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Posts from ‘November, 2007’


Several thoughts colliding in my mind made me think of what I'm posting today. The first thought is of all the news of toy recalls because of the dangers they pose to children. The second thought is an amusing/disturbing event this week. I'll try to relate this as concisely as possible. A colleague stopped me in the hall to ask my age, to which I replied, "I'm 56." She said that that's what she thought, since she thought we were about the same age. She went on to explain that one of my students used me as an example in a project on Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development for her class. My student said that I was an example of someone in the "Integrity vs. Despair" stage of life - the eighth and final stage of life! She said that I was a grandfather in his mid-sixties. Yikes! I must look really old! Maybe I need a make-over....

Well, anyway, thinking about safety concerns for those in Erikson's stage 1 - a stage I went through WAY back in the last millennium - and about the fact that as doddering as I am, I've somehow still survived reminded me of something I've received about other survivors like me.

Can You Believe We Survived!?

According to today's over-zealous regulators, those of us who were kids in the 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, and maybe even early 70s, probably shouldn't have survived.

First, we survived being born to mothers who took aspirin, ate bleu cheese dressing, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes.

Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We slept on our backs or our stomachs, whichever way was more comfortable. And we slept in back rooms or upstairs with the doors closed so no one would wake up.

We had no childproof lids or locks on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets.

As infants and children, we would ride in cars with no car seats, booster seats, seat belts, or air bags. It was a sad rite of passage, when as a child, you were too tall to stand up in the back seat and look out!

Riding in the back of a pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat, and the more the merrier!

We drank water from the tap and even the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, and real butter and drank Kool-aid made with sugar, but we weren't overweight because, WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle, and no one got sick or died from this.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we had forgotten the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would also build our own skateboards from a board and an old pair of skates. We rode our homemade skateboards and our bicycles, and we skated - with no knee pads, no elbow pads, and no helmets. We learned that falling hurt, and we learned to avoid falls.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, and often well into the evening after supper. No one was able to reach us during any of this time. No cell phones or pagers, just Mom yelling out the front door or calling our friend's house in an emergency. And we were OK.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo 64, X-Boxes, no video games at all, no 256 channels on cable, DVD movies, surround sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, Internet, or chat rooms.

WE HAD FRIENDS! We went outside and found them!

We played dodge ball, and sometimes, the ball would really hurt. We fell out of trees, got cut, some even broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits from these accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame but us. Remember accidents? They were what we called things that happened usually because of our own carelessness.

We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthdays, made up games with sticks, stones, string, and cans, and although we were told it would happen, we did not put out very many eyes.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's home and knocked on the door, or rang the bell, or just walked in and talked to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with the disappointment, to get better at the game, or do something else.

Some students weren't as smart as others, so they failed a grade and were held back to repeat the same grade.

Tests were not adjusted for any reason. Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of parents bailing us out if we got in trouble in school or broke a law was unheard of. They actually sided with the school or the law!

Those generations have produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors, ever! The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success, and responsibility - and we learned how to deal with it!

If you're one of the kids described above and survived to read about it, CONGRATULATIONS!


Now I will say that we have learned somethings through the years, and my generation probably took some unnecessary risks because we just didn't know better. But it is interesting to consider how out-of-proportion some of aspects of life have become. I guess it's job security for those who know better than we do what's best for us....


"Our fears always pale when compared to the power of an omnipotent God." - Jon Daulton

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

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?

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Local Color

Traveling certainly does expose you to a lot of "local color." But then, so does having e-mail! I received by e-mail the following picture of an interesting scene...

I'm sure the deer would move if anyone approached, but if not, jumping on this trampoline could be dangerous!

One bit of local color we enjoyed in Michigan and Ohio was coffee from Tim Hortons. Though it's originally from Canada, it's making in-roads into the northern states.

I got a picture recently that I shows some of the effects of local color up in Quebec...

In Quebec, Kentucky Fried Chicken is called "Poulet frit a la Kentucky" - hence PFK. Weird! Even in China it's KFC!

On the radio near our hometown in Ohio we caught the intro to a program called Ag-Talk ... I guess it's a call-in program for Ohio farmers. We also saw an interesting sight in a town near our home town - vending machines that cater to some of the special needs of local residents...

That sight made me think of the first item in something I'd received recently by e-mail....

You may have had a redneck Thanksgiving if...

your secret ingredient in your stuffing came from the bait shop.

you had Thanksgiving dinner on a ping-pong table.

Thanksgiving dinner was squirrel and dumplings.

you reused a paper plate.

you had a complete set of salad bowls and they all say Cool Whip on the side.

you used your ironing board as a buffet table.

your turkey platter was an old hubcap.

your best dishes have Dixie printed on them.

your only condiment on the dining room table was ketchup.

side dishes included beef jerky and Moon Pies.

you had to go outside to get something out of the 'fridge.

the directions to your house included "turn off the paved road."

you consider pork and beans to be a gourmet food.

you had Jell-o from an Elvis mold.

your secret family recipe is illegal.

you served Vienna sausage as an appetizer.


My wife and I decided to go up to Michigan for a couple of days during our Thanksgiving break. We thoroughly enjoyed our couple of days with our daughter Megan, son-in-law Jim, and grandson Drew. Here are a couple of pictures...

We had lunch at Panera on Saturday with two long-time (rather than old!) friends - Shirley and Laura. It was good to see them and to get caught up. Shirley is enjoying her many activities in her early retirement, and Laura always has interesting stories to tell about her life in Bangladesh, to which she'll return on December 31. I hope they'll forgive me for putting a picture of them on my blog. 🙂


"Our ultimate goal is pleasing the Chief Shepherd." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

I wonder how many venues I've been in through the course of my life without even knowing it, simply because I didn't know the buzzword "venue."

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Turkey Time

picture of dancing turkey

My wife and I enjoyed our family Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, November 11, since Nora, Aron (Nora's boyfriend), Mark, and Katie will all be out of town this week. We have come up with "Plan B," though, so we'll have a nice Thanksgiving Day anyway. We can chuckle about what I'm posting today since an already cooked and devoured turkey is impossible to burn.

12 Reasons to be Thankful You Burnt the Turkey

1. Salmonella won't be a concern.
2. Everyone will think your turkey is Cajun blackened.
3. Uninvited guests will think twice next year.
4. Your cheese broccoli lima bean casserole will gain newfound appreciation.
5. Pets won't bother to pester you for scraps.
6. No one will overeat.
7. The smoke alarm was due for a test.
8. Carving the bird will provide a good cardiovascular workout.
9. You'll get to the desserts even quicker.
10. After dinner, the guys can take the bird to the yard and play football.
11. The less turkey that Uncle You-Know-Who eats, the less likely he will be to walk around with his pants unbuttoned.
12. You won't have to face three weeks of turkey sandwiches, soups, and casseroles.

I've discovered the "tags" feature of my blog. You can find the "tag cloud" in the sidebar of the blog. What are "tags" and "tag clouds"? Tags are used to categorize or label the main content of a blog post. To a post about baseball, for example, I've given a "sports" tag. Clicking on the sports tag will take you to all content, old and new on this blog, about various sports. It's a good way to read all the posts about things of special interest to you. A tag cloud depicts tags (or topics) on a blog in a way that reflects the frequency of their usage. More commonly used tags are given greater weighting, appearing bigger and bolder, like this. At a glance, you can see which topics are given more attention on a site that uses tags.

Megan called the other day to let us know that Drew has learned to sit up all by himself now. Doesn't he look pleased with himself?

Our son-in-law Jim is encouraging little Drew to be a Detroit Lions fan....


"Any worthless thing that keeps me from a vital relationship with God is a curse to me." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

If you can't find the time to do it right, how will you find the time to do it over?

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Your House

I've been hearing the "doom-and-gloomers" (a.k.a. the "drive-by media") going on a lot lately about the housing situation here in the USA. (I suspect it's in an effort to remind us how desperately we need Hillary). Anyway, it made my mind go to an e-mail I received a while back about how various people view your house.

your house as seen by...


as seen by a potential buyer...

as seen by the lending institution...

as seen by the buyer's appraiser...

as seen by a general contractor...

as seen by the local Historical Preservation Society...

as seen by a nosy neighbor...

as seen by the tax assessor...


"The certainty of future events should drive us to testify." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.

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More Blonde Jokes

Today's iv is the next installment of blonde jokes.

Standard DISCLAIMER: Not all blondes are airheads, and not all airheads are blonde! In fact, not all blondes are blonde....

New inventions by blondes--
- Waterproof towels
- Glow in the dark sunglasses
- Solar powered flashlights
- Submarine screen doors
- A book on how to read
- Inflatable dart boards
- A dictionary index
- Sharpeners for mechanical pencils
- Powdered water
- Pedal-powered wheel chairs
- Waterproof tea bags
- Watermelon seed sorter
- Skinless bananas
- Do-it-yourself road map
- Turnip ice cream
- Rolls Royce pickup truck


There was a blonde driving an old (or shall we say, real) VW and encountered engine problems and had to pull over to the side of the road. She got out, went to the front, and opened the hood. A friend of hers, also a blonde, was passing by and saw her standing over the front of her VW with a puzzled look on her face. So, the friend pulled over, walked up, and said, "What seems to be the problem?"

"Well," said our blonde friend, "My VW quit running, and when I pulled over and opened the hood, I discovered that someone had stolen my engine!"

"Well, isn't this your lucky day!" replied her friend. "I just happen to have a spare in my trunk!"


A restaurant in California installed a magic mirror in the women's restroom. If a woman said something into the mirror and it was the truth, she'd receive one free wish. If it was a lie, she'd be sucked up into the mirror forever.

The first woman to try out the mirror was a redhead. She looked deep into the mirror and said, "I think I'm the most beautiful woman in the world." POOF!!! She was sucked up into the mirror.

Then a brunette came in to try out the mirror. After admiring her image for a while, she said, "I think I'm the smartest woman in the world." POOF!!! She was sucked up into the mirror.

Then a blonde came in and after staring into the mirror for what seemed like hours, she said, "I think..." POOF!!!


A blonde bombshell walks into the airplane and sits in first class, and the stewardess asks her for her ticket. The stewardess tells her that she only has a coach ticket.

The blonde says, "I'm a cute blonde and I'm flying first class."

The stewardess replies that she only has a coach seat to Atlanta.

The blonde then retorts, "I'm a cute blonde and I'm flying first class."

Just then the captain happened by and asked what was happening. The blonde tells him, "I'm a cute blonde and I'm flying first class.

The captain whispers in her ear, and the blonde gets up and jumps into a seat in the coach cabin.

The stewardess asks the captain what he said to get her to move so fast. He replied, "I told her that first class is not going all the way to Atlanta."


Two blondes living in Oklahoma were sitting on a bench talking. And one blonde says to the other, "Which do you think is farther away, Florida or the moon?"

The other blonde turns and says, "Helloooooooooo, can you see Florida?!?"


A blonde went into work one morning crying her eyes out. Her boss asked sympathetically, "What's the matter?"

The blonde replied, "Early this morning I got a phone call saying that my mother had passed away."

The boss, feeling very sorry for her, said, "Why don't you go home for the day? We aren't terribly busy. Just take the day off to relax and rest."

"Thanks, but I'd be better off here. I need to keep my mind off it and I have the best chance of doing that here."

The boss agreed and allowed the blonde to work as usual. A few hours pass and the boss decided to check on the blonde. He looked out over his office and saw the blonde crying hysterically. "What's the matter? Are you gonna be okay?" he asked."

No!" exclaimed the blonde. "Just when I thought things couldn't get worse, I received a horrible call from my sister. She said her mom died too!"


There are three blondes stranded on an island. Suddenly a fairy appears and offers to grant each one of them one wish.

The first blonde asks to be intelligent. Instantly, she is turned into a redheaded woman, and she swims off the island.

The next blonde asks to be even more intelligent than the previous one, so instantly she is turned into a brunette. The brunette builds a boat and sails off the island.

The third blonde asks to become even more intelligent than the previous two. The fairy turns her into a man, and he walks across the bridge.


Two tourists were driving through Louisiana. As they were approaching Natchitoches, they started arguing about the pronunciation of the town. They argued back and forth until they stopped for lunch.

As they stood at the counter, one tourist asked the blonde employee, "Before we order, could you please settle an argument for us? Would you please pronounce where we are ... very slowly?"

The blonde girl leaned over the counter and said, "Burrrrrrrr, gerrrrrrr, Kiiiiing."


A blonde goes into a beauty parlor. Once the blonde is seated in the beautician's chair, the beautician notices that the blonde is wearing headphones. The beautician starts to remove them so that she can work on the blonde's hair. The blonde reacts almost violently, saying that she can *never* remove the headphones, or she will *die*!

The beautician thinks "Ooookaaay," but she keeps her cool and does what she can, working around the headphones. While the blonde is sitting under the hairdryer, she falls asleep. The beautician thinks, "I just wonder...," and decides to see what would happen if she removed the headphones. She tiptoes over, gently removes the headphones from the sleeping blonde, and is horrified to see the blonde gasp for air and keel over - DEAD!!!

After calling 911 (not being a blonde herself, the beautician is able to do this), overcome with curiosity while awaiting their arrival, the beautician goes back to the blonde to hear what she was listening to on the headphones.

Placing them on her own head, she is amazed to hear, "Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out...."


"It's such a radical world view to want to serve rather than to seek to be served.... It's counter-cultural." - Dr. Drew Conley

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

I don't have a solution, but I admire the problem.

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