Friday, July 21, 2017

Cultured Pearls of Wisdom

Thought for the day:   Blessed are they who can laugh at themselves, for they shall never cease to be amused. 

When it comes to editing my newest book, I sometimes feel like I'm following the one step forward, two steps back methodology. Cut three paragraphs here... good, good... and now add four more new ones here... rats!

Oh well. (One forward, two back, cha-cha-cha... might as well make a dance of it.)

Continuing with my whirlwind of mildly edited summer re-runs, we have for your reading pleasure today a gently-used oldie but goody that first appeared in August of 2011 as A Little Culture to Enlighten Your Day. I hope you enjoy it.


Thought for the day:  A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.   William Arthur Ward

Chinese writing is more than writing. It's like artwork, which may explain why so many people sport lovely-looking tattoos of Chinese characters on their bodies. The ones on the left are supposed to mean tranquility, harmony, serenity, and peace. 

Nice, huh? I think we can all agree they're sentiments we can heartily embrace. Nonetheless...

Not that I'm inclined to get a tattoo, mind you, but if I were, it wouldn't include a single one of those lovely Chinese characters. Not that I don't appreciate the sentiments they're supposed to represent, but that's just it . . .  supposed to represent.  Just my luck, I'd get some smart-ass tattooist who'd adorn my body with a very lovely-looking Chinese obscenity just for the helluvit. I mean, how would I know? Yep, to spare myself any potential embarrassment, I think it'd be best to stick with a very safe itty bitty butterfly tattoo. Or maybe a cosmic tattoo of the earth... from reeeeeally reeeeeally far away. (Unimaginative people might call it a blue dot...)

Anyhow, today we're going for something slightly more cultured than tattoos. (WHAT? Hey, I can do culture...) We're going to talk about pearls. No, just kidding. We're actually going to talk about the great Confucius. He lived in China from 551 until 479 BC and was a great thinker, political figure, and educator. And man, was he ever wise. His words continue to resonate today, and not just in fortune cookies, either. Consider the following:
  • Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two holes.
  • Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
  • Forget injuries; never forget kindnesses.
  • He who will not economize will have to agonize.
  • It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.
  • Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.
Brilliant, right? But suppose there were some other things he meant to say. Y'know, things he would've said if he were sitting around, sipping wine, and chilling with his pals? In the best interest of furthering your education, it's only fitting that I share with you what some of them might have been. If he'd only thought of 'em . . . 

  • He who sling mud at neighbor will lose ground.
  • He who live in glass house better dress in basement.
  • War no determines who is right. Determines who is left.
  • Man who sit on tack get point.
  • He who laugh last not get joke.
  • The early worm catch fish.
  • When you angry at neighbor, walk a mile in his shoes. Then you be a mile away from him, and you have new shoes.
  • Crowded elevator smell different to midget.
  • Passionate kiss like spider's web. Soon lead to undoing of fly.
  • Man who run in front of car get tired.
  • Man who run in back of car get exhausted.
  • Man with hand in pocket feel cocky.
  • Man who scratches butt should not bite fingernails.
  • Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.
  • Pregnancy happen when woman take seriously something poked in fun.
  • House without toilet uncanny.
  • Man who cut self while shaving lose face.
  • Man who fart in church sit in own pew.

See? I bet you feel smarter already.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Friday, July 14, 2017

A Salute... and a Toot... to Sophisticated Humor

Hi-ya. I'm still in the depths of editing, so here comes another slightly updated summer re-run. It originally ran in February of 2012 as Blowing in the Wind. (Don't think of it as an old post... think of it as a ripe one.)

P.S. This one is for you, Kati... think of it as a late birthday present.


Thought for the day:  Beans, beans, the musical fruit; the more you eat, the more you toot. The more you toot, the better you'll feel, so beans, beans for every meal!

Nope; it wasn't ME!
Have you ever wondered what makes something funny? What makes one person laugh uproariously at a comedian, while the next holds his nose and says the routine stinks?  I mean, we all laugh at something. Even little babies laugh.

Music and laughter ... universal languages. Is there anything better than the sound of a baby's unbridled belly laugh? That in itself sounds like the sweetest music, doesn't it? So we cross our eyes, stick out our tongues, and make all kinds of faces at babies. We tickle their chubby little bellies, make utter fools out of ourselves, and generate weird noises... all in the hopes of getting to hear their precious laughter.

And what, I ask you, does almost every baby in the world think is funny?

                                    Apparently, they're partial to... farts ... those musical toots.

Please don't think lesser of me, but (shhh!) so am I. There must be something wrong with me. Maybe a twisted kink in my DNA helix has stunted my maturation process. That would explain it. Why else would a woman my age still think flatulence is so darned funny?

I know. Embarrassing, isn't it?

What three qualities matter most to you in the people you hang around with? For me, it'd have to be kindness, intelligence, and a good sense of humor. But lately, I've begun to question the quality of my sense of humor, because I must admit, few things are off-limits when it comes to cracking a joke or twisting words into a groan-worthy pun, and it doesn't take much to make me laugh.

Like last week. While talking to a  gastroenterologist's appointment nurse on the phone, I asked her where I should report. Upstairs, where my regular doc saw patients? No, I was to go downstairs. "Figures," I said. "In the bowels of the building." Nothing. (Tough audience.) So I apologized, and said she must hear that all the time. Nope. I was the first. See? Sick sense of humor.

Then there was the time Smarticus came home from a hunting trip and told me about a harrowing experience he'd had after one of the other fellas fell out of a tree stand. While driving his friend to the hospital, my poor hapless hubby looked out his truck window and saw a wheel roll past... HIS wheel. Needless to say, he got everything fixed, and got the guy to the hospital okay, but what would YOU have said to him under the circumstances? Me? I sang. Uh-huh. I sang, You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel ...  See? Sick, sick, sick.  But not as sick as my penchant for potty humor.

Years ago, when our daughter was about eleven, she ... how shall I say this ... cut the cheese in church. Not noisily, mind you, but with an exuberant and lingering bouquet. Most normal mothers would have scolded her for not saving her stink for the bathroom, or at least given her a suitably disapproving look. Not me. I leaned over and whispered, "Gives a whole new meaning to church pew, huh?"

Fortunately, we weren't asked to vacate the premises.

This is an ACTUAL musical!
But I can't help it. I think the sounds of  flatulence are absolutely hysterical.

Call me gauche, but the very idea of a musical about a man's fartistic abilities strikes me as fall-down-on-the-floor funny. (I mean, really! Can you imagine a man on stage tooting his arse  like a trumpet?)


  Can you watch this video without laughing? I can't.

A few years ago, Smarticus and I saw two boys in a Dollar Store aisle playing with Whoopee cushions they'd pulled off the shelf. The more rude noises they squeezed out, the more they laughed. Um, me too. Matter of fact, I just HAD to get me one of those things. For one of our grandsons, of course. Didn't mean I couldn't entertain myself by squeezing it as we went through the store. (WHAT? I had to make sure it worked, didn't I?) Anyhow, the intended recipient of the grand gift didn't enjoy it nearly as much as his younger siblings. Especially the twenty-month-old, who would squeeze out a good one, wrinkle his nose, and say, "EWWWWW! Schtinky!" Then he'd laugh hysterically. Um, me too.

It was about then I began to wonder if some aspects of my humor weren't a tad juvenile. I mean, laughing at the same thing a twenty-month-old found amusing? The same thing that makes babies all over the world laugh?

But, as it turns out, I'm not alone. That book on the right? Belongs to my husband. One of our grandsons picked it out for him. The shameful truth is ... our whole family cracks up at bathroom humor.

And we aren't the only ones. The reason for this, I don't know, but many people find flatulence hilarious. Not burps, or hiccoughs, or sneezes ... just poots.

Smarticus once emailed me a newspaper article about a little girl who won a speech contest with her speech about ... you guessed it ... farts. I even read an article in a scientific journal about a medical researcher whose major focus is studying ... you guessed it ...  farts. (Guess his lab is in the bowels of the building too, eh?) Sorry. And another about an Australian study to determine whether pooting in the O.R. could contaminate the field of operation. The conclusion? There's a minute possibility, but only if the perpetrator is naked and taking direct aim at the surgical site. But, don't worry about your surgeon eating beans. According to the study, flatus germs are as benign as the bacteria in your yogurt. Both of these article, I must say, although reporting on the results of serious studies, (or as serious as studies in this particular field can be) were full of puns, innuendos, and fart jokes. Y'know, like something I would've written.

                                                               Kinda made me proud.

So, um bottom line, maybe I'm okay after all. Right. I'm a mature sophisticated woman. (Shut up. This is MY fantasy.) And maybe I'm not the only one with an inner child squealing I don't wanta pull your finger.

So, how's the wind blow with you? Fart jokes crack you up, too, or do they just plain stink?  And what's the most inappropriate thing you've ever said or done in the name of humor? Come on. You can tell me ...

                                There was an old fellow named Clyde
                                Who fell into an outhouse and died.
                                One day, his brother
                                Fell into another,
                                And now they're in-turd side by side.

                                 Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Getting Rid of the Clutter

Hi-ya. Welcome to this month's edition of the Insecure Writer's Support Group meeting... er, virtual meeting, that is. This, the first Wednesday of the month, is the time when writers all over the world post about the ups and downs, the highs and lows, the ins and outs... of writing. We celebrate... we complain... we commiserate. Whatever we need, this is the place to find it. Humble thanks and a jolly tip of the hat go to Alex Cavanaugh, our fearless ninja leader and the originator of this fine group. If you'd like to join (It's FREE!) or would like to read some of the other posts, please go HERE

First off... YES!!! I finally finished writing the first draft of Blast Rites. (Thank yew, thank yew, thank yew very much...) Now comes the fun stuff. I'm currently deep in the throes of rewriting and editing, so before answering the question of the month, I'm gonna share a gently-used and slightly updated post from May, 2011, originally titled Some Pets Have Gotta Go! Yep... it's about the joys of editing. Kind of appropriate, don't ya think?


Thought for the day:  If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one, what do you call it?

It's hard to say goodbye.

Do you have a bunch of stuff around your house that you can't let go? I'm not talking about necessities; I'm talking about those unique treasures from your past that still manage to pluck your heartstrings like a two-bit harp.

Like my cheap-o fifth grade orchestra pin. It still occupies a place of honor in my jewelry box, along with a "lucky stone" I found when I was in second grade, and a neat-o metal typeset of my name that came from a field trip to the Baltimore Sun (newspaper) building, which I, in fact, missed, because I had the measles. None of those items will mean anything to our children when I'm gone, but somehow, I can't bring myself to part with them.

                                    And records. Have I ever got records! My favorites are the 45s.

It's probably time to tell those records sayonara, but like Celine Dion sang, "It's hard to say goodbye." Not that any of these records are anywhere near as recent as Ms. Dion's birth. No, these treasures are Elvis records, Little Richard, (when he was still a young rough and tumble rock 'n' roller) the Coasters, Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry, and Rosemary Clooney singing about "This Ol' House."  They're the Drifters, Dion & the Belmonts, (before he went solo) and Eddie Fisher singing "Dungaree Doll." The McGuire Sisters, Artie Shaw and his orchestra playing "Star Dust"  (one of my favorite songs of all time) and Jerry Lee Lewis on the old Memphis, TN Sun label. Treasures, I tell you, treasures!

                                    Not that I've played any of them in the past forty-five years.

The fact that I don't have a good-working turntable is beside the point. If I wanted one badly enough, I'd buy one. But why should I? I don't NEED one.

No, all I have to do is look at these old records and admire their brightly-colored labels and sleeves to remember my first record player with its wobbly turntable, which could only play one record at a time. To play a 45, you had to put a plastic piece into the larger record hole to make it fit. Had to tape a penny to the arm to make it heavy enough to play the records right, too. Then, my brother got the portable RCA player. All it played was 45s, and you could put on a whole stack at one time. (Like Sarah Vaughan crooned, The record player's automatic ... ba-by.) One look at these records, and I'm bopping in the club basement with my girl friends, or dancing cheek-to-cheek at the teen center. So I don't have to actually HEAR them ... to hear them in my heart.

What got me to thinking about those old records is the editing I'm doing on my novel right now.  Know what? It's every bit as hard to cut words as it is to get rid of records. What's funny is that some of the parts getting the axe are the ones that I sweated the most blood over while laboring to give them birth. Witty stuff. Clever stuff. Stuff that makes me smile and laugh out loud.

But it's gotta go! Because it injects ME into the book and serves to draw the reader away from the story. No matter how much I love those words, it doesn't serve the book if the reader stops to admire my writing. Damn it.

So, the words are going. I delivered 'em, and now I'm killing 'em. And the book will be better for it. And some day, those records will go, too, I promise. But not yet.

How about you? What treasures are you holding onto from your past? No matter how illogical it is to hang onto them, they sure do bring us comfort, don't they?


And now, it's time for the (ta-DA!)...
Question of the month:  What is one valuable lesson you've learned since you started writing?

Hmmmm, let me think about that a sec...

Okay, I've got it!

I've learned that writers are the most creative, supportive, insecure people in the world. That means they've got my back, and I've got theirs, so none of us is ever...


Our craziness, imaginations, and love of the written word unite us, and that is abso-freaking-lutely awesome.

Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Summer's Bounty

Hi-ya. How goes it? This week's post originally ran in August, 2012, with the title Trowel and Error. In case you can't tell by that cutesy title, it's about the joys of gardening in steamy buggy Hot-lanta.


Thought for the day:  When weeding, the best way to make sure you're removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it's a valuable plant.

Are you a gardener... or are you a garden-dreamer, like me?

I mean, I harbor amazing delusions of grandeur while browsing through garden catalogs and piling a cart high with purchases from the local nursery every year.

And then something happens.

I like to call it reality.

Gardens are not made by singing, 'Oh, how beautiful' and sitting in the shade.  [Rudyard Kipling]

Darn it. (I'm really good at sitting in the shade.)

Kipling was a real kill-joy, huh? I do fine getting all the stuff into the ground, and for a little while... just over twenty-three minutes, I think... the garden looks marvelous. Then come these things:

                                                                      Yep, weeds.

The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing over never weeded a garden.   [Ray D. Everson]

It's a little-known fact, but I'm pretty sure weeds are organized. Not unionized yet, but they're definitely working together. Just think about it. They grow at precisely the rate you pull them out. Yank a weed from one part of your garden, and boing! another one pops up in another part. Really. I've seen it happen.

Even with the whack-a-mole racket weeds have going for them, I don't mind weeding all that much.

At first.

And then something else happens.

I like to call it debilitating heat. In Georgia, that could happen just about any time of the year, but as a rule, by the end of springtime, (which could occur as early as February...) perspiration is pretty much flowing like Niagara Falls around here.

                                                                     I'm talking ...  
Oh, and did I happen to mention our annual summer droughts? And the outdoor watering bans? And whattayaknow? While flowers and vegetables gasp for water, weeds seem to thrive under these conditions.

Crabgrass can grow on bowling balls in airless rooms, and there is no known way to kill it that does not involve nuclear weapons.  [Dave Barry] 

They say hard work doesn't hurt anyone, but at my age, why take chances? I tend to agree with good ol' Tex here:

The best way to garden is to put on a wide-brimmed hat and some old clothes. And with a hoe in one hand and a cold drink in the other, tell somebody else where to dig.  [Texas Bix Bender]

Alas, nobody was around who was willing to let me stand around giving orders, so I tempted fate last week and went outside in the early morning (before the heat index hit triple digits) to weed and prune. I know. What a trooper, right?

So I grabbed a rug to protect my dainty little knees, my handy-dandy gloves, hand hoe, clippers, pruners, and trowel, and I was ready to go. Approximately two minutes later, the attack began.

First, the reconnaissance mosquito swooped down to sample the cuisine. Then came the rest of his brigade.

You think weeds are organized? They've got nothing on mosquitoes.

So, I tore into the house to swap shorts for sweat pants and to douse myself in bug spray. Which, I'm pretty sure, the mosquitoes around here actually like. Kinda like a finishing sauce.

But, I eventually managed to finish the job. (Which, of course, could stand to be done all over again now.) For some reason, our front garden is a flipping magnet for wild onions. Pain in the derriere to keep digging them out and digging them out, too. But didja know if you don't dig 'em out, they grow pretty little purple flowers? (ahem)  I may have read that somewhere ... yeah, that's the ticket...

Anyhow, the task gave me plenty of time to hum and think. Like, about editing. Wouldn't it be nice if it were as easy to axe the deadwood from a written work as it is to prune it from a bush? And, watching all those tiny bugs scurrying around, I thought about how tiny we are in comparison to the universe. Suppose we're part of some kind of a cosmic garden, waiting for the Master Gardener to come pull weeds? Then the question becomes: are we the weeds... or the flowers? (Yeah, I was getting a little heat-addled by that time.)

Even so, it kinda made me wonder. Who am to decide which plants should grow and which should go?

Some...  no... most... wildflowers are beautiful.

And Ralph Waldo Emerson, a very wise man, I might add, said, What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have never been discovered.

I think he's absolutely right! So, I may just have to reconsider this whole notion of pulling weeds. Because, if you think about it,

                                                              Dandelions are quite dandy.

(sigh) If I could only grow green stuff in my garden like I can in my refrigerator... [unknown]

                                          Okay, hands up. I give. Time to throw in the trowel.

For now. I have been looking at topiary pictures lately. That just might be the way to go, ya know? Think our neighbors will be impressed?

                              Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

** All images, except the last one, come from morguefile The topiary shot is courtesy of seniorark

Friday, June 23, 2017

Juggling as Fast as I Can

Hi, y'all. I'm not going to take the summer off from blogging, as quite a few others are doing this year, but in order to devote the amount of time I need to edit and polish my WIP, I'm gonna make like a TV network and share (slightly edited) re-runs with you for a while. I know. I HATE reruns on television, and rarely watch them, but I promise to choose posts few, if any, of you will remember, and hopefully, all of you will enjoy. Except for THIS post. This post got a lot of comments, so some of your may remember it, but I think it bears a repeat, anyway. In light of my feeble attempts to juggle writing and blogging, this first post, which originally appeared in August, 2013, as A Fine Balancing Act, strikes me as the perfect place to begin...


Thought for the day:  The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are a wise man. [Euripides]

Balance. It's a noble goal, isn't it? Even for clumsy people like me, who would never aspire to, say, walk across the street on a high wire or juggle chain saws, true balance is achievable. Not juggling for klutzes kinda balance, but balance in the deeper sense of the word. Juggling responsibilities and priorities, and meeting the needs of others, as well as yourself. A judicious use of time and resources.

Then, there's the amazing balancing acts we sometimes see in nature. You may have seen some of them. Like this giant rock that seems to defy the laws of gravity.

And then there's a fella named Michael Grab. Since 2008, he's been doing some amazing rock balancing of his own, much of it in the Boulder, Colorado area. Part spiritual, part therapeutic, part art, he's managed to create some rock structures you've gotta see to believe.

Grab says the most fundamental secret to balancing rocks is to start by finding some kind of a tripod for the rock to stand on

He says every rock has some sort of indentations, varying in size from very small to very large.

These indentations serve as the tripods, which either allow a rock to stand upright...

... or to fit in perfect  balance with other rocks.

By paying close attention to them, he gets a feel for the rocks.

He feels the tiniest clicks as he brings the rocks into contact with each other...

... and their notches mesh.

It's as though he performs a sacred dance with nature...

... putting these rocks in their rightful places, into balanced relationships with other rocks. Creating asymmetrical symmetry. Forging connections between the animate and the inanimate.

Creating one-of-a-kind works of art.

Finding within himself a sense of peace, and experiencing a natural balance within the universe.

He says, Parallel to the physical element of finding tripods, the most fundamental non-physical element is harder to explain through words. In a nutshell, I am referring to meditation, or finding a zero point or silence within yourself. Some balances can apply significant pressure on your mind and your patience. The challenge is overcoming any doubt that may arise.

                                                            Would you like to see him at work? There are many many videos of him posted on Youtube, showing him working his balancing magic all over the world, but most of them are copyrighted, and claim exclusive rights, so if you'd like to see one of them... or a bunch of them... check it out. I'll not infringe on his copyright by sharing it here. However, here is a short clip by another gentleman, just to give you a peek of the master at work. (He really rocks! Oh, shut up. Somebody had to say it, so it might as well be me...)

                                   Amazing stuff, huh? How do your balancing skills... stack up?
                                    Tell ya what. Ain't no way I'm playing Jenga with this dude.

                                                     For more info, see his website.

                                 Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Tribute to Fathers

[Hi, y'all. With Father's Day coming up this Sunday, I thought I'd be a lazy slug share a favorite old post with you about... what else? Fathers. When I used to blog five days a week, Friday posts always included a Weird News Stories of the Week feature. Although the news from the original 2011 post may not be new any more, the stories are still plenty weird, so I'm leaving them. (Weird is good, right?)  Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.]


Thought for the day:  I never got along with my dad. Kids used to say, "My dad can beat up your dad." I'd say, "Yeah? When?"  [comedian Bill Hicks]

If I remember right, that picture of my father, brother, and me was taken on an Easter Sunday. A long time ago. You know, back in the Dark Ages. We were mostly happy in those days, living in a tiny rental home in a fairly quiet neighborhood, with a decent-sized yard, and some room to roam around us. Things were never quite the same after we left there and moved into a row home with a postage stamp yard, and wall-to-wall people. I often wonder if our lives would have been different, easier maybe, if we'd stayed in what we thought of as the country.

He was a very difficult man with a lot of personal demons, our father, but I guess he did the best he knew how. Now that he's been gone for a number of years, I do my best to remember the good times. Like the years we spent in that home, and the day my mother took that picture. Back in the Dark Ages.

I had another post prepared for today, but in honor of Father's Day, I opted to post something about fathers, instead. The bulk of this post is a re-run of a Father's Day post from 2011, originally titled, In Honor of Toasted Marshmallows, which describes my Smarticus pretty darned well. He can be tough and crusty on the outside... sometimes too tough... but on the inside, he's very sweet and gooey. Both qualities made him a wonderful dad, especially since he had me to balance things out a little. Because he tended to be too hard on our boys, and too easy on our daughter,  I had to be the Enforcer with our daughter, and the Mediator for our sons. (I mean, really, grounding them for life was a tad too much...) Anyhow, he was, and is, a terrific farter father, and I'm pleased to say both of our sons are superior farters fathers, as well. And you know, no matter how tall our kids are, I'm pretty sure they'll always look up to their dad.

This picture was taken quite a few years ago, too, but not in the Dark Ages. Our kids are no longer small enough to climb all over Smarticus, but... our grandchildren are. (Some of 'em, anyway.)

Never raise your hand to your kids. It leaves your groin unprotected. [Red Buttons]

There should be a children's song: "If you're happy and you know it, keep it to yourself, and let your dad sleep."  [Jim Gaffigan]

Okay, shall we revisit that old slightly edited post now?


Thought for the day:  Howcum a man can wait patiently for hours on end for a fish to bite, and can wait patiently in the freezing cold for hours on end, waiting for a deer to come by, but can't tolerate so much as a ten minute wait for food in a restaurant ... where it's a sure thing?

You probably wouldn't be surprised to know the highest volume of long distance phone calls always occurs on Mother's Day. Not that there aren't plenty made on Father's Day, too. But most of them are collect. Why is it moms get the thoughtful gifts, while dads can usually count on getting aftershave or yet another tie they'll never wear? And when Father's Day rolls around, why do the kids think it's okay to buy dear old Dad something from the discount bin at the Dollar Store, and what's more, pay for it with change left over from the cash he gave them to buy something really nice for Mother's Day? As Bill Cosby put it, Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.

Just because the phrase Pull my finger is in the lexicon of  fathers worldwide doesn't mean they aren't as sentimental as mothers. Not at all. They just don't show it as easily. Very often, they're like toasted marshmallows: crusty on the outside, and all sweet and mushy on the inside.

In honor of Father's Day, I'd like to share some excerpts with you from an article you may have seen before. Geezers has appeared countless places without attribution, but as best I could discern, it may have been written in 2001 by a West Virginia chaplain by the name of Koren Fae Rawlings:

Geezers are easy to spot. At parades, they're the ones standing a little taller and often saluting when the flag passes by. At sporting events and at ceremonies on national holidays, they're the ones who stand erect and hold their hands over their hearts when the national anthem is played.

If you bump into an old geezer on the sidewalk, he'll apologize. Pass a geezer on the street, and he'll nod, maybe say hello. Geezers trust strangers and are courtly toward women. They hold the door for the next person, and always, when walking, make sure the lady is on the inside.

Geezers have moral courage. They're the ones staring down those making offensive remarks or acting in an offensive manner. Geezers seldom brag unless it's about their grandchildren.

This country needs geezers. We need their decent values and their common sense. We need their breadth of experience, their depth of knowledge and high ideals.

Thank God for all Old Geezers.

And thank God for fathers.

Mark Twain said, "When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years." And Charles Wadsworth said, "By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong."

So give your dad a break. Even if he's not the affectionate sort, and his last hug felt more like a wrestling hold, let him know how much you appreciate him. Because he may not tell you how to live, but he lives, and lets you watch him do it.

To all you fathers, a very happy Father's Day. And to all of you who still have fathers, go ahead ... make him happy.  Pull his finger.

And now, 'tis time for the (ta DA!)

Weirdest News Stories of the Week

Pull my hoof
Cows have taken a bit of heat for the amount of methane they produce, and some countries have even considered imposing a "methane tax" on the people who own them. In 2008, researchers in Argentina hooked cows to the bizarre-looking contraption on the left to collect their methane, quantify it, and ascertain how much it contributed to the country's greenhouse emissions. As it turned out, they contribute quite a bit. Final results indicated that as much as 30% of the country's greenhouse emissions consist of cow farts and burps.

*** Now, the Australian government is taking a hard sniff at camel belches. With an estimated 1.2 million feral camels roaming the outback, each belching approximately one hundred gaseous pounds of methane every year, that racks up to a global warming impact equivalent to 1.1 tons of carbon dioxide. Per camel. The recent legislative proposal would allow sharpshooters to earn carbon credits by killing camels, and then these credits would subsequently be sold to global polluters to offset their own emissions. Bureaucrats are expected to reach a decision on this proposal by the end of the year.

I'd walk a mile for a roll of Tums. [morguefile]

***  The city of Nederland, Colorado, is offering to sell the celebratory rights for ... a dead man. When 89-year-old Bredo Mortoel died, his family decided to preserve his body, in hopes of one day being able to bring him back to life. So his body,  packed in dry ice, resides in an outdoor shed, and for the past ten years, this small mountain town has been celebrating this deceased man on ice with an annual festival, replete with a parade of hearses, frozen salmon tossing, and coffin races. Believe it or not, it's been a very popular festival, but you know how the economy is. The Chamber of Commerce says the festival has simply become too expensive, so they're trying to sell the rights to it, and hope an event company will step up to keep this unusual festival going.

our daughter and her husband

*** Ever wonder what those Scotsmen wear under their kilts? The answer became clear for recent groom Angus McClure, who sat his kilt-clad bottom on his new bride's knee. Unfortunately, his bare and poorly-wiped bottom left a brown "skid mark" on her pristine gown. Let's just say she wasn't at all impressed. In fact, she decked him, and a knock-down, drag-out, free-for-all followed. Police say they've seen nasty wedding party brawls before, but none quite this nasty. Seven people were hauled off to jail. The bride and groom? Once they sobered up, the report is they reconciled, and fortunately, have no memory of the melee. Let's hope no one took pictures.

                                             Have a wonderful Father's Day, y'all.

                              Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.