Wednesday, January 30, 2013

An All Groaner Hump Day

Happy All Groaner Hump Day

Yup. For my Happy Hump Day post this week, I'm offering this collection of...


I'm dedicating this post to my buddy Maria Zannini because she tells me my groaners have a special place in her heart.  (Or maybe it's in the compost pile behind the chicken coop.)

Okay, I'm also doing this because it's quick and I'm losing a chunk of today getting an MRI done on the persnickety knee that keeps giving out on me. Especially when I'm climbing up and down bleachers. At my granddaughter's diving meet last week, strangers were handing me down from row to row like some little old granny.  (No, I DO NOT see anything wrong with that last statement.)  It was embarrassing!

So, here we go. Get ready to groan. 

 1. I know a guy who's addicted to brake fluid. He says he can stop any time.

2. This girl said she recognized me from the vegetarian club, but I'd never met herbivore.

3. I'm reading a book about anti-gravity.  I can't put it down.

4. A dyslexic man walks into a bra.

5. Why were the Indians here first?  They had reservations.

6. The old man didn't like his beard at first. Then it grew on him.

7. Did you hear about the cross eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn't control her pupils?

8. What do you call a dinosaur with a extensive vocabulary? A thesaurus.

9. I used to be a banker, but then I lost interest.

10. All the toilets in New York 's police stations have been stolen. Police have nothing to go on.

11. I got a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

12. Cartoonist found dead in home. Details are sketchy.

13. I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure.

No, of course, I wouldn't give you all those groans and no "aw".  Here it is.

 Come on, you know you said it.

Okay, which one gave you the biggest groan? Or even (dare I say it?) a laugh?

I hope this got you over the mid week hump and sailing toward the weekend.

 Question of the Day:  Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Monday, January 28, 2013

What's in a Name? Famous Brand Name Changes

Recent conversation between myself and my fourteen-year-old grandson:

Me - Hey, how about Colonel Sanders for dinner?
Grandson - What's that?
Me - You know, Colonel Sanders. Kentucky Fried Chicken.
GS - [long pause] Oh! KFC. Sure.

I know the kids tend to refer to everything by initials (I blame texting) but I was still surprised  my grandson didn't know the actual name of his favorite chicken place. Until my husband got home with the meal and I noticed all the packages sported the same image- three big red letters: KFC.

Curiosity led me to do a little quick research and I discovered Colonel Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken changed it's name officially to KFC in 1999.  I guess I wasn't paying attention that year. Or any of the years since then. *hangs head in embarrassment*

But while I was checking out the brand name change at KFC, I came across a couple others you might find interesting.

Ever heard of Brad's Drink?  In 1893, a pharmacist named Celeb Bradham invented a carbonated soft drink which included sugar, cola nuts, and the digestive enzyme pepsin. I guess he thought that last one was  important because in 1898 he re-named his invention Pepsi-Cola.

How about Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web? In January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo, PhD students at Stanford, created what became one of the most prominent search engines on the web. They later renamed it Yahoo, an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".

Okay, one more.  Do you know BackRub?  The search engine created by Larry Brin and Serge Page’s technology in 1996 was called BackRub because the system verified backlinks to determine the significance of a site. I think you've probably used this one. In 1998, they changed the name to Google.

Have you ever had the urge to change your "brand" name?

[I didn't include any images in this post because they would have been big corporate logos and I didn't want to commit a no-no against any of these guys.]

Thought for the Day:

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Is Our Country Choking to Death on Red Tape?

In yesterday's Dayton Daily News Police Blotter column was the following report ...

"A 41-year-old man was arrested after being seen staggering into traffic...around 5:00 a.m. He told police he had gone to a bar with friends who left without him so he was walking home. He couldn't find a ride while police waited so he was jailed."

Not all that interesting a report, but it got me thinking. If the man was walking home, he probably didn't live all that far from where the police picked him up. The police waited while the man trying to find a ride - I'm assuming by phone. At some point, the man was in the police car.

Why didn't they just drive him home?

Yes, I know, there are probably rules and procedures and insurance issues that prohibit police officers from giving a civilian a lift but...well, isn't that the point?  They weren't far from the man's home, he was in their car, he wasn't a serious criminal. They even tried to help him out by waiting while he hunted for a ride.  Once upon a time they would have driven him home, given him some kind of warning about the next time he went drinking, and that would have been it. 

Instead, the police department incurred the expense of processing an arrest and whatever court related costs will follow while a man suffered the embarrassment, expense, and other possible consequences of being arrested (including going to court).

Rules and procedure verses common sense. Red tape.

Do you have any red tape stories to share?  Do you think we're choking on our own laws, rules, procedures, etc.?
Groaners for the Day:  (I haven't made you groan in a while so here's a couple.)

A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, 'I'm sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.'

She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is It the Joke or the Jokester?

Happy Hump Day

I didn't get this Hump Day post put together yesterday because a couple apartment building fires in the area caused the Red Cross to open a shelter and I was doing shelter duty. 

(Yes, this is a blatant plug for the Red Cross but it always amazes me how many people don't realize it's the Red Cross that takes care of the victims of small local disasters.)

Since I'm behind schedule, I thought I'd cheat just a little and post part of the funny e-mail I received yesterday.  It's not new, it's one that's been floating around in some form for years but it always gives me a laugh. These are questions (actual game show questions) and answers (the unscripted ad libs) from the original Hollywood Squares game show, with guest stars like Paul Lynde, Charlie Weaver, George Gobel, and Rose Marie.

But as I was picking out a few for this post, the thought occurred to me that many of you don't know who these people are. They're simply before your time. Which led to a second thought - does the humor lie in the joke or the jokester?  Are some lines only funny if you can visualize the speaker and hear their voice?

So this is part Hump Day post and part experiment. After you read these, please leave me a comment and tell me: one, if you remember these guys, and two, if their lines gave you a laugh.

Q. When you pat a dog on its head he will wag his tail.  What will a goose do?
A. Paul Lynde: Make him bark.

Q. Which of your five senses tends to diminish as you get older?
A. Charley Weaver: My sense of decency.

Q. As you grow older, do you tend to gesture more or less with your hands while talking?
A. Rose Marie: You ask me one more growing old question, Peter, and I'll give you a gesture you'll never forget.

Q. True or False, a pea can last as long as 5,000 years.
A. George Gobel: Boy, it sure seems that way sometimes.

Q. According to Ann Landers, what are two things you should never do in bed?
A. Paul Lynde: Point and laugh

Q. In bowling, what's a perfect score?
A. Rose Marie:  Ralph, the pin boy.

Q. It is considered in bad taste to discuss two subjects at nudist camps. One is politics, what is the other?
A. Paul Lynde:  Tape measures.

 Q. Charley, you've just decided to grow strawberries. Are you going to get any during the first year?
A. Charley Weaver: Of course not, I'm too busy growing strawberries.

Q. Paul, is there anything that can make a monkey cry?
A. Paul Lynde: Yes ... when Cheetah found out that Tarzan swings both ways.

And for your "aw" moment, I offer...


Okay, be sure to leave a comment on my "oldies" question.  I hope these funnies helped you over the "hump" and on your way to the weekend. 

Questions of the Day:   

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavoring, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons? 

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Indies 4 Hire Facebook Event

For all my writer friends...I've got a great event for you.

Starting today and running all this week, Maria Zannini and Gwen Gardner are hosting the

The event will showcase Maria's 


and Gwen's 

The event will also include information and discussion on all kinds of things that affect writers. 
Questions and topics welcome. 
And you won't want to miss the giveaways.
 I'll see you there.

Everyone seemed to like last week's funnies taken from actual court transcripts so here are a few more...

Courtroom Nonsense of the Day:

ATTORNEY: What was the first thing your husband said to you that morning?
WITNESS: He said, 'Where am I, Cathy?'
ATTORNEY: And why did that upset you?
WITNESS: My name is Susan!

ATTORNEY: The youngest son, the 20-year-old, how old is he?
WITNESS: He's 20, much like your IQ.

ATTORNEY: Now doctor, isn't it true that when a person dies in his sleep, he doesn't know about it until the next morning?
WITNESS: Did you actually pass the bar exam?

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Shelter Story

"Ma'am?  There a lady over at the table there, I think she needs help."

I wouldn't have noticed her.  We had close to two hundred residents in that shelter and when dinner was delivered, most of them passed through the serving line and into the dining area.

She was elderly. Late 70's, early 80's, I guessed. Her hair was white and carefully curled, and she was wearing an old fashioned broach on her green sweater.  She sat in front of a half eaten meal, quietly sobbing.

I sat next to her and asked if I could help. 

"I'm sorry.  I don't mean to make a fuss."

"Can you tell me what's wrong?"

"I don't like it here.  I want to go home."

Her name was Jackie and she was alone.  A widow with no children. She'd been evacuated to one shelter before Sandy hit, then transferred to this one. She wasn't quite sure where she was, the neighborhood was unfamiliar, and she didn't know anyone here.

At first I thought she was "confused" (a polite term for early dementia) but as we talked I realized she was simply overwhelmed. She did fine in her own well-ordered world.  She had a nice apartment and she took the bus to church or to go shopping.  But here, in this over-sized room full of cots and strangers, she didn't know what to do.

She gave me her home address and I asked one of the local volunteers where it was.  One of the areas hardest hit. I didn't have the heart to tell her.  She said there was a cousin who came by and helped her sometimes but she hadn't been able to reach him.

I did what I could.  I asked her if she'd talked to the FEMA people yet?  She didn't know she was supposed to.  All those announcements had made no sense to her.  A local social worker came through and I made her aware of Jackie, but the next day someone different came.  I made a point of talking with Jackie everyday, making sure she understood what agencies were there and what paperwork she needed to fill out to get help.

Our shelter was getting smaller.  We had a mixture of evacuees and those who were simply without power, and as the power was restored our population dwindled. Soon this shelter would be closed and merged into another.  Who would look out for Jackie?

Then she was gone.  I'd been out delivering hot meals in one of the neighborhoods that was still in darkness and when I came back, her cot was turned on its side, signalling she'd checked out. I asked another volunteer what had happened.

"Oh, she finally reached her cousin.  He came and picked her up."

 I wish I'd had a chance to say goodbye.

Quote of the Day: It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little - do what you can.  ~Sydney Smith

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Puppies and Kittens and Birds, Oh My!

  Happy Hump Day

Okay, gang, here they are.
 Your happy hump day funnies, to get you over the midweek hump and sailing toward the wonderful weekend.

 This one just cracked me up.

 "Hope you weren't too fond of it." *burp*

 You can cause someone to look like this. Visit your local animal shelter.

 My Sophie gets under her bed like this.  Even without hearing the word "vet".

 This one almost qualified as today's "aw".  Don't you love that face.

But here's the official "aw" for the day.

 Buddies come in all shapes and sizes.

And one bonus pic today. Remember my post last week on my Christmas high tech nightmare? 
Here's some of these family sharing 3D movie night.

Did that do it?  Enough chuckles to keep you going through the week? Well, then my job here is done. As always, I'd love to hear which ones you liked.  

Courtroom Nonsense of the Day:
(from actual court transcripts)

ATTORNEY:So the date of conception (of the baby) was August 8th?
ATTORNEY:And what were you doing at that time?
WITNESS:Getting laid.

ATTORNEY:How was your first marriage terminated?
WITNESS:By death.
ATTORNEY:And by whose death was it terminated?
WITNESS:Take a guess.

ATTORNEY:She had three children, right?
ATTORNEY:How many were boys?
ATTORNEY:Were there any girls?
WITNESS:Your Honor, I think I need a different attorney. Can I get a new attorney?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Castle: From Kick-ass Cop to Sexy and Helpless

Last week the TV show Castle won the People's Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama and Nathan Fillion won the award for Favorite Dramatic TV Actor for the title role.  Castle fans were delighted and there was the expected disappointed buzz that co-star Stana Katic did not win for Dramatic TV Actress.

I'm a Castle fan.  Love the show.  I've been watching since it first aired. But my disappointment the last couple years has been less about awards and more about what the show's writers/producers/etc. have done to the character Detective Kate Beckett.

In the beginning, Beckett was a kick-ass cop.  Smart and tough. Skilled in hand to hand combat. She solved cases and brought down bad guys.  Her hair style and wardrobe fit the image. She was beautiful and sexy and there was plenty of sexual tension between her and Castle but she was a cop first, sex symbol second.


 In season two, the image changed a bit.  Castle became a little less goofy and bumbling, and he and Beckett began working more as equals, although she was still the cop and he was the writer. By the end of season three, however, Beckett had changed completely.  Note the hair and wardrobe in the picture below.

If you're not a Castle viewer, I should explain that several story arcs over these seasons involved exposing Beckett's emotional vulnerabilities and developing the romantic feelings between her and Castle. But the writers also weakened Beckett role as a cop.  Her fellow detectives seem to be finding all the evidence and it was Castle who found the final clue and put things together. By season five,  Beckett also apparently forgot her hand to hand combat skills because in almost every episode she was overwhelmed, had her gun taken from her, was taken prisoner/hostage, and had to be rescued.  

In the current season, Castle and Beckett have given into their romantic feelings and have "gotten together". Naturally, a lot of the current story lines are centered on their relationship. But even while working the case of the week, there is almost nothing of the strong, kick-ass cop we saw in the first season. Kate Beckett has become little more than Castle's sexy and quasi helpless girlfriend.

Promo picture from this season.

As a Castle fan, I miss the old Beckett. I really liked her. The current one, not so much.  But as a writer, what bothers me is - why the change?  Did the show's writers feel that in order to strengthen Castle's character they had to weaken Beckett's? Did they think she needed to be softer or weaker to build the romance between them? Can't a woman be strong, intelligent, and kick-ass, and still be sexy, romantic, and have emotional vulnerabilities?

Can I get your opinions on this?  If you watch Castle, do you agree with my assessment of the changes in Kate Beckett?  Do you like the new Beckett or miss the old one? If  you're not a Castle viewer, what do you think about strong women characters in general, and about the questions I asked above.

Question of the Day:  Why did Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Friday, January 11, 2013

My High Tech Christmas Nightmare

I decided to post today about my high tech nightmare.  This runs a little longer than my usual posts but then, if it was shorter, it would have only qualified as a bad dream.

* * *

I’m not a cutting edge technology kind of person. Some people find this strange since I spent twenty plus years managing an IT department but that was work. Home is different. My computer is…well, let’s say past its prime and the grandkids are always poking fun at the little flip phone in my pocket. Our entertainment system was not exactly state of the art but it served our needs.

Or it did until recently when the DVD player began getting persnickety. It developed a bad habit of freezing up and refusing to show the rest of whatever movie we were watching, usually at the worst possible moment (“I know who the killer is. It’s—” FREEZE). So for Christmas my beloved spouse bought me a new DVD player. Not just DVD – a Blue Ray. With 3D!

A couple days after Christmas, I got the new player out of its box and looked at the installation guide. Piece of cake. Just one cable and the power cord. Then I looked at the TV stand where the Blue Ray would go. There were three boxes under the TV—the cable box, the old DVD/VCR (we’d stopped using the VCR part years ago), and the surround sound control box—but only two shelves. The cable box was sitting on the old DVD, which had a nice sturdy metal case. But the new Blue Ray was lightweight plastic, and I couldn’t set the Blue Ray on either of the other two without blocking their cooling vents. What I needed was a third shelf.

I was trying to jury rig some kind of third shelf and went so far as to suggest getting a new stand when another thought occurred. Our old TV couldn’t show 3D. It wasn’t even HD.

“Um, honey…?”

On New Year’s Day, beloved spouse and I went out and ordered a new 47” flat screen, HD, 3D, state of the art TV. And a new stand…with three shelves, of course. The nice man at the store also sold us an expensive HDMI cable to connect the TV to the cable box. That made sense to me because I knew the Blue Ray player needed an HDMI cable, which I was certain I’d seen in the box.

In preparation removing the old TV and stand, I disconnected all the speaker wires from the back of the surround sound box and eased them through the opening in the back of the stand. I immediately noticed that half the labels that matched wire to speaker had fallen off and I had no idea how to hook them up again. This necessitated a visit from our grandson who climbed into the crawl space below the family room and tugged on each wire, yelling through the floor what direction it came from, until I had them all re-labeled.

The big day arrived. The delivery guys set up the stand, positioned the new TV, hooked the incoming coax cable to it should to make sure it worked, and left. I disconnected the coax cable, positioned the cable box on the top shelf inside the stand and used my new HDMI cable to connect cable box to TV. The cable box became hysterical, with much flashing of green lights. I rebooted the cable box several times. Same thing. Have to call tech support.  I was on hold, waiting, when the cable box abruptly decided to accept its new friend and went to its normal time display. I gathered my courage and turned them both on.

Hmmm. Not quite the picture I was hoping for. An hour or so later, after reading the installation manual (written, of course, in Greek), adjusting the settings, and placing a couple phone calls to one of my techie sons, the picture is a thing of beauty. Then I spent another half hour or so programming the cable remote to talk to the TV. It will, but the TV remote has functions the “universal” cable remote doesn’t so I’m still going to need both remotes.

Now for the sound. I study the back of the old surround sound box. Hmmm. No port for an HMDI cable. Technically, the surround sound box is supposed to be the control center for everything else. The old TV, the cable box, and the old DVD player were all hooked into it, audio and video; but I didn’t need my techie son to tell me this box could not handle the HD, 3D video we’d just paid a small fortune for.

Good grief. Were we going to have to buy a new surround sound system, too?

Okay, I did call techie son. But only to ask him how his TV, surround sound, etc. were hooked up. Maybe there was another way. Eureka. There was. He used his HD TV as his center, with all devices plugged into it and just the audio output from the TV running to the sound system. I went back and studied the new TV. Sure enough, there was an audio output jack. Of course, it was not designed for any of the nineteen thousand cables I had scattered all around the room. It would only accept an optical digital cable.

“Honey, on your way home tonight, could you pick up…”

In the meantime, I dragged all the newly labeled speaker wires through the hole in the back of the stand and got them attached to their proper posts on the back of the surround sound box, a process that required me to stuff the upper portion of my overweight body into the stand and position a flashlight under my chin so I can find the posts. The optical digital cable arrived and I installed it. Changed the settings on the TV audio output and voila! Beautiful sound coming from the center speaker. Just the center speaker.

After several hours of re-programming the TV and the surround sound settings, all six speakers had joined in. Then there was more programming of the remote. We were getting close now. It was almost time to install the new Blue Ray player. You remember, the Christmas gift that started this whole thing. First, I needed that other HDMI cable. It had to be here somewhere. I remembered seeing it. Didn’t I?

Re-check manual. Oh. Not included.

“Honey, on your way home tonight, could you pick up…”

I plugged the new HDMI cable into back of the Blue Ray player, positioned it on the second shelf (the surround sound was on the bottom), and fed the cable and the power cord through the back of stand. I climbed around back and started to connect the cable to the TV.

It was too short.

I cannot repeat in this blog what I said at that moment, let it suffice to say there was much weeping and gnashing of teeth before I determined that the HDMI cable running to the cable box on the top shelf was longer and I was able to resolve the problem by simply swapping the cables.

With great excitement, I turned on the Blue Ray player and popped in a disc. The picture was incredible. The audio...not so much. I was back to one speaker again. More programming. Problem resolved. Now to test it in 3D.

Um. We didn't have any movies in 3D.


While I waited for a 3D disc, I programmed the universal remote to talk to the Blue Ray player. It will, but the Blue Ray remote has functions the universal doesn't.  So I'll still need all the remotes.

Finally, it was time. I put the disc in the Blue Ray play. Switched the TV to 3D mode. Beloved spouse and I put on our 3D glasses.

"Ice Age 4: Continental Drift."  In 3D.  Fantastic.

Merry Christmas

So, tell me...any high tech or even low tech "putting it all together" stories from your Christmas?

Question of the Day:  (just one cause it was a long post)

Can you cry under water?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

First Happy Hump Day of 2013

Happy Hump Day

Yeah, I know it's the second Wednesday of the year but last Tuesday was a holiday so the Wednesday doesn't qualify as a hump day.

I was actually trying to put this post up last night but silly Blogger wouldn't let me upload any pictures (it does that sometimes) and I have some good ones for you, so I waited until this morning.

Okay, here are your Hump Day funnies.

Reminds me of my sons when they were young.

I think the caption for this one should be, "Don't tell Mom."

With a few minor adjustments, this works for dogs, too.  At least my dogs.

Oh, we're back to my sons again.  And my dogs.

Gotta love that expression.

For your Hump Day "aw" I couldn't decide between the next two, so I'm including them both. Which one works best for you?

The first one is a more traditional "aw".

Come on, you know you said it.

This one is both a funny and an "aw", but I went more "aw". Look at that face.

Don't you want to buy him a nice mocha latte.

Okay, that should do it.  Hope these funnies help you over the mid-week hump and onto the downhill slope to the weekend.  Did you have a favorite?

Hey, while you're here, help me out.  On Friday, should I post about my further adventures with the Red Cross in New Jersey or would you like to hear about the simple Christmas present that snowballed into a very expressive techie nightmare?

Have a great day.

Questions of the Day:   

Why do doctors leave the room while you change?  They're going to see you naked anyway.

Can a hearse carrying a corpse drive in the carpool lane?

How important does a person have to be before they are considered assassinated instead of just murdered?

If corn oil is made from corn, and vegetable oil is made from vegetables, what is baby oil made from?

Monday, January 7, 2013

I'm Back. No...Really This Time

Hey, remember me?  My two week blogcation somehow morphed into a couple months.  Hope you haven't given up on me. 

First, let me wish you all a very Happy New Year. 

I'd love to say I got a ton of writing done while I was offline but I have to be honest and admit it didn't quite work out that way.  Now I'm hoping the wonderful energy from everyone's blogs will get my creative juices flowing again.

In the meantime, I'll share a few moments from my disaster relief assignment in New Jersey.

Our first day we arrived too late for in-processing so we were referred to our lodging for the night - The Regency Plaza Hotel.  Wow!  Not the usual accommodations, believe me (in fact, I spent the following night on a floor on my little air mattress).  We entered the address into our little GPS and headed that way.  The nice lady in the GPS got a little irritated when we kept leaving our designated route because of closed roads and detours but she finally got us there.  At least, she said we were there.  But there was no hotel. Just a bunch of darkened office buildings.  Then it struck us.  Why would Red Cross workers get to stay at the Regency Plaza?  Because the Regency Plaza had no power.

We figured out which of the darkened buildings was our hotel and parked the car.  A bellhop, manually pulling back the "automated" doors, greeted us warmly as he ushered us into the dimly lit lobby.  The ridiculously cheerful young lady at the desk explained that the hotel's generator provided just enough power for emergency hallway lighting and the hotel's security system (door locks). 

Then she said, "Welcome to the Regency Plaza.  Here's your key card and your glowstick."

And off I went, down the deserted hallway, clutching my little glowstick.

Hmmm.  Dark hotel.  No power.  Deserted hallway.  Pale light of a glowstick.  Why did it all seem so right?

Oh, of course.  It was October 31.  Halloween.

I'll have more on disaster relief in New Jersey on Friday.  Watch for some Hump Day funnies on Wednesday.

I'm looking forward to visiting everyone and seeing what you've been up to. Please forgive me if it takes a few days.  And if you stop by here, please say hi. I've missed you.

Thought for the day: When the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.