Keen Packet?

Oh my gracious grits Madge…. I can’t believe you did it again!

Did what Helen?

Madge, I specifically asked you NOT to wear the green jacket!

I thought you asked me “NOT to tear the bean…. hack it.”

What in the world could that possibly mean Madge….. WHAT…. don’t tear the bean……..

Helen, I wouldn’t know.  You’re always coming up with those funny phrases.

They are NOT funny phrases.  You just can’t hear worth a darn Madge.  I also said “Don’t wear your black pants.”

Oh heavens.… I know for sure you said…. “Don’t scare the back trance.”

And WHAT on earth could THAT mean, Madge… what….what trance Madge…… and, and…. the purse, the purse Madge.  What about the purse?

What hearse Helen?

Arrrrrrrrgggggghhhhhhh…… just be quiet you old fool.


WHAT is it Madge, WHAT?

Helen, you look just lovely today…..

I just love the shoes.

Well, where do I start tonight? I have been bombarded with trivial pursuits and endeavors this evening. But who among us WASN’T…. this being the Anniversary of Jeopardy and all. Yes, the classic game show first appeared on March 30th, 1964. The premier host was none other than Art Fleming.  But, since I love Jeopardy so, I thought it might be fun to dig up some trivial information for this particular installment of bloginess.

A little pitchforking and I found out that Fleming was an avid bowler….. he loved the sport. Heck, he bowled at least four days a week. So… Bowling Trivia it is.

The most interesting thing I uncovered, was an article on the Federation of International Bowlers. I did NOT know the Federation of International Bowlers even existed…. and I truly love this game! (Mostly because the shoes are so cool, and I can’t get enough of the soft pretzels and the microwaved pizza you can buy at any bowling concession stand.) But back to the Federation. It was started on July 9, 1815… just five months after the end of the War of 1812.

Sir Edmund Harrington of England, and Ernie Kulontzky of New Jersey, USA, spearheaded the campaign for the organization as a way of uniting the people of Great Britain and the United States. The slogan was “Strike Out for Peace.” Other foreign nations joined in the movement to display solidarity and encouragement.  President James Madison and wife Dolly, showed great support for the faction, and hosted the Opening Tournament of the Federation of International Bowlers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1816).   Dolly baked a bunch of little cakes and cookies, and sweet treats, and such. (Ironically, you can still purchase Dolly Madison baked goods at bowling alleys across the U.S.  But, only Dolly Madison products.   Others, including Hostess and Little Debbie are not permitted.  And…. sneaking them in is still a federal offense to this day. (Article XXIV of the Coalition’s By-Laws).

The first team consisted of all military personnel in hopes of demonstrating the united front of good will and cooperation among the nations. The Bowlers were, Arnold Wilson, U.S. Navy; Sir Theodore Davies, Royal Guard, UK; Jacques Rousseau, French Army; and Willhem Von Machtenstein, Federal Militia, Germany. They rocked. ( Arnold had a pet turkey named Feather Duster. Strangely enough, whenever Arnie threw a strike the turkey would hop and down. When he got three in a row, the bird became highly excited and gobbled like crazy. Hence, 3 strikes in a row became known as a Turkey.)

Oh, I could go on and on, but I am already yammering too dang much. I just loved finding out about the F.I.B. But I will spare the rest of the details, let you off the hook, and pin this up for the evening.  Until the next time…. let the good times roll.

The game can be dated back to the ancient Egyptians. An archeologist, Sir Flinders Petrie found the pins together with bowling balls in a grave of an Egyptian child carbon dated to the year 5200 BC. The art of Bowling is accredited to him.

Yes, 5200 BC marked the earliest evidence of the existence of the sport and its likely origin. There is another bowling version which was coined by William Pehle, a German historian who claimed the sport originated from Germany in the year 300 AD. This game has flourished in many forms especially in Europe and particularly in England where it was popularized in the reign of King Edward III. Its popularity was so stretched that the King outlawed it so as not to distract troops who were practicing sword fighting skills.

Holy Fish!

Tonight we ate at one of our favorite restaurants.  It is called Blossom, and they can serve up some pretty tasty vittles I’ll tell you.  They bake their own breads, and make their own dressings, desserts, even the ice-cream.  Two wood-fired stoves spit out some pretty good pizzas as well.  But the FISH, oh the fish!

The “Special” this evening was Monk Fish.  I picked the Salmon instead.  Embarrassingly enough….I made big yummy noises throughout the meal, as I slogged back the grits and fish.   I rubbed my belly in little circles.  People stared.

Anyway….I just couldn’t bring myself around to the Monk Fish.  Nope.  You see, I had to pass.   It was the whole visual of the thing.  I could envision some sweet little fish it its cute little brown burlap hoodie-robe, sinched at the waist with a bell-tower-rope tied in a big bulky knot.  Yep.  I could see the little fish now, looking all Mr. Limpet-like, sitting in its little fish chapel, holding a strand of beads in its little fin,  saying its little fish prayers…..   No way could I order the Monk Fish.  NO WAY.

They call Charleston The Holy City.  So I figured the Monk Fish was just another part of the gig.  As it turns out, that’s not really so.

When I got home, I looked up that there Monk Fish on the internet.  Nothing quaint or monk-like about it at all.  Quite the opposite.  It is ugly as sin.  They live about 9 years, get to be about 3 feet long, look like some prehistoric-scary-horrible-creature, and feed on pretty much everything including soda cans, plastic, and other trash.  New visual in my head.  I’m still not ordering the Monk Fish.

….the MF……..


Well, I can hardly let another day pass without mentioning the NCAA Basketball Tournament.  If you are not a sports fan, PLEASE stick with me here.  I promise not to mention a rebound, jump shot, or even the name of a single player.  I will however, speak to the subject of mascots.

I like to pair up these “representative icons” of the different teams.  This year in the Men’s Final Four, we have the Bulldogs vs. the Rams.  On the other side of the bracket is the Wildcats vs. the Huskies.  You can only imagine the fun I might have with this.  If you put any or all of these “real life” animals on the basketball court, it is clearly impossible to speculate on the outcome.   I bet not a one of them could get the basketball through the 10 ft. high hoop, even once….. or even dribble without traveling three steps, for that matter.    However, if they are out fighting in the wild or something, it might be easier to pick the winners.  You see, it is all in the context of the battle.

For instance, tonight in Women’s Roundball, it was the Fighting Irish vs. the Volunteers…… again, hard to bet on hoops between those two.  But let say the match-up was a Beer Drinking Contest.  Easy to pick THAT champion… the Fighting Irish.  Now, if it were a pop-quiz on the top 10 survival tactics in the Red Cross How-To Handbook….. easy-peasy-lemon-squeazy….the Volunteers come out on top.

One more observation tonight:  This is the year the bracket died in the men’s tournament.  Not a single number one seed made it to the Final Four.  Those fallen teams included the Buckeyes, the Jayhawks, the Blue Devils, and the Panthers.  The mascots are pretty worthless in basketball.  If I had a team, I’d call them the “Really Tall Guys” or the “Stealthy Giants” or the “Dead-Eye Dicks” or the “Ball Magicians”  You follow my meaning here.

And I retract an earlier statement.  Bulldogs DO make GREAT dribblers.  In fact, never get in a slobbering contest with a Bulldog.  I tried it once.  It just wasn’t pretty….. not pretty at all.  (I was even wearing my Sock Monkey Hat at the time….)

ADDED NOTE: This sent to me from my good pal Jeff….. and added to the DUBIOUS….. the Buckeye BUYS IT….

Crossed wires.

Sometimes, I am totally shocked and amazed that certain things work as well as they do.

There are sophisticated devices all around us…. which are quite remarkable in their own right.  Look around the room.  I think the TV remote is a pretty snappy gadget.  In fact, when it goes missing, most of us get an immediate case of the jim-jams.  Heaven forbid, we would have to figure out how to change the channel on that “picture-box-contraption” without the wizard-wand of the remote control.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m a total geek.  I say this with respect and in all seriousness.  I’m in awe of the people who have the brain power to create such contraptions!

We are dependent on many such devices.  When they are working as planned, they go largely unappreciated.  However, when a battery dies, or the darn thing goes all whopper-jawed… well WHAT an imposition that IS.  How dare it run out of juice… just when Dancing with the Stars is about to start.

Nevertheless… is in my humble opinion, that we should be more careful with technology.  You know… where, when and how we build things such as nuclear power plants.  This doesn’t seem to be working out too well in Japan.  And now we have gaboodles of radioactive particles seeping into the Pacific Ocean.  It just so happens that you and I are directly connected to the Pacific Ocean.  And so it goes.

Just take a look at that wiring in the photo, for example.  A bit bemusing, isn’t it.  I am often astonished that things don’t go terribly wrong more often.  It is the Chicken Little in me.  There is A LOT of Chicken Little in me….

Which leads me into my next thought… today while walking the dogs at the Battery, something hit me on the head.  Honestly, I have no idea what it was.  Nothing dropped on the ground around me…. it wasn’t pigeon poop (I checked)  …. I didn’t see anything coming… just BONK.  A hit on the top-right side of my head.  I guess it could have been a careless bird… but I think I would have heard it.  A mystery.

Back to the Chicken Little in me… maybe the sky IS falling.  I mean, the ocean is glowing…..

A lot.

Liz Taylor died a few days ago.  She lived a pretty full life.  She did some good work for AIDs awareness, and probably did some other good things too.  My condolences to her family and fans.

I was never really a big fan of Ms. Taylor’s.  As an actress, I thought she was okay.  She was pretty in her youth too.  Since she died, many are touting her as Hollywood’s greatest star ever.  I just don’t see it that way.

Got married eight times.  That’s a lot.

And, she left over a billion dollars behind.  Again, that’s a lot.

Finally, her last request, to be 15 minutes late to her own funeral.  I’ve never been real crazy about people who are always late.  It is sort of inconsiderate to the rest of us who make the effort to show up on time.

On the flip side, we have a public garden down the street from us.  People of all different walks of life show up really early on Wednesday mornings there.  They volunteer their time to plant beautiful flowers for the rest of us to enjoy.   They do it just for the sake of beauty and creation.  Once again, that’s a lot.

It is like a Giant, Elephant Walk, on a Hot Tin Roof… a Place in the Sun.  Rhapsody.  National Velvet.

Croc Trouble, Dang It.

A package was delivered to our house today, by mistake.  It was for our nice neighbors, Liz and Tom, who are just right down the street.  So, I snatched it up and scurried on over to their house.  When I rang, Liz answered the door.

I handed her the box and explained the mis-delivery…. a parcel from the Cialis Company.  I had no idea what it was… Sea Monkeys for all I knew…. but I wanted to get it right to them.  Liz thanked me as she took the box, and then began to blush.  I could feel the awkwardness setting in, as her face fell into deeper and deeper shades of crimson.

Then, she sheepishly leaned in, and whispered, “You see… my husband has Reptile Dysfunction.”  Well what the heck!  Isn’t THAT something, I thought.  I didn’t know they had ANY pets, let alone reptiles.  What could it be….I wondered… an iguana, or lizard, or some sort of snake?  And what was wrong with it?

So now I am feeling a bit out of sorts.  So I said.  “Oh my.  That’s just terrible.  Awful!  How sick is it?”  Well holy smokes….. Liz’s eyes got to be the size of ping pong balls.  (It was a simple question I thought… but now it appears that I’ve somehow offended her.)  Then she sort of bobbed her head back and forth and said, “It’s just that Tom’s Elections are lasting more than four hours.”

OK.  At this point, I am totally confused.  I knew Tom was a Judge, but I didn’t know he was up for any elections.  So I countered, “Liz.  That’s nothing.  Sometimes these things get locked up for weeks on end where I’m from.”  She turned on her heels and slammed the door.  I didn’t really even get a thank you……..

So what do you all think…….  I’m wondering if it could be one of those little Pipe Snakes, or maybe some kind of a Worm Lizard…..   Are alligators reptiles?  Maybe that’s it….

My Walk with “Howie Doohan”

I took a walk through a cemetery today.  A beautiful spot, just up the street.

Holy Smackerolies.  This sight disturbed me to no end.  Just what….what could it mean?

There are all sorts of these grave markers around.  For all sorts of dead people.  So what does this one signify?  Is Michael the Archangel okay?  Or NOT?  I’m worried, I have to tell you.  For crying out loud, I don’t know that much about the ancient writings and such, but I thought Archangels were good to go…. like…. pretty much, all the time?  Are we in big trouble?  How we doing?   I’m in a bit of a frenzy over this….. OK.  Calming down…..

Maybe, just maybe, this is some sort of coincidence.  Like the guy buried here is:
First Name:  The
Middle Name:  Archangel
Last Name: Michael

…. in which case the guy SHOULD HAVE CHANGED his name.   Actually, come to think of it,  there are a lot of people that might be better off with name changes.

I knew a guy in one of my classes at AAU named “Lo Dong Wang”….  seriously.

Growing up, there was a lady in our parish called “Barb Dwyer”.

My brother just told me there is a guy in NASCAR racing named “Dick Trickle”.

As you can see, this could go on and on.  Lots of whack-a-doodle names out there.  One of the worst I knew was “Helen Back”.  WHICH…. brings us right back to ol’ Mike up there.

Of course, I can’t go without mentioning…..  Polly Kronenberger….. yes…..  a bit of a quirky name.    If I ever decide to change it…. I think it will be “Wanda Rin”…… (because my mind is always going places).

(One more I happened to spot at the graveyard… pictured below:  “Therese R. Greene”)

Thing you can’t believe…

A good friend sent me an email today.  It was a “FUN” email…. you know the kind…. with goofy photos, or jokes.  She only sends the top-notch stuff…. so I always look with interest to see what it might be.  Today, she threw me a dose of “Finger Monkeys.”  Well, skeptic that I am, I could not believe the images I was seeing.  Little teeeeeeeeny, weeeeeeeny, cute primates, wrapped around index fingers and such.  Surely not.  NO. This could not be!   So I had to Snope it.  Again, my dear friend does not disappoint.  These little finger monkeys are as true as I am sitting here.  They are better known as the  Pygmy Marmoset or Dwarf Monkey …. a native to the rainforest canopies of western Brazil,  Colombia, Peru, and such.   It is one of the smallest primates, and the smallest true monkey, with its body length ranging from 5.5 to 6.3 in.  Males weigh around 4.9 oz, and females only 4.2 oz.  That’s a the size of the burger on a Single at Wendy’s.  Hold the bun.  (Don’t hold the monkey’s bun… I meant the bread bun.)

But that is the thing about the internet.  It is hard to know what to believe, and what not to believe.  Like the photo of shark eating a diver as he tries to climb the ladder of a helicopter…….. little kittens stacked up on dog heads, or the lion mother who raised a litter of squirrels.  How about the guy who stopped to change a stranger’s tire… it turned out to be Donald Trump… and the Trumpster paid off the The Good Samaritan’s  mortgage.  The one’s I really can’t stand, are the emails that tell you about someone’s good fortune, then threaten you to send it on to a dozen of your unsuspecting friends (without junk mail filters), or you’ll lose all your hair by the end of next week.   Puuuhhhhlllllleeeeeaasssse.

It is like….. JUST ANYONE can start writing a blog, and telling goofy stories, and making things up all willy-nilly.  Sure it seems funny at the time, but what about the TRUTH?  Yeah, any Joe Schmoe can sit down to a key board and yammer it up a bit…..

…. any….  one……  I suppose……

Alright, back to the topic of the evening…. I saw this statue today at Holling’s Park.  Low and behold, who was standing behind it but Lindsey Lohan and Charlie Sheen?  The two of them were drinking Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill….. and talking loudly…. I couldn’t quite snap the photo before they scurried off…  AND THEN….. they ….

Four hooves each. Big difference.

I am shocked.  Amazed, really. Oprah calls them “Aha moments” (which I think is too cutesy, even for Opie.).  I call those particular awakening episodes…… “Holy-Crap-A-Doodles!”

Somehow, in my heart of hearts, I knew there had to be a difference.  Tonight, with my curiosity peaked to an all-time high, I sought out an answer.  And here it is…..

There truly is a difference… between……

Donkeys and Mules.

Who the heck would’ve ever guessed it?  I mean, as it goes, they have many similarities.  But the more you read about the topic, the more you will be confounded.   What a revelation.  I’d have to say, without really knowing any single one personally, I prefer Mules to Donkeys.  Mules are the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.  However, a Mule is sterile.  No baby mules from mules…..

Donkeys can have beebies.  Mostly, one at a time, but occasionally they have twins.  There are a heck of a lot more donkeys in the world also.  43.6 million, as opposed to 11.2 Mules.  Probably has to do with the fertility topic we just discussed.  The thing I don’t like so much about donkeys is that they are stubborn, and have nicknames like Ass, and Beast of Burden. Besides all of that, a Donkey only has 62 chromosomes.

The Mule has 63.  Better.

Donkeys seem to enjoy a lot of fame and fervor.  The Ass is all over the bible, and also in Greek Mythology, Jewish Oral Traditions, Aesop’s Fables, and of course… Hollywood.  (Like Shrek’s Friend, Donkey).  Nobody ever seems to talk about the mule.   Sure, there was “Two Mules For Sister Sara”… but that’s hardly worth mentioning.  I mean, Shirley MacClaine and Clint Eastwood have done better movies, after all.

Yeah, I like Mules way more than Donkeys.  Maybe because there are just way too many asses in the world.