Dec 31

Or Not.

Limey

Well. Happy New Year.

Ringing in the NEW is what this is all about…. or…. I am told. I am never quite sure what the hubbub is about the New Year.

To me…. it is sort of like the birthday thing. One day it is the 28th. And then you wake up and the next day is the 29th. Nothing has changed significantly in the scheme of things. One day has passed. That is all. It ticked. And then…. it tocked.

Birthdays. New Years. And such.  Just one more minute.

Sure…. we humans set up this whole time-keeping thing. Calendars and clocks. Yet…. as the planet goes… we do our rotations around the sun… so we started keeping track. Days. Weeks. Months. Years. Whirling through space. And time I suppose.

So on to a newer year than the last one.

And a New Year tradition is to make some kind of a resolution.

A Resolution. A word which is defined as… …… a firm decision to do or not to do something.

A firm decision to do or not to do.
So here is to a year of “to-doing” or “not to-doing” depending on your spin on things.

And we are all spinning round and round the sun. One day at a time.
Happy New Year.  May it be filled with “not” lemons.   Or limes. Seriously. Or not.

 

Okay.  Seriously.

Happy New Year to you ALL!

Dec 30

Ups and Downs

Clouds

Isn’t it a matter of where you are standing really? How we see things?

Yep. It depends on where your perspective lies.

Take clouds for instance. From the ground they are beautiful, and majestic. Some days are better white-fluffy-cloud-days than others. Some days you can spot fluffy white rabbits eating carrots… or snowmen… or big billowy turtles… high in the sky. Somedays are grayer.

But. Get up in a plane and the clouds look ALL together different from above. They look like miles and miles of cotton balls…. or white, lumpy ice-cream…. or some kind of weird snowy alien planet surface.

Perspective.  It changes everything.

I was reminded of this twice again on the plane.

The first….

Inside the plane, there was a baby crying a few seats back. Crying. Sobbing. Crying.

Right behind me was a little girl with her Dad. As the plane was taking off… she started repeating…. over and over….. LOUDLY…. get me off of this plane. I don’t want to be on this plane. I want to go home…. I want MY MOMMY.

And in the seat directly in front of me was a woman…. with a cat… in a carrier. The cat meowed… again… and again. And again.

All three of those passengers sounded much different in their audibles. But the translation? They were ALL saying the same exact thing. Get me off of this plane. I want to go home. I want my Mommy.

Finally, on the plane… reading an article in The Week Magazine. Same idea. The Left Extremists vs. The Right Extremists. Both think they are right. Both think the others are terribly misinformed. Some even think the other is evil. Yet they each can only see from their point of view. They cannot EVEN consider the others. Not even to listen.

Perhaps… we need a little more of the “Seeing things from both sides now” idea. Flip the coin. Change the place where you stand. Trying on the shoes of another.

Be the baby. Then the kid.  Then the cat.

Perhaps.

Different perspectives. Different translations.

Same basic idea.

 

“There are no facts, only interpretations.”   ― Friedrich Nietzsche

Dec 29

It all falls down.

12-28-2013--barn

We’ve all had days like that. You know the ones.

Somedays….we just find things out which are terribly, terribly upsetting to us. For me… this was one of those days.

It started out when Mary informed me that they no longer put prizes in the Cracker Jack boxes. WHAT???????!!!!!!!! How could this be? Nonsense… I said.

I ran out the door and drove directly to town…. where I purchased a half a dozen or so…. Cracker Jack boxes.

Nary a toy.  Not a Cracker Jack Whistle, a Lucky Duck Pinball Game, a decoder ring, or a Safari Helmet Charm.  Nothing.
This….. is a sad dark day to be sure.

Next. What do I learn? I find out that Justin Bieber has 57 Million Facebook Followers. You have got to be kidding me. Fifty Seven Million? Anyone who just writes… and then sings…. baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, over and over and over again…. can’t possible have 57 million followers. What is wrong with these followers? Certainly they have no John Lennon sense. No Peter, Paul, and Mary vibe. No The Who. Not even Horton Hears a Who.

Argggghhhh.

And today. Ahhh…. it will be okay. It is Football Sunday. And I love football Sunday.

And miracle of miracles…. we only need four games to go a certain way for the Steelers to make it in to the playoffs. Well… it started great. Steelers won. Ravens lost. Miami lost. Wahoooooooo. Now. All we need is for my 2nd favorite team… the KC Chiefs to beat San Diego. Ugh. Chargers win in overtime. 27-24.

Somedays… it feels like the Pillsbury Dough Boy is burning the cookies on purpose.
It feels like the Roadrunner is slowing down for Wile E. Coyote. It feels like Snap, Crackle and Pop…. have changed their names to Crap, Hackle, and Clop.

Heck… what’s next?   They’ll write Zeva’s character off NCIS?

Surely then….. it would all comes tumbling down.

No toy in Cracker Jacks?  That’s bad enough.
The world is going to hell in a handbaskst I’ll tell you. We are sliding down that slippery, slippery slope.

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Confucius

 “The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just.” – Abraham Lincoln

Dec 28

The Funny Farm

Dogey

Maxine told me that she would like to give Stand-Up Comedy a try. I encourage my little Pallies to follow their dreams. So I took her to Open-Mic Night at the Eidson Road Field.  Yeah.  For lack of anything better… they call it “The Funny Farm.”

At any rate, I thought she was pretty dang hilarious.  I mean…. a LOT of the other animals were laughing.  Even the chickens were cackling.

Why don’t cats play poker in the jungle? Too many cheetahs.
What is a cat’s way of keeping law & order? Claw Enforcement.
Did you hear about the cat who swallowed a ball of wool? She had mittens.
What do you call the cat that was caught by the police? The purrpatrator.
Why is the cat so grouchy? Because he’s in a bad mewd.
What do cats like to eat for breakfast? Mice Krispies.

And right about then… the heckling started.

“Hey you dumb mutt. Why don’t you stick to barking? You are putting me in such a bad mood…. I’ll throw up Mice Head Krispies all over your stage. I’ve seen hair balls funnier than you.  You want a mouthful of these mittens…. huh….huh?”

A dang dog-hating-cat was in the audience.

Needless to say… Max was dejected and heartbroken.

A budding young canine comedian…. stifled by one lone cat-heckler.  Since that time….. she’s been a real Terrier, I’ll tell you.

It is hard to be a funny dog some days.  Especially in a world of un-funny cats.

Max now tells me that she wants to be an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil.

 

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.”  – William Arthur Ward

 

Dec 27

From butts to beards…

12-27-2013--bunns

I come across these little tidbits here and there…. now and again. So tonight… I ask you…..have you thought about this…. or perhaps that…. lately?

In 2012, 2,681 women received buttock lifts, and 746 got buttock implants, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Report. Believe it or not… these numbers are down a little since 2011. It would appear that butt lifts are down….

But don’t look down. Look up. Since its discovery in 1930, Pluto has traveled only a third of its way around the Sun. Slow mover…. or really big orbit?

Opposite of slow is fast. What is faster growing than Facebook? Not much. There are 10,000 times as many photographs on Facebook as there are in the US Library of Congress. I am mortified by this.

Okay…. this is better news about fast flyers: Dragonflies flap their wings in a figure-eight motion.

So since we are talking about numbers. I DO like the number eight. 7 & 8 are my favorites. I don’t like number 13. At all.

The composer Arnold Schoenberg was superstitious about the number 13. As 7+6=13 he feared he would die aged 76. And he did: on Friday, July 13, at 13 minutes to midnight. (My Dad died on 3.13.13…. at 12:21)

So planets…. and numbers…. here is more.
William Herschel, discoverer of Uranus, lived to be 84—the same number of years that Uranus takes to orbit the Sun. (A lot less than Pluto… eh?)
 
Speaking of eight…. An octopus can ooze through an opening no bigger than its own eyeball.

And 8. Eight Presidents were from Ohio.

Other variations on the Prez. Every US president with a beard had been Republican. By my count only 5 had beards. Two had mutton chops, but I don’t think that counts.

Finally, one in five buns…. look like a butt. Okay…. I made that one up. But some buns really do look like booties.

I guess that would be it for tonight.. but I’d be remiss without at least one definition. So…..

Gormless….means lacking or stupid.

Yep. Another gormless night at the Old Project 16010.

 “The world is a university and everyone in it is a teacher.  Make sure when you wake up in the morning, you go to school.” – Bishop T. D. Jakes

Dec 26

Build the dam

Tree.  Dam.

Here I go again with this. BUT.

I do the most of the thinking I do with the hemisphere on the right side of my head. That is the part that is the “believer”…. one who thinks in the abstract…. the creative mind… follower of the magical. Emotional.

So while I do have a common sense approach to a lot of things… there are certain items that I like to dream about or examine.

Take Horoscopes. I know a lot of people think they are bunk. And they very well could be… yet I still like to consider that possibility that the way the planets were lined up… at the exact moment I was born…. MIGHT have some effect on how I react to things in life. You know.  Pull of the planets… flow of the tide… orbits of the universe.

Abracadabra…. if you will.

Now, on the regular old Horoscope dial… I am a Taurus the Bull. Lover of comfort. Defender of home. Hard worker. Loyal. Stubborn.

Uhnnnnnn…… THAT is me.

On the Native American Zodiac… I am a Beaver.

In essence, the beaver tells us to believe in our dreams as if they were real. Build on them as if the dream is your reality. (You know… the analogy comes from them building amazing dams… where it didn’t seem possible.)

Animal symbolism of the beaver also deals with working diligently. They say the Beaver gets the job at hand done with maximum efficiency. (See a tree branch…. and envision a dam.)

It continues….” One might also think twice about engaging the Beaver in a match of wits – as his/her mental acuity is razor sharp. ….. Yes, they are usually right, but the bearer of this Native American animal symbol may need to work on tact. In a nurturing environment the Beaver can be compassionate, generous, helpful, and loyal. Left to his/her own devices the Beaver can be nervous, cowardly, possessive, arrogant, and over-demanding.”

Uhnnnnnn…… a bunch of this is right too. Except for the part that I am usually right. Sometimes right. Sometimes left. Sometimes…. plain old WRONG.  I am not sure about the razor sharp deal either.  In fact…. I can be a real dullard.

At any rate. Tonight I feel like there has been more happening around me in life…. that is not right. I am not sure what the planets have to say about all of that.

But here is a real and true fact about Beavers.

They have transparent eyelids so they can see underwater with their eyes shut.

That is what I need in life. Transparent eyelids… so that I can see…. even when my eyes MIGHT be shut.

Oh…. to understand that which I do not.
Sometimes… it just feel like a bunch of bull…. to this beaver.

Dam.

 

If we will be quiet and ready enough, we shall find compensation in every disappointment.  -Henry David Thoreau

Dec 25

New. Improved. Or old…

Socky

It seems as a culture, we are always trying to improve upon things. It is sort of the human way, in this part of the world. If we are doing something a certain way…. certainly there is another method which is slightly better.

As foods go… thing continue to show up on grocery shelves, which is “Better Tasting”… “New Flavor”…. “Crispier”…. “Fluffier”…. “Leaner” and on…

Everything is “New & Improved”…. “Longer Lasting”…. “Faster Acting”….

But a few things have stood the test of time. There are a handful on great inventions which have not changed since their inception.

For instance. Barbed Wire. In the late 1800s…. folks decided they wanted to keep their cows out of their corn. Or keep them from roaming. Well… it took a whole lot of fence to do that. They were made of wood, or stone and such back then.  So… out in Oklahoma…. four guys came up with the idea of barbed wire around 1880… and it hasn’t changed much since.

Bubble Wrap is another invention which hasn’t changed.  Well…. sort of.   It was first designed in the 1950s by a guy named Alfred Fielding. But he thought it would make snazzy three-dimensional wall paper. But alas. People thought the wall paper sucked. So Fielding redirected their plan and made it into packing material. It has been working great since.

Another good one is the Mouse Trap. William C. Hooker is the guy. His invention of the spring-loaded mousetrap came around in 1894. Place the cheese. Catch the mouse. In 1903, John Mast improved on Hooker’s design by making it safer to load and less finger-cracking-snapping.  And today….. we still use his same design.

Finally… the Sock Monkey. There were “stuffed monkeys” around in the Victorian Era… but they weren’t necessarily made of socks. So….. it took John Nelson to come up with the Awesomeness. He was a Swedish immigrant to the United States. Nelson patented the sock-knitting machine in 1869, and began manufacturing work socks in Rockford, Illinois in 1890.

Here is the big news of the night. It happened in 1932. The iconic sock monkeys made from red-heeled socks emerged at the Nelson Knitting Company. They added the trademarked red heel to its product around that time.

Oh sure… there are knock-offs. And different colors… and different types of sock-animals. But the “Original” is the go-to monkey of socks.

And.   That brings me back to the beginning.  

We should find enjoyment in the world regardless.  Some things need “new and improving.”  Other things… are pretty perfect from the very start.

I don’t necessarily think that one is better than the other.  Except for Sock Monkeys.  They are better than mouse traps, barbed wire, and bubble wrap all rolled in to one. Count on it.

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.  – E. B. White”

Dec 24

Four legged teachers.

Good Dog

If only humans were as smart as dogs.

We could learn a learn a thing or two from our four legged friends.

About love, and kindness.

Dogs seem to keep the spirit of Christmas in their hearts all the year around. And they’ve never once gone shopping at Walmart, or at Tiffany’s.

Their presents come from the heart. Every time.

In our lives…. it is especially good…. when OUR gifts begin with love and kindness .

Merry Christmas Everyone.
From my heart…..

But groundless hope, like unconditional love, is the only kind worth having. – John Perry Barlow

Dec 23

Ho. Ho. Grinch.

Ho. Ho. Hi.

Most would expect that I would write something about Christmas… since we are very close to the matter at hand. Yet. I probably won’t. I have never been a big fan of Christmas. I don’t care for those sappy Holiday songs. And that Elf on the Shelf Dude. That little fella’ just creeps me out.

I like the other, more notable Holidays. Like “All Architects Day” of the “Celebration of the Independence of Boat-Bottom Painters”…. to name just a couple.

But Christmas. Well.

I guess at some point I probably liked Christmas. Actually, now that I think back to when I was a kid…. I sure did look forward to the date. The anticipation of Santa Claus… riding his sleigh through the winter night sky. I swear…. when I was about 7 years old… I thought I heard the bells of the reindeer jingling in the frozen silence of my bedroom.

Oh. The cookies. I loved the Christmas Cookies… and candies. We would get a box of Esther Price Candy every year. I never was privy to the coding of the chocolate swirls on top. So I would always get stuck with the gross solid fudge nothing-squishy chocolate. My favorite were the light chocolate butter creams.

Mom and Dad always made a big deal of hanging our stockings by the chimney with care. We each had our own…. they were made of felt and had our names on them in sparklies. We would get it filled twice. One on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception (or also St. Nick’s Day)…. and then again on Christmas morning. I loved this.

And having Hot Chocolate first thing in the morning. Actually… the whole day seemed to be a feasting melee. My favorite meal of the year.. .. because we always had ham, cheesy potatoes and green bean casserole. This was manna from heaven for me.

But the opening of the presents. Now that was party time. It was just a free for all. Find the presents with your name on them and have at it. The wrapping paper would fly through the air like feathers from a busted pillow. There was no looking back once things got rolling.

I don’t remember many of my presents. But there were a few standouts. My first magic trick. I loved that. Then a few years later… I got a whole magic set. Presto. Chang-o. I was a magician.

Of course I always loved my Dr. Seuss books. And my Curious George books too. They were magical. I would read them and go far, far away.

The year I got the Time Machine was awesome too. But that doesn’t happen for another 8 years or so.

But probably the thing that intrigued me the most was the whole notion of Santa Claus, his family… and all his little minions… up there at the North Pole….. tinkering away in the workshop. The Flying Reindeer. The Abominable Snowman and Dennis the Dentist. It all seemed so magical to me.   And I am pretty sure that I have always loved magic.

At any rate… I am not going to write about Christmas. Everyone is blogging about it right now. And since I was never very big on the actual holiday…. and I can’t stand blogs….

Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store. – Dr. Seuss

12-23-2013--christmastree

Dec 22

High Rise

creeking

Our road was more like a rushing creek today. This part of the world took a soaking. A big old bath. Cry me a river.

The rains came… and stayed.  Who knows how this whole business started….
They may have come from Spain, on a plane. On a plane.

Yes… those raindrops kept falling on my head. But that doesn’t mean my eyes would soon be turnin’ red … No… crying’s not for me.
No amount of complaining was going to stop the rain yesterday. Just like Tina Turner… it got to a point where I couldn’t stand the rain.. falling on my window.

But instead of getting sad… I started singing.
Singing in the Rain.  Just Singing in the Rain…. It was a glorious feeling.

Before I knew it… I was… happy again.

And this morning when I woke up… I really sang it loud and proud…

It ain’t gonna rain no more… no more. It ain’t gonna rain no more.

But it was a little too late. There was rain everywhere.
Raindrops on roses… and heck… even whiskers on kittens.

The world was wet here. Drenched. Soaked. Soggy and Sloppy.

Which begs for the question.
Is there anything wetter than water?

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” – Dolly Parton