I get a lot of email every day. I have 4-5 email accounts feeding into the same email browser with the Spam blocking feature set to “stun” on all of them…so I should trust it…right?
Well, much to my surprise I found out that I am related to several dead diplomats in South America, Egypt, China and the Ukraine, all of whom left me large sums of money [the total this week was more than 3 BILLION dollars]. All I had to do is forward my credit card information to cover the armed currier delivery of the certified checks. I thought that the delivery charges were a little steep, so I wrote back and asked each of them if I could instead give them my FedEx account number and have them send it that way…I haven’t heard back yet.
Then, I had messages from several banks warning me that my deposited funds were at risk because of a security breach, and that I should verify all of my personal information to protect the deposits. I thought it would be more expedient to call the banks directly, especially since I don’t recall having ever done business with any of them. I called to check on my balances, and oddly enough they all said they had no record of me having an account with them…what a rip-off…they warned me with an email, and stole my money anyway…damn banks!
Next, I got several emails that for all appearances sake were sent from me – to me and advertised up to 90% off on prescription drugs. This was disturbing on many levels. First, if you relegate your own email address to the Spam folder…you won’t get any email [that’s not totally bad], but also…I had no idea I was in the pharmaceutical sales business! It’s scary…a little like the wolf man syndrome. Transforming in the middle of the night to forage and disembowel forest animals, only to have no recollection of it in the morning. The real problem is that trying to sell myself drugs that I have no use for means slow sales…I’m not expecting any commission checks anytime soon.
And lastly, I got several emails from [by virtue of their photos] drop dead gorgeous women living in Eastern Europe that had been anxiously trying to contact me as they had heard so much about me. They were planning trips to the US and wanted to connect, but needed help with travel expenses. I tallied up the expenses for all of them, and it was ridiculous! Anyone who knows me knows I will do whatever possible to help anyone, but I am also a solution person. I have a client who is in the shipping business. I figured it would be cheaper to purchase comfortable furniture and get them all over here at once in a shipping container. I emailed them back and said that if they could coordinate their departure from the same port, I would cover the cost of the container and meet them at the dock…because they all were anxious to catch up with me. I haven’t heard anything back yet…we’ll see.
How was your week?
There is a part of me that hopes that I have already eaten the worst thing I will ever taste…I don’t like some surprises. The question, “What’s the Worst Thing You Ever Ate?” may not have to do with food. We all have or eventually will involuntarily swallow a bug. Maybe a small bug, but it will happen. It either has to do with riding on a motorcycle or simply having your mouth open at the wrong instant. Not pleasant, but is it the worst thing I have ever eaten?
On a dare once, I swallowed a live gold fish. A typical college bet (in my day) and I rationalized that I was simply eating “pre-sushi”. Of course there was alcohol involved, but that was used as a suspension agent or lubricant.
I was lucky growing up because both of my parents had careers (double income) and we did have food at the table that some of my friend’s families couldn't afford…we certainly never went hungry except by choice. A caveat to this is my mother was a Home Economics teacher and given the times, nutrition had another look.
Vegetables, which grew in dirt, had to be boiled to the point where color, taste and nutrients were evaporated into a pulpy mush where flavor did not exist. To my mother’s credit, this was normal operating procedure based on recommendations from the government and “nutrition experts” and not necessarily her better judgment. Meat was cooked into hockey pucks so there was no possibility of bacteria, and gravy was a requirement to introduce moisture back into the meat. Again, I don’t blame my mother; it was simply the “best practices” advice of people and agencies that influenced cooks of the time.
Both of my parents worked and neither was home before 4:00pm AND supper had to be on the table by 5. This meant that every meal had to be prepared and served in an hour or less.
Wednesdays and Saturdays were the worst. Wednesday was “Everything casserole”. Casserole is French for “throw whatever you have in with some noodles and serve it with bread”. Saturday was “Leftover Soup”…that is self explanatory. The trick my brothers and I learned was to make sure we cleaned up anything we didn’t want to wind up in casserole or soup…the best case scenario was to have boiled water on Saturdays.
To date…what was the worst thing I ate? Well, I’ll go with involuntary bug swallowing…the goldfish, well like I said, alcohol was involved...but with a little Wasabi and Edamame…I’d do it again.
What was the worst thing you ever ate?
-Thanks for the idea Jos-
Justin was 5 and in Montessori kindergarten. The class planned a field trip to Upland Hills Farms; a teaching farm for children that also had orchards and a cider mill. Justin had spent plenty of time on farms before when visiting family in Ontario so I thought this trip would be fun for him.
I picked him up after school. I asked, “How was the trip today?”
“Oh, it was okay I guess.” He said with a slight frown.
“Just okay? What did you do?”
“Well, first we picked some apples and then we took them to the apple torture place.”
“Apple torture place?”
“Yah, you know, where they smash them into juice!”
“The cider mill?”
“Yah, that’s it.”
"What else did you do?”
“I got to feed a baby pig with a baby bottle. That was kinda neat. Then we combed a baby sheep and they showed us how they make string from the hair. That’s where sweaters come from you know.”
“That sounds pretty neat.”
“We just combed that sheep, but really they shave them bald to make the string for sweaters. I bet those sheep get cold after they shave them. Do you think they let the sheep wear the sweaters after they shave them?”
“Good question! What else did you do?”
“Well, then we went to see the cows. They showed us how to milk cows, and made us take turns.” Justin winced a little.
“It sounds like you didn’t care for that part. You’ve been around cows before when they were being milked.”
“Well yah, but they used machines to milk them. I didn’t really like having to do it with my hands.”
“Well ya know, you have to hold their penis…and why do they have 4?”
“Uh, hmmm…what would you like for supper tonight kiddo?”
A long discussion occurred later that evening with books and pictures and it all worked out fine. Justin still likes milk to this day, but I’m sure he won’t be milking anymore cows.
There I was, minding my own damn business, driving home from a late client meeting when I turned on the radio. Afternoon conservative talk was on, which is fine as it distracts me from rush hour traffic. A caller came on in reference to the Republican victory in the Massachusetts Senate race. Her comment…”I hope all the Communists and Atheists take this as a sign from God that their time is at end!” Holy Crap! Really? God will hinge the Rapture and mass genocide on the outcome of a Senate race, in a single state, in a single country? Holy Crap! Even the otherwise spitting, verbose blowhard radio personality pushed back a little.
Then I thought to myself…I have more faith in God than that. Let the Republicans have Massachusetts…I predicted this anyway by virtue of the lousy campaign the Democrats ran, and we have a Democrat in the Presidency. History tells you it will happen EVERY time. This now gives Congress the perfect excuse to accomplish nothing until the next national election…is anyone REALLY surprised? Grow Up!
And then…on Face Book, a person who is on my friends list, and who is an obviously bitter and angry person posted SEVERAL very angry and bitter Status updates about hating people who are multi-lingual. To quote her about a multi-lingual person who had the nerve to respond to one of her diatribes “I'm gonna grab him by his "lizard-lips" and wrap them around a short needled cactus and watch them bleed!” Holy Crap! Give Rosetta Stone a try!
In the world the most popular languages spoken are Mandarin Chinese, English, Spanish, etc. The point is that English has NEVER been number 1.
Discounting (but not ignoring) the MANY native dialects of the American Indians, the first languages spoken by settlers on US soil were Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese, and LASTLEY English! English by the way is in fact a primitive derivative of German (look it up)! The original languages of written history are Latin, Greek, French and Spanish…only one of which is in the top 3 today (Spanish).
A rebuttal was posted to the “friend” that asked, “Did Jesus speak English?”. The response was “If He Came to America, he better!” Hmmm. To my way of thinking, if you don’t understand Jesus, regardless of the language he speaks in…there is a far more serious problem at hand, and oh yes…Jesus NEVER spoke English! I need to emphasize this point by pointing out that during the entire Life of Jesus, English as a language DID NOT EXIST!
As an example the entire continent of Europe is barley half the size of the continental US and they speak between 30 and 40 unique languages, and only a VERY small percentage are not multi-lingual.
In the end…to all of the fundamentalist ultra-right wing isolationist buffoons who believe that the universe revolves around them…GROW UP! You live outside the bubble (The Bubble Therory) and unless you invent Bug Zapper Repelant…you are doomed!
I’m just saying!
I was playing with a friend one day and we decided to go for a walk. We got as far as the playground of the local parochial school yard, and my friend suggested that we stop and play in the playground. We swung from the monkey bars, had a swing, and wound up on the see-saw. There we were, minding our own business and having fun when all of a sudden a very angry Nun ran out of the building, calling my friend by name (he attended that school) and telling him to freeze. He did. She grabbed him by the ear, lifting him off the ground and yelled “You can't play here on Saturday!”
All I saw at that moment was a monster dressed in a penguin suit hurting my friend. I ran up to her, kicking her in the shin. She dropped my friend and I grabbed him running away. The Nun yelled again, “Get back here right now!” I kept running, but looked back to reply “I don’t have to listen to you…I’m not Catholic!”
Corporal punishment was an acceptable way of life at the time, and parochial schools were no exception. Good bad or indifferent, it was what it was.
I was born Episcopalian, and raised Methodist. I do not belong to any doctrine based faith today, but I do believe in God…and science and that we are guided, but responsible for our own behavior.
To Christians the bible is the word that must be followed for salvation. In theology, the bible is a historic document that chronicles creation, the works of God and the life of Jesus. It is wrought with parables, proverbs and stories written centuries after they may actually have occurred. It [the bible] is accepted as gospel by many and so simple in its message. There are simple truths described [10 in total in fact] and everything else in the book is based on those truths.
Sometimes I think that lawyers wrote the bible…why say in 100 words that you can say in 100,000.
We as humans have taken those 10 simple rules and added sub-text, exceptions, bylaws, and amendments to create doctrine based religions which control through guilt how we live, and perpetuate how those religions survive. Much of all of the doctrine is based on superstition having nothing to do with God’s guidance. Eating only fish on Friday…really? Dairy and meat dishes are separate? Some of these "rules" smack of Monty Python...I'm just saying. All of those religions tell us that if we do not live by their teachings, we are condemned to hell.
Robert A. Heinlein (Job: A Comedy of Justice) suggested that when we die, the people alleged to go to Hell do not in fact go to Hell, but rather relocate in west Texas.
I stopped celebrating traditional Christmas 3 years ago. I don’t send cards, I don’t decorate a tree and I don’t serve a big feast to family for a few hours to feel better about myself. I did however string lights on a 33 year old Wandering Jew plant in my livingroom this year. I enjoy the literal irony and don’t care if anyone gets it or not. I have for 2 of the past 3 years spent Christmas day preparing and serving dinner to homeless people. I do it because I can, and because regardless of the day those people might go without a decent meal without this opportunity. I also know that all of us are only one bad decision away from being on their side of the serving line. I appreciate my fortunes.
I believe in God. I believe that he/she has a sense of humor…look at your feet. I also believe that he/she has given us a set of rules to live by and after that we are on our own. I believe that the only thing that is God’s will is for us to behave well and follow the ten simple rules.
War is not God’s will. Disease and its victims are not God’s will. These things exist because they can or because we have created them. God is watching…oh yes, he/she is the coach, but we are playing the game, and the final score has to do with how well we play.
Let’s get back to basics…ten simple basics. Regardless of your faith or your name for God, the rules are the same…and simple.
To that end…God and St. Peter are playing golf. God tees off and shanks the ball. It slices into the woods, bounces off of a tree and lands in front of a squirrel. The squirrel picks it up and runs into the fairway where a hawk swoops down, grabs the squirrel and takes off. The squirrel fights and squirms, and the hawk lets go. The squirrel falls landing on the green, spits the ball out which rolls into the cup. St. Peter turns to God and asks “Okay…are you going to play golf, or are you going to screw around all day?”
-Thanks for the idea Jos -
I bought a package of fortune cookies. It had an expiration date. Does that apply to the fortunes as well?
They serve seafood at the restaurant in Shedd Aquarium, Chicago. Is it possible that the slow learners wind up on the menu? I’m just asking!?!
I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down...I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.
I am leaving now to go find myself. If I should return before I get back...please ask me to wait. Question: If space is a vacuum...who changes the bag?
...I can't remember if I'm the good twin or the evil one!?! Advertisement for a dry cleaner (not kidding)..."We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand." :)
My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely!
If you are inclined to add insult to injury…the ideal time would be when signing someone’s cast!
Niagara Falls year round…how clumsy is that???
Forgot to back-up the server last night...and so the files went...data way
Well, the holiday is over. After cooking, running, cleaning and refereeing...Therapy is expensive, popping bubble wrap is cheap...easy choice :)
Some folks drink thirstily from the fountain of knowledge...and some just gargle.
I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, "I wish I had a nickel for every time I..."!
Think with good taste the words you live by...you may have to eat them some day!
It's Michigan. An honest weather report would be: 2-4" inches of snow...or more...or not. Rain & sleet...or not. High temperature 25...or less. Partly sunny...or not...
I am not defending Tiger Woods. I am however sick of the media buzzards picking at that carcass. To that end…for all the records Tiger has set or broken, at 7 he doesn’t hold a candle to Wilt Chamberlain who boasted 20,000 extra-marital trysts in his career. Stick to golf Tiger!
I heard someone tried the monkeys-on-typewriters bit trying for the plays of W. Shakespeare...but all they got was "Going Rogue"
A fact of winter! 98% of people driving in winter say "Oh Sh#t" just before they hit the ditch...the other 2% are from Michigan and say "Hold my beer and watch this!"
I got invited to a party. The invitation said “Time: 7:00PM until whenever”. After 6 weeks…they demanded that I leave…I said,” You should have been more specific on the invitation”.
I was deeply involved in creating a diabolical and clever plan to take over the world…and then I got distracted by something shiny…
To answer the question “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” you must ask the question, was it breakfast time or dinner time?
Try to live your life so that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.
When I’m not in my right mind, my left mind gets crowded.
For the greater good, it is better to take action than notice.
Five things you should never do:
1. Hold a fish in your teeth to feed a shark
2. Volcano bungee jump
3. Start a food fight with cannibals
4. Play bobbing for French fries
5. Play spin the bottle with alligators
Here’s the thing. History says that we had spent the prior 8 years under Republican majority, we were at war on multiple fronts, and the economy was in the tank. If the only other choice besides a Republican at that point was an over-weight, gay female minority (insert your preference here), the Republican party would still have lost!
You can’t fool history! And because we never really learn from it, we can only hope to repeat it with a new twist.
During President Bush’s tenure some good things happened, and some pretty terrible things happened. I did not hold him personally responsible for the bad things, nor will I give him sole credit for the good. The same should be said (fairly) for President Obama. If you are one of those who blame whatever you are mad at on the president…GROW UP!
I was curious and looked up the history of growth and turmoil in our country, and who was President during those times and the only point in which there wasn’t a lot of crap going on to piss off the whole nation was on a single 3 day weekend in 1839 when James K. Polk was president.
When the mid-term elections come around, the Republicans will gain balance or control of Congress and history tells us that like an ulcer Congress will eat itself for 2 years without accomplishing anything and history tells us that unless something really terrible happens President Obama will be re-elected, and the ulcer will continue to eat itself, blah, blah, blah.
History tells us that only the “electable” get elected which has nothing to do with qualifications.
I’m just saying.
This is a state that has the nerve to distinguish a difference between “Partly sunny” and “Mostly cloudy”. This is a state where we average about 9 hours total a week of cloudless sunny skies during winter months. The sunniest days on record for the winter are usually the day AFTER the worst storm of the year.
Now, I have lived in Michigan for a very long time…I love the four seasons, and winter…well it’s not as harsh as it used to be, and you get used to it.
Here we are, smack in the throes of mid-winter in Michigan and I have a question.
I will not take for the sake of this post either side of the global warming debate except to ask…where the hell is it? The weather report this morning said we were having above average temperatures which were still below freezing. Today’s high was 18 Fahrenheit (-8 Celsius). Above average?
If in fact (and I’m not arguing the point) global warming is a problem, in the course of correcting it can we consider harnessing it to our (my) own benefit? Is there a giant magnifying glass you can launch into space aimed only at Michigan to concentrate the warming effect? Is there a hole in the Ozone that can be concentrated on…say, my neighborhood to keep it at a balmy 72 degrees all winter?
I keep my thermostat turned down low enough to hang meat and preserve it in the winter and I still have gas bills that are larger than car payments, so at this time…global warming seems more like a solution than a problem.
I’m just saying!
I have worked with a lot of people over the past many years who were clients or partnering agencies who displayed a sense of entitlement less impressive than that of the average 4 year old that basically said “Trust me. Do everything you can to help me and I will lead you to believe that I appreciate it, and you will be rewarded” and yet when the work is done it is treated like a disposable commodity and the energy expended on collecting the reward is exhausting, frustrating, and rarely fruitful.
On this planet there are a special group of people who truly care, are right thinking conscientious, reasonably intelligent hard working people who do the right thing for the right reasons on a daily basis. They live inside the bubble.
The other group lives outside the bubble and are what I refer to as “A collective closed head injury”. They feel entitled and the thing they work hardest for is whatever they can get, and get out of on the backs of the folks inside the bubble. Ultimately, that sense of entitlement, sense of greed or otherwise misguided sense of purpose works against them. A perfect example is the recent attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to destroy an aircraft over Detroit. It resulted in him causing only himself third degree burns to the nether region which in and of itself defeated the notion that dying for his cause would gain him 72 virgins in the afterlife...good luck with that!
The folks outside the bubble; like moths to the light, flock to seize every opportunity to take advantage by exploitation and gaining anything for nothing. They (the outsiders) in effect block the sunlight that nourishes and creates growth for those inside the bubble.
For all of the folks inside the bubble it does little good to fret. Time will (I am confident) balance things. In the meantime and for multiple reasons (nourishment and entertainment) what the folks inside the bubble should do is pull up a comfortable chair and a six-pack…or the favorite beverage of your choice, place a very large Bug Zapper just outside the bubble, and enjoy the show.
I’m just saying.
Well, it is the third day of the new year of the new decade of the new millennium and as in all years past, we resolve to change something about ourselves for the better. I am sure that there are people who make resolutions of value and keep them and I am proud of every one of those people. However, by and large we make resolutions to improve and the real question is not “What is your resolution?”, but rather “How long will that last?” In many ways I am less fascinated with the New Year’s Resolution, than I am with the Rest of the Years’ Rationalization. I don’t know the history of the resolution stuff, but I do know that we all make them at one time or another and that vast majority of them are broken at the speed of light or they are conditional. I imagine that the top five resolutions (in no particular order) are as follows…and all conditional: 1. God, if you help me through this hangover relatively pain free, I resolve never to do it again…after this beer. 2. I resolve to lose weight…you aren’t going to eat that last donut are you? 3. I resolve to get more exercise…you’re closer to the remote; you change the channel, and while you’re up, make me a sandwich! 4. I resolve to be more prudent with my finances. Shoe sale? Where? 5. I resolve to be a better person…if you do too…first! If we really think about the things we resolve to do, and understand at the outset that we are not committed, we would save far more time by avoiding having to rationalize why we broke those resolutions for the rest of the year. There was a time when I made annual resolutions, but I didn’t share them to spare myself from “Well, that didn’t last long.” “What Happened?” “Nice try…dumbass!” The last resolution I made openly, was never to make another resolution…so far, so good. I think that if each of us realized instead of torturing ourselves with resolutions on New Year’s Day, we instead gave ourselves credit for all of the resolutions we’ve made on a subconscious level, we would be happier. For example: I am sure at some point I subconsciously resolved never to go volcano bungee jumping. I’ve kept that. I resolved never to hold a fish in my teeth to feed a shark. I’ve kept that one too! So far, I’m batting a thousand! I resolved never to staple a sticky note to my forehead. Not sure where that one came from, but it is redundant, and I get the whole pain thing. I’ve kept that one as well. I have more lofty notions about how the whole resolution idea can be leveraged. At the risk of defying quantum physics, I think that time should resolve to reverse its double standard. If something is painful, tastes bad, boring, or we are standing on queue…time should move faster. If we are on vacation or otherwise enjoying ourselves, time should move much slower. The leaders of the free world (and all other parts) should resolve to behave better, get along, and pay better attention to matters that will improve life for all in their respective countries. With regards to the US, I am afraid that donkeys and elephants will fly first. Be good to all those around you and yourself…and make it a matter of practice; not something you can rationalize your way out of. I’m just saying.
Gibson is also an 8 pound stomach with nostrils. He associates everything with food. “I just woke up…feed me.” “You looked at the clock; it must be time to eat.” “I’m thinking of peeing in the corner of the kitchen, but if you feed me I won’t.” And so on. It is not so much that he thinks about eating every waking moment as it is that when he does get fed, he inhales it with a whooshing sound such that the kitchen curtains flutter in the breeze. I am convinced that his taste buds are in his anus because there is no way he tastes food going in.
There are just the three of us living here. The boys are good company, funny, and we do have fun together, but they are spoiled, they know it, and they know it is my fault.
When we are alone, the boys are fine. They play by themselves, I take time to give them belly scratches, I feed them, they nap and all is well. However…when company comes over…well, that’s a different story. All of sudden the earth’s axis changes and because they are not the center of it they will do ANYTHING to right the orbit and regain the center.
Mariann, my late wife (and a psychologist) used to say that dogs didn’t have a frontal lobe and therefore didn’t have the ability to reason, plot or scheme. Well, I am not a psychologist or a veterinary neurologist, but if in fact dogs don’t have a frontal lobe…they have some other “gland” to make up for it because they DO have the ability to reason, plot or scheme!
When Higgy was a puppy and we had company he would go into the bathroom, grab the end sheet on the toilet paper roll and proceed to TP the house until he ran out. We started keeping the bathroom doors closed. His reaction was “OK, you do know there are trash can everywhere don’t you?” and so he would empty those cans of tissue and have a confetti party. I eventually convinced him to stop doing that but I do think that from time to time he does it for nostalgic reasons.
Gibby is too small to get up the stairs by himself; he can’t jump on the furniture, jump into bed or get up to the dinner table to steal food. I call him my pocket pal. It’s good that he can’t get into too much trouble because of his size; the drawback is that when he does want to get some place he is allowed, I am the escalator…and he has about a three minute attention span. When Gibby is downstairs, he wants to be upstairs. When he is upstairs, he wants to sleep on the bed. When he is on the bed, he wants to be downstairs, and on and on…in three minute intervals…all day!
Communications: Higgy and Gibby do try to communicate with me and I have learned to know what they are saying. When I have company, and Higgy feels that I am spending too much time talking with them and not him he has a bark that says, “Mine, he’s mine…stop talking to him, he’s mine!” When I let him outside to do his business and don’t let him back in right away, Higgy has a bark that says, “HEY, I’m done, let me in, I have stuff to do!” Gibby…oi, Gibby. When he is not where he wants to be, he howls a mournful cry that could make the neighbors think I was beating him. When I don’t let him outside the nanosecond he wants to go, he waits…he waits, and then lets out a blood curdling scream that says, “I had to go out. I wanted to go out, but because you weren’t here at that second, I have left an “autograph” somewhere in the house and it is up to you to find it…now take me upstairs, or feed me, or just try to make yourself useful; I have needs you know!”
So, there are the boys. Mariann, I don't know what it's called, or where it is, but if they don't have frontal lobes, they have an effective backup! They are spoiled, they know they are spoiled, they know I know they are spoiled, and they know it is all my fault…but I love them.