Sunday, June 29, 2008

What Is It #8 - Solved

Now this is kind of weird. Here it is Thursday evening and I'm typing up the answers for a post I haven't even published yet. Confused? Don't worry, I know if you're reading this it's at least Sunday, but that's the beauty of scheduled posts. Even while I'm out taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the Pacific Ocean, this is getting published.

It does feel strange though. Just putting up generic answers without having read all of the entertaining guesses yet. Oh well here ya go. This week's answers:

#1 I'm thinking that cat or dog by-products were the most popular answers to this one. In reality, they are by-products all right, but they are from my lawn. When aerating the soil these little lawn plugs are deposited all over it. It does look like every poodle on the planet has left their mark my lawn though.

#2 A little too close and personal shot of a camel's nose. I can only imagine what some of you said about this one.

#3 It's none other than a man hole cover, or if you're feeling "PC", a storm drain cover.

#4 Bet you've all used this, or something similar to it, before. It's a hand soap dispenser from a public restroom.

Catch you all on Monday with the winners from this week.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What Is It #8

Time once again for my summer long Friday addition of what the heck is that a picture of?
This week's offerings should afford you with ample opportunity for some, shall I say, "interesting guesses"? I can hardly wait to see what you all come up with this time around. Unfortunately, wait, is exactly what I'll have to do. That's because we are heading off to the coast for three nights of camping.

Lisa, the boys and I are all more than excited and ready to get away for a short break from the day to day routine! As an added bonus, it's supposed to be in the mid to upper nineties here at home all weekend long, but only around 75-80 at the coast. There's gotta be something said for timing.

As a result of my absence, I will be putting up both the pictures (Fri) and the answers (Sun) as scheduled posts. I won't have the luxury of skimming through the comments to see who has the right answers or who has the most hilarious input, but you can bet your sweet aunt Harriet, I'll be looking on Monday afternoon.

Look for my "Horse Laugh" award winner Monday evening.

I'll also be looking forward to getting by to visit all of you too. Sorry for my lack of reading and commenting this week, but as you probably know, it's just been one of those wacky ones.

One last thing and then it's off to the photos. Listed at the bottom of this post there are some clues as to what these pictures are of. Feel free to use them to figure them out. Just indicate whether you did it w or w/o the help.

All right, all right, I hear ya, "Shut up and give us the danged photos already!"

Here ya go.





***Clues below***
Don't read if you don't want to know

#1 Doing this in the spring saves water
#2 Just north of the spit extractor
#3 Cause it doesn't sound right if you put "woman" as the first word
#4 Sure hope the chef used this

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Doing Better

I've sat here looking at my keyboard for the past fifteen minutes trying to think of what to say and how to articulate it when I did. A simple "thank you" hardly feels adequate, but then again sometimes just the simple things can be so meaningful. Case in point are the comments that were left on my previous post titled "Damn It".

Sometimes we don't always know what the right words are to comfort a person when they're feeling down. "Do I say this or that? Do I give a long testimony to my own journey through a certain situation? Maybe they don't want to hear how good I'm doing right now? Maybe they don't want to hear how things didn't work out?"

All of these thoughts have run through my own mind when I've wanted to console someone when they're hurting. The easy thing to do is simple say nothing and hope things get better. Not because we don't care, but simply because sometimes the right words just don't come. Well, what I've discovered is that if you're speaking from the heart there are never wrong words.

I feel like I'm rambling a bit tonight, but I guess what it all comes down to is this: Your comments and emails all meant a great deal to Lisa and I. Just knowing there are friends out there willing to lock arms and say "we care" is tremendously healing. So I'm back to my simple phrase of "thank you".

Now for the update. Maria did have her surgery yesterday and everything appears to have gone well. She is already back home now. (I've got to think that 20-30 years ago she'd have been in the hospital for a much longer stay than just overnight.) Now she/we are in the hurry-up and wait cycle. She should have results from the latest tests back early next week, and obviously we are hoping for the best.

The hard part for her will be to rest and take it easy. She's a stubborn old Italian woman who has always been extremely independent. (Wow that's an understatement). She lives in northern California, so for us to get down there is more than just a simple day trip. She does have her son living with her so she does have someone to help care for her, but again, after seventy-five years on the planet, she is pretty sure her way is the only way to do things. I can hear her now, "How come-a you gonna do-a that like-a this-a way? That's not-a how-a I told you-a to do it."

I'm pretty sure she's too darned tough to let even cancer get the best of her. Let's hope so anyway.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Damn It!

Hey you all. This is just a quick post tonight and no this time it isn't a work of fiction. My wife's mother is back in the hospital after just having gone through surgery to remove some cancerous tissues in one of her breasts. After performing a biopsy and getting the results, they (the doctors) have found more cancer. She (Maria) will be going into surgery again tomorrow morning.

I'd much rather be writing one of my humorous posts or some fun story that has popped into my head, but right now that just isn't possible. Even though Maria and I have never been real close, she is my wife's mom, and when Lisa is hurting, so am I.

Some of you are the praying type I know. If that's you I would ask that you send prayers for both Maria's healing and Lisa's comfort. For others I know that's not your thing. A moment of silence, a positive though or a well wish, whatever it is you feel led to do would be much appreciated.

Thanks, and I'll let you know how things turn out when I have some more information.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

What Is It #7 - Solved

The votes have been cast and the judges are tallying the numbers....

We have one clear cut winner this week, although I still think you are all winners, unless of course my brother Gene is reading this. In which case let me just say, "Your a loser!" Well, I for one feel much better now, how about you?

Kimmie correctly identified all four of the objects...but wait...the judges are looking at the super slow motion instant replay. I think they might have found something here. It appears her answers came in just after the clues were published in the comment section.
Will the judges let her answers stand? . . . Tick-Tock Tick-Tock (insert jeopardy music here)
Ah heck, sure they will, that's why I decided to put the clues there in the first place. In fact, I think next week I'll put some clues down at the bottom of the post with the first set of pictures. You can decide if you want to guess at them with or without the help.
Here are the answers:

#1 Most of you went for a shoe tread, but it was in fact a tire (big stinkin' tire too)

#2 A lot of you guessed correctly with a toaster

#3 Nails - Bonus points to Dana for identifying them as finish nails (had you have said "hot dipped", you would have really "galvanized" the deal though!)

#4 I set you up on this one. Last week I had a basket ball in the fourth position which may have influenced your guess of golf ball this time around. The dimples on a golf ball are recessed, but on this hobnail milk glass they protrude out from the surface.

There were once again some funny responses offered up, but the one that tickled my laughter button the most this week came from San of A Life with a View who offered up the following:

"All different views of your brain on memes."

Congrats to Kimmie and San, and thank you all for playing.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Wordzzle Wackiness

The Shtick: Raven of Views from the Ravens Nest compiles a list of random words each week for us to put together into a paragraph or short story.

The Purpose: To stimulate creativity in our writing, introduce a few new words into our vocabulary and perhaps most importantly, to have fun.

(this week's words)

Ten Word Challenge: solitaire, pathological, grackles, alternative life style, manifest destiny, polarization, ugly duckling, folding chairs, flibberty-gibbet, hand grenade

And for the Mini Challenge: marathon, the butler did it, curtain, hand cream, flatulence

***The Ten Word***
(with a slight twist on the usage of some of the words/phrases)

While setting up the room for the weekly Saturday afternoon solitaire tournament, Melvin, or Grackles as most people knew him, stumbled into a stack of folding chairs, sending them in every direction as if a hand grenade had just exploded. "Oh fliberty-gibbet!" he exclaimed, "I knew the reverse polarization of my pocket protector was going to throw me off balance today."

Becky-Sue came running over to see if the object of her secrete desire was ok. Getting up, Melvin struggled to regain his composure and tried desperately to manifest destiny into this awkward situation. Was it possible this strange way of meeting was somehow meant to be? He wondered if he was dreaming because it felt like being in a movie or perhaps some other alternative life.

Style and poise were never actions that came easy to him, but as he gazed into Becky-Sue's eyes, he somehow knew it didn't matter to her. What a sight to behold this was. The ugly duckling being smitten with the pathological nose picker.

***The Mini***
(alliteration style)

Working his hands together as if rubbing hand cream into them, the detective announced, "It's curtains for you mister!" MaGee, also known as the "Marathon Man", mourned the mess he'd made of his mundane life.

Then it happened, MaGee's midnight meal of meatballs and marinara got the best of him and he filled the interrogation room with the foul odor of his flatulence. Without breaking stride, (too late for the wind) MaGee mused, saying it wasn't he who had murdered Marium Morganstein, but it had been his man servant, none other than Mr. Murdock Manchester.

"My god MaGee, must you mess your shorts like that?" mocked the magistrate, "and don't for one moment think you're going to mislead me by making me believe the butler did it!"

***The Mega***
(Wanna play?)

The curtain rose and this year's fifth grade class was ready to begin their presentation of of the play, "Manifest Destiny". There were easily a couple hundred parents assembled in the miserably hot gymnasium designed to hold only half that number, the air conditioning had stopped working the day before and to make matters worse, the only thing to sit on were hard metal folding chairs. Everyone in the audience was hoping this wouldn't be another marathon performance like year's past had been.

Not more than five minutes into the presentation, a flock of grackles flew through an open door, crapping on all the unsuspecting onlookers. Pandemonium broke out with the scene looking like a hand grenade had just exploded into a vat of hand cream! Ten more minutes of utter chaos ensued before the school janitor, a flibberty-gibbet little man, was finally able to stop laughing long enough to shoo away all but one solitary bird. Eventually, things settled down and the play, showing the polarization of the east with the west, resumed.

Although most of the story followed history, the drama teacher's alternative life style was evident in certain aspects of it. For the most part the other teachers and parents were fine with her deviation from tradition, but there was one gentleman with whom it didn't sit well. What a pompous ass he was, and it should come as no surprise that his attitude had earned him the title through the community as "The Butler". Did it, boy-oh-boy, did it ever frost his shorts that the story of America's history was being, in his opinion, portrayed as something less than appropriate.

Now the couple sitting just behind and to the right of this gentleman could care less about his personal feelings of the play. That's because their daughter was due up on stage next and they were on pins and needles anticipating her big acting debut. The poor girl was considered by her peers to be quite the ugly duckling, but perhaps a good performance today might transform her into a beautiful swan with the other kids. Her mom, being three days past due with her pregnancy was about ready to burst, (for more reasons than one). As if she didn't have enough going on with the excitement of the crapping birds earlier, the soaring heat in the gym and the added pounds of pressure on her bladder, she now felt the flatulence that had plagued her throughout the past nine months, was about to rear its ugly head. Just as her daughter took the stage, she let one rip. It came out moist and loud, and oh how she hoped no one else had heard it over the other noises. Without skipping a beat, her husband quickly raised his hand and announced, "Sorry everyone, that was me!" Now he wasn't a pathological liar by nature, but his wife was very thankful that this was one lie he was willing to tell.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What Is It? #7

I was feeling the love yesterday in all the heart felt comments you left in response to my "Seven Things" post.

Dianne put it all together in two simple little words when she said, "You bastard!"

Matt-Man hit me with the velvet glove with, "You are a pretty good fiction teller. Okay, liar."

Rhea offered up this little warm fuzzy, "You crafty little SOB!!"

Mel even had a sweet sentiment for me, "laughing...better that than choking the byjeepers outta ya for the story tellings!"

I feel like Rodney Dangerfield, "I can't get no respect!" Not that I was expecting any after that episode of good old fashioned leg pulling exercise. Yah, fits of laughter were heard from my office all day as I read through your comments, and my soul feels good as a result of it.

All right, enough living in the past. Let's take a look at this weeks pictures shall we? Last week was pretty challenging, so hopefully the ones I've selected for this go round will be a bit easier. Obviously, you'll be the ultimate judge of that. As is the new custom, I'll post the answers on Sunday. Do you know what these are?





See you tomorrow with another installment of Wordzzle. I've got some light hearted ones for this week. If you want to join in the fun go by and get the list of words from Raven by clicking here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Seven Things

I was tagged by my friend Jules for the following meme about a week ago. I thought she had some interesting things to share about herself, so I decided to give it a go too. As you'll see below, the rules say to tag seven people, but I'm not big on that so I'll just leave it open to anyone who wants to pick it up and do it.

The Rules of the Tag Game:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my seven things:

1. Growing up I always thought the rock group KISS was the epitome of cool. Loud controversial music, rebels through and through and girls by the score lining up to . . . well you know. Come on, what pre-teen age boy wasn't going to want a piece of that? Well, exactly one week before my thirteenth birthday, my older sister (six years my senior) won tickets to the concert they were playing at in Long Beach, CA. A local radio station, 94.7 KMET, was doing a a promo for the show and she won for fourth row seats! After hours and hours of begging, groveling and pleading my sister began to cave. I continued to try and win her over by offering to do any and all of her chores for the rest of her life. (I was almost there.) It wasn't until I agreed to pay for all the gas as well as for the parking and to buy her a concert tee that she finally gave in and agreed to take me. I'm pretty sure if she hadn't have been dumped by her boyfriend a couple of weeks earlier I never would have stood a chance of getting to go. As it was, she took great pride in rubbing it in his face that her kid brother got to go and he didn't! The concert rocked by the way.

2. On a dare I once ate an entire pot of habanero laden chilly beans in one sitting. There was close to a gallon in the pot when I started and there wasn't a speck of it left when I stopped. Can anybody spell MORON? Just goes to show you, with enough peer pressure and an extremely large amount of alcohol, any grown man can be transformed into a complete idiot. I will spare you the details, but it's safe to assume that the next day my bathroom was under a hazmat lock down!

3. I am deathly afraid of the ocean. Ever since I saw the movie "JAWS" I can't bring myself to even go to the beach. Putting my toes in the sand immediately starts that damn sound track with the eerie music, "Da-Dump... Da-Dump Da-Dump..." Just typing that gives me the hebe-jebe's.

4. Outside of my immediate family, and of course the doctors I've seen throughout my life, there is one thing about my physical appearance I've never shared with anyone else before. For whatever reason, be it freedom from shame or the release from a lifelong burden, I feel compelled to share this with all of you.

I could give you the medical definition for this syndrome, but for simplicity I'll just spell it out in layman's terms. I was born with, for lack of a better phrase, a third nipple. Now if that caused you to chuckle, I suppose I can understand. It's taken me a long time to come to grips with this and I guess taken out of context it would sound pretty funny. Well, if you'll indulge me, you'll see why it's much more than that.

Your natural inclination would be to assume this deformity is on my torso, but in fact it is on my left leg, just above the kneecap. Weird huh? As a result, I've never felt comfortable wearing a pair of short pants in public. I suppose I could, but the whole idea is just too embarrassing for me to even consider. I've tried for years to see if I could have it surgically removed, but for a variety of reasons, it's just not possible. Just once I'd like to be able to sit next to a pool in a pair of shorts and not feel like the whole world would be staring at me.

5. On a lighter note. When I was thirteen or fourteen years old, on the way home from school one afternoon, my friends and I decided to stop at the 7-11 store and play some pinball. This was when you could play a game for a quarter. Anybody old enough to remember those days? I think it was about my third coin that I started on a tear, racking up free games like there was no tomorrow. It seemed like I could do no wrong. Every time a ball would come down I'd send it back up through the targets hitting everything in site.

I can't recall exactly how many games I ended up earning, but it was enough that I completely lost track of time. What I do remember was that a few hours and a couple of Slurpee's later, a very unimpressed man walked through the door. It was my dad, and boy was he pissed! It was well past dinner time and I had not bothered to call and check in. My mother of course, was worried sick. I'm sure she had me pictured dead along the roadside somewhere or kidnapped by some wacko.

So there was dad, looking at me with a scowl that only a father can truly master, and he said, "Do you have any idea what %*$#ing time it is young man?" Now a smart kid would have humbly said, "No sir," but I had a ball in play and I was only a few points away from winning my umpteenth free game, so I kept playing and said something like, "Nah..." Let's just say that was the wrong answer! My dad looked like Grizzly Adams on steroids and came absolutely unglued. Without saying another word, he went to the back of the machine and ripped the power cord right out of the wall! My two friends, who for some reason had stayed for my marathon gaming exhibition, scattered. I think they might still be running to this day. As for me, I began a very, very long term of being grounded.

6. I once saw the the inside of a Mexican jail. On a trip to Tijuana two of the locals got into a scuffle with my three friends (different ones) and I that led to the police coming in and removing us. We were handcuffed and put into their patrol car. Let me tell you, that ten minute ride to the station was probably the longest drive of my life, either before that moment or since. The cops that took us, kept talking to us in Spanish, but none of us could make out what the heck they were saying. It wasn't until we got to the police station that we were able to communicate with one of the officers there. This corrupt SOB told us we were looking at some pretty significant jail time unless of course we wanted to pay a fine and avoid the whole court system. Big surprise, he could only take cash for this little transaction. Two hours later and $500 apiece, we were free to go.

7. I love to tell stories, and some of my favorite ones are fiction. So I must confess that the only fact in any of these things about me is that I did like the group KISS growing up. Outside of that, everything else was completely false. I have two older brothers and no sister. I've eaten some funky things before, but greased lightning isn't one of them. I'm like a fish when it comes to the ocean. Diving, swimming or just hanging out on the shore, I love it all. I was blessed with only two nipples, and they are both right where they're are supposed to be thankyouverymuch. I like pinball, but I was never that good at it. I've been to Tijuana but never in one of their jails.

Now you've got to admit the first six were a lot more interesting than the last one weren't they?


Sunday, June 15, 2008

What Is It #6 - Solved

Well well well, here we are on Sunday morning and it's time to solve the mystry of what the heck those colorful objects were that have been puzling you. Although all four of them were correctly identified, nobody was able to come up with all of the correct answers by themself. So I suppose the Cracker Jack award will have to sit in my pantry for another week. Hmmm, I might just have to open the box and munch on it myself.

All-in-all I think you did a great job on these. Let's take a look at them shall we?

#1 was guessed by a fair number of you. Some thought it was a sports court. That was pretty close, but it's actually an Air Hockey Table.

#2 had most of you thinking window blinds. The shape was about right for that, but red blinds? Maybe that's the new signal for "that" district. Only one correct guess was given for this one. Dianne came up with the right answer of grocery store shopping baskets.

#3 also was a toughy. A part of an engine gathered the most votes, but unfortunately they were like a hanging chad in Florida...they didn't count. The only one to punch her card correctly to come up with the answer was Nicole who was able to identify it as the top of the canister for a Dyson vacuum.

#4 This one needs no introduction. Most of you spotted this one right away as a basketball.

As promissed, I have created another award this week too. I love to laugh, whether it be at myself (lots of oppertunity there) or at the world around me. I especially enjoy the silliness we share back and forth in the comment section of our blogs.

So for this inaugural giveaway of the "Horse Laugh" award I've selected Dianne of Forks off the Moment for her cleaver numbering skills (1>,B>, 3>, fourthly) and for her identification of our brother from Bagwine with the following comment regarding the purple object:

"the sore I saw on the ass of a man who mooned me at a drive thru in Ohio."

Go by and give her a shout if you have a moment. You'll be introduced to a talented writer, a woman with a quick wit and someone who has one or two opinions about our current President.

Thank you all for playing along and we'll do this again on Friday.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wordzzle - "Piece of Cake"

Time once again for this week's Wordzzle challenge brought to you by Raven at Views from the Ravens Nest. This week was quite difficult for me. I started writing a story on three different occasions and each time this combination of words through me. Finally an idea came and I was able to put something together.

I'm looking forward to reading what the other participants were able to come up with this week.

As always, feel free to join us by writing your own story(s).

This week's words were: Prenomial, Inexplicable, tangerine, masks, chocolate cake, panorama, librarian, Stonehenge, meek, florid

and the mini challenge: vituperative, bunny rabbit, house warming, sanitation, triangular

I opted to combine them together for the mega challenge this week in the following:

"Piece of Cake"

I thought I'd impress all the guests at my house warming party by serving a triangular shaped chocolate cake with a yummy tangerine frosting. My friend Myrtle brought her boyfriend with her. I thought he was such a meek little librarian when I was introduced to him, but boy-oh-boy was I ever wrong. After serving the cake to all the guests, he was the first one to speak up with his vituperative words.

"Quick, someone hand me a drink that masks the taste of this horrible cake!" he fired, "The last time I tasted something this bad one of my kids had put a handful of bunny rabbit droppings into my bowl of chocolate covered raisins. Holy crap woman, I don't think even the sanitation department will allow this florid display of culinary sludge to infect their landfill!"

My eyes swept across the room in a panoramic view as I tried to digest this inexplicable attack on me. Everyone else there was in awe at his verbal assault. "What a crock of prenomial bullshit!" I thought. If I could have dropped a rock the size of Stonehenge on him that very instant, I would have.


Footnote- I still don't have a clue what the word prenomial means. I looked it up a couple of different places and wasn't able to come up with a definition, so I just sort of through it in there anyway.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What Is It #6 - Pretty Colors

Thank you all for chiming in on the last post and letting me know what you thought about this little game. As many of you know I've done these (five of them actually) in the past, but never on a specific day of the week. I just sort of put them up when the mood struck me. As a result, I would get a couple of comments each time that went something like this, "Sorry I missed it this time around, I'll look for it next time."

So I said to myself, "Self. . . Why don't you post these on a regular schedule for a while." You can just about see the light bulb going on over my head with that bright idea can't you. Here's what I decided to do.

I will post 3-4 pictures each Friday for you to view. Sometimes there will be a theme, other times maybe not. Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to try and figure out what they are. They will either be a close-up or a cropped image of the larger object. I won't distort the image, change the color of it or do any other alterations other than to crop it. On the following Sunday (two days later for the mathematically challenged) I will post the answers along with the expanded photos.

One of the things I enjoy most about doing these is reading the comments that you leave. For this reason I will leave the comments open during the challenge so if you want to offer up a guess it'll have to be done on the honor system. You know the story, "Cheaters never win and all that rat. blah, blah, blah" Those of you that guess all the items correctly (and the most accurate or detailed) will earn the right to display the highly coveted Cracker Jack graphic on your blog. Everybody say Ooh...Aah! If displaying those things isn't your bag, then no big deal, I'll try not to cry too loudly.

The other thing I love to read are the humorous guesses/descriptions you come up with. So for all you nut cases who wish to tickle my funny bone, I am working on another graphic as your big prize. Wow, am I giver or what?

I'll keep these post going through the summer on their Friday & Sunday schedule as long as it still seems like there is an interest in it. Your comments will be my guide.

Enough yakking let's get on with the show...

***Pretty Colors***





Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Some of This & Some of That

A little bit of randomness today folks.

Two days ago our youngest boy Matthew turned the ripe old age of eight years old. We celebrated his birthday by going to a place called The Family Fun Center (aka Bullwinkle's). This place is a kids dream come true. Inside the building there is every video game you could possibly think of, a huge three level jungle gym/play land deal, a very cool laser tag room and of course a pizza and snack bar with unbelievably over priced food. (We opted to eat elsewhere.) Outside there is a miniature golf course, bumper boats, a rock climbing tower, bungee jump and go-kart racing.

Now just imagine all of that with about a million kids running in every possible direction all at the same time. Throw in a significant amount of screams and yells and you have all the makings of an Excedrin headache! I took a couple before heading in and boy-o-boy was that ever a good idea. As I watched a variety of children go into melt down stage because their parents were ready to go when they weren't, I thanked the good Lord that our boys were well behaved and didn't push any of our buttons. . . this time. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Clause!


Two days from today, on the 13th, Lisa and I will celebrate our sixteenth wedding anniversary. I can not believe she has put up with my shenanigans for that many years. I think I'll get her a medal of valor for a gift this year.

We dated for five years before getting married, so now at the age of 42, that means we have been a couple for half of our lives. That's pretty cool in my book!

Ooh, this is Friday the thirteenth too. Better watch my step.


Our kittens better known as the eat, sleep and poop machines, are now learning about the great outdoors. Yeah-hoo, this means goodbye litter box. Damn I hate those things. So the little gray one, Bella, decided to test out her climbing skills on the maple tree in the back yard. She went up about 25-30 feet into it and then did her best impression of "I'm a poor helpless cat...rescue me". The boys were sure she was going to get stuck up there and never be seen or heard from again. I assured them that in all my years on the planet, not once have I seen a cat skeleton in a tree. Ten minutes later she was at the back door looking for the food bowl. Typical!


I thought by now I'd have the first part of my new story posted, but it just hasn't come together. I think there's a pretty decent story line to it, but I can't seem to get the flow of it the way I like. So, I'll keep plugging away and if it starts to take shape then I'll post it. If not, it'll be back to the old drawing board.


My segment called "What Is It?" seems to generate interest among many of you, but I never post it on a regular basis, so nobody knows when to look for it. I thought I'd try doing it on a weekly basis for a month or two or until the interest wears out on it. I'll post the pictures for you to guess at on Friday and then post the answers with the expanded pictures on Sunday.

Here's where I could use your input. I love reading the guesses in the comments so I don't know that I want to turn off the ability to comment on the post. I'm thinking I'll just leave it as is and let everybody play and guess on the honor system. First person to guess correctly gets the Cracker Jack Blogger award for the week. I also love the ones that crack me up, so I'll try to come up with something for the most creative guesses as well. Some of you may just think this is all a bunch of nonsense and could care less about the whole thing. That's ok too. Please tell me what you think.


Well, there you go. A bunch of stuff that doesn't go together, but somehow it just did anyway.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Family History

Here is a post that really isn't a post, but a reference to a post. OK, got all that? Let me explain. My brother Gene (yah the ugly one) who writes a blog called "Turning the pages of Life" just did a two part post about some of our family history. No, I'm not talking about what grade school we went to or how many cousins each of us has. No this is some really cool stuff!

He was able to get a copy of a letter written about the journey the very first of our family made from Illinois to Oregon way back during the gold rush days of the 1850's. I'd heard some of the bits and pieces of the story during my lifetime, but never this complete of a picture.

Please do go by Gene's place and take a look. I think it's pretty amazing that where I live is just a few miles away from where my ancestors came to live after a long journey on a covered wagon.

Click here to read about it.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Wordzzle - You be the "judge"

It's time again for my new favorite weekly word challenge. A quick run down for those that are unfamiliar with it. Raven from Views from the Ravens Nest gives us two sets of random words to work into a paragraph that she likes to call Wordzzles. She has an open invitation to any who would like to give it a go, so if you feel so inclined, jump in.

The words for this week's ten word challenge were: spaghetti, larkspur, Prilosec, roaring lion, adamant, green green grass of home, paradox, filibuster, face cream, trout fishing

And for the Mini Challenge: jury of ones peers, barking dog, a wing and a prayer, liver, sprained ankle

I especially enjoyed the second set of words because as many of you know, I was serving on jury duty this week. As it turned out I only had to go to the courthouse on Tuesday and as I was sitting there waiting to be called, I wrote the mini challenge as well as the mega challenge.

And away we go...

Ten Word Challenge***

After spending a long day at Larkspur Lake trout fishing, Joyce was adamant that she wanted to see the green green grass of home once again. She found herself in quite a paradox however, because she was the one who had suggested the family come out here in the first place. The moment she started packing up for home, her husband Ray put up a filibuster, pleading his case about how the monster trout he'd been pursuing all day was sure to bite at any minute. Joyce wasn't willing to budge however. Turns out that she had mistakenly put face cream on instead of sun block and was now feeling the onset of a very nasty sun burn. Compounding matters, her acid reflux was coming on like a roaring lion thanks to the spaghetti dinner from the night before, and to top it all off, her Prilosec was at home. If she didn't get something for her stomach soon, it was going to get ugly...and fast!


I couldn't believe it. I'd been called to be on a jury of ones peers for a civil case, that by all accounts, was completely ridiculous. A gentleman was suing his neighbor because the guys barking dog had startled him while he was preparing a dinner of liver and onions. Seems that he stumbled backwards from the sudden noise , lost his footing and ended up with a sprained ankle. He was now suing for medical bills incurred as well as emotional distress. Halfway through his argument it was painfully obvious that he didn't have a wing and a pray at winning the case.

Mega Challenge***

As jury selection began a variety of excuses were offered up in hopes for an early departure for some. One elderly man told the judge his liver was in distress and wasn't sure if he would be able to serve. Another hobbled up with a sprained ankle in a wrap asking to be dismissed. When the third petition was raised however, nearly everyone in the courthouse erupted into laughter. A sweet, but misguided lady said she had a barking dog that was sure to cause problems with her neighbor if she wasn't able to be at the green green grass of home to care for him. We all knew that she only had a wing and a prayer this no nonsense judge was going to release her, but at least she had tried.

As expected, the judge answered back like a roaring lion. He was adamant that even though the first two jurors could be excused, He wasn't in the mood for any other half baked excuses. He continued telling the courtroom that he'd much rather be trout fishing at the lake with his yellow Labrador retriever Filibuster, but if he had to be stuck here then the rest of them could manage too. Besides, the defendant was entitled to be tried by a jury of ones peers and at least twelve of them were going to be on that jury.

Then it happened. Juror #347 spoke up and said, "Here's the paradox your honor. As much as I'd really like to serve on this panel, I'm afraid I don't think I'll be able to do that."

Looking back at her it was quite clear, both by his temper and his obvious discomfort, that his Prilosec was wearing off. "And why is that my dear?" he asked.

"I work for the Larkspur Spaghetti Factory on the same production line as the claimant. I don't think I could be very impartial if I know her."

"Anybody else!" the judge demanded.

With a well warranted amount of hesitation another timidly raised his hand saying, "I own stock in the face cream company that the defendant manages."

"This just keeps getting better every minute!" sniped the judge, "Bailiff, escort the few potential jurors we have left out of the courtroom. We're in recess!"

Friday, June 6, 2008

What Is It #5 Solved

Well, I guess I'm going to have to get a bit more creative with my photos next time around. The very first person, Mary (aka Crystalchick) of Mary Says had two out of three of them and then Miss smarty pants Katherine of Wading Through my Stream of Consciousness got all three of them correct on the very next comment.

Among some of my favorites were from Akelamalu of Everything and Nothing who offered the following:

1. A thing
2. A thingy
3. A thingymagig

And, Nicole of Humor Me who had this suggestion:

A do it yourself body piercing kit.

Thank you all for playing along. I really enjoy seeing what you come up with for these things.

Many of you have asked, "Do we get a prize?" Well yes you do. I've taken your hints, suggestions and prodding to come up with a little something you can take with you for all of your diligent detective work.

I tried to come up with an idea that said something about being sharp in respect to figuring out the objects and also gave away a prize. I immediately thought "Cracker Jack". (and by the way it doesn't have an "s" on the end of it.)

Here's what I decided/designed:

I'm slowly understanding this graphics program, but HTML is a whole 'nother animal I haven't delved into yet. As a result, You are free to copy the image and display it if you like, but I don't have a html code for those that would prefer to have it that way. Let me know what you think, and please feel free to be honest.

Who gets the prize? Anybody who guessed correctly or made me chuckle, which pretty much includes everybody this time around.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

What Is It? #5

Yesterday was mucho funo cruising around the blogsphere taking in all the Dona Nobis Pacem posts. It was started humbly by Mimi Lenox a couple of years ago and has since grown into quite an outpouring of support. If you've yet to check out what it's all about I encourage you to go by here and take a look.

Well, I have an idea for a story brewing and I'll probably get it put to words and typed in by the first part of next week. Until then, I though I'd bring back the "What is it?" picture guessing game. These are close up (macro) shots of everyday items. Your object is to figure out what they are.

All three of these items can be found in the same general area. They are used together, but not all three at the same time. I'm sure that nearly everyone reading this has at least two of these items in his/her house and/or has at least had cause to use them.

Know what they are?

I'll post an expanded picture of all three tomorrow to reveal what they are.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dona Nobis Pacem

There are so many of us out there who would like to see the world live in peace with one another. Each and every nation has citizens that crave an existence where they can walk the streets with their head held high, not fearing who or what may me lurking around the next corner.

But what about those countries that seem hell bent on hatred and the ever present threat of violence emanating from every nook and cranny of their being?

That my friends is a perception and not a reality. True there are a great many who would like nothing more than to carry on these plans of oppression and venomous disregard for the rest of society, but don't think for a moment that everyone under their regime holds those same feelings.

Fear and intimidation has a very powerful way of squashing our hopes and ambitions. The human heart however, has a tremendous resilience to these actions and the people behind them. The very ones that seek to keep us in the shadows are ultimately powerless to win over our hearts and souls as long as we keep that flame burning deep within us.

We often speak of how we can change a community, a nation, or even the world. We think of these as noble goals for the good of mankind. Perhaps they are, but the word "we" must be changed to the word "I" if any real change is to happen.

When I try to change those around me it only serves to frustrate me and bring more illumination to the fact that I am the one in need of change first and foremost.

When I get irritated at the waitress because she didn't bring me the change broken out into the proper denominations for her tip, then it's not up to her to change, but my heart attitude toward her.

When the guy cuts me off on the freeway, I shouldn't want to retaliate and "one-up him". I should take a deep breath and know that I'll still make it to my destination.

Now obviously saying these things is one thing, putting them into practice is quite another. This is just the human condition. We tend to want what "we" want. We want to get to work on time, and we want to have an uneventful drive too. Problem is, the other guy has his own agenda and it very likely does not coincide with ours. Now what? Do I hit the throttle and try to accomplish my goal, or do I acquiesce and allow his priorities to override my own?

This may be an oversimplified view of peace, but isn't that where it all starts? On the simplest of levels. Small steps of care and consideration for our fellow man, leading to bigger and bolder actions of a global scale.


This Blog Blast for Peace has been the vision of Mimi of mimiwrites. You will likely see several posts today carrying this theme, Dona Nobis Pacem, I hope you will take the time to read them and explore the possibilities.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Courts and Change

You may recall a while back I received a summons for jury duty. I originally thought I'd defer it to sometime this winter, but I ended up having a whole in my schedule so I told them I'd be available.

After calling in last night, I discovered my number was among those required to show up for a fun and exciting day of waiting. After about an hour of waiting for the day to unfold, twenty three of my newest friends and I were called into courtroom #8.

For the next two hours we listened to the two attorneys ask a variety of questions to us such as: Who do you work for and what do you do? What makes you good at the job you do? Have you ever been in an accident? Do you have any chronic back or neck pain? do you think large monetary settlements are justified?

As you can probably surmise by now, it was going to be a civil case in which one party had rear-ended the other and now the claimant was seeking damages.

It was obvious right out of the gate that one of the attorneys was as sharp as a tack and the other was as dull as a well used crayon. The second one asking simple yes or no questions and looking extremely nervous the whole time. At one point he even dropped all of the paperwork he'd been holding, all the while trying desperately to conceal his embarrassment.

Well, after a couple hours of the question and answer portion of jury selection, it was time to break for lunch. A little over an hour later the clerk came back into the room that we regrouped in and announced the thirteen numbers of the ones who would be serving on this trial.

I was not one of the numbers called, but lucky me, I get to call in each evening for the remainder of the week to see if I get to repeat the process all over again. Truth be told, I was hoping that after the investment of my morning, I would be selected to see the trial through. Oh well, maybe next time.

And now I pose a question to you. For lunch I walked over to a local pub and restaurant to get a bite to eat. Both the food and the service were fine. Not remarkable, but not horrendous either. My bill came out to $14.35 for the fish-and-chips and iced tea. I had a fifty in my pocket and used that to pay with. When the waitress brought back my change it consisted of the following:

1-twenty, 3-fives and 65 cents in coins.

What was I supposed to leave as a tip? The twenty certainly wasn't part of the equation, one of the fives would have come out to a 35% tip, and the coins would have only been a 4.5% tip.

Personally I tip around 20% provided the service warrants it, but in this case the mathematically challenged waitress didn't think about the change she was giving me at all. Kind of irritating in my book. Not the end of the world by any far stretch, but not real bright either.

So...What would you have done?

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Shack

I read an intriguing book today. That's right, no typo there. I read the whole book cover-to-cover in one sitting. OK, granted it was only about 250 pages long, but that should be a indication of how good I thought it was.

It's titled "The Shack" and is written by William P. Young.

Have you ever wondered whether or not God exists? Have you ever wondered why he would let awful tragedies happen? Does he really care about what happens to us, or are we merely chess pieces to him?

Now just mentioning the word God can raise a variety of thoughts and emotions among all of us no matter what your beliefs are. So I lay down a challenge before you all. Whether you believe he really exist or doesn't, or you're somewhere in between, pick up a copy of this book and give it a read. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it afterword.

This isn't a story about who's right or wrong at all. It's simply a story of one man's incredible journey through loss and a heart changing encounter.

I'd love to tell you all about the book, but that wouldn't be very nice. What I mean is I don't want to be the spoiler and give it away. What I will tell you is that if you want to feel a range of emotions from good ole' laughter to reaching for a tissue, this book will not disappoint you.

It may stir up some questions for some and for others it will likely answer a few. Well enough babbling from me, if you want to see more about it check out the link here.

BTW, this is not a paid endorsement in any way, I just really liked this book and I think you might too.