Category Archives: humor

still crazy

This is an old post of mine .


weird manI think that my first grade teacher was on to something when she took my parents aside and told them that little Danny , that’s me , should see a psychiatrist .

Well , maybe she said a psychologist , or a counselor . My father was mildly outraged by this diagnosis , I guess , or at least irritated . I don’t know what my mother thought at the time . She’s the one who , always with a sly smile , told the story later on . Knowing her , though , she could well have been getting a kick out of it , deep down . She liked a little twist in life , I think , a little touch of oddity and independence  .

Not that having a six -year-old crazy child was something to joke about ; or shall I say , more appropriately …

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The Edwardian Code: A Postcard with a Secret Message — History Geek

It isn’t often that one gets the opportunity to solve a secret message written over a century ago. I’ve been collecting vintage postcards for more than twenty years and this is the only one I’ve personally come across that has a message on the back actually written in secret code. This sort of thing is […]

via The Edwardian Code: A Postcard with a Secret Message — History Geek

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KARPACZ 2017 310








PARIS June 2017 090

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Coupon and road sign 005

Polish signsANGELUS oaks Jan 2015 with Sally 138alley walk Arcadia 045

cow sign

Angelus Oaks Nov. 2014 029


uncertain city sign e. texas


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weird man  There was an article in the LA Times a couple of days ago about bomb shelters . Evidently some manufacturer is still making them for those interested . They were a big-selling item in the 1960s , when it was the Russians we thought might be raining nuclear bombs down on us . Now it’s the North Koreans who might be the aggressors , although several other countries have the things , too , and there’s the risk of rogue players stealing them for nefarious purposes .

I didn’t read the article in much detail , but I think the shelters start at about $25,000 . Of course , you would have to dig a hole , I think , to put the thing in . That might run a few bucks . Then you’d have to furnish the place with survival supplies and , ideally , the comforts of home . All in all , it would be a major expense for most of us ; but hey ! , you’re worth it ! Aren’t you ?

They say the latest North Korean  “device” is at least ten times as powerful/destructive as Fat Man and Little Boy , which were dropped on Japan . The North Korean ambassador to the United Nations called their nuclear weapons , as I understand it , “gift packages” for the US.  The trouble is , in some cultures , good manners require that  gift-giving must be reciprocated . I’m pretty sure that our Pentagon knows this and already has  gifts for the North Koreans   wrapped and ready . Pillbox

I want to know what the bomb shelter people think about the day after the day the world goes nuclear boom boom ,  supposing  that none of the blasts damage the shelter.  How long do you live underground before it’s safe to emerge ?  And what kind of a place will be left above  ?

Okay , I know , I know , many readers have read books , both fiction and non-fiction , on the subject . I know . Books have been published ; movies have been made . I think that’s my point : This is not a new subject .

Here we are , nevertheless , back again with the threat of nuclear war and potential nuclear annihilation  as wild fires burn all over the west ; as one hurricane devastates a city and another threatening hurricane approaches , as all of us face our daily personal challenges .  Now we have to also worry about how to finance a nuclear bomb shelter ? Not fair !

I’m putting that decision off for awhile .100_2559

I know , I know . But what can I do ? I’ve got so many other things  (as they say) on my plate . We’re having a new driveway put in in just a few days . The old driveway dates back to 1941 , and it’s showing it’s age . And I should prepare my survival supplies for the upcoming  ‘big one” earthquake . It’s coming , the scientists say . Definitely . Everyone should be prepared to get along for awhile after the devastation . And my former employer who provides our health insurance coverage cancelled Ada’s insurance for no known reason . ” It was a glitch ” the man said over the phone , and that they’d contact our health provider and straighten out the problem .

I hope that the new driveway happens before the next big disaster . One should be able to rely , at least , on one’s driveway .Robert in Szcz. 2015 125



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a bit about belts

I’d wear a belt until it breaks if it tightens up securely , if the holes are in just the right place . Sometimes I lose a little weight , or gain a little , and the belt all of a sudden doesn’t fit exactly right —- either too loose or too tight . It’s a periodic problem .  I can hear a group of you out there saying : If that’s your biggest problem , then don’t complain .gunbelt 2

And I know , you’re right . With all the stress and strain in the world , and everyday problems , who cares about belts . Even other bloggers publish posts about significant issues , or report interesting things , or , at least , have some important focus that shines through in their writing .gunbelt

So I choose to write about belts . Maybe I should just quit here , walk on over to the Elephant Room in the Aztec Hotel and have a belt or two and forget the whole thing .

Ah , but it’s a little too hot to do that today. The temp right now is 107 F and it’s headed up to 109 . It’ll stick there for a few hours . Not to worry , it’ll cool down nicely to 90 or so by midnight . Too hot to walk the three blocks to the bar . Sorry .

We’re having a heat wave . Even here in the Sunbelt it’s a little too hot this week . There was some wind last night which helped a lot .Travel-Security-Belt-4

Ada and I are headed for the mountain tonight , though . It’ll be 20 degrees cooler up there . Pancake breakfast tomorrow at the fire station to honor Labor Day . The little community of Angelus Oaks turns out for it . Hopefully there’ll be a local  guitarist who’ll belt out a few songs.

If this were forty years ago I’d probably be sure to check my tires , coolant level ,  oil , and the engine belts ; but nowadays I trust in technology , get lazy , and don’t check much of anything . Well , I check the gas level and I fasten my seat belt .

Meanwhile , Ada has spotted my belt and told me that it’s day is done . We’ll actually , in her own inimitable style  , she didn’t have to tell me that directly  but   she asked : ” Is that the only belt you have ? ” The rest of the message is clearly understood .  I looked at it  , that old belt ,  and indeed it is quite obviously decrepit and ( could be  ) ready for the trash heap .

Yeah , I have other belts , but this one still works just fine . It just looks kind of worn out and sapped . As kids , we would have said that it was ‘ had out’. I look at it and see at least a couple more years of effective use . Of course , I would wear my better belt to church or to weddings or to the White House Christmas breakfast or to meet the mayor —– occasions like that . The old one is good enough for around the house , for around the neighborhood , for the mountains , for……………..    Belts are good for as long as they effectively do their job , if you ask me .

Well , at the risk of hitting below the belt a little  , Ada doesn’t understand my brilliantly pragmatic position on this . We’re not the Rockefellers or the Gates , after all . We don’t stuff our money belts with $1000 bills .  Using clothing ’till it drops is a pretty practical and effective method of tightening one’s belt , I would say   ;  but other people ——- they don’t say that .

That old trusty belt is sitting in the trash as I write . Maybe I should have a good belt of  Scotch as a good-bye trusty old  belt toast , but in this heat I’d be passed out on the floor in no time if I did that . Ada’d probably take that old strip of leather ( or leatherette , or whatever it is ) out of the trash , in that case , and give me a good belting with it .

beer drinking farmers



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Just to assure you from the outset as we wander into politics for a moment :  I’m a red-blooded American .

First , I’m an American . I can show you my passport . It’s not a forged one either . I know that because when I went through Passport Control in Belarus , the official checked it out extremely carefully . She had a magnifying loop that she used to scan all the secret stuff embedded in a US passport that should be embedded in a US passport . Evidently it was all in there . (If I had an extremely good forger , however , she failed to uncover that .) We’ll just move along like there’s no problem and just go about our business  . After a few tense moments she did just that , the uniformed protector of her nation , and my passport passed inspection .

I know about my blood being red because anywhere I go nowadays I tend to bleed . When  I work in the garden for awhile , inevitably I reenter the house with a long , by then dry , trail of blood usually on my arm , sometimes on my leg , from some tiny , usually imperceptible wound apparently inflicted from snagging a thorn or a branch or bumping against a this or a that . It’s annoying .

Just call me Alexei  Nikolaevich . You know , the Czar’s son ? No ? Okay , forget it .

Anyway , while in Belarus I was speaking with a young woman a bit about politics . She asked me what Americans really  think about President Trump .  That kind of a question in that kind of a setting kind of puts a guy on the spot . I tried to be representative of all Americans . That’s not so easy , but I had to do it anyhow .V-E Day in NYC

Rest easy . I told her the truth . I threw in my opinion too , of course , but I labelled it as such . She told me that their press is not censored in Belarus , that she can get any and all world news over the internet . No problem . But she wanted to hear from a real honest -to-god American the inside story . Well , as I said , the rest of you Americanos were at that moment at my mercy . I tried to do you all justice . Rest assured . (Well , a third of you might disagree with my analysis of the country even though it was  in my opinion a fair one  , but that can’t be helped).

She told me that the president of Belarus ( a true dictator )  continually asks the people of Belarus to compare themselves to North Korea , as if to say : At least we’re better than them ! She thought that his proffered comparison was a bit weird . Somewhat defeatist too , of course ,  we agreed .

And now I’ve been hearing our White House using the same kind of  arguments to defend Mr. Trump and his bumpy  ride through his presidential term . Their talking points , voiced by every Trump supporter lately , try to blame the Clintons and Obama , and sometimes Bush II and even Bush I and others for being more corrupt , or colluding more with the Russians , absconding with more money for themselves ,  making bigger blunders , or spending more money more foolishly , or whatever .

Trump  pardoned Joe Arpaio , for example , for what critics say is a no-good reason , but Clinton , the Trump folk reply , pardoned so-and-so for no good reasons too , and so , and so , what’s the problem !

What have we come to ? I used to hear this kind of stuff on the playground when kids got in trouble .( I wonder if Truman’s sign “The Buck Stops Here ” is still on the desk in the Oval Office ? )   It’s a childish tactic , at best —- from children , but  we’re hearing it from adults in the government . It’s an admission : I’m bad , but s/he’s worse !

That’s not a good argument . It’s like the North Korea comparison .

And then there’s the eternal  argument over who’s a real red-blooded American ? Who’s more patriotic  ? Who loves the country more and who doesn’t love the country at all ? And all of that . Most of it is flack  fired  into the turbid skies of worry , just in case , just in case , just in case the enemy is on the way .

The Belarussian gal asked me what is the one thing I like best about the USA .( She had one in mind for Belarus , quickly , right on the tip of her tongue . ) I gave her my answer after a moment’s consideration .  I wonder what some other Americans’  answers would have been .


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hater/ or /you scratch my back I Old Scratch yours

OldScratchI went over to the Ralphs supermarket a few days ago to see if they had any self-confidence . I looked around for awhile and didn’t see any . They changed their signs a year or so ago , and they don’t help at all .

  I need to get more scratch too . I haven’t been making anything from scratch lately . Sometimes it’s hard to find . Ah , someone will have it . Lots of people still make things from scratch , so it’s got to be sold someplace .

When you’ve got both of those , self-confidence and scratch , and maybe also a little bit of imagination , then the world could be your oyster .

Speaking of bivalve mollusks ………………………………..No , no , I’m not going to start talking politics . Or religion .  Or hate . Well, maybe hate .

Speaking of hate , as long as we’re on the topic , I was accused , I guess , of being full of hate , or trying to spread hate . I’m not quite sure , because the short and pointed  FB rant against a comment that I had posted on someone’s blog was a rather poorly worded and confusing response , with some non-words (meant to be words , I’m sure) . Anyway , my comment that this response provoked had been  , even if I do say so myself , totally lacking in hate .

Usually , I believe , you reap what you sow .

Anyhow , I touched a nerve with this responding woman bent on showing me the error of my ways .BELARUS TRIP 2017 208

Well , against my better judgement , I had responded to what I considered an ignorant statement made with the best of intentions by someone I’ve known long since the cows came home , from way past the twelfth of never , for an eternity , not only for a month of Sundays but for a year of Sundays. I’ve known this person for a long long time . Sometimes the urge overcomes me , the teacher in me perhaps , and I have to intervene when I see someone I know go way too far into the weed patch of blatant error .man newspaper chair 1880

I try to ease into my criticisms , nevertheless , but  even honey can taste bitter when it’s used to hide the taste of medicine . And on Facebook , of course , serious discussions that fly  without condemning those opinions of others who don’t fully  agree with the going batch of batter  are rare birds , indeed . That’s why it is ordinarily my staunch position to avoid being sucked into any of those discussions on FB.poland-xmas-2017-009

Every once in awhile , though ,  I just can’t help myself . I comment even though it’s  against my better judgement . You know the drill , I’m sure . You’ll regret it later .

Maybe I just like to spread my hate around . Maybe that’s it . In a way , I was glad that I got the kind of angry response that I did from a person who doesn’t know me from Adam , calling me out for my anger , bitterness , and hate . It’s my own damn fault anyway that I stuck my nose into what , after all , was a closed slap-on-the-back session , as most of them seem to be , of like-minded zealots .BELARUS TRIP 2017 329

I think that I should hang out from now on  only with my own fanatic  group of like-minded zealots   . We hate the rest of you , you should know ,  for not belonging to our group , because you’re just  a bunch of stupid haters who don’t know Shinola from a hole in the ground .

And , while I’m at it ,  to the guy who blocked me from his  FB posts a couple of years ago for posting a few critical comments :   Sorry , it must have been my hate again showing it’s ugly head when I posted those comments .  Let’s try again .  How about this reflection  by way of clarification and reconciliation  : You can lead a horse down the garden path , but you can’t teach an old dog  new tricks.  So , former FB pal , can’t we hash this out ?  Let’s get together . I’ll bring the scratch (   Old Scratch )  .haters


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