Friday, November 30, 2007

New Blogger In Town


Just wanted to put in a plug for a new blogger.
I've known Christine since she was a itty bitty baby (everybody say, aaaaaawah) and now look at her, all grown up. Excuse me while I shed a tear.... She just started a blog so if you'd like to go by and welcome her to the blogsphere her site is Living in a Wiener Wonderland .


That's her on the right.

Thanks

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Shake, Rattle and Roll



Inspired by the Bill Haley & His Comets' cover version of the 1954 Big Joe Turner recording of "Shake, Rattle and Roll"



On a completely different note, today is Mimi Queen of the memes birthday. If you have a moment please go by and wish her well on her special day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Behind the Wheel

My first car was quite possibly the finest piece of automotive technology to come out of Detroit since the AMC Pacer. Unfortunately, "The ultimate driving machine" was already taken or I'm sure it would have been Ford Motor Company's slogan for the 1972 Pinto.Yes this was the car I'd been dreaming of owning since my Hot Wheels and Matchbox days. From zero to sixty in two and a half days, this baby was built for the quarter mile.

The Pinto was to cars what spam is to gourmet cuisine. With its spacious and roomy interior you could easily fit two full sized Pygmies in the front and provided they were quadruple amputees there was room for two more in the back. This particular vehicle's best feature was not on the inside however, it was its paint job. Earl Shives would've been proud of the exquisite attention to detail shown when Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dumb broke out the ROLLER and PAINT BRUSH to give it its exterior beauty treatment. Ah what a site to behold it was, all covered in its dark blue crust. Talk about a chick magnet! Is it any wonder that I didn't have a lot of dates back then?

Alas it did have one redeeming quality...the stereo. It was bitchin', at least that the word I used to describe it back then. The hundred or so dollars I spent on this luxury easily doubled the value of the car. As the likes of Aerosmith, Ted Nugent and Nazereth blasted through the speakers I could feel the testosterone surge through my body. I was invincible. I could beat anybody off the line now because I'm sitting behind the wheel of a ...oh crap, the songs over and I just realized I'm in a freaking Pinto. Arrrggggh!

Opening the hood could bring a man to tears and trust me I shed plenty of them while driving the original rolling turd. One night in particular I recall driving home when all of the sudden anything and everything that was electrical simply stopped working. No lights, no familiar sound when I tried to start it again and no stereo, (now this is serious). I'm no mechanic but I knew something was definitely awry when I got out and opened the hood. I was immediately greeted by the lovely aroma that you experience when standing too close to someone welding. That nasty cooked metal, burnt electrical, melted rubber stench that can only be topped by Petuly oil. After the smoke cleared I finally found the little gremlin (oops wrong car), as I was saying, I finally found the problem. There fused to the top of the radiator was my smoldering battery cable. Why you may ask was the cable routed in this matter? I simply say why not?

I honestly don't remember what ever became of that little blue bucket of bolts. I think maybe I drove it down to the 'wrong' side of town and left it running with the doors open while I went shopping. No that's not it. I recall that day now. When I came back outside it was still there with a note on it saying, "Please remove this thing, it's bringing down our property value."

It's funny, every once in a while I look in the paper at the classic car ads. It always the same, 56 Corvette, 65 Mustang, 34 Coupe...but not once have I seen a 72 Pinto.

Strange.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sacrifice

My Freedoms Have Been Paid



With a Tremendous Cost



Saturday, November 24, 2007

Class Is In


Just in time for "what am I going to post today"... a meme has been passed my way. This being the first one of these that I've participated in I'll give it my best shot.

The rules are as follows: Devise a list of 5-10 courses you would take to fix your life. (didn't know it was broken) It's more fun to be in classes with friends, so include one class from the person who tagged you that you'd also like to take. Tag five other people.

You may thank or curse the originator The blue tea person for this meme. Lee who is new to the blogging world (please go by and say hi) tagged Mimi Queen of the memes who in turn bestowed the honor on me to participate. So, there ya go.

1) Foot in Mouth Removal:
The emphasis of this course will be learning to think before speaking (or typing) with workshops to include: "Biting Ones Tongue" , "Counting to Ten Before Reacting" and "Just Walk Away" Students such as myself needing additional work in this area my take this course multiple times.

2) Photography 20/20:
Learning how to move from snapping average pictures into taking beautiful photographs. Students will learn the meaning of such terms as: aperture, shutter speed and macro to name a few. Students will be asked not to expose themselves during class times. This course is a prerequisite for Photoshop Processing.

3) Joining Mimi in Cooking 101:
With fifteen years in the restaurant business as a chef I will join our dear culinary challenged friend Mimi in a support role. I will be taking notes for her in the following short studies: "Life After Top Ramen" , "When to Enjoy Italian Chicken Cutlets" and "Landing a Boyfriend Who Cooks".

4) Psychology - A Study in Why I Hate Balloons:
Perhaps this is some bizarre genetic thing because my mother also has a hatred for these pesky Helium filled beasts from the underworld. There will be no 'POP' quizzes in this course.

5) Wifeese: The Ultimate Love Language:
Although we've been together for more than twenty years (married 15) I feel as if I'm ready to take the extra credit course. Students taking this course should already be familiar with terms such as: "Would you mind taking out the trash" which means 'If you don't your not getting any tonight.' "Would you like to go for a walk" which means 'We're going on a walk.' and "Do you mind if my mother stays with us for a week" meaning 'I know you'd rather shove bamboo shoots under your fingernails but she's coming anyway.'

6) Anatomy - A Study In Funnybone Regeneration:
This course is designed to help us help people realize it's OK to laugh. So many people walk around all day with the weight of the world on their shoulders that we must act quickly to keep this from reaching epidemic levels. In the lab portion of this class we will be extracting funnybone stem cells and transplanting them into humorless clones, thus transforming them into productive upbeat members of society once again.

7) Religion:
Students will be taught that not everyone shares their belief system. Attendees will be taught that a belief in God or more specifically Jesus Christ (I'm included here) does not make a person more superior and that love of all people is what's important. Students will not be asked to convert from their current or non-religion to another. They will be asked to understand each others point of view even when they don't agree. Peace Globes will be handed out to all graduating members.

8) How to Build Your Own Soap Box:
In this course students will be given all the materials and tools necessary to build a platform on which they can stand-up and voice their opinion. Protests and rallies will not be mandatory, but silence will result in a failing grade. This class will be broadcast to the 'hearing' impaired

Hopefully the next victims, I mean participants will be:Katherine Mel Kevin Travis Odat

Hope to see you this Spring.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Balck Friday

A slightly different view of this day

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pardon Me


On a recent trip to Costco while I was walking down an isle a gentleman was coming toward me who had only one thing in his cart. It was a two pack of Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard. I truly thought that the Lord had given me a sign. I mean come on how many times does and opportunity like this present itself?

I broke out my best snooty French accent, lifted my nose ever so slightly, walked up to him and asked. "Pardon me, but might you have any Grey Poupon?" Then I waited... nothing. No chuckle, no smile, not even a faint hint of a grin. All I got was a blank stare with an expression of, "what the hell are you talking about." He just simply didn't get it.

There I stood, completely deflated. What, I ask you, are the chances that I would get the only guy on the planet that had never heard that line before? I can only imagine that he went home and told his wife, "you should have seen the nut job I saw in Costco today." (ok I know that's probably true for so many other reasons but not for this.)

On another occasion as I was walking through the produce section of the local supermarket, a bag of carrots fell from its display and landed on the floor with a splat. The clerk who was working nearby looked over and said, "that was weird." I replied with, "Yeah it was, so if a bag of carrots falls in the produce section while know one is around, does it make any noise?" Once again I was greeted with that familiar blank stare. Ugh

Maybe my delivery is poor or maybe it's just that so many people are walking around with their funny bone missing. Either way it makes me think of the of the saying, "lighten up people, none of us makes it out of this world alive anyway."
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

How Does It Rate?

The family and I just went to see "Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium". It's a sort of Willy Wonka-esk flick that I found very entertaining. Lots of visual stimulation for the kids and a good story line to boot. As we walked up, I looked at the ticket booth and noticed the ratings on the various films and thought to myself, "Me thinks I have an idea."

Back on November 1, 1968 in a collaboration of the MPAA, NATO (no not that one) and the IFIDA a new voluntary rating system was launched which was to guide movie goers, specifically parents, as to the content of Hollywood's offerings.

The following were developed and with the exception of 'X' were trademarked for the use of film ratings only:
  • G for General audiences, all ages admitted
  • M for Mature audiences, parental guidance suggested but all ages admitted
  • R for Restricted, children under the age of 16 not to be admitted with out an accompanying parent or adult guardian (this was later raised to 17 years of age)
  • X no one under the age of 17 admitted

One year later the system was revised with M becoming GP and then shortly after being changed to PG.

In July of 1984 PG was split into PG and PG-13 with the later being considered to have a higher level of intensity.

In September 1990 explanations had to accompany a rating and the X rating was changed to NC-17.

For more about this please see Ratings where I obtained this information.

It's now been seventeen years since the last revision and I think the time has come to revisit the matter. I've taken the liberty to develop a new system that I hope will reflect the general population of movie enthusiasts everywhere.

Since it has become apparent that no film can possibly be made that does not in some way, shape or form offend someone, the G rating will no longer be used.

A slightly revised G-18 will now be in place. All ages will be admitted, but anyone over the age of eighteen will be encouraged to bring a child with them so as not to feel embarrassed by going to a kids movie alone.

A completely new category will be introduced. Labeled as A-NC, Animated No Children will be designed to accommodate all those cartoon productions that are dubbed as 'a child's movie' when in fact the humor and innuendos are merely there for the adults. All children attending these releases will be given a Game Boy and asked to wait in the lobby.

Other ratings to hit the chopping block will be PG and PG-13. It has been determined that so few parents are willing to guide their children's movie selections that these categories are simply obsolete. Replacing the PG's will be two new categories known as T&A and FT. These will be gender specific teen and older features.

T&A or Tits and Ass films will show unclothed anorexic sized women along with their store bought double D's. Collagen infused lips will be required of all leading "ladies". Story line, plot and writing will not be integral to the overall production of these films. In fact silent films may see a revival with this new category.

The other new entry will be FT. Fairy Tale will require all leading men to be drop dead gorgeous, college educated and independently wealthy. Supporting actors will have to be portrayed as having a job, a car and a high school diploma. Divorced men will only be allowed to be shown if they are writing an on time alimony and/or child support check.

The only rating to keep its current designation will be R, however the description will change from restricted to ridicules. Obscene language, flagrant nudity, and extreme violence will all be portrayed at excessive or 'ridicules' levels. Four letter 'colorful metaphors' will be present in all scenes with dialog. All actors, actresses, supporting cast, animals, stuntmen, key grip, best boy, gaffer...etc will have sex with someone or something during the picture at least once. Death and mutilation of multiple individuals will be shown in horrifyingly graphic detail.

NC-17 will change to WB. Why Bother will be reserved for any filmmakers complete and utter disregard to cinematic taste. Any resemblance of quality entertainment will be strictly prohibited.

Please enjoy your movie and remember to visit the concession stand.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Have You Got the Time?

" It's alright we've got plenty of time "


Time is an instantaneous commodity. It's not something we can store up for later use and what we're given can not be duplicated. It can not be regained nor can it be reproduced. Time is truly unique.


" Time's up "
Whether you believe the earth is a few thousand years old or several billion, one thing is common to both theories. Time moves at the same methodical pace that it always has and although we seem to gravitate to the idea that each passing year moves more quickly than the last, it is actually us, not time, that's accelerating. Hence, we find ourselves looking at such conveniences as the microwave or our computer and wondering why they're so slow, when in fact only a handful of decades ago neither of these things existed.


" Time keeps dragging on "




Not everyone however, would agree that the years are passing more swiftly each go around of the calender. What about the men and woman who are currently incarcerated? I've heard it said that two minutes can feel like two days when your 'doing time'.


"Wow, look at the time"
Whether it's watching the stars or making a notation on a sophisticated electronic device we use time to mark the important occasions of our lives. I look at my late fathers watch and although it will accurately give me the current time and date what I see while starring at the dial is completely different. I see moments in time shared with him.

" Maybe next time "

The length of time we are given during our stay on this planet is a mystery to each of us. We can choose to live it to the fullest or we can sit back and watch it slip by. Either way it will be chronicled for future generations to examine. The slogan says, 'a mind is a terrible thing to waste', but I fear a legacy is far worse a loss.

" Back to the future "
We can not manipulate time, it is what it is, but just picture if it were possible. What if we could speed up or slow down the cosmos or maybe change the present time to another? Countless books and songs have been written about this. TV shows have aired and movies have made to further intrigue our imagination.
.
So I leave you with this question. If it were possible to travel through time where/when would you go?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Yawn

Today I'm bored.


I think I'll go down to the old folks home,

wax the stairs

and yell "FIRE!"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Riddle Me This w/ Answers

Here are the answers to the riddle I posted on 11/11. There are other possible answers that differ from the ones I have. A couple that came up are listed below.

So how'd you do?

QUESTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ANSWER
a) 26 = L of the A . . . . . . . . . . Letters of the Alphabet

b) 7 = W of the A W . . . . . . . . Wonders of the Ancient World

c) 1001 = A N . . . . . . . . . . . . . Arabian Nights

d) 12 = S of the Z . . . . . . . . . . Signs of the Zodiac

e) 54 = C in a D (with the J) . Cards in a Deck(with the Jokers)

f) 88 = P K . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Piano Keys

g) 13 = S on the A F . . . . . . . . Stripes on the American Flag

h) 32 = D F at which W F . . . Degrees Fahrenheit at which Water Freezes

i) 18 = H on a G C . . . . . . . . . . Holes on a Golf Course

j) 90 = D in a R A . . . . . . . . . . Degrees in a Right Angle

k) 200 = D for P G in M . . . . Dollars for Passing Go in Monopoly

l) 3 = B M (S H T R) . . . . . . . . Blind Mice (See How They Run)

m) 4 = Q in a G . . . . . . . . . . . . Quarts in a Gallon

n) 24 = H in a D. . . . . . . . . . . . Hours in a Day

o) 1 = W on a U . . . . . . . . . . . . Wheel on a Unicycle

p) 57 = H V . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heinz Varieties

q) 11 = P on a F T . . . . . . . . . Players on a Football Team

r) 1000 = W that a P is W . . Words that a Picture is Worth

s) 29 = D in F in a L Y . . . . . . Days in February in a Leap Year

t) 40 = D and N of the G F . . Days and Nights of the Great Flood

u) 9 = J on the S C . . . . . . . . . Justices on the Supreme Court

v) 9 = P in our S S . . . . . . . . . Planets in our Solar System

w) 8 = S on a S S . . . . . . . . . . Sides on a Stop Sign

x) 5+4 = D in a Z C . . . . . . . . Digits in a Zip Code

y) 64 = S on a C . . . . . . . . . . . Squares on a Checkerboard

z) 5 = T on a F . . . . . . . . . . . . Toes on a Foot

aa) 21 = P in B J . . . . . . . . . . Points in Black Jack

bb) 3 = S in an O . . . . . . . . . . Strikes in an Out

cc) 6 = P on a P T . . . . . . . . . Pockets on a Pool Table

dd) 100 = Y on a F F . . . . . . Yards on a Football Field

ee) 12 = D of C . . . . . . . . . . . Days of Christmas

ff) 5 = S on a B . . . . . . . . . . . Strings on a Banjo

gg) 4 = S(W S S F) . . . . . . . . Seasons (Winter Spring Summer Fall)

hh) 2000 = P in a T . . . . . . . Pounds in a Ton

ii) 2 = S to E S . . . . . . . . . . . . Sides to Every Story

jj) 1 = if B L T if B S . . . . . . . if By Land Two if By Sea

Other answers: z) Tines on a Fork ... bb)Sharps in an Octave
also v) is debatable since Pluto may or my not count anymore.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thanks Mom

It's that reflection time of year again. A time when I can look back on a year, a decade or maybe even a lifetime and express thanks for what I have been given.

As I started to jot down notes as to what I would write about one "theme", if I can be permitted to term it as that, kept jumping to the top of the page, my family, specifically my mom. You see I'm one of those fortunate individuals who was raised in a home where my mother and father looked at parenting as a privilege, not as a duty. I'm not saying this in a self righteous way, nor do I mean to say that bringing up my brothers and I was always easy. In all likeliness there were times when mom and dad had to have said to themselves, "what were we thinking?" What I do wish to convey is that my parents always let us know we were special to them.

As a child or, as an adult for that matter, isn't that what we all crave? To be loved. To feel as if we belong.

My mom is one of the coolest people I know. Some of the attributes that describe her are loving, gracious, available, funny, beautiful, compassionate, hip, intelligent, strong, determined and that is just to name a few.

Ever since I can remember my friends would tell me, "You're so lucky to have such a nice mom." Whenever I would hear this I'd just smile and say, "Thanks, I know". Not in a smug way, but in a manor that reflected how grateful I was/am to have her. In a way she became a mom to many of Gene, Mark and my friends growing up. Kind of a fill in for the void that many of them felt in their own lives.

Mom has an uncanny way of knowing when to listen when I feel the need to brag, but she can also whack me up beside the head with a dose of truth when I need to be put in my place. She's as fierce as a lion when one of her "babies" is being wronged by someone, yet she can be unselfishly tender hearted when a shoulder is needed to cry on. She has helped me in so many ways throughout my life that a few simple words on a page hardly seem to scratch the surface.

If I was offered the all the wealth of the world, fame, knowledge, power or any other "treasure" to give up my mother, that would an unfair bargain because none of those things even come close to the value of my mom.

I wish everyone could have the kind of mom, dad, brothers and family that I have, but I know that's not the case. If you're in this category my heart truly breaks for you. I know I can't empathise with you, I won't even pretend to. So regardless of your situation I hope you find peace and joy this Thanksgiving.

Thanks Mom.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Is it Safe?




Ah yes, the dreaded dentist chair. I can't help but think of Dustin Hoffman in the "Marathon Man" when I see one of these. With that psycho German guy (name?) asking him, "Is it safe?" If I watched that movie a hundred times I'd still squirm when he starts drilling without using any Novocain.


Most of us don't exactly look forward to spending any amount of time in one of these chairs. So I'm wondering, what five things do you rate as worse than this.


Reading my blog is not a valid answer either!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Riddle Me This pt2

Katherine brought up a good question about what to do with your list of answers to my previous post. If your so inclined feel free to email them to me at jnlbach@yahoo.com . I think this will work better than posting them. That way if someone is stuck on one you won't give it away.

I'll be posting the answers along with the name(s) of those who answered all of them or at least most of them on Thursday 11/15.

What if your answers are different than mine? Well I didn't really go into this with rules and regulations in mind so I guess we'll put it in front of a panel of expert judges (my wife and I) and make a ruling at that time.

It's all good. This is just meant to be some good clean fun.

I'd love to hand out cash prizes to the first place winner, but my bank account just laughs at me when I look at it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

How Men Screw Up Romance

video

Women are from Venus...Men are from a completely different galaxy.

If you're drinking something right now may I suggest you finish it before watching this video. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing when I watched this.

And yes, I would do this in a heartbeat, of course Lisa would tell you it would be my last heartbeat.

A friend emailed this to me, so I'm sorry that I can not give proper credit to whoever made it.

Riddle Me This

OK since you all enjoyed my last mathematical dilemma so much, I decided I'd share another "thinker" with you. Don't worry there are no computations involved. It may however, require some good old fashioned head scratching.

Below a list of 36 questions with the first one answered as an example. On Thursday 11/15, I'll give you the answers in a similar post as this one. That should be enough time to ponder these and either prove what a smarty pants you are, or to become totally frustrated by the whole thing.

Some sadistic person shared part of this list with me years ago (thanks mom) and I've added a few of my own since.

Enjoy!


QUESTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ANSWER


a) 26 = L of the A . . . . . . . . . . Letters of the Alphabet
b) 7 = W of the A W
c) 1001 = A N
d) 12 = S of the Z
e) 54 = C in a D (with the J)
f) 88 = P K
g) 13 = S on the A F
h) 32 = D F at which W F
i) 18 = H on a G C
j) 90 = D in a R A
k) 200 = D for P G in M
l) 3 = B M (S H T R)
m) 4 = Q in a G
n) 24 = H in a D
o) 1 = W on a U
p) 57 = H V
q) 11 = P on a F T
r) 1000 = W that a P is W
s) 29 = D in F in a L Y
t) 40 = D and N of the G F
u) 9 = J on the S C
v) 9 = P in our S S
w) 8 = S on a S S
x) 5+4 = D in a Z C
y) 64 = S on a C
z) 5 = T on a F
aa) 21 = P in B J
bb) 3 = S in an O
cc) 6 = P on a P T
dd) 100 = Y on a F F
ee) 12 = D of C
ff) 5 = S on a B
gg) 4 = S(W S S F)
hh) 2000 = P in a T
ii) 2 = S to E S
jj) 1 = if B L T if B S

Friday, November 9, 2007

Excuse me...Can you repeat that?


Been into Starbucks lately?
(or as my friend likes to refer to it), "FourBucks"


Talk about a comedy show. "Yes, I'd like a venti, two pump, low fat, real caramel, tepid, half-caff, Macchiato without whip." Are you kidding me? Hearing that once is bad enough, but then the cashier repeats the whole thing to the barista (the person making the drink). Then if you're real lucky the barista will repeat it again just to confirm the order and once more after it's been made and put up on the bar. It's truly a bonus day when the customer says, "Is this my venti, two pump,...blah, blah, blah, no whip?"

There's more dialog about this one cup of coffee than what you get from a carny at the county fair.

By the way, who the hell orders anything, especially coffee, tepid? You might as well say, "Can I have a cup of caffinated bath water please?" Can you imagine Clint the cowboy out on the range looking at his buddy and telling him to take the kettle off the campfire for a while because he'd like his coffee tepid? No, coffee is supposed to be hot, I mean surface of the sun, scorch your upper lip, hot.

But you may say,"By heating it too much you'll upset the delicate balance of flavors and disturb the the superb aroma." This is exactly the kind of horse hockey that enables our keepers of the java to command $4.00 +/- for a cup.

Here are a couple of descriptors I saw on some packaged beans for sale:
Multi-Region Blends- "Superb interplay of aromas and flavors"
Africa/Arabia- "Floral aromas with citrusy and exotic flavors"

Why do I have a feeling these are word combinations Juan Valdez never thought of while out in the hot sun picking beans one-by-one with his stinking burro by his side.

Listening to the drink orders and watching people as they order is always cause for a chuckle too. I love the embarrassed guy who has to order a foofy drink that he'd never be caught dead drinking. It always starts off with, "My wife/girlfriend asked me to order her a ..."

Then there's the penis extender in a paper cup? This is when a guy walks in and orders his beverage at precisely 185 degrees. I'm always waiting for this guy to reach into his pocket and pull out an instant read thermometer to verify. Let go man, there'll be plenty of time to push your subordinates around when you get to the office.

Women on the other hand have some magical gift about being able to blurt out twenty-seven adjectives and fourteen descriptors spread out over five different drink orders all the while maintaining a separate conversation on their cell phone. Amazing!


When placing my order I find myself saying something like, "Oh, I'm just having a venti coffee." Like I've just committed some kind of mortal sin by not ordering something with a little more pizazz. Then I realize I've just paid $1.85 for a cup of coffee and think I've done enough for the stockholders of Starbucks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Dona Nobis Pacem


Thanks to Katherine for this edited image.




It's Blog Blast day and in honor of that, today's post is dedicated to peace. For a complete rundown on how this collection of posts from around the world came to be please visit mimiwrites . Two others that are participating that I like to read are Katherine at wading through... and Travis at travsthoughts

World Peace.

Why is this a concept that is so easy to understand, but so very difficult to achieve? Especially when I hear the phrase, "Why can't we all just get along?" spoken time and time again. In my opinion it's because we are all, to varying degrees, selfish people. In other words, we want what we want.

Now before you start formulating a response to me because I called you selfish please let me qualify that statement. Know that I'm talking in generalizations. Some people are very giving individuals who expect nothing in return for their generosity. Others demand our full attention every time they extend themselves. Most of us fall somewhere within the middle of these extremes.

So as to not classify any of you who may read this, I will use myself as an example. I like helping other people who are in need of something. At the same time I like to hear thank you from them. My act of kindness isn't necessarily done because I expect anything in return, but when there's no apparent appreciation on the other end I feel disappointed.

I write on this blog because I enjoy expressing my thoughts, but I wonder if no one ever left comments would I enjoy it then? Honestly, for a time I probably still would, but eventually it would leave an empty feeling in me.

I'm sure I could give you many more examples of how I do things with the greatest intentions and then my humanness gets in the way and I look for the "at ta boy". How do I combat this? I think it's kind of like how you eat an elephant... one bite at a time. First, I realize and admit it's a attribute about me I'd like to change, then I conscientiously make an effort to change my motives day by day.

So what does this have to do with world peace? I think true peace comes from transferring what's in our head to our heart. If we really want to make changes in the world it has to start with ourselves. I know loving other people more than myself is right, but unless I apply that in my everyday life it's just useless knowledge.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Funny Money

Don't remember where I picked this up, but it was years ago, probably in grade school.

While traveling there were three guys who needed to stay in a hotel overnight. Upon checking in the manager told them the cost would be $30.00 for the night. So each man took ten dollars out of his wallet and paid the manager his share.

A bit later the manager realized that he had overcharged the men for their room. It should have only cost $25.00. So, being the honest man that he was he called the bellhop over and explained his error. He gave him five dollars and asked that he return it to the men.

Now the bellhop, being clever but not necessarily honest, realized there would be no way for the men to equally divide the five dollars three ways. Figuring no one would be the wiser he decided to give each man back one dollar and pocket the other two for himself.

So that's just what he did and everyone was satisfied. The manager had done the honorable thing, the men were happy to get a refund and the bellhop made an easy two bucks for his effort.

It all sounds good and well until you do the math. Each man originally paid ten dollars apiece for a total of $30. They each received one dollar back so in essence they paid nine dollars each. The bellhop kept two dollars for himself. Make sense so far? Let's add it up now.

3 men paid $9 each for a total of $27 plus the $2 for the bellhop.

$27 + $2 = $29

Where did the other dollar go?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

You Can Get Anything You Want...

It's that time of year again when the leaves have all changed color and there's a crispness in the air. Whether you call it Fall or Autumn doesn't matter to me I like either one.

By now the Halloween decorations are coming down and our attention shifts to the next holiday, Thanksgiving.

Notice I didn't say Christmas, although the retailers would have you believe it's just moments away. I wonder since I'm forty-one now and each year they (retailers) start pushing their goods on us earlier and earlier, by the time I'm ninety will they have backed up so far that they are now on time again?

In other words when I'm 50, trees, wrapping paper and snow globes will go on sale around the Fourth of July. At age 60 they'll be available on Memorial Day. That will be fun watching the Indianapolis 500 while blowing up a six foot inflatable Frosty the Snowman. When I'm 70 for St. Patrick's Day I can have corned beef, cabbage and cranberry sauce. By the time I'm 80 I can start buying decorations and presents for the next year before my credit card statement shows up in the mail from the previous year! Ah, but then comes 90, then they'll put everything on display two weeks before the big day, and at that point someone in marketing will say, "You know, if we started pushing this stuff a little earlier we'd sell a lot more of it."

But as Arlo Guthrie might say, "That's not what I came here to talk to you about."

You see Thanksgiving is a great holiday for many reasons. Just as the name implies, it's a time to look back on the past year(s) and thank God for all he has done in your life. I also love that it signals the beginning of "the eating season" It's so nice to be able to eat like a pig for the better part of a month and fall back on the old standby phrase, "January 1st I'll start watching what I eat." Yeah right.

But, what I really like is that at some point during this month I'm going to hear Alice's Restaurant. "Now it all started two Thanksgivings ago when my friend and I decided to..." If you want to hear the complete rendition by Arlo Guthrie click on the link. I tried to post the video directly, but have a feeling its too big of a file. It's a bit of an investment of time (18 minutes) but well worth it.

My brother Mark memorized it in its entirety and performed it as a humorous interp. speech while in high school. As kind of a by-product to his practicing on us (the family) I learned most of it as well. I always enjoy when, on occasion, he breaks into a bit of it.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Don't See This Everyday

While I was traveling along one of the back roads today I passed a building that has caught my attention on more than one occasion. From a distance it looks like it might have been an old school house or possibly a church. Come to think of it maybe it was both. I think way back when, you were able to do that without someone getting in a snit over it.


But what really peaked my interest is what you'll see in the next couple of pictures...













The "foundation" for this structure, believe it or not, is actually mere rocks. Upon closer inspection I was truly amazed by what I saw. There are no concrete pads, no wood posts, nothing else other than what you see, ROCKS! They go all around the perimeter every few feet and there are some, not many, in the middle.
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Being in the construction industry I've seen some pretty unusual things, but this just might be the winner. I can imagine going into the planning office and trying to explain this to the person on the other side of the counter. "Yeah, I'd like to build a moderate size structure, maybe 20x30 with a few windows, nice pitched roof and oh yeah, I'd like to support it with some neatly stacked rocks."
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Well I'm sure you've figured out by now this not new construction. In fact it was built sometime in the 1800's and as I turned in to have a closer look, realized it sits at the front of a cemetery. Wow am I ever observant.
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What you see in the next picture just about made me horse laugh myself silly. With the cemetery on the left the very first thing you notice on the right is this sign. I can just imagine the road crew putting this up.
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Walking through a grave yard the day after Halloween was kind of a weird sensation, but at least it was daylight.

What I did discover is that most of the old grave markers not only had "born on and died on", but also told how many years, months and days the person lived. If you look at the pictures below you can see this on the one on the right. It says "born Sept 5, 1837 died Mar 18, 1884" below that it has, "46 Y's, 6 M's, 13 D's".

Who'd a thunk a cemetery could be so interesting.