Posted tagged ‘humor’

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…)

Stretch, Dammit

September 17, 2020

You wouldn’t guess it to look at me now but in my forties I was pretty serious runner, logging about 30 to 50 miles a week.   I read the best-selling Jim Fixx’s The Complete Book of Running. I subscribed to Runner’s World.   I even bought a book on stretching.   After all, everybody said, You should stretch before you run to avoid injury.   I tried stretching, I really did, but I hated it,  Yes, when I was waiting at the start of a 10K or a marathon, I stretched like everyone else just to fit in and avoid the possibility of someone saying, You should be stretching.  I’ve never reacted well to criticism. I did have injuries … plantar facietis, illiotibial band syndrome, a torn meniscus and shin splints.  Sometimes I stretched to help recover from an injury, but once it was better, I’d stop.   An aggravated Achilles tendon finally put an end to my long distance running. (more…)

Fun with Words

August 29, 2020

The year 2020 has has not been much fun and that has been reflected in my posts.  So, on this lovely Saturday morning (it’s finally cooled off a bit here in South Jordan, UT), I though I’d resurrect an old post from August of 2011.   A fun post.  OK, a fun post if you enjoy words.  I assume it’s obvious by the sheer number of words I generate here that I am a word-guy   . and given the number of readers I have compared to the time I put in here, you’ve got to know I do this for fun.  Now, for a word-guy, what could be more fun than Fun with Words, words strung together in interesting combinations so cool that they have their own name. If you’re on the ball today, you know from my illustration (which is, by the way, a pun) that the first word combination for today is known as an oxymoron, which Wikipedia says is a figure of speech that combines contradictory terms. (more…)

The Great (Gasp) Google Conspiracy

July 25, 2020

If you come around here very often, you know I am a scientist. A scientist with an Inner Curmudgeon who is totally exasperated by conspiracy theories, especially those that can be dispelled by simple reason. Personally, I am sometimes amused by the more ridiculous claims. Consider what I will call The Great Google Conspiracy about COVID-19. For some weeks, this has been circulating on Facebook and Twitter. It goes like this. Open your device or computer and Google any three digit number, followed by the words new cases. Up will pop multiple news pages showing exactly that number of new cases, proof positive that Google is faking articles to match any number of cases for some nefarious purpose. A few days ago, someone posted this YouTube video of an unknown woman demonstrating this in order to blow your mind. The truth is she ought to use hers instead of trying to blow yours.



May 19, 2020

Today, I turn 76 years old, passing the quarter century mark. When people find out my age they are usually say, I’d never have guessed you’re that old. Talk about a double-edged compliment. The surprise likely owes to the fact that I was blessed with wrinkle resistant skin, at least in the places that show, and I regularly shave of any trace of white hair off my head and face. I remain passionate about life, which always makes a person seem younger and I move around pretty well in spite of a mix of aches kept in check by exercise, stretches and a few over-the counter medications. Perhaps the biggest difference between 66 and 76 is that staying active and passionate takes more effort than it used to. (more…)

Grokking the News

May 11, 2020

Just in case you are not a science fiction nerd, the term grokking came from Robert Heinlen’s sci-fi classic, Stranger in a Strange Land.   It means to understand, profoundly and intuitively.

My Dad used to come home from work, sit down in his chair and read the New Haven Register every evening.  Dad liked to be informed as to what was going on in the world.   I have never subscribed to a newspaper, although for many years I picked up the Los Angeles Time Sundays.  I read Newsweek and Time (although not religiously) and watched the evening news until it became so biased and banal that it interfered with my sleep rhythms.  For some years now, I’ve made a habit of reading a number of news sites on my tablet over my morning coffee.   I read a number of sites because while it is possible to find pages that aren’t banal, they are ALL biased to some degree so I hop across a variety of sites to try to counteract my own confirmation bias and get an unbiased picture of what’s going on in the world.  Since the election of Donald Trump as president, the partisanship of the media has made it harder and harder to read enough to really grok what’s going on …. and the media’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned me into a news skimmer for the sake of my own sanity.  Here are some of the headlines I skimmed today: (more…)

Mother’s Day

May 10, 2020

I was in a Hallmark store yesterday, looking for a Mother’s Day card for my wife. There were thirty guys crammed into the six foot wide aisle and ten more waiting for space … not one woman … the Y-chromosome must come equipped with a procrastination gene. Judging by the cards on the shelf, there seem to be several categories of male card buyers, probably determined by Hallmark though years of focus groups. There’s the Bigger is Better Buyer who believes that the best way to honor Mom is to give her the largest card on the block … though as a standard-sized card buyer, I’m inclined to think they’re over-compensating. There are the Humorous Card Buyers who can’t stand to see their Mom or wife cry … or laugh at their attempts to be serious. There are the Garish Card Buyers who think that every Mom’s dream card is covered with pink and magenta roses, lace, bows, and enough glitter to adorn an Elton John jacket. Then there’s the largest group, the Guilty Buyers who once or twice a year realize that they haven’t expressed their appreciation often enough to the women in their lives. Guilty Buyers always choose cards that begin with I know I don’t tell you often enough but … and follow it with a poetic paean to Mom that would make the Virgin Mary blush. As in … I know I don’t tell you often enough but besides being my best friend, lover, soulmate, and angel … the most perfect wife in the universe … you have been a perfect mother to our fabulous children. You alone have made them the beautiful, intelligent and thoughtful people that they are. They are your gift to the world and I am grateful to have been by your side as you’ve worked your miracles. I’ll try to express my appreciation more often next year. Gack! Me? I like a card that’s sincere and tasteful … so I read a lot of cards before I find the one comes home with me for Mother’s Day.


Of Gasoline and Wine

May 9, 2020

When I first got my driver’s license, the only vehicle I got to drive was my Dad’s 1955 Buick Special, turquoise with a white top and no power steering. Dad was very generous about letting me use his car, but each time I borrowed it, a somewhat lengthy negotiation was mandatory in which he pretended he might not let me take the Buick and I would assure him that I wouldn’t be joyriding anywhere and that I would put in some gas to replace what I used. In those days I could pull into a station, say, Give me a couple dollars worth and get 6 or seven gallons. When I graduated from college, I bought a brand new Alfa

Romeo Spyder which got great gas mileage but required premium gasoline. Flush with cash from my first real job, I wanted the best for my baby, so I stopped only at Sunoco stations and chose the highest of the Custom-Blended Grades, 260. Sunoco 260 had an octane of 106 whereas current premium has an octane of 91.


Something Rash

May 4, 2020

Thursday morning, as I was getting out of the shower, I noticed a small but angry red rash on my calf. My wife, Muri, was sitting at her vanity and said, What is that on your leg, in a tone entirely too alarmed to be seeing what I was.  The other side of my calf had a 4 by 6 inch area that was red and swollen.   I’d never seen anything like it.  Now if I was twenty or thirty, I’d probably have put some Calamine Lotion on it and went on with my day.  And in my forties or fifties, I’d probably decided to wait a few days to see if it went away.  But at 75, every time I have a health issue there’s this Little Voice in my head that says, This is it. You have a Flesh Eating Infection. Or Deep Vein Thrombosis,   So, I called my doctor … and given this crazy pandemic, he scheduled a telexam on Facetime.   Since I’m not into sexting, there is something unnerving about showing someone body parts on the phone, even if it’s only my leg,  When the good Dr. Wilson saw it he said, Wow, I’ve never seen one like that.   Cancer, my Little Voice muttered. I mentally suggested suggested he shut the hell up and asked the doctor, What do you think it could be?   It’s probably some sort of dermatitis, he said, trying to calm me down,  I’m going to prescribe a steroid ointment.  But if it is worse tomorrow, I expect you to call me right away.