...the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. Geo. Washington Feb. 22, 1732


Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.


Saturday, March 31, 2007

Today -

Saturday - March 31, 2007

The Grand Commandery held a school of instruction at the Ames Masonic Temple today. It was fun to see the guys from all over the state. I am not very active in Commandery but it is a part of the York Rite so I do what I can.

This evening I went to Des Moines to have dinner with friends Jennifer and Charlie. I had not met Jennifer and really, really like her. She is bright, articulate, funny, pretty and just all around a good person.  

We ate at Chef's Kitchen on Bever and I recommend it. This is the third time I have eaten there and twice I have had the Jack Daniels New York Steak. Vegetables, Salad with creamy garlic dressing that is out of this world. I brought half of it home. I was planning on eating the entire thing but my stomach must have shrunk as I got full. Of course not so full that I couldn't have Creme Brulee after. I like to treat myself every once in awhile and I got a good check up on my diabetes from the doctor. In fact the number reported is .1 off from being non-diabetic. And did I mention that I have lost a total of 42 pounds since last August 29?

I have started a new book. Aunt Fran would have called it a Rape and Screw book. I was not 30 pages into it and we already had this young virginal woman seducing this head of the Arcane Society. Every once in awhile it is fun to read a trashy novel. Not that this is a trashy novel but it is different from the other books I have waiting.

It has gotten chilly again. We had tornado warnings today and lots of rain and thunder. The wind is blowing and I am weary. So all that remains is to say stay warm and Be Happy.

100th Post

Blessed are those who can give without remembering
And take without forgetting.
~~~~~

The irony of life is that, by the time
You're old enough to know your way
Around, you're not going anywhere.
~~~~~

God made man before woman so as to give him time to think
Of an answer for her first question.
~~~~~

I was always taught to respect my elders,
But it keeps getting harder to find one.
~~~~~

Every morning is the dawn
of a new error.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Napoleon's Pyramid



I just finished reading Napoleon's Pyramid by William Dietrich this afternoon. I was down at Border's and saw the book on the table and of course being an Egyptophile I picked it up and decided I needed to have this book. It is about a man who escapes from a sticky situation in France and accompanies the "Little General" on his expedition to Egypt. He won a medallion inscribed with mysterious symbols and people are after him because of that.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that he was a Mason and the Masons are a recurring theme all through the book. I really enjoyed it and was pleased that one of the characters was the Hermes Trismegistus. Those of you who know me know that my fantasy organization (The Secret Princes of the Hidden Temple) is headed up by the Hermes Trismegistus. I have had a lot of fun with this organization and this validates it.

Another thing that I like about the novel is that it teaches me about something without making it obvious or difficult. In this case it is the Fibonacci sequence. Translated into Fibonacci geometry yeilds one of the most beautiful designs in all of nature. You can see a flash sequence by clicking here.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a well written historical novel. And of course, you will have the anticipation of waiting for the sequel which the author is currently working on. I always love to have something to look forward to and I think I have discovered a new "favorite" author.

The book is on its way to my friend Charlie for him to read and when he gives it back (If he gives it back) you can ask to borrow it.

The author has a web page and you can see it by clicking here.

Speaking of Borders I recommend getting a Borders reward card. You can get some good bargains and if you spend enough you get a 10% off the next month. (I seem to have gotten that every month since I joined.) I know I should use the library but the last book I got from the library reeked of cigarette smoke. nuff said. Be Happy and have a great weekend.

TGIF - Humor

I dialed a number and got the following recording:

"I am not available right now, but
Thank you for caring enough to call.
I am making some changes in my life.
Please leave a message after the
Beep. If I do not return your call,
You are one of the changes."
~~~~~

Aspire to inspire before you expire.
~~~~~
I LOVE THIS NEXT ONE!
My wife and I had words,
But I didn't get to use mine.
~~~~~

Frustration is trying to find your glasses without your glasses.
~~~~~

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Thursday

I love Thursdays. We get a larger newspaper, the week-end is approaching and it is Lodge night. I gave "my" apron lecture in Lodge tonight and it was well received. We have a new Brother and that is always a good thing. All in all it was a really nice day. I took Jon home from Midas where he had taken his Van because of a tire problem. The "boys" rode along and when Jon got in the car Max jumped from the back seat where he usually rides to get into Jon's lap. He absolutely adores Jonathan and just worships him with his eyes.

I then did my usual looking around the Internet. Found out that you could type your telephone number into the Google search and it works like a reverse look up and gives you the name and a map to where the phone is located. I did it for my number and then did it for Ginny's Bruce but it evidently took me to the person who had the number before him. Fun feature but if you have kids it is kind of scary. Thanks to cousin Tracy for letting me know about this. I may use it when I get a number that I don't know on my caller ID.

Then I got an e-mail which told me about a You Tube movie which tells how the ancients may have built Stonehenge. You can look at it here. Then you can go to the guys site and learn more here.

The daffodils are beginning to bloom in the fron of the house and one of these days I will go out and take a picture of them to share.

I think it is incredible that there are over 900 "hits" on my counter at the bottom of the page. I know that many of them are mine when I publish the blog or edit it but still it is impressive to know that people find my poor musings interesting to look at. Did you know that you can make comments? Just click on comments below and drop me a note. Be nice. Also you can subscribe to the blog and have new entries sent to your in-box.

I enjoy doing this. Hope you are enjoying it also.

Joke de"jour

Found this in my in box this morning. From Linda S. Thanks Linda.

Ole lived across the river from Clarence, who he didn't like at all. They all the time were yelling across the river at each other. Ole would yell to Clarence, "If I had a vay to cross dis river, I'd come over dere an beat you up good, yeah sure yabetcha by golly!"

This went on for years. Finally the state built a bridge across the river right there by their houses.

Ole's wife, Lena, says, "Now is your chance, Ole, vhy don't you go over dere and beat up dat Clarence like you said you voud?"

Ole says, "OK, by yiminy I tink I vill do yust dat." Ole started for the bridge but he sees a sign on the bridge and he stops to read it, then he turns around, and comes back home.

Lena asked, "Vhy did you come back?"

Ole said, "Lena, I tink I change my mind 'bout beatin' up dat Clarence. Dey put a sign on da bridge dat says 'Clarence is 13 ft. 6 in.' You know, he don't look near dat big vhen I yell at him from across da river."

Wednesday, March 28, 2007




This is a picture which Jon took. You can see more of his pictures by clicking here.
Pine Tree Crosses is a web site that tells a story appropriate to the season. It is about how pine trees herald the coming of Easter. I am sure it is just nature's way of telling us that the days are getting longer and warmer but it is a sweet story and the site is done nicely.

Jon is here right now. He just got back from taking Max to Summerset Park near Indianola. He did not give it a good recommendation for places he likes to go. There were too many paved pathways. I think there was only one seed in Max when he came back and no mud on him. He said something about anglers and shooters. I guess they need parks also but I am with Jon on that I like it a little more wild. Of course now I need the paved walkways with my damnboot. (Yes, that is one word)

I sent my Income tax in. did I mention I had to pay $81 to the Feds and am getting back a little over $500 from the state? I am going to designate the refund to the project Jon is planning for the back yard. He wants to put a prairie in where the boys go to poop. Hopefully it won't take all the refund money.

I need to put up tonight's service on the Church Blog. I can say Stay Warm again. I got out my short sleeve shirts and needed to add a sweater to it. Be Happy!

Two old coots

Two elderly friends, Bill and Sam, met in the park every day to feed the pigeons, watch the squirrels, and discuss world problems. One day Bill didn't show up. Sam didn't think much about it, figured maybe he had a cold or some such. But after Bill hadn't shown up for a week or so Sam really got worried. However, since the only time they ever got together was at the park, Sam didn't know where Bill lived so he was unable to find out what had happened to him.

A month had past and Sam figured he had seen the last of Bill, but one day Sam approached the park and lo and behold there sat Bill! Sam was very excited and happy to see him and told him so. Then he said, "For crying out loud Bill, what in the world happened to you?"

Bill replied, "I have been in jail."

"Jail?" cried Sam!! "What in the world for?"

"Well," Bill said, "you know Sue, that cute little blonde waitress
at the coffee shop where we sometimes get coffee?"

"Yeah," said Sam, "I remember her. What about her?"

"Well one day she charged me with rape and I was so proud that when I got into court, I pled "guilty"? and the judge gave me 30 days for perjury."

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Tuesday




Signs of spring.
The daffodils are up and will be blooming in a few days. Here is a picture of some green appearing just outside the back door.
I took the "boys" to the groomer this morning and they are beautiful. The pictures don't do them justice. I have a hard time getting Max to put his ears up and I was at the wrong angle for Bailey but you can see their neck scarfs with an Easter motif and they are happy to be clean and beautiful again. Of course there is no telling how long Max will last that way as he gets taken for walks in the woods by his master and comes back full of seeds and mud. But they love it and that is what counts.

As you drive around Ames you see signs of the remnants of the ice storm. Just to the North of us there is a large pine tree being cut up and there are piles of brush all around town. Over b y the cemetery they have a fire where they are burning the wood. Of course, we can't have a fire but they have one going 24/7 and if the wind is just right I have smoke around the house and can smell and taste the smoke as it permeates the atmosphere. Last night as I drove across 13th street on the way back from Des Moines I actually saw the fire. It was beautiful and impressive under control and burning steadily sort of like a lava flow might look.

I went to the city council meeting tonight to get a picture of Tim Gossart the new president of Good Neighbor receiving a proclamation making April Good Neighbor Month in Ames. It is nice to see these given because they do recognize a part of our community and the good things they do. Good Neighbor is made up of 23 organizations, many of them faith communities, who donate, collect and then distribute money to those who need help with rent and utilities. Tim said that they had given out more than 100,000 dollars.

Cassie wants to go outside so I opened up the door so she can go out to the porch. One of these days I am going to get someone to come and scrub it and I will be sitting out there in the morning drinking coffee. Max is out there also. He just barked at something. He never seems to learn that when he barks I bring him inside.

Still warm so stay happy!

Yesterday

It was too late last night when I got home to even think about blogging. I went to Acanthus for Lodge and was out until 1:00 PM. There is a small group of guys who go to Christopher's restaurant after the meeting and they let me join them. Last night there was a city council meeting on the big screen TV and a whole bunch of people were watching it and cheering the people on who were at the meeting. They were talking about the re-zoning of an old Elementary School property. Then after the meeting I think the council people came in and the place got really busy.

I don't usually like mob scenes but this is a group of about 6 or 7 officers and others and I really like them. They are good guys and it kind of reminds me of my college days except I am drinking diet coke now.

I had to set the alarm this morning to get the "boys" up to be groomed. So I may just go back to bed to get my other hour of sleep in. It was really warm out yesterday. Tell me global warming isn't real! The last of the Health questions are below.

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
Q: Is getting in-shape important for my life style?
A: Hey! 'Round' is a shape! !

Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.
And remember: "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming, "WOO HOO, What a Ride!"

Monday, March 26, 2007

"Healthy" living

Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: You're not listening....Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.
Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans! Another vegetable. It's the best feel-good food around!!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday Musing

Not much to report today. Church went well. I came home and marked my book for next week. Spent a relaxing Sunday.

We had a practice at Lodge. It went well. I am really pleased with the guys who were there learning parts.

I am already sick of I'm _____________________and I approved this ad. Politics as usual. Trying to scare us and divide us. I wish someone would limit political campaigns. Seems to me the Brits have it right. Six weeks and it is over. Thank God for the mute button. They all say the same thing - anything to get themselves elected. (I'm not cynical or anything like that.)

I watched a DVD last night. Actually two of them. First was "Running With Scissors." Tammy recommended it and it was a good film but not as good as "The Prestige" I really liked it and highly recommend it to anyone. One interesting character in the movie was Nicholas Telsa. He was called "the man who invented the twentieth century."

I got to thinking about him and then was wishing that I had my old Encyclopedia Britannia so I could look him up. Then I remembered the Internet and Googled him. Quite an interesting story. Click on his name to go to the Wikipedia article about him. You will find him an interesting person.

So warm today that I am not going to tell you to stay warm any more. Just Be Happy!

More "Health" Advice

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine,
that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!
Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.
Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dominion

The Bible has Adam name everything that God created. In ancient lore if you knew the true name of something you had power over it. The (unpronounceable) name of Deity was only pronounced in the sanctum sanatorium of the Holy Temple once a year. The High Priest was,supposedly, the only one who could pronounce it. He had to wear a cable tow around him so that if he would collapse while in the holy of holies they could pull him out. He was the one person who had God's ear and everything had to "go through him." That gave him a lot of power, not only over God but over the entire Hebrew Race.

It also says in the Bible that God gave man dominion over everything that he had created. I think that is one of the problems with religion. God should not have given us "dominion" or at least if He did give us dominion He should have made it clear that it was not to exploit what he had made but to use it and conserve it. We seem to think that this world is ours to use (up) and throw away. One of the problems is that eventually we will run out of things. Oil (for example) is a finite resource. We are currently in a war which is over oil. This is stupid. We should be working on ways to replace an oil based technology.

I once read a science fiction story in which astronauts went on a long journey. When they left the left behind an industrial civilization dependant on technology. When they returned the society was pastoral. No evidence of technology at all. It turned out that they still had technology. They just did not let technology rule them. It was there but it was not the focus of their civilization. Mankind had grown to realize that they did have dominion over the world. Not for exploitation but to make it a place where they could live in peace, still having the things necessary for a happy, productive life.

I also think that a lot of life's problems on an interpersonal level have to do with dominion. The dominion of a man over a woman, a parent over a child, or one person over another. The dominion of one group over another. Witness how the fundamentalists of any religion want to dominate their society and make everyone submissive to them.

I think that mankind will truly progress when we wake up and realize that we aren't meant to have dominion over the world but to live in it, conserve it, love it, appreciate it and pass it on whole to those who will come after us. Stay warm and be happy.

HEALTH QUESTION & ANSWER SESSION

My frend Terry sent me these. More tomorrow.

Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life; is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it... Don't waste them on exercise . Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday -TGIF - How we become what we become.

I had lunch with Tammy this noon. I used to be envious of the "ladies who lunch" I would see them out to lunch and I would think of my 40 minute lunch hour when I would wolf down something to eat and either meet with a student or check papers or use it for planning. Once is a great while or during the summer I would meet a friend for lunch and would see doctors wives having a leisurely luncheon. Enjoying themselves and visiting. They would take far more that the 30 to 40 minutes we were allowed. Now I have become one of them. Twice this week I have enjoyed my friends at lunch and had nice visits with them.

This afternoon I ran off 100 letters for the Lodge and went over to Dan's to get the labels (and had a nice visit with him) and put them on and sent them out for By-laws changes. All while watching my tape of General Hospital. I don't know why I watch that show but I have been watching it for years. I remember going to lunch with my grandfather at his sister's home and the ladies were discussing a group oa people that had a lot happening in their lives. When I found out it was the people on their soap opera I probably made fun of them. Now I have become them. I used to discuss the soap with Sue, another teacher who watched it also.

Tonight my regular shows were not on so I have been exploring the myriad of other channels on the TV and generally not doing anything productive. My taxes are done. I have to pay a little to the Feds and get back a pretty good chunk from the state. I hate taxes and anything to do with them but they are necessary.

I did laundry tonight. Over the course of the winter Bailey has carried many of his stuffed toys outside where they have sat under snow and being rained upon. So I went out and picked up most of them where he had dropped them and brought them in to be washed. Bailey knew I had them. Watched me put them into the washing machine and sat entranced while they washed. I then transferred themto the dryer where he again watched them until they were dry and when I got them out he checked them all out played with them and has now collapsed in his usual spot leaning against my leg. Life is good. It is warm outside and promises to get warmer. Stay warm and be happy.

The last of the Women Quotes

The great truth is that women actually like men, and men can never believe it.
--Isabel Patterson

Women have more imagination than men. They need it to tell us how wonderful we are.
--Arnold H. Glasow

There is no such thing as a dangerous woman; there are only susceptible men.
--Joseph Wood Krutch

***

Women are cursed, and men are the proof.
--Roseanne Barr

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thursday

As usual a busy day. I had coffee with my friend Dallas this morning. She has been out of town and I am glad she is back. I missed her. Then I went to the doctor and he was pleased with my blood sugars. Since August I have lost 42 pounds. I am not going to tell you my weight now but I am pleased. I want to lose a whole lot more but I know it is better to take it off slowly rather than to hurry. I am thinking that a bicycle would be a good thing to have.

This afternoon I spent a lot of time getting ready for the Lodge meeting. My printer jammed and I had to spend about 30 minutes getting that fixed.

We had a Master Mason Degree tonight and it was very nice. We also had some good discussion after the meeting and my friend Taner challenged an assertion that I have made to many people and not one has argued with me or shown me the error of my ways. Taner put some thought into what I had said and was able to give me a much better argument about the meaning of theThird Degree than anyone ever has. I really respect that. Masonry used to be a philosophical organization. There are layers upon layers of meaning in it and the only way to grow in it is to discuss it and cause people to think.

Now I am not saying that I had an ulterior motive in challenging the statement on the little card we have to read before the degree but I am really excited that it opened a dialogue and enabled me to think. I am not going to stop making my assertion about the sentence on the card. Maybe someone else will challenge me on what I say and thereby think about the meaning behind the degree. Masonry is so much more than just a group of guys getting together to put a degree on perfectly according to ritual. We should delve into the meaning. It is really a mystery play which is meant to teach us great life lessons.

Penultimate Womens Quotes

Contrary to general opinion, women are not as sentimental as men, but are much more hardheaded.
--Taylor Caldwell

The weakness of men is the facade of strength; the strength of women is the facade of strength.
--Lawrence Diggs

A woman's guess is much more accurate than a man's certainty.
--Rudyard Kipling

Have you ever noticed that what passes as a terrific man would only be an adequate woman?
--Anna Quindlen

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Green Has Returned

It is a little early for this but in honor of the first day of Spring here is a poem I wrote in April of 2001



Listen,
can you hear it?

The Green has returned
accompanied by daffodils -
dogtooth violets, Dutchman’s britches, and baby lambs.

The Green has returned
and brought with it
blue skies, clouds, gentle rain and thunderstorms!

The Green has returned
resurrected from Winter’s cold sleep
leaping up to celebrate life.

It slipped around the corner -- sneaking up on us -quietly whistling a little tune to say ”I’m baaack!”


We are getting the first of our Spring storms today. The thunder and lightning of last night's storm woke Bailey up last night and he in turn woke me up by barking at it. This was about 4 AM and I had difficulty going back to sleep. So I got up early and have been tired all day. It was a beautiful, warm, rainy day. Very nice.

I got my hairs cut today (all of them) and had lunch with my friend Bob. Then tonight I went to the York Rite meeting. The High Priest is really enthusiastic and is working to revitalize our York Rite. Things are looking good.

Stay warm and be happy and watch for the green to come back.

Men and Women

A man is an irrational creature who is always looking for a home atmosphere in a hotel and hotel service at home.
--Anonymous

Women are not afraid to explore their inner lives. Men don't want to know they have one.
--Ron Bass

Women are as old as they feel -- and men are old when they lose their feelings.
--Mae West

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach. The way to a woman's heart is through the doors of a restaurant.
--Lisa Cofield

The fastest way to a man's heart is through his chest.
--Roseanne Barr

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Egypt



In 1976 I was fortunate enough to travel to Egypt. Twenty-one educators left Iowa on June 15. I returned on July 27. It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. We went there as a part of a special grant so our expenses were paid and we were obligated to learn about Egypt and its culture and then when we came back we put together kits which would be used to educate Iowa students about this country.

Whenever I travel special things seem to happen. One of my favorite memories was attending an Egyptian wedding celebration and being invited into an Egyptian home where I was treated like visiting royalty. I was ushered into a special room with fancy furniture and was given special treats to eat.

Of course, the taxi cab ride there was also a special memory. Taxis in Egypt did not drive sedately down the road depositing you quietly at your destination. No indeed, it was an exciting trip through streets with all kinds of traffic including camels, donkey carts and other cars all of which were speeding around from place to place without the benefit of headlights or street lights. Pedestrians did not have the right of way and they scattered right and left as we passed.

We spent time in Cairo, Luxor, Alexandria, and traveled as far south as Abu Simbel. We took sunset cruses on the Nile in boats much like the one in the picture above. The Nile had recently been dammed and the lake behind the dam had covered a multitude of ancient artifacts. The Temple at Abu Simbel was moved as the lake waters would have covered it. You can see pictures of it here.

Of course I did have a problem while I was there. I got sick. I cleaned my entire gastro-intestinal system on the 4th of July. They served us bacon for breakfast and let me warn you do not eat bacon in Egypt. The only person who did not get ill at sometime on the trip was Roger Volker. He brought along a suitcase full of granola bars and water with him. Smart man!

The people we met were wonderful. When I taught in Cedar Rapids I had friends, Bob and Verda Harper, who had lived in Cairo. Bob taught at the American University there. He told me about arriving in Cairo and then going out for a walk on the street and how he felt as if he had come home. The warmth of the people was incredible. I found this to be true.

When I was in Alexandria I used to go around to places with our guide (He didn't speak English and I didn't speak Arabic but we communicated) and sometimes I went out by myself. I remember on one trip downtown I was asked where I was from and when I told the store clerk he said "Welcome to my country!" It got me to thinking about whether or not I had ever done that to the many visitors who came to Ames. I hadn't.

Anyway the reason I am writing this it to share something I wrote in my scrapbook after I returned from Egypt.

This has been a wonderful experience. If it has taught me anything it is this -
All mankind is alike. People are basically good and beautiful. The difference between people are minimal. The world needs a common language. We must learn to work together. Love is the basic expression of all humanity. I am a citizen of the world.

I wonder if I would have the same experience in today's world. There does not seem to be the same acceptance of Americans in the world today. This is our own fault. We have become bullies in the world. Bullies are always in the wrong. Most of the people in America fit my description above (Yes I know it is naive but that is the way I am.)

Some way some how we have to regain the trust and respect of the world. Stay warm and be happy.

Just to good not to Post Now

A friend sent me the link to this Video on YouTube. Enjoy!

More about the Ladies

Men are women's playthings; woman is the devil's.
--Victor Hugo

When novelist Margaret Atwood asked women what they feared most from men, they said, "We're afraid they'll kill us." When men were asked the same question about women, they said, "We're afraid they'll laugh at us."
--Naomi Wolf

Men prefer brief praise, pitched high; women are satisfied with praise in a lower key, just so it goes on and on.
--Mignon McLaughlin

When men are oppressed, it's tragedy. When women are oppressed, it's tradition.
--Bernadette Mosala

If a man makes a stupid mistake, the other men say, "What a fool that man is." If a woman makes a stupid mistake, the men say, "What fools women are."
--H. C. L. Jackson

Monday, March 19, 2007

March 19, 2007

You can see that it is late. I just got back from Des Moines. Went to Acanthus Lodge for a First Degree. My friend and Brother John was Master and he did a fine job. In fact, all of the officers did a good job. Then after we went to what they call 632.5 which is a social time at Christoper's. I laughed so hard that my sides were aching. Good Degree, Good meal before (spiral cut ham) and good fellowship after. All in all very satisfactory.

Yesterday I went to the Des Moines Preceptory Legion of Honor annual banquet at the Willow Creek Country Club in Des Moines. I was vice-commander last year and am now commander. It is an excellent group of people who have been honored by the DeMolay and I enjoy them also.

The boys miss me when I am gone but Jon comes over and lets them out on Monday night and I was here all day. I was going to write a rant about something but, you know, I can't think of a thing to be upset about. So have a good day. Stay warm and be happy. j

More from the ladies

Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse.
- Lily Tomlin


I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days
attack me at once.
- Jennifer Unlimited


Whatever women must do they must do twice as well as men to
be thought half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult.
- Charlotte Whitton


The essential difference between men and women is that men think the Three Stooges are funny, and women don't.
--Jay Leno

The basic discovery about any people is the discovery of the relationship between its men and women.
--Pearl S. Buck

There aren't any hard women, only soft men.
--Raquel Welsh

Sunday, March 18, 2007

My Friend Carole

I have a friend named Carole Horowitz. You can read about her here.

I can't tell you exactly when I first met her. I came back to Ames and got involved with ACTORS. For those who don't know that is our local community theater. I am sure that is where we first met Carole was my producer when I directed the Children's Theater production of Pinocchio. That was a story in and of itself.

Over the years I have known her she and her husband Jack have become two of my favorite people. Carole is very involved with the Children's Theater and every year she and her group take three productions around to each school. They range from dance to puppets to audience involvement to performers brought in from the big city to reader's theater. Just about any theater experience you could want. They provide it. The students are generally brought into the gymnasium for the production and sometimes it is the only time the entire school is together.

It is a wonderful break and it instills in the students a love for the arts. This is something I find very worthwhile and important. Carole doesn't do it alone. She has a board of directors and they all work to provide this experience for the kids. They also sponsor a play in a theater for the student so that experience is also there for them. All in all it is a wonderful addition to our community.

Carole is FUN! She always has a smile and you can see that she enjoys life and all that it has to offer. She writes a column for the Ames newspaper and keeps us up to date on the Art happening in our city and elsewhere.

Carol used to sell imported jewelry and we had jewelry parties with her. A bunch of us would sit around the table and Carole would bring out treasure after treasure and we had a blast. Because she was so entertaining we had her back time after time and always bought things from her. I remember those evenings with fondness.

In 1994 (I think) I went into Washington, DC for Masonic Week. While I was there I hooked up with Carole who saw to it that I got to go to the Holocaust Museum where she was a volunteer. It was the most profound experience of that trip and I will never forget it. For those of you who do not know the Freemasons of Germany were also victims of Nazi Germany and it was very moving to see that connection as a part of the exhibits. I visited it again later when my nephew and I were in DC. But Carole was the first one to see to it that I got to learn about the museum.

Carole and Jack have also been there for me when I have had health challenges and their visits to me in the hospital brightened my stay. I really can't tell you how much I appreciate their friendship. It is fun to run into them out eating sometimes and we always have too brief a visit.

I always tell Carole that she should receive a Tony Award for her work in Children's Theater but since that doesn't seem to be possible I am awarding her the first Bailey's Buddy Blog award. I salute you Carole Horowitz. Let's do lunch. And oh yes, bring Jack. j

The first is my favorite - More from the ladies.

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
- Eleanor Roosevelt


The phrase "working mother" is redundant.
- Jane Sellman


A male gynaecologist is like an auto mechanic who never
owned a car.
- Carrie Snow


I have yet to hear a man ask for advice on how to combine
marriage and a career.
- Gloria Steinem


In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man - if you
want anything done, ask a woman.
- Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March 17, 2007

Today was excellent. I got up and looked outside to see the yard covered with snow. The dogs loved it. Max running around all over the place, just like a kid. Bailey, being older was more sedate. I thought to myself "What is this ___?" then I realized that my new philosophy is "Snow Melts" and came inside to do my Blog and check out others blogs and web sites. Around noon I decided I should get dressed and face the day.

I picked up cleaning (Now you can see why I call this the "Most Boring Blog...") and went out the the Masonic Temple for a York Rite Friendship meeting. Our High Priest had arranged it and while we did not have as many prospects as we should have liked what we lacked in quantity was certainly made up in quality. We had some "Grands" there and they did a fine job representing the Rite and a delicious shepherd's pie dinner was served afterward. Of course I was in the mood for steak but that is all right. I probably didn't need it anyway.

I read an entire book in between all of that - James Patterson's "Step On A Crack" and as usual it was excellent. I just finished it and decided I had better do my blog and then start on another book. I went to Borders yesterday and there are three new books waiting to be read. Not to mention all of those that I have on the shelf waiting for me. I finished another one yesterday and it was not as easy to read as it did not hold my interest as well as Patterson's book. His books are not hard to read. They are generally not overly long, put together well, suspenseful and with a (mostly) satisfying ending.

I have something to do every day this week so I am going to be busy, busy, busy as Billy DeWolfe used to say. Life is good. Stay happy and keep warm.

More from the ladies

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
- Helen Hayes (at 73)


Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry with
your girlfriends.
- Laurie Kuslansky


Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and
your body starts falling apart.
- Caryn Leschen


I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know
I'm not dumb - and I'm also not blonde.
- Dolly Parton


Behind every successful man is a surprised woman.
- Maryon Pearson

Friday, March 16, 2007

Libraries

I want to say that over the years the library has been a great help to me. I love to read. As a kid I started out with comic books and could get into them so far that people would talk to me and I would not hear them. Later the library supplied me with books to read. They also supplied me with answers to questions that I had as I was growing up. Through the library I found the answers to questions I had about who I was and solutions to problems of growing up.

There is nothing more satisfying than owning a book. (Well maybe there is but that is right up there with the good things in life) and I own a lot of them. Mostly I read for enjoyment but there was also a lot of information and personal growth to be gained by reading.

Our Grand Lodge has the priemier Grand Lodge Library in the world. It was started by T. S. Parvin about whom I have written earlier. Anybody can check out their books by writing to them. The book comes in the mail and when you have finished it you pay the return postage.

Ames is fortunate in that we have not only the Public Library but also the University Library. I have made good use of them over the years. The schools I went to and taught in also had libraries and media centers and they were the heart of the school and the librarians were supportive and helpful. I also had books in the classroom. I left about 6 boxes of books (big boxes) behind when I retired.

Unfortnately one of the problems with the library is that all kinds of people use it including smokers. Now I used to be a smoker so I am guilty also. But now that I am no longer a smoker the smell of smoke is very obnoxious to me and not pleasant. If I check out a book from the library there is a chance that the smell of smoke will waft up from its pages. The last time I checked out a book from the library the odor was so strong I took the book back without reading it.

So now I go to Borders and buy books. You will seldom find me without a book close by and I really am at a loss to figure out how people can NOT read. I am grateful for the ability to read and for the libraries that supplied me with material to read.
Stay warm and be happy!

Women's History Month - II

If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be
a horrible warning.
- Catherine


Old age ain't no place for sissies.
- Bette Davis


I am a marvellous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man, I
keep his house.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor


If high heels were so wonderful, men would still be wearing
them.
- Sue Grafton


A man's got to do what a man's got to do. A woman must do
what he can't.
- Rhonda Hansome

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Today

The daffodils perfume the living room and brighten my day. It was probably a good day outside but I didn't know it. I had a package of directories delivered to me today and I had to copy letters and address and stuff the envelopes and send the letters out. Then I had to get the "stuff" ready for tonights Master Mason Degree. There was a lot to do and I got it all done.

We now have a new Master Mason and he received an excellent degree.

Some of you may have noticed that there is a new link on the left-hand side. When I went to church last night Wayne suggested that I do a blog for the church. I put it together last night and he sent me copy for the post. I fixed it up tonight. If you are interested in Christian Science we are having a lecture on April 11. Information is on the blog as well as last night's readings on Rejoice. I hope some of you check it out. If not we will keep putting things up there in the hopes that some people will find it.

I am Second Reader for the Church and I get to read from the Bible on Sundays. It is one of the greatest things I get to do. When I was a teacher I always enjoyed reading to the students. We were supposed to read for 15 minutes a day and many days I read longer. There were certain things I read every year. I started out the year reading "The Hobbit" and at Christmas time I sometimes read Dicken's "A Christmas Carol" and almost always read Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory." That last took about 45 minutes to read and I always chocked up at the end of the story.

So I am going to rejoice for all that is good, for problems solved, for my experience as a teacher and for my Brothers in Lodge. Stay warm and Be Happy.

Women's History Month

Great quotes from women and about women.

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can
usually shut the bitch up with cookies. Inside every older
person is a younger person -- wondering what the hell
happened.
- Cora Harvey Armstrong


I refuse to think of them as chin hairs. I think of them as
stray eyebrows.
- Janette Barber


The day I worry about cleaning my house is the day Sears
comes out with a riding vacuum cleaner.
- Roseanne Barr


When women are depressed, they either eat or go shopping.
Men invade another country.
- Elayne Boosler


When I was young, I was put in a school for retarded kids
for two years before they realized I actually had a hearing
loss. And they called ME slow!
- Kathy Buckley

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ginny's Cat



Ginny just sent me pictures of her new cat. His name is Kestrel. You can congratulate her at Mxjack@aol.com.

Taking Offense

"The mental arrow shot from another's bow is practically harmless, unless our own thought barbs it. It is our own pride that makes another's criticism rankle, our self-will that makes another's deed offensive, our egotism that feels hurt by another's self-assertion." Mary Baker Eddy

The above is from an article called Taking Offense from Prose Works. Over the years I have used this article to good advantage. That does not mean that I have to accept the thought of another as being merited. It just means that I can examine it and decide whether or not to be upset by it. It is my choice.

When I was a kid I had a talking to by my grandfather about my temper. He told me that he had lost a job because of his temper and he saw signs of his temper in me. (Something about the Irish as Margaret Smith used to say) I work to control my temper but my voice naturally takes on a "tone" at times. I think it comes from having had to control and get the attention of about 25-28 kids at once. I forget that. My voice carries and it is open to misinterpretation. No matter how others see (or hear) it I don't generally lose my temper. There is just not much to get mad at. I do get disgusted with things at times but seldon get out of control. Others may seem to think I have lost my temper when I have not. No one can tell how I am feeling inside.

I do get hurt easily and need to develop thicker skin but as I said I get over most things. I don't always forget and I still think the Genesis admoniton is worthy and I will always go to the "left" hand pasture.

In the meantime I had a good day. Hope you did also, Stay warm and be happy.



OK, here are the picture I wanted to put on yesterday. I found out that Blogger was having difficulty putting them on from Safari and I should use Firefox to upload them. It worked. Enjoy. More later.

More Questions to Ponder

13 Do Lipton Tea employees take coffee breaks?

14. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?

15. I was thinking about how people seem to read the Bible a whole lot more as they get older; then it dawned on me...they're cramming for their final exam.

16. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks, so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use. Toothpicks?

17. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so the mailmen can look for them while they deliver the mail?

18. If it's true that we are here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

19. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

20. Ever wonder what the speed of lightning would be if it didn't zigzag?

21. If a cow laughed, would milk come out of her nose?

22. Whatever happened to Preparations A through G?
23. As income tax time approaches, did you ever notice: When you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together, it spells "THEIRS

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Frustrating

I took a couple of pictures to use on this entry but could not get them to upload. One was of Max in the shower. Jon took him to Dolliver Park up south of Ft. Dodge today and brought him back a little muddy. Then he let him outside and he came in very muddy. So he went to the shower and washed him while I mopped the kitchen floor. After that he had to cut the thorn branches out of his fur. Such fun. I think he is ready to have Max groomed.

The other picture was a sure sign of Spring. I am enjoying two beautiful bouquets of daffidols that Dorothy H. brought over to me at noon yesterday. They have opened up and are just outstanding. Dorothy does a lot of good. She used to stop and see Mother every day for a visit. I think she still visits some people regularly just to check on them. She is a good person. I wish I could have invited her in but I had just stepped out of the shower and wasn't dressed yet. I know it was noon but why hurry? I have to check my blogs and web sites to see what is happening in the world.

For some reason they would not upload to the computer so I could share them so you will just have to use your imagination. Otherwise there is not much else to report today. We broke the heat records in Iowa today. 76 degrees in Des Moines and it is still 56.5 degrees outside at 9:22. (I don't think Blogger has gotten its clock set for Daylight savings time yet) I am going to have to bring the fans up from downstairs one of these days.

Questions

1. Ever wonder about those people who spend $2.00 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAIVE

2. Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool? (My sentiments exactly)

3. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea...does that mean that one enjoys it?

4. There are three religious truths:
a. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
b. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith.
c. Baptists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters.

5. If people from Poland are called Poles, then why aren't people from Holland called Holes?

6. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery ?

7. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?

8. Why do croutons come in airtight packages? Aren't they just stale bread to begin with?

9. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a racecar is not called a racist?

10. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety-one?

11. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, then doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?

12. If Fed Ex and UPS were to merge, would they call it Fed UP?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Today


March 12, 2007

This was a very good day for me. It was very warm and I was able to go out with a light spring jacket. Went to the grocery store and then this evening I went down to Des Moines to attend Lodge down there. I really enjoy this Lodge. I have a lot of good friends there and went out afterwards with the officers. I was made to feel very welcome. They have a dinner before the meeting every week. ($4.00) The officers serve it and tonight I had my first charcoal broiled hamburger of the season. Delicious. I have been there before and really enjoy the fellowship.

At times I actually think it would be good to live in Des Moines. I am beginning to think my house is to big for me and I could take advantage of a lot of things down there. I go down a lot anyway. Enjoy the restaurants, entertainment and shopping. Perhaps I will move.

Ginny had an article published in Defenders of Wildlife. You can see it at:

http://action.defenders.org/site/News2?news_iv_ctrl=-1&id=11875

Sorry you will have to copy and paste it because I don't know how to make it clickable. Perhaps I shall learn someday. I did go back and get the picture.

I am amazed at the numbers on this blog. Thanks for reading it. Stay warm (much easier today) and be happy.

More Pain for Larry

A man's home is his castle, in a manor of speaking.

A pessimist's blood type is always b-negative.

My wife really likes to make pottery, but to me it's just kiln time.

Dijon vu: the same mustard as before.

Practice safe eating: always use condiments.

I fired my masseuse today. She just rubbed me the wrong way.

A Freudian slip is when you say one thing but mean your mother.

Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or death.

I used to work in a blanket factory, but it folded.

I used to be a lumberjack, but I just couldn't hack it, so they gave me
the ax.

If electricity comes from electrons, does that mean that morality comes
from morons?

A man needs a mistress just to break the monogamy.

Marriage is the mourning after the knot before.

A hangover is the wrath of grapes.

Corduroy pillows are making headlines.

Is a book on voyeurism a peeping tome.

Dancing cheek-to-cheek is really a form of floor play.

Banning the bra was a big flop.

Sea captains don't like crew cuts.

Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?

A successful diet is the triumph of mind over platter.

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.

A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor.

Without geometry, life is pointless.

When you dream in color, it's a pigment of your imagination.

Condoms should be used on every conceivable occasion.

Reading whilst sunbathing makes you well-red.

When two egotists meet, it's an I for an I.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Movies, etc.

When I was a kid I went to a lot of movies. We had four theaters here in Ames. The Collegian, The Capital, The Varsity and the Ames. We also had a drive-in on the west side of town. Generally I went to the two downtown theaters. They were great fun. There were huge "kiddie shows" at the Collegian. These were full theaters with baloons, games and the manager as MC. One of the challenges was to eat a soda cracker and then whistle. The first one to whistle won a silver dollar.

Most of the time I would get dropped off at the theater and go to the movie and then someone would pick me up after it was over. Usually these were the cowboy films or the serials. I remember one problem I had because of this practice. I was always tall for my age and the cashier at the theater would not accept that I was young enough to get into for a child's ticket. I went down to Dixon's drugstore to call home. Needless to say I was upset. My grandmother came down to the theater and let them know in no uncertain words that "that boy does not lie." From then on I carried proof of my age with me to the movie theater. I think also her statement gave me a standard of honesty to live up to.

Over the years I have been to thousands of movies. I used to go right down in front (probably because I needed glasses) and get right into the action. I especially enjoyed the Tarzan movies. There was something exciting about a man raised in the jungle who could talk to animals. I only got "pulled" from one movie. I don't remember what it was but it was to mature for me. This was before ratings and my mother monitored my shows.

I have seen great stars and traveled the world because of movies. Katharine Hepburn in "The Lion In Winter and Elizabeth Taylor in anyting stand out. Sophia Loren and Audrey Hepburn were incredible. Once I went to a Holywood primere when I was visiting my aunt in Los Angeles. All the stars of Mission Impossible were there and it was fun to see them.

I still go to movies. Now I sit in the back of the theater (on the left side) so that people don't have their view blocked. I saw one today. "Amazing Grace" is an excellent movie. It is about the fight to end the slave trade in England. Albert Finney played the composer/author? of the hymn Amazing Grace which is one of my favorites and while he was not the main character in the movie he did an excellent job. I recommend it highly. Thumbs up and five out of four stars.

The day was beautiful today. No problems with daylight savings time and the snow melts. Stay warm and be happy.

BAD

I love Puns - Thanks to Steve for sending these. (Blame him!)

(1) King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years
of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the
Euphrates , the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he
went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan. Croesus said, "I'll
give you 100,000 dinars for it." "But I paid a million dinars for it,"
the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!" Croesus
replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."

(2) Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid
bowlers. However, all the Swiss league records were unfortunately
destroyed in a fire, and we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.

(3) A man rushed into a busy doctor's office and shouted "Doctor! I think
I'm shrinking!!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down. You'll
just have to be a little patient."

(4) A marine biologist developed a race of genetically engineered dolphins
that could live forever if they were fed a steady diet of seagulls. One
day, his supply of the birds ran out so he had to go out and trap some more. On
the way back, he spied two lions asleep on the road. Afraid to wake them,
he gingerly stepped over them. Immediately, he was arrested and charged with
transporting gulls across sedate lions for immortal porpoises.

(5) Back in the 1800s the Tates Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California . This, of course, is the origin of the expression, "He who has a Tates is lost!"

(6) A thief broke into the local police station and stole all the toilets
and urinals, leaving no clues. A spokesperson was quoted as saying, "We
have absolutely nothing to go on."

(7) An Indian chief was feeling very sick, so he summoned the medicine
man.
After a brief examination, the medicine man took out a long, thin strip of
elk rawhide and gave it to the chief, telling him to bite off, chew, and
swallow one inch of the leather every day. After a month, the medicine man
returned to see how the chief was feeling. The chief shrugged and said,
"The thong is ended, but the malady lingers on."

(8) A famous Viking explorer returned home from a voyage and found his
name missing from the town register. His wife insisted on complaining to the
local civic official who apologized profusely saying, "I must have taken
Leif off my census."

(9) There were three Indian squaws. One slept on a deer skin, one slept on
an elk skin, and the third slept on a hippopotamus skin. All three became
pregnant, and the first two each had a baby boy. The one who slept on the
hippopotamus skin had twin boys. This goes to prove that the squaw of the
hippopotamus is equal to the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.

(10) A skeptical anthropologist was cataloging South American folk
remedies with the assistance of a tribal brujo who indicated that the leaves of a
particular fern were a sure cure for any case of constipation. When the
anthropologist expressed his doubts, the brujo looked him in the eye and
said, "Let me tell you, with fronds like these, who needs enemas?"

(By the way, the guy who wrote these 10 puns entered them in a contest.
He figured with 10 entries, he couldn't lose. As they were reading the
list of winners, he was really hoping one of his puns would win, but
unfortunately, no pun in ten did.) Energizer Bunny arrested; charged with
battery.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Probably Boring

Yesterday I discovered that my computer ink cartridge was about out of ink. So I loaded up the "boys" to go to Staples and get a new cartridge. No problem there. I use the "beltway" - going out to Dayton and around town to get to the south side of town. The boys were good and I got the ink cartridge and came home.

When I came in I discovered there was a message on the answering machine. It was Jon requesting that I go to the basement closet to get his good clothes out and bring them out to him by 4:00. So I went down and got the clothes and put them in the car. While I was doing that Max went out into the garage and was out there when I came back in. I decided I would check to see if the mail had come. Went out the front door to see if the mail was there. It wasn't. The problem came when I closed the door and locked myself out of the house. Couldn't open any of the doors. Shouldn't have been a real problem but there was snow and I couldn't climb over it with my brace and shoe. So I walked back and forth for a while and noticed the Mediacom truck pulling in across the street.

I asked him if he would climb over the snow and go around to the back door, which I knew was open, and come through the house and let me in. He was worried about the dogs but fortunately Max was in the garage so I got back in the house. Locked the dogs up and then took Jon his clothing.

I have a long black leather coat and with my black hat I was accused of being Jon's "drug dealer" at the Flying Burrito. Turned out he was going to his roommate's wedding in Des Moines. I won't say anything about planning ahead. But I was glad to do it and got a kick out of being called a drug dealer.

Today has been busy Practice this morning and two degrees at Lodge this afternoon. It was a good afternoon and the degrees were done well. Both candidates expressed gratitude for the work that the Brothers put on.

I found out via a phone call that the Met Opera is broadcasting Opera to certain theaters on High Definition Big Screen TV. Cinemark is one of the Theaters and there is one tomorrow afternoon so I really think I will go to the Opera since I missed listening today. I don't know much about Opera but I enjoy listening to them on WOI.

I have one of the clocks set ahead. Will work on the others before I go to bed. People are "fussing" about their computer clocks. I downloaded a patch which is supposed to take care of it. I found this explanation for how we got Daylight Savings Time on the Internet.

Daylight Saving Time was invented by an Indian chief who cut one foot off the end of his blanket and sewed it on the other end to make the blanket longer.

I remember hearing some woman complain (when they were first putting forth the idea of DST in the state) that she wasn't in favor of it because her "plants would get an extra hour of light and it wouldn't be good for them." No kidding. They walk among us. I, of course, am in favor of it because there will be extra time for the snow to melt. - Grin - Stay warm and happy.

Fun Signs - Last group

At an Optometrist's Office :
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."
**************************

On a Taxidermist's window:
"We really know our stuff."
**************************

On a Fence:
"Salesmen welcome! Dog food is expensive!"
**************************

At a Car Dealership:
"The best way to get back on your feet - miss a car payment."
**************************

Outside a Muffler Shop:
"No appointment necessary We hear you coming."
**************************

In a Veterinarian's waiting room:
"Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"
**************************

At the Electric Company:
"We would be delighted if you send in your payment.
However, if you don't, you will be."
**************************

In a Restaurant window:
"Don't stand there and be hungry, Come on in and get fed up."
**************************

In the front yard of a Funeral Home:
"Drive carefully. We'll wait."

**************************
At a Propane Filling Station ,
"Thank heaven for little grills."
**************************

And don't forget the sign at a Chicago Radiator Shop:
"Best place in town to take a leak"

Friday, March 9, 2007

Musings

One more night before we lose an hour of sleep. The "boys" are still getting me up early which didn't help last night because I didn't get to sleep early. Things on my mind. They have been there all day. I am investigating making some changes in things. I need to be where I am liked and after last night I don't feel very liked.

I think that goes with the "leftovers" from being a teacher. I know that I was criticized by some parents who did not like it that I had standards that I expected their children to follow. I also know that parents who didn't like me would talk about me behind my back. They do it to every teacher. Be that as it may I know that I prepared the kids for the next year. I take it as a high compliment from one kid who told his sister that "Once you've had Simser the Middle School is a snap." One of my co-workers told me that I was the "most creative teacher in the district." Of course, I didn't believe her. No teacher does. And that feeling carries over into my low self esteem that I don't usually talk about.

I care about many things but my skin has always been too thin. After a certain point I will walk away and take no more of it. Something like Lot and Abraham in the Bible. "Let there be no strife between me and thee for we be brethren - but if you are going to the right hand pasture I shall go to the left." Right now I am very close to walking away. I don't need the criticism or strife in my world. It isn't healthy for me.

I had a friend (I thought) of thirty years but when I began to evaluate our friendship I found that I was being criticized far too much, That I had my grammar corrected in front of a waiter in a restaurant and I could go on. Basically I was just being used as someone to complain to and I was not getting anything positive out of it. I walked away and have not reconnected with her. It is time I took care of myself and I really don't need people like that in my life.

More Funny signs

On a Church's Billboard:
"7 days without God makes one weak."
**************************

At a Tire Shop in Milwaukee:
"Invite us to your next blowout."
**************************

On a Plastic Surgeon's Office door:
"Hello. Can we pick your nose?"
**************************

At a Towing company:
"We don't charge an arm and a leg. We want tows."
**************************

On an Electrician's truck:
"Let us remove your shorts."
**************************

In a Nonsmoking Area:
"If we see smoke, we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action."
**************************

On a Maternity Room door:
"Push. Push. Push."
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Thursday, March 8, 2007

Musings

Today was not really what I would call a good day. I had to get things ready for the meeting tonight and when I went to pick up my testing strips I was told that Medicare would not allow me to get them for ten days. I have enough strips left to get me through the time but thought I'd just go ahead and pick up the testing strips and have them on hand so I would not have to make another trip to the drug store. PITA. If you don't know what that stands for write me and I will tell you.

Then they were short about 10 people at the Lodge Dinner. I know that we had to change the date of the meeting because of the weather but it is not fair to the boys to come out and prepare for a certain number of people and then have them not show up.

I am not going to blog about the other problem but, needless to say, it has me very upset and I am seriously considering changing some things I am involved in. Being Secretary of the Lodge is not turning out to be fun. I like to see things done correctly according to law and there are people who feel they can just do whatever they want to do. Nuff said. I came home early.

Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day. Stay warm - they are promising 60 degree weather next week. I'm ready. j

Funny Signs

The person who sent me these said they were "my kind of humor" I don't know if that was an insult or a compliment. Any way enjoy.

Sign over a Gynecologist's Office:
"Dr. Jones, at your cervix."
**************************

In a Podiatrist's office:
"Time wounds all heels."
**************************

On a Septic Tank Truck in Oregon:
Yesterday's Meals on Wheels
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On another Septic Tank Truck:
"We're #1 in the #2 business"
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At a Proctologist's door:
"To expedite your visit please back in."
******************* *******

On a Plumber's truck:
"We repair what your husband fixed."
**************************

On another Plumber's truck:
"Don't sleep with a drip. Call your plumber.."

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Improving Education

I had a UNISERV Unit board meeting tonight. (I am still on even though I am retired.) Stan (Uniserv director) was talking about legislation for teacher improvement and I saw red.

"No Child Left Behind" is a failure. Bush's educational program is a failure. It is not because of the teachers. The teachers are well prepared and (for the most part) ready, willing and able to teach. They have been certified by the state as qualified.

People continually try to "blame the problems of education on poor teachers." All through the 38 years of my professional career I took classes and read books and professional literature to improve my abilities as a teacher. Every teacher i know did this. In addition they spent countless hours outside the contract day grading papers, devising ways to meet the needs of every child in their classroom.

Several years ago I attended a meeting sponsored by the "Business Roundtable" which announced that they were going to improve education and the way they were going to do it was to require students to take tests and if they did not pass the tests the schools would be penalized. Essentially they were signalling their intent to do what "No Child Left Behind" is doing and it is a FAILURE! It causes teachers and student to spend time preparing to pass tests and not do things which will help them improve as learners.

Now if they really want to improve things in the school they will mandate that parents learn how to raise children. How to read to them daily. How to support them in their school work. How to provide a loving, structured, home for them that will give them stability and foundation they need. They will put their children's needs before their own and will see to it that they spend quality time together as a family no matter what the make up of that family is. That they will see to it that, no matter what, the children will not see a divided parential unit. They will decide how to raise their children and present a united front.

If parents do these (and other things of a similar nature) education will improve. If schools are not treated as a baby sitting service and teachers are constantly undermined by constant repition of the "What are we going to do about poor teachers" mantra and by administrators who do not support the teachers but hide out in meetings bad-mouthing their teachers then education will improve.

In addition if parents will expose their children to quality literature and movies and monitor their TV watching. They will know their friends and their computer/internet habits and consistantly provide them with good examples.

If parents are not willing to do the basic things necessary to raise their children they should not be parents. Unfortunately there is no way to mandate who can be parents.

But lets put the blame where it belongs. Not on trained professional teachers. Stop blaming the problems of Education on teachers. Put the blame where it belongs... poor parenting, administrators who are unwilling to stand up for their teachers and demand that they be given the respect they deserve. Work to have a society that values something other than money, drugs, alcohol, all the myriad of problems we have. Problems that can be solved - if we are willing.

Thanks for listening. Stay warm - be happy!

Last Irish Joke

Unless someone sends me more this it the last of the Irish Jokes. Thanks to Doug Petty for supplying them.

Flynn staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddy, Paddy. He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Mary.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, Flynn sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood.

He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed.

In the morning, Flynn woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Mary staring at him from across the room.

She said, "You were drunk again last night weren't you?"

Flynn said, "Why you say such a mean thing?"

"Well," Mary said, "it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly.....it's all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Memories and Friends

One of my former students called me tonight. I mean one from way back. Kathy was in one of my first (if not my first) class. She was evidently wondering if I was still around so she checked and called me. It was really neat to hear from her. We had a nice visit. Turns out she has three sons. The oldest is Jon's age. Funny when I think of her I see her as she was back in the 60's when I sometimes threw erasers around the class room.

Being a teacher is probably the most rewarding profession in the world. (Although not monetarily). When you renew contacts with students from years ago and you know that you meant something to them it makes you realize that your life counted for something. 38 years of teaching And the best thing about it was the kids.

The poem I posted earlier today is a tribute to a special friend. I first heard about the poem on a Masonic list I belong to. It was written by a fellow Mason and really struck a note with me. Family is important but family is stuck with you whether they like you or not. Sometimes you get the feeling that they just contact you out of a sense of "duty" - It is the friends you make and the former students that have become friends that really make life special. The closeness which develops as Kipling describes in the poem is rare and when it happens it brightens your life. I am grateful for all of them. It is getting warmer. Spring is coming. Daylight Savings time begins next week-end. Spring forward. Stay warm and be happy! j

Irish Jokes

Walking into the bar, Mike said to Charlie the bartender, "Pour me a stiff one - just had another fight with the little woman."

"Oh yeah?" said Charlie, "And how did this one end?"

"When it was over," Mike replied, "She came to me on her hands and knees.

"Really," said Charles, "Now that's a switch! What did she say?"

She said, "Come out from under the bed, you little chicken."

Monday, March 5, 2007

Birches by Robert Frost

My friend Doug Petty told me that he had been reminded of the poem Birches by Robert Frost.
It starts out like this...

WHEN I see birches bend to left and right
Across the line of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay.
Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. ...

You can read the entire poem at this URL

http://www.bartleby.com/104/66.html

I can tell you right now that I wish I was able to write poetry like this. The pictures Frost drew in words are vivid and imaganitive. I thank Doug for showing me this.

It is easy to see why he was reminded of the poem. When you drive the streets of Ames you can see the damage the last storms did to our trees. I saw one tree on Ninth Street that had two big limbs broken. One from each side of the main trunk. I suppose the entire tree will have to be taken down. There are piles of branches in the parking all over town. It is hard to see but in some ways it will be all right. This is nature's way of pruning the trees.

Nature has systems in place for recovery after this type of storm. It may be rough but it will, in the end, recover. So there is probably a lesson to be learned from this storm. No matter how tough things seem to be there are systems in place to help you to recover. We just have to learn and remember the lesson. Stay warm - be happy!

More from the Irish

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend, Finney.

"Did you see the paper?" asked Gallagher. "They say I died!!"

"Yes, I saw it!" replied Finney. "Where are ye callin' from?"



An Irish priest is driving down to New York and gets stopped for speeding in Connecticut. The state trooper smells alcohol on the priest's breath and then sees an empty wine bottle on the floor of the car.

He says, "Sir, have you been drinking?"

"Just water," says the priest.

The trooper says, "Then why do I smell wine?"

The priest looks at the bottle and says, "Good Lord! He's done it again!"

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Snow Melts

And it started to melt today. Next week is incredibly busy. I need to write something. I keep getting ideas to start a poem but nothing develops from it. So here is an old one I wrote one day. It tells its own story.

Wake Up Call

I stubbed my toe last night
while shuffling off to bed
The pain shot from my toe
right to the top of my head.

I yelled, and screamed - jumped up and down..
I massaged my toe~ -- rubbed them all around.
They felt much better so I resumed my treck.
On down the hallway --my foot, a wreck!

Next I encountered the dog's old bone,
Which he planned on chewing when all alone.
It was hard and unpleasant, soggy and wet.
One of those chew things you get from the vet.

Once again I was doing my dance
As all around the house I did prance.

-

The next items my poor feet did encounter
My shoes Iying beside the kitchen counter.

Then the dog dish and the cat's water
I did spill My little toesies have had their fill.

I'm wide awake now -- there'll be no sleep tonight.
And next time -- I'll turn on the light!

Irish Jokes

Paddy was driving down the street in a sweat because he had an important meeting and couldn't find a parking place. Looking up to heaven he said, "Lord take pity on me. If you find me a parking place I will go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of me life and give up me Irish Whiskey!"

Miraculously, a parking place appeared.

Paddy looked up again and said, "Never mind, I found one."




Father Murphy walks into a pub in Donegal, and says to the first man he meets, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

The man said, "I do, Father."

The priest said, "Then stand over there against the wall."

Then the priest asked the second man, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

"Certainly, Father," was the man's reply.

"Then stand over there against the wall," said the priest.

Then Father Murphy walked up to O'Toole and said, "Do you want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said, "No, I don't Father."

The priest said, "I don't believe this. You mean to tell me that when you die you don't want to go to heaven?"

O'Toole said, "Oh, when I die, yes. I thought you were getting a group together to go right now.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Finally

I finally got out of the House today. Went to Polk City for supper. It was a fund raiser for Sylvia Koss who is going to China this summer with a school program. Her mother is our OES District Instructor. I like the whole family and Sylvia is a very lucky girl to have a family that will support her in all of the activities she is involved with.

Driving was not fun. Interstate was semi-ok. Speaking of Semi's there were at least three of them in the ditch along with about 25 cars. One of them was upside down. Mostly today the pavement was clear but there were patches of ice and blowing snow. Then when I turned west it was 100 % snow covered. I was glad to have the 4-wheel drive.

I could have skipped going but really wanted to get out of here after being stuck for three days. It is fine in town but outside of town it wasn't as much fun. I haven not seen snow like this since I was in college.

When I got home I stopped at Hollywood Video and rented movies. There is nothing on TV on Saturday nights. i got one with Maggie Smith. I am a real fan of hers. The first movie I remember her in was "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie." I fell in love with her and have enjoyed her ever since. This one was called "Keeping Mum" and is about a woman (Maggie) released from prison who had killed and dismembered her husband and his lover. I found it delightful and just in case any of you want to rent it I won't put any spoilers in it but the last scene made me laugh out loud.

Now I have "For Your Consideration" on and am probably not going to finish it. Tomorrow I am going to start watching the HBO series "Rome" I rented all five DVD's so over the next few days I will have a veritable Roman Orgy of HBO. It is a good thing I am retired. HBO does good things. I watched Helen Mirren as Elizabeth I earlier this year. It was on two DVD's and She was excellent.

It is more fun to watch the movies than it is to watch regular TV. I get so sick of the commercials - especially the medical one which spend all their time telling you what the side effects could be. The only side effect from those commercials is nausea. Stay warm. j

By the way to leave a comment just click on comments below and then leave your message.

Start the day with a smile

16.. Being "over the hill" is much better than being under it!
17.. Wrinkled Was Not One of the Things I Wanted to Be When I Grew up.
18.. Procrastinate Now!
19.. I Have a Degree in Liberal Arts; Do You Want Fries With That?
20.. A hangover is the wrath of grapes.
21.. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.
22.. Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere!
23.. They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken.
24.. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless DEAD.
25.. A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up three thousand times the memory.
26.. Ham and eggs? A day's work for a chicken, a lifetime commitment for the pig.
27.. The trouble with life is there's no background music.
28.. The original point and click interface was a Smith & Wesson.
29.. I smile because I don't know what the heck is going on.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Miss Cassie




Cassie (Jon's cat) lives with me and she is fun to have around. These two pictures are of her getting her drinks from the bathroom lavatory. She comes in first thing in the morning and jumps up and waits for me to turn on a slow trickle of water and then takes her paw and directs the stream of water to her mouth. When she finishes she comes on out and I have to remember to go back in and turn the water off.

Another cold day in Ames. I didn't even go outside and I didn't get any mail (at least not yet) so I wonder if they even delivered. I don't really mind not getting mail generally all I get are bills and ads. Nothing that says I have won the lottery or sweepstakes. Of course I would have to enter to win something. I can never understand why people gamble. My feelings about it is that I am going to lose and I set a limit for the amount I will "pay to play" usually not much.

I did win once. Mom and Ginny and I were on a trip to California and we stopped overnight in Vernal, Utah (That is another story) and then went on to Winnemucka (sp?) for breakfast. I decided to lose $5 on the slot machines and to make a long story short I won a jackpot of about $275. I told my mother that I had just won a jackpot and she said "lets get the H*** out of here." So we did and on the way home I purchased a beautiful Indian made turquoise and silver watch band. It was exciting. Unfortunately I have never been that lucky again. Usually I would lose 30 or 40 dollars and decide there were other places to spend the rest of my money.

My cousin Tom, seemed to be able to win as when I went to the Casino with him he came away with more money than he went in with.

Stay warm and hopefully things will be better tomorrow. I have not been out of the house for two days and I am going stir crazy. The biggest disadvantage to that is that I get bored and then I go off my diet. I had four beef sticks this afternoon. One every 10 minutes. The boys thought I was worthy of their adoration while I had the sticks in hand and they got a few tastes. j

Thoughts to Make You Smile

1.. My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God and I didn't.
2.. I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.
3.. Some people are alive only because it's illegal to kill them.
4.. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.
5.. Don't take life too seriously; No one gets out alive.
6.. You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me.
7.. Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.
8.. Earth is the insane asylum for the universe.
9.. I'm not a complete idiot -- Some parts are just missing.
10.. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.
11. NyQuil, the stuffy, sneezy, why-the-heck- is-the-room- spinning medicine.
12.. God must love stupid people; He made so many.
13.. The gene pool could use a little chlorine.
14.. Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.
15.. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

Thursday, March 1, 2007




March certainly came in like a lion. It is crummy outside. Even the "boys" can tell there is something going on. Max usually sleeps on the other side of the room and is quiet (until he hears a noise) Today he has been sleeping over next to my chair and he has been practicing his "in and out" control of Uncle Jay. I put a couple of pictures of him on here as he went out to "do his business." Usually he goes out and rolls around in the snow and then he takes off to the far corner of the yard to take care of things. Today he is looking out the window. Sitting for a few minutes and then standing by the door to go out. He also climbed up on my lap. They know when something is going on.

Lodge was canceled for tonight so I am going to stay in. Keep warm and thanks for reading my blog. j

Product Warnings

A friend sent me the following url for some product warnings

http://www.dumb.com/productwarnings.htm

Tney are at Dumb.com so you can imagine what they are. Funny.

Joke de'Jour

Grandma and Grandpa were driving from Washington to Florida to attend their granddaughters graduation from medical school
Halfway through their trip, they stopped to visit one of their sons in Kansas for a night. Grandpa found a bottle of Viagra in the medicine cabinet He asked his son about using one of the pills.

The son said, "I don't think you should take one Dad, they're very strong and very expensive."

"How much?" asked Grandpa.

"Around $10..00 a pill," answered the son.

"I don't care," said Grandpa, "I'd still like to try one, we'll be leaving early in the morning, so I'll put the money under the pillow."

Later the next morning, the son found $110.00 under the pillow. He immediately called Grandpa on his cell phone and said, "I told you each pill was $10.00, not $110.00.

"I know," said Grandpa. "The hundred is from Grandma."