cases, if we were to write a post about civil or human rights, we would highlight a positive example of a person who has fought for them, such as Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. In this case, the writer points out a negative, with the main hope that civil and human rights can one day be enjoyed by people everyone on Earth.

Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, found himself in World News headlines once again recently for what seems to be a never-ending list of political infractions.

In an arrest more senseless than Plaxico Burress‘s recent two-year sentence for shooting himself in the leg, President Mugabe had his own police sergeant, Alois Mahunu, arrested and imprisoned for using the “Presidential” toilet.

In one royal flush, Mahunu answered the unfortunate call of nature resulting in Mugabe’s operatives charging him with “suspicion of invading the Presidential privy.”

Mugabe, head of Zimbabwe for over for 31 years, is more renowned for his infamous “starve into submission” election tactics of 2004, when he used food scarcity as a political weapon to influence voters to vote for him in the upcoming election.

Records show that 125 people died of malnutrition in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, in 2004.  However, the toll is considered to be exponentially higher in rural areas of Zimbabwe - due to no available health statistics.

Mugabe, who received an honorary LLD degree from Michigan State in 1990, refused to accept or ask for international aid in order to keep the strong-arm on Zimbabwe’s depleted food supply.

The concept was simple, citizens who did not turnover their voter card did not eat.

Nonetheless, the “starve into submission” campaign had lost its influence by the time Mugabe ran for reelection in 2008 prompting his most blatant attempt to fix an election to date.

Reports ran rampant of Mugabe’s brutal killings, violence, and arrest of anyone involved with the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirais movement for Democratic Change.  These extreme measures taken by Mugabe to gain reelection influenced Tsvangirai to pull out of election stating, “a free and fair election is impossible.”

Here’s the thing – change is possible and the people of Zimbabwe deserve it.

In fact, change happened just recently. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ruled for 30 years before he abruptly stepped down in February of this year. 

For this reason, spreading awareness about the unrest in Zimbabwe is imperative for the aspirations of  peace, equality, and justice of the Zimbabwean people. I hope they too can enjoy the freedom I enjoy everyday and take for granted. That freedom, is something I consider “the DIFF’!

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Hug Your Cat Day

Hug Your Cat DayToday, it’s Hug Your Cat Day! To our family, it’s always Hug Your Cat day. Well, my husband and I at least try to give “Myles”, our cat, the love he deserves whenever our four year-old is not trying to terrorize him.

We love hugging our Myles-e-o for several reasons:

  1. He’s not your typical cat. He actually thinks he’s a dog and he’s just as affectionate as any family dog. Myles will meow at you every time he wants attention from you. Or, he will just give you puppy eyes until you put him on your lap. Yes, we’re lucky. Every other cat I’ve had since I was a kid just wanted to be fed and sun bathe.
  2. He’s very talkative. We’ll literally sit and talk to Myles and he’ll meow back. Sometimes my husband jokes around and says stuff like “Myles, I don’t like cats. I like small dogs,” and the next thing you’ll hear is the loudest “Grrreow!” that you’ve ever heard. It still makes me laugh every single time.
  3. His purring is somewhat therapeutical. He’s so loud when he purrs that it sort of induces me into a trance. I can just pet him and concentrate on his purring and relax.
  4. He’s just part of the family. Yes, he gets in trouble for laying on our couches or going to certain areas of the house where he’s not allowed, but he’s still our very special cat.

So, if you’re a cat owner, remember to give your cat the love it deserves. If you don’t own a cat, you could volunteer at an animal shelter and share your love with the less fortunate furry creatures.

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Do you suffer from Friggatriskaidekaphobia?

Friday the 13thFor those of you who suffer from friggatriskaidekaphobia, or phobia of Friday the 13th, my thoughts are with you. For those that have a less debilitating fear of this day, hope you have a lucky Friday the 13th…?

The beginning of the Friday the 13th superstition is unclear. However, most people consider this day unlucky for many reasons. Here are a couple of theories about the origin of Friday the 13th:

  1. There is a superstition that the number 13 is unlucky. For instance, airlines will not have row number 13 and a lot of buildings skip floor 13. In numerology the number 12 is considered the number of completeness (e.g. 12 months of the year, 12 hours of the clock…you get the idea). The number thirteen was seen as “irregular” and disruptive to this “completeness.”
  2. Friday has been considered unlucky at least since the 14th century. Also, some Christians believe that Jesus was crucified on a Friday and therefore is an unlucky day.

If Friday the 13th scares you so much that you wish you could stay in bed all day in order to avoid it – You’re not alone! According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, N.C., it’s estimated that 17 to 21 million people the U.S. are affected by fear of this day. And approximately $800 and $900 million in productivity is lost on this day.

However, if your fear of this day is less severe, here are five things you can do on this day:

  1. Friday + pseudo-holiday = Party! Invite friends and use decorations such as black cats, paper ladders, and the number 13. Think of it as the second Halloween of the year.
  2. Watch Friday the 13th and other scary movies.
  3. Make a trip to a scary or haunted place.
  4. Research information about Friday the 13th and superstitions.
  5. Carry on with your daily activities and think of today as a regular day. In other words, don’t let a superstition turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy by thinking yourself into accidents.

What about you? What are your plans for Friday the 13th?

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Happy Kindergarten Day!

Kindergarten Jude

It’s no secret that I may possibly have one of the most entertaining kids around. If you’re a regular reader of this here blog, you’re well aware of the fun that is Jude. It seems like such a shame to keep all that awesomeness to myself, which is why I love to share him with everyone.

Jude has just turned 5 and with that comes the glory that is kindergarten. Although he’s currently in preschool, his current class shares a door (and sometimes class time) with the kindergarten class. He knows that’s a big step to go from preschool to kindergarten and asks me every day when it’s his turn to go. Kindergarten is a huge deal to the preschoolers – they’re the “big kids” of the school.

So in honor of my baby who is so eager to be a big kid, I want to say Happy Kindergarten Day!

But, wait! What does Kindergarten Day mean? Why celebrate Kindergarten Day? Continue reading “Happy Kindergarten Day!” »

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Time to Celebrate National Scrabble Day!

Happy Scrabble day everyone! How will you celebrate this national holiday today?

When Alfred Mosher Butts first created Scrabble in 1938, he probably never thought that one day it would have its own holiday. In fact, it took several years before the game became popular. It wasn’t until the early 1950’s, when a Macy’s executive discovered Scrabble while on vacation, that Scrabble started to become a household name. He loved the game so much that he placed an order for his store and the rest is history.

If you grew up playing Scrabble, you are not alone. It is estimated that there are approximately one hundred million sets sold worldwide, and about one to two million sets sold each year in North America alone. This game is so popular that some stores have to ration the supply in order to not run out.

Five reasons why it’s good to play Scrabble:

  • It’s FUN. After all, why would people play games if it weren’t for fun?
  • Build your vocabulary.
  • Bonding experience with friends and family.
  • Encourages problem solving.
  • You can also use bad words and not feel guilty.

So, there you go – plenty of reasons to play this awesome game. So, dust off your Scrabble or, if you don’t have one, get one and celebrate Scrabble day!

Please share with us what you did to commemorate this holiday by posting a comment or picture.

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Celebrate Cosmonauts Day on April 12!

Yuri GagarinHappy World Cosmonauts Day! Or if you prefer, Russian Cosmonaut Day, Yuri’s night or International Day of Human Space Flight.

That’s right, April 12th is the celebration of the first successful manned space flight by Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin in 1961. This year, the United Nations have made it an official resolution, with more than 50 states taking part in drafting the document. However, in Russia, they have been celebrating this day since 1962.

Yuri Gagarin was a 27-year-old cosmonaut who circled the Earth on the Vostok 1 spacecraft before returning successfully – and safely –  back to Soviet soil after 1 hour  and 48 minutes. Yuri instantly became a national hero of the Soviet Union and a world-famous figure. His accomplishment was celebrated with lavish parades so elaborate and spectacular, they are only overshadowed by the majesty of the Soviet World War II victory parades. Yuri also earned the country’s highest honor, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Continue reading “Celebrate Cosmonauts Day on April 12!” »

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April is National Poetry Month

The Academy of American Poets launched National Poetry Month in 1996 and is observed every April. Publishers, booksellers, libraries, schools and poets across the country celebrate poetry and its contribution to American culture.  In honor of this literary art, behold, a poem about the mortgage process at Quicken Loans.

Engineered to Amaze

Just saw a commercial about low mortgage rates

And wondered how long the qualification process takes

I picked up the phone and dialed toll free

A Quicken Loans team member happily greeted me

They pulled my credit, but it was no surprise

My hard work indeed made my credit score rise

We talked about the documents needed to refinance

Sending everything electronically made me want to dance!

No trips to a bank that closes at five

I’ve got a busy schedule, don’t they know I’m alive?

Quicken Loans made it easy to share my income and assets

To determine the loan program that fits my life best

When I heard my new payment I was almost in shock

I could hardly wait to secure my rate lock

I hopped online and visited MyQL

Where my personal page held every detail

I signed my documents online with access 24 hours a day

It’s clear this company is always finding a better way!

They reviewed my profile like a smooth ninja fighter

I could not believe these were the skills of a loan underwriter

Communication was key, no stone left unturned

As the process moved forward I was never concerned

Got a question or need information you can use?

Just visit their website and read Mortgage News

Whether you’re looking to purchase or refinance a home

Quicken Loans exceeds expectations, they polish it up like chrome

FHA Loans, VA Loans or conventional,

Making you feel like the king or queen of your castle is intentional

I had no clue when I picked up the phone

I’d actually enjoy getting a home loan

My loan was closed in about 30 days

They’ve been doing this for years, it’s not just a phase

Their great client service is Engineered to Amaze!

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Help Us Save Detroit 1-8-7

ABC’s primetime show Detroit 1-8-7 is backed into a corner and taking more blows than Sonny Liston in a Muhammad Ali fight. With ratings down, the show is in danger of being canned after only its first season. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is also pulling the plug on film tax credits in an effort to balance the state’s budget.

Detroit 1-8-7 has helped spotlight the city and showcased its humanity and spirit. The show gives viewers the real Detroit, the good and the bad.

If you’re a fan of the show, or just want to help a good cause, contact ABC and let them know the positive buzz Detroit 1-8-7 brings to the city. Direct your plea to Paul Lee, president of ABC entertainment. Please be polite, concise, and tell them you are not a happy camper!

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Angry Birds Cake or: How I Learned to Stop Condemning & Love Kids These Days

When I was 6, I got a Baskin Robbins ice cream cake with an upside down ice cream cone decorated as a clown (the sugar cone was the hat, get it?). In 2011, we celebrate birthdays by giving our kids a PLAYABLE ANGRY BIRDS CAKE:

At first I was enraged, I was petrified…but now I’m feeling better about it. And here’s why…

Continue reading “Angry Birds Cake or: How I Learned to Stop Condemning & Love Kids These Days” »

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Today's Date:
Sunday, February 25, 2018