Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sing It, Baby!

Three-for-three on this week so far. If it were a fish, I'd have thrown it back.

But life goes on and so does my search for something funny to distract me. How about some actual country song titles? I've seen many versions of this list over the years, and Miss Cellania ran this one today ... here you go ...

1. Get Your Tongue Outta My Mouth Cause I’m Kissing You Goodbye!

2. I Don’t Know Whether To Kill Myself or Go Bowling.

3. If I Can’t Be Number One In Your Life,Then Number Two On You.

4. I Sold A Car To A Guy Who Stole My Girl, But It Don’t Run - So We’re Even.

5. Mamma Get A Hammer (There’s A Fly On Papa’s Head).

6. If The Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me.

7. She’s Actin’ Single and I’m Drinkin’ Doubles.

8. How Can I Miss You If You Won’t Go Away?

9. I Keep Forgettin’ I Forgot About You.

10. I Liked You Better Before I Knew You So Well.

11. I Still Miss You, Baby, But My Aim’s Getting’ Better.

12. I Wouldn’t Take Her To A Dog Fight, Cause I’m Afraid She’d Win.

13. I’ll Marry You Tomorrow, But Let’s Honeymoon Tonight.

14. I’m So Miserable Without You; It’s like Having You Here.

15. I’ve Got Tears In My Ears From Lyin’ On My Back And Cryin’ Over You.

16. If I Had Shot You When I Wanted To, I’d Be Out By Now.

17. My Head Hurts, My Feet Stink, And I Don’t Love Jesus.

18. My Wife Ran Off With My Best Friend, And I Sure Do Miss Him.

19. Please Bypass This Heart.

20. She Got The Ring And I Got The Finger.

21. She Got the Gold Mine and I Got the Shaft.

22. You Done Tore Out My Heart And Stomped That Sucker Flat.

23. I'd Rather Have a Bottle In Front of Me Than a Frontal Lobotomy (this may not actually be a real song, but it's a real quote, attributed to many people including W. C. Fields, Tom Waits, and Dorothy Parker).

24. Her Teeth Was Stained, But Her Heart Was Pure.

25. Drop Kick Me, Jesus, Through the Goalposts of Life.

Yee, hah!

Have a good day. Sing the body electric. Or wind or solar or gas, whatever. More thoughts tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The New Laws of the Workplace

This week is now officially two-for-two on the suck meter. I shouldn't complain, because I have a job and many other people don't, but it's still depressing ... and others in my office have it much worse than I do.

Feeling sorry for me yet? I didn't think so. (Mike, insert snarky "ha-ha-I'm-retired" comment here)

Speaking of Mike, according to his comment on yesterday's post, he evidently had a hard time accessing my blog for much of the day. Did anyone else have any trouble? Don't answer if you still can't access the blog and, thus, aren't able to read this.

But back to business: here, from my vast collection of Blog Fodder, is a good summary of the new laws of the workplace:

If you can't get your work done in the first 24 hours, work nights.

The difference between a pat on the back and a kick in the butt is only a few inches.

Don't be irreplaceable ... if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters what you say you've done and what you're going to do.

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before ... unless you are wealthy and contribute to political campaigns.

The more junk you put up with, the more junk you are going to get. (Corollary: your reward for doing a good job is the opportunity to do more, on a shorter deadline.)

You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard. (This is absolutely true ... trust me.)

Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. (Unfortunately, this doesn't work well any more because pollution and global warming is killing off the toads.)

When the boss talks about improving productivity, he's not referring to him (or her-) self.

If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

Keep your boss's boss off your boss's back.

Everything can be filed under "miscellaneous." (It's true ... that's how our office file plan works.)

To err is human, to forgive is not company policy.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he/she is supposed to be doing.

Important letters that contain no errors will develop errors in the mail. These errors will be so obvious that the recipient of the letter will automatically think you are an idiot and disregard the actual content of the letter.

If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't. (Corollary 1: the person designated to attend a pop-up meeting is the one who can be spared at the time. Corollary 2: that person is the one least-qualified to attend. Corollary 3: the pop-up meeting will turn out to be critically important.)

The amount of time you will be given to review and comment on a document is inversely proportional to its criticality. (Corollary: If you have five working days to review a document, the actual amount of time you will get is fifteen minutes, because the rest of the time is needed for everyone above you in the chain to review and comment on the work you did.)

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done. (Brenda, this is for you!)

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried. (I've got that one down pat.)

Following the rules will not get the job done.

Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.

When confronted by a difficult problem you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?" (Agnes's Corollary: "Just shoot 'em!")

No matter how much you do, you never do enough.

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.

That's all for now. Time to go back to work for more fun.


Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Well, if yesterday was any indication, this week is going to suck like a top-of-the-line Electrolux. I need funny. Happily, the beloved Miss Cellania has come through with this take on the features of toasters manufactured by the people who brought you computers (and other products) ...

If Oracle made toasters, they'd claim their toaster was compatible with all brands and styles of bread, but when you got it home you'd discover the Bagel Engine was still in development, the Croissant Extension was three years away, and that indeed the whole appliance was just blowing smoke.

If Hewlett-Packard made toasters, they would market the Reverse Toaster, which takes in toast and gives you regular bread.

If IBM made toasters, they would want one big toaster where people bring bread to be submitted for overnight toasting. IBM would claim a worldwide market for five, maybe six toasters.

If Xerox made toasters, you could toast one-sided or double-sided. Successive slices would get lighter and lighter. The toaster would jam your bread for you.

If Radio Shack made toasters, the staff would sell you a toaster, but not know anything about it. Or you could buy all the parts to build your own toaster.

If Thinking Machines made toasters, you would be able to toast 64,000 pieces of bread at the same time.

A toaster made by Cray would cost $16 million, but would be faster than any other single-slice toaster in the world.

A toaster manufactured by The Rand Corporation would be a large, perfectly smooth and seamless black cube. Every morning there would be a piece of toast on top of it. The service department would have an unlisted phone number, and the blueprints for the toaster would be highly classified government documents. Fringe would have an episode about it.

A toaster from the National Security Agency would have a secret trap door that only the NSA could access in case they needed to access your toast for reasons of national security. The toaster would have to be kept in a special safe in your basement and you would have to pass a lie detector test and have a top secret security clearance in order to eat your toast. Uneaten pieces of toast would have to be completely burned and the ashes scattered.

ToastMan, the Sony toaster, would be barely larger than the single piece of bread it is meant to toast, and could be conveniently attached to your belt.

If Timex made toasters, they would be cheap and small quartz-crystal wrist toasters that take a licking and keep on toasting slices of baguettes.

If Fisher-Price made toasters, "Baby's First Toaster" would have a hand-crank that you turn to toast the bread, which would pop up like a Jack-in-the-box when it was done.

If Microsoft made toasters, every time you bought a loaf of bread, you would have to buy a new toaster. You wouldn't have to take the toaster, but you'd still have to pay for it anyway. Toaster 7 wouldweigh 15,000 pounds (requiring a reinforced steel countertop), draw enough electricity to power a small city, take up 95% of the space in your kitchen, claim to be the first toaster that lets you control how light or dark you want your toast to be, and would secretly interrogate your other appliances to find out who made them. You wouldn't be able to toast any bread until you entered a 25-character activation code, and the toaster would occasionally, without warning, stop making toast until you turned it off and turned it back on again. Everyone would hate Microsoft toasters, but nonetheless would buy them since most of the good bread only works with their toasters.

A toaster manufactured by Apple would do everything the Microsoft toaster does, but five years earlier.

Hope this clears it all up for you. Uncle Bilbo raises a toast to all of you in hopes of a better week than yesterday would lead him to expect.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Something to Read

I stumbled on this wonderful Time Magazine article by Fareed Zakaria over the weekend: How Today's Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality. It says everything that people like me - fundamentally conservative, but appalled at the shameful behavior of today's Republican party - believe.

Nobody can possibly disagree that government spending is greatly out of line with revenue (what we used to call taxes, but that makes Republicans' heads explode, so we can't say the word any more). Simply raising taxes to increase revenue without responsibly reducing government spending is as stupid as the Republican approach of slashing responsible regulations on business and industry and cutting taxes on the wealthy while throwing everyone not in the upper classes under the proverbial bus with huge spending cuts that, in many cases, amount to a - dare I say it? - tax increase on the lower classes.

Time to get real, Republicans. Read Mr Zakaria's article and think about what he has to say.

I know you won't, but it's one of the safer of the fantasies I have.

Have a good day. Think. More thoughts tomorrow.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Just When You Thought Things Couldn't Get Any Crazier...

According to this article on CNN, "reality star" (aka, talentless, but beautiful and well-marketed bimbo) Kim Kardashian has had her fanny x-rayed to prove it's all-natural, unenhanced by implants.


Let's see, now ... unemployment is high, the economy is in the toilet, Republicans are more concerned with sticking it to the Democrats, foiling the President, and remaining true to philosophical purity than with working collegially to fix the nation's problems, Democrats are well-meaning, but clueless and unable to come up with a coherent program, wildfires are scorching much of the country, the nuclear reactor crisis continues to fester in Japan, hyper-violent drug wars continue to ravage Mexico and threaten the American southwest, Islamic extremists continue to believe the path to an imagined paradise is paved with the bodies of Christians and Jews ...

... and CNN is reporting about Kim Kardashian's ass?

Granted, it's a very nice posterior of truly epic proportions, but don't we have better things to worry about?

And that's all I'm going to say on the subject. I only brought it up because I'm afraid of getting a little behind in my blogging.

So to speak.

Have a good day. More thoughts, unrelated to the gluteus maximus, tomorrow.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cartoon Saturday

On this date in 1876, General George Armstrong Custer made one of the world's premiere bad military decisions when he decided to attack an Indian encampment on the Little Bighorn River in what is now South Dakota; speaking of bad decisions, Republican majority leader Eric Cantor petulantly walked out of budget negotiations this week, insisting that it was now up to the President to cave in to Republican demands to strike the word "tax" from any discussion of the current budget crisis; today is the anniversary of the birth in 1903 of English author and journalist George Orwell, who would have appreciated Republican social and economic theories; actor Peter Falk, famous for his portrayal of disheveled, underestimated, yet shrewd and tenacious detective Colombo, died yesterday at his California home; and rising flood waters have forced thousands of people from their homes in North Dakota.

Yes, Dear Readers, it's been another week that cries out for the relief of Cartoon Saturday.

Budget reduction negotiations ... or petulant demands, if you're a Republican ... are big news here in Disneyland-on-the-Potomac this week. Everybody has an idea of what it will take to get government spending under control and in line with income (can't say taxes or the Tea Party will picket my house). This is probably the next feature of Republican economic theory to come out in the discussions ...

Nobody likes to pay taxes, but they do serve a purpose by providing the funds the government needs to provide essential services. Of course, we could do without them ...

It's easy to blame "the government" for all of our problems. Unfortunately, anarchy and total, uncontrolled freedom (or license) doesn't work quite as well for maintaining social order and providing services as far-right wingnuts would have you believe. Maybe there is a role for responsible, prudent government (not that the Republicans would ever admit it) ...

Cartoons based on stories and characters from mythology are often very funny. Here are three spins on the tale of Pandora's Box:

I've used this one before, but it fits the theme, so ...

Pandora was once a child ...

And she may well have had other boxes to play with as well ...

Here's a twist on one of the classic sub-plots of war movies ...

Earlier this week, Amanda blogged about her concern with her son's possible challenges with numbers. But he's only four years old, for pity's sake. His uncle Bilbo, closing in rapidly on the big six-0h, has his own issues with numbers ...

Now this is my kind of cartoon - it combines two things I love: steak and puns ...

And to wrap things up for this edition of Cartoon Saturday, we look at one of my biggest pet peeves ... and the sort of creative way I'd love to see it addressed ...

It looks like it's going to be a nice day here in Northern Virginia ... with any luck, I can get some much-needed yard work done, and a few inside chores done as well. And who knows? - perhaps I can even get in some quality, quiet time to read and write a letter or two.

Stranger things have happened.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow.


Friday, June 24, 2011

May I Have the Envelope, Please...

You may recall that some time back, Faithful Reader Chrissy, the reigning Queen of Poop Stories who is routinely reduced to giggles when I use the term "ass clown," suggested that I start designating an "Ass Clown of the Week."

I thought that was a great idea, but have only done it once thus far - back on April 17th, when I announced that the first holder of that title would be ultra-worthy recipient Donald Trump. Since then, though, I haven't announced an Ass Clown of the Week ... not because there haven't been any good candidates, but because it's been too difficult to select from the enormous number of worthies who deserve to wear the crown.

But not this week!

This week, Dear Readers, we have an absolutely stand-out candidate - one who rises high above the festering swamp of mere mediocrity to reach hitherto unknown heights of ass-clownery. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the second recipient of the prestigious Ass Clown of the Week Award:

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Republican of Virginia's 7th District):

Mr Cantor has earned this award through his amazingly hypocritical and petulant withdrawal from budget negotiations with the Vice President because those irresponsible Democrats, having agreed to trillions of dollars in spending cuts demanded by Republicans, insist on also discussing tax increases as a way of easing the budget crisis. Republicans, having painted themselves into a philosophical and rhetorical corner because of their absolute refusal to even be in the same room where the word "tax" might possibly be mentioned, and terrified of the hysterical Tea Party wingnuts, refuse even to discuss the issue.

Mr Cantor, attempting to shift blame for the budget talks breakdown away from Republican intransigence, called upon President Obama to weigh in, saying “I believe it is time for the President to speak clearly and resolve the tax issue." For those of you who may have difficulty translating Republicanese into plain English, here's what Mr Cantor actually was saying:

"I believe it is time for the President to yield to my intransigence and make the sort of concessions my party absolutely refuses even to discuss, much less make."

Mr Cantor, for your sterling example of political pigheadedness and clear demonstration of Republican disdain for compromise and negotiation, I bestow upon you the second Ass Clown of the Week Award. Hang it proudly on your wall - you've earned it.

Have a good day. Tomorrow is Cartoon Saturday - and boy, do we ever need it this week!

More thoughts coming.


Thursday, June 23, 2011


Yesterday my "Forgotten English" calendar mentioned Saint Acacius, a fifth-century individual said to be the patron saint of headache sufferers.

Because I live in Disneyland-on-the-Potomac and am exposed every day to the atonal cacophony that has taken the place of rational political discourse in America, I found the idea of a patron saint of headache sufferers to be especially interesting, and so I dutifully came home and researched Saint Acacius. Unfortunately, although I learned much about this worthy gentleman, none of it mentioned his efficacy in relieving headaches (although he was killed by beheading, which would give him some expertise with terminal headaches, I suppose). Saint Theresa of Avila, on the other hand, in addition to being the patron saint of my old elementary school back home in Pittsburgh, does turn out to be the patron saint of headache sufferers. Who knew?

I told you all that to set up this discussion of folk remedies for headaches, which was the point of yesterday's "Forgotten English" calendar page. Here are a few recommended remedies for serious headaches of the sort you can get from listening to Republican economic theories, Democratic social blather, nattering religious bigots, and ass clowns of all sorts:

1. Put leeches on your forehead.

2. Rub cow dung and molasses on your temples.

3. Tie a buzzard's head around your neck.

4. Use powdered moss as snuff.

5. Have someone else rub your head; the headache will be transferred to that person, but it will be less severe.

6. Have a relative read chapters of the Bible to you.

7. Stand on your head or spin around until you are dizzy.

8. Soak your feet in hot water to draw blood from your head.

9. Run around the house three times.

10. Ask a seventh child to blow in your ear.

11. Put a buckwheat cake on your head.

12. Rub your head with a piece of stone containing iron ore.

13. Wrap damp cloths around your head and burn scented wood.

14. Plait a handful of hair very tightly on top of your head.

15. Lean your head against a tree and have someone else drive a nail into the opposite side of the tree.

16. Put a potato in your pocket and carry it around with you until it dries out.

Interesting approaches. They may not work as well as that 500-count bottle of Advil you bought at Costco, but they're certainly cheaper. But keep that bottle around anyhow, because the 2012 presidential election is coming up, and if you think you have headaches now ...

And I'd write more, but I need to get ready to go to work and get started on today's headache.

Have a good day. More headaches thoughts tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Then and Now

I'm drawing blanks on original stuff for this morning's post, so I thought I'd pull this little nugget out of my ya-ha collection ... the things you love while you're dating, and how they'll look in ten years:

What You Love Now: Activist
How It Looks in Ten Years: Busybody

What You Love Now: Ambitious
How It Looks in Ten Years: Workaholic

What You Love Now: Attentive
How It Looks in Ten Years: Possessive

What You Love Now: Confident
How It Looks in Ten Years: Arrogant

What You Love Now: Cool
How It Looks in Ten Years: Frigid

What You Love Now: Discerning
How It Looks in Ten Years: Snobbish

What You Love Now: Funny
How It Looks in Ten Years: Show-Off

What You Love Now: Honest
How It Looks in Ten Years: Cynical

What You Love Now: Laid Back
How It Looks in Ten Years: Lazy

What You Love Now: Playful
How It Looks in Ten Years: Immature

What You Love Now: Misses You
How It Looks in Ten Years: Restraining Order

What You Love Now: Modest
How It Looks Ten Years: Prudish

What You Love Now: Nonchalant
How It Looks in Ten Years: Aloof

What You Love Now: Opinionated
How It Looks in Ten Years: Argumentative

What You Love Now: Optimistic
How It Looks in Ten Years: Stupid

What You Love Now: Quiet
How It Looks in Ten Years: Too Quiet

What You Love Now: Romantic
How It Looks in Ten Years: Stalker

What You Love Now: Sexy
How It Looks in Ten Years: Slutty

What You Love Now: Simple
How It Looks in Ten Years: Boring

What You Love Now: Sincere
How It Looks in Ten Years: Brutally Honest

What You Love Now: Smart
How It Looks in Ten Years: Know-It-All

What You Love Now: Strong-Minded
How It Looks in Ten Years: Mule-Headed

What You Love Now: Supportive
How It Looks in Ten Years: Clingy

What You Love Now: Trusting
How It Looks in Ten Years: Gullilble

Don't blame me. It's all part of that #$@#! reality ... I'm just reporting.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Unholy Finger

Most of you - at least, those of you here in America - are familiar with the gesture sometimes referred to as "flipping the bird" or "giving someone the finger." It refers to the extension of the upraised middle finger toward someone, and implies that they should do something both carnal and anatomically impossible.

It's not a gesture generally made by courteous and civil people.

It occurred to me the other day that there are a lot of people out there giving us all the finger every day. You may not have noticed it, but the upraised finger appears to be a gesture common to hectoring religious bigots. Consider the following ...

We have the late and unlamented Osama bin Laden ...

Ayman al-Zawahiri, Mr bin Laden's successor as head of al Qaeda (a job with limited growth potential, thanks to our Special Forces) ...

American-born radical cleric Anwar al-Alawki ...

"Firebrand cleric" Muqtada al-Sadr of Iraq, the ayatollah wannabe ...

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the first post-Shah Supreme Leader of Iran ...

And his successor, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ...

They're all giving us the finger! As the characters in the cornfield on the old Hee-Haw TV show used to shout ... SAAAA-LUTE!

Sauce for the gander, you know.

Have a good day. Keep those fingers to yourself. More thoughts tomorrow.


Monday, June 20, 2011

The Fathers' Day Saga

Yes, we are back from our annual Fathers' Day trip to Ohio to visit our grandchildren (oh, yes, and their parents, too) and attend oldest granddaughter Marcy's Big Dance Recital. We had a wonderful time, of course ... although the trip home was a bit taxing. But we'll get to that.

On Friday morning we flew from Reagan National Airport in Washington (one of about 750,000 things the Republicans made sure were named for St Reagan) to Dayton. The flight was delayed for about an hour because of "crew rest" issues (you'd have thought they'd just find an already-rested crew, but noooo....), and so we spent an extra hour with 2500 of our closest friends in the Black Hole of Calcutta 2 (aka, Gate 35A, from which all the little regional flights at DCA depart).

Anyhow ...

We finally made it to Dayton and were picked up by our son Jason and his family. We then started on a whirlwind weekend that included ...

The boys burning off a little energy on the neighbor's trampoline ...

Marcy posing for pictures in her dance costumes (this was a pose from the show finale) ...

Joe demonstrating his hockey gear ...

And Noah revealing himself as a Jedi Knight in training ...

Tabitha, the Best Daughter-in-Law in the World, also came up with a wonderful low-calorie dessert to celebrate the weekend ...

Of course, we had all the usual and expected drama that goes along with a big weekend, which included driving frantically to get to Marcy's Saturday afternoon final dress rehearsal on time, only to discover - when we were nearly at the theater - that she'd forgotten the bag with her dance shoes in it. This necessitated a Mission: Impossible-type flying rendezvous in which Jason drove from home to meet us in a restaurant parking lot, where we pulled the cars up next to each other and he tossed the shoe bag to me, whereupon Tabitha burned rubber out of the lot, zoomed to the Victoria Theater, and slowed down to 35 to let Agnes and Marcy jump out while she and I found a place to park the car. Oddly, it all worked out.

The dance recital on Saturday evening was, naturally, a huge success. Marcy danced three routines (tap, Tahitian, and jazz) and also danced in the grand finale, which was spectacular. She did a wonderful job and we were very proud.

After the show, we all piled into the van, picked up the boys at the baby-sitter's house, and then went out for post-show ice cream and Taco Bell.

Saturday morning was Fathers' Day, and Tabitha cooked up a mountain of French Toast for all of us so that we'd be fortified for the trip back to the airport. Naturally, we had to do the Proud Grandparents photo first ...

We made it to the Dayton airport in plenty of time to catch our flight back to DC. We got all checked in, the flight took off right on time ... and then the adventure began ...

You may have seen the story on CNN about the Dayton-to-DC flight that was the subject of a bomb threat. Well, yes, that was our flight. We spent several hours sitting on the ramp in the airplane, surrounded by every flashing light in the world, then on hot buses after they let us off the plane (with strict instructions to leave everything on board), and then later in a large conference room in one of the remote airport buildings. We were all wanded, patted down, and marched from place to place under close supervision of a small army of DC Airport Police, TSA officers, FBI agents, and a US Marshall or two, each of whom appeared to need to take down all our personal contact information at some point or another. We were finally able to use a single bathroom ... one at a time, don't flush when you're done, let the police officer check the room and flush it for you (probably not something advertised in police recruiting) ... and the airline conjured up snacks and water to keep us quiet while the airplane was searched by the police and the bomb dogs.

The 44 passengers turned out to be a good-natured bunch that took the whole thing in stride, despite the inconvenience and potential for disaster. The passengers included a full band (with singer) returning from a gig in Dayton, and a young couple just married and on their way to their honeymoon in Paris (they made a later connection and the honeymoon was saved). The FBI agent in charge (to the extent anyone seemed to be) was very pleasant and acknowledged the disruption in everyone's plans ... he noted that it was Fathers' Day and his wife had agreed to take the children all day so he could spend the day in his woodworking shop, so he was just as aggravated as the rest of us. He answered whatever questions he could, deferred many of them to the harassed-looking USAirways representative, and generally kept everyone calm and reasonably happy. One of the most-frequently-asked questions was whether or not we'd get a chance to meet individually with the ass clown who made the original bomb threat (and was under arrest in Dayton). Sadly, you can guess the answer.

We were finally released about 5:00 PM, hot, tired, somewhat grouchy, but safe ... which is, after all, the most important thing. We'd been able to reach our daughter and get her to recover Nessa from the kennel ... everything turned out well.

And now, here we are, home again on a rainy Monday morning. I have one final day of leave to relax before hitting the office again tomorrow, and I plan to make the most of it.

All you dads out there, I hope you had a happy Fathers' Day. You are doing the most important job you will ever do, and it's not a bad thing to recognize it once a year. Good on 'ya!

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cartoon Saturday

Yes, I'm doing it to you again, Dear Readers ... it's not really Saturday yet, but since we'll be on the road visiting our grandchildren this weekend and blog posting isn't likely to be high on my priority list, I thought I'd at least get Cartoon Saturday out so you won't feel abandoned. Here we go ...

Al Qaeda has promoted worthless religious bigot Ayman al-Zawahiri to replace the late Osama bin Laden as it's leader; Congressman Anthony Weiner has resigned from Congress after being caught sending lewd photos of himself to women he'd "friended" on the Internet; Greece is on the verge of bankruptcy as crowds riot against cutbacks in government spending and increased fiscal austerity measures; and 85 year-old Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner has put "Runaway Bride" stickers on the cover of his magazine after being dumped by 25 year-old fiancee Crystal Harris days before their planned wedding.

Yep. It's time for a good shot of Cartoon Saturday.

There's a lot you can do with puns on the Russian word "tsar" (which means, roughly, emperor) as we show in these three cartoons:

And ...

And, in a somewhat different take ...

A vow of silence can be a good thing ...

Poor old Hugh Hefner got the axe from his fiance this week ... perhaps this cartoon sums up the sad situation ...

A couple of health care cartoons are never out of place. This one is a clever pun ...

And this one probably isn't too far off the mark for those with little or no health insurance ...

And we finish off with a few cartoons related to the state of the economy ... first, a look at the math behind "supply-side economics" ...

Followed by the sort of economic sleight of hand Congress seems to love these days ...

And finally, you've heard me complain often enough about the silliness of "generally accepted accounting principles" ... this is what it really means ...

Well, that's it for this week's (somewhat early) Cartoon Saturday. My blog probably won't appear again until Sunday evening or Monday morning, but you can stand the wait ... right?

Have a great weekend. More thoughts coming.


Hef's Wedding is Off...

Stop the presses! The engagement of Hugh Hefner, 85 year-old head of the Playboy media empire, to 24 year-old Crystal Harris has been called off by the prospective bride less than a week before the planned nuptials due to what Ms Harris says is a "change of heart."

You may recall that I wrote about Hef and Crystal's engagement back on December 29th of last year, and wished them luck. I got quite a few comments on that post, which featured words like "repulsive" and "nauseates" (the engagement, not the blog post), and led Mike to comment that "when she (Crystal) gets to be an old hag of 26, he'll dump her for a newer model."

Well, it appears that this time, Hef is getting to be the dumpee, rather than the dumper.

I'm sure he'll get over it, though, there being lots of busty blondes out there to choose from for another try ...

Last December, I wrote "...there's a part of me that's shouting 'Go, Hef - You carry high the banner of older men's dreams!' And there's another part of me that's saying, 'Ugh.'" Today, I'm just saying "ugh."

Give it up, Hef. Collect stamps, take up gardening, or build a huge HO-scale train set in the Playboy Mansion basement.

Retire with whatever dignity you can still muster, not as a vehicle for late-night talk show jokes.

That's all.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Paging Mr Johnson...

I have lots to get done in a short time this morning, so I'll just shamelessly borrow this very funny (and useful) piece from Miss Cellania: 20 clever ways to tell someone his fly is open ...

20) The cucumber has left the salad.

19) I can see the gun of Navarone.

18) Someone tore down the wall, and your Pink Floyd is hanging out.

17) You’ve got Windows in your laptop.

16) Sailor Ned’s trying to take a little shore leave.

15) Your soldier ain’t so unknown now.

14) Quasimodo needs to go back in the tower and tend to his bell.

13) Paging Mr. Johnson… Paging Mr. Johnson…

12) You need to bring your tray table to the upright and locked position.

11) Your pod bay door is open, Hal.

10) Elvis Junior has LEFT the building!

9) Mini me is making a break for the escape pod.

8) Ensign Hanes is reporting a hull breach on the lower deck, Sir!

7) The Buick is not all the way in the garage.

6) Dr. Kimble has escaped!

5) You’ve got your fly set for “Monica” instead of “Hillary.”

4) Our next guest is someone who needs no introduction…

3) You’ve got a security breach at Los Pantalones.

2) I’m talking about Shaft, can you dig it?

And …

1) I thought you were crazy; now I see you're nuts.

It occurs to me that some of these references may be a little obscure for my younger readers. If you are scratching your head over any of these, let me know and I'll supply the background.

Have a good day. Guys, zip up. Ladies, check those buttons at mid-blouse. We have plenty of other, more creative ways to embarrass ourselves.

More thoughts tomorrow.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Least Funny Country

You can learn some amazing things by trolling the off-the-wall news stories on the Internet. For instance, yesterday I was astounded to learn, courtesy of The Telegraph online, that Germany (Is) Officially the World's Least Funny Country.

Do tell!

It seems that a survey conducted by online networking site put Germans at the top of the list of the world's least-funny people. The survey revealed that the Top 10 least humorous nations were:

1 - Germany;
2 - Russia;
3 - Turkey;
4 - Britain;
5 - America;
6 - France;
7 - Poland;
8 - Belgium;
9 - Holland; and,
10 - Canada

I find this surprising, because I lived in Germany for many years, am married to a German lady, and have many German friends, and I think they can be just as funny as anyone else. Of course, there's that whole World War I and II thing, but I think we've all gotten over that. Even Germans recognize that they get a bad, if undeserved, rap in the humor department - in May 2007 the German news magazine Der Spiegel commented that the British had an image of the typical German as a “mercilessly efficient but humourless engineer.”

Also surprising about the list is that all the non-humorous countries appear to be either in Europe or North America. What's up with that? America ... the home of Comedy Central, Steven Wright, Mark Twain, Robert Benchley, the Three Stooges, and the entire Republican and Democratic parties ... as the fifth least-funny country? Oh, come on! Poland, I can understand ... after all, Poland has been the punching bag between Germany and Russia for so long that you could excuse a relative lack of good humor. And Russia ... the country that gave us the KGB and gulags ... not too surprising.

But where are the real national champions of nothing-to-laugh-about? Where on this list are the side-splitting comedy powerhouses like Venezuela (led by Howlin' Hugo Chavez), Saudi Arabia (the land of the Friday Beheadings), Iran (home of those laugh-a-minute mullahs), and Sudan (home of ... well ... whatever it's the home of)?

Who ran this survey, anyhow?

It's true that, between the economy, Iraq, Afghanistan, al Qaeda, health care, and terrible summer weather, there may not a lot to laugh about, but I think we need to give it a try. After all, it's said that laughter is the best medicine ... and it's getting so it's going to be about the only medicine you'll be able to afford.

"We're number five!" is not what we need to be chanting at this point in history.

Have a good day. Get funny. God knows we all need it.

More thoughts tomorrow.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

I'm a Senior-ish Citizen!

Well, I never saw that hill coming, but it seems as if I may be over it.

Yes, at the tender age of 59 years and seven months, I am considered - in some corners - a senior citizen. An old fart, if you will (and many of you will). In some places - such as my local Bob Evans Restaurant, you are considered a "senior citizen" if you are over 55 - a crock, in my humble opinion.

I don't mind getting older, of course, for it clearly beats the alternative (if you get my drift). But somehow I don't usually feel my chronological age. When I dance with Agnes and the other beautiful ladies on Friday nights, I certainly don't feel like I'm pushing 60. And when I'm playing with my grandchildren, I don't feel my age, either ... until an hour or so later, when I usually feel like I'm well over 90 and someone's been beating me with a two-by-four.

But let's face it ... I'm getting older. I'm a senior-ish citizen. How do I know? Here are a few of the clues ...

I’m the life of the party, even if it lasts until 8PM.

I’m very good at opening child-proof caps. With a hammer and pliers.

I’m usually ready to go home before I get where I’m going.

I’m good on a trip for at least an hour without my aspirin, Beano, and antacid tablets

I know the location of every bathroom in every public place I regularly visit ... and the first thing I do when visiting a new venue is check out the location of the facilities.

I’m awake at least an hour before my body allows me to get up.

I smile all the time because I can’t hear a word you’re saying.

I’m very good at telling stories … over and over and over.

It's perfectly clear to me that other people’s grandchildren aren’t as bright as mine.

I’m not grouchy, I just don’t like traffic, waiting, crowds, children, gun nuts, religious wackos, and politicians.

I’m positive I did housework correctly before Agnes retired.

I’m sure everything I can’t find is in the secure place I put it so I wouldn't lose it.

I’m wrinkled, saggy and lumpy…and that’s just my left leg.

I’m having trouble remembering simple words like … uh ... let me get back to you on that.

I’m spending more time with my pillows than with my wife.

I realize that aging isn’t for sissies.

I’m anti-everything now: anti-fat, anti-smoke, anti-noise, anti-inflammatory, antipasto, etc.

I’m walking more (especially to the bathroom) and enjoying it less.

I've noticed that adults seem to be a lot younger these days.

If it's true that you're as old as you feel, how could I possibly be 150 when I get up at 4:00 AM on workdays, and 21 when the dance party starts at 9:00 on Friday evening?

I support many movements … usually by eating bran, prunes and raisins.

I’m a fountain of useless information … and the plumbing of my fountain is springing a lot of leaks lately.

On the whole: I’m a senior-ish citizen and I’m having the time of my life!

What time is it, again?

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Unfortunate Juxtapositions

Years ago we used to play an interesting word game in which we took the Yellow Pages of the phone directory, opened it up to a random page, and saw what interesting comments were being made by the guide words at the top of the page. For instance, you might find a page headed "Lawyer-Laxatives" or "Fishing-Fitness." Or worse.

A similar game can be played with real, yet unfortunate sets of names from your local newspaper's wedding announcements, as we see in the following examples ...

One thinks these young ladies will not be hyphenating their married names ...

And ...

And ...

And ...

Sometimes, you can just play it for laughs ...

This is where you could end up if you don't space out your children properly, and have too many hyperactive toddlers running around the house at the same time ...

Prospective in-laws on both sides sometimes feel that their son or daughter is getting the brown end of the matrimonial stick ...

Someone unlikely to find a post-wedding job as a receptionist at the local brewery ...

Sometimes, though, things could work out for the positive. A dermatologist might not object to a particular name ...

Although such a name might result from unfortunate nocturnal habits earlier in life ...

This last one reminds me of one of the best, and yet simplest graffiti I ever saw: one of the major figures in the history of Pennsylvania was James A. Beaver, a former governor and president of Penn State University who is remembered in many place names across the state (Beaver, Beaver Falls, Beaver Creek, Beaver county, etc). While I was attending Penn State back in the Dark Ages, a new women's physical education facility was named the Mary Beaver White Building in honor of one of the members of the famous Beaver family. One night, a mischievous graffiti artist came out of the darkness and spray-painted a few small lines such that the sun rose the next morning on the Mary "Beaver" White Building.

Well, I thought it was funny. If illegal. Never mind.

It looks like it will be another hot day here in Northern Virginia. Drink lots of water, use sunscreen, wear a hat, and leave a comment for good old Bilbo.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.