Monthly Archives: December 2018

2 nuns

Okay. I was reading about the two nuns in southern California who liked to gamble in Vegas . The trouble was , besides apparent inconsistencies with their hobby and their chosen vocation in life , that they were using funds that were,  well , just  not theirs to use .

They were school administrators in a Catholic elementary school . One of them was the principal of the school . As I read about these two religious women,  ghosts of past days bounced around in my brain . I taught in a Catholic elementary with a nun like that.

The principal , evidently , would plead poverty when it came to discussions of the purchase of common items such as sports equipment for the students at the school . Parents , wanting the best for their children , would chip in to supply the needed items . This went on year after year after year after year after………  The investigators had only gone back , so far , to some random year, in tracing the embezzlement by these two women . No one knew about all of the previous years yet, how much illicit money they were able to snag. They had private bank accounts to finance their excursions and parents were told to write checks to those slush fund accounts.

These two brides of Jesus ( Sorry ,  I mean no disrespect. I think that’s what nuns consider themselves . ) wanted to gamble in Las Vegas and the parents of their students unwittingly financed this somewhat dubious endeavor year after year after year after  —- well , you get the idea.

And now the two old birds are retired , having successfully bilked the parents of their former students for a least a half a million dollars over a period of decades . Nuns , no less. Educators , no less.

I worked with a nun of the sort . Enough said. She’s passed away now and my friends would say let bygones be bygones , let sleeping dogs lie . Her name was Agnes but I called her Sister Agony . She got away with a lot of this kind of disgraceful behavior because she was a nun . Nuns wouldn’t do that , parents would tell me . I’d tell them , for example , keep the receipt . They must have thought I was a heretic . Nuns don’t steal , cheat , or lie , they would tell me . True believers . Optimists . Do I need to mention to you what would happen ? old school

So , how did these two unscrupulous recently caught old thieves get away with it for so long ? I could give you my insights. And , what should society do with these two old retired women now ? I kind of hope that there is a Saint Peter and that when the time comes he holds them up for at least awhile at the Pearly Gates and asks them a few probing questions. I wonder if Saint Peter is a true believer .

We’re brides of Jesus , they will say , of course , in definitely condescending tones . I can hear the holier-than-thou pronouncements now . They may even say something along the lines of  , as  Sister Agony once aggressively said to me  : Well shit man , what are you telling me ? That’s when I wonder about what Saint Peter is all about . What do we really know about that guy anyway ? We’ll see what happens then .

Meanwhile I think someone should throw their holy carcasses in jail ! The law is the law. Maybe it’s just me .

 

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here’s to Ed

I’ve got this neighbor , right next door , named Ed. He’s got some kind of medical supply business and he’s busy all the time . He delivers medical supplies , I think , in his little pick-up truck , and he’s constantly in and out with that vehicle .

Ed wears a white lab coat . It kind of blends with his fluffy white beard and long white hair ( although he cut both for Christmas ! ) . He carries packages in and out of his house all day long , and usually into the evenings . He’s a hard worker , that Ed.

He didn’t say hello to me for nine years . I counted . When Ada and I moved in next to him I tried to say hello , but he would turn his face away and ignore me. Okay , some people are shy ; I understand that , but after three or four months of trying just to say hello I gave up trying . I began counting years of non-communication : one, two , three , four…………

Two houses down on the other side lived an old guy who I used to have a beer with and sit and talk with  once in awhile . He didn’t like Ed . He told me a story that ten years before  , or so , Ed walked by and called this guy  “dude”.  ” I’m not a dude , ” my  friend told me . That was good enough to dislike Ed since then . I tried to explain that the word dude wasn’t an insult , but I made no headway into solving anything . I’m good like that .

Then one day I was rounding the corner of my house just as Ed was rounding the same corner from the other direction. We nearly bumped into one another . I said hello and Ed answered hello , more or less out of relief that we hadn’t crashed into one another . Ah , the ice was broken , I guess. For the next couple of years he and I would exchange hellos . Nothing more , but hellos . Things were looking up . This could be  the beginning of a beautiful friendship .

Now he and I have long conversations quite often that last sometimes a minute or two . We call each other by name , we smile , and we are great friendly next-door neighbors . But all of this has nothing to do with the concept of this post . Sorry . Let’s move on.December 2018 056.JPG

What I like about Ed , besides his dedication to his business , is that each and every holiday Ed decorates his front lawn with stuff appropriate to the holiday . He even has a flag pole and he runs up flags having to do with the holiday .

And now here we are at Christmas . Not that I want a big inflatable plastic snowman on my  front lawn ; but , hey  , Ed goes for it . I like that . I like that about Ed . There’s a passion in his lawn paraphernalia. December 2018 060

And , also , he’s never called me “dude” . But, then again , you can call me anything you want , just don’t call me late for lunch.December 2018 055

 

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Christmas Alphabet I for In The Bleak Midwinter : Shawn Colvin & Bert Jansch

A lovely post for Christmas from Thom over at The Immortal Jukebox .

The Immortal Jukebox

We live, now, in a world where, at the flick of a switch, we can be bathed in brilliant light.

But, for millennia it was not so.

We lived in a world lit only by Fire.

Huddled in the darkness we looked with awe and supplication to the celestial lamps in the sky.

The Stars, The Moon and The Sun.

By observation and calculation we learned to predict the movements of these Heavenly Bodies (oft times believing them to be the actual bodies of the gods who bestowed the light upon us).

We came to know that there was a cosmic dance and that, magically, in December, out of the depths of darkness, the first light of the rising sun signalled rebirth for the land, the crops and for the people.

No matter how dark it gets there is hope, belief, that the light and the warmth it brings will…

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the truth

 You can’t handle the truth !  

I think Jack Nicholson said that , playing Colonel Jessup in A Few Good Men .

And what is truth ?  , says Pontius Pilate , when Jesus of Nazareth is on trial for his life . We both have truths . Are mine the same as yours ? 

 

anatomist

I thought for a minute that I’d write a little on the topic of truth . That’s not really what’s on my mind , though . I was thinking more of all the recent political craptrap and my flimsily assertive ideas like the world is going to hell in a hand basket and the inevitable upcoming  sunsetting  of the great American experiment at the stubborn hands of ham fisted bigots and simple minded ignoramuses and self-interested fools , many of them holding the reins of intelligence and probably fine educations only to put all of that potential to use plundering  the moral , civic , and historical riches of this nation .

You know , temporary but discouraging  thoughts like that .

A lie told often enough becomes the truth .   —- Vladimir Lenin

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skull museum

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BELARUS TRIP 2017 305betty compson.jpg

[fact or reality , fact or reality, fact or reality, fact or reality , fact or reality]

 

Here I sit in the USofA , fat and coddled , pecking upon the keyboard of a laptop computer while  munching candy-covered peanuts and  , well , disappointed , weighted down with the endlessly circulating lies these days flying crazily around what’s been called the public square . frenc liberty brit slavery

Even if you are a minority of one , the truth is the truth .

 Ghandi said that .candy worker 1925

Truth is so rare that it is delightful to tell it . Emily Dickenson said that .Edwardian Girls From between the 1900s and 1910s (13) (1).jpg

2 cents…………………..and that’s my two cents for today .

 

 

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stop dogging me

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.   Andy Rooney

That said……….

I was reading over on No Facilities recently about a dog-walking incident . What came to mind was a time when I volunteered to watch my sister’s dog for a couple of days , to feed the beast twice a day and also to walk her around the neighborhood . I can do that .

I thought I could do that .

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not a dog person. My family had a couple of dogs when I was a kid . I liked them just fine . Just saying ……… Nuff said…………… That being said……………

I have to be a bit cagey as I write this . My cat Cosmo is lurking around . She knows stuff. Cats know stuff . Oh , so nonchalant she appears to the naked eye to be ! She’s listening . She’s listening even though I’m not talking . She can somehow read my mind ( what little of it there is left ). She knows that I’m writing about dogs. She knows and she’s  highly suspicious . Why do you care ? , you might well ask me. Because she’ll poop or pee somewhere that she shouldn’t when she is slighted , or when she feels slighted . I don’t know if all cats do this , but Cosmo certainly does.

So I walked the dog . We took the usual route . Usually she never has “done her business” on any walk that I’ve ever taken her on .  That to me is the main purpose of the dog walk but she never followed through with her side of the bargain so I got lackadaisical about bringing along the required plastic sack to pick up the poop.

That dog never followed through until this time .

Did I think to bring along a plastic bag ? No. Of course not.  Luckily we were near a dirt area , public land . She had evidently saved up from all of those other no-poop walks in order to dump it all this time , when I had no plastic sack . We were in an open dirt area , though , so I assumed that there would be no major problem .

Ah! , little did I know ! I’m not a dog person . I’m not up on the current dog protocols . When my sister’s  beast had evacuated her bowels I began a nonchalant exit maneuver . Unfortunately for me there was a young couple nearby with their dog . They started to yell like crazy when they saw me trying to surreptitiously bug out . Shouted insults . Profanity . Was I gonna leave this big pile of dog poo out there without picking it up ?

I weighed my options . Having no plastic sack ( my fault ) , and the dog having befouled a dirt area  , a pretty -much wilderness region , ie. no sidewalks , no one’s property ,  I decided that the best option at the moment would be a hasty retreat in the face of incoming enemy fire ( of unceasing and  loudly shouted malediction ) I would launch a quick withdrawal .

And at this moment in time the canine co-culprit in the poo incident ( indeed , the poo-er ) decided all of a sudden to pull back against the leash . I tugged away from the scene and she defied me and tried her best to pull us back to the scene of the crime. I pictured the awkward moment as something out of an old Silent- era comedy short . Here I am dragging a reluctant hound away from the debacle as the citizenry shouts at me to give myself up . The two protocol police officials  didn’t follow me , at least . That’s one good thing . Probably thought if I were so crazy as to leave a poo pile I might be unbalanced and dangerous .  I dragged that disinclined animal slowly away , eventually , around enough of a corner to be finally shielded , at least , from the unending verbal onslaught .

People are serious these day about the doggy rules , I told my sister when she returned from her trip. Yes, she said. Well , good for them , I said , but what was I supposed to do ? I had no plastic sack .

Now I can’t walk my dog there any more , she told me  . Do you know those two people ? I asked . They’ll know my dog , she assured me . Word gets around .  She was outraged at my lawless behavior . Well , what could I have done ? I asked . It was a weak defense , as it turned out . She outlined six or eight alternative actions that I might have taken instead of leaving the pile of  poop and abandoning the scene .

I could have told the justifiably angry people that I had to go back home to get a bag , she said . Or I could have asked them politely if they happened to have an extra bag that I could use . Oh , she was right , of course . What can I say ? I freaked .  I panicked . I bolted . Life goes on . My upset sister didn’t think so , though . She was visibly upset . Her reputation was ruined . Oh , there’s THAT dog ! , people would say , and glare at her .

I told my version of this tale at a dinner party a year or two after the incident . I thought it would be a light-hearted little ditty to add to the friendly conversation. Wrong ! Wrong again . I guess I’m just not a dog person in the modern world . One guy at the party was a medical doctor . I remember that . That’s the one and only time he and I  have ever met . He chewed me out at length about my slipshod ways and my reprehensible morals when it comes to animal waste . Maybe he was right . He was a bore and an obvious snob , though , and I didn’t tell him that . I let it go . I figure we’re even .boy and dog 1920

I decided not to ever get a dog ( even if the dog community would allow it at this point , which is not certain  ) . I’m not a dog person . If I ever wake up one morning and that unlikely notion pops into my head , to adopt a dog , I have to just let it go , to quash it  right then and there . I’m not morally fit to handle a dog these days . I admit that .

Cosmo , are you listening ? Cosmo ? Quit dogging me , Cosmo .

 

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December 7 , 1941

machine gunner

pearl harbor -damaged Nevada

pearl harbor -burning w. virginiapearl harbor uss arizona

pearl harbor smoking ships

pearl harbor uss california

steel helmet army
volunteer WWIinduction to navy2 sailor

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101 ?

A headline in the online L.A. Times caught my attention today :

101 RESTAURANTS WE LOVE

Ada and I go to restaurants once in awhile . We had friends over who , according to them , and they should know , eat out almost every day . Maybe they would like to review the list of the 101 joints in the L.A. Times, but I’ll pass.eating customer only

Ada and I are creatures of habit when it comes to restaurants . There are three or four places Ada and I like to go when we get an urge for a little culinary adventure . Two of them are Thai and the other is a Mexican restaurant . We may be stuck in a rut , but it is a delicious rut . So sue me.

Sure, we occasionally hit other restaurants here and there . Sometimes we take friends up on their suggestions . When we travel , of course we find  decent looking places to chow down. Ada likes Chinese food and always urges me to choose the Chinese buffet when she sees one . If there is a Chinese restaurant in whatever distant place we travel to Ada will find it .Los Angeles in the 1930s (6)

I know that the L.A. Times , with the 101 , is touting the city , ie.  gee, aren’t we a great place ! Great place to live in and great place to visit !  Come and spend your money in one of these 101 restaurants . ” We love ” them ( whoever “we” are ). “We” may well have tested each and every one of the 101 eateries ( on an expense account ). I don’t know , though, because I haven’t read the article. Could it be that 101 different city citizens sent in a report on their one most  favorite slophouse spot ? Could be . As I say , I haven’t read the piece .

Being somewhat cynical , I wouldn’t go to a newspaper-recommended joint anyway , no how, no way . I think the recommended culinary hideaway would be , first of all , too expensive . Second , it would no doubt be way too noisy . Hot spots I’ve been caught in over the last several years ( Yes ! It happens. ) have been obnoxiously noisy — silverware clattering , loud voices colliding in the bad acoustics of the space . The tiny portions , also , are  artistically arranged on the plate with  ostensibly decorative veins of  brown mustard  or green goo or some such dripped  professionally across the plate edge .

I’m not impressed . It’s not my thing . I’ve had friends who love to hit the latest hot spots to eat , just to share in the excitement of the experience  , I suppose . It takes a lot of dough ( you know : lettuce ) to participate regularly  like that , I’m sure —  but why not if that’s what you like ! Everyone should have a hobby . And if you avoid the romaine lettuce , for example ( California joke ) the latest -hot  restaurant thing is  probably safer than , say , sky-diving or hang-gliding .

I refused the special lobster buffet that friends of ours were joyfully craving recently  . I discreetly asked the hostess the price : $59.95 . I had to make a last-minute excuse  that I wasn’t hungry and so I bugged out as politely as I could ; but that was the truth about not being hungry  . The thought of paying that price for a meal , especially for something that I don’t especially like —— well , you get the idea . I completely lost my appetite .

Well , this post is a bit amorphous , I think . Even verging on nebulous , if you ask me . Let’s wind it up .

I wrote a rambling post once a long while ago about my mundane adventure in a local Dollar Store  , and I got a comment about it just a day or two ago from some anonymous soul  that stated :  ” YOUR A MORON “.

At first , for a few minutes , I sat and wondered which of my irreverent friends was suddenly reading my blog . I had two or three names in mind. Then , of course , I knew that the comment provider was certainly some misguided and perhaps bored internet traveler with an unfortunately definite spelling deficit . And s/he doesn’t know me . After all , I’m not a Mormon . Never was . 10 billion severed

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