Posted tagged ‘humor’

Whackers and Blowers

October 7, 2017

`As I write this post, it occurs to me that this particular title could be taken in a very different context than I intended.   So let me say first that if it is sexual titillation (one of the great words in the language, don’t you think?) you are looking for, there are much better places to get it than the blog of a 73 year old curmudgeon. So, take your dirty mind and move on.

20171007_115339464794329.jpgIt is Saturday morning, and I am in the park.  That is no surprise any day of the week but Saturday is my most consistent day, my day to assess my week and do some of the things that keep this old brain ticking … write, pray, make a gratitude list, and read some inspiring essays.  Maybe (only maybe) meditate. But there is a surprise this morning and it isn’t a good one.   The park landscape crew is out and for the last forty minutes I have been serenaded by the annoying drone of a weed-whacker.  And you know what that means … soon to follow is the main act in the parade of annoying noises, the leaf blower.  Yorba Regional Park is a beautiful place, partly because of the work of the landscapers but I’d be happy to have a some long grass around the trees and a few leaves on the sidewalks to be spared the constant whine.  And on Saturday, yet.  Saturdays are supposed to be reserved for screaming children, the thump of too-loud-music from family reunions, and the drone of weekend traffic on the nearby freeway. (more…)

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Very Punny

October 4, 2017

A pun is the lowest form of humor, unless you thought of it yourself  – Doug Larson

I grew up in a family where corny humor … and especially puns … were the order of the day … every day.   My Dad was the Master and anything was fair game.   Every year when King Melchizedek turned up in the Catholic gospels at Mass, my Dad would pronounce him King Melted-Cheese-a-Deck, eliciting the required snickers and groans from everyone but my mother, who’d just shake her head.  Another Dad classic was his response to Grey Poupon Dijon mustard commercials.  He referred to the stuff as Gray Poop on De John.  Dad taught us well and by the time we reached junior high we were all accomplished (awful) punsters.  Dad’s annual King Melted-Cheese-a-Deck routine might be greeted with, That’s not punny anymore, Dad.  Cue more groans.   Like Doug Larsen, we thought of punning as the lowest form of humor, which was why we loved it and because, as an anonymous author once said, A pun is a short quip followed by a long groan.

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Fixes

October 2, 2017

According to the dictionary, getting a fix means To obtain something necessary, especially a dose of an addictive drug or anything else compulsively sought after.   Of course, the phrase is an idiom in the sense that it’s definition can’t be determined from the meaning of the words.  So, I tend to drop the addicted and compulsively and let it just mean doing something I really enjoy.  Back in my running days, after a long day at work, I’d put on my Nikes and go out for a running fix. Yeah, my friends told me I was compulsive about exercise.  OK, as ice cream lovers, my wife and I sometimes head to our favorite shop in Dana point for an ice cream fix.  But believe it or not some geniuses at the New York Times (all the news that’s fit for the bottom of a birdcage) published an article comparing ice cream consumption to drug use.  OK, music.  When I’m down, nothing lifts me like listening to some music I love.  But sure as shit, there are articles about the problems of music addiction.  It seems to be in the nature of our modern world that some idiot is out to find fault with liking anything too much.  (more…)

Solitude

September 11, 2017

Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you – Kahlil Gibran On Marriage in The Prophet

Occasionally, when I mention how long my wife and I have been together (over fifty years), someone asks, What is your secret?  The answer of course, is that there is no secret, except perhaps that the best of relationships take commitment and work.  I suppose that doesn’t qualify as a secret either because it’s mentioned in virtually every self-help book ever written on the fine art of marriage.   There are, however, many factors that contributed to our long run together and one of those is that we both need time alone and, because we both need our Solitude, we are both willing to give it to each other.  Oh, it’s not perfect.   If one of us is feeling needy or just in need of company and the other there can be hurt feelings or reluctant compromises, but what marriage doesn’t have those?  In our Solitude, we pursue interests of our own, some which require uninterrupted contemplation, and we consider with the perspective that only solitude can bring the decisions to made in our life.   It probably sounds enigmatic, but I believe that in part the divisiveness and misunderstanding that plagues our society these days stems in part from too little time spent alone in quiet contemplation and the lack of self-knowledge that results from continual engagement with others. (more…)

The Eclipse Curmudgeon

August 22, 2017

Clipboard01When I was a boy, I saved up my money and bought a 3 inch reflector telescope from Edmund Scientific.  I believe it cost $29.95, which tells you how long ago it was, in the 1950s.  I don’t remember how old I was … I would guess twelvish.  With this telescope, from the hay field behind our house I could see the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn, some of the larger nebulae, double stars and of course, incredible detail of the surface of the moon.   Nobody ever told me not to point my telescope at the sun.  Nobody had to.  I was a smart kid.  But when I learned about sunspots and heard a report of exceptional sunspot activity, I certainly wanted to.   I don’t know where I found the piece of green plexiglass that became my solar filter.  To the eye, it was opaque but if I held it up to the sun, I could see the sun through itplexiglass … which gave me an idea.  Using my Dad’s jigsaw, I cut a circular piece the size of my telescope tube and taped it over the open end.   Wallah.  Sunspots at 60X power.   I seem to remember watching a partial eclipse using my improvised solar filter, too.  Those was the good old days … or the bad old days, depending on your point of view.  No one checked the transmittance of my plexiglass disc, checked if it was compliant with the ISO 12312-2 international safety standard.   Was my tape job sufficiently secure to assure the filter wouldn’t fall off, vaporizing my eyeball?  Yep, it was.  I still have two working Older Eyes.

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Bad Reputation

August 10, 2017

shower.jpgWe have recently been doing some renovation on our guest bathroom.  As is often the case in tract homes, the builder used a cheap bathtub that rusted through and began to leak water into the garage, which is directly below the bathroom.  Some heavy-duty caulking stopped the leakage for a while, but in July, the drip-drip-drip started again.   We called our friendly neighborhood plumber (he really is, here) and had our tub replaced with a high-quality cast iron one.  The plan was to remove the lower portion of the tile tub enclosure, but when that was done, it revealed some water damage to the framing behind the tile, so we had the entire enclosure removed and the framing replaced.  Then it was time to call our friendly neighborhood masonry guy (also really is, here) to redo the enclosure.   This was turning into a marathon (to the tune of the ka-ching ka-ching of money leaving our bank account). (more…)

Smog Check Hell

July 22, 2017

2007smog No one would ever accuse me of being an environmentalist but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate it when measures imposed by our government successfully improve the environment around me.   When we moved to California in 1971, there were days when the smog tinted the air brown, it hurt the eyes to go outside and the simple act of breathing burned the lungs.   In the car-obsessed L.A. metropolitan area, automobile exhaust was the primary cause of such days, and … although having to have my car smog certified every two years is a pain … the smog check program has dramatically improved the air here in Socal.   As I sit here in the park on a sultry summer day, the air around me is colorless and the sky is blue. (more…)