Aug 31

Crackers, horses, and knots.

Say CheezIt.

CheezIts.  Who thought up that name, I wonder.   No matter tonight.  Here is the thing.  As little cheesy snack crackers go…. the CheezIt is okay.  Quite adequate.    But I much prefer the Tidbit.  I like the taste exponentially better.  And the shape is more interesting by far.

And wouldn’t you know it?  People don’t talk about CheezIts in every day conversations.  No.  No, I tell you.  It is the Tidbit.  Sure.  You’ve ALL heard it before……..  “Oh boy Marge…. do I EVER have a TIDBIT for YOU.”

And in that sense, we are not talking about cheese crackers at all.
So on with the show.  Tonight…. some Tidbits for you.

I am a fan of the sports teams from Pittsburgh for some reason.   But here is a little deal I didn’t know…..  The Pittsburgh Pirates were originally known as the Pittsburgh Alleghenies.   As sure as I’m sitting here.
But…. back in 1880…. those Alleghenies apparently stole  away second-baseman Louis Bierbauer from the Philadelphia Athletics.   So, a local newspaper called the team “a bunch of pirates.” The nickname suited them just fine, and they have been flying the Jolly Roger ever since.

This is doubly good for me.  I like pirates too.  It is a must… if you live in Charleston, SC.

Okay…. let’s go from one good scandal to the next.   And what better for scandals… than U.S. Presidents.    Just when you thought there might be a few left withOUT a scandal… think again.   The Big Daddy of them all… the Original George.

You see…. as president, George Washington pulled in a salary of $25K a year.   Now back then… that was a chunk of change.  It is  roughly $1 million today.
Who wouldn’t like that kind of green.  Especially with your own face on it?  So….. Georgie was pretty dang excited by his new found purchasing power.  As such,  Washington started living it up, reportedly buying leopard-skin robes for all his horses and spending seven percent of his income on alcohol.  George, George, George.  Booze and leopard skins?

And.  Speaking of horses.  I love a good horse race.  Specifically, I am very fond of The Kentucky Derby.  I am also pretty keen on the early North American explorers… that team of Lewis and Clark.  So.   Imagine my surprise when I discovered that The Kentucky Derby was the brainchild of Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. He was the grandson of William Clark (of Lewis and Clark fame).

AND…. he was a pirate.  Okay… just jerking around about the pirate thing.

But all of this should go to prove my original point.  We weren’t talking CheezIts here.  No way. No how.   We were definitely sharing a few Tidbits, indeed.  Ahhhh.  The far superior Tidbit.

They make you smile and say Cheeeeez.

“Every natural fact is a symbol of some spiritual fact.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

AND a HUGE PS …. a Tidbit which makes me smile…..

Flower girls traditionally threw flower petals in the bride’s path to lead her to a sweet, plentiful future.

So tonight… I AM Polly the Flower Girl.  Wishing two of my favorite brides… Lynda & Barbara…. a sweet and plentiful future.  After 25 years of loving one another… I am so joyful you finally are able… to tie the knot.  Congratulations.

 

Aug 30

Looped

The thing

Like this coil, such is life, I think.
Our place in the world, and with others.
The parts of this, the rings, are very close to another. Yet, they appear never to touch.  That is how it seems to be.

But as we know with this coil….  or more succinctly…. as the coil knows about itself … it truly is connected.  All one entity.  Yes…. one great big thingamabob.

All the rings are simply a continuation of the next.  Each one different and unique in its own right.  But at the same time, they are all together, they have many similarities, and all….. a part of the bigger whole.  A continuum.

So.  That is what I see in the handle of a camping grill.  Tomorrow night… the secret life of harmonicas.

“The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we’ve lived a thousand lives before this one, and in each of them we’ve found each other” – Unknown

Aug 29

Floating. At the Speed of Light.

Bored.  Outa my gourd.

As seasons get ready to change, from one to the next, it seems that I always get preoccupied with them.  “Oh how I hate for Summer to go.”  “Winter is around the corner…. bllllllecccchhhhh.”

Truth be told, the Autumn Equinox isn’t until September 22.  So we still have about 24 days of Summer left.  Yet… everyone roasts a hotdog on Labor Day weekend, knocks back some suds…. and calls it a wrap.

Well NOT me.  I am hanging on to every stinking last day of Summer that I can.

You know.  Summer brings things.

Things I like.  You know……. cookouts, and swimming, and the great outdoors.  Flowers and wildlife.  The color green.  We get more energetic in the Summer.  People get in shape during the Summer.  Frisbees come out.  And Corn Hole.

We have Parades and Fairs and Festivals in the Summer.  Corndogs, and Circus Waffles, for crying out loud.  Yessir.  Good old summer.

I noticed a lot this past season.  Especially about Parades, as I attended a few.  Here is the big thing.  Kids THINK they want to be in Parades.  But.  the cold hard truth is this.  They don’t.  Parades are pretty dang boring…. really.  And once a kid gets in a Parade…. they regret it from start to finish.  They are miserable.

They say over and over in their little heads…. “When the heck can I get off this stupid flatbed truck?  And what are those confounded people waving at?  This is more boring…. way more boring than math class.”

I guess it could be that some of them are just hitching a ride some place.  But…… Riding on the parade float is the big lie for most of those kids.  There is WAY more going on in math class.   Or better yet.  Physics.

E=mc2
Yes.  Energy equals mass times the speed of light, squared.
No speed of light in parades.
Just ask those little masses on the backs of the floats.

 

Lots of times you have to pretend to join a parade in which you’re not really interested in order to get where you’re going. – Christopher Morely

Aug 28

Seasoned Just Right.

Leafy

Wouldn’t it be something if they called Autumn…. “Drop” instead of “Fall”….. ?  This I ask you.

I mean.  Who came up with “Fall” anyway?

We call Winter, Winter.  Not “Slushy” or “Frosty”.
And Spring… is of course Spring.   No “Boingy” or “Pop-Up-Out-Of-The-Ground.”
Summer.  Oh.  My favorite Summer.  How about “Balmish” or “Toasty”?  Or “Sunny-Go-Lightly”?  Yeahhhhhhh.

But Autumn.  Fall.  Pretty much one in the same. Yepperooni.

It is the season with two names.  I think for a name… I like “Stagger” better.  Or “All Tripped Up”…..   but Fall sounds so dang permanent.

I mean…. it seems dismal and sad.  Like things are shriveling up and dying on tree branches, or something.

Oh wait.  They are.   The Leaves.

Now why do they call them Leaves.  Like… are they going somewhere… exiting?  Taking a hike….?  Vamoooooose?

Leaves.

Why not call them…. …..
Hmmmmm. … … ….. Maybe “Path Seekers”

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Aug 27

Horton. Can you hear me?

little ball

How small are we?
We surely don’t have a thing… on any of the Who’s in Whoville.  I’ll tell you that much right now  And who the heck knows who our Horton is……
Seriously.  We are miniscule.  Little. Itsy-Bitsier than the spider on the downspout.

Oh we humans.  We have a sun,  oh yes we do.  BIG sun.  And 9 planets, well 8 planets now… circle the deal.  Our Solar System.

But consider this…..  we are just a little piece of that old Galactic Candy Bar… The Milky Way.

According to Astronomers (and THEY would know), our Milky Way is an average-sized spiral galaxy.  Average…. meaning it measures….. up to 120,000 light-years across.
Our Sun is located about 27,000 light-years from the galactic core….. in the Orion arm of all that mess.

And those same pesky Astronomers estimate that the Milky Way contains up to 400 billion stars of various sizes and brightness.  Little reminder…. Our SUN is ONE of those STARS.

There are spiral galaxies out there with more than a trillion stars, and giant elliptical galaxies with 100 trillion stars.

And there are tiny dwarf galaxies with a fraction of our number of stars.

Yeah..  And get this….. there are probably more than 170 billion galaxies in the observable Universe.

And here we are.  On a little blue ball…. in all of that.
And most of us little humans think we are the ONLY life forms.
Heck.  Some little humans think that the universe revolves around them.

Oh.  It is easy to get “caught up” in all the daily “thickness” of our lives.  That is what we know.  It is…. after all… our existence.

I do it.  You do it.  We all do it.  Our world is formed by our own perception of it.  A very strange phenomenon…. that we have these 7 trillion perspectives  buzzing around…. bumping in to one another.

Sometimes though…..  I find it necessary every now and again, to realize just how small I am…. in the bigger scheme of things.  One in 7 trillion…..  on a ball spinning around a star….. one of 170 billion stars…..
…. as I look up into the dark of the night sky.

“On a cosmic scale, our life is insignificant, yet this brief period when we appear in the world is the time in which all meaningful questions arise.” – Paul Ricoeur

Aug 26

Photo Finish.

The Race

As a society, we put WAY too much emphasis on the horse race.

Why horses, I ask you?  Now don’t get me wrong.  I love a good horse race.  The Kentucky Derby, and the whole Triple Crown, is right up my alley.  In fact… I wear Jockey Underwear for Women.
THAT is how much I like horse racing.

But back to the original question.  Why horses.

Now I have long been a proponent of the Cow Races.  It has been no secret here, if you have read my column for very long at all.  Geez, how I love a good Cow Race.  And those cows, I’ll tell you.  They do away with all the Pomp and Circumstance.

Heck.  Drive down any country road, on any given day… and you will be sure to find a cow race.

Here is the thing though.  What about other animals?  Greyhounds.  Sure. But I feel so bad for that poor little rabbit.  I say we do away with…. TOTALLY do away with… those pesky Greyhound races.

BUT.  Have you ever seen a Groundhog run?  I’ll tell you.  It is the cutest dang thing you’ve ever watched in your life.   Cuter than a Baby Contest in Goodlooks, USA.

Those Groundhogs are a little bit on the….. um…… “thick” side.  So when they run…. they….. uhhhnnnnn….. welll….. they jiggle.  And before you know it… when they are in an all out sprint, they look like a bowl of furry jelly in a centrifuge … as they bound across a lawn.

And they make a noise… like…. “Ogggggidy.  Oggggidy. Ogggidy.”

Oooooooh. It IS CUTE!

And to carry this another step.  People don’t like Groundhogs on their property.  So we go around.. and LIVE TRAP them.  We take them to the Groundhog Race-Training-Camp.  We get them into racing shape…. make little  racing-tank-tops with numbers on them… brightly colored, of course.
And… we are off to the races.

Now if this sounds profoundly brilliant to you, please sign the petition below for…. “I support Groundhog Racing Project 2013”

We thank you for your support.  Oggggidy.

1. __________________________________________
2. __________________________________________
3. __________________________________________
and so on… and so on….

 

“You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else.” – Albert Einstein

Aug 25

All in Premble County. Premble.

CN

Some really good things happened today.
Here are just a few of the highlights.

1.  I had the chance to see some friends I hadn’t seen in a while.  It is the same with them.  And that is good.
2. Ate a really good cheeseburger.  It was sloppy.  I used at least four napkins.
3. Spent some time in the great outdoors.  Whoever called it the GREAT Outdoors was really thinking, I’ll tell you.  Really thinking.
4. Had the good fortune to meet a dog named Sophie.  She has a job & is very skilled at it.  Therapist. AND…… Just as cute as a little snarled-tooth Poodle.  Oh.  Wait.  She IS a snarled-tooth poodle.  Sweet Dr. Sophie.
5. I went to an AMAZING Carrie Newcomer Concert at the Preble County Historical Society Amphitheater.  Also known as Premble County.  The music was tremendous.  Good for the heart.  Good for the soul.
6. Today, I have the ability to see.  To smell, hear, touch, taste.  To think, and speak, and sing.  What treasures.  What gifts.
7. AND.  I continue to grow older and share life with someone who keeps driving lower and lower than the speed limit…. and babbles more and more all the time.  Now THIS…. is especially good.

These are a few of my favorite things.

“When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That’s my religion.” – Abraham Lincoln

Aug 25

Free Ride

Ticket Booth

 

Frederick Alan McDougall was the inventor of the Ticket Booth.  In Jansen, Kansas.  1848.

Which brings me to this.

Tonight…. I don’t have a thing to say.  Nadda.

So I am issuing full refunds.  Rain Checks.  A week of Free Tickets for subscribers to Project 16,010.  And a sincere apology for my lack of inventiveness this evening.

 

You see… while I was finishing my last Mount Rushmore Ice Carving for the day… I got a phone call.  When I returned to the ice carving with my chain saw, I forgot to put my Sock Monkey Hat back on.  I was putting the final touches on Teddy’s Teeth, and Abe’s nose, when I realized.. NO Sock Monkey Hat.  But that time it was too late.  I had Brain Freeze.

So, as you see…. as a result  ….. … I don’t really have any funny stories to relay… or anything.

 

Hence.  The REFUND Ticket for you and you and you.

 

 

AND… if you are one of those bottom-dwelling, blood-sucking, sneaky-butts….. who read this thing for FREE every night….

DON’T think I don’t know WHO you are.  I can see you through the computer screen.  I can.  (You shouldn’t drink anything while you are right over your keyboard like that… by the way.)

 

“Lying just for the fun of it is either art or pathology.” – Mason Cooley

 

 

 

Aug 23

Listen. Up.

Get the chair

Meditation (and / or prayer) is about slowing ourselves down.  In this we way…. we might be able to hear what our spirit is trying to tell us.

A big part of meditation is listening.   It is listening to nothing, and everything.  Our spirit is a very quiet sound inside us. To hear it we must quiet ourselves.

To stop.  To empty.  And to listen.

When we are able to slow down, we can then find our center.  Our center of being.  And as we do this…. we discover our placidity ….. our spirit and our Higher Power.

Today…. I am just asking the universe to teach me to quiet my mind.

“A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.” – Bertrand Russell

“The good and the wise lead quiet lives.” – Euripides 

Aug 22

Steamy…

Apple Mac

I, for one, think the good old Pressure Cooker has been overlooked in our culture’s culinary experience.  We just don’t appreciate the Pressure Cooker anymore.    Nope.  Not at all.

Some people….. … especially here in the U.S….. still use a large Pressure Cooker for canning.  Hence, it’s name…. the good old Pressure Canner.  It is designed, specifically to hold jars.  I think it should be Jarring foods, not canning.

But back to the real McCoy.  The Pressure Cooker… which I might add.. was known as the first PC.   (Where as the real McCoy… was referred to as  the first Mac.)  But back on track now.

The PC has been around for quite some time now.  A guy named Denis… YEP… Denis Papin invented it.  He was French.  And he came up with the idea way, way, way back …. around 1678.  Seriously.   Leave it to the French.  Today is Denis’ birthday.   August 22.  1647.  Good pals with Isaac Newton.  Well.  Sort of.

Denis did a bunch of experimenting with steam devices.  And THAT….. makes me wonder why he chose steam to work with of all things.  To see a painting of this guy… well…. he looks more like a knitter to me.  At any rate….

The PC.  Pressure Cooker.  I don’t think folks use them too often anymore.  I’m not sure why.    It is the process of cooking food, using water in a sealed vessel…. AND….. it  does not permit air or liquids to escape below a pre-set pressure. It cooks food quicker than conventional cooking methods, which also saves energy.

I guess you could cook vegetables in it… or even steam fruits…. like apples.  Maybe soups?  I have no idea what you are REALLY supposed to fix in a PC.  I think apples would be best.  It fits in with the aforementioned Mac.  And Isaac Newton.

My only guess is that it isn’t convenient.  And THAT is why it fell by the wayside.

But the name is catchy.

Especially in sports and such.  “Folks…. we got a real Pressure Cooker on our hands.”

Some days… I guess all of us might feel like we have something in the Pressure Cooker.    And the only way to make it stop cooking, cooking, cooking… is to blow off a little steam.

“Pressure is something you feel when you don’t know what the hell you’re doing.” – Peyton Manning