"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thursday Thoughts - Observations

Some of the same people, who want to "redefine" what marriage is, have a problem with the multi-wife situation in the new reality show Sister Wives.  What's the big deal?  The family members seem committed to each other and everyone seems pretty happy, including the kids, and there appears to be no child brides/child abuse.  Now they are being investigated by law enforcement because they might be breaking some laws, even though it is reported that the husband is only legally married to one woman. Apparently in Utah there is a law that includes co-habitation as polygamy. (Watch out all you college kids sharing that house.)

Do I understand this type of relationship?  Would I ever be involved in a marriage like that?  Nope, but I also wouldn't marry someone of the same sex either.

Everyone should be able to marry whomever they want; it's no one else's business.  The only thing I object to is the government requiring a license to marry and extending special benefits not afforded to single people.  Marriage is a religious institution and should stay within those confines and should not be given preferential treatment, regulated, or defined by government.

Speaking of religion, you probably all heard of the Pew Forum Quiz on religion in American.  Atheists and agnostics scored higher in religious knowledge than white Protestants- 20.9 out of 32 questions. Jews and Mormons came in second and third.

Forty-five percent of Catholics didn't know that the church believes communion wafers and wine become the actual body and blood of Christ during Mass, and 42 percent couldn't name Genesis as the first book of the Bible. Only 47 percent of Protestants could identify Martin Luther as the writer who sparked the Protestant Reformation.  You can see the final report here.


This may be why some kids think that the Easter bunny rose from the dead on Easter morning so he could deliver goodie baskets to all the children.

If you want to test yourself against the other Americans, you can take the test here.
I think it is wonderful when adopted children find their biological parents.  It may not always be a good experience, but I think they should have an idea about their history whether it is for medical reasons or just to fill the void of knowing from where they came.  More often than not, there is a truly poignant story behind the relinquishment of a child. I wrote about my friend's story a couple years ago.

Last week a man discovered that his biological mother was most probably a women who for years had been part of a carnival side show.  She is a bearded lady.  That fact alone would make most people giggle, but as usual there is a bigger story.

She was born a hermaphrodite, part man/part woman, and doctors removed the male parts. Her father capitalized on his unusual daughter by having her work in sideshows.  She was told she could never bear a child.  His father was also a carnival worker who ran off with the baby and abandoned it in a motel several years later.  Her son found her with few clues in an Internet search.

 "I knew it was her as soon as I saw the picture online," he said. "We have a resemblance."

Mother and son have been reunited after over 33 years.  A DNA test is being conducted and the results, they hope, will be announced, where else - on the Maury Povich Show.
The US President's Chief of Staff  has decided he wants to be mayor of Chicago.  There seems to be a little residency requirement in the way, but when has that ever stopped the inner circle of the Big City?
In order to run for office, a candidate must have lived in the city for a least a year, which means Rahm Emanuel should have been a resident of Chicago by February 22 of this year.  Unfortunately, when he left for Washington he leased his house to someone else, so his real home when he comes back to visit is probably a hotel room. The tenants won't give in to his requests to terminate the lease on his former domicile.
There's a bit more evidence in this election requirement snafu than his boss had with the question of his birth certificate. Someone only needs to object to his filing by November 30.  Otherwise his name will be placed on the ballot.  Will anyone have the guts to do it?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wacky Wednesday Wisdom

Never do anything that you wouldn't want to explain to the paramedics.  ~Author Unknown

They will talk about you later:

"I had a patient who had an overwhelming desire to eat phone books. Not all in one piece but page by page until it was all in. He was always coming in with bowel obstructions."

"The lady started to move uncomfortable on the bed so the nurse pulled her over to see if she needed cleaned up; well, it wasn't BM that was "smiling" at her, but the woman's upper denture!  She evidently had it stuffed almost all the way in!"

"A guy was brought in from a local disco club. Seems he had danced around so much that he passed out. When he came in, he had on those skin tight PVC pants and the "bulge" was huge. The pants were so tight that they had to be cut off him.( He was still unconscious at this point.) After cutting the pants off, we discovered what the huge bulge really was!! He had taped an Italian sausage to his thigh!!!! "

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tuesday Titillation - Bottoms up

Big bottoms used to be all the rage and women turned to bustles, corsets, and other devices to enhance their figures.

It's great news for many of us - big bottoms are back and the latest rage in bottom enhancement is cosmetic surgery.  You can put much of the blame on Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, and the Mad Men's character of Joan.

Now tiny boy-shaped ladies are paying big bucks for big butts.

A Miami-based surgeon is actually pinning his hopes on this latest craze.  His name is Constantino Mendieta and he’s the inventor of the Miami Thong Lift.
Mendieta uses grafts of fat ­liposuctioned from the thighs or stomach, purified and then painstakingly injected — using a large needle — into the layers of muscle of the buttocks, changing their shape from flat to super-curvy and high, like Beyonce’s behind.
You can view a photo gallery of some of his patients here.

"Fat transfer is most successful when used in small quantities, as it needs to be ­surrounded by healthy tissue so it develops its own blood supply. Without that it will die and be re-absorbed by the body. If this happens unevenly, you could end up with one buttock larger than the other. There will also be bruising and swelling that can last for months. You will have serious hips for some time after the procedure."
Wouldn't that be nice? Spend thousands of dollars to bruise and beat your no butt body like this:

to get some serious sexy hips like this:

Or you could just start blogging, sit in front of a computer all day long for a year, and save some money.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Music Monday and Some Randomness

1.  I found out that there are people who actually read blogs on Saturdays, so I will continue my attempt to post something seven days week (at least until tax season when things might get readjusted). I will keep doing lazy memes on Sundays because I need one day each week that I don't have to think too hard.

2.  Last Photo Friday I posted pictures of my grandparents and wrote of my grandmother's "haunting eyes."  This was a bit of an inside joke to see how observant you are.  People were fascinated at my disclosure of being an amblyope and the one-eye-crossed face I can make.  Go back and look at my grandmother's eyes again and you'll notice her lazy left eye that I inherited.  Were you just being polite by not mentioning it or did you miss it altogether?

3.  Here's your Music Monday to start out the week.  From "3-2-1 Contact," a PBS children's show from the 1980's and featuring the distinctive voice of Leon Redbone:

4.  And a special happy birthday wish to my very own Annie Oakley (who loved watching "3-2-1 Contact" as a kid and has put all that knowledge from it to good use).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The "I've Been Tagged" Meme

From Sunday Stealing:

1. Where are you from?

 farm town, Illinois, USA, North America, Earth, Milky Way, Universe

2. If you could live any place in the world, where would you live?

A yellow submarine

3. What's your favorite blog? I'll check them out of course!

I don't play favorites - just pick one from the list on the left.

4. What is your biggest blogging pet peeve?

I don't want to hear about hot flashes, menopause, how stupid your spouse is, or how you hate your kids and/or other relatives. Also, keep the advertising to a minimum.  If a blog is overloaded with flashy advertising, I don't consider it a blog; it's your second job.

5. What's your favorite TV show this season? I need a new show! :)

"Breaking Bad" (I've said this before) and "Modern Family." "The Office" will always be #1.

6. What's your favorite 'down' time {nothing computer related}?

Going to auctions. It's amazing how strong my bladder is at an all day auction event. If you want a bargain, you can't take time for bathroom stops with me. Wear a diaper if you must.

7. Are you a parent? If so, what's your favorite thing to do with your children?

Yes, I'm a parent, but the kids are all grown-up, so my favorite thing is getting to spend any time with them.

8. What about your blog have you considered changing?

The design and layout, but I haven't had the time to fool with it.

9. What do you do for a living (if you work outside the home or if you work at home)?

I'm a Jill of all trades and a master of many.

10. What is your favorite song at the moment? What is your favorite song ever?

When you've been around a long time, you tend to have way too many favorites, so here's one I haven't mentioned in the blog before:

11. What is your favorite niche TV channel to watch?

Since I refuse to pay for TV, I'm limited to the no-niche broadcast networks. I'll get the other stuff through Netflix or on-line sources.

12. If you could have any career, what would it be and why?

Benevolent Dictator.  There would be no need for politicians.

13. What is your favorite outfit?

A black coat dress with leather trim similar to this:

I've had it nearly 20 years and it still looks great.

14. If you could tell your teenage self something, what would you say?

Don't believe them; high school is NOT going to be the best years of your life.

15. What is your biggest blog pet peeve?

You are being redundant. See #4

16. What is your favorite recipe?
17. What is the funniest joke you've ever heard?
Well, it's the punniest:

A frog goes into a bank, and hops up to the loan officer.
The loan officer says, "My name is John Paddywack. Can I help you?"
The frog says, "Yeah, I'd like to borrow some money."
The loan officer finds this a little odd, but gets out a form. He says, "Okay, what's your name?"
The frog says, "Kermit Jagger."
The loan officer says, "Really? Any relation to Mick Jagger?"
The frog says, "Yeah, he's my dad."
The loan officer says, "Okay. Ummm...do you have any collateral?"
The frog hands the loan officer a pink ceramic elephant and says, "Will this do?"
The loan officer says, "Hmmm...I'm not sure. Let me go check with the bank manager."
The frog says, "Oh, tell him I said hi. He knows me."
The loan officer goes back to the manager and says, "Excuse me, but there's this frog out there named Kermit Jagger who wants to borrow some money. All he has for collateral is this pink elephant thing, I'm not even sure what it is."

The manager says, "It's a knick-knack, Paddywack. Give the frog a loan. His old man's a Rolling Stone."

18. What is your favorite vacation spot and why?

It's good to keep reminding yourself about the origins of this country.

19. What are you most excited about with fall here?

20. Did you envision yourself to be where you are today ten years ago? If not, what did you envision?

Yes, I'm right where I knew I'd be - in the middle of Nowhere.

21. If money were no object, what would your dream house look like?

Something that looks like a post office.

22. What is your all-time favorite Disney movie?

This really dates me:  Old Yeller .  It was made back when Disney movies were truly good family entertainment.

23. What's your favorite blog to read? Or a blog you think isn't getting enough notice?
This meme is repetitively redundant.  See #3

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Post Time

I'm never sure if I should write a post for Saturdays.  Does anyone ever read blogs on Saturday? Or for that matter does anyone read blogs at all since facebook and twitter?  Other bloggers have asked similar questions:

"And of course I hear how blogs are dying....  I'm too wordy and personal for facebook though.  I figure I'm an acquired taste and don't like to ASSUME anyone will want to read me..."  (The Sandwich Life)
I'm right there with you, Cynthia.

The statistics here say that there are a few people reading this blog, but the majority are other bloggers.  Yes, we read each other's blogs for entertainment and knowledge or just plain nosiness, but we also read them for reciprocal love. We all say that we only write for ourselves, but along comes the admiration of a fellow writer and boom, our egos get hooked on raising those readership numbers. Then some even start thinking they can earn money doing this.

I have been fortunate enough to meet a couple of fellow bloggers, and although we may disagree on many things (especially politics), we have found common-ground that gets us through some enjoyable lunches together.  It's a mutual admiration society of writers.

I do have a few non-blogging readers.  One person likes it so much she has had links to it on her facebook page, and now she has become my new best facebook friend. You did hear me right -one person. I've never met her, but she appears to be a very, very interesting person and SHE LIKES ME!

But I digress. Back to Saturday postings - Aren't blog readers too busy with errand-running, yard work, farmers markets, home-town events, football games, and children's activities on Saturdays?  Or do they check their phones or other portable devices in between activities and spend 30 seconds reading a post the blogger has spent 10 minutes or more writing?

Just as you suspected, this is a test.  If you're reading this, leave a comment, even if it just says "I'm here." I'd like to see how many people read blogs on a Saturday - well, this blog anyway. Besides, I need to calibrate my stat counter.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Photo Friday - from the family album

I have always loved these pictures of my paternal grandparents.  I may be very biased, but I think that they were a rather striking couple in their youth.

This is a picture of my grandmother taken in 1900 at the age of 14. Her eyes are mysteriously haunting and almost sad, don't you think?

This is my grandfather who was a bit older, but I think this picture was taken not many years after my grandmother's photo from above.  As a young adult, he worked for a while as a trolley conductor in Chicago and someone must have convinced him to be photographed in his uniform.

Both grandmother and grandfather had the same last name, but were not related.  The immigrant Swedes, like others at the time, didn't like their children to marry outside the nationality.  Things changed by the next generation; their younger son married my mother who was of Norwegian and German descent.

My grandfather's family members were tall; my grandmother's family members were short. Today's generation of the family have both, and I have the distinction of being the shortest of them all.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thursday Thoughts - On a serious note

Only 53% of Illinois high school juniors passed the state achievement tests last spring. The reading portion of the test brought the highest rate at 54% and math and science were tied at 52.7%.  What is interesting is that 81% of elementary students (grades 3-8) in Illinois passed the tests.

It would be logical to think that those high school students who do poorly or who are uninterested in school would  drop-out by their junior year of high school.  If that is indeed the case, the 53% rate is even more serious because it does not even include those particular drop-outs that might skew scores to the low end.

These numbers just confirm my long-held belief that the public school systems do an effective job of erasing the innate excitement of learning that all children start out with in life, and by the time the students reach high school the public schools have pretty much finished the job.

When sports and extra-curricular activities are valued with the same or greater importance as reading, math, and science, when tenured teachers are allowed to continue their employment without regard to productivity, when public funds are used for shiny new facilities and increases in administrative salaries,  the focus of what education ought to be is lost.

To instill a zest for eduction in youth does not require 6-figure administrative salaries, degreed teachers,  a vast amount of sports programs, or fancy new buildings.  Learning can take place anywhere and can be taught by anyone who is passionate about discovery and knowledge and who can infect those around him with the same excitement.

Here's another example of public school failure.  Four different people proof-read the billboard before it was erected:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wacky Wednesday Wisdom

"Never buy cereal without a coupon, and only when it is on sale."
                                           Catch Her in the Wry

The truth is I don't often eat dry cereal.  It is generally soaked with sugar or otherwise tastes like cardboard or sometimes like cardboard with sugar on it. When there are children or a cereal-loving spouse in the household, however, one is forced to add boxed cereal to the grocery list.

The stuff is just so dang expensive.  So stockpiling it when it is on sale and using discount coupons is the only way I can justify the expenditure.  There is not much worry about spoilage since box cereals seem to have a long, long shelf life.

As a youngster, I did eat cereal and my favorite was eating directly out of a small box, generally  from a "variety pack" which satisfied all the assorted preferences of the family.  The box was perforated and the diner could open flaps, pour milk in over the cereal, and eat right from the box.  No messy dishes for Mom. Modern packaging has shifted eating from a box to eating from a cup.

The secret weapon of a good mother to keep small children occupied is a handful of Cheerios, which is probably why it tops the most popular cereal lists every year.

The only way I really crave cereal is if there is a bowl of homemade Chex Party Mix, not the commercial bagged kind that tastes like chemicals.  Adding melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, nuts, pretzels, garlic and other seasonings to three kinds of boxed cereals and baking it all in the oven transforms the cardboard morsels into heavenly snack food that can be entirely consumed in a blink of an eye, with all the wheat chex eaten first.

You just may not want to kiss me in the morning.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tuesday Titillation - Part Two

I just couldn't wait to post this until next week.

Have you seen the on-line series "Green Porno, Seduce Me" produced by and starring Isabella Rossellini?

This series of short videos about animal attraction combines scientific facts with seduction, art, and humor.

Here's the link.:  http://www.sundancechannel.com/greenporno/video/

Enjoy! (Hat tip to my older daughter for sending me the link)

Tuesday Titillation

If a teacher beats you, she can get into big trouble.  No, she's not beating you in the classroom.  It's just what she is required to do in her moonlighting job as a phone-sex dominatrix.  Follow the link for all the details.

Some of the local grad students were also doing it, and the assistant English prof thought it would be an easy supplement to a meager public school salary in a time of personal financial hardship.  She compared their work to creative writing assigments.

She wasn't that creative though, because one of the characters she impersonated was "a stern teacher ready to punish unruly students."

The real problem arose when the prof and a fellow grad student in creative writing, who also worked at the phone sex company, agreed to be photgraphed doing the naughty-naughty. Of course those pictures ended up exposed to some parents' eyes, and the battle began. 
"Ms. Chávez filed a discrimination complaint with the state alleging that the accusations against her stemmed from bias based on her being Hispanic and bisexual."
And now there are lawsuits, and counter-lawsuits.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Music Monday - In the Still of the Night - Twice, but Different

Cole Porter's 1937 song updated by the Neville Brothers:

Or the different 1955 Five Satins classic:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

On a personal note

Catcher spent a lovely evening this weekend attending a farm anniversary party at her younger daughter's (Annie Oakley) business/home.  Each year in September there is an outdoor party to thank the equine and canine owners and customers.  That results in an eclectic mix of humans and pets having a grand time.

The dogs played on the agility course.

The old farm dog didn't know where to stop and thought a picnic table was another obstacle.  Fortunately we were finished eating.  Catcher thought it amusing.

My daughter's friend promised she'd bring her hairy little ass to the party, and she did.

The kids loved riding on it.

And the miniature horse, too.

There were also baby goats to play with and

white baby bunnies with red eyes

The grown-ups rode the big horses
and did some trap shooting.

Catcher and Annie Oakley made silly faces for the camera while my nearly 99 year old FIL took in all in. He has finally recovered from his infirmities enough to get out and enjoy the world again.
Of course there was lots of food along with the fun, but we were all too busy eating to take pictures.

The Threesome Meme

Courtesy of Sunday Stealing:

1. At what time of your life were you happiest and why?

6 months because everyone pampered me

2. Where and when did you meet the love of your life?
Which one?

3. Favourite item of clothing ever or most treasured possession?
most treasured - I have my paternal grandmother's little locket which her older sister had given to her when she was a child.  Inside the locket is a tiny handwritten paper that says "I love you" written by my great aunt for my grandmother, and on the other side is a tiny picture of me that my grandmother put in there before she passed the locket on to me.

4. Must-have makeup or beauty item?

I only must have my happy face

5. What do you think is your worst vice or fault .. honestly?
I can be too direct (but I'm not insensitive).

6. Would you tell your friend, if you knew her husband/wife was cheating on her/him?
Most likely, see #5

7. What ambitions, wishes or desires, for your life, do you still hold close to your heart?
To out-run death for another 40 years.

8. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Somewhere near retirement age.
9. If you had the choice of any talent with the penalty that you would lose a talent in exchange, what would you want to gain, and what would you be willing to loose?

Do you mean what would I be willing to LOSE or LOOSEN?  Somebody needs to go back to grammar school.  I'd certainly loosen my belt for a great singing voice like hers:

10. Name three things that you do want completed in your life before retiring?
this meme, tooth brushing, plumping of the pillow - once completed I'm retiring for the night.

11. Of all of the people out there who would have been your fantasy date? Date, not romance...

Albert could explain some things to me, we could talk about our hair, and we could make faces at each other.

12. Google put another spell on you, you have just changed genders for 48 hours... what are you going to do with your 2 days?

Try to convince my husband that he's gay.

13. If you owned your own island, and got to make it your own country, what would you call it? And why?
Libertopia - Free to be you and me

14. If you rubbed the lamp and got 3 wishes, what would they be?
Same as Stymie and the Our Gang kids from "A Lad an' a Lamp", one of my very favorite shows:

I wish Cotton was a monkey.
I wish there were only two days in a week - Christmas and Saturday.
I wish I had a watermelon.

But, as the gang learned,  you must be careful because sometimes your wishes come true. You must click on the link and watch the antics.
15. What is your earliest memory of puberty?

Mom handing me a book and saying "Read this" as she also hands me a paper bag containing sanitary napkins.  So much for sex ed in the early 1960's.

16. If you got banished to your Island alone and could only bring 5 things, what would they be?
I'm a realist so I'd bring:
a box of matches
a fishing net
a chicken
a  knife
a pot
You can always find something to talk to:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Silver haired fashionistas

A new guilty pleasure of mine is a blog called Advanced Style, that features New York style worn by those of advanced age.  In my neck of the woods, some of these people would be called kooks or eccentrics, but in New York they are fashionistas.

Here's a video of one woman featured on the blog:

Friday, September 17, 2010

Photo Friday

Another photo of mine that has an unknown subject.  She is wearing quite the fashionable winter ensemble.  Was she an only child, pampered with material items by indulging parents?
 No matter who she is, I quite like her shaggy collar and muff, but I would have preferred a smaller hat.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Speaking of a different Marx

How close are all nations to Communism?  About 33% according to Gary North.

Three of the tenets from the Communist Manifesto:

"2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, etc. "
As Mr. North comments:
"How is it that virtually the whole world has adopted one-third of a program that was so revolutionary in early 1848 that Marx and Engels did not put their names on the original German edition of their famous manifesto? One word: power."

Lord Acton said
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
Regardless of party, politicians will agree that it's always the other guy whose power corrupts.

And so as the current wave of change in power arises this election season, I agree with Mr. North in his observation:
"When the Tea Party breaks publicly with points 2, 5, and 10 of the Communist Manifesto, I will be impressed. Until then, I remain an amused bystander."

Thursday Thoughts

When I was child, the local television station often ran old reruns of movies and any Marx Brothers movie was always a joy to watch. 

While Groucho was the witty guy with all the great lines, Harpo was always intriguing.  Never speaking a word, he chased all the women and wooed them with his harp music.

I just discovered that Harpo's son has started a website, Harpo's Place,  dedicated to his father to make sure the "real" story of his life is not distorted.  If you're a fan too, check out the site.  And be sure to check out the Harpo Marx Family Rules

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wacky Wednesday Wisdom - #3

"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."    Albert Einstein

And it's dangerous according to this report.  Perhaps it would be better to pull over to the side of the road and give the kiss the attention it deserves.

The top five make-out vehicles for 2010 are:
1.  2010 Chevrolet Impala
2.  2010 Ford Mustang
3.  2010 Toyota Prius
4.  2010 Mercedes-Benz
5.  2010 Ford 150 Pickup

 Here are some instructions courtesy of eHow on how to do it right.

Visual instructions about proper kissing come from some Hollywood films:

After watching that, you've now graduated to being a professional.