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In response to “From Vimeo: Human + Ice Skates = the Perfect Camera Dolly”

My daughter, the one in the middle (in age) of my group of three daughters lives, loves, laughs, labors and languishes in Northern Virginia, and plagues her father daily to find out where he is and what he’s doing and why he’s doing it, and if I’m not doing anything she wants to know why I’m not doing something.

She sent me this video in a posting on her blog. Click here for her original blog post. The video is well-worth watching, particularly because of the beautiful music. Turn up the sound, lean back and relax and enjoy the music but don’t fall asleep—you’ll miss the ending and that’s the best part.

Following the video you can enjoy the privilege of reading my comment on her posting. As of the moment, mine is the only comment. Her adventure on the ice should have attracted legions of viewers and garnered loads of comments. My comment should have attracted the same legions and comments. It has not, however, so I’m adding the comment verbatim to this post. The answer to your question is yes—WordPress will allow you to comment on comments as well as on the post, but be nice!

My comment follows, up from the Stygian darkness, away from the River Styx and up to the bright light of day.

A nice video and great sound, especially at the end when the music reached a stirring crescendo—really made me want to strap on some skates. I’m a semi-expert (read harf-arsed) and I have held on to a pair of skates from my early years. However, I have lost that little key one uses to tighten the clamps that fit on the soles of one’s shoes to hold the skates on. Also I’m unsure whether my skates would work on today’s sneakers and besides, one wheel is missing—I might manage to stay upright with just three wheels on one skate by putting most of my weight on the four-wheel skate but without that key I’m out of luck.

Speaking of traversing—defined as traveling or crossing over—and your thoughts of staying on the snowmobile rather than getting out on the ice. Seems to me that the weight of the snowmobile teamed with the latent heat of the snowmobile’s engine would increase the possibility of the ice cracking underneath. Sooooo, given that scenario, since you did venture out onto the ice, however slowly, you were probably smart to vacate the vehicle, but who knows, right?

On further reflection, the latent heat from the engine combined with your weight with you all bundled up from the cold, plus the weight of whatever equipment remained on the snowmobile, could have caused the ice to crack, so possibly by stepping out onto the ice you saved your own life and in certain societies, maybe not Montana but in certain other locales, you would have been obligated to take care of yourself for the rest of your life. It’s really neat how some things work out, ain’t it!

I recently saw a cartoon that showed a guy ice fishing and he was having good luck, had a big mound of different sized ice cubes beside him that he had caught.

That’s my comment and I’m sticking to it.

Oh, just one other thing—about that stirring crescendo—it won’t startle you and interrupt your slumber. it remains soothing throughout.

Oops, just one more correction: I said I had kept a pair of the clamp-on roller skates, but that I had lost the key and one wheel was missing. That was a great big whopper. I intended it to perhaps elicit a chuckle from the viewer, perhaps not a chortle but at least a chuckle. Hey, I’ll settle for a slight smile.

 
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Posted by on November 21, 2012 in Humor

 

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Fox and Friends, new leash on life, S & M

Today is Sunday, March  6, 2011 and the time is 5:30 AM, Central Time Zone, in San Antonio, Texas. Dave Briggs, one of the male co-hosts on Fox and Friends just told us that, “Coming up—a dog has been given a new leash on life by firefighters,” and the scroll at the bottom of the screen read leash.

This information is for the co-host and for the typist entering the information in the scroll at the bottom of the screen—the firefighters did not give the dog a new leash on life—they gave the dog a new lease on life.

By definition, a leash is a rope or chain placed around an animal’s neck to restrain or control the animal. However, in instances of human animals engaging in S&M activities, a leash is often used for the same purpose, assisted by the use of various and sundry items such as blindfolds, handcuffs, feathers, whips, gags, etc.

For those that are unfamiliar with S&M, send me a stamped self-addressed envelope with your request and enclose $25 in cash—small bills and no counterfeits—and I will furnish full details by return post sealed in a plain brown wrapper, including numerous photos in glorious color, created by professional photographers.

Now to continue with definitions:

A lease is a contract calling for the lessee—user—to pay the lessor—owner—for use of an asset. When an individual, whether human or a member of the so-called lesser orders, is given a new lease on life itself, a contract that many believe is an agreement between the individual and a Supreme Being—I cannot speak for how an animal—a dog, for example—might feel, but I can assure you that a human that survives death and is given a new lease on life is very grateful—unless, of course, an individual attempted suicide and was foiled in that attempt—in that event the individual may be a bit upset.

Brother Dave Briggs used the wrong term twice, and the moving scroll at the bottom of the screen showed the word as leash framed by quotation marks. It is unknown whether the scroll typist used the quotation for effect or used it to show that Dave had used the wrong word. I would like to believe the latter—it would be nice to know that at least one person on duty knew the difference between leash and lease.

In previous posts I have said that during the many years that I was gainfully employed, I had an extensive working relationship with a lady for whom English was a second language, and she pronounced the term nit picker as neet peeker, an aberration caused by the fact that in her native language, Eye’s were pronounced as Es, hence nit picker became neet peeker. I mention this only to say that I am neither a nit picker nor a neet peeker—my contributions to language result from my desire for accuracy in the spoken word. In more than one instance the lady I mentioned apparently got her tongue tangled up and pronounced the term as neet pecker—go figure!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Postscript: If there is any doubt concerning the veracity of this post as concerns the gaffe, I captured the entire hour on Tivo, and I will cheerfully furnish a DVD on request. Just follow the same instructions given for S&M  information. Send a stamped self-addressed envelope with $25 enclosed—in cash—small bills and no counterfeits, and the DVD will go out with the return post, sealed in a plain brown wrapper, just as D.H. Lawerence’s novel Lady Chatterly’s Lover arrived in our mail boxes many years ago. It’s a great story and the movie was even better—breathtaking!

News flash! Today is still Sunday, March  6, 2011 and the time is 7:20 AM, Central Time Zone, in San Antonio, Texas. I just heard Alisyn Camerato of Fox News fame announce that a dog has been given a new leash on life, and the scroll at the bottom read leash—same story, different gaffmaker.

Alas, so many gaffes, so little time!

 
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Posted by on March 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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A third letter to my wife in el cielo . .

Dear Janie,

This afternoon I dozed off while watching television in our den and I awoke with a start, looked around the room and said in a loud voice, “Where did you go? It was just like all the many times over the years when I would become preoccupied in reading or I would be snoozing and when I noticed your absence, whether by awakening abruptly or looking up from my reading, I would shout, “Where are you?” and you would answer that you were in the kitchen or that you were going to the bathroom or just returning from the bathroom, or something on the order of “I can’t do anything without you wondering where I am!”

The feeling of your presence in the den this afternoon was so strong, so powerful that it took me several seconds to realize that I had awakened to my new world, a world without you, the world that was created when you left me.

Perhaps I dreamed that you were here, but I have no recollection of dreaming. I have prayed every day since you left for you to come to me in a dream. I’ve prayed to Jesus and Mary and God and to all the apostles that I could remember, and to the gods of other religions—except to the god of those that would seek to destroy us and our nation.

In the thirty days since you left me I can recall dreaming only twice. Once I dreamed that Cindy and I were on a trip out to the southwest, shooting photography in every direction, and the other time involved a cat. I remember no details other than that there was a cat in my dream.

I want to dream. I need to dream. I need to see you in my dreams, to see that everything is all right with you and that you are safe and happy in your new world. I pray every night for you to come to me. I pray for other things and for other people, of course, but my thoughts of you and my longing for you are always uppermost in my mind, in my thoughts and in my prayers in all my waking hours.

Yes, I know that’s selfish. I probably should be praying for miraculous findings in the search for curing the diseases that shorten our lives, and for world peace and for the abolishment of hunger and suffering among third-world countries. I suppose I’ll get around to that when my prayers for you to come to me in my dreams are answered.

As for my awakening from sleep this afternoon and calling  for you, this is what I believe—I believe that you were in the den, that your spirit, your immortal soul, was there and in my dream, and although I was nestled deeply in the arms of Morpheus—asleep—I was aware in my subconscious mind that you were there, and that’s why I called out for you when I awoke.

I realize that all my erudite readers are familiar with the fact that Morpheus is the god of dreams in Greek mythology, a benevolent supernatural being between mortals and gods, a being that can take any human form and appear in dreams. Armed with that knowledge I do not find it necessary to explain the term, but a treatise and a painting of Morpheus may be found  here. The 1811 painting is Morpheus, Phantasos and Iris (Morpheus is the one reclining).

I did find it necessary to write and tell you that I was aware of your presence this afternoon. I thank you and I love you for being there for me, and I welcome you back whether I am awake, snoozing in the recliner or deep asleep in our bedroom.

I love you more today than yesterday, but less than tomorrow.

Sleep well in heaven, my darling.

Mike

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2010 in education, funeral, Humor, marriage

 

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About my uncle Dalton . . .

This post is about my Uncle Dalton, one of my mother’s younger brothers. I never knew him, and I saw him for the first and last time at his wake. I can’t pinpoint the year he died, but my best guess is that it was around 1940. I know it was before 1942, the year my mother unwisely brought a stepfather into our family, and when I picture myself standing at my uncle’s coffin and listening to my mother explain how he died, I appear to be somewhere around the age of seven or perhaps eight years—hey, don’t laugh—I said it would be a best guess, right?

My Uncle Dalton died in the old Bryce Hospital, an institution for the insane located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. You can Google it here if you like—there’s lots of info on the Internet.

According to my mother and other family members, Dalton was the victim of a beating rendered by a fellow inmate, a not-so-gentle man that attacked Dalton with a metal bedpan and the beating proved to be fatal. I have a vivid memory of standing beside my mother and watching her lift the departed’s right arm and the hand dropping limply, indicating, as voiced by my mother, that the wrist was broken. I know now that the hand dropping, or drooping, was normal and did not indicate a break. Had the body been in the maximum stiffness of rigor mortis,  the hand would not have drooped when the arm was lifted.

In humans, rigor mortis commences  about 3 hours after death, reaches maximum stiffness after 12 hours, and gradually dissipates until approximately three days after death. I am reasonably sure that Uncle Dalton had been dead for at least three days before he lay in state at his wake prior to his burial. Therefore it was natural for the hand to drop, or droop, when the arm was lifted. If you like, you can click here to confirm my findings concerning rigor mortis.

My mother told me that Uncle Dalton was a perfectly normal young adult until he unwisely dived head-first from a tree limb into shallow water and lost consciousness when his head struck the bottom—her expression was, I believe, that his head stuck in the mud. He remained unconscious for several minutes and was finally revived, but was never quite the same after the accident, and some years later was committed to Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa, an institution for the mentally disturbed—insane, if you will.

My mother visited Dalton numerous times during his tenure at Bryce, and she had interesting stories to tell about those visits. She said that he loved chewing gum, and she always took him gum on her visits. Patients were not allowed to shave themselves, and Mama said that he invariably removed a stick of gum from its wrapper, then reconstructed the wrapper and  pretended to shave with it. She told me a joke that she claimed Dalton told her—I seriously doubt the origin of this joke, but I must admit that it’s funny!

The joke my Uncle Dalton supposedly told was of a mental patient that had been told that after thirty years in the asylum he could go home, so he was given a razor and told to shave. As he faced the mirror and began shaving, a nurse stopped in the hallway to congratulate him, and he turned away from the mirror for an instant, and while he was turned away the mirror slipped of its hanger. When he returned to face the mirror he exclaimed, “Damn, thirty years in this place and the day I get ready to leave I cut my head off!” If that story is true, I have some doubt as to the severity of Dalton’s insanity.

One more story about my insane Uncle Dalton, and I’ll leave this posting for posterity. An official from Bryce Hospital called Dalton’s family to tell them that Dalton had wandered away from the institution and was believed to be returning to his home. A couple of days later his mother noticed that a shotgun that normally hung over the fireplace was missing. A report was made to local law enforcement, and a search began for Dalton in that area. While the search was in full swing, Dalton appeared at the house with the shotgun and several squirrels he had bagged. He said that he left the hospital with the intention of going squirrel hunting and having his mother make squirrel stew for him. As the story goes, the local law officials arrived to take Dalton back to the hospital, but waited until he had finished a meal of squirrel stew.

Possible? Yes, but plausible? No, but it makes a good read, especially as told to me by my mother, and I would like to believe it. Well, why not? It’s all in the past, and whether true of false it’s an indication of the frailty and the goodness of human nature, and our acceptance of both attributes.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Postscript: I overlooked a memory of my uncle, something my mother told me and was confirmed by at least two of her sisters. One manifestation of his separation from reality was his insistence that the air was filled with clocks, all manners of timepieces—clocks large and clocks small, all showing the same time of day or night, and he couldn’t understand why others could not see them.

Was that proof of his mental imbalance? Perhaps, but according to my mother and my aunts he never carried a pocket watch and never wore a wristwatch, yet when someone asked, he could give them the correct time, at any moment of the day or night. Such a gift has its advantages—assuming that the clocks required neither winding nor batteries, the absence of maintenance costs and physical effort would mount up over a lifetime.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2010 in Humor, hunting, insanity, law enforcement

 

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This butt’s for you . . .

Regarding the above title: I strove mightily to resist using the word butt’s, but (there I go again!) the temptation was strong and my resistance was weak. I beg for forgiveness from any viewer that may take umbrage for its use. It’s not really my fault, it’s the fault of my weak resistance—just remember that to give is human, to receive is divine. Your forgiveness, freely offered, will establish your humanity, and my acceptance of that offer will affirm my divinity—wow, I love it when I talk like that!

I have just spent a considerable amount of time on a certain Word Press blog, one that I will later identify for my viewers. Along with that ID will be my recommendation  for others to follow this blogger. That recommendation applies strictly to those that are imbued with the ability and the inclination to appreciate a tremendously prolific pontificator that uses humor, sarcasm, dry wit, originality, a comprehensive knowledge of local, national and world wide history and current events, a writer that has a curious penchant for vacillating between leaning to the left and leaning to the right in our political spectrum—I suspect that he may be either a closet centrist—or left leaning or right leaning—whatever. Regardless of stance, whether yours or his, whether you stand left, center, right or a combination of one or more or all of the above, “This dud’s for you!”

I didn’t really mean the dud’s part—it may be nothing more than a typo, but I will not correct it because I have long yearned for an opportunity to fracture that phrase, and I couldn’t allow this one to escape me). In summary, I will say that the blogger in question, the one yet to be identified, has never left, nor will ever leave, any target unskewered!

In the not-too-long-ago past, a purveyor of floral arrangements and such, a gnat among birds of prey in the world of commerce, particularly vultures, flooded television and other venues with this slogan: “This bud’s for you!”

A certain giant—one that I will not name—threatened legal action if the gnat did not cease and desist in its illegal use of said giant’s own copyrighted slogan, one identical to the gnat’s slogan except for the letter b in the second word—the gnat’s b was lower case  and the giant’s B was capitalized.

And so it came to pass—the gnat folded. Bummer!

Oh, well, what the hell! I will name the giant and take my lumps if the company takes offense to my outing them. The giant was the Budweiser corporation, and the gnat was a teenie-weenie company that sold flowers.

The hour is early and my eyelids apparently have minds of their own. I will relent and out—unmask, so to speak—the blogger I mentioned. Click here for a visit to his city and state, and for his thoughts on various elements of our society, but set aside some time for the journey—you’ll need it!

Oh, and be patient while the blog is loading—the site is huge, a good match for the blogger’s ego, and in that vein, I must admit that my blog lags far below the size of my own ego. However, I believe that we both are striving to attain the level of super-ego, the pinnacle of one’s psychic apparatus, but he is much closer to that goal than I. Bummer! (Click here to refresh your understanding of Sigmund Freud’s structural model of the psyche)

Special postcript: Please know that the image to the right is a photographic representation of the outed blogger, extracted from his About Me—that is not my picture. Click here for access to that feature and the voluminous comments the feature has attracted.

Can you say envy? I can—for the number of comments, not the image.

 

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Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

In his search for reality, Decartes systematically doubted everything his senses perceived, and finally concluded that the one thing he could not doubt was the fact that he doubted—hence this statement—Cogito, ergo sum—I think, therefore I am. Decartes reasoned that he was not an illusion, that he was real, and from that position he concluded that life and the world around him was real.

Don’t laugh—for centuries men argued on how many angels could stand on the head of a pin—seriously! And for centuries men argued about which of these came first—the chicken or the egg. They eventually abandoned the angels-on-a-pin argument, but finally decided that the chicken came before the egg.

They reached their decision by reasoning that the first chicken began life as a chicken, a being endowed with its ultimate chickenness (so to speak). It was created perfect by its creator and therefore is not moving toward perfection. It’s safe to say that a chicken, any chicken regardless of its pedigree, will never become anything more than a chicken, no matter how hard it might try. It will, of course, ultimately change its shape and form dramatically, but it will never improve on its chickenness.

The egg, by its very nature, is imperfect and is moving toward perfection, and unless it stumbles on the road to perfection and is eaten, whether fried, scrambled, hard-boiled or raw, or perhaps dies from natural (or unnatural) causes, it will ultimately achieve perfection—it will become a chicken. Ergo, in the beginning, the time of the big bang, the time of creation, the time in which the creator created the heavens and the earth and everything thereon (and rested on the seventh), there was neither chicken nor egg.

Had the egg come first, it would have presented the paradox of perfection arising from imperfection. The heavy thinkers of their day couldn’t possible support that one. A contradicting argument (if one needs one) would be that every chicken egg ever laid and to be laid, whether past, present or future has within itself the seeds of perfection, the potential of becoming a chicken. It needs only to be nurtured with the proper degree of heat for the proper number of days, and voila!—a perfect chicken emerges, albeit it very small as are all newborns, relative of course to the size of the parents.

The greatest potential for perfection in life resides in a far different sort of egg, an egg that forms the human embryo and requires fertilization, a pleasurable transaction which guarantees that human life as we know it will continue throughout eternity, or at least as long as the big bang continues—ah, not that big bang—I refer to the continuing expansion of our universe throughout space, an expansion that some believe was caused by a tremendous event called the big bang.

Unless my failing memory fails me the chicken, along with flora and other fauna, was created on the fifth day, the same day on which that famous existential couple, Adam and Eve, were created—existential in the sense that they took sole responsibility for giving their lives meaning and for living those lives passionately and sincerely (note the emphasis on passionately). In the words of the late Paul Harvey:

“And now you know the rest of the story!”

The very first perfect chicken, through a process provided by its creator, produced the first imperfect egg. The chicken obviously had to come first in order to start things, to produce the egg, an imperfect something that ultimately becomes a perfect chicken, and the process continues to this day and will continue on through eternity, or at least as long as chickens lay.

Got it?

I know, I know—the first imperfect egg came from a perfect chicken, so on the surface it would appear that imperfection can come from perfection, but that doesn’t count on the first time—hey, give the early thinkers a bit of slack!

Beware! Dumb joke approaching (I’m tendering an apology in advance, so be nice):

“It’s not the fault of that apple on the tree—it was that pear (pair) on the ground.”

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2010 in Humor, Writing

 

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