Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Drivel Over Coffee #288 11/24/2015

“Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not.” George Bernard Shaw 
Are you ready for the turkey? Yep, me too. Sven and Svenette are hosting this year. Really looking forward to it. It is always a good time except it is just too brief. With these two cooking I am assured of a fantastic meal. This will be the final Drivel for 2015. Seems as though we have covered a lot of ground this year albeit inconsequential at best. I don't think my ramblings will garner any awards but I think it will cause a smile or two occasionally.

During my winter sabbatical I will be exploring the viability of starting a 501C3 non-profit. I have ranted on numerous occasions about the epidemic of 'stupid' spreading around our country. I feel someone needs to step up and take my fight to another level. My group will be named Stamp Out Stupid (SOS). It is estimated by someone I think that 1 out of 4 Americans has been ravaged by stupid. Little is known just how it is transmitted but since it has been tracked it has been seen to spread particularly among the younger generations for some reason. I will have more on this next year.

I have been looking at a couple of places to spend some of the winter where the weather is more welcoming. I just can't decide though. Now take Phoenix, Arizona where

1. You are willing to park 3 blocks away from your house because you found shade.
2. You've experienced condensation on your behind from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
3. You can drive for 4 hours in one direction and never leave town.
4. You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
5. You know that "dry heat" is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door.
6. The 4 seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??

Or, I can go to Florida, where

1. You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
2. All purchases include a coupon of some kind – even houses and cars.
3. Everyone can recommend an excellent cardiologist, dermatologist, proctologist, podiatrist, or orthopedist.
4. Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
5. Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.

Do you have suggestions? Is one of these better than the other? Probably just move my recliner to the south side of the family room like always and stay stuck in Iowa for another year.

My current wife, Sue, and I went out to eat the other night. Our meal was brought to our table in due time. After a bit I waved for the waiter to come over. He saw me wave and walked over to our table. “How did you find your steak, sir?” “Well,” I replied, “it was simple. I just lifted up a Brussels sprout, and there it was!”

Senior Dress Code – Now this is important so PLEASE read this. Many of us “Old Folks” (those over 50, WAY over 50) are quite confused about how we should present ourselves. We are unsure about the kind of image we are projecting and whether or not we are correct as we try to conform to current fashions. Despite what you may have seen on the streets, the following combinations DO NOT go together and should be avoided.

1. A nose ring and bifocals.
2. Spike hair and bald spots.
3. A pierced tongue and dentures.
4. Mini-skirts and support hose.
5. Ankle bracelets and corn pads.
6. Speedo's and cellulite.
7. A belly button ring and a gall bladder surgery scar.
8. Unbuttoned disco shirts and a heart monitor.
9. Midriff shirts and a midriff bulge.
10. Bikinis and liver spots.
11. Short shorts and varicose veins.
12. Inline skates and a walker.
And last, but not least and my personal favorite.
13 Thongs and Depends.

A minister decided to do something a little different one Sunday morning. He said “Today, in church, I am going to say a single word and you are going to help me preach. Whatever single word I say, I want you to sing whatever hymn comes to mind.”

The pastor shouted out “CROSS.” Immediately the congregation started singing in unison, “THE OLD RUGGED CROSS.” The pastor hollered out “GRACE”. The congregation began to sing “AMAZING GRACE, how sweet the sound.” The pastor said “POWER.” The congregation sang “THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD.” The pastor said “SEX.” The congregation fell into total silence. Everyone was in shock. They all nervously began to look around at each other afraid to say anything. Then all of a sudden, from way in the back of the church, a little old 87 year old grandmother stood up and began to sing “PRECIOUS MEMORIES.” Gotta love little old ladies!

While on the subject of religion, God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, “Lord, we don't need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the 'beginning.'” “Oh, is that so? Tell me,” replies God. “Well,” says the scientist, “we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of You and breathe life into it, thus creating man.” “Well, that's interesting. Show me.” So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil. “Oh, no, no, no,” interrupted God, “Get your own dirt.”

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" We who have seen war never stop seeing it. If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. Until we meet again -TA!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Drivel Over Coffee #287 11/17/2015

In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. Jose Narosky

It is a great morning in the neighborhood. Hi everyone. Trash pickup today. It made it to the curb on time for the 468th time in a row. The Garbage Gestapo sent me a certificate when I hit 450. Yippee! Threw it away, of course. Today is a cloudy day, chilly and rainy. What if this is actually the best moment of your life? Wouldn't that suck? BTW – Next week's Drivel Over Coffee will be the last one for this year. I am taking an extended holiday to allow my brain to recover.

You may not have realized that yesterday was “Slap-An-Idiot Monday”. Almost missed it myself until I went to Walmart. I wouldn't have to manage my anger if people would manage their stupidity!

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Mr. Common Sense. Mr. Sense had been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such value lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, and that life isn't always fair. Mr. Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not kids, are in charge). His health began to rapidly deteriorate when well intentioned regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Mr. Sense declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student; but, could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion. Finally, Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by two stepbrothers, My Rights and Ima Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on, if not, join the majority and do nothing.

Last Wednesday was Veterans Day. I was so appreciative for all of the best wishes and thoughts extended to me. We must always be reminded that these men and women serve, get wounded, and die at the direction of their government – right or wrong. They serve without question to protect the freedoms you take for granted. Remember the words of Lee Greenwood, “And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.”

I'll be sitting here until my current wife calms down. You see she asked: “What's on the TV?” and I answered: “Dust.” It's All My Fault –

It has been a while since I have exercised on a regular basis. It is really hard to get back into the routine. I have been searching for that motivation and just can't find it. I joined a health club several years ago, spent about $400 a year. Haven't lost a pound. Apparently you have to show up. The advantage of exercising every day is that you die healthier. I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them. Now take my grandmother for instance. She started walking 5 miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now and we don't know where the heck she is. Jogging is not my most favorite exercise activity. The only reason I jog is so that I can hear heavy breathing again but it makes the ice jump right out of my glass.

My current wife, Sue, James (not his real name), his bride and I went out for supper last week to a restaurant that we kind of like. The service was slow for some reason. We finally received our food after a long wait. “Are you the one who took our order?” I asked. “Yes, sir,” she replied politely. “Well, I'll be darned!” I exclaimed. “You don't look a day older!”

I read a story on-line a while back. A small boy saved his friend from drowning in an icy lake. When a TV reporter asked him what made him risk his life, he innocently replied, “He was wearing my skates.”

My brother was talking to a farmer friend of his. The farmer said to my brother, “I once made a scarecrow so terrible that it frightened every single crow off the place.” “Oh, that's nothing,” my brother replied. “I once made one so terrible that the crows brought back the corn they stole the year before!”

Conan O'Brien reported, “It is rumored that the new iPhones are going to use facial recognition technology to unlock your phone. Of course, if you live in Los Angeles the iPhone will store up to six of your previous faces.”

We haven't taken a look at the Top Ten Billboard in a long time. Today in 1969 I was in Vietnam and the No. 1 song was Hey Jude by the Beatles. This was followed by Love Child (Supremes), Those Were The Days (Mary Hopkin), Magic Carpet Ride (Steppenwolf), Abraham, Martin and John (Dion), White Room (Cream), Hold Me Tight (Johnny Nash), Who's Making Love (Johnnie Taylor), Little Green Apples (O.C. Smith), and Wichita Lineman (Glen Campbell). I like the Hey Jude song. For years this song was played between the third and fourth quarters of the Hawkeye football games. It was also the No.1 hit of 1968.

Today is Unfriend day. Ever scrolled through your Facebook and realized you don’t recognize half the names popping up in your News Feed? Friend list at 1000 people and counting? Is your wall cluttered with posts you don’t care about from people you don’t remember? Are you sick and tired of all of the TV show spoilers, conceited selfies, constant game invitations and endless photo sessions of someone’s dog/baby/vacation that you are being bombarded with 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 day a year? If you’ve answered yes to at least one of these questions, then Unfriend Day is probably the perfect the holiday for you!

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel founded Unfriend Day in 2014 to combat the growing trend of social media profiles collecting ‘friends’ like Pokemon cards, amassing a ridiculous amount of ‘friends’ they barely know at all in short periods of time. Getting rid of distant acquaintances on Unfriend Day can help streamline your internet experience, allowing you to use your profiles to keep in touch with people you really care about, and preserving the true definition of ‘friend.’

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" We who have seen war never stop seeing it. If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. -TA!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Drivel Over Coffee #286 11/10/2015

It doesn't matter if it's a relationship, a lifestyle, or a job. If it doesn’t make you happy let it go.

Tuesday already – hard to believe. I am always amazed at just how time flies. Seems like it was 1969 only yesterday. I really don't know what happened in between.

I will never understand why it's acceptable for people to be idiots but not acceptable for me to point it out. As Stuart, the minion, would say, “Run for your life! There are stupid people everywhere!” Apparently, when you treat people the same way they treat you, they get offended!

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. Take a moment to give thanks to All of the women and men who were sent off to fight wars on foreign soil for a cause not of their choosing and who returned changed forever. Either they died too young, were wounded by the enemies bullets or damaged mentally by the horror of war forever. Shake a vet's hand, pat him/her on their back or give them a shout out. As a Vietnam veteran I am most familiar with this era. 2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their generation and includes 7,484 women that served also. 58,202 soldiers died with 61% being 21 years old or younger; eleven women died. 303,704 soldiers were wounded. Rather sobering I would say. God Bless.

Seniors Guide to Texting Abbreviations  
ATD: At The Doctor's
BFF: Best Friend Fell
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
ROFL... CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing... Can't Get Up
SGGP: Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTYL: Talk To You Louder!
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WMP: Wet My Pants
WTP: Where's The Prunes?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil
GGLKI: Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking

In A Doctor was addressing a large audience in Tampa.

'The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us sitting here, years ago. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks corrode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. High fat diets can be disastrous, and none of us realize the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water. However, there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have eaten, or will eat it.

Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?” After several seconds of quiet, a 75-year-old man in the front row raised his hand, and softly said, “Wedding Cake.”

A week after Billy Bob's brother, John, bought a bull, he complained to a friend, “All that bull does is eat grass. Won’t even look at a cow.” “Take him to the vet,” his friend suggested.

The next week, John is much happier. “The vet gave him some pills, and the bull serviced all of my cows!” he told his pal. “Then he broke through the fence and bred with all my neighbor’s cows! He’s like a machine!” “What kind of pills were they?” asked the friend.

“I don’t know, but they’ve got a peppermint taste.” Billy Bob passed samples around at the Old Farts Coffee Klatch last week.

Forgot to do yoga yesterday. That makes it 6 years in a row now. Believe it or not, I am in shape. Unfortunately that shape is a potato. I thought I was losing weight but it turned out my sweatpants had come untied.

Groups of Americans were traveling by tour bus through Switzerland. As they stopped at a cheese farm, a young guide led them through the process of cheese making, explaining that goat's milk was used. She showed the group a lovely hillside where many goats were grazing.

“These,” she explained, “are the older goats put out to pasture when they no longer produce.” She then asked, “What do you do in America with your old goats?”

A spry old gentleman answered, “They send us on bus tours!”

I was standing at the bar one night with a buddy, minding my own business. This fat ugly chick came up behind me, grabbed my rear-end and said, "You're kind of cute, you gotta a phone number?" I said, “Yea, you gotta pen?" She said "Yea, I got a pen". I said, "Well, you better get back in it before the farmer misses you". Cost me 6 stitches!

The Presbyterian Church called a meeting to decide what to do about their squirrels. After much prayer and consideration they determined the squirrels were predestined to be there and they shouldn't interfere with God's divine will.

At the Baptist Church the squirrels had taken an interest in the baptistery. The Deacons met and decided to put a water slide on the baptistery and let the squirrels drown themselves. The squirrels liked the slide and unfortunately, knew instinctively how to swim so twice as many squirrels showed up the following week.

The Episcopal Church decided that they were not in a position to harm any of God's creatures. So they humanely trapped their squirrels and set them free near the Baptist Church. Two weeks later the squirrels were back when the Baptists took down the water slide.

But the Catholic Church came up with a very creative strategy. They baptized all the squirrels and consecrated them as members of the church. Now they only see them on Christmas and Easter.

Not much was heard from the Jewish Synagogue, but it's rumored that they took one squirrel and circumcised him, and they haven't seen a squirrel on their property since.

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" We who have seen war never stop seeing it. If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. -TA!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Drivel Over Coffee #285 11/3/2015

Oh Lord, Please keep all the stupid people from breeding. We're getting badly outnumbered down here.

Happy November! Where does the time go? Finally, I can Christmas shop with a fairly clear conscience now that Halloween is over. BTW - Googleheimers – (noun) condition in which you think of something you want to look up, then forget what it is by the time you get to the computer.

When told the reason for daylight savings time the Old Indian said, “Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and have a longer blanket.”

Possibly the funniest story in a while. This is a bricklayer's accident report, which was printed in the newsletter of the Australian equivalent of the Workers' Compensation board. This is a true story. Had this guy died, he'd have received a Darwin Award for sure....

Dear Sir:

I am writing in response to your request for additional information in Block 3 of the accident report form. I put "poor planning" as the cause of my accident. You asked for a fuller explanation and I trust the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the day of the accident, I was working alone on the roof of a new six-story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had some bricks left over which, when weighed later were found to be slightly in excess of 500 lbs. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley, which was attached to the side of the building on the sixth floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out and loaded the bricks into it. Then I went down and untied the rope, holding it tightly to ensure a slow descent of the bricks.

You will note in Block 11 of the accident report form that I weigh 175 lbs. Due to my surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel, which was now proceeding downward at an equal, impressive speed. This explained the fractured skull, minor abrasions and the broken collar bone, as listed in section 3 of the accident report form. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were two knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately by this time I had regained my presence of mind and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of beginning to experience a great deal of pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Now devoid of the weight of the bricks, that barrel weighed approximately 50 lbs. I refer you again to my weight.

As you can imagine, I began a rapid descent, down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, broken tooth and several lacerations of my legs and lower body. Here my luck began to change slightly. The encounter with the barrel seemed to slow me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell into the pile of bricks and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked. I am sorry to report, however, as I lay there on the pile of bricks, in pain, unable to move, I again lost my composure and presence of mind and let go of the rope and I lay there watching the empty barrel begin its journey back down onto me. This explains the two broken legs.

I hope this answers your inquiry.

When I die I want my last words to be,
“I left a million dollars under the ….....”

In the fall of the year, I am reminded that I also am in the fall of my life. There are so many things left to do but little desire to do them. My days have become predictable and frankly, boring. I find that I have become very, very angry with our government, from the administration, congress, and bureaucrats. Day after day the news brings to light another incidence of disregarding of the law, ethics, and morals to achieve a personal greedy goal. Is it no wonder then that as you drill down in our society we find this same mind set having permeated to each of us. No wonder we shoot cops with no remorse, or send our young men to war knowing they will die for some inane excuse. Makes one sick. Tell me, what can we as individuals, do to right the ship? Obviously, no one else will. OK, rant is over.

Yesterday my current wife and I got into a one-upsmanship discussion. It went something like this. I stated, “Golden years, my foot... Your hair has turned to silver and my ass has turned to lead!” She replied, “I don't think of my skin as saggy..... I think of it as relaxed-fit!” Gotcha. I explained to her that when I go to the barbershop I get the “Express Chair” (12 hairs or less). She ends the discussion with “You know you're getting old when you have a hole between your boobs.. and it's called a belly button.” Moving on....

Please excuse my crassness but I just couldn't pass up clarifying the confusion that exists between these two terms. I would substitute a word where appropriate but I am afraid it doesn't really make much sense so I opted to leave as is. There is a medical distinction between “Guts” and “Balls”. We've heard colleagues referring to people with “Guts”, or with “Balls”. Do they, however, know the difference between them? Here’s the official distinction; straight from the British Medical Journal: Volume 323; page 295.

GUTS - Is arriving home late, after a night out with the lads, being met by your wife with a broom, and having the “Guts” to ask: “Are you still cleaning, or are you flying somewhere?”

BALLS - Is coming home late after a night out with the lads, smelling of perfume and beer, lipstick on your collar, slapping your wife on the bum and having the “Balls” to say: 'You're next, Chubby.'

I trust this clears up any confusion. Medically speaking, there is no difference in outcome; both are fatal.

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" We who have seen war never stop seeing it. If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. -TA!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Drivel Over Coffee #284 10/27/2015

Oh Lord, Please keep all the stupid people from breeding.
We're getting badly outnumbered down here.

Can you believe it – the last week of October already? Just where did spring, summer and fall go? It won't be long now until I have to stop wearing shorts and put on long pants. Hate those darn things. Next it will snow and get cold for an eternity. Yuk! I have been told snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled. Never thought of it that way. I saw a very large woman wearing a sweatshirt with “Guess” imprinted on it. I said, “Left Tackle?” Her right hook was awesome.

The guys at the Old Farts Coffee Klatch were telling stories about their school days. Billy Bob was pretty quiet – he dropped out in the eighth grade. The stories began to change to bragging about athletic prowess, scholarly achievements and so forth. My only contribution was the closest I ever got to a 4.0 in college was my blood alcohol content.

Actually, I told my buddies about the exam that I received a zero (0) on. Each answer is absolutely grammatically correct. The teacher had no sense of humor. I remember it like yesterday. Here are the questions with my answers.

Q1.. In which battle did Napoleon die? Answer: his last battle.
Q2.. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? Answer: at the bottom of the page.
Q3.. River Ravi flows in which state? Answer: liquid.
Q4.. What is the main reason for divorce? Answer: marriage.
Q5.. What is the main reason for failure? Answer: exams.
Q6.. What can you never eat for breakfast? Answer: Lunch & dinner
Q7.. What looks like half an apple? Answer: The other half.
Q8.. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what will it become? Answer: Wet
Q9.. How can a man go eight days without sleeping? Answer: No problem, he sleeps at night.
Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand? Answer: You will never find an elephant that has one hand.
Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have? Answer: Very large hands
Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it? Answer: No time at all, the wall is already built.
Q13. How can you drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it? Answer: Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.

These guys know I live in my own little world, but it's OK. Everyone knows me here. I commented that every day I beat my previous record of consecutive days I've stayed alive. That confused Spud for a while. Now I don't do drugs. I find I get the same effect just by standing up really fast. I got that “high” last week when a nimrod kicked over a bucket of meal worms right under out table. Thankfully, Jimmie, the owner of the Jimmy's Grill & Bait Shop was all over it. Those worms end up in a cup of dark roast too easily.

I told the gang as I was hopping around trying not to squish the meal worms that now that food has replaced sex in my life, I can't even get into my own pants. I got them to chuckle at that. I explained to them that a while back I signed up for an exercise class. I was told to wear loose fitting clothing. Hell, if I HAD any loose fitting clothing, I wouldn't need the freakin' class!

Why is it that most nudists are people you don't want to see naked? 

Is it any wonder Seniors get confused?

I had one of those dastardly prostate exams. No not the one where you drink gallons of yukky stuff, sit on the pot and then go to the hospital. This was the old fashioned kind – bend over and cough type. So after my prostate exam, the doctor left. Then the nurse came in. As she shut the door, she whispered the three words no man wants to hear: “Who was that?”

Yesterday I was at the Hy-Vee (our large food chain in Iowa) buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Murphy, the Boston Terrier and was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog. What did she think I had an elephant? So because I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse, I told her that no, I didn't have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way that it works is, to load your pants pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete, (certified), so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. Oh my, no, I told her, I had stopped to pee on a fire hydrant and a car hit me. I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard. Hy-Vee won't let me shop here anymore. Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" We who have seen war never stop seeing it. If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. -TA!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Drivel Over Coffee #283 10/20/2015

A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn.

Good morning you awesome people out there. Just how was your weekend anyway?

Sad news this morning. A dear friend of ours has lost her beloved soul-mate today. So sorry to hear this news. Our prayers and thoughts go to the family.

Our one year old Boston Terrier, Murphy, has a great time teasing my current wife and me by taking a personal item such as a shoe, running through the house, out the doggie door to the back yard and showing it off to all the neighbors as one of us chase him back and forth in the yard trying to get it from him. I get so mad at him I could strangle him but I can't catch him and he knows it. He taunts and teases us by diving toward us only to side step our desperate lunge to catch him. Yesterday, he comes blasting down the hall with a roll of toilet paper hanging from his jowls and out the doggie dog despite my diving effort to stop him. Out I go with my flip-flops on. I know this is a futile effort but the prospect of a roll of toilet paper being teepee'd all over the yard wasn't too exciting. I execute my due diligence anyhow.

Standing at one end of the yard, the roll is being gnawed as he eyes me. Pieces of the white 2 ply paper float away as he rips them off the roll. I “casually” saunter toward him. Once I get within 5 feet of him, off he goes to the other side, toilet paper flapping in the breeze as he runs. He sits for a moment and bounces the roll on the ground; rolling it, chewing it, spitting chunks out as he waits for me. Again, “casually” walking toward him, I get to the magic 5 foot mark and off he goes to the other end again. More toilet paper tearing off, carried by the wind to all parts of the yard. I try this four more times with the same results. Out of breath and unable to chase anymore, I give up and go inside knowing that I will be spending an hour or so cleaning up. The last resort is to yell “Treat”. He will come in sometimes if I yell that. If I call his name, Murphy, I may get a sideways glance as an acknowledgment but no movement toward the house. “Treat” only works if he feels he has teased me long enough. This time he came for a treat and was kind enough to return with the remainder of the toilet paper. Such a good dog. I know, I know, believe me, giving a treat is rewarding bad behavior but it is an act of desperation. We do our best to eliminate these temptations but he always seems to find a way. Such a good dog.

African heart-nosed bats have such a keen sense of sound that they can hear the footsteps of a beetle walking on sand from six feet away.

My mom always told me when I was a kid to be sure that I wore clean underwear. Every time she told me, I would ask why. She always replied that if I were in an accident and went to the hospital, I needed clean underwear. I never really believed her after I had gotten into my teen years. I reasoned that if I were injured that badly, I just may have soiled myself in the process therefore making her argument invalid. Never in my day was the idea of not wearing any underwear EVER contemplated. It never crossed our minds but I came across a story the other day from the Northwest Florida Daily News where this became an issue.

It is about a Crestview couple who drove their car to Wal-Mart, only to have their car break down in the parking lot. The man told his wife to carry on with the shopping while he fixed the car in the lot. The wife returned later to see a small group of people near the car. On closer inspection, she saw a pair of male legs protruding from under the chassis.

Although the man was in shorts, his lack of underpants turned private parts into glaringly public ones. Unable to stand the embarrassment, she dutifully stepped forward, quickly put her hand UP his shorts, and tucked everything back in place. On regaining her feet, she looked across the hood and found herself staring at her husband who was standing idly by. The mechanic, however, had to have three stitches in his head.

Now you see, it is not only necessary to wear clean underwear but also any underwear. My mom would of course say something like, “I told you so.” Oh those moms were so smart when I was a kid.

One Sunday morning, a mother went in to wake her son and tell him it was time to get ready for church, to which he replied, “I'm not going.” “Why not?” she asked. “I'll give you two good reasons,” he said. “One, they don't like me, and two, I don't like them.” His mother replied, “I'll give YOU two good reasons why YOU SHOULD go to church. (1) You're 59 years old, and (2) you're the pastor!”

I had an occasion to take a road trip with my friend Charles, not his real name, last week. He has pestered me for 3 years to go with him to make a tater and cheese run. Now this may not sound especially enticing to most of you but some of us like our taters and cheese. Charles kept telling me about a place called Churchtown, Iowa. I had never heard of it and was a little dubious that it really existed. Away we go in his pickup truck way up into the hoot and hollers of northeastern Iowa. I saw things that I have never seen before. Like I saw 2 states besides Iowa. I wasn't all that impressed but at least I can say that. I saw places like Monona, Volney, Rossville, and Waukon on the way. We skirted St. Olaf where it is rumored that they pass in the “St. Olaf song books” when Iowa Men's Basketball has secured a victory. Charles eagerly educated me on the designs of the various court houses that we passed and also told where the restrooms were in case it should be something I might require at another time.

The Calhoun Creamery in Churchtown was open and a Fraulein was waiting to show us into the locker but Charles knew the way so she just stood back. I think the crazed look in our eyes scared her a little. I was like a kid in a candy store. I loaded my arms full in about 30 seconds, dropped them off with the clerk and went back for seconds. This time I took my sweet time – maybe two minutes and I came out with another arm load. She tallies my purchases up and Charlies almost had a heart stoppage when hearing my total.

That was the cheese part of the trip. Our real objective was picking up taters. This is a bigger deal. Once a year a local store gets a semi load of potatoes in 20 pound bags. The locals rush in and grab them up as fast as they can so they will keep throughout the winter months. A couple of city kids in our church breakfast group learned of this. For the last few years they have been going up there when the semi comes in and buying a few HUNDRED pounds of potatoes. They bring them back and distribute them to various needy groups around town. This year we brought back 1200 pounds. Being a greedy sort, I took 20 pounds for myself. This is one of the many charitable missions which the congregation of our church conduct. Most of these are little publicized but they do a lot of good for many people.

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. We who have seen war never stop seeing it. -TA!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Drivel Over Coffee #282 10/13/2015

“Discovery is seeing what everybody else has seen, and thinking what nobody else has thought.”  Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi

Some people are like a bag Pampers, self-absorbed and full of shit. And good morning to all. This fall Iowa weather has been FANTASTIC. As Jim Zabel, Iowa Hawkeye Radio Announcer, would say: I Love it, I Love it, I Love it!!!!


A little house with three bedrooms, one bathroom (indoor) and one car on the street or maybe an old farm house slightly worse for wear. A mower that you had to push to make the grass look neat. In the kitchen on the wall was our one phone on a party line, no need for recording things as someone was always home. We had a living room where we would congregate, unless it was at mealtime then we were in the kitchen where we ate. There was no need for family rooms, dens or extra rooms to dine. When meeting as a family those two rooms worked out just fine. We had one TV with maybe two channels, but there always was one of them with something worth watching. For snacks we had popcorn with salt and butter; maybe an apple. Store-bought snacks were rare because my mother liked to cook. Nothing compared to snacks in Betty Crocker's book.

Weekends were a time of leisure. Shopping usually on Saturday topped off with an ice cream cone for the ride home. Sunday was a day of rest with church, a picnic perhaps, staying home to play, and a nap of course. Sunday at dusk was a time to pile in the car to look at how the crops were doing. Sunday was a family day. On Sunday all the businesses were closed anyway. Sometimes we would get a baseball game together with family and friends you know, real action – no video games. Oh there were times we would separate to do things on our own, but we always knew where the others were even without a cell phone.

Then there were the movies with our favorite movie star. Nothing compares to watching movies from our car at a drive-in theater. Oh, wait, there was the skating rink on Wednesday and Friday. In our town this was a must. Being a farming family, we had a picnic lunch many days in the field. Sitting in the dirt in the shade of a tractor tire. How good does it have to be?

I remember when the doctor used to be a family friend, we didn't need insurance or a lawyer? You could trust the way he took care of you, because he took an oath and strived to do the best for you. This included your dentist and eye doctor. There were few specialist to deal with. Usually illnesses, scraps, cuts and etc. were tended to by our in-house nurse – mom. As long as she had a band aid and iodine, you would recover. Yes, mom would always say, “It won't hurt.” It always did though. The methods and tools used back then were very rudimentary by today's standards.

I remember going shopping when you used money to pay for the items. Yes, good old hard cash, nothing that you had to swipe, and remember when the cashier had to really count to make change? There just wasn't any identity theft back then either unless you lost your wallet or something. Several businesses came to your door selling their wares. The milkman would go from door to door. It cost just a few cents more than going to the store. We would have a Fuller Brush man, the Watkins person and a shop tools guy. I liked the Fuller Brush guy since he always had a free gift. Yes, he sold brushes and etc. The Watkins products were great especially their vanilla. There was a time when letters were delivered right to your door, the postman delivered mail that didn't have a lot of junk mail. The mailman knew each house by name; there wasn't anyone named “Present Occupant." in those days.

Oh sure, we had our problems, just like we do today. We were always striving to find a better way. Oh, the simple life we lived still seems like so much fun. Boys would put baseball cards between bicycle spokes. Feed a nickel into red machines and get a glass bottle Coke. Put a bag of Planter Peanuts in it and heaven was right there. This life seemed so much easier and slower in some ways. I love the new technology but I sure do miss those days. So time moves on and so do we and nothing stays the same, but I sure love to reminisce with a walk down memory lane. It's fun to look way back and say, hey look, guys, THAT WAS US!

I don't like them, have never liked them and will never like them, however, fry them, poach them, boil or bake them – any way you crack them, eggs are delicious. I get harassed all the time at our Men's Breakfast meetings. I have always felt eggs should only be used as ingredients in desserts and etc. As much as we rely on them for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and dessert, of course!), there are many interesting facts about eggs that aren’t common knowledge. Enjoy a few of these lesser known tidbits:

It takes a hen between 24 and 26 hours to develop an egg. Once she lays an egg, the development of a new egg normally starts within 30 minutes.

Chickens don’t produce one egg at a time. Instead, producing hens normally has several eggs in various stages of development.

Most of today’s egg-laying hens are White Leghorns (white eggs) or Rhode Island Reds and Barred Plymouth Rocks (brown eggs).

When it comes to the number of eggs laid each year, Iowa leads the nation with more than 14.8 billion eggs produced annually. Ohio is the next state in line, producing 7.9 billion eggs each year.

Cloudy egg whites mean that the eggs are extremely fresh, while clear egg whites are an indicator of older eggs. Cloudiness of raw white is due to the natural presence of carbon dioxide that has not had time to escape through the shell and is an indication of a very fresh egg. As an egg ages, the carbon dioxide escapes and the white becomes more transparent. Other colors in the egg white may be a sign of spoilage, so if it’s not cloudy-white or clear, don’t eat it!

Mother: "Why are you home from school so early?"
Son: "I was the only one who could answer a question."
Mother: "Oh, really? What was the question?"
Son: "Who threw the eraser at the principal?"

Stay well, "OLD FRIEND!" If I can make at least one person smile, or laugh till they leak, then my day was not wasted. We who have seen war never stop seeing it. TA!