Archive for the ‘humor’ category

How Are You?

August 29, 2022

how are youYesterday, we needed to get my wife, Muri’s, car smog checked and registered.  Unlike smog check and registration in California, here we can do it in a single stop at any authorized shop.  And we can generally do it without an appointment and in fifteen minutes or so.  When we walked into our favorite auto shop, Tunex, the manager said, How are you?  I instinctively answered, I’m good. When I went back to the sit next to my wife in the waiting area, she looked at me with a twinkle in her eye and said, Liar!  Hmmm.  Well, the truth is we have been going through some difficult times and my answer was a lie.  The incident brought me back to a vacation in Clearwater, FL.   My kids were really kids back then and my daughter, always a social butterfly, made friend with a girl her age in the pool.   We soon met her parents and began to hang around with them.   Her dad was Scottish and spoke with a brogue that was sometimes hard for these American ears to understand.  One afternoon, he looked at me and said, When you folks say, “How are you?” you don’t really mean it, do you?  It’s just a way of saying hello.  Of course, he was right, and we had a good laugh about it. (more…)

Going to the Dogs

January 14, 2022

Ten years or so ago, when I was a regular blogger, one of my readers told me that she liked the way I started out as if I were going to write about one thing, then pivoted to my real subject in the second paragraph.  As this post will show, I still do it, not because it is my signature style but because I am easily distracted by shiny words, interesting figures of speech and sidelights.   For example, this post set out to talk about how my wife Muri and I (who are cat people) ended up dog-sitting three dogs.  But when Going to the Dogs came up as a possible title, I was distracted by the origin of the saying, which according to theidiom.com originated as follows: As far back as the 1500s, bad or stale food that was not thought to be suitable for human consumption was thrown to the dogs. The expression caught on and expanded to include any person or thing that came to a bad end, was ruined, or looked terrible.   On the other hand, according to phrases.org.uk , if you speak of ‘the dogs’ in the UK you be assumed to be talking about greyhound racing, a popular pastime since the early 20th century.  For the roughly 4 million people/year who go to the track, ‘Going to the Dogs’ suggests a good adventure.  Hmm.  Not for the dogs.  Mistreatment of dogs in greyhound racing has led to the closing of many dog tracks in the US and we’ve all seen dog lovers walking their rescued greyhounds in the park. (more…)

Rich Guys in Space

December 12, 2021

(Almost) space, the (almost) final frontier.  These are the brief trips of the (almost) starship New Shepard.  It’s continuing mission: to stoke the egos of billionaires; to explore absolutely nothing except new ways to waste money; to briefly go where quite a few men have gone before (and they had a genuine scientific purpose!)

blue originOnce again this week the news is punctuated with the latest flight of Rich Guys in Space.  This time it’s Blue Origin’s ship, the New Shepard, that carried six passengers, including football player Micheal Strahan and the daughter of (real) astronaut, Alan Shepard, on a sub-orbital joyride.  According to Insider, the six space tourists experienced a few minutes of weightlessness 62 miles above Earth, widely considered the edge of space, before floating back to Earth in a pressurized capsule that detaches from the rocket.  The reports on the flight are filled with exclamations about exploration and missions and the crew but for the most part, these are paying passengers and invited guests … and the flight is a mini-vacation.   What says exploration more than a football player and the offspring of a real astronaut.  What says mission more than one seat on a future flight selling at $28 million dollars in auction or science more than bringing along (on a previous flight) the guy who played a captain of the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek. (more…)

Lost and Found

September 16, 2021

forgetAs far back as I can remember, I have been a little absent-minded.   I remember when I was in junior high coming home from fishing in Pirot’s Pond with a baitfish still on the hook.  I put away my tackle box and stood the fishing rod … kelly still hanging on the hook … in the corner of the closet.  At that point, my Mom called, Buddy, come here a minute.  Off I went to see what she wanted, making a mental note to come back and get rid of the bait.   As so often happens, I lost my mental note until a week later, when Mom detected a putrid smell coming from my closet.  She was not happy.   Once I was driving, a favorite trick was locking the keys in the car … once, when I was in graduate school and late for a class, I locked the keys in with the car still running.  By the way do you know an ignisecond* is?  It is the instant of time between the time you close the car door and your brain screams, The keys are in the ignition !!!  For those of you of a certain age, you will know this is a sniglet. (more…)

Where to Go?

June 17, 2021

clark park

Back when I worked for big industry, Hughes Aircraft Company, to be exact, I used stop at Craig Park in Fullerton, CA on my way to work to do my reading, writing and  sometimes-meditation.   Craig Park is one of the beautiful and expansive parks in the Orange County Regional Park system, this one built into a hilly piece of land near the 57 Freeway.  Every morning, a small brown woman in a traditional saree would walk slowly by, stopping to say, Good morning, Sir.   She shuffled more than walked and up close I’d have guessed she was in her eighties but she still navigated the three mile perimeter of the park everyday.   After a while, we began to talk, her about her family here in California or her life in India before moving here to live with her son, I about what I did sitting in my car by the lake every morning and what I did for a living.   Her name was Hasna, and we became friends, even though she always approached my car as if she were afraid to interrupt and never stopped calling me Sir.   She told me that it was hard living with her son because her daughter-in-law didn’t like her, which was why she walked so much.   Still, most times when I asked, How are you doing? she would simply respond, Oh, I’m alright for a woman my age in an Indian accent so heavy that I sometimes had to ask her to repeat herself several times. (more…)

Miracles

April 4, 2021

matzosProbably most of you know that last Friday was Good Friday, the day that Jesus was crucified.   A likely lesser number know that it was the 7th day of Passover, the traditional Jewish commemoration of the escape of the Jews from Egypt. The juxtaposition is no coincidence, of course … Jesus was a Jew and the last Supper was a Passover Seder.  Although I have never converted to Judaism (something about a ritual circumcision … just a tiny knick, the rabbi said), I do join my wife Muri in not consuming leavened bread grains of legumes.  To be honest, some years more than others.  I am a bread addict and I admit, sometimes I indulge in sneak treat when I’m out alone.  Not this year.  Now, in case you are not Jewish … or never took  some kaocomparative religion in school …. you may have never tasted Matzoh, the unleavened cardboard (er, bread) that we eat instead of real bread during Passover.    For me, eating too much Matzoh is like drinking a bottle of Kaopectate with breakfast.   My digestive system stops working and I lose my appetite … and by Friday breakfast time I was dying for carbs.   I decided to sneak off to McDonald’s for a sausage McMuffin with Egg, (more…)

Health Care Quiz

March 8, 2021

I am concerned about the health care decision making of our populace these days, so I am offering as a FREE Public Service this health care questionnaire.   By answering the questions then checking your answers against the answers at the bottom of the page, you can assess your own decision process.

  1. Your doctor finds an odd lump on your neck which be suspects might ne cancerous and wants you to see a specialist.  Which of these should he call?   (a) a lawyer;  (b) the governor of your home state; (c) an electrician; or (d) an oncologist.
  2.  You are in a bad traffic accident and have lost a lot of blood.   What is most critical to a successful transfusion?   (a) your blood type;   (b) who you voted for in the last presidential election;  (c)  what your friends say on Facebook; or (d) what your Uncle John, the shoe salesman says.
  3. A new virus is sweeping the nation.  As the death toll rises, who do should you listen to for advice about how to avoid being infected?  (a) Your congressman;  (b) Fox news;  (c) CNN;  or (d)  the Center for Disease Control
  4. Your toilet is backing up into your guest bathroom, flooding the floor with odorous waste.  Who should you call?   (a) a surgeon;   (b) a gastroenterologist;  (c) a lawyer;   or (d) a plumber.
  5. You have a severe case of the flu and want to avoid hospitalization.  Whose advice should you follow?  (a) Sean Hannity;  (b) Dr. Jill Biden;  (c)  Senator Rand Paul;  or (d) None of the Above.
  6. Who should you trust your life to when it comes to COVID-19?   (a) Greg Abbot, the governor of Texas;  (b) the United States Senate;   (c) Dr. Fauci;   (d) what “they” say on the internet.
  7. Your brother-in-law. Bill, who works as a tech at the local hospital says COVID is a hoax.   Who should you used to fact check his assertion?   (a) Dr. Phil;    (b)  Dr. Oldereyes (I am a Doctor of Engineering); (c) Dr. Golden, your orthopedist;  or (d) none of the above.
  8.  The CDC recommends that we wear masks while the COVID vaccinations continue.  They recommend this because;   (a) they are all Democrats;  (b) doing so helps prevent the spread of the disease;   (c) they are trying to take away your rights;  (d) the virus is a hoax promoted to make money for the medical profession.

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A Valentine’s Ramble

February 14, 2021

It snowed here in Daybreak, Utah last night.  Looks to me like 4 or 5 inches, the most we’ve had this year.  Cue the music … I’m Dreaming of a White Valentines Day … which does not, by the way, make up for this year’s Brown  Christmas.   For many years. my wife, Muri, and I went away for Valentines Day, where went away covered anything from staying at a nice hotel in the LA area to spending the weekend in some romantic distant place.   Perhaps the best of these was a weekend in Sedona.  We were talking yesterday about this year like no other, about how long its been since we actually went on a date.  That would be dinner at an odd little … (forgettable little) … (expensive little) … seafood restaurant in Salt Lake and a Utah Symphony concert OVER A YEAR AGO.  This comes after over fifty years of Saturday night dates.  Sixteen years ago, Valentine’s Day became my oldest grandson’s birthday.   Valentine’s Dates become getting away to Arizona and later, Utah, to spend the 14th with our daughter’s family to celebrate his birthday.   It wasn’t romantic but it was certainly about love. (more…)

Brown Snow?

February 7, 2021

It snowed all night last night leaving a modest accumulation on our front walks.   When we bought our house here in Springhouse Village, I’d have sworn they told us that the sidewalks would be taken care by the association.   That appears to be a hit or miss proposition.  One rumor has it that if there are under two inches, it’s up to us seniors (Springhouse Village is for 55 and older folks and it looks to me like most of us are overqualified).   I didn’t measure but it looked like this morning’ fall was at least three … but by 11 am, no one had showed up to shovel, so I grabbed my trusty snow shovel and did it myself.    One shovel-full reveal a peculiar natural phenomenon – the snow was brownish but only on the surface.  Underneath it was the pristine white stuff I’ve come to love.  I called my wife, Muri, to come and look … she said that there was an article online about Brown Snow falling in Utah. (more…)

Maps

February 18, 2020

folding mapAre you old enough to remember the days when to get around a city you’d never visited before you stopped at a gas station and bought a street map?   A street map mysteriously folded so that once you unfolded it, it could never be properly folded again?   Or, if you were staying longer you’d buy a Thomas guide, 300 pages of detailed maps with print so small you needed a microscope to distinguish between Lake Avenue and Lark Avenue?  Do you remember trying to drive with with the map unfurled on your lap or getting frustrated with your navigator because she kept telling you to turn left at Redwood Avenue a block after you passed it.   Since we arrived in Utah shortly before Christmas, we have depended on maps to find our way to just about everyplace (and our way home again).  Fortunately, we have a remarkable bit of technology at our disposal … GPS navigation.   It is a distinct possibility that I’ve talked more to our GPS (which, by the way, I’ve nicknamed Myrtle) than I’ve talked to my wife since we’ve been here.   Yes, it is amazing, indispensable technology.   Except when it’s not. (more…)