Archive for the ‘Humor’ category

ZOO TIPS

August 28, 2017

Going to a zoo sometime during this trip west was something I looked forward to.

Z Zoo Sign

I found a couple:   the Kansas City Zoo in the city;  and this one,  way out in the country through narrow two-lane roads.     Surprisingly worth it.

Of course I’ve been to lots of zoos before, and in one way they’re all “alike”  —  all the familiar animals arranged in simulations of their native continents;   but each zoo is a bit different too,  and it’s those differences plus the animals that make it worth “going to the zoo again.”

Z Rhino

So,  you’ve seen lions and tigers in person;  you’ve seen a rhino;  exotic birds; you’ve been up close to elephants;  maybe you’ve even fed the giraffes with their long black muscular tongues!     (He just stuck his tongue back in when I snapped the picture.)

Z Giraffe 270

Some zoo tips:

First:   you are never too old to go to a zoo.    No matter how old you get, no matter how many zoos you’ve seen,  even if you have to go alone, your zoo trips are not behind you;   you’re never too old!

Second:      In the summer?   On a hot sunny day?    Hat, sunglasses, plenty of water and sunscreen with you?    But don’t forget that the animals are hot too and this is the time of day when the most interesting animals   go    to   sleep!

Sleeping furry tail 300

Cute little guys –  but they’re not going to be moving anytime soon.

Sleeping Flamingos 320

Pretty flamingos.   Pretty sleepy flamingos.

You won’t see much action from even the big guys:
SleepingTigers 370

And I think the bright noon sun bleaches out the colors in the photos.

Third:      Ride!      Ride the trams . . .

Zoo Tram 400

. . .  the trains . . .

Z Train 400

. . .  and the sky rides.  . . .

SkyRide 400

 

You’ll see the zoo in comfort and in shade, with a cool breeze blowing past you;  and it’s surprising how long you can last the day without feeling a bit tired.

Riding,  rolling  gliding your way through the zoo is a great way to see where all the exhibits are and plan which ones you’d like to actually walk to.   And there are always frequent stops,  so just get off near exhibits that you want to see, and then get back on    when you’re done there.

Fourth:   Don’t forget to see the humor – and take some funny shots!

Funny shots 400

Like a headless polar bear

Fifth:   Enjoy the signs –  but remember to be safe or you’ll get some surprises.       This sign was easy enough to understand:

Kangaroo sign and spiders 400

What it meant was that the kangaroos run freely, no cages,  and there are no barriers between you and them.

Kangaroo Spider surprise 400

This made one young man – one foolish, boastful young man –   tell his girlfriend (or wife)  that he was going to run right at those kangaroos and scare them!   His young girlfriend (or wife)  told him  “No!   They’re wild animals!    They could hurt you!”

But the young man ran off our pathway,  through the opening in the bushes,  and promptly began to yell:   “Aaaaaargh!!”       He had run right into some wild . .  .   spider webs!   He came out spitting and sputtering and rubbing his face.      “I’m not going back there,”  he said.   I guess he’d found his wild things.

Sixth:    Look all around and enjoy the whole wild, strange, exotic world that you are just a tiny part of:

Z Blue 400

There was a group of maybe 40 of them, all dressed alike in the same colors:  moms, dads,  children,  babies . . .  speaking “Pennsylvania Dutch,”   which since “Dutch”  means “Deutsch”  I could understand about a third of what they were saying.   How I wondered and speculated what their world is like!

Seventh:   Take Google with you:

Snake google 400

This is a giant python.  An ordinary python with a genetic defect  causing amelonism because of  a double heterozygous gene which produced a condition called … “leuco-”  something.   Another lady and I were trying to figure out what all this meant, what made the python such a pretty yellow color.   Finally we looked each other in the eye,  smiled, and whipped out our cell phones,  consulting Google for the full explanation –  which was rather satisfying.

And that wasn’t the last time Google answered our questions –  questions which could make sense only while we were there,  but answers which will stick with us for a while.

Eighth:       Leave your POLITICS  at home!!!

Not you –  the young millennial zoo people who insisted on writing, for every animal exhibit,   that HUMANS  have destroyed this animal’s habitat and that they are now becoming extinct, or in danger of becoming extinct, or one day will think they might become extinct.       Because  “humans did it.”      Humans are horrible!    Humans make it no fun to be an animal.

And soon there will be no more zoos.

Let me add a little animal sound to that:   “grrrrrrrrrrrrr.”

 

(Next post:  I’ll show them an extinct thing or two!)

 

 

 

 

 

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A MOM’S MIND AT WORK

August 5, 2017

(Hyberbole:  my favorite form of humor)

The last few posts have been about  huge problems “way out there.”      I’m returning now closer to home,  closer to the Spruce Tunnel.   

Or maybe not.

Alaska where cooper is

See that tiny little huge cruise ship in the middle of the Alaskan mountain fjord?   Well, my loved ones are on board, including my little grandson Cooper.  So tiny in a big wide world.

al overboard   On their first day I woke up  with a flash of a very vivid picture:  it was Cooper going over the railings of the ship,   plunging into the waters below.    It was a huge panicky kick in the stomach.     And before I could catch my breath,   there was Cooper’s Daddy taking a running leap over the rails to save his son . . .

(Not a good way to wake up in the morning.)

They sent me some photos.  Want to know what goes on in a Mom’s Mind when you’re out having your adventures?

Alaska Stream 300

Here are Cooper and Daddy,  halfway into their Denali adventure,  standing next to a pretty little stream . . .

. . .  Along with a little wildlife, also enjoying the stream and watching for whatever they can find in the stream:

Alaskagrizzlies watching mountains

It’s an Alaskan stream.   Close enough.

I hope those grizzlies know what else is available in that stream:

Alaska Salmon 260

I think my little family was standing too close to all those delicious salmon when they took this photo.

I asked Cooper if he knew what an iceberg is.  He told me he thinks it’s something like a big floating island made of ice.    And clearly that didn’t make any sense to him.   I told him it was more like a river of ice that flows between the mountains.

AlaskaGlacier River

Pretty big river,  pretty small ship.    But I think the river of ice  idea made some sense to him.   After all,  his home is on a lake between very high mountains.

The icebergs make a very big splash when they crack off –

Alaska Berg 360

They’re pretty close to this one that’s about to “crack off.”      A very big splash for a very little cruise ship.

Then I got this picture, very small size on my cell phone,  no explanation.     But it looked to me like Daddy got captured by some wild Alaskan mountain men and strung up between the trees   . . .

Alaska Zipline 290

Except that might be a smile on his face.

I just know I’m going to be getting some more photos.

One mother’s  (one grandmother’s)   worries, even though I’m pretty sure they are safe.    I worry about them all because I know how precious and vulnerable they are.   Family is pretty close to home, close to heart,  and everyone is part of someone’s family.   That’s how a Mom’s Mind works too.

I think that’s why I was writing  all those recent posts about the current development of an all-powerful State that will rule every aspect of our lives and negatively affect not only us as individuals, but our loved ones too.

“Big Brother evolves.”

 

al sky bots

e v o l u t i o n

If Artificial Intelligence trumps human intelligence,  then we and the ones we love will become little more than (dehumanized)  human resources to manage and manipulate in whatever ways are best for the system.

We’d better start there,  with the certain knowledge of the dignity and worth of every form of human life.  Each individual specially created and loved by the Creator.   No one can be discarded without greatly offending the One who made him.

al gr gr

As the decades roll past,  and you have fewer years ahead of you than behind you,   everything that you thought was important drops off until what you have left is  Love —    ideally,  the love God gives you to love Him, to love your family,  and to love yourself.

 

“Faith, hope, and love;  and the greatest of these  is love,”  right?    That’s instruction from the Bible.

Bible Rosary and Glasses 270

When you leave this earth and see God,  you’ll have no more need of “faith” in Him.   You will have no more need to hope in Him for your safety;  He’s right there, and you are safe  with Him.

But the Love will only increase exponentially, even beyond what we can imagine now.

 

 

A MINI mini-EMP

July 11, 2017

 

Zapped!

lightning

I do love lightning storms.     Thunder and  lightning storms.

But – in reality –  a lightning storm can have the same effect as an EMP  —  a very small EMP,   a very tiny local EMP;   like down to one neighborhood.

Our  “local” cable/internet technician walked around our neighborhood to examine the damage done, and although it was somewhat comforting to know he had received “a lot” of calls,   one tiny EMP-type electrical event comes down to one  not-so-tiny disruption.

meltedpc

Internet gone.   Television gone.  Modem gone.   Router gone.

It looked bad.

tv nothing

I was ready to give up things that I couldn’t give up on because we need these things to live the daily life we’ve become used to!  

It took a while to determine all the damage.

Time and “activity” –  unplug, replug, rearrange wires,  move cables around,  disconnect this, reconnect that, phone calls —   It felt like more than I could handle.

cant cat.jpg

I couldn’t pay my bills. I couldn’t do my banking.   I couldn’t buy a new dress.    I couldn’t read the news.   I couldn’t check my emails.   I couldn’t do the last bit of research for my class this afternoon;  so I just went to class anyway.

Then finally,  with a little time  and distance from the problem,  a shopping list developed,  a list of things to buy to replace the . . .   melted things.

An expensive little list.

I was not in a state of mind that I could make sense of replacing and attaching all the new components, and since Son was the last to create all the various electrical pathways  at the back of the TV anyway,  I reluctantly called him as he left work – after a twelve-hour day! –  and I’m hoping he did not hear the extreme frustration and despair in my voice.

He might have.   Because he came.   And with his work and a call to the cable technician,  we got things pretty much going.

One more component to  buy tomorrow.

I can handle that.

scaredy

I don’t like  thunder and lightning storms as much as I used to.

 

 

 

FOURTH SHORTS – 2 The All-Purpose Explanation

July 3, 2017

flag      Another Short Note for the Fourth of July holiday. 

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It took me a long time to decide to get rid of cable in this house.   I was keeping it for sentimental reasons.   I was keeping it for Hubbie’s sake.    Hubbie and I got cable just as soon as it came out,  somewhere around 1980, I think.

We were so excited to have a 24/7 news channel.    What a concept!   We were both teachers,  we had studied history and business,  and we both liked to stay current with the news.

And over the decades we watched the “news” media devolve into a cartoon imitation of itself.   Now it tells us fairy tales,   24/7, and plays one tune:

 

Russia.

 

Stuck, I guess.

I don’t need to be sentimental anymore.   Sadly,   I admit Hubbie doesn’t need cable anymore.

And I sure don’t.

 

FOURTH SHORTS – 1 The Ferocious Kitty

July 3, 2017

flag   I love the Fourth of July holiday!    I probably won’t be writing any “thoughtful”  blogs –  just a few short notes here and there,  humorous and not.  (Letting off some steam.)

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I did it a few weeks ago –  I finally did it:   I  “cut the cable.”    I  haven’t missed it at all.  I understand the entertainment-news media is 100% against President Trump and they are leading the Take Down Trump movement.

red

Trump is like a bright red shiny target for them.

 

And the media thinks they’re very effective:

SoShiny

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FRIENDSHIP

May 8, 2017

(That is,   “Friendship in General”)

I came across this old cartoon which is one of my all-time favorites:

Math Joke cr

It never fails to make me smile – and even laugh along with these guys – and it always makes me think.   (Well, I’m not a mathematician;  I don’t think like that.)

I was cleaning out yet another box of old papers —  I mean if I’m going to be removed from this earth soon enough,  I’m thinking at least the Good Lord has given  me time to remove the detritus that has accumulated around me so I’m not a burden to others . .  .

And as I went through all these old favorite things I’ve saved,  I also thought about the years that I had first saved them, what I was doing, why I saved them,  and the people I knew back then . .  .  and some of those people whom I still know.

The two gentlemen in the cartoon speak their own language – perhaps a language only they understand!    But it is their mutual understanding of the world,  their bond of friendship,  the glue of similar outlooks on life that holds them together.    From such things can friendship grows –  if what they have in common is stronger than what might keep them apart.

Everyone can annoy anyone at sometime in their lives.    So, the advice ought to be:  just don’t!

But that’s impractical.   Better advice for forming and keeping and enjoying a friend is to not let your friend’s annoying things  matter.

See the two gentlemen in each cartoon panel.   One is not doing any speaking.  Who knows how long it takes the first guy to get each thought across!   The second guy is showing patience  . . .  3/4 of the way through he is showing patience and is listening, kindly and attentively.

And then it’s worth it!   What a joke!  How funny!   What a surprising point he has made!    They have a foundation of mutual understanding,  similar experiences and observations, which have given them an attitude that is familiar to each of them –  the bond of friendship is strengthened — and appreciated!

And I am humbled.  So many elements to friendship!   I’m not sure I’ve been that good a friend, through the years.  Such moments as these two men enjoy are rare, I think.

Awwww.    Look at the cartoon again – and  just enjoy!

 

 

 

THE CHARM OF BOYS

April 20, 2017

(An update on Cooper)

(Boys and girls.   Nothing like having one of each to appreciate the differences!)

When Hubbie and I were expecting our very first child,  we didn’t know whether we’d have a girl or a boy.    I wanted a boy.    In my naivete I wanted a whole basketball team full of boys – and then maybe a girl later.

Well.     After knitting little blue sweaters,  I got a  girl.

Appreciated having a girl.   So when we were expecting another child,  I though how nice it would be if she had a little sister!    So I knit little pink sweaters.

And then we got a boy.

I will have to say that after each birth, my only thought was “How perfect!”

Now,  I was more used to girls because  as I was growing up,    I had become the big sister of two little girls.     I understood them,   I knew all the subtle little things to expect.

But boys!    That was a new experience!    Straightforward.  Direct.  Practical.   Honest.   Not afraid to show delight.   And their sense of humor is really funny.

So I offer you two “boy”  samples.   One is a joke.    But it’s a boys’ type joke.    Non-sentimental.   Non-fussy.    Just plain funny.   (It’s all over the Internet, associated with the name of  Corden,  that’s all the attribution I can make.)     Here it is:

A 16-year-old boy in Bosnia broke a world record this week by smashing 111 concrete blocks with his head in 34 seconds. When asked how it felt to break the world record, the boy said, “Lampshade tricycle is my favorite flavor of pizza truck.”

Ha ha ha ha ha ha . .  .  really appreciated that!

And now there’s  another little boy in my life,  Cooper,  my grandson.     Just returned from a trip to Portugal.     Here he is,  straightforward,  direct, and matter-of-factly enjoying a visit with the pilot:

Cooper Pilot

He excused himself from his airplane seat and knocked on the “pilot’s door”  and had a nice long conversation about flying airplanes.    He knows quite a bit about airplanes — he’s on his SECOND passport book right now.  The first one got all filled up with stamps.    The pilot came out after a while and gave his email address to his Cooper’s Mommy, offering to help   in any way possible should Cooper ever want to become a pilot!   He called Cooper “remarkable.”

My word exactly.

This little boy takes on  the world exactly as it comes to him,  an attitude that is frankly quite charming.

Hawaii?    Just a place to express your joy.

Cooper Dancing Ocean 300

I think he’s ready for the whole world.

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(There’s a lot of “girl”  still in me,  but  I’m learning a lot from observing the boys!)

SAILORS TAKE WARNING (again)

April 5, 2017

 

(1),    (2) ,   (3)   points.

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(1)   It happened again :

Sunrise 2 cr best

A red sky this morning.     (Sailors take warning.)     This time the colors were even deeper and richer than before.    I ran from window to window this morning trying to get into my camera that  shade of deep reddish-salmon-orange that I was seeing in the sky.

I couldn’t.        Fifteen pictures later, I was still frustrated.

Sunrise 3 cr new

And as the sun was rising,  I was losing the color.

Sunrise 1 cr

I had two choices:  either run out and grab my friend from out of his wife’s bed  because he knows a lot about photography and promised to teach me sometime;  or instantly learn how to use oil paints,  because only a pallet  of oranges, pinks, reds, and yellows could duplicate the color I was seeing.

Two choices which were no choices;    so I just  watched the Nature Show of salmon,  orange,   pink, and yellow,  then finally pale blue.   As I watched, I settled down and my mind began reprising the pathways it had taken during the night.

(“Sailors take warning . . .”)

(2)    The night before,  just before I had  called it a day, I’d been reading up  on Pope Gregory XVI,  perhaps a rather obscure pope today,  but he aroused some controversy in his day,  not too long ago,  in the 19th century, and gives us something to think about today.

greg xvi

He wrote some interesting and valuable documents, among them an encyclical putting forth in clear terms  the Church’s opposition  against slavery,  a  teaching which had long been proclaimed by the Church,   but needed reinforcement.

However,  even though he  produced some valuable and helpful documents,    he was personally and deeply suspicious of the consequences of  what we now would call the technological and industrial revolution.   He opposed the growing socialist movement which reduces people to  “economic units,”   under the management (control) of a central state government.    He saw this as the depersonalization of the individual, individuals becoming “the masses”  which the revolutionary socialist movement is  there to provide for.    (Move over,  God.)

Technology,  this pope believed,   would only hasten this development, as  families are torn  from their land ownership and  migrate into industrial cities where the artificial societies were  generally harmful to the dignity and well-being of human beings.

Curiously (to our ears)  he pointed out that . . .

DESK and gas lamp

. . .   gas lamps  (indoor artificial lighting)  would be ultimately harmful to the health of people,  interrupting their daily rhythms, allowing industrialists to extract longer hours   from the “workers.”   He also spoke out against  locomotives, for the same reason:  disruption of human society,  harmful to health;   dirty, polluting  machines  that create an artificial sense of human travel and again,  tear apart families.

 

radio

(3)       Next,     (Sailors take warning . . . )     I woke up to  the big radio station out of  Detroit in which  the host was discussing with guests the current threats from North Korea.     It was a good, thoughtful discussion,  but the host then said that the biggest threat from North Korea’s isn’t that   one of their nuclear bombs would  go off – boom –  in the middle of our country,  but rather that they would (or someone else would)  explode a big one in the atmosphere,  near our coastline,  causing a destructive EMP which would wipe out all our modern technology,  putting  us right back into the 19th century,  perhaps like the days of Pope Gregory XVI.

Although that sometimes seems like a quaint,  charming,  more clean and pure society before all our technology,   the hard truth is that  no one today knows how to live as they did in the 19th century.   (Our government has projected that 90% of our population would die within the first year.)

And then I opened my eyes to that  beautiful  salmon-red sky.

And so  there is a  (4).

Duck creating a wak 1

Our springtime Drake has put his lady-wife somewhere, haven’t seen her for a week; she’s probably in a protected nest nearby.   He likes to sail down our creek at a high rate of speed and he likes to swim across our pond, leaving a definite wake behind.

I’m sure he saw the beautiful sunrise this morning, and I’m just as sure he was oblivious to the beauty.    But though he misses out on the ability of humans to appreciate such beauty,  if – and when –  the EMP or something takes us back into a pre-industrial age,  he would miss out on the resulting chaos – and death.

Duck Wake 2

After such a horrific event,  he may feel some “disturbance,”  but he would be off, as usual,  to visit the nest or find some food or check for any enemies or take a drink of water . . .  In other words,  life for him would go on as normal,   just as it did for human societies after  the Carrington Event.

carington

1859,  right?    Just after Pope Gregory XVI.    A few technological difficulties,  but life went on and few knew what the sun had just done to us.

Today?   We are,  unlike my springtime Drake,  we are “sitting ducks.”   Dependent upon ever newer and more fragile technology that is dangled before us like a snake charmer using his wiles.

(You do know what the “Watchers”  brought down to humanity according to the Book of Enoch?)

   —  Of course I’m a Luddite (at heart) !

 

 

 

 

 

INFORMATION, PLEASE

March 31, 2017

(Whew!  This has been quite a week here in the Spruce Tunnel with deep,  dark,  dire postings – and maybe  more to come.   But time out now for a little humor  . . .)

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So I thought I would offer this official government memo to help those who are still looking for any “reports”  of Russian influence on the outcome of  American elections.

“An agency subject to the provisions of the Federal Reports Act may enter into an arrangement with an organization not subject to the Act whereby the organization not subject to the Act collects information on behalf of the agency subject to the Act.    The reverse is also true.”   *

Or these people could just stop their  fruitless quest  and accept the numerous and consistent denials from government agencies that there is no evidence of Russian influence.

Or, did Russia successfully deliver votes on behalf of one candidate or the other?    Well, on the liberal West Coast and on the liberal East Coast,   Mrs.  Clinton seems to have received  millions  more votes.     Certain people could turn their questing to  that issue.

Maybe that government memo can be of help!

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.*     A memo from the Office of Management and Budget,  ca 1993,  quoted in the little book called:   “The 776 Stupidest Things Ever Said.

(You may be hearing from that book again, from time to time.

SKULL SPLITTIN’ GOOD

March 27, 2017

(Well,  I guess this is a 180 degree turn from my last posting.)

I’m writing today to sort of apologize to my class this afternoon —  No.   No, maybe to tweak their noses a little bit.    (Humor,  guys,  humor!)   You know how one things lead to another  .  .  .

It all started with Gideon.    Of the Bible.     And after he became a mighty warrior,  because he was a little wimpy at first.

Gideon's Army    He won one battle after another and finally saved his people from the Midianite army that was threatening to wipe out the Israelites altogether.  Just one more mopping up excursion – and the last two enemy kings were captured.

Brought to camp.   Tied to a post.    Ready for execution, which they expected.    And then — Gideon called his very young son over and said. “You do it!   You have honors.  Pick up the sword and kill them.”

Gideons Sword

The Bible reports that the young boy refused.  He was afraid.     Now “afraid”  covers a lot of reasons, and  not necessarily cowardice.     I explained to my class  that it’s not as easy as you’d  think to kill a man,  even if the  strong warrior prisoner has been tied to a post and can’t hurt you.

And once you have killed a man,  even the youth would understand this,  you’ve crossed some line;  it changes you.   So why did Gideon think of asking his son to do the killing?

tacitus writing

A little over a thousand years later,  a man named Tacitus wrote the history of ancient times all the way up to his times.  Through him we have a pretty good understanding of warfare and all the necessary practices of war.

Tacitus explains that young boys had to be trained how to be warriors – for their own safety,  for their own self-protection.  Their training included running,  strength-training,  “target” practicing,  and then learning how to kill the enemy — that is,  how to actually kill a man, because that’s what warriors have to do.

taCITUS PAGE

The young warriors-in-training were given live prisoners  to practice on.   How to thrust your sword between the bones;  how to hit a vital organ . . .  the best way to cut off . . .  you know,  anything.    These  “practice” kills harden the young boys, in their skills, in their consciences, in their hearts.

This is what Gideon was offering to his young son, training.   That’s what every nation who takes seriously its own self-defense must do for its young men:  train them, just in case.  You’d need to know how to use your sword or your javelin or your (heh  heh)  I added for my class,  your battle-axe  (if you’re a Viking) and need to learn how to crack a skull . . .

. . .   Yes, well,  I must have sounded too enthused because someone gently spoke up to remind me that “we are Christians,  we’re supposed to be people of peace . . .”

 

clear-left

 

Who ever said history was dull?

My enthusiasm may have been a bit pumped up  because I’m  studying the Merovingians, right now,  and the Carolingians,  whose reign was cut short by the Vikings at the very  end of the 8th century on through the next almost two hundred years.       Great stuff!

I’m listening to several lecturers, one from The Great Courses –

great courses

–   and today in my car I  heard an off-the-cuff comment about the Viking named  Thorfinn Turf-Einarsson Hauskaluif    —    Thorfinn Skull Splitter, for short.   The lecturer dryly commented that their names often indicated Viking “procedures.”

We don’t know too much about him.  We don’t need to know;  we can guess.

Fast forward to today –  a century I don’t understand too well.         I have a few questions about the warrior spirit.

But  at least Thorfinn Skull Splitter lives on –  or, at least in name:

OOO skull guy

 

Yes.  There he is.

OOO Best Skullsplitter

 

On a beer bottle.     Apparently it’s a good Viking-strong beer,  a dark ale that is 8.2 alcohol by , um,  weight, I think.  A hefty punch!

You can get it from anywhere in the world, but the brewery is in the Orkneys –  that Viking stronghold now under the control of Scotland.

OOO orkney-brewery-logo

But, see?  I have a few questions about today’s warriors.    Today’s men, under the influence –  of  socialism,  such as Scotland and the whole of Great Britain.    Europe actually.

Skull Splitter beer has become  quite popular, and it attracted the attention of the socialist thought-police,  or whatever.   They had apparently discovered the name of this beer and they contacted the brewery.    Well, let me give a quotation from some reporter about this incident:

. . . the brewery was forced to defend Skull Splitter back in 2009 when it came under investigation from a British drinks industry “watchdog” called the Portman Group (which has the power to issue a nationwide ban against the sale of any alcohol product that steps afoul of its guidelines), who commissioned a report that concluded the beer’s name and labels were too aggressive. Apparently they felt that drinkers would read the name and then enter into an uncontrolled primal enthusiasm for drunkenness leading to the loss of all faculties except fervent engagement in all manner of ribald, reckless, and destructive behavior. And some good ol’ medieval axe-swingin’ violence, of course.

See?   I have a few questions about this current century . . . .

 

 

 

THIN ICE BENEATH OUR FEET

March 5, 2017

I woke up one day this week to this:

thin-ice

Thin ice!   We had thick ice earlier this winter,  a little bit of ice skating was possible,  but then we had a thaw . . .  and  then a slight re-freezing.     A little later that day the cold continued and the ice had completely closed up over the water.

But it was still thin ice.    I looked at it often that day and thought about that “one last heartbeat”   between us being alive – and then we’re dead.   A very thin boundary it seems between us and our final destiny:   “up,”  as we say,  or “down.”

Some of us, the Bible says,  will have to “pass through the fire” ;   the things we have done here in this life will be tried and tested , and the worthless things burned up out of us,  before we can go “up.”   .*

It is with a kind of wry  humor that I’m reminded of this every time I go to Mass or to class,  because I have to pass through the smoke    . . .  of burning heat below my feet!

purg-0

The city steam  pipes below the sidewalk are vented right near the entrance to our church!

In our art work, down through the centuries,  painters have shown  that the location of Purgatory is right below us,  right below the altar during a Mass;  so how funny that the smoke of Purgatory seems to be vented right nearby!

purg-2

 

And someone in the city decided that this would be a good opportunity for the children to display some artwork   . . .

purg-3

 

Except I don’t think they called upon young painters who understand much about the Four Last Things:  Death. Judgment.  Heaven.  Hell.

purg-4

Yeah,  maybe bad language is one of those things that will need to be “tried by fire” –  the hay, straw, stubble of their lives.

I thought it was  ironically funny,   but someone must have complained,  because one day I walked by and the steampipe was rather plain:

purg-5-new

The “pipe of purgatory”  had been “purged.”

One can find humor anywhere, I think,  as long as we take care of the major things,  have it all settled between us and God,  all, all, all settled;  and then do the right things.  Then you’re so free to enjoy life as it comes to you — and to see the love and joy and humor all around.

It’s soon becoming Sunday here in the Far North,  so I’ll leave you with one last picture that shows how   this all  works together.

suffering-and-fruits-of-mass-260

God the Creator,  Our Father, started it all;  the Son sacrificed His life for us,  which is made present to us at every Mass;   and every Mass touches Eternity and all the angels and saints in  Eternity.

And the souls in Purgatory,  beneath the altar,  are being made ready.

suffering-hand-in-purgatory

 

__________________________________________

. *  Found in:  I Corinthians 3:11-15    –    (A life of  …  gold, silver, precious stones?  Or  wood, hay, stubble:)      [13] Every man’ s work shall be manifest; for the day of the Lord shall declare it, because it shall be revealed in fire; and the fire shall try every         man’ s work, of what sort it is. [14] If any man’ s work abide, which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. [15] If any man’ s work burn, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by fire. 

 

 

 

“Up” is unimaginable, indescribable good things that God has prepared for us;   and down is the pain of forever being “out.”    As I wrote  before,  intense pain,  like a physical pain, like a fire.

And it’s also one heartbeat below us,  waiting for us.

 

 

LANGUAGE IN A POLLUTION JAM

March 3, 2017

(Time out for some humor)

It’s hard to talk to each other in the midst of a raging storm.

new-haven-lighthouse-storm

We get used to it.   We shut out the powerful raging storm all around us.  We shut out the tumult of conflicting interests battering up against each other,  battering up against us. Life goes on with great uncertainties,  no safe and quiet ground to stand on;   and still we talk to one another as best we can;  we care,  we’re interested, we help out when we can.  We’re pretty sure there’s been some mutual understanding.

So,  communication can be difficult, of course, but sometimes we can  find humor in  the situation and just enjoy the wonderful human absurdity of it all.

Son gave me a little gift one day – a fun little gadgety gift that is actually of some help in the dry indoor air.  Here’s the box —

bottle-cap

Kind of cool –  you fit this cap onto any bottle of water, and it makes a nice mist.

It wasn’t, however,  “made in America,”   so the instructions sounded a little “foreign.”

Instruction #1:    Pile the filter into humidifier completely.  When you pull out, please do it on the opposite direction.          (Okay.  I think.)

Then in the “Notes” —

This is not waterproof products.   When using the product erect, avoid the water into the product.        (uh,  this is to be used with a half-liter plastic bottle with water in it . . .)

Please place it beyond the children’s reach.

Please place the product away from the human body for 30 meters,  for without ventilation completely,  drops of water will come into being.      (I don’t think my house is 30  meters long.)

When you are aware that the spray output of the humidifier is in a pollution jam,  please change into a new filter.

Plug the cable softly.

When you use automotive electrical appliance,  electrical appliance, expensive products,  pay attention to not make it wet.

Dropping out the product will make the product out of work.        (Makes sense.)

Do not use it for the other purposes.       (Yeah,   I won’t.)

And then the big caution:    Any problems happen,  please do not disassemble,  repair the product and contact with retailers.

 

__________________________

(Amusement aimed at me!)

I dabble in languages.

der-spiegel

There are  certain things I like to read in one language or another;    those darn footnotes in my books are in many languages;   I feel compelled for some reason to check the news in German every few days;  I worship in another language altogether.    But if I were to write or talk in those languages,  I’m very sure my words would be a source of amusement for the native speakers of that language.

I’d be the only one who knows what I’m talking about!

jesus-speaking

I think of Jesus teaching on a  hillside speaking important truths to the people crowded around Him, listening intently to every one of His words;    and the look on His face is one of bemused affection,  because He is knowing they don’t understand what He’s saying —  yet.   Bemused affection:  gently seeing the humor in the situation.

He is patient with us;  oh, so patient.

During this Lent,  I’ll be writing more and more about the Church’s teachings.     That is,  doctrines,  practices, and spiritual growth.

I suspect I’ll not communicate  well.

One big language pollution jam.

THE SCIENCE OF WHIMSY

February 21, 2017

“True Science is whimsy.”

speeding-thoughts

There was a young lady named bright
Whose speed was much faster than light.
She set out one day
In a relative way
And returned the previous night.

Science is whimsy,  for God made the world out of Love and Joy!    It is the serious pudding-faced “science practitioners”  of our day who put a heavy weight to science –  and dare you to disagree!

If you cannot find fun and admiration and joy and gratitude in the science you know,  then you have not done science at all!

studying-outside

I took my studying 0utdoors today –  it was 61 degrees, for goodness’ sakes!!!    That’s a pretty warm February day here in the Far North!   I did my work right in the middle of nature with the sounds of many seriously happy birds, the  water in the  creek  babbling over the rocks,   and the wind soothing itself through the trees.

So enjoyable,  this science of  meteorology.

Speaking of which,   WHERE IS MY GRANDSON AGAIN?

truckee-snow

White-out in the High Sierras

Cooper lives in the Sierra Nevadas where they’ve had  five feet of snow one week, six feet the next, five feet again the next week,  and one time it was eight to ten feet.   Today and yesterday they are having a three to five feet snowfall –   not so much –  but the wind gusts  nearby were measured at  199 m.p.h. (Alpine Meadows)  and 193 m.p.h.  (Squaw Summit.)   Fascinating.      Intimidating.       My son-in-law works up there at times!

Haven’t received any recent photos of Cooper.    Probably don’t have cell phone service again.  Or electricity.

I think they could use a little science and technology help out there.

snowflakes

Science is delightfully beautiful but it’s probably not a good time to teach Cooper that “each little snowflake has six points and each one is different from every other snowflake   . . .”  They’re not seeing  “flakes” out there.

Amazingly,   the world is so big and man and his dwelling places are so tiny,   that  Cooper can have his blizzard way over there and I can have my heatwave way over here.

Looks like the Pacific Ocean has been having an unexplained heatwave of its own.

ocean-heat-blob

They call it “the Blob”  sitting alongside our West Coast,   a large heat anomaly.  It’s been there for a couple years, but science hasn’t figured it out yet.

It’s still a mystery to wonder at.

And then there is  “gorgeous”   on an ordinary day:

sunset-drive-cr

Do you know what that column of sunlight is called?   Do you know what causes it?

Just driving along one evening   —     all of a sudden,  the sun shoots out a pillar of brilliant golden light.

It was gone in 45 seconds.

Just a whimsical  reminder of the power and glory of the Creator of all science.

 

 

 

HEIGHTS AND DEPTHS

February 20, 2017

(Heights.  Depths.  Metaphorically speaking.)

One good thing is that there is National Geographic out there that produces for us some of the finest photography that makes us feel as though we’re right there in the scenes!

top-kneeling

Here is a man just having reached the top of Mt. McKinley (Denali)  in Alaska.   Thanks to a National Parks  DVD set from National Geographic,   I followed him and his companions all the way up the brutal trail that took the men almost past their limits of endurance.

Then,  once the men caught their breath, as best they could,  this is how each of them felt!!

top-hurray

Exultant!

And so did I.  Whew!   Quite a harrowing trek.  I’m proud of our human race!

So many rewards.

denali-aurora

I saw the aurora sometimes when I lived in the Far Far North,   but I haven’t seen them for a long time down here . . .  in the Far North.    Son wants so very much to witness the Aurora Borealis, and he keeps threatening to go to Hudson Bay sometime.    Where the fierce polar bear live.

(He could catch that on a DVD.)

That was the “one good thing”  about National Geographic.    The one very bad thing, embarrassing, really,  is that they have fallen hook  line, and sinker for the global warming mythology.    You know,  the  Climate Change Doctrine that UN officials from time to time freely admit that Climate Change is actually a scheme for the massive transfer of wealth from First World countries to third world countries.

As in “carbon tax.”    The embarrassing narrative on the National Geographic video about the Everglades,  part of the set on National Parks,   actually stated that carbon dioxide is a “toxin.”

Tell that to the plants of this world!

Script after script about the Parks promoted the idea that global warming is putting the planet in great jeopardy.   (Did you know that it is HOT in Death Valley National Park?)  And it might possibly could perhaps maybe some day in the far future record a temperature higher than the 134 degrees we recorded in . . .  1913?      Over a hundred years ago – and we haven’t topped it yet.

Perhaps they should tell us the whole story about this global political scheme:

china-no-carbon-tax

Here is a  country,  which seems to be producing quite an abundance of carbon dioxide and lots of other toxins besides,  and it  is NOT required to pay a    “Carbon Tax.”

This is China, which regularly donates its pollution to the west coast of the United  States, via the winds that cross the Pacific Ocean.

In fact,  the  countries which produce the most pollution by far are exempt from the carbon tax.    The United States must pay for their global warming sins.

A massive transfer of wealth from First World countries to the Third World.

With the United Nations as the “helpful”  middleman.

Sheeesh!

angry-bird

I think next time I take out a set of nature videos from the library,  I’ll choose that one that was not produced by National Geographic.     The real old-fashioned one, made decades ago.     When the “scientists”  told us to worry about the coming Ice Age.

140 YEARS AGO

February 17, 2017

Life was freer  140 years ago:

cocaine-tooth-drops

I applaud the new administration for attempting to tackle the removal of tens of thousands of regulations that are stifling our economy and personal freedom.

But I guess we can keep a few.

Hat tip to Cousin Lois in the Far Far North.

NEVER GIVE UP, EH?

February 6, 2017

(I’ve got to express . . .  my football self.)

What a game!!!

patriots-logo-jpg

How did that happen?!!     (Speechless!)      Wow!     Never give up, eh?

We saw “history”  made tonight.   The  game will be talked about for a long time.

Interesting:    I heard a lot of predictions for the outcome, but no one even came close to what happened in the actual game.

CROSSING INTO THE “DESERT”

The memory of this year’s Super Bowl will linger a little longer than past Super Bowls, but it will soon blend into the long, long desert of . . .  no   football.

desert

Six months?  Six and a half  months?  It’s going to be a long trek again through that desert.

All we can have are memories and dreams and . . .

desert-to-football

 

. . . . hope for the next Season.

bears

GO BEARS!

STAR STRUCK

January 26, 2017

I’m not sure if calling them “Star Struck”  is really a nice  kind of “Humor”  but first let me take you down Memory Lane.

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA  —

fabian-bl-wh

Oh,  wait, let me do him in color –

fabian-looking

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THIS YOUNG MAN CAN DO TO A  12-YEAR-OLD GIRL’S HEART-STRINGS?

Specifically a 12-year-old girl who is just discovering boys, along with all her girlfriends!!

For a long, long, long, long, long time,  the  Hollywood  teen magazines told us only his first name.

“Fabian.”

fabian face.jpg

Teem-age idol.    Fabian . . . .    We were young, silly, barely teen-aged girls, easily affected,  uh,   physically  by all the photos we could find in the movie star magazines.   Well, the movie star magazines knew how to package a handsome teenage boy like this for our consumption!

They even told us the story about how he was discovered:   Some rock ‘n roll  talent scouts were driving down a street in Philadelphia and saw this young man sitting on his front porch, looking rather glum.    He told the men (who were scouting the neighborhood for the next teenage idol)  that his father had just had a heart attack and he was very, very, very worried about his dad.

How romantic is that!!!!    What young teenage girl could fail to have compassion — and just fall in love with him??!!

Now,  they picked him up off his front porch  (I think that story may be true – hah!)  gave him and his family lots of money, and turned him into the newest teen rock ‘n roll singing star.

fabian-cover

Only problem was,  he couldn’t sing.   He really,  actually couldn’t sing.  I guess we noticed that, after it was pointed out to us, but what did it matter?  WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?      When someone could look like that on an album cover —   it just doesn’t matter to a bunch of star struck teenage girls!

Even the boys in our school couldn’t say anything bad about Fabian.   When you are packaged and presented like that –  even the boys were silenced!

And now,  today . . . .

It’s possible to become star-struck, even when you’re out of your teenage years.

Here’s a question:    Guess who —    One day we had a brand new president and he gave his fist speech to the nation, and this is what was said about him:

Quote    (with soft, awe-stricken voice):

“The mass flickering of cell phone cameras seemed like stars shining back at him.”

Sigh-h-h-h-h-h           Read it again . . . .

Who is this man so wonderful that even the stars in the sky  pay him homage?

It’s  not  Fabian.      We teenage girls finally grew up and admitted, the guy can’t sing!  He was packaged for us  as a teenage idol singer – and we eventually found out he can’t really sing –  and his last name is “Forte.”   Fabian Forte.   Oh.  Okay.

That sentence was spoken,  quoted,  quoted again, written down  by  female “journalists” about   Barry Sotoero —   Yes,  Barry,   the man who was re-packaged as the Barack Hussein person and put into our White House.

Fabian and Barry.

Except we girls finally grew up and acknowledged reality.

 

 

SOME DARK AND DANGEROUS IRONY

January 24, 2017

(Yeah, irony is one of my favorite forms of humor;  hyperbole and absurdity being the two others.)

Two t-shirts seen at the Leftist-Women’s March this weekend:  side by side,  one woman wearing a t-shirt that said:   I Love Islam.   The woman next to her wearing a t-shirt that said:   I Hate Misogyny.

It’s absurdly and ironically funny until you realize  how the Islamic Extremists are increasingly using the Leftist Extremists, forming an anti- American, anti- Western alliance.

(Now, I’m not writing about those who choose to peacefully follow the Muslim religion, and I’m not writing about those who sincerely follow the Democrat party – or at least what it used to stand for.)

Women promoting  Islam while Islam is denigrating  women:

during-womens-march

 

Again:   Islam is using the Leftists. Quite successfully.  Because there is no connection to reality in Leftist thinking:   “I love Islam” side by side with “I hate misogyny.”

These Women-Leftists do not know what happens to them after they join Islam, whether it was their choice or not.       Before-After:

kayla-mueller-christian-martyr

 

Both ideologies  declare that they are against the violence of the West:

is-behaed-those

Irony again.

But a partnership that could be sowing seeds of a violent overthrow of our culture – since some of them declare that that is their goal.

The partnership is like just one little match lit . . .  in a box of matches . . .   in a fireworks factory.

rev

 

What the entertainment-news media tells you about Islam and the Left  is not what’s happening in the actual, real world.

ICE SCIENCE

January 17, 2017

Doing my errands today . . .

ice-driveway

. . .     doing errands on a solid sheet of ice that used to be my driveway.

Getting back up onto my front porch wasn’t any easier —

ice-bricks

It was only raining today.  It shouldn’t have been this bad.

We didn’t have the major part of that ice storm that crossed the nation during this past week,  but we had an interesting “weather event” just the same.

Our temperatures are pretty warm.  It’s going to be around 40 degrees more or less, for the next few days,   and precipitation will be in the form of rain.    HOWEVER —  our ground is frozen!    The temperature of the soil is less than 32 degrees,  so when rain comes down,  the ground freezes it.

So we’ve had an “ice storm”  at ground level, I guess you could say.    Everything else above two inches is pretty soaked and happy, and our  trees and power lines are just fine.

Cooper, however ––   remember the posts called “Grandson Buried”  and  “Burying Cooper Again” ?       Well, Mother Nature’s taking aim for a third try.   Another 5 to 6 feet of snow by Friday, and probably near 10 feet total at the end of a week.  Their forecast shows heavy snow for the next   eight  days!    I couldn’t drive out to see him if I tried.

How about a Snowplow Train?  –

train-in-snow

By the way,  Cooper lives on “Donner Pass Road,”  if that tells you anything.

Ice Science:

anatarctica-dark

Not Science Fiction, though.

antarctica

These are two photos of one of the science stations on the western edge of Antarctica.   They’re relocating because two huge crevices have opened up and are growing rapidly in length, threatening to cut off these scientists and their labs.

Thousands and thousands of new volcanoes have opened up in that region of the ocean,  warming the waters,  steering the warm water currents into that edge of Antarctica, so the ice shelf is getting unstable.

It’s not “climate change.”    And charging us massive “carbon tax” fees will not stop it. *

According to scientific statistics the area covered by ice down there has increased, year by year, over the past several years.   Antarctica has more ice than before.   However, this western edge is facing strong warm water currents.

Now what is causing the increase in volcanoes, underwater and around the Ring of Fire?

I guess we’d have to turn from Ice Science to Fire Science.

 

bar-thorns

 

.*   But don’t worry.  If you don’t know much about true science and you think you might be causing planetary changes in weather,    the outgoing Barack Hussein person, in the last three days of his White House occupation,  just gave away  one-half billion of our dollars to the United  Nations  “Climate”  Fund.

Do you know how much more he has already given away?

“GONE – SELFISHLY GONE”

December 26, 2016

One of the things my Mom liked best about living in Florida was the manatees.  One time I made her a set of stationery with manatees on the envelopes and papers,  even on some return address labels.

And today –  I SWAM with the manatees!

m-1

I mean I was right down in the water with them.

m-over-there

They drifted slowly around me, eerily smooth and silent, in their native home.

m-slow-motion

They would come right up to me.

m-at-you-close

And then I stepped back a bit and wondered how close they would get;  they’re big!

So then I looked down at my legs in the water and – yikes!   There was another one getting ready to swim right under me!

m-down-there

I stepped out of the way. but he kept moving, like, behind my legs, although I didn’t feel him brush up against me.

Did you know manatees have belly buttons?

m-belly-button

When one like this rolled over and glided past my face, I could see the big circular indentation where his belly button is.

It was really all so other-worldly  but so peaceful being under water with the manatees moving all around;   big gentle creatures, slowly floating, swimming,  moving, turning              . . .

 

. . . .and then I had to take off the Virtual Reality headset. . .  and give them back to my Son .

Whew!    What a strange experience.  I mean stepping back into the “real” world is strange, where all you have is  . . .  this;  whatever is around you.   So limiting!  

Yes, we are now a family with Virtual Reality.   There is nothing like it.   Not even “real reality.”           It’s hard to make the two worlds “meet.”    You can tell someone has the VR headset on because — well, this is what you hear – in very soft tones:

            . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . wooo . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . uh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . mn . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . oh . . . oh,  wha- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  wha- . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  nnnnnnn . . . . .

         . . . .SSSST!! – oop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  hoooooooo   . . . . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . .  Oh!    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Whoa! . . . . . .  . . . .

. . . . . . . .HEY GUYS!!!   YOU GOTTA SEE THIS!!!!    . . . . . . . . . . . . . no . . . . . .wait . . . .wait a  . . . . . .  uh   . . . . . .

You get the idea, I guess.   Not very flattering, but you really sound like that when you’re in the Virtual Reality world!       You’re gone,  all gone to the real world.   Selfishly gone because it’s a one-man experience,  one at a time.

And you don’t want to give up that Virtual Reality headset!