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Posts from ‘June, 2006’

Appetite Whetter…

A young friend who returned from Asia a couple of weeks ago gave me something to whet my appetite for what is yet to come. Here's a picture of what he gave me....

picture of snack pack

In case you cannot tell what delight is in the "handy snack pack" above - it's a chicken foot. Yum!? What a great idea!

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Musical Terms

Lately working for IT HelpDesk I've made quite a few trips to repair things in the Gustafson Fine Arts Center. It made me think of some musical humor I received recently. The thing I'm sending you today is *definitely* musical, but the humor is based on many other areas of expertise, with enough word play to satisfy the most avid punsters among us. I have to admit that I personally didn't "get" some of it - I guess I'm not musical enough?

Adagio formaggio: To play in a slow and cheesy manner.

Al dente con tableau: In opera, chew the scenery.

Al egretto: Played with a feathery tone.

Allegro con brillo: The fastest way to wash pots and pans.

Allegro non groppo: Play fast, and don't fumble for the notes.

AnDante: A musical composition that is infernally slow.

Angus Dei: To play with a divinely beefy tone.

Antiphonal: Referring to the prohibition of cell phones in the concert hall.

A patella: Accompanied by knee-slapping.

Appologgiatura: A composition that you regret after playing it.

Approximatura: A series of notes played by a performer and not intended by the composer, especially when disguised with an air of "I meant to do that."

Approximento: A musical entrance that is somewhat close to the correct pitch.

Basso continuo: The act of game fishing after the legal season has ended.

Basso profundo: An opera about deep sea fishing.

Brake drum: The instrument most used to slow the tempo in an orchestra.

Cacophany: A composition incorporating many people with chest colds.

Cadenza: Something that happens when you forget what the composer wrote.

Cantabile: To achieve a complaining sound, as if you have a sour stomach.

Concerto grossissimo: A really bad performance.

Coral Symphony: (see: Beethoven - Caribbean period).

Cornetti trombosis: Disastrous entanglement of brass instruments that can occur when musicians are not careful when exiting the stage.

D.C. al capone: You betta go back to the beginning, capiche?

Diatonic: A low calorie drink.

Dill piccolini: An exceedingly small wind instrument that plays only sour notes.

Diminuendo: The process of quieting a rumor in the orchestra pit.

Dulcet: Worthless steak knives.

Eardrum: A teeny, tiny timpani.

Espressivo: Used to indicate permission to take a coffee break.

Fermantra: A note that is held over and over and over and....

Fermatahorn: An Alpine wind instrument used for playing long notes.

Fiddler crabs: Grumpy string players.

Flute flies: Gnat-like bugs that bother musicians on outdoor gigs.

Fog hornoso: A brass instrument that plays when the conductor's intentions are not clear.

Fortississippi: With mighty, flowing strength.

Frugalhorn: A sensible, inexpensive brass instrument.

Gaul blatter: A French horn player.

Good conductor: A person who can give an electrifying performance.

Gregorian champ: The title bestowed upon the monk who can hold a note the longest.

Herbert vonCarryon: A conductor who never rides in the cargo hold.

Interval: How long it takes you to find the right note. There are three kinds - major interval: a long time; minor interval: a few bars; inverted interval: you have to go back one bar and try again.

L'istesso tempo: An indication to play as if you don't care.

Kvetchendo: Gradually getting annoyingly louder.

Maestro: A person who, standing in front of the orchestra and/or chorus, is able to follow them precisely.

Maestrousseau: At the pace of a wedding march.

Mallade: A romantic song that's pretty sickening.

Metronome: A small person who lives in the city.

Molto bolto: Head straight for the ending, but don't make it seem rushed.

Opera buffa: Musical stage production with bare-minimal costuming.

Pesante: An effect distinctly non-upper-class.

Pipe smoker: An extremely virtuosic(k) organist.

Placebo Domingo: A faux tenor.

Poochini: When singing, to be accompanied by your dog.

Pre-Classical Conservatism: School of thought which fostered the idea,"if it ain't Baroque, don't fix it."

(The) Rights of Strings: Manifesto of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Bowed Instruments.

Rubato: A cross between a rhubarb and a tomato.

Schmalzando: A sudden burst of music from the Guy Lombardo band.

Spinet: Politicians' best technique.

Spritzicato: Plucking of a stringed instrument to produce a bright, bubbly sound, usually accompanied by sparkling water with lemon.

Status cymbal: An instrument to be played at inaugurations and debutante balls.

Stringendo: An unpleasant effect produced by the violin section when it doesn't use vibrato.

Tempo tantrumo: What an elementary school orchestra is having when it's not following the conductor.

Timpani Alley: A row of kettledrums.

Tincanabulation: The annoying or irritating sounds made by an unmusical person using extremely cheap bells.

Toiletto: The effect on the human voice of reverberation in small rooms with ceramic tiles.

Trouble clef: Any clef one can't read, e.g., alto clef for pianists.

Vesuvioso: A gradual buildup to a fiery conclusion.

Vibratto: Child prodigy son of the concertmaster.


Till I'm back at you this time next week, ciao!


"If I find in myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." - C. S. Lewis

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=

Tried to play my shoehorn ... all I got was footnotes!

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Middle Age

This past Saturday we attended the wedding. One of the people I enjoyed talking to at the reception was one of the uncles of the bride, who was our best man when my wife and I got married *way* back in the last millenium. It was fun to get caught up a bit, to share some memories, and to laugh a little about aging. I told my friend that while some people feel as though they've been robbed of their childhood, I was robbed of being middle aged! Let me 'splain....

When I was 40 and talking with a colleague of the same age, I referred to our being middle aged. He protested strongly that we were *not* middle aged yet! Then when I was 50 and talking to a man who was nearing retirement, I referred to myself as being middle aged. He asked me derisively if I were planning to live to be 100! When I said I didn't really think so, he told me that I was beyond middle age. So I ask, when is one *allowed* to be "middled aged"?! The Bible speaks of our life span as being "three score and ten." So based on that number of 70, is middle age 35? Or is middle age the mid-point in our adult years - between the adult ages of 20 and 70? That age would be 45. Or, based on that mid-point number of 45, is "middle age" the period between 40 and 50 - the two ages at which I was *not allowed* to be "middle aged"?!?

Anyway, this week's iv is some random thoughts on "middle age"....

MIDDLE AGE (sigh!)

"Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle." - Bob Hope

Middle age is when your glasses and your waistline get thicker.
And your hair and your wallet get thinner;
When you don't give much thought to exercise
And entirely too much to dinner.

Maybe it's true that life begins at forty, but everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.

There are three signs that you're aging. The first is your loss of memory, and you forget the other two.

According to the cardiologist, if something tastes good, you should probably spit it out.

It gets harder to be nostalgic when you have trouble remembering anything.

Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.

Maybe the aging process could be slowed down if it had to work its way through Congress.

Middle age is when it takes longer to rest than to get tired.

You have reached middle age when you are cautioned to slow down by your doctor instead of by the police.

You know you're into middle aged when you realize that caution is the only thing you care to exercise.

Middle age is when work is a lot less fun - and fun a lot more work.

You know you've reached middle age when your wife tells you to pull in your stomach, and you just did!

Middle aged people don't have wrinkles - those are laugh lines. Guess we do a lot of laughing, huh?

Show me a man with his head held high, and I'll show you a guy having trouble with bifocals.

You know you're middle aged when you long for a quiet evening at home.

Middle age is that terrible feeling that comes over you when you're talking to your son and he says, "What's a running board?"

You've reached middle age when you know your way around, but you'd rather not go anywhere!

Middle age is when everything's starting to click for you ... your elbows, your neck, your knees....

Fifty-five on the calendar is just like fifty-five on the road. Everybody seems to pass you!

Forget exercising and dieting - let someone come up with younger mirrors!

"Just remember, once you're over the hill you begin to pick up speed." - Charles Schultz

I cannot tell whether the following is an insult or a compliment: "She has discovered the secret of perpetual middle age." - Oscar Levant


We're plugging along here, trying to get things organized for our trip to Asia. Little by little, everything will be ready for departure when that time arrives.


"So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." Psalm 90:12 (ESV)

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=

The hardest decision in life is when to start middle age.

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Summer Upgrades

This summer when I'm not teaching in Asia, I'm working at IT HelpDesk on campus, "improving life, one computer at a time." Part of what we do each summer is upgrade various programs on the university's computers to the latest version. I like to say, "Summer upgrades ... and some aren't!" June is the month of the year when there are lots of weddings. For this week's iv, I'm going to "wed" those two ideas into the theme for the iv - comparing marriage to upgrades of computer programs. What you're about to read is two supposed email exchanges between newlyweds and tech support. They are similar in many ways, and yet very different so as to reflect the differences between the genders.

Tech Support Request

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 and after a few months I noticed that the new program began unexpected child processing that is taking up a lot of space and valuable resources. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure.

In addition, Wife 1.0 installs itself into all other programs, launches during system initialization, and monitors all other system activity. Applications such as Football 5.0, Hunting and Fishing 7.5, and Racing 3.6 no longer run, crashing the system whenever selected. I can't seem to keep Wife 1.0 in the background while attempting to run my favorite applications, and I can't seem to purge Wife 1.0 from my system. It's too late to uninstall and go back to the Girlfriend 7.0 program. Can you PLEASE help me?

Troubled User



Dear Troubled User:
This is a very common problem men complain about, but it's mostly due to a primary misconception. Many men upgrade from Girlfriend 7.0 to Wife 1.0 with the idea that Wife 1.0 is merely a "Utilities and Entertainment" program.

Wife 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM and designed to run everything. WARNING - do NOT try to uninstall, delete, or purge the program from the system once installed! Trying to uninstall or remove Wife 1.0 will destroy valuable system resources. You're right - you cannot go back to Girlfriend 7.0 because Wife 1.0 is not designed to do this.

Some have tried to install Girlfriend 7.3 or Wife 2.0 but end up with more problems than the original system. Look in your manual under "Warnings: Alimony/Child Support." I recommend that you keep Wife1.0 and work on improving the situation. I suggest installing the background application "Yes Dear" to alleviate software augmentation. Do not even think of trying to run Girlfriend 7.0 or 7.3 in the background. Eventually Wife 1.0 detects the other program running in the background and a system conflict occurs, this can lead to a non-recoverable system crash.

Having Wife 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Protection Faults (GPF's). You must assume all responsibility for faults and problems that might occur. The best course of action is to enter the command C:\I_APOLOGIZE because ultimately you will have to give the APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal anyway. The best course of action will be to push the apologize button then the reset button as soon as lock-up occurs. System will run smooth as long as you take the blame for all GPF's.

Wife 1.0 is a great program but is very high maintenance. Wife 1.0 comes with several support programs, such as Clean and Sweep 3.0, Cook It 1.5, and Do Bills 4.2. However, be very careful how you use these programs. Improper use will cause the system to launch the program NagNag 9.5. Once this happens, the only way to improve the performance of Wife 1.0 is to purchase additional software. I recommend Flowers 2.1 and Diamonds 5.0.

Suggestions for improved operation of Wife 1.0
-Monthly use of utilities such as TLC and FTD
-Frequently use Communication 5.0

Wishing you the best!
Tech Support


Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed that the new program began making unexpected changes to the accounting software, severely limiting access to wardrobe, flower, and jewelry applications that operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0. No mention of this phenomenon was included before the upgrade.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalls many other valuable programs such as RomanticMovies 7.5, OceansideWalks 3.9, SappyLoveNotes 2.2, and OperaNight 6.1, and it installs new, undesirable programs such as BasketballNight 1.3, SaturdayFootball 5.0, Golf 2.4, and ClutterEverywhere 4.5. Whenever Communication 5.0 runs, it invariably crashes the system. Under no circumstances will it run Cooking 14.1 or HouseCleaning 2.6. I've tried running NagNag 9.5 to fix Husband 1.0, but this all-purpose utility is of limited effectiveness. Can you help, please?




Dear Desperate,
This is a very common problem women complain about, but it is mostly due to a primary misunderstanding. Many women upgrade from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 with no idea that Boyfriend 5.0 is merely an ENTERTAINMENT program while Husband 1.0 is an OPERATING SYSTEM that was designed to run as few applications as possible. Furthermore, you cannot purge Husband 1.0 and return to Boyfriend 5.0, because Husband 1.0 is not designed to do this. Hidden operating files within your system would cause Boyfriend 5.0 eventually to emulate Husband 1.0, so nothing is gained. It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the program files from the system, once installed. Any new program files can only be installed once per year, as Husband 1.0 has severely limited memory. Error messages are common and a normal part of Husband 1.0.

In desperation to play some of their favorite old applications or to get new applications to work, some women have tried to install Boyfriend 6.0, or Husband 2.0. However, these women end up with more problems than encountered with Husband 1.0. Look in your manual under "Warnings: Divorce/Child Support." You will notice that this program runs very poorly and comes bundled with Heartbreak 1.3. I recommend you keep Husband 1.0 and just learn the quirks of this strange and illogical operating system.

Having Husband 1.0 installed myself, I might also suggest you read the entire section regarding General Partnership Faults (GPF's). This is a wonderful feature of Husband 1.0, secretly installed by the parent company as an integral part of the operating system. Husband 1.0 must assume ALL responsibility for ALL faults and problems, regardless of root cause. To activate this great feature, enter the command: C:\I_THOUGHT_YOU_LOVED_ME. You will find that sometimes Tears 6.2 must be run simultaneously while entering the command. Husband 1.0 should then run the applications Apologize 12.3 and Flowers/Chocolates 7.8.

TECH TIP: Avoid excessive use of this feature. Overuse can create additional and more serious GPF's, and ultimately it may be YOU who has to give a C:\I_APOLOGIZE command before the system will return to normal operations. Overuse can also cause Husband 1.0 to default to GrumpySilence 2.5 or Workaholic 6.9.

Just remember! The system will run smoothly and take the blame for all GPF's, but because of this fine feature, it can only intermittently run all applications that Boyfriend 5.0 ran. Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly.

Consider buying additional software to improve performance. I personally recommend HotMeals 3.0, Cheerfulness 5.3, Listening 1.4, and LovingPatience 10.1. Used in combination, these utilities can really help keep Husband 1.0 running smoothly. After several years of use, you will become more familiar with Husband 1.0 and you will find many valuable embedded features such as FixBrokenThings 2.1, Snuggling 4.2, and BestFriend 7.6.

A final word of caution. Do NOT, under any circumstances, install MotherInLaw 1.0. This is not a supported application and will cause selective shutdown of the operating system. Husband 1.0 might run only Fishing 9.4 and Hunting 5.2 until MotherInLaw 1.0 is uninstalled.

I hope these notes have helped. Thank you for choosing to install Husband 1.0, and we here at Tech Support wish you the best in coming years. We trust you will learn to fully enjoy this wonderful product.

Your friends at Tech Support


personal update...

In about four weeks we leave for Asia. There's so much to do before then - lessons to plan, provisions to purchase and organize, arrangements to make for our son and daughter to take care of things at the house while we're gone, etc.


"When we don't pray in light of God's word, we set our sights too low." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^= =^..^=

Marriage is wonderful - it's so great to find that one special person to annoy for the rest of your life!

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