Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Rabbit Rabbit

It's that time again! Golly how the months fly by. It's the first of the month, so you'd better say Rabbit Rabbit for good luck. Can't be too careful.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The night I was born

My father, mother, and three older sisters were all delivered by the same man, Dr. Wiley. In fact, almost all of my cousins were delivered by Dr. Wiley as well. All born in the same hick town in the boondocks of Tennessee. You can barely call it a town in fact, and for the most part they were born out in the country nearby the "town."

I just had to be different of course. My father was working on a temporary job on a TVA damn in Alabama when I was born. The family was there for just a few months.

My sisters were all born at home, but none of them had been present at the birth of any of the others. They had always stayed with my mother's mother when Mama was about due to deliver. But Mama's mother had died about seven months before this particular November night. So, everyone in the family was there in the small two-bedroom house the night I was born.

I grew up hearing the story of "the night you were born," from all different directions. It seemed to have been a big event in everyone's life. Well, the one person who never told the story was my father. He never mentioned it.

My oldest sister Mary was a bright kid who read a lot and wrote all the time. So I have my story in front of me right now. Written by my sister, who was nine and a half at the time of my birth. It's not a happy story. Below is part of what Mary wrote:

"When Mama started labor, my father sent me for the mid-wife. The directions he gave me were to a part of the tract I had never been to before. My heart was in my throat. I was afraid I would get lost. I knew my father would be very angry with me if I failed to find her house."

Later after Mary has alerted the mid-wife and is back home she writes, "Daddy told me to take Doris and Bonnie to the bedroom that Doris and I shared and not to come out until he gave us permission." (Doris would have been six years old, and Bonnie would have just turned two on the first of the month. Bonnie had been used to sleeping with Mama up until this very night.)

Mary continues, "It seemed like hours passed. Bonnie was only a baby herself and she kept asking for Mama. I let her play with my paper dolls, which were cut out of the Sears Roebuck catalogue, to keep her quiet. Finally, the door opened and we were allowed to see the new baby. Mama called our attention to how she already held up her head and turned it in the direction of the person speaking."

"We could all see that Axxx Nxxxx (my real name), as Daddy named her, was going to be a strong intelligent child. Besides, she had violet eyes, which I had never seen before."

The story goes downhill after that. Bonnie cried later because she was accustomed to sleeping with Mama at night, and Daddy wasn't going to allow that now that there was a new baby. Daddy whipped Bonnie to make her stop crying, which only made her sob harder. (That was a favorite trick of his.)

Mary writes that, "Bonnie desperately tried to stop crying. Her sobs came in jerks that drew her stomach up under her ribs. " Mary then describes the beating that Bonnie got from my father because she couldn't stop crying. Mary got up the nerve to save Bonnie by grabbing her and retreating into the girls' bedroom. Poor Mama was crying and begging Daddy to leave the kids alone. So Daddy did his other favorite thing: Slammed the door and left.

As I said before, I heard this story from day one. When I was six or so, I told Mary that I knew why Daddy got so mad the night I was born. It was because I had been another girl. He wanted a boy. Here I was: just another damned girl.

He got his revenge on me with the names he gave me. My true first name is ugly, and my true middle name is unusual. But that's not the kicker. It seems that the family left Alabama a couple of months after I was born because my father had been having an affair with one of his supervisors daughters, of which there were two. Yep. I got those two names. That Daddy. Such a rake.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Too lazy to think

I stole this from Christine (formerly 100 Reasons Why I Hate My Husband). I have no shame, and I have no ideas for a post. Besides, it's Sunday. No one reads or posts on Sunday, 'cept Hoss. Can't compete with the best, and Hoss is the best.

What were you doing 10 years ago?

Still working as an accountant and accounting systems analyst for the Commonwealth of PA. Pennsylvania is a commonwealth, not a state. Please don't ask me what the difference is.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

Just returned from a long trip to the western states. We hit Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Seattle, Salem (didn't know Hoss then), Glacier National Park, Mt. Rushmore, you name it. Then we hosted the family for Thanksgiving.

5 snacks you enjoy:

1. Chocolate
2. Chocolate covered pretzels
3. Chocolate ice cream
4. Chocolate covered anything
5. Coffee, best with something chocolate to eat

5 songs to which you know all the lyrics:

1. Amazing Grace
2. Purple People Eater
3. The Star-Spangled Banner
4. White Christmas
5. Rock-a-bye Baby

5 things you would do if you were a millionare:

1. Give money to my kids
2. Give money to all kinds of causes and charities
3. Buy a vacation house at the shore (I think)
4. Travel
5. That's it. Millions don't go all that far.

5 bad habits:

1. Chocolate
2. Laziness
3. Cleaning other people's houses
4. Blogging
5. Not seeing other's points of view

5 things you like doing:

1. Eating. Especially chocolate
2. Reading
3. Blogging
4. Traveling
5. Being with my family

5 things you would never wear again:

1. Bell bottoms. Unless they come back into style.
2. Maternity clothes. (Yea! I'd rather be old than pregnant.)
3. Four-inch killer high heels
4. Hip huggers
5. Platform shoes

5 favorite toys:

1. Computer
2. Vacuum cleaner
3. Car radio
4. CD player
5. Obviously I don't have enough toys.

Let me know if you played.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Witness to BASIP

This is so much fun. I'm on the PC at AP3's. Daughter Aral is on her lap top in here, making her BASIP. If you ever read her blog, you know that on Saturday she does a Bizarre Album Saturday In Pezland post.

It's so much fun watching this develop. She's pretty darn smart at putting all this together. In fact she says that it's so much work, that she ought to get paid for it. That Aral. What's bizarre is that she didn't even pick the album until a couple of minutes ago. She's half asleep, and she just does this stuff on the spur of the moment. I'm impressed.

'Course, if any of these albums was worth actually hearing, they wouldn't be considered bizarre. But she buys them for the bizarre cover pictures.

Aral's spouse Me Wonder Woman Pez and I are rockin' to the music, such as it is, my husband Niks is reading the newspaper out loud to us, and Aral is working away on her post. The cats are meowing for attention, the dog is excited at all the activity, and there's a young man over in the living room who apparently slept there last night. I knew that granddaughter Aved had company when I went to bed. All the activity is exciting to me too.

Niks and I get to stay in a Pezland room here. Aral has nine musical instruments in that room. She has albums with "interesting" covers framed on the walls, plus many other odd and interesting things.

She has a pretty good Elvis collection goin'. Has a lamp with Elvis and his hips swing back and forth continually. There's a life size bust of Elvis too. Of course the shelves are full of books on music and sheet music. She's a musical girl.

Oh! Hats! This girl has hats! A lot of hats! And more shoes than straight women have. But the shoes are in the closet, unlike Aral. The hats are hanging in collections. Maybe 50 or 70 hats?

Me Wonder Woman also has a room for her toys. (This is a big old house with plenty of room.) MWW's extra room is pretty and meditative. Aral's is like a college dorm room.

Young people are energizing. I'm having a great time.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm having the very best of Thanksgivings. I'm sitting in my daughter's (ap3) livingroom (recently redone and beautiful), with a fire in the fireplace, it's snowing outside, and the young folks are doing all the cooking.

There's a Johnny Mathis CD playing Christmas songs, and the TV is showing the Macy's T-day parade with the sound muted.

I love this wireless laptop of ap3's. I may have to gift myself with one.

Amid all this love and loveliness, I am thinking of you and yours. You are real people to me. Not just obscure identities on the 'net. May you have your best Thanksgiving today. If you do not celebrate this holiday, I hope that whatever you are doing, you are at peace and in good health.

Love to all.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Over the hills and through the woods

Over the hills and through the woods to AP3's house we go. Husband Niks and I are off to spend a week in MA with our daughter and her spouse and step-daughter. It's gonna be fun. We always have fun there. They have two cats and a dog. Plus they're all nice folks. Fun folks. We get to laugh a lot. It's a big house, so everybody can have all the space they want.

I will comment on a blog here and there, but I doubt that I will post. So I'll leave you with this Thanksgiving Notice that I received from my friend Sally:
For those of you who are coming to our place for Thanksgiving dinner- Martha Stewart ain't gonna be here! I'm telling you in advance, so don't act all surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes: Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect. That Sally.

Once inside, our guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I've gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea. Those kids. The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas. (I've seen that Peter Rabbit plate. Not a collector's version.)

Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The artist assures me it is a turkey. Probably little Tommy. We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hot line. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 A. M. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds. Sally's not the happy cooker. (Closer to a happy hooker back in the day).

As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying. Those guys! We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. (Next door most likely).

Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any circumstances enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that "passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty bread. Oh, and one reminder for the adults: For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the presence of young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese Sauce, plead ignorance. Cheese Sauce reigns. Cheese sauce stains too.

Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and small fingerprints. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it. Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this year. She probably won't come next year either. I am thankful.

That Sally. More honest than most.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mens' Room

Nothing to post about, but thought you might like to see what's new in mens' rooms.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Housework or not

Friday Radio Question of the Day: On a scale of one to ten, 21 percent of people give themselves a 9, for this. What is it?

My husband Niks teased and shamed me into skipping a day of blogging on Friday. I have to admit that I sneaked in a little blog stuff in the evening. I didn't post, but I left a few comments. Not that many. So it's okay. Right?

We all play our little tricks on our roommates I think. Niks does it himself, only he would never admit it. I always cook all of our meals. I always clean up after them too. I gave up on getting any help on that long ago. But once in a while I'll have a meeting or something that I have to do and he'll say that he'll clean up after supper while I'm out.

Then he always sits down and watches TV instead of cleaning up. When he hears the garage door opening on my return, he jumps up and starts loading the dishwasher. The automatic garage opener we have now is so quiet, and his hearing is so bad, that these days he doesn't jump up until I walk inside. That guy. He's a complete time slob. Always tries to act as if he's been busy while I'm out.

His idea of helping with the housework is to lift his feet up so that I can run the vacuum under them. But he's usually not devious.

Now, me, I'm devious. I cover up my goofing off. If I've been on the computer all morning and he's downstairs thinking I'm doing housework upstairs, I'm perfectly capable of quickly scattering some stuff around that will make it look as if I've been doing something more productive than blogging.

Before the computer took so much of my time I had other time-wasters of course. Mostly just reading. Once when I was a stay-at-home mom and had wasted the day, I realized I should do something to make it look as if I had a good reason to be "too tired to cook." I put up the ironing board, drug about 40 little dresses out of the girls' closets and hung them around the room, making it look as if I had been ironing all day. It worked.

One good hint I could give you folks is to start a big job really close to the time your partner will be returning home. That way, you'll still be doing it when he or she gets home. You'll get more credit for the chore that way. Plus, it's possible he or she will pitch in and help. This works better if you have covered the kitchen table with the mess you're making with this chore. You can generally get a restaurant meal out of that.

Any time the spouse is away, stay away from chores that s/he has been nagging you to do. Anything that a spouse has been nagging at you to get done should be done when the spouse is home to see you doing it. Sigh a lot. Bonus points.

Of course, I offer these tips in hopes of helping you have a more harmonious relationship. Would I lie?

Answer to the radio question of the day: Keeping the house clean. Try calling in sick on that one.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Taxpayers 1, Legislators ZIP

We won! We called, we wrote letters, some of us, like dddragon, went down to the Capitol Building and protested, and son of a gun, we got them to repeal the big raise they gave themselves.

Of course, they are still the fourth highest paid jerks in the lawmaking world, but we did knock'em down two pegs.

I give big credit to the Harrisburg Patriot News for this. The paper in Philadelphia didn't do diddley squat to help.

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These are some real headlines that appeared in newspapers. Pretty amazing.

Crack Found on Governor's Daughter.
Imagine that!

Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says.
No! Really?

Police Begin Campaign to Run Down Jaywalkers.
Those cops! Harsh!

Is There a Ring of Debris around Uranus?
Not touchin' that.

Panda Mating Fails; Veterinarian Takes Over.
That vet! What a guy.

Miners Refuse to Work after Death.
Huh! Some lazy so-and-so's.

Juvenile Court to Try Shooting Defendant.
Ouch. Might work better than a fair trial. Or not.

War Dims Hope for Peace.
I can see where it might have that effect.

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile.

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures. Amazing.

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide.
Those cops. Smart.

Red Tape Holds Up New Bridges!
Apparently there is something stronger than duct tape.

Man Struck By Lightning: Faces Battery Charge.
You think maybe he is a battery charge now?

New Study of Obesity Looks for Larger Test Group.
Those fatties. Not fat enough I guess.

Astronaut Takes Blame for Gas in Spacecraft.
Don't let him eat any more beans.

Kids Make Nutritious Snacks.
Taste like chicken?

Local High School Dropouts Cut in Half.
Chainsaw Massacre I guess.

Hospitals are Sued by 7 Foot Doctors.
Hoo Boy! Tall guys.

Typhoon Rips Through Cemetery; Hundreds Dead.
You can kill'em twice?

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

This is where I came in.

When I was a kid movies were always double features plus cartoons.

Does the term, double feature even mean anything to you? When did they stop showing double features I wonder? We would actually sit through some movie like Strangers on a Train and then a couple of cartoons like Tom and Jerry or the Road Runner (my personal favorite) and then sit through another movie, say, Roy Rogers in Pals of the Golden West.
Incidentally, Trigger, Roy's Horse got higher billing than Roy's wife Dale Evans in that one. That Roy. Seemed to like his horse better'n his wife.

You could enter the movie at any point. They didn't clear out the theater between showings. Didn't bring up the lights, just kept looping the films over and over. Often folks came in during the middle of a show. They watched whatever was left of the movie, then whatever came next and so on. Then the first show, the one that was playing when they entered, came on again and they would watch that until they got to the point where they had entered. Then they would get up and leave, saying, "This is where I came in."

But people use the expression "This is where I came in," now. Do they know how it started?

We speak of "dial tone." But no one actually has a phone with dials on it anymore. We dial up someone. Only we actually push buttons. Do kids understand that word?

People refer to "A catch 22," but do they know what that was originally? Catch-22 originated from a 1961 novel by Joseph Heller, where one bureaucratic regulation is dependent on another, which in turn is dependent on the first. I say things like, "you can't get there from here." I don't know where that came from.

Even kids say that they are going to "hit the hay." They probably don't know that mattresses used to be stuffed with hay or straw, so that's how "hit the hay" came to mean "go to bed."

Did you know that the term "deadline" originated in the American Civil War, where a prisoner would be shot if they crossed a line around the prison or prison camp? I didn't. Seems harsh. I didn't realize that the term "brownie points" came from Girl Scouts either! Brownie G.S. had a point system that gave girls points for achievement. The term was first used in World War II when soldiers acted silly or kid-like.

I did guess that "Close but no cigar" came from the fact that old carnivals gave out cigars as prizes. 'Course now it just means to come close to achieving your goal, but failing. People don't think of carnival prizes when they use that phrase.

Sometimes families have there own sayings. When I was a kid and I said in front of my mother, "I had somethin' to say, but I forgot it." My Mama would say, "Well, I guess it wasn't very important then." I guess her theory was that you wouldn't forget something like the house was on fire. I would say that to my kids too after I grew up.

One evening over thirty years ago at the dinner table, daughter dddragon said that she had forgotten what she was going to say, and I repeated my mother's line. Immediately 3D said, "Oh! Now I remember! I'm radioactive!" That became a family tradition.

Does your family have some private idiomatic expressions? Feel like sharing them?

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Wit, Wisdom, Wisecracks

Some blogs have wit. Pretty many have wisecracks. A few have wisdom.

Wit is a rare and brilliant form of humor. It's sharp and precise and pitiless. Wisecracks and one-liners are seductive, but lesser forms of wit in my opinion. It's hard to be a wit. It's easier to crack wise.

Witticisms are remembered and quoted. Wisecracks are soon forgotten. I'm pretty much a wisecracker myself. Some of my favorite humorists are both wits and wisecrackers. Like Oscar Wilde.

When Oscar said, "I must decline your invitation owing to a subsequent invitation," he was wisecracking. But when he said that a murderer was "One presumed to be innocent until declared insane," he was using wit. Satire is almost always wit. I love satire. When he said, "Never buy anything simply because it is expensive," I not sure which he was using. But I'd say it was just a wisecrack. That Oscar.

I think these are wisecracks:

· Never slap a man in the face if he's chewing tobacco. (Abe Martin)
· Men aren't attracted to me by my mind, but what I don't mind. (Gypsy Rose Lee)
· I can't remember your name, but don't tell me. (A. Woollcott)
· Always look a gift horse in the mouth.
· I put instant coffee in a microwave and almost went back in time. (Steven Wright)
· If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly. (G. K. Chesterton I think, but Gypsy Rose Lee does better with this one.)
· If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing slowly…very slowly. (GRL)

But what are these?

· Her face was her chaperone. (Rupert Hughes)
· No man is lonely while eating spaghetti; it takes too much attention. (Chris Morley)
· I'm not afraid of death. I just don't want to be there when it happens. (Woody Allen)

I consider these puns:

· Occasionally he takes an alcoholic day. (Oscar Wilde)
· My grandmother is over eighty and still doesn't need glasses. Drinks right out of the bottle. (Henny Youngman)
· I stayed up all night to see where the sun went. It finally dawned on me. (Dunno who)
· Beauty is only sin deep. (H.H. Munro)
· I tried to snort coke once, but I got an ice cube stuck up my nose.
· Artificial insemination: Copulation without representation. (Playboy)

I think these are wit:

· You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. (Al Capone)
· She got her good looks from her father. He's a plastic surgeon. (Groucho Marx)
· I am in the prime of senility. (Benjamin Franklin)
· Familiarity breeds contempt – and children. (Mark Twain)
· Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parents, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers. (Socrates. Oh, yes. Socrates! Didn't guess that, didcha?)
· Somewhere on this globe, every ten seconds, there is a woman giving birth to a child. She must be found and stopped. (Sam Levenson)
· I don't believe in an afterlife, although I am bringing a change of underwear. (Woody Allen)
· Better a witty fool than a foolish wit. (Shakespeare)
· Adam was the only man who, when he said a good thing, knew that nobody had said it before him. (Mark Twain)

No Ambrose Bierce ? Ambrose belongs to Doug. He's good with him.

Of course there are malapropisms. Samuel Goldwyn was good at those. He said things like:
· I don't pay any attention to him. I don't even ignore him.
· What do you mean the story is too caustic? Who cares about expense?
And Yogi Berra was a pro with, "When you come to a fork in the road, take it." And "You can observe a lot just by watching." That Yogi.

But what about Funny? Funny is different to each of us. Some of these are funny to some of us:

· My mother buried three husbands, and two of them were just napping.
(Rita Rudner)
· I don't intend for this to take on a political tone. I'm just here for the drugs.
(Nancy Reagan, former First Lady. Oh, yes she did! Check it out.)
· USA Today has come out with a new survey: Apparently three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population. (David Letterman)
· Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy. (Albert Einstein)
· If you lived in your car, you'd be home by now. (Bumper sticker)
· There will always be death and taxes; however, death doesn't get worse every year.

This is way too long. And I didn't put in anything wise. So here's just one that I think is wise:

· If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call to make, whom would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting?
- Stephen Levine

Well? Why are you?

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Don't be thumbin' no rides. Ya hear?

It's my favorite hitchhikers birthday. That's Doug of Waking Ambrose. He's smart and he used to hitchhike a lot it seems. I have no experience with hitchhiking or being smart, so I'm just gonna leave you with a hitchhiking joke that I picked up on The Prairie Home Companion. Garrison called it The Minnesota ghost. You hafta imagine Garrison Keillor's voice here, on accounta I don't have some voice thingie.

This out of state traveler was on the side of the road, hitchhiking on a real dark night in the middle of a thunderstorm. Time passed slowly and no cars went by. It was raining so hard he could hardly see his hand in front of his face.

Suddenly he saw a car moving slowly, approaching and appearing ghostlike in the rain. It slowly and silently crept toward him and stopped. Wanting a ride real bad the guy jumped in the car and closed the door; only then did he realize that there was nobody behind the wheel, and no sound of an engine to be heard over the rain.

Again the car crept slowly forward and the guy was terrified, too scared to think of jumping out and running. The guy saw that the car was approaching a sharp curve and, still too scared to jump out, he started to pray and began begging for his life; he was sure the ghost car would go off the road and into a nearby lake and he would surely drown!

But just before the curve a shadowy figure appeared at the driver's window and a hand reached in and turned the steering wheel, guiding the car safely around the bend. Then, just as silently, the hand disappeared through the window and the hitchhiker was alone again!

Paralyzed with fear, the guy watched the hand reappear every time they reached a curve. Finally the guy, scared to near death, had all he could take and jumped out of the car and ran and ran, into town.

Wet and in shock, he went into a bar and, voice quavering, ordered two shots of whiskey, then told everybody about his supernatural experience.

A silence enveloped the place and everybody got goose bumps when they realized the guy had to be telling the truth (and was not just some drunk).

About half an hour later two guys walked into the bar and one says to the other, "Look Ole, ders dat idiot dat rode in our car when we wuz pushin it in the rain."

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Friday, November 11, 2005

I'm bored. Might as well bore you.

Radio question of the day: According to an old Kentucky law, it was illegal for a woman to do this four times. What was it?

I know I'm bored because my matchstick model of the Eiffel Tower is approaching life size. So I started thinking about life. There are not many universal truths in life, but I think that one is no matter how hard you try, you can't run away from your knees. Another is if you rummage in an overgrown garden long enough you will always turn up an old ball. Why is that? And have you noticed? No matter what part of the world they're from, all babies cry in English.

Watching a little TV made me think about what those advertising terms really mean. I think maybe NEW means it's a different color from the old design. ALL NEW means that the parts are not interchangeable with the previous model.

EXCLUSIVE just means it's imported. UNRIVALLED is almost as good as the competition. YEARS OF DEVELOPMENT – They finally got one to work. MAINTENANCE FREE –it's impossible to fix. MEETS ALL STANDARDS – their standards, not yours. DIRECT SALES ONLY – Nobody wants to distribute it.

Normally I'm not easily bored by anything else other than television. Bad news is that my husband Niks always has either the television or the radio on. We have a big house, but he's hard-of-hearing so I get to hear a lot of news in spite of being able to go to a different room to avoid that. Good news is that before he gets up, like right now, the silence is wonderful. You know the old saying, When a bore leaves the room, you feel as if someone fascinating just came in. No! I'm not sayin' Niks bores me. You guys. I'm saying the news bores me. So when it's silent around here, I'm entertained by it. It's a meaningful silence.

Niks is not a bore. A bore is someone who has the power of speech, but not the ability to converse. Niks is good at intellectual conversation. Now, if I had intellect, we'd be in business. Anyway the real secret to being a bore is to tell everything. Niks doesn't do that. He waits until I find something out, and then he says, "I told you that! Don't you remember?" Gosh, no honey. You told me there's a dead elephant out in the middle of the street in front of our house? Huh! You'd think I'd remember something like that.

Ambrose Bierce (see Doug's Waking Ambrose for a good time) said that a bore is a person who talks when you want him to listen. Niks doesn't do that either. He doesn't listen but he doesn't talk either.

But Niks has brains. He's like Woody Allen in that his brain is his second-favorite organ. He doesn't have any muscle, but he has brains. When brains are needed, muscles won't help. I can hire muscle.

Well, I'm boring myself here. I guess you left after the first sentence or two. Some friend you are.

Answer to radio question of the day: It was illegal for a woman to marry the same man four times. Apparently, the man didn't break the law. Those hillbillies.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Cow tipping

Radio question of the day: Red haired ladies have a special physical ability that most people don’t?

Some of you got really caught up in cow tipping yesterday. I had no idea it was such a popular sport. You guys!

There is actually a cow-tipping site! Manchego told me about it. Some people. There's just a couple, maybe three, people out in the world who have too much time on their hands. NO, no! I'm not talkin' about Manchego! I'm talkin' about whoever makes a site-for-everything-there-is-in-the-world-and-beyond. It's pretty amazing what you can find on the web. I love it.

Happy Birthday to my SIL Ekim, husband of daughter Acton Bell. He's really a peach, not a cow. Couldn't find a birthday peach. Okay, okay. I lied. I didn't even look for one. I shouldn't have even said that, 'cause I know that the less you say, the less you have to retract. I'm all about havin' to retract stuff I say. We all know that the secret of success is sincerity. I'm workin' on faking that. Then I'll have it made.

Answer to radio question: A higher tolerance of pain. Wonder if that includes dye-jobs? Like Lucille Ball.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Too much real life

Radio question of the day: About 60 percent of women hate it when a man does this at night?

My real life has been seriously interfering with my blogging life. Been busy this week and it's only half-over. Letting this happen to me is about as silly as owing money to somebody named Big Daddy. Shouldn't happen.

It's like picking up a penny because it's lucky. I mean how lucky is finding a dirty, germ-infested, just-about-worthless piece of metal on a street with cars coming at you at 60 miles-per-hour?

It's like loving your enemies. I don't know who came up with this silly idea, but I know I hate him, whoever he is. That guy.

It's like obsessing about low self-esteem. I mean you probably already think you're smarter and cuter than you really are. So what's the problem?

It's like tipping a cow. Okay, this is fun, but it serves no socially redeeming purpose. Tip an outhouse instead. This is really funny and serves many socially redeeming functions.

It's like living in a parallel universe. I would stick with this one, but that's just me.

Gonna run. I'm late to two places already.

Answer to radio question of the day: Steals the bed sheets. You guys. Stop that.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Peek at our Peak

Radio question of the day: You can change this 293 ways, but it would still be essentially the same thing.

You should see the beautiful autumn we are having in Pennsylvania. It's always beautiful, but this year it's not just that the trees are beautiful, the weather is also beautiful.

Yesterday my husband Niks and I drove out to Hershey and beyond to Annville, just to see the leaves. Well, and to eat. Niks doesn't go far without eating. That guy.

On my morning walk in the park today I realized that we are at our peak as they say about the leaves in this part of the world. The leaves have changed to red and gold and orange, but they are still mostly on the trees. The grass is still a bright green. Add in the evergreen trees that abound here, and you have a lovely scene.

I just noticed Ginkgo trees this year. They are the closest thing in appearance that we have to quaking aspen trees. Quaking aspens grow only in the west I think, and always in groups. They have wonderful white bark and round leaves the size of fifty-cent pieces (if you can remember those). In the fall the quaking aspens' leaves turn a brilliant yellow and shimmer like gold in the breeze. The amazing thing about them is that what appears to be a grove of 40 or 50 trees is actually one organism. One of the largest organisms in the world is an 80-acre quaking aspen grove in British Columbia. A grove of quaking aspens trees is one plant whose many trunks are connected by a unified system of roots. That's how they multiply.

Ginkgo trees don't multiply that way. There are male and female ginkgo trees. I'm sorry to report that the female ginkgo is a bit high-maintenance. It produces a fruit that has an awful odor. I know that some of you are rolling your eyes and thinking "just like a woman." You guys. Don't go there. You were once a smelly little fruit yourself. Some of you still are.

Answer to the question of the day: There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

More stupid stuff I stole from somewhere or other

Your computer life:
· Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
· Hardware: the parts of a computer system that can be kicked.
· Software: the parts of a computer system that don't work.
· Hard disk: the part of a computer system that freezes up at the worst possible time.
· Peripherals: the parts that are incompatible with your PC system.
· Printer: the part of the computer system that jams when you're not looking.
· Cable: the part of the computer system that is too short.
· Mouse: see cursing.
· Backup: an operation that is never performed on time.
· Restore: a procedure that works perfectly until needed.
· Memory: the part of a computer system that is insufficient.
· Error message: a request to OK the destruction of your own data.
· File: the part of the computer system that cannot be located.
· Processor: the part of a computer system that is obsolete.
· Manual: the element of your computer system that is incomprehensible.
· Typos are not noticed until after the "send" key has been hit.

The rest of your life:

· No matter how much you do, you'll never do enough.
· What you don't do is always more important than what you do do.
· Nothing is impossible for the one who doesn't have to do it himself.
· If you keep anything long enough, you can throw it away.
· If you throw anything away, you will need it as soon as the trash is collected.
· If you file it, you will know where it is, but you will never need it.
· If you don't file it, you'll need it, but you will never know where it is.
· The quickest way to find something is to be looking for something else.
· There's no time like the present for postponing what you don't want to do.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Stolen property

Radio question of the day: French fries are the most popular meal to this group of people?

All of this is stolen from someplace or other. Like I care.

· "Criminal lawyer" is a redundancy.
· "Did you miss me, dear?" "With every bullet so far." (Peg and Al Bundy)
· "Did you sleep good?" "No, I made a few mistakes." (Steven Wright)
· "Mister Worf, fire phasers at will!" *ZAP* "Hey, where did Riker go?"
· "More hay, Trigger?" "No thanks, Roy, I'm stuffed."
· "Mr. Johnson, you smell!" "No madam, you smell, I stink." (Sam Johnson)
· "Politically correct" is an oxymoron; nothing political is correct.
· "Supernatural" is a null word.
· "Very funny, Scotty. Now beam down my clothes."
· ...some people without brains do an awful lot of talking. (Wizard of Oz)
· ...the purpose of diplomacy is to prolong the crisis. (Spock, "Star Trek")
· 1 Tidal Wave = 47.92 Microwaves
· 186,000 miles per second: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.
· 2 + 2 = 5, for extremely large values of two.
· 3 1/2" hard is better than 5 1/4" floppy.
· A baby usually wakes up in the wee-wee hours of the morning.
· A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory.
· A bird in the hand can be messy.
· A bleeding heart can be hell on the carpeting.
· A bug can be changed to a feature by documenting it.
· A bureaucrat is a politician with tenure.
· A computer's feces are indistinguishable from the food it produces.
· A conclusion is simply the place where you got tired of thinking.
· A crisis is when you can't say "Let's forget the whole thing."
· A day without sunshine is like, well, night.
· A friend in need is a pest indeed.
· A good place to start from is where you are.
· A hair in the head is worth two in the brush.
· A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
· A heart will never be practical until it can be unbreakable. (Wizard of Oz)
· A hen is only an egg's way of making another egg.
· A house divided is a duplex.
· A lie in time saves nine.
· A man's best friend is his dogma.
· A man's house is his hassle.
· A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.

Answer to the question of the day: Death Row inmates.

Also small people in play pens. Wonder if there is a connection?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Throw the SOBs out

The Pennsylvania legislature's dark-of-night vote to grant itself a hefty pay raise has had taxpayers plenty steamed since it happened in July. Our legislators are now the second highest paid in the country. In fact, Pennsylvania is first in total amount of salaries paid to legislators - 22% higher than the second-place state, because there are so many of them.

Now they are weighing legislation to repeal that raise because it provoked a big backlash. I've never seen the public stay so angry or so focused. I've also never seen it work. Cross your fingers for us that this time, the taxpayers will win one.

Of course, while the lawmakers are over there in the Capitol tonight passing new laws about who will or will not get to keep this big raise, we do have to remember that a proliferation of new laws creates a proliferation of new loopholes.

When it comes to our legislature, nothing is ever done for the right reasons. If they repeal this raise, it won't be because they know that it's too much and that it's wrong. They'll repeal it because this coming Tuesday is Election Day.

They'll never admit that they were just wrong. They have to engage in a cover-up about it all. Covering up a stupid act is almost always worse that the original wrong. If you were dumb enough to commit the stupid act that you now have to cover up, why do expect the cover-up to go smoothly? Those guys.

When it comes to politicians, you can't win. You can't break even. You can't even quit the game. Even if we throw this bunch out, we'll just get a new bunch of politicians. Then they will sour on us. After things have gone from bad to worse, the cycle will repeat itself. No matter what politicians tell you, they're not telling you the whole truth. And no matter what they're talking about, they're talking about money.

I hope on Election Day that our lawmakers discover that friends come and go, but enemies accumulate.

But at least I'm not bitter.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


The Biggest Lies in the World
· The check's in the mail.
· I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.
· I thought I already gave you that money I owed you.
· I promise I'll pay you back next Friday.
· I've never been this drunk before.
· I'll never get this drunk again.
· I've checked this Email out, and it's really not a hoax.
· Now we're even.
· I'm fine.
· We found and fixed the last bug!
· The software will ship on schedule.
· It was as simple as that.
· It's all your fault!
· I love you.
· You don't need to use a condom; I'm on the Pill.
· I don't need a condom; I've had a vasectomy and tested negative for STDs.
· We'll have the repairs on your car done by noon.
· Operator, my calling card number is...
· You look like you haven't aged a day.
· No, I don't think that outfit makes you look fat.
· This is what it will cost to repair your car.
· If elected, I promise...
· You're going to love working here.
· I don't know what you're talking about.
· Nine out of ten people surveyed said...
· Please hold, and a customer service representative will be with you shortly.
· I'll only take a minute of your time.
· 100% compatible with your existing equipment.
· !!Make Money Fast!!
· Lose all the weight you want!
· I'm being totally unbiased.
· For your convenience...
· In order to serve you better...
· I'll call you.
· I never meant to mislead you.
· My wife is okay with me seeing other people; she just doesn't want to know about it.
· I'm not leaving you for him/her; I just need some space to think things through.
· This will only hurt a little.
· This will hurt me more than it does you.
· I'm doing this for your own good.
· It's only for a little while...
· I didn't mean any harm.
· Oh well, no harm done...
· It was an accident.
· I didn't do it.
· I don't know who did it.
· We are experiencing a peak level of call volume...
· No obligation!
· You may already be a winner!
· This product was made in an environmentally friendly manner.
· I know it's none of my business...
· I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but...
· This should be easy.
· To speak to a representative, press "9".
· It's nothing personal.
· This isn't partisan politics; it's for the good of the country.
· I'm not addicted; I can quit smoking any time I want.
· New and Improved!
· Trust me.
· That was special.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Rabbit, Rabbit and Fun and Games

Radio question of the day: This is the most used word by women that they don't really mean?

Yesterday the radio question was about the fact that some women don't trust their mates to do the laundry. It occurs to me that some partners might not do a good job on the laundry on purpose.

When I married Niks, he didn't hang up his clothes after he took them off. Didn't put them in the clothes hamper either. That guy. Anything that he took off and just dropped on a chair, I put into the laundry hamper. That was my first strategy.

That didn't suit him at all. He thought, and still thinks, that I wash things way too often. He claims that I wear stuff out that way. Oh, good grief.

So I developed a plan. I hung up his stuff wrong. Fast. Didn't frown or fuss, just hung it up the minute it I saw it out of place. I'd hang up his trousers so that they would get a second crease in them. As you might imagine this didn't suit him well either.

So he tried, ever so hard, to teach me how to hang them properly, so they wouldn't get a second crease. I smiled sweetly and it sure seemed as if I was really, really trying to do this "chore" correctly. But, somehow, I just could not learn to hang those pants without them ending up with unwanted creases.

He gave up. Told me that I shouldn't ever hang up his slacks. Said he would do it. But I would hang them the minute I saw them left somewhere. So, in self-defense he had to hang them himself. Fast. Because otherwise I would do it for him. Wrong.

This little deception must be done sweetly. One must smile and try so hard to do this little thing correctly. Total innocence must be projected.

I know you are all just shocked ! that TLP could do such a thing.

Could it possibly be that some mates are deliberately not doing a good job on things like the laundry, just to train the other mate to go ahead and take on that chore?

(As an update, Niks never hangs anything up now. Never. He doesn't work, so he doesn't really care so much these days about creases. Clothes don't get as wrinkled as they did in the olden days, etc. He's trained me to give up and do the hanging up. Niks 1, TLP 0.)

Answer to the radio question of the day: Fine.

Rabbit, rabbit!

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