Wednesday, September 29, 2010


My great (grand?) niece sent me these.  The captions are mine.

Wonder why there aren't any cars on the road.

Gee, glad ya tole me.  I'd never a known'.

Traffic Report!  Something blocking roadway!

I told you, ya can't jump fences!

Gee, an old Mount Rushmore!

... in any position.

Don't nobody touch my banana!

Kin I help?  I'm expert at horsepower.

Who sez so?  I sez so!

Humor -

From my chiropractor:  He tells about the young girl who was out on a field trip where somebody said something nasty to her.  When she got home, she told her parents, “I think I was paid a negative compliment.”

While transcribing medical audiotapes, the secretary came upon the following garbled diagnosis, “This man has pholenfrometry.”  Knowing nothing about that particular condition, she double-checked with the doctor, who listened to the tape.  Then he translated:  “This man has fallen from a tree.”

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Back in May I had a posting that talked about Avenidas,  a senior health care center for adults. I’d mentioned that I’d been given a tour of the facilities, and found it most interesting.  Staff are most friendly and eager to help.  My main interest would not necessarily be the activities, but the possible social interaction since it is difficult for me to get out and meet people.  It’s rather pricey, but the Veterans Administration would pay for it once they had funds.  That might take several months.

Then I was invited back for a full day visit, including lunch.  Frankly I was disappointed.  They won’t allow me to use my scooter, so it is difficult for me to come up to someone and introduce myself.  When the gentleman who was guiding me around asked my opinion, I said that I was disappointed.  “Well, once you have VA approval, will you at least give it a try for a month?” he asked me.  I said I would.

Today I had a call from VA  saying I’d been approved for two days a week.  So now I will call Avenidas and find out what’s next.  I said I’d give it a try, and I will.

Humor --

This is the story of a very poor family.  The father works hard, but earns barely enough to meet ends, so the little girl rarely has anything new or gifts of any kind.

One day the father comes home and hands the little girl a small package.
“Oh, Papa!  For me?”
“It’s just a trinket.”
“Oh, Papa, you make me so happy!”
“It’s just a trinket.”
“You mean this is just for me?”
“Look, Pumpkin, It’s just a trinket.”
So she opens the package.
“Papa?  A bottle of Coca Cola?”
“Trinket it.”

Monday, September 27, 2010


This is not what I had intended to post today. The following is from this morning's newspaper.  Any italic or boldface is my doing.  I'm still incredulous!

Just before 3 p.m. Saturday, a white Chevy Blazer pulled up to the arrival curb outside Terminal A at San Jose International Airport. Two men dressed in black parked the SUV, switched on its hazard lights and approached the information desk to inquire about American Airlines Flight 1205 from Dallas. Both carried assault rifles strapped across their chests, with handguns in their holsters.

A volunteer at the desk politely told them the plane was due at 3:02 p.m. And another volunteer asked one of the armed men, "Are you one of the people who ride on the plane looking for terrorists?"  "No," he replied.  Then the pair casually waited near the escalator that ferries travelers to the luggage carousels.

"I wondered if they were going to shoot somebody coming off the plane," one volunteer said. She resolved to dive under her desk if that happened.  Still, she was worried. "I didn't know if this was proper, if people are allowed to walk into an airport with assault rifles and just stand there."

It appears that airport travelers that day either figured the pair's mission was benign, or perhaps thought they were part of a ninja movie. San Jose police said they received no calls inquiring about the men with rifles.

Simply leaving a bag unattended for a few minutes can cause airport security guards to panic. But apparently it isn't illegal to carry weapons into the nonsecure areas of San Jose Airport -- or most other U.S. airports..

After 15 years of assisting in the terminal, the volunteers said they know what to do when someone loses an ATM card (call 911), when passengers' rides don't show up (lend them a cell phone) and when handed prohibited carry-on items (mail the items to the passengers' homes). But they had received no training on how to handle heavily armed visitors.  A parking control officer at the airport asked his supervisor what he should do.  The response, according to one of the volunteers: "Next time that happens, have one of them sit in the car while the other one comes in." The airport prohibits unattended cars at the curb, especially under the current orange alert level.

Soon, the armed pair greeted another man wearing a baseball cap after he descended the escalator. Together they picked up about a half-dozen pieces of luggage, loaded them into the white SUV and drove off.

It turns out the men with the assault rifles were from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and were meeting another security staffer returning from assignment, lab spokesman Don Johnston said.  Johnston said that it isn't unusual, especially on weekends, for Lawrence security guards to meet personnel at airports. And yes, he said, the security staff members dress in what police call "battle dress uniforms": dark clothing with logos that are difficult to see.

That left one of the volunteers relieved, yet incredulous.  "I couldn't believe," she said, "that man was so valuable it took two men with assault rifles to escort him to Livermore."

After that, I think we need a bit of humor --

There aren’t enough words in the English language, as far as the Washington Post is concerned.  So they asked readers to come up with a few more.

Percycution:  Giving your child a name he will hate for the rest of his life.

Applicushion:  Your fallback college.

Awwdition:  A tryout for the cutest babies and puppies.

Cadhesion:  The emotional attachment that keeps some women from breaking up with men who treat them badly.

Flabrication:  The weight on your driver’s license.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I found these on an old backup disk, and thought you might enjoy them.  Some of the scenery is beautiful, too.

Fun -

During naval flight training the instructor kept referring to the engine as the “air conditioner.”  When asked why, he replied, “because when it stops turning, you start sweating.”

The four year old could not take his eyes off the Most Wanted posters in the post office.  Finally he asked, “Why didn’t they capture these guys when they took their pictures?”

Friday, September 24, 2010


About a month ago I had a call from my cardiologist’s office telling me of another pill the doctor wanted me to take.  So I had the prescription filled at a local pharmacy.  Expensive.  Now I get most all my medications from the Veterans Administration at a hefty savings, so when I saw my VA doctor for my regular semi-annual checkup yesterday, they said they would not fill it on the grounds that I don’t need it.

So I called the cardiologist’s office this morning, explained the problem to his nurse, and she said she would get back to me before the end of the day.

* *
It is now late afternoon, and you think I got a call back?  Hah!  Well, some day ...

Let’s settle for a bit of humor --

More airline commentary:

"In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend
from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your
face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask
before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one
small child, pick your favourite."


Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines."


"Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Around the end of August I posted a book review of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, and noted that I wanted to get the whole series.  And so I did.  The last one arrived a day or two ago.  I don’t like to read the same author one right after the other, so I’d been reading a couple of other things, but I did finish one of the other Mary Russell stories, quite out of sequence.

Given that each story is separate, the reading sequence probably isn’t that all important, though there are occasional references to some previous volume.  Now in The Beekeeper’s Apprentice there is a sequence that takes Holmes and Russell out of England, and has little to do with the ongoing plot.  So sometime later the author, Laurie King, wrote a story that fills in that ‘out-of-England’ bit.  I’m about a third of the way through it, and enjoying it immensely; however, at least for me, it has quite a different feel or tone to it.  Diana, one of my blog followers, told me that she has read the series, and I’d be interested in her response to my reaction.  I’ll keep you posted.

Humor --

A worker had to voice his concern when a co-worker said she found dates on the internet. “ Don’t worry about it,” she said, “I always insist that we meet at a miniature golf course.”  “Why there?”  Her response -- “First, it’s a public spot. Second, it’s in broad daylight,   And third, I have a club in my hand.”

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


People travel the world over to see many sights, but there is much to see right here in the United States -- interesting, beautiful, historic sights that will take your breath away.  These photos came from a couple of calendars that were sent to me.

Mount Rushmore, South Dakota

The road to Mono Lake, California

The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

The Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn to Manhattan, New York

Autumn in Wisconsin

Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts

Columbia River Highway, Oregon

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Portland Head Lighthouse, Portland, Maine

Monument Valley, Arizona

Covered bridge, Tennessee

Space Needle, Seattle, Washington

Niagara Falls (American Falls), New York

Palisades, Washington, D.C.

Bit of fun --

One office worker was a stickler for good spelling, so when an associate emailed technical documents asking him to “decifer” them, the stickler had to set him straight.  “Decipher” is spelled with a ph, not an ”f”.  In case you’ve forgotten, your computer comes with a spell checker.”  A minute later came the reply:  “Must be dephective.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


The other day I mentioned the bad stretch of sidewalk I’d had to traverse where the wooden boards were in dreadful condition.  And I talked about trying to reach someone at the City of Mountain View to make a complaint.

Well, I found a website for the city, and a place where one may register comments, complaints, and the like.  So I filled out their form, and sent it off.  Lo! and Behold! I received an answer that actually deals with the issue at hand.  Here is what I received:

Mr. Meyer,

My name is Jack Muench and I am an engineer with the City of Mountain View Public Works Department.  The City is aware of the condition of the wooden sidewalk section along El Camino Real you described in your email as well as the uplifted condition of concrete sidewalk along this stretch of the roadway.  I am happy to let you know that the City will soon begin construction of a project to both replace the wooden section of sidewalk and repair the uplifted sidewalks as well.  This work should begin in late October and be completed before the end of the year.

Please feel free to call or email me if you have any additional questions or concerns.   Thank you.

Jack Muench
Senior Civil Engineer

* *
I do hope the work is completed as described.  it will be a great help.  Make a heck of a Christmas present.

Fun --

Golf:  That’s where you put a small ball about an inch and a half in diameter on top of a bigger ball about 7,000 miles in diameter, and try to hit the little one without hitting the bigger one.

A used car dealer showed his customer a 2005 Chevy in great condition.  “And it’s yours for only $6999.”  “I’m willing to give you $3,500,” said the customer.  The car dealer feigned disappointment.  “If at all possible, I’d like to sell you the whole car.”

He was an honest guy, so when asked the speed limit in the factory’s parking lot, he gave an honest answer: “Depends how late you are.”

Monday, September 20, 2010


As often happens, these were sent to me the other day, and I could not resist sharing them with you.

(I had difficulty getting text under the last photo, so I'll give you the humor here)
More airline commentary:

 "Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."


 As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"


 After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo , a flight attendant on a flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

* * *                     * * *                * * *            * * *            * * *             * * *

The mysterious moving stones of the packed-mud desert of Death Valley have been a center of scientific controversy for decades. Rocks weighing up to hundreds of pounds have been known to move up to hundreds of yards at a time. Some scientists have proposed that a combination of strong winds and surface ice account for these movements. However, this theory does not explain evidence of different rocks starting side by side and moving at different rates and in disparate directions. Moreover, the physics calculations do not fully support this theory as wind speeds of hundreds of miles per hour would be needed to move some of the stones.

When a thick lava flow cools, it contracts vertically but cracks perpendicular to its directional flow with remarkable geometric regularity - in most cases forming a regular grid of remarkable hexagonal extrusions that almost appear to be made by man. One of the most famous such examples is the Giants Causeway on the coast of Ireland, though the largest and most widely recognized would be Devils Tower in Wyoming.  Basalt also forms different but equally fascinating ways when eruptions are exposed to air or water.

Blue holes are giant and sudden drops in underwater elevation that get their name from the dark and foreboding blue tone they exhibit when viewed from above in relationship to surrounding waters. They can be hundreds of feet deep and while divers are able to explore some of them they are largely devoid of oxygen that would support sea life due to poor water circulation - leaving them eerily empty.   Some blue holes, however, contain ancient fossil remains that have been discovered, preserved in their depths.

Red tides are also known as algal blooms - sudden influxes of massive amounts of colored single-cell algae that can convert entire areas of an ocean or beach into a blood red color. While some of these can be relatively harmless, others can be harbingers of deadly toxins that cause the deaths of fish, birds and marine mammals. In some cases, even humans have been harmed by red tides though no human exposure are known to have been fatal.  While they can be fatal, the constituent phytoplankton in red tides are not harmful in small numbers.

While many see these apparently perfect ice circles as worthy of conspiracy theorizing, scientists generally accept that they are formed by eddies in the water that spin a sizable piece of ice in a circular motion.  As a result of this rotation, other pieces of ice and flotsam wear relatively evenly at the edges of the ice until it slowly forms into an essentially ideal circle.  Ice circles have been seen with diameters of over 500 feet and can also at times be found in clusters and groups of different sizes.

True to their ominous appearance, mammatus clouds are often harbingers of a coming storm or other extreme weather system. Typically composed primarily of ice, they can extend for hundreds of miles in each direction and individual formations can remain visibly static for ten to fifteen minutes at a time.  While they may appear foreboding they are merely the messengers - appearing around, before or even after severe weather.

A circumhorizontal fire rainbow arc occurs at a rare confluence of right time and right place for the sun and certain clouds. Crystals within the clouds refract light into the various visible waves of the spectrum but only if they are arrayed correctly relative to the ground below. Due to the rarity with which all of these events happen in conjunction with one another, there are relatively few photos of this phenomena.

Sinkholes are one of the worlds scariest natural phenomena. Over time, water erodes the soil under the planets surface until in some cases, quite suddenly, the land above gives way and collapses into the earth. Many sinkholes occur naturally while others are the result of human intervention.  Displacing groundwater can open cavities while broken pipes can erode otherwise stable subterranean sediments.  Urban sinkholes, up to hundreds of feet deep have formed and consumed parts of city blocks, sidewalks and even entire buildings.

Named after peak-hooded New Mexican monks, penitentes are dazzling naturally-forming ice blades that stick up at sharp angles toward the sun. Rarely found except at high altitudes, they can grow up taller than a human and form in vast fields.  As ice melts in particular patterns, valleys formed by initial melts leave mountains in their wake.  Strangely, these formations ultimately slow the melting process as the peaks cast shadows on the deeper surfaces below and allow for winds to blow over the peaks, cooling them.

Ever wonder the truth about UFOs?  Avoided by traditional pilots but loved by sailplane aviators, lenticular clouds are masses of cloud with strong internal uplift that can drive a motorless flyer to high elevations. Their shape is quite often mistaken for a mysterious flying object or the artificial cover for one.  Generally, lenticular clouds are formed as wind speeds up while moving around a large land object such as a mountain.

Light pillars appear as eerily upright luminous columns in the sky, beacons cast into the air above without an apparent source.  These are visible when light reflects just right off of ice crystals from either the sun or from artificial ground sources such as street or park lights.  Despite their appearance as near-solid columns of light, the effect is entirely created by our own relative viewpoint.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Last evening we had one of those potluck dinners at the clubhouse.  This is where everybody brings a little something, and there is ALWAYS food left over.  But this not about the food.  What I find most enjoyable is the socializing.  All the back and forth and give and take.  Well, I was sitting there in my scooter, when a woman I did not recognize came in.  She looked at me and made some complimentary remark about my scooter, and we started to chat.  I introduced myself, and she told me she was Diane C.  I knew instantly who she was -- a neighbor only 4 doors down from me.  And I had a bit of trivia to share with her.  I told her that her Aunt Beverly and I had gone to school together in San Francisco all the way from kindergarten through high school.  That rather surprised her. 

What I did not remember then, but recalled later at home was this additional bit of trivia:  When I was in the second grade (now that was a few years ago) the class put on a play of Hansel and Gretel.  I was Hansel, a little girl named Jeanette was Gretel, and dear Aunt Beverly played -- the wicked witch!

Fun --

Which somehow reminds me of an old joke told to me by an Italian dentist.
Q:  What are the 10 hardest years in an Italian’s life?
 A.  Second grade

Money talks, but all mine ever says is “Goodbye”.

Fishing:  That’s where you have a jerk at one end waiting for a jerk on the other end.

Friday, September 17, 2010


If you don’t knit, the following will mean about as much to you as it did to me.  So you may skip down to the humor below.

I was reading a detective story, and ran across a passage where the detective is describing the witness to her boss.  I’m curious to know if, in knitting terms, the following makes any sense:

The boss:  “You said she seemed nervous rather than upset.”
Detective:  “She dropped one stitch, then another one after she realized who I was, and finally she turned a cable the wrong way round before telling us to leave.  She’ll have to pull it all out to return to her normal standard of workmanship.”

Anyone to tell me what that’s about?

BTW, it’s a smashing good story entitled A Letter of Mary by Laurie R. King, and is the third in the Beekeeper series.

Humor -

Now hear this!  You may live in this dwelling with me, but keep in mind your sole purpose for existing is to care for me.  I pray God keeps you able to do so.

Feed me well and promptly, so that I may then find a quiet place to lie down and stare at you.  If that place happens to be the top of the television set, do not keep trying to dislodge me even though my tail is hanging in the middle of the picture.

I expect full run of the premises, including the kitchen table.  I sniff your food only to see if I would prefer it to mine. Brush me twice a week.  Pet me as often as you wish, but I can do without those idiotic statements you utter as you do so.

When I bump my against your leg or cheek, its means I accept you as part of my environment.  Keep in mind that if I thought the lady next door would feed me better, I’d be out of here in a minute.  If you’re looking for loyalty, get a dog.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Now that I can scooter over to my favorite shopping center, I’ve discovered a bit of a problem.  Once I get onto the El Camino Real sidewalk,  I make my way down to the shopping center, and there is one stretch of about 8 or 9 feet that is not concrete, but wooden boards.  Those boards are in dreadful condition, and the one time I rode over them I was afraid I was going to fall through.  I would think that whoever is responsible for the sidewalks would want to keep them in decent repair for fear of someone tripping, falling, and breaking a limb.

So I’ve been trying to reach the proper department, which ever one that might happen to be, at the city of Mountain View to complain about it.  So far, no luck.  I know which departments it’s NOT -- police, fire, finance, garbage, sewers, and on and on.  I left a message for somebody, but ‘somebody’ has not returned the call.  I’ll keep trying.  Ah, how boring would life be without these little problems for us to solve.  Will keep you posted, if you’ll pardon the pun.

Humor -

Airline messages --

On a flight where there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want.  Passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"


 On another flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."


On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have."


"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


As a  Shakespeare might say.  Following my day of frustration with the Veterans Administration phone tree, I tried again this morning.  Same result.  Bah, humbug!  So I phoned through to the switchboard operator, and explained my problem.  “Don’t use that phone number for appointments,” I was told.  “Try this one instead.”  My Heavens!  That worked!  Absolutely nothing like having the right information.

Fun stuff -

Last of the funny signs --
In a Restaurant window: 
"Don't stand there and be hungry; come on in and get fed up." 
In the front yard of a Funeral Home: 
"Drive carefully. We'll wait." 
At a Propane Filling Station: 
"Thank heaven for little grills." 
And don't forget the sign at a 
"Best place in town to take a leak."
Sign on the back of another Septic Tank Truck: 
"Caution - This Truck is full of Political Promises

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


It’s not too often that I become frustrated, but yesterday was one of those days.  I’m due for my six month checkup at the Veterans Administration, and I tried to reach the proper department to make an appointment.  I dialed the given telephone number, and went through the phone tree.  As I reached the last “branch”, I started to be connected to that proper department, and I was cut off -- THREE TIMES!  Just left with a dial tone.  Arrrgghhh!

Then later in the day I had an appointment with my family doctor.  (I know, they’re not called that any more.  What is it?  Primary care physician?  Or something.)  Anyway. The nurse ushered me into the exam room, and asked very sweetly, “How are you today?“  “Annoyed,” I replied.  I may have explained why.  Then she took my blood pressure.  It was a bit high.  “Oh, you really are annoyed, aren’t you,” says she.  Later the doctor took my BP  (that is not British Petroleum!) again, and it was down some.

Well, one antidote for frustration, or annoyance, is a bit of humor.  Try this on for size --

A young couple get married.  She knows very little about cooking, but she is determined to please her husband.  She gets advice from relatives and friends, and really does her best.  She would serve a meal to her new hubby, who would taste it and say, “Not bad, but not like Mother used to make.”  She would attempt something else, and his response would be, “Not bad, but not like Mother used to make.”  This went on for some little time, but one morning, for whatever reason, she was quite harried, and made a mess of breakfast.  She forgot to plug in the coffee, she burnt the toast, the eggs were underdone, and the bacon was practically raw.  But she served it to her husband anyway, who took one taste and said, “Ah, just like Mother used to make!”

Monday, September 13, 2010


I don't have anything exciting to report, so here is a bit of humor for your enjoyment.


Q: Where can men or women over the age of 60 find young, sexy members of the opposite sex who are sexually interested in them?
A: Try a bookstore under fiction

Q: My wife is going through menopause. What can I do?
A: Keep busy. If you're handy with tools, you can finish the basement. When you are done you will have a place to live.

Q: How can you increase the heart rate of your 60-plus-year-old husband?
A: Tell him you're pregnant.

Q: How can you avoid spotting a wrinkle every time you walk by a mirror?
A: The next time you're in front of a mirror, take off your glasses.

Q: Why should 60-plus-year-old people use valet parking?
A: Valets don't forget where they park your car.

Q: Is it common for 60-plus-year-olds to have problems with short-term memory storage?
A: Storing memory is not a problem, retrieving it is a problem.

Q: As people age, do they sleep more soundly?
A: Yes, but usually in the afternoon.

Q: Where do 60-plus-year-olds look for fashionable glasses?
A: On their foreheads.

Q: What is the most common remark made by 60-plus-year-olds when they enter antique stores?
A: “I remember these!”

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Not many, but these looked interesting.

That loop looks like fun.

Initially I thought this was an incomplete bridge.

THE MILLAU VIADUCT is part of the new E11 expressway connecting Paris and Barcelona and features the highest bridge piers ever constructed.

The tallest is 240 meters high and the overall height will be an impressive 336 meters, making this the highest bridge in the world.

Humor -

A clear conscience is usually a sign of a bad memory.

Nothing bad can happen if you haven’t hit the SEND key.

I live by the truth that “No” is a complete sentence.

Next post on Monday morning.