Posted tagged ‘Humor’

YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE

June 7, 2018

          “Here” is where you are right now

           It’s your present Location.

           “There” is where you want to go

           It’s your desired destination.

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My Dad used to say that the streets of  his little city here on the Space Coast of Florida were poorly designed for so many people:  “They let in too many people in too short a time and they didn’t pay attention to the streets.   Some people got very rich with all this growth and look at the mess we got.”

 

“You can’t get There. . .”

Making a mundane shopping trip can seem like a complicated itinerary to some exotic destination.     There are two obstacles to straightforward travel around this little city:

traffic planning algorithmtraffic planning algorithm

 

One obstacle is the traffic  lanes around here.   Invariably,  going “There”   involves two or more left-hand turns in which you must maneuver within two or three permissible left-turn lanes and an array of multicolored traffic lights.

Well,  red, green, and yellow circles and arrows.   With four-minute cycles, I think.

There is a left left-turn lane;  a right left-turn lane,  and sometimes a center left-turn lane.  That means you have to know where you’ll need to be up ahead a half a block further on.    The lane you’re supposed to stay in is marked with white dotted lines –  when the dots aren’t too faded.

Everyone has his own idea of how wide an arc he must make as he turns –  and sometimes that leads to, not bumper-to-bumper,  but door-handle-to-door handle driving.

There are very narrow lanes for bicycles and motorcycles too — and not always at the edge of the street, but in between the left-turning lanes.     They have left and right left-turn lanes too.

So,  you’ve made your last left-hand turn.  You’d think your destination is actually “on the left.”    But, no . . .

Remember, “you can’t get There from Here” — at least not easily.

Usually, you have been forced to drive past your destination.   That’s the second obstacle.

The median between the two directions of traffic is rather wide and made of solid concrete, punctuated with little openings through which to make the necessary U-Turn, often ducking into another left-turn lane.

Once I found myself driving in a  lane marked  “U-Turn Lane”  for about a half a block.  I thought I was doing something wrong until I realized I’m the one who needs to make a U-Turn here eventually.

After a while I was able to make that left-hand turn,  but I think I would have gotten to that store faster on foot.

I took my sister to her doctor appointment yesterday.

She soothed my frustrations with our Dad’s words:  “. . .  Poorly designed roads . . .  they let too many people in . . .  Someone made a lot of money with all this growth!”

blue car

Which does not make driving around here any easier.

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Beware NASCAR  fans.  Daytona is like that too.

 

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A QUIRKY ANTIDOTE

May 16, 2018

Well, in the last post I kind of put the burden on each of us  to improve ourselves and so put goodness back into our society –  a job well-possible-   but it need not be a “burden.”

Making ourselves better  can be a lot of fun.   Just relax;   you pretty much know right from wrong.   You pretty much know we are to respect and love others as we want to be respected and highly regarded ourselves.

Relax, and have fun.  Or develop a good sense of humor.    I always say my favorite forms of humor  are irony and hyperbole.   Then – relax! – add a good sense of self-deprecating humor;  as in:  finding the ridiculous in yourself.     Enjoy your little quirks.

Quirkiness  hit me this week.   For almost a month I’ve had the strongest craving for  baba ganouj   –  that  tangy Mediterranean eggplant dish that you don’t eat with a spoon, you eat it with triangular wedges of something in the bread family.

baba ganouj

Being raised in a Scandinavian family,  the strongest spices I enjoy are cardamom and cinnamon!    Baba ganouj is definitely . . .  strong.  Tangy strong.   I have no idea why I began craving it,  but I braved some heavy-duty construction in the main intersection of our little town,  worked my way through the orange cone mazes and black-and yellow striped obstacles — in heavy traffic one day — to find that Mediterranean restaurant behind the construction trucks,  where I knew I could order some take-out baba ganouj – no matter how long I had to wait for it!

It was a good day.   It was ready for me almost instantly,  and I had already learned the “secret” unmarked passageway back through the construction,  and since I live here,  I even avoided some rush hour traffic red lights.

But . . .  why baba ganouj?      (It was delicious!)

Quirkiness #2,  now that I think about it:

BEE

Came   home one evening and saw this dead bumblebee on my driveway.   It was kind of sad, because this might be the one that claims much of my front yard and hangs around us in a friendly manner when we’re outside.   Sometimes, if we get too close too “something,”  he actually bumps us,  bumps into us, to push us away, as though his tiny little body could move a human being.

But it works.    And Son was just describing how intelligent bees are, in particular their memory.    So it was sad to see it lying there, dead.

The next day,  its little body was still there.  No bees came around to mourn, of course.   Maybe it was kind of childish,   but it seemed respectful to the bee,  to all of Creation, to God who made the bee,  that I bury its little body in a protected place in my garden.

I don’t know.    Dumb?   Childish of me?

Bee shovel

At least I used a Mickey Mouse shovel.

Improve society?    Respect all life.  Bury a friendly  little bumblebee  — and then smile at the quirky absurdity of it all.

 

Quirkiness #3 —  

I hope you all gave your mother as wonderful of a Mother’s Day as I had.   Thank you Daughter and Cooper who wished me a very long-distance:  Happy Grandma’s Day!!!!!  And thanks especially to Son who pulled the whole day together,  including a mad dash out for MEATS of all kinds –  anything we wanted! –  and then another mad dash out while the meat was grilling to get the ketchup we had forgotten…..

Here’s  just  the dessert part of our meal,  because  grilled meats on a plate don’t always look so appetizing in a photo.

MD Dessert

Tarts:  Key lime;  creme brulee,  cheesecake,   chocolate hazelnut, and chocolate caramel.  (Just want to post it here so I remember this in the future.)

On my table was a beautiful selection of hyacinths – perfect for the improvements I’ve been making in the garden.   I really care about flowers,  but I’m slow at getting the skills to take care of them.

MD hyac

They look like they need to be put into the earth now;  some of the bulbs are showing.    (Is this natural?  Or are they tipping over?)

I couldn’t help thinking that I got these beautiful flowers,  and now I’ll have to bury them.

MD hyac bulbs underground

I’ve got instructions.    But it sure feels like I”m burying my Mother’s Day flowers!

Just a goofy,  quirky feeling I have.

5 ha ha colors 70

 

When you give yourself cause to smile, or  laugh,     you’re all right!

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(recipe) ABOUT THAT LAMB

April 3, 2018

 

(Do not hesitate to try something new!)

We were coming  out of   church  after Easter Sunday Mass, greeting each other, hugging, talking about Easter dinner coming up . . .  and so I asked a few friends  “Any advice for roasting a big leg of lamb?”    

I had bought a pretty big one!    I’m not sure my friends believed me when I indicated how big,  but it didn’t matter –  no one had ever done a leg of lamb before anyway.   (I did get lots of advice about buying a smaller one next time.)

dinner

But I had a leg of lamb at home that cost about as much as a whole month’s worth of meat;  and I had Son waiting to share an Easter dinner.    (Just kidding about the big dinner in that photo.)

So . . .  here it is:

Lamb 3

That’s my biggest dinner plate next to the leg from a lamb giant.

The directions were to “rub all over” with a mixture of herbs.  I used lemon pepper,  garlic,  rosemary,  thyme, and Herbes de Provence, which I suppose is a bit redundant,  but I like the fragrance of it.   And some Himalayan salt.

Lamb 4 in oven

My turkey roasting pan was scarcely big enough.  I stood it on edge so it might roast more evenly.  It looked a little like a giant salmon.

Lamb 5 eating

Roast at 400+  for about 30 minutes,  then turn the heat down to about 330 – 350  degrees,  and then roast for another couple of hours.    You don’t have to be too specific, especially if you use a meat thermometer to check for the 130 degrees interior temperature which will give you medium rare — pink roast lamb meat.

(My thermometer never got past 110, so Son and I decided it was broken.   Took the lamb out of the oven in the nick of time —  it was almost still medium rare.   Don’t ever overcook lamb!    It’s edible,  but just not at the peak of its flavor.)

I used another large roasting pan for its platter.

From not knowing how to roast this leg and not knowing what exactly I was doing as it was roasting,   it turned out all right.      It turned out really, really good!    Mashed  potatoes,  lamb gravy,   sweet potatoes,  corn,   fresh tomato slices . . .  I forgot what else;   tiramisu layered cake for dessert. . .   Coffee.     And a ginger ale float!

And the next day —

Lamb 6 leftovers

LEFTOVERS!

What was left of it made a kind of oversized   meat treat, with a convenient bone handle.  (No vegetables need apply.)

I will certainly NOT wait until next Easter for another leg of lamb!

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CRAzY MODERN “#&@%#*” !!!

March 11, 2018

A little “sabbath day”  recreational Humor Break —  Just to keep a record in  The Spruce Tunnel of crazy encounters with the modern world

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I have three favorite kinds of humor:  hyperbole,  absurdity, and irony.   When you get all three together, it’s just . . .  silly.

Red suv

A few days ago we had a sunny day, with a strong  bitter cold freezing cold wind.    And my car was stalled in a parking lot.  No electricals.  I had opened the car door with “electricals” –  the locks.    But that was the end —  a sudden unexpected end.

red goes crazy   S’okay.    I had remembered to bring my phone with me.    Now’s when you need a cell phone.    So I dialed the familiar number of my car dealership who had just serviced my cars a couple weeks ago.    Here’s my exchange with Chuckie the Evil Phone System:

 

Dialed number . . .

“There is an equipment failure.”

Yes, I know!   I’m sitting in a big piece of “equipment failure.”    Whose “equipment” are you referring to?       Dialed number  again . . .

“Equipment failure.  Please dial again.”

I refuse to believe the entire American cell phone system is having an equipment meltdown.     Dialed number  again . . .  

“This call cannot be completed as dialed.”

Why?  Did I make a mistake?      Dial . . .

“This number is out of service.”

No!  It isn’t!  I  just used this number a few weeks ago when they serviced my cars!  Dial . . .

“This is AT&T.  Would you like an operator to help you find an alternative business?”

No!   I want my nice familiar car dealership where they all know my cars and I trust them with Hubbie’s aging vehicle!    And besides,  AT&T  is not even my carrier!

Just in case I was wrong about that number (I’m not),  I thought I’d look up their number on the Internet –  thank you for mobile  Internet access.   Tapped in the business name, city, and state.

“Will you allow this site to have access to your Contacts?”

No!

Tapped in business name, city, and state Chose another site with my car dealer’s name.

“Will you allow this site to have access to your contacts?”

No!    Who are you?   You can’t know my personal business!     Tapped in business name, city, and state.  Chose another site with my car dealer’s name.

“Will you allow this site to have access to your contacts?”

No!     I’m really getting cold in this car – with no electricity and no heater!   Tapped in business name, city, and state.  Chose another site with my car dealer’s name.

This time I got  a number two cities to the west of me.   Chose that one.  Maybe they could transfer me.      But this time it was the local dealership I wanted.   So that problem eventually got taken care of.

Not the way tow trucks do business

My dealership does not offer towing service,  so they kindly gave me the number of the one nearby.   I could have walked to it!       The phone was back in working order now,  but the towing company said, yes, they could help me,  and it would take about an hour to get to me.

I’m sure they heard my frustration:  “An hour?!    I’m just around the corner from you!  I can walk over to you!”      Fortunately, Son’s number was on my phone’s Okay List, and he actually came before the tow truck did.  He jiggled something and I was able to drive myself to the dealership –  where, for anyone’s decent credit limit,  they will fix my car.  (That’s hyperbole.)

Google Lost

Last night I had to meet a friend and Son for a little concert –  a Barbershop Quarter concert featuring Cowboy music.       Made for people like me!

Cowboy quartet jittered

But I had never been to that particular high school auditorium.  Everybody Googles  driving directions.   I do,  but only when I’m in heavy traffic in unfamiliar territory and I suddenly realize I need it — which means. although I manage to stay in my lane,  I never really learned to Google well.

So I say (politely and clearly):  “Okay, Google,  Driving Directions.”

red d d half

No response.   But the screen changed slightly, so I gave it my desired address.   “820 Spring Street,  ***(town),   (****state). “

“I can’t help you.”

No “sorry.”    No “I didn’t get that,  please say your destination again.”    Just:  “I can’t help you.”

This time I try:  “Eight Twenty  Spring Street,  ***(town),   (****state). ”

“I can’t find 820 Spring Street,”  which is odd because it’s the address of a rather large high school!

I did “something” to the phone with my finger – but as I did so I noticed the map with my “desired address”  at the top.   It also showed a street map,  it said 5.5 miles to my destination,  and a route marked out with a GREEN line, not blue like in that picture,   and my location marked with a little GREEN circle.

In the fading daylight, in unfamiliar traffic,  I was supposed to keep track of a green circle moving along a green line.   Google had stopped talking to me after its initial verbal refusal, so no one was telling me when and where to turn.

The end.

I got to the concert.  It was really fun for all of us.  I’m home.    My insomnia kicked in last night so I’m going on one and a half hours of sleep today . . .  still going . . .  I expect some human “equipment failure of a personal kind,   anytime in the near future.

I can handle that.

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GREATEST MOVIE!

January 9, 2018

Just want to alert you all to a really great movie that I saw today.  I don’t see many,  but I sure am glad I saw this one.

wc

It is Darkest Hour,  a study of Winston Churchill in 1940 as he and the British government (and people)  came to terms with the very real threat presented by Hitler – who up to that time was seen by intellectuals  as an aid against Bolshevism.  At times it seemed that Winston Churchill was the only one who saw the threat clearly and knew that Britain had to fight – and was the last nation standing against Hitler which could do so.

But how to convince others of that?

Churchill himself had a long and not entirely successful public career.    He was known for his big failures and bad judgment.   On the other hand,  he showed exceptional courage and determination in many circumstances.   His speaking manner was brash, blunt, to the point,  painfully honest and uncompromising.   But he was right about Hitler and his qualities were very much needed at the time.

He also had a sense of humor,  the kind that takes you unawares and will knock the legs out from under you, metaphorically speaking.   I found that I agreed with his take on many things and his humorous, hyperbolic way of saying it.

wc apple

I agree,   for instance,  wholeheartedly with this statement of his.

I don’t know if your parents or grandparents or great-grandparents lived during these times and participated in  WWII and passed on any knowledge to you,    but I do know that we need to know about that generation and how they obtained the moral fortitude to recognize and defeat the enemy.

We, alive today,  need to know them and understand them!    This movie can contribute greatly to our knowledge of what it takes to live in this world.    We may need to have this knowledge to use as our guide and our model  when our times become undeniably dangerous.

bombs

God grant we never have to face such a serious threat –  but then again God doesn’t help a a nation that has deliberately turned away from Him.      A society made of a few good souls and a lot of bad souls will lose in the end,  but maybe a movie like this can teach us a thing or two — because the bombs fall on the good and bad alike.

On the way home from the movie I stopped by my little library and found this book:

wc book

 

It’s turning out to be a very good one, a very valuable one.   Yes, the character and personality and persistence of Winston Churchill really was a deciding factor leading his nation into the painful and costly pathway to victory.

The book itself explains the situation in more depth and fills out the characters that were seen in the movie.   Very satisfying to know these times more deeply.

So,  highly recommended:  Darkest Hour

Highly recommended;   The Churchill Factor

Highly recommended:    To look at reality,  to learn the truth,  to act according to the Truth.

Anything less is a Neville Chamberlain type of postponement of  inevitable disaster.   The world doesn’t fix itself by compromising .

FOOD, FOOD, AND NOT-FOOD

November 28, 2017

Well, “from the sublime to the ridiculous,”  as the saying goes . . . .

This is a PROTEST POST!

I hope you all have had a very nice Thanksgiving Day.   This is about the time when leftovers are finally gone in this house.    The dinner turned out very nicely;  everything tasted so good,  the leftovers were good . . .  all these days . . .  the leftovers were enough!  Enough, already!

Maybe part of the reason the traditional food tasted so good is that I used nearly all organic meat and vegetables.   Real food.  Real taste.  I resent the fact that I have to spend so much more to get that real food,  but in the end, it’s worth it.   I no longer dare to feed my body with the chemical concoctions that are called “food”  today.

But.

shrimp

But I wanted a little change from the taste of turkey and turkey-related leftovers,  so I bought a little package of shrimp.   I know they’re bottom feeders,  garbage eaters, and they pick up all the chemical wash that slides down into the ocean bottom –  But, anyway.

I didn’t even buy shrimp that I had to clean and trim and cook;  I bought kind of ready-made shrimp,   chemical breading and all.

But.   Another but.  I didn’t really get shrimp.

Food mush

I got  Mush.  Shrimp mush, I guess.   I re-read the package, and it said “Shrimp” – not “shrimp pieces” or “minced shrimp.”    It said Shrimp.    I like to pick off the breading, but when I did this it seemed to be all white mush inside.    Didn’t taste much like shrimp either.

I re-re-read the package, and I looked harder at the stuff:

Food Worm

See those two white parallel lines?

Have you ever gone hunting for night crawlers, walking around on your lawn at night with a flashlight, and then you see the big worm and snatch it up and put it in your pail so someone can go fishing?

Well, those two parallel lines are about the size and thickness of a night crawler.  As near as I can tell,  those are the shrimp.   Except tasteless.

I went hungry tonight, a little bit.  At least I didn’t have my “treat.”

Where’s George Soros when you need him?   Where’s his Antifa?     I really think we ought to be out protesting this kind of stuff on our grocery shelves!

Should I show you the package so you know what to avoid?

Okay,  but so I don’t insult any Big Food Corp.,  I’ll blur out the label:

Food Pkg

Hah!

CAVEAT EMPTOR !!!!

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FALL FOLLIES

November 17, 2017

Follies –    foiled.      That’s me.

I thought it was pretty smart to keep the  sliding glass doors  locked so no one sneaks into the house through the back deck.

I thought it was pretty smart to lock the front door when I’m doing yard work.   It prevents the suburban burglars from making a quick stop, an entry, and a grab, while the homeowner is out working on her lawn.

leaves

 

I thought I was pretty smart   to close down the garage door so the leaves wouldn’t blow into the garage as I raked and dragged the leaves down the 150-foot pathway that crosses the garage opening, in the  wind.

Traped
And then I had to go into the house . . . use the facilities, you  know;  and all I had was a rake and a radio and a small pair of gloves.

All those smart moves had led up to the dumbest thing a homeowner can do:  lock herself out of her own house.

After a few – quite a few – panicked minutes, wondering which window I should break,  I tried a door that we rarely ever use,  the sliding glass doors leading into the basement, two stories below.     (An unlocked basement door – burglars love it!)

Unlocked!!! 

I unlock every door now before I pick up my rake these days.

burglar in door

Prime target for a burglary.

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Pretty smart, huh?

WEEKEND HUMOR

October 27, 2017

Thought I’d take a little break from Hoax Week postings. and try a little Weekend Humor.

Well,  it’s more like “bathroom humor.”

bathroom sign

That’s the . . .  you know,  the toilet tank in the restroom of the building where I have my Friday morning class.   Not sure why the photo came out so yellow,  but I always wanted to share this picture.

A little “intimidating”  to have a sign like that on your toilet tank –

bathroom sign focused

 

I’m sure we’ll all try.

 

(Humor is where you find it.)

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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.

 

 

 

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  . . .)

______________________________________________

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!

_____________________________________________

.*     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.

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.

NOW I CAN LAUGH

February 8, 2017

evil-computer-screen

I live in a computer world.   I live in my computer’s world.

I like all my “devices” –  PC, laptops, cell phone, tablet,  eReaders.

 

But it’s a precarious world to live in because we’re just not used to a world where there is no reality but digital reality,  there is no privacy but illusion of privacy, and there is only very flimsy digital safety.

So, on Monday,  I had a “digital visitor.”

computer-terrible-visitor

It happened like this:  I had a couple browsers open and a few windows  in each browser.   (asking for trouble, I guess.)    Up-to-date virus protection and  frequently used anti-malware program,  affording me that illusion of safety.   I was on the other side of the room, talking on the phone,  when all of a sudden my computer started talking to me!

Your computer has been compromised and all your data is gone and you have to   —  ”

Boom!    I leapt over to the computer and pulled the plug.   All the plugs I could find.   And stared at the blank screen,   shuddering.

Bye bye, all my  data.

evil-flying-awaya-papers

I had been in the middle of a big project, collecting ALL my photos from every source possible,   putting them into my PC;  collecting all my research and studies and class lesson plans and interesting articles and . . .  everything, every information bit I had.  The plan was to put them up in the cloud, into thumb drives,  into an external hard drive, etc. etc.      because —

word-to-the-wise

—  because I’m “pretty smart!”          ( back up back up back up)       Redundant back-ups.       

But I was taking my time.      I didn’t get to the actual backing up stage.    “Stupid.”

Although I wanted to call “a computer ambulance”  right away,  I had a four-hour delay because I had to go to class first . . .(sorry guys for my inattention)  . . .   and remained reverberating inside with that shuddering fear of what might have just happened.

Finally –

computer-tech-magic

–    I got my PC and my laptops to my  computer doctor – and he did some . . .magic, maybe,  and he looked inside at everything and blandly told me, “I can’t find anything wrong.”                I made him search again.   And again.

Until I believed him.

He said that pulling all the plugs right away like that “probably stopped the installation of the encryption of your data.”      Or maybe it was just one of those Scare Windows.

I don’t care which.   I don’t  know what he did:

computer-tech-shirt

I just love my Computer Tech Guy.

Don’t call this an “anti-climactic” ending to the story.   I will remember this scare for many years to come.    ALL of ME  in that PC.     So close to being –  gone.

Lessons learned?    (back up back up back up)  —

just-do-it

I will.   And I will also start living a little less connected to the Internet.    Back to thinking with my own brain.   Writing with my own hand.   I am a visual-tactile learner anyway;    I love pens and pencils and colored pencils and the “living flow” of meaning from the words I’m writing to the thoughts I’m thinking.   The keyboard divides me from my thoughts.

I’ve made more resolutions this week than I ever had on New Year’s!!

Yeah.  Lessons learned.   Nerves almost back to normal.   Good humor almost restored.   I can laugh –  well, not yet at this little incident,   but I can find the humor in all the changes that computers have wrought.

Here’s one for you:

computer-humor-a-little-socrates

Yep.  The computers have changed the way we think about ourselves!

“Know thyself.”

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.

FUN WITH TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA

January 13, 2017

(Traveling  anywhere today?  Avoiding ladders and black cats? )

I wasn’t sure if this was Fake News or not.  You know,  “click bait.”     But I was finished with the news and thought I’d have a little fun.  At the Daily Mail!   –  always an entertaining, sometimes informative place to visit (as long as you don’t “look to the right”!)

So, here’s a screen shot from FlightAware of a passenger flight today —

flight

Copenhagen to Helsinki, on Finnish Airways.   Flight # 666.   On Friday the Thirteenth.  Going to  HEL, according to the flight controllers.     (That would be: Helsinki.)     It took off at fifteen minutes past noon.  That would be the thirteenth hour of the day;  13:15

Oh,  and the airplane itself is 13 years old!

How fun!

I didn’t really really trust the Daily Mail article so I went to FlightAware and looked it up myself.  Here’s the info from that page,  just after it landed:

Finnair 666
FIN666 / AY666
Arrived 37 minutes ago
Terminal 2

We redesigned our Flight Page. Check out the updated features!
 
 
CPH Copenhagen, Denmark
HEL Vantaa, Finland
left Terminal 2 Copenhagen – CPH
arrived at  Terminal 2
Helsinki-Vantaa – HEL
Friday 13-Jan-2017 01:07PM CET
(8 minutes early)

Guess it made it —  and early too!

Those Finns!

Hubbie would be proud.

 

 

“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!

 

 

DEC. 19 – SOME THINGS YOU KNOW

December 19, 2016

December 19th,  you know the Electors voted for  Trump to be our next president.

You know that H.er  R.oyal  C.lintoness received  “the most” popular votes.

You know that if you take away the votes cast for her in just one state,  California,  that Donald Trump received the most popular votes (in the remaining 49 states).

And that’s why this country is not a Democracy,  but a Republic and why we elect our president through the Electoral College system.     (Genius)

Did you know that Russia *  affected the outcome of our election??????

We got proof! –

ps-note

 

Observations from The Spruce Tunnel:  a/k/a  Flyover Country.

.* (Thanks and credit to someone who copied and pasted and copied that from a                      re-retweeted, retweeted Tweet.)