Friday, December 31, 2010


Next posting will be on Monday, January 3, 2011.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Wildlife magazine published what they called the best wildlife photos of 2010.  I think they are pretty remarkable!

Snowy owl

Mountain goat

Ruby-throated hummingbird


Penguin convention


Scissor tailed flycatchers (that's what the caption said)

Arctic foxes


Baby gorilla

End of year humor -

Presumably these are actual comments made by Police Officers, that were taken off police car videos around the country:

1. "You know, stop lights don't come any redder than the one you just went through."

2. "Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they're new. They'll stretch after you wear them a while."

3. "If you take your hands off the car, I'll make your birth certificate a worthless document."

4. "If you run, you'll only go to jail tired."

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Won Park is the master of Origami.  He is also called the "money folder", a practitioner of origami whose canvas is the United States One Dollar Bill.    Bending, twisting, and folding, he creates life-like shapes in stunning detail.     








             Toilet bowl




Fun -

Presumably, these are actual comments made on students' report cards by teachers in the New York City public school system. All teachers were reprimanded.

Since my last report, your child has reached rock bottom and has started to dig.

I would not allow this student to breed.

Your child has delusions of adequacy.

Your son is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


...through the tulips. My thanks to Pat.

At first glance, it looks like a giant child armed with a box of crayons has been set loose upon the landscape. Vivid stripes of purple, yellow, red, pink, orange and green make up a glorious Technicolor patchwork. Yet far from being a child's sketchbook, this is, in fact, the northern Netherlands in the middle of the tulip season. With more than 10,000 hectares devoted to the cultivation of these delicate flowers, the Dutch landscape in May is a kaleidoscope of giddy colours as the tulips burst into life. The bulbs were planted in late October and early November, and these colourful creations are now ready to be picked and sold as bunches of cut flowers in florists and supermarkets. More than three billion tulips are grown each year and two-thirds of the vibrant blooms are exported, mostly to the U.S. and Germany .

Their dazzling colors are thanks to the years in the 17th century when Tulip mania swept the globe and the most eye-catching specimens changed hands for a small fortune. But like a rainbow, this colorful landscape is a short-lived phenomenon. When the flowers are gone, the land will be cultivated for a rather more mundane crop of vegetables.

Fun --

Epitaphs -
"He was a simple man who died of complications."

"Stranger, tread this ground with gravity. Dentist Brown is filling his last cavity."

"Harry Edsel Smith: Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down. It was."

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


My cockatiel Pepper has been in egg-sitting mode.  She has been at it diligently for several weeks now.  Of course these eggs are not going to hatch; they are not fertile.  (Of course if they do hatch, no one will be more surprised than I will.  Pep is not even engaged.)

What makes this interesting is that she has set up her nest in a waste basket.  Well, it is her waste basket; note the ladder for her to use to get in and
out.  Her food and water are up in her cage, and

 every evening, or perhaps late afternoon, she climbs up, gorges herself on her food, and then trots back down to her “little ones”.

The vet was concerned if she continued to lay one egg after another -- it would debilitate her, he says.  But she seems content with the two she has going.  The vet also said it would take her about three weeks to give up on the project, and both Cliff and I think she has reached the three week mark.  But for the moment we are biding our time.

The other day she surprised me.  I had gone back to the den, and when I turned around, there she was, following me.  She wanted up on my walker, and after I’d put her down, she climbed up my leg and proceeded to preen, getting feather ‘dust’ all over my pants.  She got something else on my pants, but never mind.  Then when Cliff and I left on an errand, she climbed back down to her eggs.  (I know the photo shows only one, but I wasn’t about to go digging around down there.)

Then the following day she came back to the den with me, and once again messed up my pants.  Into the laundry.  The pants; not the bird.  Last evening Cliff closed the cage door on her, and today she was out all day.  We think that maybe she has returned to her normal activities.


Murphy's Law of Lockers:
If there are only two people in a  locker room, they will have adjacent lockers.

Law of Rugs/Carpets:
The chances of an open-faced jelly sandwich landing face down on a floor
covering are directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet/rug.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Cliff and I had a quiet Christmas.  But there were people all over the world whose holiday was a lot less than joyous.  And then there are those who stepped in to help the more unfortunate ones.  Two examples from yesterday’s paper:

By now most all of you have heard of the horrific gas line explosion and fire that ripped the town of San Bruno some 30 miles north of here.  People killed, homes destroyed.  But others stepped in to help find places for the newly displaced to sleep, supply food and other necessities.  One item in the paper was about the displaced family who thought their home might be repaired by Christmas.  But it was not quite ready.  Neighbors stepped in and help this family get a few rooms habitable for Christmas eve and Christmas day.  Wish fulfilled.

The other story was about a group of low income families, unable to afford much, if anything, for their kids.  Nine of the San Francisco 49er’s, under the auspices of The Samaritan House, took some 36 youngsters, fourth, fifth and sixth graders, to a local Target store.  Each youngster was given a $250 gift card from VISA, and the Niners took them shopping.  From the article: “That is why befuddled holiday shoppers came across Mike Iupati, a 331 pound offensive lineman, picking out girls‘ pajamas.”  

What I found intriguing was that the kids chose gifts for their parents and siblings, and not so much for themselves.  And if the tab ran over the $250 limit, the Niners paid the difference out of their own pockets.

(The photo is from the newspaper; hence, the poor quality.)



Law of the Alibi:
If you tell the boss you were late for work  because you had a flat
tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire.

Variation Law:
If you change lines (or traffic lanes), the one you  were in will start
to move faster than the one you are in now (works every  time).

Law of Coffee:
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot  coffee, your boss will ask you
to do something which will last until the coffee  is cold.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Here is my holiday greeting.  Some of you have already seen it, I know, but fear not -- I added something new at the bottom.  Enjoy.

I promised a few more --

Law of the Bath:
When the body is fully immersed in water, the telephone rings.

Law of Close Encounters:
The probability of  meeting someone you know increases when you are with
someone you don't want to  be seen with.

Law of the Result:
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

Law of Biomechanics:
The  severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

Law of the  Theatre:
The people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.  (I have seen that one in action.)

Law  of Logical Argument:
Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


One might call yesterday a comedy of errors except that it was only one BIG error, and I was not amused.  Once a year I go in for an infusion for my osteoporosis.  This year the doctor decided he needed a fresh blood test, so they whisked me next door for said test.  The nurse then readied me for the infusion, (IV needle in my arm) and said she had to wait for the test results for some reason I didn’t understand.  “Just a few minutes,” she said.  That was about 2:15 in the afternoon.  About 20 minutes later she came by to apologize for the delay.  Then she checked again with the lab.  Nope.  Not yet.

Now all this time I was sitting in my scooter, which is quite all right, but my backside was getting tired.  She kept checking, getting the same negative results, and returning to me to apologize.  I kept telling her that I knew it was not her fault.

Poor nurse -- she was caught between the non-productive lab, and my joke-telling (which kept her in stitches).  Now it was after 3, and I was more than annoyed.  Finally, close to 4 p.m. I announced that I was not going to sit there all night.  So she removed the needle, and I made a new appointment.

Nonetheless, a problem remains.  Cliff has a long-standing appointment in San Jose, and has no way to know when he will be back.  I may have to cancel today’s appointment.  (Turns out that Cliff made it baek in plenty of time.  Finally! Something went right!)

Ack!  This is not what I would hope to post during this holiday season.  But we don’t get to pick and choose, do we.  But I can soften things a bit with some holiday cartoons.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010


I’ve been fighting a lousy cough for some time now, and while my next appointment with the pulmonologist wasn’t until early next year, Monday I was bugged enough to call to see if I could get an earlier appointment.
“Can you make it this afternoon?” asked the nurse.  Monday is an Avenidas day; in fact, this was the last for the year, and some special entertainment was planned.  “What time?” I asked.  “How about 3:15?’  “Good!  I’ll be there, “ sez I.

Now this posed an interesting logistical problem.  I’m generally done at Avenidas about 2 p.m. and the doctor’s office is about 20 minutes away.  I’d be there way too early.  Cliff suggested stopping at the library for a while.  Not a bad idea.

Let me backtrack a bit.  I have been talking about the Russell-Holmes series by Laurie King, and how much I have enjoyed these books.  But I want to savor them, and not go through them too fast, so I have been reading other stories in between.   Laurie King, in addition to the aforementioned series, has written a different detective series featuring one Kate Martinelli (no relation to the sparkling apple cider, as far as I know).  The Russell-Holmes series takes place between 1915 and 1924, while the Martinelli series is modern, taking place in the late ’90’s into the 2000’s.  Martinelli is a police detective on the San Francisco Police force.

I wasn’t too sure about this because generally I’m not too keen on detective stories, but one title and description caught my eye -- The Art of Detection.  So I bought it.  Quite a good story.  A different voice from the other series, but that was to be expected.  Quite long -- nearly 500 pages, but that was because it included an entire 135 page short story within a story set in 1924 that is relevant to the modern story.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Now back to last Monday, and the Mountain Public Library.  I have a number of suggested titles and authors on my computer, but had none of that with me when Cliff made his suggestion.  “Oh, let’s go anyway,” I said.  And as  I slowly scootered my way between the stacks, I came upon a Laurie King section.  I reached up, grabbed one volume, and lo and behold, I had a Kate Martinelli detective story,  A Grave Talent.  What I found intriguing was that the first Martinelli story I read happened to be the last in the series, so far.  The one I picked up at the library turned about to be the first in the series.  Having read the last one, I was aware of some details (no, I’m not telling!) that the author does not immediately reveal in the first.  It made for a bit more fun as I carefully watched for the author’s clues which eventually showed up.  Great read!

Cartoons -

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It’s been a long time since I last sat on Santa’s lap.  When I was a widdle one my mother used to take me to a downtown department store, where I’d wait in line, and then go through the usual ritual.  I’ve no idea what I might have asked for, and I may even have realized that this wasn’t the real Santa.

Then last Friday, Santa came to Avenidas.  They had a couch set aside for him, and we were told we could either sit on his lap or next to him on the couch while a picture was taken.   I wasn’t planning to volunteer, but one of the staff “coerced” me into it.  That turned into a bit of a project.  I was wheeled over to Mr. Claus where I stood up, and that’s when the fun began.  Turning me around without something to hang onto something is one of the neater tricks of the week.  So I was gripping the wheelchair, which really didn’t help.  “I’ve got you,” said Santa, and I leaned back.  I have no idea what I was sitting on -- his knee, the arm of the couch, one of his elves -- but this photo was taken.  I’ve had worse.  I was even given a gift.  When I say I’ve had worse photos, try this one!

Other fun --

Monday, December 20, 2010


This little girl’s mother is a computer specialist from Helsinki, Finland. While her daughter is soundly asleep, she creates a completely different world … from whatever she can find around her! That’s how both of them became really famous. What a truly fabulous imagination! 



This is my favorite

Fun -

Dear Abby, I joined the Navy to see the world. I've seen it. Now how do I get out?
Dear Abby, My forty-year-old son has been paying a psychiatrist $50 an hour every week for two-and-a-half years. He must be crazy.