Get Up and Get to School (or work)

This is a public service announcement. I’ve already heard anguished cries from parents about getting the kids out of bed for school this week.

On the same subject, I’ve even heard some adults are having trouble getting their bods out of bed.

Here it is…the perfect answer. Just get a cheap laser pointer and turn the dog loose. In our house it works fine with the cat, too.

Just 42 seconds, so try this out. You can thank me later.

http://youtu.be/lVZ1-Spipf4?list=FLq2LDx4SWVMIMcyomN5q-_Q

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Returning to Simpler Times

Don’t you hear that all the time?

Back when times were simpler. Returning to the wonderful family values of the ‘50s, maybe?
housewife from 50s

A wonderful blogger named Therese Oneill did some digging to remind us of the “way of doing things” back then. She used as reference some “self-help” books that were the big sellers of the ‘50s. One was by the Reverend Alfred Henry Tyrer (Sex, Satisfaction and a Happy Marriage). Another by Doctor William Josephus Robinson.  And the joyous words from Edward Poldosky (How to be a Good Wife) Yes, these wonderful voices were spreading the Christian marriage values that many people would like to see us turn back the clock and once again enjoy those happier times.

Spoiler Alert!  I was there during those times and if that’s your idea of “values” then make the trip without me, please.

Here are some tips for the women-folk, because they are the glue that holds the marriage together. These are especially for you whimsical ladies who feel the world is changing too fast.

SEVEN TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR MAN (1955)

1)  DON’T TALK
Reverend Tyrer says, “Do not ask for things. This is called “nagging”.  I verily believe that the happiness of homes is destroyed more frequently by the habit of nagging than by any other one. A man may stand that sort of thing (nagging) for a long time, but the chances are against his standing it permanently. If he needs peace to make life bearable, he will have to look for it elsewhere than in his own house. And it is quite likely that he will look.

Mr. Poldosky adds to that with these rules.
Don’t bother your husband with petty troubles and complaints when he comes home from work.

Be a good listener. Let him tell you his troubles; yours will seem trivial in comparison.

Remember your most important job is to build up and maintain his ego (which gets bruised plenty in business). Morale is a woman’s business.

Let him relax before dinner. Discuss family problems after the inner man has been satisfied.

Are you getting the point, ladies?
Reverend Tyrer has more to say about this  “talking” thing.”
“If [the husband] is intellectually inclined, and from time to time seeks to explain little things to her so that she may have at least a bare knowledge of what it is that interests him, and, without the slightest comment, she takes up again the fashion magazine she laid down when he commenced to speak, we may be pretty sure that there is going to be a ‘rift in the lute’ sooner or later in that house.”

2)  BAD COOKING WILL DRIVE YOUR MAN TO SEEDY SALOONS

More words on that subject from Reverend Tyrer: “A social service meeting, an afternoon tea, a matinee, a whatnot, is no excuse for there being no dinner ready when a husband comes home from a hard day’s work.

Housekeeping accomplishments and cooking ability are, of course, positive essentials in any true home, and every wife should take a reasonable pride in her skill. Happiness does not flourish in an atmosphere of dyspepsia.

And the good Doctor Robinson adds these wise words:  
“Bad cooking is responsible for dyspepsia, dyspepsia is responsible for grouchiness and irritability, grouchiness and irritability lead to quarrels and squabbles. And bad cooking, which is the usual thing in the average American home, has been responsible as much as any other factor for driving the husband to the saloon, and to other places. And when she does cook, she should cook, and not be, as somebody said, a mere can opener.”

3)  BE THE HOT STEAK, NOT THE CHEAP PORK

Take it away on this subject, Reverend Tyrer:
“Picture a woman preparing a fine meal for her husband. She remembered his choice of meat and was careful to get an extra-fine cut…her best cutlery and dishes and finest linen are all in evidence, and a little colorful decoration has been tastefully displayed….and as he comes into the house she greets him with a smile of welcome and a touch of manifest love.  Now, say that linen was a bed sheet, the colorful little decoration was fuzzy handcuffs, and you had the privilege of being that extra fine cut of meat. What does all that equal? A husband who doesn’t cheat on you!

But say that same wife “is constantly setting him down to indigestible meals, cold and unappetizing, with nothing properly cooked, set out on a kitchen table with a dirty cloth, she need not be surprised if her husband frequently telephones from the office that business will prevent him from being home for dinner.”
All because you weren’t properly cooked when he was hungry

4)  DON’T BE A SEXUAL VAMPIRE OR A FRIGID FRANNY
(Now we’re getting to the good stuff)
Let’s hear what Doctor Robinson has to say about sex:

“Just as the vampire sucks the blood of its victims in their sleep while they are alive, so does the woman vampire suck the life and exhaust the vitality of her male partner—or “victim.”

It is to be borne in mind that it is particularly older girls—girls between thirty and fifty—who are apt to be unreasonable in their demands when they get married; but no age is exempt; sexual vampires may be found among girls of twenty as well as among women of sixty and over.
Now, if you are one of those frigid or sexually anesthetic women, don’t be in a hurry to inform your husband about it. To the man it makes no difference in the pleasurableness of the act whether you are frigid or not unless he knows that you are frigid. And he won’t know unless you tell him, and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Heed this advice. It has saved thousands of women from trouble.

5)  PINK PANTIES ARE A MUST
Keep talking Reverend Robinson:
“That the underwear should be spotlessly clean goes without saying, but every woman should wear the best quality underwear that she can afford. And the color should be preferably pink. And lace and ruffles, I am sorry to say, add to the attractiveness of underwear, and are liked by the average man.”

 6)  LET HIM HAVE A LITTLE FUN NOW AND THEN
Yes, Dr. Robinson, the ladies can’t wait to hear more of your wise words:

“But in case of an occasional lapse on the part of the husband—there a bit of advice may prove acceptable. And my advice would be: forgive and forget. Or still better—make believe that you know nothing. An occasional lapse from the straight path does not mean that he has ceased to love you. He may love you as much; he may love you a good deal more.”

  7)   YOUR HUSBAND IS THE BOSS OF YOU
(Of course this is my favorite, and my wife never reads this far down anyway)

“The Number One Rule. Reverence Your Husband.—He sustains by God’s order a position of dignity as head of a family, head of the woman. Any breaking down of this order indicates a mistake in the union, or a digression from duty.”

 I feel better now, how about you?

Have a great week. Welcome back to school teachers and students.

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Flatter than a Pancake

Ten Years ago, some scientists with time on their hands composed an algorithm to measure the flatness of states. Like United States’ States. The methodology is very complicated and uninteresting, but their reasononing for developing a way to measure flatness made sense. The three fellows said that everyone was measuring mountains and nobody was measuring flatness. Okay.

So, they took an IHOP pancake and recorded the actual contours of the flapjack and compared it to their findings of the state of Kansas. Sure enough!
Kansas was determined to be flatter than a pancake.
Pancake Stack

Last month, we finally heard a reply from Kansas. Three geographers from the University of Kansas were tired of hearing they were flatter than a pancake and improved upon the methodology and measured the whole damn country, state by state. Well, they didn’t waste the money going to Alaska and Hawaii. They knew there was no flatness in those places. They were assisted with NASA Shuttle Topography Information.

So we have it. I used this information for a few weeks to see if any of my friends could guess which states were the flattest states. Kansas was always in the top 3.
Actually there are SIX states flatter than Kansas.

Here are the Top Ten Flattest states.
1)         Florida
2)         Illinois
3)         North Dakota
4)         Louisiana
5)         Minnesota
6)         Delaware
7)         Kansas
8)         Texas
9)         Nevada
10)       Indiana
You don’t really give a damn about any of this do you?

Have a great weekend. For many it’s the official end of summer break.
Back to school, kids. Back to work, teachers. Crowded rush hours, people.

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Fantasy to Reality

By the time I was a young lad in love with books, it was the Hardy Boys Adventures that captured my imagination. My grandfather was a master story-teller and he loved to relate to me stories he read to my father. I think he knew every one of the Tom Swift Adventures. My favorite was the “Daring Adventures in Elephant Land.” (Written in 1911, the year before my father was born)
Tom Swift

Every Tom Swift book had a plot that needed Tom inventing some wild fantasy machine or tool to allow him to escape certain doom. (Think of a turn-of-the-century-Macgyver)

In the Daring Adventures in Elephant Land, Tom had invented an incredible electric rifle that shot bolts of electricity. He could dial-in the range, intensity and lethalness. Even shoot it through walls without leaving a hole.

When Tom and his friends head to Africa to do battle with the dreaded “Red Pygmies” they are confronted with wild rhinos, buffalos and giant elephants. Tom’s electric rifle brought them all down.

I loved that story.

Sixty years after that story was written a man named Jack Cover patented his own electric rifle. Like me, he grew up listening to the stories about Tom Swift. In his honor he named his electric rifle after him. The Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle. He just used the initials.

TASER

I wish police would go to their electric rifle first— instead of instant bullet-death.

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Quickie Music Trivia

It may be a trick questions I’m about to ask you. Not really a trick question, just a tough one I bet you don’t know the answer to.

What was the name of the Album that is the all-time record holder for being in the Billboard Top Ten? It was in the Top Ten for 153 consecutive weeks. Who recorded it?
Elvis? Nah…Beatles? Nah…Michael Jackson? Nah…Pink Floyd? Nah….

More information:  This artist made 10 albums and each one sold well over One Million units.

Still More Info: I’m not sure if this artist still holds the record, but at one time this artist charted more Top Ten albums than anyone without ever charting ONE single Top 100 hit.

Strange, but true. Even stranger, this artist was not an artist. Didn’t play a note on any instrument. Couldn’t read music.

This top-selling album maker loved movies, especially romantic movies. He noticed the incredibly beautiful music that played behind the love scenes of Clark Gable. He thought the music multiplied the romance by a thousand times.

He made the following statement: “If Gable needs music, a guy in Brooklyn must be desperate.”

So he set out to make albums with beautiful romantic mood music and succeeded. He hired the orchestra and told them what he wanted them to play. The record sales speak for themselves.

The artist was an actor and one of my favorite comedians, Jackie Gleason.

His first album, “Music for Lovers Only,” was in the top ten for 153 consecutive weeks.

It has been said that Jackie Gleason was a good conductor. Others said he never conducted. Bobby Hackett, the great trumpet player, was the band leader on 7 of the 10 albums. When asked what Gleason brought to the recording sessions, he replied, “He brings the checks.”

I loved the Album entitled, “Lonesome Echo.” Gleason contracted Salvador Dali to do the album cover.Jackie Gleason liner notes

Cover of "Lonesome Echo"

Cover of Lonesome Echo

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Colliding Worlds

Who the hell are we anyway? How many versions of you, or me, are running around slipping in and out of our different personas?

I see your Facebook posting having that great meal at that luxurious restaurant. Are you the same person that just had her heart broke by an insensitive partner?

I saw you open the door for a good looking lady at Starbucks this morning. Or are you the guy who forgot to do an important errand for your wife this afternoon?

Maybe a lot depends on location. Talking slow, sweet and polite to good old Aunt Gertie at the nursing home. Later that night, you’re screaming at your kid.

Facebook is full of non-existent phony lives. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy to see your grandkids pictures and not you posting pictures of yelling at your wife…or your employee.

So we each paint these part-time personas for our “friends” to see and then we aimlessly spend hours looking at the happy part-time personas of the rest of the “posted” world. This whole “fake life” or let’s call it an “incomplete” life is consumed by all of us. We spend a lot time showing the world how happy we are and then more time absorbing how so many people are happier than we are.

Guess where that gets us?  UNHAPPY!
Unhappy Man

Almost every study I’ve ever read says “fame-seeking” causes unhappiness. And that’s what we do with our little network of “fans.” It’s our only little version of “Reality TV.” We want people to notice us, to love us, to care about what we do, who we are and how we feel.

I love the writing of a 10th century emir and caliph of Spain, Abd-al-Rahman,III who had it all. He wrote, “I have now reigned above 50 years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: They amount to 14.”

I can imagine his Facebook postings, wrapped in splendors, sitting on gold and jewels smiling at us. And we diligently click “like.” And we comment: “I’m so happy for you, you are a wonderful great man and everybody loves you.”

Poor old Abd, he made the same mistake most of us have made. His problem isn’t “happiness” it’s “unhappiness.”

He’s followed the fool’s path which says, “Love Things – -Use People”
Always brings unhappiness…

The wise thing he should have done is change the nouns and happiness always comes.

Love People – -Use Things
Happy Family

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Southwest Karma

So last week I laughed at Southwest Airlines because they sent me an email offering me a deal. Pay them $12.50 and I could have “early-early check-in.” This was one day after the $160 offer to move up to “business class.” Southwest allows 24 hour pre-flight check in on-line and that’s what I did. I had a non-stop 4-hour flight to Nashville leaving LAX @ 6 am… board-before-Starbucks-opens-time.

If I could have a re-do, I would pay them $50 to let me check in early when they first offered the “deal.” Nah, make that $100.

As you may know, Southwest has an open seating policy and they board flyers based on their boarding-pass number. Passengers line up on either side of shiny steel permanent posts that are fronted with a large-lit sign on both sides. On the left they start with A #1 thru 30, on the right A #31thru 60. Then the “B’s” and finally the “C’s.” Thirty people at a time are boarded.

My 24 hour online check-in gave me a boarding-pass number of “C-49.”  When I finally approached the gate attendant, he said, “Only middle-seats my friends, only middle seats. Please walk to the back of the plane and take the open middle seats. They will have a light on to make them easy to find.” Yes, it was easy to find.

Those who know me know I don’t have a Herculean body. More like a Jeep body…the Cherokee Jeep. Of course I see a Ferrari in the mirror.
Fat Man in Mirror

Yet, I was the skinniest guy in that fateful row, stuck in the middle between two people who needed two seats each.

On my left, the window seat, sat a huge man, maybe six foot three, and at least 375 pounds. On my right, the aisle seat, was simply put,… a very large woman.

They were already belted in when the large aisle-seat lady had to unbuckle and let me in. (Why would she buckle in when they announced the plane was full and all seats would be taken?) It was a big job for her and I was sorry she was so flustered. After all she needed the aisle seat and someone was going to move her eventually before take-off. I would have gladly accepted an “A” number and boarded when she did…just didn’t work out that way.

The huge man was buckled in and sitting on my seat belt. It was almost impossible to imagine what had to happen for him to get to my belt, but if I could have filmed it I would sell out theaters.
Fat passenger

The lady had quite large legs and our legs were touching firmly for the next four hours. The huge man’s belly was touching my belly. Something about that is gross. But then he went to sleep. He had sleep apnea and would loudly snort and half choke on every exhaled breath. That’s right he did it on the exhale.

When he snorted and choked his large belly bounced and shook my too big belly. Something about that is downright disgusting. It would force me to the right where I would accidently press harder against the lady’s leg.

So I rubbed legs and bounced bellys for four hours and five minutes. No place to put my arms, so I had to fold them up under my chin. A bad old neck and shoulder pain I hadn’t felt for months returned…mental?..I suppose—don’t matter…it still hurt like hell for four hours and five minutes.

I’m happy to report that this unlucky and too intimate threesome landed safely in Nashville and went our separate ways. We did not exchange numbers or emails.

However, the diet has started.

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